New Zealand ex-pat Demeter N made her second start at Batavia Downs a winning one after upsetting in the $14,000 Open I Handicap for pacing fillies and mares on Wednesday night (Dec. 7).
Demeter N (Larry Stalbaum) got away last as Shallow (Ray Fisher Jr.) fought hard off the gate with So Amazing (Kevin Cummings) before claiming the lead at the quarter in :28.1. But as soon as she cleared, Cummings came right back with So Amazing to retake and led the field from there. As the group passed three-eighths, Demeter N was out and rolling with Stalbaum, bouncing in the bike with every stride.
Demeter N drew near So Amazing at three-quarters, but So Amazing responded and held Demeter N at bay around the final turn. When they straightened out for home, Cummings and Stalbaum were both rocking and knocking as the mares paced dead even all the way down the lane. Three pylons from the line, Demeter N got a slight advantage and ended up winning by a one-quarter length in 1:56.3.
Demeter N ($17.40) reached $131,499 in earnings this year on the strength of her seven wins for owner Shark Racing and trainer Larry Stalbaum.
In the secondary featured $10,000 conditioned distaff pace, Faithful Desire (Jim Morrill Jr.) scored her third consecutive victory in a gate-to-wire romp timed in 1:56.1. Faithful Desire returned $2.90 for owner Eva Saintcross and trainer Shawn McDonough.
The Downs leading dash driver Kevin Cummings continued to add to his numbers after he won five more races on Wednesday. He scored with Amora Beach (1:57.3, $2.60), Sudden Change N (1:59, $7.00), Lyons Anita (1:55.4, $5.40), Delightful Summer (1:57, $5.30) and Ellieonthemove (1:58, $7.90). Cummings extended the gap between himself and second-place Jim Morrill Jr. to nine wins (141-132) as Morrill had a hat trick himself this night.
McDonough also had a big outing at the track as he scored a training grand slam on the card. McDonough trainees getting their pictures taken included the aforementioned Faithful Desire, Amora Beach and Delightful Summer, along with Lucky Town (1:57, $6.30). McDonough also added one catch-driving win behind Bacardi (1:59.2, $23.00) to give him five total wins during the night.
Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 10) at 6 p.m., and there is another carryover available. The Jackpot Hi-5 Pentafecta in the 13th race will start with $7,351 in the pool. Free full past performance race programs for all live race days can be downloaded by visiting the track’s website at bataviadownsgaming.com and clicking the “Live Racing” tab, and then you watch all the races live on the Batavia Downs YouTube channel.
Photo by Wendy J. Lowery