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December 10, 2018 - 5:18pm

Press release:

The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund has announced that the 2019 New York Sire Stakes Finals will be hosted on Saturday, Sept. 14 at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel.

The richest night of racing in New York, the “Night of Champions” will hand out $1.8 million in purse money to the top state-bred 2 and 3-year-old Standardbred horses.

The Fund’s Board of Trustees previously selected Batavia based on its impressive proposal to host the event and offer an exciting fan experience. This will be Batavia Downs’ first time hosting the event.

The New York Sire Stakes program promotes the breeding, buying, and racing of Standardbred horses in New York State, and is administered by the Fund. It was the first program of is kind, featuring 2 and 3-year old colts and fillies, and has become the model for state-bred racing programs in North America.

About the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund

The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965).

The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races.

Additionally, the Fund provides assistance to county agriculture societies and contributes to the statewide 4-H program and to the Harry M. Zweig Fund for Equine Research.

December 10, 2018 - 5:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, Genesee Sno-Packers.

Press release:

The Millgrove Sportsmen Club, Alden Rod & Gun Club and the Genesee Sno-Packers Snowmobile Club are sponsoring a NYS Snowmobile Safety course to be taught at Alden Rod & Gun Club next month.

Part 1 will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 17 and Part 2 will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 19.

The Alden Rod & Gun Club house is located on 12 County Line Road in Alden.

The course is free to children from 10 to 18 years of age.

New York State’s Snowmobile Law requires that youngsters ages 10-18 acquire a safety certificate before they may lawfully operate a snowmobile. Youngsters may qualify for their safety certificates by taking an eight-hour safety course and passing the examination given at the end of the course. The course and all materials are furnished free.

The course is also open to adults.

The instructors for snowmobile Safety Course are certified by NYS. 

You must sign up for the course and attend BOTH classes, where you register. All materials for the Snowmobile Safety Course will be furnished. Those who pass the written exam will be issued a patch, certificate and a license. 

If your child is interested in taking the course and would like to law-fully drive a snowmobile, pre-register by calling 716-481-2623 after 5:30 p.m.

December 10, 2018 - 12:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs, USHWA, steve pratt.

By Tim Bojarski, president, Upstate New York USHWA

The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has announced that Steve Pratt (inset photo) will receive their Lifetime Achievement Award during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 14).  

Pratt first got his grooms license in 1970 and from there has been involved in harness racing ever since. He has been training and racing horses in Western New York since the late seventies when the star of his barn was an Open trotter named Willow Hill Boy who under the reinsmanship of the legendary Gaston Guindon, won 42 races in only five years against the best horses on the grounds at the time. 

Pratt moved on from racing overnights to concentrate on breaking and developing young horses. He became a presence on the New York county fair circuit but made the move to the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) in the mid-'90s. There he found early success with horses like Sal The Barber (1:58.2, $114,887) and Choyote’s Miss (1:59.1, $121,785). But he really got on a successful roll in the NYSS starting in 2012. 

For the last seven years Pratt has been a trotting force in the state-bred series with a string of “Barn” named horses that have competed in the NYSS, the Excel series and also at the county fairs. The parade of his champions is led most prominently by Barn Doll (1:52.1, $874,083), Barn Bella (1:51.3, $742,350), Barn Girl (1:52.3, $734,668), Barn Babe (1:54.2, $350,463) and Barn Winner (1:56, $165,273).   

During those seven years Pratt-trained horses have earned more than $2 million in only 227 starts, winning 97 races which gave him a phenomenal 42-percent win percentage. Pratt’s Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) for that same period is a stellar .558 and all this was accomplished racing primarily in stake competition. 

Steve Pratt will receive his trophy in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle between races during the live card. 

December 10, 2018 - 12:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of driver Kevin Cummings courtesy of Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After being involved in an accident at Batavia Downs late last week, perennial Western New York driving leader Kevin Cummings will not return to action until next year. 

While driving in the first race on Friday night (Dec. 7) Cummings horse made a break causing the horse directly behind to collide into him, hitting Cummings on the left-side back at full speed. The two horses became entangled but were brought to a stop in the clubhouse turn just past the half. 

Cummings and the driver of the other horse, Mike Caprio (who also became unseated), were evaluated on site immediately after the track was cleared. Caprio returned to drive the remainder of the night however Cummings was sent for further medical evaluation. 

After being examined in the hospital it was determined that Cummings had three broken ribs, torn cartilage and internal bleeding. He was sent home and is in the process of healing under the care of his personal physician. 

Given the severity of his injuries, Cummings estimated his time away from the sulky to be two to three months. 

“I always wear my safety vest under my colors. It’s paid off in the past and it certainly paid of Friday. If I didn’t have that thing on I would have crushed my entire rib cage and had extensive organ damage,” Cummings said.

“I always tell the young guys to make sure they use theirs because you never know when you are going down.” 

Cummings, who is a four-time dash champion at Batavia Downs, is currently second in the standings this year with 102 wins and had a legitimate shot at taking a fifth title. This season saw him earn more than $1.2 million in purses, which is the 10th straight year he has gone over the million-dollar mark. 

For his career Cummings has won 3,820 races and over $17 million in earnings.

December 9, 2018 - 8:23pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

A pair of 299 games and a bunch of lofty 700 series highlighted Genesee Region league bowling action for the week ending Dec. 9.

On Monday at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Robbie Hanks came within a pin of his fifth USBC-certified 300 game with a 299--743 effort in the Sneezy's Monday Night League. He left the 2-pin on his last ball.

Robbie's father, Randy, posted a 300 game in the league on Nov. 19.

On Wednesday at Scopano's Lanes in Oakfield, substitute Charlie Pangrazio posted a 299 middle game en route to a 749 series in the County Line Stone League. Pangrazio's 12th ball came high on the headpin, leaving the 3-6. The 6 then fell and rolled into the 3, but didn't knock it down.

Series-wise, at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Jason Heimlich registered 267-259-266 for a 790 series in the Wednesday Men's Handicap League while Kevin Wezelis fired a 289 game and 783 series in the Every-Other-Saturday League.

Also, in the Sneezy's league, Curtis Foss led all shooters with a 771 series.

For a list of scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page. Mike Pettinella's next Pin Points column is scheduled to be posted this Thursday.

December 9, 2018 - 8:12pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

Attention Genesee Region USBC league secretaries:

If you would like your league's weekly high scores to be published on The Batavian, send an email to [email protected]. Men's scores of 220 (game) and 600 (series) or better and women's scores of 190 (game) and 540 (series) will be posted. Photos of honor score bowlers or those with newsworthy accomplishments will be posted as long as they are emailed to the same email address.

Through Dec. 9

Monday Morning Ladies
High Games

Georgene Della Penna 204
Sue Odessa 199
Monday Independent Ladies
High Series

Heather Johnson 201—551
Synergistic Online Solutions
Monday NFL
High Series

Michele Larson 193-237—601
High Games
Jeff Butler 221
Deb Snyder 194
Mancuso Real Estate/No Finer Diner
High Series

Casey Palmer Jr. 242—614
High Games
Jason Quiliam 220
Antique World Coed
High Series

Steve Krna 253-246-222—721
High Games
Brian Howland 258
Gary Brennan Jr. 243
Ron Sprague Jr. 243
Marshall Merle 232
Scott Bliss 230
Jen Downard 205
J.E. Currier/Rebel Liners
Wednesday Night Ladies
High Series

Cindy Linderman 190-190—557
High Games
Dawn O’Neill 236
Selina McJury 221
Carol Robinson 198
Wednesday Night Misfits
High Series

Gary MacDonald 226-244—677
Gary Kuchler 617
Toyota of Batavia 5-Man
High Series

Nate Balduf 223-289—715
Greg Siedlecki 220-266—698
Roger Stone 236-223-236—695
Nathan Cordes 263-224—690
Geoff Harloff 228-265—685
Jason Quilliam 258-233—684
Jim Pursel 230-235—677
Mike Johnson 256-224—669
Chuck Bobo 224-225—653
Matt Balduf 267—652
Mark Brown 268—648
Jason Gallo 240—638
Vin Pontillo 221—635
Mike DeVay Jr. 232—633
Marshall Merle 275—631
Rob Stefani 245—629
Mike Lambert 235—619
James Townsend 243—610
Steve Krna 258—607
Denny Rogers 241—603
Brian Ace Jr. 222—600
T.F. Brown's Adult-Child
High Series

Mike Sputore 225--651
Bryan Johnson 230--613
High Games
Kyle Johnson 212
Lily Martin 187
Nathan Goras 177-181
G&W Vending
High Series

John Beadle 279—754
Jerry Menzie Jr. 268—739
Dave Emler 267—721
Chris Bardol 243—686
Ryan Flaherty 230—665
Frank Jarkiewicz 244—659
Dennis Meyer 230—642
Cliff Kolb 228—639
Dan Maus 223—637
Rob Sease 236—627
Mark Mothersell 225—602
Sandi Ehrne 198—546
High Games
Keith Jensen 236
Richard Ehrne 222
Harris Busmire 222
Charles Emler 222
Craig Hazen 221
Wednesday Men’s Handicap
High Series

Jason Heimlich 267-257-266—790
Rodney Jopson 279—696
Dillon Giboo 265—633
Charles Gelsomino 225—627
Jeff Parton 246—614
Joseph Scott 278—614
Melvin Helms 243—607
Brandon Fisher 237—606
High Games
Carl Fedele 244
Rick Kleinow 231
Laurie Morgante 196
Thursday Owls
High Series

Gary MacDonald 254—671
Tom Sardou 246—664
Frank Jarkiewicz 259—646
Rob Husted 236—628
Saturday Junior Majors
High Series

Michael Sardou 241—597
Devon Zinter 212—543
Brooke Jarkiewicz 194—517
High Games
Brendan Pimm 188
Jillian Menzie 184
Caitlin Ashton 174
High Series

Kevin Wezelis 289—783
Frank Jarkiewicz 245—716
High Games
Deana Olander 201
County Line Stone
High Series

Charlie Pangrazio 237-299—749
Scott Gibson 279-235—726
Aaron Chamberlain 257-236—705
Frank Jarkiewicz 257-237—661
Keith Vandersteur 227-242—650
Ron Schultz 224—637
Leroy Stafford 235—625
Tom Allis 220—618
Roger Stone 616
Mike Lyons 245—612
Rick Saudners 236—612
Mike Pettinella 255—610
Scot Monachino 238—609
Tom Fluker 225—605
High Games
Bob Chamberlain 228
Pete Evinsky 221
Sneezy’s Monday Night
High Series

Curtis Foss 258-257-256—771
Brandon Gurnsey 278-245—744
Robbie Hanks 299-255—743
John Beadle 268—687
Randy Hanks 253--676
High Games
Matt Baker 255
Greg Gilman 254
Josh Bowman 243
Le Roy Moose
High Series

Nate Balduf 231-247—674
Mike Nailos 246—613
Ron Hawkins 224—609
Matt Balduf 237—603
Monday Nite 5
High Series

Matt Slocum 222-232—673
John Huntz 247-222—654
Stephanie Wright 204-222-221—647
Ryan Naylor 223-222—646
Doug Stratton 234—633
Curtis Hoffman 246—624
Nate Tackentien 622
Jamie Schery 235-236—620
Scott Noble 224—613
Brian Weber 613
Doug Packman 228—612
Scott Van Duser 609
Don Parrott 224—607
Diane Hurlburt 198-217—602
Rachel Van Duser 196—543
High Games
Dakota Packman 241
Brett Van Duser 237
Rob Schmidt 225
Chris Huntz 224
Jeff Barber 221
Marty Weaver 221
Thursday Night
High Series

Ryan Naylor 234-225—633
Brett Van Duser 255—631
Jason Hurlburt 254—624
Diane Hurlburt 224-208—607
Dawn Mack 215—556
High Games
Andrew Tones 232
Sunday Rolloffs
High Series

Scott Allis 255-256-258—769
Richard Culver 247-268—728
Roger Allis 247-258—721
Curtis Foss 239-268--721
Mitch Harmer 287--668
Alex Allis 277--650
Jason Mahnke 622
Tom Allis 222--601
Jackie Jurinich 227--595
Amy Allis 192-212--577
Carrie Smith 193-201--576
High Games
Aaron Verheyn 227
Peggy Allis 202
Rolloffs – 1st, Josh Adams; 2nd, Mark Albone; 3rd, Tom Allis; 4th, Scott Allis; 5th, Culver.

December 9, 2018 - 2:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Lucky McTrucky with driver Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Lucky McTrucky got back to his winning ways taking the $11,500 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 8).

The feature field got away in post position order leaving Cultural Paradise (Jim McNeight Jr.) on top calling the shots and with no pressure to the half, it was a soft fraction of :58 flat. However that would soon change when In Runaway Bay N (Truman Gale) came calling first-up on the outside where the race began to get interesting.

In Runaway Bay N paced along with Cultural Paradise up the backstretch in a quick :28.3 third panel and while that was going on, Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) joined the party late but came with lots of pace. Halfway through the turn Monti tipped Lucky McTrucky three-deep and caught the leaders by the top of the stretch and then went right by in the lane to win by two-lengths in 1:55.4.

It was the 55th lifetime win and 13th of the season for Lucky McTrucky ($10.60) who now has earned $93,405 in 2018 for owner Tessa Roland. JD Perrin trains the winner.

The $9,900 Open II pace saw Western Rockstar A (Shawn McDonough) close sharply after chasing an early speed battle between Linkjack Hanover (Bob Verney) and Littlebitofabrat (Ray Fisher Jr.) to pull the upset in 1:56.2. Western Rockstar A ($24) captured his fifth win of the year for owner Super Mile LLC. Angelo Nappo is the trainer.

Three drivers won 10 of the 12 races on Saturday evening. Drew Monti was the big dog copping a Grand Slam of wins. Then Shawn McDonough and Denny Bucceri were right behind, each having a triple on the card.

Next week is the final week of racing at Batavia Downs and it starts on Friday night (Dec. 14) with post time set at 6 o'clock. There is no racing on Wednesday (Dec. 12).

December 9, 2018 - 8:29am


Genesee Ice Devils visited Geneseo Ice Knights last evening at SUNY Geneseo State College. Both teams were exchanging possession but remained scoreless through the first period.

Senior Jackson Backus found the back of the net three minutes into the second period; assist by AJ Versage.

Both teams had a wide variety of penalties until eight minutes into the third period when Genesee's Evan Dusky tied the game 1-1 off a pass from Noah Martin that finished the game through regulation.

Genesee started the overtime down two players from penalties, but defense protected goalie Alexander Hunt who was a star saver for the Ice Devils that stopped 43 shots. Isaac Sweet made 25 saves.

Genesee Ice Devils Head Coach John Kirkwoods said following the game,  "I’m proud of our team tonight after dropping a tough game on Tuesday. This past week was a focus of a few tough practices.

"I preach to our guys all the time that we are a very hard working team, we don’t quit and we keep coming at you, no matter the score or the situation. Our squad is a coming together to be a very competitive team. 

"I am very proud of our guys. Tonight improved our abilities to overcome challenge teams like Geneseo. It was a step forward for us for our program."

Next game for Genesee is at home against Aquinas this Tuesday night, Dec 11th, at Falleti Ice Arena at 6 o'clock.

To view more photos click here.





December 8, 2018 - 8:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basetball, Attica, pembroke.

Pembroke fell to Attica in a Friday night matchup in Attica, 55-59.

Attica's Dawson Nelson led all scorers with 16 points. He also had 15 rebounds and two assists. Tyler Meyer added 13 points and Frankie Biscelgilie scored 15.

For Pembroke, Trevor Vaughn scored 14 points and Jarrod Ludwig scored 10 points.

From Attica Head Coach Rob Crawley:

"Attica Held Pembroke to five field goals in the second half, but Pembroke was 20-22 from the free-throw line. 

"I am incredibly proud of our team tonight. With it being such a later season opener for us, I was very concerned about going up against a well-prepared and well-coached team like Pembroke. We kept our composure from start to finish which shows a lot of growth from our players.

"We used our depth tonight nine players scoring for us. Bisceglie hit back-to-back 3s to start the second half. Nelson did a great job inside as well. All of our guys stepped up and accepted their role tonight to help us get the win."

December 8, 2018 - 8:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, elba, news, sports, basketball.


The Elba and Notre Dame early-season matchup at Elba was everything you expect an Elba vs. Notre Dame game to be: raucous crowd, and a battle to the end between two talented teams.

This time, the Lancers came out on top 52-48, but it wasn't easy.

The Fighting Irish built up a 10-point lead, thanks to some hot shooting from Lucas Calarco and Spencer Masiti, and led 33 to 27 at the break but Elba kept the pressure on throughout the second half and seemed to wear Notre Dame down by the fourth quarter.

"We shot the ball pretty well," said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. "Our biggest thing tonight is we didn’t execute the last four minutes. We took some bad shots. We made some bad turnovers and made a few defensive mistakes. When you’re doing that on the road, you’re not going to come out on top against a good team."

The Lancers were led by Jon Boyce, who scored 28 points and snagged 19 rebounds.

"John's one of the best players in Class D basketball," said his Coach Ciaci Zambito "The way he worked, the way he's gotten himself into shape and just his dedication, he deserves a game like tonight. He went out on his last home game against Notre Dame and I think he made a statement for himself. I'm super proud of him."

With Elba down two key players, Colton Dillon and Gregory Huntington, Boyce said he knew his role on the team but that didn't put any pressure on him.

"It sometimes feels like it's on me but then again it's not on me because I look at our team, I look at who is out there, who's out there playing with me," Boyce said. "Everyone knows their roles. We all have our own strengths."

This game, freshman Zack Marshall stepped up and contributed 11 points, hitting three three-point shots in the second half to help give Elba the boost it needed to mount a comeback.

For Notre Dame, Gabe Macdonald scored 15 points. Misiti and Calarco each scored nine points.









To purchase prints, click here.

December 8, 2018 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, sports, basketball, news.


Head Coach Buddy Brasky has warned us that, at least at the start, this will be a challenging season for the Batavia Blue Devils and the team got off to a rocky start with a 43-39 lose to Honeoye Falls-Lima.

An 18-point fourth-quarter rally might be something for Batavia to build on, but it wasn't enough to overcome HFL's 15-point lead at the end of three quarters.

Batavia was beset by turnovers early in the game and went through one four-minute period in the second quarter without hitting a basket.

The team has lost a key component of the offense with Antwan Odom out for the season after getting arrested late in the summer and Mason McFollins, Ethan Biscaro, Cam White, and Caeden White are all out of action, too.

The team is also off to a slow start because the football team had such a great season, reaching the state championship game, so prior to last night's game, Brasky had been able to lead only four practices with a full squad.

Luke Grammatico led Batavia's scorers with 11 points, including a pair of threes in the fourth quarter. Zach Gilebarte scored eight points and Joe Martinucci added six.

For HFL, Trevor Chamberlain scored 19 points and Josh Vogt scored 16.

Photos by Steve Ognibene. To view or purchase photos click here.







December 8, 2018 - 4:23pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in Seniors, running, sports, news, batavia.

Frank Gioia, of Batavia, was photographed in Buffalo in September when he won first place in his age group in the USA Track and Field Championships. 

Frank Gioia has been serious about running since he was young. He's 65 now.

A son of Babe and Dolly Gioia, Frank was born and grew up in Batavia, where he ran all through high school, he said. He was the first one from Batavia to qualify for cross country in the state championships, he said. 

He attended Genesee Community College for two years, and for about five years took a break from running to play softball.

“Back then, everybody was playing softball,” Gioia said. “There were ball teams then all over town.”

As a young man, he had married the former Pattie Walker and had three children, during which time his running took a back seat. He went to work as a welding foreman for the railroad, retiring from CSX Transportation.

Now, as a senior citizen, with time to devote to his love of running and the desire to keep fit, he is chalking up some wins on the USA Track and Field circuit.

In 2016, Gioia placed eighth in a USA National 5K Championship road race in Massachusetts. This past August, he was third our of 15 in the nation in a 5K road race in Atlanta, with a time of 21 minutes 6 seconds.

In his most recent victory, he finished first among 14 in the nation in September in the USA Track and Field Championships in Buffalo with a time of 21 minutes 36 seconds.

His first-place finish was 30 seconds longer because it was in the grass in Delaware Park, Gioia said, while the Atlanta race was on pavement. All races were in age groups. 

He has also traveled to races in San Francisco and Virginia.

He thinks what attracted him to running was because you don’t have to be a member of a team to run. 

“I always enjoyed running, and I could just go run any time I wanted to,” Gioia said. “And when you do good, that makes it all the more pleasurable.”

Although all of his children and three grandchildren are serious about sports, none shared his passion for running.

During good weather, he runs nearly every day, but during the winter he runs on the treadmill at the YWCA four days a week.

He is going to take a break for three or four weeks while he waits for next year’s schedule for the national races to come out.

“I have accomplished everything I really wanted to do, and I’m happy now just maintaining what I’m doing,” Gioia said.

Gioia just learned he has been named The Buffalo News “Runner of the Year” in the 65 to 69 age group. Out of the seven races in the series, he won the first six and placed second in the last race.

He also recalled several other honors to his credit, including running the 1983 Philadelphia Distance Classic half marathon in one hour and nine minutes. That placed him 55 out of more than 3,000 runners.

In 1984, he ran the Skylon International Marathon in two hours and 29 minutes, placing seventh out of 1,153 runners.

And, in 1985 and 1986, he won gold medals at the New York Empire State Games in the 10K on the track.

Photo below: In August, Frank Gioia, of Batavia, placed third in the nation in the Masters 5K USA Track and Field Championships in Atlanta.

December 8, 2018 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Empire Earl N with drive Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After going winless since Sept. 7 when he trotted a season’s best 1:56.3, Empire Earl N has regained early season form winning two consecutive top-class races at Batavia Downs. The second score came on Friday night (Dec.7) when he captured the $11,000 Open Handicap trot.  

Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) got away third as Crystal Sphere (Billy Davis Jr.) made a beeline for the lead and when he got there, backed off the proceedings. After a leisurely stroll to the half in 1:01.2, Davis hit the gas, opened up a five-length advantage and tried to put the swoop to the group. Motoring along well on the point, Crystal Sphere looked very much the best, however there was a lot of race left.  

As the group moved from the five-eighths to the three-quarters, Monti tipped Empire Earl N and started chipping away at Crystal Sphere’s lead. Around the last turn he was on his back and at the head of the stretch he drew even on the outside and from there, Empire Earl N got stout and trotted away under mild urging from Monti to win by a length in 1:59.3.

Empire Earl N ($4.70) reached double-digit wins for 2018, scoring his 10th of the year for owner Kim Asher. He has also earned $90,354 this year which has been his career best under the tutelage of trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum.

In the $8,800 Open II trot Labatt Hanover (Shawn McDonough) made easy work of five foes, posting even fractions en route to a three-length victory in 1:59.3. Labatt Hanover ($8.70) scored his sixth victory of 2018 for owners Gary and Cynthia Saj. His driver McDonough also does the conditioning.

Aside from capturing the feature race, driver Drew Monti also had two other wins giving him a Hat Trick on the night. Billy Davis Jr. and Mike Caprio also had driving doubles during the nine-race card.

There was no winner of the early Pick-5 on Friday and as a result, there is a $534 carry-over and a guaranteed pool of $1,500 for the early Pick-5 when racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday. Post time for the first race at 6 p.m.

December 8, 2018 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Horsemen racing at Batavia Downs should take note of the draw schedule for the final week of racing for 2018. 

There will be a double draw held on Tuesday (Dec. 11) for Friday (Dec. 14) and Saturday (Dec. 15) with the box closing at 9 a.m. After the draw, the judges will also close both programs on Tuesday (Dec. 11). 

Also please note that post time for Friday (Dec. 14) is 6 p.m. while post time for Saturday (Dec. 15) is early at 4:45 p.m.  

For any inquiries about conditions or to call your entries in, please contact Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6304.

The complete condition sheet for racing at Batavia Downs is available on the Batavia Downs website (www.bataviadownsgaming.com) under Live Racing>Horsemen>Condition Sheet and also on the USTA website (www.ustrotting.com) by clicking Horsemen>Condition Sheets.

December 6, 2018 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Lions Club, Lions Tournament, news, sports, basketball, notify.


The Lions Club of Batavia is promising area basketball players a more competitive tournament this year and for fans that should mean closer, more intense games.

The club has expanded the field this year to eight teams -- four teams in the small-team division and four teams in the large-team division. This should make games more competitive and lead to some potentially interesting matchups.

For example, if Batavia beats Roy-Hart in its first game it would face either Le Roy or Attica, teams that are natural rivals but Batavia rarely if ever plays.

Notre Dame and Elba have one of the most storied rivalries in the region and could potentially face each other in the championship game but both will face tough first-round opponents in Oakfield-Alabama and Mt. Morris.

"Our kids look forward to this tournament every single year," said Buddy Brasky, the Batavia head coach who will be taking a team to the tournament for the 29th consecutive year. "They talk about right from the get-go. They want to know when is the Lion’s Club’s Tournament? Who’s playing? Who’s in it? It’s really important to them.

"We play in Monroe County so we don’t get a chance to play the area schools very often. We see them in summer at camp. We play some spring league. They really look forward to playing the area schools, the tough area schools, in the Christmas tournament."

It's not a foregone conclusion, as it has been in recent years, that Batavia will be crowned champion. Brasky's squad has only five seniors and one of his biggest scorers, Antwan Odom, is out for the season because of legal issues. Brasky also said there have been some key injuries.

Roy-Hart comes from a tough Section VI and is coached by Joe Pawlak, Notre Dame grad who played in the tournament in 2008, with a loss to Batavia, so he knows what to expect.

"I’m really blessed to have been able to play in it and now coach it," Pawlak said.

If Batavia survives Roy-Hart, the Blue Devils will either face Le Roy or Attica.

Le Roy is anchored by four-year starter Reece Tresco, who is a 6-foot, 4-inch guard/forward who is a threat to score from anywhere on the court and tough under the boards.

Attica has 10 seniors on its squad and Coach Rob Crowley said with five or six big guys on the team and five or six guards, he will be able to play whatever brand of basketball an opponent puts on the court, adjusting his team's look to meet any challenge.

"We can mix in different brands of basketball and match every team and be competitive against every team," Crowley said.

In the small-team division, Mt. Morris is coming off a 15-win season and returning almost all its top players from that squad. Head Coach Brian Stout said he's expecting a quality year from his players.

They open against the Elba Lancers, always a tough squad and this year featuring one of the top players in Section V in 6-foot, 4-inch forward/guard Jon Boyce, along with returning stars Colton Dillon and Collin O'Halloran.

"I’m excited to see what his (Boyce's) senior season holds," said Elba Head Coach Ciaci Zambito. "We've gone from young and inexperienced last year to now one of the older teams experience-wise in the area."

Mike Rapone, Notre Dame's legendary head coach, said he's got the biggest team he's ever led. There are nine players on the roaster who are at least 6-foot, 1-inch tall, including 6-foot, 7-inch returning starting center Keith Szczepanski.

That is no guarantee of anything, however, Rapone said, especially after losing last year's two leading scorers.

"That (size) doesn’t necessarily always translate into what we want it to be, but hopefully it will this year," Rapone said.

Oakfield-Alabama is a young team (only two seniors) with a new coach, Ryan Stehlar, so their tournament game will be a test and give fans some idea of what to expect on the season.

The Lions Club Tournament is played at Genesee Community College and that's one reason that the players who get to play in the tournament look forward to it. It's a big stage and prepares them for what they might face in post-season play.

It's also the premier fund-raising event for the Lion's Club, which is another reason you should attend.

The first four varsity games are Thursday, Dec. 27. 

