by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG,N. Y. --- After getting saddled with a post position of six or worse in the past month, Empire Earl N must of felt he was heaven with the five hole. He took advantage of the 'better' starting position and scored a half length victory over BZ Glide in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (June 23).
Despite the outside posts since May 19, Empire Earl N was still very competitive during that time by earning a check in four of the five starts including a win, second and third.
BZ Glide got parked to the opening quarter mile by Lutetium and Jim Dandy as the feature event unfolded. Setting fractions of 29.0, 59.0 and 1:29.4 over the sloppy track, BZ Glide looked liked he might steal the win in front-running style.
But Empire Earl N had other ideas. Sitting in fourth place and second over with a final panel to trot, driver Larry Stalbaum got Empire Earl N ($4.70) into high gear four wide in the stretch and collared BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) at the wire by a half length. Gwally (David McNeight III), who broke just before the half mile marker, regrouped in time to capture third.
Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher, it was the third win in 14 tries this year for the 9-year-old gelded Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita). The victory increased his seasonal earnings to $29,270 and $115,195 lifetime.
John Cummings Jr. tripled in the sulky with Stalbaum and Ray Fisher Jr. each getting a double. JD Perrin picked up three training victories and Asher two.
Racing will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m.with an 11-race card set. There's a $448 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.
For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com