Batavia, NY — When Batavia Downs opens its 2021 harness racing season on Wednesday (July 21), the card will be highlighted by a visit from the New York Sire Stakes and the 2-year-old trotting filly division. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.
Thirteen first-year trotters will go postward in two divisions for a total purse of $101,700. It’s the second of five stops on their schedule this year leading up to the Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway on Friday (Sept. 10).
The $51,300 first division is in race seven and seven starters are programmed to go. The morning line favorite is the undefeated Bomb Hugger (Chapter Seven-Stylemaker) who will start from post five at 2-1.
After breaking her maiden at the Meadows last month in her first lifetime start with a 1:58.4, 7-3/4 length romp, Bomb Hugger made her NYSS debut at Saratoga on July 6 a winning one with a wire-to-wire effort in 1:58.2. Despite a very brief body of work, she appears to have the best resume in this field at this time. Anthony MacDonald will drive for trainer Ryan Swift and owner Thestable Bomb Hugger Group.
She’s A Scorcher (Chapter Seven-Chilitodayhotamale) made her first ever start in the NYSS leg at Saratoga and was faced with post seven and chasing a runaway winner in Joviality S, who went a torrid mile in 1:56.4. She’s A Scorcher was out at the half and gave chase, but understandably tired late in the race. With that experience behind her, She’s A Scorcher can improve here from post two and is listed at 7-2. Hall of Fame trainer Linda Toscano has Scott Zeron in the bike for owner Ryan Smith.
Iluvmymiumiu’s (Chapter Seven-Iluvmyjimmychoos) made her first lifetime start in an Excelsior A event at Saratoga and didn’t disappoint at all. She came from off the pace with a strong stretch drive and won by three-quarters of a length in a timely 1:58.3. Although moving up to the top NYSS division, Iluvmymiumiu’s will definitely be formidable competition from post one at 4-1. Brad Grant owns the Tony Alagna trained filly that will be driven by Andrew McCarthy.
In the $50,400 second division, Gertrude (Devious Man-Ophelia) has been labeled the 8-5 favorite on the strength of an impressive debut. Gertrude won a strong 1:55.4 qualifier at The Meadowlands in mid-June and crossed the wire five lengths in front of her competition. Then she won her first lifetime and stake start at Saratoga in an equally impressive wire-to-wire, 1-1/4 length win in 1:57.4, with a :28.3 final panel. She does move out to post five here after two consecutive starts at the pylons, but that doesn’t appear to be a hindrance to her chances in this race. It’s all Team Orange Crush connections here with Andy Miller driving and Julie Miller training for owner Andy Miller Stable.
Former local favorite John Stark Jr. returns to Batavia with the 5-2 second choice Seven On The Rocks (Chapter Seven-Spicedbourbongirl) who sat the pocket the entire mile behind Gertrude in her win, and just wasn’t able to catch her in the stretch. But that was then and this is now. It looks like a similar trip is in the future and Seven On The Rocks’ fortunes could certainly change from post one. Stark both trains and drives for owners Mortgage Boys Stable, James De Armond, Peter Barbato and Sam Bova.
Cranberry Lake (Devious Man-Ann’s Promise) won a maiden race at Saratoga her first lifetime start in 2:01 with a solid :28.4 last quarter. In her NYSS start the following week over the same track she went a fast mile, trotting in 1:59.2, but a slower final split of :29.4, to finish third. She looks to bring her best in here and is listed at 4-1 from post three. Trainer George Ducharme has Zeron up to drive for owner David Firmstone.
There are also three divisions of the Excelsior A series going for $15,000 each and two Excelsior B splits competing for $6,700 and $6,600.
Free full-card past performance forms are available for download every race day at Batavia Downs by visiting www.bataviadownsgaming.com > Live Racing > Free Full Card Past Performances.