BATAVIA, N. Y. --- Another race card, another track record at Batavia Downs.
It what appears to becoming a nightly occurrence, another track standard was erased at the half-mile oval. It was Xenia Hanover's turn this time to get her name into the record book on Wednesday evening (Sept. 25) as she shattered the mark for aged pacing mares by going 1:53 in a 7-1/2 length blowout in $8,500 Open Pace for fillies and mares at Batavia Downs. The previous record of 1:53.4 was set by Up Front Kellie Jo in 2012 and just equaled by Marty Party on September 18. Six track records have been equaled or broken during the 2013 summer-fall meet.
Real Joy (Ron Beback Jr.) led the way to the half in 56.0 as Xenia Hanover ($4.50) sat fourth over the fast track. But down the backstretch the final time, Batavia Downs' co-leading driver Shawn McDonough went first over with Xenia Hanover and charged to the lead, hitting the three-quarter mark on top in an eye-popping 1:24.3.
With the outcome decided, the only questions in the last quarter mile was the final time and margin of victory. Xenia Hanover answered both questions impressively. She paced the last quarter in 28.2 en route to the huge victory in the record time of 1:53. You're Too Funny (Kevin Cummings) managed to take second while Marty Party (Drew Monti) took the show spot.
It was the eighth win in 28 starts this season for Xenia Hanover (The Panderosa-Witsends
Louise) who is owned by Keith Pinkowski and trained by Mihajalo Zjdelar Jr. The victory moved the 8-year-old mare's earnings to $36,400 in 2013 and $178,486 lifetime.
Ken "Doc" Holliday didn't take long to get back to the winners circle, he did so in his second night back of driving. This last win came in January of 2012.
The harness racing schedule at Batavia Downs continues on Friday evening when a 12-race program will be presented. The feature will be the $8,500 Open Trot with a full field of eight going to the post. Glorious Winner invades from Vernon Downs and will score from the three hole as the 3-1 morning line favorite. Ray Fisher Jr. is scheduled to be in the sulky. First post is set for 6:30 p.m.
For more information on North America's oldest lighted harness track, including upcoming schedule, promotions and race replays, go to http://bataviadownsgaming.
by Brian J. Mazurek for Batavia Downs