by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The 2023 Buffalo Raceway live harness racing season comes to a close on Saturday, July 22 so you'd expect things to be slowing down. It's quite the opposite.

On Wednesday (July 19), the New York Sire Stakes makes its final journey to the Hamburg half mile oval with the sophomore colts and geldings along with the filly trotters competing in a unique doubleheader of sorts.

The gentlemen sidewinders will clash in the first and fifth races while the lady trotters will take their turn the second and seventh events with all four divisions going for approximately $56,500 each in Sire Stakes purse money. Adding to the excitement will be four $20,000 Excelsior Series events that will be sprinkled in between the Sire Stakes. 

The one race everyone is pointing at is the fifth race which attracted a stout field of five colt and gelding trotters.

Highlighting the field is Chapercraz (Crazy Wow-Chaperess) who has earned $209,652 this season in just nine starts. The Ron Burke trainee has had three second place finishes before coming to Buffalo Raceway including runner up showings in the $300,000 MGM Trot at Yonkers and in the $350,000 Zweig at Vernon Downs. The gelding has just one win in his career but continues to roll in the dough.

His main rival will be Expresso (Chapter Seven-Biscotti) who was in the money 10 out of 11 times in 2022, earning $243,400. He had a narrow length setback in the $137,775 Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway on May 6 but won a $20,000 Excelsior Series race at Vernon Downs on May 23. Trained by Julie Miller, Tyler Miller is set to drive.

In the first race, the initial colt and geldings trot, Sevecheetah (Chapter Seven-White Cheetah) comes to Western New York off a pair of gate to wire at Yonkers Raceway. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. is scheduled to drive the Burke conditioned three year old from the two spot.

The second race on the program is the first division of the NYSS for the fillies and it shapes up to be an interesting affair.

Last year's Excelsior Series champion, Usosweet (Devious Man-Twin B Kisses), is the only damsel not to be coming in off a victory. She did have a win this season in a $20,000 Excelsior race at Vernon Downs but had narrow second place finishes in the $104,371 Empire Breeders Crown at Vernon Downs and in the $59,200 Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs.

The other entrants include All The Rage, Woolco, Pride N Joy and Jean's Action all of whom have tasted victory in their last outings.

In the seventh race on the program, Ruth Honig (Chapter Seven-Lady Grey) leads the field of four. A winner of $142,093 last season, Ruth Honig has earned just $20,047 in five starts, but the lack of bankroll can be attributed to poor starting positions. That won't be an excuse on Wednesday afternoon as driver Jordan Stratton gets the inside draw and should be ready to roll.

Post time for the 13-race card is 2:30 p.m. with the first eight races all stakes events.

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