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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: A drama ends

   June 30, 1997 -- One of the longest-running soap operas in Buffalo sports history -- more than a year, in a sense -- came to an end this day. The Sabres and Ted Nolan parted ways after Nolan had coached the team for the previous two seasons.

   Nolan and Sabres general manager John Muckler had not gotten along during Nolan's tenure in Buffalo. Muckler was let go shortly after the team was eliminated from the playoffs, and he was replaced by Darcy Regier.

   After evaluating the situation, Regier flew to Nolan's summer home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., to tell Nolan in person that he would not be back in the fall.

   "The first thing he said [in the meeting] was, 'We're not going to extend your contract. We're going to go in a different direction,' " Nolan said that night.

   The Sabres had offered Nolan a one-year extension of his contract, but he indicated that he would reject that deal. 

   "I thought there would be some room to negotiate," he said. "I'm an optimist. I guess I was hoping for something that wasn't going to be there. I'm really hurt and disillusioned by the whole thing. I'm going to get some rest and then get someone to call some teams."

   Regier eventually hired Lindy Ruff as the coach of the Sabres, and that combination remains on the job as of today. Nolan had trouble finding work despite winning coach of the year honors in 1996-97. He finally coached the Islanders for two years, and now works with the Rochester Americans.

 --- Budd Bailey

   This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Billy Dee Smith, Bandits defender - 1982.

This Day in Buffalo Sports History: The last game

   June 29, 1962 -- One of the interesting parts of researching these daily facts is that relatively unknown information can come up without any notice. This is such a day.

   For about four years, Buffalo hosted the Coaches' All-American football game at War Memorial Stadium. Some of the nation's best players played one last game against their peers before moving on to the pro ranks. In this particular contest, Bob Ferguson of Ohio State ran for 99 yards. Woody Hayes of Ohio State coached the East, with Ben Schwartzwalder of Syracuse assisting.

   However, this 1962 game will always be known as the last football game Ernie Davis ever played.

   Davis was one of the great stars in college football history. A top high school runner in Elmira, he led Syracuse to a national championship in 1959, and then became the first African-American Heisman Trophy winner in 1961.

   He was projected to have a great future with the Cleveland Browns, who traded Bobby Mitchell (a Hall of Famer himself) to Washington to obtain the rights to Davis. The idea was for Davis to team up with another ex-Syracuse star, the immortal Jim Brown.

   But fate got in the way. Davis contracted leukemia and never played a second in pro football.

--- Budd Bailey

   This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: John Stofa, UB quarterback - 1942.

This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Electric ending

   June 28, 1983 -- This trade by the Buffalo Bills hurt a little bit. The Bills sent offensive guard Reggie McKenzie to the Seattle Seahawks for a draft choice. That completed McKenzie's 11-year stay in Buffalo, which had some great moments.

   McKenzie was a cornerstone of the Electric Company, the offensive line that 'turned on the Juice (O.J. Simpson)." He was a second-round draft choice out of Michigan, and moved right into the starting lineup.

   McKenzie was a big reason why Simpson went past the 2000-yard mark in 1973. Interestingly, McKenzie probably received the most publicity of any member of that unit, even though Joe DeLamielleure was the best player of the group. But Reggie was a friendly face to the media, which loved to have him talk on camera. His warm personality came across nicely, and that helped him break the mold of anonymous offensive linemen.

   McKenzie spent two seasons in Seattle, and retired after the 1984 season. He may have been a Seahawks at the end, but he'll always be remembered as a Buffalo Bill.

--- Budd Bailey

   This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Jim Watson, Sabres defenseman -- 1943.

Track Talk: Arm And A Leg still on top

Hometown Harness Rankings

The Best at Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs

Arm And A Leg vaulted back to the top of the rankings with a magnificent mile --- a 1 3/4-length victory in 1:54 3/5 --- in the $9,000 Open Handicap on June 19. ... On June 26 he got off to a slow start but came flying at the end to be a close second in the same class to the resurgent Scotts Rolls Royce.

Here's one observer's opinion of the current power rankings at Buffalo Raceway (with local starts, wins, seconds, thirds, earnings, gait, fastest winning mile, trainer, driver and date of last race.) Horses are dropped if they haven't raced in a month. Your opinions and suggestions are always welcome by e-mail at rsummers@buffnews.com.


1. . Arm And A Leg (19-5-4-4, $38,700, p, 1:54 2/5. Stacy Keene, Kevin Cummings, 6/26): Last year's top horse and No. 1 pacer has won just five times, but his the 7-year-old gelding's winning miles have been clocked in 1:56 2/5 (twice), 1:55 3/5, 1:55 4/5 and 1:54 2/5. ... Owned by Mark Jakubik of West Seneca.

2. Hello Carlo (15-6-3-0, $36,090, t, 1:59. Larry Clabaugh, Jack Flanigen, 6/25): Won the $9,000 Open Handicap Trot for the third straight week on May 21 in 2:00 to become the season's richest trotter at the time. ... His pair of 1:59 miles are among the fastest trotting races of the season. ... Won the $9,000 feature with a tough first-over trip on June 25. ... Owned by Mario Caponi of Cayuga Falls, Ohio.

3. Two Twentytwo (5-4-1-0, $13,550, p, 1:54 2/5. Rich Mays, Jamie Dunlap, 6/5): Former stakes horse from Woodbine is unbeaten in four starts at Hamburg in races against limited winners. ... On May 29, he won in 1:54 2/5, the fastest race at Hamburg this year. ... Owned by Dominic Colarusso Jr. of Olean. ... Was named Buffalo Raceway Horse of the Month for May.

4. Compass Connection (5-1-2-1, $10,530, p, 1:54 3/5. Bob Gruber, Ray Fisher Jr., 6/26) Veteran campaigner recently acquired from Canada wired the field from post 1 in 1:54 3/5, then the second-fastest mile of the season, in the $9,000 Open Handicap Pace on June 5. ... It was his 37th win in 168 starts and pushed his career bankroll over $400,000. ... Owned by Jude Jacobs of East Aurora and a bunch of friends.

5. Newberry Winner (19-7-2-3, $38,500, p, 1:57. Neal Russo, Jamie Dunlap, 6/25): 6-year-old granddaughter of Three Wizzards (the sixth-place finisher in Buffalo Raceway's Hopeful Pace in 1990) took a big drop in class and won her sixth race of the season in 1:58 2/5 on May 7. ... Drew the rail in the $9,000 Fillies & Mares Open Handicap on June 25 and won in a season's best 1:57. ... Owned by Howard M. Ouriel of Rochester.

6. Cry For Cash (19-4-1-3, $28,260, p, 1:55 3/5. Ron Beback Jr., Ron Beback Jr., 6/26): 5-year-old gelding wired the field in 1:58 2/5 to win the $9,000 Open Handicap Pace from post 3 on Feb. 27 to become the first horse to win the Saturday night feature twice this season. ... Made it three on April 17 with a front-running victory in 1:55 3/5. ... Won his fourth on May 8 in 1:57 4/5. ... Owned by the threesome of J.D. Critelli of Lockport and W.L. Switala and J.J. Martin of Clarence.

7. Redneck Reindeer (15-6-4-2, $37,830, t, 2:00.1. Sherri Holliday, Ken Holliday, 6/25): 6-year old gelding stepped up in class and wired the best trotters in the $9,000 Open Handicap in 2:01 3/5 on April 9 for his third win in five local starts since arriving from Canada. ... Won for the third time in four starts on April 23. ... After a losing trip to Vernon Downs, he won his fifth of the year in a season's best 2:00 1/5 on May 7. ... Got sixth win in 2:00 4/5 on June 4. ... Season's richest trotter is owned by Betty Tauber of East Brunswick, N.J.

8 . Manfromnantucket (5-3-1-0, $16,450, t, 1:59. Allan McCarty, Ron Beback Jr., 6/18): 5-year-old gelding won the $9,000 Open Handicap Trot on May 28 after breaking at the start as the 8-5 favorite the previous week. ... Repeated June 11 with a 1:59 3/5 mile and scored again in 1:59 to win a four-horse photo on June 18.. ... Owned by trainer McCarty of Hamburg.

9. Pembroke Primo (21-4-6-6, $36,725, p, 1:57 3/5. John Cummings Sr., Kevin Cummings, 6/25): 6-year-old mare broke a long losing streak by winning the the $9,000 Fillies & Mares Handicap in 1:57 3/5 on June 11. ... Her excellent in-the-money record has made her the season's richest horse. ... Owned by Mark Jakubik of West Seneca.

10. Blacktuxwhitesocks (1-1-0-0, $13,100, t, 1:58 1/5. Jessica Okusko, Jeff Gregory, 6/16): Son of Credit Winner set a new Buffalo Raceway track record (1:58 1/5) for 3-year-old trotting colts, and posted the fastest trotting win of the season, with his New York Sire Stakes victory on June 16. ... Aruba Vacation cut the first quarter in 29 3/5 before Blacktuxwhitesock took over in 59 2/5 and 1:29 4/5. ... Previous mark of 1:58 4/5 was set by Lord Stormont, driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Norman Jones, on June 14, 1997. ... Owned by Purple Haze Stables of Fairport.

Special Mention

Scotts Rolls Royce (15-3-3-2, $20,275, p, 1:55. John Mungillo, Troy Boring, 6/26): 8-year-old gelding has won only three times in 24 total starts this year, but his victories have been clocked in 1:55, 1:55 2/5 and 1:55 4/5. ... The latter two wins came since Mungillo became his trainer. ... Owned by Amanda Tobinski and Greg Luther of Gahanna, Ohio.

Jim (21-10-2-3, $29,186, t, 1:59 4/5. Jim McNeight, Jim McNeight, 6/25): 8-year-old son of SJ's Photo, the 1995 champion male trotter, became the meet's winningest horse when he won for the ninth time on June 18, while carrying a $10,000 claiming tag. ... Posted his 10th win, in a season's best 1:59 4/5, on June 25. ... Owned by Michael Ventura of Williamsville.

Windfall Blue Chip (1-1-0-0, $19,815, p, 1:54 4/5. George Teague Jr., Jim Morrill Jr., 6/20): 3-year-old posted the fifth-fastest pacing mile of the season with his easy victory in a New York Sire Stakes race on Father's Day.

Classical Man (1-1-0-0, $3,750, t, 1:58 3/5. Renee Bercury, Ray Fisher Jr., 6/11): 9-year-old invader from the Meadows romped to an eight-length victory in 1:58 3/5, the fastest trot of the year so far.

It's Only Roni (4-2-1-1, $30,620, p, 1:58 4/5. Joseph Robbins Jr., Jack Flanigen, 6/6): Her victory in a $53,054 New York Sire Stakes dash for 3-year-old fillies on June 6 made her the third-richest pacer of the season. ... Owned by Francis Feely of Avoca.

Miss Walker (12-7-1-0, $29,050, p, 1:57. John Mungillo, Jim McNeight, 6/4): Former top 10 pacer returned from road trips to Tioga Downs, Yonkers and Saratoga and won the $9,000 Fillies & Mares Open Handicap from the 5-hole in 1:57 1/5 for her seventh Buffalo Raceway win of the year. … John Mungillo has replaced Gregory Luther as trainer for owner Amanda Tobinski of Gahanna, Ohio.

Boomer Berman (19-8-7-0, $33,125, t, 2:00 1/5. Lisa Lederhouse, Jack Flanigen, 6/25): This 14-year-old Pennsylvania-bred gelding won for the 84rd time in 232 career starts when he took a 2:00 2/5 mile on May 28, his eighth win of the season. ... It was his 39th Western New York win, and 13th for trainer Lisa Lederhouse, since he took an Open Handicap race at Hamburg in 2:01 on May 10, 2002 for trainer/driver Steve Schoeffel. ... Owned by Kathy Schoeffel of Evans City, Pa.

Wine Guide (17-4-5-1, $29,202, p, 1:57 3/5. Bob Gruber III, Ron Beback Jr., 6/27): Won his fourth race of the season --- earning $2,300 in 1:57 3/5 against $6,000 claimers --- on May 19. ... Thanks much to the $13,000 he earned for winning the Niatross series final for $4,000 claimers on Feb. 27, he's the fifth-richest pacer of the season. ... Owned by Irwin Kaplan of Merrick.

Bankers Dream (24-5-5-3 $33,165, t, 1:59 1/5. D.J. Millner, Ron Beback Jr., 6/25): After losing as the 9-5 favorite on Jan. 15, he came back and won in 1:59 1/5, the fastest trotting mile of the meet at the time. ... Won his fourth race of the year with a 2:01 1/5 mile on March 26. ... Took his fifth race of the year on April 16 in 2:01 2/5 in the slop. ... Owned by Melinda Kash of Medina, Ohio.

Pacific Mariner (5-3-1-0, $10,300, p, 1:56 2/5. Patricia Sackett, Ray Fisher Jr., 6/5: Classy 8-year-old gelding won the $9,000 Open Handicap after being assigned the inside post on May 22. ... Didn't race in 2009 but now has won 28 of 104 races, including a 1:49 mile at Woodbine in 2006. ... Owned by Ryan Swift of Batavia.

Australian Stock (22-3-6-3, $32,370, t, 1:58 4/5. D.J. Millner, Kevin Cummings, 6/18): Earned his way back into the top 10 with two straight wins in the $9,000 Open Handicap Trot from posts 1 (1:58 4/5 and 3 (2:00 2/5). ... He's the third-fastest and fifth-richest trotter of the season.

Horses to Watch

La Suvera 8-year-old mare recently acquired by trainer/owner Laurie Patistas made two moves from the 6-hole before finishing fifth against $4,000 filly claimers in her Buffalo Raceway debut on May 19. ... Finished third in her next out on May 28. ... Finished fifth at 15-1 on June 4. ... Won June 11 and paid $10.20.

