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Big Names Flock To Buffalo

Published: July 5, 2016 5:06 pm ET

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The two-year-old pacing fillies coming to Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night for the New York Sire Stakes may just be starting their careers but they sure did attract some of the top drivers from around North America to help them out.

Names such as Tim Tetrick, Yannick Gingras, Andy Miller, Jim Morrill Jr., Daniel Dube, Brett Miller and Chris Christoforou are all scheduled to be in the sulky guiding the ladies around the Hamburg half-mile oval in four divisions worth $27,500 each.

And while there are some well-known drivers coming to town, some big-name trainers will be bringing in their charges including top conditioners Ron Burke, Linda Toscano, Julie Miller and Ray Schnittker. Blake MacIntosh, whose Sports Column established a new Canadian season's mark for freshman on Monday night at Mohawk, sends out six starters -- all with Christoforou listed to drive.

Besides the battles going on between the drivers, trainers and the damsels, bragging rights are also on the line for the sires. Art Major has 10 daughters entered while Roll With Roll has eight, Rock N Roll Heaven seven and American Ideal four.

With hot and humid conditions in the forecast along with a fast track, the Buffalo Raceway track record for two-year-old filly pacers of 1:56.3 set by Silk Purse in 2011 and Summertime Lea in 2012 may be on the chopping block.

The opening division, set for the third race, features 5-2 morning line favourite Roaring To Go (Brett Miller), an impressive winner at The Meadowlands on June 24. Sitting 9-1/4 lengths from the lead in the race, Roaring To Go (Art Major-Lioness Hanover) unleashed a :25.3 final quarter mile to pull off the victory in 1:54.4.

Not to be overlooked is the 7-2 second choice in Planet Rock (Rock N Roll Hanover-Villa Hanover). The Linda Toscano-trained Planet Rock will be driven by Tetrick and produced a 1:56.2 time in a qualifier at The Meadowlands last time out.

The second leg, slated as the sixth race, will feature the Toscano-Tetrick combination once again as Robin J gets the seven post and is tabbed the 3-1 favourite. She has two victories in qualifiers including a 1:56.4 win back on June 18 at The Meadowlands.

That's How We Roll (Art Major-Rockn At The Beach) drew the rail and is the second choice at 7-2. Trained and driven by former Buffalo Raceway regular Ray Schnittker, Thats How We Roll, a $75,000 purchase in 2015 at the Lexington Sales, showed some late pace with a :25.4 last quarter in a third place finish on June 24 at The Meadowlands.

The third division, the seventh race, appears to be the most competitive on paper with Artrageous (Morrill Jr.) the 3-1 pick out of the five post. She's undefeated with two wins in qualifiers and an impressive 3-3/4 length victory in 1:56.2 in her debut at Harrington Raceway on June 30. Artrageous (Art Major-In Deep Thought) was a $35,000 buy at the Lexington Sales in 2015.

Pleasant Roll (Andy Miller) gets the 7-2 second from the four hole. A $55,000 selection at Lexington, she has yet to taste defeat as Pleasant Roll (Roll With Joe-Pleasant Yet Bad) has a pair of 'baby race' wins including a 1:55 score at The Meadowlands on June 25.

At This Hour, a $75,000 buy at the Harrisburg Sales, is the favorite in the final leg, set for the ninth race. Trained by Ron Burke, At This Hour (Art Major-Dreamlands Jo Jo) gets the three spot with Gingras in the bike.

Getting the seven post is Okidoki Blue Chip (Morrill Jr.) who was tabbed the second choice at 7-2. She's just missed in her qualifying attempts, losing by just a neck and head in her only two appearances. Okidoki Blue Chip (Roll With Joe-Mattaroni) is trained by Tracy Brainard.

The 14-race program has a 5:00 p.m. post and will include four $15,000 Excelsior Series A races and one $6,700 Excelsior B Series race. There's also a $487 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race. To view the entries, click the following link: Wednesday Entries - Buffalo Raceway.

(with files from Buffalo)


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