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Johnny Boy upsets top trot, Morrill wins five at Batavia

By Tim Bojarski
Photo of Johnny Boy courtesy of Wendy J. Lowery.

After bouncing back from an untimely break last week and despite a jump in class for this start, Johnny Boy got back in the win column by taking the $15,000 Open I Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 25).

Kevin Cummings sent Johnny Boy to the front, grabbed the lead past the quarter and then controlled the race every step from there. After reaching the half in :58.4, Makadushin N Cheez (Jim McNeight Jr.) rolled up first-over on the rim and remained a player until three-quarters. His bid fell apart at that point, forcing Gracious Triumph (Jim Morrill Jr.) three-wide into the last turn. Meanwhile Johnny Boy had opened up a two length advantage before turning for home and was driven confidently to the wire on top by 1-¼ lengths in 1:57.2.

It was the ninth win of the year for Johnny Boy ($17.80) who is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Sam Smith.

In the co-featured $15,000 Open I Handicap pace, Lanjo Lee (Kyle Cummings) was by far the best horse in the race and finished his mile with an exclamation mark. After leading the field by a gapped margin through quarters of :27.4, :57.4 and 1:25.1, Lanjo Lee extended his lead around the last turn and bolted home under wraps and on top by 3-¾ lengths in 1:53.3.

Lanjo Lee ($3.50) scored his seventh win of the year for owner Gordon Swift and trainer Jeff Sorenson.

After setting the track record for wins on a single card (9) last Saturday at Batavia, driver Jim Morrill Jr. was back at it again this week and posted five more wins during the program. He won with Mugshots Bro (1:58.1, $3.50), Stop Action (1:56, $4.50), Virgil N (1:54.2, $3.30), BJ’s Smitty (1:57.4, $8.90) and Mighty Santana N (1:54.2, $2.70). Morrill also finished second four times out of his 12 drives giving him a .602 UDR for the evening. Morrill is currently the leading percentage driver among all other drivers in North America with a .438 UDR for the entire year.

There was a big payout in the final race of the night when the Jackpot Hi-5 was hit. The single unique combination of 1-4-9-5-7 returned $4,671.30 for a 20-cent wager.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 29) at 6 p.m.

Free full past performance programs for every live card of racing at Batavia can always be downloaded at the Downs’ website ( under the “Live Racing” tab and all the racing action can be viewed as it happens for free at the Batavia Downs Live Facebook page.

Photo of Lanjo Lee courtesy of Wendy J. Lowery.

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