Black Is Back much the best in Batavia Open
Batavia, NY — After two consecutive third place finishes, Black Is Back returned to the winner’s circle after taking the $8,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Nov. 28).
Tullow N (Ray Fisher Jr.) took command of the field and led them to the half in a pedestrian :58.1. Black Is Back (Dave McNeight III) came rolling up first-over from third in front of the stands and started a slow grind towards the leader. It took until the three-quarters to get near Tullow N but Black Is Back was now in full gear and wearing him down. At the top of the stretch Black Is Back swelled up, took the lead and kicked away to a 2-3/4 length victory in 1:55.4.
It was the eighth win of the year for Black Is Back ($3.70) and it pushed his earnings to $46,025 for owners Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. trains the winner.
In the $7,500 Open II Handicap pace, McSpidey (Jim Morrill Jr.) destroyed the filed by leading by as much as three lengths while cutting fractions of :27.4, :57.1 and 1:25.3 before turning for home and pacing away to an impressive 1-3/4 length win in 1:54.4.
It was the second consecutive win in identical time for McSpidey ($3.80) and owner William Emmons. Jim Clouser Jr. is the trainer.
Jim Morrill Jr. led all drivers with three wins on Saturday while trainers Gerry Sarama, Jim McNeight and Tammy Cummings all registered two wins apiece.
There was a guaranteed $7,500 Pick-5 pool in the first race on Saturday that ended up at $12,783 and there was a winning combination on the wager. 8-1-4-1-1 returned $1,018.50 for a 50-cent bet.
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Dec. 2) and there will be another guaranteed Pick-5 pool of $3,000 in the first race that day. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages for the first five races will be available on the Batavia Downs and USTA websites Monday, courtesy of Trackmaster.
The Pick-5 wager begins in race one and runs through race five. It is a 50-cent base wager and if all five winners aren’t selected, any carryover pool will be moved to the Pick-5 wager on the Saturday (Dec. 5) program.
Post time for the first race Wednesday is 5 p.m.
—- By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs