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November 22, 2017 - 10:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Squeeze This with driver Billy Davis Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

A heady drive by Billy Davis Jr. conserved effort for Squeeze This both early and late in the mile before he let her lunge down the lightning lane and capture the $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Nov. 22).

Voltina (Kevin Cummings) went back to her penchant of cutting the race; firing hard off the gate to take early command. She yielded briefly to Exotic Beach (Larry Stalbaum) at the quarter, but retook the front by the three-eighths pole. As they motored past the half in :57.3, Squeeze This came first up from sixth and dropped fortuitously into the two-hole in front of the now-gapping Exotic Beach and was sitting right on Voltina’s back.

As the group passed three-quarters, Hey Kobe (Ray Fisher Jr.) who had drafted up behind Squeeze This was now second on the outside and pushing the issue with the frontrunner all the way around the turn. At the top of the lane Hey Kobe made her way by Voltina who was visibly tiring, Aritzia Hanover (Drew Monti) was flying three-deep around Hey Kobe and Squeeze This, well, squeezed into the passing lane and was pacing up a storm by the pylons. When they hit the wire Squeeze This scored a head victory in 1:56.2 over Aritzia Hanover who was another head in front of Hey Kobe who finished third.

It was the seventh win of the year for Squeeze This ($14.20) and the win pushed her earnings to $54,866 for owner Garth Betchel. Jim Graham trains the 5-year-old daughter of Allamerican Native.

In the $8,000 distaff Open II, America Ferrera (Kevin Cummings) turned a two-hole trip behind Sarah Cola (Billy Davis Jr.) into a 1:56.3 seasonal best win. Owned by Henry Conradt, America Ferrera ($32.40) is trained by Mike Ohol.

The USTA Strategic Wagering Program guaranteed pool of $12,500 on the early Pick-5 wager turned out to be a boon for the night’s handle. Aided by longshots America Ferrera ($32.40) and Tinker Taxi ($80), the $2 early Pick-5 combination of 4-2-2-4-7 paid $21,020 on the strength of $18,340 new money bet. The night’s first race handled the most money ever wagered on a single race at Batavia Downs since OTB reopened it in 2002 and the overall handle for the night was up 27 percent over the same date last year with two less races on the card.

“It was a great night at the windows for Batavia Downs on Wednesday,” said Todd Haight, director/general manager of Live Racing. “We would like to thank the USTA and Chris Schick for partnering with us on the Strategic Wagering Program tonight and also Trackmaster for providing the free program pages that enhanced everyone’s handicapping enjoyment.”

Kevin Cummings remains hot and led all drivers again tonight winning three races on the card.

Batavia Downs would like to wish all our fans and patrons a very Happy Thanksgiving and look forward to seeing everyone back at the track when live racing resumes on Friday (Nov. 24) at 6 p.m.

November 22, 2017 - 2:18pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, Bowling.

spiotta_sr_masters_1.jpg

Batavian Paul Spiotta became only the second bowler to win a GRUSBC Masters and Senior Masters title when he captured the 12th annual Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters tournament on Nov. 11 at Medina Lanes.

The 60-year-old right-hander defeated 50-year-old lefty Mike Johnson, also of Batavia, in an exciting final match, winning a ninth and 10th frame roll-off, 59-40, after both bowlers put up scores of 246.

---------------

Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column will appear on Friday this week.

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Spiotta strung four strikes before leaving one pin on his final ball, forcing Johnson to get three strikes to win. Johnson got the first two -- the second one on the cross -- before leaving a solid 7 pin, setting up the roll-off.

In "overtime," after Johnson spared, Spiotta delivered three straight strikes to come away victorious.

Spiotta said he was “very focused” throughout the tournament, and noted that his carry got better after the qualifying round.

“I had a nice line to the pocket but I was also tripping a few 4-pins when needed plus I had a crossover strike and a cave-in strike that really helped,” he said.

After he and Johnson tied, all Spiotta thought about was coming up with strikes in the roll-off.

“All I knew was that if I could keep striking, I’d win and that’s what happened,” he said. “Hats off to Mike Johnson in his first Senior Masters, he really bowled very well down the stretch.”

The victory was worth $260 for Spiotta, a former GRUSBC association president, who averaged 226 for his seven games -- qualifying 10th with 630 before posting 485 for two games in the second round and 223 for his one game in the third round.

He also won a free entry into the GRUSBC Masters in February and a plaque from Joe’s Awards & Trophies. The event drew 41 entrants.

Johnson earned $150 for placing second while Jim Foss of Medina won $100 for placing third. Johnson defeated Foss, 267-192, in the first game of the three-bowler stepladder finals to earn the right to face top-seeded Spiotta.

Jim Pursel of Batavia, Rick Saunders of Batavia and Phil Schepis of Medina finished in the fourth through sixth spots, winning $70 each, while Bill Logan of Albion, Fred Gravanda of Batavia, Bob Hodgson of Medina, Scott Shields of Batavia, John Wolff of Batavia and Joe Trigilio of Attica also cashed.

Spiotta joins Gravanda, his cousin, as the only Masters and Senior Masters champions.

For complete tournament statistics, go to www.bowlgr.com.

Photo at top - Paul Spiotta and Mike Johnson.

November 21, 2017 - 2:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

As a result of no winning ticket once again on Saturday, Batavia Downs will offer a guaranteed pool of $12,500 for the early Pick-5 when racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 22) at the oldest lighted harness track in America. The actual carryover is $7,270.

This is the largest guaranteed pool ever offered at Batavia Downs. 

The Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that begins in race one and runs through race five. There is no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners the entire pool (minus takeout) will be carried over to the next pool.

Wednesday’s guaranteed pool will once again be part of the USTA’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages courtesy of Trackmaster are available on the USTA’s website.

You can access those free program pages by clicking here.

Post time for the first race Wednesday is 5 p.m.

November 19, 2017 - 2:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Horsemen racing at Batavia Downs are reminded of the draw schedule changes for Thanksgiving week.

