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Upsets Abound In Batavia Features

Published: October 7, 2020 9:50 pm ET

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A pair of $8,500 Open events topped the card at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 7), with both Lady Dudette and Il Mago springing upsets in their respective features.

In the Open I Handicap Pace for fillies and mares, Lady Dudette took the overland route to victory in a short but select field.

HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) grabbed the lead and paced uncontested to the half in :57.1. Past the five-eighths, Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) pulled first-over from fifth and motored up towards the leader. The two mares were closely engaged by the three-quarters and around the last turn with neither giving way. At the top of the stretch, Cummings asked for more and Lady Dudette came through. She paced away from HP Sissy and held off a late-charging Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.3.

It was the seventh win of the year for Lady Dudette ($12.00) and her owner, driver Kyle Cummings. Tammy Cummings trains the winner.

Then, in the Open I Trot, the tough-as-nails Il Mago looked his old self in a gate-to-wire win which produced his second-fastest clocking of the year.

Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) took early control and put the field to bed. After clipping quarters of :28.3 and :57.3, Il Mago opened to a three-length lead up the backside and extended it to five by the time he hit the top of the lane. From there, he got home three-quarters of a length over a rapidly closing Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) and won in 1:56.4.

The 51st lifetime win for Il Mago ($26.40) pushed his lifetime bankroll to $880,638. The classy 11-year-old son of Kadabra and Northern Style is owned by Mike Torcello and is trained by Gerry Sarama.

Jim Morrill Jr. pulled off a not often seen feat at Batavia Wednesday when he won four consecutive races. He won with Southern Palms (1:59, $7.10), Il Mago, Tellawoman (1.56, $5.60) and Sentimental Lady (1:57.1, $7.00) to sweep the evening's Pick-4 sequence. The all-Morrill Pick-4 returned $930.

Besides Morrill’s four wins, Dave McNeight III had three wins while Billy Davis Jr. and Shawn McDonough each had two.

McDonough also led all trainers on Wednesday with three wins while Russell Bratt, Rich Mays and Gerry Sarama won two each. Sarama’s pair brought his lifetime training win total up to 996, now just four shy of the 1,000 win plateau.

There were no winners in the Pick-5 on Wednesday, so a $1,462 carryover pool will move to Saturday (Oct. 10). Batavia Downs will offer a $4,000 guaranteed pool through the USTA’s Strategic Wagering program for that wager. Free program pages will be available for the first five races on Saturday at both the Batavia Downs and USTA websites starting on Thursday (Oct. 8).

Post time for live racing on Saturday is 5 p.m.

(Batavia Downs)

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