Batavia, NY - For the second week in a row, an outside invader laid claim to the top pacing prize for fillies and mares in the distaff Open at Batavia Downs.
Little Santamonica has been freelancing about New York State for most of the year and has recently chalked up top-class victories at Saratoga and Yonkers Raceway as well as Tioga Downs where she set her lifetime mark of 1:52 on May 16. Tonight she made her first start at Batavia and put another notch on her belt.
Starting from post two in the short field of five, even money favorite Little Santamonica () got away second behind It's De lovely ( ) and took the pocket trip through fractions of :29.2, :59 and 1:26.4. At that point Gale used the right line and pulled the mare going into the last turn. The team continued to gain ground on the leader before pulling away halfway down the stretch to win by a length over a fast-closing V 'la Faire (Ron Beback Jr.) in 1:55.1.
The victory was the tenth in 21 starts for the 6-year-old mare and pushed her lifetime earnings to $228,041. Little Santamonica who returned $4.40, is owned by Kelly Dawn Hope of Vernon, NY and is trained by Jordan Hope.
Wednesday night, NFL hall of famer and former Buffalo Bill Thurman Thomas was on hand as a guest bartender for the night at the races to benefit the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, NY. Each race on the card was sponsored by different groups who made donations to this very worthy cause and those gifts, combined with contributions by fans and horsemen alike throughout the night, amounted to over $7,500. The Downs would like to thank all those who came out to participate and to everyone who made donations to this very worthy cause.
Racing resumes Friday night at Batavia Downs at 6:35 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes will be back in town with two divisions for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings.