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November 16, 2019 - 11:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo: Tullow N and driver John Cummings Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Starting slow and finishing fast was a winning strategy for Tullow N, who posted a convincing victory in the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on a very cold Saturday night (Nov. 16). 

I’m So Handsome (Billy Davis Jr.) took command early and led the single-file field to the half in :58.2. It was there that Tullow N (John Cummings Jr.) pulled first-over and motored up the outside as they made their way around the third turn. 

When they straightened out on the backside Tullow N was in full gear and paced right by the entire field, clearing by the three-quarters. Cummings then settled Tullow N and took a two-length lead into the last turn. In the stretch, the pocket-sitting I’m So Handsome and a three-wide Howmac Dancer (Renaldo Morales III) tried their best to reel-in the leader, but Tullow N was on a mission and won in-hand in 1:55.2.

The eighth win of the year for Tullow N ($9.60) pushed his earnings to $89,260 for the season. The Blindswitch Racing Stable owns the classy 8-year-old altered son of Mach Three-Tessa Bromac who is trained by Dave Russo.

(Photo of Carlos Danger in front with trainer/driver Ron Beback Jr.)

Despite coming off a very solid win in his last start, a jump in class shied bettors from backing Carlos Danger this week in the $10,000 Open III pace. But the game 6-year-old had the last laugh over the doubters after he went gate to wire in 1:56.3 at 10-1 for trainer/driver Ron Beback Jr. Carlos Danger ($23.40) is owned by Decker’s Corner Stable, Decker’s Gate Stable and Jo’s Get R Done Stable. 

Billy Davis Jr. was the top dash driver again on Saturday adding three more wins to his total. He now has 111 wins for the meet and has long locked-up the driving title for the meet as he is 32 wins ahead of the second place Jim Morrill Jr.

Drew Monti and Dave McNeight III also scored two wins apiece.

There was no winner in the Pick-5 wager on Saturday night and as a result, there is an $1,134 carryover and a $4,000 guaranteed pool in the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday evening (Nov. 20) when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs at 5 o'clock.

The guaranteed pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and that means free program pages of the Pick-5 races will be available on the USTA website beginning on Sunday (Nov. 17).

November 16, 2019 - 11:50am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Wheels A Turning in the forefront with driver Shawn McDonough.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Wheels A Turning scored a narrow come-from-behind win in the feature trot at Batavia Downs last week. This week she took control off the gate and provided the same outcome in the $12,500 Open I Handicap trot over a sloppy track at the Downs on Friday night (11-15). 

The feature field was scratched down to five and the lone mare, Wheels A Turning (Shawn McDonough) was the best off the gate, hitting the quarter in :30 flat. With no one applying any pressure, McDonough kept the fractions tepid; 1:00.4 to the half and 1:30 to three-quarters. 

Rounding the far turn the pocket-sitting Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) and outside rusher Lougai (Ray Fisher Jr.) had the best shot for top honors and both were looking strong in pursuit. However under meaningful urging from McDonough, Wheels A Turning maintained her position and won by 1-¼ lengths in 2:00.1.

Wheels A Turning ($4.20) hit double-digit territory, scoring her 10th win of the year and hitting the $85,560 mark for purses. Allan Schmucker Jr. owns the mare that is trained by Sabrina Shaw.

(Above photo of Spoiler Alert with driver Renaldo Morales Jr.)

Despite his name, everyone apparently knew how this story would end in the $11,000 Open II Handicap trot as the heavy 3-5 favorite Spoiler Alert (Renaldo Morales Jr.) led every step of the way to score an impressive 1-½ length win in 1:59.3. Celebrating the eighth win of the year by Spoiler Alert ($3.20) were owner Jeffrey Hayes and trainer Misty Carey. 

Billy Davis Jr. remained hot and extended his already insurmountable dash win lead for the meet by winning four races on Friday. He now has 108 wins for the session. Renaldo Morales Jr. also had three wins in Friday. 

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Nov. 16) at 6 o'clock.

November 14, 2019 - 11:47am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The severe winter storm that hit western New York over the last two days caused many cancellations in the area due to bad driving conditions. Even though we are one day removed from the brunt of the disturbance it’s impact left the track at Batavia Downs unsafe to race over and as a result, management decided to cancel live racing for Wednesday (Nov. 13). 

“Our first and foremost consideration at Batavia Downs is the safety of our horses, horsemen and horsewomen and after speaking with our drivers and trainers, it was a unanimous decision to cancel tonight’s card,” said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. 

Batavia Downs had a guaranteed pool of $6,000 in the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday and it was announced that the same guaranteed pool will be moved to Friday's card (Nov. 15) when live racing resumes. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages will be available courtesy of Trackmaster on the USTA’s website starting tomorrow morning. 

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 (Nov. 16) program.

Post time on Friday (Nov. 15) is at 6 p.m.

November 13, 2019 - 5:11pm

Notre Dame High School held its 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame dinner and awards ceremony on Saturday (Nov. 9).

Above, from left, are Athletic Hall of Fame inductees Dick O'Connor -- Class of '64, John Dwyer*, Christopher Sabato -- Class of '97, Maureen Del Plato Braunscheidel -- Class of '98, Lou Cinquino** -- Class of '80, and Jennifer Sutherland Forsyth -- Class of '00.

*[John Dwyer represented his father Edward Dwyer, who was inducted as a Contributor, and John's daughter Amy Dwyer -- Class of '83, who was unable to attend.]

**[Lou Cinquino represented Sacramento Kings NBA Assistant Coach Bob Beyer -- Class of '80.]

Above are Notre Dame High School 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame Service Award recipients, from left, Patty Daansen, Dan Coughlin and Kris Coughlin.

Above are members of Notre Dame Wrestling Teams [1967 - 1968 - 1969] inductees.

Front row, from left: Rick Tepedino, John Sorenson, Tony Peca, Dave O'Connor, Bob Balbick, Mike Cinquino and Sal Cintorino.

Back row, from left: Dan O'Connor, Dave Jamalkowski, Tony Forti, Don Linsey, Tony Cinquino, Charlie Mullen, Ron Kelly and Bob Cline.

Not pictured: Dennis O'Connor, Bruce Briggs, Mike Carragher, Joe Chimino, Bill Fava, Bill Gear, Bill Johnson, Tim Lippold, Tom Murray, John Yanilk [Mgr.], Don Kelly* and Dave Dudek* [Deceased *].

Notre Dame Father -- Daughter Hall of Fame members Bill Sutherland -- Class of '67 [HOF 1995] and daughter Jennifer Sutherland Forsyth -- Class of '00, who was inducted into this year's Athletic Hall of Fame.

Bill and Jennifer are the first father - daughter inductee combo in the history of ND's Hall of Fame Inductions!

The four Darien Center O'Connor brothers are now ND Athletic Hall of Fame Members!

Congrats to brothers (from left) Dick -- Class of '64 [HOF '19], David -- Class of '67 [HOF '17], Dan -- Class of '69 [HOF '16], and Dennis -- Class of '72 [HOF '96] O'Connor!

For more information about the inductees, including school photos, bios and their achievements, click on the previous story here.

November 12, 2019 - 12:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

On Wednesday (Nov. 13) there is a carryover of $2,343 in the Pick-5 at Batavia Downs and a guaranteed pool of $6,000 has been announced for the Pick-5 wager that day.

The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) 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 Friday (Nov. 15) program.

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

November 11, 2019 - 11:47am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo: Howmac Dancer out in front with driver Denny Bucceri.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After winning his way up through the non-winner ranks, Howmac Dancer scored a major upset in his first top class $12,500 Open Handicap pace victory at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (11-9). 

There was a mad rush off the gate with Major Authority (Wade Tomaszewski) parking out Mr. Euroman (Billy Davis Jr.) and Tullow N (John Cummings Jr.) two and three deep to the quarter in :27.3. With everyone finally taking a seat, Major Authority kept rolling to the half in :55.3. 

At that point Howmac Dancer (Denny Bucceri) pulled from mid-pack, moved smartly up the backstretch and took command by the three-quarters in 1:25. Rounding the far turn, Howmac Dancer had a gapped advantage but still had to withstand a late rush from Black Is Back (Dave McNeight III) and Race Me Rocky (Shawn McDonough) which he did to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.1. 

It was the fifth win in seven Batavia starts and seventh win of the season for Howmac Dancer ($42) who is owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi and trained by Jim Clouser Jr. 

The $11,000 Open II Handicap pace went to Cultural Paradise (Renaldo Morales III) who led every step of the way en route to his third win in his last four starts and fourth win of the season, timed in 1:56.3. Don Rothfuss trains for owner Howard Ouriel.

The biggest win mutuel of the year was paid out on Saturday after 74-1 shot Raylan Givens (Billy Davis Jr.) rallied late in the fourth race to win by a neck in 1:56.2. The Brittney Ohol owned and trained gelding returned $151 for the win and sparked a $946.00 exacta (7-3), $1,447 trifecta (7-3-1) and $5,175 superfecta (7-3-1-8). 

