By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs
(Photos courtesy of Wendy J. Lowery)
Batavia, NY — Driver Jim Morrill Jr. lit it up at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 29) winning six races on the card including a natural hat trick in races five, six and seven and did not miss the board in the 13 starts he drove.
Morrill’s top victory came in the co-featured $14,000 Open I Handicap trot where Credit List led at every station to claim his sixth win of the year.
Leaving from post six, Credit List was on the point by 1-½ lengths at the :29.3 quarter and never looked back from there. With BJ Laredo (Drew Monti) tracking closest behind in the pocket and absolutely no opposition coming from behind, Credit List floated to the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.4 before rounding the last turn and trotting away by 1-½ lengths under wraps to win in 1:57.1.
Owned by Room4040 LLC Stables and trained by Kevin Reynolds, Credit List returned $4.20.
Morrill also won with Deputy Seelster (1:57, $5.30), Silver Arrow (1:56, $3.70), Prairie Panther (1:54.3, $3.70), Inquiring Mind (1:57.3, $4.20) and Beach Fire K (1:55, $3.90).
Morrill also had four seconds and three thirds giving him a lofty .709 UDR for the evening. Saturday’s six wins moved him to 99 for the meet, now just six behind the leading Kevin Cummings who won two races himself and now has 105 wins during this session.
Later in the other featured Open I Handicap pace, Just plain Loco (Dave McNeight III) found himself starting from pylon position and took full advantage of his infrequent visit to the far-left wing. Flaunting his noted gate speed, Just Plain Loco flew to the front while the entire field fell in line behind in post position order. After the leader set a tepid :58.4 half, Morrill came first-up with Out On Bail and drew alongside the pocket-sitting Stratosphere (Drew Monti) and made Just Plain Loco pick up the tempo. McNeight was happy to oblige and simply gave Just Plain Loco his head. Then lickety split, he went to the three-quarters in :28.4 to rebuff the outside challenger and then turned for home and pulled away by three lengths in a :27.3 final panel and won in 1:55.1.
The eighth win of the year pushed Just Plain Loco ($3.30) over the century mark in earnings for 2022, now boasting $102,170 in the bank for owners Paul Lang and Mark Toth. This was one of three winners on the night for trainer Jennifer Giuliani, who led all her conditioning peers in winner’s circle visits.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 5) at 6 p.m. and there is another carryover available. The Jackpot Hi-5 Pentafecta in the 13th race will start with $1,666 in the pool. Free full past performance race programs for all live race days can be downloaded by visiting the track’s website at bataviadownsgaming.com