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September 11, 2018 - 1:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports.

Photo of Hickfromfrenchlick with driver Ray Schnittker courtesy of Ken Weingartner.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The eighth and final “regular season” visit of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) to Batavia Downs brings the 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings to Genesee County on Wednesday (Sept. 12) to compete in two divisions for a total of $109,000 dollars. The Batavia Downs track record for 2-year-old pacing colts is 1:54.2 and that standard is definitely in danger of going down. 

The NYSS events are carded in race three and five. Two $15,000 Excelsior “A” legs will be held in race one and two. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m.

The first $54,500 NYSS freshman pace features the top point earner in the series Melodies Major (Art Major-Hilarious) and the red hot Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl’s A Star) in a race that could easily rewrite the local record book.  

Melodies Major has raced exclusively in NYSS events this year and has excelled, winning five out of seven of them. And he’s been successful over every size track in the state. In his most recent outing he scored a big come-from-behind win at Vernon Downs, taking a new lifetime mark of 1:51.3 in the process. He comes in here sharp as a tack and looking forward to the final. 

Melodies Major is 2-1 morning line and leaves from post five with his regular driver Tyler Buter aboard for trainer Mark Ford.

Pushing the issue will be Hickfromfrenchlick who has won four out of his last six outings. 

Hickfromfrenchlick has won his last two NYSS races and like Melodies Major, took a new lifetime mark of 1:51.3 at Vernon Downs last week. The start before that he won in 1:53.3 at Yonkers, beating Melodies Major by only a half-length. He hasn’t been worse than second all year and he will be a force to deal with here. 

Western New York native trainer/driver Ray Schnittker will be aboard from post six as the second choice at 5-2.

The second $54,500 split has Reining Deo (Rock n Roll Heaven-Little Miss) looking to cement his spot in the NYSS final. 

Reining Deo is currently eighth in points but could still be knocked out in a worst-case scenario. He has been one-two-three in four NYSS starts and has a mark of 1:54.2 at Saratoga. A win would give him 142 points and a ticket to ride in the final. 

Trainer Brett Pelling has Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike and they have been made the 2-1 morning line favorite from post five. 

JoJo’s Place (Roll With Joe-Angel Place) is winless this year but has hit the board in three NYSS races. He has a very outside chance of making the final but only if he could win here. Recently he has been hampered with outside posts for the last five outings and drawing post two will definitely help. Although he finished fifth last week at Vernon, he still paced in 1:52.3 in defeat. 

Matt Kakaley will be driving for trainer John Butenschoen and they were made 3-1 by the track handicapper. 

Major March (Art Major-March You And Me) has been a bit of a late bloomer. After winning big in an Excel “A” race at Saratoga in 1:54.1 by seven lengths, he stepped up to the NYSS for the last two starts and acquitted himself well. He seems to fit this field nicely and should not be overlooked given his recent outings. 

Hall of Fame trainer Linda Toscano has tabbed Drew Monti to drive and they will start from post six at 7-2.  

The 2018 NYSS Consolations races which carry a total purse value of $320,000 will be held at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 21). 

September 9, 2018 - 1:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo of Focus Power with reinsman Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs 

Finding himself hopelessly boxed in approaching the stretch, Focus Power somehow shook loose and out-paced everyone to the wire to win the $10,500 Open pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 8). 

China Dream (John Cummings Jr.) took the lead by the quarter and backed the half off to :57 flat as no one challenged the position. But last week’s Open winner Validus Deo (Kevin Cummings) started to advance on the outside in front of the stands with Heaven Rocks (Ray Fisher Jr.) following him. This left Focus Power locked in on the pylons fifth, with nowhere to make a move. 

China Dream threw in a swift :27.4 third panel which stifled the advance by the outside horses. Cummings Jr. had let China Dream out another notch around the last turn and had a solid two length advantage at the top of the stretch. Still fifth on the pins, Focus Power found a lane to move forward as Validus Deo drifted out and then driver Drew Monti went to work. Under a solid right-hand drive Focus Power was a blur with pace, making up the five lengths he was behind to win by a neck in 1:53.3. 

Focus Power ($7.20) got his third win in his last six starts and fifth overall of the year for owner Jim Caradori, who has now benefitted the amount of $41,541 from his gelding's efforts. Darrin Monti conditions the winner. 

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, Whosurpapa (Billy Davis Jr.) rebuffed and early challenge from Mr. Euroman N (John Cummings Jr.), another try from him at the three-quarters and then a late push from the pocket-sitting Barry Hanover (Shawn Mcdonough) to go gate to wire never headed in 1:54.1. Whosurpapa ($11.80) got his 10th win of the year and padded his bank to $59,318 for owner William Emmons and trainer James Clouser Jr. 

