BZ Glide took the most direct path to victory Friday night, going gate-to-wire on the point to win the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs and claim his 40th lifetime win in the process.
BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) left three-deep into the first turn, grabbing the front by the eighth pole and then hitting the pylons, but that didn’t mean it would be an easy trip from there. Empire Earl N (Shawn Gray) was rolling up the outside and drew alongside the leader at the quarter in a speedy :27.3, but Caprio didn’t let him go. These two battled it out to the half before Empire Earl N started to tail near the five-eighths marker.
The end of one challenge led to the start of another as Call My Broker (Ray Fisher Jr.) was in gear from the back of the pack and went three-wide around Empire Earl N, and following him on the same path was Icanflylikeanangel (Drew Monti). The three fanned across the track at the head of the stretch with Monti and Fisher employing highly animated driving techniques. But Caprio sat chilly, letting his big horse do the work and BZ Glide held off everyone to cross the wire on top by a length in 1:57.1.
It was the fifth win of the year and third Batavia top class victory for BZ Glide ($5.90) who is owned by the Caprio Stable and trained by Alana Caprio.
In the co-featured $8,000 Open II Trot, Gwally (Ray Fisher Jr.) was parked out the final five-eighths of the mile chasing and eventually collaring the fleet-footed front runner Ruddy Rusty (Jim McNeight Jr.) at the wire by a half-length in 1:58.4. Gwally ($13.60) got his 30th lifetime win and registered a new seasonal mark doing it for owners Marissa Russo and John Mariano and trainer Dave Russo.
Shawn McDonough had a big night, besting all drivers on Friday by winning three races on the card, two of which he also trains. (Batavia)