by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Gallant Seelster got his first taste of Open competition at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (March 11) and he found it to be delicious.
Rising up through the ranks successfully the past four weeks, Gallant Seelster ($6.20) landed in the $10,000 Open Pace this time around and led at every marker in scoring the three-quarter length win over China Dream in 1:55.3 over the fast track.
Just a few weeks ago, Gallant Seelster was in $15,000 optional claimers and after stringing together three impressive wins in four tries, it was time to tackle the best.
Using the same tactics that got Gallant Seelster into the Open event, driver David McNeight III sent the 7-year-old gelding right to the lead.
After putting up splits of 28.0, 57.4 and 1:26.4, the lukewarm favorite Gallant Seelster was primed to take on any callers through the stretch. There was just one taker, that being China Dream (Shawn Gray).
While in perfect striking position, China Dream couldn't make up any ground in the stretch as Gallant Seelster had more than enough pace to withstand the challenge. Believe This Bob (Drew Monti) took the show position.
Co-owned by Pete Kibler, James Costa and Courtney McNeight, Gallant Seelster (Stonebridge Regal-Gold Not Silver) is trained by David McNeight Jr. Now a winner of five races this season in 10 tries, Gallant Seelster has put $25,578 in the bank in 2017 and $414,507 lifetime.
Jim Morrill Jr. remained on fire as he notched five wins in the sulky while Larry Stalbaum had a double. Gerry Sarama posted a training triple and David Russo had two.
Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. when an 11-race card is set. There will be a $848 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.
For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com