by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It appeared that the featured $8,200 trot at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (Feb. 10) was going to boil down to a battle between the heavily favored Southern Palms and second choice City Kid.
But that evaporated quickly as the two top choices failed to make it to the first turn due to breaks at the start. It left the event to be decided by the five remaining combatants, all sitting at odds of at least 13-1.
So with the tote board primed and ready to sport some big numbers, it was Ali De Vie ($28.40) who got to celebrate the upset victory with a neck win over Osprey Vision in 2:00.2 over the good track.
The 5-6 long shot exacta returned a healthy $533.00 for a $2 wager.
Shawn Gray swept the early double as he took the opener with Noble's Grand Slam and steered Ali De Vie to the feature win. The 1-5 early daily double returned $147.50. Gray finished the evening with three wins.
With City Kid and Southern Palms making miscues at the start, it allowed Cashco to open up an uncontested six length lead to the opening panel in 30.1. Limitless, Osprey Vision and Ali De Vie who were scattered the start, were able to tighten up the pack as the half went in 1:00.2.
With Cashco (Ron Beback Jr.) still in front past the three-quarter marker in 1:30.2, it was a matter of who was the best down the long Buffalo Raceway stretch.
With the four-pack all fanning out in the lane, it was Ali De Vie who was fastest of all and was able to stick a neck in front at the wire as Osprey Vision (John Cummings Jr.) took second with Limitless (Mike Baumeister) third.
Owned and trained by Marc Shuttleworth, Ali De Vie (Conway Hall-Excusez Moi) is a 7-year-old gelding that won for the first time this season in five tries. The victory pushed his 2017 bankroll to $7,052 and $138,424 lifetime. Shuttleworth ended the night with a owner/trainer triple.
Ray Fisher Jr. posted a four-bagger in the sulky.
Racing will resume on Saturday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 6 p.m.