by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a double celebration for trainer Samuel Smith at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (July 22).
|Photo by Bill Burke|
|One Off Delight A wins third straight.|
He clinched 'Trainer of the Meet' honors when Handsoffmytitos ($3.70) won the fourth race in 1:54.1 which gave him an insurmountable lead over David Russo. Smith, who won his first Buffalo Raceway training crown, finished the season with 49 wins while Russo finished with 45.
The party in the Smith stable then got into high gear three races later in the $15,500 Open Pace as One Off Delight A ($7.80) notched his third straight victory with a three quarter length win over American Trademark in 1:52.4, tying his lifetime best. Both Handsoffmytitos and One Off Delight A were driven by Jim Morrill Jr.
In the Open Pace, Idealthecards wanted to cut the fractions and did so with splits of :27.1, :55.1 and 1:23.4 over the fast track. Turning for home, it was shaping up to be a match race between Idealthecards (Kyle Cummings) and American Trademark (Ray Fisher Jr.). But someone forgot to tell One Off Delight A, who was sixth and last with a marker to go.
One Off Delight A found a big seam in between Idealthecards and American Trademark and zipped through the gap to pull off the victory, leaving the front runners in disbelief. A final quarter of :28,2 by One Off Delight A proved to be the dagger. Ironically, it was the ninth runner up finish for American Trademark this year.
|Photo by Bill Burke|
|J-s Hopscotch wires field in Open Trot.|
Owned by Michael Torcello, it was the fourth win in 23 starts for the 9-year-old One Off Delight A (Bettor's Delight-Tiger Su). The victory upped his 2023 bankroll to $55,810 and $357,517 in his career.
The $15,500 Open Trot. J-s Hopscotch ($15.40) led gate to wire and cruised to an easy 2-1/4-length victory over I Got The Looks in 1:57.3.
Starting from the two post, J-s Hopscotch benefited from the heavily favored Jacked who broke off stride from the rail. This allowed J-s Hopscotch (Kyle Cummings) to easily assume the lead and never looked back.
Stomping off splits of :29.4, :59.2 and 1:29.0, J-s Hopscotch found no challengers down the home stretch and cruised home. I Got The Looks (Dan Yetman) won the battle for the minor spoils with Buffalo Raceway 'Trotter of the Meet', Muskingum (Joseph Chinado Jr.), taking the show position.
Owned by the Rags To Riches of PA LLC and conditioned by Tammy Cummings, it was the sixth trip to the winner's circle in 26 appearances for the 5-year-old J-s Hopscotch (Mr Web Page-Better Than Dreams). The triumph moved his seasonal earnings to $60,312 and $152,552 lifetime.
Kevin Cummings had three victories on the evening to give him 100 wins on the season at Buffalo Raceway while Joseph Chindano Jr., Fisher Jr., Morrill Jr. all had driving doubles on closing night. Angelo Nappo had three training scores with Chindano Jr. and Smith getting two victories.
It was the seasonal finale for Buffalo Raceway. Simulcasting will continue on Sunday (July 23) and then will close until February, 2024.
For more information including the latest news results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com