by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- When Monster Cantab ($20.40) crossed the finish line in Buffalo Raceway's sixth race on Friday night (Feb. 23), it gave trainer Philip 'Bo' Sowers his 1,000th career victory.
"It now puts me in a category that I never thought I'd ever reach when I started training," Sowers said of hitting that magical plateau.
Back in 2002, Sowers was training four horses as a hobby in Maine but this wife suggested he start doing it full time.
"I was driving a truck from 8 to 5 every day and wasn't enjoying it," he said. Now with 1,000 wins in the books and almost $3 million in purse earnings, Sowers is sure glad he made the switch.
While getting most of his victories in Maine at Scarborough and Bangor race tracks, Sowers was a little apprehensive about making the move to Buffalo Raceway this winter.
"I was asked by the Mo Coo Stables the past few years if I wanted to go to Buffalo Raceway and train," Sowers said. "I kept turning it down until this year and I am very happy I came here. I wondered how I'd be treated here because I was a newcomer but everyone has been absolutely great. They've welcomed me and have made me feel right at home. It's a closeness here like I felt back in Maine."
Sowers added that he'll be starting his quest for 2,000 victories in Western New York. "We have over 20 horses here and my wife and I decided a few days ago that we will be staying at Buffalo Raceway throughout the season. We love it here."
Osprey Vision ($9.10) wasn't going to be denied in Buffalo Raceway's first co-featured $8,200 trot as he gamely held off Kadabrasnewrecruit by a neck in 2:00.0 over the fast track.
In the second $8,200 trot, Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) was able to power by the pace-setting Northern Matador in the stretch and post the mild $11.60 upset in 1:58.3.
David McNeight III and Ray Fisher Jr. each tripled while John Cummings Jr. had two wins.
David McNeight Jr. and Gerry Sarama had two training victories each.
Racing will resume on Saturday night with a 12-race program set for 6 p.m. There is a $1,034 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.
For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com