Billy Davis Jr. got his second consecutive driving hat trick on Saturday, besting all reinsmen for wins on the night. Davis currently sits third in the dash driver standings with 35 wins behind the leading Kevin Cummings (47) and Drew Monti (46). 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday afternoon (Sept. 10) with a post time of 5 o'clock.

September 9, 2018 - 12:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Rugby Club, batavia, sports, rugby.

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The Genesee Rugby Club opened its home schedule Saturday with a match against the Binghampton Barbarians at the Batavia Sports Park.

The local club won 17-5.

Their next home game is at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Batavia Sports Park.

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September 8, 2018 - 4:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Empire Earl N with driver Ray Fisher Jr. in the forefront.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

He may be 10, but Empire Earl N looked more like a 3-year-old as he came from far back to brush down the lane and win the $10,000 Open Handicap trot in the fastest mile of his life on Friday evening (Sept. 7) at Batavia Downs. 

Post time favorite BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) and 13-1 shot Empire Earl N (Ray Fisher Jr.) started and finished the race side by side but took two different paths to the wire. BZ Glide went right for the front from post six while Empire Earl N got away last from post five. BZ Glide set his own set of fractions as no one challenged him until halfway up the backstretch when Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) came first over at the five-eighths and got even with the leader by the three-quarters. 

As the action was unfolding up front, Empire Earl N was tracking it second over and Fisher was timing his move. That came as they rolled out of the last turn; Empire Earl N tipped three-deep and was barreling down the center of the track with Fisher rocking and knocking all the way. The three horses hit the wire a neck apart with Empire Earl N getting there first ahead of BZ Glide in 1:56.3, which was a new lifetime mark.  

It was the eighth win of the season for Empire Earl N ($28.60) and it bolstered his 2018 earnings to $61,378 for owner Kim Asher. Riley Stalbaum-Asher trains the winner. 

In the $8,000 Open II, Call My Broker (Kevin Cummings) took no prisoners going gate to wire in 1:58.3, holding off the fast-closing Snapshot Springs (Drew Monti) and Barn Star (Mike Caprio) to chalk up his fourth win of the season. Frank Meier owns the Angelo Nappo trained gelding. 

Billy Davis Jr. led all drivers on the card as he started the night out hot with a natural hat trick in races one through three. 

The Batavia Downs early Pick-5 was part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program and was featured as the USTA Play of the Day on Friday with a carryover of $2,900 and a guaranteed pool of $6,000. That pool ballooned to over $10,000 when the first race went off and it yielded an instant jackpot payoff after the fifth. A $1 ticket on the combination of 1-7-6-5-3 returned $4,417.50. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs with a twilight card today (Sept. 8) featuring a post time at 4:45 p.m. 

September 8, 2018 - 3:57pm

Press release:

The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund on Friday announced Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel as the host of the 2019 New York Sire Stakes Finals, also known as the “Night of Champions.” The Fund’s Board of Trustees selected Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel at a scheduled board meeting Sept. 7, following a proposal submission process. The date for the 2019 Finals has yet to be set.

The Fund invited race tracks from across New York State which host New York Sire Stakes events to submit proposals. Tracks were considered on various criteria including the offering of a 24-hour detention barn, ability to promote the event and offer an exciting fan experience. Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel was chosen based on the merits of an impressive proposal, and its capacity to host the championship finals for the top state-bred 2- and 3-year-old Standardbred horses.

"Batavia Downs Gaming is extremely proud and excited to have been selected to host the 2019 New York Sire Stakes Finals,” said Todd Haight, director/GM of live racing at Batavia Downs Racetrack. “This series has annually been a centerpiece of our live racing presentation since its inception in 1965, as our track has been so committed to the development of New York-bred horses going back to the 1950s when we facilitated our own colt and filly stakes.

"We look forward to welcoming all the owners, horse people and horses that make the New York Sire Stakes the premier program of its kind, to Batavia Downs to enjoy our new paddock, new hotel and excellent clubhouse facilities."

“The Sire Stakes Night of Champions shines a spotlight on the excellence of our equine industry, which supports the agricultural economy across the State,” said M. Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. “Having hosted significant New York Sire Stakes events in the past, Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel will provide an excellent showcase for the 2019 'Night of Champions,' our premier event of the season. Batavia Downs offers a fantastic clubhouse and fan experience that will only complement an outstanding racing program.”

The 2018 “Night of Champions” is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22, hosted by Yonkers Raceway. The eight-race event will hand out $1.8 million in purse money.

