The two colts continued to battle -- one in, one out -- through fractions of :29, :58.2 and 1:28.4 before Neon Lights tired and Zacks Zoomer found additional momentum. Rounding the final turn, Marcus Miller was just line driving his horse as they sped away and opened up a three-length lead by mid-stretch. At the wire, Zacks Zoomer was a wrapped-up winner in 1:58.1 by a comfortable two lengths.
The time of 1:58.1 was a new lifetime mark for Zacks Zoomer ($5.40) as well as a new track record for two-year-old trotting colts at Batavia Downs. The old record of 1:58.4 was set by Dejarmbro in 2010.
“He has been drawing poorly, but he’s just been getting better and better. So when he got the rail, this is pretty much what I had planned tonight,” said Marcus Miller. “I think he’s a very nice horse.”
This was also the second track record Marcus Miller has set at Batavia Downs in just over a week. On Saturday (September 3), Miller drove Pointomygranson to a five-length, 1:53.2 win to set a new standard for two-year-old pacing geldings.
This win was the second in six starts for Zacks Zoomer and it pushed his earnings for the year to $71,265. The 50 points earned for the win moved him up to fifth in the NYSS standings (155) and solidified his spot in the $1.8 million Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday, September 24.
Zacks Zoomer is owned by Ervin Miller Stable Inc. and Harvey Elsman and is trained by Erv Miller.
In the first $53,500 split, Devious Man (Credit Winner-Miss Garland) displayed why he was sent off 2-5 as he overpowered the field from post six.
Stick With Me Kid (Chris Lems), Volare (Mark Macdonald) and Devious Man (Andy Miller) all left the gate. Volare tucked in second behind the front-running Stick With Me Kid while Devious Man floated in fourth. Just past the eighth pole, Stick With Me Kid made a break and simultaneously, Devious Man pulled and proceeded towards the front. That march was completed by the top of the far turn and from there, he took total control.
Devious Man led the field to the half in 1:01.1 and then proceeded to close out the race. He opened up an immediate three-length lead and with Miller sitting chilly, hit the three-quarters in 1:31 before trotting home in :28.4 to be a gapped winner in 1:59.4.
“I was a little worried about the six-hole, but he just cruised around there; it didn’t really seem to matter,” said Andy Miller. “After that horse made a break and he cleared the front, he was pretty much on his own from there.”
The win was the fifth of the year for Devious Man ($2.90) and the fourth in a row during his current streak. The purse enhanced his coffers to $167,733, making him the richest two-year-old trotting colt in the NYSS this year. The 50 points gained for the win also made him the highest point-earner (287) for his category.
Devious Man, who is a three-quarter brother to 2005 Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo, is owned by Story Inc. and is trained by Julie Miller.
There were also three divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior A series on the card.
The first $15,000 division was won by American Cheque (Conway Hall-Cheque Lavec), who was driven by John Campbell in 2:00.3. American Cheque ($3.30) is trained by Linda Toscano for owner Michael Keeling.
The second $15,000 leg went to Top Flight Angel (Archangel-Top Photo), who was driven by John Cummings Jr. in 1:58.4. Top Flight Angel ($8.60) is trained by Megan Wilson for Legendary Standardbred Farm.
The final $15,000 split was won by Barn Winner (Credit Winner-Hallmarker), who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Barn Winner ($4.50) is trained by Steve Pratt, who also owns him along with Nancy Pratt and the Out In The Country Stable.
Several horsemen had outstanding performances on Wednesday. John Cummings Jr. scored a driving triple while John Campbell, Marcus Miller and Jim Morrill Jr. all had doubles. Trainers Erv Miller and Jim Graham each sent two horses to the winner’s enclosure for portraits.
(With files from Batavia Downs)