Rocknroll Shelli takes Batavia feature; five for Morrill – U.S. Trotting News

Rocknroll Shelli takes Batavia feature; five for Morrill

Batavia, NY — Rocknroll Shelli had one start at Batavia Downs the final week of meet last December, where interference may have caused her a more favorable placing. Now after hitting the board in two consecutive outings at the Meadowlands, the 5-year-old mare returned to Genesee County to claim her first win of 2023 in the $13,000 Open I Distaff Handicap Pace over a rain-soaked track at Batavia Downs on Thursday (Jan. 12).

Dave McNeight III sent Rocknroll Shelli to the front, seating Fond Memories A (Larry Stalbaum) in the process before The Stunning Nun A (Jim Morrill Jr.) came with an early rush to claim control past the :28 quarter. However that lead was short-lived as Rocknroll Shelli shot right back to the top and hit the half in :57.3.

At the five-eighths, Stalbaum pulled Fond Memories A and started to advance towards the leader up the backside, where the top three mares broke away from the field by five lengths. They proceeded to pace in close quarters around the final turn, but as they hit the top of the stretch, The Stunning Nun A made a break and Fond Memories A could no longer keep up with Rocknroll Shelli, who cruised across the beam on top by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3.

Rocknroll Shelli made her return to Batavia Downs a winning one in Thursday night’s featured distaff pace. Batavia Downs photo.

Rocknroll Shelli ($5.70) is owned by Chris Lawton in partnership with trainer Dale Lawton.

Lawton went two-for-two training as he also won with Dreamscapes AFS (2:00.3, $7.50).

Jim Morrill Jr. was on his game Thursday, driving five winners during the program. He scored with Meadowbrook Chip (2:02.4, $6.10), All Speed Rising (2:00.4, $4.70), Embrace The Rust (2:01.3, $4.00), Falcon’s Luke (2:00.2, $3.10) and Wonderful World (1:59.2, $3.90). Morrill also had a second-place finish and two third-place finishes from his nine total drives, giving him a one-day UDR of .691.

Mike Baumeister also registered a driving hat trick.

There is a small carryover of $446 in the Jackpot Super Hi-5, which will be available in the 13th race on Monday’s (Jan. 16) card at Batavia Downs. Post time is at 3 p.m. Free full-card past performance forms can be downloaded at the Batavia Downs website, and all the racing action can be viewed as it happens at the Batavia Downs Live Facebook page.

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