Best Ears was by far the ‘best’ in the $10,500 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (June 7) by rolling to a four and a half length decision over JS Tango in 1:54, the fastest local mile of the 2014 season.
Overlooked by the betting public, Best Ears ($22.40) scored from the rail and went right to the top, posting splits of :28.3, :57.4 and 1:26.2.
It appeared that several were going to mount challenges, including Naked News (Jack Flanigen) and Closing Credits (Jack Flanigen). Each made mild moves along the way, but flamed out.
In the stretch, Best Ears was kept on task by McDonough and enjoyed the trip to the wire, registering a blistering :27.3 final quarter-mile over the fast track to secure the win.
The pocket-sitting JS Tango (Ray Fisher Jr.) had no answers and finished in second while What The Sheik (David McNeight III) took the show position. The usually late-charging Salazar, sent off the favourite, finished in sixth.
It was the second consecutive night McDonough has won the feature race. On Friday night, he went gate-to-wire with Mystical Escapade in the $10,500 Open Trot.
Owned by Joseph Amico and trained by Frank Mastrodonato, Best Ears (Shark Gesture-Extreme Dream) now has four victories in 20 tries in 2014, earning $23,017. The five-year-old gelding has bankrolled $205,398 lifetime.
(With files from Buffalo Raceway)