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Open Upset And Record Win At Buffalo

Published: June 3, 2016 8:54 pm ET

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There were a couple of surprises at Buffalo Raceway on a gorgeous Friday night (June 3).

First, Strong Hope stunned the betting public again with an easy two and a half length victory over Cold Certified in the $10,000 Open Trot.

But not to be outdone, two races later, Noble Legend set the track record for four-year-old gelding trotters with a 1:57.3 time over the fast track in beating Red Clay in a $8,200 conditioned event by a half length. The time of the mile bested the old standard of 1:58.2, held by Sams Hope (2003), Baby Boy Grin (2009) and BZ Glide (2013).

Noble Legend ($3.40), driven by Kevin Cummings, was third at the top of the lane and used a late charge to nip Red Clay in the record-setting clocking.

Owned by Vogel And Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice, Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It) has earned $25,788 in 2015 thanks to five wins in 15 appearances this season. Maria Rice trained the winner.

In the feature, Strong Hope returned $22.20 to win following $11.80, $17.40 and $53.50 payouts in previous victories since April 1. The nine-year-old also has had two second places finishes during that stretch as well, but ironically, has yet to go off the post time favourite.

As expected, Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) set the fractions starting from the seven post and put up reasonable splits of :28.3, :59.1 and 1:29. Strong Hope, who sat fourth from the beginning, was first over to the half and was on even terms with Lutetium at the top of the stretch. There was no denying Strong Hope in the lane, however, as he powerfully trotted away from the field and left second-place finisher Cold Certified (Shawn McDonough) and third-place finisher B Z Glide (Mike Caprio) in his wake.

Owned and trained by Joe Agostino, Strong Hope (Cr Excalibur-Spring Lane Joanie) earned his fifth win in 18 tries this season. The victory moved his seasonal earnings to $36,016 and lifetime bankroll to $550,160.

James McNeight Jr. got his first pari-mutual win ever as the 19-year-old steered Jim Dandy to a $9.70 win in the 11th race.

Kevin Cummings had five wins in the bike while Fisher Jr. finished the night with a four-bagger. Angelo Nappo scored a training triple.

(With files from Buffalo Raceway)

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