Dragin The Wagon wins 50th, Morrill five at Batavia
Written by Alex Feig on November 2, 2019
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Batavia, NY — It was a landmark night for owner Cary Cantelon as her prized trotter Dragin The Wagon shipped in from a three-week stint at Yonkers Raceway to score his 50th lifetime win in the $12,500 Open Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov.1).
Driver Aaron Byron left hard with Dragin The Wagon from post five and crossed-over in the first turn. But he was soon joined by Joey Pro (Jim Morrill Jr.) who made his way up the outside to the front by the quarter in a swift :27.3. Now in control, Joey Pro trotted strong on the point past the half and on to the second circuit.
The lone mare in the race, Wheels A Turning (Billy Davis Jr.), pulled first-over and made her way alongside the leader by the time they hit three-quarters in 1:26.2. Joey Pro was far from finished and he continued to park out Wheels A Turning around the last turn, although that one was matching strides all the while. When the race hit the stretch, Joey Pro drifted off the pylons which allowed Byron and the pocket-sitting Dragin The Wagon enough room to squeeze through and draw away by 1-1/2 lengths at the wire in 1:57.1.
It was the fifth win of the year for Dragin The Wagon ($7.30) who now has $443,879 in earnings to go along with his 50 wins.
In the co-featured $11,000 Open II Handicap trot, Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) made a first-over move past the half, tangled with the front-running Rose Run Rudi (Aaron Byron) for a quarter of a mile before gaining a one-half length advantage under the wire to win in 1:59.2.
Southern Palms ($5.40) is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama.
Southern Palms was just one of five wins driver Jim Morrill Jr. had on the night, including the natural hat trick in races two through four. He also scored with Well Connected Kid (1:59.3, $3.20), Let’s Be Honest (1:59.1, $4.50), JNR Express (2:00.4, $2.30) and Can’t Win (2:01, $4.20).
Morrill also had two seconds and a third to top off his night.
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday afternoon with a special Breeder’s Cup Day post time of 3:15 p.m.