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July 16, 2021 - 12:26am

Photos and Video: County Fair races at Batavia Downs

posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Genesee County Fair, sports, harness racing, batavia, news.
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On Thursday, Batavia Downs hosted the Genesee County Fair harness races.

Every year, the state gives money to the counties with harness racing to host a purse-only (no wagering) card of races. Since the fairgrounds are not suitable for harness racing, Batavia Downs hosts the races.

"It’s a good opportunity for our local horsemen and people from outside this area to come here, make some money," said General Manager of Live Racing Todd Haight. "They’re all New York-bred horses so it’s good for the New York-bred program, it’s good for or local horsemen. It’s good for everybody."

The 2021 racing season starts this coming Wednesday. The first post time is 6 p.m.

Video: For one race, I was able to ride in the cab of the starter truck. The horses in the race were 2-year-old colts so you'll see some of them hang back from the starter's gate, unlike a race with more experienced horses.

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Starter Terry Mays, who was kind enough to let me share the very cramped space of the gate truck.

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