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Batavia, NY --- On the heels of a Nor'easter that dumped significant amounts of snow, sleet and rain in western New York, the track at Batavia Downs was swampy at best. But that didn't deter Lougazi from flexing his muscle in winning the $11,000 Open Handicap trot on Friday night (Nov. 16). Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) outdueled Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) for the lead and paid the price with a :28.4 quarter. Cummings then grabbed leather to give his horse a breather to the half in 1:00.1. But the party ended there as rolling up on the outside when they hit that second fraction was Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) and he wasn't fooling around. Lougazi hooked up with Southern Palms as they motored up the backside and the two trotted in tandem past the three-quarters and around the last turn. At the head of the stretch, Fisher gave Lougazi his head and then sat chilly in the bike as Lougazi simply walked away from the field to win by two in 2:00.1. Definitely the hottest trotter in western New York, Lougazi ($3.90) scored his 10th win of 2018 for owner Mary Warriner who has now benefited the amount of $54,570 as a result of his performances. The $8,800 Open II trot went to Crystal Sphere (BIlly Davis Jr.) who went gate to wire, pulling away in a romp and winning by six lengths in 2:00.1. It was the 12th win of the year for Crystal Sphere ($15.80) who is trained by James Clouser Jr. for owner William Emmons. Billy Davis Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. were the top reinsmen on Friday, each winning three races on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Nov. 17) at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY --- There is a new sheriff in town. Lougazi flexed his muscle again to defeat the best local stock and notch his third straight top class victory in the $11,000 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 26). Despite losing to Lougazi the last two starts, Empire Earl N (Jim Morrill Jr.) went off the post time favorite and went right to the front in the abbreviated field of six. WIth a single file behind, Empire Earl N floated to a :28.2 quarter and looked comfortable doing it. But breaktime was over at the three-eights when Lougazi (Ray FIsher Jr.), who got away last, pulled first-over and started the rim trek towards the leader. As the race motored up the backstretch, Lougazi drew even with Empire Earl N at the three-quarters and the match race was on. Into the last turn Empire Earl N got a slight advantage as Lougazi sort of hung, while Fisher bided his time and saved his charge for the finish. When they straightened out the two were even again and both drivers were working hard. Heading towards the wire it was clear Lougazi was doing the better work and just edged past Empire Earl N under the light by one-half length in 1:57. It was the ninth win of the year, third in a row and fourth out of the last five for Lougazi ($5.90) who is owned by Mary Warriner. Ryan Swift trains the winner. The husband and wife, driver and trainer team of Fisher and Swift also copped the co-feature. The $8,800 Open II trot saw three lead changes occur by the quarter before Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled from fourth at the three-eighths, took the lead up the back stretch and then held off a late-charging Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) to win by a length in 1:58.1. It was the third win in 15 starts this year for Barn Winner ($5.30) who is owned by Tanah Merah Farms and the Swift Racing Stable. As has been the case so many times this meet, the early Pick-5 was not hit on Friday and as a result, there is a $1,839 carry over and a $4,000 guaranteed pool for the early Pick-5 on Saturday night (Oct. 27). That wager will be a part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program with free past performance pages made available through Trackmaster and the USTA. You can download those by clicking the "Handicapping" tab at www.ustrotting.com . The Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that begins in race one and runs through race five. There is no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners, the entire pool (minus takeout) will be carried over once again. Post time for the first race at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening is 6 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs      

