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January 15, 2013 - 12:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Press release:

The staff of Batavia Downs Casino and Thurman Thomas are now accepting entries to name the Hall of Famer’s new restaurant on site at Batavia Downs Casino.

The facility’s $28 Million dollar expansion begins within a month and includes construction of a new Thurman Thomas sports bar. Customers may tweet a suggestion for the Sports Bar’s name on Twitter by tweeting from their account and including the name of the Sports Bar with the tag @BataviaDowns. The contest will end at Noon on Friday, Jan. 18.

Staff from Batavia Downs Casino and Thurman Thomas will review the entries and declare a winner before the end of January.

The person that submits the winning name will win dinner for two inside the new sports bar with Thurman Thomas and Batavia Downs Staff when the new facility opens sometime in the fall. The winner shall also receive a Batavia Downs Casino Prize Pack valued at more than $250.

If more than one person suggests the winning name, then one person shall be randomly chosen from those who suggested that name. Winner will be notified via twitter that they have won. Full rules can be found on Batavia Downs Casino’s Web site at

“Thurman’s new sports bar will offer great food, a stage for live entertainment on weekends, and many large flat screen TVs where our patrons can enjoy all their favorite sporting events,” said Ryan Hasenauer, director of marketing for Batavia Downs Casino. “It will also feature various pieces of football and Thurman Thomas memorabilia.”

January 7, 2013 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business, Western OTB.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Casino has closed the books on another record year, with a casino expansion starting in less than one month and the possibility of enhanced gaming on the horizon. The facility has enjoyed at least 4-percent growth every year since opening in 2005.

The 640 video lottery terminals at the track’s gaming parlor generated $45.1 million last year in net winnings, according to the NY Lottery. This figure is up 13.38 percent from 2011’s $39.78 million. Earnings in 2011 were 5.53 percent over what was earned in 2010.

“As one of the nine New York State Racetrack Casinos, we are giving back to the State of New York via our daily contributions to the New York State Lottery, and our distributions to our member municipalities,” said Michael Kane, CEO and president for Batavia Downs Casino.

Batavia Downs in owned and operated by Western Regional Off-Track Betting, a public benefit corporation. Municipalities that own Batavia Downs Casino include: the cities of Buffalo and Rochester, and the counties of Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Wyoming.

“As a public benefit corporation, all revenues net expenses are distributed to the fifteen counties and two cities of Western New York,” said Ryan Hasenauer, director of marketing for Batavia Downs Casino. “People know that when they come here for entertainment, their money is going to New York State, either via the lottery for education or to the counties that they live and work in. We’re happy to give back.”

December 7, 2012 - 3:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Tonight is Customer Appreciation Night at Batavia Downs. After the fourth race in the enclosed grandstand, Subway subs and cake and coffee will be served while supplies last. Racing programs will be $1; coffee in the paddock room will be just 50 cents beginning at 5 p.m.

The free Pick-6 contest continues. Another $500 will be up for grabs for anyone that can pick all six winners on contest races four-nine. Sign up to play begins at 5 p.m. at Players Club and all Pick-6 forms must be returned to Players Club by the start of the fourth race. In the event there is more than one winner, the prize money is divided equally.

Then on Saturday night, the 2012 season comes to a close. Members of the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association will be trackside as part of the fifth annual “Night of Distinction” awards presentation.

Also on Saturday there will be a mandatory pay-out in the free Pick-6 contest. Either $500 or $1,000 will be paid out. If the Pick-6 contest is not won on Friday (Dec. 7), then the pool increases to $1,000 on Saturday night. If won on Friday, then the Saturday contest pool will be $500. Since it's closing night all monies must be paid out to whoever picks the most winners. In the event of a tie, all prize money will be divided equally. Contest races are four-nine. Sign up to play begins at 5 p.m. at Players Club and all Pick-6 forms must be returned to Players Club by the start of the fourth race. No purchase is necessary, must be a Batavia Players Club member to participate.

The Pick-6 contest is sponsored by the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association.

Simulcast wagering returns back to a seven day a week schedule beginning Dec. 9 at both the Downs and ITW simulcast center located across the street.

December 4, 2012 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, business, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

Each year, the members of the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association look to recognize a member of the racing community who has selflessly given of their time and effort for the betterment of the sport and its horses.

This year, the organization will honor a man who has been doing it for more than three decades. Peter Kanter, D.V.M., Ph.D., has been practicing equine medicine in Western New York since 1973, after graduating from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. While servicing the needs of horsemen in the morning, he has also been the paddock vet at both Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway each night since 1979.

But this is only part of the story. Besides caring for his four legged patients, Dr. Kanter was also working to defeat a human disease that has touched everyone’s life at some point. From 1973 until 2008, Dr. Kanter served as a director in the Division of Drug and Treatment Development as well as being in charge of the Department of Comparative Surgery at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. Among his many accomplishments there, he was responsible for bringing a plethora of treatment drugs to market and also helped develop the techniques of what is now commonly known as minimally invasive surgery.

At the track, his commitment to the sport and its participants has been unparalleled and his many clients are a testament to that. He has made an uncountable number of horses better through his work and he continues to be there to address their needs before or after the races. While at Roswell Park, his work was responsible for helping to ease the pain and suffering of thousands of people while aiding the fight to a cure.

It is for his life’s work to improve the lives of both man and beast that Dr. Peter Kanter was chosen the 2012 UNY USHWA Unsung Hero. Dr. Kanter will receive his award trackside at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 8) during the fifth annual “Night of Distinction” awards presentation, where all the best equine and human performances of the current Batavia meet, as well as the best in Western New York for the entire year, will be feted.

December 1, 2012 - 12:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

It was the penultimate Friday night (Nov. 30) of the 2012 summer-fall meet at Batavia Downs Casino. Headlining the 12-race program, which take place on a cold and snowy night in Western New York, was a pair of $7,400 races, one trotters and one for pacers.

On the trotting side, Howard Ouriel’s Duke of Wellington, took over the lead past three-quarters and went on to a 2-1/4 length score in 1:59.4 to notch his fifth win of the season. Dan Noble, who has now won 16 races in the last three racing nights at the Downs, was at the controls for conditioner Don Rothfuss.

Duke of Wellington ($22.60), a 7-year-old altered son of Canadian sire Duke of York raised his lifetime bankroll to $119,037.

On race later the best distaff pacers in Western New York hit the racetrack and it was one of the most exciting finishes of the year.

Hasty Pulse with Dan Noble in the bike, took command at the top of the stretch after a first over trip and appeared to be well on her way, but it was Miss Too Punch who would not be denied and closed from last to take home the lion’s share of the purse money.

With Jamie Dunlap in the sulky for trainer Tracy Root, Miss Two Punch ($17) unleashed a wicked late burst to score a narrow neck victory in 1:57.4. The daughter of Allamerican Ingot made her fourth winners circle visit in 2012 and increased her lifetime earnings to $87,482.

In the final Pick-6 wager of the season, that featured a mandatory pay-out, four of six was a winning ticket and returned $83.

Racing resumes on Saturday night with a post time of 6:25. There are only three nights remaining in 66th season at Batavia Downs. Racing concludes on Dec. 8.

The free pick-6 contest kicks off on Saturday night; Players Club members that can pick the winners of races 4 through 9 will win or share in the $500 pool. This promotion is sponsored by the Western New York Harness Horseman’s Association.

November 25, 2012 - 4:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

By Brian Mazurek, for Batavia Downs

It was Ladies' Night Friday (Nov. 23) in the featured $8,200 Open I-II Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs as the lone mare in the field of seven, Starbux Eden, beat the boys by 1-1/4 lengths in 2:00.4.

Owned, trained and driven to victory by John Cummings Jr., of Williamsville, the favored Starbux Eden ($4.40) sat the pocket behind the pacesetting Perfect Man (Dave McNeiught Jr.) through quarters of :29.0, 1:00.2 and 1:30.1.

But just before the top of the stretch, instead of dropping down to the passing lane, Cummings Jr. tipped the 6-year-old Striking Sahbra mare to the outside and trotted home smartly in :30.3 on the blustery evening, easily beating Keystone Bernard (Shawn Gray). Partici Pator (Jim McNeight) finished third.

It was the 10th win of the season for Starbux Eden in 35 starts and increased her 2012 earnings to $60,005.

Reinsman Dan Noble, currently second in the Downs' standings, was the driving star of the evening winning six times on the 12-race card.

November 20, 2012 - 5:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Casino will celebrate the accomplishments of world champion and trotting track record holder Archangel with a coffee mug giveaway on Wednesday night (Nov. 21). The locally owned trotter took Western New York by storm when he competed in the historic $1.5 million Hambletonian.

To receive a collector’s edition photo mug, patrons simply need to swipe their Player’s Club card beginning at 5 p.m. at Players Club to receive a ticket that can be redeemed in the Paddock Room after the seventh race for an Archangel mug. Supplies are limited.

Archangel, a son of Credit Winner-Michelle’s Angel, was purchased for $120,000 in 2010. Earlier this year he set a world record on a half-mile racetrack on July 7 at Yonkers Raceway when he won the Yonkers Trot, the first leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown, in 1:54.1. Then on Sept. 9, he lowered the Batavia Downs trotting all-age and 3-year-old record when he cruised to victory in a New York Sires Stake event in 1:54.3. His final time was more than two seconds faster than the previous record of 1:56.4 set by Earl in 1993 in the Provenzano Trot.

In two years of racing Archangel earned $906,579, including $771,386 during his sophomore season. His lifetime best of 1:53.1 came at Vernon Downs and was equaled at Lexington, Ky. In addition to the giveaway, a special meet-and-greet session with owner/trainer Peter Arrigenna and co-owner Alan Hainsworth will be held in the track lobby beginning at 5:30 p.m. On display will be some of the trophies won during the 2012 campaign.

“We wanted to buy a top quality horse, one that could be dominant on the New York Sire Stakes and eventually become a Grand Circuit horse,” Hainsworth said. “He did that and more. He earned a lot of money for us and it’s really been an amazing ride. I got a chance to meet some great people along the way.”

Hainsworth and partners purchased another son of Credit Winner for $170,000 at the recently concluded Harrisburg Sale and are hopeful they have another champion.

“He’s extremely well bred and is a carbon copy of Arch,” Hainsworth added. “Not only do I have confidence in his breeding but in my trainer as well.”

The Downs is expecting a nice crowd on Wednesday night.

“Back in the day, the night before Thanksgiving used to be one of the biggest nights of the year,” said Todd Haight, track general manager said. “I’m confident we’ll have a nice crowd on hand, many thanks to Pete and Alan for making this happen.”

November 17, 2012 - 1:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

By Brian Mazuek, for Batavia Downs

Under The Stars and driver/trainer Jim McNeight were first under the wire in the featured $8,500 Open I-II Trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 16).

Under The Stars had finished second in three of his last four starts in the Open trot but finally broke through for the win.

Sitting second over going to the three-quarter pole, Under The Stars ($11.60) swept three-wide around the final turn and trotted around the pace-setting and favored Perfect Man (Dave McNeight III) and the cover of Big Baller (Dan Noble).

Down the lane Under The Stars trotted strongly to the wire, beating the pocket sitting Starbux Eden (John Cummings Jr.), by a length in 1:59.2, while Ziegfeld (Jim Morrill Jr.) rallied late to finish to third.

Owned by Mike Calimeri of Falconer, N.Y., it was the fourth win of the season for Under The Stars, a five-year-old Yankee Glide gelding. The win also moved his seasonal winnings to $44,952.

A 12-race program is slated for tonight at 6:25 p.m. with some top late-season races on tap.

The $27,000 Henry Tojj Pacing Series finale is the feature, scheduled for the seventh race. Johnny Grippa, with driver Jim Morrill Jr., is the morning line choice at 5-2 starting out of the four post.

The $10,000 consolation of the Henry Tojj will follow as the ninth race with D J Supreme and driver Shawn Gray the favorite from the four spot at 5-2.

The weekly $9,000 Open Pace will go as the sixth race with What The Sheik with Jim Morrill, Jr. in the sulky as the 6-5 morning line favorite despite starting from the eight hole.

To watch all the action via streaming video or for more information on the track, go to <

November 13, 2012 - 2:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing, jack flanigen.

Press release:

The “Jack Flanigen Milestone Watch” has officially begun. When racing resumes on Wednesday night at Batavia Downs Casino, all eyes will be on Flanigen, who is closing in on 4,000 lifetime wins in the sulky.

The veteran driver, a lifelong resident of Western New York currently sits at 3,992. The 46-year-old Flanigen is a native of the Buffalo suburb of Hamburg and now lives a little more than five miles from the Batavia track, in Oakfield. In two-plus decades of driving he has become Western New York's winningest driver, and now he's closing in on another milestone.

He reached 3,000 victories on Oct. 20, 2007. There are other drivers from the Batavia-Buffalo Raceway circuit -- past and present -- who have won more races. Jeff Gregory of nearby Churchville is the current leader with 6,583 lifetime wins. Jim Morrill Jr., is at 5,432; Hall of Famer Buddy Gilmour 5,381; Ken Holliday 5,092; Ben Webster 4,378; and John Stark Jr. 4,119.

But most of their wins came at other racetracks. For Flanigen it’s been all about Western New York. Well, at least after the very beginning. His first career drive (and win) didn’t come on his hometown circuit but rather at Lake Shore Meadows, in Erie, Pa. He sat behind a horse named Mighty Mite for trainer Jim Crossan. By 1990 Jack was one of the most sought-after drivers on the Western New York harness racing circuit.

During the '90s he drove in 11,899 races and won 2,279 times. His best year was 1996, when he brought home 271 winners. During his career the horses he has driven have earned more than $11 million. His 3,992 wins best WNY legends, Ed McNeight Jr. (3,456), Jim McNeight (3,089) Gaston Guindon (3,080), Dave Vance (2,894) and Gerry Sarama (2,630).

Flanigen was the Downs dash leading reinsman in 2011. He missed the entire 2008 Downs season with concussion suffered on closing night at Buffalo Raceway. This season, during the 2012 summer-fall meet, he is currently fourth in the driver standings with 74 wins.

And to think it wasn't all that long ago that he actually pulled back on his driving career. In 2001, Flanigen began a second career, taking a full-time job with the New York State Department of Transportation as a truck driver.

“I wasn’t sure which way the business was headed; Batavia was closed and Buffalo was racing reduced dates,” Flanigen said. “So I decided I needed to get a job with benefits just in case.”

When purses climbed at Batavia and Buffalo Flanigen gave up driving trucks for the DOT in 2009 to go back driving horses full-time. He also added training to his resume again, something he hasn’t done since 1994.

“I was just looking for another way to supplement my income so I went back training," he said. "I currently have six in my barn.”
Looking back Flanigen said his career has been a bit of a surprise.

“I never dreamt sitting on driver/trainer Franny Bond‘s lap when I was 10-years-old, while he was out jogging horses, that I would have ever come close to his accomplishment."

October 22, 2012 - 3:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

King Otra ($3.60), getting a crafty drive from veteran reinsman Tony Morgan, made every pole a winning one, taking his first $9,000 Open Pace of the season on Saturday night (Oct.20) at Batavia Downs Casino

Leaving from the rail King Otra got plenty of respect from the other six rivals strolling to the first quarter in :28.3, as the field lined up in post-position order. A 30-second, second quarter breather gave the 5-year-old altered son of Western Ideal a big advantage on the top end as field reached the half.

Down the backside the “King” began to lengthen his stride pacing a :28.3 third quarter. A :28.1 final stanza sealed the deal with King Otra going on to a 1-3/4th length score over Cole Hard Cash (Dan Noble) and the pocket sitter, Spender Hanover (Jack Flanigen).

King Otra was claimed for $10,000 back on July 14 at Buffalo Raceway by current owner and now trainer Linda Magnusson. Since the claim he has won eight times and is Western New York’s winningest pacer with 13 victories in 2012. He raised his seasonal earnings to $58,413.

Jacqueline Ball, of Batavia, corrected selected all nine winners in the final free handicapping contest of the season at Batavia Downs and takes home the top prize of $500. A total of 268 patrons participated in the handicapping contest.

The Pick-6 carryover pool continues to build and starts out at $1,860 when racing resumes on Tuesday night, the final Tuesday program of the season. Post time is 6:25 p.m.

October 18, 2012 - 1:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

There's no doubt who the sharpest race mare in Western New York is these days, it's definitely You're Too Funny. She overcame the eight-hole Wednesday night (Oct. 18), to score her third straight victory in the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Batavia Downs.

Driven by Jack Flanigen, You're Too Funny ($5.80) has now won four times and finished second four times in her last eight starts in the weekly Wednesday feature, giving her great credentials for "Horse of the Year" honors.

Sitting dead last at the half, You're Too Funny slowly started her winning rally. The field became double-decked down the backstretch and You're Too Funny was still seventh at the three-quarter pole, fourth over. Flanigen then guided her out four-wide down the stretch, unleashing a wicked stretch drive and beat another fast closer, Miss Two Punch (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) by a neck and Romania Hanover (Shawn Gray) in 1:55.2 over the fast track. Romania Hanover may be one to watch for next week as she was parked out for almost three-quarters of a mile.

Owned by Greg Capell, of Batavia, and trained by Chris Naedele, You're Too Funny now has 11 wins in 25 starts and increased her bankroll to $55,034 in 2012.

The horses return to the track on Friday night at Batavia Downs with the $9,000 Open Trot scheduled as the feature in the seventh race. Big Baller, after a week off, returns and will open as the 8-5 morning line favorite with Dan Noble in the sulky.

To get the latest news and information on Batavia Downs or to watch streaming video of the races, go to

October 4, 2012 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

You're Too Funny, after three consecutive second places in the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Batavia Downs, took a brief respite from the harness racing battles. But after a week of freshening, You're Too Funny ($15) returned to the war Wednesday night (Oct. 3) and conquered the field of six by scoring a half-length victory over the heavy 1-9 favorite It's De Lovely in 1:55.1 over the fast track.

It's De Lovely (Dave McNeight III) cut the fractions of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:26.4 and seemed in control around the final turn. But the three-length lead evaporated quickly as the fast pace turned out to be too much to handle.

You're Too Funny and driver Jack Flanigen used a steady and methodical stretch run beginning just past the three-quarters pole, grinding into the lead with every stride down the stretch, eventually collaring the pace setter. Evil Eva (Shawn Gray) was up for third.

Owned by Greg Capell, of Batavia, and trained by Chris Naedele, You're Too Funny has now bankrolled $46,030 on the season. It was the ninth win of the season as well for the four-year-old American Ideal mare.

The Dan Noble watch continues as he inches closer to 3,000 lifetime wins. The 29-year-old Ohio native drive home a pair of winners on Wednesday night and sits at 2,995 career tallies. A great weekend of harness racing kicks off on Friday night at Batavia Downs when a 12-race program gets underway at 6:25 p.m. The Pick-3 returns with a 50-cent minimum wager and a $1.00 minimum bet, starting in race 10.
On Saturday night, a super 13-race card is set highlighted by the 10th Annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace along with the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot, the usual $10,000 Open Pace and a strong undercard.
The night will also feature $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, draft beer and soda and a Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace T-shirt giveaway.
Then on Monday, Columbus Day, a special matinee is on tap with post time slated for 1:15 p.m.
For all the information on the holiday weekend action or to view live streaming video of all the action, go to "">

September 16, 2012 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, Notre Dame.

Press release:

In the third $7,500 "Dash for Cash," Lindsay Hilburger -- representing Notre Dame of Batavia High School with professional driver Dave McNeight III alongside -- led all the way to take the first-place scholarship check of $3,000.

The one-mile harness race for area high school seniors racing for college scholarship funds took place Saturday night (Sept 15.), at Batavia Downs Racetrack & Casino.

Sonia Nevinger (Alexander) took second place and a $2,000 scholarship check; Leanne King (Pembroke) was third and earned a $1,200 scholarship; Jessica Levins (Batavia High School) took the fourth-place spot and $800 in scholarship funds, while Jamie Marshall (Elba) was fifth and received a $500 check.

The final time of 2:08.2 was by far the fastest running time of any of the scholarship races.

“It was nice to see such a large turnout,” said Todd Haight, general manager of Live Racing.

The track apron was packed with fans of all ages as they came out to cheer on their classmates and favorite schools.

The scholarship race is a partnership of the New York Sire Stakes, the Harness Horse Breeders of New York, the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association, Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs.

Photo: Jamie Marshall, Jessica Levins, Leanne King, Sonia Nevinger, Lindsay Hilburger (courtesy of Paul White).

August 26, 2012 - 11:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, Wiener Dog Race.

Press release:

For the second year in a row, Lindsay Ryan’s “Gordon” proved he’s still the fastest dachshund in Western New York, when he won Sunday’s Petco Wiener Dog Races at Batavia Downs.

In front of the largest crowd ever to witness the annual event, 75 dogs squared off in 10 elimination heats with each elimination heat winner returning for the championship final.

The fastest 10 dogs left their handlers and roared by the historic half-mile tracks home stretch and after videotape review it was determined that “Gordon” had indeed narrowly crossed the finish line first.

Tom Grimm’s “Isabella” was a very close second while Christopher Cummings “Max” finished right there in third.

“Gordon’s” accomplishments earned her owner $200 in casino free play. Second and third place was worth $100 and $50 in casino play for their respective owners.   

The wiener dog races are the final event of Family Fun Day at the races held each year on the last Sunday afternoon in August.

If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here. To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

August 16, 2012 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Press release:

With the construction of Batavia Downs Casino’s new LED sign, pieces of the old neon sign are now available to interested parties. Batavia Downs Casino has already given two letters to representatives of the Holland Land Office Museum of Batavia, but other letters still remain.

Interested persons should contact Tom Balk, director of Building and Grounds for information on obtaining remaining pieces. It should be noted that the letters are over 7 feet tall and in various states of disrepair having been on the roof for so long. Mr. Balk can be reached at (585) 343-3750, ext. 312.

August 9, 2012 - 3:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Announcements, sports, harness racing.

Press Release:

Batavia, NY – Old Fashioned Night returns to Batavia Downs Casino and Racetrack this Saturday night (August 11) for the first time during the 2012 racing season, but with a twist.

Historically, Old Fashion night prices include 50-cent Sahlen’s hot dogs, sodas and racing programs, however this year the nation’s oldest lighted half-mile harness racetrack is going "Crazy Cheap."

Thanks to sponsorship of the evening by Crazy Cheap Cars of Oakfield, Sahlen’s hot dogs will be just 3 for $1 in the paddock room beginning at 5pm. First race post time is 6:25 p.m.  Guests wanting to take advantage of the reduced price simply need to ask for the “Crazy Cheap Price.”

“We’re proud to be working with the folks at Batavia Downs on the Crazy Cheap night promotion,” Mike Ognibene, owner of Crazy Cheap Cars of Oakfield said. “We’re looking forward to a great evening at the track.”

“The first Old Fashioned night of the season is usually our biggest night of the year,” said Batavia Downs General Manager Todd Haight.  “Not only does it bring out a great crowd which enhances the on-track excitement but it creates larger betting pools for our racing customers. We want to thank Mike for partnering with us on this promotion.”

One day later another top promotion takes place at the Genesee County oval, Super Seniors Day.  Beginning at 12-noon in the clubhouse and running until 2:30 p.m., all seniors 55 or older that purchase the Sunday lunch buffet at the regular price of $8.95 will receive a racing program and $10 in casino free play. It's like dining for free. Sunday reservations are strongly recommended. To make a clubhouse reservations, please call 585-343-3750.

“It’s a great way to thank all our seniors for their many years of supporting Batavia Downs,” Haight added.

A complete list of all the 2012 racing promotions can be found at 

August 3, 2012 - 2:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Beginning Aug. 5, racing at the nation’s oldest lighted harness track moves to a schedule of Sunday afternoons, and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Sunday's program features 13 exciting races, including the $9,000 featured Open Trot and $7,600 Open II Trot. Sundays with Ashley Parade Marshal and outrider Ashley Holliday will be available for pictures every Sunday trackside in Downs Winner Circle from 12 to 12:45 p.m. Don’t forget to bring your camera for family photos with Ashley and her horse “Jake.”

The matinee post time is 1:15 p.m. Sunday food and drink specials include $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, sodas and draft beer served from 12 to 4 p.m. in the Paddock Room.

On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, post time is 6:25.

In addition simulcast wagering will be available from some of North America’s top tracks including Saratoga racecourse. Admission and parking is always free. For more information please visit

July 31, 2012 - 12:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

Possible stars of the future -- 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers -- converge on Batavia Downs Casino when New York Sire Stakes action continues on Wednesday night (Aug. 1).

Wednesday's 13-race program, which gets under way at 6:25 p.m., features three NYSS legs worth more than $36,000 each and five divisions of the Excelsior series worth more than $12,000 each.

Flipper J’s freshman 1:54.4 track record set in 2010 and tied by Forever Just in 2011, both with Jason Bartlett in the bike, could be in jeopardy. Cowgirl Hall lowered the benchmark for 3-year-old trotting fillies (1:57.2) when the New York Sire Stakes made its first local start of the season here this past Saturday night.

The NYSS kicks off in race two when a short but select field of New York breds square off for purse money of $36,900. Drawing post five is the Artiscape-Lo Gophobia colt, Framed Art. He comes off a 1:53.4 track record performance at Saratoga Raceway with Mark MacDonald at the controls. Trainer Andrew Stafford gives MacDonald the return call.

Installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite is the Art Major-Classical Yankee colt, Doctor Butch. He comes in off a 1:54 score at Saratoga with Tim Tetrick in the sulky. Doctor Butch briefly held the record at Saratoga until it was broken later on the program by Framed Art. Trainer Linda Toscano hands over the lines to Jim Morrill Jr.

Goshen track record holder (1:56.3), Thirty Two Red, was a prohibitive favorite in his Saratoga leg but he made a costly break at the start and was eliminated. That was the son of Bettor’s Delight-Sakura Hanover’s first defeat after NYSS wins at Monticello and Buffalo. Ray Schnittker is the trainer/driver.

The field also includes Dealmaker, second to Framed Art at Saratoga, and the Ron Burke trainee Royce Blue Chip.

NYSS action continues in race five, when a field of six will line-up for $37,600 in purse money. The Bettor’s Delight-Flibbertigibbet colt, Swift As A Shadow, who drew the rail, starts out as the 5-2 favorite. Once again trainer Linda Toscano will call on the services of Jim Morrill Jr. Swift As A Shadow’s lone career win came at Monticello when he paced his back half in :56.1, to score in 1:56.4, in his first New York Sire Stakes engagement.

Three colts and three geldings do battle in the third and final $37,600 NYSS division, carded as race seven. This could be a race handicappers may be shopping for some value. I’m Banksy (Art Major-Delightfully Yours) begins as the 2-1 favorite. He ships in off a 1:53.4 score at Pocono but has never raced on a half-mile racetrack. Jim Morrill Jr. drives for trainer Fred Grant. Trainer/driver Patrick Lachance sends out a very dangerous colt in Sir Cary’s Z Tam.

The son of Bettor’s Delight -Yankee Celebration had the misfortune of coming first over against the talented Doctor Butch at Saratoga and before that, finished behind the same rival and another top colt, Thirty Two Red, at Monticello.

The five Excelsior races go off as races one, three, eight, 10 and 12. Racing fans unable to attend the races can watch all the action from Batavia Downs via streaming video at <> . Simply click on the “Live Racing” section and then on the “Video” link.

July 28, 2012 - 3:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

Current Ca Ching went gate-to-wire and held off the challenges of Go Jesse Go and the favored Kash N Credit to win the $9,000 Open Trot at Batavia Downs Friday night.

Leaving off the two-hole, Current Ca Ching ($7.40) went the mile in 1:59.1 after posting fractions of :28.3, :57.4 and 1:28 for winning driver Keith Kash Jr.

It was a blanket finish as Current Ca Ching was able to hold off the late charge of pocket sitting Go Jesse Go, who was beaten by quarter of a length at the wire. Kash N Credit, who was parked the entire mile, lost by just a length and a quarter.

It was the seventh win of the season of Current Ca Ching and second in his last three starts. Current Ca Ching is owned by Rocco Stebbins, of Rochester, and trained by Ron Stebbins.

Shawn Gray notched a three-bagger on the night while four drivers all scored doubles, Kevin Cummings, Ray Fisher Jr., Jim McNeight and Keith Kash Jr.

Darrin Monti and Bob Gruber III each had a double on the training side.

Tonight's the kick-off of the 2012 Batavia Downs stakes season when three-year-old trotting fillies taking center stage in three divisions of the New York Sires Stakes. Post is 6:25 p.m. for the 14-race program.

Also carded this evening are five divisions of th Excelsior Series, with each worth more than $12,000.

Racing fans unable to attend the races can watch the all the action from Batavia Downs via streaming video at Simply click on the “Live Racing” section and then on the “Video” link.

July 27, 2012 - 1:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

Three-year-old trotting fillies will square off in three divisions to open the local New York Sire Stake season on Saturday night, July 28 at Batavia Downs Casino. Post time will be at 6:25 p.m.

The first Saturday night of the annual summer-fall meet will also feature five Excelsior Series divisions, with each division worth more than $12,000.

The New York Sire Stakes will begins in race two, in which $43,980 will be up for grabs. The Credit Winner--Pacific Legacy filly Lima Playmate will start at 5-2 on the morning line for the connections of Ray Schnittker and Lima Playmate Stables.

Lima Playmate ($225,891) will get the services of Steve Smith. Regular driver Ray Schnittker will be at bit tied up, he’s will be at The Meadowlands preparing his world champion filly Check Me Out for the Hambletonian Oaks Eliminations.

New York Sire Stakes action will then move to race four, in which $44,780 will be on the line. The much-improved Kristens Victory (Cash Hall--Treasured Victory), who overcame post seven at Tioga Downs to score at odds of 29-1 in a division of the Tompkins-Geers, might be the filly to beat in this one.

The Karen Garland trainee has really picked up her game since going on Lasix. Owner Steve Smith, who drove her to second place finishes in New York Sire Stakes races at Monticello Raceway and Yonkers Raceway will be back in the sulky.

The last but certainly not least $43.980 New York Sire Stakes division was carded as race eight. As far as being continuous, it really doesn’t get any better with two of the top sophomore trotting fillies in the New York Sire Stakes drawing into the same division.

The Credit Winner--Meadowbranch Mary filly Fortunista will open as the favorite on the morning line at 5-2, basically due to post position; she drew the rail for owner-trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera and Barbara and Donald Arnstine.

Fortunista ships to Western New York on quite a form spree, having won her last four starts including New York Sire Stakes legs at Buffalo Raceway, Yonkers Raceway and Monticello Raceway. She sports season’s earnings of $172,001.

The talented Cowgirl Hall (Cash Hall--Britt’s Spirit) won’t go down without a fight. In her nine starts in 2012 she’s won five and has been second in three of them for trainer-driver “Gates” Brunet. She’s earned $144,955 this season for owners Ted Gewertz, M. H. Rosenthal and Jean and Debbie Brunet.

The Excelsior series races were carded as race one, six, 10, 11 and 12.

Racing fans unable to attend the races can watch the all the action from Batavia Downs via streaming video at <> . Simply click on the “Live Racing” section and then on the “Video” link.


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