Saturday's (June 7) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Buffalo Raceway, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Harrah's Philadelphia, Saratoga Casino and Raceway, Tioga Downs, Running Aces and Vernon Downs.
Best Ears paces to victory in Buffalo Raceway Open
Hamburg, NY --- Best Ears was by far the best in the $10,500 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night, rolling to a 4-1/4 length decision over JS Tango in 1:54, the fastest mile of the 2014 season.
|Steve Roth photo|
|Best Ears was the best in the Buffalo Raceway Open Pace.|
Overlooked by the betting public, Best Ears ($22.40) scored from the rail and went right to the top, posting splits of :28.3, :57.4 and 1:26.2. It appeared that several were going to mount challenges, including Naked News and Closing Credits. Each made mild moves along the way but flamed out.
In the stretch, Best Ears was kept on task by Shawn McDonough and enjoyed the trip to the wire, registering a blistering :27.3 final quarter over the fast track to secure the win. The pocket-sitting JS Tango (Ray Fisher Jr.) had no answers and finished in second while What The Sheik (David McNeight III) took the show position. The usually late-charging Salazar, sent off the favorite, finished in sixth.
It was the second consecutive night McDonough has won the feature race. On Friday night, he went gate-to-wire with Mystical Escapade in the $10,500 Open Trot.
Owned by Joseph Amico and trained by Frank Mastrodonato, Best Ears (Shark Gesture-Extreme Dream) now has four victories in 20 tries in 2014, earning $23,017. The 5-year-old gelding has bankrolled $206,422 lifetime.
-- Brian J. Mazurek
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs
Aracache Hanover toughed it out on the front end to beat an exceptional group of pacers in the $25,000 Preferred Pace on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Leaving from post position seven in a field of eight as the 9-5 favorite, Aracache Hanover (Dragon Again-Armbro Cachet), a 7-year-old stallion from the Ron Burke barn, grabbed the pocket around the first turn behind Golden Receiver and then took over the lead on the front stretch. From there, driver Matt Kakaley and Aracache Hanover had to deal with first-over pressure from Digital Z Tam, who kept coming after the leader right to the very end. Still, Aracache Hanover prevailed by a nose in 1:49. P H Supercam finished third. Owned by William Switala and James Martin, Aracache Hanover was following up a win at the Meadowlands and now has three wins in 14 races this season. It was his 30th lifetime victory, pushing his career earnings to $1,660,469.
Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi's Continual Velocity was sharp in victory in a Winners Over $25,000 lifetime for fillies and mares at Harrah's Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon. Starting from post seven, she left aggressively off the wings, only to find herself in a contested early pace. She didn't clear until just after a :54.2 half-mile. She survived a first over challenge from Betsy Ross entrant JK Letitgo and went on to win in 1:50.4. The 6-year-old daughter of Real Artist was driven by Anthony Morgan, who along with Marcus Miller had three wins on the card.
Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Ashley’s Husband became a rare horse to win the Saturday Open Pace for a second time this season at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. After securing a victory in the $17,000 feature for the first time two weeks ago, Ashley’s Husband (Henry Clay) took a week off. On Saturday night, he was the betting public’s co-favorite at odds of 2-1 with Jordan Derue in the sulky. The Kyle Spagnola-trained pacer moved first over on his co-favorite who wound up making a break heading to the three-quarter pole. Once Ashley’s Husband struck the lead, he powered clear from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:53.2 as a well-measured winner in the feature. R Caan (Billy Dobson) followed the winner every step of the way and ended up second while Achilles Blue Chip (Mark Beckwith) shook loose late to earn the show spot. The win was one of three on the night for Derue and one of two for conditioner Spagnola.
After showing an explosive late kick to prevail in last week's sub-featured trot at Tioga Downs, I Love New York ($34.80) prevailed with a more extended bid in Saturday evening's featured $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 event, sweeping past a pair of dueling pacesetters en route to a 1:55 victory. The 6-year-old Broadway Hall entire tracked from midfield as 2-1 favorite Lutetium (Greg Merton) rated a :56 half-mile. On the backstretch, Cold Certified (Aaron Byron) engaged Lutetium in an extended duel, while trainer-driver Bruce Clarke positioned I Love New York second-over on the approach to the far turn, fanning three-wide after a 1:24.4 three-quarter split. With the leading pair dueling into defeat, I Love New York swept to the fore, driven to hold sway from a deeper-closing In Your Room (Mike Simons) and the five-wide Bouncing Bax (Howard Parker), prevailing by three-quarters of a length. Clarke co-owns I Love New York with John Coffey and Patricia Waldeck.
Blazing Fury and trainer-driver Rick Magee turned a two-hole trip into a 1-1/2 length victory Saturday night when they split horses in the stretch to win the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace in 1:55.2 at Running Aces. It was the first local start of the season for the 8-year-old daughter of Minnesota sire Relentless Yankee. It was the 41st career victory for Blazing Fury, 13th at Running Aces, and pushed her past the $200,000 lifetime earnings plateau. The homebred is owned by Van Otterloo Stables. Nocturnal Rose (Tim Maier) and Lady's Art (Steve Wiseman) were next to cross the wire. Earlier on the program driver Rob Dinning, a newcomer to Running Aces in 2014, enjoyed a back-to-back-to-back triple. The 31-year-old reinsman scored a huge victory with Bunkerhill Bill in a $13,000 event restricted to Minnesota-sired sophomore pacers. Owned and trained by Gene Miller, the winner lowered his lifetime best by more than three seconds with the impressive 1:53.3 triumph. Dinning's other winners were Maby Bonkey, who captured a $3,000 non-winners pace in 1:56.4 and Turbulance Force, who topped a field of conditioned-claiming trotters in 2:00.1.
Firethorn (John MacDonald) was a gate-to-wire winner in the $8,000 featured race on Saturday night at Vernon Downs. The 8-year-old gelding went directly to the lead at the start and carved out solid fractions of :27.4 for the quarter, :57 for the half, and 1:23.3 for three-quarters. Firethorn received a momentary challenge from Stonebridge Master (Chris Lems), but he stalled entering the far turn and eventually faded to finish last. Firethorn then built up a healthy four length lead at the top of the stretch and appeared to be home free. However, Moonlight Ransom (Jimmy Whittemore) was angled out in the lane and charged up to eliminate most of Firethorn's lead, finishing second by just a length. The final time for the mile was 1:51.3. Firethorn is owned by JP Stables and trained by the driver, John MacDonald. The complete order of finish for the fifth race was Firethorn, Moonlight Ransom, Oozie's Bad Boy, I Do Hanover, Whitemountainpower, and Stonebridge Master. Some Or Lis was a sick scratch.