Batavia, NY --- In what turned out to be a very exciting horse race, Lougazi proved to be best once again in winning the $11,000 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Oct. 19). Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) got away last by quite a few lengths off the gate when BZ Glide blasted to the front and posted an extremely fast :27.2 quarter. Positions remained unchanged past that post when Fisher came first-over at the three-eighths pole with Lougazi and motored up the outer rim. Incrementally gaining ground around turn-two and up the backstretch, Lougazi drew even with BZ Glide by the three-quarters and the two dueled from there. Trotting in step around the last turn and into the lane, Lougazi finally got a step away from BZ Glide. But Empire Earl N (Jim Morrill Jr.) who was drafting third pulled three wide and was launched for the finish. Lougazi dug in and held him off as well and hit the wire first by a head in 1:56.3, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the second win in a row and fourth out of the last six for Lougazi ($11.80) who is owned by Mary Warriner and trained by Ryan Swift. In the $8,800 Open II trot, Edom Up Blue Boy (Jim Morrill Jr.) rode a two-hole trip to the half behind Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) before pulling to take the lead by the five-eighths, open up by three lengths and eventually win by four in 1:58. Edom Up Blue Boy ($6.40) is owned and trained by Rock Vinci. With only two favorites winning all night, there was a plethora of profound payoffs in most of the races on Friday. But the one wager that did not get hit was the early Pick-5 and as a result, there is a $2,900 carry over pool for the early Pick-5 on Saturday (Oct. 20). That bet will be a part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program with a $7,000 guaranteed pool and free program pages that will be available tomorrow on the USTA website under the handicapping tab. Post time for Saturday evening will be 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Winning never gets old and seemingly neither does the 9-year-old Kaitlyn Rae; who just keeps on winning. Wednesday evening (Oct. 17) at Batavia Downs she scored her third consecutive harness racing victory in the $9,900 fillies and mares Open Handicap pace following the same formula from the last two weeks. Kaitlyn Rae (Ray Fisher Jr.) got the lead past the eighth pole and set the pace from there out. After getting to the half in :57.1, post time favorite Roll With Faith (Kevin Cummings) rolled up on the outside to challenge for the lead. The two hooked up for the remainder of the mile, hitting the three-quarters in 1:25.3 before turning for home to decide the winner. Although Roll With Faith paced all the way to the wire, Kaitlyn Rae never gave up the lead she held and won by a length in 1:55.1. It was the 12th win of 2018 for Kaitlyn Rae ($8.40) who now has $61,175 made this year. Riley Asher-Stalbaum both owns and trains the winner. In the $8,800 fillies and mares Open II, Machin Marley (Kevin Cummings) led every step of the way en route to her seventh win of the year, timed in 1:57. Thatsideofthefence LLC co-owns the winner with trainer John Mungillo. When racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday afternoon (Oct. 19), there will be a carryover of $703 and a guaranteed $2,000 pool in the early Pick-5 wager. It will also be part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program with free program pages available on the USTA website under the "Handicapping" tab. Please note that post time for Friday is early at 4:45 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- It was a big night for Ray Fisher Jr. at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 12) as he won four races including both feature races. First in the $10,400 fillies and mares Open Handicap pace, Fisher sent Kaitlyn Rae off the wings and right to the front where she dominated her rivals all the way. With an open two-length lead, Kaitlyn Rae set fractions of :27.4, :58 and 1:26.1 before rounding the far turn and skating away to a six-length win in 1:54.3. It was the 59th career victory and 11th win of the year for Kaitlyn Rae ($21.60) who is owned and trained by Riley Asher-Stalbaum. Then one race later in the $11,500 Open Handicap trot, Fisher took Lougazi off the gate and settled in second to the quarter before pulling at the three-eighths pole to take the lead past the half. From there he called the shots as he got to the three-quarters in 1:27.4 and then trotted home sharply while holding off a late challenge from Empire Earl N (Jim Morrill Jr.) to win by a length in 1:57.2. Owner Mary Warriner enjoyed watching Lougazi ($7.80) get his seventh win of the year under the tutelage of Fisher's wife, Ryan Swift. Fisher also won with Susie's Delight (1:55.2, $4.10) and Bands Ariston (1:59.3, $9.60) to round out the Grand Slam. Both of these horses are trained by Swift as well giving her the hat trick. Fisher is currently fourth in the standings for wins on the meet with 45 behind the leading Drew Monti who has 74, Kevin Cummings with 67 and Billy Davis Jr. with 54. Please note that when racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 13) it will do so with a very early post time of 4:15 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      

