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Batavia Downs

July 27, 2017 - 10:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, sports, harness racing, notify.

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Batavia Downs opened its 71st season Wednesday night with a big crowd and record purses for drivers.

Todd Haight, director of living racing, said the Downs has been able to boost the purses because increased revenue from the gaming floor and the concert series this summer helped bring more people to Batavia Downs, and also generated revenue that could add to the purse pool.

The bigger purses mean more big name drivers. This season, Ake Svanstedt, from Sweden, and Jason Bartlett joined the field.

The track also moved up start times this season. Haight said the new start time is closer to the final race time for the thoroughbreds at other tracks, so OTB betters around the state are more likely to stick around for harness racing. That means bigger prize pools for wagers, Haight said.

This is also the first full season the Batavia Downs Hotel has been open, and on opening night for the race season, all the rooms were booked, Haight said.

He also highlighted the food service at the gaming facility and the special promotions that will be taking place throughout the year.

“We really think it’s going to be another good year,” Haight said.

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Ake Svanstedt won the fourth race driving Natalie Hanover.

July 24, 2017 - 10:50am
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The 71st season of live harness racing at America’s oldest lighted track opens on Wednesday (July 26) and runs through Saturday (Dec. 16). This year’s schedule features 71 race dates including seven matinee cards.

The live schedule this year has new post times. Racing will be presented on Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m., opening Wednesday at 6 p.m. (then switches to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays for the remainder of the meet) and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. to begin the season. Monday will replace Sunday in September and go at 5 p.m.

The finest standardbreds in the Empire State will be on hand as the New York Sire Stakes will be making eight stops at the Downs this year, each worth an estimated $100,000 for the contestants. Mark your calendars for Wednesday (July 26), Sunday (July 30), Sunday (Aug. 6), Sunday (Aug. 27), Friday (Sept. 1), Wednesday (Sept. 6), Friday (Sept. 8) and Wednesday (Sept. 13) to see some of the best racing all year.

Once again the local action will be highlighted by the very popular claiming series that the track introduced last year. Mid-level claimers who accumulate points throughout the year will vie for championship final purses of between $15,000 and $20,000 for each respective division in November.

Many familiar faces will be returning to drive this year including last year’s dash title winner Drew Monti, runner-up Jim Morrill Jr., Ray Fisher Jr. and Larry Stalbaum.

Monti accumulated 117 wins at the Downs last year before moving to the Meadowlands to drive when this meet concluded. Morrill was right behind him in second with 112 tallies and Fisher was third with 98. Stalbaum never showed up at the Downs until Saturday (Nov. 5) but made the most of his cameo appearance by winning 32 races in only 18 nights.

This year all four are sporting equally impressive numbers and the competition on the track looks to be fierce from start to finish. To date, Stalbaum has won 206 races, earned $1.08 million and has a UDR of .372, Monti has won 155 races, earned $964,900 and has a UDR of .304, Morrill has won 132 races, earned $1.01 million and has a UDR of .333 and Fisher has won 109 races, earned $705,458 and has a UDR of .319.

“The start of a new meet is always busy and exciting and I am really looking forward to getting the horses back on the track” said Todd Haight, director/GM of Live Racing. “We have some great stake action on tap, a good overnight program in place and a very tough driver colony that competes very hard every race. This is definitely a meet that will offer value for our bettors.” 

For the fans, another lengthy slate of 20 promotions dots the live schedule and offers something for everyone that comes to Batavia Downs all year long.

Starting at 4:30 p.m. on opening night, fans will receive a free racing programs and magnetic racing schedules while supplies last. Programs will be available at the program stands and the magnets can be obtained by swiping your Player’s Club card at member services.

Sunday (July 30) is Old Fashion Day when hot dogs and soft drinks are only 50 cents and draft beer is $1. Items are available from noon to 4 p.m. on the track apron and at the Homestretch Grill. Batavia Downs is the only harness track that still offers concession items at this price during the Old Fashion Day promotion.  

Every Sunday in August is Dollar Sunday. Draft beer, hot dogs and soft drinks will all be $1 from noon until the final race of the afternoon.

On Saturday (Aug. 12) there is a great promotion to highlight the newest addition to the track, The Hotel at Batavia Downs. Starting after the fifth race and for four consecutive races after that, 12 names will be randomly drawn to win a free night’s stay at the beautiful new facility. Any Player’s Club member who swipes their card before 7 p.m. will be automatically entered to win. Patrons do not have to be present to win and can only win once.

There will be a gold rush at the Downs on Saturday (Aug. 19) when five sealed boxes will be given away to randomly drawn contestants. Four will contain a one ounce silver bar but one will contain a one ounce pure gold bar valued at $1,500. The promotion is sponsored by TAG Jewelers of Cheektowaga (www.tagjewelers.com ). Any Player’s Club member who swipes their card before 7 p.m. will be automatically entered to win.

Sunday (Aug. 27) is the very popular Family Fun Day and Wiener Dog races. There is a full slate of free fun for kids of all ages including pony rides sponsored by Castilone Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (www.castilonechryslerdodgejeep.net ), Pringles the Clown, Jason the Juggler, Mr. Scribbles and booths set up on the apron including face painting, sand art and sno-cones.

Then following the live harness racing action, the Wiener dogs hit the track for the “Dachshund Dash” sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia. Up to 10 heats with eight dogs per heat will line up before the championship field is decided. There, the top three dogs will earn their owners Clubhouse buffets and gaming Free Play packages valued up to $200. And all dogs entered will be rewarded with a “doggy bag” full of gifts.

Labor Day (Sept. 4) brings back the annual drivers' bike race and chicken bar-b-que. A tradition since 1975 the drivers' bike race pits eight of the Downs' top reinsmen against each other on a different kind of bike; a 10-speed. The contest is held after the seventh live harness race and the bikes are randomly given away after the race to eight lucky patrons who correctly put their name in the box of the winning driver. Entry slips will be distributed between noon and 2:30 p.m. and must be deposited before the seventh race. Winners must be present to win. 

The bike race is sponsored by Crazy Cheap Cars of Oakfield (www.crazycheapcars.com ) and the chicken bar-b-que is sponsored by the Center Street Smoke House of Batavia (www.centerstreetsmokehouse.com ).

“With the new hotel added to the property last year, many groups have been here for different functions. We have aggressively promoted live racing to them and are looking forward to many new fans attending starting this Wednesday night,” Haight said. “Our concert series has brought in tens of thousands of people this summer, many of which were new to the track. We hope our promotions keep them coming back to watch the races all season long.”

For more information and updates as they happen, log onto the track's website at www.bataviadownsgaming.com and click on “Live Racing.” Follow us on Facebook as well (www.facebook.com/bataviadownsracetrack )!

July 21, 2017 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in NYST, Batavia Downs, news, Announcements.

The New York State Troopers will celebrate a century of statewide service July 27-30 with an event to be held daily on those dates from noon to  6 p.m. at Batavia Downs Gaming & Casino. It is located at 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

As always, admission and parking are free.

Here's what you can look forward to at the Downs' event:

  • Largest historical display about the NYSP in Western New York
  • Vintage Motorcycles & Troop Cars
  • Fingerprinting Demonstration
  • Trooper Exam Information
  • Historic Photos & Videos
  • Canine Demonstration
July 21, 2017 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, weiner dog race, sports.

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Press release:

Do you have a speedy Dachshund? That’s what Batavia Downs officials are wondering as they have announced that registration is opening for the 2017 Genesee Feeds Dachshund (“Wiener Dog”) races that will be held on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 27).  

All entered dogs will receive a doggie bag of gifts courtesy of Genesee Feeds of Batavia. The owners of all heat winners will receive $25 in gaming Free Play and the top three finishers in the championship race will receive Clubhouse buffet certificates and $100, $75 and $50 (first through third) in Free Play for the gaming floor. The winner’s total prize package including the gaming Free Play is valued at $200.

Dachshund owners wishing to participate should call Batavia Downs Wiener Dog race coordinator Arna Tygart at (585) 343-3750, ext. 6437, or Sara Tenney, ext. 6430, and leave a message. Staff will call back to confirm. The races are limited to the first 80 dogs that register.

The Wiener Dog races will begin at approximately 4:15 p.m. and are the final event on the annual Family Fun Day at the Races at America’s oldest lighted harness racetrack. Admission and parking are free.

July 15, 2017 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, music, entertainment, news.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has announced that they will be donating 800 tickets to the upcoming Lee Greenwood concert to local Veteran Organizations. The concert takes place on Friday, July 21st.

