Dave McNeight III, aka Triple Sticks, had a big night at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 2) as he scored a driving hat trick that included wins in both feature races.
The first came with Tiger Baron, who on the heels of an impressive victory last week at Batavia, moved up to the top class and scored again, winning the $15,000 Open I Handicap pace in a personal season’s best clocking.
Tiger Baron got away fourth as Casimir Richie P (Drew Monti) and Nox Vegas Bluechip (Jim Morrill Jr.) traded leads before the :27 quarter. Shortly after at the three-eighths, McNeight brought Tiger Baron first-over and started the long grind up the rim heading onto the second circuit. As they passed the five-eighths, Casimir Richie P was gapping behind Nox Vega Bluechip which allowed Tiger Baron to drop into the garden spot at three-quarters and draft behind the leader around the final bend. At the top of the stretch, Tiger Baron pulled again and paced past Nox Vegas Bluechip on his way to a three-quarter length win in 1:52.2.
It was the second straight win and third of the year for Tiger Baron ($4.40) and owner Courtney McNeight. Amanda Arrigenna trains the winner.
McNeight also won the secondary featured $12,500 upper-level conditioned pace with Gunslinger Hill, who got away second early and remained in the pocket third, as the frontrunning Shazam Blue Chip (Joe Chindano Jr.) battled the first-over Speedy Dominic A (Ray Fisher Jr.) from the half to the seven-eighths. It was there that Speedy Dominic A faded, giving a clear path for Gunslinger Hill to come off the pylons into the middle of the track and outpace Shazam Blue Chip to the wire by 2-¾ lengths in 1:53.4, matching his season’s best effort.
Gunslinger Hill ($23.20) got his seventh win of the year for owner Ron Viele and trainer Jennifer Giuliani.
The driver/trainer combinations of Drew Monti and Russell Bratt and Jim McNeight Jr. and Jim McNeight each scored two wins apiece.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Sept. 4) at 1:15 p.m. as the track will hold a special matinee card on Labor Day.
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.