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March 25, 2017 - 5:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, business, news.

According to a reader who contacted The Batavian, about a dozen employees at Batavia Downs had complaints about new scent defusers installed at the facility, but according to Mike Nolan, COO for Western OTB, only two employees were seen by doctors.

While the employees complained about the new machines, a connection between their symptoms and the machines hasn't been confirmed, he said.

Also, in response to the e-mail received by The Batavian, Batavia Downs is in compliance with regulations to have on hand material data safety sheets, he said.

Here's the full statement from Nolan:

Within the last week Batavia Downs installed a few scent air machines. They are widely used across the country in retail establishments. 

We did have a couple of employees complain of allergies during the week and went for medical treatment blaming the scent machines, no confirmation they were the source of the ailment at this time.

We do have MSDS sheets on site at the Downs and have offered them to the affected employees for consultation by their physicians.

We discontinued use over the weekend so the vendor can come on site Monday and make adjustments if necessary.

The goal is to create a great environment at our facility for Patrons.

February 27, 2017 - 11:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, news, fire.

Audio and visual fire alarms at Batavia Downs have been set off.

The building has been evacuated.

City fire is on scene, investigating.

Town of Batavia fire responding.

A possible pull station was activated. Investigating.

UPDATE: I thought I updated this earlier: False alarm. 

February 26, 2017 - 5:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Bridal Show, batavia, news, business.

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Batavia Downs hosted a bridal show today.

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February 15, 2017 - 3:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, news, Announcements.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel is proud to announce that Runaway June, singers of the country hit single “Lipstick,” will be performing at Batavia Downs Gaming’s Paddock Room Events Center on Friday, April 21stTickets will go on sale at their website, BataviaDownsGaming.com, at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17th

“As the area’s premier entertainment destination we are committed to bringing exciting musical acts like Runaway June to entertain our loyal patrons,” said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing at Batavia Downs Gaming. “We are looking forward to having Naomi, Hannah and Jennifer onsite for what is sure to be a fun and memorable experience for their fans and soon to be fans.”

All tickets are $10 General Admission plus facility and processing fees.

About Runaway June

Composed of the organic, three part harmonies of Naomi Cooke, Hannah Mulholland and Jennifer Wayne, Runaway June is Wheelhouse Records brand new vocal trio. With its debut single “Lipstick,” Runaway June is the first all-female trio to earn a Top 30 hit on the Billboard Mediabase Country charts in a decade.

About Batavia Downs/WROTB

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 29 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility. Since its inception, Western Region OTB has generated over $215 million in operating and surcharge revenues to the taxpayers of those participating municipalities. 

December 22, 2016 - 9:59am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

On Saturday (Dec. 17), the curtain came down on the 70th anniversary season of racing at Batavia Downs. America’s oldest lighted harness track’s meet that began on Monday (July 25), ran two days longer than originally scheduled after racing was extended for an extra weekend.

As usual, the stake season was highlighted by eight divisions of the New York Sire Stake series, which featured the best state bred horses and Grand Circuit horsemen. The series featured visits from the likes of John Campbell and Andy Miller and produced two new track records.

On Saturday (Sept. 3) Pointomygranson (Marcus Miller) toured the facility in 1:53.2 and set a new standard for 2-year-old pacing geldings and on Wednesday (Sept. 14) Zack’s Zoomer (Marcus Miller) trotted a mile in 1:58.1 and established a new track record for 2-year-old trotting colts.

Racing under saddle (RUS) made its debut at the Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 7) and that produced a new track record as well. Admirable Hanover who was ridden by Vanessa Karlewicz won the $4,000 event in 2:03.4.

On Saturday (Oct. 9), Batavia Downs signature stake, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial trot saw the $7 million man, Foiled Again (Kevin Cummings) come from well off the pace to win by a length in 1:52.2 on the strength of an exciting stretch drive at 9-1. That win marked the 90th trip to the winner’s circle for the richest standardbred in the history of the sport.

