Hamburg, NY – Bourbon Express and Saylor was the $51,000 divisional winners in the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters on Wednesday night (July 17) as each of the freshman went in 1:59.2 over the fast track at Buffalo Raceway.
In the opening bracket, Bourbon Express ($4.70) beat Barn Holden by 1-1/2 lengths while in the second division, Saylor ($31.20) captured a four-length score over Redneckerthenyou.
“He handled the track like an old trotter,” winning driver Jason Bartlett said of Bourbon Express. “I stepped on the gas with him off the gate then again in the stretch. If someone tried to stay with Bourbon Express, they probably would have tipped over.”
Scoring from the four-post, Bourbon Express shot right off the gate and posted splits of :30.2, 1:01.1 and 1:31.1. Heading for home, Barn Holden (Kevin Cummings) was in a position to challenge Bourbon Express but failed to get any closer than a 1-1/2 length at the wire. Hobbs (Jim Morrill Jr.) collected the third-place check.
Co-owned by Salvatore Vullo, James DeArmond and trainer Jessica Okusko, it was the second win in three tries for Bourbon Express (RC Royalty-Kasha). The victory upped his seasonal earnings to $45,600.
A break behind the starting gate by the heavily favored Berkery J and Sing Me A Lalabye completely changed the complexion of the second bracket and Saylor took advantage of it.
Following the pace-setting Book Seven, Saylor popped the pocket at the top of the lane and strolled off to the easy victory. Redneckerthenyou (Dan Daley) took second while Book Seven (Andy Miller), who jumped it off in the stretch, regrouped in time to take third.
“It happens to two-year-olds,” winning driver Doug Ackerman said of the two breaking horses at the starting gate. He added, “Saylor was keen to go tonight and wanted to race. He did everything that was asked of him and responded each time.”
Trained and owned by Ackerman, Saylor (Chapter Seven-Creme De Cocoa) broke his maiden with the triumph and moved his seasonal bankroll to $31,548.
In the $15,000 Excelsior A Series, Maximus Da Savage ($4.50) toured the Hamburg oval in 2:01.2 while Bropain (Mickey McGivern) pulled a mild $12.80 upset in 2:02.4.
Crazy For CJ took the $6,800 Excelsior B division for Claude Huckabone III as he raced to a popular $3.50 win in 2:03.1. Bartlett completed the evening with a triple.
The final weekend of action on the 2019 season at Buffalo Raceway begins on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program slated. The finale will be on Saturday (July 20) evening at 6 p.m. with a 12-race card set.
For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com