Drew Monti and Denny Bucceri led all drivers on Saturday with three wins while trainers Don Rothfuss and Mike Ohol won two races apiece.

There was no winner in the Pick-5 wager again on Saturday and as a result there is a $2,343 carry-over and Batavia Downs will be offering a guaranteed pool of $6,000 for the pick-5 wager on Wednesday (Nov. 13) when live racing resumes at 5 p.m.

The pool will be part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, there will be free program page available on the USTA’s website starting on Sunday morning.

November 11, 2019 - 9:44am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

Talk about making up for lost time!

Out of action since the beginning of the season due to a partial left knee replacement, Medina's Jim Foss erupted for an 823 series on Sunday (Nov. 10) in the Sunday Rolloffs League at Medina Lanes.

The 57-year-old right-hander and 2019 inductee into the Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame posted games of 258-267-298 while substituting in the singles league. It was just his fourth league series as he is coming back from the April 30 surgery.

Bowling on three different pairs per the league format, Foss, co-manager at Medina Lanes, started with at least six strikes in all three games, stretching the string to 11 in the last game before leaving the 4-8 on his last ball.

Still, the 823 is his high series, eclipsing his previous best of 815.

Elsewhere around the Genesee Region, Matt Balduf stayed hot in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday night league at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia with a 299 game and 766. The previous week. Baluf recorded a 300 game and 768 series.

At Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Reid Cole rolled a 299 game and Robbie Hanks registered a 763 series to lead the way.

For more high scores from the past week, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

November 10, 2019 - 12:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Le Roy, football.

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The Oatkan Knights went into their Class C sectional title matchup with Letchworth/Warsaw ranked #1 and on the hunt for a record-setting 16th title in program history.

They had beat L/W earlier this year but as the saying goes, it's hard to beat the same team twice in a season.

L/W grabbed the title with a 26-6 win.

Andrew Englerth (top photo) carried the ball 23 times for 114 yards and scored Le Roy's lone touchdown. Kyler LaCarte rushed for 109 yards on 24 carries.

Photos by Jim Burns. The Batavian's sideline coverage authorized by Section V Athletics.

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November 9, 2019 - 8:54am
posted by James Burns in sports, Section V, Le Roy, byron, bergen, Girls volleyball.

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Top seed Byron–Bergen Bees faced the number two Le Roy Knights in Section V Class C Girls Volleyball Championship in Avon Friday night.

In the first match, Le Roy seemed to dominate and was threatening to upset the perennial favorite Bees. As the match ended, with the teams swapping the lead with every position, the Bees came out on top.  

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In the second match, the Bees controlled the Knights and led the entire match for a Bees' win.

In the third march, the Knights rallied back and won. 

The fourth Match was all Bees. They went to work and easily finished off the Knights to win the series. 

Byron–Bergen won 3 to1 for the sectional championship.  

Congratulations to both teams for terrific winning seasons. 

The Batavian's coverage of sectional play is authorized by Section V Athletics. 

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November 9, 2019 - 12:17am
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

Photo of Wheels A Turning leading with driver Denny Bucceri.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

A class drop spelled victory for Wheels A Turning who moved down from Open I company on Friday night (Nov. 8) to win the $11,000 Open II trotting feature at Batavia Downs.

Getting away fourth, Wheels A Turning (Denny Bucceri) watched in wait while the only other mare in the race, CR Blazin Beauty (John Cummings Jr.), grabbed the lead and set the tone. They went to the half in :58 flat before Bucceri pulled Wheels A Turning first-over and started to march for the front. 

CR Blazing Beauty maintained command of her lead but Wheels A Turning was trotting alongside within a length at the three-quarters, around the turn and into the stretch. As they moved down the lane the two trotted stride for stride to the wire until Wheels A Turning gained a slight advantage and won by a neck in 1:57.3.

It was the ninth win of the year for Wheels A Turning ($6.10) who has now earned $79,310 in purses in 2019. Allan Schmucker Jr. owns the 5-year-old daughter of Mr. Cantab-Free Wheeling that is trained by Sabrina Shaw. 

The Downs leading driver, Billy Davis Jr., Shawn McDonough and Renaldo Morales III all had three winners during the evening on Friday. That pushed Davis’s win total for the meet to 103 wins ,which is a commanding 24 tallies ahead of Jim Morrill Jr. who sits in second place. Patrick Shepherd led all trainers with two wins on Friday, putting him at 25 wins and catapulting him into third place behind the leading Jim Clouser Jr. (42) and Maria Rice (33), who each scored one win on Friday.   

