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Longshot Winners In Batavia Opens

Published: October 15, 2016 12:22 am ET

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After finishing second in the top local trot twice last month, Noble Legend ($25.40) blew up the toteboard along with his rivals in winning the $10,500 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (October 14).

After taking last week off, Noble Legend returned to the track with a new attitude and approach. Driver Shawn Gray sent Noble Legend right to the front and took no prisoners from there. He lead the troops by two open lengths through fractions of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:26.2 while the trailers were struggling to keep up.

At the top of the lane, Noble Legend was cruising under mild urging from Gray when Studio City (Dave McNeight III), who was second the whole mile, drifted off the pegs in an attempt to collar the leader. But all that did was allow BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to slide up inside him and get into the action. Noble Legend trotted on to win in 1:56.4 by a length over the fast-closing BZ Glide and Studio City, who finished second and third respectively.

The win was the eighth of the season for Noble Legend, who increased his 2016 bankroll to $55,983 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the four-year-old son of Kadabra.

In the co-featured $10,000 Open Mare Pace, Dontch Remember ($26.20) shook off a two-month winless streak and led the ladies wire-to-wire by gapped lengths to win her eighth race of the year in a new lifetime mark of 1:54.4. Gerry Sarama trains the six-year-old Western Terror mare for owner Mike Torcello.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. continued his torrid pace at the Downs, winning another five races on the card. He scored with Love U Forever ($3.70, 1:58.3), The Bronx Bumper ($7.10, 1:58.4), Keystone Wild Card ($4.10, 2:02), Dontch Remember ($26.20, 1:54.4) and Son Of Nordic ($9.90, 1:58.3). The five wins and one second in eight starts gave Morrill a .694 UDR for the night.

Drew Monti had a driving double and Mike Ohol had two winners on the training side.

The dash driving leader board continues to be tight. Kevin Cummings, despite not visiting the winner’s circle on Friday, remains on top with 67 wins. Drew Monti is second with 62 and Jim Morrill Jr. vaulted into third on the strength of his performance with 61 victories.

(With files from Batavia Downs)


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