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Under The Stars Shines Bright At Batavia

Published: September 21, 2012 9:28 pm ET

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Under The Stars was the shining star in the $9,000 Open Trot at Batavia Downs Friday night (Sept. 21), rallying in deep stretch to register a neck victory over Big Baller in 1:57.1 over the fast track.

Under The Stars ($14.80) was second over at the half and continued his winning rally by tipping three-wide down the backstretch. With the constant urging of driver-trainer Jim McNeight down the lane, Under The Stars eventually nailed the heavily favoured but stubborn Big Baller (Shawn Gray) just before the wire.

Big Baller had set the pace with clockings of :27.2, :57.4 and 1:28.1, but found the strong fractions just a little too hot in the end. Typical Newyorker (Ray Fisher Jr.) was third.

In three starts since arriving at Batavia Downs from Vernon, Under The Stars, a five-year-old Yankee Glide gelding, has scored two victories and a second for owner Mike Calimieri of Falconer, New York. The win raised his earnings to $29,627 on the season.

Joe Faraldo, the President of the North American Amateur Drivers Association, and a former Amateur Driver of the Year, went gate-to-wire with Anotherama A, to win the first C.K.G. Billings amateur drivers race of the evening. Two races later “Howie the horse” Gelfand went wire-to-wire with A Cam Fine Fella.

The $9,000 Open Pace headlines the 13-race program on Saturday night at Batavia Downs with a 6:25 p.m. post. Unicorn Hanover and driver Bobby Verney are the morning line favorites at 5-2.

Also on Saturday, the second free handicapping contest of the season is on tap with $1,000 up for grabs. The winner will take home $500 in cash while the next four finishers receive prize money. The contest consists of selecting Batavia races one through nine. Sign up begins at 4:30 p.m. at Player's Club. All contest forms must be deposited by first race post 6:25 p.m.

It's also a big night on the simulcast menu with the $1.8 Million New York Night of Champions set at Yonkers. The Yonkers Raceway simulcast programs will be free at Batavia Downs beginning at 5 p.m. at the program stand.

(Batavia Downs)

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