Batavia, NY --- It was Hall of Fame night on Saturday night (Sept.4) at Batavia Downs Casino with three Batavia legends being inducted, while on the racetrack one horse, Joey The Czar, did his best to be nominated.
In the fifth race of the evening, a $49,392 New York Sire Stake event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers, Joey The Czar established a new Downs record for 3-year-olds, when he paced in 1:52.1, just a fifth of a second off the all-age record currently held by Kenneth J. A truly spectacular performance considering conditions were far less than perfect, temperatures at post time were well below normal.
The question was would anybody take a shot and leave against Joey The Czar, who started from the rail, with the red-hot Jim Morrill, Jr. in the sulky.
It was quickly answered when the Canadian invader, Malicious, with hall of fame inductee Jeff Gregory in the bike, fired out and made the top in a sizzling :26.3.
Coming by the grandstand the first time Morrill, Jr. decided he had enough of the pocket trip and was back out to take command at the half in :55.3. Able to the rate the third quarter in :28:2 Joey The Czar wasn’t home free yet as Malicious moved to the outside as they turned for home.
Down the lane under very mild Morrill urging Joey The Czar paced a :28.1 final stanza to etch his name into the Downs record books. Malicious was a very good second while it was 8-lenghts back to the third place finisher Speculative Edge (Fern Paquet Jr.)
Joey The Czar, (Art Major-Razmataz Hanover) notched his ninth win of the season and raised his 2010 bankroll to over $205,000 for owner Kevin Gee.
“I didn’t think we’d have to go that fast,” Morrill said in the winners circle. “But once we got down there in 26 and a piece I figured we’d go fast. This is a really nice horse; Bruce (trainer Bruce Saunders) has done a great job with him.”
Saturday night's other New York Sire Stakes were won by:
He’s Gorgeous (by Art Major - So Ravishing); owned Kenneth Jacobs; trained by trainer Linda Toscano; driven by Jim Morrill, Jr. to his sixth win of the season in 1:55.4.
Jerry’s Brown Gold (by Art Major - Ideal Dex); owned by Fred Monteleone Stbl LLC; trained by Ed Hart; driven by Jack Flanigen to his seventh win of 2010, in 1:54.2, for which he paid $27.00 to win.
After the 7th race the John Schroeder, Clint Galbraith and Jeff Gregory were inducted into the Downs Hall of Fame with a special winners circle ceremony.
Jim Morrill, Jr. was the hot driver of the evening, guiding home six winners on the 12-race program.
Batavia Downs will hold a special matinee on Labor Day. First race post time is 1:15 p.m. New York Sire Stakes action continues on Wednesday night (Sept.8) when the 2-year-old filly pacers invade Western New York to compete in over $140,000 in purse money.