Lougazi back on top in Batavia Open trot
Batavia, NY — After making back-to-back breaks earlier this month forcing him to qualify, Lougazi rebounded from an off-track last week to score an easy 1-¼ length victory in the $12,500 Open I Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Nov. 22).
Rockefeller Lindy (Dave McNeight III) inherited the lead off the pylons as no one else left in the abbreviated field of five. He took advantage of the situation and went a pedestrian :29 to the quarter and :59.1 to the half. Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled first-over at that station and began to pursue around the third turn.
The race was on as Lougazi engaged Rockefeller Lindy on the backstretch and the two then trotted side-by-side to the three-quarters and around the last turn. Heading into the lane Lougazi took control, cleared and trotted away in the stretch, hitting the wire a wrapped-up winner in 1:58.3.
Lougazi ($3.00) raised his earnings for the year to $89,375 after scoring his ninth win for owner Mary Warriner and trainer Ryan Swift.
In the $11,000 Open II trot, Ticket To Seattle (Renaldo Morales III) tripped-out behind Majestic Kat (Billy Davis Jr.) until halfway down the stretch when he tipped-out and blew by his cover at the light to win in 1:59. A $21.60 upset winner, Ticket To Seattle is owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr.
Dave McNeight III was the top driver on Friday with three wins.
There is a $1,200 carryover for the Pick-5 wager in the first race on Saturday (Nov. 23) when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs with a 6 p.m. post time.
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs