Percy's Z Tam takes Open pace at Batavia Downs
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Percy's Z Tam fought off a pair of challenges in the mile en route to winning the $8,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 14).
When the gate released race, no one left and they headed around the first turn in post position order. Seeing the opportunity, Jim Morrill Jr. tipped Percy's Z Tam from third and took the front by the quarter in :28 and from there, he controlled the remainder of the contest. After coasting to the half at his own pace, the competition then headed his way as Tullow N (Ray FIsher Jr.) and Stratosphere (Drew Monti) came in the outer flow in the third turn in pursuit of the leader.
Heading towards three-quarters, Percy's Z Tam turned back the outside threat but Long Train Runnin (Shawn McDonough) who was tripping out to this point, was poised to take his best shot. That came at the top of the stretch where McDonough pulled Long Train Runnin and started to drive hard. He made up ground all the way to the wire but he could not get by Percy's Z Tam, who hung on by a neck to win in 1:54.1.
It was the seventh victory of the year for Percy's Z Tam ($6.50) and it pushed his earnings to $59,235 for owner Mike Torcello. Gerry Sarama trains the winner.
In the $7,500 Open II pace, Thor De Vie (Dave McNeight III) grabbed the lead at the quarter, turned back a strong third quarter challenge from Barry Hanover (Kyle Cummings) and then out-paced the pocket sitting McSpidey (Jim Morrill Jr.) down the lane to capture his sixth win of the year in 1:55.2.
Thor De Vie ($3.10) is owned by his trainer Jim Graham along with Lee Winters, Paul Tandlmayer and Giuseppe Micchia.
Dave McNeight III had three other winners on the card giving him the driving Grand Slam. Besides Thor De Vie, he also won with Myell's Rockstar (1:55.3, $10.20), Falcon's Luke (1:59.3, $12.00) and Charmbo Orbit (1:55.4, $41.20).
Another winning combination was driver Jim Morrill Jr., trainer Gerry Sarama and owner Mike Torcello who sent three winners to post Saturday night.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 18) with post time at 5 p.m. And since there was no Pick-5 winner on Saturday, there is a carry over of $1,157 and a guaranteed pool of $5,000 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.