Saturday’s (March 22) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Miami Valley Raceway, Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Pompano Park.
Modern Family wins feature on opening night at Pocono
Wilkes-Barre, PA --- Modern Family parlayed a pocket trip into a late-kicking victory in the Preferred Handicap featured trot on Opening Night Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried the night’s top purse of $25,000.
Curtis Salonick photo Modern Family defeated Daylon Magician by a length in 1:52.1 on opening night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
Modern Family, a 5-year-old stallion owned by Bier, Charles Dombeck, and Rich Poillucci, had won his previous start at the Meadowlands and now has three wins in his first seven races of the year. It was his 16th career victory and pushed his lifetime earnings to $326,322.
On the pacing side, the night’s top performance was turned in by Eighteen. Trained by Mark Ford and driven by Mark MacDonald, Eighteen won a condition pace in the night’s fastest time of 1:49.3.
-- Jim Beviglia
Salazar made an early first-over move and kept right on going in registering an easy four length victory over Sand Savage in the featured $10,500 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (March 22). Sitting sixth before the half-mile marker, the favored Salazar ($4.80) and driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. were already out and and winging. Getting the lead past the three-quarter pole, it was Salazar's race to win or lose. The 8-year-old gelding enjoyed a half-length edge at the top of the stretch and used a 28.4 last panel to smartly pace away from his six competitors, stopping the timer in a seasonal best of 1:55.2. Sand Savage (Drew Monti) took the place position while Naked News (Jim McNeight) finished in third. Salazar, owned by Lisa Denison and trained by Lisa Lederhouse, has now won twice in nine appearances this season and pushed his bankroll to $18,257 in 2014 and $236,841 lifetime. In the $8,000 semi-finals of the Michael Scores Knockout Claiming Series, Bob's Alibi (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the opening division in 1:58.4 while the second leg was won by Mr. Casual (Kevin Cummings) in 1:58.3. They both will return next Saturday night for the $22,500 finals along with Enzo Seelster, Auditorial, Ol' Man River, Catman, Four Hoof Drive and Classic Camelot.
Miami Valley Raceway Saratoga Casino and Raceway Pompano Park
Royal Outlook (Jim Pantaleano) captured the $10,000 Open Handicap pace at Miami Valley Raceway on Saturday night weathering a parked-out trip from the assigned outside nine-hole and still besting Ardyne Ace (Randy Tharps) and Doubletrouble (Josh Sutton) in 1:52.4. The Canadian invader, sent to trainer Terry Deters just over a month ago, has soared to the top of the best class at the new five-eight’s mile oval and has earned a well-deserved week off next Saturday following three consecutive victories in the weekly feature race. Driver Kayne Kauffman had a very hot hand on the program as he inched closer to leading driver Tyler Smith, who was at The Meadowlands for their Legends vs. Phenoms Driving Challenge, with five triumphs. Kauffman's stellar evening started by winning both halves of the daily double with Jim Arledge Jr. trainees No Satin Intended and Camart Hanover. He had back-to-back wins again in the middle of the card with Jetstream Friskie, trained by Joseph Essig, and Soil The Beans from the Chris Short stable. Kauffman captured his fifth race with Ra Ra Steven who resides in his own stable at nearby Lebanon fairgrounds.
Electrofire (Electric Stena) became the fourth different horse to win the Open Pace in four weeks at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Shawn Gray piloted the Jennifer Lappe-trained pacer who was taking his first crack at the $17,000 feature at the Spa. The 7-year-old pacer flashed quite a bit of gate speed and captured control in the early stages of the Open. Electrofire never let up and had plenty left in the tank for a 1:54.3 victory. Mystical Valentine (Jason Ryan) held on for second while Trigger Finger (Jim Devaux) earned the show spot. Nobody hit the pick five for the third consecutive night at Saratoga so there will be a carryover on Sunday afternoon of $3,060. First post time for the matinee card is 12:45pm.
Cruizin K C, deftly handled by Mark O'Mara, edged by a stubborn Northern Companion (Dave Ingraham) turning for home and then held off the late surging Cartoonist (Bruce Ranger) to eke out a narrow win over the latter in 1:51.4 in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night. Northern Companion was a clear third at the end of the mile, while Premier, pacing the fastest final quarter of the group--:27.1--finished fourth. Ideal Choice picked up the remaining minor prize in the septet. Cruizin K C, a six year-old altered son of Mach Three, owned by Lester Raber, came from sixth mid-way through the mile and paced his final half in :54.1 to earn a neck decision for his second win of the year in six starts, sending his seasonal bankroll to $15,400 and $123,743 lifetime. With Northern Companion using uncharacteristic strategy and on the engine from the get-go clocking opening panels of :26.2 and :56.1, Cruizin K C was forced to pace in his third quarter in :26.3 just to get into the hunt around the final turn and these two arch rivals went stride for stride past the third station in 1:24 and until mid-stretch when "K C" edged to the front, only to get a scare from the 28 to 1 outsider Cartoonist coming to the line. In a post-race interview, driver Mark O'Mara said, "It was tight all the way around...I mean at the wire and in the deep stretch...We rubbed iron a little bit with Bruce's horse (Cartoonist)--just incidental stuff. His horse (Cartoonist) proved he belongs. He went a big mile…but so did Cruizin K C. When I give him racetrack, he can really gather up some steam…and he needed all of it tonight!"
Saratoga Casino and Raceway