Winkys Pride made the trip across the border from Canada to the United States a successful one and took the featured $10,500 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (June 13).
Competing previously at Flamboro Downs and Woodbine, Winkys Pride ($7.30) and Buffalo Raceway leading driver Kevin Cummings used a strong stretch drive to snatch the victory away from the pace-setting Fiorentina (Ray Fisher Jr.) by a nose in 1:59 over the fast track.
Fiorentina set the tempo with splits of :29.4, :59.1, and 1:29.1. Winkys Pride, who managed to drop into the four hole after starting in the seven position, swung three-wide down the lane and just got up in time for the victory. Fiorentina took the heart-breaking place position while Escrow Blue Chip (Jack Flanigen) finished in third.
Owned and trained by Robert Hummel, Winkys Pride (Amigo Hall-Winkys Smile) has now won four times in 17 starts in 2014, earning $28,571 this season and $148,839 lifetime.
At Tioga Downs on Friday night, Road N Load prevailed in the $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 distaff pace, winning by a widening 1 1/2 lengths.
Embroiled in an intense duel with Little Santamonica for the final three-eighths of a mile, Edward and James Hall's Rock N Load ($9.70) pushed clear in the last hundred yards to score. John Cummings, Jr. settled in midpack with the six-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, drafting well behind the :56.2 half mile rated by 9-5 favorite Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron), before commencing her first-over salvo. On the backstretch the two locked together, accelerating together through a :27.1 third quarter.
With Rock N Load a length in front on the entry to the far turn and the pocket-sitting Inittowinafortune (Jim Meittinis) working her way three-wide for a late bid, Little Santamonica dug back in for a brief lead off the turn, but was ultimately worn down, giving way in deep stretch. Rock N Load held sway from the late-closing Inittowinafortune, prevailing in 1:51.3. Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) stayed on late to finish third.
Rock N Load, now a 27-time winner, is trained by Daniel Gill.
Earlier on the card, two second-round divisions of the Morrisville College late-closing series for trotters were contested, with Cal Chips Brother (1:54.3, Corey Braden) and You Rock My World (1:55.2, Brandon Simpson) both scoring repeat wins in their respective races.
At The Meadows, Windsong Jack stalked his stablemate, Visible Gold, from the pocket, then brushed past him in the lane to score a narrow victory in Friday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows.
As the field turned for home, Eric Ledford had clearance inside and outside with Windsong Jack and opted to attack outside. The 4-year-old Santanna Blue Chip-Milliondollarsmile gelding had just enough track to down the 3-5 Visible Gold by a nose in 1:52 on a "good” surface. Brooklyn Flight finished third.
Ron Burke trains Windsong Jack, who vaulted over $500,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Stable 45.
Tony Hall, Aaron Merriman, Dave Palone, Dan Rawlings and Burke each enjoyed a triple on the 14-race card. (Buffalo, Tioga, The Meadows press releases)