Black Is Back best again at Batavia
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If last week’s seven-length romp wasn’t proof enough he’s on top of his game, Black Is Back beat the best on the grounds again on Saturday in the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs.
In a no-nonsense move, Dave McNeight III pushed Black Is Back off the gate and to the lead and set down the marching orders from there. With the field in post position order behind him, Black Is Back cut the quarters in :28.3, :57.2 and 1:25.3 with the only horse staying close to him being the pocket-sitting In Runaway Bay N (Drew Monti).
Rolling off the far turn Monti pulled In Runaway Bay N off the pylons and took dead aim at Black Is Back and momentarily put a nose in front at the top of the stretch. McNeight asked for more from his horse and Black Is Back was up to the task; surging back to the lead and winning by a half-length in 1:54.
Black Is Back now has eight wins and $56,360 earned in 2019. The 6-year-old gelded son of Western Terror-Magic Moments is owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. and is trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr.
In the $11,000 Open II pace Race Me Rocky (Shawn McDonough) got away fifth off the gate before pulling with cover behind Iammrbrightside N (John Cummings Jr.) past the half, tipped three-wide in the last turn and out hustled the competition to the wire to win in 1:53.2.
It was the third win in the last four starts for Race Me Rocky ($12.40) who is owned by Delmis Esquivel and trained by Pat Galbraith.
The fastest circuit of the night came in a $9,000 mid-level condition race where Mr. Euroman N (Billy Davis Jr.) went gate to wire by a gapped advantage and won by two in 1:52.3 which tied his seasonal mark for 2019. Mr. Euroman N ($3.90) is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner.
Mr. Euroman N was only one of three winners for driver Billy Davis Jr. Saturday, who extended his lead as the top dash driver of the meet. (Batavia)