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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Title Town threw a solid but stunning knockout punch in Buffalo Raceway's $10,500 Class AA Open Pace on Saturday night (March 9) and that blow delivered a $37.60 harness racing victory.   With the heavily favored Upfront Countryboy (Shawn Gray) scoring from the rail and setting fractions of :29.0, :58.2 and 1:28.3 over the sloppy track, Title Town (Denny Bucceri) sat back and watched until tipping out first over down the backstretch.   With momentum on his side, Title Town's jabs began to wear down Upfront Countryboy in the stretch, eventually sending the pace setter to the canvas in 1:58.1. Golden Gesture (Kevin Cummings) took the show position.   Title Town (Metropolitan-Pan Of Iniquity), a winner by a length, is under the training guidance of George Anthrop and is owned by the Lav Racing Stable, Inc. It was second victory in nine tries this season for the 7-year-old gelding, now a winner of $14,827 on the campaign and $94,250 lifetime.   In the sub-featured $9,500 Class A paces, What's Goin On (Kevin Cummings) got a dream trip to register a popular $3.90 victory in 1:58.4 while in the other event. Santana Beach (Billy Davis Jr.) kicked up some sand in scoring a $20.20 surprise in 2:00.0.   What's Goin On drafted perfectly behind China Dream and rolled to the outside down the stretch which carried him to a solid 2-1/4 length over Heaven Rocks (Drew Monti) and R M Hawk (Bucceri).   After setting the splits of :28.4, :58.3 and 1:29.1, China Dream (Davis Jr.) didn't have enough stamina in the lane to hold back the late kick from What's Goin On who was in cruise control at the wire.   Co-owned by Marissa and Joseph Russo and conditioned by David Russo, What's Goin On (Roll With Joe-Shipps Xclamation) is a 5-year-old gelding that has earned $12,265 thanks to a pair of victories in six starts in 2019. The win vaulted his lifetime earnings to $305,722.   In the other Class A division, Santana Beach used a methodical journey for more than a half mile before reaching the lead. He was able to hold off the challenge by Bugatti (David McNeight III) by a neck while Harry Hoo N (Shawn McDonough) settled for third place.   Santana Beach (Santanna Blue Chip-Beachs Luck) is a 7-year-old gelding owned by Jason Newell and trained by Richard Roth. He has now collected $9,890 in earnings this year and $99,294 in his career.   Cummings and Davis Jr. both doubled on the card with Russo getting a pair of training wins.   The racing will continue on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 13-race program slated.   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

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There was little suspense in Buffalo Raceway's two main harness racing events on Wednesday night (March 6) as a pair of heavy favorites had no issues in posting dominating victories.   You Mach Me Crazy ($3.10) crushed the field in the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap for the distaff pacers while Noble Legend ($3.00) led every step of the way to collect the win in the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Trot.   Driver Shawn Gray directed You Mach Me Crazy to a gate-to-wire decision over HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) in 1:57.0 over the good track.   Setting fractions of :29.1, :59.1 and 1:28.2, You Mach Me Crazy was in total control with a panel to pace and nailed the victory down with a :28.3 last quarter. HP Sissy was 3-1/4 lengths back with Ticket To Fly (Shawn McDonough) third.   It was the fourth victory in seven tries this year for You Mach Me Crazy (Mach Three-Lady Terror). Owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr., the 6-year-old mare has now produced $21,685 in earnings in 2019 and $128,148 lifetime.   It was basically the same story for Noble Legend in the featured trot. Darting to the lead from the start, Noble Legend played 'catch me if you can' and did so successfully.   Noble Legend wires the field in Open Trot. -    Photo by Steve Roth   Using splits of :29.3, 1:00.0 and 1:29.4, a :30.0 last frame by Noble Legend was more than enough to squash any flickering hopes of Are You In (Kevin Cummings) and Snapshot Springs (Drew Monti). They finished in second and third respectively behind Noble Legend who won by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:59.4.   Co-owned by the Vogel & Wags Nags Stable along with Jack Rice, Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It) is a 7-year-old gelding conditioned by Maria Rice. It was the third victory in eight appearances this season for Noble Legend, now a winner of $21,390 and $221,476 in his career.   Davis Jr. and Monti each had triples on the card with Jim McNeight Jr. doubling. Jim McNeight had a pair of training victories.