by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Noble Legend and driver Shawn Gray showed plenty of patience in the $10,000 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (March 10) and it paid off with a strong 1-1/4 length victory over Southern Palms in 1:58.1 over the fast track.
Noble Legend is the 2016 Trotter of the Year at Buffalo Raceway and also holds the track record for 4-year-old geldings with a 1:56.3 mark set last season.
In the feature, last week's winner Southern Palms set the fractions of 28.3, 48.3 and 1:28.2 but things weren't going to come easy this time around.
Winkys Pride was first over turning for home while Noble Legend sat in the pocket, breathing down the back of the pace-setting Southern Palms.
The waiting game worked out perfectly for Gray and Noble Legend ($4.50) as they cruised to the lead in the passing lane. Southern Palms (Ray Fisher Jr.) and Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) could do nothing but watch and finished in second and third respectively.
Co-owned by Jack and trainer Maria Rice, it was the second victory in eight tries for the 5-year-old gelded Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It). He is now a winner of $18,980 in 2017 and $114,465 lifetime.
Buffalo Raceway's defending driving champion Jim Morrill Jr. broke into the win column for the first time in 2017 and did so in fine fashion by registering a four-bagger. Gray finished the night with three wins in the bike..
Racing continues on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with an 11-race program.
For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com