Batavia, NY --- He may be 10, but Empire Earl N looked more like a 3-year-old as he came from far back to brush down the lane and win the $10,000 Open Handicap trot in the fastest mile of his life on Friday evening (Sept. 7) at Batavia Downs. Post time favorite BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) and 13-1 shot Empire Earl N (Ray fisher Jr.) started and finished the race side by side but took two different paths to the wire. BZ Glide went right for the front from post six while Empire Earl N got away last from post five. BZ Glide set his own set of fractions as no one challenged him until halfway up the backstretch when Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) came first over at the five-eighths and got even with the leader by the three-quarters. As the action was unfolding up front, Empire Earl N was tracking it second over and Fisher was timing his move. That came as they rolled out of the last turn; Empire Earl N tipped three-deep and was barreling down the center of the track with Fisher rocking and knocking all the way. The three horses hit the wire a neck apart with Empire Earl N getting there first ahead of BZ Glide in 1:56.3, which was a new lifetime mark It was the eighth win of the season for Empire Earl N ($28.60) and it bolstered his 2018 earnings to $61,378 for owner Kim Asher. Riley Stalbaum-Asher trains the winner. In the $8,000 Open II, Call My Broker (Kevin Cummings) took no prisoners going gate to wire in 1:58.3, holding off the fast-closing Snapshot Springs (Drew Monti) and Barn Star (Mike Caprio) to chalk up his fourth win of the season. Frank Meier owns the Angelo Nappo trained gelding. Billy Davis Jr. led all drivers on the card as he started the night out hot with a natural hat trick in races one through three. The Batavia Downs early Pick-5 was part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program and was featured as the USTA Play of the Day on Friday with a carryover of $2,900 and a guaranteed pool of $6,000. That pool ballooned to over $10,000 when the first race went off and it yielded an instant jackpot payoff after the fifth. A $1 ticket on the combination of 1-7-6-5-3 returned $4,417.50. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs with a twilight card on Saturday featuring a post time at 4:45 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- After having no luck in three top class attempts at Batavia Downs so far this year, Kaitlyn Rae had a reversal of fortunes as she knocked the apple cart at 12-1 and won the $9,500 fillies and mares Open Handicap pacing feature on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 15). Kaitlyn Rae (Ray Fisher Jr.) saw All Charged Up (John Macdonald) whiz by her to take the lead and was content to sit in the garden spot for most of the mile. Positions remained unchanged from there through a :27.4 quarter and :58 half. Past the stands, Roll With Sparky (Billy Davis Jr.) came to play and hung outside prompting the leader all that way through the top of the last turn. Roll With Sparky tired at that point and Kaitlyn Rae was able to extract herself from the two hole at the head of the stretch. All Charged Up had a two length lead, but Kaitlyn Rae was pacing out of her hobbles under jack-in-the-box urging by Fisher and collared All Charged Up at the wire in 1:55. It was the ninth win in 22 starts for Kaitlyn Rae ($26.00) and it pushed her earnings to $44,695 this year for owner/trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. The $8,000 ladies Open II saw Odysseus (Ray Fisher Jr.) get away eighth at the quarter before pulling second over behind Quicksilvercandy A (Ron Beback Jr.) at the half and tip three-deep around the final turn to outpace the leading Aritzia Hanover (John Cummings Jr.) at the wire in 1:57.1. Odysseus ($9.60) got her third win in her last five starts over three different tracks, but it was the first for her new connections Elm Racing and trainer Russell Bratt. There was no winner in either Pick-5 wager on Wednesday and as a result, Batavia Downs will be offering a guaranteed $1,750 early Pick-5 pool with an $838 carry over on Friday (Aug. 17). The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester will also be holding their fundraiser and silent auction on Friday with Buffalo Bills, Sabres and Justin Timberlake suite tickets available for bid all night. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway's co-featured $11,500 Open Pace may have been scratched down to a field of four but that didn't stop them from putting on quite a show on Saturday night (July 7).   Western Conquest ($8.90) was the headliner as he went gate-to-wire, winning a terrific stretch duel against Classic American N, to register a nose victory in 1:53.2. The time tied the track record for aged (5+) pacing horses set by Utah Beach in 2017.   In the co-main event, the $11,500 Open Trot, Empire Earl N ($3.30) had to get reacquainted with the inside post and took full advantage of it, coasting to a front-running 1-1/2 length score over Chelseas Chance in 1:57.4 over the fast surface.   With China Dream and Sir Ziggy's Z Tam both excused due to illness, it left a quartet to duke it out in the Open Pace.   Scoring from the inside, Western Conquest (Ray Fisher Jr.) zoomed immediately to the lead, setting fractions of :28.0, 56.4 and 1:25.2. With a quarter mile to pace, it appeared the first over and heavily favored Upfront Countryboy (Shawn Gray) was ready to launch a serious bid but that quickly fizzled out.   It left Western Conquest to deal with the pocket sitting Classic American N (Ron Beback Jr.) who made a valiant attempt to collar the pace-setter but lost by a nose in the photo. Best Ears (John Cummings Jr.) took the show position.   Owned by the Tanah Merah Farms LLC and trained by Ryan Swift, it was the fifth win in 12 outings for the 7-year-old horse Western Conquest (American Ideal-Aries Conquest). The victory jumped his seasonal earnings to $28,575 and $287,136 lifetime.   It's been quite a while since Empire Earl N drew the inside post and Buffalo Raceway's defending Trotter of the Year felt right at home, storming off the gate and never looked back.   Setting moderate splits of :30.0, :59.1 and 1:28.3, Empire Earl N (Monti) used a :28.4 last panel to hold off any potential threats from Chelseas Chance (Billy Davis Jr.) and Bold Dresser (Shawn McDonough) who had to settle for second and third place respectively.   Owned by Kimberly Asher and conditioned by Riley Asher-Stalbaum, it was the sixth win in 19 appearances this year for the 10-year-old gelded Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita). The victory upped his 2018 earnings to $46,618 and $208,458 in his career.   Fisher Jr. and Monti completed the evening with driving triples. Trainers Steve Kiblin, JD Perrin and Swift each had a pair of victories.   Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 12-race program set. The New York Sire Stakes will highlight the card with the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers set to clash. There will also be action in the Excelsior A and B series.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, NY --- Western Conquest had plenty of courage during Buffalo Raceway's featured $11,500 Open Pace on Saturday night (June 2) as he was able to squeeze past a stubborn Focus Power by a nose at the wire to post the $14.00 victory in a season's best 1:53.3.   Focus Power (Drew Monti) was able to cut the fractions with splits of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:25.2 but things got tough in the final panel.   Western Conquest was first over and went eyeball-to-eyeball with never say die Focus Power the final quarter of a mile and just managed to get a nostril in front at the line. Im So Handsome (Kevin Cummings) took the show position.   Owned by the Tanah Merah Farms LLC and trained by Ryan Swift, it was the fourth victory in eight starts for Western Conquest (American Ideal-Aries Conquest). The 7-year-old has now jacked his seasonal earnings to $20,490 and $279,081 in his career.   Racing will resume on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled. The New York Sire Stakes will make its first appearance of the 2018 season at Buffalo Raceway with the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters headlining the program. There will also be action in the Excelsior A and B Series as well.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

Batavia, NY---After getting aired-out at Vernon Downs last week, Edom Up Blue Boy returned home to western New York and benefited from a perfect trip to win the $10,500 Open trot at Batavia Downs on Friday (July 28). Habitual leaver Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) was on point and everybody knew the drill. Rolling swiftly around the first turn, no one in the race wanted to challenge for the front so it was post-parade order behind the leader from there. This left Edom Up Blue Boy (Rock C. Vinci) sitting pretty in the garden spot for the next seven-eighths of a mile. As the race moved past the half in a pedestrian :59 split, a weak outer-flow led by Gwally (Drew Monti) tried to mount a challenge, but that soon fell apart moving to three-quarters. Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) who had been sitting third pulled into the last turn and advanced on Lutetium who was showing signs of fatigue. He pulled alongside by the top of the stretch at the same time the passing lane opened up for Edom Up Blue Boy and the pair simultaneously passed the leader. The two then trotted in step all the way to the wire with Edom Up Blue Boy getting the slightest advantage at the wire to win by a head in 1:59. It was the fourth win in 19 starts this year for Edom Up Blue Boy ($18.60) and pushed his earnings to $23,552 for owner Rock C. Vinci who also trains the winner. In the $8,000 Open II trot, Noble Legend ($5.20) was never headed, leading gate to wire for a five-length victory in 1:58.3 for driver Ray Fisher Jr. Jack and Maria Rice own the winner with Maria Rice doing the training. Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple while Drew Monti doubled up. Trainer Russell Bratt sent two students for pictures as well Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (July 29) with post time set at 6:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a hunch player's dream come true in Buffalo Raceway's fourth race on Sunday afternoon (June 18) as A F F Bigdaddy won on the Father's Day harness racing program by rolling to an easy five length victory and returned $3.80 in the popular victory.   It was just one of four wins on the 12-race card for Ray Fisher Jr. He also registered victories aboard Santana Beach ($12.80), If You Want Fire ($4.20) and Im So Handsome ($3.00). Fisher Jr. currently sits in second place in the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings with 113 wins. Larry Stalbaum leads the way with 163 after notching a double on Sunday.   Kevin Cummings and Drew Monti also had a pair of wins while trainer John Mungillo posted a triple.   Racing will continue on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race program slated for 5 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes returns with a pair of races worth over $60,000 scheduled for the 3-year-old filly pacers along with action in the Excelsior A and B Series. There's also a $1154 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   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. --- "I never thought I'd get my first win or even get a hundred wins let alone four thousand," harness racing driver Ray Fisher Jr. said after he posted his 4,000th career victory aboard Autocorect Hanover ($9.80) in the eighth race at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (March 29).   "I didn't even know I was close to four thousand wins until a few weeks ago. I was kind of surprised," Fisher Jr. said.   The 48-year-old Fisher Jr. suffered a broken back in a track mishap in 2013 and that slowed his march to 4,000 wins down. It possibly could have ended his career but he was positive he would come back.   "Not driving again never entered my mind," Fisher Jr. said about the possibility of not getting on the sulky again. "I may have come back too soon physically after breaking my back but mentally I had to get out there as quickly as I could. It was just something I had to do."   He's definitely back in his comfort zone now as he currently sits in third place at Buffalo Raceway with 56 victories. Fisher Jr. piled up 81 wins last season at the Hamburg half-mile oval and added 98 more in the fall meet at Batavia Downs.   Fisher Jr. said he enjoys the competition of driving, especially going against the likes of Jim Morrill Jr., Larry Stalbaum, Shawn Gray and Kevin Cummings on the Western New York circuit. "They are tough to beat for sure but I am fortunate that I get to do it."   And is 5,000 wins in the cards for Fisher Jr., a winner of nearly $17 million in career purses? He didn't discount it.   "With the evolution of the catch driver now, you can get a lot of chances every night. I've always had good opportunities here or at other tracks so hopefully that will continue," Fisher Jr. said in conclusion.   In the co-featured $8,200 paces for the mares, the two favorites found the winner's circle. Dontch Remember (Morrill Jr.) won the opener in 1:57.2 and returned $3.10 while Ben McNeil piloted Looney Dune to the $5.00 victory in 1:56.1.   Drew Monti tripled and Morrill Jr. finished the night with a driving double. JD Perrin conditioned a pair of winners.   Racing will resume on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with an 11-race program scheduled for 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. --- Zipnthruthehall showed plenty of 'zip' in the stretch and captured the $8,600 featured harness racing pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (March 25) by holding off Jolt Of Whiskey by a half length in 1:57.4.   Starting a first over journey at the half mile marker, Zipnthruthehall ($3.80) and driver Ray Fisher Jr. were able to finally grab the lead at the three-quarter pole. They managed to hold off the late charge of Jolt Of Whiskey (Shawn Gray) who came up just short while Babe's I Scoot (David McNeight III) was able to win the battle for third.   Owned by Samuel Smith and trained by Gerry Sarama, Zipnthruthehall (Blissful Hall-Zipadeedoodah) is a 9-year-old gelding that has won three times in seven tries in 2017. The victory pushed his seasonal earnings to $18,374 and $282,405 lifetime.   Driver Larry Stalbaum led the way with three trips to the winner's circle while Kevin Cummings and Gray each posted doubles.   Racing will resume on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with an 11-race card set for 5 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. --- After opening the harness racing season with an impressive three-race win streak, Southern Palms hit the skids and failed to earned a check in his next two starts.   But on Friday night (March 3) in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot, Southern Palms regrouped and got back to his winning ways with a $23.40 upset victory in a seasonal best 1:58.2 over the fast track. He was able to comfortably hold off the late charge by Ali De Vie (Kevin Cummings) and Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) who finished second and third respectively.   