Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Buffalo Raceway Wednesday Night Selections

Below are my selections for the 12-race card Wednesday night starting at 5 p.m. The Pick-5 starts in the fifth race with a $0 carryover. You can wager on Buffalo Raceway at TVG, Bet America, Twin Spires along with other internet and simulcast outlets around the United States and Canada. Buffalo Raceway announcer Peter Berry leads Brian's Buffalo Raceway Selections 35-33 in the 'Handicapping Challenge' through Saturday night.
                                              Wednesday, February 10th
Race # Horse Comments
1st 4 Ugly Betty Her return will be a beauty
5 Little Santamonica Knows way around Buffalo
8 Mach This Way Can't eliminate despite poor post
2nd 8 Bettor Out West Last was an indication
4 Heaven On Earth Hard to find much fault
2 Princess Bliss Still seeking the right level
3rd 6 One Chaser Consistency pays off with a win
2 MI Six Clouser Jr. barn is red hot
1 Kennairn Buckwheat Post improvement helps chances
4th 4 Elm Grove Joanette Too sharp for this gang
5 Iwannabejustlikeu Hasn't been that far off
2 Western Last try was much better
5th 1 Fleetwood Zena New shooter may not look back
3 Regally Blonde Seeks third straight victory
6 The Prophet Mary Previous two appearances weren't true
6th 3 Dancin Thea Perrin takes the drive for a reason
6 Smok'n Muscles Needs longer nose once again
1 Two Smart Keep an eye on this dropper
7th 1 Onewaytosantefe Excuses will end this evening
8 Stirling Cyclone Capable against this field
4 Babe In The City Maybe Buffalo is the answer
8th 3 Oceana A bridesmaid no longer!
5 Blue Mitchell Dangerous from this position
7 K D Bella Along In time for third place
9th 7 Earthshaker Slides down again to get the victory
4 Big Pasta Has battled much better
6 Vintage Fenom Five-time winner back in 2015
10th 2 Heavenly Way Should be a 'winning way' at the wire
8 Fly To The Angels Completes the 'heavenly' exacta hunch
3 American Skeeter Qualifier says she is ready
11th 5 Way To Go Fabieo Bounces back after disappointment
3 Cracker Stoney Post relief makes a danger
1 Shawanda Better effort expected in here
12th 7 CS Kentucky New barn gets to celebrate the win
8 Almost Midnight Can spring the surprise
1 Whipmeintoshape Skims the pylons for third place

Best bet: Fleetwood Zena (5th race)
Live longshot: Bettor Out West (2nd race)

Saturday night, I had three winners, Aberarder Smitty ($2.40) in the first, Midas Blue Chip ($4.50) in the second and Western Alumni ($3.80) in the eighth. I also hit the early daily double for $5.80.

I will play $2 to win on all top selections along with a $2 cold exacta with my first and second choices and a $1 trifecta key. Also I will play $2 on all daily doubles along with $1 straight Pick-3 and Pick-5s on each racing program.

Wednesday night's total investment: $78.00
Saturday night's total winnings: $17.50
Win percentage: 33-for-131 25.76%
Top pick in the money: 92-for-131 73.33%
Best bet of the night: 6-for-11  58%
Peter Berry leads Brians Buffalo Raceway Selections 35-33.
Bankroll: minus $446.14

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Buffalo Raceway Weekly Recap for 2/7

David McNeight III
With driver Kevin Cummings out for several weeks with a broken arm, opportunity came knocking at the door at Buffalo Raceway and David McNeight III took full advantage of it this week.

He had a night to remember on Friday when he posted six victories. McNeight III also posted doubles on Wednesday and Saturday to finish with 10 victories during the week. He zoomed upped the standings and now sits tied for second place with Jack Flanigen with 13 wins. Cummings is still atop the leader board with 21.

Shawn McDonough had four victories during the week including a triple on Friday night. 

