Long Train Runnin takes Batavia Open Trot
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Long Train Runnin showed a lot of heart and determination as he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the $8,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 21).
Long Train Runnin (Shawn McDonough) got away third as Stratosphere (Drew Monti) took the scratch-shortened, single-file field to the half in :58. As they passed that station, Long Train Runnin was already out first-over and moving fast towards the leader as they proceeded into the clubhouse turn.
Moving towards three-quarters, Stratosphere and Long Train Runnin were pacing side-by-side and had broken away from the pack by three lengths on the strength of a :27.3 third panel. As they were rounding the final bend, Stratosphere pulled clear and opened up a length advantage heading into the stretch. But the relentless urging of McDonough reinvigorated Long Train Runnin who found another gear and caught Stratosphere at the wire by a head in 1:54.2.
It was the fifth win of the year for Long Train Runnin ($6.10) who has now earned $32,552 this year for owner WIlliam Emmons. Jim Clouser Jr. does the training.
Emmons and Clouser teamed up again in the very next race to capture the $7,500 Open II Handicap with McSpidey (Jim Morrill Jr.) who went wire to wire by 2-¼ lengths in 1:54.4. It was also the fifth win for McSpidey ($2.40) who is now over $343,000 in lifetime bank.
Shawn McDonough had a huge night at Batavia on Saturday, driving four winners and sending two for pictures that he trained. McDonough steered the aforementioned Long Train Runnin, Are You In (1:58.2, $22.40), Santana Beach (1:56, $25.80) and Nesh Cruiser (1:58.1, $27.40), who he also trained along with PL Lester (1:54.3, $10.20).
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 25) with post time at 5 p.m. and there will be a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for the Pick-5 on Wednesday. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages for races one through five will be available on the USTA and Batavia Downs websites early next week.--By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs