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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Buffalo Raceway Weekly Recap for 2/25

"It came a lot quicker in my career than I thought it would," driver Drew Monti said after registering his 1,000th career victory on Saturday night (Feb. 24) in guiding Im So Handsome ($5.50) to a 1-1/4 length win in the sixth race at Buffalo Raceway.
Drew Monti enjoys 1,000th victory with family and friends.

At the age of 23, Monti's career has skyrocketed in the past three years as proven by his statistics. He's gone over the 200-win plateau since 2015 including a career-high 294 victories last season. Monti's purse earnings are well over $5.6 million. He also has a driving title to his credit after beating out Jim Morrill Jr. 116-112 to capture the 2016 Batavia Downs' crown.

"My success has led to more opportunities," Monti stated in boasting his win total each year. "I've been getting better horses and have driven in the New York Sire Stakes and hope that continues." It also helps now being the first-call driver for trainer J.D. Perrin, always a top conditioner on the Western New York circuit.

Monti stated he doesn't really worry about his numbers saying, "There's no calculated goal on how many races I have to win every night. I try to win every race but sometimes you are hot and sometimes you are cold. You just have to give your best day in and day out."
When asked about his most memorable victory in his young career, Monti said that winning several New York Sire Stake events are near top of his list but the one that sticks out the most was his first victory driving on behalf of his family.

"I can remember it like it was yesterday, the horses involved and how the race unfolded," Monti recalled. "The first race I ever won, my father (Darrin) wasn't in the winner's circle but the next race I won, it was with our family horse, The Prophet Mary. My dad was in the winner's circle for that. The Prophet Mary was responsible for a lot of wins for our family."

And as for the future, Monti, who had a double on Saturday night, wants to continue roll up the victories and enjoying his time in the sulky.
While Monti was celebrating his 1,000th career win, two drivers were putting on quite a show during the short two-day week.
Billy Davis Jr. had six winners on the week.

Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, Shawn Gray, notched a double on Friday night and then posted a five-bagger on Saturday night, including the first three races. The seven-win week sent Gray's total to 30 and enjoys a healthy 30-18 advantage over Billy Davis Jr. Gray is also the top purse earner with $145,863.

Davis Jr. had a strong stretch as well as he found the winner's circle four times and Friday night and bounced back with two more wins on Saturday for a total of six. Davis Jr. sits second in purse earnings with $97,163.

Monti reached the 1,000-win plateau thanks to a triple on Friday night and a pair of victories on Saturday. He's tied for third in the rankings with John Cummings Jr. as each have 14 wins. Cummings Jr. produced a double on Wednesday.

There were just seven different drivers who made a trip to the winner's circle during the 23-race week.

Buffalo Raceway Driver's Standings (Wins, UDR, Purse Earnings)
1. Shawn Gray (30, .485, $145,863)
2. Billy Davis Jr. (18, .302, $97163)
3. John Cummings Jr. (14, .328, $77,529)
3. Drew Monti (14, .267, $79,619)
5. Ray Fisher Jr. (13, .244, $74,960)
James Clouser Jr. enjoyed another big week in the training department as he sent five to the winner's circle for photo opportunities.
James Clouser Jr.

He started out with a winner on Friday night but exploded for a four-bagger on Saturday night to increase his lead in the trainer's standings to 19-12 over runner up JD Perrin. Clouser Jr. is also the top purse earner with $92,840.

Perrin in the meantime had a double on Friday night and added one more on Saturday to finish the week with three.

Gerry Sarama completed the week on a great note as he conditioned three winners on Saturday.

Jerry Nugent Jr. and David Russo each had a pair of victories on Friday evening with Maria Rice, who is tied for third place in the standings with 11 wins, notched one each on Friday and Saturday.

There were 12 different trainers who had at least one victory during the week.

