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Racing Roundup: Little Santamonica comes up big at Batavia Downs
Thursday, July 31, 2014 - from harness publicists across North America

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Wednesday's (July 30) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Batavia Downs, Running Aces and Harrah's Philadelphia.

Little Santamonica comes up big at Batavia Downs

Batavia NY --- For the second week in a row, an outside invader laid claim to the top pacing prize for fillies and mares in the distaff Open at Batavia Downs.

Paul White photo
Little Santamonica won the distaff Open on Wednesday night at Batavia Downs.

Little Santamonica has been freelancing about New York State for most of the year and has recently chalked up top-class victories at Saratoga and Yonkers Raceway as well as Tioga Downs where she set her lifetime mark of 1:52 on May 16. On Wednesday night she made her first start at Batavia and put another notch on her belt.

Starting from post two in the short field of five, even money favorite Little Santamonica (Truman Gale) got away second behind It’s De Lovely (Drew Monti) and took the pocket trip through fractions of :29.2, :59 and 1:26.4. At that point Gale used the right line and pulled the mare going into the last turn. The team continued to gain ground on the leader before pulling away halfway down the stretch to win by a length over a fast-closing V ’la Faire (Ron Beback Jr.) in 1:55.1.

The victory was the ninth in 20 season's starts for the 6-year-old mare and pushed her lifetime earnings to $223,291. Little Santamonica, who returned $4.40, is owned by Kelly Dawn Hope and is trained by Jordan Hope.

Wednesday night, NFL Hall of Famer and former Buffalo Bill Thurman Thomas was on hand as a guest bartender for the night at the races to benefit the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, N.Y. Each race on the card was sponsored by different groups who made donations to this very worthy cause and those gifts, combined with contributions by fans and horsemen alike throughout the night, amounted to more than $7,500. The Downs would like to thank all those who came out to participate and to everyone who made donations to this very worthy cause.

Racing resumes Friday night at Batavia Downs at 6:35 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes will be back in town with two divisions for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings.

-- Tim Bojarski

Running Aces
Jason Ryan hit a grand slam on Wednesday night at Running Aces, winning four of the eight races to pull one win ahead of Nick Roland, who fashioned a three-bagger of his own, in the local dash derby. Ryan now has 54 wins after 36 nights of the summer-long 53 program meet while Roland is the current runner-up with 53 victories. Tim Maier and Steve Wiseman are deadlocked for third with 40 tallies apiece. Rick Magee rounds out the top five with 38 trips to the winner's circle. Ryan got off to a great start winning both ends of the early daily double. He guided Toatsmygoats to a decisive win in a $13,000 Minnesota-sired 2-year-old pace, then followed up with a narrow score behind Franky Provolone in an $8,000 Open trot. Toatsmygoats, owned by the Van Otterloo Stable, trounced Well Then Lets Go (Maier) and Queen Of Denial (Roland) in 1:57.2. Robin Clements's Franky Provolone topped Wilamar Valley (Maier) by less than a length in 1:55.4 with Sharpshootennorris (Wiseman) garnering the show money. Ryan also scored a 1:53.4 win with Serious Art in a $5,000 race for conditioned horses and $5,000 claimers and with Terror Time in a $3,000 race for $3,500 claimers. Roland's trio of winners were Glittering Muscles (1:59.2) in a $5,000 conditioned and claiming trot; Tyson L (1:56.1) with a score versus $4,000 claimers; and Boot Scootin Bow (1:54.2), who topped bottom conditioned pacers.

Harrah's Philadelphia
Two divisions of a non-winners of $12,500 in their last five starts on the pace highlighted the Wednesday card from Harrah's Philadelphia. I
n the first division, it was George Hartman's Arsenal scoring the win. The heavy post time favorite brushed to the front just beyond the quarter. He maintained a one length advantage until the top of the stretch, when longshot Ideal Champ made his bid. In the end, however, Arsenal held on, stopping the clock in 1:52.1. Democracy N rallied on for third. Arsenal, a 6-year-old son of Artiscape, is trained by Mark Kesmodel and was one of three wins on the day for Tim Tetrick. In the second division, the public put their faith in the Ron Burke trainee Transcending, sending him off as the even-money favorite. Longshot Cambassador had other ideas. Starting from post one, Cambassador got shuffled to fifth, before finding room in the stretch to rally for the win, in a time of 1:51. Pacesetter Big Bad Eli finished second, while Santanna One rallied for the show spot. Cambassador is owned by Bill and Barb Ethier, along with trainer Steve LeBlanc, and was driven by Scott Zeron.

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