A double draw will take place on Tuesday (Nov. 21) for race cards to be held on Friday (Nov. 24) and Saturday (Nov. 25). The entry box will close at the normal time of 9 a.m.

All program information, including driver changes for Friday's card, must be submitted to the judges by 1 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 21). 

Saturday's program changes must be received by the Judges no later than 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday (Nov. 22).

There are only 11 days of racing remaining in the 2017 at Batavia Downs season, which concludes on Saturday, Dec. 16.  

For more information please visit the horsemen's link at www.bataviadownsgaming.com

November 19, 2017 - 2:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

In Runaway Bay with driver Kevin Cummings.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Blustery winds driving a hard rain made the track conditions at Batavia Downs less than desirable on Saturday night (Nov. 18), but In Runaway Bay embraced the mailman’s philosophy to win the $10,000 Open Handicap pacing feature at the venerable Genesee County oval.

In Runaway Bay (Kevin Cummings) took the lead from post five as soon as the gate released the field and when everyone else went to the pylons, single file was the pacing order through splits of :29, :58.3 and 1:28. Just before that last station, Focus Power (Drew Monti) who had gotten away last, swung three-deep around mid-pack stalling horses and powered up into the mix before the race entered the last turn.

From there In Runaway Bay held off Focus Power and Show Stopping (John Cummings Jr.) who had been in the pocket the entire trip, around the fourth bend and into the stretch; neither could gain any ground on him. And the same held true all the way to the wire. In Runaway Bay was strong under urging and paced home sharply to win by a length in 1:57.

It was the eighth win of the year for In Runaway Bay ($4) who has now made $44,360 for owner Super Mile LLC and trainer Angelo Nappo.

In the $9,000 Open II pace, Littlebitaclass (Drew Monti) got away sixth before coming third-over in the outer flow and eventually found himself back at the rail third at the seven-eighths pole where he then shot up the passing lane and ran-down the leading Hardts Or Bettor (Ray Fisher Jr.) to win by a length in 1:57.

Owned and trained by Tessa Roland, Littlebitaclass ($5.90) captured his seventh win of the year and eclipsed the $60,000 mark in earnings, now with $61,034.

All the leading drivers registered victories on Saturday. Larry Stalbaum and Drew Monti both had three wins while Ray Fisher Jr. had two and Kevin Cummings one. The leader board at the end of the week now reads Stalbaum 109, Monti 107, Fisher 105 and Cummings 89.

There was no Pick-5 winner again on Saturday so there is a $7,270 carryover to Wednesday’s card and Batavia Downs will once again be a part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program with a guaranteed $12,500 pool on the early Pick-5 wager.

Free program pages courtesy of Trackmaster will be available at handicapping.ustrotting.com starting on Monday.

Racing resumes on Wednesday (Nov. 22) with post time at 5 p.m.

November 18, 2017 - 6:47pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Oakfield right-hander Steve O'Dell had it going from the start on Wednesday night -- opening with a 300 game en route to an 816 series in the County Line Stone league at his hometown Scopano's Lanes.

O'Dell's perfect game was his seventh USBC-certified 300, while the 800 series was his first. He followed the 300 with 257 and 259 on lanes 7-8.

On lanes 1-2, Dean Cadieux Jr. of Oakfield started slowly before catching fire for 289-286 for a 761 series.

In the North Pole Thursday night league at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, Matt Balduf of South Byron flirted with the 800 mark, posting 247-276-258--781.

Two nights earlier, Nick Gaudy rolled 245-236-245--726 in the Antique World Coed league.

In youth league action, 14-year-old Haylee Thornley of Batavia rolled her high game and high series ever -- registering 259 and 646 this morning in the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso's.

For all the high scores this week, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of the home page.

November 18, 2017 - 4:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

As a result of no winning ticket once again on Friday, Batavia Downs will offer a $6,000 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool when racing resumes tonight (Nov. 18) at the oldest lighted harness track in America. The actual carryover is $2,901.

The Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that begins in race one and runs through race five. There is no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners the entire pool (minus takeout) will be carried over once again.

Saturday’s guaranteed $6,000 pool is part of the USTA’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages courtesy of Trackmaster are available on the USTA’s website.

This link will take you directly to those program pages.

https://www.trackmaster.com/freeContent/usta/freeContentFiles/hpl/btv1118x.pdf

Post time for the first race Saturday is 6 p.m.

November 17, 2017 - 11:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.
Kahoku and driver Kevin Cummings take the lead to win.
 
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs 
 
Patience was a virtue for Kahoku on Friday night (Nov. 17) as his come from behind effort earned him a his sixth win of the year in the $10,000 Open Handicap trot. 
 
BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) shot right to the front and opened up a three length lead while taking the field to the quarter in :28.2 and with everyone settled behind him, the half in :58.4. 
 
As the group entered the second circuit, Kahoku (Kevin Cummings) came first-over and eventually worked his way next to the leader. The pair then matched strides to the three-quarters with neither one giving an inch. Around the last turn BZ Glide was inside with Kahoku to his right with Caprio and Cummings sparring in the bike like boxers in the ring. 
 
As the race and it's way down the lane the pair continued to trot in stride until 20 yards from the wire when Kahoku finally wore BZ Glide down and gained a length advantage under the wire in 1:57.4.
 
It was the second win in the last three starts for Kahoku ($12.80) who is owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trainer by Priscilla "Sis" Mooney. 
 
The combination of Cummings, Mooney and Girdlestone also took the major share from the co-featured $8,500 Open II trot one race earlier when Lutetium went wire to wire in handy fashion to win by a length in 1:57.2, which tied his seasonal mark. 
 
It was the 57th lifetime win for Lutetium ($13.40) who is creeping up on a half-million in earnings for his career, now sitting with  $446,087 in the bank. 
 
As a result of no winning ticket again in the Pick-5 on Friday, there will be a guaranteed $6,000 early Pick-5 on Saturday night as part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Pool. The early Pick-5 runs from race one to race five.
 
