by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The thermometer at Buffalo Raceway read a brisk 19 degrees on Saturday night (March 4) but Gallant Seelster sure did make the mercury rise with an impressive victory in the featured $8,600 pace.
Tying the fastest mile of the 2017 meet with a 1:54.4, Gallant Seelster (David McNeight III) went gate to wire and beat Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) by solid 2-1/4 lengths. A scorching 56.4 second half mile including a 28.0 last panel was more than enough for Gallant Seelster to register the $5.50 win.
Starting from the five post, Gallant Seelster faced little resistance in setting the pace. After putting up splits of 29.1, 58.0 and 1:26.4, Gallant Seelster was waiting for some challengers in the lane, but there were no takers. Shady City managed to hang onto second place while Babe's I Scoot (Ray Fisher Jr.) was third.
Gallant Seelster (Stoneridge Regal-Gold Not Silver) is co-owned by Pete Kibler, James Costa and Courtney McNeight. David McNeight Jr. handled the training duties for the 7-year-old gelding, now a winner of four races this season in nine appearances. Gallant Seelster has earned $20,578 in 2017 and $409,407 lifetime.
Shawn Gray and Ray Fisher Jr. had triples in the bike with Kevin Cummings and McNeight III each getting a double. Sabrina Clevenger, Maria Rice and Gerry Sarama each had two training victories.
Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with 11 races scheduled.