Shawn Gray wins seven and 4,000th of career at Batavia
Written by WBTA STAFF on August 13, 2018
Shawn Gray (Photos courtesy of Paul White)
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Batavia, NY—Shawn Gray had the night of his life on Saturday (Aug. 11) as he won seven of the 12 races he drove at Batavia Downs and during that run, garnered his 4,000th career driving win.
Gray came into the night needing four wins to reach that plateau and once “The Maine Event” got rolling, there was seemingly no stopping him from getting to the winner’s circle. Besides his seven wins (which included the last five straight races of the night), Gray also had a second and two thirds giving him a stellar universal driver rating (UDR) of .685 for the night.
Gray reached the 4,000 win milestone with Barn Star (1:57.4, $4.70) in race 10.
A native of Waterville, Maine, the 44-year-old Gray has been driving since 1993 when he got his first pari-mutuel win with Timer Choice at Presque Isle, Maine. He has been a regular on the New England circuit for his entire life, but in 2012 he came to western New York and made an instant impact on the racing scene here, taking the driving title at Batavia Downs that year.
Gray has also been a regular at Saratoga Raceway and Plainridge Park in recent years and enjoys the same success at those tracks as he does everywhere else.
In 19,230 starts, Gray has now won 4,003, has been second 3,098 times and third 2,709 more times making him over 50% in the money for his career. That high percentage performance has earned him $15,114,821 in purses over that time.
Gray’s best career year was 2012 when he captured 356 victories and earned $1.859 in purses. A habitual high percentage driver, Gray posted a personal best .440 UDR in 2011 but consistently ends the year in the high .300 range.
There was another horseman making history at Batavia Downs on Saturday. Trainer James Clouser Jr. won a track record seven races on the card and posted an unbelievable universal training rating (UTR) of .917 in the process.
Clouser won with Freak On A Leash (1:55.2, $7.10), Whosurpapa (1:54.2, $3.20), Lenny Mac (1:57.3, $7.90), Upfront Countryboy (1:53.2, $4.20), Tyler (1:54.4, $2.90), Zipnthruthehall (1:54.3, $3.40) and Autobiographical (1:54.3, $2.60).
Shawn Gray drove six of Clouser’s seven winners.
The top Open pacing and trotting features were also contested on Saturday night.
Validus Deo ($4.40) won the $10,500 Open Handicap pace in 1:54.3 for driver Kevin Cummings who also trains and co-owns the winner with Matthew Rosiek and Robert Johnson.
And BZ Glide ($29.60) upset in the $10,500 Open Handicap trot in 1:56.2 for driver Mike Caprio. Alana Caprio trains the winner for owner the Caprio Stable.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 15) with post time set at 5 p.m.