Protect Blue Chip, Lady London beat top mares at Batavia
Written by Alex Feig on November 7, 2019
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Batavia, NY — A pair of distaff Open paces topped the card on Wednesday night (Nov. 6) at Batavia Downs and fittingly, both winners came from barns of female trainers.
In the $12,500 Open I Handicap for fillies and mares, Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) got away fifth while Blue Bell Bonnie (Dave McNeight III) and HP Sissy (Drew Monti) battled for front supremacy in a speedy :27.2. Davis pulled first-over with Protect Blue Chip and brought Gia’s Surreal (John Cummings Jr.) in the flow.
Positions grew tight as the race reached three-quarters in 1:25.3 with the top four horses pacing in a bunch and it didn’t get any easier down the lane. With a mad rush to the wire, from the pylons out was Blue Bell Bonnie, HP Sissy, Protect Blue Chip and Gia’s Surreal all within a head of each other until Protect Blue Chip got the slightest advantage to win by a nose in a blanket finish on a cold night in 1:54.4.
It was the seventh win of the year and a new seasonal mark for Protect Blue Chip ($18.00) who is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner.
Then in the $11,000 Open II Handicap for fillies and mares, Lady London (Ray Fisher Jr.) went a mile that could have gotten her the top prize in the main event. After leaving sharply from post four in :27.1, Lady London led at every station by a gapped advantage that grew as the race progressed. After hitting three-quarters in 1:24.1, Fisher let Lady London pace home of her own volition and she stretched out to a 5-3/4 length win at the wire in 1:54.1.
It was also the seventh win of the year for Lady London ($5.30) who is owned by VHF Racing and trained by Sabrina Shaw, who had a training double on the card.
John Cummings Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. were the hot drivers on Wednesday, each scoring a hat trick of victories. Kevin Cummings joined Shaw in the trainer ranks with two wins on Wednesday as well.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 8) with post time at 6 p.m.