Day At The Track

Before I Die checks bucket list at Batavia

11:24 AM 17 Sep 2020 NZST
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Before I Die, harness racing Harness racing
Before I Die and driver Dave McNeight, III
Paul White photo
#4 Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) and #5 Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) finished in a dead heat for win
Paul White photo

Batavia, NY --- It's not too often a harness racing 9-year-old goes the race of a lifetime, but that's just what Before I Die did in the $8,500 Open I Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Sept. 16).

Before I Die (Dave McNeight III) started from the pylons but got away fourth after a three-deep :27.4 mad dash for the front by Victoria Swan (Drew Monti), Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Noble Legend (Billy Davis Jr.), who eventually took command. The action stayed fresh as the race passed the three-eighths where Before I Die tipped and proceeded in the breeze rounding the third turn.

Before I Die trotted alongside Noble Legend and then went right by as the group entered the back straight and from there, he was gone. After opening up a 3-1/2 length lead in a 1:26.1 third quarter, Before I Die gained momentum with every stride around the last turn and then kicked away hard down the stretch to win by 7-3/4 lengths in 1:56.2, which was a new lifetime mark.

Overlooked at 10-1, Before I Die ($22.80) scored his second win of the year for owners Jaime and Caren Dubay. Jaime Dubay trains the winner.

There was a dead-heat for win in the $8,000 Open I pace for fillies and mares after Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) led at every station with Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) right behind her. At the top of the stretch Lady Dudette pulled and matched strides with Protect Blue Chip all the way to the light and the photo nor the judges could separate the two in a race that went 1:54.4.

Lady Dudette ($5.00) is owned by Kyle Cummings and trained by Tammy Cummings and Protect Blue chip ($3.40) is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock and is trained by Maria Rice.

Five drivers had multi-win nights at Batavia on Wednesday. Jim Morrill Jr. led the pack with three and Kyle Cummings, Ray Fisher Jr., Dave McNeight III and Drew Monti all scored two. Trainers Ryan Swift and Tammy Cummings also scored two wins apiece.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 19) at 5 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
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