Day At The Track

Buffalo Raceway shows big increases

04:24 AM 23 Jul 2019 NZST
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Billy Davis Jr. James Clouser Jr., harness racing
Billy Davis Jr. won his first driving title in the United States
James Clouser Jr. made it two straight training titles
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "We are very pleased with the numbers, especially with the live on-track handle," Director Of Operations Jon Cramer said looking back on Buffalo Raceway 2019 harness racing season that just came to a close on Saturday night (July 20).
 
Cramer stated, "Our live handle was up 22 percent and our export handle was up 11 percent." He said the big increases were based on several factors. "The new condition sheet was a huge success, field sizes were up while purses were distributed to many horsemen. Dave Dylo and his crew did and outstanding job with the track the entire meet. A new menu and added service in the clubhouse all contributed to a very successful season."
 
Billy Davis Jr. won his first driving title in the United States with 119 victories at Buffalo Raceway. He beat Kevin Cummings who finished second with 97 and Drew Monti who posted 87. Davis Jr., who owns driving championships at Clinton Raceway, Flamboro Downs and Georgian Downs, was the top purse earner with $749,076.
 
"I felt like it was consistency," Davis Jr. said the key to winning the crown was. "I would have good weeks and 'good' weeks. I got lucky and drove for some great trainers and never would've had the run I like did if it wasn't for them. The title is a nice feather in my cap and maybe it will lead to more opportunities in the future."
 
James Clouser Jr. made it two straight training titles as he collected 56 wins and $417,099 in purse earnings. He finished with a gaudy .417 rating. Maria Rice ended in the second place tie with Gerry Sarama as each conditioner had 50 victories. Rice's charges made $332,129 and Sarama's crew $351,874 in winnings.
 
James Clouser Jr.
 
Western Passage took "Pacer Of The Year' honors as the 4-year-old gelding started his season in the Class D level and eventually climbed to the Open Pace. Owned by Finocchario's Dream Stable and trained by Mike Ohol, Western Passage (Sportswriter-Ever Western) won six times with three seconds and a third in 17 outings, earning $40,032.
 
Wheels A Turning (Mr Cantab-Free Wheeling) was the pick for 'Trotter Of The Year' as the 5-year-old mare notched six wins in 12 tries at Buffalo Raceway, making $42,170. She is co-owned by the Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC) and is conditioned by Clouser Jr.
 
During the meet, there were two milestones reached. Trainer JD Perrin hit the 1,000 career win mark on June 1 as Cheyenne Louie posted the victory in the 10th race while Davis Jr. went over the $20 million in career earnings on the July 5 program.
 
There were three track records broken and two tied during the season. Lady London (Billy Davis Jr.) smashed a pair of marks in one race when she toured the Hamburg half-mile oval in 1:53.2 on May 1. That clocking set both the all-age filly/mare and aged (5+) mare pacing records.
 
Fashion Hill got into the history book on July 3 with a 1:55.3 time for Tyler Buter and claimed the 2-year-old filly pacer standard.
 
Gia Surreal (Jim Morrill Jr.) equaled the 3-year-old filly pacer record with a 1:53.3 which tied the mark set by Mosquito Blue Chip in 2015.
 
Amal Hall (Jason Bartlett) tied the 3-year-old filly trotting barrier on June 23 with a 1:57 which was first produced by Fury Road in 2018. Ironically, Amal Hall still holds the 2-year-old filly trotting mark of 1:59 she established last year.
 
On the season, the post time favorites hit at a 41.09 percent clip.
 
As expected the one post garnered the most wins on the season with 177 in 735 starts while the two hole was next with 125 victories and the four position 123. The inside spot was in the money 60 percent of the time.
 
As for next season, Cramer said, "We are looking to continue and improve the experience here at Buffalo Raceway."
 
Racing will resume in January of 2020. For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com
 
by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
 
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