Day At The Track

Western Passage rebounds to grab victory

02:54 PM 09 Jun 2019 NZST
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Western Passage, harness racing
Western Passage doesn't come up short this time at Buffalo Raceway.
Steve Roth Photo
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After suffering a gut-wrenching nose setback last week, Western Passage gave himself some breathing room this time around and took the $12,000 Class AA harness racing Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (June 8). He topped the favored Upfront Countryboy by 1-1/4 lengths in a seasonal best 1:53.4.
Upfront Countryboy set the fractions over the fast track of :27.0, :55.3 and 1:24.3 as Western Passage ($8.00) was fifth and last at the half.
Beginning a first over journey from there, driver Kevin Cummings got Western Passage on even terms with Upfront Countryboy (Jim Morrill Jr.) with a panel to pace. Western Passage proved to be the strongest in the stretch as he was able to put some daylight between himself and Upfront Countryboy to take the win. China Dream (Billy Davis Jr.) took the show position.
Owned by the Finocchario's Dream Stable and trained by Mike Ohol, it was the sixth victory in 16 appearances for the 4-year-old gelded Western Passage (Sportswriter-Forever Western). The score moved his seasonal earnings to $32,936 and $238,400 lifetime.
In the $11,500 Class AA Open pace, Charmbo Orbit (David McNeight III) made a big brush to the lead at the three-quarter pole and had just enough left in the tank to register a nose victory over the hard-charging Rose Run Ranger (Ray Fisher Jr.) in 1:55.1.
Manceiver (Cummings) set the tempo with splits of :28.3, :57.0 and 1:26.2 but had no answers as Charmbo Orbit ($21.60) stormed by with a quarter mile to pace.
Things looked well in hand for Charmbo Orbit in the lane but Rose Run Ranger came from nowhere and just missed grabbing the win at the wire. What's Goin On (Drew Monti) was third.
Owned by Keith Pinkowski and trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr., it was the third triumph in 15 tries for the 8-year-old gelded Charmbo Orbit (Mach Three-Pretty Bo Bo). The victory moved his 2019 bankroll to $22,960 and $167,371 in his career.
There were a pair of $10,000 Class A pacing events with both producing minor surprises. Falcon's Luke (Morrill Jr.) took the first division with a coast to coast victory in 1:55.1. He beat Littlebitofabrat (Ray Fisher Jr.) by a half length and returned $11.40 for the win.
The other bracket saw Southwind Torque (Davis Jr.) grind out a half length upset victory over Focus Power (Monti) in 1:54.4 and returned $13.60 to his backers.
Davis Jr., Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, was red hot on the evening as he found the winner's circle five times on the card. Cummings had a triple while McNeight III and Morrill Jr. each collected two victories. Trainers Zdjelar Jr., David Russo, Jim Clouser Jr. and Maria Rice all had doubles.
Racing will continue on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 13-race program slated. The New York Sire Stakes will highlight the card with the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters taking center stage along with action in the Excelsior A and B Series. There's also a $1744 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.
For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to
by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
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