Batavia Downs hosted the $93,000 finals of the Western New York Trackmaster Series on Monday (Feb.19) and in the featured TM79 match-up for $20,000, Long Train Runnin ran his win streak to five to claim the winner’s share of the purse.
Proven Desire (John Cummings Jr.) led the field at the quarter, but then watched as stablemate Long Train Runnin (Billy Davis Jr.) breezed by in the second turn to take control of the mile. Once on top, Long Train Runnin backed off the half to a mere :59 before stepping to three-quarters in a slick :28.1. Dogfight (Jim Morrill Jr.) tried to mount a challenge during that third panel but it failed before they hit three-quarters. As they spiralled out of the last turn and headed into the stretch, Proven Desire vacated the pocket and dug in hard, trying to catch the leader. But despite a valiant effort, he came up a neck short as Long Train Runnin finished strong to win again in a season's best tying 1:55.3.
It was the fifth win in only six starts this year for Long Train Runnin and it pushed his 2024 bankroll to $30,250 for owners Paige Usiak and William Emmons. Jim Clouser Jr. trains the winner.
There were two consolations for the TM79 class. The $10,000 leg was won by Silverhill Blaze (1:56.1, $3.90) who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Andy Torre who co-owns with Kristen Torre and the $9,000 leg was won by Henrico (1:56.3, $31.00) who was driven by Billy Daivs Jr. for owner/trainer Courtney Wright.
The $17,000 TM75 final was won by Stonebridge Hypnos (Jim Morrill Jr.) who held pylon position as she sparred with Major Authority (Dan Yetman) through quarters of :27.3 and :56.4 while Thatmomentinlife (Billy Davis Jr.) tracked from the pocket. As the race approached three-quarters, Major Authority faded while Stonebridge Hypnos and Thatmoentinlife pulled away from the field around the final bend. As the pair paced to the wire, Thatmomentinlife pulled and did advance on the leader, but Stonebridge Hypnos was just too good and held on to a one-half length margin of victory in 1:56.2.
It was the third win in a row and fourth of the year for Stonebridge Hypnos ($3.00) who has now earned $23,300 this year for owner Mike Torcello and trainer Sam Smith.
The consolation for the $8,500 TM75 group was won by Harry Hoo N (1:56.3, $11.60) who was driven by Billy Davis Jr. for owner Harry Wortzman. Shawn McDonough trained the winner.
Then in the $14,000 TM71 final, Missplacedrock (Kyle Swift) followed Howmacs Hank (Billy Davis Jr.) to the half in :58.2 when Artistic Spirit (Drew Monti) joined the fray. Artistic Spirit pushed Howmacs Hank to three-quarters and they paced that piece in :28.4. The top two continued to match strides around the last turn while Swift drifted three-wide with Missplacedrock and started to drive him as they headed into the lane. Missplacedrock caught the pair in mid-stretch and eventually slid by to win by one-half length in 1:57.
It was the fourth win of the year for Missplacedrock ($6.10) who increased her 2024 bank to $19,340 for owner Rose Campbell. Greg Johnson was the winning trainer.
There were also two consolations for the TM71 group.
The $7,500 split was won by Beddanburg (1:56.3, $5.40) who was driven by Drew Monti for owner/trainer Chris Petrelli and the $6,500 division was won by Bettor Country (1:58.2, $2.60) who was driven by Billy Davis Jr. for owner Ben Ortiz and trainer Shawn McDonough.
Drivers Billy Davis Jr. and Jim Morrill Jr. both had Grand Slams during the day while trainers Shawn McDonough, Chris Petrelli and Rock Vinci all had two wins apiece.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Thursday (Feb. 22) at 3 p.m. and the card will feature the $43,000 finals of the Western New York Trackmaster Series for trotters. Also, there will be a $3,267 carryover in the Jackpot Super Hi-5 pentafecta in the 13th race.
There are only two days of live racing left in the 2024 winter meet at Batavia Downs. The final day of action is Monday (Feb. 26).
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.