Repentance with driver Scott Zeron.
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 3-year-old trotting fillies visited Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 22) to compete for a combined $119,300 in purses that was distributed between two heats. Not everything went the way participating punters thought but one thing was for certain: Scott Zeron came to play.
In the first $59,100 division, post time favorite Repentance (Chapter Seven-Swan Hot Mama) lived up to her billing. With Fury Road taking early control, driver Scott Zeron took Repentance to the pylons and tracked the proceedings from there until the group hit the half in :59 flat.
Repentance pulled first up in front of the stands and incrementally advanced towards the leader from there, up the backside and around the last turn when she finally drew even at the head of the stretch. From there, Repentance trotted away from the pack under no urging whatsoever from Zeron to win by two lengths in 1:57.3.
“I knew she could come first over so I didn’t hesitate to pull where I did. She trotted handily parked and had a lot finishing. She raced well” said Zeron after the race.
It was the third win of the year for Repentance ($4.10) pushing her earnings to $77,559 for owner Diamond Creek Racing. Newly elected Hall of Fame member Linda Toscano trains the winner.
White Cheetah with driver Jim Morrill Jr.
The second division carried a purse of $60,200 and some of the bettors may have made as much through the windows as some of the check-getters in the race as White Cheetah (Muscle Mass-Wheely Quick) blew up the tote board at 36-1.
Heavy post time favorite Lima Novelty (Scott Zeron) made a break just as the gate opened, leaving Natalie Hanover (Jim Marohn Jr.) loose on the lead and White Cheetah (Jim Morrill Jr.) tucked in second behind for the ride. Then at the eighth pole, the second betting choice Tribute To Seven (Drew Monti) who was third made a break as well, leaving Natalie Hanover and White Cheetah sitting one-two, a gapped five-lengths on the field.
Nothing much changed from the quarter to the top of the stretch but then it happened quickly. Morrill pulled White Cheetah and in a couple strides she went right by Natalie Hanover ending up a one-length wrapped-up winner in 1:59.1.
“When I saw the break, I went with Plan “A” all the way; I dropped in second and took my best shot. I drove her once before and knew she could trot and when I pulled her I had a lot of horse” Morrill said.
White Cheetah ($74) got her third win of the year but it was first NYSS victory. The winner’s share pushed her bankroll for 2018 to $63,165 for owners Paul Kelley Racing Stable, Joe Sbrocco and Stable 45. Paul Kelley conditions the winner.
White Cheetah’s large win mutuel prompted a $498 Exacta, $7,681 Trifecta and $12,210 Super.
Scott Zeron had a huge outing at Batavia, grabbing five races on the card. Besides winning with Repentance, he also won all three divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior “A” series with A Gift For You (Credit Winner-Soprano Hanover) who is owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by George Ducharme, Sevenbuyeleven (Chapter Seven-Muscleini) who is also owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano and Ithinkthatsmine (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) who is owned by Ray Campbell Jr. and trained by George Ducharme.
Zeron’s fifth win was in Excelsior “B” action with Good Luck Ginny (Lucky Chucky-Classical Ginny) who is owned by Phillip Hale and David Dewhurst, who also trains the winner. Good Luck Ginny finished in a dead-heat with Financial Impact (Muscle Mass-Steuben Miss) who was driven by Drew Monti for owner Marie Houghtaling and trainer Ron Houghtaling.