Chumlee A, Asher, Stalbaum all shine on Batavia Downs closing night
Written by Dan Fischer on December 18, 2017
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
The western New York “wonder from down under” Chumlee A, proved once again that he is the best pacer currently on the grounds as he led a fast :57 back half under heavy duress on a cold night to win the final $10,000 Open Handicap pacing feature of the meet at Batavia Downs on closing night (Dec. 16).
It took Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum) over a quarter of a mile to get the lead as Don’tcallmefrancis (Billy Davis Jr.) played hardball on the front-end. But eventually the Aussie got there after a quick :28 second split before he put on the brakes to the half to get a short breather. Not content with the slowing pace, Focus Power (Drew Monti) pulled at the half and started one heck of a fight.
Drawing alongside Chumlee A, Focus Power pushed the issue as the two matched strides in a :28.1 third panel. Also pacing together around the far turn, Chumlee A’s lead was getting shorter but he continued to look strong on the point. Halfway down the lane the overland route had gotten to Focus Power but Don’tcallmefrancis, who had gotten the perfect two-hole trip the entire mile, popped into the passing lane and made a late bid. However Chumlee A had enough in the tank and hung on by a head in 1:54.2.
It was the second straight Open victory and fourth straight win at Batavia Downs and in northern hemisphere for Chumlee A ($3.60) who has been racing in the U.S. for just over a month. The 6-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere is owned by Mark Jakubik and Kim Asher, who also does the training.
It was a big night for trainer Kim Asher and driver Larry Stalbaum. Besides winning the feature with Chumlee A they also teamed up to win three other races during the night including the seventeenth win of 2017 for Saint William A and the twenty-first victory of the year for Quicksilvercandy A, who now moves back into a tie with Safe From Terror as the winningest Standardbred in North America.
Then after the tenth race, Asher and Stalbaum were honored in the winner’s circle as the top dash winning trainer and driver of the meet at Batavia Downs.
The staff and management of Batavia Downs would like to wish everyone a very happy Holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Racing resumes at the oldest lighted harness track in America in July of 2018.