HP Sissy goes season’s best in Batavia Open
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
HP Sissy has been racing in the shadows of the mares competing in the top distaff class at Batavia Downs of late, settling for minor spoils since her only win in Genesee County this year on Aug. 7.
But with a renewed sense of purpose and a driver change that reunited her with the reinsman she scored her first win of the year with in February, HP Sissy went a dominating mile in gate to wire fashion to win the $12,500 fillies and mares Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Sept. 18).
HP Sissy (Drew Monti) left fast and hard and towed the abbreviated field of six to the quarter in :27.2. Tailed closely by Lady London (Ray Fisher Jr.), HP Sissy backed down the second panel to :29.3 which pushed the favored Blue Bell Bonnie (Jim Morrill Jr.) off the cones and into the breeze.
Although there were horses in pursuit, they really weren’t a challenge to HP Sissy who was loose on the front up the backstretch. After hitting three-quarters in 1:25.2 by an open two-lengths, she rounded the turn and extended her lead to three with Monti sitting statuesque and from there, HP Sissy scooted home an easy wrapped-up winner in 1:53.3, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner.
It was the 10th win of the year for HP Sissy ($5.70) who has now earned $85,093 in 2019 for owner Finocchario’s Dream Stable. Mike Ohol trains the winner.
The co-featured $11,000 fillies and mares Open II pace saw Kaitlyn Rae (Billy Davis Jr.) outmuscle several leavers for the top and finally settled there to cut speedy fractions of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:25.2 before turning for home and stretching out to a 1-½ length victory in 1:55.3.
It was the 65th lifetime win for Kaitlyn Rae ($4.00) who now has won $442,878 in her career. The 10-year-old daughter of Cheyenne Rei-I C U Lookin is owned and trained by Riley Asher-Stalbaum.
The venerable Lightning Raider N (Jim Morrill Jr.) won his 62nd career race, timed in 1:56.3 on Wednesday and pushed his career earnings to over $650,000. The uber-game 14-year-old gelded son of Christian Cullen-Talent Hanover will retire on Jan. 1 but continues to show that his heart and ability has not diminished with time.
Several horsemen had multiple wins on Wednesday led by Jim Morrill Jr., Dave McNeight III and Billy Davis Jr. with three wins each followed by Drew Monti with two. Trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum also had two wins on the conditioning side.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 20) with post time set at 6 p.m.