Using a big move at the three-quarters pole, Ontario-owned and bred Pathtodover found the path to the winner's circle in the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at a damp and foggy Batavia Downs Wednesday night.
Sitting fourth behind the parked out and stalling cover of Real Joy (Jason Merriman), driver Doug Bowins steered Pathtodover ($10.20) three-wide around the final turn and easily blew past the pacesetting Romania Hanover and the pocket sitting Vla Faire at the top of the stretch to score the convincing four and a half length win in 1:57.2.
Vla Faire (Ray Fisher Jr.) closed up in the open stretch to get second over Romania Hanover (Shawn Gray), who hung on for third.
Owned and trained by Bowins of Dundas, Ont., the win was the ninth of the season for Pathtodover in 28 starts. The five-year-old mare by Straight Path, who was a runner-up on Oct. 3 at Batavia in her only other start south of the border, now has earnings of $61,680 for the season.
The first leg of the Henry Tojj Claming Series began on Wednesday and Johnny Grippa posted the fastest winning time in the six divisions with an impressive 1:57.4 over the sloppy track. Other division winners were Looks R Deceiving (2:00.0), Bobsujak (1:58.2), Burl Hanover (2:00.3), Vasvixen N (2:00.4) and Whatsthurraymurray (2:01.3).
The $27,000 finals of the series and the $10,000 consolation race will be run on November 17.
The racing action continues this Friday night with a 12-race program set with a 6:25 p.m. post. The weekly $9,000 Open Trot is on tap with Big Baller, starting out of the sixth position, the 5-2 morning line favourite with Dan Noble scheduled to drive.
Batavia Downs now races on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings with a 6:25 p.m. each night.
(With files from Batavia Downs)