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(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Press Release: By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After three near misses in the resident top trot, Empire Earl N got the job done in winning the $10,500 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 11).

Striker Ace (Drew Monti) and Osprey Vision (Dave McNeight III) butted heads for the lead for almost a quarter mile before Striker Ace finally took control, but the :27.3 first quarter would take a toll on both later in the race. Past the half Edom Up Blue Boy (Rock Vinci) pulled first-over with Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) right behind.

Edom Up Blue Boy made a steady advance and took over the lead by the top of the lane. But his shadow Empire Earl N kept coming, eventually swung clear in the stretch and trotted away to a relatively easy win in 1:59.2.

Empire Earl N ($9.40) now has earnings of $45,905 on the strength of five wins this year for his owner Larry Stalbaum. Kim Asher does the training.

Batavia Downs defending dash driver Drew Monti had the hot-hand on Friday, winning half the races on the card. His quintuple conquests included Rollovin (1:55.4, $3.10), Tenor Duharas (1:59.1, $3.30), Winky’s Pride (1:59.2, $3.10), Lutetium (1:57.2, $8.40) and Skyway Tia (1:57.3, $6.90).

With those five wins Monti vaulted himself back into the dash driving lead once again this year, now with 18 tallies. That is one ahead of Ray Fisher Jr. (17) who also had a driving triple on Friday, and two ahead of Jim Morrill Jr. (16) who was at Tioga Downs driving in New York Sire Stakes action.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 12) with post time set at 6 p.m.

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