French-bred Bioness scores at Batavia
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When French-bred trotter Bioness last competed at Batavia Downs he won the $15,000 Schroeder Invitational trot in October. On Friday (Nov. 9) he stayed undefeated at the Genesee County oval by taking the $11,500 Open Handicap trotting feature under a slick drive by his young reinsman Hunter Oakes, over a very sloppy track.
When the wings folded Bioness started the long trek from post seven to the front and gained that position by the quarter in :29.4. But the lead was short-lived as the local hot-trotter Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled at the three-eighths and rushed to the front by the half and grabbed the pylons into the second circuit.
Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) made the next move, pulling at the five-eighths and drawing near Lougazi as the race progressed through the third panel. The top two trotters battled around the last turn and into the stretch before a gap allowed Oakes to pull Bioness out of the pocket and jet between them. He was by Southern Palms and overtook Lougazi at the wire to win in 1:59.4 by one-half length.
It was the fifth win of 2018 for Bioness ($2.70) who now has $107,438 on his card for the year. The 7-year-old altered son of Sam Bourbon is owned by the Northfork Racing Stable and is trained by Chris Oakes.
For the 20-year-old Hunter Oakes, it was his fourth consecutive win in only five career drives and his first career victory at Batavia Downs in his Western New York homecoming.
In the $8,800 Open II trot, Labatt Hanover (Shawn McDonough) sat third the whole mile before tipping three-wide off cover in the lane to catch Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) at the wire to win by a neck in 2:00.1. It was the second win in the last three starts for Labatt Hanover ($11.60) and owners Gary and Cynthia Saj. McDonough also does the training.
There was no winner in the early Pick-5 wager on Friday so the $2,756 carry over will supplement a guaranteed $7,000 pool for the early Pick-5 wager when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 10). This bet will be part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program and as such, will offer free race pages for races one through five for Batavia Downs tomorrow courtesy of Trackmaster. These free pages can be downloaded at www.ustrotting.com under the "Handicapping" tab. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.--By Tim Bojarski/Batavia Downs