Exotic Beach wins easily in Batavia feature
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Without even a moment of doubt in the mile, Exotic Beach overpowered her five rivals to jog home with authority in the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 18).
Exotic Beach (Larry Stalbaum) tucked in third off the gate while Squeeze This (Billy Davis Jr.) settled on the lead. But that was just a ruse by Stalbaum as he pulled Exotic Beach halfway up the backstretch and gunned her to the front in :27 flat. After clearing, Stalbaum grabbed some leather just to let the five trailers think they were in the race. But it became obvious that wasn't the case once they hit the second stanza.
Exotic Beach opened up a gapped three-length lead and that was as close as the rest would get for the rest of the race. She cruised to three-quarters in 1:24, rounded the turn in full stride and paced away down the stretch to win by four in 1:53.3.
The time was a new seasonal mark for Exotic Beach and only three-fifths of a second off the track record for aged pacing mares.
It was the sixth win of the year for Exotic Beach ($4.30) who has now earned $52,266 for owner Larry Stalbaum, who also does the training.
Owner/trainer/driver Stalbaum similarly won the co-featured $8,000 Fillies and Mares Open II pace when he went from last at the half to three-deep at three-quarters to a half-length victor in 1:55, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. Kaitlyn Rae ($5.80) won her ninth race in 18 starts this year giving her $36,594 in the bank account.
The top three dash drivers of the meet had a very business night on Wednesday. Larry Stalbaum had four winners, Ray fisher Jr. three and Drew Monti two. As a result there has been movement at the top of the leader board. Larry Stalbaum who was behind in double digits only a week ago is now in a first place tie with former leader Drew Monti with 79 wins apiece. Ray Fisher Jr. is a close third with 75. With nine weeks left in the meet, this is going to be a tight three-way competition for the rest of the year.
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 20) with post time at 6 p.m.