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Since arriving at Buffalo Raceway from Dover Downs in early February, Manceiver has been successfully climbing up the harness racing class ladder.   On Saturday night (March 2), Manceiver (Shawn Gray) reached the top rung of the ladder and hit it impressively by burying the field in the $11,000 Class AA Open Handicap Pace in 1:56.3 over the good track. He easily topped Mr Euroman N (Billy Davis Jr.) by a throttled down 3-1/4 lengths while Golden Gesture (Drew Monti) took third.   Southwind Torque (Billy Davis Jr.) and Im So Handsome (David McNeight III) each used perfect pocket trips to register victories in the co-featured $9,500 Class A pacing events.   Manceiver ($4.50) wasted little time in showing who was the boss in the top notch eight-horse field. Zooming off the gate, Manceiver cruised to fractions of :28.3, :57.2 and 1:27.0.   Enjoying a widening two length advantage at the top of the lane, Manceiver started to coast and had the rest of the field waving the white flag in surrender.   Manceiver (Sportswriter-Swift N Shout) is a 5-year-old gelding who is owned by Mike Torcello and conditioned by Gerry Sarama. It was his fourth victory in seven appearances, moving his winnings to $19,890 and $114,527 lifetime.   In the first sub-featured race, Southwind Torque ($3.30) popped the two hole at the top of the stretch and managed to hold off Harry Hoo N by three-quarter lengths in 1:59.1.   Bugatti (McNeight III) set the splits of :29.0, :59.4 and 1:30.0 with Southwind Torque enjoying the garden spot trip. After sneaking past Bugatti, Southwind Torque had to hang on late as Harry Hoo N (Shawn McDonough) made a strong bid in the passing lane but came up three-quarter lengths short. Bugatti ended up in third.   Co-owned by the Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice, Southwind Torque (Somebeachsomewhere-Tsunami Hanover) is a 7-year-old gelding who is trained by Maria Rice. The win, his third in seven starts, upped his seasonal earnings to $14,100 and $202,758 lifetime.   In the other contest, Im So Handsome relinquished the lead to Whosurpapa (Gray) before the opening panel but had the last laugh in the end.   With Whosupapa setting the pace with :29.2, :59.3 and 1:29.3, Im So Handsome ($7.50) powered on by in mid stretch to take the half length decision. Santana Beach (Davis Jr.) took the show position.   Owned by Torcello and trained by Sarama, it was the second score in five tries this year for Im So Handsome (Hot Pans-Cheyenne Rose). The victory moved his 2019 bankroll to $14,640 and $206,000 in his career..   Woodmere Fullalife (Ray Fisher Jr.) sprung a huge upset in the fourth race with a $127.50 victory. With 35-to-1 shot Spring Terror (McNeight III) rolling into second, it produced a whopping $1,330 exacta.   Gray finished the evening with a five-bagger, Denny Bucceri posted three wins while Davis Jr. and Fisher Jr. doubled. Clouser Jr. had a training triple with Sarama and Jeff Amann collecting a pair of wins.   Racing will continue on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. There will be a $2,124 carryover in the Pick-5 which starts in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Sr Radar wasn't on the 'radar' of many harness racing fans in Buffalo Raceway's $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday night (Feb. 27) but those who had him on their screens were rewarded handsomely with a $53.50 win ticket.   In the other main event, HP Sissy ($7.30) dashed through the snow in gate-to-wire fashion and easily took the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Pace for the filly and mares.   Scoring from the three post on the flurry-filled evening, Sr Radar was pushed right to the lead by driver Mike Baumeister. After registering fractions of :29.4, 1:00.4 and 1:33.1, Sr Radar then braced himself for late charges down the stretch.   Those rallies came fast and furious as Are You In (John Cummings Jr.) and Kickinitwithkohler (Denny Bucceri) both made valiant efforts down the lane but Sr Radar managed to cling to neck victory 2:05.4. Are You In took second while Kickinitwithkohler was third.   Owned and trained by Brittney Ohol, it was the second win in six tries this season for the 6-year-old gelded Sr Radar (Iron Duke-Sweethomeourbama). The victory pushed his seasonal winnings to $13,325 and $110,715 lifetime.   HP Sissy (Bucceri) found things much easier in the co-feature as she had little problem in wiring the field by 3-1/4 lengths   Pacing right to the lead off the wings, HP Sissy cruised on the front end with splits of :30.1, 1:01.4 and 1:32.0. It appeared that Aritzia Hanover and You Mach Me Crazy were poised to make bids at the top of the stretch, but HP Sissy stayed on task and never was threatened at the finish line.   