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August 8, 2015 - 12:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

(Lutetium (Kevin Cummings): Photo courtesy of Paul White.)

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

It was business as usual Friday night (Aug. 7) for one of the best resident trotters to ever ply his trade at the historic Genesee County oval. Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) led from gate to wire for the second week in a row and captured the $9,500 featured Open trot at Batavia Downs.

Leaving sharply from post six, the 8-year-old gelded son of Credit Winner went right to the front and set fractions of 28.2, 59.1 and 1:28.2 before closing out the deal in 1:57.3. Cummings rated the horse perfectly and had no problem holding off a late charge by post time favorite, BZ Glide (Mike Caprio).

It was the sixth win in 20 starts this year for Lutetium ($5.50) and the proceeds raised his annual earnings to $43,331 for owner Colleen Girdlestone. The winner is trained by Mark Laidlaw.

Batavia Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings, and Dave McNeight III both scored driving triples on the night.

Shawn Gray made his return to the sulky a winning one after taking the second race with Four Starz Trump ($3.20). Gray had been sidelined for just over three weeks after being involved in an accident at Buffalo Raceway on July 15.

Racing resumes tonight (Aug. 8) at Batavia Downs with post time set at 6:35.

August 8, 2015 - 8:47am
posted by James Burns in batavia, Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Photos by Jim Burns / Press release from Batavia Downs:

There is a small but select group of 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings entered to compete in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 9). Thirteen entrants will compete in two divisions (carded as race two and four) for their share of the $108,000 purse up for grabs.

The first $54,500 division features Autotune Hanover (Art Major-Anderosa Hanover) who has been on fire at Yonkers Raceway recently. Last week he won a division of the $76,512 NYSS wire to wire, and 12 days prior to that, was victorious in the $107,500 L.B. Sheppard Stake final in a lifetime best 1:54.3.

Autotune Hanover has earned over $95,000 in only four starts this year and the speed and versatility he has shown on a half-mile track over the past two weeks is evidence he is a serious contender for the major share again this week. 

The track record for 2-year-old pacing colts at Batavia Downs in 1:54.2 set by Doctor Butch in 2012 and then tied by He’s Watching in 2013. Based on his effort in the Sheppard Stake at Yonkers, Autotune Hanover has a very good chance of setting a new standard at Batavia Downs on Sunday.

Autotune Hanover is trained by Mark Harder and will start from post three for driver Tyler Buter. He has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite.

Fine Diamond (Rock N Roll Heaven-Yellow Diamond), who hails from the stable of North America’s leading trainer, Ron Burke, looks to be his major competition. Although the colt is winless in four starts this year, he has not finished out of the money during that time. Fine Diamond can leave enough to gain early position in order to track Autotune Hanover, who will most certainly set the pace.

Fine Diamond starts from post five for local driving favorite John Cummings Jr. and has been designated as the early second choice at 5-2.

There is no clear-cut favorite in the second $53,500 division and the two main players should be in a battle to the wire.

Joe Larry N Curly (Roll With Joe-Life’s Image) is currently the top point-getter in NYSS competition for this sex and gait to date and Travel Playlist (Art Major-Village Madonna) sits third behind him. Whereas they both have two wins in NYSS competition, Travel Playlist is undefeated and one of his wins was over Joe Larry N Curly last week at Yonkers.

Both horses 2015 earnings are separated by only $845 (both in excess of $56,000) and their lifetime marks are only three-fifths of a second apart. They can both leave the gate and in this short field (only six horses entered) they will probably be looking to do just that, having drawn the outside posts.

Joe Larry N Curly will start from post five for NYSS leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. and is listed at 8-5 in the early line. Mark Harder conditions Joe Larry N Curly.

Trainer Erv Miller has appointed Mark Macdonald to steer Travel Playlist and he will wear number six behind the gate, rated second choice at 9-5.

There are also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior Series “A” races on the card that will go for a total purse of $30,000.

Post time for the first of 12 races is set for 1:15 p.m.

Southern Tier Brewing Company's free beer tasting.

One dollar hot dogs all night.

August 6, 2015 - 9:44am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey’s Taurus): Photo by Paul White.)

By TIm Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

He’s yet to taste defeat and judging from his performance on Wednesday (Aug. 5) at Batavia Downs, it might be quite some time before that happens.

Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey’s Taurus) simply obliterated the competition in his $55,500 leg of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings and set a new lifetime mark in the process.

When Dante (Ake Svanstedt) shot to the front for the early lead, Southern Palms (Marcus Miller) made a break and caused momentary confusion to the horses behind him in the first turn. Dayson, who was trotting on the outside at the time, was taken three-deep around the commotion by driver Jeff Gregory and motored to the front to take command.  

At that point, for all intents and purposes, the race was over.

Dayson was a gapped leader for the rest of the contest with Dante and Reve Royale (Chris Lems) chasing, more than following. After setting fractions of 29.2, 59.4 and 1:29.3, Gregory laid the whip on his shoulder and enjoyed the ride home as Dayson opened up four and tripped the timer in 1:59.1, which was his new personal best.

“Dayson has been a pleasure to drive this year and he was very strong tonight,” said Jeff Gregory after the race.

Dayson is now a perfect four-for-four in 2015 with $91,556 in earnings for Howard Okusko and owners Margaret Butler and Amy Butler. The winner returned $3.40.

 

(Allerage Echo (Conway Hall-Echonomical))

In the second $55,500 NYSS division, Allerage Echo (Conway Hall-Echonomical) took advantage of post one and a perfect trip to score his second victory of the campaign.

Chargin Cadet (Ray Schnittker) flew off the wings and crossed over to the lead before the group straightened up the backside. The rest of the field fell in line in post-position order and followed the leader past the half. But even though Schnittker set tepid fractions of 30.1, 1:01.3 and 1:32.1, the race was far from over.

Credevie (Trond Smedshammer) pulled from third to try and challenge the leader, leaving Allerage Echo (Chris Lems) sitting chilly in the garden spot. But at the top of the stretch, that bid failed and Chargin Cadet again looked solid. But Allerage Echo was relentless, digging all the way to the wire and eventually getting up for the win in 2:01.1, with a 28.3 final quarter.

“He got a very good trip. And even though they backed down the third quarter, I thought I could get up down the lane,” said driver Chris Lems, who did just that.

It was the second win in four starts for Allerage Echo who paid $10.80. The winner’s share increased his earnings to $58,381 while the time was a new lifetime mark. The gelding is trained by George Ducharme for owner Ken Jacobs.

There were also three divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series that went for $15,000 each.

The first went to Cashuz (Cash Hall-Sister Shuzy) and driver John Cummings Jr. in 2:00 flat. Cashuz ($8.20) is trained by J.D. Perrin and is owned by Tessa Roland and Lesa Peters.

The second division was won by Gremlin Wilson (Sand Vic-Savannah Montana) and driver John Cummings Jr. once again in 2:03. Meghan Wilson trains Gremlin Wilson ($9.60) for Cummings Jr. who also owns the colt.

The final leg saw Kaylon’s Prayer (Prayer I Am-Kaylon) victorious for Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings, in 2:03.4. Dennis Laterza trains Kaylon's Prayer ($8.50) for owner Roy Dobbins.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 7) with post time at 6:35 p.m.

August 4, 2015 - 11:46am
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

(Dayson photo by Steve Roth.)

(Reve Royal photo by Melissa Simser.)

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

When the 2-year-old colts and geldings converge on Batavia Downs for the $111,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) on Wednesday (Aug. 5), an unstoppable object will face an immovable force to lay claim to being the best in the state for this sex and gait.

The first division of the $55,500 stake features Reve Royale (RC Royalty-Dream Street) lining up against Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey’s Taurus) in a contest that will see one of them suffer their first defeat of the year.  

Reve Royal is a perfect three-for-three and just took his lifetime mark of 1:56.3 at the Meadowlands last week. He is a perfect two-for-two in NYSS action this year, including a very impressive 1:59.4 win at Saratoga Raceway that saw him trot a 58.4 back half over the half-mile oval.

He is trained by George Ducharme, who conditioned the 2013 Hambletonian winner, Royalty For Life, and will be driven by Chris Lems. Reve Royal has been listed as the morning line favorite and will leave from post 5.

Dayson is also undefeated with three consecutive wins and has been trotting away from his competition in all of his races. His fastest outing to date was at Saratoga on July 2; a win in 2:00.1. But his best effort may very well have been last week at Buffalo Raceway.

After making a break after the start, Dayson and driver Jeff Gregory spotted the field 16-lengths at the quarter pole. Gregory then gathered his horse together and rallied for a one-length victory in 2:02.2; last half in 59.2, last quarter in 28.4.

Dayson and Gregory will team up once again to see if they can get another tally from post six for trainer Howard Okusko. Okusko is hot right now having just won the Adios Pace this past Saturday (Aug. 1) with Dude’s The Man.

It’s interesting to note that Reve Royal is a colt and Dayson is a gelding, so there is a chance that one of two track records could be rewritten in this race, depending on who wins. The Batavia Downs record for a 2-year-old trotting colt is 1:58.4 set in 2010 by Dejarmbro and the 2-year-old trotting gelding mark is 1:58 set just last year by Buen Camino.

The second $55,500 contest has the three perceived favorites lining up from the three inside posts as mirror images of each other. All are geldings, have comparable earnings, have one NYSS victory and are all coming off lifetime marks.

Credevie (Credit Winner-Fleur De Vie) drew post seven in his last start at Yonkers Raceway but overcame it with style. Trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer left and tucked third before pulling at the three-quarters to gain a close victory in 2:00.3. Credevie did not compete in the NYSS leg at Buffalo last week so he has not raced in three weeks.

Andrew Goldstein (RC Royalty-Final Time) had post five at Yonkers and left for position. He eventually sat the pocket trip for trainer/driver Kim Crawford, before pulling away to an easy four-length win in 2:00.4. Andrew Goldstein also did not compete in the NYSS leg at Buffalo last week so he too has not raced in three weeks.

Allerage Echo (Conway Hall-Echonomical) did race at Buffalo last week and did it well. Trainer George Ducharme had driver Chris Lems cut the mile and that allowed Allerage Echo to walk away with an easy five-length victory in 2:03.3. The horse could have obviously gone more but it wasn’t necessary as he had the race well in hand.

Credevie has post three and is favored at 2-1. Andrew Goldstein has post two and is 5-2. Allerage Echo starts from thepylons and is listed at 4-1.

There are also three divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series that will split a total of $45,000.

Post time for the first of the 12-race card at Batavia Downs is 6:35 p.m.

August 3, 2015 - 1:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.)

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

The mutuel payouts may have been small, but the purses were spread around in the 3-year-old filly pacing division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2). A different sire, driver and trainer won each leg of the series as they represented the best New York State has to offer for this sex and gait.

In the first $39,200 division, Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) left the gate and took a methodic path to the front in 27.4. Leading the single-file group and still unchallenged to the half, Morrill kept a tight grip on the filly with an eye on closing out the deal. When they rolled towards three-quarters, Morrill popped the plugs and Mosquito Blue Chip responded in kind, quickly pulling away to a four-length advantage. With Morrill stretched out like he was in a recliner, the pair scurried home in 28.2 with no one even close, to win in 1:54.2.

“She felt like her old self today. She was on cruise control the entire mile,” said driver Jim Morrill Jr. of the filly who is now two-for-two lifetime at Batavia Downs.

Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor’s Delight-Sandfly Hanover) was sent off the prohibitive 1-9 favorite and paid $2.30 for the win. Paul Jessop trains and co-owns the filly with Our Three Sons Stable and Donato Falcicchio.

Band Of Angels (Matt Kakaley)

As most expected in the second $39,900 leg, Band Of Angels (Matt Kakaley) and Moremercy Bluechip (Andy Miller) left from post three and four respectively and got away 1-2 before sauntering to a pedestrian 29-second first quarter. With the rest of the field still in post-position order behind the two favorites, Kakaley continued to grab leather in an even slower 29.4 second panel.

From there it was all Band Of Angels who was given her head and quickly opened up a five-length lead before Kakaley lowered the lines and stored the whip. Band Of Angels ($2.50) paced the back half in 56.2, winning in 1:55.1 with Moremercy Bluechip closing ground on the wrapped-up winner to finish second.

After the race, winning driver Matt Kakaley pointed out “She did it as easily as a horse could do it and had plenty left coming down the stretch."

Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again) is conditioned by North America’s leading trainer, Ron Burke for owner W.J. Donovan.

Jag Out (Andy Miller)

The final $39,900 split featured a speed duel between two unrelenting contestants and it started as soon as the gate pulled away.

As the field headed into the first turn, they were spread three-wide across the track; Jag Out (Andy Miller) on the pylons, Nippy W Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the middle and Artiawitchtoyou (Doug McNair) out widest of all. Off the turn, Nippy W Hanover settled in second but Artiawitchtoyou opted to go on. As she drew next to Jag Out at the quarter in 27.1, it was clear the leader had no intentions of giving up that spot.  

As they contentiously passed the half in 55 flat, Jag Out and Artiawitchtoyou were seemingly pacing in tandem heading into the third turn, but then Artiawitchtoyou had taken all the air she could and by the 1:24.3 three-quarter split, started to show the effects. As she started to fade off, Jag Out continued to drive on to an impressive two-length victory in the fastest time of the day (1:53.4). The winner paid $8.

“She was awesome! I know we went fast early but she's that good,” said driver Andy Miller about the speed duel between his charge and Artiawitchtoyou.

Jag Out (American Ideal-Impertinent) is trained by Erv Miller, who co-owns her with Paymaq Racing and Mystical Marker Farms, LLC.

There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series on the card for $30,000 in purses.

The first went to Yes You Can (If I Can Dream-Cantbuymehappiness) went gate to wire in 1:56.2 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Heidi Rohr. Yes You Can, who paid $2.40 is owned by the Holland Racing Stable.

The second division was won by Hey Kobe (Bettor’s Delight-American West) who also led the entire mile for driver Mark Macdonald and trainer Marthe Drolet. Hey Kobe is owned by Stephen Schneider and William Siegel. The winner returned $4.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. notched four victories on the card with Kevin Cummings adding two more wins to his meet-leading total.

Racing resumes on Wednesday at Batavia Downs when two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings go postward for a total of $110,000 in purses. Post time is set for 6:35 p.m.

(Photos courtesy of Paul White.)

July 30, 2015 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Drew Monti courtesy of Monti and Jeff Zamaiko.)

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Batavia Downs is pleased to announce that popular local reinsman, “Driving” Drew Monti, will be featured as a bobble head to be given away on Saturday Sept. 5.

"When we first started discussing this project last year, we spoke with our customers to see who they would like to see used as the focus of this promotion and the overwhelming response was "Driving Drew" said Todd Haight, general manager/director of Live Racing at Batavia Downs.

"He started driving here at 18 just a few years ago but his career has taken off and he has obviously become a fan favorite. And as popular as bobble heads are in the sport right now, we are very excited for this promotion."

The 20-year-old Monti came on the driving scene in 2013, scoring his first pari-mutuel win in April of that year. He was the top first-year provisional driver in North America in 2013 and he has progressed at a torrid pace ever since.    

Last year Monti won 170 races, $886,461 in purses and hit the board over 40% of the time. So far in 2015, he is on pace for career high numbers all around as he already has 146 wins and $753,078 in purses through Wednesday (July 29).

During his short three-year career, Monti has amassed 393 wins and $2 million in earnings with a combined year-to-year UDR of .252. He is definitely poised to make a run at the driving title at Batavia Downs this meet.  

One of the more popular young drivers in social media and chat in the Harness Racing Fan Zone, Monti is an example of what the next generation of horseman is all about. While balancing his racing career and education at the same time, Monti will be entering his fourth year at Canisius College this fall as he pursues his BA in business.

The “Driving” Drew Monti bobble heads are sponsored by TAG Jewelers (www.tagjewelers.com ) of 936 Dick Road in Cheektowaga, NY. TAG Jewelers has been Western New York’s most trusted fine metals broker since 1977.

Tony Gruppo is the owner of TAG Jewelers and has been and owner and strong supporter of harness racing in the Western New York region for decades.

"I can remember coming to Batavia Downs with my friends on the weekend's while attending nearby Brockport State College over forty years ago" said Gruppo.

"The track has always been a part of my life, so when Todd (Haight) approached me about this promotion it was a natural fit for me. Drew Monti is a rising star and a fine young man. I think you will be seeing more of him on a bigger stage in the near future."

Distribution of the “Driving” Drew Monti bobble heads will begin immediately after the seventh race on Saturday (Sept. 5) in the Paddock Room. There is a limit of one per person and are available while supplies last. You must be a Players Club member to receive this premium.

Fans wishing to get their bobble heads signed by Monti are urged to bring them back to the track the following day during the Labor Day matinee. Driving Drew will be trackside for an hour before the first race to greet his fans and sign the statuettes.

This is the third bobble head issued by Batavia Downs. Previously, perennial New York Sire Stakes leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. was honored as was NFL Hall of Famer and Buffalo Bills great, Thurman Thomas. Thomas is featured in Batavia Downs “34 Rush” sports bar, which is located on the gaming floor.

(Bobble head photo courtesy of Batavia Downs.)

July 30, 2015 - 3:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Photo courtesy of Paul White.)

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

It seemed like a stroll in the park on an 86-degree summer night for Kellys Cross as she totally overpowered a solid field of Open II pacing mares in Wednesday night’s (July 29) feature at Batavia Downs.

As the wings closed, the speedy Voltina (Jack Flanigen) bolted to the lead, but not before getting rimmed to the quarter by rail-rider Real Joy (Drew Monti) in 27.4. After she took, Real Joy came right back at her and the two continued to argue to the half.

At that point, Downs defending driving champion, Kevin Cummings pulled Kellys Cross from third and circled the dispute as the girls passed the three-quarters. From there the pair opened up a six-length advantage and coasted home in 29.1 with the victory never in doubt.

Kellys Cross tripped the timer in 1:55.1 and paid $11.40 to her backers. It was the fastest win time ever over a half-mile track for the 4-year-old Royal Mattjesty progeny. It was also the fifth win of the year for the mare that competes under the guidance of trainer John Mungillo for owner Frank Spagnolo.  

Drivers scoring doubles on the card included Jim McNeight (who registered the natural daily double in races one and two), Kevin Cummings, John Cummings Jr. and Dave McNeight III.

Batavia Downs also hosted its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night in conjunction with the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, NY (bccr.org ). Each of the eleven races was sponsored by groups who made donations to the fund and presented blankets to the winners after each race. There was also a silent auction and raffle that was held during the night, with winners announced before the last race.

The effort raised $5,200 that will go to BCCR to help find a cure and eradicate this scourge to women everywhere.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (July 31) night at 6:35.

July 29, 2015 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Posterity (Lucky Chucky-Vintage Ship))

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Four divisions of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old trotting fillies went postward on opening night (7-27) at Batavia Downs and as a result the first record of the season just missed being broken. The track proved lightning fast as three of the four divisions set lifetime marks.

Posterity (Lucky Chucky-Vintage Ship) took full advantage of an early break by favored Winning Princess (Jim Morrill Jr.) to wire the field and post a 1:59.1 victory, which was only one-fifth of a second off the track record set by Dreamy Dawn in 2010.

Charlie Norris, who both trains and drives the filly, left sharp and set even fractions en route to an easy three and one-half length decision. The winning time was a new lifetime mark and the second win in three starts this year for Posterity, who paid $7.

Posterity is owned by Carrie Norris, Janine Zito and Jerry Buck Sprinkle.

(Lima Playtime (Credit Winner-Pacific Legacy))

In the first division, Lima Playtime (Credit Winner-Pacific Legacy) was an easy coast to coast winner who led the field by open lengths the whole race. Driver Rick Zeron seemed to have a gas pedal at his disposal after they passed three-quarters in 1:32.1; that’s when the mare sped away from the group to come home in an impressive 28.3 and take a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4. The even-money favorite returned $4.20.

Zeron trains and co-owns Lima Playtime with Millar Farms, James Walker and Paul Fisher.

The second division saw a dominant winner displaced due to interference by her coupled entry.

Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) and Jim Morrill Jr. wasted no time getting the lead before setting speedy fractions of 28.4, 58.4 and 1:29.4 into the far turn. The entry on the ticket, Steel Wheels (Lucky Chucky-Some Girls) and Gates Brunet pulled off the rail from third to take a shot at the leader. But shortly after that move, she made a break and interfered with trailing horses.

After the heavily favored Goosebump Hanover pulled away to an easy five-length victory, the inquiry sign went up, and the winner came down due to the interference by the coupled horse. Second place finisher, Credit To Thelimit (Credit Winner-Prize Angie) and driver Sam Schillaci were then declared the winner ($23.80).

Credit To Thelimit is also trained by Schillaci for owners Matthew Bencic, Peter Barbato, Sam Bova and Jodi Schillaci.  

(Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn-Portia))

In the final split, Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn-Portia) proved last week’s win was no fluke as she set a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4 while registering a four-length decision over her six competitors.

Lindylicious (Credit Winner-Scrumptious Lindy) flew off the wings for Chris Lems and went right to the front before leading for almost three-quarters of the race. But when the field was headed up the backside, driver Kevin Cummings pulled Dizzy Broad from third and appeared to fly past Lindylicious to take the lead. From that point on the only thing in question was how much the filly would win by.

Dizzy Broad, who is owned and trained by Noel Daley, returned $9.10 to her backers.

There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series on the card and the both also proved to be career best efforts for the winners.

Take The Cash (Cash Hall-Take The Lid Off) driven by Jim Morrill Jr. scored her first career victory in 2:01.4 and returned $4.60. Take The Cash is trained by Perry Simser, who co- owns the filly with Clifford Morcom, Richard Kaplan and Salvatore Corcione.

In the second leg, Barn Diva (Conway Hall-Misty Ridge) captured her second straight career win while also stopping the timer in 2:01.4. The winner, who returned $4.30, is trained and co-owned by Steve Pratt with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stable.

Racing resumes tonight (7-29) at Batavia Downs with the first post set for 6:35.

July 28, 2015 - 10:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

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The first race of the 69th season at Batavia Downs turned into a coast-to-coast cruise by the #3 horse, Lima Playtime, with a career-best time of 2:00.4. Lima was driven by Rick Zeron and paid $4.20.

It should be both a fun and exciting racing season at the Downs, said Marketing Director Ryan Hasenauer. There are special promotions throughout the season, but the remodoled gaming floor is also bringing in bigger crowds, which generates more revenue, which translates into bigger purses for harness racing. The bigger payouts will draw even higher quality horses to the track.

"Better horses make for better races and better wagering, and bigger pools means bigger winners," Hasenauer said.

The track is in great shape, Hasenauer said, which also helps draw drivers and trainers throughout the season.

"We already have a great reputation among trainers and owners as one of the best-manicured tracks in the industry," Hasenauer said.

Promotional highlights this season include Craft Beer Fridays, running into August, and Sunday wine tastings, and starting in August, Dollar Days, with dollar drafts and dollar hot dogs.

"People really like getting a good dollar hot dog or a cold draft beer at a decent price," Hasenauer said.

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July 27, 2015 - 1:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Press release from Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations:

As the Western New York harness racing scene switches back to the oldest lighted harness track in America today, Batavia Downs wasted no time welcoming back the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) to its schedule.

Post time for the first race is 6:35 p.m. Opening night at Batavia Downs also features free programs and free magnetic schedules to all fans attending the races live (while supplies last).

The series makes the first of eight stops at the Genesee County oval with a group of lightly-raced state bred 2-year-old trotting fillies who will compete in four divisions, vying for purses totaling $109,500.

The first leg is led by Dolly Drama PV (Lucky Chucky-Massive Drama) from the Mark Harder stable. This filly has made two starts this year, finishing third and first respectively while banking $16,241. Last week at Buffalo Raceway, she left sharply to gain early position and then trotted home in a snappy 29.4 to win by two-lengths in a lifetime best 2:03.4. Dolly Drama PV is 5-2, leaves from post two and will be driven by local favorite Jeff Gregory.

The royally bred Pampered Winner (Credit Winner-Pampered Princess) ships in from the Meadowlands to make her first NYSS start for Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. After qualifying three times at the iconic New Jersey track, she made her first lifetime start there in a juvenile overnight event where she finished five and one-half lengths off the pace in 1:59.3. Pampered Winner is the track handicapper’s selection at 2-1.

The second split features Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) who won the fastest (2:01.4) of four divisions at Buffalo last week for the top money-earning trainer in North America, Ron Burke. After getting away second, she went to the front past the quarter and then led the rest of the way for an easy one and one-half length victory. Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the lines for this week’s outing.

Steel Wheels (Lucky Chucky-Some Girls) made an unfortunate break at the start of her race last week that took her completely out of contention. That, after posting a win through disqualification at Monticello Raceway in an Excelsior A level race the week before. Steel Wheels, who is trained and driven by Gates Brunet, is coupled as a betting interest with Goosebump Hanover and they go postward as the morning line favorites at 2-1.

Royal Encore (RC Royalty-Spin The Planet) sat out last week after posting a solid second-place finish at Monticello on July 3. Now ready to make her second lifetime start, Royal Encore looks to improve for trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer. They leave from post four and are listed at 5-2.

Ron Burke’s Winning Princess (Credit Winner-Cabaret Princess) is the 2-1 early choice in the third division and looks to get back to her winning ways. She made a break at Buffalo last week that she couldn’t overcome after posting two convincing wins prior. In those starts she was victorious in 2:00.2 and 2:00.3 by a combined 10 lengths. Jim Morrill Jr. is back in the bike for the third consecutive time.

Winning Princess starts from post 2, and is coupled as a betting interest with Starlingmoon (Prayer I Am-Meadow Dion) who leaves from post 7 with Brett Miller aboard.  

Posterity (Lucky Chucky-Vintage Chip) looks to pose the greatest threat to the favorite after having scored a first and second place finish in NYSS action this year. Charlie Norris both trains and drives Posterity who leaves from post three as the 5-2 second choice.

In the final leg, Lindylicious (Credit Winner-Scrumptious) is moving up from Excelsior A action after two solid wins over that group to take on the top level trotters here. Her 2:01.2 win at Buffalo last week was actually faster than the fastest NYSS leg which was won by Goosebump Hanover (2:01.4). She has proven to be a versatile performer; racing both on top and from off the pace, and her gate speed will suit her well this week as she leaves from post six.

George Ducharme, who won the 2013 Hambletonian with Royalty For Life, conditions Lindylicious and her regular driver Chris Lems is back up for the ride. They are rated as a 5-1 shot to win.

Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn-Portia) is coming off a NYSS win in her first lifetime start at Buffalo last week. It was a convincing victory, but also the slowest of the quartet that day (2:05.1). Western New York’s leading driver, Kevin Cummings, will be aboard the 5-2 handicapper’s choice for the second time.

Love Crazy Love (Crazed-Love U Overandover) drew the rail for the second straight week and has one win in NYSS action this year for trainer-driver Gates Brunet. She is a solid competitor that is listed at 3-1 morning line.

There are also two divisions of Excelsior A action that offer $30,000 in purses and two divisions of Excelsior B horses that will go after their share of $13,500.

For more information on all the events at Batavia Downs this year, log on to www.bataviadownsgaming.com . There you can get full race schedules, entries, results as well as watch all the race replays immediately after each race is declared official. Live streaming video of all the races is available by becoming a member of Bataviabets.com

July 25, 2015 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Milestones, Batavia Downs.

Press release:

Representatives from Batavia Downs are pleased to announce they have received two Romero trophies and two Honorable Mention plaques during the closing ceremonies of the Casino Marketing and Technology Conference in Las Vegas. This was the first time Batavia Downs had submitted any promotions to the conference to be judged.

Romero Awards honor excellence in gaming marketing and are named for gaming marketing pioneer John Romero, who passed away earlier this year. Awards are given in two size categories (above or below 1000 gaming positions) and 6 different marketing categories.  The winners are selected by a panel of expert judges.

Lindsay Matikosh, Batavia Downs’ Promotions Manager, was on hand to receive the trophies as they were awarded. The Diamond Trophy was Batavia's Diamond VIP promotion. Last Year's Collect and Win Promotion, "Construction Junction," received a Gold Trophy. Two online promotions: Facebook Friday and Promotions Bracket each received Honorable Mention plaques.

"These awards are to be celebrated by all our staff members," Matikosh said. "We like to say we have some of the best promotions among local gaming facilities, and to have an independent panel of experts tell us that they're actually some of the best in the world of gaming is great.”

“Front line staff in all departments helped remind our players about partaking in these promotions, and their popularity certainly contributed to winning these trophies,“ said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing at Batavia Downs. “It was a total team effort and we are excited to have the trophies and plaques on display near Player's Club for all to see.”

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 28 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility.

July 23, 2015 - 12:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Press release:

The 69th season of live racing at America’s oldest lighted harness track gets under way on Monday (July 27) with post time set for 6:35 p.m. That is the first of 70 live racing dates to be contested during the Batavia Downs summer-fall session that runs through Dec. 12.

The racing schedule begins with a Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday rotation for the month of August and switches to a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday slate for the remainder of the meet.

For the first time in track history, there are eight matinee cards to be held during the year. Besides the five Sundays in August, afternoon starts are also set for Labor Day (Sept. 7), Columbus Day (Oct. 12) and Breeder’s Cup day (Oct. 31). And two twilight Tuesdays have been penciled in for Sept. 15 and 22.

Post time for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are 6:35 p.m. until Oct. 21 when it gets pushed up to 6:15 p.m. for the remainder of the meet. All matinees start at 1:15 p.m. and the two Tuesday cards start at 4:30 p.m.

Todd Haight, general manager/director of Live Racing at Batavia Downs, is both busy and optimistic this week leading up to opening night as he handles many of the last minute details needed to make the meet successful.

“A new era of racing begins at Batavia Downs this year as we have inaugurated changes that will take racing here well into the future. Between the construction of the new trackside hotel, paddock changes, increased purses and our goal to present our live patrons with little down time between races with all our special events, the 2015 meet should be one to be remembered,” Haight said.

The changes Haight spoke about will be evident to both fan and horseman alike upon entering the Batavia campus, most noticeably the construction of a new four-story hotel at the top of the stretch that will overlook the track. Slated to open on New Year’s Eve, the property will be going up as the meet goes on.

In order to facilitate that project, the existing paddock alignment has changed. It is now a four-race enclosure with 16 new wash stalls just adjacent in Barn 1. Horsemen are advised to become familiar with the new paddock schedule, which is available on the Batavia Downs' Web site.

Purses have increased for many classes due to the increased handle on the gaming floor. To start the meet, the Open trot and pace will each go for $10,000.

Some of the best racing in the sport will be contested at the Genesee County oval this year, headed by a full complement of New York Sire Stake (NYSS) events.  The best juveniles from the Empire State will compete here on July 27, Aug. 2-5-9-22 -30 and Sept. 4 and 16.

Then on Saturday (Oct. 3), the Downs will host the second richest night of racing ever (behind the Breeders Crown in 1988) when the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Invitational Pace and four $50,000 NYSS consolation events will headline the program. Horsemen will be competing for purses totaling almost $300,000.

Race Secretary Joe Zambito has put together another solid condition sheet and is anxious to get the meet under way.

“It’s a very exciting time at Batavia Downs with so many positive changes taking place. Our defending driving champion and seventh highest percentage driver in North America, Kevin Cummings, is back to protect his title along with our other veterans including Jim McNeight,” Zambito said.

“Our young guns are led by 'Driving Drew' Monti, Shawn McDonough and Dave McNeight III. And this year we welcome Craig Gilmour, who is shipping in with a 25-horse stable.”

Fans attending the live races will also notice some changes along with one of the most aggressive promotion lineups available at any race track.

This year there is no quinella wager; superfecta minimums have gone from .10 to .20; and the track introduces their new “Early Bird Daily Double,” available only in the Paddock Room to patrons attending the races live. Bettors who wager a total of $10 or more on daily-double wagers will receive $10 in free play for the Batavia Downs' gaming floor.

Twenty-three of the 70 racing dates feature promotions and giveaways that offer something for everybody.

On opening night there will be free racing programs and magnetic racing schedules (while supplies last) and that will be followed by Dollar Friday’s ($1 hot dogs, soda and beer) all during August. But the most anticipated events come after that.

Aug. 23 is Family Fun Day and features the ever popular dachshund or “Wiener Dog” races. A daylong schedule of special events designed especially for children will start at 2 p.m. and run through the afternoon. The 80-dog field starts their heats after the last live harness race. All events are sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia.

Sept. 5 is a special driver bobble-head giveaway, sponsored by TAG Jewelers. More information on this (including the driver featured) will be released shortly.

Sept. 7 is the annual Labor Day matinee featuring the driver’s bike race, which got its start back in the 1970s. Eight of the Downs favorite reinsmen turn in their sulkies for 10-speeds to see who can peddle their way to victory. The eight bicycles used in the race will be randomly given away after the race to the fans who select the winning driver.

For more information on all the events at Batavia Downs this year, logon to www.bataviadownsgaming.com. There you can get full race schedules, entries, results and you can watch all the race replays immediately after each race has been declared official. Live streaming video of all the races is available by becoming a member of Bataviabets.com.

July 22, 2015 - 11:06am
posted by Billie Owens in Wiener Dog Race, Batavia Downs, sports.

Press release:

Registration begins today (July 22) for one of the most popular promotions of the season at Batavia Downs Gaming -- the annual dachshund or “wiener dog” races, which will be held on Sunday, Aug. 23.

Sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia, a total of 10 heats will be contested with eight wiener dogs competing in each. The first race will begin after the last live harness race of the day, which will be approximately 4:20 p.m. The wiener dog races are the final feature of Family Fun Day at the races. The 2015 live harness racing season gets under way on Monday, July 27.

Last year, Kristy Drabek’s 2-year-old dachshund named Brinkley stormed down the stretch of America’s oldest lighted harness racetrack to win the championship final after competing for the first time ever. The official margin of victory was a half (dog) length. Six-year-old Pablo Penders, owned by Adrienne Penders, surged at the wire to nip 5-year-old early leader, Ruby, owned by Sarah Farley, for second.

The first 80 dogs entered will receive a canine gift bag courtesy of Genesee Feeds of Batavia. But the dogs won’t be the only winners here; their human counterparts are in line for a nice payoff as well. Each “puprietor” will be eligible to receive some nice prizes if their pet pooch proves prolific.

The owners of each heat winner (10 in all) will receive $25 in gaming free-play. And the winning, second and third place owner in the championship final will receive $100, $75 and $50 in gaming free-play respectively along with two complimentary clubhouse buffets each as well.

To register or for more information, all owners should call Arna Tygart at 585-343-3750, ext. 437, during regular business hours.

July 20, 2015 - 9:25am
Event Date and Time: 
August 14, 2015 -
5:00pm to 9:00pm

3rd Annual Former Employees & Doctors Reunion of St. Jerome's Hospital will be held on August 14th from 5pm-9pm at the Scared Heart Social Center. 17 Sumner Street, Batavia, NY 14020. The fee is $16 per person. Please make checks payable to Michael Rimmer, 15 Hart Street, Batavia, NY14020 or Theresa George, 38 Drake Street, Oakfield, NY 14125. For more information, call Mike Rimmer at 585-356-5922.

 

July 2, 2015 - 12:11pm

Horsemen and racing fans are reminded that post time for the Genesee County Fair races to be held at Batavia Downs on July 16 have been moved to 5 p.m. to avoid any construction issues of the new hotel that will be located on the Batavia Downs property adjacent to the racing paddock.

The entry box closes at 10 a.m. on Monday (July 13). To enter please call Racing Secretary Donna Kerr at 716-338-5387.

Anyone with questions should contact Director/GM of Live Racing Todd Haight at 585-343-3750, ext. 322.

June 27, 2015 - 11:03am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Batavia Downs Gaming is pleased to announce that Brittney Ohol will go to post as the new parade marshal for the upcoming summer-fall meet.

Ohol grew up around harness racing while being raised by her grandparents (Mike and Brenda Ohol) who both competed on the Western New York circuit for more than 30 years. The 21-year-old Lockport High School graduate attended Medaille College for vet tech before deciding to return to harness racing as a full-time career.

After getting her trainer’s and qualifying driver’s licenses, Ohol started her own stable and now owns and races three horses. Besides conventional competition, she has also been involved with racing under saddle (RUS) in New York State.

Ohol started to learn the art of outriding from Wendy Ross at Tioga Downs in 2011 and has now worked with her on and off for over four years. In 2014, Ohol took the position full time at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland. But after the meet ended there, she returned home because it was too far away from family.

When the job at Batavia Downs came available this year, the call went out to Brittney Ohol because she was a natural fit and the timing was right for her as well.

“I love having the opportunity to take this position at Batavia Downs. It’s close to my family and my home base where I know everybody so it makes it so much easier. I want to remain in the business as long as harness racing is around,” Ohol said. “I have two good horses named Paco and Cody and they allow me to do my job as well as I can. I am really looking forward to the upcoming meet to get started.”

“Brittney Ohol has a harness racing pedigree and has been a part of the racing community here at the Downs since she was a child,” said Todd Haight, director/general manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs.

“Her abilities as a horsewoman combined with her passion for the sport makes her the perfect fit for this job and ensures high-quality assistance to all the horsemen who race here every night. We are very happy to have her on board.”

The 69th season of live harness racing at America’s oldest lighted harness track begins on Monday, July 27 with a 6:35 p.m. post time.

June 27, 2015 - 10:56am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Press release:

Horsemen should be advised that stall applications for the 69th season of live harness racing at Batavia Downs Gaming are now available at the track’s Web site (http://www.bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing/wp-content/uploads/2015/04...) or can be picked up in person at the second floor reception desk inside America’s oldest lighted harness track. All stall requests must be received by July 10.

For the convenience of western New York horsemen who are currently racing at Buffalo Raceway, these applications are also available at the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association office located on the backstretch of that track.

The 2015 Batavia Downs season features 70 race dates and includes eight matinee cards. The annual summer-fall meet commences on Monday, July 27 and concludes on Saturday, Dec. 12.

Live racing will be presented on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night basis except for Saturday Oct. 31 (Breeders Cup day) when racing will be conducted at 1:15 p.m.

Aside from that three-day rotation, five Sunday afternoon programs will be held beginning on Aug. 2 and continuing through the end of the month.

Monday racing includes opening night and holiday programs on Labor Day and Columbus Day.

Tuesday racing begins Sept. 15.

The season begins with evening post times of 6:35 p.m. and matinee post times of 1:15 p.m.

New this year, Tuesday post time moves to 4:30 p.m. while beginning on Oct. 21 all evening programs for the remainder of the season go off at 6:15 p.m., with an anticipated extra race each night being carded.

Stall applications can be mailed to the race office at 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY 14020, Attn: Joe Zambito or faxed to 585-343-2451.

The backstretch opens for tack on July 19. Horses may begin arriving in the barn area on July 21.

June 26, 2015 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Batavia Downs, business, batavia.

Dealing just with hard numbers -- setting aside speculation on hoped-for new revenue and "the multiplier effect" of jobs created -- the tax abatement plan approved Thursday by the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board for a new hotel at Batavia Downs should be profitable for taxpayers, according to data obtained by The Batavian from a GCEDC staffer.

The abatements will save developers about 11.5 percent on their $5.49 million investment, and the new taxes the project generates will be about a 100-percent return to taxpayers, if you accept the notion that the project doesn't get built at all without the tax incentives. If not, it's at least 42-percent return.

By law, the developer must certify that the project requires a tax break to be feasible, according to Rachael J. Tabelski, marketing and communications director. That is a requirement for all projects considered by the GCEDC.

"We have to trust the applicant that when they say this project won't be a viable project without the tax incentives," Tabelski said.

ADK Hospitality, the hotel's developer, will save $638,000 in taxes over the next 10 years, but it won't be getting off totally free. The hotel's owners, over the next 10 years, will pay $1.1 million in various taxes.

Tabelski was quick to point out that the $638,000 in tax breaks is not money taken from taxpayers. It's just money that isn't paid to the government; money that doesn't exist if the project isn't built. Thus, the $1.1 million in taxes ADK will pay over the next decade is all new revenue for schools, the county and the state (but not the Town of Batavia, which doesn't have its own tax on property).

That figure doesn't include sales tax generated by the hotel, or any anticipated increase in sales tax generated by the hoped-for increase in business at Batavia Downs. It also doesn't include employment taxes generated by the anticipated $600,000 in payroll for 25 full-time equivalent new hires at the hotel. 

The developers told the GCEDC Board that the project would generate a total of $2.8 million in tax revenue between now and 2025, but there isn't a breakdown available on what categories of taxes comprise that total. It likely covers fire district, property, bed tax, sales tax and payroll tax.

The $1.1 million in hard numbers we have includes:

  • $56,000 paid to the Town of Batavia Fire District;
  • $550,000 paid in county bed taxes;
  • $500,000 paid in property taxes over the life of the PILOT.

A PILOT is a tax break given to developers of projects that industrial development agencies, such as GCEDC, believe will create or retain jobs. It is a reduction in taxes on the increase in assessed value of a property.

Let's say a property is valued at $100,000. A business ads a new wing to its building and increases the assessed value to $150,000. The business continues to pay all property taxes on the initial $100,000 in assessed value, but gets a reduction in taxes on that additional $50,000. PILOT agreements vary, but typically, there would be no taxes due the first two years of the increase, and then taxes would be incrementally increased every two years until the 10th year, when the property owner is paying the full tax bill on the increase in assessed value.

In the case of the hotel property, the developers are buying land from Western OTB, which is currently tax-exempt and has no assessed value. It will be assessed next year, and its assessed value will go from zero to whatever that assessed value is, and the PILOT will be calculated based on that increase, unless the project is not yet completed, in which case there will be only a partial assessment with a full assessment to come during the next annual assessment period after the project's completion.

