By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs
(Photos courtesy of Wendy J. Lowery)
Batavia, NY — Wednesday (Nov. 30) was ladies night at Batavia Downs with a top-heavy program of fillies and mares races who competed on a cold and blustery night. The featured $14,000 Open I Distaff Handicap was won by Shallow (Ray Fisher Jr.) who made her way back to Batavia last week after spending some time at The Spa.
Shallow took the lead and after a snappy :28.2 quarter, Fisher grabbed two fists full of leather and walked to the half in :31.1 split. This flushed Demeter N (Larry Stalbaum) from fourth and she pushed the pace to three-quarters in 1:28.4, getting to within one-half length of Shallow. After staying close around the last turn, Fisher went to work on Shallow who responded and pulled away in deep stretch to win in 1:57.3.
It was the fourth Open I win this year at Batavia for Shallow ($5.10) who is owned by Room4040 LLC Stables and trained by Andy Gardner. Fisher and Gardner each ended the night with three wins each.
The undercard was a $10,000 mid-level condition that went faster than the feature after Faithful Desire (Jim Morrill Jr.) put in a stellar gate to wire effort.
Faithful Desire led the way for Candy’s Desire (Kyle Cummings) and Ruthmae Hanover (Kevin Cummings) who shadowed her second and third through quarters of :28.4, :58 and 1:26.2. With the rest of the field six lengths and more in arrears coming off the final bend, the top three spread out for the final furlong fight. Faithful Desire was in the middle, flanked by Candy’s Desire in the passing lane and Ruthmae Hanover on the outside. All three drivers were urging their mares but the leading Faithfull Desire was the toughest and hung on by one-half length in 1:56 flat.
It was the second straight win and ninth of the year for Faithful Desire ($4.20) and owner Eva Saintcross. Shawn McDonough trains the winner. Morrill and McDonough also scored three wins apiece on Wednesday.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 3) at 6 p.m. and there is another carryover available. The Jackpot Hi-5 Pentafecta in the 13th race will start with $5,781 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