Batavia, NY — After going a very long mile, the hard-working Saulsbrook Olympia (Big Jim) notched her second straight harness racing victory in the $14,000 Distaff Open Handicap at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 2).
Somebeachsomefra (Jim Morrill Jr.) was the early leader and forced The Stunning Nun N (Ray Fisher Jr.) to abandon her desire for the front and tuck in second. The race hit the quarter in :28.1 and as they paced by three-eights, Dave McNeight III tipped Saulsbrook Olympia out from sixth and started the trek forward, looking to flush cover. As no one else pulled right lines, Saulsbrook Olympia was on her own and took the task to heart, first-up in the breeze.
Saulsbrook Olympia was fourth at the five-eighths and third at three-quarters. Then as they headed into the last turn, The Stunning Nun N left the pocket and forced her three-deep. But Fisher changed course quickly with The Stunning Nun N and went back to the pylons leaving Sauslbrook Olympia a clear shot into the lane.
As the passing lane opened, The Stunning Nun N moved through inside of Somebeachsomefra and Saulsbrook Olympia was in full stride in the middle of the track. The three mares paced in unison to the wire in a blanket finish where a photo and judge’s determination declared Saulsbrook Olympia the winner by a head in 1:55.3.
SAULSBROOK OLYMPIA REPLAY
Scoring her tenth win of the year, Saulsbrook Olympia ($5.00) now shows $80,266 in earnings on her card and both numbers are single season highs for the mare. William Mcneil and Edward Gorc own the Jennifer Giuliani-trained daughter of Big Jim-Racino Star. She paid $5.00 to win as the wagering favorite.
The win was one of two for Giuliani while it also kicked off a natural driving hat trick for McNeight that now gives him 49 victories at Batavia and moved him back into a tie for third place for dash wins this meet with Kyle Cummings, who won one race during the night. The leading Kevin Cummings and second place Jim Morrill Jr. both had three wins apiece on Wednesday as well and that puts them at 108 and 102 respectively.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 5) at 6 p.m. and there is another carryover available. The Jackpot Hi-5 Pentafecta in the 13th race will start with $2,123 in the pool. Free full past performance race programs for all live race days can be downloaded by visiting the track’s website here 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