Friday's (May 9) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from The Meadows, Tioga Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Vernon Downs and Scioto Downs.
Sam Hill stalks, pops, wins Meadows $18,000 pace
Washington, PA --- Sam Hill sat comfortably in the pocket, then roared by the leader in the lane to capture Friday’s $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows.
Windsong Jack, the 2-5 favorite, took the field through three-quarters in a demanding 1:23.3, making him vulnerable to the stalking Sam Hill. The 8-year-old Artsplace-Apple Of My Eye gelding took advantage of the opportunity, pouncing for Greg Wright Jr. to score in 1:51.4. The rallying Good Day Mate was second, a head back, while Windsong Jack saved show.
John Sullivan trains Sam Hill, who now boasts $255,389 in career earnings, for Don Tiger.
Eric Ledford drove three winners on the 15-race card.
-- Evan Pattak
Under pressure from Mc Taylor on the far turn, Edward and James Hall's Rock N Load ($3.40) dug in at head-stretch, prevailing against five rivals in the $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 event for distaff pacers on Friday evening at Tioga Downs. Aaron Byron floated clear on the first turn with the 6-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare, yielding the lead to Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn Jr.) after a sensible :28.1 first quarter. Just upon settling into the pocket, Rock N Load was back on the move, reclaiming the top position with a circuit to go before bracing for the first-over Mc Taylor on the backstretch. The two dueled through the far turn with the pace quickening before the Daniel Gill trained Rock N Load kicked away off the corner, prevailing for a strong 1-1/4 length win over Mc Taylor in 1:53.1. Southwind Trini was all-out from the pocket to hold third. Byron's winning ways didn't stop after the opener; he also took the sub-featured $9,000 Miracle Mile 2 distaff pace with Sinspirational in 1:53.1, along with a sweep of the late double, driving Typical Newyorker (1:59.2) and Canaco Star (1:55) to seal a four-win night.
Studio City returned to Open Trot competition at Buffalo Raceway Friday night after a successful one-week drop in class and did so impressively by capturing a three-quarter length decision over BZ Glide in the $10,500 feature. Last week, Studio City used a late kick to rally from far back to win by a head in the Open II. That style worked again to perfection as the 5-year-old gelding came from far back in the stretch to win going away. Big Baller set the tempo with times of :30, 1:02, and 1:32.1 over the "good" track. Sitting last as the field of six turned for home, winning driver David McNeight III had Studio City ($8.80) in high gear and blew by everyone on the outside to take the victory in 2:02.4. BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) took second place in his first start of the season while Big Baller (Ron Beback Jr.) held on for third place. Studio City, trained by Lisa Lederhouse, is co-owned by Dr. Scott Woogen and Lisa Denison. It was the fourth win in 14 starts this season for Studio City (Conway Hall-Yagot Prestige) and upped his seasonal winnings to $29,945 and $154,978 lifetime.
Michelangelo produced a fifth straight work of art, running his winning streak to five in a row in the $10,000 feature race at Vernon Downs on Friday night. That streak has now stretched over two different tracks, with Michelangelo winning three straight at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Canada before crossing the border and picking up two straight wins at Vernon Downs. The betting favorite in the feature, House Money, actually set the pace on a very windy night. The first quarter-mile, which went with the wind, was trotted in :27.4. The field then turned into the backstretch and faced the gale, which resulted in a slower second quarter of :30. House Money continued to dictate the pace through three-quarters in 1:27.2. It appeared that setting the pace in the blustery conditions took quite a toll on House Money, as the favorite was passed first by Michelangelo and then by A Penny Earned for second. House Money had to settle for third. Michelangelo's final time for the mile was 1:54.3. The favorite finishing out of the top two triggered an exacta payout of $100. Michelangelo was driven to victory by Truman Gale. Gale kept Michelangelo tucked in behind the leader throughout the first three-quarters and perfectly timed his move to the front in the stretch. Michelangelo is owned and trained by Chelsea Knapp. The complete order of finish for the field of five was Michelangelo, A Penny Earned, House Money, Pine Credit and Sand Top Gun.
Five Towns, a 5-year-old gelding by Andover Hall, captured the feature race on Friday at Scioto Downs Racino. The gelding is partially owned and trained by Kelly Goodwin. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. had the driving assignment, starting from post four. Wrenn and Five Towns took control early and set the fractions to make it his race to win or lose. After an easy half of :58.2, it was catch me if you can for the rest of the field. Five Towns held off a first over charge from Victory Is Coming and the pocket sitter, Baby Blaze. Victory Is Coming was a steady closing second and Baby Blaze got the show spot. Only 2-1/2 lengths separated the entire field. The excitement then carried over to the ninth race. Randy Tharps and Scootie Best Lou blew up the toteboard. The 5-year old mare trained by Ben Davis paid $97.40 to win, in turn getting a $690.56 return for the 10 cent Super High Five. That gave Ronnie Wrenn Jr. a hat trick on the Friday night card.