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Justgottogetthere Prevails In Open

Published: October 3, 2014 10:20 pm ET

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The winds of change blew through western New York Friday night (Oct. 3) and the rain fell along with the temperature. But the inclement conditions did not dampen the performance of Justgottogetthere as he won the $9,250 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs.

The short field of six got even shorter after Live Jazz (John Cummings Jr.) made a break leaving in the first turn. That left Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) a clear path to the front. But co-favourite Armed Dangerously (Jim Morrill Jr.), who left right behind the leader, was trotting side-by-side with him, giving Serious George (Kevin Cummings) a perfect garden spot trip. After hitting the half in :58 flat, the parking ticket took its toll and Armed Dangerously started to falter. That left Justgottogetthere a gapped leader waiting for a bid from the pocket-sitting Serious George. The challenge came down the lane but it was too little, too late. Justgottogetthere got there by a diminishing one-length lead to win in 1:58.3. Serious George was second and a late-closing Keystone Bernard was third.

The win was the second in 10 starts for Justgottogetthere ($4.80) and boosted his 2014 earnings to $20,815 for owners Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing LLC. The lightly raced five-year-old son of Valley Victor is trained by Jerry Nugent Jr.

Jim Morrill Jr. was on hand Friday to put on another driving clinic. He rendezvoused with owners five times in the Purple Haze winner's circle as he scored with Medicine Ed ($7.30), Release The Terror ($6.10), Missmaximus ($7.00), The Bronx Bumper ($7.50) and Story Book ($5.30). Morrill is currently second in North America among all drivers for percentage, sporting a gaudy .401 UDR. And on the strength of the night's performance, he drew even closer to the top spot.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 4) at 6:35 p.m. The Pick 6 carryover pool has grown to $2,296 and will be up for grabs starting with race seven.

(Batavia Downs)


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