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‘Cup’ Preppers At Buffalo Wednesday

Published: May 26, 2015 11:21 am ET

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Some colts and geldings that are eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup are taking the chance to hone their skills this Wednesday during New York Sire Stakes action at Buffalo Raceway.

Wednesday night, the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers will invade Buffalo Raceway to begin the first of eight different divisions of the NYSS that will visit the half-mile oval at the Erie County Fairgrounds now through the close of the meet on Sunday, July 26.

There are three divisions of the three-year-old colt and gelding pace Wednesday that will be worth a total of $105,000. The three legs have attracted big-name drivers along with some top horses which are eligible for North America Cup and/or Meadowlands Pace.

They'll be gunning for the track records, as well as a nice payday. The three-year-old gelding pace record is 1:53.4 set by Murder He Wrote in 2014, while the three-year-old colt mark is 1:52.3, established by Steelhead Hanover in 2012. That clocking is also the all-aged pacing track standard.

The opening race on the 13-card will be the first sire stakes test and will feature Ultimate G, a third-place finisher at Tioga Downs in his last attempt. In the money in all four starts this season, Jim Morrill Jr. will guide Ultimate G as the 2-1 morning line choice, the only entrant in the field of seven with a victory in 2015.

Americanprimetime is Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup eligible and will score from Post 5 for driver Rick Dane Jr. Americanprime (American Ideal-Prime Xample A) broke stride in his last outing in the sire stakes at Tioga Downs and lost any chance.

The back half of the early daily double will also feature the boys. K Rock is the early choice at 8-5 with Matt Kakaley scheduled to drive. K Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sunduel A) has a win and two second-place finishes in his three appearances thus far this season. On May 17 in sire stakes competition at Tioga, K Rock scorched a 1:23 clocking to the three-quarters marker, but stalled out and finished second, just a half-length behind National Seelster.

Berkley is the top threat in the race for driver Mark MacDonald. A winner of $118,470 last season, Berkley (Art Major-Monterey) has been saddled with bad posts in his last two starts, but should be a factor after having drawn better this time. He'll start out in Post 4.

The last sire stakes contest (Race 4) will feature the NA Cup eligible Sicily (Art Major-Capri Hanover) who won the sire stakes at Tioga Downs on May 17 in 1:51.1. Sicily, the 8-5 morning line favourite, will be driven by Matt Kakaley. A winner of over $114,000 in his young career, the Ron Burke-trained Sicily could be using this race as a tune up for the ‘Cup,’ along with the Meadowlands Pace.

The main challenger in the mile race could come from another NA Cup eligible, If You Want Fire, who is also eligible for the Meadowlands Pace. With over $77,000 in the bank thus far in his lifetime, If You Want Fire (Bettors Delight-Dream Of Treasure), will start from Post 6 for Brett Miller, who will be in the sulky for trainer Casie Coleman.

There will also be two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior 'A' Series for the three-year-old colt and geldings and a $6,800 'B' Series race.

There are 13 races on tap Wednesday at Buffalo Raceway. First-race post time is set for 5 p.m.

(With files from Buffalo Raceway)

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