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 9) with post time at 6 o'clock.

November 7, 2019 - 5:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

Photo of Protect Blue Chip in the lead with driver Billy Davis Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

A pair of distaff Open paces topped the card on Wednesday night (Nov. 6) at Batavia Downs and fittingly, both winners came from barns of female trainers. 

In the $12,500 Open I Handicap for fillies and mares, Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) got away fifth while Blue Bell Bonnie (Dave McNeight III) and HP Sissy (Drew Monti) battled for front supremacy in a speedy :27.2. Davis pulled first-over with Protect Blue Chip and brought Gia’s Surreal (John Cummings Jr.) in the flow. 

Positions grew tight as the race reached three-quarters in 1:25.3 with the top four horses pacing in a bunch and it didn’t get any easier down the lane. With a mad rush to the wire, from the pylons out was Blue Bell Bonnie, HP Sissy, Protect Blue Chip and Gia’s Surreal all within a head of each other until Protect Blue Chip got the slightest advantage to win by a nose in a blanket finish on a cold night in 1:54.4. 

It was the seventh win of the year and a new seasonal mark for Protect Blue Chip ($18.00) who is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner. 

Then in the $11,000 Open II Handicap for fillies and mares, Lady London (Ray Fisher Jr.) went a mile that could have gotten her the top prize in the main event. After leaving sharply from post four in :27.1, Lady London led at every station by a gapped advantage that grew as the race progressed. After hitting three-quarters in 1:24.1, Fisher let Lady London pace home of her own volition and she stretched out to a 5-3/4 length win at the wire in 1:54.1. 

It was also the seventh win of the year for Lady London ($5.30) who is owned by VHF Racing and trained by Sabrina Shaw, who had a training double on the card. 

John Cummings Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. were the hot drivers on Wednesday, each scoring a hat trick of victories. Kevin Cummings joined Shaw in the trainer ranks with two wins on Wednesday as well. 

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 8) with post time at 6 p.m.

November 4, 2019 - 9:37am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

The first USBC-certified* 700 series for a Batavia youth bowler and a ninth USBC-certified perfect game by a South Byron adult league bowler highlighted this past week’s action around the Genesee Region.tony_sprague.jpg

Tony Sprague (photo at right), a 17-year-old senior at Batavia High School, posted a sparkling 752 series while participating in the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

Sprague, a lean right-hander, registered games of 236-258-258 using a Storm IQ Tour Emerald ball to eclipse his previous high series of 694.

He said he used more of a “swing” shot than normal, standing left and launching the ball to the outside boards to consistently hit the 1-3 pocket. He also felt some added pressure toward the end of the set.

“I was pretty calm the first two games but I knew I was getting close (to the 700 mark), so I got a little nervous,” he said.

He kept it together very well, however, to raise his league average to 203. He also has a 201 average in the Rochester Youth Travel League, with a 276 game last week at Empire Lanes to his credit. In that game, he started with nine strikes before leaving a 4-pin.

Balduf finished with a 300 game for a 768 series in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday League at Mancuso’s.

The 51-year-old righty had a 299 on Oct. 26 in the Handicap Bracket Challenge Tournament at Mancuso’s (more on that event in Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column this Thursday).

At Livingston Lanes in Geneseo, Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls added to his lengthy list of honor scores with 290—823 in the Monday Ontario-Livingston League.

For more high scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

*(United States Bowling Congress)

November 3, 2019 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, sports, volleyball.

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The Le Roy volleyball team has a shot at a sectional championship this week after beating Holley in a semifinal match on Saturday.

The Knights are now 17-2 and will face Wellsville at 5 p.m., Wednesday, at East Rochester High School.

Photos and info from Tim McArdle.

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November 3, 2019 - 10:53am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo: Down On My Luck with driver Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The formidable team of owner Robert Woodburn, trainer Patrick Shepherd and driver Drew Monti struck again in prime time to win both feature races on Saturday night (Nov. 2) at Batavia Downs. 

In the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace, Down On My Luck scored his sixth win in only eight starts at Batavia Downs this year after he made a second-over move past the half, took over the lead from the front-running Howmac Dancer (Ray Fisher Jr.) at the top of the stretch and then held off a late rush by Tullow N (John Cummings Jr.) to win by a nose in 1:55.3. 