Virtual Escape 3-year-old colt pacer driven by Ray Fisher Jr. for trainer Jim Graham had traffic trouble in the beginning, but came flying at the end (last quarter in 29 seconds) to be second from post 8 against limited winners on June 2. ... Finished fifth in a New York Sire Stakes race on June 20.

Season's Fastest Winning Pacers:

1:54 2/5: Two Twentytwo (May 29)

1:54 2/5: Arm And A Leg (June 12)

1:54 3/5: Compass Connection (June 5)

1:54 3/5: Arm And A Leg (June 19)

1:54 4/5: Windfall Blue Chip (June 20)

Season's Fastest Winning Trotters:

1:58 1/5: Blacktuxwhitesocks (June 16)

1:58 3/5: Classical Man (June 11)

1:58 4/5: Australian Stock (March 19)

1:59: Hello Carlo (April 30)

1:59: Hello Carlo (May 14)

1:59: Manfromnantucket (June 18)

Season's Richest Pacers

$38,975: Pembroke Primo

$38,700: Arm And A Leg

$38,500: Newberry Winner

$30,620: It's Only Roni

$29,202: Wine Guide

Season's Richest Trotters

$37,830: Redneck Reindeer

$36,090: Hello Carlo

$33,165: Bankers Dream

$33,125: Boomer Berman

$32,370: Australian Stock

Season's Winningest Horses

10 wins: Jim , t, (Jan. 15, $3,000, 2:02 2/5; Jan. 22, $3,000, 2:04; Feb. 3, $3,000, 2:04; Feb. 17, $4,600, 2:08 2/5; Feb. 24, $4,600, 2:06 3/5; March 17, $4,600, 2:02 3/5; March 24, $4,600, 2:03 3/5; May 7, $5,400, 2:00 3/5); June 18, $6,000, 2:00 4/5; June 25, $6,000, 1:58 4/5).

8 wins: Boomer Berman , t, (March 3, $4,600, 2:02 4/5; March 10, $4,600, 2:00 3/5; March 19, $5,400, 2:00 3/5; March 26, $5,400, 2:01 4/5; April 2, $6,200, 2:01 4/5; April 23, $5,400, 2:01 4/5; May 14, $5,400, 2:00 1/5; May 28, $7,500, 2:00 2/5).

7 wins: Goal Cam ,p, (Jan. 16, $3,000 purse, 2:02 3/5; Jan. 27, $4,200, 2:00 2/5; Feb. 6, $5,800, 1:58 1/5; Feb. 27, $5,800, 1:58 3/5; March 6, $6,200, 1:57 3/5; March 13, $7,500, 1:58 4/5; March 20, $7,500, 1:56 4/5).

7 wins: Miss Walker , p, (March 5, $4,600, 1:59 3/5; March 19, $5,000, 1:58 1/5; March 26, $6,200, 1:58; April 2, $9,000, 1:57; April 16, $9,000, 1:58; April 23, $9,000, 1:57 3/5; June 4, $9,000, 1:57 1/5).

7 wins: Hawaiian Alibi , p, (Jan. 27, $3,000, 2:01 3/5; Feb. 3, $5,800, 1:57 1/5; March 10, $5,000, 1:58 1/5; March 17, $5,000, 1:59; March 27, $5,800, 1:57 3/5; April 24, $5,800, 1:56 4/5; June 23, $5,000, 1:59 2/5).

7 wins: Newberry Winner , p, (Jan. 15, $7,500, 1:59 4/5; Jan. 29, $9,000, 2:00 4/5; Feb. 5, $9,000, 1:59 3/5; March 12, $9,000, 2:02; March 19, $9,000, 1:58 4/5; March 7, $4,700, 1:58 2/5; June 25, $9,000, 1:57).

7 wins: Justlikeart , p, (March 3, $3,000, 2:00 3/5; March 13, $4,600, 2:00 3/5; March 20, $6,000, 1:57; April 10, $6,200, 1:57 2/5; June 5, $6,000, 1:56; June 12, $7,500, 1:55 3/5; June 26, $7,500, 1:56 3/5).

On The Mark

Congratulations to the following horses and their connections for recently setting new lifetime marks.

Pacers

1:56 4/5, Just A Moment: 4-year-old gelding by Village Jove (lifetime mark 1:49 4/5) earned $2,300 with his 11th win in 34 races on June 12. ... Troy Boring drove him to a front-pacing victory in 29 2/5, 59 and 1:28 to trim a full second off his previous mark of 1:57 4/5 set at Buffalo Raceway on May 15. ... Trained by James Compton of East Bethany, who co-owns him with wife Sandra Compton and Harry Wortzman of Batavia.

1:57 1/5, Spode To Be Black: 6-year-old son of Riverboat King (1:48 3/5) earned $2,500 with his 14th win in 117 races on June 12. ... The Fonz set the pace in 29 1/5, 59 and 1:28 before driver Ray Fisher Jr. unleashed a 28 3/5 last quarter to whittle a fifth of a second from his previous mark of 1:57 2/5 set at Batavia Downs on Sept. 5, 2008.

1:57 1/5, Faith N Moon: 5-year-old daughter of Allamerican Ingot (1:50 3/5) banked $3,250 with her 10th win in 73 starts on June 18. ... Driver Ray Fisher Jr. had her in the pocket behind Casimir Honkytonk, who cut the mile in 28 4/5, 58 1/5 and 1:27 4/5 before she came home in 29 1/5 to knock a full second off her previous mark of 1:58 1/5 set at the Meadows in 2008. ... Trained by Patricia Sackett of Batavia, who is co-owner with Ryan Swift of Batavia.

1:57 3/5, Corey Drummond: 5-year-old gelded son of Clown's Tears (1:50 4/5) won $2,500 for his eighth victory in 75 starts on June 12. ... Troy Boring had him on top at every fraction in 29 3/5, 2:00 2/5 and 1:29 1/5 as he shaved a tick off his previous mark of 1:57 4/5 set at Batavia Downs on Oct. 17, 2009. ... Trained by James Compton of East Bethany, who is co-owner with wife Sandra.

1:57 3/5, Du Kirbey: 4-year-old gelding by Aces N'Sevens (1:48 4/5) earned $2,100 for his eighth victory in 35 starts on June 16. ... Control Freak cut the first quarter in 28 4/5 before driver/trainer Ron Beback took him to the front in 58 4/5 and 1:28 3/5 en route to cutting 3/5ths of a second from his previous mark of 1:58 1/5 set at Rideau Carlton in 2009. ... Owned by Joseph R. Dunn of Hamburg.

1:58 1/5, Sub Zip O: 3-year-old filly by Village Jove (1:49 4/5) earned $1,250 for her second win in as many starts on June 27. ... Evil Eva cut the mile in 28 1/5, 58 1/5 and 1:28 1/5 before Jack Flanigen drove her home in a 29 4/5 final quarter to clip 1 2/5 seconds off her previous mark of 1:59 3/5 set at Buffalo Raceway on June 13. ... Trained by Robert Anderson of Frewsburg, a co-owner with Nancy Kieffer of Hamburg.

1:58 2/5, Martin Hanover: 3-year-old gelding by Western Ideal (1:48) earned $2,300 for his sixth victory in 19 races on June 19. … Ray Fisher Jr. drove him past the stations in 29, 1:00 1/5 and 1:29 3/5 and took 4/5s of a second off his previous mark of 1:59 1/5 set at Buffalo Raceway on April 17, 2010. … Trained by Gerry Sarama for Mike Torcello of Hamburg.

1:59 2/5, Anndrovette: 3-year-old daughter of Riverboat King (1:48 3/5) earned $26,527 in New York Sire Stakes purse money for her second win in 12 starts on June 6. … Truly A Treasure cut the mile in 28 4/5, 57 3/5 and 1:29 2/5 before driver Pat Berry got her home in 30 3/5 seconds to clip 2 2/5 seconds from her previous mark of 2:01 4/5 set at Freehold in 2009. … Trained by Taylor Gower of Allentown, N.J., a co-owner with John A. DiSomma of Staten Island.

2:00 4/5, Happy Cam 3-year-old gelding by Cambest (1:56 1/5) earned $1,250 for his first win in four starts on June 23. … BC’s Blood Money cut the first quarter in 29 4/5 before Kevin Cummings took him to the front in 59 3/5 and 1:30 4/5. … Trained by Patrick Smith of Canfield, Ohio, who is co-owner with Charles Stein and Ernie Grekis of Cortland, Ohio.

2:01 1/5, Glasgow Gamer: 4-year-old gelding by Island Fantasy (1:50) earned $1,250 with his second win in 41 starts on June 9. ... All In Baby cut the first quarter in 29 2/5, then Isn't She Lovely led the middle half in 59, 1:29 4/5 before Tom Agosti got him home in time to whack 6 2/5 seconds off his previous mark of 2:07 3/5 set at Northville Downs, Mich. in 2009. ... Trained and owned by Sue Stockwell of Ohio.

2:02, Next Idol: 3-year-old colt by Yankee Cruiser (1:49 3/5) earned $1,250 for his second win in eight starts on June 2. ... Kevin Cummings drove him through the slop to a wire-to-wire triumph in 29 3/5, 1:00 3/5, 1:31 4/5 as he chopped three seconds off his old mark of 2:05 set in a qualifier at Northfield in 2009. ... Trained by D.J. Millner for owner David Slyman of Richfield, Ohio.

