Batavia, NY — A sloppy track combined with heavy snow that started to fall after the third race provided some messy going at Batavia Downs on Thursday afternoon (Jan. 11), but it didn’t take away from competitive racing and several very close finishes.
The features were a pair of $15,000 Open I Handicap races, one for each gait.
First, in the Open I Handicap Trot, despite coming up only a neck short in his first start in the top class at Batavia last week, Comeonover Hanover was dismissed by the betting public at 9-1 and made them pay after making a late rush to victory.
Blogmaster (Jim Morrill Jr.) led to the half in a soft :59.2 when Big Box Hanover (Larry Stalbaum) moved first-over and pushed the issue to three-quarters. At that station, Comeonover Hanover (Billy Dobson) was still sixth, but out and moving third-over. After coming out of the turn, Big Box Hanover took the lead from Blogmaster, and Special Prosecutor (John Cummings Jr.) had moved into third. But it was Comeonover Hanover who was barrelling down the center of the track to take the lead at the wire and win in 2:00.4.
Comeonover Hanover ($20.60) is owned by Perry Elkins and trained by Andy Gardner.
Later, in the $15,000 Open I Handicap Pace, Lanjo Lee took no prisoners and could not be caught as he easily put away the competition in the stretch.
Lanjo Lee (Kyle Cummings) took the lead and cut fractions of :28.2 and :58.2 before Alta Engen A (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled first-over from third. As they paced up the backside on the second circuit, Alta Engen A tried hard but could not get alongside Lanjo Lee and by three-quarters, his challenge had ended. This left Lanjo Lee two lengths ahead of the pocket-sitting Dontholdanythinbak (Keith Kash Jr.) and looking very much like a winner. When they straightened for home, Lanjo Lee bolted for the line under a line drive and won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55.2.
Lanjo Lee ($8.40) is owned by Gordon Swift and trained by Jeff Sorenson.
In the day’s 14th race, driver Brett Beckwith made a three-wide move in the last turn with All About Lynx and caught leader Examiner Hanover (Larry Stalbaum) at the wire to win in 1:59 and blow up the tote board at 53-1. All About Lynx returned $109 for the win and sparked a 7-4-5-2 superfecta that returned a handsome sum of $3,253.80 for a 20-cent wager.
Drew Monti and Billy Dobson both scored driving hat tricks on Thursday while the day’s top trainer, Chris Petrelli, sent two from his stable to the winner’s enclosure for pictures.
Live racing at Batavia Downs resumes on Monday (Jan. 15) at 3 p.m.
Free full past performance programs for every live card of racing at Batavia can always be downloaded at the Batavia Downs website.