Day At The Track

Stratosphere takes closing feature

03:46 PM 13 Dec 2020 NZDT
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Stratosphere, harness racing
Paul White Photo

Batavia, NY --- The curtain came down on the 2020 harness racing meet at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 12) but not before Stratosphere captured the final $9,600 Open pace featured race on a mild December night.

Driver Drew Monti sent Stratosphere off the wings and took a lead he would not relinquish. With the field in single file fashion, Stratosphere went to the quarter in :28.1 and then backed the half down to :58.2. That prompted Santana Beach (Ron Beback Jr.) to pull first over to try and mount a challenge.

When the race rounded the third turn Stratosphere raised the stakes, pacing the third quarter in :28.1 and opening up a two length lead at three-quarters. From there Stratosphere made his way around the final bend and paced away to a wrapped-up three-length romp in 1:55.1.

It was the seventh win of the year for Stratosphere ($7.60) who has now earned $54,241 for owner Drew Monti. Darrin Monti trains the winner.

In the $7,800 undercard pace, Allstar Energy (Ron Beback Jr.) pulled from fifth at the half and made a brush-and-crush move at the five-eighths to take the lead from Beachy Dream (Jim Morrill Jr.) while pacing a very fast :27.2 third quarter. Once in front, Allstar Energy maintained his advantage to the wire where he won by a length in 1:56.

It was the eighth win of the year for Allstar Energy ($11.60) who is owned by Sandra Beback and James Kustra. Ron Beback also trains the winner.

Drew Monti scored a driving Grand Slam to lead all drivers on Saturday. Besides winning with Stratosphere, Monti also scored with Big Pocket Teen (1:56.2, $15.80), Mateo (1:56.4, $4.30) and Love The Dragon (1:57.4, $3.30).

Darrin Monti and Gerry Sarama were the top trainers with two wins each on the card.

The Pick-5 on Saturday had a guaranteed pool of $3,000 and that stoked a new money input of $5,499 into the wager. The combination of 4-4-1,4-5-2 returned a healthy $687 for a $1 bet.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (July 21) when the 2021 season begins. The management and staff of Batavia Downs would like to wish all their horsemen and customers a very Happy Holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
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