Morrill Sweeps Batavia Features; Five For Monti

Published: November 27, 2022 01:22 am EST

A pair of $14,000 Open I Handicap races were up for grabs on Saturday night (Nov. 26) at Batavia Downs and Jim Morrill Jr. was more than happy to take the top prize in each after he airmailed both of his mounts to impressive victories. 

In the trotting feature, Morrill launched Credit List from post eight and battled on the outside with Jumpinthejailhouse to the quarter in :28.3 before crossing over to the pylons at the three-eighths pole. Morrill then slowed the tempo into the three-quarters mark, forcing Captain Krupnik to come first over from third and get within a length of the leader heading into the last turn. Credit List and Captain Krupnik broke away from the field and faced off as they headed for home. Captain Krupnik closed with every stride but couldn’t get to Credit List, who hung on to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:58.4.

It was the third straight win for Credit List ($8 to win) and the horse’s eighth win of the year, pushing his earnings to $80,471 in 2022 for Room4040 LLC Stable and trainer Kevin Reynolds Jr. 

In the next race, Morrill shooed Prairie Panther home in the top pacing event after being parked out every step of the mile. Prairie Panther made his way to second on the outside of Brave World at the :28 quarter, but Brave World would not let Prairie Panther take the front easily. The two eight-year-old geldings went toe-to-toe to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25.3 before heading into the last turn, still in the heat of battle.

Stranger Things was on Prairie Panther’s back as they raced toward home and he was poised to pounce in the lane. When they hit the top of the stretch, Prairie Panther overtook Brave World but Stranger Things was now outside of him and coming in hard. But somehow, Prairie Panther found the speed to hold off Stranger Things at the line to win by a neck in 1:55.3. 

It was the 15th win of the year and 62nd of his career for Prairie Panther ($2.50), who is owned by his trainer Michael Deters, in partnership with Joel Warner.

Morrill ended the night with three wins.  

Driver Drew Monti had a huge night at Batavia on Saturday (Nov. 26), winning five races during the card, including scoring a natural hat trick in races 11, 12 and 13. He won with Make Some Waves (1:56 finishing time, $7.40 to win), A Game Changer (1:56.2, $22.40), Johnny Chip (1:56.2, $23.80), Ey Cowboy (1:57.1, $5) and Windemere Ryan (1:57.4, $4.10). He also had two second places and two third places that, when combined, gave him a .521 UDR for the evening. Three of Monti’s five wins (Make Some Waves, Ey Cowboy and Windemere Ryan) were trained by Joe Skowyra. 

Two other horsemen who teamed up for a natural hat trick were driver Kevin Cummings and trainer Sammy Smith who combined to win the third, fourth and fifth races with Speed It (1:59 finishing time, $6.10 to win), Gemini Eddie (2:00.1, $19.40) and The Longest Yard (1:54.3, $2.40) respectively.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 30) at 6 p.m. (EST); there will be another carryover available. The Jackpot Hi-5 Pentafecta in the 13th race will start with $5,262 in the pool.

(Batavia Downs)