Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel News

Lunar Credit upsets at 42-1 in Batavia top trot

Batavia, NY — Among the full slate of feature races on the Saturday night (Dec. 4) card at Batavia Downs, the $13,500 Open I Handicap trot drew the most attention after Lunar Credit put on a display of speed and lit up the tote board at 42-1. That was just one of several races that paid out big bucks as longshots dotted the board throughout the night and the biggest carryover in the history of the track was paid out.

Warrawee Shipshape (Dave McNeight III) and Lunar Credit (Jim McNeight Jr.) played tag for the lead with the latter gaining control in front of the stands. Lunar Credit then got to the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.4 where Spoiler Alert (Jim Pantaleano) was charging on the attack with Barn Hall (Kevin Cummings) and Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) right behind. Coming into the stretch, horses were coming from everywhere, but Lunar Credit stuck to his task and closed out the mile with a one length win in a seasonal best 1:57.3.

Lunar Credit ($87.00) scored his fifth win of the year for his owner Jim McNeight Jr. Jim McNeight trains the winner.

The father and son team of McNeight and McNeight Jr. had a big night Saturday, combining for three wins on the card. Besides Lunar Credit, they also won with One Rock (1:58, $5.50) and Wild Bill M (1:58, $7.20).

Next came a pair of pacing performances, one of which proved quite profitable.

Despite a short field of four, the $13,500 Open I Handicap pace was an exciting event that went right down to the wire. Jim Pantaleano put the Pennsylvania invader Captain Cash right on the lead while Stratosphere (Drew Monti) followed intently from second the entire mile. After cutting solid fractions of :27.3, :57.3 and 1:26.1, Captain Cash was feeling the heat from the tripping Stratosphere and Mississippi Rabbit (Dave McNeight III), who had made his way up to second heading into the last turn. As the field made their way into the lane, it became a two horse race as Stratosphere ducked into the passing lane and switched to full speed. And although he whittled down the lead with every step, Captain Cash had enough left to win by a head in 1:54.3.

Making his first start at Batavia Downs, Captain Cash ($4.20) scored his sixth win of the year for owner Matt Morrison. Christen Pantaleano trains the winner.

The Pantaleano/Morrison connections also clicked again later in the card with Mankat (1:57, $2.70) who also went gate to wire.

Then in the $11,700 Open II Handicap pace, Jericho Willie (Denny Bucceri) was overlooked at 23-1 despite winning last week. However he tripped-out for the second week in a row, this time behind Sunfirewindrain (Jim McNeight Jr.), all the way to deep stretch where he shook loose in the passing lane and just got up by ¼ length to win in 1:55.3 .

Jericho Willie ($49.60) is owned by Michael Kessler and the Speed To Burn Stable and is trained by Misty Carey.

Driver Denny Bucceri ended the night with two wins as did Drew Monti.

The huge payoffs continued in the final race of the night when the long growing carryover pool in the Jackpot Hi-5 was finally hit. One single unique 20-cent ticket was sold on the combination of 9-2-7-5-1 and the lucky bettor collected $29,465, which was the largest payout ever in the history of Batavia Downs.

When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Dec. 8) there will be two carryovers and one guaranteed pool.

To start, there is a $2,259 carryover in the Pick-5 wager in the first race and the management of Batavia Downs has announced that the pool will be guaranteed at $10,000 as part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. Free program pages will be available courtesy of TrackMaster on the USTA’s website and the Batavia Downs website and Facebook page on Monday. The Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that begins in race one and runs through race five.

Then in race four, there is a carryover of $888 in the Jackpot Pick-6. That is a 20-cent base wager and it runs through race nine.

Free full card past performance program pages for Wednesday and every live racing night at Batavia can always be downloaded at under the live racing tab. And if you can’t attend live, you can still watch all the racing action via the Batavia Downs YouTube channel.

Post time for the first race is slated for 5 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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