by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- All eyes were focused on Barn Bella in the $58,000 first division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (June 25). But a break in stride by the heavy 1-to-9 favorite going into the first turn sure changed the entire complexion of the race in a real hurry.
Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci) took advantage of Barn Bella's misfortune and registered the $20.60 upset victory over Maewegonow by a 1-1/4 length in 1:59.4 over the fast track.
In the second division worth $59,100, there was drama as well as 3-to-5 favorite Amber Ella broke gait several times which opened up opportunities for the remaining five. Heels On Wheels (Jim Morrill Jr.) bounced on the chance created by Amber Ella's bobbles and scored the neck win over Chapter Too (Jeff Gregory) in 1:59.4.
In the first stunner, the defending 2-year-old champion, Barn Bella (Gregory) jumped it off as soon as she started to enter the first turn. In the meantime, the remaining four trotters stayed on their best behavior knowing the race was up for grabs.
Maewegonow (Charlie Norris) took the lead off the rail and posted splits of 30.0, 1:01.0 and 1:31.2. The race boiled down to three ladies in the stretch with Mamora Bay using the passing lane to go past Maewegonow while Mighty Surf (Morrill Jr.) took the show spot. Barn Bella regrouped in time to take fourth but was 8-1/4 lengths behind the winner.
Schillaci said, "Mamora Bay wasn't herself at Vernon Downs last week but she felt good today." He added, "A little racing luck didn't hurt with Barn Bella breaking and then getting a perfect trip up the passing lane."
Owned by Peter Barbato and trained by former Buffalo Raceway regular Schillaci, Mamora Bay (Chapter Seven-Giulie Bi) got her first victory of the 2017 campaign. The win moved her seasonal earnings to $41,433 and $223,804 lifetime.
In the second division with Amber Ella out of contention around the opening turn, Heels On Wheels ($9.10) got to the lead and put up splits of 29.3, 59.1 and 1:30.0.
The drive to the finish line was a little tense as Heels On Wheels started to get leg weary while Chapter Too was charging down the lane but came up just short. Deli-Delite (Drew Monti) captured the show check.
Morrill Jr. stated after the race, "She's a nice filly and we caught some luck with the breaking favorite. Once Heels On Wheels got settled on the lead, she was game to hold off Chapter Too late."
Co-owned by the Burke Racing Stable, the Crawford Farm Racing Stable, Lawrence Karr and Weaver Bruscemi, it was the second victory in five tries this season for Heels On Wheels (Conway Hall-Go Go Dancer). The win upped her 2017 winnings to $40,863 and $139,113 lifetime.
Seventh Heaven ($4.10) was able to overcome the eight post and capture the first $15,000 division of the Excelsior A Series race. Jason Bartlett toured the half mile oval aboard Seventh Heaven in 2:02.2. The second division went to Cinnamon Prayer ($6.70) who also found the winner's circle from the eight spot. Morrill Jr. was in the sulky as Cinnamon Prayer went the mile in 2:02.3.
In the lone $6,600 Excelsior B Series race, Running Prayer ($6.10) went gate-to-wire in 2:02.3 for Morrill Jr.
Morrill Jr. finished the afternoon with four victories Monti had two wins. Trainer Dennis Laterza had a double.
Action will continue on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program scheduled. There is a $907 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