by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After spotting the field 16 lengths at the quarter pole, things certainly looked bleak for Dayson to keep his unbeaten streak alive.
But that huge head start wasn't enough to stop the determined Dayson as he mounted an amazing comeback and somehow score a length victory in the second $52,501 division New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (July 22).
It was the third consecutive Sires Stakes victory for Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus) in three lifetime starts. He covered the mile in 2:02.2 over the fast track.
In the first leg, Allerage Echo found little trouble in romping to an impressive five length decision in 2:03.3.
But the story of the night was Dayson.
Driver Jeff Gregory said of the adventurous trip and giving the field an early advantage due to a break at the start. "He was a little fumbly around the turns but I knew he had the speed to get back into the race."
Gremlin Wilson (John Cummings Jr.) set the tempo with splits of 30.0, 1:02, and 1:33.0 but figured the charge from the back of the pack was developing. Chargin Cadet (Jordan Stratton) and Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley) looked like the main contenders at the half. But the big-hearted Dayson regrouped and chipped away at the pack, finally getting within two lengths with a final panel to go.
Using a 28.4 final quarter mile, Dayson ($2.70) had plenty left in the tank and zoomed on by for the incredible victory over Chargin Cadet. Smalltownthrowdown took the show spot.
Co-owner Amy Butler said of Dayson's performance. "That was the first time he faced traffic at the start but I knew he had the speed to come back. I knew at the top of the stretch he was going to win." Dayson is also owned by Margaret Butler and trained by Howard Okusko.
A winner now of $64,806 in his three starts, Dayson is the Butler's first Sire Stakes horse ever. "This is just an awesome feeling," Amy Butler said in the winner's circle. "We are going to continue on with him in the Sire Stakes." Next stop is Batavia Downs on Wednesday, August 5.
Allerage Echo (Conway Hall-Echonomical) had no issues in going coast-to-coast in the opener, registering an easy five length victory. Crown Point (Dan Daley) placed a distant second with Rose Run Ransom (John Plutino) taking third.
"He's a nice horse," driver Chris Lems said of Allerage Echo ($5.80). "He was push button. He had a lot left at the wire and I never popped the plugs."
Allerage Echo went right to the lead and had times of 33.0, 1:03.0 and 1:34.3 in romping to the 2:03.3 final time.
Owner Ken Jacobs said of Allerage Echo, a horse he just acquired two weeks ago. "I told George (Ducharme) that he's a real good horse. He changed the rigging some and it has made a difference. George has been training him on a half-mile track and once we got around that first turn, I felt pretty good."
It was the first victory in three attempts for Allerage Echo, now a winner of $30,611 in 2015.
In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series races, Nono Lindy (Gregory) had the fastest time by posting a 2:03.2 time. Nono Lindy paid $4.80 for the victory.
Cashuz ($3.40) took a division with Cummings Jr. in the sulky in 2:03.4 while Do What You Dream ($3.40) went 2:04 for Lems in 2:04.0.
The $6,800 Excelsior 'B' Series events went to Radical Way (Gregory) in 2:06.0 while Thanks For Playin had a $47.60 upset victory for Lems in 2:08.3.
Lems and Gregory each finished the night with a 'hat-trick'.
Ugly Betty returned to her winning ways in the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open II pace by using a 1:55.1 clocking to beat Kisses N Kicks by 1-3/4 lengths. Jim Morrill Jr., who also had three wins on the night, was in the sulky with Ugly Betty ($3.60).
The final week of racing continues on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 10-race program set for 6:35 p.m.
For more information inlcuding the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com