Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel News

Morrill wins five including both Batavia features

Batavia, NY — Jim Morrill Jr. had a huge night in the bike at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 4) as he won five races that included both features and a natural hat trick in races nine, 10 and 11.

First in the $15,000 Open I Handicap trot, Morrill sat the pocket with E Street following Ricky B Sharp (Mike Baumeister) who was being hounded by a parked Makadushin N Cheez (Kevin Cummings) for three-quarters of the mile. That bid by Makadushin N Cheez fell by the wayside before the last turn leaving Ricky B Sharp and E Street to battle it out. When the race entered the homestretch, Morrill tipped E Street into the passing lane and trotted right on by the leader to win by a length in 1:56.4.

It was the third straight win for E Street ($13.80) who is owned and trained by Rachelle Mungillo.

Then in the $15,000 Open I Handicap pace, Morrill put Pocono Downs invader Venier Hanover on the point off the gate and never looked back. After setting fractions of :28, :57 and 1:25.1, Venier Hanover took a two length lead into the lane and never allowed El Jacko (Kyle Swift), who followed him the entire mile, to catch him en route to a 1-¾ length 1:53.2 win.

It was the 51st lifetime win for Venier Hanover ($2.20) who is owned by owner Monique Cohen. Shawn McDonough was the winning trainer.

Morrill also won with V J Ranger (1:57.3, $5.30), Vulcan Star N (1;53.3, $4.40) and Just A Wrangler (1:53.1, $2.70) to complete his quintuplet. Morrill also had two seconds and two thirds from his 10 starts giving him a lofty UDR of .678 for the night. Those wins also increased Morrill’s win total for the meet to 138 and catapulted him into a first place tie for dash driving honors with Kevin Cummings.

Morrill also sits second for UDR among all drivers in North America with 500 or more starts with a .427 overall for the year.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 8) at 6:00 p.m. and there will be a $432 carryover in the Jackpot Hi-5 pentafecta wager in race 13.

Free full past performance programs for every live card of racing at Batavia can always be downloaded at the Downs’ website ( under the “Live Racing” tab and all the racing action can be viewed as it happens for free at the Batavia Downs Live Facebook page.
By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

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