by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway
HAMBURG, N.Y. --- While Buffalo Raceway begins its final two weeks of the 2017 racing season on Wednesday night (July 12), many entered in the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers will just be starting their year and their careers as well.
With 17 freshmen pacers entered in the three divisions worth $35,000 (approx.), eight are getting their first taste of pari-mutuel racing. The other nine have just a total of 12 starts between them with three getting wins.
It may be a lot to ask of these inexperienced fellas but they'll still be gunning at the track record of 1:55.4 set in 2013 by He's Watching.
The Sire Stakes will go off as the first, fifth and seventh races on the 12-race program scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
Trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt returns to Buffalo Raceway for the Sire Stakes. He had a memorable trip on June 30 with his 2-year-old filly trotters winning three times including Plunge Blue Chip who set the track record with a 2:00.0 journey in her first start.
He's hoping for the same kind of luck on Wednesday as he'll be bringing in first time starters Liveonthephone (Art Major-Cinergy Hanover) and the $52,000 Harrisburg sale purchase Love Yourself (Rock N Roll Heaven-Armbro Bianca). They will be racing in the fifth and seventh races respectively.
The first division features five boys led by Cheese Melt (Betterthancheddar-So So Lucky), a $57,000 purchase at the Lexington Sales last season. He'll start from the rail for Daniel Dube. Cheese Melt has two starts under his belt with a third place finish at Mohawk on July 4.
Asiago Blue Chip (Bettertahncheddar-Nova Ruby) has a pair of 1:55.4 qualifier wins at Vernon Downs and drew the two post for driver Chris Lems.
I Soar Him First (So Surreal-Barry Blue Chip) is the lone competitor in the opener that has a pari-mutuel victory, that coming at Tioga Downs on July 4 in 1:55.4. Trainer/driver Mickey McNichol will guide him from the five post.
Others in the field include Cross My Mind (Michael Saftic) and Sammy's Lightning (Jim Morrill Jr.).
The second leg features driver/trainer Ray Schnittker's Major Sugar Rush (Art Major-Sugarcoated), a $75,000 purchase at the Lexington Sales. Starting from the four post, Major Sugar Rush has a pair of qualifiers at the Meadowlands that went in 1:55.4 and 1:56.4.
The major danger should be Ghost Dance, a length winner in his last start Mohawk in a throttled down 1:55.2. Saftic will steer Ghost Dancer (American Ideal-Epoxy Queen) from the five post.
Back To Motown (Drew Monti), Liveonthephone (Svanstedt), Delightful Joe (Billy Dobson) and So So Incredible (Jay Randall) round out the second division.
The top-priced 2-year-old pacer in the Sire Stakes comes in the final division where Casual Cool, a $165,000 Harrisburg Sales purchase, is entered for owner Ken Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano. Casual Cool (American Ideal-Sight To See) will be looking to start making a return on the investment by beginning in his first race from the two spot with Lems.
Others ready to take on the challenge include Firewater Jake (Monti), Love Yourself (Svanstedt), Topville Olympian (Jody Jamieson), Daamericansky (Daniel Dube) and Rock Lights (Morrill Jr.)
There's also action in the Excelsior A Series on the main program while an Excelsior B Series race will go off at 4:30 p.m.
For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com