A Pair of Opens highlight Batavia Downs Friday card
Written by WBTA STAFF on December 7, 2019
Fox Valley Veto, Photo by: Paul White
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Batavia, NY — With no more Wednesday racing this year at Batavia Downs, the top distaff pace joined the weekly featured trot on Friday night (Dec. 6) with one race providing an upset and the other satisfying the chalk bettors.
In the $12,500 Open I Handicap trot, Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) settled in fourth off the gate and watched as Chuckabuck (Drew Monti) made a break and Alert Hanover (Jim McNeight Jr.) overtook Empire Earl N (Mike Caprio) for the lead at the quarter pole. After all that action sorted itself out, Davis pulled Veto off the pegs at the three-eighths pole and motored to the top by the half in 1:00.2.
As the race progressed onto the second circuit, Wheels A Turning (Shawn McDonough) came calling on the outside and matched strides with Fox Valley Veto up the backside, around the far turn and into the stretch. The battle continued down the lane until Fox Valley Veto slammed the door at the light, winning by one-half length in 1:58.3 at 15-1 .
It was the 11th win of the year for Fox Valley Veto ($33.40) and owners Vogel and Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner.
Then in the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace of fillies and mares, Lady London (Ray Fisher Jr,) drifted fourth on the outside for the first eighth of a mile before she made a quick rush for the lead at the quarter in :28.2. From there the race was history.
Lady London opened up a 1-½ length lead by the half in :58.3 and extended it to four at the three-quarters in 1:26.4. With no one even close as she sprinted around the last turn, Lady London jogged home wrapped up like a Christmas present to win by 6-½ lengths in 1:56.
It was the third win in the last four starts for Lady London ($5.40) and owner VHF Racing. Sabrina Shaw is the trainer.
Eight participating horse people had multiple win performances on Friday night. Drivers Billy Davis Jr. and Drew Monti led the way with three wins each on the card while Shawn McDonough and John Cummings Jr. both won two. And trainers Sabrina Shaw, Maria Rice, Jim Tronolone and Dave Russo all sent two stablemembers to the winner’s enclosure for photographs.
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 7) with pot time at 6 p.m.