Doug R. Ackerman drove the winners of two Hopeful Stake elimination divisions Sunday at Buffalo Raceway.
Ackerman won the first of five races for 2-year old colt pacers with Interpretor and took the last with Black Gold Road.
Both colts are trained by the driver's father, Doug Ackerman Sr., and are owned by Richard S. Staley of Los Angeles.
Cambest won the second division in the fastest time, Three Wizzards captured the third and WRH took the fourth. They join Ackerman's colts in the $200,000 Hopeful final July 1.
Four of the five second-place finishers also gained starting berths through a random drawing: Squire Squirt, Road To Gold, Fission and He's Discreet. The fifth, Gallant Ensign, will become a starter in the nine-horse field in the event of a scratch.
Interpretor moved smartly to the lead then beat back a challenge from Gallanet Ensign before posting a 1 1/2 -length victory. It was the fifth consecutive win for the unbeaten son of Nihilator.
The Cam Fella-sired Cambest was best in his division, scoring a nose decision over the fast closing Squire Squirt in l:59.3. David Rankin drove the wire to wire winner.
Driver Ron Henderson moved Three Wizzards three wide to the lead at the half and the Albatross-sired colt went unchallenged thereafter to a 2:00.l victory.
The 31-year-old Ackerman was unsure which of his two winning colts he would drive in Sunday's final.
"I had kind of thought Black Gold Road was a little bit the better, but now I'm not so sure," he said.