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August 13, 2018 - 2:44pm

The second annual Batavia Boys Basketball Program Golf Tournament will be held Saturday, Aug. 18, at Batavia Country Club. Cost is $70 per golfer and all proceeds benefit Batavia basketball.

Price includes 18 holes of golf -- four-man scramble, cart, lunch and dinner.

Registration starts at 2 p.m.; tee off is at 3 p.m.

The country club is located at 7909 Batavia Byron Road, Batavia.

If interested, please contact Varsity Head Coach Buddy Brasky -- 356-4050; Bryan Falitico -- 201-1075; or Dave Hall -- 703-5063.

Prizes will be awarded to: first-place team; second-place team; third-place team; longest drive; closest to the pin.

There will be a Chinese auction and raffle prizes.

Businesses are wanted to help with $50 hole sponsorships and prizes. To do so, please contact Brasky or Falitico at the numbers above.

Checks should be made out to Batavia Boys Basketball Boosters.

August 12, 2018 - 6:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Shawn Gray had the night of his life on Saturday (Aug. 11) as he won seven of the 12 races he drove at Batavia Downs and during that run, garnered his 4,000th career driving win.

Gray came into the night needing four wins to reach that plateau and once “The Maine Event” got rolling, there was seemingly no stopping him from getting to the winner’s circle. Besides his seven wins (which included the last five straight races of the night), Gray also had a second and two thirds giving him a stellar universal driver rating (UDR) of .685 for the night.

A native of Waterville, Maine, the 44-year-old Gray has been driving since 1993 when he got his first pari-mutuel win with Timer Choice at Presque Isle, Maine. He has been a regular on the New England circuit for his entire life, but in 2012 he came to western New York and made an instant impact on the racing scene here, taking the driving title at Batavia Downs that year.

Gray has also been a regular at Saratoga Raceway and Plainridge Park in recent years and enjoys the same success at those tracks as he does everywhere else.

In 19,230 starts, Gray has now won 4,003, has been second 3,098 times and third 2,709 more times making him more than 50 percent in the money for his career. That high percentage performance has earned him $15,114,821 in purses over that time.

Gray’s best career year was 2012 when he captured 356 victories and earned $1.859 million in purses. A habitual high percentage driver, Gray posted a personal best .440 UDR in 2011 but consistently ends the year in the high .300 range. Gray is currently second in North America in 2018 for UDR with a .404.

There was another horseman making history at Batavia Downs. Trainer James Clouser Jr. won a track record seven races on the card and posted an unbelievable universal training rating (UTR) of .917 in the process.

Clouser won with Freak On A Leash (1:55.2, $7.10), Whosurpapa (1:54.2, $3.20), Lenny Mac (1:57.3, $7.90), Upfront Countryboy (1:53.2, $4.20), Tyler (1:54.4, $2.90), Zipnthruthehall (1:54.3, $3.40) and Autobiographical (1:54.3, $2.60).

Gray drove six of Clouser’s seven winners.

The top Open pacing and trotting features were also contested on Saturday night.

Validus Deo, below, ($4.40) won the $10,500 Open Handicap pace in 1:54.3 for driver Kevin Cummings who also trains and co-owns the winner with Matthew Rosiek and Robert Johnson.

And BZ Glide, bottom photo, $29.60) upset in the $10,500 Open Handicap trot in 1:56.2 for driver Mike Caprio. Alana Caprio trains the winner for owner the Caprio Stable.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Down on Wednesday (Aug. 15) with post time set at 5 p.m.

August 11, 2018 - 1:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

As a result of no winning ticket once again on Wednesday (Aug. 8), Batavia Downs will offer a $2,500 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool when racing resumes on Saturday (Aug. 11) at the oldest lighted harness track in America.

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 Late Pick-5 that begins in race seven. The late Pick-5 is a $1 minimum bet.

Post time for the first race today (Aug. 11) is 6 p.m. 

August 11, 2018 - 9:34am


Some member of the Batavia cross-country team are looking for vehicles to wash for their fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 2 .pm., today at Empire Tractor 5072 E. Main St. Road, Batavia.

Proceeds will help support the team's New York City trip.

August 10, 2018 - 11:31am
posted by Andy Helwig in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

For the 31st time in 51 games, the Muckdogs had played in a game that was decided by two runs or less. The Doubledays put up three runs in the sixth inning that would end up being the difference in the 4-3 loss for Batavia.

Alberto Guerrero was solid for the Muckdogs on the mound, giving up just three hits in five innings, however, one of them was a home run to Jamori Blash in the second inning to give the Doubledays the 1-0 lead, and that is the way the game would stand until the sixth inning.

Jackson Stoeckinger for Auburn put a quality start in the books going six innings, giving up six hits and two runs in his start. Both runs that he gave up would come at the very start of Batavia’s rally.

The hole would be 4-0 by that point, as Tanner Andrews gave up three runs in his first inning of relief. The heart of the Doubleday order featured three All-Stars: Israel Pineda, Jacob Rhinesmith, and Pablo O’Connor. They tagged Batavia for three runs, including three extra-base hits to make it 4-0 going to the Muckdog half of the sixth inning.

The inning started off with a pair of singles from the top of the order in Corey Bird and Brayan Hernandez. A wild pitch advanced them to second and third, allowing Sean Reynolds to hit a sac fly to right field that brought in Bird, then two singles later Denis Karas drove in Hernandez to make it 4-2. One of those singles came from Jerar Encarnacion to extend his hit streak to 10 games. Michael Donadio hit a line drive that was caught by the second baseman Carson Shaddy, and Encarnacion was doubled off at second base to end the inning.

Evan Estes took care of the final six outs for Batavia, not allowing any runs, and keeping Batavia within striking distance of victory.

In the bottom of the ninth, the ‘Dogs got the start they were looking for. A leadoff double for Denis Karas got things going. Donadio kept the rally alive with a single, and a sac fly from Demetrius Sims brought Karas in to make it a one-run game. Igor Baez dropped a single in at the right field line to push Donadio to third with just one out. A ball hit to the outfield is all Batavia needed to tie the game. However, Luke Jarvis flew out to shallow center, not deep enough to bring in the run. Corey Bird then struck out to end the game and drop the game to the Doubledays 4-3. Batavia is now 1-6 on the season against Auburn.

The final game of the series is Friday; first pitch is a 7:05 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium.

August 9, 2018 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

Thunder with driver Kevin Cummings.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Thrilling stretch drives with close finishes were the order of the day at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 8) when the 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings visited the Genesee County oval to compete in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for the $109,000 in available purses.

Thunder (Conway Hall-Cr Oh Suzanna) won the first $54,500 division with a big brush from behind.

JNR Express (Jim Morrill Jr.) cut a decent first quarter before slowing the half forcing Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr.) to pull first up with Thunder (Kevin Cummings) following right behind. JNR Express and Chip Chip Conway hooked up and went at it toe to toe from the five eighths all around the last turn with Thunder drafting behind. Thunder tipped three deep at the head of the lane and ran down Chip Chip Conway in deep stretch to win in 1:58.3.

"I had to get after him to get him started; he was a little lazy. But he was good once he got started. He's a nice going trotter," said Cummings after the race.

It was the second straight win and a new lifetime mark for Thunder ($9.60) who is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Jeremy Day and the VIP Internet Stable. John Butenschoen trains the winner. Thunder was bred by Walnut Hall Limited.

Cavill Hanover (Muscle Mass-Cr Calendar Girl), in photo above with driver Ake Svanstedt, took the second $54,500 split after a very hard fought battle to the wire.

Horns For Three (Kevin Cummings) went right to the front and Cavill Hanover dropped in right in behind him. With the field single file to the half, Cummings backed it off considerably forcing Cavill Hanover to pull and challenge just pass that station. Drawing alongside the leader by the three quarters, Cavill Hanover and Horns For Three were now hooked up in a match race. The two trotted like a mirror image around the final bend, down the stretch and all the way to the wire where Cavill Hanover just got the advantage and won in 1:59.3, with a snappy back half of :57.4.

Svanstedt was complimentary of both his horse as well as Horns For Three: "My horse went good, but the horse we beat went good too. The race was very competitive."

Cavill Hanover ($3.90) has now won three out of his last four races for his connections, Little E, Vanersol Inc. and Wolfgang A Stable. His driver Ake Svanstedt also does the training. Cavill Hanover was bred at Hanover Shoe Farm.

There were also three $15,000 Excel “A” races on the card.

Lucky June Bug (Lucky Chucky-Ebbtide Hall) trotted in 2:00 flat and registered a new lifetime mark for driver John Macdonald and trainer Stanley Zombick Jr. Lucky June Bug ($9.30) is owned by Michael Pozefsky, William Pozefsky and Myron Eckstein. Sam Stoltzfus Jr. bred the winner.

Lights Come On (Chapter Seven-Starlit Eyes) won in 2:02.4 and took a new lifetime mark as directed by Drew Monti for trainer Anette Lorentzen. Lights Come On ($3.10) is owned by ACL Stuteri AB, Theodore Gewertz and Anette Lorentzen. Winbak Farm was the breeder.

Jason’s Camden (Muscle Mass-Palm Beach Chic) went wire to wire in 2:00.3 for team Orange Crush: Andy Miller in the bike for trainer Julie Miller. Jason’s Camden ($2.90) is owned by the Andy Miller Stable, Harvey Eisman and Little E, who also bred the colt.

August 7, 2018 - 3:22pm

Arc of Genesee Orleans will hold its 14th annual Friends & Family 5K & Fun Walk on Saturday, Sept. 15 in Elba.

There will be food, fun and music, plus kids' activities, including face painting.

Cost is $20 for the 5K and $15 for the one-and-a-half-mile Fun Walk; but both rates will increase by $5 on race day for those not preregistered. For nonparticipants wishing to attend the post-event party, cost is $5.

There is a small processing fee for online race/walk registrations.

Participants can register for the 5K and Fun Walk online here.

The race will be timed by PCR Timing Service of East Rochester.

Money raised will benefit education through the organization's Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarship Fund, and programs and services for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities served by Arc, and their families.

Sign up today for sponsorships, which range from $100 to $1,000. Aug. 15 is the cut-off date to put sponsor's names on T-shirts.

On race day, check-in begins at 8:45 a.m. The 5K starts at 10 o'clock, with the Fun Walk immediately following. The starting line is at the Arc Day Habilitation Center main entrance at 4603 Barrville Road, Elba.

For more information, call Race Director Sandy Konfederath at 343-4203, ext. 223, or email her at:  [email protected]

August 7, 2018 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Photo of driver Scott Zeron courtesy of Geri Schwarz.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Fresh off his $1 million Hambletonian win with the filly Atlanta on Saturday (Aug. 4), driver Scott Zeron will be competing at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 8) in the $109,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings. 

Zeron will drive in both $54,500 divisions as well as two of the three $15,000 Excel “A” races on the card. 

The NYSS are in races two and six with post time for the first race at 5 p.m.

Zeron had a huge afternoon at the Meadowlands on Saturday. Besides winning the Hambletonian with Atlanta (who became only the 14th filly to win that 3-year-old trotting stake in its 93-year history), he also won the $286,650 John Cashman Memorial trot with Marion Marauder (who Zeron also won the 2016 Hambletonian with) and the $260,100 Sam McKee Memorial pace with Western Joe.   

In the first NYSS division at Batavia on Wednesday, Zeron will drive Thunder (Conway Hall-Cr Oh Suzanna) for trainer John Butenschoen. 

Thunder has had some issues, making a bad break two starts ago. However last week at Saratoga Raceway he seems to have righted the ship by winning in 1:59.2 to gain his first lifetime win. Zeron drove him last week in that NYSS event and will look for a chance to have him double up in this race, starting from post seven. 

He will have to take on the morning line favorite Chip Chip Conway (Conway Hall-Get Chipped) who is coming in off two strong outings. 

After making two consecutive breaks in his first two NYSS starts, trainer Gary Messenger added trotting hobbles and the gelding qualified back fine. Since then he has won in a lifetime best 1:58 at Tioga Downs and finished second by a head to Thunder last week. Regular driver Jim Taggart Jr. will be back in the bike once again, leaving from post six.

In the second division, Our White Knight (Crazed-Psychotherapist) gets the services of Zeron and looks to up his game. So far this year he is a perfect four for four finishing second and is still looking for that first win. 

Our White Knight got away well last week and became forwardly placed early, which helped his good closing ability to be more effective at the end of the mile. With an inside post this week, look for a similar situation with Zeron up from post two. John Butenschoen also trains this gelding.

The main rival here is morning line favorite Labadee AS (Conway Hall-Smith Hall) who has two consecutive open-length wins in Excel “A” action. However this week he moves back up to the top tier for this race, which is the first time he has been in a NYSS event since his first lifetime start on July 9. Andy Miller, who finished second to Atlanta in the Hambletonian with Met’s Hall, picks up the lines for trainer Anette Lorentzen for the first time behind Labadee AS with post one. 

In the Excel “A” races, Zeron will also drive Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) from post one in the eighth race for trainer George Ducharme and Crazy Every Time (Crazed-Bar Ballad) from post five in the ninth race for trainer Jim Mc Donald. 

Although only driving for 12 years, the 29-year-old Zeron has posted some phenomenal numbers through his career, starting out on the very competitive Ontario tracks and then moving to the Grand Circuit. 

Currently Zeron has 3,390 wins, 2,870 seconds and 2,785 thirds out of 22,014 start with $62,507,595 in earnings. 

Zeron was the youngest Canadian driver to reach 1,000 wins and the youngest driver in history to reach 2,000 wins. He was also the youngest driver ever to win the Little Brown Jug with Michael's Power in 2012. 

