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Batavia, NY --- After hitting the board in her last two starts, Roll With Faith got back to the top of her game winning the $10,400 fillies and mares Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Oct. 24). The two-scratch race was down to five starters when Roll With Faith (Kevin Cummings) got away second off the gate behind A Crafty Lady (Drew Monti) who then took the girls to the half in :57.1. There, Badlands Delight (Shawn McDonough) was moving first over, but not fast enough for Kaitlyn Rae (Ray Fisher Jr.) who swung three-deep in front of the stands and drew alongside A Crafty Lady as they worked their way up the backside. As they passed the three-quarters in 1:25.3, A Crafty Lady packed it in and Kaitlyn Rae took the lead spot on the pylons. But with no time for even a breath, Roll With Faith was out and at her and the two paced in-sync around the last turn. The team pacing ended as the tandem was split up heading down the lane because Roll With Faith simply opened up and cruised away to a wrapped-up four-length win in 1:54.2. It was the 13th win of the season for Roll With Faith ($2.70) who has now earned $74,232 for owners Finish Line Investors, Larry Willer and John Mungillo, who also trains the mare. In the $8,800 Open II for distaff participants, Drinkin N Dancin (Ray Fisher Jr.) went gate to wire in 1:56.4 and registered her sixth win of the year for owners Rocco Stebbins and David Crumb. Joe Skowyra trains the winner. Kevin Cummings had three winners on the night to lead all other drivers on Tuesday. He now has 80 wins for the session and draws to within three wins of the current leader Drew Monti with 83. Monti had one win on Wednesday. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Oct. 26) with post time set for 6 p.m. When it does there will be a $493 carry over in the early Pick-5 wager and a guaranteed $1,500 pool for that bet. The early Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that begins in race one and runs through race five. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- She was perfect in September and has now started October the same way. Roll With Faith has owned the top pacing mares at Batavia Downs of late and proved it once again; winning her fourth consecutive $10,000 Open Handicap distaff feature on Wednesday evening (Oct. 3). Kevin Cummings sent Roll With Faith to the front of the scratch-shortened field and settled into a comfortable dictatorial position. Stepping off fractions of :29, :58.2 and 1:26.3, Cummings sat confident as Roll With Faith threw in a :28.2 final panel and won easily in 1:55. It was the 12th win of the year for Roll With Faith ($3.30) pushing her seasonal earnings to $65,309 for owners Finish Line Investors, Lawrence Willer and John Mungillo, who also conditions the winner. In the co-featured $8,800 fillies and mares Open II pace, Kaitlyn Rae (Ray Fisher Jr.) won in similar fashion, going gate to wire in domineering fashion. Fisher went :28.1, :57.4 and 1:26.4 before scooting home in :28.4 to pull away by three in 1:55.3. It was the 10th win of the year for Kaitlyn Rae ($3.20) who now has put $51,025 in the bank for her owner/trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. Asher-Stalbaum also sent her win machine Quicksilvercandy A to the winner's circle for the 14th time this year and the 77th time in her career. Over the last two seasons this mare has won just under half of her lifetime races, bagging 35 wins over that period. It's also interesting to note that based on Wednesday's results, Quicksilvercandy A is tied in fourth for the most 2018 wins in North America and Roll With Faith is currently tied for sixth. Ray Fisher Jr. got the driving hat trick on Wednesday while Kevin Cummings and Shawn McDonough both scored driving doubles. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 5) with post time set for 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- When the going got tough, Machin Marley got going and won the $9,000 Open Handicap pace for fillies and mares at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Sept. 26). Machin Marley (Drew Monti) hit the pylons last while Little Joke (Billy Davis Jr.) fired off the wings to take the early lead. But Little Joke would soon submit to a takeover coup by Sportsmuffler (John Cummings Jr.) who came hard midway up the backstretch. The field stayed in single file past the half in a tepid :30 second quarter before Kaitlyn Rae (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled first over at the five-eighths. The top two tangled to the three-quarters in 1:26.1 with neither getting an advantage. Then in the turn, Badlands Delight (Kevin Cummings) tipped three-deep and Machin Marley went four-wide from last and had almost five lengths to make up. With the whole field racing