HP Sissy (Up The Credit-Monica Blue Chip) is a 6-year-old mare owned by John and Sally Finocchario and trained by Mike Ohol. She has now produced $18,138 in 2019 earnings and $269,274 career-wise.   HP Sissy     In the $15,000 final of the Opportunity Knock Series, Keystone Royce (Bucceri) collared the pace-setting Capital Account (Drew Monti) and scored the two length victory. Quick Trot (Jimmy Whittemore) took the show position.   Keystone Royce (Western Hanover-Keystone Romona) is an 11-year-old gelding that is owned by Lav Racing Stable and trained by George Anthrop. It was the second trip to the winner's circle for Keystone Royce this year. It moved his seasonal bankroll to $12,720 and $229,640 lifetime.   In the $7,500 Opportunity Knocks consolation event, Ugly Betty (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled a $11.20 surprise.   Davis Jr. and Bucceri each had four-baggers in the bike while Monti had a double. Jeff Amann had a training double.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening when a 13-race card goes to the post starting at 6 p.m. There will be a $649 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 www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Opinions. Everybody has one.   Well, fans are now getting another opinion when it comes to handicapping the races at Buffalo Raceway as Paige Usiak has joined the team to give her insight. She's along side Buffalo Raceway track announcer Wayne Teaven on the track and simulcast feed as the pair share their perspective on each race.   Their input is in addition to Brian Mazurek's selections which appear in the nightly Buffalo Raceway program and at http://briansbuffaloracewayselections.blogspot.com   So, along with the morning line odds, it now gives fans four different points of view on each and every race.   Usiak said, "We are tweaking things as we go along but so far I think Wayne and I are playing off each other well. I study the program for every card and probably watch two hours of replays to get ready for the night."   Buffalo Raceway Director of Operations Jon Cramer said, "We're excited to have Paige on board. She is working well with Wayne."   Usiak is no stranger to horses. She's was on Buffalo Raceway's backstretch last year, working the ship-in barn and also paddocking. Being on the front side is different this season for her, stating, "On any given day I can be doing something new, I never know what but I'll do it. It's a lot of fun."   She can be seen serving cocktails in the clubhouse and discussing her personal race picks with seasoned fans and newcomers.   Usiak is currently enrolled at Erie Community College where she plans on becoming an architect. So while being a 'Jill of all trades' at Buffalo Raceway, a handicapper and college student, it makes for a busy life.   But for Usiak, it's something she's enjoying.     by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway   Photo: Paige Usiak Photo by Steve Roth

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Beachy Dream swept by the field like a tidal wave and surfed his way to a dominating 4-1/2 length harness racing win over Dark Horse in Buffalo Raceway's $11,000 Class AA Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night (Feb. 23).   Driver Shawn Gray sent Beachy Dream to the winner's circle and remained scorching hot at Buffalo Raceway as he banked four victories on the program to push his total to 23 in just 75 starts. He had four victories on Wednesday's card.   It was a mad dash for the lead with IYQ YQR and Dark Horse fighting it out to the half mile pole while Beachy Dream enjoyed the festivities from fifth. Gray then asked Beachy Dream to go to work and he responded perfectly.   Getting live cover, Beachy Dream stormed three-wide to the three-quarter pole and easily stormed his way to the lead, drawing off by widening 4-1/2 lengths in 1:58.1 over the good track. Dark Horse (Ray Fisher Jr.) picked up the place check while Mr Euroman N (Billy Davis Jr.) was third.   Beachy Dream (If I Can Dream-Beachy Girl) is an 8-year-old gelding that has found the winner's circle three times in five appearances in 2019. Owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, Beachy Dream has now earned $17,920 on the year and $198,060 in his career.   There were a pair of sub-featured $9,500 Class A races on the card. The most impressive in the two events was A F F Bigdaddy ($2.60) who strolled to an easy 5-1/4 length win over Im So Handsome in 1:56.1.   After sitting back and watching the scrum take place on the front end, A F F Bigdaddy (Drew Monti) took over just before the quarter pole and never felt any pressure the rest of the way.   