Saturday's (April 26) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Vernon Downs, Scarborough Downs and Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
Bandolito captures Preferred Pace at Pocono
Wilkes-Barre, PA --- Bandolito outdueled Dynamic Youth to win the featured Preferred Handicap pace on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried the night’s top purse of $25,000.
Curtis Salonick photo
Bandolito won the Preferred Handicap pace in 1:50.1 on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
Curtis Salonick photo
Bandolito, a 4-year-old stallion owned by Daryl and David Bier and Charles Dombeck, had won his previous two starts at Dover Downs and now has four wins in six races in 2014. It was his 13th lifetime victory in just 17 starts, pushing his career earnings to $241,415.
-- Jim Beviglia
It was unfamiliar territory for Salazar but it was a spot he quickly became comfortable with. Salazar finally got a look at what life is like on the inside. It was heaven as he strolled around the Buffalo Raceway oval, going gate-to-wire in the $10,500 Open Pace on Saturday night (April 26). The heavily-favored Salazar ($2.60) has started the last eight times in the five post or worse. Despite the horrendous starting positions, the 8-year-old gelding has been more than competitive in the Opens finishing no worse than fourth including one victory. So the post relief was much appreciated. Starting from the rail, Salazar went right to the lead for driver Ron Beback Jr. and put up fractions of 28.1, 58.1, and 1:27. enroute to a season best 1:55 winning time over the fast track. He had a comfortable length advantage at the top of the stretch and the scorching 27.3 final quarter had the remainder of the field in surrender mode. Sand Savage Drew Monti) finished 3-1/2 lengths back in second while Fantasypan (John Cummings Jr.) was third. Owned by Lisa Denison and trained by Lisa Lederhouse, Salazar (McArdle-January Spur) has now scored four victories in 14 appearances this season. He has earned $29,072 in 2014 and $247,656 lifetime.
After prevailing against similar company a fortnight ago and finishing a respectable second to Fireyourguns in last week's top pacing event, Kelly Hope's Stonebridge Master ($3.00) took top honors in Saturday (April 26) evening's $8,000 Miracle Mile 2 Pace at Vernon Downs, posting a 1:54.2 victory in going-away fashion over sloppy going. The 8-year-old Artsplace gelding raced patiently from off the pace, tracking live cover from Western Trademark (Fern Paquet, Jr.) before swinging three-wide in upper stretch. At immediate asking from Aaron Byron, Stonebridge Master powered clear of his four rivals, winning by a widening 1-1/4 lengths over Western Trademark, while pacesetter Sheer Brilliance (Claude Huckabone, III) was worn down late, finishing third. Earlier in the card, a pair of $4,000 second round divisions of the Anthony Farina Pacing Series were contested, in which William Donovan's Medusa ($2.30) remained undefeated through three career races. The 3-year-old Bettor's Delight fully controlled a :58 half mile before pushing clear on the far turn, scoring a 1:55.2 win by a 6-1/2 length margin in rein to Chris Lems. Joseph Meylan's Stony Brook ($3.30) prevailed in the other division, scoring a 5-length win in 1:56.1.
Eddie Davis, Jr. held the hot hand at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (4/26), steering three down victory lane, but none more impressively than Art Of Illusion, who grabbed top honors in the $8,000 Free-For-All. A newcomer to the State of Maine, Art Of Illusion made his first start a winning one as Davis tried to grab the early lead, was repelled by a determined Mr. Nice Guy, before sitting patient at the pylons. In late stretch, daylight broke as a seam opened up at the rail and Art Of Illusion, seeing the finish line in view, willed himself to the wire with Davis a mere passenger. Art Of Illusion, trained by Bo Sowers, and recently acquired by David MacDonald of Halifax, Nova Scotia, stopped the clock in 1:55.3, fastest mile of the young season at the Downs.
Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Village Jackson continued the lengthy streak of different winners in the Saturday night Open Pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Though he had finished second or third in the previous three Opens, Village Jackson (Camluck) had never recorded an Open score but that changed after outsprinting his rivals home in Saturday’s $17,000 feature for driver Jimmy Devaux. Dismissed at odds of 12-1, the Geoff Howles-trained speedster stopped the clock in 1:55.3 for the Open score after making a sweeping move late in the mile. Longshot Kyle Major (Jason Ryan) finished second while the favorite Rock To Glory (Bruce Aldrich Jr) had to settle for third after being shuffled back until getting loose late in the stretch. Despite it being a six horse Open because of two scratches, the exacta returned $116.50 and the trifecta came back a hefty $1,024. There have still been no two-time winners this season in the Saturday feature.