  • Attica vs. Le Roy, 4 p.m.
  • Mt. Morris vs. Elba, 5:30 p.m.
  • Oakfield-Alabama vs. Notre Dame, 7 p.m.
  • Roy-Hart vs. Batavia, 8:30 p.m.

The consolation and championship games will be played Dec. 28, with consolation games at 4 and 5:30 p.m. The championship game in the small-teams division is at 7 p.m. Tipoff for the large-team division is 8:30 p.m.

Top photo: Frank Biscelie, Attica, Joe Martinucci, Batavia, Charlie Birgham, Roy-Hart, and Reece Tresco, Le Roy.


Spencer Misiti, Notre Dame, Jon Boyce, Elba, Cameron Regal, Mt. Morris, and Joey Burdick, Oakfield-Alabama.

December 6, 2018 - 3:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo of driver Billy Davis Jr. with Sportsmuffler.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs​

As the weather gets colder, she keeps getting bolder. Sportsmuffler continued to dominate the local distaff colony by winning the $10,400 fillies and mares Open handicap pace with little effort on a cold night at Batavia Downs on Monday (Dec. 5). 

Driver Billy Davis Jr. left three-wide with the 1-5 Sportsmuffler and out-dueled Kaitlyn Rae (Mike Caprio) to the catbird seat from where she dictated the rest of the race this night. With no challengers for three-quarters of the mile, Sportsmuffler got to that station in 1:26.4 when Caprio pulled the pocket-sitting Kaitlyn Rae to take their best shot. But try as they might, their best was no match for the streaking Sportsmuffler who after a tap and a swish from Davis, paced away to a two-length victory in 1:55.4. 

Sportsmuffler ($2.40) has now won five out of the last eight top class mares races in as many starts at Batavia. She has also matched her 2017 career-best total of wins, scoring her 11th this year and has reached a new single-season high for earnings of $74,506 for owner Rose Campbell. Steve Kiblin is the trainer of the Sportsmaster progeny. 

Davis had a stellar night in the bike besides winning the feature. He also won two other races on the card of eight giving him a Hat Trick for the evening. 

Davis has been on a roll the past couple of weeks and as such, is now in the conversation for leading dash driver of the meet. With Wednesday’s three wins Davis now has 97 for the session, only 10 behind the leading Drew Monti (107) and five behind second place Kevin Cummings (102). With four nights left in the meet, Davis has a legitimate shot of making up the shortfall and taking the 2018 driver race to a photo finish. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 7) with post time set for 6 p.m.  

December 5, 2018 - 7:29am


Ryann Stefaniak driving in for a layup.

The Batavia High Varsity Girls Basketball Team shook off some early jitters on the offensive end of the court by turning to an effective full-court press on the defensive end en route to a season-opening 55-37 victory over host Irondequoit in a Monroe County inter-divisional game Tuesday night.

Senior guard Ryann Stefaniak led the way for Batavia with 20 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore guards Mackenzie Reigle and Bryn Wormley added 10 apiece.

Senior forward Jenae Colkey chipped in with seven while senior center Meghan Houseknecht scored six.

Coach Marty Hein’s squad looked tight at the outset, missing several layups and turning the ball over a half-dozen times in the opening period, which ended in a 14-14 tie.

After Irondequoit took a 15-14 lead early in the second quarter, Batavia went to the press and that sparked an 8-2 run with Reigle, Colkey and Emma Krolczyk scoring on the break and Houseknecht hitting from inside.

Houseknecht scored again in the final minute of the half to give Batavia a 27-22 lead.

Batavia, staying with the press that resulted in many Irondequoit turnovers, put the game away in the third quarter with an 11-2 run. Stefaniak had eight of those points on a three-pointer, two driving layups on assists from Colkey and a free throw, while Colkey had the other three.

The Lady Devils’ advantage was 44-27 after the third quarter and they coasted from there.

Irondequoit was led by junior guard Alahna Paige’s eight points. Paige, a 19-points-per-game scorer last season, was hampered by foul trouble throughout.

Both teams shot poorly from the foul line. Batavia was 7-for-17 while Irondequoit went 11-for-25.

The Lady Devils’ next game is scheduled for Dec. 11 at Greece Athena.

To view or purchase photos click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.


Mackenzie Reigle pushes the ball up court as Jenae Colkey advances.


Meghan Houseknecht looks to rebound.


Kennedy Kolb battles for the ball as Emma Krolczyk looks on.


Krolczyk goes in uncontested.


Colkey knocks the ball away from Irondequoit's Rebeca McGwin.

December 3, 2018 - 12:51pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

The Toyota of Batavia team in the league of the same name at Mancuso Bowling Center set a Genesee Region USBC record for high team game on Thursday night (Nov. 29).

