Sportsman wasn’t involved in the feature race on Saturday night at Batavia Downs but the 8-year-old gelding sure stole the show by pacing the mile in a 1:51.3, the second fastest in Batavia Downs’ 67-season history. The track record for aged pacers is 1:51.1 set in 2011 by Aracache Hanover.
Racing for $7,400 in a non-winners of $5,000 in their last five starts with $20,000 claimers also eligible, Sportsman started from the outside in the field of seven. Driver John Cummings Jr. immediately shot to the top with Sportsman ($18.20) and just scorched the field with splits of 27.2, 55.4, 1:23.2 over the fast track. He beat Wiser’s Deluxe (Ray Fisher Jr.) by 10 3/4 lengths while Lahaye (Jim McNeight) finished third.
The featured $8,500 Open Pace ended in a dead heat as Zipnthruthehall (Lee Dahn) and What The Sheik (Ray Fisher Jr.) hit the wire together in 1:54.1. Western Alumni (Jack Rice) finished third.
A special Labor Day card is scheduled for this afternoon at 1:15 p.m. with two $50,000 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters on the 13-race card.