by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After paying a visit to Tioga Downs last week, GD Airliner flew back into Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (June 11) and landed in a good place, the winner's circle, by taking the $10,000 Open Pace.
On paper, the race shaped up to be a battle of the closers in GD Airliner (David McNeight III) and China Dream (Drew Monti). It held true to form as GD Airliner got the first over trip and managed to hold off China Dream by a length in 1:54.2.
Whosurpal set the tempo of 28.2 and 57.2 but called it a night at the three-quarter marker as Big Bad George (Jim Morrill Jr.) took command with a panel to go. But Big Bad George had no answer for GD Airliner ($4.60) who brought China Dream into the fray.
There was no stopping GD Airliner in the lane as he held off the game China Dream by 1-1/4 lengths thanks to a 27.4 final quarter. Big Bad George held onto the third place position.
Co-owned by Pete Kibler, Ken Owczarczak, R. Osieja and Courtney McNeight, it was the fourth win in 15 starts for the David McNeight Jr.-trained GD Airliner (Panspacificflight-Mackenzie Beth). The 8-year-old gelding has now earned $25,394 in 2016 and $569,807 lifetime.
Morrill Jr. completed the night with five victories while McNeight III and Monti doubled. David McNeight Jr. and Maria Rice each posted training doubles.
Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. The first New York Sire Stakes event of the season will highlight the card as the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers invade the Hamburg half-mile oval.
For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com