literally side-by-side in the lane, Machin Marley flew down the center of the track and collared them all at the wire to win in 1:55.2. It was the sixth win in 30 starts this year for Machin Marley ($15.20) who now has earned $39,381 for owners Thatsideofthefence and John Mungillo, who also does the training. In the $8,000 Open II pace for fillies and mares, Aritzia Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) got away mid-pack before pulling first-over to out-muscle Rockin Kasbah (Kevin Cummings) through the second lap and win by a length in 1:57.1. Aritzia Hanover ($4.40) is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Pine Hill Racing. Maria Rice trains the winner. Drew Monti and Billy Davis Jr. both had driving triples on Wednesday. Monti is the current dash driving leader for the meet with 64 wins. Davis is third with 48 wins behind Kevin Cummings who sits in second with 60. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 28) with post time set for 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- For the third week in a row and the fourth time in the last five outings, Roll With Faith dominated the Downs damsels by winning the $9,500 fillies and mares Open Handicap pace at Batavia on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 19). Roll With Faith (Kevin Cummings) watched from last while Little Joke (Billy Davis Jr.) took the lead and led the group to the quarter in :28.1. But Cumming's passive status ended before the three-eighths pole when he pulled Roll With Faith and started the long trek up the outside. Roll With Faith caught up with Little Joke up the backside in the midst of a speedy :27.4 third panel and the two began to battle from there. The pair went stride for stride around the last turn and into the stretch when both Davis and Cummings really started to work their mounts. They continued to shadow each other until halfway down the stretch when Roll With Faith got stout and pulled away to a length victory in 1:54.1. Roll With Faith ($7.30) has earned $60,309 this year on the strength of her now 11 wins for owners Finish Line Investors, Lawrence Willer and John Mungillo, who also trains the mare. In the $8,000 fillies and mares Open II pace, Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) also got away last and stayed there until the three-quarters when Monti drove up the middle of the pack and then found room in the last turn where he swung three deep and flew past everyone to win in 1:56. It was the fourth win of 2018 for Classy Lane Rose ($23.80) who is owned by Carl Monti. Darrin Monti trains the winner. Ray Fisher Jr. was the leading reinsman at Batavia Downs on Wednesday, winning five races on the card. He scored with Odysseus (1:54.3, $2.70), Fox Valley Lena (1:55.4, $7.10), No Talking (1:56.1, $14.00), Ali De Vie (1:58.4, $8.90) and Lake Shark (1:57, $9.40). After tonight's races, Fisher sits in fourth place for the meet in the dash driving title competition with 28 wins. He trails Kevin Cummings and Drew Monti who are tied for first with 55 wins each and Billy Davis Jr. who is a solid third with 42 victories of his own. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 21) when eight divisions of the $320,000 New York Sire Stake (NYSS) consolation races will be held. Also the richest standardbred of all time, Foiled Again will be racing in his seventh and final appearance at the Downs as he makes his way towards retirement at the end of the year. Post time for the first non-betting NYSS event is 5:20 p.m. Post time for the first betting race on the card is 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---Western New York veteran harness racing trainer John Mungillo reached a major milestone at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 11) and he did it in a very convincing manner. Mungillo sent out his 3-year-old pacing filly Roll With Faith that he co-owns with Lawrence Willer and Finish Line Investors and watched her go wire to wire at 1-9 over a very sloppy race track in 1:57.3 to notch the 1,000th training victory of his career. The grand achievement didn't happen overnight, it was a culmination of a lifetime's labor. Mungillo started working as a groom for Pete Mondi at Batavia Downs in 1981 and eventually became second trainer for Don Rothfuss where he earned his driver's license and started teaming regularly. When Mungillo went on his own in 1986 his objective was to have horses from his barn win, regardless of who did the driving and didn't let ego stand in the way of success. Although he did drive regularly from 1987-1989, he focused more on training his stock from that point on and really started accumulating wins as his stable grew. Mungillo's career best training year was in 2013 when he scored 155 wins with a .309 UTR and earnings of $683,812 as a result. For his entire training career Mungillo has 6,099 starts with 1,000 wins 860 seconds and 791 thirds with $4,466,409 in purses. That's 43% in the money lifetime and that's not too shabby. Currently at the Downs Mungillo is racing ten horses regularly and ranks eighth among all trainers with 13 wins, eight seconds and 14 thirds off 84 starts and has banked $66,782 in purses so far. For the entire year he has 32 wins and $202,945 in purses. Squeeze This breaks the bank in Batavia Downs feature The feature race at Batavia Downs on Wednesday was the $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace and Squeeze This paid big dividends after being overlooked by the betting public and tripping-out to a narrow margin of victory. Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) went right to the front and seated all the girls behind her around the first turn. Exotic Beach (Larry Stalbaum) who had gotten away last, became restless at the eighth pole and pulled to start a slow, methodic march to the front. With Classy Lane Rose comfortable on the lead, it took Exotic Beach another half mile outside before she reached the pacesetter at the three-eighths pole to get within striking range. Aware of the challenge at hand, Monti stepped up the third quarter with his mare but the pesky Exotic Beach would not relent. The two then argued around the last turn before Classy Lane Rose showed some fatigue at the head of the stretch. It was there the pocket-sitting Squeeze This (Billy Davis Jr.) snuck into the passing lane and zoomed by both of them to win by a nose in 1:57.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Squeeze This ($37.80) who now has $41,591 in the bank. Garth Bechtel owns the 5-year-old Allamerican Native offspring that is trained by Jim Graham. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 13) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

There were two mares against the boys in the $10,000 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 19) and girl-power prevailed as Serendipitous, who was overlooked at 9-1, pulled out a wire to wire harness racing victory in a lifetime best time of 1:57.1. Weekly leaver Lutetium (Todd Cummings) made a break off the gate which handed Serendipitous (Ray Fisher Jr.) the lead and with it, the mare took the field in post-position order to the half in :57.3. At the five-eighths, Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) pulled first over and brought heavily favored J A T O (Mike Caprio) in tow and the pair motored up towards the front. That outer flow chased the leader to the three-quarter station in 1:27.1 without gaining much ground when J A T O pulled three wide in the last turn and started his solo assault. But when he actually drifted five-wide in the move, Serendipitous was able to maintain her lead in mid-stretch and fend off the pocket-sitting Winky's Pride as well as the late rush by J A T O to win by a neck. Winky's Pride (Drew Monti), who was the other mare in the race, finished second and J A T O settled for third. It was the sixth victory of the year for Serendipitous ($21.80) and the winner's share of the purse padded her bank account to the tune of $33,267 for Guy Polillo Est. and trainer John Mungillo. The secondary feature carded as the $8,500 Open II saw Kahoku ($7.70) avoid some early road trouble and go wire to wire in a fast 1:56.3 for driver Ron Beback Jr. The 8-year-old gelded son of SJ's Caviar is trained by Mark Laidlaw for owners Colleen Girdlestone and Michael Gentner. Batavia Downs leading dash driver Kevin Cummings had a driving triple on the night while Drew Monti doubled up. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 20) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m. Saturday's card features the NYSS 2-year-old pacing fillies going for $110,200 in race four on the card.   Tim Bojarski

There were three divisional track record holders in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (May 20) but their past credentials didn't impress Striker Ace ($22.40) as he rallied to a half length stunner over Lutetium in a harness racing seasonal best 1:56.4.   Striker Ace (Todd Cummings) had to battle the likes of BZ Glide, Lutetium and Strong Hope who all have their names in the Buffalo Raceway record book. But the only one who really was involved was the pace-setting Lutetium as the other two were non-factors.   At the start, as expected, Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) fired right to the top with Striker Ace and Red Clay in tow. Hitting the three-quarter pole in 1:27.0, the threesome pulled away from the remainder of the field and were left to see who was best in the stretch.   Lutetium was on the inside with Red Clay and Striker Ace attacking from the outside. It was the late kick of Striker Ace who was the king as he turned back Lutetium while Red Clay (Shawn McDonough) took third.   It was the second victory in four seasonal starts for Striker Ace (Striking Sahbra-No Sugar Tonight). The 6-year-old gelding is owned by trainer John Mungillo and Finish Line Investors. The win upped his 2016 earnings to $8,854 and $117,810 lifetime.   Racing will continue on Saturday at 7 p.m. with 11 races scheduled.   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. --- 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

Batavia, NY---Experiencing the same inclement weather as most of the country on Wednesday night (Oct. 28), six top-class distaff side-wheelers went postward in the wind, rain and sloppy track conditions to compete in the $9,500 Open mares pace at Batavia Downs. And when all was said and done, Memumsnotnice dominated her harness racing peers once again. Starting from post one for the fourth consecutive week, Memumsnotnice (Ray Fisher Jr.) briefly yielded the lead to Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) before retaking at the quarter. She then waltzed unchallenged to a :32 second quarter, unfazed by the river of mud underfoot. While maintaining a solid three-length lead up to that point, Fisher let the mare out a notch and paced a quick :28.3 third panel in an attempt to put the girls away at that station. The ploy was successful and no one had an answer; Memumsnotnice left the field in her spray en route to a convincing, four-length victory. It was the fourth win of the year (including second in a row) for Memumsnotnice ($4.90) and the spoils pushed her annual earnings to $37,568 for owners Thatsideofthefence LLC and John Mungillo, who also trains the mare. Ray Fisher Jr. scored a driving triple Wednesday while Drew Monti, Dave McNeight III and Jack Flanigen all registered doubles. Trainers Jim Graham, Dave McNeight Jr. and James Clouser Jr. each sent two winners postward. Racing resumes on Friday night (Oct. 30) with post time set at 6:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Batavia, NY---It's not too often a horse jumps up in class and dictates the proceedings but that's just what happened to Memumsnotnice in the $8,500 Open mares pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 21). Leaving from post one for the third consecutive week, Memumsnotnice (Ray Fisher Jr.) took quick control of the front and led her minions by a loose two-lengths for the entire mile. After fractions of :29.1, :57.2 and 1:26.1, Fisher raised the lines, cracked the whip and enticed Memumsnotnice to open up a three-length lead and draw away at the wire in 1:55.1. It was the third victory of 2015 for Memumsnotnice and the winner's share boosted her seasonal earnings to $32,818 for owners Thatsideofthefence LLC and John Mungillo, who also trains the winner. Driving and training multiplicity ran rampant at Batavia Downs on Wednesday as Ray Fisher Jr. scored a driving hat trick on the card while Kevin Cummings and Jack Flanigen both copped doubles. Trainers John Mungillo and JD Perrin also both had two winners apiece. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 23) with post time set for 6:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

It seemed like a stroll in the park on an 86 degree summer night for Kellys Cross as she totally overpowered a solid field of Open II pacing mares in Wednesday night's (July 29) feature at the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs. As the wings closed, the speedy Voltina (Jack Flanigen) bolted to the lead, but not before getting rimmed to the quarter by rail-rider Real Joy (Drew Monti) in 27.4. After she took, Real Joy came right back at her and the two continued to argue to the half. At that point, Downs defending driving champion, Kevin Cummings pulled Kellys Cross from third and circled the dispute as the girls passed the three-quarters. From there the pair opened up a six-length advantage and coasted home in 29.1 with the victory never in doubt. Kellys Cross tripped the timer in 1:55.1 and paid $11.40 to her backers. It was the fastest win time ever over a half-mile track for the 4-year-old Royal Mattjesty progeny. It was also the fifth win of the year for the mare that competes under the guidance of trainer John Mungillo for owner Frank Spagnolo. Drivers scoring doubles on the card included Jim McNeight (who registered the natural daily double in races one and two), Kevin Cummings, John Cummings Jr. and Dave McNeight III. Batavia Downs also hosted its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night in conjunction with the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, NY (bccr.org ). Each of the eleven races was sponsored by groups who made donations to the fund and presented blankets to the winners after each race. There was also a silent auction and raffle that was held during the night, with winners announced before the last race. The effort raised $5,200 that will go to BCCR to help find a cure and eradicate this scourge to women everywhere. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (July 31) night at 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Serendipitious proved she was better than the boys in the $7,900 conditioned/optional claiming trot at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (April 22) and made sure her male counterparts won't soon forget it. Serendipitious, not only destroyed the field of harness racing geldings by five lengths, she went the mile in track record time of 1:58.1, the fastest ever by a trotting mare at the Hamburg half-mile oval.   The previous all-aged mark for mares was 1:58.2 set by Escrow Blue Chip in 2012. The 1:58.1 time by Serendipitious also established a new standard for 4-year-old trotting mares at Buffalo Raceway. The old time for that level was 1:58.4 held by Hat (2011), Clydabell (2012) and Sabo (2012).   Driver Kevin Cummings was a hit with the ladies in the early going as he sent Serendipitious to the record-setting mile. A Cameo In Life ($8.70) then made a clean sweep for Cummings in the early daily double by rolling to a 1-3/4 length decision in 1:58 in the co-featured $8,500 Open II for the distaff pacers.   Serendipitious ($2.90) started off the night impressively in scoring a five-length decision, earning her third win in four tries in 2015. The track was fast but a raw wind, temperatures in the low 40s and occasional rain and snow showers made the record even more remarkable.   Serendipitious had little trouble going gate-to-wire. Scoring from the four post, Cummings went right to the top with the winner, facing no resistance. Posting fractions of 29.0, 49.0 and 1:29.0, the outer flow started to develop just before the three-quarter marker. That's when Serendipitious got her cue to put it into high gear. She had no issues in the stretch, going 29.1 in the final panel. September Hall (Shawn McDonough) and Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) were left to battle it out for the minor spoils and finished in second and third respectively.   Owned by Guy Polillo and trained by John Mungillo, Serendipitious (Majestic Son-Royal B G) has now earned $11,948 this season and $71,347 in her young career.   In the co-featured second race, A Cameo In Life completed the 4-2 Cummings' daily double combination that returned $14.00. Sitting third down the back stretch the final time, A Cameo In Life tipped to the outside, brushing easily to the lead and never looked back from there.   Eyemajet (Shawn Gray) finished in second while Wicked Elphaba (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.   Owned by Clark Siminski and trained by Kirk Desmond, A Cameo In Life (Lease On Life-Allamerican Cameo) has now put $20,938 in the bank this year and $80,028 lifetime. It was the fifth win in 13 attempts for the 6-year-old A Cameo In Life.   Cummings and Gray finished with three victories apiece while Jack Flanigen doubled.   Racing will continue on Friday night with a 12-race card set for 6:35 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y.--- The New York State Lottery used a tag line "It only takes a dollar and a dream." Well for the horses, harness racing owners and trainers at Buffalo Raceway in the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series, it takes only a $250 entry fee, some risk, racing luck and a dream to win some big money by the end of the second weekend in May. The popular Niatross Knockout Claiming Series starts up again at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night with 38 pacers ready to go to the post in five divisions of the "B". The $4,000 claimers will eliminate each other the next four weeks with the purses going up $1,000 each Saturday and the claiming tag increasing by $1,000 as well. The lone survivor will take home the lion's share of the approximately $25,000 purse on Saturday, April 25th. And if that wasn't enough incentive to enter, the top four finishers in the "B" finale will come back on Saturday, May 9th and go against the four qualifiers from the "A" series including the winner Dedalos, Goddess's Justin, It Was An Honor and Delightful Caitlin for a $25,000 Invitational. The eliminations start this week with the purse in each leg being $5,000 and the claiming price of $5,000 (mares are $6,000). Only six will be eliminated on Saturday, but then half of the fields will be knocked out each week as the top four finishers move on from each leg until reaching the Saturday, April 25th championship. Buffalo Raceway's second leading trainer, John Mungillo, gave some insight on the Niatross Claiming Series; "It's definitely a series that the owners like because they can make some very good money," said Mungillo. "You need some racing luck with good draws and also hope you don't get a horse claimed out of a race. If you get stuck with an eight hole, you basically are racing for at least fourth place or better so you can advance." Mungillo remembered back in 2011 when he had Iam Billy The Man. He won the Niatross and did so without winning a leg until the finals. "It was like moving the chains...you just want to keep moving up and make the next round. I think Iam Billy The Man finished like fourth, third, second then won it all off the rail...and never got claimed." He added, "Iam Billy The Man was one of my favorites and I think he won about $50,000 that year. That's a lot of money for a $4,000 claimer. It paid a lot of bills. That's a good thing about the Niatross. It's good money for these horses. The "A" finals went for over $26,000 earlier this year and even the consolation went for $10,000 which is quite an incentive to get your horses involved. Now with the $25,000 Invitational added, it's definitely worth it." When asked about having a horse claimed out of the race in the series, Mungillo was quick to point out, "Basically you run that risk every time you enter your horse of the $4,000 caliber when they aren't in the Niatross. Those level horses normally are in for a price so you always take a risk of losing it anyways." And one of the most heart-wrenching parts of the event is after the race is over when track announcer Michael Carter calls out the claims. You may be overjoyed with the victory or advancing on, but your horse may be headed to a new barn with a chance for bigger money and a higher claiming price next week. "You can't worry about that part," Mungillo said. "It's usually a surprise (the claim) unless you've heard something before the race." Mungillo made a prediction that there might be a lot of claiming out of the first round because only six horses are going to be eliminated and thus 32 will advance with a higher purse and steeper claiming tag in the quarterfinals." There were 16 claims made in the "A" event earlier this year with the most coming in the second round ($6,000 claiming price/$6,000 purse). There were three taken out of the semi-finals for $7,000 and the new owners were then in line for the $26,200 purse after the $7,000 risk. Dedalos escaped the claim box and he cruised to the victory in the finals from the rail for driver Drew Monti to take home the $13,100 first place check for owner Louis Frascella and trainer Michelle Gramza. Of the 38 entered for the five divisions on Saturday, "A" division champion Dedalos and Goddess's Justin are the only two returning that have already earned a spot in the $25,000 Invitational on May 9th. And if they are claimed somewhere during the series, the new owners of Dedalos and Goddess's Justin are in line for the $25,000 Invitational bid. It's a great series for the fans to watch and one that the owners and trainers hope to cash in upon with little collateral damage. Let the fun begin. by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Harness racing veteran Peenie found out if at first you don't first succeed, try, try again. After starting three times off the rail in his last four starts, Peenie attempted to go wire-to-wire in each start but couldn't complete the task.   But Saturday night (March 21) in the featured $9,500 conditioned pace at Buffalo Raceway, driver Kevin Cummings gave Peenie another chance on the front end and he passed the test with a length victory over Giant Sculpture in 1:57 over the sloppy track.   Peter Pumpkineater briefly took the lead in the race to the opening quarter pole, but Peenie wasted no time in re-taking and reaching the half in a brisk 57.4. The closers were in perfect position to challenge in the stretch but Peenie showed no quit and posted the win over Giant Sculpture (Shawn Gray). Mach Stockn Barrel (John Cummings Jr.) finished in third.   It was the first victory in eight tries this season for Peenie (Real Artist-Tre Cress) and the 50th of his career. Co-owned by Decker's Corner Stable and trainer John Mungillo, the 10-year-old gelding has now earned $12,470 in 2015 and $644,849 lifetime.   In the $8,800 conditioned sub featured pace, Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) used a slick move between the opening quarter and the half to take the lead and never looked back to score a 1-1/4 length decision over Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) in 1:58.2.   Sitting in third approaching the top of the stretch the first time, Lucky Nadotremblay was able to slip thorugh along the inside as King Otra (Drew Monti) and American Bull (Cummings) battled three-wide.   Taking over the lead to the half, Lucky Nadotremblay ($19.60) enjoyed a two-length edge at the top of the lane and was in cruise control to the finish. Bakken used a late kick to take second while Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) finished in third.   The victory was the third in nine starts this season for Lucky Nadotremblay (Blissful Hall-Periella Hanover). Owned by the Nickel City Ranch Stable, the 5-year-old horse is trained by Ron Van Wagoner. The win upped his 2015 bankroll to $15,488 and $77,977 in his career.   Racing will resume on Wednesday night with a 12-race card set for 5 p.m at Buffalo Raceway.   For more information including race replays, the latest news, upcoming promotions and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Valorscross continued his impressive climb up the trotting ranks at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (March 4) as the 4-year-old gelding made it a perfect 5-for-5 on the season with a neck victory over Justgottogetthere in the featured $9,500 trot in 2:00.2 over the sloppy track.   It was a great night for Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings as well as he registered seven victories on the night.   Arriving from Woodbine to start his 2015 campaign, Valorscross ($4.50) began the year at the $3,200 level at Buffalo Raceway and has passed every stiffer test along the way. Wednesday night was his biggest challenge yet but scored another A+.   After watching Northern Spark and Aruba Vacation battle it out to the quarter pole in 29.2, Valorscross (Cummings) could wait no more and took command and put up a time of 1:02 to the half and 1:30.4 to the three-quarter marker.   Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight), in the meantime, started a first over trip to the three-quarter marker, bringing Armed Dangerously in tow to get within striking distance.   In the stretch, Justgottogetthere managed to poke a head in front but the never-say-die Valorscross battled back to regain the lead and score the neck win. Justgottogetthere finished second while Armed Dangerously (Jim Morrill Jr.) took third..   Valorscross (Comaro Dasolo-Poppea) is owned by Guy Polillo and is trained by John Mungillo. The victory pushed his bankroll to $13,050 this season and $114,074 lifetime.   In the co-featured $8,700 Fillies and Mares Open II Pace, Justatequilatalkin (David McNeight III) rallied to put a head in front in the shadow of the wire and nip SA Lowe (Morrill Jr.) in 1:59.2.   The race was basically a three-horse break away with a quarter-mile to pace as Cameron Luck set the fractions. Justatequilatalkin and SA Lowe both stalked the pace throughout and made their moves in the stretch.    Cameron Luck (Kevin Cummings) checked out midway down the lane to finish third while SA Lowe went to the passing lane and Justatequilatalkin went to the outside to duke it out.   It was a ding-dong battle to the line and when the dust settled, it was Justatequilatalkin ($10.80) getting a head in front while the favored SA Lowe had to settle for second.   Owned by the Limerick Racing Stable and trained by Daivd McNeight Jr., it was the third straight victory for 6-year-old mare Justatequilatalkin (Real Desire-Sausalito Cocktail) and moved her yearly winnings to $8,860.   Racing will return at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night with a 13-race program set for a 6:35 p.m. post.   For more information including race replays, results, news and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Batavia, NY---After taking the top mares trot just seven days ago, Fiorentina came right back and forced her hand again while winning the $9,000 Batavia Downs harness racing feature on Friday night (Dec. 5). At the start of the race as Fiorentina (Kevin Cummings) was going to the front, Iza Bella (Shawn McDonough) made a break and scattered the field. So when Fiorentina hit the quarter in :28.4, the five horses behind her were spread out 12 lengths apart. As the race progressed with Fiorentina calling the shots, the group tightened up behind her and by the three-quarter pole, the five were double-decked and within three lengths of each other. But they were arguing for minor spoils as Fiorentina was trotting with desire and was not about to be denied. The 5-year-old Angus Hall mare won in 1:59.3 by two and one-half lengths. Dayplanner (Dave McNeight III) was second and Iza Bella recovered from her break to finish third. It was the seventh win in 22 starts this year for Fiorentina ($5.30) and it raised her earnings total to $49,380 for owners Frank Lamacchia and Guy Polillo. John Mungillo trains the winner. Drivers Kevin Cummings, Drew Monti and Dave McNeight III all scored driving doubles on the night. The 2014 Batavia Downs meet has come down to its final 24 races and the action begins on Saturday (Dec. 6) at 12:15 when the first half of a closing day double-header kicks off. The nightcap begins at 6:35 and both cards feature 12 races. The Pick-6 carryover in $9,034 and it will be paid out tomorrow.   Tim Bojarski

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