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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Wilberforce was a force to be reckoned with in Buffalo Raceway's $13,000 Class A-Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday evening (Feb. 26) as he struck to the lead and hung on the rest of the way to take a 3/4-length decision over Daylon Phantom in 2:01.0 over the sloppy harness racing track.   After being parked at the start of the race, John Cummings Jr. made the decision to march forward with Wilberforce and it proved to be the right call.   With splits of :29.1, :59.3 and 1:30.0, Wilberforce ($8.60) was strong enough down the stretch and was able to hold back the late surge of Daylon Phantom (Renaldo Morales III) while Noble Legend (Billy Davis Jr.) took the show spot.   Co-owned by trainer Kris Rickert and Dale Wareham, it was the fourth victory in eight starts this season for the 8-year-old gelded Wilberforce (Caviar Crown-Rose Run Imprint). The win moved his earnings to $33,950 on the campaign and $321,222 in his career.   Fox Valley Veto ($3.60) has been battling in the Open Trot to start the 2020 season at Buffalo Raceway but got a much appreciated drop in classification and responded nicely in the $10,000 Class A division with a solid 2-1/4 length victory over Are You In.   It took a three-wide move to the opening panel to vault Fox Valley Veto (Davis Jr.) into the lead and he never looked back from there.   Setting the fractions of :30.3, 1:02.0 and 1:32.1, Fox Valley Veto tripped the timer in 2:01.3 and never was threatened as Are You In (Kevin Cummings) and Catch The Bouquet (Drew Monti) settled for second and third respectively.   Co-owned by Vogel & Wags Nags, Team Rice Racing and Adelphia Bloodstock, Fox Valley Veto (Pizzazzed-Yankee Victory Om) is trained by Maria Rice. The win upped the 9-year-old gelding's earnings to $5,650 and $532,638 lifetime.   Machs Echo ($7.90) got a perfect pocket trip and turned it into a narrow nose victory over Sarah Cola in the $10,000 Class A-Open Handicap Pace for the filly and mares.   Jag Out (Kevin Cummings), who finished in third, set the tempo with fractions of :29.1, :59.0 and 1:29.1. She couldn't hang on, however, as Machs Echo (Jim Morrill Jr.) attacked from the passing lane while Sarah Cola came on the outside. It was a photo finish with Machs Echo managing to nose out Sarah Cola.   Owned by Finocchario's Dream Stable and trained by Mike Ohol, it was the first win in four attempts this season for Machs Echo (Mach Three-Rocket Time). The 6-year-old mare has now produced a bankroll of $9,200 in 2020 and $104,571 lifetime.   Cummings Jr. had a triple in the bike while Monti and Cummings each had a pair of wins. Gerry Sarama had a training triple and David Russo a double.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a 13-race program on tap.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, simulcast schedule and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After a couple of narrow losses in the $13,000 Open Trot level at Buffalo Raceway, a better post and a change of harness racing equipment proved to be the right remedy for Wilberforce ($3.10) on Wednesday night (Feb. 12)   With a pair of starts from the seven hole, Wilberforce drew the five post and went coast to coast in collecting a 2-3/4 length victory over Lougazi in 2:00.1 over the sloppy track. The margin of victory could have been more but Wilberforce drifted badly in the stretch but had enough in the tank to post the win.   "We put a Murphy blind on him and it did the opposite of what we wanted him to do," chuckled winning driver John Cummings Jr. of the wide journey down the stretch. "You look on paper and you can see he's a good animal."   Posting quarters of :29.4, 1:00.1 and 1:30.2, Wilberforce stepped on the gas the final panel to bottom out the field. Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) finished a hard-charging second while Rockefeller Lindy (David McNeight III) and Daylong Phantom (Jim McNeight Jr.) finished in a dead heat for third.   Owned by trainer Kris Rickert and Dale Wareham, Wilberforce (Caviar Crown-Rose Run Imprint) is an 8-year-old gelding that has won three times in six attempts this season, earning $26,310. His career bankroll jumped to $312,682.   Buffalo Raceway's 2019 Trotter of the Year, Wheels A Turning ($3.40), went wire-to-wire in posting a solid two length victory over Empire Earl N in 2:01.2.   Zooming off the gate from the start, Wheels A Turning went right to the top for driver Aaron Byron and set splits of :30.1, 1:01.4 and 1:31.1. With a panel to trot, Wheels A Turning stayed strong and never looked back as Empire Earl N (John Cummings Jr.) and Traverse Seelster (Denny Bucceri) settled for second and third.   Owned by Allan Schmucker and trained by Sabrina Shaw, it was the first win in three appearances this season for Wheels A Turning (Mr Cantab-Free Wheeling). The 8-year-old mare has now earned $5,080 this season and $256,917 lifetime.   Sarah Cola (McNeight III) cut the mile and had just enough 'pop' left and hung on for the neck decision Machs Echo (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the $10,000 Class A-B Handicap Pace for the filly and mares.   With fractions of :30.1, 1:00.3 and 1:30.1, Sarah Cola ($6.80) showed plenty of heart to turn back the determined Machs Echo in 1:59.2 while Jag Out (Byron) was third.   Co-owned by trainer Jim Graham and Giuseppe Micchia, it was the first victory of the 2020 campaign for Sarah Cola (No Pan Intended-Saramotion). The score upped her season winnings to $6,428 and $168,709 in her career.   Drew Monti completed the evening with a triple while Kevin Cummings, Morrill Jr., McNeight III and Cummings Jr. all doubled. Maria Rice had a pair of training victories.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening beginning at 6 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 11 -- Star Caviar had to duel three wide for the early lead, but once on top he was much the best in capturing his third straight harness racing victory in Wednesday's feature at The Meadows, an $11,800 Conditioned Trot. The first two wins in his streak came on the PA Fairs circuit, but Star Caviar showed plenty of raceway mettle, thwarting the extended first-over challenge of Just Fly Beyond to prevail for Mike Wilder in a career-best 1:56. The pocket-sitting Town Hall Justice was second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Just Fly Beyond saved show. Spencer Kahrig trains Star Caviar, a 3-year-old Caviar Crown-Missy Star K gelding, for Melvin Straley. Tony Hall piloted five winners on the 14-race card while Brady Brown and Wilder each enjoyed a triple. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, June 28, 2017 -- Wilberforce followed live cover, then exploded out of the final turn to capture Wednesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, an $11,500 Conditioned Trot. Wilberforce was fifth down the backside when Dave Palone moved him behind the first-over Tall Cotton. When his cover stalled, the 5-year-old Caviar Crown-Rose Run Imprint gelding went wide and found another gear, scoring in 1:54.3. Tricky Nick chased Wilberforce home to be second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Monte Cristo Spur rallied for show. Kris Rickert conditions Wilberforce, who now boasts $180,786 in career earnings, and owns with Dale Wareham. Aaron Merriman collected five wins on the 12-race card for as many trainers -- Joelene Christman, Bill Daugherty, Jr., Sal Digati, Jeff Hochstetler and Bill Rhoades. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WILKES-BARRE PA - Wilberforce rolled to his third straight harness racing victory on Sunday night, never looking back in the $20,000 conditioned trotting feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and crossing the wire 2¼ lengths to the good in 1:53.3.   Driver Eric Carlson wasn't fastest away with the gelded son of Caviar Crown, but he used the track geometry advantage of starting from the rail to maximum effect, never letting his outside early pursuers get around him and then forcing them to drop in behind by the 27.2 quarter under pain of being parked the duration. From there things were fairly easy for Wilberforce, as he notched middle splits of 56.2 and 1:25, then trotted home strongly for his tenth triumph of the year. Uncle Hanover came up the Pocono Pike to take away second late from pocketsitting Stonebridge Combat behind the winner, who pushed his seasonal earnings over $100,000 for trainer Kris Rickert, co-owner with Dale Wareham.   The three-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding Double L Lindy, unraced at two, has really found his trotting form in recent starts and went even faster than the feature horses, posting a 1:53 win on a 53-degree night in a $16,000 event. A winner of only one of his first 11 career starts, Double L Lindy has now won four straight, including this smashing mile which saw him 19¾ lengths to the good at the wire. Anthony Napolitano, who had posted ten victories in his last three Pocono cards at press time, handled the promising youngster for trainer Ake Svanstedt and the ownership of Lindy Farms of CT, Joe Sbrocco, Paul Van Camp, and Little E LLC.   In the $18,000 featured pace, Michael's Victory ran his current winning streak to three with a 1:51.3 victory, overcoming a first-over trip and holding off second-over Perfect Bet by a head. Simon Allard, also with les mains chaudes recently (23 victories in October), sulkysat behind the sophomore Rocknroll Hanover gelding, whose dam Michell's Victory is a ¾ sister to the $1.3M-winning Rare Jewel, for trainer Mark Silva and owner Jeffrey Snyder.   PHHA / Pocono      

Wilberforce blew up the tote board Tuesday at The Meadows when he pulled off a 43-1 shocker in the opening leg of the Ken Weaver Memorial Trot for 3- and 4-year-old colts, horses and geldings. Cantad Kid and Raisethejollyroger took the other $12,000 opening-leg splits. The series honors the memory of the late harness racing trainer Ken Weaver, long a fixture at The Meadows and on the PA Fairs circuit. Off stride in three of his last four starts and coming off an unimpressive qualifier, Wilberforce seemed an unlikely candidate for a win. But when Jim Pantaleano moved him first over from fourth, he performed like a betting favorite, gaining steadily before drawing off to score in a career-best 1:56.1. Early leader Fashion Chocolate saved place, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Marty De Vie third. Kris Rickert trains Wilberforce, a 4-year-old Caviar Crown-Rose Run Imprint gelding, and owns with Dale Wareham. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life Trot, Homepage moved uncovered from sixth before surging three wide into the final turn and jogging off for Tony Hall in 1:54.2, a lifetime mark. Anaffairtoremember was second, 5-1/2 lengths in arrears, while ER Ellie earned show. Andy Rickert conditions the 6-year-old daughter of Tom Ridge-Inside Edition, who now boasts $218,461 in career earnings, for Murdock Racing Stable. Dave Palone piloted three winners on the 15-race card. With a pair of victories, Aaron Merriman pushed his career win total to 7,999 before heading off to Northfield to drive the evening card there. * * * * * Register now for The Meadows Live Bankroll Handicapping Contest set for Saturday, March 5, with a guaranteed $5,000 prize pool. Cost is $100, with $50 allocated to the prize pool and $50 to each player's bankroll. Registered players can enjoy the free lunch buffet in the Triple Crown Banquet Room and will receive a free March 5 Meadows race program. Winner gets 50 percent of the prize pool, with 25 percent for second place, 12 percent for third place, 8 percent for fourth place and 5 percent for fifth place. To register now, call 724.503.1509 or visit the Retail Center in the Racebook. Event-day registration begins at 11:30 AM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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