Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Here are my selections for Wednesday night's 12-race card at Buffalo Raceway with a post time of 5 p.m. (EDT). Wager on the card at TVG, Twin Spires, HRTV, Bet America and many simulcast locations throughout the United States and Canada. Follow the 'Handicapping Challenge' all season long between Buffalo Raceway announcer Michael Carter and Brian's Buffalo Raceway Selections. In the 'Challenge', Brian leads 276-244 through Sunday afternoon.
                                                      Wednesday, July 1st
Race # Horse Comments
1st 6 Lutetium Hard to beat at Buffalo
4 B Z Glide Comes up short in good battle
2 Studio City Takes a minor share
2nd 6 Getmyredressontnit Preps were sure impressive
4 Wishy Washy Girl The main threat
3 Queen Of Darkness Battles late for third place
3rd 2 Angels Rockn Pink Could make this field feel 'blue'
1 Vino And Formaggio Will be setting the fractions
3 Nautica Blue Chip Has been improving each week
4th 2 Siesta Key Don't fall asleep on her
3 Southwind Marilyn Is accustom to half-mile track
4 Amazon Ideal Can't leave her off the ticket
5th 5 Time On My Hands Showed talent in last try
2 Ghost Runner Expect better performance off pylons
4 No Clouds Bluechip Toss out last appearance
6th 1 Art Critic Hard to beat connections
3 Ideal Class Adds some value here
2 Bullville GG Dangerous on best behavior
7th 5 Nana To Three Schooling race was very good
2 Lemonade Hanover Can't stall out in the stretch
8 I Got The Life Home track advantage helps
8th 5 The Bronx Bumper Responds well to Morrill Jr.
2 Hunter Valley Competitive from this spot
6 Leave Your Mark Sharp as any in here
9th 4 Hurrikaneeileshlyn Steps up and pulls the upset
1 Dontch Remember Look out from the rail
3 Heavenly Place If the speed falters
10th 3 Infrontigo Hanover Gets out of second place rut
5 Kisses N Kicks Can't disregard her at all
1 Country Delight Better draw makes a danger
11th 6 The Prophet Mary Won't disappoint again
7 Up Front Cruiser Will be a serious factor
2 Fox Valley Lena Completes the trifecta
12th 6 Just Sayin Rebounds off last race for victory
1 Mach Dismissal Last was a true indication
8 Steppin Hanover Late charge takes third

Best bet: Time On My Hands (5th race)
Live longshot: Hurrikaneeileshlyn (9th race)

Sunday afternoon, I had three winners, King William ($6.40) in the sixth, Francessa ($3.30) in the tenth and Flashy Trick ($2.70). I also hit the sixth race exacta for $20.20, the tenth race trifecta for $22.40 and the twelfth race exacta for $7.80.

Wednesday night's total investment: $76.00
Sunday afternoon's total winnings: $62.80
Win percentage: 276-for-900  33.8 percent
Top pick in the money: 602-for-900 67.3 percent
Best bet percentage: 29-for-71 42.0 percent
Brian's Selections vs. Michael Carter Challenge: Brian leads 276-244

BANKROLL: minus $1096.30

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Buffalo Raceway Weekly Recap for 6/28

Kevin Cummings, the runaway leader of the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings, pushed his seasonal total to 180 victories at the Hamburg half-mile oval located on the Erie County Fairgrounds.
Kevin Cummings has 7-win week

Cummings is a mere 34 victories away from the all-time Buffalo Raceway record of 214 set by Jim Morrill Jr. established in 2006. There are 16 racing programs left on the season so Cummings will have to average just a touch over two wins a night to tie the record.

He had seven wins on the week thanks to triples on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.

Drew Monti pulled into second place overall with 116 victories thanks to a seven-win week as well. The 20-year-old Monti tripled on Sunday afternoon and a double on Saturday.

Shawn Gray, who sits in third place with 114 wins, had five wins including a three-bagger on Saturday.

Ron Beback Jr. had four trips to the winner's circle on the week including a triple on Friday.

Jim McNeight and David McNeight III each doubled on Wednesday and Sunday, Jack Flanigen had two wins on Friday and Shawn McDonough notched a pair of victories on Saturday.

Buffalo Raceway Driver's Standings (Wins UDR, Earnings)
1. Kevin Cummings (180, .383, $875,530)
2. Drew Monti (116, .277, $585,107)
3. Shawn Gray (114, .297, $593,203)
4. Jim McNeight (72, .207, $434,775)
5. David McNeight III (66, .198, $394,273)
The trainers at Buffalo Raceway sure did spread the wealth, and wins, amongst themselves as 33 different conditioners had at least one victory during the 43-race week.
Maria Rice had three trianing wins.

Maria Rice and Angelo Nappo each shared the spotlight as they each had a three-win week. Nappo is tied for fourth place in the standings with 38, the same as top female trainer Michelle Gramza.

David McNeight III, Richard Roth, Kirk Desmond, Alex Giuliani and Don Rothfuss all had two wins.

JD Perrin had just one victory during the week but increased his lead over John Mungillo. Perrin enjoys a 63-51 advantage with 16 days of racing remaining on the 2015 season.

Buffalo Raceway Trainer's Standings (Wins, UTR, Earnings)
1. JD Perrin (63, .350, $343,385)
2. John Mungillo (51, .324, $284,901)
3. Kirk Desmond (40, .344, $199,843)
4. Michelle Gramza (38, .391, $153,116)
5. Angelo Nappo (38, .296, $165,685)
Rain, wind and a sloppy harness racing  track was a winning combination for Rockstar Temper ($8.00) as he took the $10,500 Open Pace in convincing fashion at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night, beating Unicorn Hanover by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:58.1.
Drew Monti guides Rockstar Temper to Open Pace win
The heavily-favored Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) was parked to the opening panel in the feature and needed a wicked 27.3 first split to reach the lead. The hot fractions of 58.0 and 1:28.3 over the sloppy going would eventually be costly for the front runner.

Sand Savage (Jim McNeight) was first over going down the backstretch the final time and Rockstar Temper (Drew Monti) drafted perfectly behind.

The brutal times took their toll on Youwillwishyouhad as he threw in the towel at the top of the stretch and Sand Savage had enough as well.

Rockstar Temper in the meantime was loving the proceedings and rolled off cover to post the victory. Unicorn Hanover (David McNeight III) showed late kick to take second while Mr. Perserverance (Shawn Gray) rode the pylons for third.

Owned by James Caradori and trained by Darrin Monti, Rockstar Temper has scored four victories in 18 appearances in 2015. The 7-year-old gelding (Rocknroll Hanover-Dragon Temper) has earned $43,520 this season and $332,153 lifetime.

Jokerman ($43.40) didn't joke around in the $9,500 Open II pace by springing a 1-1/2 length upset win over Beachfront in 1:57.2.
Shawn McDonough springs $43.40 upset with Jokerman
After watching a speed duel on the front end between Ain't No Stoppin' and I C D Moolah, Jokerman was in 'wait and see' mode. Waiting and seeing the speed crumble, Jokerman was three-wide and winging, rolling in the stretch for a 1-1/2 length win over Beachfront (McNeight III). Cobble Beach (Cummings) rallied for the show spot.

Co-owned by trainer Richard Roth along with Randy and Robert Roth, Jokerman has six victories on the season and $43,894 in the bank. The 6-year-old gelding (American Ideal-Shark Tail) has now made $93,037 in his career.
There were several claims during the week with the first coming on Friday night as trotter Ona Dream went to the Resilient Racing Stable for $5,500. Denny Bucceri will handle the training duties.

Saturday night saw a pair of pacers taken out of the same event. Goldstar Thumper went to Peter Kibler, Ken Owczarczak and Courtnee McNeight for $10,000 with David McNeight Jr. the conditioner while Historian was claimed by Ken and John McKeever with Russell Bratt the trainer.

Sunday afternoon saw three more claims. Carl and Darrin Monti paid the $4,000 tag to collect trotter PC Troubadour while Joseph Russo snagged the pacer Hwaiian Joe for $4,000 and named Denny Bucceri the trainer. Then in the last race, pacer Flashy Trick went to Courtney McNeight for $4,000 with Daivd McNeight Jr. the trainer.
A seminar for new and prospective owners sponsored by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and hosted by Harness Horse Breeders of New York State will be held at Buffalo Raceway in Hamburg, New York.  This seminar will provide valuable information for prospective or rookie owners and focus on all aspects of horse ownership. 
Horse Ownership Seminar set July 19th at Buffalo Raceway

The seminar is scheduled for Sunday July 19, 2015 at Buffalo Raceway. The seminar will start at 10 a.m. and include a meal and live racing. 

The seminar will cover the rewards and risks of horse ownership, actual costs, choosing young horses or claimers and how to choose a trainer. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the racing facility and meet the Race Secretary and the Presiding Judge.  Time permitting they will also visit a trainer’s stable and talk with owners.

