by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- For owner/driver Larry Stalbaum, he's not been hard to please lately when it comes to his trotter Empire Earl N.
For the second time in three weeks, Empire Earl N found his way into the winner's circle at Buffalo Raceway by taking the $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (May 19). They got the photo opportunity thanks to a 3/4-length victory over Osprey Vision in 1:57.3 over the fast track.
Stalbaum said after the race, "Not too much to complain about. I was able to work out a good two hole trip." With a pair of wins and a narrow second place in his last three outings, Stalbaum has a good reason to be happy with his trotter.
With Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) setting the splits of 29.2, 59.0 and 1:27.3, Stalbaum and Empire Earl N were able to drop into the pocket from the six post off the gate. Biding their time until the passing lane, Empire Earl N then zoomed past the tiring Winkys Pride to get the win.
Osprey Vision (David McNeight III) was closing fast on the outside and secured second place while Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) finished in third.
Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, the 9-year-old gelded Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita) has now produced two wins in nine starts this season. The victory upped his 2017 earnings to $20,070 and $105,995 lifetime.
Morrill Jr. led the driving statistics on the night with a triple while Ray Fisher Jr. had a double. Trainer Jeff Amann conditioned a pair of winners.
Racing will return on Saturday night with a 12-race card. There's a special 7 p.m. post time for the live action in order to accommodate the simulcasting of the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course.
For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com