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Double Feature At Batavia

Published: September 23, 2020 9:49 pm ET

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A pair of $8,500 Open I Handicap races topped the card at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 23) — one for trotters and one for pacing mares — and both produced gate-to-wire winners.

Majestic Kat moved up to the Open I Trot after a 4-1/2-length, 1:57.2 seasonal best win in the Open III last week. Despite the jump in class, she turned in a nearly identical mile. Billy Davis Jr. left with Majestic Kat and cut quarters of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:27.1 before Before I Die (Dave McNeight III) trotted alongside in the last turn and then matched strides all the way down the lane. With less than a half length between them for the last 100 yards, Majestic Kat managed to hold her ground and beat Before I Die at the light by a half length in 1:57.1, which was another new seasonal mark.

Majestic Kat ($7.90) is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock and is trained by Maria Rice.

Davis added two more wins during the proceedings, walking away with a driving hat trick.

One race later, in the top distaff pace, HP Sissy rebounded from two consecutive eight-hole draws and went right to the front where she does some of her best work. Denny Bucceri sped to the quarter in :27.1 before grabbing leather in a :30 second panel, where the race was really decided. Blacknsweet Adda A (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled on the second circuit with Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) on her back, but HP Sissy was up to the task. She hit the three-quarters in 1:25.4, rounded the far turn and opened up a two-length advantage while pacing sharply to the finish in 1:54.4.

It was the fifth win of the year for HP Sissy ($7.10), who is owned by Finnocchario’s Dream Stable and trained by Mike Ohol.

Finnocchario, Ohol and Bucceri doubled their pleasure Wednesday as they also won with Mach’s Echo who blew up the tote board with a $39.60 payoff.

Jim Morrill Jr. had a big night in the bike, winning four races on the card. He scored with Sentimental Lady (1:57.1, $5.30), Il Mago (1:57, $4.40), Odyssey Blue Chip (1:58.1, $2.50) and You Mach Me Crazy (1:56.4, $2.30).

Gerry Sarama trained the last three Morrill winners, giving him a training triple that was matched by fellow conditioner Sabrina Shaw.

Drew Monti was the final multi-win horseman, teaming two winners on the card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 26) with post time at 5 p.m.

(Batavia Downs)

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