Bowling on lanes 17-18, the team of Nate Cordes (297), Josh Elliott (265), Matt Buckley (214), Jason Gallo (216) and Wagner 279) registered a 1,271 game to cap off a big night, that also featured a 300 game and 824 series by Batavia's Wagner.

The 1,271 eclipses the 1,220 rolled by the Terry Hills Restaurant team of Fred Gravanda, Jerry Martino, Don Buckley, Joe Trigilio and John Gravante at Mancuso Lanes in February 1986.

Wagner rolled 245-300-279-824 -- his 37th perfect game and fourth 800 series. As the season nears the midway point, the 35-year-old lefty is averaging 245, which also would be a GRUSBC record.

Gallo finished with 717 -- he's averaging 235 -- while Cordes shot 715, closing with a 297 game. Elliott had 657 and Buckley, filling in for regular Leon Hurd, added 556 for a 3,469 total -- short of the Terry Hills' team record by 103 pins.

In other recent league action around the Genesee Region:

-- Curtis Foss of Medina finished with a 299 game on Sunday to place first in the weekly Sunday Rolloff at Medina Lanes. He left a solid 8-pin on the 12th ball. Earlier in the week, he had a 773 series in the Sneezy's Monday Night League at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

-- Chris Bardol spun a 769 series in the G&W Vending League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

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

December 2, 2018 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo of Runaway Bay N with driver Kevin Cummings.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

As the rain came down, In Runaway Bay N splashed through it in a convincing gate to wire triumph in the $11,500 Open Handicap pace on Saturday night (Dec. 1) at Batavia Downs.

In Runaway Bay N (Kevin Cummings) took early command from post two and set down even early fractions; reaching the half in :58.3. As they rounded the second turn and headed up the backstretch Upfront Countryboy (Billy Davis Jr.) came first-over with Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) on his back and both tried to push the issue from there.

Moving to the three-quarters Upfront Countryboy’s bid stalled, forcing Iyq Yqr to go three-wide. When In Runaway Bay N tripped the timer there in 1:27.1 he seemed to be pacing stronger as the outside bid from both horses failed. The only challenge left would be from Dark Horse (Shawn McDonough) who had been sitting the pocket trip and was game to take his best shot. But as the race headed down the stretch In Runaway Bay N opened up two-lengths on everyone and paced home sharply to win in 1:55.2.

In Runaway Bay N ($6.90) is owned by Mark Jakubik and trained by Angelo Nappo. The 8-year-old altered son of Mach Three has had a stellar year scoring eight wins and earning $66,125 in purses to date,

Golden Gun (Josh Kinney) came from well off the pace in the $9,900 Open II undercard and out-muscled Western Rockstar A (Shawn McDonough) and Sunset Sid (Denny Bucceri) at the wire to win in 1:57.2. Owned by the Whiz Kids Stable, the Jeff Sorenson trained Golden Gun ($4.80) scored his eighth win of the year and raised his earnings total to $38,550 for 2018.

Kevin Cummings scored a driving Hat Trick on Saturday leading all drivers on the card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday with post time for the first race at 5 p.m.

December 1, 2018 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Empire Earl N with driver Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Another sloppy track greeted participants for Friday night’s (Nov. 30) card but it was no impediment for Empire Earl N who double-moved to victory in the $11,500 Open handicap trot at Batavia Downs.

Leaving from post four, Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) tucked second behind Crystal Sphere (Billy Davis Jr.) who led the field to the half in :59.1. At that station the outside train came with Labatt Hanover (Shawn McDonough) on the engine and post time favorite Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) third-over in the caboose,

As the group motored up the backside Fisher grew impatient and pulled Lougazi three-wide to try and sweep the field. But several steps into that move Lougazi made a break and the whole raced changed right there. Empire Earl N now had room to come off the pylons and Monti got him rolling around the last turn. After drawing next to Crystal Sphere, Empire Earl N continued right on by and under mild urging, opened up a length lead to win in 1:58.3.

Now boasting $84,854 in earnings on the strength of nine wins this year, the 10-year-old Empire Earl N ($12.40) is having a career year for wins, earnings and mark for owner Kim Asher and trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum.

In the $8,800 Open II trot, Are You In (Kevin Cummings) turned a second-over trip past the half into a winning three-wide move at the top of the stretch where he passed Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) down the lane to win his fourth race of the year, timed in 2:00. Are You In ($5.40) is owned by Anthony Alessi and is trained by his driver, Kevin Cummings.  

Shawn McDonough had a huge driving triple on Friday, lighting up the board with two of the wins. He scored with Heza Swan ($60), Raylan Givens ($6.50) and Back To Motown ($26.80).

With no winning ticket on the early Pick-5 on Friday, there is a carry-over of $570 and a guaranteed pool of $1,500 for the early Pick-5 this evening (Dec.1) when racing resumes at Batavia Downs. Post time for the first race at 6 p.m.


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