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Flashy Trick Prevails In Niatross Final

Published: February 27, 2016 10:08 pm ET

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The front-running Flashy Trick had just enough gas left in the tank and managed to hang on by a nose over longshot Tymal Torch to capture the $24,000 Niatross Knockout Claiming Series final at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (Feb. 27).

The popular month-long series concluded in a blanket finish with the top four finishers within a half-length of each other at the wire.

Flashy Trick, a winner in gate-to-wire fashion in last week's semi-finals, set sail from the rail for driver David McNeight III. Putting up leisurely fractions of :30.1, 1:01.1 and 1:31.2 over the sloppy track, Flashy Trick knew things weren't going to come easy in the last quarter-mile.

The race boiled down to the sprint to the finish line. Flashy Trick ($4.10) was up for the challenge and was able to turn back the serious threats from Tymal Torch and third-place finisher Mach It Paid (Jim McNeight). M G Jade (Jim Morrill Jr.) was fourth, just a mere head off the winner.

Owned by Courtney McNeight and trained by David McNeight Jr., Flashy Trick (Memphis Flash-San Trick) earned his third win of the season; all of his victories were in the Niatross Claiming Series. The win upped the seven-year-old gelding's seasonal bankroll to $18,800 and lifetime earnings to $80,334.

In the $10,000 consolation race of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series, Aberarder Smitty ($2.10) and Morrill Jr. absolutely smoked the field in 1:58.4, beating Sir Altb Z Tam (Todd Cummings) by 13-1/2 lengths. Le Reina Road (David McNeight III) took the show spot.

Aberarder Smitty, who won two legs of the series but failed to reach the finals after a fifth-place finish last week, took out his frustrations on the field of seven. Aberarder Smitty has now won five times in six tries this year. The win bumped his seasonal earnings to $15,234 for owner/trainer Jeff Amann.

China Dream has been coming up just short the past two weeks in the $10,000 Open Pace, finishing third each time by less an a length after gobbling up big ground in the stretch. This time though, China Dream was able to stalk the pace and used that patented closing kick to register a length win over the favoured Youwillwishyouhad in 1:58.2.

Finishing no worse than third in his previous four appearances in the Open, driver Jack Flanigen maneuvered China Dream first over to the half, chasing the pacesetting Youwillwishyouhad. In the stretch run, the devastating late kick by China Dream was way too much as Youwillwishyouhad and driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. could do nothing but watch. Beach Hero (Truman Gale) finished in third.

Owned by Jack Rice and trainer Maria Rice, China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art) earned his second victory in five appearances. The five-year-old gelding is now a winner of $14,900 in 2016 and $104,493 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. made his 2016 seasonal debut in the sulky and he started out the year with a bang by posting a five-bagger. Drew Monti had a driving double.

(With files from Buffalo Raceway)

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