In 2012 Zeron received the Rising Star Award from the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) and showed why he got that honor with the biggest year of his career (to that point) in 2016 when he won the Meadowlands driving title and the trotting Triple Crown with Marion Marauder.

August 6, 2018 - 5:00pm
posted by Thomas Tucker in sports, golf, news, batavia country club.

The Batavia Country Club recently completed three weeks of their junior golf camp.

For Web page with pictures click here.

Please note that next year we'll be changing the age groups to: Junior Division -- Ages 7-10; Senior Division -- Ages 11-15. There will be divisions for boys and girls in each age group.

Pee Wee Division Boys and Girls -- July 9th-13th: Roane George, Naomi Utz, Riley Yunker, Maisse Yunker, Brooklyn Jachimowicz, Natalie Hamm, Josh Utz, Owen Glazier, Noah Calarco-Smith, Brayden Jachimowicz, Nicholas Calarco-Smith.

The Pee Wee players experienced one day with a little rain, but overall it was a great week for golf!

The Friday Tournament saw Owen Glazier dominate the boys' division; he medaled with a score of 29. The girls' division was a close contest, with Riley Yunker prevailing by two strokes over Roane George.

This was Riley's second championship medal in two years!
Closest to the pin winner on hole 13 was Roane George, and on hole 17 the winner was Brayden Jachimowicz. The long drive winner on hole 14 was Owen Glazier.

Other contests and winners were:
  • Putting Contest Medalist -- Noah Calarco-Smith
  • Chipping Contest Medalist -- Roane George
  • Lag Putting Contest -- Noah Calarco Smith
  • Aim Line Accuracy -- Natalie Hamm; she won a few bucks for herself and her fellow golfers for the effort.
  • Pitching Target -- Brayden Jachimowicz

The kids had fun, and we hope to see them all next year.

(Inset photo at right: Riley Yunker and Owen Glazier.)

Junior -- Senior Boys and Girls Division -- July 23rd-27th: Michala Falkner, Lily Davis, Lindsey Betters Connor Demoy, Ryan Muscarella, Logan Clark, Tyler Roth.

We had great weather all week for these kids, and they played very good golf.

In Friday's Tournament, Ryan Muscarella dominated the other boys as he went low with a score of 34, and Lily Davis dominated her competition with a score of 48.


(Inset photo, left: Lily Davis and Ryan Muscarella.)


Closest to the pin winner on hole 13 for the boys was Ryan Muscarella, and for the girls it was Lily Davis.

Closest to the pin winner on hole 17 for the boys was Ryan Muscarella, and for the girls it was Lindsey Betters.

The long drive winner for the girls on hole 14 was Michala Falkner, no boys hit the fairway.


Other contests and winners were:

  • Putting Contest Medalist - Boys -- Ryan Muscarella
  • Putting Contest Medalist - Girls -- Lily Davis, also overall putting contest winner
  • Chipping Contest Medalist - Boys -- Ryan Muscarella
  • Chipping Contest Medalist - Girls -- Michala Falkner
  • Lag Putting Contest - Boys -- Logan Clark
  • Lag Putting Contest - Girls -- Lily Davis, also overall lag putting contest winner
  • Aim Line Accuracy - Boys -- Tyler Roth, Tyler and Lily got into coach Tucker's wallet for a few bucks for themselves and their fellow golfers.
  • Aim Line Accuracy - Girls -- Lily Davis
  • Pitching Target - Boys -- Tyler Roth
  • Pitching Target - Girls -- no qualifiers

Junior - Senior Boys and Girls Division, July 30th through Aug. 3rd: Molly Adkins, Kaylee Frens, Jada Fite, Amelia Frens, Emily Frens, Riley Prunner, Brennen Pederson, Rhys Tanner, Sam Dinsmore, Will Fulton, Andrew Ricupito, Even Preston, Coach Roxanne Noeth.

We were concerned about the weather for this week of camp. Rain was projected for every day, but we got through the week without a drop!

We had some high drama at the Friday Tournament. Will Fulton and Sam Dinsmore tied with a score of 39 and we had a playoff from 100 yards on hole 18. Both boys hit the green with fine shots, and Will Fulton prevailed with a birdie. In the girls' division, Amelia Frens shot a 44 to edge out Jada Fite by one stroke.

(Left: Will Fulton and Amelia Frens)

Closest to the pin winner on hole 13 for the boys was Sam Dinsmore, and for the girls it was Riley Prunner.

Closest to the pin winner on hole 17 for the boys was Brennen Pederson, and for the girls it was Emily Frens.

The long drive for the boys was Sam Dinsmore, for the girls it was Jada Fite.







Other contests and winners were:

  • Putting Contest Medalist - Boys -- Brennen Pederson, tied with Jada for overall winner
  • Putting Contest Medalist - Girls -- Jada Fite, tied with Brennan for overall winner
  • Chipping Contest Medalist - Boys -- Sam Dinsmore
  • Chipping Contest Medalist - Girls -- Jada Fite
  • Lag Putting Contest - Boys -- Evan Preston
  • Lag Putting Contest - Girls -- Jada Fite, also the overall lag putting winner
  • Aim Line Accuracy - Boys -- Evan Preston
  • Aim Line Accuracy - Girls -- Riley Prunner; Riley and Evan won a few bucks for themselves and their fellow golfers for the effort
  • Pitching Target - Boys -- Sam Dinsmore
  • Pitching Target - Girls -- Emily Frens
August 6, 2018 - 11:35am
posted by Andy Helwig in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

The Muckdogs had the power of a three-run first inning to hold on for a 6-5 win over the West Virginia Black Bears. Batavia has won six of their last nine games, and have opened up the month of August with a 4-1 record. Jerar Encarnacion and Albert Guaimaro hit home runs in the game for Batavia.

The first runs of the game came in the first inning. Corey Bird, who is with the Muckdogs on Minor League Rehab, started off the ballgame with a walk. He got caught going the wrong way on a pickoff attempt but was bailed out by the pickoff throw being airmailed over Luke Mangieri’s head at first base. Bird went first to third on the play. Brayan Hernandez then ripped an RBI single up the middle to score Bird. After a Sean Reynolds strikeout, Jerar Encarnacion clubbed a home run into the Black Bears' bullpen for his third of the year to give the ‘Dogs a three-run lead going into the bottom of the first.          

The lead continued to grow in the second. Igor Baez led off the inning with a walk. The leadoff batter reached base three times in the first four innings. Baez was able to move around the diamond on a ground ball that snuck into right field to push Baez to third base. He then scored on a wild pitch.

Albert Guaimaro led off the fourth inning with a blast over the left-center wall. His line drive homer was his first of the season and continued a powerful Muckdogs offense that has put up 6.2 runs per game in the last five games, after scoring just 3.9 per game in July.

Guaimaro’s home run pushed the Batavia lead to five after four innings. The Black Bear half of the inning started their rally. One run came in to score from an error from Gerardo Nunez, who had two in the game. A second run came in from a Paul Brands' single and cut Batavia’s lead to 5-2 after the fourth.

Bryce Howe went out for his fifth inning and set a new career high with four and a third innings in the start. He also struck out a season-high five batters as well.

West Virginia scored again in the sixth on an error from a Baez throw that skipped into center field on an attempt to throw out a runner. Edison Lantigua scored on the play, making it 5-3 Batavia. The Black Bears notched one more in the bottom of the seventh from a Brett Kinneman double. Batavia’s once 5-0 lead diminished to just one run.

The Muckdogs pushed an insurance run across the plate in the top of the ninth inning. When Luke Jarvis led the inning off with a walk. Nunez bunted him over, setting up Bird who then smacked an RBI double in the right-center gap to score Jarvis.

The insurance run proved to be very important in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jameson McGrane looked to finish off the six-out save. He would give up a one-out double to Mike Gretler, and was scored by Kinneman to make the difference just one run again, and bring the winning run to the plate. McGrane shut it down from there on out though, and sealed the deal to get the Muckdogs to the 6-5 victory.

Batavia has two more games against the Black Bears, who own the league’s worst record. First pitch Monday and Tuesday are 7:05 p.m. from Monongalia County Ballpark. Humberto Mejia and Tyler Kolek are scheduled to throw for Batavia in Monday’s game.

August 5, 2018 - 10:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Icanflylikeanangel with reinsman Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After a narrow defeat in his first start here, the second time was the charm for Icanflylikeanangel who overpowered the early leader to win the $10,000 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on this afternoon (Aug. 5).

The short field of six was shortened even further with the scratch of last week’s winner Dragin The Wagon who called in sick. But the fast five left the gate with usual pace-setter and track record holder Chelseas Chance (Billy Davis Jr.) on the point once again. After a solid :28.3 quarter with the trailers all sitting in, Davis tried to put them to sleep with a :31 second panel as no one would come off the rail. However Icanflylikeanangel (Drew Monti) who had gotten away last, had enough and pulled in front of the stands to make his way up the rim.

With moderate acceleration towards the front up the backside, Icanflylikeanangel drew near the leader by the three-quarters in 1:28.3 and the race was on from there. The two trotted around the last turn less than a length apart but when they hit the top of the stretch, Monti woke up Icanflylikeanangel with a spirited drive and hit the wire a winner by a neck in 1:57.2.