2:02 2/5, Noble Michelle: 4-year-old daughter of Astreos (1:59 4/5) earned $1,250 as she won for the second time in 22 races on June 13. ... Trainer/driver Ron Beback Jr. had her in front at every station in 30 3/5, 1:01 1/5 and 1:32 1/5 as she wiped out her previous mark of 2:07 2/5 set at Buffalo Raceway on May 5. ... Owned by James T. Dunn of Singer Island, Fla.

Trotters

2:00 1/5, Flamenco Dancer: 5-year-old mare by Tejano (1:53 2/5) earned $2,500 for her 12th win in 101 races on June 25. ... Building Wealth cut the cake in 30, 59 4/5 and 1:30 1/5 before driver Tom Agosti unleashed her for a 29 4/5 final quarter and clipped a second off her previous mark of 2:01 1/5 set at Freehold in 2009. ... Trained by Alex Giuliani for Ben Drongosky of Snyder.

2:00 2/5, Upside Blue Chip: 3-year-old daughter of Dream Vacation (1:52) earned $13,083 with her second victory in 17 races in a New York Sire Stakes race on June 19. … Trainer/driver Phil Fluet steered her to a wire-to-wire score in 30 4/5, 1:00 1/5 and 1:30 1/5 and took 1 1/5 seconds off her previous mark of 2:01 3/5 set at Saratoga in 2009. … Fluet, of Columbus, N.J. owns her with Tom Vassiliou of Hawley, Pa.

2:00 4/5, Winsum Kash: 6-year-old daughter of Proud Kash (2:06) won $2,000 with her ninth win in 74 starts on June 4. … Ima Cricket Also cut the mile in 29 2/5. 59 4/5 and 1:30 4/5 before Jamie Dunlap got her home with a 29 3/5 final quarter to trim 1 2/5 seconds off her previous mark of 2:02 1/5 set at Batavia Downs on Aug. 26, 2009. … Trained and owned by Fred Haslip of Basom.

2:00 4/5, Hat: 3-year-old daughter of Victory Sam (1:54 1/5) won $1,500 for her 11th win in 20 starts on June 6. … Mikey cut the mile in 29 3/5, 1:00 2/5 and 1:30 4/5 before Jim Morrill Jr. drove her through a 29 4/5 final quarter and knocked 1 4/5 seconds off her previous mark of 2:02 3/5 set at Buffalo Raceway on May 19. … Trained by Tom Agosti for Fred Polk of Zanesville, Ohio.

2:01 4/5, Flirtinwithcowboys: 3-year-old daughter of Malabar Man (1:53 2/5) earned $13,083 with her second win in eight starts in a New York Sire Stakes race on June 19. … Madam Hooch cut the mile in 30 4/5, 1:00 1/5 and 1:31 before driver John Stark Jr. got her home to trim 1 1/5 seconds off her previous mark of 2:03 set at Saratoga on May 15. … Trained by Chet Poole Jr. for John Bach of Goshen and John Wasco of Dunmore, Pa.

2:02, Mikey: 4-year-old gelding by Malabar Man (1:53 1/5) earned $2,500 for his second win in 41 starts on June 11. ... Jimmy Whisman drove him to a coast-to-coast victory in 30 4/5, 1:01 1/5 and 1:32 1/5 to match his previous mark of 2:02 set a Pocono Downs in 2009. ... Trained by Laurie Patistas for Kathleen Weller of Elma.

2:02, Winning Agenda: 4-year-old daughter of Mutineer (1:53) gained a purse of $1,500 with her sixth win in 45 starts on June 13. ... Driver Ray Fisher Jr. piloted her to a 4 3/4-length victory while cutting the mile in 29 4/5, 1:00 2/5 and 1:31 3/5 to whittle a tick off her earlier makr of 2:02 1/5 set at Buffalo Raceway on April 14. ... Trained and owned by Bob Gruber III of Lakeview.

2:02 4/5, Little Spot: 3-year-old daughter of Dream Vacation (1:52) banked $12,833 with her first win in eight starts in a New York Sire Stakes event on June 19. … Miss Conway cut the mile in 31 2/5, 1:02 1/5 and 1:33 3/5 before Pat Berry got her home in a 28 4/5 last quarter. … Trained by Linda Toscano for Martin Sternberg of Brookville and Alvin Katz of Port Washington.

2:04 4/5, Carolina Red: 5-year-old gelding by Tabor Lobell (1:55 4/5) earned $1,500 with his fourth win in 48 starts on June 9. ... Jack Flanigen piloted him over a "good" track to a wire-to-wire victory in 30 3/5, 1:01 2/5 and 1:33 3/5 as he trimmed a second off his previous mark of 2:05 4/5 set at Blue Grass Downs in 2009. ... Trained by Paul Wright Jr. for Sandra Wright of West Seneca.