Buffalo Raceway Trainer's Standings (Wins, UTR, Purse Earnings)
1. James Clouser Jr. (19, .655, $92,840)
2. JD Perrin (12, .363, $46,119)
3. Maria Rice (11,.347, $67,498)
3. David Russo (11, .329, $60,898)
5. Kimberly Asher (10, .514, $55,919)
In the featured $8,800 pace on Saturday, Mach Stockn Barrel remained razor sharp by notching his third victory in five starts in 2018. The 7-year-old gelding also has a pair of second place finishes this season.

Mach Stockn Barrel wins Saturday feature.
Getting solid cover from P L Jackson past the three-quarter pole, driver Shawn Gray tipped Mach Stockn Barrel ($8.10) three-wide around the far turn and rolled to the length win in 1:56.0 over the fast track.

P L Jackson (Mike Micallef) took second with Western Alumni (David McNeight III) rounding out the top three.

Owned by William Emmons and conditioned by James Clouser Jr., Mach Stockn Barrel (Mach Three-Timeless Classic) has earned $16,050 on the season and $136,774 lifetime.

Lenny Mac ($3.50) may have been the lone mare in the field in Buffalo Raceway's $9,500 Open Trot on Friday night (Feb. 23) but it didn't matter to her as she roughed up the harness racing boys in taking a solid 2-1/2 length victory over Noble Legend in 2:00.0 on the sloppy track.
Lenny Mac beat the boys in Open Trot on Friday.

It was a battle to the front end early with Osprey Vision taking command over Empire Earl N in 29.3. Lenny Mac, sitting third past the half, put her head down and went to work up the backstretch the final time, taking the lead with a quarter mile to trot.

In the stretch, Lenny Mac (Shawn Gray) found little competition as Noble Legend (Billy Davis Jr.) and Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) scrambled for second and third place respectively.

Owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr., it was the second win in four tries in 2018 for Lenny Mac (Kadabra-Lend A Hand). 

The victory pushed the 7-year-old mare's seasonal earnings to $12,635 and $250,425 lifetime.
In the very short week, the winning favorites took 14-of-23 races for a 60.8 percent. The post time favorites have won 54-of-110 for 48.8 percent in 2018.
Forbettor Or Worse and Double Down Jo are the only horses at Buffalo Raceway with three victories on the season. Trotter Lenny Mac is the top money earner with $12,635.
For the week, the three post was the place to be by winning 6 of 23 races while the one and four post were next with four. The seven and eight spots didn't register a victory.

Wins By Post Position (Week/Year)
1.  5 (37)
2.  3 (18)
3.  6 (17)
4.  5 (18)
5.  3 (16)
6.  2 (10)
7.  1  (2)
8.  1  (3)
I'd like to once again thank Buffalo Raceway photographer Steve Roth with the great action shots and other pictures used on this blog. Without his cooperation and dedication in helping promote harness racing locally, this spot would be a lot more difficult to do. To order any of his photos, go to
In the 'Handicapping Challenge between Brians Buffalo Raceway Selections and Buffalo Raceway track announcer Wayne Teaven, after five weeks of competition, Wayne leads the battle 43-35.
There were two nights of racing at Buffalo Raceway this week. The handles showed Friday night raking in $175,882 while Saturday evening had a handle of $170,753 for a two-day total of $346,635. The average nightly take was $173,313. Last week's handle for the two days was $437,321.
There were no claims made on Friday but one came on Saturday.

Whosurpapa, a pacer, was selected by William Emmons and will be trained by James Clouser Jr. for the $15,000 tag.
Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 10-race card. Racing is scheduled to resume this Friday night at 5 p.m. and will continue on into Saturday with a 6 p.m. starting time.

Saturday night  has the Winter Winner's Circle contest. Pick the winner of the ninth race and if your horse wins, who'll have a chance to win $50 in wagers plus you'll return later in the season for the grand prize drawing.

Remember, happy hour is every live racing day from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. with $4 drafts, well drinks along with other items.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway including the latest news, race results, replays, entries and upcoming promotions, go to