Batavia, NY--It took Mother Nature to slow down 2-year-old pacing sensation He's Watching, but even she couldn't stop him totally.
He's Watching tied the Batavia Downs track record for 2-year-old colt pacers with a 1:54.2 mark, set by Doctor Butch in 2012, and kept his unblemished record intact in winning a hard-fought $34,537 division of the New York Sire Stakes Saturday night (Sept. 7). He's now a perfect and impressive six-for-six in his career.
|Paul White Photo|
|He's Watching won his NYSS split in 1:54.2, tying the Batavia Downs track record for 2-year-old pacing colts.|
It actually was quite a remarkable trip for He's Watching as off-and-on showers during the day and cool temperatures made for just a 'good' race track. The less-than-perfect weather made it seem like all bets were off for a track record. While it may have slowed down He's Watching, it still didn't stop him from improving on his rapidly growing superstar credentials. With the win, he now has a world record and either owns or shares three track marks for 2-year-old colt pacers in just six starts.
It was also a good night for driver Jim Morrill Jr. as well as he was victorious in all three $35,537 divisions of the Sires Stakes and two $12,600 legs of the Excelsior Series.
The focus on the night was on He's Watching. Morrill was conservative around the opening turn and settled him into fourth place at the start. But He's Watching ($2.10) couldn't wait long and made a first over trip down the stretch the first time and had the lead at the half in 57.1. It looked liked it was going to be a romp from there as He's Watching opened up a six-length lead at the three-quarter pole (1:25.3) but someone forgot to tell All Bets Off and driver Aaron Byron. A big brush put them into serious contention in the lane but finished three-quarters of a length back of He's Watching at the wire. Design Guru (Ray Fisher Jr.) finished third.
"When Byron's horse (All Bets Off) made a big move on the turn it kind of surprised me, but I kicked out the plugs and he (He's Watching) went on about his business." Morrill said. "We're just trying to keep him fresh for the (New York Night of Champions) finals."
He's Watching (American Ideal-Baberhood) is owned by David Menary, Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero and has now upped his winnings to $139,904. Menary trained the winner.
In the first division of the Sire Stakes, Forty Five Red ($2.60) took over the lead just before the quarter-pole and had to dig in at the end to hold off the pocket-sitting and hard-charging Archetto Hanover by a diminishing neck in 1:57.
"Chris Lems' horse (Archetto Hanover) was coming at the end," Morrill Jr. said with a sigh of relief of the close finish. "The last quarter says 28.4 but I think we came with a good last eighth of a mile," he said of Forty Five Red (If I Can Dream-Sakura Hanover) in holding on for the victory. Sir Sam's Z Tam (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show spot.
Forty Five Red, a winner of five of eight career starts, is owned the Burke Racing LLC and trained by Ron Burke and now has $167,554 in earnings.
Big Boy Dreams ($2.50) had little trouble in destroying the field of six in the second division of the Sire Stakes, cruising gate-to-wire and a seven-length win over Major Trick in 1:55.2. After posting splits of 27.4, 57.3 and 1:26.2, Morrill Jr. kicked it into high gear with Big Boy Dreams (If I Can Dream-Stefani Blue Chip) and used a 29 final quarter to easily put away the field. Great American (Chris Lems) finished in the show spot.
Trained by Arnold Marks, Big Boy Dreams now has two straight Sire Stakes victories and increased his seasonal bankroll to $77,170 for owner Dominick Rosato.
In the $12,600 Excelsior Series, Cabbie's Delight ($3.70) went the fastest of the three divisions with a 1:59.1 time for Morrill. Sir Jake's Z Tam ($10.20) won for Kevin Cummings in 1:59.3 while Departure ($3.30) re-rallied in deep stretch and took the victory with Morrill in the sulky in 2:00.4.
Fireyourguns ($3.40) continued to dominate the Open Pace at Batavia Downs, winning in 1:55.4 for driver Mike Caprio.
The first Tuesday evening card of this season will be held this week with a 12-race card set to go off starting at 6:30 p.m.
For more information including statistics, schedule, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to http://bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing.