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Buffalo Raceway has cancelled harness racing for Friday night (Feb. 12) that was scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.   With several inches of snow falling at the track this morning and lake effect expected to intensify as the day progresses, management decided to cancel racing. The Hamburg half-mile oval is expected to receive heavy lake effect snow beginning late this afternoon with an additional 6 to 9 inches possible.   Racing is scheduled to resume on Saturday night with a 6 p.m. post. The highlight of the card is the $10,000 Open Pace along with the quarter-finals of the popular Niatross Knockout Claiming Series.   For more information on Buffalo Raceway including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Little Santamonica ($6.90) unleashed a furious rally in the stretch and stunned Mach This Way by a head Wednesday night (Feb. 10) to take Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Pace for harness racing fillies and mares in 1:59.2 over the sloppy track.   It appeared that Mach This Way had things under control at the top of the stretch with a brush to take the lead. But Little Santamonica, who was sitting dead last at the three-quarter marker, quickly began picking off horses one by one on the far outside to move into contention.   In the race to the wire, Little Santamonica had driver Shawn McDonough holding on tight as the pair zoomed past Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) who were left in total disbelief. A sizzling 28.3 final panel proved to be the difference. Charmschooldropout (Jim McNeight) took the show position.   Owned and trained by Jordan Hope, it was the first win in five tries in 2016 for Little Santamonica (Little Steven-Tonianne N) whose last six attempts came at Yonkers Raceway. The 8-year-old mare has now won $5,700 this year and $323,563 lifetime.   Driver David McNeight III continued his torrid pace as he posted a four-win night while Todd Cummings tripled and Ray Fisher Jr. added a double. Trainers Kirk Desmond and David McNeight Jr. each had a pair of victories.   Racing resumes Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m. Ronnie Wrenn Jr., one of the top drivers in North America, is slated to participate in 11 of the 12 races.   For more information including the latest news, replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- 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.   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).   Jim McNeight, Jack Flanigen, David McNeight III and Gray each scored two victories on the night while David McNeight Jr. and Russell Bratt had training doubles.   Racing will resume Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program slated for 5 p.m.   For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It sure turned out to be a head scratcher in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (Feb. 5). Cold Certified, who won this event last week as the even money favorite in 1:59.1, was dismissed by the harness racing 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.   David McNeight III shared the Friday spotlight with Cold Certified as he registered a six-bagger in the sulky and also produced a training win.   In the feature, 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.   McNeight III had victories aboard Lucky Millionaire ($8.00), Goldstar Thumper ($2.60), Maple Leaf Matt ($4.70), Release The Terror ($22.80), Sailin Metro ($6.20) and Pictorian Pride ($42.00).   McDonough had a good night driving as well as he posted a triple while Ray Fisher Jr. had two victories. For the trainers, David McNeight Jr. and John Mungillo had two wins apiece.   Racing will resumes at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race card. The feature is the $10,000 Open Pace along with the opening round of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series.   For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- 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.   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.   Todd Cummings and David McNeight III each posted doubles on the night in the bike while James Clouser Jr. and Christopher Naedele had a pair of training victories.   Racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Mr Perserverance was on quite a terror with four straight harness racing victories before being shut down for a little rest and relaxation on December 12. He came back for a qualifier on January 23 and zoomed to an easy 6-1/4 length win in 1:57.4. But would those impressive credentials hold up in Saturday's $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway?   The answer was a resounding yes.   Mr. Perserverance ($4.60) went gate-to-wire once again and smoked the field of five in 1:56.4 over a good track, defeating Youwillwishyouhad by a non-threatening length.   The race looked liked it was going to shape up as a speed duel between China Dream and Mr. Perserverance. That didn't materialize as China Dream was a late scratch.   Appearing to be the lone speedster off the gate, driver Ron Beback Jr. and Mr. Perserverance took advantage of the situation and toured the Hamburg half-mile oval with little pressure. Posting splits of 28.3, 58.3 and 1:28.0, the pair had the other four entrants battling for the minor spoils in the battle in the stretch.   Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) finished in second place while Arrived Late (Shawn McDonough) took third.   Owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr., Mr. Perserverance (Real Artist-Miss Tenacity) is an 8-year-old gelding who now has won $262,849 lifetime.   It was a superb night for Clouser Jr. as he trained four winners on the night. Shawn Gray and Mike Carrubba each had two victories.   Jim McNeight, Gray and Ron Beback Jr. each posted doubles in the sulky.   Racing continues at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday evening with a 12-race program scheduled for 6 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Cold Certified ($4.30) proved to be too hot to handle in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot Friday night (Jan. 29) with a convincing 1-1/4 length harness racing victory over Strong Hope in 1:59.1 over the fast track.   After competing at Yonkers and Woodbine Raceway since November, Cold Certified (Shawn McDonough) seemed to adapt well to his new home at the Hamburg half-mile oval.   Lutetium, as usual, darted straight to the lead from the eight post while Cold Certified was able to draft along in second place through fractions of 29.0, 59.1 and 1:29.4.   At the top of the stretch, Lutetium began to call it a night while Cold Certified was just getting into gear. Dropping into the lightning lane as soon as possible, Cold Certified roared to the top and posted a 29.1 last quarter to draw away smartly for the victory. Strong Hope (Jack Flanigen) rallied for second with Im The Cash Man (Drew Monti) taking the show spot.   Cold Certified (Kadabra-I Like Stephanie) is co-owned by Paul and Ronald Louis Viele and is trained by Alex Giuliani. It was the first victory in three starts this season for the 7-year-old gelding. Cold Certified has now earned $7,330 in 2016 and $438,337 in his career.   Driver Kevin Cummings continued on a torrid pace, getting four victories on the night. He now has seven wins in the past two race cards.   Trainers JD Perrin and Giuliani each had doubles.   Racing will continue on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card scheduled for 6 p.m.   For more information including race replays, results, the latest news and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The Filly Princess ($5.10) was the queen of the night at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday (Jan. 27) by posting a 3/4-length harness racing victory in the featured $7,400 pace for filly and mares.   Dropping down in class and drawing the rail didn't hurt the cause either for The Filly Princess. The well-traveled 8-year-old mare has made stops at The Meadowlands, Yonkers, Pocono Downs, Saratoga Raceway and Batavia Downs the past three months but came up empty against tougher company. She finally found a perfect landing spot and ended up in the winner's circle at Buffalo Raceway.   Ding set the tempo in the race as driver Ron Beback Jr. was able to reach the lead easily from the seven post. Setting times of 30.3, 1:00.2 and 1:29.3, Ding did all she could in the stretch but couldn't hold back The Filly Princess (Ray Fisher Jr.) who used the passing lane to draw off by a widening 3/4 lengths in 1:58.2 over the good track.   The winner put up a 28.3 final panel to secure the victory. Ding settled for second while Aurora Borealus (Kevin Cummings) finished in third.   Owned by Standardbred Ventures Inc. and trained by Andy Gardner, The Filly Princess (Bettor's Delight-Knock Yourself Out) now has a victory in three 2016 appearances, upping her bankroll to $4,446 this season and $174,533 lifetime.   Jack Flanigen finished the night with four driving victories while Kevin Cummings had three and Fisher Jr. and Jim McNeight had two apiece.   Gardner, Maria Rice and Kirk Desmond all had two training wins.   Buffalo Raceway will resume racing on Friday night with a 12-race card slated for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a dream trip for China Dream in the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (Jan. 23) by coasting to a half-length upset victory in a brisk 1:55.4 over the fast harness racing track.   After battling momentarily with Wild Shot Hanover around the first turn, driver Jack Flanigen and China Dream settled into the lead and posted fractions of 28.0, 57.4 and 1:27.1 past the three-quarter marker. The pace-setting China Dream was awaiting a charge from the closers in the stretch, including the favored Diamond Cowboy, but nothing of consequence developed.   