Owned by Jennifer and Marcus Rogowski and trained by Steve Kiblin, it was the second victory in three starts this season for A F F Bigdaddy (Sir Luck-Artacam Hanover). The 6-year-old gelding has now put $10,840 in the bank on the campaign and $89,865 lifetime.   In the other contest, four horses had a taste of the lead at some point but it was Manceiver ($5.40) who was on top when it counted the most, at the wire.   Manceiver (Gray) had the lead early, was shuffled back, but found a way to shake free in the stretch to register a 1-3/4 length nod over Foreign Officer (Monti) in 1:58.1.   Conditioned by Sarama and owned by Torcello, it was the third victory in five outings this season for the 5-year-old gelded Manceiver (Sportswriter-Swift N Shout). The win jacked his seasonal earnings to $14,390 and $109,027 in his career.   Monti also had an excellent night in the sulky as he had five victories while Davis Jr. doubled. Sarama had three training scores and Lee Dahn had a pair.   Racing will resume on Wednesday evening with a 13-race program scheduled for 5 p.m. The finals and the consolation round of the 'Opportunity Knocks' Series highlight the card along with the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Trot and the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Pace for the ladies.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a great night for owner William Emmons, trainer James Clouser Jr. and driver Shawn Gray as the trio combined to sweep both featured harness racing events at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (Feb. 20).   In the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Trot, Time Will Tell All made it two straight by nudging past Empire Earl N in 2:01.0 while in the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Pace for the filly and mares, You Mach Me Crazy rallied in the stretch to turn back HP Sissy in a snappy 1:56.3 over the good track.   Gray, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver in the early going, completed the grand slam by connecting with Donna's Beach ($5.40) and Glow Boat ($4.70).   Time Will Tell All didn't get much love at all from the public as she returned $24.40 for the victory in the first main event.   Sitting sixth, Gray took Time Will Tell All on a first over trip just past the half and eventually battled with the tempo-setting and stubborn Empire Earl N (Ray Fisher Jr.) down the lane. It wasn't until deep stretch when Time Will Tell All managed to take the lead and hold on for a neck decision. Lucky Guess (Kirk Desmond) had plenty of late trot and took the show position.   It was the second win in five tries for Time Will Tell All (Prayer I Am-Tender Dion). The 8-year-old gelding has now bankrolled $13,125 in 2019 and $204,986 lifetime.   In the featured pace for the ladies, Gray basically used the same method to send You Mach Me Crazy ($6.00) for the photo opportunity.   After settling into sixth, You Mach Me Crazy was sent first over by Gray and looked like he was going to have clearing sailing to the top. Unfortunately just before the three-quarter marker, HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) made the first move and took over command.   Things worked out just fine however for You Mach Me Crazy as Gray was able to find an open path on the outside down the lane and zoomed past HP Sissy, finishing three-quarters of a length in front. Sentimental Lady (Billy Davis Jr.) took third.   You Mach Me Crazy (Mach Three-Lady Terror) is a 6-year-old mare that now has won three of four starts this season, putting $15,175 in the bank in 2019 and $118,729 in her career.   Besides the stellar night by Gray, Davis Jr. notched a triple and Fisher Jr. a double. George Anthrop, a newcomer to Buffalo Raceway, conditioned three winners while Lynn Fisher and Gerry Sarama had a pair of training victories.   Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 6 p.m. post. The first Pick-5 carryover of the season will await fans with $992 in the pot.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Upfront Countryboy got 'up front' early in Buffalo Raceway's $11,500 Class AA Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night (Feb.16) and never looked back in taking a 1-1/2 length harness racing triumph over Dark Horse in 1:56.0 over the good track.   Title Town (Shawn McDonough) was quickest off the gate in the main event but didn't have much time to savor the front end as Upfront Countryboy (Shawn Gray) took over the lead just before the opening panel.   Dark Horse was first over and looked like the main threat to Upfront Countryboy coming down the stretch but his rally didn't materialize as hoped and had to settle for second with Title Town holding on for the show position.   Owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr., it was the first win in two starts for Upfront Countryboy (Dragon Again-Cambloid). The 10-year-old gelding has earned $6,670 this year and $446,090 in his career.   