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August 10, 2017 - 1:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of All Charged Up with driver John Macdonald.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After just missing off a perfect two-hole trip last week in the top distaff pace, All Charged Up bounced back and got the job done in winning the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 9).

All Charged Up (John Macdonald) hit the pylons early and let the unsuspecting Jolt Of Jo (Dave McNeight III) dictate the quarters. Taking on the challenge, Jolt Of Jo then went in :28 and :57.3 before the sleeping giant, All Charged Up pulled first over past the stands.

The race proceeded up the backside with All charged Up advancing on Jolt Of Jo and eventually taking command with only a quarter of a mile to go. She cleared the front in the final bend and paced away down the lane to open up a two-length advantage, coasting home to a wrapped-up win in 1:54.3, which was a new seasonal mark.

It was the first win in only her fifth start of the season for the late-starting All Charged Up ($3.10) and owner J P Stables. John Macdonald also trains the winner.

In the co-featured $8,500 Mares Open II, Susie’s Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) made easy work of seven foes as she went gate to wire without much effort in 1:55.3, which was also a new seasonal mark for the winner. Susie’s Delight ($6.90) is owned by the Swift Racing Stable and is trained by Ryan Swift.

Ray Fisher Jr. found himself being photographed four times on Wednesday as he shooed home Mintiliscious (1:55.1, $3.60), Sin City Shark (1:55.3, $3.90), John’s Jesse Bird (1:58.2, $3.40) and the aforementioned Susie’s Delight. 

Jim Morrill Jr. and Larry Stalbaum both chimed in with driving doubles while trainer Maria Rice registered two winners as well.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 11) with post time set at 6 p.m. 

August 7, 2017 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Clear Idea and driver Jodi Jamieson.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The competition was keen among the two divisions of 3-year-old pacing fillies in the $117,600 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs as Clear Idea and Angel’s Pride both beat post-time favorites to add to their points and earnings in the state-bred series on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 6).

In the faster of the two $58,800 divisions, Clear Idea (American Ideal-Glass Maker) turned a two-hole trip into her eighth win of the year and solidified her spot as the top NYSS 3-year-old pacing filly.

Heavily favored Tequila Monday (Matt Kakaley) was a tentative leaver from post five and it took her over three-eighths of a mile to grab the front from Clear Idea (Jodi Jamieson) and finally hit the pylons. After tripping the half in :55.2 Kakaley kept his filly rolling up the backside for the next quarter before Roaring To Go (Dan Rawlings) rolled alongside to push the issue. But into the lane Clear Idea found the passing lane and paced by the rest under steady urging from Jamieson to win by a length in 1:53.3.

It was the sixth win in a row for Clear Idea ($4.30) and fifth NYSS win for the filly that has now earned $181,733 this year for owners Hutt Racing Stable and Blake Macintosh, who also trains the winner.

(Angel's Pride with driver Matt Kakaley.)

In the other $58,800 split, Angel’s Pride (Roll With Joe-Angel Place) benefitted from an early break by 1-4 favorite Candlelight Dinner (Jim Morrill Jr.) to score her second NYSS victory this year and move up in the standings.

Queen Josephine (Jodi Jamieson) cut the mile from the start and backed off the half to a pedestrian :58.2 as a gapped leader. That lead would soon end as Angel’s Pride (Matt Kakaley) pulled from third past the five-eighths and circled to the front by the three-quarter pole and she just kept pacing away from there. Angel’s Pride opened up a five-length advantage with Kakaley sitting motionless to win in 1:54.2.

Angel’s Pride ($15.20) registered her fourth win of the year and second in the NYSS. The filly now has earned $81,356 this year for owners Triple D Stables Inc. and JFE Enterprises LLC. Angel’s Pride is trained by Scott Di Domenico.

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

The first division was won by Ameraway (American Ideal-Shyaway) in 1:54.2. Ameraway ($8.30) was driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Erv Miller for owners the Erv Miller Stable Inc., Paymaq Racing, Tangie Massey and Neil Cumsky.

The second split went to Roll With Sparky (Roll With Joe-Circle Game) in 1:55.2. Roll With Sparky ($3.10) was driven by Jodi Jamieson and trained by Jim Graham who owns the horse with Lee Winters and Paul Tandlmayer.  

The final contest went to All About The Pace (Roll With Joe-Queen Of Blues) in 1:56. All About The Pace ($73.50) was driven by Drew Monti and trained by Scott Di Domenico for owners Triple D Stables Inc. and JFE Enterprises LLC.

August 5, 2017 - 1:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Two competitive fields of 3-year-old pacing fillies will be on hand at Batavia Downs to compete for $58,800 per division in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 6) and the track record of 1:52.4 may be challenged.

Clear Idea (American Ideal-Glass Maker) ships in to Batavia on the strength of a five-race winning streak and looks to be the one to beat in her division. She has won seven out of her last nine starts including four NYSS events. She took a lifetime mark of 1:50.4 in an overnight at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Friday (July 7) and has banked $152,333 for her efforts this year.

Trainer Blake Macintosh has assigned Jodi Jamieson to drive and he will leave from post one as the early favorite at 6-5.

Tequila Monday (American Ideal-Margarita) finished third in a hard-fought Fan Hanover stake at Mohawk back in June that went in 1:49.4 and then came right back in another Grand Circuit event, the Lynch at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs. There she chased fast fractions from the outside and still finished only seven-lengths off. With two NYSS wins under her belt, she comes in with a total of five victories this year and $201,711 in earnings.

Former Western New York trainer Chris Oakes has called on Matt Kakaley to steer and they have drawn post five, listed at 2-1.

Roaring To Go (Art Major-Lionness Hanover) is coming off a season’s best effort of 1:52.4 in a gate to wire romp in a NYSS event at Yonkers Raceway on Friday (July 28). It was her first win of the year and certainly an eye-opener. She also raced in the Fan Hanover and Lynch, where she finished second in the consolation of the latter. The filly is versatile and seldom misses the board.

Dan Rawlings will drive for trainer Kevin Lare and is the 3-1 third choice leaving from post six.

In the other $58,800 split, Candlelight Dinner (American Ideal-Time N Again) comes into the event very sharp off a barn change to trainer Tracy Brainard. After a solid qualifier in June, the filly did not perform well in her first three starts. However last week at Yonkers, she tracked a moderate half and then flew home in :56, last quarter in :27.2 to finish third in 1:53.1 by less than a length in a NYSS event. With a good draw and a short field, this is a good spot to get across for the first time this year.

Brainard has tapped local favorite and perennial NYSS leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. to drive and they are listed as the 9-5 morning line favorites from post two.

Marquesa Seelster (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mistreos) has won three of her last six starts, but none of them came in NYSS races. It seems her best game is on the lead and having post one in a short field here may give her the opportunity to attempt that strategy.

Trainer Jennifer Davis has put the Downs defending dash winner Drew Monti up to drive and they are listed at 2-1 morning line.

The NYSS events are races three and four. There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on Sunday carded as races six, seven and eight. Post time for the first race in 1:15 p.m.

August 5, 2017 - 1:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

(BZ Glide with driver Mike Caprio.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Heavy storms blew through Western New York and provided less than desirable conditions, but an off-track and six foes couldn’t keep BZ Glide from getting to the winner's circle in the $10,500 Open handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 4).

Noble Legend (Ray Fisher Jr.) left with the gate and dropped in second behind Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) who was not about to give up the front. The race then proceeded from there in single-file order in :28.3 and :59.1. Pulling first-over at that point was Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) who brought BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) in tow fourth.

The outer flow was dull and Jim Dandy had trouble getting to the leader up the backside, but he finally drew alongside around the final bend. At the top of the stretch Lutetium and Jim Dandy were joined by three –across by Noble Legend who ducked in the passing lane. But the final blow came when BZ Glide, who had drafted second-over, tipped four-deep around Jim Dandy and out-trotted everyone down the lane, pulling away to an easy length victory in 2:00.1.

BZ Glide ($4.00) registered his third win of the year and 33rd win of his career. The 8-year-old gelded son of Yankee Glide is owned by the Caprio Stable LLC and is trained by Alana Caprio.

(Striker Ace with driver Ray Fisher Jr.)

In the $8,000 Open II trot, Striker Ace (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled first-over from fourth at the three-eighths and advanced to the lead by the three-quarters before opening up a three-length lead and trotting home handily to win by four in 1:58.3. Striker Ace ($25.60), who is now two for two at Batavia Downs, is owned by Finish Line Investors and John Mungillo, who also trains the winner.

“Drivin” Drew Monti had a grand slam Friday winning with Doing Some Damage (1:57.1, $27.40), Tenor Duharas (2:01.1, $5.00), Button Fly (1:56.2, $33.20) and Rollovin (1:57.4, $6.40).

Kevin Cummings also had a driving triple and Larry Stalbaum registered a double. Conditioner Rose Russo sent two sent two trainees to the winner’s circle for photographs.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Aug. 5) with a guaranteed pool of $6,000 for the early Pick-5 which goes in races one through five. The carry-over pool for that wager is $3,281. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.

August 3, 2017 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Kruella with driver Kevin Cummings. Photo courtesy of Paul White.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Despite winning the distaff feature at Batavia Downs last week, Kruella was overlooked this week in lieu of two ship-in entries from Vernon Downs. But after a furious stretch drive late, Kruella sent the interlopers packing as she won the $9,500 fillies and mares Open pace at Batavia on Wednesday night (Aug. 2).

The heavily favored Vernon invader Little Santamonica (Shawn McDonough) out-left Vernon cohort All Charged Up (Larry Stalbaum) off the gate and went right for the lead, rushing the girls to a :27.3 quarter. With the field standing pat behind her, McDonough backed the half off to :57.1 and it looked like everything was going their way.

As the race went up the backstretch, All Charged Up pulled from second and was followed by Susie’s Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) and Kruella (Kevin Cummings). The outer flow continued to advance around the turn and drew even with the front-runner at the top of the stretch. At that point Cummings tipped Kruella three-deep but was still three-lengths off the leader. With five horses spread across the track and all the drivers applying heavy urging, Kruella closed like a jet on the grandstand side and proved to be the best, winning by a length in 1:54.2.   

It was the third win in a row and of the year for Kruella ($14.60) who registered a new lifetime mark with the 1:54.2 clocking. The 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal and Villa Hanover is owned by Two Gals Stable LLC and is trained by Jineen Simone.

(Above, Jolt Of Jo with driver Dave McNeight III.)

In the $8,500 fillies and mares Open II, Jolt Of Jo (Dave McNeight III) got a perfect two-hole trip behind Voltina (John Cummings Jr.) before popping the pocket at the top of the lane and pacing away to a length victory in 1:54.4, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner.

Jolt Of Jo ($26.60) is owned by R. Lewis Hauber and trained by Jim Graham.

Larry Stalbaum had a driving triple as Shawn McDonough won the last two races on the card. Trainer Kim Asher also had three wins on the night.

With a silent auction, patron contributions and horsemen donating their win percentages from the night, the fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester was able to raise in excess of $9,500.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 4) with post time set at 6 p.m. 

August 3, 2017 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, music, news, entertainment.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel is proud to announce that Grammy Award-winning American country and Southern gospel singer Larry Gatlin will be appearing at the Paddock Room Events Center on Saturday, Sept. 16th.

An original member of the legendary trio the Gatlin Brothers, some of Gatlin's biggest hits include "Broken Lady," "All the Gold in California," "Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer to You)," "She Used to Be Somebody's Baby," and "Talkin' to the Moon." In addition to being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1976, the trio has been nominated for awards by the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music and the Music City News Awards, among others.

Tickets will be available at www.BataviaConcerts.com beginning at 10am on Friday, Aug. 4th. Individual tickets will be $10 for General Admission while VIP tickets will be $15. Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel “Made in America” store located in the lobby.

“Coming on the heels of our successful outdoor concert series, we’re excited to continue our live entertainment offerings through the fall and winter,” said Henry Wojtaszek, president & CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming. “We proudly welcome Mr. Gatlin to Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel as we continue to strive to be the region’s premier entertainment destination.”

Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the show will begin promptly at 8 p.m. Hotel room packages can be purchased at thehotelatbataviadowns.com by using the code: GATLIN. Hotel booking includes two General Admission tickets to the concert. Each concert ticket is also redeemable once at Player’s Club in the three days following the concert for $10 Free Play to be used on one of Batavia Downs Gaming’s 800+ gaming machines. Additional information may be found at www.BataviaDownsGaming.com.  

August 2, 2017 - 3:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

When Batavia Downs opened last week Wednesday (July 26) post time was at 6 p.m. That post time was only for opening day. Starting this week (Aug. 2) post time switches to 5 p.m. today, Aug. 2, and will stay 5 p.m. on Wednesdays for the remainder of the year.

The current live schedule for the meet is Sunday afternoon at 1:15 p.m., Wednesday at 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. Monday will replace Sunday in September and go at 5 p.m.

Please log onto www.bataviadownsgaming.com and click the “Live Racing” tab for complete paddock and Lasix schedules for each day. 

Also on Wednesday this week, Batavia Downs will conduct its annual Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester fundraiser. The auction runs from 5 p.m. until the last race in the Paddock room.

Some of the silent auction items up for bids include two suite tickets to the Bills-Raiders game on Sunday (Oct. 29), four suite tickets to the Sabres-Capitals game on Tuesday (Nov. 7), a Batavia Downs Hotel racing package, a recliner courtesy of Max Pies Furniture of Batavia, and other Sabres and Bills merchandise.

July 31, 2017 - 11:50am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

In A Single Bound with driver Billy Dobson.

 By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Perfect summer weather and a lighting-fast track greeted the glamour division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) on Sunday afternoon (July 30) as the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers invaded Batavia Downs to compete for $119,000 in purses.

In the first $39,900 division, In A Single Bound was peerless as he pulled away to an easy victory.

In A Single Bound (Billy Dobson) yielded the lead to Ideal Wheel (Jim Morrill Jr.) for about an eighth of a mile before retaking command at the quarter, and from there the race was effectively over. In A Single Bound paced strong on the lead that he would increase as the race progressed.

When they hit the three-quarters in 1:24.1, Dobson gave his charge a tap to let him know the race wasn’t officially over and In A Single Bound responded like Superman, opening up ten around the last turn before flying home to a six-length advantage in 1:52.3.

“He raced well, he went pretty good. He kind of pulled up on the backside when he was by himself but he took back off when I asked him so that’s good. He’s eligible to the Empire Breeders Classic and it’ll be nice to see what he can do against those kind of horses” said Billy Dobson.

It was the seventh win of the year for In A Single Bound ($2.40) and fourth in NYSS action. The 3-year-old gelded son of Roll With Joe out of Armbro Bianca is owned by Dennis and Simone Noud and is trained by Monica Krist.

Chip Walther with driver Marcus Miller.

In the second $39,200 split, Chip Walther held off a late challenge to win his second of the year.

Chip Walther (Marcus Miller) left and dropped in the two-hole behind Octane Blue Chip (Corey Callahan) but then changed his mind and decided to take the lead. Having accomplished that by the quarter, Miller then led the field to the half in :56.3.

As they motored up the backside Serious Major (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled first-over and paced up alongside the leader and put his head in front as they hit the last turn. But Chip Walther turned away that challenge before digging in down the lane to hold off all comers and win by a length in 1:53.1.  

“He went good, that was a good mile. He’s a little lazy; he didn’t used to be like that last year but I think that’s okay because when you do ask him to go, he does go on,” said Marcus Miller.

It was the second straight win of the year for Chip Walther ($4.50), both of which were in NYSS action. The 3-year-old son of Art Major out of Bittorsweet Terror is owned by the Ervin Miller Stable, Paymaq Racing, the Nick Surick Stable LLC and Louis Willinger and is trained by Erv Miller.

 Funknwaffles with driver Corey Callahan.

In the final $39,900 division, Funknwaffles showed his dominance with an open-length victory.

Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan) dropped in fourth off the gate and was soon third after avoiding a breaking America’s Fleet (Kevin Cummings), who then regained pace and hung outside the favorite. Not wanting anymore road trouble, Callahan quickly pulled Funknwaffles and put him on the lead by the three-eighths, where he would then proceed to destroy the field.

Callahan kept Funknwaffles in tight rein for the next quarter, stringing out horses behind him. When they hit the five-eighths, he shook the lines once and the party was over.  Funknwaffles opened up an immediate three-length lead and really started to pace. Under a line drive with Callahan sitting in the easy chair, Funknwaffles rounded the final turn and paced away to a seven-length lead down the lane, crossing the wire wrapped-up like a birthday present in 1:53.2.

“He’s such a good little horse, he’s like a little sports car. He’s real handy; you can do whatever you want. I think he’s better chasing horses but I didn’t want to take a chance of getting pinned in there so I moved him to the lead and he did everything from there” said Corey Callahan.

It was the fourth win of the year for Funknwaffles ($2.50), all four of which were in NYSS races. The 3-year-old gelded son of American Ideal out of Hatsoff Hanover is owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by John Butenschoen.

July 29, 2017 - 2:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

New York Sire Stake (NYSS) 2-year-old champion Funknwaffles is back in the state to defend his title in 2017 looking better than ever and he will lead a fine group of 3-year-old male pacers into Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (July 30) to battle over a total of $118,300 in purses.

Funknwaffles (American Ideal-Hatsoff Hanover) won eight out of nine starts last year, earning $257,284 in purses. He capped off his Empire State run by winning the $225,000 NYSS final at Yonkers Raceway, setting a new track record of 1:52.3 for age, sex and gait.

This year he has started out on fire, winning all three NYSS events he’s entered as well as racing in Grand Circuit events including the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs where he finished second to Fear The Dragon in 1:49.3.

This year Funknwaffles has already earned $222,699 on the strength of his seven starts and just registered a new lifetime mark of 1:50.4 at Saratoga Raceway last week, which was also a new track record for 3-year-old male pacers.

Trainer John Butenschoen has named “The Captain” Corey Callahan to drive once again and the heavy 3-5 morning line favorite will start from post six in race four which goes for $39,900.

(Corey Callahan)

There will be some stiff competition for the favorite in this race from Geez Joe (Roll With Joe-Beach Bretta) as he comes into the contest a picture of consistency. After being lightly raced at two, the time he was given to develop has definitely paid off for his connections this year.

Geez Joe has won four of his last six starts, finishing second in the other two. He took a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 at Vernon Downs in an Excelsior A contest on June 18 and just missed tying it at Saratoga Raceway last week in the same division going 1:51.3. He has amassed $57,050 in winnings this year on the strength of 11 outings and steps up to the NYSS from the Excelsior A for this event. Marcus Miller will once again be in the bike behind Geez Joe for his father, Erv Miller.

Being overlooked at 6-1 from post five is Talent Soup (American Ideal-Tessa Hanover). He has two fast-timed seconds in NYSS action this year, but it’s the races around those you must pay attention to. Talent Soup has faced the best 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings in North America in the Rooney at Yonkers Raceway and the Hempt at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs. Unfortunately he drew bad posts in both and was chasing 1:49.2 and 1:47.4 miles. He was raced timed in 1:50.1 and 1:49.1 in those events and those are big time performances, period. He just finished second in 1:51.4 in the NYSS at Saratoga and he is ripe for an upset for driver Billy Dobson and trainer Bruce Saunders. 

In the first $39,200 division, In A Single Bound (Roll With Joe-Armbro Bianca) has been racing like Superman this year having already won six out of nine starts and being a perfect four for four in NYSS action and that has inflated his bankroll to $90,588.

Last week, In A Single Bound cut the mile that eventually led to the track record set by Funknwaffles. And although he finished third in the race, In A Bound had nothing to be ashamed of as he did all the heavy lifting and was still only beaten by two lengths.

Monica Krist trains In a Single Bound and has assigned his regular driver Billy Dobson to run the show again this week and they have drawn post one and are listed at 2-1.

Also in the race is Pointomygranson (American Ideal-Sangaal) who although is winless this year, set the track record of 1:53.2 for 2-year-old geldings at Batavia Downs last year in NYSS action. He knows this track well and is in a perfect position to play spoiler for his trainer Chris Ryder and driver Brett Miller.

(Brett Miller)

And the final $39,200 split looks to be a pretty evenly matched affair with a slight nod going to Serious Major and Chip Walther.

Serious Major (Art Major-Seriously) took a 1:50.3 mark at Hoosier in an overnight event before starting in NYSS action this year. There he scored a first and second in two consecutive starts before entering the Ron Burke stable on July 1. Since then Lasix was added before a front end try that fell short in his last outing. This horse has ability and back class and will get support at the windows. Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the lines for Ron Burke and will leave post two at 9-5.

Chip Walther (Art Major-Bittersweet Terror) was qualified twice after a break in his first NYSS attempt at Buffalo and he’s come back from that schooling in good order. He has since finished second in an Excelsior A race at Yonkers and he won last week in a NYSS event at Saratoga in 1:53.1. This horse took a mark of 1:50.3 and made $126,655 last year and he now looks to be on a path to have similar success.

The Marcus and Erv Miller team will start Chip Walther from post five at 2-1. (Inset photo on right is Marcus Miller.)

There are also two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card in race one and seven.

Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m. 

(Photos courtesy of the USTA)

July 28, 2017 - 10:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, State Police, history, news, notify.

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The first troopers to deploy in Western New York was in Batavia's Exhibition Park in September 1917, so Al Kurek thinks it's appropriate that displays celebrating the 100th anniversary of the New York State Police be held at the same location, now known as Batavia Downs.

"I started collecting historical memorabilia after I retired in 1990 and I've been doing it every day since then," said Kurek, who lives in East Pembroke. "This is our 100th anniversary and we have an active retired trooper organization in Batavia.  We meet monthly and we decided to put this together as our last hurrah before we hit, oh, I don't know what you want to call it, but, you know, we're all in our 70s and pushing 80s."

There are vintage patrol cars, motor cycles and uniforms on display, as well as the accouterments of the trade, from billy clubs, pistols and handcuffs to crime scene cameras and forensic tools. There are also historical documents, including photos and info on every trooper to work in Troop A.

"We've got videos and memorabilia from the 66 and 77 snow storms, Kurek said. "We have a little bit on the Attica riot. We have the 3407 plane crash in Clarence, the 1980 Olympics, which everybody kind of likes. We've got a canine that will be here today and tomorrow -- nothing on Saturday -- but we have a German Shepherd here on Sunday."

The exhibition is open today, tomorrow and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. each day.

Kurek also invited troopers and their families to bring in any items related to the history of Troop A.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ake Svanstedt won the fourth race driving Natalie Hanover.

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

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, admission and parking are free.

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

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

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Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 8, 2017 - 8:05am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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