China Dream ($20.20) had a snappy last panel of 28.3 to help spring the surprise win. Listowel (Ron Beback Jr.) showed late pace to take second place while Wild Shot Hanover (Truman Gale) finished in third.   Owned by Jack and Maria Rice, China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Act) has a win and second place finish in a pair of 2016 starts, putting $7,500 in the bank. It also moved the 5-year-old gelding's lifetime earnings to $97,093. Maria Rice handles the training duties.   Shawn Gray, Ron Beback Jr., Shawn McDonough and Kevin Cummings all had a pair of wins in the sulky.   Trainer JD Perrin posted two victories on the program.   Racing will continue on Wednesday evening with 12 races slated to begin at 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The front-running and heavily favored Lutetium was the one to chase down in Buffalo Raceway's $9,000 Open Trot on Friday night (Jan. 22) and Northern Bullet ($11.60) was more than up to the task.   Blazing some hot fractions of 28.4, 58.2 and 1:28.1 on a frosty night, it seemed like Lutetium was going to runaway and hide from the field of six.   But Northern Bullet, who was five lengths back in third with a quarter mile to trot, took dead aim on the pace-setter. He easily gunned down the leg-weary Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) in the stretch to notch the 1-1/4 length decision in 1:58.2. A final panel of 29.1 proved to be the winning shot for Northern Bullet.   Driver Ray Fisher Jr. knew Northern Bullet was in good shape after seeing the three-quarter split posted. "He's a sprinter down the stretch. I told (trainer) JD Perrin yesterday that I knew this horse was going to win tonight."   Lutetium settled for second place while Leave Your Mark (Shawn McDonough) took the show spot.   Owned by Tessa Roland and trained by Perrin, the 6-year-old gelded Northern Bullet (Muscle Mass-Flame Tamer) has now earned $5,580 in two starts this season and $145,758 lifetime.   Kevin Cummings finished the evening with three driving victories while Todd Cummings, Drew Monti and Truman Gale each doubled.   Trainer Bob Gruber III led the conditioners with two wins.   Racing will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Memumsnotnice ($7.30) wasn't very nice to her five harness racing rivals in the filly and mare $9,200 pace at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday evening (Jan. 20) as she used a pylon-skimming trip in 1:57 to post a narrow neck victory.   It was also a great night for two-time defending driving champion Kevin Cummings as he registered a five victories on the snow flurry filled night.   In the feature, Janie Bay set the fractions with splits of 29.2, 59.1 and 1:27.3 over the fast track but had Mach This Way challenging her on the outside to the third-quarter marker. It looked liked those two mares were going to duke it out down to the wire but Memumsnotnice crashed the party from third midway down the stretch.   Ray Fisher Jr. angled Memumsnotnice in the lightning lane to take the lead but she wasn't home free yet. Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) still had something left in the tank and made a valiant attempt at the wire but came up just a neck short. Janie Bay (Jim McNeight) finished a tough- luck third a length back.   Memumsnotnice (Jereme's Jet-Bunny Town) is a 7-year-old mare co-owned by trainer John Mungillo and Thatsideofthefence LLC. The win pushed her career earnings to $313,743 and moved her lifetime wins to 22.   Trainer James Clouser Jr. picked up three victories as he conditioned Ding ($9.20), Big Dutch ($4.30) and Heaven On Earth ($5.00) while Kirk Desmond and Alex Giuliani posted a pair of training wins.   Ron Beback Jr. and Jack Flanigen each had driving doubles.   Racing will resume on Friday evening at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program scheduled for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The longest stretch on a half-mile track in the United States and a harness racing pacer with a form that shows a big time closing kick. That was the perfect recipe for Diamond Cowboy in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open pace on Saturday evening (Jan. 16).   Diamond Cowboy ($6.20) was parked out in the field of six from the start but was perfectly rated by driver Shawn Gray to stay in contention as Youwillwishyouhad set fractions of 29.1, 59.4 and 1:29.1.   At the three-quarter station, Gray tipped the locked and loaded Diamond Cowboy three-wide around the final turn and effortlessly went on to score the 1-1/4 length win in 1:58.4. China Dream (Jack Flanigen) rode the pylons for second while Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) held on for the show spot.   Diamond Cowboy (Six Of Diamonds-Money For Munchkin) is a 7-year-old gelding owned by William Emmons and trained by Gray. A winner of $61,118 in 2015 thanks to six victories, Diamond Cowboy has now earned $499,915 lifetime.   