Todd Cummings had two wins on Wednesday, Ray Fisher Jr. a pair on Friday night while Shawn Gray, Flaingen and Jim McNeight doubled on Saturday.

A total of 11 different drivers found the winner's circle during the 36-race week.

Buffalo Raceway Driver's Standings (Wins, UDR, Earnings)
1. Kevin Cummings (21 .393, $100,816)
2. Jack Flanigen (13, .324, $68,852)
2. David McNeight III (13, .231, $63,338)
4. Ray Fisher Jr. (12, .241, $76,718)
4. Truman Gale (12, .289, $60,405)
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David McNeight Jr.
With David McNeight III having a big week in the sulky, a trainer was sure to benefit from the results. The benefactor happened to be David McNeight Jr. who had training doubles each night to finish with six victories on the week.

The profitable week allowed McNeight Jr. to crack the top five in the trainer's standings as he sits with John Mungillo and Shawn Gray tied for third with seven.

James Clouser Jr. continues to lead the standings with 14 victories. He remained red-hot with theee wins on the week including a double on Wednesday evening.

Chris Naedele had three wins on the week including a double on Wednesday while Mungillo had three wins as well including a double Friday night.

Russell Bratt had a pair of victories on Saturday night while Maria Rice and Alex Giuliani completed the 36-race stint with two wins.

A total of 22 different trainers had their picture taken in the winner's circle.

Buffalo Raceway Trainer's Standings (Wins, UTR, Earnings)
1. James Clouser Jr. (14, .670, $66,514)
2. Kirk Desmond (8, .267, $39,914)
2. JD Perrin (8, .294, $54,296)
4. Shawn Gray (7, .537, $36,632)
4. David McNeight Jr. (7, .225, $28,600)
4. John Mungillo (7, .408, $50,214)
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Diamond Cowboy put in a gem of a harness racing effort on Saturday night (Feb. 6) to prevail in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open Pace by beating a stubborn Beach Hero by 3/4 lengths in 1:55.4.
Diamond Cowboy took second Open Pace in 2016

After finishing a disappointing sixth as the heavy favorite in last week's Open, Diamond Cowboy rebounded nicely for driver/trainer Shawn Gray to score the $14.40 mild upset victory.

It was his second Open Pace win in three attempts this season.

It was a battle for the lead to the half mile marker as Beach Hero parked out Lucky Nadotremblay. A 57.1 opening circuit took the starch out of Lucky Nadotremblay but Beach Hero continued to roll.

Things started to develop on the backstretch the final time. Diamond Cowboy, who was assigned the outside eight post, made a three-wide brush to the three-quarter pole to pull on even terms with Beach Hero (Truman Gale). In the battle down the lane, the pair were stride-for-stride until Diamond Cowboy managed to nudge ahead late. Beach Hero had to settle for a tough luck second place while Youwillwishyouhad (David McNeight III) took third.

Owned by William Emmons, Diamond Cowboy (Six Of Diamonds-Money For Munchkin) is a 7-year-old gelding with $10,000 in earnings in 2016 and $404,915 lifetime.
In the opening round of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series, Aberarder Smitty and Flashy Trick shared the fastest times in the five divisions with a 1:58.3 clockings. Other winners were Midas Blue Chip (1:59.1), First Of Fun (1:58.4) and Mach It Paid (1:59.3).

 It sure turned out to be a head scratcher in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (Feb. 5).
Cold Certified on way to another Open trot victory

Cold Certified, who won this event last week as the even money favorite in 1:59.1, was dismissed by the public at 6-1 this time around and made them pay for the oversight by scoring a gutsy neck victory over Lutetium in 1:59.4 over the good track.

After playing the give-and-go with Lutetium (Truman Gale), Cold Certified ($14.00) set the tempo with fractions of 29.0, 58.1, and 1:28.4. It appeared that those fractions might have taken its toll as Winkys Pride was first over and took a slight advantage turning for home.