The PILOT on this project is worth $300,000. The remaining abatements are for the mortgage tax on the purchase and on the sales taxes due on material purchased during construction.

As for the multiplier effect, that's a controversial notion to some, but the idea is that if you create a new job and pay that person money, they will spend some amount of that money locally, and the churn of that money will help pay other people's wages, lifting everyone's boats. That $600,000 in new payroll could be worth millions in economic growth locally.

These figures also don't include wages paid to construction workers and purchases made from local vendors -- if any -- during construction.

June 25, 2015 - 5:38pm
posted by Traci Turner in GCEDC, Batavia Downs.

The Genesee Economic Development Center Board voted unanimously to approve ADK Hospitality’s application for approximately $638,000 in tax exemptions during a special meeting this afternoon.

ADK is planning to build an 84-room hotel connected to the Batavia Downs gaming facility. The investment is estimated at $5.49 million.

The board agreed with ADK Hospitality that the project falls under the tourism destination requirement with the general municipal law, which states the destination must bring in outside traffic.

In response to the Clarion Hotel’s opposition to the project, Steven Hyde, GCEDC president and CEO, stated that ADK’s project application was different from the Clarion’s project application submitted in 2012.

According to GCEDC records, the Clarion Hotel submitted an incentive application for window and stucco upgrades to their facility as well as debt refinance. Staff responded to the application and said the project may not meet law requirements to enhance the destination and attract more visitors. The Clarion Hotel then removed its application.

For ADK's project, Hyde stated many full-fledged casinos offer lodging and the hotel is a good opportunity to increase traffic at Batavia Downs.

“Today we’re looking at brand-new construction, a new feature integrated to the destination and a market study that confirms the projections will meet law requirements,” Hyde said.

Wolcott Hinchey, chairman, thinks the hotel will significantly contribute to continued growth and economic development in Genesee County.

“One of the things that I liked about this project is that we’re taking a tax-exempt property and selling it to a private developer and putting a property in the Town of Batavia back on the tax rolls,” Hinchey said. “I think the benefits of the project to the community outweigh the negatives.”

Michael Nolan, vice president of Western Regional Off-Track Betting, is looking forward to starting hotel construction.

“The staff here has been wonderful with looking at every detail of the project and what it will mean to the community,” Nolan said. "We can’t thank them enough for all the professionalism that they displayed throughout the whole process. As soon as the legal work dealing with the closing of the property is complete, we will start construction at the Downs.”

In addition to ADK's project, the GCEDC approved an application submitted by Manning Squires Henning Co. for approximately $170,000 in tax exemptions to expand its facilities. The company plans to add 5,000 square feet and renovate its existing shop and office space. The project’s investment is approximately $1.3 million.

June 23, 2015 - 7:13pm
posted by Traci Turner in GCEDC, Batavia Downs, batavia, business.

An attorney representing the Clarion Hotel and members of the community voiced concerns regarding the application submitted by ADK Hospitality, LLC, to Genesee County Economic Development Center for incentives to build a hotel at Batavia Downs.

A public hearing was held Monday night by the GCEDC to gain input from the community on the application they received from ADK, a private developer seeking to build a hotel at Batavia Downs, requesting approximately $630,000 in incentives.

Vivek Thiagarajan, attorney representing Clarion owner Chat Patel, argued that when his client looked into applying for GCEDC incentives to build the Palm Island Indoor Waterpark in 2012 he was told the project would be denied funding because it was not considered a tourist destination. Thiagarajan argued that ADK's hotel is not a tourist destination and Batavia Downs should not receive tax incentives either. 

"There is no tourist destination about the hotel itself," Thiagarajan said. "Maybe the name makes it look like it's affiliated with Batavia Downs but the hotel is merely just like any other hotel. As a result, the public shouldn't be forced to fund something that only benefits the private owners of that hotel."

Thiagarajan also argued that the purchase price of $600,000 is less than the $630,000 in incentives the project would receive from the GCEDC.

In addition to Thiagarajan's opposition, John Sackett, a past county legislator, questioned whether the hotel would create full-time jobs and believed the hotel should be built without incentives.

A representative from the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters expressed concern over whether Batavia Downs and ADK would use union construction workers to build the hotel. The union agreed it would support the hotel project if union construction workers were used.

A variety of local businesses wrote letters in support of the proposal. The businesses included Sport of Kings Restaurant, Harness Horse Breeders of New York State, Sloat Tire Shop, Genesee Feeds, Nothnagle Realtors, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, WNY Harness Horsemen's Association and U.S. Foods. The businesses stated that Batavia Downs is a primary asset for attracting tourism and the addition of the hotel would bring more people and business to the community.

Anthony Baynes, managing member of ADK, provided details on the hotel project and the economic impact it would have on Genesee County. In the presentation, Baynes stated the $5.5-million hotel will be a four-story structure with 84 rooms. Itl will also be connected to Batavia Downs Gaming and complement the design elements of the new gaming entrance. There will be no restaurant or bar in the hotel.

"The hotel will positively impact Batavia Downs and local tourism on a permanent basis," Baynes said. "It will generate incremental gaming, banquet, food and beverage revenue at Batavia Downs, which will result in increases in tax collection, jobs preserved and additional jobs created."

According to Michael Nolan, vice president of Western Regional Off-Track Betting, the corporation that owns Batavia Downs, the hotel will help the gaming industry expand and allow them to compete with other casinos that are building hotels.

The hotel will result in the creation of 23 jobs. There also will be more job growth due to the number of wedding and conventions Batavia Downs will host because of the hotel.

"We think our banquet facility is going to multiple 10 times due to the hotel," Nolan said. "It's well within reason that there will be 50 jobs coming with the addition of the hotel."

According to statistics provided by Hotel & Leisure Advisors, a national hospitality consultant firm, the total impact of the new gaming revenue, new food and beverage sale and increased banquet business will be $2.6 million for the first year of operation. In the first 10 years of operation, the impact will be $31 million.

The GCEDC Board of Directors is having a special public meeting to consider a final resolution for the project. The meeting will be held at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday at the Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre.

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