For the first time ever, Batavia Downs offered a new claiming series that ran throughout the whole meet. Claimers of both gaits accrued points month to month in order to make finals worth between $15,000 and $20,000. On Saturday (Nov. 13) trotters Love U Forever and Chrome Finish, and pacers Outoftexas, War Front, Vals Jett, Big Unit and Can U Be Fun won the finals in their respective divisions.

In September, Batavia Downs hosted a new owners' seminar in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association and the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. Twenty-six people took part in the workshop that took them from the classroom to the paddock and provided them with everything they needed to learn in order to make informed decisions about standardbred ownership.

On the track, one of the best driving colonies in some time put on quite a show. Perennial local favorite Jim Morrill Jr. put in another stellar effort that was highlighted by a seven-win night, two six-win nights and four five-win nights.

But it was 22-year-old Drew Monti who eventually won the dash driving title with 116 wins for the meet. Monti also registered a seven-win night and two five-win efforts as well. It was the first ever driving title won by Monti.

Jim Morrill Jr. did set a new single meet earnings record at the Downs after he banked $849,024 in purses from July to December.

JD Perrin “three-peated” his training crown, finishing first again this year with 47 wins. Perrin’s meet started off strong before many of his horses fell ill. But after a trying middle stretch, the stable got back on track over the last month and Perrin was able to defend his title again.

The winningest post position was post one with 231 wins followed by post two (151), post four (138) and post three (126). Post one also made the board 63 percent of the time.

Also, the favorites won the race 46 percent of the time during the course of the meet.

“We had a very exciting year at Batavia Downs this year. The product on the track was very competitive and having drivers like Jim Morrill Jr., Drew Monti, Shawn Gray and newcomer Larry Stalbaum joining the fray, the competition was fierce every night” said Todd Haight, GM/Director of Live Racing. “Despite our handle being down 5 percent for the meet, we paid out a record $5.9 million in purse money and we look forward to doing that again next year.”

Pending approval from the New York State Gaming Commission, the 2017 live racing meet at Batavia Downs will start on Wednesday (July 26).  

The management and horsemen of Batavia Downs would like to wish everyone in the industry a very happy Holiday Season and the best of luck in the upcoming new year. 

December 17, 2016 - 10:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs:

Shady City stuck to script with a strong come from behind effort to win the $9,500 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 17).

Foreign Officer (Shawn Gray) shot out for the lead quickly and gained that position without any opposition. Once there, he led the group in single file to the half in :57.2. When the race advanced past five-eighths, Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) pulled first up and brought Warrawee Qually (Kevin Cummings) with him as they proceeded to advance toward the leader.

Those positions remained unchanged around the far turn, but at the head of the stretch, Shady City put on another of his furious closing brushes. He went by the fading Foreign Officer, as well as Western Expression (Mike Whelan) who had tripped-out and snuck up the rail, to win by a head in 1:54.4.

It was the sixth win of the year for Shady City ($4.10) who has now earned $68,332 for 2016. The 6-year-old gelded son of Metropolitan is owned by his driver, Larry Stalbaum and is trained by Kim Asher.

In the $9,000 co-featured Open II pace, Rock The Dream (Ray Fisher Jr.) came from last at the half to go three-wide at three-quarters and win a narrow decision over Private Equity (Todd Cummings) in 1:55.1. It was the fourth win in five starts for Rock The Dream ($7.90) who is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by the Downs leading trainer, JD Perrin.

Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving grand slam while Larry Stalbaum got the hat trick and Shawn Gray doubled up. Trainer Kim Asher also had three wins on the night followed by JD Perrin with two.

As the 2016 meet came to a close, the leading driver and trainer were welcomed in front of the grandstand and presented with their winning hardware. Drew Monti was the leading dash driver with 116 wins and trainer JD Perrin was the top conditioner for the third straight year at the Batavia summer/fall meet with 47 wins.

December 15, 2016 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, news, batavia.

Press release:

Officials from Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) have announced that the organization will hold its annual Turkey Drive to benefit local families on Thursday, Dec. 22nd. The drive will take place in the Batavia Downs parking lot, located at 8315 Park Road in Batavia, from noon to 3 p.m.

