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'Protect,' Il Mago, Davis Star At Batavia

Published: November 11, 2020 9:05 pm ET

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The Wednesday evening (Nov. 11) racing menu at Batavia Downs featured a pair of $8,500 Open I handicap events that produced definitive winners on both the pace and the trot, and also saw the meet's second winningest driver, Billy Davis Jr., win five races on the card.

In the handicap pace for fillies and mares, Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) took the lead and was pushed through blistering early fractions of :27 and :55.4 by Tellawoman (Dave McNeight III). But the feverish tempo to the half only gave way to a fantastic finish by Protect Blue Chip, who kicked away by three lengths around the last turn and stretched that out to five at the wire, where she won handily in 1:55.3.

It was the fifth win of the year for Protect Blue Chip ($4.10), who is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock, and is trained by Maria Rice.

Later, in the handicap trot, Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) bolted to a 3-1/2 length advantage at the quarter, extended that to five at the half and stretched it out to six at the head of the stretch. From there, he closed out the mile on top by three in 1:57.

For Il Mago ($7.70), it was his seventh win of the year and 53rd lifetime. The winner’s share of the purse pushed his career earnings over $891,000. Mike Torcello owns the Gerry Sarama-trained son of Kadabra and Northern Style.

Billy Davis Jr. had a monster night, winning five races on the card including a natural hat trick in the first three races. In addition to Protect Blue Chip, Davis scored with Hey Sweetie (1:56.3, $14.00), Babylons Bridge (1:59.4, $4.00), Aunt Betty (1:58.3, $7.30) and Kredit Karma (2:00.2, $12.80).

Three of Davis’ winners were trained by Maria Rice, who led all conditioners on Wednesday as a result.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 14) with post time at 5 p.m.

(Batavia Downs)

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