There were two consecutive stunners to open the Friday card which produced a $1479.00 early daily double. The opening leg was kicked off by an $85.50 win by Change Your Luck (Monti) which was then followed by Southern Palms' effort.   After a battle to get the lead from the start in the feature, Southern Palms (Ray Fisher Jr.) settled in and produced fractions of 28.2, 58.3 and 1:28.3.   There looked like plenty of contenders as heads turned for home but they ended up being pretenders as Southern Palms convincingly trotted to the wire with 3/4 lengths to spare.   Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, it was the fourth victory in six tries for the 4-year-old gelded Southern Palms (Rc Royalty-Pacific Elegance). The win pushed his seasonal bankroll to $14,300 and $168,505 lifetime.   Fisher Jr. had four winners in the sulky, Shawn Gray had three with Monti and Larry Stalbaum each getting a double. Sarama had a training triple.   Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. There is a $692 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Rain and the 'lightning' lane proved to be a perfect combination for Susie's Delight ($4.60) at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (March 1) as she got the win in the harness racing featured $8,200 pace for the mares in 1:58.4.   With Missevil set fractions of 30.0, 59.4 and 1:29.2, pacers fanned out four wide. With five ladies having a realistic chance, it was just a matter of who had the best closing kick and would get the photo opportunity.   Drafting behind the pace-setting Missevil, Susie's Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) dropped down in the passing lane and rolled her way to a 1-1/2 length decision over Deliciouslynaughty (Larry Stalbaum). Missevil (Drew Monti) hung on for third place.   Susie's Delight had a final panel of 28.3 which was more than enough to hold off the wall of pacers that followed behind.   Owned by the Swift Racing Stable and trained by Ryan Swift, it was the first victory of the year for Susie's Delight (Bettor's Delight-Shezaflamintower). The win upped the 7-year-old mare's earnings to $9,306 in 2017 and $137,360 lifetime.   Stalbaum, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, put up a four-bagger while Fisher Jr. finished the night with a triple. Kevin Cummings had a pair of victories including a $112.00 win aboard Kesons Silhouette.   Trainer Kimberly Asher added to her win total with four more victories.   Buffalo Raceway had its highest handle of the season with a total of over $363,000.   Racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with 12 races set to go to the post 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

In what could only be described as the claim of the year in western New York, Thunderbolt Jaxon who was taken for $12,500 on October 1, has now won his third straight $9,500 Open harness racing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec.3). Thunderbolt Jaxon (Ray Fisher Jr.) left sharply and eventually took the lead after being parked out by Inthenameofjames (Drew Monti) to the quarter. When the field settled in, they stayed single file to the half when Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) pulled and started an outer flow with Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) on his heels. Feeling the heat, Fisher let his charge out a notch up the backside and put some space between him and the attackers as they sped by three-quarters in 1:26.1. At the head of the stretch, Inthenameofjames popped out of the two-hole and took a quick shot at the leader. But that challenge was swiftly turned away as Fisher rocked and knocked in perfect timing and Thunderbolt Jaxon sped away to an easy two-length victory in 1:55.1. It was the sixth win in nine starts since being claimed, and 10th win of the year for Thunderbolt Jaxon ($10.80). He has now accrued $53,846 in annual earnings, the bulk of which has benefited his current owner Mike Torcello. The 4-year-old gelded son of Mach Three is trained by Gerry Sarama. In the co-featured $8,600 Open II pace, P H Hellcat (Shawn Gray) led from the quarter pole until about 200 feet from the wire; that's when the pocket-sitting Brees Creek (Drew Monti) paced on by him to win by a neck in 1:56. Brees Creek ($8.70) is owned by the Resilient Racing Stable and trained by Rose Russo. Several horse people had multiple win performances on Saturday night, led by Drew Monti who had a driving triple. Shawn Gray had a driving double while Sean McDonough was victorious with two horses he both drove and trained. And trainers Rose Russo and JD Perrin each sent two students to the Purple Haze Winner's Circle for pictures. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Dec. 7) with post time at 6:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

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