Burke's Howmac Dancer wins Batavia Open
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After winning his way up through the non-winner ranks, Howmac Dancer scored a major upset in his first top class $12,500 Open Handicap Pace victory at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (11-9).
There was a mad rush off the gate with Major Authority (Wade Tomaszewski) parking out Mr. Euroman (Billy Davis Jr.) and Tullow N (John Cummings Jr.) two and three deep to the quarter in :27.3. With everyone finally taking a seat, Major Authority kept rolling to the half in :55.3.
At that point Howmac Dancer (Denny Bucceri) pulled from mid-pack, moved smartly up the backstretch and took command by the three-quarters in 1:25. Rounding the far turn, Howmac Dancer had a gapped advantage but still had to withstand a late rush from Black Is Back (Dave McNeight III) and Race Me Rocky (Shawn McDonough) which he did to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.1.
It was the fifth win in seven Batavia starts and seventh win of the season for Howmac Dancer ($42.00), who is owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi and trained by Jim Clouser Jr.
The $11,000 Open II Handicap pace went to Cultural Paradise (Renaldo Morales III) who led every step of the way en route to his third win in his last four starts and fourth win of the season, timed in 1:56.3. Don Rothfuss trains for owner Howard Ouriel.
The biggest win mutuel of the year was paid out on Saturday after 74-1 shot Raylan Givens (Billy Davis Jr.) rallied late in the fourth race to win by a neck in 1:56.2. The Brittney Ohol owned and trained gelding returned $151.00 for the win and sparked a $946.00 exacta (7-3), $1,447.00 trifecta (7-3-1) and $5,175.00 superfecta (7-3-1-8).
Drew Monti and Denny Bucceri led all drivers on Saturday with three wins while trainers Don Rothfuss and Mike Ohol won two races apiece.
There was no winner in the Pick-5 wager again on Saturday and as a result there is a $2,343 carry-over and Batavia Downs will be offering a guaranteed pool of $6,000 for the pick-5 wager on Wednesday (Nov. 13) when live racing resumes at 5 p.m. The pool will be part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, there will be free program page available on the USTA’s website starting on Sunday morning.--By Tim Bojarski/Batavia Downs