Batavia, NY – Two weeks ago Loyal Fox Hanover won gate to wire in the Open II trot at Batavia Downs. After racing off the pace in defeat last week, driver Jim Morrill Jr. went back to basics as he moved up in class and circled the field once again in the $11,200 Open I Handicap trot at the Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 29).
Morrill guided Loyal Fox Hanover on the lead through somewhat modest fractions of :29.2, :59.2 and 1:28.3 while Winning Legends (Justin Huckabone) and Willie B Worthy (Kyle Cummings) followed in chase. Heading into the far turn Winning Legends vacated the pocket to advance and Willie B Worthy slid in closer behind Loyal Fox Hanover. As the race headed down the lane those two inched closer but couldn’t reach the top as Loyal Fox Hanover trotted across the line first by three-quarters of a length in 1:57 off a snappy :28.2 final panel.
Vogel & Wags Nags, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock own Loyal Fox Hanover ($6.70) who scored his second win in his last four starts and hasn’t missed the board during that run at Batavia. Maria Rice trains the winner.
Morrill and Rice also hooked up to win with Movie Star (1:54.3, $8.20) to each finish with two wins on the day.
The $10,000 Open II trot went to Credit List (Justin Huckabone) who also went gate to wire in the easiest of fashion, winning by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:58.3. It was the first win of the year at Batavia, but ninth overall in 2021 for Credit List ($3.10) who is owned by Jonathan Appelbaum and trained by Justin Huckabone.
Other horsemen who had multiple winners included the father-son team of trainer Jim McNeight and driver Jim McNeight Jr. who had two wins each and driver Drew Monti who scored a double.
The live racing schedule changes at Batavia Downs next week as there will be no racing on Wednesday. However live racing returns to Friday (Sept. 3) with post time set for 5 p.m. On the Friday card there will be a $1,081 carryover in the Jackpot Super Hi-5 pentafecta wager in the last race.