Free past performance pages will be available at www.handicapping.ustrotting.com
 
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Nov.18) with post time do the first race at 6 o'clock. 
November 17, 2017 - 4:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, batavia, thanksgiving, ice skating, sports.

(Pictured above from left are Batavia Kiwanis Club members Jocelyn Sikorski, Matt Landers, Peter Guppenberger and Mark Lewis.)

Submitted photo and press release:

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia would like to invite the community to our Annual Thanksgiving Morning Community Skate at Falleti Ice Arena. It is located at 22 Evans St. in the City of Batavia.

The event runs Thanksgiving morning (Nov. 23) from 9 to 11 a.m. and admission is free, rentals are free (while supplies last) and the hot chocolate is free. Skaters of all skills are welcome!

Come start a new Thanksgiving tradition or continue a tradition that many area families have been participating in for years. A bonus of participating is getting a little exercise in before eating all of that delicious turkey later in the day!

We look forward to seeing all of the smiling faces and Kiwanis is so happy to be able to provide this family friendly entertainment for the community!

"The Kiwanis Club of Batavia would like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!"

November 16, 2017 - 2:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, batavia, marksmanship, gun competition.
 
Submited photo and press release:
 
Eugene Jankowski Jr. finished Second Place Semi-Pro in the Practical Division at the 2017 3 Gun Nation Nationals held Nov. 10-12 at Virginia International Raceway, Alton Va. He is president of the Batavia City Council and a retired City of Batavia police lieutenant.
 
3 Gun Nation Competitors qualify to compete in the national match based on performance in regional and club series matches held throughout the year. Competitors use three different firearms — a modern sporting rifle (MSR), that is, a rifle built on an AR-platform; a pistol; and a shotgun.
 
The national match consisted of eight different stages, fired over three days, and competitors were required to engage multiple targets in a variety of different shooting positions. A total of 144 competitors from all over the United States attended this year's event.
 
Video of Jankowski shooting stage 4 of the match can be found here, and stage 7 here.
November 16, 2017 - 1:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Hey Kobe pulls ahead with driver Ray Fisher Jr..

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After getting a trip she hasn’t seen in some time, Hey Kobe rallied late to nab the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Nov. 15).

Starting from the pylons for the first time in months, Hey Kobe (Ray Fisher Jr.) got away third behind Squeeze This (Billy Davis Jr.) and Rockin Kasbah (Larry Stalbaum). But her passive posture only lasted until the three-eighths before Fisher pulled the mare and started to roll toward the leader in front of the stands.

After drafting in neutral around the third turn, the plugs were popped and Hey Kobe found new interest and got even with Squeeze This at the three-quarter pole. From there Fisher and Davis became highly animated in their respective bikes, using body language and flailing lines to urge there mounts to remain stout. The battle continued all the way down the stretch before Hey Kobe got the call at the buzzer, winning by a neck in 1:55.2.

It was the fourth win of the year for Hey Kobe ($5.10) who now has earned $64,625 for owner Keith Pinkowski. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. trains the winner.

In the co-featured $8,000 Fillies and Mares Open II, North America’s winningest Standardbred of 2017 Quicksilvercandy A (Larry Stalbaum) did all the heavy lifting but was denied win number 21 as Aritzia Hanover (Kevin Cummings) drafted behind her the whole mile until the top of the lane when Cummings pulled out and paced right on by in mid-stretch to win by a length in 1:55.3.

It was the second consecutive win for Aritzia Hanover ($4.40) who also claimed a new seasonal mark with the victory. The 6-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Pine Hill Racing LTD and is trained by Maria Rice.

Remaining the hottest driver at the Downs, Kevin Cummings won another three races on the card, leading all reinsman with wins on Wednesday.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 17) with post time at 6 p.m.

November 13, 2017 - 4:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, Announcements, 4-H, horse show.

Submitted photo and press release:

Louisville, Ky. -- Two local Genesee County 4-H Members competed on the NYS 4-H Horse Judging Team at the 2017 Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup held earlier this month at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center.

Emily Boldt, above right, of Stafford, and Alexandria Tarbell (on left), of Corfu, both qualified for the state judging team by competing at the NYS Contest earlier this year. The NYS Judging Team placed Eighth overall.

The 4-H Office would like to congratulate the girls on their success and for representing Genesee County 4-H at the national level. We would also like to thank the NYS Judging Team coach, John Steeves.

November 13, 2017 - 11:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, batavia, sports.

ndhalloffame2017.jpg

Notre Dame High School inducted its 2017 Hall of Fame members during a dinner at Ascension Parish on Saturday night. Pictured are Sean Flynn, Mike Francis, Dave O'Connor, Monica Dillion, Jenny Cocco and Joe Scanlan.

David O'Connor, Class of 1967
Dave O’Connor was a standout three-sport athlete during the heyday of ND’s participation in the Bishop Smith Division of the Buffalo Catholic League Msgr. Martin Association. Like his Darien Center brothers – Dick (’64) and Dan (’69), he was a mainstay for Fighting Irish Varsity Football, Wrestling and Track and Field teams during his four-year tenure [1963 – 1967] at ND.

A key member of ND’s 1st Bishop Smith League Football Championship team also being honored tonight, Dave was a four-year member of the Fighting Irish Varsity Football team and had the distinction of being the only member of his class to play Varsity football as a freshman. He was recognized as the Most Valuable Player [MVP] of the 1966 Varsity Football team and received All-Catholic recognition as the Smith Division 1st team fullback during his senior year.

A well-rounded competitor, Dave was also recognized as the MVP of his Varsity Wrestling and Varsity Track and Field teams during his senior year at ND. As a wrestler, he earned All-Catholic honors in the heavyweight classification in tough Smith League competition and captained the Fighting Irish Bishop Smith League 1967 All-Catholic Championship team during his senior year. Weighing 180 pounds, Dave often wrestled up to the 255-pound weight class whenever additional points were needed! He had the distinction of only losing one Varsity match during his star-studded four-year wrestling career on the mats at ND!

