Lady Dudette with driver Kyle Cummings.
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
A pair of $8,500 Open events topped the card at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 7) and connoisseurs of the longshot were very happy with the outcome of both events.
In the Open I Handicap pace for fillies and mares, Lady Dudette took the overland route to victory in a short but select field.
HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) grabbed the lead and paced uncontested to the half in :57.1. Past the five-eighths, Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) pulled first-over from fifth and motored up towards the leader. The two mares were closely engaged by the three-quarters and around the last turn with neither giving way. At the top of the stretch Cummings asked for more and Lady Dudette came through. She paced away from HP Sissy and held off a late charging Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) to win by 3/4’s of a length in 1:56.3.
It was the seventh win of the year for Lady Dudette ($12) and her owner, driver Kyle Cummings. Tammy Cummings trains the winner.
(Above, Il Mago with driver Jim Morrill Jr.)
Then in the Open I trot, the tough-as-nails Il Mago looked his old self in a gate to wire win producing his second fastest clocking of the year.
Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) took early control and put the field to bed. After clipping quarters of :28.3 and :57.3, Il Mago opened up a three length lead trotting up the backside and extended it to five by the time he hit the top of the lane. From there he got home by 3/4’s of a length over a fast closing Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) and won in 1:56.4.
It was the 51st lifetime win for Il Mago ($26.40) and it pushed his lifetime bankroll to a very impressive $880,638. The classy 11-year-old son of Kadabra-Northern Style is owned by Mike Torcello and is trained by Gerry Sarama.
Jim Morrill Jr. pulled off a not often seen feat at Batavia Wednesday when he won four consecutive races. Starting in race seven, he won with Southern Palms (1:59, $7.10), Il Mago, Tellawoman (1.56, $5.60) and Sentimental Lady (1:57.1, $7). Races seven to 10 just happened to be the Pick-4 wager and the all-Morrill Pick-4 returned $930.00.
Besides Morrill’s four wins, Dave McNeight III had three wins while Billy Davis Jr. and Shawn McDonough each had two.
McDonough also led all trainers on Wednesday with three wins while Russell Bratt, Rich Mays and Gerry Sarama all won two each. Sarama’s pair brought his lifetime training win total up to 996, now just four shy of the 1,000 win plateau.
There were no winners in the Pick-5 on Wednesday so the $1,462 carry-over pool will move to Saturday (Oct. 10) and Batavia Downs will be offering a $4,000 guaranteed pool through the USTA’s Strategic Wagering program for that wager. Free program pages will be available for the first five races on Saturday at both the Batavia Downs and USTA websites starting on Thursday (Oct. 8).
Post time for live racing on Saturday is 5 p.m.