There were a pair of $9,500 Class A paces on the under card.   Mr Euroman N ($4.80) went gate-to-wire and turned back the late attempts by R M Hawk (David McNeight III) and Manceiver (Gray) to take the victory in 1:57.0 in the first sub-featured event.   Leaving from the inside post, Mr Euroman N set the fractions with a :29.2, :58.3 and 1:28.0. A :29.0 last panel was enough as R M Hawk could get no closer than a half length.   Driven by Billy Davis Jr. and trained by Maria Rice, Mr Euroman N (Art Major-Little Big Sister) is a 7-year-old gelding that is co-owned by the Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Pine Hill Racing LTD. It was the second victory in five tries this season for Mr. Euroman N, now a winner of $9,950 in 2019 and $113,329 lifetime.   In the second leg, A F F Bigdaddy (Drew Monti) was able to grind out a length victory over Im So Handsome in 1:56.3.   Going first over down the backstretch, A F F Bigdaddy slowly but surely started to cut into the lead of Im So Handsome and took over command midway down the lane. Im So Handsome had to settle for the place position with Heaven Rocks finishing in third.   A F F Bigdaddy (Sir Luck-Artacam Hanover) is a 6-year-old gelding owned by Jennifer and Marcus Rogowski. Conditioned by Steven Kiblin, it was the first trip to the winner's circle for A F F Bigdaddy, now a earner of $5,590 this year and $85,115 in his career.   Ray Fisher Jr. topped the drivers with four victories on the night. Monti, tripled while Davis Jr. and Gray each doubled. Mike Ohol, Maria Rice and Sabrina Clevenger all scored a pair of training wins.   Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J, Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Time Will Tell All and HP Sissy each used different methods to find their way to the winner's circle in Buffalo Raceway's co-featured harness racing events on Wednesday night (Feb. 13).   Time Will Tell All used a late charge down the passing lane to take the victory in the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Trot while HP Sissy made every step a winning one to capture the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Pace for the filly and mares.   Driver Shawn Gray got a perfect pocket trip in the opener with Time Will Tell All and never took the lead until the shadow of the wire.   After drafting behind the front stepping Chelseas Chance, who posted splits of :30.2, 1:00.4 and 1:32.0, Time Will Tell All ($7.70) had a spot through the passing lane and held back a late rally from Lucky Guess (Drew Monti). The winner tripped the timer in 2:02.3, notching a neck decision.   A game Empire Earl N (Billy Davis Jr.), a winner of three straight, finished third while being parked the entire mile.   Owned by William Emmons and conditioned by James Clouser Jr., it was the first victory in four tries in 2019 for Time Will Tell All (Prayer I Am-Tender Dion). The win pushed the 8-year-old gelding's seasonal earnings to $8,125 and $200,036 lifetime.   HP Sissy took command off the gate and held on late to score a $16.40 surprise in the co-feature for the distaff pacers.   Denny Bucceri guided HP Sissy right to the lead, posting fractions of :28.4, 1:00.0 and 1:29.4. Things got a little scary for HP Sissy in deep stretch as You Mach Me Crazy (Gray) was full out but saw her threat come up just a neck short. Sentimental Lady (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.   Trained by Mike Ohol and owned by John and Sally Finocchario, it was the second victory in four outings for 6-year-old mare HP Sissy (Up The Credit-Monica Blue Chip). The win upped her seasonal earnings to $10,263 and $261,399 in her career.   Gray completed the evening with five victories in the bike with Fisher Jr. and John Cummings Jr. each getting a double.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a 13-race card scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, entries, results, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- A pair of $100,000 harness racing earners from 2018 locked horns in Buffalo Raceway's featured $11,500 Open II Pace on Saturday night (Feb. 9) and the two did not disappoint in the main event tussle.   With both Lucky McTrucky and Shady City hitting six figures last season, the betting public figured it was going to be a two horse race. They were right.   It was Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) however who proved to be the best on the frigid night, topping rival Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) by a half length in a impressive 1:56.0 over the fast track. Dark Horse (Ray Fisher Jr.) was third.   Scoring from the rail, Shady City registered rather soft fractions of :29.1 and :58.2 to the half, parking Lucan Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) along the way.   