by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kahoku ($10.40) found out for the second straight week that the front end was the place to be as he scored an unexpectedly easy length victory over Cold Certified in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open Pace on Friday night (June 24).
Last Friday, Kahoku never looked back in cruising to a 4-1/4 length decision in a non-winner's event in 1:56.4. This week, the 8-year-old gelding stepped up to face open company and never was threatened in posting the 1:57.2 victory over the fast track.
With two Buffalo Raceway track record holders in the field, Noble Legend and Strong Hope, Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) took his chances on the front end and had a minor skirmish with Cold Certified to reach the top.
Posting panels of 28.3, 58.0 and 1:28.0, the pace-setting Kahoku and Cold Certified managed to open up four lengths on the field turning for home. In the drive to the wire, there were no threats in the lane as Kahoku confidently trotted to the wire and disposed of Cold Certified by a length while Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) finished a distant third.
Co-owned by Colleen Girdlestone and Michael Gentner and trained by Mark Laidlaw, it was the seventh win in 20 starts for Kahoku (SJ's Caviar-Tags Gold). The victory upped his 2016 earnings to $41,438 and $168,500 lifetime.
Kevin Cummings and David McNeight III each had a pair of victories in the sulky.
Racing will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with an 11-race program on tap. There's a $603 carryover in the Pick-5 that begins in the fifth race.
For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com