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NY round-up: 3 in a row at Buffalo for "Mark"

April 29, 2016
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Leave Your Mark made it three in a row at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (April 29), hanging on by a diminishing head over Strong Hope in the featured $9,000 trot. The winning time was 2:01.2 over the good track.
 
There were several win streaks on the line as Strong Hope came into the race with three straight while Leave York Mark and Red Clay each had two. While Red Clay finished fifth, Leave Your Mark and Strong Hope were determined to keep their streaks alive and battled right to the finish line.
 
Driver Jim Morrill Jr. settled into third place with Leave Your Mark at the start but fired out and took the lead away from Lenny Mac just before the quarter pole. Putting up fractions of 31.1, 1:00.3 and 1:30.4, Leave Your Mark ($6.40) knew there would be challenges coming in the stretch.
 
Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) was first-over and was in perfect striking position in the drive to the wire. Leave Your Mark didn't give in and was strong enough to hold off the hard-charging runner up Strong Hope. Ali De Vie (Todd Cummings) finished in third.
 
Leave York Mark (Yankee Glide-Celebrity Liza) is a 7-year-old gelding who is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin. It was the fourth win of the season for Leave Your Mark, now a winner of $21,514 in 2016 and $179,232 lifetime.
 
Morrill Jr. finished the night with three victories with Kevin Cummings, Drew Monti and Jim McNeight each registering doubles. Perrin and Kirk Desmond each had two training wins.
 
At Vernon Downs, a fast pace and a tracking trip both proved beneficial for the J P Stables' Lucid Thoughts ($20.40), as he had ample late trot to just nab defending Open winner Stirling Cadet in Friday (April 29) evening's $9,000 Open Handicap Trot.
 
Trainer-driver John MacDonald secured a close tracking trip with the 8-year-old Cash Hall gelding, yielding to Stirling Cadet (Jimmy Whittemore) and Lutetium (Truman Gale) through a sharp :26.3 initial quarter. Lucid Thoughts would end up locked in through intermediate sectionals of :56 and 1:24.1 by the first-over Pocket Trip (Fern Paquet, Jr.), but found room to shake free off the corner as the outer tier weakened. Lucid Thoughts vacated the pegs at head-stretch, working into second over the all-out Lutetium at the eighth pole and ultimately just collaring Stirling Cadet by half a length for a 1:52.4 triumph, the 28th of his career. Stirling Cadet was valiant in defeat, holding second by 3-1/2 lengths over Lutetium.

MacDonald's victory with Lucid Thoughts capped a driving hat trick, as he swept the early double with odds-on winners Elm Grove Inarush ($2.30, 1:52.3) and Have a Parodi ($2.90, 1:55.2).

In the evening's Catherine Burton late-closing series divisions, Janice Connor trainee Chukkar ($4.30) was the only repeat winner from last week. Chuck Connor, Jr. drove the 3-year-old Crazed colt to a hard-fought 1:57.4 win over Golden Son in the first division, while Walk the Floor ($3.10, Angus MacDonald, 1:57) and Thats a Bad Boy ($18.00, Tyler Freese, 1:57.2) captured the subsequent $4,000 splits.
 
At Saratoga, Campanile (No Pan Intended) went coast-to-coast in Friday's feature.
 
The Chris Marino-trained mare has been the most consistent force among local distaffers over the course of the last few years and continued her winning ways in Friday's $13,000 Winners Over pace. Campanile powered out to the lead in a first quarter of 27.2 in the 1 1/16 mile feature. The gutsy mare dug in late and had enough left to hold off a late charge from rival Bazooka Terror (Billy Dobson) who wound being the runner up for the second consecutive week in the Winners Over. Longshot Jets Are On (Jim Devaux) earned the show spot.
 
It was the third win in the local feature this season and the sixth on the year for Campanile, who thrived out of town this winter as well. Austin Siegelman piloted the seven year old mare to victory for owner Mike Casalino Jr. Siegelman scored four winners on the card.  (Buffalo, Vernon, Saratoga)
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