Batavia, NY — The Saturday night (Oct. 22) card at Batavia Downs once again featured a pair of $14,000 Opens – one on the trot and one on the pace – and the winner of both races set personal harness racing milestones as a result of their efforts.
In the Open I trot, Lougazi (Lou’s Legacy) registered his 50th lifetime win in a thrilling finish.
Lougazi got away sixth with Ray Fisher Jr. at the lines as C R Blazin Beauty (Dave McNeight III) took the lead from Wesley Hanover (Drew Monti) at the quarter in :28.2. But as soon as C R Blazing Beauty settled in, Malibu Kid (Keith Kash Jr.) made an early move and was already near the leader at the half as Lougazi followed his outside cover.
C R Blazin Beauty kept Malibu Kid on the rim around turn three and all the way to the three-quarters where Lougazi continued to advance. C R Blazin Beauty faded in the turn and by the top of the stretch Malibu Kid was on the pylons with Lougazi trotting alongside and he started to get an advantage. But when he finally got in front, Lougazi still had to beat a fast-closing Credit List (Jim Morrill Jr.) to the line, which he did by a nose and won in 1:57.4.
It was the eighth win of the year for Lougazi ($3.10) who is owned by Mary Warriner and trained by Ryan Swift.
Then later in the Open I Handicap pace, Stranger Things (Western Terror) tripped-out to a new lifetime mark.
Just Plain Loco (Dave McNeight III) took control as Stranger Things (Kevin Cummings) tucked in second for the ride. They got to the quarter in :28 but before they came out of turn two, Ray fisher Jr. tipped Rebellious from third and went after the leader. Rebellious paced outside of Just Plain Loco past the half and to three-quarters but as they sped up the backside in :27.4 , Rebellious started to tire before the last turn.
The top two horses separated from the field and as they entered the stretch, Cummings popped the deuce with Stranger Things and came right at Just Plain Loco. Under a full head of steam, Stranger Things pulled away to a 1-½ length victory in a career best time of 1:53.2.
STRANGER THINGS REPLAY
Stranger Things ($7.50) got his tenth win of the year for owners Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel and James Reuther. Stranger Things was one of two wins trainer Angelo Nappo had and one of four winners Cummings had on Saturday.
But four races weren’t good enough for top driver honors Saturday as Jim Morrill Jr. had a huge night, winning six races on the card. He scored with Silver Arrow (1.55.4, $4.00), Prairie Panther (1:54, $2.40), Mississippi Rabbit (1:56.3, $2.50), Northern Sportsman (1:56.2, $6.30), Falcons Luke (1:56.3, $2.70) and Mister David C (1:55.3, $2.60).
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 26) at 6 p.m. and there is another carryover available. The Jackpot Hi-5 Pentafecta in the 13th race will start with $1,065 in the pool. Free full past performance race programs for all live race days can be downloaded by visiting the track’s website and clicking the “Live Racing” tab and then you watch all the races live on the Batavia Downs YouTube channel.
For complete race results, click here.
by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs