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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Little Santamonica Wins Buffalo Raceway F&M Open Again

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The $10,000 Open Pace for the filly and mares on Wednesday night (Feb. 17) looked like an instant replay of last week's event, Little Santamonica sitting dead last then bursting through in the home stretch to post an come from behind victory.

This time around, Little Santamonica ($9.00) gave herself a little more breathing room, romping past Memumsnotnice by 2-1/2 widening lengths at the wire. The margin of victory last week was just a head over Mach This Way.

Ugly Betty set up shop on the front end, putting up splits of 29.2, 59.1 and 1:28.2. Little Santamonica in the meantime was sitting seventh into the final turn and that's where driver Shawn McDonough went into action. He guided Little Santamonica into a perfect striking position at the head of the stretch and she did the rest.

The pair weaved through some minor traffic but blew past the field thanks to a 28.3 last quarter in going the mile in 1:58. Memumsnotnice (Ray Fisher Jr.) finished in second while the favored Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) took third.

Owned and trained by Jordan Hope, Little Santamonica (Little Steven-Tonianne N) is an 8-year-old mare who has won two consecutive races. It sent her 2016 earnings to $10,700 and $328,561 lifetime.

David McNeight III took over the lead in the driver's standings with three victories. He moved ahead of the injured Kevin Cummings 22-21. Jack Flanigen also tripled while Billy Davis Jr. and Jim McNeight registered two wins.

Trainer Tyler Nostadt posted a double.

It was a great night in the wagering department at Buffalo Raceway with the largest handle of the 2016 season.

Racing will return on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 12-race program. Ronnie Wrenn Jr., who was snowed out of last week's seasonal debut at Buffalo Raceway, is scheduled to drive this Friday.

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