It was the 10th win overall this year for Down On My Luck ($3.50) who now has $63,492 on the card in 2019. 

Then in the $11,000 Open II Handicap pace, Sir Pugsley left from his assigned seven post and dropped in third by the quarter. But he was out and rolling early moving up to second by the half, taking over the lead from China Dream (Billy Davis Jr.) at the three-quarters and then clearing and pulling away down the lane to win by a wrapped-up 3-1/4 lengths in 1:55.3.

It was the sixth win of the year for Sir Pugsley ($3.00) and pushed his bank to $81,020. 

Monti ended up the leading driver on the night, scoring a total of four wins and three seconds during the card. Besides Down On My Luck and Sir Pugsley, Monti also won with In Runaway Bay N (1:55.3, $8.10) and Brunello N (1:55.1, $3.60).  

Billy Davis Jr. also finished the night strong getting a natural hat trick in the final three races. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 6) with post time at 5 o'clock.

November 3, 2019 - 10:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, sports, football.

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The Oatkan Knights are heading to a Class C championship game after beating East Rochester/Gananda 35-14 on Saturday.

Kyler LaCarte was 7-12 passing for 170 yards and three TDs, with one interception.  He also rushed for 54 yards on six attempts and scored a TD.

 

Andrew Englerth rushed 10 times for 21 yards and a TD. Jake Hill, Chase Bordonaro, and Nate Andrews each had a TD reception.

Cole Rauscher led the defense with 12 tackles. Alex Panepento and Zach Vanderhoof each had nine and Jake Hill had seven.

Both of the Bombers' TDs came late in the game after the Knights had pulled many of their starters.

Le Roy will face Warsaw in for the Class C championship at 5 p.m., Saturday, at the College at Brockport.

Photos by Jim Burns

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November 2, 2019 - 12:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo of Dragin The Wagon with driver Aaron Byron.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

It was a landmark night for owner Cary Cantelon as her prized trotter Dragin The Wagon shipped in from a three-week stint at Yonkers Raceway to score his 50th lifetime win in the $12,500 Open Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov.1). 

Driver Aaron Byron left hard with Dragin The Wagon from post five and crossed-over in the first turn. But he was soon joined by Joey Pro (Jim Morrill Jr.) who made his way up the outside to the front by the quarter in a swift :27.3. Now in control, Joey Pro trotted strong on the point past the half and on to the second circuit. 

The lone mare in the race, Wheels A Turning (Billy Davis Jr.), pulled first-over and made her way alongside the leader by the time they hit three-quarters in 1:26.2. Joey Pro was far from finished and he continued to park out Wheels A Turning around the last turn, although that one was matching strides all the while. When the race hit the stretch, Joey Pro drifted off the pylons which allowed Byron and the pocket-sitting Dragin The Wagon enough room to squeeze through and draw away by 1-1/2 lengths at the wire in 1:57.1. 

It was the fifth win of the year for Dragin The Wagon ($7.30) who now has $443,879 in earnings to go along with his 50 wins.

In the co-featured $11,000 Open II Handicap trot, Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) made a first-over move past the half, tangled with the front-running Rose Run Rudi (Aaron Byron) for a quarter of a mile before gaining a one-half length advantage under the wire to win in 1:59.2.

Southern Palms ($5.40) is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama.

Southern Palms was just one of five wins driver Jim Morrill Jr. had on the night, including the natural hat trick in races two through four. He also scored with Well Connected Kid (1:59.3, $3.20), Let’s Be Honest (1:59.1, $4.50), JNR Express (2:00.4, $2.30) and Can’t Win (2:01, $4.20). 

Morrill also had two seconds and a third to top off his night. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs this afternoon (Nov. 2) with a special Breeder’s Cup Day post time of 3:15 p.m. 

October 31, 2019 - 12:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Gia’s Surreal with driver John Cummings Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After being narrowly defeated in this same class last week, the lightly regarded Gia’s Surreal went from worst to first for her 10th win of the year in the $12,500 fillies and mares Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 30). 

Blue Bell Bonnie (Dave McNeight III) took the lead and played hardball with the heavily favored Little Joke (Billy Davis Jr.), parking the latter to the half in :56.1. As the field made its way around the third turn they were in two-rows with Gia’s Surreal (John Cummings Jr.) sixth and last at the pegs. 

When the race passed the five-eighths pole, Cummings hit the gas and tipped Gia’s surreal three-wide to the three-quarters, circling the field and finally taking the lead at the head of the stretch. With Blue Bell Bonnie still a force at the pylons, Cummings rocked and knocked Gia’s Surreal all the way down to the wire where she won by one-half length in 1:55.1. 

On the strength of the win, Gia’s Surreal ($17.80) pushed her earnings to $93,244 for owners Jim Graham, Edward Peron, Lee Winters and Thomas Mariano. Graham also train the filly. 

There were no surprises in the $11,000 fillies and mares Open II as Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) returned from a three-month layoff to go gait to wire handily in 1:55. Going off the post time choice, Protect Blue Chip ($3.20) won by two-lengths for owners Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 1) with post time at 6 p.m.

October 31, 2019 - 10:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, sports, volleyball.

The Pembroke Girls Volleyball Team won their first-round playoff game Wednesday, beating Letchworth 3 sets to 1.

The win sends the Lady Dragons to a quarterfinals match against Bloomfield at Bloomfield at 6 p.m., Saturday.

Pembroke took the first two sets against Letchworth 25-21 each, dropped the third set 25-17, and won the forth and match 25-19.

Dekari Moss had 14 kills and seven digs; Oliva Mets, 17 assists; and Allie Schwerthaffer and Trinity Humel each had seven digs.

October 31, 2019 - 9:25am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - For the second time in his short professional career, Canada's Francois Lavoie donned the coveted green jacket at the U.S. Open.

The 26-year-old right-hander defeated 14-time Professional Bowlers Association Tour champion and top seed Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, 221-172, on Wednesday night to become the 12th bowler in history to win the prestigious title multiple times.

His first time hoisting the U.S. Open trophy was in 2016 on the way to PBA Rookie of the Year honors.

The latest win gave Lavoie his fourth PBA Tour title and made the fourth-year professional the first foreign-born player to win the U.S. Open more than once. Finland's Mika Koivuniemi (2001) and Dom Barrett of England (2018) also have won the event.

Wednesday's star-studded stepladder at Victory Lanes was broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

Along with the iconic outerwear, Lavoie also earned a $30,000 top prize. The U.S. Open was the fifth, and final, major of the 2019 PBA Tour season. The win was Lavoie's first since 2017.

"This is so surreal, and I don't even know where to begin," Lavoie said. "To win the first one was unbelievable and a dream come true. Winning the second one, wow. Especially with the way the season started, I never could've expected this. It's not something you think will happen again, and definitely not this year of all years. I feel so fortunate."

Lavoie started the final match with five consecutive strikes and cruised to the title. Rash opened with a strike but did not throw another until the ninth frame when his third major title already was out of reach.

Rash was in a familiar position as the No. 1 seed, having won the 2007 United States Bowling Congress Masters and 2012 PBA Tournament of Champions from there.

"I'm great, honestly," Rash said. "I led the U.S. Open, which is a dream come true. I've always wanted to make this show. Frankie bowled unbelievable. He started with the front five on a pair that was extremely brutal. He's a two-time champion at this event for a reason. It was a great performance, and he out-bowled me. I'm happy with my preparation and thought process and everything that was going on. I have no regrets from today, and I feel like this still was one of my best seasons overall."

Despite the loss, Rash indeed is winding down one of his best seasons in a career that began in 2005. His 2019 campaign includes two titles and more than $145,000 in earnings. He took home $15,000 for Wednesday's runner-up finish.

In the night's four matches, there only were three strings of strikes longer than a double, and Lavoie had two of them on what he considered the most challenging of the week's four oil patterns.

His keys to success on all the patterns were surface management and different hand positions.

"I wasn't ever really comfortable on this pattern for the 32 games we bowled on it, and going into match play, I was pretty nervous about holding onto a spot on the show for another 24 games," said Lavoie, who averaged less than 200 for his first eight games on the week's final oil pattern. "I had a hard time getting my hand to do what I wanted to get the right ball motion, but we stuck with it and stayed in it. Throwing the front five in the final game was huge, especially since our plan was just to try to hit the 1-3 every time. That pair was really hard."

On the way to his first U.S. Open title in Las Vegas, Lavoie also managed to string strikes in what is considered one of the sport's toughest environments. That year, he also was the second seed and advanced to the title match by becoming the first bowler in history to roll a perfect game on a U.S. Open television show.

Lavoie rolled into this year's championship match simply by filling frames, another key to success on the demanding conditions at the U.S. Open.

The Team Canada member posted a clean 214-164 win against two-time major champion Anthony Simonsen, 22, of Little Elm, Texas, who was looking to earn his eighth PBA Tour title and become the youngest player to win three majors.

Simonsen, who won the 2016 USBC Masters and 2019 PBA Players Championship, advanced to Wednesday's semifinal with a 187-148 win against 11-time major champion and 2019 PBA Player of the Year front-runner Jason Belmonte of Australia.

After three solid shots to start the match, Belmonte failed to get more than six pins on four of his next five first balls. The 36-year-old two-hander tried everything to get back in the match, including a switch to a urethane ball in the seventh frame and moving from the left side of the lane to the right.

The move worked on the right lane, but the 22-time PBA Tour champion split twice on the left lane, including the 2-8-10 combination in his final frame. A missed 10 pin from Simonsen in the ninth frame gave Belmonte an opportunity to at least force Simonsen to mark, but the final split ended his chances for a fifth title in 2019.

A win Wednesday would've given Belmonte his first U.S. Open title, and he would've joined USBC and PBA Hall of Famer Mike Aulby as the only players to win the Super Slam.

Belmonte has four wins at the USBC Masters, three PBA Tournament of Champions titles, two victories at the PBA World Championship and two wins at the PBA Players Championship.

His 148 game was the lowest he has bowled on TV. His previous low came in a 214-156 loss to Wes Malott in the title match of the 2013 U.S. Open.

In Wednesday's opening match, neither Simonsen nor Bill O'Neill of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, looked immediately comfortable on the fresh 40-foot oil pattern, but two rolled 10 pins early in the game gave Simonsen a small advantage over O'Neill, who didn't deliver his first strike until the fifth frame.

A 2-8-10 split from O'Neill in the sixth frame widened the deficit, and Simonsen followed the first commercial break with four consecutive strikes to pull away for a 226-193 victory.

O'Neill, the 2010 U.S. Open winner, also was looking to become the 12th bowler in history to win the event multiple times. The 38-year-old right-hander owns 11 PBA Tour titles, including two this season.

The field this week started with 144 players, all of whom bowled 24 games of qualifying over three days (eight games each day). Each round featured a different oil pattern, and a fourth lane condition was introduced for the cashers' round, match play and championship round.

All rounds leading up to the TV show were broadcast live at BowlTV.com and simulcast on FloBowling.

2019 U.S. Open
At Victory Lanes, Mooresville, N.C.
Wednesday's results

FINAL STANDINGS
1, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 435 (two games), $30,000
2, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Illinois, 172 (one game), $15,000
3, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 577 (three games), $12,000
4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 148 (one game), $10,000
5, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 193 (one game), $8,000

STEPLADDER RESULTS
Match No. 1 - Simonsen def. O'Neill, 226-193
Match No. 2 - Simonsen def. Belmonte, 187-148
Semifinal - Lavoie def. Simonsen, 214-164
Championship - Lavoie def. Rash, 221-172

October 30, 2019 - 8:08am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling, U.S. Open bowling.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - After 56 games over five days, five competitors have advanced to the championship round of the 2019 U.S. Open.

The quintet conquered four challenging oil patterns at Victory Lanes and now will battle for the for the $30,000 top prize, coveted green jacket and final major championship on the 2019 Professional Bowlers Association Tour schedule live on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The standings seemed to be on a continuous spin cycle throughout the final round of match play Tuesday evening, with three different people topping the leaderboard during the eight-game block.

Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, a 14-time PBA Tour champion, spent the most time out in front and held a 60-pin advantage over 2016 U.S. Open champion Francois Lavoie of Canada heading into the day-ending position round.

Though Lavoie was able to win the position-round matchup, 217-211, Rash had enough of a lead to claim the top seed for the TV stepladder by 24 pins.

Lavoie held on for the No. 2 spot, which is the same place he qualified the year he won. He and Rash will be joined on the show by Australia's Jason Belmonte, Bill O'Neill of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, and Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas. All five are major champions.

"I have one game to bowl for a title, which is something I've done six, seven or eight times this year, and it's a great feeling," said Rash, who was the No. 1 seed for both of his major titles - the 2007 United States Bowling Congress Masters and 2012 PBA Tournament of Champions. "There's four unbelievable players on the show with me, all major champions, so it's going to be an amazing show. I'm extremely happy right now, but there's still so much left to do."

Rash, who set the pace through 32 games of qualifying and led the final 24 players into the match-play portion of the event, finished with a 56-game pinfall total of 12,379, which included 30 bonus pins for each of his 12 wins in match play. He started match play with seven consecutive losses.

