Batavia, NY — Percy’s Z Tam started slow but put on a spirited late rally to capture the $8,500 Open I pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Aug. 8).
Getting away fifth, Percy’s Z Tam (Jim Morrill Jr.) watched as Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) took command and led the group to the half in :57. Thor De Vie (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled at that point and Percy’s Z Tam followed one back as the race moved around the clubhouse turn.
From there, positions remained unchanged until halfway through the final turn when Morrill tipped Percy’s Z Tam three-deep into the head of the lane and started to accelerate. First he circled Mr Euroman N (Billy Davis Jr.) who came off the pylons and then caught Under Paid before the wire to win by a half-length in a season’s best 1:54.2.
It was the fifth win of the year for Percy’s Z Tam ($8.80) who is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama.
In the $7,500 Open II pace, Iluvtomakemoney (Ray Fisher Jr.) was hopelessly boxed in at the three-quarters yet managed to find racing room in the last turn. Fisher then went three-high turning for home and Iluvtomakemoney was able to catch Atlantis (Jim Morrill Jr.) at the wire by a nose to win in 1:55.3.
Iluvtomakemoney ($8.70) scored his fourth win of the year for the Tanah Merah Farms and Swift Racing Stable. Ryan Swift is the trainer.
Shawn McDonough remained red hot at Batavia, winning three more races as both driver and trainer. Jim Morrill Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. also both had three driving wins Saturday while trainer Jim Clouser Jr. also had a hat trick. Trainer Gerry Sarama and Maria Rice each scored two conditioning victories as well.
With two weeks of racing now in the books, Jim Morrill Jr. is the current dash driving leader with 13 wins followed by Billy Davis Jr. with 10, Dave McNeight III with seven and Shawn McDonough with six. On the training side, Gerry Sarama and Shawn McDonough are tied for the lead with seven wins apiece followed by Jim Clouser Jr. with six and Maria Rice with five.
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 9) with a special early post time of 1:15 p.m. It’s an all New York Sire Stake card featuring 2- and 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings.