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Sarah Cola Steals Spotlight From Rookies

Published: July 12, 2017 8:37 pm ET

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The spotlight was supposed to be on the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers in the New York Sire Stakes at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 12) but someone forgot to tell that to Sarah Cola and driver Jody Jamieson. Sarah Cola stole the headlines by breaking the track record for aged (5+) pacing mares with a 1:54.1 victory over Voltina in an $8,200 optional claimer.

Driven by Jamieson, Sarah Cola snapped the old mark held by Majic Laughter (2014), Case Solved (2014) and Deliciouslynaughty (2017) of 1:54.2.

"I left out of the gate and was trying to be in good position to get a piece at the end," said Jamieson of pulling the $24.20 upset with Sarah Cola. "The track was lighting fast and with the high humidity, it helped out as well."

Sarah Cola and driver Jody Jamieson winning on July 12 at Buffalo Raceway. (Steve Roth)

Co-owned by trainer Jim Graham and Giuseppe Micchia, the five-year-old mare Sarah Cola (No Pan Intended-Saramotion) captured her third straight win and pushed her seasonal earnings to $23,040.

In the featured Sire Stakes, Casual Cool, a $165,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Sales last season, returned his first dividend on the investment by rallying late to nip Topville Olympian by a nose in 1:56. It was the fastest time of the three $35,000 (approx.) divisions and just a fifth of a second off the track standard of 1:55.4 set in 2013 by Hes Watching.

Ghost Dance (Michael Saftic) captured his leg with a hard-charging win over Delightful Joe in 1:57.3 while Sammys Lightning thundered around the Hamburg half-mile oval in 1:58 and posted the mild $12 upset.

Casual Cool (Chris Lems) used a :56.2 final half-mile to track down the pacesetting Topville Olympian (Jamieson) and register the rather surprising $23 victory. Rock Lights (Jim Morrill Jr.) was third.

"He's a little green but running on the outside for a half-mile, that was a big mile for him in his first start. He's going to be a good one," Lems said of Casual Cool, owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano.

Earlier, Ghost Dance ($6.60) was three-wide down the lane and got past Delightful Joe (Billy Dobson) to pull off the three-quarters of a length decision. Major Sugar Rush (Ray Schnittker) rounded out the top three.

"Once we straightened out in the stretch, I knew we had a chance," Saftic said of Ghost Dance.

Owned by Millar Farms of Stouffville, Ont., and trained by Eric Adams, Ghost Dance (American Ideal-Epoxy Queen) has now won his first two pari-mutuel starts.

In the opener, Sammys Lightning (Jim Morrill Jr.) set the fractions and held off all challengers in the drive to the wire to take the victory. Cheese Melt (Daniel Dube) was second and I Soar Him First (Mickey McNichol) was third.

"I was a little cautious with him around the turns but with the slow fractions, I figured we have enough in the tank," Morrill Jr. said of the win by Sammys Lightning.

In the Excelsior A Series, Rootin Tootin (Jamieson) went coast-to-coast in 1:59.1 and scored the popular $2.80 victory. Jamieson then made it a clean sweep with a 1:59.2 journey aboard Dewar N Jack ($11.80).

It was a match race in the lone $6,200 Excelsior B Series race, a non-betting affair, as Too Much Duncan (Schnittker) beat Thor De Vie (Larry Stalbaum) in 2:02.

Jamieson finished the evening with four victories with Stalbaum notching a triple. Trainer Blake MacIntosh posted two wins.

Racing will continue on Friday evening at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program slated for 5 p.m.

(With files from Buffalo Raceway)

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