But that was all Winkys Pride was able to muster. Cold Certified, who appeared to have thrown in the towel, was revitalized by driver Shawn McDonough midway down the lane and roared back for the neck win while Lutetium (Truman Gale) skimmed the pylons for second and Im The Cash Man (Drew Monti) rallied for third.


It was the second straight decision for Cold Certified (Kadabra-I Like Stephanie). The 7-year-old gelding is owned by Paul and Ronald Louis Viele and trained by Alex Giuliani. The win upped Cold Certified's seasonal winnings to $12,330 and $443,337 lifetime.

Kesons Silhouette stepped up in class to Buffalo Raceway's featured filly and mare pace for $7,400 on Wednesday night (Feb. 3) and rewarded her faithful harness racing backers with a nice $36.00 win mutual.
Kesons Silhouette took Wednesday's feature for F&M

After watching Ding (Ron Beback Jr.) do the dirty work in putting up some hot fractions of 28.2, 57.4 and 1:28.0, Kesons Silhouette (Truman Gale) was the benefactor. The tiring Ding offered no resistance in the lane as Kesons Silhouette zoomed right on by and registered length win in 1:58.2 over the good track. Ding held on for second while Charmschooldropout (Shawn McDonough) rallied for third.

It was the second straight victory for Kesons Silhouette (Shadow Play-Play Southwind), a 5-year-old mare owned by Michael Kessler and The Speed To Burn Racing Stables. Trained by Misty Carey, Kesons Silhouette now has bankrolled $7,250 this season.

Private Equity (Todd Cummings) scored the largest win price of the young season with a $143.00 victory in the sixth race.
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There was plenty of action off the track, especially around the claim box, as 13 changed owners during the week.
There were 13 claims on the week.

Tessa Roland was definitely the busiest as she added four new horses for trainer JD Perrin to work with.

On Wednesday night, Roland collected pacer CS Kentucky for the $4,000 price. On Friday night, she grabbed pacer Keystone Reactor for $6,000 and Goddess's Justin for $5,000 and trotter Leave York Mark for $8,000.

On Wednesday, Mark Jakubik claimed pacer Up Front Cruiser for $8,000 with Michelle Gramza handling the conditioning duties. Also, pacer Fresh Squeezed went to Finish Line Investors with John Mungillo the trainer for the $5,500 tag.

Friday had trotter Lenny Mac headed to Franklin Meier and Super Mile LLCfor $8,000 with Angelo Nappo doing the conditioning. Xtreme Marine found a new home once again as he went  to Philip Mazzone for $8,000 with Perrin the trainer.

The Niatross Knockout Claiming Series began on Saturday and three changed barns for the $5,000 price.

Aberarder Smitty went to Tina Rockwell with Tommy Garcia the trainer, Beechwood Wayne found a new home with owners Veronica Dylo and Curtis Edholm with Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. the conditioner while Camstar went to the Resilient Racing Stable with Rose Russo the trainer. Finally, owner/trainer Bob Gruber III got Real Commitment for the $5,000 asking price.

