By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations
Labor Day Weekend is the last hurrah for summer fun and Batavia Downs is taking full advantage of the great weather Western New York is in the midst of by presenting a full slate of giveaway’s and activities to help its racing fans ease into fall.
It all starts on Saturday (Sept. 5) when the Downs presents Drew Monti bobblehead night.
Monti is one of the rising stars at Batavia Downs and has quickly become a fan favorite. So much so the fans themselves asked for this promotion featuring “Driving Drew." So starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, fans can pick up a ticket at the Players Club desk and redeem it for a Drew Monti bobblehead after the seventh race in the Paddock Room. Distribution is limited while supplies last. You must be a Players Club member for this promotion.
You are encouraged to bring your bobblehead back to the track on Labor Day, Monday afternoon (Sept. 7) to get it autographed by Monti trackside, prior to the first race.
The Drew Monti bobbleheads are sponsored by TAG Jewelers and Gold Brokers (www.tagjewelers.com), of Cheektowaga.
Saturday the Downs will also be honoring longtime local horseman, Anthony “Tony” Strollo with a memorial race in the seventh. Strollo died this past April after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
The Labor Day matinee card also features a list of promotions that offer something for everyone in the family.
The feature event of the day is the annual Batavia Downs driver’s bike race. This “friendly” competition between the horsemen has been going on at the Downs since 1979 and the tradition will continue this year. Eight local drivers will line up at the quarter pole and make their way around the far turn and head for the wire.
Last year’s winner was “Driving Drew” Monti in a photo over Mickey Holliday. Monti will be back to defend his title against Holliday and face new challenges from Shawn McDonough, Dave McNeight III, Lee Dahn, Rock Vinci, Denny Bucceri and Bradley Jackson.
But the best part is the fans get to win the actual brand new bikes used in the race.
Each patron can put their entry in one of eight boxes; each coinciding with a driver in the race. Then from the winning driver’s box, eight winners will be randomly drawn and each will be given one of the bikes. The bike race will be held after the seventh harness race and the drawing, after the bike race has been declared official.
There is no purchase necessary but you must be at least 18 years old to enter and present to win.
The bike race is sponsored by Crazy Cheap Cars (www.crazycheapcars.com), of Oakfield.
And what would Labor Day be without a cookout? Batavia Downs has that covered, too, and for any size appetite.
Charcoal grilled Sahlen’s hot dogs for $1 along with $1 beer and soda will be available on the apron from noon until the last race.
In the clubhouse, there will be a $10.95 chicken barbeque with all the fixings. And for every barbeque purchased you will receive $10 back in free-play on the gaming floor. So you can enjoy a holiday cook-out without the work or mess for only $0.95 net! This food special will only be available from noon to 3:30 p.m.
Chicken barbeques will be prepared by the Center Street Smoke House (www.centerstreetsmokehouse.com), of Batavia.
Post time for Saturday (Sept. 5) is 6:35 p.m. Monday (Labor Day, Sept. 7) is a matinee with first post set at 1:15.