“Lee Greenwood and his song 'God Bless the USA' are synonymous with our great country and we’re honored to have him play here," stated Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel President & CEO, Henry Wojtaszek.

“We work closely with other veteran agencies in the area and wanted to give back to all the local veterans who have fought to defend our freedoms.”

The tickets will be handed to representatives from various local Veterans agencies in a brief ceremony on Monday, July 17th, at 10:30 a.m. in the Batavia Downs Lobby by their Made in America satellite store.

Tickets to the Lee Greenwood show can be purchased at Bataviaconcerts.com or in person at the Made in America store in the Batavia Downs Lobby.

Three opening acts will play beginning at 5 p.m., including country recording artist Ricky Lee, Alyssa Trahan, and the band Gypsy Souls. Doors open at 4 p.m.

"To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan." (Abraham Lincoln)

July 8, 2017 - 8:05am

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Rochester native Lou Gramm packed in a large crowd of fans in Western New York at Batavia Downs racetrack last evening. 

On this warm summer night people gathered all around the local area to hear “Lou Gramm the Original Voice of Foreigner” and his band play classic hits like, "Cold as Ice," "Double Vision," "Midnight Blue" and "Juke Box Hero," plus many more from his days with his former band Foreigner.

Fans were singing from their lawn chairs, dancing on the lawn and jamming out those classic revival tunes from many years since the 1970s to now.

This was the fourth outdoor summer concert part of Batavia Downs concert series with two remaining, Marshall Tucker band next Friday, July 14th, and Lee Greenwood on July 21st.

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June 23, 2017 - 10:37pm
posted by James Burns in news, Batavia Downs, concert, dennis deyoung.

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Batavia Downs gambled and beat the weather again for the second concert series featuring Dennis DeYoung. A very good sized crowd was on hand for the concert. There were a lot of people at the concert and the casino but somehow it did not feel crowded. Batavia Downs seems to know how to run a good party. The crowd seemed to love the concert and be having a very good time. 

Dennis DeYong sounded as good tonight as he did when he was topping the charts. The next concert is Eddie Money June 30th. Tickets are only $10.

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June 12, 2017 - 8:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Taste of the Track, batavia, news.

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There was a big turnout yesterday for Taste of the Track at Batavia Downs, with several food vendors providing a variety of treats, along with retail vendors and live musical performances, including the Batavia High School Jazz Ensemble.

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June 7, 2017 - 1:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Horsemen wishing to race at Batavia Downs for the upcoming summer/fall meet please note that stall applications are now available for download on the track's website (www.bataviadownsgaming.com). Simply click Live Racing>Horsemen>Stall Application and Agreement. The complete 2017 racing schedule can be found at Live Racing>Live Racing Schedule.

Stall applications are also available at the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association (WNYHHA) website (www.wnyhha.net) or at the WNYHHA office located at Buffalo Raceway.

Race Secretary Joe Zambito has advised that all stall applications must be received by the track no later than Friday (July 7). The backstretch opens for tack on Tuesday (July 18) and horses may begin arriving in the barn area on Thursday (July 20).

The 71st season of live harness racing at America’s oldest lighted harness track features 71 race dates including seven matinee cards. The meet opens on Wednesday (July 26) and runs through Saturday (Dec. 16).

Live racing will be presented on Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m., Wednesday evenings at 5:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. to begin the season. Monday will replace Sunday in September and go at 5 p.m.

Once again, the 2017 meet will be highlighted by the very popular claiming series that the track introduced last year. Mid-level claimers accumulate points throughout the year and then vie for championship final purses of between $15,000 and $20,000 in November for each respective division.

All stable inquiries should be directed to Todd Haight, director/GM of Live Racing at 585-343-3750, ext. 6322.

June 4, 2017 - 9:27pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, Batavia Downs, music, news.

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Batavia Downs was the luckiest place in town today. Against all odds and predictions, the weather was great for tonight’s  opening of a six-concert series “Rockin’ the Downs."

Four acts took the stage in a festival atmosphere in the center of the Batavia Downs track. The track estimated that more than 3,000 were in attendance. Food and beverage vendors lined the viewing area for those who came to see tonight's headliner, Lonestar.  

The band met with Batavia Downs VIP players backstage before the show and signed a guitar that was auctioned off after the concert. The proceeds of the guitar auction raised more than $600 for the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

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Former Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas, below, elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007, made an appearance at the concert to speak to the crowd. Afterward, he hung around to see Lonestar and take pictures with some of his fans. 

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Next up, on Friday, June 23rd, is Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx.

June 3, 2017 - 3:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in festival of hope, Batavia Downs, batavia, news.

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Genesee Cancer Assistance held its annual Festival of Hope today at Batavia Downs, which included a crossing-training competition as well as basket raffles, music, a live broadcast by WBTA, and other events.

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June 2, 2017 - 10:45am
posted by Billie Owens in lonestar, news, batavia, Batavia Downs.

UPDATE 4:09 p.m.: The shuttle times have been changed slightly, see information in bold below. Also everyone will be allowed to bring lawn chairs, both VIP ticket holders and General Admission.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has announced facility details for all those attending this Sunday’s Lonestar concert being held onsite.

Some area intersections could be under the direction of local law enforcement. If that is the case, please use caution and pay attention to directions given by police. Please allow for extra travel time due to increased traffic volume.

Please note that anyone visiting Batavia Downs after 3 p.m. on Sunday will see parking lot attendants in our main lot directing you on where to park your car. Please follow their directions as the facility attempts to streamline the parking process with the anticipation of increased car volume. The valet will be open as per usual so those who do wish to valet their cars do have that option.

Two shuttles run by Regional Transit Service will be operating from 3 to 8 p.m. 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. and then again from 9 p.m. until midnight 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. to and from all local chain hotels to Batavia Downs. If you are staying or parking at any of these local chain hotels, we ask that you do take the shuttles to help reduce traffic congestion.

Once onsite, there is no tailgating or drinking of alcoholic beverages in the parking lot. This will be enforced by our staff.

Inside the venue, lawn chairs ARE permitted for everyone -- General Admission area only and VIP ticket holders.

Concert will take place rain or shine so ponchos and umbrellas are permitted as well. Please note that no coolers, outside food and beverages, weapons or firearms are permitted onsite or at the venue. All bags and purses will be subject to search.

Doors open at 3 p.m. with the first musical act starting at 4 p.m. If possible, arrive early to avoid traffic. Tickets can be purchased online at BataviaConcerts.com or in person at our Made in America store in the Batavia Downs Lobby.

May 27, 2017 - 11:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Joey Belladonna, batavia, Batavia Downs, music, entertainment, news.

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Joey Belladonna and his band Chief Big Way play the Paddock Room at Batavia Downs tonight.

The lead singer with Anthrax, nominated five times for Grammy awards, Belladonna is playing in Batavia for the second time this year. The show is free and starts at 9 p.m.

Pictured with Belladonna are his friend Tom Mazurkiewicz and band members Dave Michelson and Joe Precourt.

May 25, 2017 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs:

Batavia Downs is pleased to announce that Shane Hoehn will be joining their staff as Assistant Race Secretary and Program Director for the upcoming live harness racing meet that begins on July 26.

Hoehn was born and raised in Vernon and started working at Vernon Downs right out of high school. During his 20-year tenure there, he started out selling programs and eventually became their full-time Race Secretary, a post he held for seven years.

In 2010, Hoehn left his duties at Vernon to pursue his own business venture. However in 2012, he went back to his racing roots and took the Assistant Race Secretary position at Saratoga Raceway, where he worked until 2014.

“I am looking forward to coming to Batavia Downs and get back into racing full time," Hoehn said. "I have never been to Western New York and am very excited to move there and get started. I have known (Batavia Downs Race Secretary) Joe Zambito for quite a while and am looking forward to working with him."

As much as Hoehn is anxious to starting his new position, track management is equally pleased with the new addition to their team.

“In an era that requires personnel in our industry to wear many hats on a daily basis, Shane Hoehn brings 22 years of experience in race track administration with him to Batavia Downs and will be a valuable asset to the racing community here” said Todd Haight, director and general manager of Live Racing at the Genesee County oval. We look forward to getting him settled in and underway in with his duties.”

Batavia Downs opens its 2017 live racing season on Wednesday (July 26) and will host 71 cards of harness racing action through Saturday (Dec. 16).

May 17, 2017 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, news, business.

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Work crews were at Batavia Downs this morning resurfacing the parking lot.

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