Lougazi takes Buffalo Open Trot
July 19, 2019
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"He may not win every time but I know he's going to empty his tank and give it his all," driver Ray Fisher Jr. said after Lougazi went from last to first again to capture the $13,000 Class A-Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (July 19).
Lougazi had plenty of fire power as he covered the mile in a seasonal best 1:57.4 over the good track, beating Majestic Kat (Billy Davis Jr.) by 3-/4 lengths. Wheels A Turning (David McNeight III) took the show spot. It was Lougazi's second straight come from behind win in the Class A-Open Trot.
Sitting in seventh and nine lengths back at the opening quarter, Lougazi followed the live cover provided by Wheels A Turning. In the stretch, he was on high octane as all the remainder of the field could do is watch.
"I just sit back with him," Fisher Jr. said of being patient with Lougazi. "The first time I drove him last year at Batavia, I got itchy with him and it didn't work out well. But tonight, everything was perfect for him."
Owned by Mary Warriner and trained by Ryan Swift, it was the fourth win in 18 starts for Lougazi (Lou's Legacy-Winning Blade). The 5-year-old gelding has now produced $43,500 in earnings in 2019 and $!47,989 lifetime.
Artacus (Davis Jr.) answered the bell in the $20,000 Opportunity Knocks Series finale by wiring the field in a seasonal best 1:55.4.
Starting from the rail, Artacus ($9.30) immediately sped to the lead and put up some spunky fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:25.3. Turning for home, Artacus enjoyed a four length edge and was able to take the 1-3/4 length dialed down win over a hard charging Rock The Dream (Fisher Jr.). Well Well Well (Denny Bucceri) took the show position.
Owned and trained by Sabrina Shaw, the 9-year-old gelded Artacus (Artiscape-Pumped) has now won four times in 16 appearances, pushing his seasonal earnings to $22,095 and $195,049 lifetime.
Glow Boat (McNeight III) took the $10,000 Opportunity Knocks consolation event with a 3/4 length score over No Talking (Fisher Jr.) in 1:56.3. Glow Boat returned $7.70 to his backers.
Davis Jr. finished the evening with three wins in the bike while Kevin Cummings had two victories. Shaw had a training double.
The 2019 season will conclude on Saturday night with a 12-race program scheduled for 6 p.m. Buffalo Raceway's simulcasting center will be closed from Monday, July 22 through Tuesday, August 20 due to the Erie County Fair. It will reopen on Wednesday, August 21. (Buffalo)