It was a great all around night for Gray as he registered a driving and training triple. He also drove and conditioned Harmony Oaks Ruler ($2.90) and Mercurio N ($3.60).   Shawn McDonough and Truman Gale each notched three-baggers as well on the evening.   Courtney Ohol scored a double for the second straight night on the trainer's side while Craig Gilmour also found the winner's circle twice..   Racing will resume on Wednesday at 5 p.m. with an 12-race program which will feature some of the best filly and mare pacers on the grounds battling for a purse of $9,200 in the opener.   For more information including the latest news, results, replays, entries and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway re-opened its doors after a six-month hiatus Friday night (Jan. 15) and Lutetium showed he hasn't lost his knack in finding his way around the harness racing track during that time.   A 10-time winner in 2015, Lutetium started off the new campaign in fine style, easily disposing of his seven rivals in the $9,000 featured trot in 2:02.1.   Assigned the outside eight post on the sloppy track, Buffalo Raceway's two-time defending driving champion Kevin Cummings immediately took off with Lutetium from the starting gate, grabbing control of the lead by the time they reached the backstretch..   The pair then enjoyed the front-running tour over the half-mile oval located at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg and used splits of 30.0, 1:00.2, 1:31.1 in posting a 2:02.1 time. Lutetium ($3.60) won by a comfortable 1-3/4 lengths over Strong Hope (Jack Flanigen), who won the scrum for runner-up honors, while Northern Bullet (Ray Fisher Jr.) finished third.   Lutetium bankrolled $80,621 in 2015 and was in the money 25 times in 32 races last season. It was his first appearance of the year and with the $4,500 winner's share of the purse, moved Lutetium's career earnings to $361,117. The 9-year-old gelding (Credit Winner-Luby) is owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw.   Cummings finished with a driving triple while Drew Monti, Truman Gale and Mike Baumeister all scored twice.   Courtney Ohol was the lone trainer with a double as she conditioned Garys Party ($21.40) and Mr. Casual ($19.20) to upset victories.   Buffalo Raceway Director of Operations Jon Cramer said, "It was a great opening night in the clubhouse, on track and off track. Our handle was over $238,000. Overall, things went very well."   Racing resumes on Saturday evening with a 12-race card scheduled for 6 p.m.   For more information including race replays, entries, results, the latest news and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The only winner at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night was Mother Nature as heavy lake effect snow wiped out the scheduled harness racing 11-race opening card.   But with much better weather anticipated, Buffalo Raceway will try again on Friday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program on tap.   The first race has some of the top trotters on the grounds featuring the front-running Lutetium who will be scoring from the eight post. He was a winner 10 times in 2015 and put over $80,000 in the bank. Two-time defending driving champion Kevin Cummings is scheduled to get the call behind Lutetium.   Justgottogetthere looks to be the main competition in the race with Ron Beback Jr. aboard. Going to the winner's circle 10 times as well in 2015, Justgottogetthere looms the major danger in the feature.   Opening weekend continues on Saturday night with a 12-race card set at 6 p.m. The Open pacers are in the main event and it looks to be a wide-open affair. Lucky Nadotremblay has been either first or second in his last four starts to head the field of seven while the hard-knocking Youwillwishyouhad had 13 victories last year.   The new Pick-5 wager, with a .50-cent minimum, will start in the fifth race each night.   For more information including schedule, results, entries and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway is wasting no time in presenting its feature race of the night as the filly and mare pacers battle in the Open II scheduled for the first event on the 11-race harness racing card that will start the 2016 campaign. Post time Wednesday night (Jan. 13) is set for 5 p.m.   Ding has been established as the early-morning line favorite at 3-1 with Ron Beback Jr. in the sulky. Trained by James Clouser Jr. and owned by Leonard Seagall, Ding has finished first and second in her most recent starts at this level at Batavia Downs and drew the six post.   Heavenly Place has been in the money in all of her last six starts and had 13 victories in 2015, earning over $62,000. She'll draw plenty of attention from the wagerers and will get the services of David McNeight III in the bike.   