It was a homecoming for Archangel at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night in a $65,475 division of the New York Sires Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. And Archangel, the Yonkers Trot winner and the fourth-place finisher in the Hambletonian, didn't disappoint one bit.
Archangel, a son of Credit Winner, gave the fans something to long remember by crushing the Batavia Downs all-time trotting track record of 1:56 set in 1993 by Earl by going the mile in remarkable time of 1:54.3. The previous mark Batavia track mark for 3-year-old colt trotters was 1:56.2 set in 2010 by Whata Winner.
The final time of 1:54.3 was just two-fifths of a second off the world record on a half-mile track set for 3-year-old colts, ironically, by Archangel at Yonkers Raceway earlier this year. It also was a faster time than the great Niatross paced in world record time of 1:55 at Batavia Downs back in 1980.
Owned by Pete Arrigenna of Piffard, N.Y., Alan Hainsworth of Mount Morris, N.Y., and Clare Semer of South Palm Beach, Fla., Archangel has now amassed $714,221 in earnings this season. Arrigenna does the training for Archangel, who has also won 10 out of 14 races.
Driver Jim Morrill Jr. said, "Pete (Arrigenna) wanted me to step on it for the hometown crowd tonight. When I saw 29 (seconds) at the quarter pole, I thought it might be tough (to break the track record)."
It wasn't, however, as Archangel, sent off as the 1-9 favorite, trotted the final three-quarters of a mile in 1:25.3, easily defeating Coraggioso (Brian Sears) and Brookbroad Knight (Jeff Gregory). He won by 4 3/4 lengths.
In the first division of the Sire Stakes, worth $64,275, Mado Dream took the lead before the quarter pole and cruised to the victory for driver George Brennan. Mado Dream went the mile in lifetime mark of 1:56.3.
Brennan, driving at Batavia Downs for the first time, was concerned at the start of the race as it unfolded. "You are always concerned when you go three wide around the first turn."
Once Mado Dream got to the top, Brennan then had another worry. "Last week at Yonkers, he stopped down the stretch."
But Brennan's concern went unwarranted, as Mado Dream trotted strong and was never threatened, beating DW's NY Yank (Morrill) by two lengths while Classic Conway (Stephane Bouchard) was third.
With the win, Mado Dream an altered son of Taurus Dream, trained by Anette Lorentzon, moved his seasonal earnings to $200,660. Mado Dream is owned by Acl Stuteri Ab of Paris, Ky.
In the $12,800 Excelsior Series for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters, the winners were Studio City (Dan Noble) in 1:59 and Joey Chestnut (Jeff Gregory) also in 1:59.
In the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace, Ms. Michelle D and Morrill went gate to wire in a seasonal-best of 1:55.3 to register the win. (Batavia)