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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway's co-featured $11,500 Open Pace may have been scratched down to a field of four but that didn't stop them from putting on quite a show on Saturday night (July 7).   Western Conquest ($8.90) was the headliner as he went gate-to-wire, winning a terrific stretch duel against Classic American N, to register a nose victory in 1:53.2. The time tied the track record for aged (5+) pacing horses set by Utah Beach in 2017.   In the co-main event, the $11,500 Open Trot, Empire Earl N ($3.30) had to get reacquainted with the inside post and took full advantage of it, coasting to a front-running 1-1/2 length score over Chelseas Chance in 1:57.4 over the fast surface.   With China Dream and Sir Ziggy's Z Tam both excused due to illness, it left a quartet to duke it out in the Open Pace.   Scoring from the inside, Western Conquest (Ray Fisher Jr.) zoomed immediately to the lead, setting fractions of :28.0, 56.4 and 1:25.2. With a quarter mile to pace, it appeared the first over and heavily favored Upfront Countryboy (Shawn Gray) was ready to launch a serious bid but that quickly fizzled out.   It left Western Conquest to deal with the pocket sitting Classic American N (Ron Beback Jr.) who made a valiant attempt to collar the pace-setter but lost by a nose in the photo. Best Ears (John Cummings Jr.) took the show position.   Owned by the Tanah Merah Farms LLC and trained by Ryan Swift, it was the fifth win in 12 outings for the 7-year-old horse Western Conquest (American Ideal-Aries Conquest). The victory jumped his seasonal earnings to $28,575 and $287,136 lifetime.   It's been quite a while since Empire Earl N drew the inside post and Buffalo Raceway's defending Trotter of the Year felt right at home, storming off the gate and never looked back.   Setting moderate splits of :30.0, :59.1 and 1:28.3, Empire Earl N (Monti) used a :28.4 last panel to hold off any potential threats from Chelseas Chance (Billy Davis Jr.) and Bold Dresser (Shawn McDonough) who had to settle for second and third place respectively.   Owned by Kimberly Asher and conditioned by Riley Asher-Stalbaum, it was the sixth win in 19 appearances this year for the 10-year-old gelded Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita). The victory upped his 2018 earnings to $46,618 and $208,458 in his career.   Fisher Jr. and Monti completed the evening with driving triples. Trainers Steve Kiblin, JD Perrin and Swift each had a pair of victories.   Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 12-race program set. The New York Sire Stakes will highlight the card with the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers set to clash. There will also be action in the Excelsior A and B series.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a select field of five in Buffalo Raceway's $11,500 Open Pace on a steamy Saturday night (June 30) so strategy wasn't at a premium. But Focus Power and driver Drew Monti made the right move early and cruised to an easy 1-3/4 length victory over China Dream in 1:54.4 over the fast track.   Starting from the two post, Focus Power ($4.60) wasted little time in gaining the lead off the gate and posted rather pedestrian fractions of :29.4 and :59.1 in saying 'come and get me'.   The tempo picked up the second half as Focus Power had to contend with a first-over China Dream (Billy Davis Jr.) with a panel to go. But there were no anxious moments in the stretch as Focus Power pulled away thanks to a :27.4 last quarter and China Dream retreated. R M Hawk (Kevin Cummings) took third place.   Owned by James Caradori and trained by Darrin Monti, it was the third victory in 10 tries this season for the 6-year-old gelded Focus Power (Shadow Play-Luv's For Ever). The win pushed his 2018 earnings to $28,116 and $189,083 lifetime.   Drew Monti finished the night with four victories in the sulky with Shawn Gray adding three. Trainer James Clouser Jr. picked up three wins and Darrin Monti a pair.   Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program scheduled. Buffalo Raceway will be dark this Friday (July 6) but will have a Saturday evening program at 6 p.m. and a matinee on Sunday beginning at 12:30 p.m. with the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers battling in the New York Sire Stakes.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- In the past three weeks, Empire Earl N teased the fans with in the money finishes but came up empty in the win column. He turned things around in a big way on Friday night (June 15) in Buffalo Raceway's $11,500 Open Trot by erasing those bitter memories with a half length decision over B Z Glide.   While the win was more than well deserved, the victory didn't come easy either.   Empire Earl N, Buffalo Raceway's 2017 Trotter of the Year, needed a career-best 1:57.0 to get the job done. His lifetime mark was 1:57.1 established last season at Batavia Downs.   B Z Glide (Mike Caprio) was the quickest off the starting gate and put up panels of :28.2, :58.2 and 1:28.3. Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) drafted along perfectly in second while Barn Winner was first over with a quarter mile to trot.   It was a mad dash to the wire with Empire Earl N rushing through the passing lane to snag the popular $4.10 victory while B Z Glide and Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) had to settle for second and third place respectively.   Owned by Kimberly Asher and trained by Riley Asher-Stalbaum, Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita) now has found the winner's circle five times in 16 appearances in 2018. The 10-year-old gelding has now produced $38,913 in earnings this season and $200,753 lifetime.   Racing will resume on Saturday evening with a nine-race card slated for 6 p.m. There is a $795 carryover that awaits in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

  HAMBURG, NY --- Driver Drew Monti gave Sportsmuffler ($4.60) a perfect tour around the Buffalo Raceway half mile oval and that trip paid off in a well deserved victory in the $10,000 Open I-II Pace for the ladies on a steamy Wednesday night (May 30).   In taking the featured event, it kicked off a great evening for Monti as he finished the card with five winners.   At the start, Sgt Molly Pitcher (Jim Morrill Jr.) was parked out to the opening marker by Susie's Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) and that first split of :28.1 eventually would take the starch out of the pace setter in the end.   In the meantime, Sportsmuffler was able to latch onto the first over cover of Quicksilvercandy A (Shawn McDonough) through a half of :59.0. Down the backstretch the final time, Monti couldn't wait any longer to make his move as he tipped Sportsmuffler three-wide and zoomed to the lead at the top of the stretch.   There were no worries for Sportsmuffler in the drive to the wire as she paced away to a 1-1/2 win over Susie's Delight in a seasonal best of 1:54.3. Aritzia Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) took the show spot.   Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steve Kiblin, it was the third victory in eight starts this year for Sportsmuffler (Sportsmaster-Whatifthere'smore). The 6-year-mare has put $21,053 in the bank this year and $233,908 lifetime.   Racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with an 8-race program set for 5 p.m. There's a $1,183 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- A disappointing second place finish last week left a bitter taste in the mouth of Sportsmuffler. But on Wednesday night (April 18), she bounced back nice and tasted sweet victory by registering a two length decision over Aritzia Hanover in the featured $10,400 Open Pace for the mares at Buffalo Raceway.   After watching Aritzia Hanover reel off fractions of :28.4 and :58.4 to the half, Sportsmuffler (Drew Monti) began her first over journey to the lead. Getting to the top with a quarter mile to pace, Sportsmuffler ($3.10) used a :28.0 final panel to seal the deal in going the mile in a seasonal best 1:56.3.   Aritzia Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) held on for second place while Hey Kobe (David McNeight III) rallied late for third.   It was the second victory in five starts in 2018 for the 6-year-old Sportsmuffler (Sportsmaster-Whatifthere'smore). Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steven Kiblin, Sportsmaster has now earned $14,309 this season and $227,165 lifetime.   Monti completed the evening with a triple in the sulky while Ray Fisher Jr. doubled. Kiblin finished the night with two training wins.   Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, simulcast schedule and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway   Photo: Sportsmuffler taste sweet victory at Buffalo Raceway. Photo by Steve Roth  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "It came a lot quicker in my career than I thought it would," driver Drew Monti said after registering his 1,000th career victory on Saturday night (Feb. 24) in guiding Im So Handsome ($5.50) to a 1-1/4 length win in the sixth race at Buffalo Raceway.   At the age of 23, Monti's career has skyrocketed in the past three years as proven by his statistics. He's gone over the 200-win plateau since 2015 including a career-high 294 victories last season. Monti's purse earnings are well over $5.6 million. He also has a driving title to his credit after beating out Jim Morrill Jr. 116-112 to capture the 2016 Batavia Downs' crown.   "My success has led to more opportunities," Monti stated in boasting his win total each year. "I've been getting better horses and have driven in the New York Sire Stakes and hope that continues." It also helps now being the first-call driver for trainer J.D. Perrin, always a top conditioner on the Western New York circuit.   Monti stated he doesn't really worry about his numbers saying, "There's no calculated goal on how many races I have to win every night. I try to win every race but sometimes you are hot and sometimes you are cold. You just have to give your best day in and day out."   When asked about his most memorable victory in his young career, Monti said that winning several New York Sire Stake events are near top of his list but the one that sticks out the most was his first victory driving on behalf of his family.   "I can remember it like it was yesterday, the horses involved and how the race unfolded," Monti recalled. "The first race I ever won, my father (Darrin) wasn't in the winner's circle but the next race I won, it was with our family horse, The Prophet Mary. My dad was in the winner's circle for that. The Prophet Mary was responsible for a lot of wins for our family."   And as for the future, Monti, who had a double on Saturday night, wants to continue roll up the victories and enjoying his time in the sulky.   