Stratosphere flies high in Batavia closing feature
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The curtain came down on the 2020 racing meet at Batavia Downs on Saturday but not before Stratosphere captured the final $9,600 Open pace featured race on a mild December night.
Driver Drew Monti sent Stratosphere off the wings and took a lead he would not relinquish. With the field in single file fashion, Stratosphere went to the quarter in :28.1 and then backed the half down to :58.2. That prompted Santana Beach (Ron Beback Jr.) to pull first over to try and mount a challenge.
When the race rounded the third turn Stratosphere raised the stakes, pacing the third quarter in :28.1 and opening up a two length lead at three-quarters. From there Stratosphere made his way around the final bend and paced away to a wrapped-up three-length romp in 1:55.1.
It was the seventh win of the year for Stratosphere ($7.60) who has now earned $54,241 for owner Monti. Darrin Monti trains the winner.
In the $7,800 undercard pace, Allstar Energy (Ron Beback Jr.) pulled from fifth at the half and made a brush-and-crush move at the five-eighths to take the lead from Beachy Dream (Jim Morrill Jr.) while pacing a very fast :27.2 third quarter. Once in front, Allstar Energy maintained his advantage to the wire where he won by a length in 1:56.
It was the eighth win of the year for Allstar Energy ($11.60) who is owned by Sandra Beback and James Kustra. Ron Beback also trains the winner.
Drew Monti scored a driving Grand Slam to lead all drivers on Saturday. Besides winning with Stratosphere, Monti also scored with Big Pocket Teen (1:56.2, $15.80), Mateo (1:56.4, $4.30) and Love The Dragon (1:57.4, $3.30).
Darrin Monti and Gerry Sarama were the top trainers with two wins each on the card.
The Pick-5 on Saturday had a guaranteed pool of $3,000 and that stoked a new money input of $5,499 into the wager. The combination of 4-4-1,4-5-2 returned a healthy $687 for a $1 bet. (Batavia Downs)