As a member of the ND Varsity Track team, he established the All-Catholic record in the shot put as a freshman and went on to hold ND school records in the shot put and discus and was a member of the 880-yard relay team by the time he graduated in 1967. He was also named the recipient of the E. Lawrence Spring Award for ND school spirit on and off the field of play as a senior.

After his ND graduation, Dave attended Erie Community College where he earned an AAS [Applied Arts and Sciences] degree. He was the President of the ECC Athletic Society and wrestled collegiately earning the overall MVP Athlete-of-the-Year award in 1969.

In 2014, Dave trained and competed in the West Virginia Senior Olympics in the shot put and discus, scoring well enough to qualify for the national senior Olympics in Minneapolis in 2015. Dave and his wife Marcia are the parents of two children -- Andrea and Benjamin – and nine grandchildren and currently reside in Morgantown, W. Va. Dave is employed by the Monroe County Board of Education Transportation Department as a bus driver.

Michael Francis, Class of 1980
Mike Francis had the unique distinction of representing Fighting Irish Football and Basketball teams in both Bishop Smith League and NYSPHSAA Section V [Rochester Region] competition! As was the case with his athletic brothers John (’66), Ron (’67), Fred (‘69) and Mark (’75) before him, Mike was a high pro le student-athlete during his four years [1976-1980] at ND participating in four years of Varsity Football and Varsity Basketball, two years as a member of Varsity Track and Field and one year as a member of Varsity Baseball.

Mike truly made his mark on the gridiron during his junior [1978] and senior [1979] seasons. As a junior, he was ND’s Most Outstanding running back, a member of the 1978 Genesee Region [GR] Championship team and received 1st team GR All-Star honors as a running back. He was also named to the prestigious Rochester Democrat and

Chronicle All-Greater Rochester [AGR] all-star team in that same year as a wide receiver [45 catches, 849 yds, 15 TDs].

As a senior, he was once again a member of the 1979 GR league Football championship team and named a GR league 1st team All-Star for the second straight year. Mike was also a member of ND’s 1979 Section V Class C Championship Football team and was again recognized as a member of the Democrat and Chronicle’s AGR all-star team, this time as a wide receiver as well as a running back where he accounted for 15 TDs. The 1979 ND team MVP and New York State all-state selection, Mike was also named to the Rochester Times-Union “Super 22” all-star team as a running back.

As a member of the ND Varsity Basketball program, Mike was named team MVP during his sophomore year while playing in Bishop Smith league competition and a Genesee Region [GR] All-Star during his junior and senior seasons after ND left the Smith League for local Section V competition. As a senior, he was named to the all-tournament team in the Albion Christmas tournament.

He was also a member of the Fighting Irish Baseball team which competed in the Bishop Smith league as a sophomore as well as the ND Varsity Track team his junior and senior years as a sprinter.

Mike played one year of collegiate football during his freshman year as a wide receiver for the Canisius College Golden Grif ns. The parent of three sons – Mitchell, Richard, and Andrew -- Mike resides in Tonawanda and currently serves as an officer at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia. 

Monica Dillon Billard, Class of 1982
Monica Dillon was a highly competitive four-sport student-athlete for Lady Irish athletic teams in the early portion of the 1980s. ND records indicate that the Batavia native played four years of Soccer, Basketball and Softball and three years of Volleyball during her noteworthy Lady Irish athletic career.

Monica was a key member of the 1981 and 1982 Section V Class D Championship Varsity Girls Volleyball teams. Her 1982 team finished the season unblemished while compiling a perfect 17 –0 record! She earned Junior Varsity Basketball MVP recognition in 1978 and 1979 and the Varsity Girls Basketball Coach’s award as a Sophomore in 1980.

During her senior year, Monica was named to the Section V Girls Basketball All-Tournament team and received the ND Coach’s Award for Varsity Volleyball. She was also named to the Genesee Region [GR] Softball All-Star for the second consecutive year while also receiving additional recognition as the Varsity Lady Irish Softball MVP.

Monica was named the ND Female Athlete-of-the-Year during her senior year [1981-82] of Varsity competition. After graduating from ND in 1982, Monica went on to Marietta College [Marietta, Ohio] where she earned her BS degree in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training degree [1986]. She continued her athletic career at Marietta where she played four years of Varsity Volleyball for the Pioneers and, as a senior, co-captained her collegiate Volleyball team while earning 1st team All OAC [Ohio Athletic Conference] honors in the process! Monica also played 3 years of collegiate softball and one year of crew during her college career.

After graduating from Marietta, Monica moved to Boston and earned her MS degree in Health, Sport and Fitness Management as a graduate student at Northeastern University. She worked as a trainer, fitness director and assistant General Manager of the Boston Raquet Club for 12+ years until the arrival of her first daughter, Sarah. During the next nine years, Monica was a stay-at-home mom during which time also gave birth to her second daughter, Julia, in 2002. In 2007 she re-entered the work force as a personal trainer, yoga teacher and manager of the Kingsbury Fitness Club [where she still works today] in Kingston, Mass.

In addition to a lifelong career in the fitness industry, Monica has maintained an active and healthy lifestyle while participating in sprint distance triathlons, hiking, running Boston Marathons, playing golf, biking and doing yoga!

Monica's two daughters are now teenagers; Sarah is 19 and Julia is 15; They currently reside in Kingston, Mass. 

Sean Flynn, Class of 1996
Sean Flynn was a standout student-athlete throughout his star-studded six-year career [1990 - 1996] at ND. A native of Batavia, Sean began his record-setting Varsity Golf career as a seventh grader at St. Mary’s Elementary in Batavia. He earned medalist honors in the Genesee Region [GR] Sectional Golf Quali er as a freshman and went on to be a three-time ND Varsity Golf MVP! A five-time Genesee Region All-Star [Grades 7 - 11], Sean also qualified for the Section V Golf Tournament on four different occasions and the NYSPHSAA state tournament on one occasion [1995]!

Sean was also a key member of the Fighting Irish Varsity Football and Ice Hockey teams during his four years at ND. He served as Captain of his Varsity Football team as a senior and helped lead ND to the Genesee Region Division III title. A two-time MVP and talented member of ND “Irish on Ice” Varsity Ice Hockey team from 1992 - 1996, Sean was a key member of ND’s first Section V Class B Hockey Sectional Championship team during his senior year during which time he was also named to the Monroe County All-Star Hockey 1st Team.

As a senior, Sean moved from the “links” to the baseball field where he earned the “Coach’s Award” in route to helping the ND Varsity Baseball earn the 1996 Section V Class D title.

Sean will be remembered as a team leader and role model for a younger student-athletes throughout his accomplished sports career at ND. He earned honor roll and NYSPHSAA ”Scholar-Athlete” [minimum 90-percent academic average] distinction throughout his high school career and was recognized as the recipient of the prestigious Reverend David J. Scheider Sports Loyalty Award [1994- 1995] as well as the Batavia Lions Club Bill Cook Scholar-Athlete and Athlete- of–the-Year at ND during his senior year [1995-1996].

Upon graduation from ND in 1996, Sean completed BS [Business Management, 2000] and MBA [2001] degrees at Canisius College, the Jesuit College of Buffalo. He currently works as a commercial underwriter at JP Morgan Chase in Columbus, Ohio. Sean and his wife Karyn [Sokol – ND ‘97] reside in Dublin, Ohio and are the proud parents of three children – Maren [8], Declan [5] and Nora [3] Flynn. 

Jennifer Cocco Rybczak, Class of 2001
Jenny Cocco was an exceptional student-athlete who began her six-year [1995-2001] Fighting Irish Varsity Swimming and Track and Field team careers as a seventh-grader at St. Joseph School in Batavia!

As a member of the Varsity Boys Swim team, Jenny was the first athlete – male or female – to compete for six years in ND’s Varsity Swimming program and played a key role developing the program, as well as putting it on the Genesee Region [GR] and Section V maps.

A member of second Genesee Region Varsity Boys Swimming Championship teams [2000 and 2001], Jenny earned 17 GR League individual championships [6 – 100 yd. breaststroke, 5 -200 yd. freestyle relay, 4 – 50 yd. freestyle and one each in the 200-yard medley relay and 400 yard freestyle medley] during her six years in the pool competing against primarily male swim competition!

By the time she completed her senior swim season, Jenny – who was unbeaten as an individual in dual meets throughout her high school career -- was credited with being the ND school record holder in nine individual events [50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 buttery, 200 individual medley, 500 freestyle, 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay]. She was also credited with being the Genesee Region county record holder in an additional five events [50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay]!

As a junior, she was a contributing member of ND’s NYSPHSAA Varsity Boys Swimming Championship “Scholar-Athlete” [minimum team average of 90 percent] team – the #1 academic team in New York State!

Jenny’s competitiveness transferred to the Track and Field arena each season after swimming! A six-year member of the ND Varsity Girls Track team, Jenny had the distinction of being undefeated in dual meet competition during her sophomore, junior and senior seasons!

She was an 11-time Genesee Region champion [Intermediate hurdles – 4X, 400-meter run – 3X, and 1600 meter and 3200-meter relay – 2X each] and set county records in the 400-meter run, the 400 intermediate hurdles and as a member of the 3200-meter relay. She was also a seven-time Section V Class D individual champion [400-meter run – 3X, 400 intermediate hurdles-2 X and 1600 and 3200-meter relays – 1X each] during her Varsity Girls Track and Field career.

Jenny competed at the New York State meet level twice, once as an eighth-grader where she finished fifth as a member of the 3200-meter relay team and as a senior in the individual 400-meter run where she tied the Section V 400-meter record.

After graduation from ND in 2001, Jenny attended and received degrees from SUNY Geneseo [BA – English Education] and the University of Buffalo [MA–Education]. She swam collegiately at SUNY Geneseo for four years where she was an Academic All- American who set two ECAC conference records [100 yd. and 200 yd. breaststroke], seven SUNYAC records [100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke -3X each and 400 medley relay once] and four SUNY Geneseo pool records [100 and 200 yd. breaststroke and 200-yard and 400-yard Medley relays].

Jenny currently teaches AP Literature and Composition at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown High School. She and her husband Alex Rybczak currently reside in Cicero, New York and are the proud parents of three boys – Jack [5], Vito [5] and Louie [4] Rybczak! 

1965 Fighting Irish Bishop Smith League Varsity Football Championship Team
The Fall 1965 football season at Notre Dame was a record-setting time period in school history as our Varsity Football program notched the first [of many] Bishop Smith League Championships in school history!

The Smith league championship roster featured the likes of senior Co-Captain All-Catholic Halfback John Francis (‘66) -- regarded as one of the most talented all-around athletes in ND sports history, his junior QB brother Ron Francis (‘67), as well as senior All-Catholic linemen Jim Schiller (‘66) and Co-Captain Jim Murphy (‘66).

The makeup of our 28-member Varsity roster included 9 seniors [Class of ‘66] Dan Callahan, Joe Chilano, John Francis, Brian Glor, Mike Lippold, Jim Murphy, Tom Petrick, Jim Schiller and Paul Tresco, 15 juniors [Class of 1967] Mike Brady, Jim Bundy, Ray Chaya, Larry Conte, Ron Francis, Jim Hedtke, Bill Johnson, John Kellner, Dave Mandeleone, Mike McGinnis, Dave O’ Connor, Mike Serve, Jim Starrett, Bill Sutherland and Carl “Butch” Webster and four sophomores [Class of 1968] Bob Cline, Dave Dudek, Harry Stortz and Denny Waggoner.