In the featured $8,800 pace, Mach Stockn Barrel remained razor sharp by notching his third victory in five starts in 2018. The 7-year-old gelding also has a pair of second place finishes this season.   Getting solid cover from P L Jackson past the three-quarter pole, driver Shawn Gray tipped Mach Stockn Barrel ($8.10) three-wide around the far turn and rolled to the length win in 1:56.0 over the fast track. P L Jackson (Mike Micallef) took second with Western Alumni (David McNeight III) rounding out the top three.   Owned by William Emmons and conditioned by James Clouser Jr., Mach Stockn Barrel (Mach Three-Timeless Classic) has earned $16,050 on the season and $136,774 lifetime.   Gray completed the night with five victories in the bike while Billy Davis Jr. doubled. Trainer James Clouser Jr. notched four wins and Gerry Sarama had a triple.   Racing will return on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program on tap.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, November 28, 2017—Yonkers Raceway turned into Monti-cello Tuesday night (Nov. 28th), as western New York harness racing driving standout Drew Monti won his first local race. Monti, who has been making sporadic sojourns downstate, went up and over with Classy Lane Rose ($10.80) in the $15,000, seventh-race pace. The 7-year-old daughter of Jereme’s Jet crossed the line in a comfortable 1:54.4. It was Monti’s first Westchester victory in his fifth try this season. The winner is owned by Monti‘s grandfather, Carl, and trained by Steven Weaver. “We originally claimed (Classy Lane Rose) here from Yonkers for $20,000 (base price) and gave her some time off. She’s raced well for us in the top class back home (eight wins and more than $84,000 overall this season). Shaw was back in for the same price again tonight. “It’s just the next level,” Monti said of his Yonkers experience. “The money is certainly better, the horses are smoother and the drivers rarely make mistakes, so I really have to be on my toes.” Monti, who had success at the Meadowlands last winter, said he’d consider trying the tri-state area more once the current Batavia season ends in mid-December.         “I know Yonkers closes around then (Dec. 17th) also, but when you guys start back up in January, I may come down early in the week and see what happens.” The 23-year-old Monti has compiled personal best in wins (281) and purses ($1.7 million) this season.   Frank Drucker

Batavia, NY---The old wagering adage suggesting you bet the longest shot in the shortest field was right on point in the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 29) as Osprey Vision scored big after being overlooked at 10-1 in the five-horse harness racing field. With the late scratch of Lutetium, Noble Legend (Jim Morrill Jr.) decided to be the leader to follow this week and took that position shortly after the start. With a sloppy track and no early opposition, Morrill took the field down to the half in :58.1 and looked comfortable in doing so. As the group was into the second circuit, Egosnattitudes (Larry Stalbaum) was motoring up on the outside with Osprey Vision (Drew Monti) second over. But halfway up the backstretch Egosnattitudes copped one and made a break, leaving Osprey Vision advancing alone towards the leader around the final turn. By the time the race hit the head of the lane Osprey Vision looked Noble Legend in the eye before trotting right by. Osprey Vision then maintained the lead while holding off the late charging Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) and BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to win in 1:59.2. Osprey Vision ($23.80) now has eight wins and $55,814 earned this year for owner Marissa Russo and trainer David Russo. In the $8,000 Open II trot Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) broke a six-week drought, coming from way off the pace at the half following dull outside cover before tipping three-deep off the last turn to close down the lane and win by a neck in 1:59.4. Empire Earl N ($12.00) registered his sixth win of the year and bumped his bank to $55,590 for his owner who drives him, Larry Stalbaum. The New Zealand bred son of Earl is trained by Kim Asher. Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple on Friday. Drivers scoring two wins included Drew Monti and Larry Stalbaum. Trainers getting two wins included Kim Asher, David Russo and Angelo Nappo. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 30) at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---Classy Lane Rose has been a shrinking violet with the Batavia Downs winner's circle this meet having not won in four starts here. But the harness racing  mare was in full bloom on Wednesday (Aug. 30) as she went gate to wire in convincing style to win the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open pace. Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) left with the gate and the field willingly settled in post-position order behind her. After letting her intentions be known, she then tempered her speed to the half, backing it down to :58 flat. No one made a move until the three-eighths pole when Susie's Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) came first-up and brought Kruella (Shawn McDonough) along with her. Monti kept the challengers at bay, speeding up the third panel to :28.1 and from there the race was won. Despite horses fanning four-wide around the final turn, Classy Lane Rose was in full stride and paced home in a crisp :27.4 to win by a length. Now with $60,300 in the bank on the strength of six wins this year, Classy Lane Rose ($3.30) is owned by Carl Monti and trained by Darrin Monti. The co-feature $8,000 distaff Open II field was shortened to five starters after two late scratches and as a result, Mean Pauline (Shawn McDonough) got a perfect pocket trip behind the point-mare Hot Patootie (Larry Stalbaum) and then shot through the lightning lane to win by a length in 1:55.