2:05 1/5, Last Vacation: 3-year-old filly by Dream Vacation (1:52) won $1,250 for her first win in 17 starts on June 13. ... Fourcorner Nance cut the first quarter in 31 2/5 before Oh Sweet Victory took charge in 1:01 4/5 and 1:33 1/5. Then driver Ray Fisher got her home (for his fifth victory of the afternoon card) to win by a nose. ... Trained by Bob Johnson for Linda and Robert Kenney of Belchertown, Mass.

---- Bob Summers

LPGA Championship -- Final Round Recap

LPGA CHAMPIONSHIP -- FINAL ROUND

 

Shark Attack: Cristie Kerr smelled blood, all right. Her final-round 66 produced a 12-stroke victory, the largest in the history of the LPGA Championship.

 

Round of the Day: Kerr’s sizzling finish matched the 66 posted by Ai Miyazato, who had been the world’s top-ranked player. Coincidence? Don’t believe it.

 

Stars and Stripes: Kerr led five American’s into the top 20. Joining her were Morgan Pressel (69, T7), Brittany Lincicome and Stacy Lewis (both 73, T14), and Michelle Wie (70, T19).

 

Stat Check: Kerr hit 80.56 percent of greens in regulation for the tournament and averaged 1.603 putts in her GIR. Both figures topped the field. She was ninth in driving distance (250.88) but tied for 56th in fairways hit (55.36).

 

Toughest hole: The 413-yard par-4 10th   played to a 4.3 average with 26 bogeys and four doubles against 12 birdies.

 

 Easiest hole: All week the par-5 17th was an oasis in the desert. Sunday it yielded 26 birdies and an eagle and a 4.69 stroke average. Its 4.79 average overall made it the easiest hole in the tournament.

 

Quotable: Kerr greenside after being deoused with champagne: “”Is my mascara running?””

 

Quotable II: South Korea’s Song –Hee Kim on Kerr’s eight-shot lead heading into the day: “Forget about her. Her round. She is too far away.””

 

Next Major: The U.S. Women’s Open will be contested at Oakmont in two weeks. What does Ai Miyazato know about the course? “Well,”” she said, “”my caddy was telling me that the green are like potato chips.”” That about sums it up.   

 

-- Bob DiCesare

This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Muckler arrives

   June 27, 1991 -- Buffalo Sabres general manager Gerry Meehan had something of a master plan in the summer of 1991. He was said to be interested to add someone to the organization to take his place.

   Then Meehan could move up to the position of president of the Sabres, with the new person ready to serve as general manager. By chance, there was someone who was very interested in the job.

   John Muckler had coached the Edmonton Oilers to the Stanley Cup in 1990, and had worked as an assistant coach during the Oilers' glory years in the Eighties. But he'd never be in charge of the hockey department there as long as Glen Sather was around. So when the Sabres came calling, Muckler was ready to listen.

   Buffalo hired Muckler, adding another top hockey man to its list of hirings over the years (Punch Imlach, Scotty Bowman).

   "They (the Sabres) have talent," Muckler said the day he was hired. "They are at a point where they have to be taken a step further. They have to be taught how to win and there's no reason we can't do that. You have to have talent, but I think this team has that or I wouldn't have come here. As far as the other things go, character can be taught and winning is also a learning process."

   Muckler once was quoted as saying that Buffalo would have a parade for a team that merely won a playoff series. He did that, as coach, in 1993. Muckler then put together the team that won the division championship in 1997.

--- Budd Bailey

   This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: John Tracey, Bills linebacker - 1933.

LPGA Championship -- 3rd Round Recap

LPGA Championship -- Third Round at Locust Hill

At the top: Eight shots up with 18 holes to play qualifies as insurmountable, does it not? Presumably all but Greg Norman would answer in the affirmative. Cristie Kerr's too seasoned to fritter this one away.

Round of the Day: The day belonged to the red, white and blue. Morgan Pressel leapt into a tie for 19th with a 4-under 68.

Ouch!: Michele Redman moved into the top 10 with a second-round 67 and thudded into a tie for 44th with a 79, the highest round of the day. She double-bogeyed the first hole and went on to shoot 41 on the front side.

History Repeating: Is Locust Hill becoming the home of the blowout? Last year Jiyai Shin was 16-under and up four after 54 holes and won by seven.

Still Searching: Michelle Wie hit just five fairways and 12 greens - both her tournament lows -- in shooting a 73. She's tied for 37th.

Toughest hole: The par-4 13th hole reigned again, playing to a 4.32 average. Just three birdies were made there versus 26 bogeys and a double.

Easiest hole: A par 3 topping the list? It doesn't happen often, but the 150-yard 15th yielded 20 birdies and 2.75 stroke average.

Quotable: Spain's Azahara Munoz on bidding to become the third straight LPGA rookie to win this event: ""Yes, I heard that, but Cristie is eight shots ahead. I don't think it's going to be reachable but I will give it a try.""

Quotable II: Jimin Kang of South Korea on Locust Hill: ""It's a major, that's all I can
say. If you miss a fairway you got to work your butt off to get out of there. If you miss a
green, good luck to you as well.""

On tap: The final round begins at 7:30 Sunday morning, with the lead twosome of Cristie Kerr and Jimin Kang scheduled to go off at 12:40. Tee times were once again advanced as rain is expected around the 5 o'clock hour.

-- Bob DiCesare 

Third Round from the LPGA Championship

NOON: Cristie Kerr looked totally at ease on the front nine in maintaining a five-shot lead over Mika Miyazato. Kerr played the side 1-under and easily could have made a couple more birdies. She lipped out a 25-footer on No. 9. Not many greens at Locust Hill present three-putt danger, but subtle breaks make it hard to get on a birdie roll. Kerr justed bogeyed No. 10 after driving into the rough and is back to even for the day with Miyazato looking at a birdie putt after a highly fortuitous kick on her approach. She made it and suddenly the lead is down to three.

-- Bob DiCesare

This Day in Buffalo Sports History: The Boogey Man

   June 26, 1998 -- The National Hockey League often has wasted little time in stocking its expansion teams once the old season was completed. Ask Bob Boughner about that.

   Boughner was lost to the Nashville Predators on this date after turning in some good years as a Sabre defenseman. Here's how The News reported the story about Boughner, who now is a very highly regarded coach in junior hockey:

   Bob Boughner is happy to be a Nashville Predator, but sad to be an ex-Buffalo Sabre. The defenseman expressed those mixed emotions after he was taken by Nashville Friday in the expansion draft. The Predators selected one player from all 26 existing NHL teams; Nashville will begin its inaugural season in the league this fall.

   "I'm going to miss Buffalo. I've had a lot of good friends and teammates there," Boughner said. "But this could be a great experience for me."

   Boughner, 27, spent 2 1/2 seasons with the Sabres after they acquired him from the Florida Panthers. In 1997-98, he had one goal and three assists for four points with 165 penalty minutes in 69 games. Boughner was a regular defenseman for most of his time here.

   "I think in a nutshell I look at it that I got my start in Buffalo. Now, in Nashville, they've showed a lot of faith in me by taking me," he said. "It will be a fairly young team. Next year will be a year where there will be a lot of different elements. I'm actually honored -- there were a lot of good players to choose from. I'm very excited."

   The Sabres figured to lose a contributor to the team that reached the conference finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs earlier this month. Forward Dixon Ward was also available in the expansion draft. Predators general manager David Poile would have been happy with either Boughner or Ward.

    "Buffalo was one of those teams that had two good players available," Poile said. "Ward had a good playoff for them. If we could have had two players from the Sabres, they would have been two ideal picks. We thought defensemen are tougher to find than forwards, and that Boughner was a good team guy."

--- Budd Bailey

LPGA Championship 2nd-Round Review

LPGA Championship from Locust Hill CC

At the Top: Cristie Kerr's 6 under 66 has her five shots up with 36 holes to play as she pursues a second major title.

Lurking: Is Japan's Mika Miyazato biding her time? The world's No. 1 shot 70 and shares second with South Korean Inbee Park, winner of the 2008 U.S. Women's Open.

Same Players, New Day: First-round tri-leaders Stacy Lewis and Seon Hwa Lee plunged, each putting up 74.

The Stuff of Legends: Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez, a three-time winner at Locust Hill, went 87-86 and missed the cut by 25 shots.

Been There, Done That: In a span of six holes Terra Postmumus, an assistant pro at TPC Scottsdale, went double-par-triple-double-quad-double en route to a 90.

Toughest Hole: The par-4 13th caused all kinds of grief, extracting 47 bogeys, 16 doubles and three "others" from the field. It played to a 4.573 average. Posthumus made 9 there.

Easiest Hole: The par-5 17th, a scant 478 yards, provided the greatest respite for a second straight day. An eagle and 39 birdies factored into a 4.81 stroke average. Posthumus made 4 there.

Quotable: Cristie Kerr on sitting 10 under: "I don't think anybody expected anybody to be in double digits after two days."

Quotable II: Inbee Park on Kerr's 66: "This afternoon with the wind it was almost impossible to shoot that number."

On Tap: Play has been moved up Saturday in anticipation of inclement weather in the afternoon. Players will start off both tees at 7 a.m. The leaders figure to go out around 9. The chance of rain/thunderstorms is 40 percent in the morning and 60 percent in the afternoon.

-- Bob DiCesare

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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.

@WDX2BB | bbailey@buffnews.com

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