Day At The Track

NYSS action at Batavia Downs

12:24 AM 02 Aug 2020 NZST
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Batavia, NY --- The New York Sire Stakes makes its first of two stops at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2) and will feature both 2 and 3-year-old trotting filly divisions. 

There are 16 freshman fillies divided into two divisions, each going for $52,200. 

The first group features No Pay No Way (Credit Winner-Not A Diva) who has one NYSS win in only one lifetime start. After qualifying handily at the Meadowlands in 1:56.4, No Pay No Way took a come from behind win at Yonkers on July 21 in a state-bred race, banking the bulk of the $$48,866 purse after the win in 2:00. 

Scott Zeron will be in the bike for trainer Rick Zeron. 

Titans Hope (E L Titan-Fiery Manes) made an impressive first start at Yonkers, finishing third after a mid-mile move. A change in barn and driver seemed to step her up from her qualifier and she looks to continue improving in here.

Jason Bartlett drives for trainer Andrew Harris.

Also in the race is Credit Income (Credit Winner-Income De VIe) who won an Excel A outing in 2:01 at Saratoga Raceway on July 8 before stepping up to a top level, second place finish at Yonkers where she trotted in 1:59.2. 

John Stark Jr. drives for trainer Maureen Salino.

The second division has Destined To Dance (Chapter Seven-Go Go Dancer) starting from post seven and looking for her third consecutive win on the year. This filly has won gate to wire at Saratoga on July 8 in 1:59.4 and from off the pace at Yonkers on July 21 in her lifetime best 1:58.3. 

Tyler Buter will steer again for trainer John Butenschoen. 

Just Joshing (Chapter Seven-Jodi’s Jayme) has two consecutive wins in Excel A company and both were very impressive. She takes the next step here and looks to be a formidable force against the top group this week for driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller. 

Elize B (Chapter Seven-Legal Lady) made a stellar debut after cutting the mile and just getting beat in 1:59.2 at Saratoga. She made a break in her next outing at Yonkers from post seven and looks to make amends for that misstep. Scott and Rick Zeron are also the driver/trainer team on this filly. 

There are only nine entrants in the sophomore soiree that will also go in two groups for $54,000 and $55,000 respectively. 

The first division has four starters who are winless this year but who also show a lot of potential. 

Destiny Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Chasin Clouds Away) was caught up in a torrid 1:53 mile at Tioga Downs on June 21, chasing Love A Good Story who is in the other division. In her last start at Vernon Downs, she was parked out for over three-quarters of the mile before tiring in the last turn in a race that went in 1:52.1. She is now in a short field that looks like she should be able to make use of those tighteners. 

Ake Svanstedt both trains and drives. 

Starystarrynight (Conway Hall-Makes Me Crazy) has won three times last year but has still not found the winner’s circle in 2020. After winning her qualifier on June 15 at Yonkers, Starrystarrynight has been racing overnight condition races at Harrah’s Philly where she was recently race timed in 1:55.2. Now back facing her own age and gender, she should be well prepped for a top effort in her first stake start this year. 

Billy Davis Jr. drives for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera. 

Island Lily (Chapter Seven-Up Front Hotsey) showed good early work this year before finishing fourth in an Excel A event. After a month layoff, she qualified in a lifetime best time of 1:56.4 by 3-1/2 lengths at Pocono. She steps up to the top level here but comes in looking the part.

Tom Jackson drives for trainer Fred Grant.

The second $55,000 leg is stacked with three of the top five point-getters in this division.

Love A Good Story (Chapter Seven-Celebrity Lovin) has won both of her NYSS outings this year taking a lifetime mark of 1:52.1 at Vernon Downs on July 11. She also finished second to Hypnotic Am in the $207,250 Empire Breeders Classic and most recently competed in the $253,500 Del Miller at the Meadowlands against Hambletonian hopeful Ramona Hill who won it in 1:50.3.  

Team Orange Crush handles Love A Good Story with Andy Miller in the bike for trainer Julie Miller.

No Mas Drama (Muscles Yankee-Massive Drama) hasn’t missed a check all year until an impossible trip in the Del Miller where she found herself 10th at the quarter chasing a 1:50.3 mile and Munster (Chapter Seven-Richesse Oblige S) has also cashed in four starts behind the gate. However both are still looking for win number one of the year.

Jim Morrill Jr. Drives No Mas Drama for trainer Jenn Bongiorno and Tyler Buter will team Munster for Per Engblom.

Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m.

Black Is Back in season's best at Batavia Downs

The first Open I pace of the year saw Black Is Back impose his will on a field of seven, going gate to wire handily to capture the $10,000 feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (July 31).

Driver Dave McNeight III seated the field after taking a quick point position with Black Is Back and then went to the quarter in :28.3 and the half in :57.4. It was there that Class Six (Renaldo Morales III) pulled first-over and made his way up the outside.

Class Six got to within a length of Black Is Back at the three-quarters before hanging there around the last turn. And that was as close as he would get as Black Is Back rebuffed the challenge and paced away to a 2-1/4 length win in 1:54.3, which was a new seasonal mark.

It was the 32nd lifetime win in only 110 starts for Black Is Back ($3.90) who is owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. does the training.

The $9,000 Open II saw a raw speed duel between Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) and Atlantis (Jim Morrill Jr.) who left from post seven and eight respectively. Under Paid got the lead and parked out Atlantis for three quarters of a mile while going fast fractions of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:25. When Atlantis understandably tired in the last turn, Don McWhite (Billy Davis Jr.), who had the perfect pocket trip, tipped out and looked to go by the leader. But the leader wasn't done and Under Paid finished strong to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54.2.

It was the second win in a row for Under Paid ($13.00) who is owned by Jennifer Rogowski and trained by Mike Ohol.

Shawn McDonough's stable had one big night at the Downs on Friday. Horses he trains made seven starts and scored four wins, one second and two thirds. Of those seven starters, McDonough drove six of them. He won three, had one second and two thirds. This all equates to McDonough having a Universal Trainer Rating of .746 and a Universal Driver Rating of .703 for the night. Statistically, that is one of the best dual performances ever recorded at the Genesee County track.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs with a special Sunday (Aug. 2) matinee card featuring all New York Sire Stake races. Post time Sunday is 1:15 p.m.

by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
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