Lavoie finished with a 12,355 total, Belmonte closed with a 266-233 win over Houston's Shawn Maldonado to jump from fifth place to third (12,312), O'Neill finished with 12,303 and Simonsen held on to the final spot with 12,261, just 27 pins ahead of Maldonado.

"Tonight was very much needed and something I felt was coming," said Belmonte, a 22-time PBA Tour champion. "I finished the second round with 279 and realized that game put me back in contention. I was about 100 out of the show and thought I could get there with a couple good games in a row. Through the middle of the last block, I did some of the best bowling I've done in a really long time."

The star-studded stepladder includes some amazing storylines.

Rash is looking for his third title of 2019 and third career major. A win would make Lavoie the first foreign-born player to win the event twice, while he and O'Neill, the 2010 winner, both have a chance to become the 12th bowler in history to win multiple times.

Belmonte and Simonsen both have found the winner's circle in majors this season. Belmonte won the PBA Tournament of Champions and PBA World Series of Bowling X PBA World Championship, and he was the runner-up to Simonsen at the 2019 PBA Players Championship.

Belmonte's win at the 2019 PBA World Championship was the 11th major victory of his career and moved him past PBA Hall of Famers Earl Anthony and Pete Weber on the all-time list. They each own 10 major titles.

Simonsen, who along with O'Neill has won twice this year, is looking to become the youngest player with three majors - he also won the 2016 Masters - and Belmonte is hoping to extend his record. The U.S. Open is the major that has eluded him. The Australian's best finish at the event was a second-place effort in 2013.

"This has put me in a position to have a crack at No. 12, and I'm excited and nervous and can't wait to get out there and leave it all on the lanes," said Belmonte, a four-time champion in 2019. "I'll give it everything I've got, and if the pins want to fall, it'll be my year. I know there will be plenty more U.S. Opens, but I'm kind of hoping they fall for me this time."

Defending champion Dom Barrett of England also made match play this week and finished 14th, one spot ahead of 2017 champion Rhino Page of Orlando, Florida.

The field this week started with 144 players, all of whom bowled 24 games of qualifying over three days (eight games each day). Each round featured a different oil pattern, and a fourth lane condition was introduced for the cashers' round, match play and championship round.

All rounds leading up to the TV show were broadcast live at BowlTV.com and simulcast on FloBowling.

The U.S. Open is conducted jointly by USBC and the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America.

For more information on the U.S. Open, visit BOWL.com/USOpen.

About International Bowling Campus
The International Bowling Campus (IBC) is the headquarters for the bowling industry and directly serves the more than 69 million bowlers in the United States. The IBC houses the resources of the United States Bowling Congress, the governing body and membership organization for the sport; the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America, representing the business interests of bowling centers; IBC Youth Development; Strike Ten Entertainment, the marketing arm for the industry; the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame; the International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association; the International Bowling Media Association; the Bowling News Network; the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America; and the International Training and Research Center.

2019 U.S. Open
At Victory Lanes, Mooresville, N.C.

Tuesday's results

MATCH PLAY
(56 games, 30 bonus pins for a win, 15 bonus pins for a tie)

     
      1, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 12-12-0, 12,379. 2, Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Kan., 15-8-1, 12,355. 3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 13-11-0, 12,312. 4, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 13-10-1, 12,303. 5, Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 14-10-0, 12,261.

TELEVISED STEPLADDER FINALS
(Will be live Wednesday on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. Eastern)

Match No. 1: O'Neill vs. Simonsen
Match No. 2: Belmonte vs. Match No. 1 winner
Semifinal: Lavoie vs. Match No. 2 winner
Final: Rash vs. semifinal winner

DID NOT ADVANCE:

      6, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 15-9-0, 12,234. 7, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 18-6-0, 12,221. 8, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 14-10-0, 12,207. 9, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 13-11-0, 12,169. 10, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 12-12-0, 12,121. 11, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 11-11-2, 12,105. 12, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 12-12-0, 12,087.
      13, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 13-11-0, 11,993. 14, Dominic Barrett, England, 12-12-0, 11,991. 15, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 12-12-0, 11,958. 16, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 11-13-0, 11,920. 17, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 11-12-1, 11,899. 18, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 11-12-1, 11,860.
      19, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 10-14-0, 11,838. 20, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 8-16-0, 11,797. 21, Greg Ostrander (a), Freehold, N.J., 11-12-1, 11,764. 22, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 7-17-0, 11,612. 23, Thomas Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 8-16-0, 11,542. 24, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 8-15-1, 11,494.

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