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Track Talk: Baby Boy Steps Up

Baby Boy Grin was bred to pace, but it's obvious now that he was born to trot.

The former Buffalo Raceway star (his 1:58 2/5 mile on June 12 was the Hamburg track's fastest trotting race of 2009 and is Western New York's fourth fastest trot of the year) has moved up to the big leagues.

On Thursday (Sept. 24) he became the fastest trotter in Yonkers Raceway history with a victory in 1:54 4/5 for driver Larry Stalbaum in a race for a $20,000 purse.

The following is from Yonkers publicity director Frank Drucker:

The 4-year-old Grinfromeartoear gelding took no prisoners from the pole. The 2-5 favorite threw down the gauntlet through fractions of 28 1/5, 57 1/5 and 1:25 1/5.

He led by three lengths at the half, a half-dozen at the three-quarter pole and eight turning for home. His final margin was 8-1/4 lengths over Hurrikanebiggeorge (Jason Bartlett), with KLM Express (Jim Marshall III) third.

Baby Boy Grin, co-owned by (trainer) Kim Asher and Mike Sorentino, Jr., returned $2.80 for his seventh win (third consecutive) in 19 seasonal starts. His record-setting effort displaced American Lane and his 1:55.1 mile (June 7, 2008) from the Raceway record books.

"He was just real sharp tonight," Stalbaum said. "He did it all by himself."

"The story I heard about him was that Erv Miller originally paid $40,000 for him, and he wouldn't pace a lick. He wound up selling him [to Buffalo-based owners known as Nasty Boys Stable] for about $4,500.

"They [trainer/driver Jerry Nugent Jr.] turned him into a trotter, and he began making progress. I found out about him, then watched some of his races. He was trotting some big miles up there, and I liked what I saw. I bought him [in mid-June] for $55,000, because I thought he'd at least fit well in the conditioned races here."

--- Bob Summers

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