by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Hot Deuce turned in the fastest mile of the 2017 season at Buffalo Raceway and also set a lifetime best with a scorching 1:52.1 over the fast track to win the featured $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (May 13).
The time turned in by Hot Deuce (Drew Monti) was just off the all-time Buffalo Raceway track record of 1:52.0 established in 2015 by Fireyourguns who ironically was in Saturday's event.
While it was the fifth victory in 13 starts for Hot Deuce, it was also another heart-breaking loss for Shady City (Larry Stalbaum). He now has five runner up finishes in his last six tries in Open competition at the Hamburg half mile oval.
Drawing the rail, Hot Deuce immediately shot to the lead and put up impressive fractions of 28.0, 56.1 and 1:24.3. In the final panel, it was a two-horse breakaway with Shady City trying desperately to collar Hot Deuce but came up 3/4 lengths short. Gallant Seelster was next under the line to take the show spot.
Owned by Mike McAllister and trained by Sabrina Clevenger, Hot Deuce (Armbro Deuce-Hot Dam Here Iam) is a 5-year-old gelding that has earned $23,996 this season and $59,856 lifetime.
The ageless wonder, 14-year-old horse Saint William A, won his sixth straight and seventh of the season as he took a $7,000 pace for $10,000 claimers for owner/driver Stalbaum and trainer Kimberly Asher. It was the 300th career start for the veteran Saint William A (Presidential Ball-La Saint). The win was his 54th lifetime victory and moved his career earnings to $733,983.
Stalbaum had four victories while Jim Morrill Jr. and Monti each had triples in the sulky. Clevenger finished with three training victories with Rose Russo and Asher getting two.
Racing will resume at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night with an 11-race program scheduled for 5 p.m. There will be a $2,594 carryover in the Pick-5 that begins in the second race.