by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a productive afternoon for trainer Shawn McDonough as two of his pacing mares posted victories in the main events at Buffalo Raceway on a crisp Wednesday (May 24).

 imprincessgemma a (2).jpg  
Photo by Bill Burke  
Imprincessgemma A takes 2-1/4 length win.  

Imprincessgemma A ($4.70) won the $15,500 Open Pace for the fillies and mares with a strong 2-1/4 length decision over Summer Slash in 1:54.2 while Delightful Summer ($6.20) made it a sweep for McDonough by wiring the field in collecting a length win over Bettor Country in the $11,500 sub-featured pace for the damsels.

It was a battle royal for early supremacy in the Open. Bank The Win and Miss Rockadali were stride for stride through the opening panel in a wicked :27.3 over the fast track. Those trying fractions would eventually spell doom for the front runners.

Bank The Win showed the way through the half in :56.0 but was in retreat mode after that. Imprincessgemma A (Kevin Cummings) who was sitting fifth, pulled first over and brushed on to the top, hitting the three quarter marker in 1:25.2. From there, Imprincessgemma A opened up a two length advantage at the head of the stretch and put away Summer Slash (Ray Fisher Jr.) by 2-1/4 lengths while Miss Rockadali (Denny Bucceri) held on for third.

delightful summer.jpg  
Photo by Bill Burke  
Delightful Summer makes it three straight.  

Owned by Elite Harness Racing , LLC, it was the fifth win in 11 appearances for the 9-year-old Imprincessgemma A (Village Jolt-Melody Stride). The triumph moved her earnings to $35,585 on the season and $545,634 lifetime.

While Imprincessgemma A had to use a bold move down the backstretch to highlight her victory, Delightful Summer (Jim Morrill Jr.) was rock solid in making it three straight wins by going coast to coast in a seasonal best of 1:54.4.

Delightful Summer put up reasonable splits of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:26.2 in setting the tempo. Bettor Country (Joseph Chindano Jr.) and A Black Diamond (Bucceri) were in perfect striking range of the pace setter with a stanza to go. But Delightful Summer had other ideas and used a :28.2 last quarter to deflate the hopes of Bettor Country and A Black Diamond who finished in second and third respectively.

Owned by The Crazy Parrot Farm, LLC., it was the sixth trip to the winner's circle in the year for Delightful Summer (Quality Western-Midsummer Delight). The 6-year-old has produced $24,298 in winnings on the campaign and $131,045 in her career.

Chindano Jr. showed the way for the drivers during the afternoon with a three bagger while Morrill Jr. and David McNeight III) each posted doubles. David Russo had two training victories.

Racing will resume on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. with another 11-race card set.

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