by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Driver Trond Smedshammer let Chapheart decide what to do leaving the starting gate in the $115,600 New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday afternoon (May 18). Chapheart said 'let's go' and it ended up being the right choice.
Photo by Bill Burke    
Chapheart notches victory in New York Sire Stakes.    
Going coast to coast on the front end, Chapheart ($4.10) collected the $57,800 winner's share of the huge purse by defeating Castle House by a solid 1-3/4 lengths in 2:00.3 over the fast track. Valentine Express (John MacDonald) took third place honors.
"I didn't have any mindset if I was going to race him from behind or on the lead," Smedshammer said after the race. "I was just letting him trot out. I didn't think I'd get to the front that easily."
Chapheart was able to dictate the soft fractions of :30.2, 1:01.3 and 1:32.2. Castle House (Kasper Foget) was looming first over approaching the three quarter pole but couldn't chip in the lead heading to the wire as Chapheart fired off a :28.1 last quarter to seal the deal.
"I got away with soft fractions and then sprinted home,' Smedshammer added about his journey over the Buffalo Raceway half mile with Chapheart.
Owned by the Purple Haze Stables of nearby Fairport, N.Y., and trained by Smedshammer, it was the second victory in three appearances on the season for the gelded Chapheart (Chapter Seven-Hip To My Heart). The win increased his 2022 earnings to $68,625 and $96,841 lifetime.
Classic Express ($3.80) led every step of the way but needed a photo in the end to collect the nose victory over Makadushin N Cheez in the $15,000 Excelsior A Series race for the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters in 1:59.4. It was actually a faster time than the Sire Stakes event.
Scoring from the rail, driver Drew Monti took advantage of the pylons and sent Classic Express on his way off the gate. With splits of 30.0, 1:00.3 and 1:31, Classic Express wasn't home free as Makadushin N Cheez got the perfect pocket trip.
These two broke away from the field turning for home with Classic Express managing to hang on by a nostril as Makadushin N Cheez (John MacDonald) ran out of real estate and had to settle for second. Screamer (Phil Fluet) took the show spot.
Co-owned by James De Armond and Turn N Burn Stables, Classic Express (Conway Hall-Rucoucou) is a 3-year-old colt that is trained by John Kinney. It was his second victory in five starts for Classic Express, now a winner of $11,425 this year and $22,659 lifetime.
Dontustopbelievn N (Kevin Cummings) made believers out of her faithful as she rallied from last to first to snag a neck decision over Mach Of Shame (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the $15,000 Open Pace for the ladies in 1:58.1. It was the third straight Open victory for Dontyoustopbelievn N ($5.40) in the past three weeks.
Monti, Kyle Cummings and Morrill Jr. each posted doubles on the card while trainers Ryan Swift and Shawn McDonough conditioned two apiece.
Racing resumes on Friday and Saturday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. with nine-race cards set for each day. The $15,000 Open Trot highlights the Friday program with the $15,000 Open Pace taking the spotlight on Saturday.
For more information including the latest news, upcoming programs, entries, results and race replays, go to




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