Batavia, NY — The best male pacers in western New York were on display at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 3) and the top two races produced some impressive efforts by the respective winners.
In the featured $8,500 Open I Handicap pace, Mr. Euroman turned a first-over move into his fourth win of the year after a hard fought stretch drive.
Black Is Back (Dave McNeight III) went to the front quickly and led the single-file field to the half in a meek :57.4. The order stayed that way until Mr. Euroman (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled first-over past the five-eighths and motored towards the leader up the backstretch. Mr. Euroman drew even with Black Is Back at the three-quarters and they paced side by side around the last turn and down the stretch. The two did not separate until four pylons from the light when Mr. Euroman started to pull away under heavy urging from Davis to win by a length in 1:54.3.
Mr. Euroman ($11.00) is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice is the trainer.
Then in the $7,250 Open II-III Handicap pace, Cultural Paradise turned in the fastest mile of the night after not getting a breather the entire mile.
Pick Six (Denny Bucceri) played hardball off the gate and parked Cultural Paradise (Drew Monti) to the quarter-mile in a quick :27 flat. When he cleared, Santana Beach (Billy Davis Jr.) was still on the rim and now on the attack for the lead. Moving past the half Santana Beach got a length in front of Cultural Paradise but was not able to cross over, leaving him parked for a third consecutive turn. As they paced up the backstretch, Cultural Paradise began to pull away and opened up a three length lead by the top of the stretch. He turned for home and cruised under a line drive to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:53.4, which was a new seasonal mark.
It was the fourth win in the last five starts and third win in a row for Cultural Paradise ($7.40) and owner Howard Ouriel. Don Rothfuss trains the winner.
Only three drivers accounted for 11 of the 13 races won on Saturday. Drew Monti and Dave McNeight III each scored four wins while Billy Davis Jr. registered three. Trainers Don Rothfuss, Rose Russo and Maria Rice all had two wins apiece.
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 7) with post time at 5 p.m. Once again there will be a guaranteed $3,000 pool in the Pick-5 wager in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering program. Free program pages of races one through five will be available for download starting on Monday.