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Batavia, NY-- Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, kicked off a three-day weekend with a trotting event Sarurday at Batavia Downs in New York State which will be followed by competitions across the border in Canada; first at Flamboro Downs on Sunday and then at Woodbine-Mohawk on Monday. Tonight at his hometown track in western New York "Easy Dave" Russo made a laugher out of the contest when he hustled Reiki to the lead from the seven-hole and they rolled on to an easy nine-length triumph in 1:59.4 over a sloppy racetrack. When the wings of the mobile gate folded Russo found himself in the fresh air on the limb and he had no choice but to have Reiki take command which he did after a :28.4 first quarter.Once on top the field settled in behind Russo and his trotter had no challenges until Tony " Shifty" Ciuffetelli moved Bazilion off the pylons as the field headed for the third stanza. Still with a length-and-a quarter lead when the field trotted by the three quarters it was plain to see that Reiki was determined and the 7-year-old Cheyenne Rei gelding hit another gear as he rounded the final turn and then drew off to an oh-so-easy triumph. Bazilion hung on for second money while Ideal Longshot garnered the show dough for Billings president, Tony "the Capo Verruso. Reiko won for the third time this season and paid $4.20. He is owned by Russo's wife Marissa. Russo, who devotes most of his time training, has already harnessed 42 winners thus far this season and is just one victory short of 500 career winners. Tonight's triumph was Russo's 3rd driving victory--in just 7 starts- this year and 35th of his career. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series      

Nichols, NY--Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow- the CKG Billings Harness Diving Series- moved on to Tioga Downs for a trotting contest on Sunday afternoon, July 21 and when the judges hung the official sign "Easy Dave" Russo surprised his competition guiding longshot Osprey Vision to a 1:57.4 triumph over the even -money favorite, Starsaboveallerage, driven Steve "You're Never Too Oldford. With the temperature hovering in the mid-90's Russo sent his charge to the lead from the three=hole and played hardball with Cashaholic and Billings newcomer "Florida Jeff" Schaefer, parking them by the quarter in :28.1 and past the half in :57.2 with neither driver yielding. Obviously feeling that Cashaholic would keep him locked-in, Tony "the Capo" Verruso who was third along thew pylons, wheeled Glided In The Wind three-deep hoping to circle the leaders. But as they trotted by the third stanza there were three horses across the track and it appeared at that point Staraboveallerage, who was getting a two-hole journey, would be the strong when the field headed for home. In the deep stretch Glide In The Wind faded as did Cashaholic while Osprey Vision hung gamely to the lead and although Starsaboveallerage was gaining he ran out of race track as Russo's trotter clung to a head victory. It was the fourth seasonal vriumph for the 10-year-old altered son of Ken Warkentin which raised his career earnings to over $235,000. Sent off at odds of over 23-1 Osprey Vision paid $48.40. And although Russo is now primarily a trainer still it was his 34th career driving victory..   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Batavia, NY---The old wagering adage suggesting you bet the longest shot in the shortest field was right on point in the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 29) as Osprey Vision scored big after being overlooked at 10-1 in the five-horse harness racing field. With the late scratch of Lutetium, Noble Legend (Jim Morrill Jr.) decided to be the leader to follow this week and took that position shortly after the start. With a sloppy track and no early opposition, Morrill took the field down to the half in :58.1 and looked comfortable in doing so. As the group was into the second circuit, Egosnattitudes (Larry Stalbaum) was motoring up on the outside with Osprey Vision (Drew Monti) second over. But halfway up the backstretch Egosnattitudes copped one and made a break, leaving Osprey Vision advancing alone towards the leader around the final turn. By the time the race hit the head of the lane Osprey Vision looked Noble Legend in the eye before trotting right by. Osprey Vision then maintained the lead while holding off the late charging Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) and BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to win in 1:59.2. Osprey Vision ($23.80) now has eight wins and $55,814 earned this year for owner Marissa Russo and trainer David Russo. In the $8,000 Open II trot Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) broke a six-week drought, coming from way off the pace at the half following dull outside cover before tipping three-deep off the last turn to close down the lane and win by a neck in 1:59.4. Empire Earl N ($12.00) registered his sixth win of the year and bumped his bank to $55,590 for his owner who drives him, Larry Stalbaum. The New Zealand bred son of Earl is trained by Kim Asher. Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple on Friday. Drivers scoring two wins included Drew Monti and Larry Stalbaum. Trainers getting two wins included Kim Asher, David Russo and Angelo Nappo. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 30) at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Osprey Vision was in focuduring Buffalo Raceway's $8,200 co-featured trot on Friday night (July 14) as he went a lifetime best 1:57.1 over the fast harness racing track to produce a surprising $23.60 victory over Serious George.   Lucky Pablo ($18.00) kept the upsets going in the co-main event by breaking an 0-for-20 streak in 2017 with a head victory over Shawnee Magic in 1:59.3.   It was all Osprey Vision in the opener as David McNeight III sent him right to the top. Establishing fractions of 28.3, 58.3 and 1:28.0, it appeared the only trotter to have a chance to catch Osprey Vision was Before I Die. But his hopes were quickly dashed as he broke stride allowing Osprey Vision to hit the wire uncontested. Serious George (John Cummings Jr.) was 3-1/4 lengths back and picked up the second place check with Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) rolling into third.   Owned by Marissa Russo and trained by David Russo, the 8-year-old gelded Osprey Vision (Ken Warkentin-Summerhill Hallie) now has six wins in 24 starts, pushing his seasonal earnings to $43,214 and $142,947 lifetime.   It was a real tussle in the second $8,200 trotting race with Shawnee Magic, Trotting R T, and City Kid all enjoying the front end before hitting the opening panel in 29.1. With Shawnee Magic (Kevin Cummings) hitting the half in 58.2, Lucky Pablo was sixth but first over and on the move.   Grinding it out to the top in the stretch, Lucky Pablo (Monti) got up in the shadow of the wire to nip the favored Shawn Magic by a head while a game City Kid (Larry Stalbaum) finished in third.   Lucky Pablo (Lucky Chucky-Classical Princess) is owned by Crawford Farms Racing and is trained by Maria Rice. The win moved the 5-year-old gelding's winnings to $20,980 this year and to $97,317 in his career.   McNeight III, Cummings Jr., Stalbaum and Monti all produced doubles on the evening.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with an 11-race program set.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- City Kid showed he's not afraid of doing the dirty work, literally. For the second straight week, City Kid ($3.40) trudged around the sloppy Buffalo Raceway half mile harness racing oval and took the $8,200 featured trot on Friday evening (April 7).   After scoring an impressive 3-1/4 length win last week in the off going, City Kid (Larry Stalbaum) spanked the field this time around, registering an easy eight length victory in 2:00.0. Lucky Pablo (David McNeight III) was second with The Bronx Bumper (Jim Morrill Jr.) finishing in third.   Firing to the lead off the gate, City Kid had no resistance in putting up fractions of 28.1, 57.4 and 1:28.0.   With a quarter mile to trot, City Kid opened up an insurmountable 10-length advantage on the field and never looked back in the stretch.   Owned by Marissa Russo and trained by David Russo, the 9-year-old gelded City Kid (Cincinnati Kid-Salagadoola) has now won five times in 12 seasonal attempts. The victory pushed his 2017 earnings to $24,174 and $212,764 lifetime.   Stalbaum, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, continued to pile up victories as he found his way to the winner's circle four more times. 20-year-old provisional driver Jim McNeight Jr. added a triple while Jim McNeight conditioned the three winners driven by his son.   Racing will continue on Saturday night with 12 races set to go to the post starting at 6 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- City Kid played catch me if you can and his seven harness racing rivals just couldn't do it in Buffalo Raceway's featured $8,200 trot on a rainy Friday evening (March 31).   Grabbing the lead from the beginning of the race, City Kid ($12.80) was too tough for the others as he toured the mile in 2:00.0 over the sloppy track. The Bronx Bumper was the nearest rival to City Kid in the end, finishing 3-1/4 lengths back. Chelseas Chance (Drew Monti) took the show spot.   