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Racing Roundup: Lutetium conitnues to roll at Buffalo
Friday, May 02, 2014 - by harness publicists across North America

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Friday's (May 2) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Buffalo Raceway, Vernon Downs, Hoosier Park and Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

Lutetium continues to roll at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY---After a two-race hiatus from Buffalo Raceway, Lutetium returned and stamped his mark as the best trotter currently on the grounds with an easy 3-1/2-length victory over Big Baller in the $10,500 Open Trot on Friday night (May 2).

Photo by Roth
Lutetium won his fourth straight start at Buffalo Raceway May 2.

Lutetium ($4.00) recently took a two-race tour to eastern New York, winning at Vernon Downs and taking a solid fourth place finish at Saratoga Raceway. But he returned home and made it four straight victories over the Hamburg half-mile oval by going wire-to-wire in 1:58.3 on the fast track.

Assigned the 8 spot, Lutetium and driver Kevin Cummings went right to the lead in typical fashion and put up times of 28.3, 58.3 and 1:29. It was all over at the top of the stretch as the the 7-year-old gelding enjoyed a two-length edge and was in cruise control down the lane.

Big Baller (Ron Beback Jr.), who sat the garden spot the entire mile, finished second while Heartsaregonnaroll (Jim McNeight) took the show position.

With the victory, Lutetium has now won five times in 11 starts in 2014 for owner Colleen Girdlestone and trainer Mark Laidlaw. The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $30,290 and $216,396 lifetime.

A 13-race card will go post at 6:40 p.m. Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway.

For more information including race replays, results, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to

--Brian Mazurek

Vernon Downs
A select field of five contested the $8,000 featured event on the Friday (May 2) program at Vernon Downs, and despite having things largely his own way, Pennsylvania shipper and odds-on favorite Sand Top Gun was just collared by House Money ($6.80) in the last strides of the Miracle Mile 2 trot. Trainer-driver Roman Lopez tracked from the pocket through sensible fractions, keeping House Money just behind the pacesetting Sand Top Gun (Tyler Raymer) throughout the first seven-eighths of a mile.  Locked in by the first-over Ilovemymommy (Chris Lems), House Money resorted to wedging through at the pegs--and he found room in the last sixteenth. The 5-year-old Angus Hall gelding emerged with the lead in deep stretch, scoring in 1:55.0 by 3/4 length. Sand Top Gun held second, while Mc Tiny's Hope (Ben McNeil) saved ground for third. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday, with a 10-race card featuring the finals of the Catherine Burton Trotting Series and Anthony Farina Pacing Series kicking off at 5:10 p.m.

Hoosier Park
Always About Katey returned to her winning ways and captured the featured event, a $22,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (May 2). After a third-place finish at this level last week, Always About Katey used a gritty, gate-to-wire performance to win in 1:53.1 for driver Tyler Smith. Leaving from post 4, Smith switched up his driving tactics this week and sent Always About Katey firing from the gate. Blissful Romance and Ricky Macomber Jr. also left alertly to secure a pocket seat while Ole Miss and Jason Dillander settled along the rail in third.  Always About Katey was able to dictate early fractions of 27 and 56.1 while the field remained in single-file order down the backside. Andy Shetler was the first to commit to the outer flow and had House Of Pleasure out and firing approaching the final turn. American Girl and Peter Wrenn quickly grabbed the cover and were well-placed second-over while No Respect and Sam Widger followed suit. Always About Katey, still three-parts of a length to the good, reached the third station in 1:25 while the rest of the field closed in. Blissful Romance tipped from the pocket and made a strong bid at the leader, but Always About Katey dug in gamely to win by a nose. Igottafeelinfran and Brad Hanners, trailing the field at the top of the stretch, staged a big rally late in the lane to round out the trifecta. As the publics’ choice, Always About Katey returned $5.40 to her backers. Trained by Roger Welch, the two-time Indiana Sire Stakes champion won her 19th start from 33 lifetime outings. With the win, the daughter of Always A Virgin-Topville Cyberwave sent her lifetime earnings over the $700,000 mark for her connections of William C. DeLong, William P. DeLong, and Katey McClymont. The victory was the second win of the season and a seasonal best performance.
Live harness racing continues on Saturday, May 3 and will begin at its regularly scheduled post of 5:15 p.m. with an action-packed 13-race card. Additionally, Churchill Downs’ full racing card will be shown throughout the Hoosier Park property. Racing fans at Hoosier Park can enjoy convenient wagering for all races held at Churchill Downs including the Kentucky Derby, a full simulcast race schedule, official Derby merchandise, and entertainment throughout the day. Admission is free and open to the public.

Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Political Desire did on Friday night what no other trotter has done in over a month at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Rene Allard trainee defeated standout trotter Slugfest. Slugfest brought a four-race Open win streak into Friday’s $17,000 feature. Political Desire (Tom Ridge) made his local debut a winning one for driver Billy Dobson after sitting the pocket behind Obrigado (Kim Crawford) as that one dueled with the favored Slugfest (Jay Randall). Political Desire closed up the passing lane and stopped the timer in 1:56.4 matching Slugfest’s time from last week as the fastest of the season for a trotter. Slugfest had to settle for second this week while Obrigado held on for third. Political Desire returned $20.20 to win while pulling off the mild upset. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post time.

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