Black Is Back wires Batavia’s best in feature win
Written by Dan Fischer on July 29, 2019
Black Is Back (Photo courtesy of Paul White)
By Tim Bojarski, For Batavia Downs
Batavia, NY— A craftily rated second quarter provided success at the end of the mile for Black Is Back who went gate to wire in the $12,500 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (July 27).
Dave McNeight III sent Black Is Back to the point off the gate and took the six-horse field to the quarter in :28. He then grabbed leather and backed the second panel off to :29.3 and essentially won the race as a result.
Mac’s Jackpot (Drew Monti), who became forwardly placed third from post six at the start, pulled first-over at the half and proceeded with urgency towards the leader on the backstretch. He continued to gain ground on Black Is Back and got to within a half-length of him in the last turn. But that was as close as he would get as McNeight shook the lines and Black Is Back accelerated into the stretch and pulled away by 1-1/2 lengths at the wire in 1:53.3.
A former Saratoga regular, Black Is Back ($12.80) now feels at home in western New York after scoring his first win at Batavia and sixth win of the year for owners Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr.. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. trains the winner.
In the co-featured $11,000 Open II, Upfront Countryboy (Drew Monti) took the lead from Iammrbrightside N (Jim Morrill Jr.) before the quarter and then hit that station in :28 flat. From there he proceeded unchallenged to the half in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:25.1 before turning for home and pacing to the wire under minimal urging to win in by two in 1:53.3.
It was the 59th lifetime win for Upfront Countryboy ($2.40) and it pushed his career earnings over the half-million dollar mark to $505,145. WIlliam Emmons owns the esteemed 10-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again-Cambloid that is trained by Jim Clouser Jr.
Drew Monti won a total of three races on the card to lead all drivers on Saturday. Kevin Cummings, Shawn McDonough and Jim McNeight Jr. all had two wins apiece. Jim Clouser Jr. also had a double to lead all trainers for the night.
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (July 28) with post time at 1:15 p.m, Three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings will compete for a total purse of $104,598 during the afternoon.