from harness publicists across North America
The Friday (Oct. 19) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Batavia Downs, Saratoga Casino Hotel and Vernon Downs.
Lougazi posts career best in Batavia feature trot
Batavia, NY — In what turned out to be a very exciting horse race, Lougazi proved to be best once again in winning the $11,000 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Oct. 19).
Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) got away last by quite a few lengths off the gate when BZ Glide blasted to the front and posted an extremely fast :27.2 quarter. Positions remained unchanged past that post when Fisher came first-over at the three-eighths pole with Lougazi and motored up the outer rim.
Incrementally gaining ground around turn-two and up the backstretch, Lougazi drew even with BZ Glide by the three-quarters and the two dueled from there. Trotting in step around the last turn and into the lane, Lougazi finally got a step away from BZ Glide. But Empire Earl N (Jim Morrill Jr.) who was drafting third pulled three wide and was launched for the finish. Lougazi dug in and held him off as well and hit the wire first by a head in 1:56.3, which was a new lifetime mark.
It was the second win in a row and fourth out of the last six for Lougazi ($11.80) who is owned by Mary Warriner and trained by Ryan Swift.
In the $8,800 Open II Trot, Edom Up Blue Boy (Jim Morrill Jr.) rode a two-hole trip to the half behind Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) before pulling to take the lead by the five-eighths, open up by three lengths and eventually win by four in 1:58. Edom Up Blue Boy ($6.40) is owned and trained by Rock Vinci.
With only two favorites winning all night, there was a plethora of profound payoffs in most of the races on Friday. But the one wager that did not get hit was the early Pick-5 and as a result, there is a $2,900 carryover pool for the early Pick-5 on Saturday (Oct. 20). That bet will be a part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program with a $7,000 guaranteed pool and free program pages that will be available Saturday on the USTA website under the handicapping tab.
Post time for Saturday evening will be 6 p.m.
— Tim Bojarski
Sally Fletcher A (American Ideal) scored in the Fillies and Mares Open for the second consecutive Friday night at Saratoga as the Jose Godinez trainee rolled to a front-running victory in 1:53.3. Bruce Aldrich Jr. piloted Sally Fletcher A and wasted no time retaking the lead after briefly giving way to invader Culinary Delight N (Larry Stalbaum). Happy Heart (Mark Beckwith), who was the runner-up to Sally Fletcher A in last week’s installment of the $16,000 Open for distaffers after edging her out the week before, got away last in the five-horse feature on Friday. She closed sharply when called upon on Friday but was no match for Sally Fletcher A who recorded her seventh win of the season and did so at odds of 6-5. Happy Heart was the runner-up once again this week while Culinary Delight N had to settle for third. The Sally Fletcher A- Happy Heart exacta, which has come in a box for three consecutive weeks now, paid $13.40. Aldrich, Godinez and the Blindswitch Racing Stable teamed up for a second winner on the card when their Poppy Drayton N lived up to the hype as the 1-9 betting favorite in an $8,000 conditioned race for fillies and mares. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with a 6:45 p.m. first post.
Jaclyn Hanover (John MacDonald) captured the Vernon Downs $6,500 featured fillies and mares pace on Friday. Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) took the lead before hitting the first quarter in :26.2. Jaclyn Hanover ($6.20) followed in the pocket as Love Live Laugh continued to control the pace hitting the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:24.1. Jaclyn Hanover, who is owned and trained by MacDonald, popped out of the pocket in deep stretch and blew right by to win in 1:53.1. Love Live Laugh held on for second with Classic Can Dream (Jeff Long) picking up third money. Jaclyn Hanover is a 6-year-old mare by Dragon Again. It was her sixth win of the season and her 19th career victory. Kabu (John MacDonald) captured the $6,500 featured trot. Golden Kronos (Jimmy Whittemore) jumped to the lead and led to a first quarter in :29.1 and to the half of :59.2. First Call (Homer Hochstetler) pulled out of the pocket and took over the lead just after the half. First Call hit the three-quarter mark first in 1:28.2. Kabu ($6.40) was last at the halfway point. Owned by the JP Stables and trained by MacDonald, he went first-over around the final turn. As they reached the top of the stretch Kabu challenged First Call. First Call went on a break in mid-stretch. Kabu took over the lead and held off a late charge by second place finisher McKenzie’s Star (Claude Huckabone III) to win in 1:57.1. Golden Kronos was third best. Kabu is a 7-year-old gelding by Valley Victor. He picked up his 11th win of the season. He now has 32 career victories. Jimmy Whittemore drove four winners on the night. Whittemore picked up wins with Nashville Flash ($22.40), Miss B ($9.00), Pagasus Point ($8.60), and Escada De Vie ($4.30). He now has 109 wins and leads John MacDonald by five victories with five racing days left to go in the 2018 season. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (Oct. 20) with a 12-race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.