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Racing Roundup: Mystical Escapade wires field in Buffalo Raceway Open Trot
Friday, June 06, 2014 - from harness publicists across North America

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Friday's (June 6) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Buffalo Raceway, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Scioto Downs and Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

Mystical Escapade wires field in Buffalo Raceway Open Trot

Hamburg, NY --- Mystical Escapade showed she's starting to round into shape after capturing the $10,500 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway Friday night.

Steve Roth photo
Mystical Escapade was a narrow winner in the Friday Open.

Starting in just her third race since Nov. 15, a stubborn Mystical Escapade went wire-to-wire and held off a fast-closing Heartsaregonnaroll by a diminishing neck in 1:59.2 for trainer/driver Shawn McDonough. Last season, Mystical Escapade had eight victories and nearly $90,000 in earnings. She had finished in fourth and fifth in Open competition in her first two starts of 2014.

Scoring from the inside post, Mystical Escapade ($7.50) put up fractions of :30.1, 1:00 and 1:29.1 and enjoyed a two length lead at the three-quarter pole. In the drive for the wire, Heartsaregonnaroll put in a valiant effort in the passing lane but came up a disappointing neck short. Fiorentina (Kevin Cummings) showed late trot and finished third.

It was the first victory of the season for Mystical Escapade (Valley Victor-Armbro Orbital). The 5-year-old mare is owned by Empowered Racing and now has earned $6,615 in 2014 and $156,318 lifetime.

It was also a memorable night for 33-year-old provisional driver Bradley Jackson as he steered Mister Briunski ($10.60) to a gate-to-wire win. It was the first pari-mutual victory in just eight career starts for Jackson.

--- Brian J. Mazurek

Tioga Downs
Edward and James Hall's Rock N Load ($12.00) controlled the pace throughout in Friday evening's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 handicap distaff pace at Tioga Downs, turning aside a first-over challenge from 3-5 favorite Little Santamonica en route to a 1:52.4 victory.
The 6-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare achieved the lead easily, clearing Miss Annie J (Jason Bartlett) through a :28.1 first quarter and controlling the terms through a rated :57 half. On the backstretch, Aaron Byron moved Little Santamonica first-over, but her attempt at a sixth consecutive win was rebuffed by Rock N Load on the entry to the far turn. With the favorite fading, Rock N Load was left to stave off a late rally from Passion R Virginie (Jim Marohn Jr.), digging in to prevail by 1-1/2 lengths. Miss Annie J stayed on for third off the pocket trip. John Cummings Jr. drove Rock N Load for trainer Daniel Gill. Four $12,500 first-round divisions of the Morrisville College late-closing series were also on the card, with Cal Chips Brother (1:54.3, Corey Braden) fastest of the four winners. Stitch In Time (1:56, Tyler Buter), Spaced Out (1:56.3, Mike Simons), and You Rock My World (1:56.2, Jason Bartlett) prevailed in their respective divisions as well.

Vernon Downs
Mr Web Page (Roman Lopez) scored a surprise victory in the $9,500 Friday feature race at Vernon Downs, posting a win as the longest shot on the board at 15-1 in the field of six, paying $32.80. Mr Web Page actually sat the pocket trip behind the more-fancied Tirade Hanover (Tyler Raymer) for the majority of the mile. Tirade Hanover led through the early fractions of :27.2 for the quarter, :57 for the half, and 1:25.3 for three-quarters, but he came up empty in the lane and faded to finish last of the six. Once the field straightened away for home, Mr Web Page ranged up on the outside of the fading leader and stormed to the front, holding off a late charge from My Revenuer (Rick Plano) and the race favorite, Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore). My Revenuer, in fact, went from last at the top of the stretch to be second behind the longshot winner and completed the exacta, which paid $119.50. Mr Web Page is owned by Helping Hands Stables and is trained by driver Roman Lopez. The complete order of finish for the Friday feature was Mr Web Page, My Revenuer, Evil Urges, A Penny Earned, War Hero and Tirade Hanover. The final time was 1:54.1.
Even at 15-1, Mr Web Page was not the biggest-priced winner of the evening at Vernon Downs. That honor went to the winner of the seventh race, Pollux Blue Chip, who rallied from last in the field of nine at the three-quarter mile mark to pass everyone in the stretch and win for owner-trainer-driver Claude Huckabone III. Pollux Blue Chip was 29-1 and paid $60.50 for his victory. His winning time was 1:55.1.

Scioto Downs Racino
Miss Panthers and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. wired the Filly and Mare Open Trot field at Scioto Downs.
Miss Panthers is a 4-year-old mare by Classic Photo. She's trained by leading Scioto Downs trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and is owned by Majs NY Inc., Gerrie Tucker and Ciro Gentile.  Miss Panthers was the second choice at 9-2 and started from post five in the field of six. Wrenn pushed the gate away and crossed over with Miss Panthers before tripping the quarter timer in :28.1 and she had things her way the rest of the way. Miss Panthers crossed the wire in 1:55 and held off the pocket sitter Easy Strength. Victory Is Coming completed the trifecta. The Open Trot for horses and geldings came up in race seven and a field of eight went to post for the $20,000 purse. Kirty Dream started from post eight and didn't have the easiest of trips. The 7-year-gelding by Cantab Hall was driven by Josh Sutton for trainer Jeff Hochstetler and scored at 10-1 in 1:54.2 after being parked the entire mile. J J Hall was second and Quick N' Slick was third, both trained by Scott Mogan. The exacta paid $218 and the trifecta returned $600.80. The Open pacing mares also highlighted the Friday night card. A full field of nine went postward in race eight for a $20,000 purse. The ladies definitely put on a show from start to finish. A Sham Of Amber, trained and driven by Kayne Kauffman, left from post five for good early position and the mares hit the quarter in a quick :26.3. A Sham Of Amber made the move to go to the front and set the pace from there. Holiday Shopper endured a tough first over trip. She was driven by Jason Brewer for trainer Jeff Brewer and owners Dr. Robert Van Hutchison and Dr. Randall Van Hutchison. Holiday Shopper got up in the final strides to beat A Sham Of Amber by a head in 1:52. Betterluvnexttime was a late closing third. These three ladies returned a profitable trifecta payoff of $1,806.60.

Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Amigo Ranger made his local debut a winning one in Friday’s $17,000 Open Trot at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Rene Allard took over the training duties for the 5-year-old trotter last week. Following a third place finish with him at Yonkers, Allard brought Amigo Ranger (Amigo Hall) to the Spa for the Friday feature. Drawing post position three, the trotter went off as the race’s 3-2 betting favorite with leading driver Billy Dobson. Dobson blasted the public’s choice out to the lead and despite fast early fractions had little difficultly securing an open length victory in 1:55.2. Pocket sitter Justa Rebel (Jim Devaux) finished second in the feature while Backstreet Hanover (Austin Siegelman) earned the show spot.

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