Like he always seems to do, Lougazi started slow but finished fast to claim his 58th career victory in the $15,000 Open I Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 13).
As Lougazi (Ray fisher Jr.) got away fifth, the heavy post time favorite Dewey Arnold (Kevin Cummings) made a break in turn one and everything changed from there. Burn Notice (Jim McNeight Jr.) took the lead before Showme Some Muscle (Drew Monti) pulled the pocket to take the top and led the short field to the half in a moderate :58.4. There, Gracious Triumph (Shawn McDonough) rolled up first-over and matched strides with Showme Some Muscle to three-quarters, where he finally got the lead. Lougazi was still fifth at this point, but out and moving with cover from I Got The Looks (Dan Yetman) to the stretch. When they hit the straight, Fisher moved Lougazi to the middle of the track and the trotter closed it out, winning by a neck in 1:58.1.
It was the eighth win of the year for Lougazi ($10.00) and his owner Mary Warriner. Ryan Swift trains the winner.
In the $13,000 Open II Handicap trot, City Of Hope (Kevin Cummings) led handily through quarters of :29.2, :59.4 and 1:28.1, facing only a minor challenge from BJ Laredo (Jim McNeight Jr.), which he turned back. As he headed out of the turn for home, City Of Hope bolted under a line-drive by Cummings to a 2-¾ length win in 1:58.1.
The 3-year-old City Of Hope ($3.50) registered his 13th win of the year for trainer David Dewhurst, who also owns the gelding in partnership with Philip Hale.
Drew Monti was the top driver on Friday, scoring a grand slam on the card while Garry Martin led all trainers with two wins during the night.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 14) at 6:00 p.m. and there will be a $5,792 carryover in the Jackpot Hi-5 pentafecta wager in race 13.
Free full past performance programs for every live card of racing at Batavia can always be downloaded at the Downs’ website (bataviadownsgaming.com) 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.