Starting from the five post, driver Larry Stalbaum set the fractions aboard City Kid with panels of 29.2, 59,2 and 1:29.3.   At the top of the stretch, City Kid enjoyed a solid two-length edge and drew away as The Bronx Bumper (Jim Morrill Jr.) never made a threatening move in the dash to the wire.   Owned by Marissa Russo and trained by David Russo, City Kid (Cincinnati Kid-Salagadoola) has scored four victories in 11 attempts this season. The win pushed the 9-year-old gelding's earnings to $20,074 in 2017 and $209,664 lifetime.   Stalbaum, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, continues to pile up the victories as he notched five wins on the card while Ray Fisher Jr. and Morrill Jr. added doubles. Trainer Sabrina Clevenger had a triple while David Russo had two.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with 12 races on tap. There is a $558 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, NY --- City Kid showed who the 'man' was on Friday night (March 17) at Buffalo Raceway by winning the featured $8,200 trot by a length over The Bronx Bumper in a seasonal best 1:58.2 on the fast track.   After a pair of narrow defeats the past two weeks, City Kid ($14.40) finally his photo opportunity thanks to a pylon-skimming journey over the Hamburg half-mile oval.   Lenny Mac, the lone mare in the event, set the tempo in the race with fractions of 29.4, 59.0 and 1:28.4. She had to deal with The Bronx Bumper who pestered her on the outside the entire mile while City Kid enjoyed the ground saving trip.   Turning for home, City Kid (Larry Stalbaum) dropped to the passing lane to rustle the lead but had to hold off a stubborn The Bronx Bumper (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Lenny Mac (Kevin Cummings) who finished a game second and third respectively.   Owned by Marissa Russo and trained by David Russo, City Kid (Cincinnati Kid-Salagadoola) is a 9-year-old gelding who now has earned $14,990 in 2017 and $203,580 lifetime.   Morrill Jr. finished the evening with a four-bagger while David McNeight III had a pair of victories. Jeff Amann notched a training double.   Racing will resume on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a 12-race card slated. The night will be highlighted by the World Harness Handicapping Challenge at Buffalo Raceway.   There's a $10 entry fee for The Challenge which includes past performances for both the Buffalo Raceway and The Meadowlands cards.   The winner of the Buffalo Raceway contest will receive $500 along with an entry into the World Harness Handicapping Championship at The Meadowlands in April along with two nights hotel accommodations.   For more information and rules on the contest or for upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Batavia, NY---On the final night of harness racing for 2015, Yonkers invader Major Trick (Drew Monti) took an early overland route to victory in the $10,000 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 12). Post time favorite Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) shot right to the lead with the rest of the field following in post-position order to the quarter in :28.4. But complicity to the pacesetter ended past three-eighths when Major Trick pulled and started an outer flow that included Cobble Beach (Dave McNeight III) and Jokerman (Jim McNeight). The race continued in two rows from there on, with Major Trick and Lucky Nadotremblay duking it out to the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.4. Around the far turn, Major Trick was gaining momentum and down the lane he was gaining ground, eventually pulling ahead to win by a half-length in 1:55.3. It was the eighth win of the year for Major Trick ($8.10) and it raised his purse earnings to $68,387 for 2015. The 4-year-old son of Art Major is owned by Anthony Nicometo, John Mariano and Stuart Oppenheimer and is trained by David Russo. In the co-featured $8,400 Open II pace, Mr. Perseverance (Ron Beback Jr.) put on quite a show while taking his fourth straight win. The 7-year-old Real Artist gelding won by five open lengths in 1:54 and returned $5.30 for owner William Emmons. James Clouser Jr. trains Mr. Perseverance. Drew Monti led all drivers Saturday night scoring three wins while Jack Flanigen, Dave McNeight III and Ray Fisher Jr. all doubled up. Trainer Gerry Sarama also sent two winners to post. With the meet coming to a close, the management of Batavia Downs would like to wish everybody a very Happy Holiday season and is looking forward to the return of live harness racing to the oldest lighted harness track in America in July of 2016. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

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