Il Mago takes third straight Batavia Open
Photo: Il Mago with driver Jim Morrill Jr. pictured near the pylons.
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
It’s the same old story, same old song and dance for Il Mago, who has been seemingly unbeatable of late at Batavia Downs. And there was no page turned as he took yet another $8,500 Open I Handicap trot in Genesee County on Wednesday night (Nov. 18) over an off track that saw snow flurries earlier in the day.
Jim Morrill Jr. took his usual spot on the point with Il Mago off the gate and cut fractions of :28.2 and :57.2 without any early challenges. But past the half, Cr Blazin Beauty (Dave McNeight III) came calling and would accompany the leader all the way to the wire.
Cr Blazin Beauty trotted toward Il Mago up the backside and around the final turn and by the top of the stretch, the leader was in her sights. As the finish drew near it was clear Il Mago needed the line as Cr Blazin Beauty had now trotted alongside. But the 11-year-old Il Mago knows how to close the deal and he did once again, winning by a neck in 1:57.3.
It was the third straight win and fifth in the last seven for Il Mago ($5.20) who is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama.
The Morrill, Torcello and Sarama team collectively had the Hat Trick on Wednesday as Toothofthedragon (1:58, $4.20) and Concertina’s Image (1:58.4, $6.80) also registered wins.
In the undercard $7,500 Open II pace for fillies and mares, Wonderful World (Billy Davis Jr.) tripped-out behind Yankee Secret (Dave McNeight III) until the stretch where she pulled and paced away to a 1-3/4 length win in 1:56.4. Wonderful World ($11.00) is owned by Mike Carrubba and her trainer, Sabrina Shaw.
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 21) with post time at 5 p.m.