Down On My Luck cruises in Batavia Open
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After racing at Northfield Park the last two weeks, Down On My Luck returned to Batavia Downs and his winning ways as he captured the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace on Saturday night (Dec. 7).
Cultural Paradise (Billy Davis Jr.) took the lead from the pegs with the field following him in post position order. After going to the half is a very pedestrian :59.1, Monti tapped the gas and pulled the pocket, rocketing alongside and then past Cultural Paradise to take the lead at the three-quarters in 1:27.1. From there Down On My Luck strode out to a two length lead at the head of the stretch and won easily from there by 1-¾ lengths under the light in 1:55.1.
It was the seventh win in only 10 starts at Batavia Downs and the 11th win of the year for Down On My Luck ($6.30) who is owned by Robert Woodburn and trained by Patrick Shepherd.
The $11,000 Open II pace was an interesting affair after Brunello N (Drew Monti) and Lucky McTrucky (Dave McNeight III) battled for most of the second half of the mile and then paced side by side down to the wire where they stopped the clock simultaneously in 1:57.2, resulting in a dead heat.
Brunello N ($2.30) got his third win of the year for owner Carl Monti and trainer Darrin Monti and Lucky McTrucky ($3.00) got his seventh win of 2019 for owner Tessa Roland and trainer JD Perrin.
Monti ended up having a big night, scoring a Grand Slam Saturday. Besides the aforementioned Down On My Luck and Brunello N, Monti also won with Way To Go Fabio (2:00, $2.80) and Santana Beach (1:56.4, $21.40).
Other horsemen having multiple successes during the evening included Denny Bucceri who scored the driving hat trick along with Jim McNeight Jr. and Renaldo Morales III who each had two driving wins. Trainers Jim McNeight and Steve Andzel also both sent out two stable members to victory.
With no winner in the Pick-5 wager on Saturday, there is a $1,164 carryover and a $3,500 guaranteed pool for the Pick-5 wager on Friday (Dec. 13) when racing resumes at Batavia Downs. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, there will be free program pages available on the USTA's website on Wednesday morning (Dec. 11). Post time for Friday (Dec. 13) is at 6 p.m.