It was the fifth win in 16 2018 starts for Icanflylikeanangel ($6.80) and it increased his coffers to $48,670 for this year. The 4-year-old Archangel gelding is owned by Joseph Hess and is trained by D Benny Eggers.

In the $8,000 Open II Handicap trot, Empire Earl N (Shawn Gray) was a gate to wire winner from the outside post six, besting his five competitors in 1:57.1. It was the seventh win of the year for Empire Earl N ($6.80) is owned by Kim Asher and is trained by Riley Asher-Stalbaum.

Driver Drew Monti had a natural Grand Slam on the card, winning races six through nine. Besides winning with Icanflylikeanangel, he also scored with Sara Cola (1:55.3, $10.20), Theresnoway (1:57.4, $5.30) and Stonebridge Marvel (1:57, $6.10).

Live racing resumes on Monday (Aug. 6) at Batavia Downs with a first race post time of 5 p.m. This is the only Monday of racing in August.

August 5, 2018 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

In Runaway Bay with reinsman Kevin Cummings.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

In Runaway Bay made his 2018 Batavia Downs debut a winning one after moving up in class and tripping out the mile to win the $10,500 Open Handicap pace on Saturday night (Aug. 4).

Bugatti (Ron Beback Jr.) got away sharp off the gate and went right for the lead. But Lucan Hanover (John Cummings Jr.) wanted to command the race as well and the fight for the front was on. Going hoof to hoof through quarters of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:25 flat, Bugatti and Lucan Hanover duked it out while In Runaway Bay (Kevin Cummings) laid-in-wait third on the pegs.

Halfway around the final bend, Lucan Hanover succumbed to the pace, making room for In Runaway Bay to pull and advance in the stretch. Bugatti was still live but In Runaway Bay had fresh legs and ran him down at the wire to win in 1:54.1 by a half-length.

In Runaway Bay ($17.20) has now earned $34,795 on the strength of four 2018 wins for owner Mark Jakubik and trainer Angelo Nappo.

In the $9,000 Open II pacing sub-feature, Validus Deo (Kevin Cummings) sat a perfect pocket trip behind Tioga Downs invader Believe This Bob (Mike Caprio) from the start of the race until just past the three-quarters when Cummings pulled right-line and drew next to the leader. They paced around the final bend together, but then Validus Deo accelerated past Believe This Bob in mid-stretch under strong urging to win by two lengths in 1:54.

Looking very sharp off the sick scratch in his last start, Validus Deo ($15.80) now has six wins this year and $35,376 in earnings for owners Matthew Rosiek, Robert Johnson and Kevin Cummings, who also trains the winner.

Cummings completed the natural driving hat trick with Rock Fame ($11.20) who paced a season’s best 1:54.1 for owner Mike Torcello and trainer Gerry Sarama.

There is a $328 carryover pool for the early Pick-5 wager on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 5) which runs from race one through race five. Post time for Sunday’s card was 1:15 p.m.

August 5, 2018 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, sports, rodeo, Attica Rodeo.


Shots from yesterday's afternoon show of the Attica Rodeo.











August 5, 2018 - 12:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in softball, sports, batavia, Kibbe Park, batavia men's league.


The Batavia Men's League Softball championship comes down to Tomkins Insurance vs. Skyworks this coming week.

On Thursday, in the semifinals, Tompkins beat T.F. Brown's Beers N Bombs 15-7. In the nightcap, Skyworks beat USPS 14-1.





August 4, 2018 - 9:58am
posted by Steve Ognibene in sports, baseball, muckdogs.


The Muckdogs beat first-place Mahoning Valley at home Friday night 8-2 for the team's fourth consecutive win.

Alberto Guerrero pitched five solid innings but gave up two runs and the team was down 2-0 when he left the game.

Batavia rallied for six runs in the sixth and Tanner Andrews, who replaced Guerrero and tossed two scoreless innings, picked up the win.

Michael Donadio had three hits, two RBIs, and scored twice. Albert Guaimaro had two hits. Brayan Hernandez hit his second homer of the season in the seventh inning.






August 4, 2018 - 12:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, powerlifting, Darien, news.


Lucas Birkby, a 17-year-old from Darien powerlifter recently won a USAPL regional event at Riverworks in Buffalo, where he broke state records and qualified for the nationals in October where he will be ranked #1 in his class.

A student at Genesee Community College, Lucas has been training on his own at home in his garage and he lifted more than any adult at the meet in Buffalo. 

His bench press was 420 pounds, with a squat of 620 pounds and a deadlift of 600 pounds. The previous records for 16- and 17-year-olds were 276 in the bench, 403 in the squat, and 375 for the deadlift. His totals even eclipsed the "equipped" category state records, which were set in 1969.

