by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Little Santamonica ($6.90) unleashed a furious rally in the stretch and stunned Mach This Way by a head Wednesday night (Feb. 10) to take Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Pace for fillies and mares in 1:59.2 over the sloppy track.
It appeared that Mach This Way had things under control at the top of the stretch with a brush to take the lead. But Little Santamonica, who was sitting dead last at the three-quarter marker, quickly began picking off horses one by one on the far outside to move into contention.
In the race to the wire, Little Santamonica had driver Shawn McDonough holding on tight as the pair zoomed past Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) who were left in total disbelief. A sizzling 28.3 final panel proved to be the difference. Charmschooldropout (Jim McNeight) took the show position.
Owned and trained by Jordan Hope, it was the first win in five tries in 2016 for Little Santamonica (Little Steven-Tonianne N) whose last six attempts came at Yonkers Raceway. The 8-year-old mare has now won $5,700 this year and $323,563 lifetime.
Driver David McNeight III continued his torrid pace as he posted a four-win night while Todd Cummings tripled and Ray Fisher Jr. added a double. Trainers Kirk Desmond and David McNeight Jr. each had a pair of victories.
Racing resumes Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m. Ronnie Wrenn Jr., one of the top drivers in North America, is slated to participate in 11 of the 12 races.
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