In a Cinderella story of sorts, 12-year-old Second Hand News who last raced for the bottom claiming tag at Yonkers Raceway, comes back to the harness racing after a month layoff for a new barn and wins the Open trot in a seasonal mark of 1:56 at Batavia Downs.
Vogel and Wags Nags Stable and Kent Conshafter claimed Second Hand News for $12,500 on July 7 at Yonkers Raceway and proceeded to give the horse some time off. Trainerqualified him on July 30 at Batavia, winning easily in 2:00 by 14 lengths. But Van Wagoner must have seen something in the gelding that prompted him to avoid going back into the claiming ranks and he dropped him right into the Open; a decision that was justified this afternoon.
Hot-handed driving leaderwasted no time and little energy prompting Second Hand News to the front and proceeded to lead the race from gate to wire. Going uncontested the whole way, the pair threw dust on the trailing seven who ineffectively tried to keep up with the leader.
After fractions timed in :27.4, :58 and 1:27.2, the pack that was trying to catch up became scattered and lost ground behind the motoring winner who peeled away in a :28.2 last quarter. Cummings became a mere passenger heading home as Second Hand News won by four and three-quarters lengths in 1:56 flat. The winner paid $7.20.
Studio City (Dave McNeight III) was second and Typical New Yorker (Ray Fisher Jr.) was third.
This was the sixth win in 16 starts for Second Hand News in 2014 and brought his seasonal earnings to $38,330.
continued his driving domination at the Downs winning five races on the afternoon. He scored with Delta Dawson ($3.70), Dartmouth Hall ($4.10), Second Hand News ($7.20), Sack Full of Gold ($3.50) and Turbo Angel ($6.60). also had a driving triple.
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 13) when the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old filly division comes to town racing for $118,200 in purse money. Post time is 6:35.