Tuition is $20 per person or $30 per couple and includes the seminar, materials, food, live racing, a pathway certificate, membership to HHBNYS and follow-up services.

The seminar requires advance registration no later than July 17. For more information or to register for the seminar, please call Harness Horse Breeders at 518-785-5858 or e-mail info@hhbnys.com.
The inside four post positions dominated the 40-race week at Buffalo Raceway as they combined for 36 victories.
The two post led the way with 10 wins with the rail scoring nine times. The outside post did score one victory during the 43-race week.

Wins By Post Position (For the Week)
1.  9
2. 10
3.  4
5.  6
6.  4
7.  1
8.  1
Wins By Post Position (For The Season)
1. 210
2. 167
3. 146
4. 162
5. 104
6.  63
7.  37
8.  16
Mach Stockn Barrel, Future Life, Sand Savage, Fast Fool, Fox Valley Lena, Secluded Island and Donegal Jim are the top winner producers this season at Buffalo Raceway with eight trips to the winner's circle in 2015.

The Prophet Mary, ICD Moolah, Kisses N Kicks, Puppetandmee N, Ugly Betty, Jettison, Youwillwishyouhad and A Cameo In Life are second in victories with seven.

Jettison is the leading money earner with $47,724.

Justgottogetthere is the top earner on the trotting side of the ledger with $46,327, thanks to the eight wins which also puts him in the lead for most victories at the track. The seven victories are also tops amongst the trotters.

Herbie Is Gone, Diamonds For Life and Valorscross are next with five wins each.
The New York Sire Stakes returns to Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night as a solid 12-race card is on top for 5 p.m. 
2-year-old pacing fillies at Buffalo on Wednesday

The 2-year-old filly pacers are in action Wednesday and some top-notch drivers will be in town for the races including Jim Morrill Jr., Jason Bartlett, Scott Zeron, Tom Jackson, Jordan Stratton, John MacDonald and Chris Lems.

While many don't have any pari-mutels starts, their careers are just starting and a few will be the stars of the future.

It's also a great chance to see some of the top-ranked drivers in North America.
The favorites won 17 of 43 races for a 34 percent average. For the season, the post time favorite has been clicking at a 40.89 rate.
In the "Handicapping Challenge" between Buffalo Raceway announcer Michael Carter and Brian's Buffalo Raceway Selections, Brian leads Michael Carter 276-244 through the 23rd week. 

Racing will resume this week on Wednesday night with a 12-race card scheduled with a 5 p.m. post.

Make clubhouse reservations for Saturday night's card by calling 716-649-1280, ext. 300. There is open seating the rest of the week.

Wednesday Night Specials continue in June with $3 pizza, pop, hot dogs, pretzels and beer.

Racing will also be held on Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 6:35 p.m. Happy Hour is every live racing night from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Sunday afternoon racing will continue this Sunday with a 1:05 p.m. start time.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fast, Fun Facts From Buffalo Raceway

Here are some fast, fun facts from Buffalo Raceway that might come in handy for you during the 2015 season. Racing starts on Wednesday, January 14th with a 5 p.m. start.

Did you know..........?????

* Dan Daley won 6-of-15 races he started in for a UDR of a .526.

* Jim Morrill Jr. had an amazing .503 UDR with 32 victories in just 89 appearances with 17 second place finishes and 10 shows.
Ronnie Wrenn Jr. expected to drive at Buffalo Raceway.
 * A four-some of early season visitors last season won 164 races. Billy Dobson led the way with 51 wins followed by Ronnie Wrenn Jr. with 48, Aaron Byron 39 and Peter Wrenn 26. Dobson and Wrenn Jr. are expected to drive this coming January at Buffalo.

* Lutetium finished with 16 victories on the season with eight coming at Buffalo Raceway, The trotter finished in a third-place tie for most wins in the United States with 16 overall, finishing just three wins behind leader Rose Run Nash. Lutetium also finished with $44,835 in the bank at Buffalo Raceway and had the highest earnings per start with $3,449.

* Ophiuchus N was tops in wins for the season at Buffalo Raceway with 12 and highest earnings with $49,653.

* Buffalo Raceway's home stretch is 640 feet long and 80 feet wide.

* Since January 1, 2010, Kevin Cummings has posted the most victories as a driver with 742 and a UDR of .298. Jack Flanigen is second during that span with 671 wins and a UDR of .299 while Ray Fisher Jr. stands third with 540 trips to the winner's circle and a UDR of .272. Cummings is also the purse leader with $3,899,398.
Kevin Cummings

Jim Morrill Jr. during that time frame has a gaudy .481 UDR with 155 wins in just 451 appearances on the track.

* On the trainer's side, Jim Graham has the most victories since January 1, 2010 with 263 wins and a UTR of .266. John Mungillo is next with 254 and a UTR of .324 while Sherri Holliday is third with 238 and a UTR of .327. Graham is also tops in earnings with $1,276,319.

JD Perrin, who is in fourth with 233 wins, has the highest UTR during that span with a .386 mark.

* In the period from January 1, 2010 until now, pacers Macho Uno, Most Happy Rider, Up Front Lady Gray and Wyndridge Bliss all have 18 wins while Clearly Possessed and Mighty Looker lead the trotters with 16 apiece.

* There were 1,133 betting races in 2014 at the Hamburg half-mile oval.

* There were 135 claims made at Buffalo Raceway in 2014 compared to 107 claims in 2013.

* More than 6,000 ton of material was put down on the Buffalo Raceway surface this fall. The turns were re-banked and drainage near the finish line was worked on.

* Kevin Cummings, besides leading the driver's colony with 170 trips to the winner's circle, was the leading money earner with $838,902.

* Riini Rekila was the only female to race in a pari-mutual race at Buffalo Raceway and she found the winner's circle with Stoneham ($17.80) in the NY Sire Stakes on July 9th.
Riini Rekila was the  only female to win race at Buffalo in 2014

* On the trainer's side, the ladies did quite well as Ryan Swift led the way with 44 wins, Maria Race 26, Courtney Ohol 25 and Lisa Zgodzinski 20 for a combined total of 115 victories.

* The post time favorite won 43.33 percent of the time.

* Buffalo Raceway's track record book is now divided by gait, grouped by age (2,3,4, 5 and up), and distributed into three sex categories (colts and horses, fillies and mares, geldings).

After the new calculations, Jim Morrill Jr. has driven six current record holders while Jimmy McNeight has five. John Cummings Jr. is next with three, Kevin Cummings, Mickey McGivern, Ray Fisher Jr. and Ray Schnittker two apiece while Mike Caprio, Jerry Nugent Jr., Rodney Laframboise, Dan Noble, Matt Kakaley, Denis St. Pierre, Howard Okusko Jr., Jeff Gregory, Jimmy Whittemore, Tim Tetrick and Jack Flanigen all have one.

* The one hole on the starting grid was in the money 59.5 percent of the time and produced 291 winners.
Buffalo Raceway announcer Michael Carter

* Announcer Michael Carter, called 1133 events in 2014 at Buffalo Raceway and his voice was also heard at the Shenandoah County Fair, Northfield Park and a race at Mohawk Raceway as a fill-in during the off-season. He also subbed at Hazel Park for thoroughbreds race.

* Buffalo Raceway had to cancel their racing program seven times in 2014 due to weather.

* The eight post had horses in the money just 12.7 percent of the time and won just 3 percent of the time.

* A total of seven track records were either tied or broken in 2014 at Buffalo Raceway.

* Art's Delight won 6-of-11 races when the pacer started on an 'off track.'

* There were 98 different drivers who were in the sulky for at least one race in 2014. There were 41 of those who failed to win a race.

* A total of 100 trainers had at least two victories on the season in 2014.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The 'A to Z' Wish List For the 2015 Harness Racing Season

The 2015 harness racing season is just around the corner at Buffalo Raceway and once again I present the ever popular 'A to Z Wish List' for the upcoming year. These are just predictions, hopes and wishes. The views expressed are strictly my own. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas and healthy New Year.

