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December 2, 2017 - 5:11pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Parks, Recreation & Forestry has partnered with the Batavia Kiwanis Club to extend hours for ice skating on Fridays at the DeWitt Recreation Area! The hours will be extended till 7:30 p.m. beginning Dec. 29 until mid-March.

A true community effort continues to make it all happen with the City of Batavia Fire Department initially filling the rink with water, the Town of Oakfield Highway Department providing outdoor lighting, and Cedar Street Rentals assisting with keeping the ice surface clear of snow. Use of the rink is FREE and available at posted times.

DeWitt Recreation Area is located at 115 Cedar St. in Batavia. The outdoor rink is not monitored by staff during posted hours nor are skates provided. Skate at your own risk.

This beautiful community skating area is constructed and maintained by volunteers and staff, so we ask for your help in keeping it safe and clean for all to enjoy. Please stay off the ice on warm days and respect the “closed for maintenance” signs. Keeping off the ice when it is warm will ensure a quick reopening of the rink when the weather turns cold again!

See the parks website here for full rules and details.

Rink Hours:

Public Skate:
(Sticks and pucks are prohibited on the ice during public skate.)

  • Monday, Wednesday, Saturday -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Thursday -- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Friday (beginning Dec. 29) -- 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Stick & Puck:

Tuesday, Thursday 2 to 4 p.m.​ (No figure skating during Stick & Puck time.)

    For more information visit our website here, or contact Shannon Morley at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

    December 2, 2017 - 4:20pm
    posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.
    Fox Valley Veto with driver Billy Davis Jr.
    By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
    Challenged for almost the entire mile, Fox Valley Veto took on all comers and went wire to wire to capture the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Dec.1)
    Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) and Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) both wanted the front and they went at it hot and heavy off the gate. Fox Valley Veto cleared and then held Lutetium at bay outside to the half in a quick :57.2.
    Past the five-eighths Lutetium rightfully packed it in and Fox Valley Veto opened up a three length advantage when he hit the three-quarters in 1:27.2. But during the third quarter, Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) had motored up from the back of the pack and was closing quickly on the leader. 
    At the top of the stretch Empire Earl N was full of trot and looked like he was going to blow right on by. But Fox Valley Veto had the will and held his ground, toughing-out the win in 1:58. 
    It was the third win in five starts at Batavia Downs for Fox Valley Veto ($4) who is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice. Maria Rice is the trainer.  
    In the $8,000 Open II trot, I Want Kandy (Drew Monti) left and tucked behind Kahoku (Kevin Cummings) who cut 7/8th's of the mile before Monti pulled and trotted right on by to win by a length in 1:58.2. 
    It was the first win in two Batavia Downs starts for I Want Kandy ($6.30) and the eighth win of the season overall. Darrin Monti trains the winner that is owned by Carl Monti.  
    There was an accident in the first turn of the night's seventh race when Catherine's diamond (Ray Fisher Jr.) took a bad step and went down and Madd Hoss Jackson (Larry Stalbaum) couldn't get around her and hooked bikes. Stalbaum became unseated but both horses were immediately controlled by their drivers and taken safely to the outside of the track as the race progressed. 
    Both horses were unhurt and both Fisher and Stalbaum drove the remainder of their mounts. 
    Stalbaum maintained his Batavia Downs dash driving lead as he won two races on the card (both came after the incident in the seventh race) while the second place Ray Fisher Jr. scored the hat trick. Currently at the meet Stalbaum has 119 wins, Fisher has 117 and Drew Monti has 111. 
    Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Dec. 2) with post time at 6 o'clock.
    November 30, 2017 - 4:55pm
    posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

    By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

    As the weather gets cold Voltina gets hot and she proved it by winning the $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Nov. 29), which was her third victory in her last five starts in the top class.

    Voltina (Kevin Cummings) fired off the gate and took the lead with lightning speed. Squeeze This (Billy Davis Jr.) also left from post seven but took a quarter mile to clear. As soon as she did, Voltina came right back to grab the front and that was all she wrote.

    As Voltina took the field to the half in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:26, she scoffed at minor challenges from Hey Kobe (Shawn McDonough) and Who Says That (Ray Fisher Jr.) and kept to her task around the final turn. As they headed down the lane Cummings was flailing the lines and opened up a two-length advantage with Voltina looking lively. But one last test came from Mydelight Bluechip (Ben Mcniel) who shook loose in the passing lane and came with a rush. However Voltina was stout and hung on to win by a length in 1:55.2.

    Having the best year of her life, Voltina ($8.20) scored her eighth victory of 2017 and bolstered her wallet to $69,456. The 7-year-old daughter of Allamerican Native is owned by CHS Racing LLC and is trained by Anthony Cummings.

    In the co-featured $8,000 distaff Open II, Little Joke (Billy Davis Jr.) took back and followed quick early fractions before pulling second-over at the half behind America Ferrera (Kevin Cummings) and eventually overtook her at the top of the stretch and pulled away to a six length romp in a 1:55.

    Now two for two since arriving at the Downs, Little Joke ($6.00) has eight wins and $51,435 on the year for owners Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner.

    Driver Kevin Cummings who continues to be the hottest driver on the grounds at Batavia, scored four more wins on Wednesday night. Besides taking the feature with Voltina, he also won with Fie Fy Fo (1:57.1, $9.70), Our Last Photo (2:00.1, $3.20) and Goldstar Thumper (1:57.3, $53).

    In the last 10 cards of racing at Batavia, Cummings has won 28 races and now has 102 wins for the meet. He currently sits in fourth place for dash wins behind Larry Stalbaum (117), Ray Fisher Jr. (114) and Drew Monti (110) and with seven nights of racing left, has a legitimate shot at the driving title.

    Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 1) at 6 p.m.

    November 30, 2017 - 8:55am
    posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, Bowling, Beat The Champ.


    The Beat the Champ TV show cast and production crew rolled into Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia on Wednesday to tape four shows that will run in December, two of which featured local adult and youth standouts.

    Family, friends, longtime bowlers, fans of the WBBZ-TV (MeTV) telecast and interested observers turned out to watch the competition on lanes 19-20.

    Batavians Rich Wagner and Rob Stefani – who registered a 300 game in league play earlier this week – along with Brockport’s Chris Bardol (owner of The North Pole Restaurant in Batavia) competed on the third show and eight youth bowlers from the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso’s participated in a Doubles event on the fourth show (see photo below).

    The Wagner-Bardol-Stefani show will be telecast at 4 p.m. Dec. 23 (repeated at 11 p.m. Dec. 24) and the youth special will be telecast at the same times on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31.

    All of the seven other bowlers in the regular shows were from the Buffalo area – reigning champ John Danielwicz, and qualifiers Josh Vogt, Dana Voytovich, Jeremy Zimmerman, Dan Richbart, Chuck Jagodzinski and Joseph Pohlman.

    The first two shows will air on Dec. 9-10 and Dec. 16-17.

    (Note: The Batavian will report the results of the matches after each show is televised).

    The size of the audience grew as the show with the local bowlers neared its starting time, around 2 p.m.

    For Tim Shanks of Elba, a former league bowler, seeing all the TV lights, cameras and set was an eye-opener.

    “This is much more than I figured,” said Shanks, who said he watches the show regularly. “I’m happy the show is on again; it brings back memories of the old Beat the Champ. And I’m just glad that it’s so close to home.”

    Beat the Champ airs from 12 different bowling centers, mostly in the Buffalo area, throughout the year, with four shows each month from a particular center.

    Stars of the show are commentator Paul Peck, analyst Sue Nawojski and scorekeeper/host Janelle Sabin. Mike Pettinella, New York State USBC association manager and bowling writer for The Batavian, joined Peck and Nawojski as a commentator on the Wagner-Stefani-Bardol show.

    Qualifiers for the show took place on Nov. 11-12, with the top nine bowlers making the TV show – bowlers 1-3 on the first show, 4-6 on the second show and 7-9 on the third show. Coincidentally, Wagner, Bardol and Stefani finished in seventh through ninth place, and as a result, were grouped on the same telecast.

    This was the second straight appearance for Wagner, who earned $250 last year, and Bardol, who competed in a coed doubles special event.

    Photo at top -- Rich Wagner, left, talks with Chris Bardol as Rob Stefani poses for some still photos prior to their Beat the Champ TV show at Mancuso Bowling Center on Wednesday afternoon.







    Photos under the story -- The crowd included Rich Wagner's father, Rich, in the front row, and family and friends; Bardol is interviewed for post-production purposes by Sue Nawojski; longtime Batavian Tom Stokes (in red sweater and wearing an autographed French Connection Sabres hat) posed for a photo with Nawojski, Paul Peck and Janelle Sabin; local competitors Rich Wagner, Chris Bardol and Rob Stefani; youth participants James Townsend, Corinne Saluste, Emma Miller, Samantha Balbi, Benjamin Sputore, Tara Clattenburg, Skylar Laesser and Sam Miller; the on-air cast opening the youth special show. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

    November 28, 2017 - 3:02pm
    posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

    By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

    As a result of no winning ticket once again on Saturday (Nov. 25), Batavia Downs will offer a $3,500 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool when racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 29) at the oldest lighted harness track in America. The actual carryover is $1,225.

    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 Pick-5 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.

    To access the free program pages click here


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

    November 27, 2017 - 2:41pm
    posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.
    Photo of Itsonlyrocknroll A with driver Larry Stalbaum.
    By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs 
    Batavia Downs leading driver Larry Stalbaum is nicknamed "The Bomber" for his propensity of winning with long shots. Stalbaum lived up to his moniker on Saturday night (Nov. 25) when he escaped the consciousness of the betting public and got home first with 14-1 shot Itsonlyrocknroll A in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace. 
    It was a mad dash off the gate as Hardts Or Bettor (Ray Fisher Jr.), Littlebitaclass (Billy Davis Jr.) And Focus Power (Drew Monti) all battled for the lead. Focus Power tucked in third and Hardts Or Bettor parked out Littlebitaclass for the remainder of the contest. The pair paced in tandem in :26.4 and :56.1 when Littlebitaclass wore down past the five-eighths.
    At that station Jimi Wind Ricks (John Cummings Jr.) tipped three-wide around him and approached the leader by three-quarters in 1:25.2. But Hardts Or Bettor was still not done as he rebuffed that challenge as well and rounded the last turn looking like he might be the best. But Itsonlyrocknroll A, who had been drafting fourth behind all the early action, made his way into the passing lane at the head of the stretch and from there wore down Hardts Or Bettor to won by a length in 1:54.2. 
    It was the 13th win of the year for Itsonlyrocknroll A ($30) and it pushed his earnings for 2017 to $80,785. Owned by his driver, Itsonlyrocknroll A is trained by Kim Asher. 
    The Stalbaum/Asher team also captured the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace in the very next race with recent Austrailian stable addition, Chumlee A. 
    Stalbaum was second at the quarter with Chumlee A but came quick at that station and led the remainder of the race. After getting to the half in :57.2, Stalbaum turned on the jets and sped the third quarter to :28.3, putting some distance between himself and the rest of the field. From there Chumlee A  was wrapped-up and won by as many as he wanted to in 1:55.1. 
    It was the second win in two North American starts for Chumlee A ($2.60) who is owned by Mark Jakubik and his trainer, Kim Asher. 
    For the night the Stalbaum/Asher duo combined for four winners on the card, making their respective meet-leading driver and trainer leads even more secure. 
    Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 29) with post time at 5 o'clock.
    November 24, 2017 - 10:29pm
    posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

    Photo of Dragin The Wagon with driver Billy Davis Jr.

    By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

    In his last trip to Batavia Downs three weeks ago, Dragin The Wagon won handily wire to wire in 1:56.1. After two starts at Yonkers he returned to the Genesee County oval for a curtain call as the star of the show once again as he won the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot on Friday night (Nov. 24).

    Dragin The Wagon (Billy Davis Jr.) went right to the front and opened a gapped lead that would only get bigger. After grabbing leather to the half in :58.4 on a two-length advantage, Davis gave Dragin The Wagon his head while motoring up the backside and that is where he started to pull away. Two lengths turned into four at the three-quarters, six lengths at the top of the lane and eight lengths at the wire where he stopped the clock in 1:56.3 as the rest of the field could only watch from afar.

    It was the seventh win of the year for Dragin The Wagon ($3.50) who now has earned $70,168 for owners Cary, David and Michael Cantelon. The 7-year-old gelded son of Angus Hall is trained by Jeff Byron.

    In the co-featured $8,500 Open II Trot, Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) also went coast to coast by a gapped margin to win his seventh race of the year under wraps in 1:58. Colleen Girdlestone owns Lutetium ($4.30) who has now bankrolled $44,355 for the year. The winner of 58 races lifetime is trained by Priscilla Mooney.    

    Kevin Cummings led all drivers on Friday with four wins on the card. Over the last eight nights of racing at Batavia Downs Cummings has also led all drivers in wins with 22 over that period, finishing first in 25 percent of his starts. Once well out of the dash competition earlier this year, Cummings is now a closing fourth and definitely in the conversation for one of the top three spots. 

    Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Nov. 25) with post time at 6 o'clock.

    November 24, 2017 - 7:53am
    posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

    Three Genesee Region USBC members, including Batavian Rich Wagner for a second straight year, have qualified to appear on the Beat the Champ TV show, a regular Saturday afternoon feature on WBBZ-TV (MeTV).

    Wagner, who made $250 on the show in 2016, will be joined by fellow Batavian Rob Stefani and Rochester resident Chris Bardol (owner of the North Pole Restaurant in Batavia) on the third of four shows being taped on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

    The public is invited to watch the taping, which starts around 10 a.m., free of charge.

    Ironically, Wagner, Stefani and Bardol qualified in the seventh through ninth positions this year, and all will appear on the same show – along with the reigning champion, who will be determined from the first two shows.  The Wagner-Stefani-Bardol show will be televised at 4 p.m. Dec. 23 (repeated at 11 p.m. Dec. 24).

    The first two shows feature Buffalo-area competitors – Josh Vogt, Dana Voytovich and Jeremy Zimmerman and the champion (to be aired on Dec. 9-10) and Dan Richbart, Chuck Jagodzinski and Joseph Pohlman and the champion (to be aired on Dec. 16-17).

    Youth bowlers from the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso's will compete in a doubles event on the fourth show, which also will be the last show taped on Nov. 29. Selected to participate are Emma Miller, James Townsend, Tara Clattenburg, Skylar Laesser, Corinne Saluste, Sam Miller, Samantha Balbi and Benjamin Sputore.

    While the show provides a certain amount of publicity for Mancuso Bowling Center, center management can’t be happy about the number of bowlers who competed in the eight qualifying squads. There were only 63 entries this year, 40 less than last year.

    The way it is set up, the bowling center receives only $8 per $30 entry, the rest going for the $1,400 in prize money paid out on the shows. For this year, Mancuso’s fell short of that $1,400 mark by $14.

    And that doesn’t take into consideration the $6,000 that is put up by the participating bowling centers for production costs.

    I applaud the proprietor, Rick Mancuso, for taking part but unless WBBZ-TV implements some changes that benefit the bowling centers, I wouldn’t blame him for opting out next year.



    They call him “Mr. 900” and “Johnny Pins” for his remarkable achievement – a USBC-certified 900 series in 2012 – and now they can call him “champion” of the 10th annual Triple O Mechanical Handicap Singles Tournament at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

    John Martorella Sr. of Rochester, proprietor of Domm Brothers bowling center, defeated Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron, 222-207, in the title match to take the $400 first prize on Nov. 12.

    (Photo -- Tom Sardou, left, Rose Garden Bowl proprietor; Martorella and Jarkiewicz).

    Martorella qualified 13th with a 695 series – the top 16 out of 41 entries advanced to the eliminator-style finals – and followed that with games of 244, 246 and 257 to reach the championship match.

    Jarkiewicz was the ninth-best qualifier with 715, and then rolled 221, 249 and 261 (receiving four pins handicap each game) to reach the final match.  He earned $200 for his efforts.

    Other cashers were John Merriweather of Rochester and Brian Hall of Macedon, $100 each; Kevin Gray Sr. of Honeoye Falls, Kai Clark of Rochester, Jeff Dewar of Rochester and Laurie Morgante of Bergen, $60 apiece; and Harris Busmire of Bergen, Pat Brick of Buffalo, Rob Stefani of Batavia, and Rochester residents Scott Prince, Don Perrault, Peter Pilaroscia, Caycee Landers and Scott Dingman, $45 each.



    Former Cheektowaga resident Liz Johnson, arguably the greatest professional women bowler ever, has become the second woman to win a Professional Bowlers Association Tour title.

    The 43-year-old right-hander defeated Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, N.Y., 220-206, last Saturday at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., to win the PBA Chameleon Championship – one of the several tournaments conducted as part of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX.

    The finals will be broadcast at 1 p.m. Dec. 17 on ESPN.

    Johnson, who now resides in Illinois, joins Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., who won the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions, as the only women to capture titles on the PBA Tour.

    Her reaction, as reported by a PBA publicist, was one of jubilation.

     “It feels absolutely amazing,” said Johnson, who also finished 14th in the PBA World Championship this week in Reno. “It’s officially one of the best bowling days of my life and probably the icing on the cake as far as my career goes. I’ve been very lucky to have the career that I’ve had. I never thought having the chance to win a PBA title would come when it did. It’s been an awesome journey.”

    With the victory and its $20,000 first prize, Johnson added to her remarkable 2017. This year, she has three PWBA titles (two majors), including her sixth U.S. Women’s Open and the Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship, a third consecutive PWBA Player of the Year award and the 2017 PBA Chameleon Championship.

    Here are the finalists of the other WSOB tournaments (all of which have been completed but won’t be televised until later):

    PBA Shark Championship, 2 p.m., Dec. 17 – Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash.; Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla.; Richie Teece, England; Charlie Brown Jr., Grandville, Mich.

    PBA Cheetah Championship, 1 p.m. Dec. 24 – Sam Cooley, Australia; Thomas Larsen, Denmark; Jesper Svensson, Sweden; Jason Belmonte, Australia.

    Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship, 2 p.m. Dec. 24 – Jason Belmonte, Australia; EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind.; Shawn Maldonado, Houston; Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio.

    PBA World Championship, 1 p.m. Dec. 31 – 1, Jesper Svensson, Sweden; 2, Jason Belmonte, Australia;  Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; 4, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C.; 5, Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind.

    World Bowling Tour Finals, 1 p.m. Jan. 7 – Men, Svensson, Belmonte, Kent; Women, Diana Zavjalova of Latvia, Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., and Malaysia’s Shalin Zulki.


    The 24th installment of the Karl Marth Cup series pitting bowlers from the north and south parts of the old Batavia Bowling Association takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield.

    Last year, the South team won, ending a five-year winning streak for the North, which leads the series, 13-10. Competition takes place in Doubles, Singles, Baker-style Doubles and Baker-style Team.

    The public is invited to watch.

    Team rosters are as follows:

    North -- Scott Allis, Roger Allis, Aaron Verheyn, Scott Shields, Scott Gibson, Mike Lavender, Rob Sease, Jim Foss, Richard Culver, Jason Mahnke, Hayden Allis, Mike Allis and non-playing captain Tom Allis.

    South – Dean Cadieux Jr., captain Ed Doody, Geoff Harloff, Mickey Hyde, Todd Mortellaro, Steve O’Dell, Mike Pettinella, Jim Pursel, Rick Saunders, Paul Spiotta, Brett Van Duser and Gregg Wolff.


    Tournaments over the next several weeks:

    -- Sunday, Nov. 26: 60-and-Over Tour, Pleasure Lanes, Hilton. Open to bowlers 60 and over, the scratch tournament gets under way at noon. The entry fee is $40 and walk-ins are permitted.

    -- Saturday, Dec. 9 – Scratch Doubles, Legion Lanes, Le Roy. Squad times are at 11:45 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. with two-game qualifiers followed by the top eight teams advancing to head-to-head match play. First place is $800, based on 36 entries, and the entry fee is $70. Call 716-474-7960 to enter.

    -- Saturday, Dec. 16: “Blind Draw” Doubles, Medina Lanes. Participants will draw for their partners; bowling one squad starting at 4 p.m. Handicap is based on 90 percent of 220. The top teams (number depending upon entries) will advance to match play. Call 585-318-4474 to sign up.

    -- Saturday, Jan. 6: 6th annual Scott Whittier Memorial, Oak Orchard Bowl, Albion. Squads are at 1, 3, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. for this three-person, handicap no-tap tournament conducted to benefit the Scott Whittier Scholarship Foundation. First place is $600; entry fee is $60 per team. Call 585-589-6900 to sign up.

    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.


    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.


    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

    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

    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 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.

    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
    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.


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