by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jokerman was the longest shot on the board in the $10,500 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (July 11) and showed he was 'no joke' at the finish line.
Registering a seasonal best time of 1:54.4 over the fast track, the determined Jokerman (David McNeight III) managed to nip the heavily-favored Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) by a nose and return a healthy $49.60 for the victory.
Watching from fourth as Mr. Perserverance put up splits of 27.1, 56.0 and 1:25.2, Jokerman swung three wide as the field of six turned from home. Youwillwishyouhad got the lead in the early drive to the wire but couldn't hold off the pesky Jokerman at the line. Rockstar Temper (Drew Monti), the winner of the past two Saturday night features, finished in third.
Co-owned by trainer Richard Roth along with Robert and Randy Roth, Jokerman (American Ideal-Shark Tail) has now won seven times in 22 starts in 2015, earning $49,644. The 6-year-old gelding increased his career bankroll to $98,787.
The tote board showed that the sub-featured $9,500 Open II Pace was going to be a wide-open affair and the field of eight didn't disappoint. Cobble Beach (Cummings) had a wicked trip but somehow held on for a head victory over Burton Blue Chip.
Cobble Beach, starting from the eight post, had to race three-wide past the quarter pole before finally settling on top. With fractions of 27.4, 55.2 and 1:25.1, there was no rest for the weary.
There were pacers coming from everywhere in the lane but Cobble Beach turned in a gutsy performance to hold back the attacks put forth by Burton Blue Chip (Lee Dahn), Art Two D Two (Monti) and I C D Moolah (Ron Beback Jr.) who completed the top four placements in the blanket finish.
The 5-year-old gelded Cobble Beach has now scored three victories in 23 starts for owner-trainer James Clouser Jr. The win increased his seasonal earnings to $35,440 and $130,347 lifetime.
It's a big afternoon of racing coming up Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at Buffalo Raceway. The New York Sire Stakes highlights the program with the 3-year-old filly trotters battling it out. Hall of Fame driver John Campbell will be in town, making his first appearance at the track since 1992. He is scheduled to compete in four events.
It's also 'Sunday Funday' with free sno cones, cotton candy, bounce house and crafts for the kids while the track side grill will also be open during the 13-race card.
For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com