A: Agosti (Tom) has a great season in his first full year at Buffalo Raceway as Racing Secretary.
B: Beback Jr. (Ron) continues to show consistency as a driver after posting 84 wins at the Hamburg oval in 2014.
Ron Beback Jr.
C: Cummings (Kevin) will once again dominate the local driving colony. He had a career-high 334 victories this season.
D: Diditagain Hanover 'does it again' this season.
E: Every stall remains filled on the Buffalo Raceway backstretch.
F: Father's Day promotion is even more popular and well-attended like in 2014.
G: Guaranteed $5,000 Pick-4 becomes even more popular in 2015.
H: Handicapping Challenge between Brian's Buffalo Raceway Selections and track announcer Michael Carter continues to go MY way.
I: Improvements to the Buffalo Raceway surface brings about even better racing.
J: JD Perrin takes another trainer's title. The 125 victories this year was tops locally for conditioners.
K: Kentucky Derby Day is once again a big draw at Buffalo Raceway.
L: Lutetium can produce another stellar season like in 2014. Might be hard to beat the 16-for-30 record from this season but the 7-year-old trotter will be trying.
M: Morrill Jr. (Jim) driving talents are once again on display locally.
N: Niatross Claiming Series is as exciting as in the past years, including the $25,000 Champions race.
O: Ophiuchus N repeats his 12-race winning mark like in 2014.
P: Pete Arrigenna helps in keeping the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval in tip-top shape.
Q: Quinellas...just make them go away.
R: Rosecroft Raceway's driver Frank Milby (200 wins in 2014, .300 UDR) is coming to town and finds success in his first season at Buffalo Raceway.
S: Sunday afternoon racing continues to grow in popularity.
T: Track photographer Steve Roth keeps producing great quality finish line and action shots.
Ugly Betty a good looking winner
U: Ugly Betty remains a 'good-looking' choice at Buffalo Raceway.
V: Vengance repeats his 50 percent win record (6-of-12).
W: Wrenn, Ronnie Jr. returns this winter hopefully and tries to improve on his 34 percent win mark.
X: X Factor...The 7 and 8 holes become the 'x factor' in races during 2015 season, after just winning 3 percent of the time in 2014.
Y: Young drivers Drew Monti, David McNeight III and Shawn McDonough continue to make their marks locally.
Z: Zdjelar Jr., Mijhalo still remains one of the top trainers on the Buffalo Raceway backstretch.

Friday, December 19, 2014

2015 New York Sires Stakes Schedule At Buffalo Raceway

It may be the holiday season but your thoughts can turn to spring and summer now as the New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series 2015 schedule has been announced including the eight dates the competition for harness racing's up-and-coming stars stops at Buffalo Raceway.

New York Sire Stakes begins at Buffalo Raceway May 27th
The Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series kick off on Wednesday, May 27th when the always competitive and high-profiled 3-year-old colt pacers take to the Hamburg half-mile track. The following Wednesday evening, June 3rd, the 3-year-old filly pacers take center stage.

The series then takes a month off locally before returning continues Wednesday July 1st with the 2-year-old filly pacers followed by the 2-year-old colt pacers on Wednesday July 8th.

Both the Sires Stakes and Excelsior Series races will be held on one night in the specific divisions.

The Sire Stakes finals will be at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday 12th (3-YO divisions) and Saturday, September 26th (2-YO divisions) and the Excelsior Series championships (all divisions) are slated for Vernon Downs on Saturday, September 19th.

Buffalo Raceway opens the 2015 campaign on Wednesday, January 14th with a 5 p.m post. There will also be racing on Friday and Saturday nights with a 6:35 p.m. post. Sunday afternoon racing begins on June 7th at 1:05 p.m.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway, go to www.buffaloraceway.com

Below is the complete 2015 New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series schedule at Buffalo Raceway.

Wednesday, May 27th....3-YO Colt Pacers
Wednesday, June 3rd......3-YO Filly Pacers
Wednesday, July 1..........2-YO Filly Pacers
Wednesday, July 8..........2-YO Colt Pacers
Sunday, July 12th............3-YO Filly Trotters
Wednesday, July 15th......2-YO Filly Trotters
Sunday, July 19th.............3-YO Colt Trotters
Wednesday, July 22nd.....2-YO Colt Trotters

Saturday, September 12th...New York Sire Stakes finals (3-YO divisions)
Saturday, September 19th...Excelsior Series finals at Vernon Downs (All divisions)
Saturday, September 26th...New York Sires Stakes finals at Yonkers Raceway (2-YO divisions)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Buffalo Raceway Current Track Records

Getting ready for the 2015 live harness racing season at Buffalo Raceway that starts on January 14, 2015? Get in the mood by taking a look at the current track records and see what the horses will be shooting at this season. A total of seven marks were set or tied last year.

All Age   
One MileGural Hanover1:56.12014
Three Year Olds   
ColtGural Hanover1:56.12014
Two Year Olds   
ColtRoyal Deceptor1:59.32014
FillyMunis Blue Chip2:00.22009
All Age   
One MileSteelhead Hanover1:52.32012
9/16 MileProbationer1:05.21994
1-1/16 MileMr Bohana2:09.31982
1-1/2 MileCasimir Lime Lite3:07.21995
MaresMajic Laughter1:54.22014
 Case Solved1:54.22014
Three Year Olds   
ColtSteelhead Hanover1:52.32012
Two Year Olds   
ColtHe's Watching1:55.42013
FillySilk Purse1:56.32011
 Summertime Lea1:56.32012