There was one other claim outside the series. Laramar's Soul was collected for $12,500 by the Summer Wind Stables of New York with Rose Russo the trainer.
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The handle for Wednesday night was $287,331, Friday night saw $271,924 go through the windows while Saturday saw $179,903 for a total of $739,158 for a nightly average of $245,389. Last week's total was $807,396 for a three-night total.
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Pacers Xtreme Marine, Aberarder Smitty, Big Dutch and Rebel Teen leads all horses on the grounds with three victories. Rebel Teen is the top money earner with $11,450.
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In the 'Handicapping Challenge' between Brian's Buffalo Raceway Selections and track announcer Peter Berry, Peter leads 35-33 through Saturday night.
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Brian's Buffalo Raceway Selections would like to thank track photographer Steve Roth for the providing the fine pictures used on this blog. To order any photos in the winner's circle or even action shots, contact Steve at photosbyroth.com
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There were 36 races contested during the week at Buffalo Raceway and the post time favorites won 11 times for a 30.8% average. For the season, the favorites have won 48 of 131 for 38 percent.
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The rail was a good place to be this week as it produced 11 winners for the second straight week out of 36 races. The fourth and fifth posts finished with seven victories.
Buffalo Raceway wins by post position (Week/Year)
1.   11 (36)
2.   4  (23) 
3.   3  (20)
4.   7  (23)
5.   7  (17)
6.   1  (8)
7.   1  (5)
8.   2  (6)
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Racing will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night with a 5 p.m. post. There will be 12 races on tap. The remaining schedule shows a start time of 5 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday. Check out the Happy Hour special every race night from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Wednesday night has $3.25 pretzels, draft beers, pizza and hot dogs.

The next leg of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series will continue on Saturday night. Wednesday night will also mark the return of Ugly Betty and Little Santamonica as they renew their battle in the $10,000 Open for the filly and mares.

Also, check out the clubhouse rotating clubhouse specials on Saturday nights. Reservations are advised for Saturdays by calling 716-649-1280, extension 300.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The ABC's of WNY Harness Racing for 2016

Below are the yearly ABC's of harness racing at Buffalo Raceway as the 2016 season kicks off on Wednesday, January 13th with a 5 p.m. post time. 

A: Andrew (Drew) Monti continues to be a rising star locally in the sulky and give Kevin Cummings a run for his money in the driver's standings.
Drew Monti

B: Buffalo Raceway putting on some great competitive races once again and hopefully will enjoy some outstanding weather.

C: Cummings (Kevin) will once again challenge the all-time win mark in a season of 212 set by Jim Morrill Jr. He'll be the one to beat in the driver's standings as well.

D: David McNeight Jr. finds his way to the winner's circle once again on a regular basis. With son David McNeight III in the bike, he's a contender for the training title.

E: Exotic wagers at Buffalo Raceway, including the new Pick-5, have some great payoffs.

F: Flanigen (Jack) remains a 'never overlook' driver when making selections at Buffalo Raceway.

G: Gregory (Jeff) keeps returning 'home' to compete on the New York Sires Stakes circuit.

H:Having afternoon racing the summer may be one of Western New York's best kept secrets.

I: Inclement weather is a word off limits this season in Western New York.

J: John Campbell makes another appearance during the season after arriving for the Sire Stakes after a 23-year absence in 2015.
Incelement weather, including snow, always possible in WNY

K: Keep an eye on the Friday night races as huge prices tended to be the norm.

L: Lems (Chris) finds success once again as he won $115,879 in just 31 tries at the Hamburg half-mile oval.

M: Morrill (Jim) continues to make starts in the New York Sire Stakes locally and for racing fans to enjoy his driving talents.

N: New Pick-5 wager produces some big carryovers and payoffs during the season.

O: Ouriel (Howard and Michael) have success with their stable including Breeder's Crown winner Divine Caroline. Also, their charitible support to such organizations as the Sunshine Horses and the Boys and Girls Club.

P: Perrin (JD) takes more opportunities to drive as he searches for his third straight Buffalo Raceway training title.

Q: Queen? Will Ugly Betty return to be the 'queen' at Buffalo Raceway?
Maria and Jack Rice

R: Rice Stable (Jack and Maria) has a big year on the local circuit.

S: Sire Stakes attracts high-class fields with the youngsters just making their way to the races and beginning that journey locally.

T: Track records don't fall as quickly as they did last season. With a total of 10 new marks either tied or broken in 2015, it would be nice see some standards remain for a few years.

U: Upsets are expected especially in the early season. Many the horses will be on more than a month break so the surprises are not unusual.

V: Video Lottery Terminals helps keep the purse structure at Buffalo Raceway in a healthy position.

