Two in a row for Empire Earl N at Batavia
Written by Alex Feig on December 8, 2018
Empire Earl N (Photo courtesy of Paul White)
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
After going winless since September 7 when he trotted a season’s best 1:56.3, Empire Earl N has regained early season form winning two consecutive top-class races at Batavia Downs. The second score came on Friday night (Dec.7) when he captured the $11,000 Open Handicap trot.
Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) got away third as Crystal Sphere (Billy Davis Jr.) made a beeline for the lead and when he got there, backed off the proceedings. After a leisurely stroll to the half in 1:01.2, Davis hit the gas, opened up a five-length advantage and tried to put the swoop to the group. Motoring along well on the point, Crystal Sphere looked very much the best, however there was a lot of race left.
As the group moved from the five-eighths to the three-quarters, Monti tipped Empire Earl N and started chipping away at Crystal Sphere’s lead. Around the last turn he was on his back and at the head of the stretch he drew even on the outside and from there, Empire Earl N got stout and trotted away under mild urging from Monti to win by a length in 1:59.3.
Empire Earl N ($4.70) reached double-digit wins for 2018, scoring his 10th of the year for owner Kim Asher. He has also earned $90,354 this year which has been his career best under the tutelage of trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum.
In the $8,800 Open II trot Labatt Hanover (Shawn McDonough) made easy work of five foes, posting even fractions en route to a three-length victory in 1:59.3. Labatt Hanover ($8.70) scored his sixth victory of 2018 for owners Gary and Cynthia Saj. His driver McDonough also does the conditioning.
Aside from capturing the feature race, driver Drew Monti also had two other wins giving him a Hat Trick on the night. Billy Davis Jr. and Mike Caprio also had driving doubles during the nine-race card.
There was no winner of the early Pick-5 on Friday and as a result, there is a $534 carry-over and a guaranteed pool of $1,500 for the early Pick-5 when racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday. Post time for the first race at 6 p.m.