Highlights of the 1965 season included speedy John Francis’ four touchdown performances against Knights of DeSales of Lockport [38 - 27] as well as in ND’s first-time-ever victory over the Frannies of St. Francis of Athol Springs [34 - 13], Ron Francis’ two TDs in a come-from-behind 34 - 14 victory over Erie County power Alden High School and a hard fought 13 -7 victory over the Olean Archbishop Walsh Eagles after being down 7 - 0 early in the game.

The come-from-behind Walsh victory set the stage for the Smith League Championship game on a cold November Sunday afternoon against the Vikings of Bishop Gibbons at North Tonawanda Stadium. Supported by seven busloads of spirited ND student fans and down by four points with four minutes to go, Junior QB Ron Francis (‘67) connected with classmate Mike Brady (‘67) on a key pass that kept a fourth quarter Irish drive alive. With 52 seconds on the clock, Francis connected with Sophomore Denny Waggoner (‘68) for the go-ahead TD.

Senior Co-Captain Jim Murphy (‘66) iced the championship by intercepting a Gibbons pass 10 seconds later and rambling for a 23-yard TD to seal the deal. Final score: ND 25 - Bishop Gibbons 13.

Congratulations to Head Coach Bernie Fagan, Assistant Coaches Joe Eppolito and Joe Chilano and our 28-member record-setting 1965 Bishop Smith League Varsity Football Champions -- our first in school history! 

Joseph D. Scanlan, Ed.D., 1965, ND Principal: 2004 - 2015
Joseph Scanlan, Ed.D., ND Class of 1965, is being inducted into the Notre Dame Hall of Fame as an Administrator/Contributor, a role he certainly excelled at.

A lifelong LeRoyan, Joe played basketball and ran cross country, served as President of the Class of ’65 and was the 1965 “Man of the Year” during his ND years. He earned both his BA in History and his MS in Education at Canisius College where he was a member of both the DiGamma Jesuit Honor Society and the Col. Richardson Army ROTC Honor Society. He attended SUNY Brockport for his CAS/SAS Administrative Certi cation and earned his doctorate [Ed.D] in Educational Administration from the University of Rochester. His wife, Kate, was Notre Dame’s Campus Minister/Theology teacher for 15 years while his son, Michael (’02), played on our 2001 New York State Boys Basketball Championship team and continued the “Scanlan Tradition” as he also was named ND Man of the Year for the Class of 2002.

Scanlan spent 15 years at Byron-Bergen as both a teacher and administrator, 17 years at York as HS Principal before returning to Notre Dame where his plan to “stay a few years” turned into an 11-year stint as his Alma Mater’s President/Principal! Known as “Dr. Joe” to students and staff alike, he was a student-oriented administrator who had high expectations for himself as well as for all members of the ND school community. These high expectations reaped many benefits from academic, athletic and respect for others perspectives during his tenure including ND being named the #1 academic high school in the GLOW Region during each of the 11 years he served as Principal.

A staunch supporter of Notre Dame’s students on a multitude of levels, he was most visible (and vocal) at ND sporting events cheering for and offering support as well as encouragement to all Fighting Irish teams and student-athletes. Even though his job demanded a lot of time, he found the time to attend numerous athletic events making a point of attending contests of all sports while rarely, if ever, missing a home game. Our student-athletes were always well aware and very appreciative of his support which provided Dr. Joe a venue to reach them on many levels. Dr. Joe could often be heard in the halls or cafeteria offering advice and encouragement to student-athletes and nonstudent-athletes alike. Many of his athletic sayings such as “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take” are legendary among ND student-athletes!

During Dr. Joe’s tenure, Fighting Irish athletic teams won two State championships, eight NYS Western Regional championships, 28 Section V titles, and 40 GR [Genesee region] championships as well as producing 167 NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete [minimum 90-percent academic average] teams.

When asked to briefly sum up his ND years, Dr. Joe said: “My love of interacting with teenagers and my longtime interest in high school athletics made attending and supervising ND Fighting Irish athletic events and rooting for our Alma Mater a perfect match”!

November 13, 2017 - 9:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, sports, soccer.

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Press release:

The Genesee Community College men's soccer team came from behind to win its first-ever National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association D-III men's soccer national title by beating the reigning champion and top-seed Richland College (Tx.) 2-1 at Herkimer County Community College, Sunday.

It was Genesee's third-overall national title and GCC President James M. Sunser made the sojourn to Herkimer and was on hand when GCC Athletic Director Kristen Schuth was presented the championship plaque.

Iyad Lablack scored the game-winner six minutes into the second half off a Joseph Calvert pass and then the team relied on its defense and tournament most valuable player David Ormiston to do the rest, as the Cougar keeper recorded four saves in the win.

"Dave (Ormiston) had a really great game and the defense stuck to their job," Cougars Head Coach Ken Gavin said immediately after the game.

After James Sasay gave the Thunderducks a 1-0 lead about 10 minutes into the game, Genesee's Charlie Livesey responded 14 minutes later to tie the game at 1-1 after Billy Murphy sent Livesey in alone on goal from the left side.

After Lablack gave the Cougars the second-half lead, the strong defensive team sat back and only allowed one shot the rest of the way, and Genesee successfully defended 16 corner kicks during the contest.

Joining Ormiston with national tournament accolades was Glenn Holmes and Philip Melo -- who were both named to the all-tournament team.

After the Cougars started the season with a 1-2 record, Coach Gavin wondered if his team was as good as he originally thought. The team answered that question by going unbeaten the rest of the campaign that culminated with the national championship win. Genesee ended its season unbeaten in its last 20 games with the last 11 being wins.

"When we were 1-2 we lost to a very good Camden team that we beat in this tournament. I think I was proven right that we weren't as good as we could be. But they started playing the system and buying into it. I think that we've scored 380 goals in three years and there's a reason we scored them. The system works if you buy into it; you can get where you need to be."

The team opened national tournament play with a 3-1 win over the Howard Community College Dragons, Nov. 9. Then followed that win with another 3-1 victory over the Camden Community College  Cougars Nov. 10, before besting Richland's Thunderducks, 2-1 this afternoon. All told, Genesee slew the Dragons, caged the Cougars and stole the thunder from the Ducks, respectively.

Asked to pick an unsung hero or two, Gavin responded, "Everybody on the bench is the unsung heroes. They pushed everybody in practice; others didn't see that. They (bench players) pushed the first-string players where they needed to be."

Photos: Mark Jagord/GCC Athletics 

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November 12, 2017 - 4:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Quicksilvercandy A with driver Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The $125,000 finals of the Claiming Championship Series (CCS) that highlighted the card at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 11) produced some impressive efforts on the track from both man and beast and one of them now tops the sport once again. 

Quicksilvercandy A who came into the night tied with Safe From Terror for the most wins in North America this year with 19, reclaimed her previously lone spot at the top by winning the $20,000 final for $5,000-$7,500 claiming fillies and mares by a nose over her stablemate Kaitlyn Rae.

Quicksilvercandy A (Drew Monti) took a two-hole trip behind Kaitlyn Rae (Larry Stalbaum) to the top of the stretch when she dropped into the passing lane and out-paced the leader to the wire, winning by a mere nose in 1:57.

It was the 20th win of the year for Quicksilvercandy A ($2.10) and 61st of her stellar career. The winner’s share of the purse pushed her 2017 earnings to $106,694 for owner Larry Stalbaum. North America’s leading percentage trainer Kim Asher trains Quicksilvercandy A.

Monti had a total of five winners on the program including two more legs of the CCS.

Chelseas Chance with driver Drew Monti.

In the $20,000 CCS final for $7,500-$10,000 claiming trotters, Chelseas Chance went wire to wire in impressive style to win easily in 1:59. It was the sixth win of the year for the 6-year-old Kadabra mare that is owned by James Caradori and trained by Carl Monti.

Monti also won the $15,000 CCS final for $4,000 claiming horses and geldings with Donegal Jim who sat third the whole mile before tipping wide off the last turn and pacing by the pace-setting One Chaser (Ray Fisher Jr.) to win by a length in 1:56.4 for owner/trainer Tessa Roland.

Lucky McTrucky (1:54, $20.40) and I’m So Handsome (1:54.1, $11.00) rounded out the quintuple-win night for Monti.

In the $20,000 CCS final for $5,000 to $6,000 pacing horses and geldings, Kings Treasure (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled at the three-quarters and powered home to a one-length victory in 1:56.1. Kings Treasure ($4.30) is owned by the Resilient Racing Stable and is trained by Rose Russo.

The $15,000 CCS final for $4,000 to $5,000 claiming trotters went to Ellen’s Streak (Larry Stalbaum) as she went coast to coast from post one in 2:01.1. Ellen’s Streak (3.70) is owned by her driver and trained by Kim Asher.

Rock The Dream with driver Ray Fisher Jr.

The $20,000 CCS final for $8,000 to $10,000 claiming pacers was won by Rock The Dream (Ray Fisher Jr.) in wire to wire fashion in 1:55.1, with a sparkling :27.3 final quarter. Rock The Dream ($2.40) is owned by Benjamin Ortiz and trained by Frank Mastrodonato.

The last $15,000 CCS final was for $4,000 claiming fillies and mares and it went to Fox Valley Lena (Ray Fisher Jr.) who led at every station before stopping the clock at 1:58.1. It was the 13th win of the year for Fox Valley Lena who is owned by David Bratt and trained by Russell Bratt.

Fireyourguns with driver Mike Caprio.

In the weekly featured $10,000 Open Handicap Pace, Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) looked in mid-season form for his last start of the year, leading at every station before holding off strong late charges by Focus Power (Drew Monti) and Itsonlyrocknroll A (Larry Stalbaum) to hang on to a head advantage in 1:54.

It was the seventh win of the year and 55th lifetime victory for Fireyourguns ($4.60) and owners Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terrence Mc Clory, who also trains the winner.  

The Downs dash driving race remains a developing metric with the top spot getting tighter after Saturday’s action. Larry Stalbaum is still in the lead with 103 wins, but on the strength of his five-win performance, Drew Monti is now only one win behind with 102. Ray Fisher Jr. who also had a good night by winning three races, now sits in third with 98 wins.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 15) with post time for the first race set at 5 p.m.

November 11, 2017 - 9:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, elba, sports, soccer.

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Four second-half goals propelled the Byron-Bergen/Elba Bees boys soccer team into the state finals as they beat Lake Placid in the Class C semifinals today, 4-0.

The #1 ranked Bees play for the state championship tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. in Middleton.

Photos and the following write-up by Rob Swapceinski:

The Byron-Bergen/Elba Bees took on the Lake Placid Bombers for the NYS Class C Semi-Finals in Middletown, NY. The BB/Elba team got off to a strong start with multiple scoring opportunities in the first half.

The Bombers withstood the BB/Elba attackers and the first half remained deadlocked at 0-0. The BB/Elba team continued putting pressure on the Lake Placid defenders early in the second half. The Bees broke through the Bombers defense when Adam Swapceinski fed Kyle Foeller for the games first goal.

But Swapceinski didn’t stop there and, within minutes, scored two goals of his own. Late in the game, Wade Thompson beat multiple defenders before blasting a shot past the Lake Placid goalkeeper to put the Class C Semi-Final game out of reach. Bee’s goalkeeper, Brandon Kropf recorded his sixth shutout, in a row, in postseason play.

The Byron-Bergen/Elba Bees play for the Class C State Championship on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 10:30 a.m. in Middletown, NY.

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November 11, 2017 - 2:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.
Empire Earl N out in front with driver Larry Stalbaum, who also owns the horse.
 
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs 
 
In a career-best outing, Empire Earl N made two moves to victory in the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 10) Empire Earl N left from post three and cleared momentarily before Osprey Vision (Ray Fisher Jr.) overtook and settled on the lead. Kahoku (Kevin Cummings) who also left, got parked out third and was in for a long night.
 
