by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After opening the season with an impressive three-race win streak, Southern Palms hit the skids and failed to earned a check in his next two starts.
But on Friday night (March 3) in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot, Southern Palms regrouped and got back to his winning ways with a $23.40 upset victory in a seasonal best 1:58.2 over the fast track. He was able to comfortably hold off the late charge by Ali De Vie (Kevin Cummings) and Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) who finished second and third respectively.
There were two consecutive stunners to open the Friday card which produced a $1479.00 early daily double. The opening leg was kicked off by an $85.50 win by Change Your Luck (Monti) which was then followed by Southern Palms' effort.
After a battle to get the lead from the start in the feature, Southern Palms (Ray Fisher Jr.) settled in and produced fractions of 28.2, 58.3 and 1:28.3.
There looked like plenty of contenders as heads turned for home but they ended up being pretenders as Southern Palms convincingly trotted to the wire with 3/4 lengths to spare.
Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, it was the fourth victory in six tries for the 4-year-old gelded Southern Palms (Rc Royalty-Pacific Elegance). The win pushed his seasonal bankroll to $14,300 and $168,505 lifetime.
Fisher Jr. had four winners in the sulky, Shawn Gray had three with Monti and Larry Stalbaum each getting a double. Sarama had a training triple.
Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. There is a $692 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.
For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com