Day At The Track

Before I Die, Tellawoman win features

02:30 PM 22 Oct 2020 NZDT
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Before I Die,Harness racing
Before I Die winning in 1:58.2
Paul White photo

Batavia, NY --- A rain-soaked track greeted horsemen for the night’s proceedings at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 21) but stellar harness racing performances were still on display, especially by top class winners Before I Die and Tellawoman.

A scratch-shortened field of six horses went to post in the $8,500 Open I Handicap trot and the race turned into a tale of two races. Chapter one was Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) who screamed off the gate and sped away to an eight-length lead at the half in :58 and looked like a walk-over tonight. At that same station, Before I Die (Jim McNeight Jr.) was sitting fourth and 11 lengths in arrears.

Chapter two was when McNeight pulled Before I Die at the five-eighths and started making tracks towards the leader and doing it in a timely fashion. At the three-quarters Il Mago’s lead was down to four and diminishing with every stride while Before I Die was in full gear. When they hit the top of the lane Il Mago was digging in and determined to win, but Before I Die wrote his own ending by a head; winning in 1:58.2.

It was the second top class victory this year at Batavia Downs for Before I Die ($8.70) and his owners Caren and Jamie Dubay, the latter who also trains the winner.

Then in the $8,500 Open I Handicap for for pacing fillies and mares, HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) led the field to the half in :27.4 but when Bucceri tapped the brakes in a :30.1 second panel, Morrill pulled Tellawoman and took control by the five-eight’s pole. As soon as he did, Bucceri came right back out with HP Sissy and rode alongside the leader with Yankee Secret (Dave McNeight III) now traveling three deep.

Heading into the stretch HP Sissy faded and Carly Girl (Drew Monti) was trying to get out between her and Tellawoman while Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) was also now flying down the stretch. When they hit the wire four horses were only a length apart in very close quarters and after an objection and two inquiries (none of which were allowed) Tellawoman won in 1:57, only 1/2 length ahead of Lady Dudette and HP Sissy who dead-heated for second.

It was the second win in the last three starts for Tellawoman ($7.10) and owner Rose Campbell. Russell Bratt trains the winner.

Jim Morrill Jr. and Drew Monti topped all drivers with three winners each on the night while trainers Sabrina Shaw, Kevin Cummings and Gerry Sarama tied for top conditioning honors with two apiece.

With no winner in the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday there is a $2,152 carry-over pool that will move to Saturday (Oct.24) and it has been announced that there will be a guaranteed pool of $5,000 for the Pick-5 wager that day. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages will be available courtesy of Trackmaster on the Batavia Downs and USTA websites.

The Pick-5 wager begins in race one and runs through race five. It is a 50-cent base wager and if all five winners aren’t selected, any carryover pool will be moved to the Pick-5 wager on the following Wednesday (Oct. 28) program.

Post time for the first race Saturday is 5 p.m.


By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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