by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. — The racing surface is ready. More than 250 stalls have been filled by horses chomping at the bit ready to race. This can only mean the 66-day season at Buffalo Raceway is set to begin with opening night scheduled for Wednesday, January 27 with a 5 p.m. post slated for the 11-event program.

Wednesday’s first card will feature a $3,000 guarantee in the Pick 5 pool thanks to the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program, the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association and Buffalo Raceway. The Pick 5 begins in the second race.

With Covid-19 protocols still in place, fans will not be allowed at the facility located at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg.

Buffalo Raceway Director of Operations Jon Cramer said, “Following 2020 and the way 2021 has started, we can’t wait to get the racing season started. We hope to have spectators sometime during the season but until then, we will put out a good product for the bettors to play along at home.”

Owners who have horses entered will be able watch live at the track but they must call the race office in advance of the race

The race schedule shows action on Wednesday and Saturday evenings beginning at 5 p.m.

With no spectators allowed on site fans can still watch and wager on the races.  A few OTB’s and Simulcast locations are open or place your bets through any of the Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) websites including TVG, NYRAbets and TwinSpires among others. For a full list visit

Starting on April 2, Friday nights will be added to the slate with a start time of 5 p.m. The Saturday programs will then be moving to 6 p.m. There will be three special 7:15 p.m. posts set for Saturday, May 1, Saturday, May 15 and Saturday June 5 to accommodate thoroughbred Triple Crown events.

There are two Sunday afternoon cards on tap, June 20 and June 27 with each having a 12:30 p.m. post. The track will be dark on Friday June 18 and June 25.

The season will conclude on Saturday, July 17.

Buffalo Raceway’s wagering menu for the horse players includes three daily doubles (Races 1-2, 5-6 and the last two on the program), a Pick 5 (races 2-6), a Pick 4 (races 7-10) and a Pick 3 (the last three races) along with win, place, show, exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets

On the track, driver Billy Davis Jr., the 2020 Buffalo Raceway driving champion, is returning to defend his title. Davis Jr. won 71 races last season and collected more than $376,000 in purse earnings in the abbreviated season. He’ll be busy on Wednesday as he is scheduled to drive in all 11 races.

Drivers Jim Morrill Jr. and Kevin Cummings will participate in 10 of the 11 races.

Maria Rice, who captured her first ever training title, will try and make it two straight crowns after notching 39 victories at Buffalo Raceway in 2020, winning more than $242,000 in purses. She’ll try and get an early jump on the competition as Rice will send eight to the gate on opening night.

For more information including the latest news, entries, race replays, results, go to or follow along on Twitter or Facebook.