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September 21, 2020 - 2:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia Downs has announced a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 23). The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages are available courtesy of Trackmaster on the USTA’s website or by direct download clicking here

The Pick-5 wager begins in race one and runs through race five. It is a 50-cent base wager and if all five winners aren’t selected, a carryover pool will move to the Saturday (Sept. 26) program.

Post time for the first race Wednesday is 5 p.m.

 

 

September 20, 2020 - 12:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Stratosphere with driver Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Despite a jump in class, a return to an inside post proved to be the ticket as Stratosphere went the route in the $8,500 Open I Handicap on Saturday night (Sept. 19) at Batavia Downs. 

Percy’s Z Tam (Jim Morrill Jr.) took a quick early lead but as soon as he crossed over, Stratosphere (Drew Monti) left the pocket, took the lead and called all the shots from there. After hitting the half in a rated :57.3, Stratosphere saw Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) at his flank as that one tried to apply pressure to the three-quarters. 

When they hit that station in 1:25.2, Under Paid had enough and started to fade, allowing Percy’s Z Tam a clear path to pull. Morrill pulled the trigger and Percy’s Z Tam took his best shot. But his best wasn’t good enough this night as Stratosphere kicked away and kicked away hard, opening up a two length advantage at the top of the stretch and pacing home in hand to win by 2-½ lengths in 1:53.4. 

It was the third win in the last five starts and the fifth win of the year for Stratosphere ($5.80) who is owned by Drew Monti and trained by Darrin Monti. 

In the undercard $7,000 Open III pace, McSpidey (Denny Bucceri) was never headed after taking command off the gate and cruised home to a 2-¾ length, 1:53.3 win, which was a new seasonal mark. William Emmons owns the Jim Clouser Jr. trained McSpidey ($3.20) who scored his third win of the year, all of which were at Batavia Downs. 

Drivers Drew Monti and Billy Davis Jr. each had three winners on the card while Jim Morrill Jr., Denny Bucceri and Ray Fisher Jr. had two wins apiece. Trainers Don Rothfuss and Don Niles both had two winners as well. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 23) with post time at 5 p.m. There will be a $3,000 guaranteed pool in the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday that is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering program. The Pick-5 starts in race one and runs through race five and free program pages for those races will be available on both the USTA and Batavia Downs websites early next week.

September 17, 2020 - 2:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo: Before I Die with driver Dave McNeight III.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

It’s not too often a 9-year-old goes the race of a lifetime, but that’s just what Before I Die did in the $8,500 Open I Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Sept. 16). 

Before I Die (Dave McNeight III) started from the pylons but got away fourth after a three-deep :27.4 mad dash for the front by Victoria Swan (Drew Monti), Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Noble Legend (Billy Davis Jr.), who eventually took command. The action stayed fresh as the race passed the three-eighths where Before I Die tipped and proceeded in the breeze rounding the third turn. 

Before I Die trotted alongside Noble Legend and then went right by as the group entered the back straight and from there, he was gone. After opening up a 3-1/2 length lead in a 1:26.1 third quarter, Before I Die gained momentum with every stride around the last turn and then kicked away hard down the stretch to win by 7-3/4 lengths in 1:56.2, which was a new lifetime mark. 

Overlooked at 10-1, Before I Die ($22.80) scored his second win of the year for owners Jaime and Caren Dubay. Jaime Dubay trains the winner.

Above photo, Lady Dudette with driver Kyle Cummings (in red) out front, just before dead-heat with Protect Blue Chip and driver Billy Davis Jr. (in blue).

There was a dead-heat for win in the $8,000 Open I pace for fillies and mares after Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) led at every station with Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) right behind her. At the top of the stretch Lady Dudette pulled and matched strides with Protect Blue Chip all the way to the light and the photo nor the judges could separate the two in a race that went 1:54.4. 

Lady Dudette ($5) is owned by Kyle Cummings and trained by Tammy Cummings and Protect Blue chip ($3.40) is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock and is trained by Maria Rice. 

Five drivers had multi-win nights at Batavia on Wednesday. Jim Morrill Jr. led the pack with three and Kyle Cummings, Ray Fisher Jr., Dave McNeight III and Drew Monti all scored two. Trainers Ryan Swift and Tammy Cummings also scored two wins apiece. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 19) at 5 p.m.