The New York Sire Stakes program promotes the breeding, buying, and racing of Standardbred horses in New York State, and is administered by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development 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.

September 8, 2018 - 9:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs, batavia, notify.

Pawtucket, R.I., doesn't look like a good bet for a future home of the Batavia Muckdogs franchise according to a report in the Providence Journal.

A PawSox spokesperson said Thursday the organization has no current plans to acquire any other baseball franchises and move them to the city as a sort of parting gift. Franchise Chairman Larry Lucchino and President Charles Steinberg are focused on building a 10,000-seat stadium in Worcester’s Canal District and redeveloping the surrounding area. 

The Pawtucket mayor's office also told the Journal that no ownership group has contacted the city about using McCoy Stadium once it's vacant in 2021.

And if another owner wanted to bring a team into McCoy, they would face substantial renovation costs for the aging complex.

The cracking concrete and widespread leaking ceilings and floors are among the issues faced by any tenants, as the stadium wrapped up its 77th season of baseball earlier this week. Renovation costs would run into the millions of dollars, and the day-to-day costs of maintaining the playing surface and surrounding grounds run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As previously reported by The Batavian, there would also be territorial agreements to overcome in Pawtucket, which is Red Sox territory. The Red Sox currently have an affiliate to Lowell and if the Muckdogs moved to Pawtucket, Lowell would have to move, putting the New York-Penn League in the same bind it has with Batavia -- where to locate the team that doesn't run afoul of territory restrictions and has a baseball-ready facility.

September 8, 2018 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Le Roy.

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The Oatkan Knights had a chance to win their home opener against the Wellsville Lions at Hartwood Park on Friday night but didn't make the plays they needed to make.

That will be an area of focus in the coming week of practice, said Head Coach Brian Herdlein after the game.

"The biggest thing is they came out and they (Wellsville) wanted to play tonight," Herdlein said. "I thought that we came out a little bit slow. You know they stayed in the game which gave them a lot of confidence. We had some opportunities to make plays that we didn't make...."

The final score was 12-7.

For Le Roy, Kyle LaCarte carried the ball 18 times for 85 yards. At QB, Jake Hill was 10-22 for 139 yards and TD. He was picked off twice. Cody Lytle lead the receivers with six receptions for 67 yards and a TD.

The Knights are a young team and Wellsville seemed to have the size advantage but Herdlein didn't think that made a big difference in the game. Technique and execution can overcome size.

"I do think up front that they beat us up a little bit today and again we'll look at the film and we'll see what we have to do to make adjustments," Herdlein said.

Le Roy is now 1-1 on the season. After two weeks of ball, Herdlein sees room for improvement.

"We have we have some young guys hopefully they learn from this," Herdlein said. "I don't think that we had the best week of practice and I told the guys that. Hopefully, we can come back and have a better practice.

The team is going to work on being more focused and disciplined, Herdlein said.

"Like I said, there were definitely opportunities where we had a chance to make plays," Herdlein said. "It was maybe little alignment issues that we weren't doing right or some plays that we weren't running correctly and we just need to tighten those things up."

In other Friday night action:

  • Batavia beat Livonia 26-14. Alex Rood carried the ball 22 times for 121 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 11 tackles. Ethan Biscaro was 11-14 passing for 194 yards and a TD. Taiyo Iburi‐Bethel had five receptions for 87 yards and Andrew Frances had three receptions for 65 yards and a TD.
  • Alexander crushed Canisteo-Greenwood 28-0. Chris McClinic carried the ball 15 times for 147 yards and three TDs. Dylan Busch tossed a TD pass to Takari Lang-Smith. The defense held Canisteo to 50 yards rushing. Jake Jasen and Hayden Walton each had six tackles.
  • York/Pavilion beat Bolivar-Richburg 32-0.
  • Pembroke fell to Cuba-Rushford 26-14.
  • Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen fell to Letchworth/Warsaw 14-0.

There are no local football games today. Notre Dame has no game this week because Oakfield-Alabama/Elba switched to eight-man football.

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September 7, 2018 - 12:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

As a result of no winning ticket once again on Wednesday (Sept. 5), Batavia Downs will offer a $6,000 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool when racing resumes on Friday (Sept. 7) at the oldest lighted harness track in America.

Friday’s guarantee is part of the USTA’s Strategic Wagering program which offers free program pages for those five races under the “Handicapping” tab at www.ustrotting.com . You can go directly to that page to access the programs by clicking here. (http://handicapping.ustrotting.com )

The Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that begins in race one and runs through race five. There is no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners, the entire pool (minus takeout) will be carried over once again. 

Post time for the first race today (Sept. 7) is 6 p.m.