The USAPL is a drug-free lifting organization. 

By winning the regional event, Lucas now has a coach, Carley Skarupinski of Mustache Fitness and Barbell, who will help prepare Lucas for the national meet. Skarupinski was director of the Riverworks event.

Photos and info submitted by Scott Birkby.

August 3, 2018 - 11:38am
posted by Virginia Kropf in Jenny Kuzma 5K, 5K, sports, bergen, news.


As time winds down for the 2018 Jenny Kuzma 5K race, organizers are fearful this could be the last year for the race, which has earned the reputation as one of the most competitive races in Western and Central New York.

Started more than 25 years ago as the Bergen Swamp Race, it was renamed the Jenny Kuzma Memorial 5K race to honor the Byron-Bergen eighth-grader who died of leukemia in June 1990 at the age of 13.

Eric Boyce has chaired the race for the last 12 years, assisted by Joe Chimino, a senior lineman with the Village of Bergen until his retirement in May.

Boyce, however, has moved to Canandaigua, and since Chimino’s retirement, he doesn’t have access to the village equipment needed to set up for the race and handle traffic control. Because of these factors, both men have decided this will be their last year chairing the event.

Both Boyce and Chimino are hoping someone else will come forward to chair and organize the race, which has drawn some pretty impressive participants.

Boyce, who used to run the race and won it several times, became involved in organizing it when Paul Thomas, his former cross-country coach at Byron-Bergen High School, was chairman. Boyce was eventually instrumental in raising the race to the status of a USA Track and Field qualifying race 10 years ago.

“If you look at race statistics in Western New York, this one sticks out,” Boyce said. “Besides promoting healthy lifestyles and community involvement, we’ve had some pretty neat highlights along the way. Several people got engaged at the finish line; the second fastest 5K run by a woman was at this race in 2014, and a man from Kenya set a course record here after riding on a bus all night from Nyack to get here.”

The race begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on Parkview Drive in Hickory Park.

Early registration ended Wednesday, but racers can still register for $30 from up until 6:15 p.m. today at Medved Running and Walking Outfitters, 3400 Monroe Ave., Rochester; or they can register the day of the race up until 8:30 a.m. for $35.

Proceeds from the race fund a scholarship for an eighth-grader at Byron-Bergen School and Camp Good Days.

Boyce said he doesn’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but he hopes someone will take over.

“We’ve been contacted by several groups who are interested, but most don’t realize how much is involved behind the scenes,” he said. “This event is good for the village and the community.”

If someone is willing to take it over, Boyce said he might possibly be able to help.

Top photo: Hundreds of racers hit the street in last year’s Jenny Kuzma 5K race in Bergen. This could be the last year for the race if new organizers don’t step up.


The annual Jenny Kuzma 5K race in Bergen has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive races in all of Western and Central New York. Here, a runner from Kenya sets the course record after riding all night on a bus from Nyack to reach Bergen in a race several years ago.


Hannah Davidson, of Saratoga Springs, accepts her check in 2014 after posting the second fastest time by a woman in a 5K race in the Rochester area at the Jenny Kuzma 5K race.

August 2, 2018 - 4:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

So Awesome with driver Jim Morrill Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

With $105,000 up for grabs in the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night, 10 of the best state-bred 2-year-old pacing fillies were on hand to compete in two divisions for the spoils and both winners put in career best efforts to get the job done.

So Awesome (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) lived up to her name in the first $52,500 division as she led the race at every station of the mile. 

So Awesome (Jim Morrill Jr.) got away second momentarily before pulling past the eighth and taking the front by the quarter. With the field in single file behind, Morrill grabbed leather and had So Awesome set a pedestrian :58 half before picking up the pace in the third panel with a crisp :28.4. It was then JK American Beauty (Daniel Dube) pulled the pocket and came after at the leader. 

JK American Beauty accelerated into the final turn got almost even with So Awesome around that bend. But Morrill fed So Awesome some line and she switched gears and paced away to the wire, finishing a wrapped-up winner in 1:55, which was a new lifetime mark for the filly. 

“She had good position and when I got her to the front she did all the work. I was just a passenger the whole mile,” said Morrill after the race.

So Awesome ($3.00) now has three wins in five lifetime starts and $96,615 in earnings for owner William Hartt. Scott Di Domenico trains the winner. 

The second $52,500 split saw Hurrikane Norakane (Art Major-Western Heat) win decisively off of a strong front-end effort.

(Hurrikane Norakane with driver Dan Dube.)

Taking the lead when the gate opened, Hurrikane Norakane (Dan Dube) was immediately pressured by Gia’s Surreal (John Macdonald) who tried to leave and then lost the hole. With post time favorite Brooklyn Lilacs (Jim Morrill Jr.) sitting second behind the her, Hurrikane Norakane held Gia’s Surreal at bay to the half in :56.3 and Gia’s Surreal kept Brooklyn Lilacs locked in until almost the three-quarters when she finally faded. 

As soon as the opportunity presented itself, Brooklyn Lilacs pulled at the apex of the far turn and tried to get to Hurrikane Norakane. But the filly in front would have none of that. Hurrikane Norakane opened up a quick three-length lead while Dube sat like a statue and won in 1:55.1, which was another lifetime mark this night.

“I thought she was the best from the rail and that’s why I went down the road with her. I never even popped the plugs” Dube recounted in the winner’s circle. 

Now with her first NYSS win, Hurrikane Norakane ($6.70) has put $73,300 in the bank so far this year for owners Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group and George Vierno. John Mc Dermott trains the winner. 

There were also two divisions of the $15,000 Excel “A” series on the card.

Dorothy’s Legacy (Art Major-Put On A Display) was a gate to wire winner in 1:58.1 for driver Daniel Dube in the first division. Dorothy’s Legacy ($7.20) is owned by R. B. H. Ventures Inc., Capital Call and Joe Sbrocco and is trained by Kevin Mc Dermott. 

The second set was bested by Sun Viser (Heston Blue Chip-Beach Bonnet) who upset the field when he came first-over at three-quarters and pulled away to a two-length victory in 1:57.2, which was a new lifetime mark. Sun Viser ($38.80) is owned by Triple D Stables and is trained by Scott Di Domenico. 

Di Domenico ended up with a training triple on Wednesday’s card. Besides the aforementioned So Awesome and Sun Viser, he also sent Joe’s Girl (Roll With Joe-Donna’s Girl) to the winner’s circle after a 1:57.1, career best effort in Excel “B” action for owners Triple D Stables and JFE Enterprise. Jim Morrill Jr. drove. 

Overall in New York bred action, Daniel Dube had a driving triple while Jim Morrill Jr. captured two wins.

August 2, 2018 - 10:37am
posted by Andy Helwig in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

The Muckdogs picked up their third win in five days on Wednesday afternoon in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park by topping the State College Spikes 5-4. The game in University City, Pa., didn’t pick up at its expected time of noon due to rains that pushed first pitch all the way back to 2:20 p.m.

Once the game finally got underway, Batavia did not waste any time getting on the board. Sean Reynolds went deep to left field and got the Muckdogs their first lead of the game, making it 1-0 going to the bottom of the first.

The lead doubled with an RBI double from Luke Jarvis, his first extra-base hit as a pro. His shot off the right-field wall scored Igor Baez and put Batavia up by a pair.

State College halved the lead in the bottom of the second as a result of a Brady Whalen home run. Whalen, a switch-hitter batting from the left side, hit the fifth home run Humberto Mejia has given up this season. All five of those home runs had been from left-handed batters.

A pair of errors from the Spikes in the top of the fifth opened another scoring window in the top of the fifth. Lars Nootbaar dropped a Brayan Hernandez fly ball in left field that he lost in the sun, and then Stanley Espinal airmailed a throw from the hole on the left side to put Demetius Sims on. Hernandez came in to score on a ball that squeaked away from the catcher Alexis Wilson. Immediately after, Sean Reynolds smacked an RBI double to score Sims and cash in on both of the Spikes’ errors.

Tyler Kolek came on in relief of Mejia, Kolek ended up as the winning pitcher in the ballgame in his three innings of relief. He retired his first six batters and gave up just one run in the seventh. When he came out of the game, Batavia still held a 4-2 lead.

Once again, Batavia answered with a run of their own, JD Osborne slugged a double to the left-center gap to score Jerar Encarnacion. Encarnacion was the third run to score that reached on an error.

CJ Carter and Elkin Alcala closed out the game for the final six outs. Nick Dunn drove in his second and third runs in the game with a two-run shot into the right-field bleachers. In a 5-4 game, Alcala got the final out after giving up the homer to give the Muckdogs the win.

The Muckdogs return home for a three-game series with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers at Dwyer Stadium. The first pitch for all three games is 7:05 p.m.

August 1, 2018 - 4:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, bergen, Jenny Kuzma Memorial Bergen Road Race, 5K.

This Saturday is the Jenny Kuzma Memorial Bergen Road Race.

Race director Eric Boyce will close out the races historic run as one of the most competitive 5K races in all of WNY and Central NY.

Don’t miss out! Register by Aug. 2nd for $25 here.


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