2017 off to a good start
by John Furgele
Buffalo Raceway started its 2017 season on January 11 and in just two weeks of racing, we are starting to see the colts, geldings, fillies and mares get some fitness. In the first three cards, horses struggled to break the 2:00 mark for mile paces and trots. But, then it happened. On Saturday, January 21, nine winning times in the 12-race card were under 2:00, with seven under 1:59. Furthermore, three winning times were 1:57, 1:57.1, 1:57.1 respectively.
One of the best races of the night came in the finale, when Rebel Jet came from off the pace to score in 1:57.1. The eight-year old gelding stalked pacemaker Southwind Torque, who hung in gamely to finish third behind the closing Knocking Around. Rebel Jet also paid a nice price, returning $12.40 to win.
In Race 10, it was quite the duel between Pan Street USA and Itsonlyrockandroll. The latter took the stalking trip as Pan Street USA cut quarters of 28.4, 58.3, and 1:28.1 and fought to the end before ceding. It took until deep stretch for the six-year old gelding to come up for the win in an impressive 1:57.1
In Race Eight, Bubbie Boy stalked the first half in 59.3 and then exploded to win by 10 lengths in 1:57.0, the fastest time of the day. Bubbie Boy is a nine-year gelding by Artiscape and after winning just twice in 21 starts last year is off to a good beginning in 2017.
My intent here is to provide as much information as possible, but my focus will be on races that offer solid purses—and that varies according to track—with further focus on fast winning times and any story that is compelling. Our efforts will be on the New York harness tracks, and currently, Buffalo, Yonkers and Monticello are racing. Saratoga, Tioga, Vernon and Batavia will open later in 2017.
Buffalo Raceway will be back at it on Wednesday, January 25 with a 12-race card. And, just like the last two Wednesdays, the feature race will be a $10,000 Open Pace for fillies and mares. Two other races carry purses of $8,200 and $7,400 respectively.
Post time at the old Hamburg Fairgrounds is 6 pm on Wednesday.