By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs
(Photos courtesy of Wendy J. Lowery)
Batavia, NY — Two red hot horses continued to roll at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 12) and they claimed both feature races while racking up their wins among the best there are on the grounds while the Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings, extended his lead in the dash competition after winning five more races.
First in the $14,000 Open I Handicap pace, Just Plain Loco (Dave McNeight III) won his third straight top level event after moving early off a snappy fraction.
It was a mad dash for the front as Mississippi Rabbit (Jim Morrill Jr.), Yankee On The Move (Kyle Cummings) and Rebellious (Ray FIsher Jr.) battled three-deep to the quarter in :26.4. Rebellious finally took control but Just Plain Loco was already out and moving at the three-eighths and advancing towards the leader.
McNeight stayed on task and cajoled Just Plain Loco through turn three, kept advancing up the backside and eventually grabbed the front at three-quarters in 1:26.1. Just Plain Loco opened up 2-¼ lengths at the top of the stretch and with McNeight rocking and knocking all the way down the stretch, hung on to win by three-quarters at the light in 1:55.1.
It was the 10th win of the year for Just Plain Loco ($16.40) who now has $116,170 on the card for owners Paul Lang and Mark Toth. Jennifer Giuliani trains the winner.
The next race was the $14,000 Open I Handicap trot and Keystone Apache (Kevin Cummings) also extended his winning streak to three after leading at every station.
Keystone Apache took the lead from Mystical Sarabi (Dan Yetman) at the quarter but was immediately harassed by Buzz (Jim Morrill Jr.) who had settled momentarily but then advanced in the turn. Cummings let Keystone Apache out a notch and Buzz was forced to drop in the two-hole. Positions then remained unchanged to the half in :57.3 and three-quarters in 1:27.4 where Buzz popped the deuce and the plugs and was in full gear. Keystone Apache and Buzz trotted toe to toe around the final bend, into the stretch and all the way to the wire. And despite a valiant effort from Buzz, he could not get by the gutsy Keystone Apache who hung on to win by one-half length in 1:57.3.
It was also the 10th win of the year for Keystone Apache ($3.60) who moved his deposit total to $113,759 in 2022 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags and Team Rice Racing. It was one of two wins for trainer Maria Rice during the night.
Keystone Apache was also one of five winners for Kevin Cummings, who once again posted gaudy numbers on Saturday. His other four wins came sitting behind Beachboydesire (1:57.4, $6.10), Drunkonaplane (1:56.2, $4.10), Myell’s Rockstar (1:57, $12.60) and CR Blazin Beauty (2:00.1, $3.20). Cummings also had two seconds and two thirds during the proceedings.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 16) at 6 p.m. and there is another carryover available. The Jackpot Hi-5 Pentafecta in the 13th race will start with $3,631 in the pool. Free full past performance race programs for all live race days can be downloaded by visiting the track’s website at bataviadownsgaming.com