The major danger could come from the front-running Memumsnotnice who was assigned the eight post. The John Mungillo-trained Memumsnotnice has earned over $309,000 in her career including over $54,000 last season. Drew Monti gets the call on the 7-year-old mare, tabbed at 5-1 in the morning line.   Buffalo Raceway's new Pick-5 wager, which carries a 50-cent minimum, begins in the fifth race. If the pot is not hit, it will carryover to the next racing night.   Opening week will continue on Friday night with a new post time of 5 p.m. while Saturday night's action will now begin at 6 p.m.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The old adage goes "Times are a changing." That cliche definitely holds true for Buffalo Raceway as new post times will greet fans for the 90-day harness racing meet which is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, January 13 at 5 p.m. Wednesday nights will remain at 5 p.m. but Friday evening cards will now begin at 5 p.m. as well. The action on Saturdays moves to 6 p.m. and when Sunday afternoon racing commences on June 19, the horses will be off at 12:30 p.m. The season ends on July 24. "We changed the first post because the export business will be better," Buffalo Raceway Operations Director Jon Cramer said. "We've found that earlier is better." Another major change the fans will notice is the race announcer. Peter Berry, who has called the races at Mountaineer Park since 2004, will be behind the microphone until mid-April when the West Virginia thoroughbred track reopens. "Peter is an A+ announcer by anyone's standards and we are pleased to have him here," Buffalo Raceway Chief Operation Officer Jim Mango said. "He's a world-class announcer and a major addition for us. We are thrilled." The track itself continues to be upgraded as another 2,000 tons of material was added to the 6,000 tons put down last season. "We continue work on the race track and high grades on that go to the track crew," Cramer said. "It's a difficult job to keep the track like that in the winter." The backstretch area continues to get rave reviews according to Mango. "We continue to get great comments on the barn area and I think it's the finest stable area in harness racing." Buffalo Raceway filled over the 300 stalls on-track that were available. Racing behind the trotters and pacers will include Kevin Cummings who will be back in search of his third consecutive driving title. He registered 202 victories in 2015 at Buffalo Raceway, just missing the all-time mark set by Jim Morrill Jr. of 214 in 2006. Some others ready to take a shot at the driver's crown will be the 'Young Guns' consisting of Drew Monti, David McNeight III and Shawn McDonough. Monti finished in second place last year in wins with 140. On the trainer's side, JD Perrin returns and will be looking for his fourth straight championship. He posted 70 victories last year and is fresh off winning the title at Batavia Downs. John Mungillo, David McNeight Jr. and James Clouser Jr. will also have strong barns and look to break Perrin's streak. Craig Gilmour's barn makes its first appearance at Buffalo Raceway after competing at Batavia Downs in the fall. The Niatross Knockout Claiming Series, a favorite among the fans, owners, trainers and drivers, will also return in 2016, starting on Saturday, February 6. It's a chance for lower-priced claiming pacers to move up and win some nice purses but face the possibility of being taken at a higher tag as the series moves along or being eliminated if they don't finish in the top four. The finals are scheduled for Saturday, February 27. A new wrinkle added to the racing menu as well is the 'Buffalo Raceway Claiming Championships' which will be contested throughout the meet. The first half will run from opening night until Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday, May 7 and the second half goes from Derby Day until Saturday, July 23. "There are seven different divisions and every time you race in a specific claiming level, either a boy or girl, pacer or trotter, you'll will accumulate points just like the purse structure is broken down...50 points for a win, 25 points for second and so on," stated Buffalo Raceway Race Secretary Tom Agosti. "The top eight point getters in each category will come back on Derby Day and race for double what the normal purse would be for their claiming price. It will keep a lot of interest and hopefully keep the horses racing." The whole competition will then start over the next racing day with the finals on Saturday, July 23. Also new at Buffalo Raceway is a Pick-5 wager which will replace the Pick-4. Starting in the fifth race each evening, you can wager on the Pick-5 and if no one hits it, the pool will roll over to the next card. "The Pick-5 is becoming something of a fan favorite in harness racing and wanted to offer to our players," Cramer said. by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

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