The old wagering adage suggesting you bet the longest shot in the shortest field was right on point in the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 29) as Osprey Vision scored big after being overlooked at 10-1 in the five-horse field.
With the late scratch of Lutetium, Noble Legend (Jim Morrill Jr.) decided to be the leader to follow this week and took that position shortly after the start. With a sloppy track and no early opposition, Morrill took the field down to the half in :58.1 and looked comfortable in doing so.
As the group was into the second circuit, Egosnattitudes (Larry Stalbaum) was motoring up on the outside with Osprey Vision (Drew Monti) second-over. But halfway up the backstretch, Egosnattitudes copped one and made a break, leaving Osprey Vision advancing alone towards the leader around the final turn. By the time the race hit the head of the lane, Osprey Vision looked Noble Legend in the eye before trotting right by. Osprey Vision then maintained the lead while holding off the late-charging Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) and BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to win in 1:59.2.
Osprey Vision ($23.80) now has eight wins and $55,814 earned this year for owner Marissa Russo and trainer David Russo.
In the $8,000 Open II Trot, Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) broke a six-week drought, coming from way off the pace at the half following dull outside cover before tipping three-deep off the last turn to close down the lane and win by a neck in 1:59.4.
Empire Earl N ($12) registered his sixth win of the year and bumped his bank to $55,590 for his owner who drives him, Larry Stalbaum. The New Zealand-bred son of Earl is trained by Kim Asher.
Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple on Friday. Drivers scoring two wins included Drew Monti and Larry Stalbaum. Trainers getting two wins included Kim Asher, David Russo and Angelo Nappo.
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 30) at 6 p.m.