Batavia, NY – After repeating a winning strategy, Loyal Fox Hanover went gate to wire once again to win the $12,300 Open I Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Labor Day Monday (Sept. 6).
For the third time in his last four starts, Jim Morrill Jr. marched Loyal Fox Hanover to the front and led all the way home. After Willie B Worthy (Denny Bucceri) made a break, Loyal Fox Hanover kept the remaining four foes in check with quarters of :28, :57.4 and 1:27.1 with Mugshots Bro (Shawn McDonough) at his back and Barn Hall (Kyle Cummings) to his outside in chase.
As the race rounded the far turn, CR Blazin Beauty (Kevin Cummings) joined the party three-wide and all of a sudden it was a real scramble. From the top of the stretch to the finish line, Barn Hall and CR Blazin Beauty continued to gain on Loyal Fox Hanover and when they hit the light the three were across the track only a neck apart. But Loyal Fox Hanover hung on in 1:57.
In five Batavia starts, Loyal Fox Hanover ($7.60) has not missed the board with three wins, one second and one third for owners Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner.
Morrill and Rice also hooked up to win with Majestic Kat (1:59.4, $3.30), giving each two wins on the card.
In the $11,000 Open II Handicap trot, Franks Watching (Dave McNeight III) dropped down from the top class and circled the field to win by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:58.2. It was the sixth win of the year for Franks Watching ($3.50) for owner Mary Warriner and trainer Ryan Swift.
The third trotting feature was the $10,400 Open II-III where Lunar Credit (Jim McNeight Jr.) started from post one and finished in the same position as he led the entire mile. After stopping the timer in 1:59, Lunar Credit ($2.40) chalked up his fourth win of the year for owner Jim McNeight Jr. Jim McNeight trains Lunar Credit.
There was a $2,403 carryover in the Jackpot Super Hi-5 pentafecta in the eighth race and it generated a huge payoff. Despite the heavily favored Hellrider ($5.10) winning the race, the 3-7-2-6-9 returned a generous $4,278.10 for a 20-cent wager.
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 10) with post time at 5 p.m.