“Batavia Downs is thrilled to lend a helping hand during a holiday time that is filled with need from the hungry in our community,” said Henry F. Wojtaszek, president and CEO of WROTB. “The Batavia Downs Turkey Drive is our way of showing our appreciation for what we have by giving back to others.”

While donations of any size turkey are welcome, those who donate a turkey of 10 pounds or heavier will receive a $20 gift certificate to Batavia Downs’ restaurants and a Batavia Downs Made in America T-shirt.

Turkeys collected will be distributed to families in need in Genesee County and surrounding areas.

“Everyone should have the chance to gather around a warm meal for the holidays,” Wojtaszek said. “As part of this community, we have a responsibility to help those in need. We’re proud to be able to bring this food drive to the community and help those who are less fortunate.”

December 5, 2016 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, news.

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Batavia Downs hosted its first ever Winterfest on Sunday and more than 2,000 people turned out.

Attractions included pictures with Santa, mini-golf, a ride on a horse-drawn carriage and a holiday movie.

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October 30, 2016 - 5:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Photo of China Dream with reinsman Shawn Gray.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

A scratch-shortened field of six top class pacers became a mere group of spectators who watched China Dream command their fate from the start of the race as he won the $10,500 Open feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 29).

China Dream (Shawn Gray) left sharply and crossed over to the pylons before the field rounded the first turn and then opened up a gapped advantage he would maintain for the remainder of the race. After Gray hit the brakes with a :29.3 second quarter, Littlebitaclass (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled first up in an attempt to advance to the front with Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) right on his back. But after hearing the footsteps, Gray asked his charge for more and more is what he got. China Dream pulled away in a quick :28 third panel and found himself leading by seven lengths at the top of the stretch. He continued his momentum all the way to the wire and cruised to a wrapped-up 1:54.4 victory.

It was the 10th win of the year for China Dream ($4.40) and it inflated his one-year earnings to $77,680 for owners Jack and Maria Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II, Thunderbolt Jaxon (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the lead just past the quarter and cruised to an easy three-length win in 1:54.1. It was the third straight win for Thunderbolt Jaxon ($5) and seventh of the season. Mike Torcello owns the winner who is trained by Gerry Sarama.

Jim Morrill Jr. led all drivers on Saturday night with four wins while Drew Monti, Jim McNeight Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. all scored doubles. Trainers Gerry Sarama, Jim McNeight and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. each sent two winners for pictures.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 2) with a 6:15 p.m. post.

October 29, 2016 - 12:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Photo of My Tallia Ideal pulling ahead with reinsman Dave McNeight III)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

My Tallia Ideal followed live cover that she eventually overtook to win the $10,000 Open mares pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 28).

Leaving from post six, My Tallia Ideal (Dave McNeight III) got away last and trailed as Kaitlyn Akeeper (Kevin Cummings) led the field through quarters of :28.3 and :58.3. Who Says That (Shawn Gray) pulled first-up at the half and My Tallia Ideal traveled second over as the two advanced and eventually drew even with the leader by three-quarters in 1:27.4.

Who Says That took the lead from Kaitlyn Akeeper when they turned for home, but My Tallia Ideal then tipped outside of her to challenge immediately. With more than a length to make up, My Tallia Ideal dug in and methodically closed in with every stride, eventually getting up to win by a head in 1:56.3.

It was the eighth win of the year for My Tallia Ideal ($9.00) and the purse increased her 2016 earnings to $63,410 for owners Peter Kibler, Kenneth Owczarczak and Courtney McNeight. Dave McNeight Jr. trains the winner.

(Photo of Kahoku with reinsman Ron Beback Jr.)

In the co-featured $9,000 Open I-II trot, Kahoku ($13.80) regained his early season form when he went wire to wire in unfettered fashion to win by two lengths in 1:57. Ron Beback Jr. drove for owner Colleen Girdlestone. Mark Laidlaw trains Kahoku.

