Batavia, NY--It was a nice homecoming for former western New York driver Jeff Gregory Sunday afternoon (Aug. 18) as he posted four victories on the card, one in a $65,220 division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings and three in the $12,600 Excelsior Series.
Gregory, originally from nearby Churchville, N.Y., posted a front-running victory with Modest Prince ($7.00) in 1:57, beating Hambletonian elimination participant E L Rocket by four lengths in Sire Stakes action. He also took the non-betting Excelsior affair with Twilight Meteor in 2:00.4, guided Doc's Tebow ($4.40) to a impressive 1:58.3 victory and capped off the Excelsior trifecta aboard Brookroaddonnie ($3.20) in 1:58.4.
|Paul White Photos|
|New York Sire Stakes division winner Modest Prince was one of four driving victories on the day for Jeff Gregory.|
In his Sire Stakes win, Modest Prince set sail for the rail and cruised the entire mile, posting fractions of 28.2, 57.3, 1:27.3 and used a 29.2 final quarter to run away from E L Rocket (Jim Morrill Jr.). E L Rocket, starting from the fifth spot, got shuffled back to sixth at the start, made a mild three-wide charge down the backstretch, but by then Modest Prince was long gone. The margin of victory was 4-1/2 lengths.
"He's so handy," Gregory said of Modest Prince, a RC Royalty colt out of In To Me. "We took advantage of the rail; I saw we had separation down the backstretch (from E L Rocket) so I thought we'd just 'go for it' and we'd go down swinging."
When Gregory stepped on the gas at the three-quarter pole, it delivered the knockout punch to E L Rocket and the remainder of the field. Theraputic (Stephane Bouchard) ended up in third.
The first $65,220 division saw Tirade Hanover start from the rail and go wire-to-wire in 1:57. It was definitely a change in tactics for Tirade Hanover, but one Morrill took advantage of.
"He's been better coming from behind but we had an uncontested lead so that's what we did," said Morrill of being the pace-setter from the pylons. Tirade Hanover, a gelded son of Crazed, set fractions of 28.3, 58, 1:27.4 in posting the winning time of 1:57 over the fast track.
|Tirade Hanover won the other NYSS split for driver Jim Morrill Jr.|
"He's still seems pretty fresh so I think he's got a shot in the finals," Morrill added.
Blackwolf Run (Sam Scillaci) placed second, nearly four lengths back, while Kegler Hanover (Marcus Johansson) rounded out the top three.
Dan Daley, who scored two Sire Stakes wins at Batavia Downs Friday night, registered an Excelsior win with Ex King ($10.40) in the opener with a 1:59 clocking while Golden Tate ($7.00) won for driver Cat Manzi in 1:57.4.
The racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night with the New York Sire Stakes invading once again. There will be two $41,879 divisions of the Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies which will bring in drivers Cat Manzi, Jim Morrill Jr., Jeff Gregory and George Brennan. There will also be four $12,700 divisions of the Excelsior Series for the three-year-old filly pacers.
There is also a Guaranteed $3,000 Pick-4 starting in the third race.
For more information including race replays, future promotions and the latest news, go to http://bataviadownscasino.com/live-racing.