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Lougazi Back In Batavia Winner's Circle

Published: October 23, 2021 2:13 am ET

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Top trotter Lougazi ($6) has been camera shy of late, not winning since September 17. But he smiled pretty for his picture on Friday night (Oct. 22) after capturing the $13,500 Open I Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs.

As usual, Ray Fisher Jr. got away last with Lougazi and trailed the leading Barn Hall (Kevin Cummings) by 7-1/4 lengths in the :27.1 first quarter. But Fisher was quickly out and moving with Lougazi at the three-eighths and slowly made his way up towards the leader. When the race reached three-quarters in a solid 1:26.4, Lougazi was within reach of Barn Hall and drew dead-even with him at the head of the lane. Heading for home, he took the lead from Barn Hall and then held off a late-closing Mugshots Bro (Jim Morrill Jr.) to win by a quarter-length in 1:56.1.

Lougazi's sixth win of the year puts his annual income over the $50,000 mark for owner Mary Warriner. Ryan Swift trains the winner.

Jim Morrill Jr. continued his torrid winning streak as he registered another grand slam at Batavia Downs. Two of those four wins just happened to come in the two co-featured trots.

In the $12,100 Open II Handicap, Morrill cleared the lead past the quarter with Party Boy Hanover ($7.70) and then ran off the screen, winning by seven lengths in 1:57.1, which was a new seasonal mark.

Then later in the $11,250 Open III Handicap, Morrill left again with the veteran Noble Legend ($3.70), led every step of the way and then held off Simonthediamond (Dan Yetman) at the line to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:58.2.

Both horses are owned by Vogel & Wags Nags, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock, and both horses are trained by Maria Rice.

Morrill and Rice teamed up again to win with Americanation (1:56.2, $17.40), which gave Rice the training hat trick. Morrill then finished off his four-bagger by winning with Graystonefastmyles (1:57.2, $2.40).

With no single unique winning ticket purchased in the Jackpot Pick-5 on Friday night, there will be a carryover of $11,214 for that bet in race nine when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 23). There is also a small but mentionable carryover of $349 in the Jackpot Pick-6 in race four.

Free full past performance programs for the entire card -- that includes these races -- can also be downloaded at bataviadownsgaming.com under the live racing tab, where they can be found for every live night of racing at Batavia Downs.

Post time for the first race Saturday is 5 p.m.

(Batavia Downs)


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