It was a long grind but Fond Memories ($9.80) eventually got the job done in Buffalo Raceway's $17,500 Open Pace for the fillies and mares on Wednesday night (March 29) with a three-quarter-length victory over Miss Rockadali in 1:58.2 over the "good" track.
Miss Rockadali took the lead immediately and posted splits of :29.3, 1:00 and 1:29. Meanwhile, Fond Memories A, who sat sixth hitting the first panel, started to work her way towards the top just past the half. Driver Larry Stalbaum was able to motivate Fond Memories A on the first-over journey and grabbed the advantage at the top of the stretch.
Down the lane, Fond Memories A put some daylight between Miss Rockadali and herself, coasting in with the victory. Moneymakehersmile took the show position.
Owned and trained by Stalbaum, the seven-year-old mare Fond Memories A (Mach Three-Forever After) earned her second win of 2023 in eight starts. The victory boosted her seasonal bankroll to $28,040 and lifetime earnings to $269,599.
Ball Diamond hit a home run in the $15,000 Open II for the distaff pacers as she blasted past JK Lady Star approaching the three quarter pole and never looked back from there.
With JK Lady Star stomping out the fractions of :29.4 and :59.4, the pocket-sitting Ball Diamond didn't want to get trapped in with the outer flow starting to develop. Trainer/driver Keith Kash Jr. slid Ball Diamond to the outside and she responded and left JK Lady Star in her wake, jogging home to and easy victory in 1:58.4.
Co-owned by Bruce Soulsby and Dannie Ray Hostetler, the five-year-old Ball Diamond (We Will See-A Diamond In June) earned her second win from a dozen seasonal starts. The win upped her earnings to $30,237 this year and $148,487 lifetime.
In the $13,100 pace for the ladies, Bank The Win appeared to be on her way to her third straight gate-to-wire win but someone forgot to tell Filly Speaks. Trailing by four lengths entering the lane, Filly Speaks roared down the lane and trimmed Bank The Win by 1-1/4 lengths, collecting the $20.80 score for driver Kyle Cummings.
In a pair of $11,200 paces for the gals, Ruthmae Hanover ($24.20 to win) got the job done for driver Shawn McDonough in 1:59.2 while Platnum Pearl ($9.30) beat longshot Whos Got The Move by 4-3/4 lengths with David McNeight III steering home the 2:00 winner.
Racing resumes this weekend with an 11-race program set for 6 p.m. (EDT) on Friday with an 12-race card on tap on Saturday at 6 p.m.
(With files from Buffalo Raceway)