Batavia, NY- As Batavia Downs kicks off its 2014 live racing season tonight, the best of the resident distaff congregation takes main stage as both feature races focus on the best local mares from both gaits.
The evening's first race is a $7,500 mares Open trot that has seven going postward.
The 2-1 morning line favorite is Fiorentina. This 5-year-oldmare has been facing the boys each week in Open company at the recently concluded Buffalo Raceway meet and has been no worse than third in her four most recent starts. However you have to go back to February 28 to find the last time she has won a race. That said, competing within her peer group tonight will provide some welcomed class relief for this outing.
Fiorentina, who is conditioned by the Downs defending training champion, has three wins in 12 starts for the year with a mark of 1:58.3 at Buffalo. She drew post two and has in the bike.
Stormont O My has the rail and a 3-1 second choice designation. This classy 10-year-old has been racing mostly in claiming races this year, winning her last start handily in 1:59.4 with a $12,500 price tag. She has raced in Open class company twice at Buffalo and faced Fiorentina both times. On April 18 Stormont O My was second, finishing ahead of Fiorentina who was third and on January 23 she was also second, only behind Fiorentina who won that race.
Stormont O My is trained by Darrin Monti and is co-owned and driven by. She has four wins in 15 starts this year with her best winning effort of 2014 coming just last week.
In the night's featured sixth race, seven starters will line up in the mares Open pace to compete for the winner's share of $9,500.
The 5-2 odds maker's choice is Bazooka Terror, who hails from the barn of local newcomer Leonard Segall. This 5-year-oldhas been competing most recently at Scarborough Downs in Maine and had a 1:56.2 win in the top mares class there three starts ago. After finishing second at that level once again, she was dropped to a lower condition where she dominated the field and registered a 1:54.2, nine-length victory over the half-mile track. She took her lifetime mark of 1:52.1 at Tioga Downs on June 6 of this year and has registered three wins in her last five starts.
Bazooka Terror has been overcoming outside posts in seven of her last eight starts and gets some inside relief tonight from post three. She also gets the services of defending Batavia Downs dash winning driver.
Her main rival in the race is the 3-1 second choice, Case Solved. This recent addition to the Adam Short stable has been impressive locally since coming in from Hoosier Park in Indiana. After winning her initial start at Buffalo for her new connections in an uncontested 1:54.2 wire-to-wire romp, Case Solved moved into the mares Open ranks and finished a narrowly beaten second two consecutive times. Driver Ray Fisher Jr. will pick up the lines once again and look to allay those back to back defeats this week.
Post time for the 12 race card is 6:35. Opening night will also feature two giveaways for the fans on hand. Free Batavia Downs racing programs and magnetic schedules with be distributed to all in attendance, as long as supplies last.
For more racing information or to watch race replays as soon as they are declared official, logon towww.bataviadonwsgaming.com. Or if you would like to bet online and watch live streaming coverage of the races as they occur, logon towww.bataviabets.comand open an account.
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs