HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's a good thing Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot is raced at an even mile because an inch longer, the result probably would have been different for the front-running Lutetium on Friday evening (Feb. 19).
Leading nearly every step of the way, Lutetium (Truman Gale) found the wire just in the nick of time to hold off the hard-charging Cold Certified (Shawn McDonough) by a nose in 2:01.0 over the sloppy track.
Lutetium ($4.60) managed to open up a 12-length advantage over Cold Certified who sat fifth after the first quarter mile. He needed every bit of that as Cold Certified, the winner of the past two Open trots, made steady forward progress through the final three panels.
In the drive to the wire, Lutetium was begging for the wire while Cold Certified launched a vicious rally in deep stretch only to come up a nostril short. Northern Bullet (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) was a mere neck behind in the blanket finish.
Owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw, Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby) has posted two victories in six seasonal starts, earning $14,750 in 2016. The 9-year-old gelding has bankrolled $371,367 lifetime.
Ronnie Wrenn Jr. tripled in his first appearance of the season at Buffalo Raceway while Jack Flanigen and Drew Monti each scored a pair of victories. Trainers Maria Rice and Laidlaw both doubled.
Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 13-race program scheduled. The feature will be the $10,000 Open Pace along with the semi-finals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series.
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