September 16, 2020 - 2:55pm
posted by Press Release in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

There is a carryover of $858 in the Pick-5 at Batavia Downs and a guaranteed pool of $3,000 has been announced for that wager this afternoon (Sept. 16).

The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages are available courtesy of Trackmaster on the USTA’s website or by direct download by clicking here.

The Pick-5 wager begins in race one and runs through race five. It is a 50-cent base wager and if all five winners aren’t selected, the carryover amount will move to the Saturday (Sept. 19) program.

Post time for the first race today is 5 p.m.

September 13, 2020 - 12:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Mr. Euroman with driver Billy Davis Jr. in the forefront.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After taking a week off, Mr. Euroman returned with strong resolve and won the $8,000 Open II Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 12). 

Daylight Rush (Dave McNeight III) started from the pylons and kept that position for most of the race. With no other leavers in the contest, McNeight guided Daylight Rush to a tepid half of :57.2 with Mr. Euroman (Billy Davis Jr.) sitting right on his back. 

Mcspidey (Kyle Cummings) pulled first-over in front of the stands but only got as close as a half-length to Daylight Rush by the three-quarters in 1:25.2. As they made their way through the turn, Mcspidey faded and Davis pulled right line on Mr. Euroman who popped out of the hole, barreled down the lane and ran down Daylight Rush at the wire to win by 1/4 length in 1:53.3, which was a new seasonal mark.  

It was the third win of the year for Mr. Euroman ($17.40) who is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice is the trainer. 

In the $7,000 Open III pace, Polak A (Ray Fisher Jr.) came in fresh off a two-month layoff and bounced back strong his first start out of the box with a come-from-behind effort and strong stretch drive to catch the race-long leader Machlicious (Drew Monti) at the wire to win by a head in 1:55.2. 

Polak A ($25.20) is owned by Eric Prevost and trained by Sabrina Shaw. 

Billy Davis Jr. and Drew Monti both drove three winners on Saturday’s card while Shawn McDonough piloted two. McDonough also registered two wins on the training side along with Maria Rice.  

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs at 5 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 16). There will a carry over pool of $858 for the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday and as a result, a United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering guaranteed pool of $3,000 for that wager with free program pages available starting Sunday (Sept. 14) at www.ustrotting.comwww.bataviadownsgaming.com and on the Batavia Downs Facebook page.

September 10, 2020 - 1:23pm
posted by Press Release in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Press release:

On the approval of the New York State Gaming Commission, post time on Saturday at Batavia Downs will be moved back an hour --from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. starting Sept. 12 and remain at that time for the remainder of the meet. 

Batavia Downs is racing a Wednesday/Saturday schedule and now both days will start at 5 p.m.

The only exceptions will be: Saturday Oct. 3 that will start at 7:05 p.m. due to the Preakness; Saturday Oct. 31 because of Halloween; and Saturday (Nov. 7) for the Breeders Cup, both of which will begin at 1:15 p.m. 

There are currently 27 racing dates left on the meet that runs through Saturday Dec. 12.

September 10, 2020 - 1:17pm
posted by Press Release in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Daylon Phantom with reinsman Renaldo Morales III.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

If last week’s 7-3/4 length romp wasn’t enough, Daylon Phantom put the exclamation point on the page this week with his best effort of 2020, winning the $8,000 Open I-II Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 9). 

Daylon Phantom (Renaldo Morales III) got away fifth while Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Lunar Credit (Jim McNeight Jr.) jousted for the lead. With the latter taking control from the former by the half, Morales came first up with Daylon Phantom, drew alongside Lunar Credit at three-quarters and headed down the lane on top while holding off a late closing Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) to win by 1-1/4 in 1:57.1, which was a new seasonal mark. 

It was the second straight top class trot win for Daylon Phantom ($11.80) and owners Franklin Meier and Super Mile. Angelo Nappo is the trainer. 

Later in the $7,250 Open II-III trot, Victoria Swan (Drew Monti) led at every station before pulling away at the top of the lane and stretching out to a three length victory at the light in 1:58.1. Victoria Swan ($7.60) is owned by R.B.H. Ventures and Spagnola Racing. Sabrina Shaw trains the winner. 

Jim Morrill Jr. led all drivers on Wednesday with a grand slam on the card while Kyle Cummings had a hat trick of his own. Trainer Tammy Cummings was the top conditioner of the night with three wins as well. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 12) with a new, earlier post time of 5 p.m. 

September 7, 2020 - 3:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michael Tenebruso, sports, golf, batavia country club, batavia.

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One hundred golfers gathered at Batavia Country Club on Saturday for a golf tournament held in memory of Mike Tenebruso and to raise funds for the Michael Tenebruso SUNY Brockport Memorial Scholarship Fund. This year's recipient was Ray Zajac.

Photos and information submitted by Al Fulton.

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From left, Marcia Tenebruso, Ray Zajac, Kristine Tenebruso, Anna Tenebruso, Nicholas Tenebruso, Nathan Tenebruso, organizer Dave Petruzzi and Tony Tenebruso.

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September 6, 2020 - 12:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Class Six in the forefront with driver Billy Davis Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

You might say it was a two-horse race at Batavia Downs, except that it was between the top two drivers in Western New York. Billy Davis Jr. won six races including the feature and Jim Morrill Jr. won five races including stringing four in a row, accounting for the winners of 11 of 13 races contested on Saturday night (Sept. 5). 

Davis’s best victory came in the $8,000 Open II Handicap pace behind Class Six. Davis sat in fourth with Class Six while Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) led the field around once. Then Davis pulled Class Six first over and made a three-wide move at the three-quarters, grabbed the lead by the top of the stretch and held off a late rally by Daylight Rush (Dave McNeight III) to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. 

It was the fifth win in 20 starts this year for Class Six ($19) who is owned by Eric Prevost and trained by Sabrina Shaw. 

Davis also scored with Inspector Murdoch (1:58.1, $4.80), Hold The Gold (1:55.4, $25.80), Sizzling summer (1:55.3, $5.10), Rockin Legend (1:58.2, $5.30) and This Baby Rocks (1:56.3, $2.20). All six wins were for six different trainers. 

Among the five wins Morrill scored was the co-featured $7,000 Open III pace where he went gate to wire with Atlantis ($3.80) in 1:56.3 for owner Mike Torcello and trainer Gerry Sarama. 

Morrill also won with Beachy Dream (1:55..2, $2.90), Sir Richie N (1:56.1, $3.20) and Odyssey Blue Chip (2:00.2, $8.60) which are also owned by Torcello and trained by Sarama giving them a grand slam evening, and Whosurpapa (1:56.1, $2.50). 

After their big nights, Morrill remains the leading driver of the meet with 39 wins, followed by Billy Davis Jr. who has 31. Drew Monti sits in third with 17 and Dave McNeight III is fourth with 16.

Davis is currently the ninth-leading percentage driver in North America for drivers with 500 or more starts (Davis has 536) with a UDR of .343, sitting right behind Tim Tetrick and just ahead of Dexter Dunn. Morrill is seventh among drivers in North America with between 300 and 499 starts (Morrill has 495) with a UDR of .383.

Batavia Downs had a big following at the windows on Saturday night as they registered their second largest handle ever under Western Regional Off Track Betting ownership, only behind the 2019 New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions last September. The Downs customers pumped over $120,000 more through the windows tonight than they did one years ago on this same date. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 9) with post time set for 5 p.m.

September 3, 2020 - 12:52pm

Press release:

Officials at Batavia Downs today announced that in preparation for the Kentucky Derby running this weekend, they have implemented several safety procedures in order to keep those wishing to make a wager safe.

All Western OTB Branches will open at 10:30 a.m. on Friday for advance wagering which will help guest avoid the crowds. All branches will open at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. All branches will have enter and exit only signs to help direct traffic.

As in year’s past, there will be extra staff on site to help give out free programs, answer any questions and help control the flow of traffic to help maintain safe social distancing. Face coverings are required to be worn inside all branches.

Due to COVID-19, there will not be any prize drawings at the branches this year and the Batavia Downs Simulcast Center will be closed. The gaming floor also remains closed at this time.

Wagers can also be placed on BataviaBets.com from a phone, tablet or computer. Customers can also wager over the telephone by calling the Dial-A-Bet service at 1-800-724-4000.

“The Triple Crown may be out of order this year, but we look forward to welcoming Derby bettors to our branches and EZ bets,” said Todd Haight, general manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. “If people are still hesitant to venture out, our Batavia Bets platform is a nice easy way to make a wager from the comfort and safety of your own home.”

About Batavia Downs/WROTB

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 17 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility. Since its inception, Western Region OTB has generated over $220 million in operating and surcharge revenues to the taxpayers of those participating municipalities.

Editor's Note: The Kentucky Derby is the longest running sporting event in the United States, dating back to 1875. The 146th "Run for the Roses" can be seen Saturday on NBCSN (NBC's Sports Network) with live coverage from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. Post time for what's touted as "the most exciting 2 minutes in sports" is 6:50 p.m.

September 2, 2020 - 11:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

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Photo: Daylon Phantom with driver Renaldo Morales III.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

A pair of big come-from-behind performances were put forth by the winners of the featured trot and pace that highlighted the card at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Sept. 2). 

In the $8,000 Open I-II Handicap trot, Daylon Phantom (Renaldo Morales III) tracked the leading Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) from fifth to the half before following State Ofmyhead As (Ray Fisher Jr.) outside to the three-quarters where he tipped three-deep and from there, annihilated the field down the lane winning by 7-3/4 lengths in 1:57.4.  

It was the third win of the year and a new seasonal mark for Daylon Phantom ($12.20) who is owned by Franklin Meier and Super Mile. Angelo Nappo does the training.  

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(Photo: Lady Dudette with driver Kyle Cummings.)

And in the $7,500 Open II-III pace for fillies and mares, Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) followed a similar path, getting away fifth behind Lady London (Ray Fisher Jr.) who had paced away to a five open length lead at the three-quarters.

There, Lady Dudette was fourth on the outside and pacing up a storm. A highly animated Cummings continued to urge the mare around the last turn and Lady Dudette caught the leader mid-stretch and opened up a 1-3/4 length lead at the wire in 1:55.4. 

Lady Dudette ($16.20) now has two wins in a row for Kyle Cummings, who also owns the mare. Tammy Cummings trains the winner. 

Driver Billy Davis Jr. had the hat trick on Wednesday while Ray Fisher Jr., Dave McNeight III and Jim Morrill Jr. all had doubles. Trainer Jim Clouser Jr. also had a training double. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night with a later post time of 7:05 due to the Kentucky Derby.

September 1, 2020 - 7:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, batavia, Batavia HS, notify.

What fall high school sports will look like is still being determined by state and regional officials, Batavia High School Athletic Director Michael Bromley told district trustees at a meeting Monday evening.

Football, volleyball, and cheerleading are considered high-risk sports for the spread of COVID-19, and play and practice may be limited if athletes in those sports are allowed to participate at all.

Tennis, soccer, cross-country, golf, swimming, and gymnastics are being considered low-risk sports, and those athletes are likely to be able to compete this fall.

No practices will be allowed until Sept. 21.

Schedules for all sports have yet to be written.

If football players are allowed to practice, social distancing will need to be maintained with teams segregated by positions and contact -- such as blocking and tackling -- will not be permitted. And even if the teams can practice, there may be no games.

There's been some talk of moving the football season to the spring but then it conflicts with spring sports such as baseball.

For indoor events, such as volleyball, attendance will be limited. No player will be allowed more than two supporters in the stands.  

Bromley said there won't be any concessions and no attendance fee.

As for winter sports, the start of the season is being moved from Nov. 16 to Nov. 30.

Varsity and JV will be able to start practice Sept. 21 but players in modified leagues will be limited to practicing on the days they attend school in person.

Batavia is planning a "hybrid" model for school attendance, with classroom instruction two days a week, with students alternating attendance days, and three days of virtual learning.

Bromley said the state is still trying to determine how athletes might be able to use on-campus weight rooms. 

It is still possible, Bromley said, there won't be any fall sports at all.

August 30, 2020 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Black Is Back with reinsman Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After winning the top class pace going gate to wire last week, Black is Back did it again from off the pace on Saturday evening (Aug. 29) in the $8,500 Open I pacing feature at Batavia Downs. 

Black Is Back (Drew Monti) started from fifth and watched the action from there as Mr. Euroman N (Billy Davis Jr.) led the race to the half in :56.3. At that station Long Train Runnin (Denny Bucceri) came first up and provided live cover for Black Is Back, who was eagerly following. 

Long Train Runnin was grinding away at Mr. Euroman N up the backside to the three-quarters and into the final bend where Monti tipped Black Is Back three deep and threw the lines at him for more speed. Black Is Back responded and methodically overtook everyone as he paced down the lane to the wire and won by 3/4’s of a length in 1:53.4, which was a new seasonal mark.

It was the third Open win at Batavia this year for Black Is Back ($12.60) who is owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. is the trainer. 

Drew Monti also scored a win in the underbilled $7,500 Open II pace with Stratosphere, who led every step of the mile before kicking away to a 2-1/4 length victory in 1:53.3, just missing his lifetime best by 1/5th of a second. It was the second straight win for Stratosphere ($3.20) who is owned by his driver and trained by Darrin Monti. 

Drew Monti capped off a big night with two more wins with Cultural Paradise (1:56.4, $4.00) and Charmbo Orbit (1:55, $11.80) giving him a grand slam for the evening. 

Jim Morrill Jr. also scored a grand slam, winning with Sir Richie N (1:57, $2.90), Triple Seelster (1:55.4, $4.50), Littlebitaclass (1:57.2, $2.90) and Mr. Sideburns (1:57.1, $4.40). 

Other horsemen tallying multiple wins included driver Billy Davis Jr. and trainers Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. and Gerry Sarama who all garnered two wins on the night. 

After Saturday’s action, Jim Morrill Jr. continues to lead all drivers for wins during the meet with 32 victories, Billy Davis Jr. is second with 23 and Drew Monti jumped into third Saturday with 15. Dave McNeight III (14) and Ray Fisher Jr. (12) round out the top five.  

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 2) with post time at 5 p.m.

August 27, 2020 - 11:39am
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

HP Sissy back on her game in Batavia feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

HP Sissy had a career session in 2019 but hasn’t won a top class pace this year since March 4. That drought was quenched on Wednesday (Aug. 26) when the mare dominated in the $8,500 Open I distaff pace at Batavia Downs. 

HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) started from post two and stayed right there while Tellawoman (Drew Monti), who left from post three, marched off quarters of :28, :57.3 and 1:25.2. At that point Bucceri finally popped the deuce and was matching strides with Tellawoman around the final turn in what turned into a very exciting finish. As the pair headed down the lane, HP Sissy got the advantage, kicked away from Tellawoman and the rest of the field and scored a 2-1/2 length win in 1:54.2.

It was the fourth win of the year for HP Sissy ($7.20) who is owned by Finocchario’s Dream Stable and trained by Mike Ohol.

In the secondary featured $7,500 Open II trot, New York Sire Stake 3-year-old trotting colt Barn Holden made a cameo appearance at Batavia and displayed what’s made him the fourth highest point-getter in his division this year.  

Barn Holden (Kyle Cummings) got away fourth while Lunar Credit (Jim McNeight Jr.) led the field the entire race. Heading into the stretch Lunar Credit had a two-length advantage and looked like a sure winner. But Barn Holden, who was almost four-lengths off the front at that point, displayed a furious :28.4 brush coming to the wire and caught Lunar Credit by 1/4 length in 1:56.3. 

Barn Holden ($6.30) scored his third win of the year and pushed his earnings to $70,360 in the process for owners Steve and Nancy Pratt, Purple Haze Stables and Out In The Country Stables. Steve Pratt trains the sophomore son of Conway Hall-Barn Babe. 

Driver Dave McNeight III and trainer Jennifer Giuliani each had three wins on the night. 

Racing resumed at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 29) with post time at 6 p.m. 

August 26, 2020 - 1:11pm
posted by Press Release in GLOW YMCA, sports, golf, fundraiser.

Submitted photo and press release:

The GLOW YMCA Golf Outing was held Monday, Aug. 24th at the Terry Hill’s Golf Club in Batavia.

The event was a tremendous success in raising more than $10,000 to go toward financial aid scholarships for families in the GLOW Region who wish to participate in YMCA programs or services.

The winning foursome, from the Rochester-based architecture, engineering and planning firm of Clark Patterson Lee, was: Rick Henry, Steve Tanner, John Riter and John Harrower -- shooting a 13 under par 59 in the scramble event.

This years’ sponsors were Clark Patterson Lee, Five Star Bank, Freed Maxick, LaBella, Marchese Computers, Ciurzynski Consulting, Manning Squires Hennig, Bank of Castile Tompkins Insurance, Rochester Regional Hospital UMMC, Precor Fitness, Crickler Vending, Barclay & Damon, Kiwanis Club of Warsaw, Merrill Lynch, Tracy Ford, Genesee Patrons, Wendt Propane and Oil, and Turnbull Heating and Cooling.

Special thanks to all these vendors and supporters of the GLOW YMCA as well the golfers and Terry Hill’s staff.

August 26, 2020 - 11:59am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling, Gov. Cuomo, bowling centers.

League bowlers who have been objecting to the one-lane rule received some good news on Tuesday, but the same can’t be said for those who are protesting having to wear a face covering while delivering the ball.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office ruled that leagues can be conducted as normal – switching each frame between two lanes over the course of a game – as long as “appropriate physical barriers” are put up between lanes.

Bowling proprietors throughout the state have been buying plastic sheeting, shower curtains and plexiglass, and are in the process of using those materials to separate bowlers in the seating area and at the ball return.

According to an email blast from the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association, the latest guidelines include the answer to two questions:

Q. Leagues typically use a pair of lanes when they are bowling. Is it permissible for teams to swap lanes (team bowls on the left lane, next time they bowl on the right lane) with the barrier still in place between the lanes and they stay seated on one side at all times?

A. Yes, if they don’t interact and otherwise maintain social distancing when switching.

Q. With regards to the number of players to any event (other than a regular league) at the facility being restricted to 50 or fewer, can that group bowl on consecutive lanes without barriers? For example, if a family of 10 comes in to bowl together they would normally bowl on two lanes next to each other. Do they need to have a barrier between their lanes even though they are together? This would be similar to a family out dining together.

A. No barrier needed here if part of the same group.

While league members will be pleased to know that two lanes can be used during competition, the rule stating that face coverings must be worn at all times for patrons/players is “the biggest issue” right now, said Mike Sputore, manager of Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

Sputore said the reaction at league meetings this week has been decidedly against the directive that masks have to be worn while actually rolling the ball.

“Our numbers are going to be way down if this isn’t changed, but I am optimistic that it will be,” Sputore said, noting that the number of bowlers in a few leagues that have met thus far has declined as much as 50 percent from last season. “The mask rule should be the same as with the restaurant – when you’re seated a table you can remove your mask. If a bowler is social distanced on the lane, why does he or she need to wear the mask then?”

He also said people are concerned about being able to breathe properly and those with glasses have problems with their glasses fogging up while wearing a face covering.

Other guidelines still in place for bowling are as follows:

  • Restrict facility capacity to no more than 50 percent of the maximum occupancy for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy, inclusive of employees and patrons/players;
  • Strictly enforce social distancing of at least six feet between parties of patrons/players, including during play by closing adjacent bowling lanes or enacting appropriate physical barriers between lanes;
  •  Ensure patrons/players interact only with their party at their assigned lane (i.e., no comingling of parties);
  • Rigorously clean and disinfect any rented or shared equipment (e.g., bowling balls, bowling shoes) between each patron’s/player’s or party’s use;
  • Limit the number of patrons/players to any event at the facility to no more than the current social gathering restrictions that are in effect for the region as a part of the State’s phased reopening (i.e., 50 or fewer people in Phase 4 regions, as of Aug. 15, 2020); and Adhere to the Department of Health's “Interim Guidance for Food Services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency” and all other applicable state-issued guidance (e.g., State Liquor Authority) for food and beverage service on the premise of the facility; provided, however, that indoor food and beverage service remains prohibited in New York City until further notice, as of Aug. 15, 2020.

Further, responsible parties of bowling centers and alleys may consider these additional public health and safety measures:

  • Encourage patron/player visits be made in advance by reservation only, where practicable;
  • Consider measures to reduce interpersonal contact and congregation, such as: “blocking off” operating times to allow for enhanced cleaning and disinfection; implementing “sign-up” policies, so patrons/players only play during their allotted time; and/or offering “equipment valets” where employees retrieve equipment for patrons/players (e.g., employees retrieve bowling balls from rack for use);
  • Post signage and issue audio reminders for patrons/players to clean and disinfect equipment before and after use;
  • Impose reasonable limits on rentals of facility owned equipment (e.g., a single individual may only use one bowling ball for the duration of the patron’s/player’s play); and/or
  • Encourage patrons/players to bring and use their own equipment (e.g., bowling balls).

Also, billiards are not allowed to be open at this time.

August 24, 2020 - 3:50pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling, notify, mancuso bowling center.

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Mancuso Bowling Center opened its doors for business at 3 p.m. today, welcoming bowlers back for the first time since being forced to shutdown in mid-March due to COVID-19.

Former Batavian Randy Johnson (top photo), an avid bowler, drove in from Buffalo to get in some practice time. Photo at bottom shows a sign -- Please Social Distance 6 Ft. Apart -- as part of New York State's reopening requirements.

Other changes include hand sanitizing stations throughout the faciliity and instructions on face coverings, food service and proper use of house bowling balls and rental shoes. Manager Mike Sputore said league meetings are being held this week.

Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: Amid confusion, public health director responds to questions about bowling league guidelines

August 23, 2020 - 5:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo: Black Is Back with driver Drew Monti out front.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Having not seen post one in what seems like forever, Black Is Back took full advantage of the anomaly on Saturday night (Aug. 22) and went gate to wire with relative ease in the $8,500 Open I pacing feature at Batavia Downs. 

Percy’s Z Tam (Jim Morrill Jr.) left fast from post seven and took an early lead. But Black Is Back (Drew Monti) pulled the pocket quickly and went to the front for what would be the remainder of the race. After the :29 first panel, Monti backed down the the half to a pedestrian :58.3 and looked about as solid as a favorite could at the point. 

As they headed into the third turn, Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) was rolling up to Black Is Back and tried to push the pace and Black Is Back responded with a :27.2 third quarter. With his chasers now in check on the strength of that burst, Black Is Back spun off the far turn under loose lines and kicked home smartly to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54, which was his best effort of the year. 

It was the fourth win in 10 starts for Black Is Back ($3.50) who is owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. trains the winner. 

In the $7,250 Open II-III pace, Long Train Runnin (Denny Bucceri) pulled third over from sixth at the half, tipped three-deep at three-quarters, took the lead in the stretch and with Bucceri bouncing in the bike, paced away to a 1-1/2 length win in 1:53.4. The time was also a new seasonal mark. 

Long Train Runnin ($3.00) is owned by William Emmons and is trained by Jim Clouser Jr. 

Five drivers accounted for all 13 winners on Saturday as Billy Davis Jr., Drew Monti and Jim Morrill Jr. had driving triples while Denny Bucceri and Dave McNeight III each scored two wins. Trainers Darrin Monti and Gerry Sarama led all conditioners with two wins each as well.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 26) with post time at 5 p.m.

August 21, 2020 - 1:43pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling, notify.

Bowling center proprietors and managers are reaching out to state and local bowling association representatives and to the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association to find out what they can and cannot do when it comes to running their leagues for the 2020-21 season.

Normally, fall leagues begin just before or right after Labor Day, which is on Sept. 7th this year.

Last Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that bowling centers would be able to reopen on Aug. 17, ending a five-month shutdown of the state’s nearly 300 bowling establishments as New York dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor’s press release listed the following safety protocols for bowling centers:

  • Operating at 50-percent maximum occupancy limit;
  • Face coverings and social distancing will be required at all times;
  • Every other lane must be closed;
  • Patrons need to stay with the party at their assigned lane;
  • Thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared or rented equipment between each use;
  • All food service must follow all state-issued guidance.

Furthermore, in New York City, due to restrictions on indoor dining, food and beverage service will not be allowed in New York City bowling centers.

Still, those who operate these facilities have expressed a degree of confusion, seeking more specifics. They also have varying ideas of how they believe (to some extent, wishful thinking) things should proceed.

Proprietors and managers -- judging by initial conversations with league secretaries -- are anticipating a drop off in membership as a result of one-lane only and face covering mandates.

In an effort to answer their questions, The Batavian reached out to Paul Pettit, Genesee/Orleans public health director, with the following:

Q. Can a team in a league, let’s say of four members, bowl on a pair of lanes (as is normally the case) – having just one bowler on the approach at a time – and have the pair of lanes next to them dark? For example, one team on lanes 1-2, lanes 3-4 dark, another team on lanes 5-6, lanes 7-8 dark, another team on lanes 9-10, and so forth? This still meets the 50-percent occupancy requirement.

A. On Aug. 14, the Governor’s office published a press release outlining the stipulations for bowling alleys to safely reopen (see above). An interim guidance has yet to be released by the State. Based on the press release, every other lane must be closed.

Q. Do masks have to be worn on the approach, or can a bowler remove the mask as he or she steps onto the lane, and then put the mask back on when stepping off the approach?

A. Face masks must be work at all times.

Q. How is the 50-percent capacity determined?

A. The 50-percent capacity would be based on the establishments building occupancy (not by multiplying the number of lanes by a specific number).

Q. Is there a chance these restrictions could be eased?

A. These restrictions are set forth by the state. Locally, we do not have the jurisdiction to alter or lessen the state requirements. If the restrictions are lifted or lessened, the state would be in charge of making that formal announcement.

Q. What else can you share at this time?

A. Again, we are waiting for the state to deliver the formal guidance for bowling alleys. This is not the first time the state has allowed a business to reopen with little to no guidance.

Facilities should monitor the New York Forward website for specific guidelines when they are released. Facilities can also email specific questions to the Finger Lakes Regional Control Room at: [email protected]. We appreciate the patience of the community as we wait for the state to release the guidance.

------------

Doug Bohannon of Glens Falls, president of the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association, provided information about what is considered a “group or event”:

“We are allowed to operate at 50-percent capacity. The part in the guidance about ‘limiting the number of patrons/players to any event at the facility to no more than the current social gathering restrictions that are in effect for the region as a part of the State's phased reopening (i.e., 50 or fewer people in Phase Four 4 regions, as of Aug. 15, 2020)’ is confusing but I have obtained clarification from Albany which states that a league is not a group or event.

“This part of the guidance refers to, for example, a church group or a summer camp that wants to book an outing to your center. If that type of group wants to book an outing, then they are limited to 50 people.”

August 20, 2020 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo: Driver Billy Davis Jr. and Noble Legend take the lead.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs​

It was a big night for driver Billy Davis Jr., trainer Maria Rice and the ownership group of Vogel and Wags Nags, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 19) as they sent three from their stable to the Purple Haze winner’s circle, including the winner of the co-featured race. 

In the $8,000 Open I-II trot, Noble Legend followed Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) the entire mile until the head of the stretch when Davis tipped and out-trotted the leader to the wire while holding off a fast-closing Lunar Credit (Jim McNeight Jr.) and won in 1:58.1, which was a new seasonal mark.

It was the second straight win for Noble Legend ($6.50) and third win of the year.

Then in the $7,250 fillies and mares Open II-III pace, Protect Blue Chip drafted third most of the mile while Tellawoman (Jim Morrill Jr.) and HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) took turns on the lead. Davis pulled from that spot at the three-quarters, cleared by the top of the stretch and held off one final bid by Tellawoman to win by a length in 1:54.4, which was also a new seasonal mark. 

The heavily favored Protect Blue Chip returned $3.10. 

Finally in the $7,250 Open II-III trot, Keystone Apache displayed some old form as he went unchallenged from the word go, scoring a wire to wire 8-1/2 length victory in 1:57.3. That, too, was a new seasonal mark for the winner. 

It was the fourth win in the last six starts for Keystone Apache ($2.80) 

Jim Morrill Jr. also had a driving hat trick, including winning the other $8,000 feature which was the Open I-II for fillies and mares with Toothofthedragon. 

Toothofthedragon who had been third the whole race, found just enough room to get out in the stretch and catch the race long leader Little Joke (Billy Davis Jr.) by a head to win in 1:56.

Toothofthedragon ($4.30) is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 22) with post time at 6 p.m.

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