By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs
(Photos courtesy of Wendy J. Lowery)
Batavia, NY — It was ladies night for Jim Morrill Jr. at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 16) as he swept the girls off their feet in the top two paces for fillies and mares that highlighted the evening of racing at the Genesee County track that operated under “snowglobe” conditions.
First he took the $14,000 Open I Handicap with The Stunning Nun N ($3.40) who waited until late to scoop the loot.
Miley Rose (Drew Monti) struck the point and led the field through quarters of :28.3 and :57.3 before heading up the backside on the second circuit. It was there an outer flow formed with Tuapeka Jessie N (John Macdonald), Shecouldbegood N (Keith Kash) and The Stunning Nun N all advancing in the breeze. Halfway through the last turn, Shecouldbegood N tipped three deep and at the top of the stretch, The Stunning Nun N swept four wide into the straight. Then under a line drive by Morrill, The Stunning Nun N made up her 2-½ length deficit and then pulled ahead by two at the light and won in 1:56.2 over the “good’ rated track.
With four board hits at Batavia since visiting, it was the second win during that time for The Stunning Nun N who is owned by her trainer Michael Deters in partnership with Joel Warner, John Manning and Barbara Jensen.
Morrill also won the $13,000 Open II Handicap with JB’s Star Dancer ($4.40) who cut the mile under heavy pressure the second half.
JB’s Star Dancer was put on the lead and then Morrill throttled down the pace to a meager :59.4 half. That prompted Protect Blue Chip (John Macdonald) to pull first-up and match strides with the leader up the backside to three-quarters and then around the final turn. At the top of the stretch horses were coming from everywhere and spread five wide across the track. But Morrill sat chilly as JB’s Star Dancer held them all off to the end and won by one-half length in 1:57.4.
It was the third straight win for JB’s Star Dancer, her owner Mike Torcello and her trainer Sammy Smith, who both had two winners on Wednesday.
Morrill ended the night with a total of four wins himself as he added Culinary Artist (1:58.3, $8.00) and Explosive Leggs (1:59.3, $6.50) to his record.
Trainer Shawn McDonough and driver Kevin Cummings each got a hat trick during the night.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 19) at 6 p.m. and there is another carryover available. The Jackpot Hi-5 Pentafecta in the 13th race will start with $4,432 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