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Mean Pauline ($11.80) and owner Harry Wortzman. McDonough also trains the winner. Drivers Drew Monti, Larry Stalbaum and Ray Fisher Jr. all had two wins on the card. Trainer Kim Asher also scored two victories on Wednesday evening. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 1) with post time at 6 p.m. Friday's card features the $106,000 NYSS for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---Tioga Downs shipper Believe This Bob didn't miss a beat on the half-mile harness racing track and put on a show in winning the $10,000 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 12)   Believe This Bob (Drew Monti) left from post one and had the lead as soon as the gate released the field, opening up a two-length lead he would maintain the whole race.   Working through fractions of :27.2, 55.3 and 1:23.2, Believe This Bob went unchallenged the whole way and for good reason; the trailing horses had trouble keeping up.   At the top of the lane, Lucky King (Ron Beback Jr.) who had gotten a perfect pocket trip, launched a mild bid at the leader. But Believe This Bob kept his eye on the prize and finished a wrapped-up winner in 1:52.3.   It was the fourth win of the year for Believe This Bob ($4.20) and 43rd of his career. The 9-year-old gelded son of Beach Romeo is owned by Mary Ann Larrimore and is trained by Joe Skowyra.   In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, Sir Ziggy's Z Tam (John Cummings Jr.) was hopelessly locked in fifth at the top of the far turn but found room along the pylons heading down the lane and brushed late to capture the win in 1:54.2. Sir Ziggy's Z Tam ($13.80) is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin.   Drew Monti and Kevin Cummings both had a driving hat trick on Saturday while John Cummings Jr. and Jim Morrill Jr. each had driving doubles.   Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 12) with post time set for 1:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---After getting aired-out at Vernon Downs last week, Edom Up Blue Boy returned home to western New York and benefited from a perfect trip to win the $10,500 Open trot at Batavia Downs on Friday (July 28). Habitual leaver Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) was on point and everybody knew the drill. Rolling swiftly around the first turn, no one in the race wanted to challenge for the front so it was post-parade order behind the leader from there. This left Edom Up Blue Boy (Rock C. Vinci) sitting pretty in the garden spot for the next seven-eighths of a mile. As the race moved past the half in a pedestrian :59 split, a weak outer-flow led by Gwally (Drew Monti) tried to mount a challenge, but that soon fell apart moving to three-quarters. Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) who had been sitting third pulled into the last turn and advanced on Lutetium who was showing signs of fatigue. He pulled alongside by the top of the stretch at the same time the passing lane opened up for Edom Up Blue Boy and the pair simultaneously passed the leader. The two then trotted in step all the way to the wire with Edom Up Blue Boy getting the slightest advantage at the wire to win by a head in 1:59. It was the fourth win in 19 starts this year for Edom Up Blue Boy ($18.60) and pushed his earnings to $23,552 for owner Rock C. Vinci who also trains the winner. In the $8,000 Open II trot, Noble Legend ($5.20) was never headed, leading gate to wire for a five-length victory in 1:58.3 for driver Ray Fisher Jr. Jack and Maria Rice own the winner with Maria Rice doing the training. Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple while Drew Monti doubled up. Trainer Russell Bratt sent two students for pictures as well Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (July 29) with post time set at 6:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Driver Drew Monti was as hot as a firecracker on Sunday afternoon (July 2) as he capped a successful week of harness racing action at Buffalo Raceway with a four-bagger. Monti finished the 45-race week with 11 victories.   The 22-year-old Monti was the delight of the chalk players as he guided Rock The Dream ($2.30) Barry Hanover ($3.00), Fall Toy ($2.60) and McSexy ($2.70) to victories. He currently sits in third place in the driver's standings with 115.   Buffalo Raceway's leading driver is Larry Stalbaum and he pushed his seasonal total at the Hamburg half-mile oval to 177 thanks to a trio of wins aboard Dash For The Cash ($3.20), Thunderbolt Jaxon ($3.50) and Motor Shark ($7.40). Stalbaum had 10 wins on the week.   JD Perrin had a training double on the matinee card.   Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled. Buffalo Raceway will offer simulcasting on Monday (July 3) and Tuesday (July 4) which would normally be dark days.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was trainer Maria Rice's birthday on Saturday evening (June 24) and her trainee, China Dream, gave her a great present by winning the featured $9,000 Preferred Pace at Buffalo Raceway in a seasonal best 1:54.1 over the fast harness racing track.   China Dream (Drew Monti) led at every quarter mile station and held off a pesky Lucky McTrucky (Kevin Cummings) by a half length. Show Stopping (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.   Starting from the rail, the favored China Dream ($4.40) played the give-and-go with Lucky McTrucky and set the fractions with a 28.3, 56.4 and 1:25.2.   China Dream started to drift out in the charge for the wire but stayed the course long enough to turn back the threat of Lucky McTrucky.   Co-owned by Jack and Maria Rice, the 6-year-old gelded China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art) has won five times in 19 outings in 2017. The win upped his seasonal earnings to $40,770 and $213,443 lifetime.   Cummings notched a driving triple while Monti and Jim Morrill Jr. had doubles.   Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 10-race program scheduled. The New York Sire Stakes will highlight the action with the 3-year-old trotting fillies set to do battle in a pair of events worth more than $58,000 each. Barn Bella, the defending NYSS champion, headlines the fifth race field. She arrives riding a 10-race win streak.   There will also be races contested in the Excelsior A and B Series.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a family affair in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open Pace for the harness racing ladies on Wednesday night (June 14) as three generations of the Monti lineage had a part in Classy Lane Rose's victory.   Owned by grandfather Carl Monti, trained by son Darrin Monti and driven by grandson Drew Monti, Classy Lane Rose ($6.50) exploded midway down the lane and put away V'La Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:55.1. It was the first win in three starts at Buffalo Raceway for Classy Lane Rose since arriving in early May from Yonkers.   Dustlanemissmolly and V'La Faire played give and take to the quarter marker in 28.0. After regaining the lead around the second turn, Dustlanemissmolly posted fractions of 57.3 and 1:26.2 but couldn't sustain the lead.   Classy Lane Rose, who was second over behind Kruella around the final turn, overpowered the rest of the field in the stretch as a 28.3 last quarter mile was more than enough to get the photo opportunity. V'La Faire was second with Dustlanemissmolly (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.   The 8-year-old Classy Lane Rose (Jereme's Jet-Titantic Rose) has now won four times in 12 outings this season. The victory pushed her seasonal earnings to $40,230 and $524,941 lifetime.   Drew Monti led the way in the driving category as he posted four wins while David McNeight III doubled. Trainer JD Perrin sent a pair to the winner's circle.   Racing has been cancelled for Friday night, but it still will be a busy weekend at Buffalo Raceway. Action will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race program. Sunday afternoon racing will begin this week with a 12:30 p.m. post.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

The Last Chapter (Drew Monti) takes the harness racing featured Williams Auto Trot at Tioga Downs Sunday afternoon (May 21). This exciting race showed many lead changes until the top of the stretch. The 3 year-old Chapter Seven gelding took over and won with ease. Chapter Seven ($2.90) owned by Richard Gutnik, Joe Losito and the TLP Stable turned the mile in 1:56.2. Royal Casanova (Jim Taggart Jr) came up to take second. TT Conway (Jim Marohn Jr) finished third. Tioga Downs is dark this Friday and returns to live action on Saturday night (May 27) at 6:50pm. There is a special Sunday (May 28) start time of 6:50pm. New York Sire Stakes return Sunday night as 3 year-old trotting fillies take center stage. Memorial Day Monday (May 29) post time is 1:00 pm.   For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Hot Patootie has been used to going gate-to-wire recently to find her way to the winner's circle at Buffalo Raceway. But that method went out the window on Wednesday night (May 17). Getting the long journey on the outside the entire mile, Hot Patootie was still good enough to top the harness racing field in the $8,200 pace for the mares.   For Hot Patootie ($13.20), it was her third victory in her last four starts. She beat Double Joy by a half length in 1:56.0 over the fast track.   It was a four-way battle to the top and when the dust settled on the warm evening, Voltina found herself in the lead. Going by the half in 57.4, Double Joy (Larry Stalbaum) was in command with Hot Patootie (Drew Monti) inching her way closer on the outside.   The final panel boiled down to a battle between the two mares with the relentless Hot Patootie managing to wear down Double Joy late to take win. Squeeze This (Ron Beback Jr.) took the show spot.   Owned by David Crumb and trained by Joe Skowyra, it was the fifth victory in 16 appearances for Hot Patootie (Hot Pans-Getting Better). The win upped her seasonal earnings to $17,578 and $80,767 lifetime.   Monti finished the evening with four wins in the bike while Stalbaum and Jim Morrill Jr. posted doubles. Trainer JD Perrin had a training triple and Bo Sowers had two.   Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled.   For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

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