W: Welcome to Peter Berry, 'The Voice of Mountaineer Park' as he will call the first half of the racing season at Buffalo Raceway.

X: X factor? Will there be a new driver coming in during the winter to challenge the local driver colony?

Y: Youwillwishyouhad stays as sharp as last year at Buffalo Raceway with eight victories and $45,090 in the bank.

Z: Zdjelar (Mihajlo Jr.) finishes again in the top 20 in trainer standings.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Peter Berry To Call Races At Buffalo Raceway

Peter Berry, the voice of Mountaineer Park in West Virginia, will be calling the action for the first half of the season at Buffalo Raceway when their 90-day campaign opens up on Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

Buffalo Raceway Chief Operating Officer Jim Mango said, "Peter is an A+ announcer by anyone's standards and we are pleased to have him here for the first half of our meet." 
Peter Berry to call first half of season

Berry said, "I'm thrilled to get the opportunity to call harness racing in the United States. I was a long-time writer for the sport in Australia and it has been my first love for as long as I can remember.

"I did some harness race-calling at a very young age in Australia while attending a race-calling academy but moved to journalism at 17 and had to put my passion on hold. That passion was reignited by Wiggle It Jiggleit at the Little Brown Jug,” he added.

Berry will return to Mountaineer Park in mid-April when their season begins.

A former news editor at the Daily Racing Form, Berry was a harness racing writer and United States sports correspondent and columnist for The Age in Australia. The Youngstown, OH resident also has owned standardbreds in Australia.

Located at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg, Buffalo Raceway will race on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 p.m. throughout the meet. Sunday afternoons will be added starting on June 19 with post times of 12:35 p.m. Closing day is July 24.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway including the latest news, entries, results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com

Sunday, December 13, 2015

DID YOU KNOW.........?????????

Here are some fun, fast facts about Buffalo Raceway.........

Buffalo Raceway has shifted post times for its 90-day meet with tentative start times of 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Fridays, 6 p.m. on Saturday evenings and 12:30 p.m. when Sunday afternoon racing commences on June 19.
Racing begins on Wednesday, Jan. 13

Buffalo Raceway will offer a Pick-5 wager this season starting in the 5th race. It will have a minimum 50-cent wager and should the Pick-5 not be hit, there will be carryovers!!!

The superfecta will have a 10-cent minimum. There will be four daily doubles offered each night along with a pair of Pick-3s. The Pick-4 wager has been eliminated.

There were a total of 156 claims made last season at Buffalo Raceway as compared to 135 back in 2014 and 107 in 2013.

There were 98 different drivers to sit in the sulky during the 2015 campaign including two females. Maria Rice and Hannah Miller each got one start over the Hamburg half-mile oval but each finished out of the money.

Fireyourguns set the all-time track record at Buffalo Raceway my crusing the mile in 1:52.0, shattering the old standard of 1:52.3 established by Steelhead Hanover back in 2012. Veteran horseman Mike Caprio drove Fireyourguns to the victory.
Fireyourguns setting new track record of 1:52.0

Buffalo Raceway's first racing day ever was on June 12, 1942.

The first triple dead heat ever at Buffalo Raceway was on May 18th, 1957.

There were seven dead heats for the win while there were seven dead heats for place in 2015. Also there were four ties for the show position during the campaign

More than 1,200 ton of material was put down on the Buffalo Raceway surface this fall. At the end of the 2014 season, more than 6,000 ton was laid down as the turns were re-banked and the drainage was improved. That's 7,200 tons of material over a two-year span or 14,400,000 pounds!!!

Mother Nature cooperated with Buffalo Raceway in 2015 as only one racing day was scratched due to weather issues.

The home stretch at Buffalo Raceway is 640 feet long and 80 feet wide.
Hall Of Famer John Campbell

Hall of Fame driver and 'Mr. Harness Racing' John Campbell returned to Buffalo Raceway in 2015 for the first time since 1992 and won with Jewels In Hock in New York Sire Stakes action. Campbell hadn't won a race at the half-mile oval at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg since 1990.

