Batavia, NY – A summer-long resident of the now closed for the season Tioga Downs, BJ Lorado shipped north to Genesee County on Friday night (Sept. 27) and made himself right at home, winning the $12,500 Open Handicap trot at Batavia Downs.
Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) took command and led the field of seven to the half in a moderate :58 flat. Looking to take his shot, Keystone Apache (Billy Davis Jr.) came first-up and was followed by BJ Lorado (Shawn McDonough) and the two forced the leader into a :28.4 third panel.
Heading into the far turn, Southern Palms was starting to tire and Keystone Apache’s assault had stalled. As a result, McDonough tipped BJ Lorado three-wide at the apex and cleared by the time they straightened away. Down the lane BJ Lorado was in full flight and trotted to the wire on top by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:56.1.
It was the seventh win of the year for BJ Lorado ($18.20) who is owned by Michael and Diane Norcross and trained by Donna Riedel.
In the $11,000 Open II trot, Put On The Day (Jim Morrill Jr.) tripped out third to the half where he pulled first-over, cleared at three-quarters and trotted away down the lane to win by two lengths in 1:58. It was the second straight win for Put On The Day ($3.90) who is owned by his driver Morrill and is trained by Steve Andzel.
Jim Morrill Jr. led all drivers on Friday winning four races on the card. Shawn McDonough and John Cummings Jr. were right behind, each got the hat trick and trainer Patrick Shepherd also scored three conditioning wins.
When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 28) at 6 p.m. there will be a carryover of $3,202 in the Pick-5 wager with a guaranteed pool of $7,500. The guarantee is made in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages for races one through five will be available on the USTA’s website starting on Saturday.