by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was apparent that the game plan for China Dream in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (June 25) was to try and cut the mile, something he's not accustomed at all in doing.
The new strategy worked to perfection though as the usually late-charging China Dream tied his lifetime best in going gate-to-wire to beat GD Airliner by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.0 over the fast track.
Off the starting gate, driver Drew Monti fired out with China Dream and had every opportunity to tuck into third but nixed that idea and continued on to the lead. Setting respectable fractions of 28.1, 57.1, and 1:26.4, China Dream was patiently awaiting the arrival of the other stone-cold closer in GD Airliner (David McNeight III) in the race for home.
But the charge never came to fruition as China Dream ($3.60) paced a 27.1 final quarter to leave the first over GD Airliner in a holding pattern while Bad Fox (Lee Dahn) was third.
Co-owned by Jack Rice and trainer Maria Rice, it was the seventh victory in 18 starts this year for the 5-year-old gelded China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art). The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $49,475 and $139,068 lifetime.
Todd Cummings and David McNeight III each had three wins on the night while Monti, and Ray Fisher Jr. doubled. Trainers JD Perrin, John Mungillo and Rice all had two wins.
Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled. The New York Sire Stakes will roll into town again with the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters set to battle it out. There will also be action in the Excelsior A and B series and a pair of races in the C.K.G. Billings Amateur driving series.
For more information including race replays, results, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com