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Lougazi Triples In Batavia Open

Published: October 26, 2018 10:11 pm ET

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There is a new sheriff in town. Lougazi flexed his muscle again to defeat the best local stock and notch his third straight top class victory in the $11,000 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (October 26).

Despite losing to Lougazi the last two starts, Empire Earl N (Jim Morrill Jr.) went off as the post time favourite and went right to the front in the abbreviated field of six. With a single-file field behind, Empire Earl N floated to a :28.2 quarter and looked comfortable doing it. But break time was over at the three-eights when Lougazi (Ray FIsher Jr.), who got away last, pulled first-over and started the rim trek towards the leader.

As the trotters motored up the backstretch, Lougazi drew even with Empire Earl N at the three-quarters and the match race was on. Into the last turn, Empire Earl N got a slight advantage as Lougazi sort of hung, while Fisher bided his time and saved his charge for the finish. When they straightened outm the two were even again and both drivers were working hard. Heading towards the wire, it was clear Lougazi was doing the better work and just edged past Empire Earl N under the light by one-half length in 1:57.

The win was the ninth of the year, third in a row and fourth out of the last five for Lougazi ($5.90), who is owned by Mary Warriner. Ryan Swift trains the winner.

The husband and wife, driver and trainer team of Fisher and Swift also copped the co-feature.

The $8,800 Open II trot saw three lead changes occur by the quarter before Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled from fourth at the three-eighths, took the lead up the back stretch and then held off a late-charging Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) to win by a length in 1:58.1.

The win was the third in 15 starts this year for Barn Winner ($5.30), who is owned by Tanah Merah Farms and the Swift Racing Stable.

As has been the case so many times this meet, the early Pick-5 was not hit on Friday and as a result, there is a $1,839 carryover and a $4,000 guaranteed pool for the early Pick-5 on Saturday night (October 27). That wager will be a part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program with free past performance pages made available through Trackmaster and the USTA. You can download those by clicking the “Handicapping” tab at ustrotting.com.

The Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that begins in race one and runs through race five. There is no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners, the entire pool (minus takeout) will be carried over once again.

(With files from Batavia Downs)


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