Good But Trying Season Ends At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway 

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "It was a good but a trying season," Buffalo Raceway Operations Director Jon Cramer said in reflecting on the recently completed 2018 campaign.
Buffalo Raceway had originally been scheduled to have an 89-day meet but lost 29 of those dates due to weather issues and a shortage of horses. But once things settled down, the trotters and pacers got rolling and put in some stellar performances.
Driver Drew Monti  
There were a total of 12 track records either tied or broken during the year including both the all-aged pacing and trotting marks. Sir Ziggy's Z Tam became the fastest horse ever at Buffalo Raceway when he paced the mile in 1:51.2 on June 9 and Fox Valley Veto took down the all-aged trotting standard with a 1:56.0 mile on July 20.
Drew Monti won his first driving championship at Buffalo Raceway with 123 victories as the 23-year-old went over $700,000 in purses. Shawn Gray took the runner up spot with 106 wins and Billy Davis Jr. finished in third with 100 in his initial season at the track.
James Clouser Jr. took his first training title at the Hamburg half-mile oval with 81 wins and over $415,000 in earnings. JD Perrin ended up second in the standings with 63 victories while Maria Rice rounded out the top three with 42 victories.
clouser jr.jpg  
James Clouser Jr.  
The "Trotter of the Year" went to Fox Valley Veto while the "Pacer of the Year" award went to Lightning Raider N (Christian Cullen-Talent Hanover) as the 13-year-old gelding posted 12 victories in 21 starts in 2018.
Winning favorites took 311 of 673 races in 2018 for a 46.21 percent average.
The one post captured the most victories on the season with 174 while the four post was next with 126 wins.
Buffalo Raceway and the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association have agreed on a contract for 2019 season with an option for a second year. There will be 66 scheduled days of racing starting in the end of January, 2019. Racing will then continue twice a week in February and March and three cards per week in April, May, June and July. The exact dates and starting times will be announced in the future.
"We expect to keep the same purse structure next year as it was when we completed the 2018 season," Cramer noted. 
Buffalo Raceway's simulcasting area is closed now through August 21 due to the Erie County Fair.
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