Osprey Vision took the field to the half in :57.3 with Kahoku outside acting as a prompter. Positions remained unchanged until Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) tipped three deep around a predictably tiring Kahoku, and was advancing towards the leader. When the race entered the stretch it appeared a three-horse finish, but Empire Earl N found the passing lane and shot through like a flash to win by a length in 1:57.1.
 
The winning time was a new lifetime mark for the 9-year-old Empire Earl N.
 
Now boasting $67,040 on the strength of seven wins this year, Empire Earl N ($4.20) is owned by his driver, Larry Stalbaum and trained by North America's leading percentage trainer, Kim Asher.
 
In the $8,000 Open II trot, Hollywoods Thatway (Ray Fisher Jr.) took a two-hole trip after battling Lutetium to the quarter in :27.4, and turned it into a victory over same in 1:57.1 to claim his third straight win at Batavia Downs.
 
Hollywoods Thatway ($7.60) is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice and is trained by Maria Rice.
 
The red-Hot Kevin Cummings led all drivers with three wins on the card. Cummings has now won eight races in the last two nights.
 
Racing resumes at Batavia Downs tonight (Nov. 11) with seven divisions of the Claiming Championship Series finals going for a total of $125,000. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.
November 10, 2017 - 5:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, batavia, volleyball.

Press release and submitted photos:

UTICA -- Allison DellaPenna, of Batavia, a junior on the Utica College volleyball team, was named to the Sportswoman of the Year squad, it was announced Tuesday.

The Empire 8 Conference emphasizes that "Competing with Honor and Integrity" is an essential component of a student-athlete's experience in conjunction with an institution's educational mission. One member of each team is selected for displaying these traits as well as having the characteristics that make a good sportswoman.

DellaPenna totaled 65 kills and she also finished second on the team with 41 blocks in 30 matches played this season. In three years with the Pioneers, she has recorded 92 kills and 52 blocks.

Allison is a 2015 graduate of Batavia High School and the daugther of Matt and Ellen DellaPenna.
 
Upon graduating high school, Allison has attended Utica College were she is majoring in Child Life, with the goal of becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist working to provide psychosocial support to children and families in a health-care setting.
 
Throughout high school and now in college Allison has played competitive volleyball. 
 
In addition to excelling on the volleyball court, Allison has been named to the College's Deans List three out of four semesters. Allison is planning to graduate in the spring of 2019.

November 10, 2017 - 4:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photos courtesy of Paul White. Above, Kevin Cummings.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

With much talk about the top three dash drivers at Batavia Downs this year, the man sitting in fourth has been quietly creeping into the picture. Kevin Cummings is a four-time Batavia Downs driving title holder (2009, 2010, 2014 and 2015) and he has been red-hot of late. On Wednesday (Nov. 8) Cummings won five of the 10 races on the program while finishing second and third in two others, giving him a UDR of just under .600 for the night.

Cummings won with Aritzia Hanover (1:57, $10.20), Bad Glamour Girl (1:56.2, $31.20), Elite (1.56.3, $4), Maradona (1:57.1, $5.20) and Voltina, who upset in the nights feature race.

Despite winning the top distaff pace last week at Batavia Downs, Voltina was dismissed by the betting public in the same class this week. But that didn’t dissuade her as she struck for the second straight time in the $9,500 Open Handicap for fillies and mares.

Voltina left from post six and had the lead in the blink of an eye. With the field in single-file fashion behind her for almost a half, they got to that station in a modest :58.1. A weak outer flow started to advance but really gained no momentum. However Rockin Kasbah (Larry Stalbaum) who had been in the garden spot from the very beginning was loaded with pace as the leader came around the last turn. At the top of the stretch Cummings was driving Voltina hard as Rockin Kasbah ducked into the passing lane. Rockin Kasbah made up ground all the way to the wire but Voltina hung onto a nose victory in 1:55.

It was the seventh win of the year for Voltina ($21.80) and topped off her bank account at $62,896 for owner CHS Racing LLC. Tony Cummings trains the winner.

The previously mentioned driver’s race continues to be interesting. Current leader Larry Stalbaum had two winners on Wednesday as did the second place Drew Monti. So at the end of the day it’s Larry Stalbaum with 99 wins, Drew Monti with 95, Ray Fisher Jr. with 93 wins and Kevin Cummings now with 79, is still in the conversation. With 16 nights of racing left it remains a wide-open competition.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs tonight (Nov. 10) with post time at 6 o'clock.

Photo below of Voltina pulling ahead with driver Kevin Cummings.

November 10, 2017 - 4:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

 

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The action will be fast and furious among the local horsemen and women this weekend as there will be total purses of $176,600 distributed among the 13 races at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 11), making it the largest pool of cash to be distributed among the local racing community this year on a non-New York Sire Stake card. 

The reason for the increased purse is the seven final legs of the Claiming Championship Series that have been going on the entire meet.

Since the beginning of the season, mid-level claimers accumulated points throughout the year and those who were highest in their divisions became eligible for championship final purses. Divisions contested included $4,000, $5,000-$6,000 and $8,000-$10,000 claimers on the pace and $4,000-$5,000 and $7,500-$10,000 claimers on the trot. Points were awarded to the top-five finishers of each race and accrued all year.

On Saturday, the $4,000 and $4,000-$5,000 categories will compete for $15,000 in their respective finals and all other categories will vie for $20,000.

The first four finals are carded as races one through four which are four of the five, early Pick-5 wager races. The final three divisions go as races 10 through 13 which include the late Pick-3. There are also eight stable entries within the seven races and that will make the wagering both interesting and challenging.

"This is always a very exciting night of racing in Western New York. It's for the bread and butter of our industry; the claimers" said Joe Zambito, Race Secretary and Race Caller at Batavia Downs. "I'm not sure where you can race $4,000 to $10,000 claimers year round and have the opportunity to race for purses like ours."

Also on Saturday's card are the weekly featured paces comprised of the $10,000 Open, $9,000 Open II and $8,500 Open III. 

Post time for the first race on Saturday is 6 p.m.

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