For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Friday, May 31, 2013

BR - New York Sire Stakes open at Buffalo Raceway Saturday

From Harness Horse Breeders of New York

Latham, NY---  In the past two years, five dilapidated old barns have been replaced with 5 brand new gleaming barns. Major repairs to the other existing barns include fresh paint; new roofs, stall repairs and a complete refurbishing of an older barn have taken place. The entire stable area has been covered with fresh blacktop. Ongoing drainage issues were addressed and repairs made to eliminate water runoff problems. The track racing surface has been improved with what Dave Dylo, track superintendent calls “The best material he has seen in many years”. In addition, just recently, new state of the art lights have been installed for the entire homestretch. This work followed the building of the new paddock that opened in 2006, a project that was headed by General Contractor, Peter Arrigenna, also the Vice President of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York and a Western New York native.  “It is absolutely incredible to see the improvements made at Buffalo Raceway the past few years,” said Arrigenna.  “It is one of the very few harness tracks in the country that has improved its stable area, which is now one of the finest in the country.”    

Buffalo Raceway has also improved the patrons’ areas of the facility.  Renovations were made in the clubhouse and grandstand including the building of six new boxes; adding new televisions with the most obvious change being a brand new video and sound system featuring new graphics and speakers throughout the entire racing operation, complementing the addition of popular announcer, Gabe Prewitt, a native of Kentucky, who had been calling races at The Red Mile in Lexington for the past eight years.  A 2% Players Reward program continues to be well received in the clubhouse.  The results have been good with Buffalo Raceway’s handle increasing over 60% nationwide since 2011.

“The horsemen have been the beneficiaries of these changes including increased racing days and higher overnight purses,” said Arrigenna.  “Everyone is excited about the changes and how they are treated when visiting Buffalo.”

While Buffalo Raceway management takes their commitment to the local Horsemen and Patrons seriously their overall support to the statewide harness racing industry is especially noteworthy.

Buffalo Raceway works in conjunction with the Western NY Horsemen Association, Batavia Downs and the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund to co-sponsor scholarship races to provide funds for ongoing educational opportunities to high school seniors.  While participating in the scholarship races the students are also exposed to the Standardbred racing industry and learn how to care for racehorses. They are also taught to drive the horses and then compete against each other in a race for the scholarship money.

Buffalo Raceway has also supported the New York Sire Stakes County Fair program by providing much needed saddle pads for the entire statewide fair races.

Buffalo Raceway also works to promote the harness horse racing industry by providing promotional giveaways and information about the NY breeding program.

With tracks like Buffalo Raceway, New York State will continue to be the premier place to race.

So, with the start of the New York Sire Stakes rescheduled because of sickness and a state imposed quarantine it only seems fitting for the season to begin at Buffalo Raceway.

In Race 8, Summertime Lea (2012 NYSS Champion two year old pacing filly) will start off her 2013 NYSS campaign to become a repeat Champion. If she can prevail she will be one of a select few that can retain their form over two years. In 2012 Summertime Lea (Lislea) had nine starts, finishing 1st in eight of them and 2nd in the other. She starts from the rail.

Ballineen appears to be the most serious threat to Summertime Lea’s attempt to retain her position. In her last 8 starts she has not been worse than 3rd.  Ballineen will leave from post 4.

Park N Orchard from post 7, fresh off of a 1:55.3 qualifying effort and Bettor Think Twice from post 5, who already has 2 wins in two starts have their work cut out for them.

Race 4 another NYSS is deep in talent.  Three of the eight entries competed in the 2012 NYSS Finals.

Brussels Hanover (Bettors Delight) finished second to Summertime Lea in the 2012 final and amassed earnings of $143,647 returns to NYSS action. 

Hit the Curb (Art Major) another talented filly earned $160,000 last year for W.  Springtime Stable.  She appeared to tire late in 2012 but returns fresh here.

Silk Pajama’s also raced in the 2012 NYSS final and earned $90,000 for co-owners, CE Zurich, EJ Gold and Purple Haze Stbs LLC.  She starts from post 3.

Purple Haze Stbs LLC. Is due for another good one, will Silk Pajama’s be the one?

Cheyenne Miriam (Bettor’s Delight) has blasted into 2013 and looks to be the one to beat in the first NYSS race of the night.

Spell to Cast (American Ideal) raced respectably last year and Linda Toscano always brings her horses ready to win. From the rail she is a factor.

Social Scene (American Ideal) has been raced very lightly but looks like the real deal.

She comes with trainer Casie Coleman, another lady who can get the job done.

The 3 races Saturday are just the start of the 2013 New York Sire Stakes season with stops at all 7 New York harness tracks that will end September 28 with the Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway.