Knocking Around Finally Gets Open Pace Victory

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Knocking Around has been camera shy recently but that doesn't mean the 7-year-old gelding hasn't been trying. With three runner up finishes and two shows in his last five appearances in Open competition, it was just a matter of time before Knocking Around got back into the win column. 
KNOCKING AROUND 2-11-17-1.jpg  
Photo by Steve Roth  
Knocking Around (#2) hangs on to capture Open Pace.  
 
That time came on Saturday night (Feb. 11).
 
Knocking Around ($6.10) got a perfect first over trip and held on at the wire to take Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Pace in 1:59.3 over a sloppy track. After 10 victories and $86,370 in earnings in 2016, it was the first win in four starts this year.
 
With Littlebitaclass setting the splits of 29.2, 1:00.0 and 1:30.2, the closers were ready to pounce in the final panel on the pace-setter in the stretch.
 
Pounce they did.
 
Knocking Around (David McNeight III) led the charge down the stretch and was able to hold back the valiant attempts by China Dream (Shawn Gray) and Itsonlyrocknroll A (Larry Stalbaum) who finished in second and third respectively. It was a blanket finish with just three-quarter lengths separating the top three finishers.
 
Owned by Courtney McNeight and trained by David McNeight Jr., Knocking Around (Western Terror-So Completely) has now won $11.200 this season and $262,603 lifetime.
 
Stalbaum, Kevin Cummings, Ray Fisher Jr., Shawn Gray and McNeight III all doubled on the program while McNeight Jr. and Kimberly Asher each had two training victories.
 
Racing will resume on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. There's a $1,291 carryover in the Pick-5 on Wednesday which starts in the second race. It's the first Pick-5 carryover of the season.