Former Buffalo Raceway regulars returned back to the area for Sire Stakes action in 2015 and enjoyed good results. Jeff Gregory was 9-of-18 for $139,950 in earnings while Ray Schnittker took two wins in eight tries for $40,813.

The highest win payout in 2015 came when Diditagainhanover pulled a $240.50 shocker on April 10th. The all-time win price at the Hamburg half-mile oval is $490,50 established on March 10, 2011 when Allamerican Tiki rolled to the upset win.

Kevin Cummings won seven races on March 4, 2015 but ended up a victory short of tying his own record of eight wins he registered on June 11, 2005. He also was just the third driver in Buffalo Raceway history to notch 200 or more victories in a season as he found the winner's circle 203 times. Jim Morrill Jr. holds the all-time mark of 213. Shawn Gray also went over the 200-win plateau with 206 in 2011.
Trainer JD Perrin

JD Perrin once again captured the training title with 70 victories in 377 starts. He was also the leading money winner with $388,290 in purses.

Michelle Gramza was the top female conditioner with 39 victories in 152 attempts. Gramza finished 7th in the overall standings. Maria Rice finished 10th overall with 32 winners in 204 appearances. Courtney Ohol cracked double digits victories for the ladies with 12 while Lisa Lederhouse and Rachelle Mungillo each posted 10.

Post time favorites hit at a 41.99 clip in 2015.

The one post was as expected the place to be at the half-mile Buffalo Raceway track as 267 victories came from that spot. Scoring from the inside resulted in a mark of being in the money 60.8 percent of the time. The two post was next with 207 victories and surprisingly the four hole had 186 wins as compared to the three slot which had 170.

The dreaded eight spot resulted in just 20 victories for a mere 3.2 win percentage. That outside spot managed to finish in the money just 13.1 percent of the time.

Frank Milby
The season opening race of 2015 was the memorable one for driver Frank Milby as the newcomer rolled to a $38.60 victory aboard Memumsnotnice. It was Milby's first start ever at Buffalo Raceway but found the going tough the rest of the season, winning just 10 times in 171 appearances. The stint in Western New York turned out to be a nice warmup for Milby however as he led the way at Ocean Downs in Maryland with 71 wins in 391 starts and is the current runaway leader at Rosecroft Raceway with 109 victories in 522 rides.

The highest nightly handle of the 2015 campaign was on Wednesday, January 21 when $412,238 was wagered.

The Prophet Mary had the most wins on the season at Buffalo Raceway with nine trips to the winner's circle, earning $40,907. Ironically, the pacer won 6-of-8 races on a off-track, the tops among all trotters and pacers on the grounds.

Youwillwishyouhad had the highest earnings per start, winning and average of  $3,221 per outing. The pacer won 8-of-14 starts.
Youwillwishyouhad scoring a victory in 2015.

Justgottogetthere led the way for the trotters with an average check of $2,679 in 18 appearances. Justgottogetthere won 8-of-18 efforts.

When considering a driver on an 'off-track',  Ray Fisher Jr. had just one victory in 66 tries at Buffalo Raceway for a 2% average last season. Kevin Cummings in the meantime had the best win percentage on a 'off-track' with 69 victories in 256 starts for a 27% win mark. These numbers are all based on drivers having at least 50 starts over an track that was considered 'off'.

Steve Roth will once again be the Buffalo Raceway photographer.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

2016 Buffalo Raceway Schedule (Tentative)

Below is the tentative 2016 live harness racing schedule at Buffalo Raceway. Post times for Wednesday and Friday nights will be 5 p.m., Saturday evenings will go to the post at 6 p.m. and Sunday matinees will get underway at 12:30 p.m.

Racing begins on Wednesday, January 13 and will end on Sunday, July 24.