With the cover starting to fad heading to the three-quarter marker, Monti got Lucky McTrucky ($4.80) into gear and stared Shady City into the eye turning for home. It seemed like Shady City might hang tough but he just couldn't keep up as Lucky McTrucky used a :27.1 final panel to secure the decision.   Lucky McTrucky (McArdle-Truculent Lady) is a 10-year-old gelding that has won twice this season in six attempts, earning $19,900. Owned by Tessa Roland and conditioned by JD Perrin, the victory pushed his career earnings to $519,287.   In the $10,500 co-featured Class A-AA Handicap Pace, Beachy Dream ($9.20) made it two straight at Buffalo Raceway with a come from behind 3/4-length score over the pace-setting Southwind Torque in 1:56.2.   After sitting in third until the top of the lane, Beachy Dream went three-wide down the stretch and zoomed past Southwind Torque (Davis Jr.) who had posted solid splits of :284, :57.4 and 1:27.0.   Owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, it was the second win in three tries in 2019 for 8-year-old gelded Beachy Dream (If I Can Dream-Beachy Girl). The victory upped his seasonal winnings to $11,500 and $191,640 lifetime.   Gray finished the evening with four driving victories while Monti added three and Stalbaum two. James Clouser Jr. had three training wins with Sarama and Perrin doubling.   Racing will continue on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After finishing in the money 30 out of 40 times in 2018 including 10 victories and over $90,000 in earnings, Empire Earl N ($3.40) showed that the change in the calendar year makes no difference to him.   Driver Billy Davis Jr. waited patiently with Empire Earl N and collared Time Will Tell All (Shawn Gray) in the stretch to collect the neck victory in Buffalo Raceway's $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday night (Feb. 6). It was the third straight for Empire Earl N as he closed the 2018 campaign at Batavia Downs with a pair of wins.   Benefiting from the scratches of Snapshot Springs and On Thunder Road N, Empire Earl N was able to score from the six post instead of the eight spot. Tucking in second off the gate, Empire Earl N watched as Time Will Tell All set the fractions of :29.3, 1:01.4 and 1:33.0 over the soupy track.   In the stretch, On Thunder Road held gamely but Empire Earl N had just enough left, splashing by the front runner down the passing lane and grabbing the win in 2:04.4. Lucky Guess (Drew Monti) captured the show position.   Owned by Kimberly Asher and trained by Riley Asher-Stalbaum, it was the 27th career win for the 11-year-old gelded Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita). The win pushed his career earnings to $257,344.   In the $9,500 Class A pace for the fillies and mares, You Mach Me Crazy took command past the half mile marker and cruised to a 4-1/2 length win over Aritzia Hanover (Davis Jr.) in 2:01.4.   Owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr., You Mach Me Crazy returned $6.60 to her backers.   Davis Jr. put three more victories into his win column in 2019 while Gray, Monti and Ray Fisher Jr. all doubled. JD Perrin collected a pair of training victories.   Racing will resume on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Khun Ratha A, after spending a brief time at Monticello and Yonkers Raceway since arriving from Australia, made his Buffalo Raceway harness racing debut on Saturday night (Feb. 3) an impressive one by easily brushing by the field to register a 1-1/4 length victory in the featured $11,000 Class AA Open Handicap.   Under the guidance of owner/trainer/driver Larry Stalbaum, Khun Ratha A ($5.10) went three wide heading to the three-quarter pole and blew past the pace-setting and second place finisher Title Town (David McNeight III) in 1:56.1 to secure the win. Dark Horse (Ray Fisher Jr) took the show position.   Title Town and Western Rockstar A tussled to the opening half in :57.4 over the good track and that battled proved to be the perfect setup for Khun Ratha A.   Sitting fifth, Stalbaum directed Khun Ratha A to go three-wide and the tandem confidently cruised to the top around the final turn and never looked back.   It was the second win in four starts this season for the 9-year-old gelded Khun Ratha A (Bettor's Delight-Calafia). The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $12,660 and $176,028 lifetime.   In the $9,500 Class A event, Beachy Dream went gate-to-wire in 1:57.3 to defeat RM Hawk by a half length. Shawn Gray drove the winner to the popular $2.20 score for owner Mike Torcello and trainer Gerry Sarama.   Billy Davis Jr. got off to a great start on the season by notching four wins in the bike while Drew Monti added three and Gray a pair.   Trainer Maria Rice found the winner's circle four times with Sarama getting a double.   Racing will resume on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a nine race card scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After Wednesday night's scheduled 2019 harness racing opener was cancelled due to blizzard conditions and frigid temperatures, Buffalo Raceway hopes Mother Nature will be in a more cooperative mood on Saturday.   With much better weather conditions expected on Saturday (Feb. 2), Buffalo Raceway will offer a solid 12-race program with a starting time of 6 p.m.   The feature on the evening will be the $11,000 Class AA Open Handicap Pace. The main focus will be on Khun Ratha A and trainer/driver Larry Stalbaum who were assigned the eight post.   Drew Monti, last season's leading driver, will be busy as he is scheduled to drive in all 12 events while 2018 training champion James Clouser Jr. will send six from his stable to the starting gate.   It will be a big night for the fans heading to the track as well. The popular Lucky Exacta Contest returns for races three through nine. Patrons will get their exacta combination when they receive a free Buffalo Raceway knit winter hat. Those holding the winning exacta combinations will get a chance to spin the wheel for free Buffalo Raceway wagers.   Also, free magnetic schedules will be handed out to all fans.   Reservations for the clubhouse are available for Saturday night by calling 716-649-1280, ext. 6300.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, simulcast schedule and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "We are really looking forward to the upcoming harness racing season," Buffalo Raceway Operations Director Jon Cramer said as the track preps for the opener on Wednesday, January 30th. The 66-day meet will have racing on Wednesday and Saturday evenings through March with post times set for 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively. Friday night action will begin in April with starting times slated for 5 p.m. The season will close on Saturday, July 20th. There are two Sunday afternoon cards on tap, June 16th and 23rd with the matinees getting underway at 12:30 p.m. The track will be dark on Friday, June 14th and Friday June 21. A trio of special 7:15 p.m. posts are on Saturdays when thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown events are run. The later live racing start times will allow customers to wager on the Kentucky Derby which will be contested on May 4th, the Preakness on May 18th and the Belmont Stakes on June 8th. "We've got a few new updates for both the horsemen and fans," Cramer added. "The improvements made will enjoyed and appreciated by both of them." For the horsemen, they will see a 10 percent increase in purses from the amounts that were offered at the close of the 2018 meet. They will also be able to compete in the "Opportunity Knocks" Series that will be held in February with the $15,000 finale to be run on Wednesday, February 27th. Also, Buffalo Raceway has initiated a new condition sheet with A, B and C classification. Buffalo Raceway Racing Secretary Tom Agosti said of the new conditions, "It's kind of is like the dog racing system. A lot of the problems we encountered were if a horse finished second, he'd have to jump up a class or two. That won't happen now. If you win a race, you only move up one level. And if you don't finish first, second or third in three races, you can drop down a level. "I think it makes for more competitive racing...it eliminates the drastic moves in class," Agosti concluded. Later on, Agosti said that the track has 295 stalls available with 289 of them ready to be filled. "We are kind of short on stall space because we have people who used to train on farms coming in this year. We maintain the track every day so they'll be able to get the horses in shape here compared to on the farms where the track there may not be usable due to the weather." The track added 5,000 tons of material to the half-mile oval in the fall and also did drainage work that hopefully will alleviate issues during thaws. There was talk about eliminating the passing lane but Agosti said they left it up to the horsemen and he stated, "Probably 95 percent wanted to keep the passing lane." For the fans, the track will have new food and beverage offerings. "All food on each racing night will be cooked and made to order, including Wednesday nights," Cramer said. "You can now order food and it will delivered to your table." Some items that will be available on a rotating basis on race nights will be fried chicken, meatloaf and turkey dinners along with sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers. The last Saturday of each month will feature the Winner's Circle Buffet. For $19, you'll receive the buffet dinner, a racing program along with a $5 Buffalo Raceway