It was bombs away in the ninth race as Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) rallied from seventh at the half to pull the upset of the meet when he trotted away by two lengths at 48-1. The winner returned $99.50 to win and spurred a $660 exacta (7-4) and $1,829.00 late Double (5-7).

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Oct. 29) with post time at 6:15.

October 27, 2016 - 3:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

Drew Monti at the reins with Wild Ride, his second win for the night on Wednesday.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

On a night when he could seemingly do nothing wrong, Drew Monti put on a driving clinic Wednesday (Oct. 26) at Batavia Downs, winning seven of the 10 races he competed in. And among his drives, he also scored a second and a third and posted a lofty .788 UDR for the evening.

Track photographer Paul White spent some quality time with Monti in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle as he took his picture with Jimi Wind Ricks ($5.00, 1:59.1), Wild Ride ($4.60, 2:01.4), Hustleonhome ($14.60, 1:57.4), Heavenly Way ($4.80, 1:57), Springhouse Star ($10, 1:56.3), Girls Luv Diamonds ($3.50, 1:56.2) and Always An Optimist ($4.20, 1:56.4).

By the end of the year, Monti has a chance to eclipse his career best numbers for wins and money earned that he set in 2015. In his short four-year career, the 22-year-old Monti has won 649 races and has bankrolled just under $3.5 million in purses.  

With his two closest competitors for the dash driving title not in action on Wednesday, Monti jumped into a two-win lead as a result of his efforts. He now sits alone atop the standings with 75 wins, ahead of Jim Morrill Jr. who is second with 73 and Kevin Cummings who is third with 68.

With 20 nights of racing remaining in the meet, it will most likely be a battle to the last race on the final night to decide this year’s driving winner.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 28) with the first race post time set at 6:15 p.m.

October 24, 2016 - 12:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Jim Morrill Jr. was on fire at Batavia Downs Saturday night (Oct. 22) as he won seven of the 13 races carded and vaulted himself into the dash driving lead for the meet.

Morrill started early and was relentless as the night went on. He scored with Thunderbolt Jaxon ($4.80, 1:56.3), Outoftexas ($5.50, 1:55.3), Green Olives ($3.30, 1:56.2), Dodger Hanover ($2.80, 1:57.3), Littlebitaclass ($7.00, 1:54.2), Adversary Seelster ($3.50, 1:57.1) and Zipnthruthehall ($2.90, 1:57).

The current record for wins on one card at Batavia Downs is eight, set by Jim Morrill Jr. in 2005 and matched by John Cummings Jr. in 2006.

Beside his septuple successes, Morrill also had three seconds and a third among his 12 drives for the night and that added up to a .750 UDR for the evening.  

Morrill is currently ranked third in North America for UDR in 2016, sporting a gaudy .415 for the year. He has amassed 322 wins in 1,197 starts and earned $3,776,654 as a result to this point.

Photo of Littlebitaclass taking the lead with driver Jim Morrill Jr. at the reins.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The fifth win of the night for Jim Morrill Jr. was with Littlebitaclass who won the $10,000 Open pacing feature.

Claimed two weeks ago for $20,000 and victorious in each start since, Littlebitaclass left and out-legged China Dream (Shawn Gray) to the front shortly after they passed the quarter pole. From there, Morrill grabbed leather to settle the gelding until Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) drew alongside approaching three-quarters.

When they tripped the timer in 1:25.2 at that station, Knocking Around took a half-length lead and appeared to have gotten the best of the leader. But Littlebitaclass gallantly fought back and regained a neck advantage by the head of the stretch. But Knocking Around would not go away and was joined in the fray by China Dream, who had gotten the trip and came up the passing lane. Flanked by adversaries on both sides, Littlebitaclass dug in hard and refused to lose, hitting the wire first by a mere head in 1:54.2.

It was the ninth win of the year for Littlebitaclass and it boosted his earnings to $52,201 for 2016. The 5-year-old gelded son of Santana Blue Chip is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama.

Trainer Alex Giuliani sent three winners postward while fellow conditioners Gerry Sarama and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. each doubled up.

As was previously mentioned, there is a new dash driving title leader at Batavia Downs in Morrill, who now tops everyone with 73 wins. Kevin Cummings, who was not in action Saturday, is tied for second with Drew Monti with 68 wins and Ray Fisher Jr. is a close fourth with 62.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 26) with post time at 6:15 p.m.

October 22, 2016 - 7:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Photo of Who Says That with driver Shawn Gray.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

On a night not fit for man nor beast, Shawn Gray and Who Says That overcame a day-long deluge of rain along with five fit female pacers to win the $9,500 Open mares featured pace at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Oct. 21).

Gray took Who Says That off the gate and tucked her in fifth along the pylons and was content to sit off the pace to the half as My Tallia Ideal (Dave McNeight III) smoked that fraction in :57.4 over the rain-soaked track. At that point, Who Says That pulled and coaxed cover in the outer flow from last week’s Open winner, Dontch Remember (Jim Morrill Jr.) as the field passed the five-eighths marker and motored up the backside.  

When it became evident that Dontch Remember would not pace on, Gray tipped Who Says That three deep and proceeded to advance expeditiously. Fourth, third, second and finally first at the head of the lane; Who Says That splashed away from the competition and opened up a five length lead before hitting the wire a wrapped-up winner in 1:57.

My Tallia Ideal was second and the recently claimed Kaitlyn Akeeper (Kevin Cummings) brushed up to be third.

Although it was the first win for Who Says That ($10.60) since Aug. 10, it was also her eleventh win of the year overall. The 5-year-old Badlands Hanover mare has now earned $57,557 in 2016 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Chris Shambo and Jack Rice. The winner is trained by Maria Rice.

Maria Rice had a very profitable night at Batavia Friday as she conditioned three winners on the card. Besides Who Says That, she also sent Southwind Serenity ($5.70) and Lucky Pablo ($3.50) to the winners circle. Shawn Gray scored a driving triple teaming all of Rice’s entries.

Ray Fisher Jr. also drove three winners, two of which were trained by John Hallett, who scored a stable double.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Oct. 22) with the first post set at 6:15.

October 18, 2016 - 9:24am
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, news.

A horseman is down on the track at Batavia Downs and reportedly has suffered a minor injury, possibly a hip injury. Mercy medics and city Ladder 15 are responding. It is a possible sign-off.

Medics are to go to Richmond Avenue to the stable entrance to access the track.

October 16, 2016 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Photo of BJ's Guy out front (#4), driven by Drew Monti.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Fresh off a win in the Yonkers preferred pace last week, BJ’s Guy shipped into Batavia Downs to take on the best local talent on Saturday night (Oct. 15) and went from worst to first in the $9,500 Open pacing feature.

Normandy Invasion (Jim Morrill Jr.) took a methodical stroll to the front off the gate and eventually opened up a two-length lead at the quarter in :27.2. Positions remained unchanged to the half in :55.2, when BJ’s Guy (Drew Monti) started up on the outside from last and prompted Brees Creek (Kevin Cummings) and China Dream (Shawn Gray) to pull in front of him, establishing a three-horse outer flow going up the backside.

When the group passed three-quarters, China Dream tipped three-deep and BJ’s Guy followed in step and they both began to chip away at Normandy Invasion’s lead. As they came off the turn and stormed down the lane, Normandy Invasion began to tire and China Dream got to the front, but BJ’s Guy brushed harder and overtook him in the middle of the track and got home first in 1:53.4. China Dream did hold on for second and Junior Pride (Ray Fisher Jr.) snuck up the passing lane to grab third.

It was the ninth win of the season for BJ’s Guy ($7.70) who has now earned $91,902 during the year for owners Blindswitch Racing Stable, David Sebolsky and Stanley Yoskowitz. The 7-year-old gelded son of Towner’s Big Guy is trained by Jose Godinez.

Jim Morrill Jr. won four more races on Saturday night and those wins pushed him into second place for the dash winning lead with 65 victories behind Kevin Cummings who has 68. The quadruple also gave him 12 wins in the last three nights of racing at Batavia.

Also on Saturday, Shawn Gray scored a driving hat trick while Drew Monti doubled up on the card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 19) with post time set at 6:15.

October 15, 2016 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Photo of Noble Legend with driver Shawn Gray.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After finishing second in the top local trot twice last month, Noble Legend ($25.40) blew up the tote board along with his rivals in winning the $10,500 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 14).

After taking last week off, Noble Legend returned to the track with a new attitude and approach. Driver Shawn Gray sent Noble Legend right to the front and took no prisoners from there. He lead the troops by two open lengths through fractions of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:26.2 while the trailers were struggling to keep up.

At the top of the lane, Noble Legend was cruising under mild urging from Gray when Studio City (Dave McNeight III) who was second the whole mile, drifted off the pegs in an attempt to collar the leader. But all that did was allow BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to slide up inside him and get into the action. Noble Legend trotted on to win in 1:56.4 by a length over the fast-closing BZ Glide and Studio City, who finished second and third respectively.

It was the eighth win of the season for Noble Legend who increased his 2016 bankroll to $55,983 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the 4-year-old son of Kadabra. 

In the co-featured $10,000 Open mares pace, Dontch Remember ($26.20) shook off a two-month winless streak and led the ladies wire-to-wire by gapped lengths to win her eighth race of the year in a new lifetime mark of 1:54.4. Gerry Sarama trains the 6-year-old Western Terror mare for owner Mike Torcello.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. continued his torrid pace at the Downs, winning another five races on the card. He scored with Love U Forever ($3.70, 1:58.3), The Bronx Bumper ($7.10, 1:58.4), Keystone Wild Card ($4.10, 2:02), Dontch Remember ($26.20, 1:54.4) and Son Of Nordic ($9.90, 1:58.3). The five wins and one second in eight starts gave Morrill a .694 UDR for the night.

Drew Monti had a driving double and Mike Ohol had two winners on the training side.

The dash driving leader board continues to be tight. Kevin Cummings, despite not visiting the winner’s circle on Friday, remains on top with 67 wins. Drew Monti is second with 62 and Jim Morrill Jr. vaulted into third on the strength of his performance with 61 victories.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 15) at 6:15.

October 13, 2016 - 8:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, news, business.

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The new Hotel at Batavia Downs opened for business today.

The ribbon cutting for the new facility won't be until early November.

October 13, 2016 - 2:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

For the second week in a row, Kaitlyn Akeeper shown best in winning the $7,800 mares Open II/optional claiming feature race at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 12).

Rather than bolt for the lead as he had done over the last three weeks, Jim Morrill Jr. took Kaitlyn Akeeper off the gate and allowed Mondatta (Dave McNeight III) and Terrorcam (Wade Tomaszewski) to duke it out for the front. When they had finally settled, Morrill tipped Kaitlyn Akeeper early and took the lead from them before the three-eighths pole. From there the race was history.

Kaitlyn Akeeper got to the half in :58.1 and three-quarters in 1:26.4, all the time with horses in two-rows behind her. With a gapped two-length lead going around the far turn, the win looked assured and the race would be for minor spoils. As they headed down the lane, Mayabelle (Kevin Cummings) shook loose from behind the fading Mondatta and made a run at the leader, but Kaitlyn Akeeper hung on to win in 1:55.4 by a diminishing two lengths.

Mayabelle was second and Mondatta hung on for third.

It was the seventh victory of the year for Kaitlyn Akeeper ($2.60) and it raised her purse total to $45,272 for owner Mike Torcello. The winner was trained by Gerry Sarama.

Kaitlyn Akeeper was also claimed out of the race for $21,750 by Mark Jakubik.

Jim Morrill Jr. scored a driving triple on Wednesday night while Kevin Cummings, Shawn Gray and Dave McNeight III all had two wins apiece. Trainer Dave McNeight Jr. also conditioned two winners on the card.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 14) with post time at 6:15 p.m.

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