betting voucher and a $5 voucher for Hamburg Gaming. This special will be available to those making reservations prior to race night. The popular Lucky Exacta contest will return on Saturday, February 2nd. Besides getting an exacta combination where you could win up to $100 in betting vouchers, fans will also receive a Buffalo Raceway knit winter hat. There will also be a Lucky Exacta contest on Father's Day, June 16th. Opening night on January 30th will feature free 2019 magnetic schedules. The betting menu will remain the same as last season. There will be the usual win, place and show wagers available along with exacta, trifecta, superfecta, three daily doubles, Pick-3, Pick-4 and Pick-5s. The driver colony will show the return of 2018 champion Drew Monti along with Billy Davis Jr., Ray Fisher Jr., and Shawn McDonough. Monti finished third recently in the 2019 North American Driving Challenge at Miami Valley in Ohio. James Clouser Jr. is back to defend his training crown with JD Perrin and Maria Rice expected to battle for the title. Returning this season will be conditioners Mike and Brittney Ohol and Joe Skowyra who had raced here a couple years back. Monticello trainer George Anthrop is shuffling off to Buffalo and brings in a stable of eight as well. By Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Akron, NY --- She was born to harness racing and hit the ground running this, her first year of training. And hard work and perseverance has paid instant dividends for Riley Asher-Stalbaum and that is why she was named the 2018 Rising Star at Batavia Downs by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Asher-Stalbaum was brought up in the business, the daughter of accomplished trainer Kim Asher and longtime driver Larry Stalbaum. And having them first as parents and then as tutors have helped her to become very successful in life as a young lady and also in harness racing in her first venture as a full-time conditioner. This year, Asher-Stalbaum has raced a small but powerful stable that featured win-machines Quicksilvercandy A, Kaitlyn Rae and Empire Earl N who combined have a total of 38 victories and $231,488 in purses earned in 2018. At Batavia Downs her numbers showed 124 starts with 17 wins, 15 seconds and 17 thirds and $133,409 in earnings. All those statistics are very impressive for a first year trainer only 11 days removed from her 19th birthday. Asher-Stalbaum aspires to make a living doing what she loves and follow in the footsteps of her parents. And if the results of her first year are any indication, the business better take notice of the girl in the red and white silks in the coming years. Riley Asher-Stalbaum will receive her trophy in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 14). by Tim Bojarski, for UNY USHWA Chapter    

Akron, NY --- The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has announced that Steve Pratt will receive their Lifetime Achievement Award during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 14). Pratt first got his grooms license in 1970 and from there has been involved in harness racing ever since. He has been training and racing horses in western New York since the late seventies when the star of his barn was an Open trotter named Willow Hill Boy who under the reinsmanship of the legendary Gaston Guindon, won 42 races in only five years against the best horses on the grounds at the time. Pratt moved on from racing overnights to concentrate on breaking and developing young horses. He became a presence on the New York county fair circuit but made the move to the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) in the mid-nineties. There he found early success with horses like Sal The Barber (1:58.2, $114,887) and Choyote's Miss (1:59.1, $121,785). But he really got on a successful roll in the NYSS starting in 2012. For the last seven years Pratt has been a trotting force in the state-bred series with a string of "Barn" named horses that have competed in the NYSS, the Excel series and also at the county fairs. The parade of his champions is led most prominently by Barn Doll (1:52.1, $874,083), Barn Bella (1:51.3, $742,350), Barn Girl (1:52.3, $734,668), Barn Babe (1:54.2, $350,463) and Barn Winner (1:56, $165,273). During those seven years Pratt-trained horses have earned over $2 million in only 227 starts, winning 97 races which gave him a phenomenal 42% win percentage. Pratt's Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) for that same period is a stellar .558 and all this was accomplished racing primarily in stake competition. Steve Pratt will receive his trophy in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle between races during the live card. By Tim Bojarski, president, Upstate New York USHWA

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