September 7, 2018 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Ghost Dance with driver Scott Zeron.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Three divisions of 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings went postward at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept.5) to compete for the $117,600 in purses up for grabs as well as the last chance to accrue available points to make the $225,000 final for this group.

In the first $39,200 division, Ghost Dance (American Ideal-Epoxy Queen) pulled the upset at 9-1 and closed hard to do it. 

The heavy post time favorite Topville Olympian (Brett Miller) shot right to the front and took the field to the half in :55.3. There, Rockapelo (Jason Bartlett) pulled first up with Ghost Dance (Scott Zeron) on his back as they heaed into the turn. Rockapelo cleared quickly around the tiring Topville Olympian, whose gap then allowed Ghost Dance to drop back to the pylons behind the new leader to save ground. These two stood pat until the top of the lane where Zeron pulled Ghost Dance and paced by Rockapelo at the wire winning by a length in 1:52.

“The race set up well for us and he got brave with the two-hole trip. And then he paced strong in the lane” said Zeron after the race.

It was the fourth win of the year for Ghost Dance ($20) and it pushed his earnings to $98,002 for owner Millar Farm. Rick Zeron trains the winner.

(Ideal Feeling with driver Jason Bartlett.)

The second $39,200 split was won by Ideal Feeling (American Ideal-Feelinglikeastar) who made a statement move at the half and then stretched out from there.

Ostro Hanover (Louis Roy) rushed to the front and set early splits of :27 and :56.3. But before they hit that second timer, Ideal Feeling (Jason Bartlett) was out and rolling and took the front by the time they hit the third turn and from there, the race was history. Ideal Feeling opened up a three-length advantage as he hit the third quarter in 1:24 and then rounded the final bend and cruised home in :28 flat, winning by as many as he wanted in 1:52.

“Last time he had the eight hole and had no chance, but he just felt like he was a great horse. I was hoping Mike (trainer Deters) would bring him up here because I thought he’d be good. He showed it today, he’s a real nice horse. He left, he came first over and he won easy,” Bartlett said after the race.

Rick Berks owns Ideal Feeling ($7.90) who now has four wins this season and $62,791 in purses.

(Mach N Cheese in the lead with driver Jim Marohn Jr.)

The third $39,200 division looked to be a match race between Springsteen and Hitman Hill and it was for three eighths of a mile. But it was Mach N Cheese (Betterthancheddar-Mach You And Me) that pulled off the upset at 19-1 when they hit the wire,

Hitman Hill (Brett Miller) was intent on cutting the race and he got his way; leading the group to the half in a slow :57.1. Not happy with the tepid pace, Springsteen (Louis Roy) came up first with Mach N Cheese (Jim Marohn Jr.) in tow. Springsteen locked up with Hitman Hill up the backside and the two tangled from there, around the last turn and down the stretch. But Mach N Cheese who had been drafting during the up-front battle, tipped three-wide in the straight and under heavy prompting from Marohn, paced by the leaders to win by a neck in 1:53.4.

“It was a slow half but we picked it up pretty good up the backside and there was a really good horse on the front. But I followed the horse I needed to follow and everything just worked out for us from the top of the stretch home. He got around here very well. He’s a very good half mile track horse,” said Marohn in the winner’s circle.

Mach N Cheese ($41) scored his sixth win of the year for the Save The Day Stable and trainer Rob Harmon.

There was one Excelsior “A” race on the card and the winner there could have competed in the top class tonight.

Thor De Vie (So Surreal-Pebblebeach De Vie) was very impressive leading every step of the way and winning by four lengths in 1:52.2, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner. Thor De Vie ($3.30) is owned by his trainer, Jim Graham, Lee WInters, Paul Tandlmayer and Giuseppe Micchia.

Batavia Downs offered a $2,000 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool on Wednesday and there were no winning tickets once again. As a result there is a $2,900 carryover for Friday (Sept. 7) and there will be another guaranteed pool of $6,000 for the early Pick-5 (which runs from race one to race five) that will be part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program. Post time tonight is 6 o'clock.

September 6, 2018 - 6:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, news, batavia, muckdogs.

It still remains likely that the Muckdogs will be back in Batavia for the 2019 season but General Manager Dave Chase said today he won't be back.

"It was a one-year deal," Chase said. "I finished that year. Ben and I have talked about me continuing as a consultant for some period of time but I don’t think I’ll be here next season."

Chase has lived at the Quality Inn & Suites this summer but at one point thought about renting an apartment downtown with the idea of staying longer but decided against it.

"I will admit I go back and forth," Chase said. "There are parts of Batavia that I really like but I did it for a year and that’s what I wanted to do and it was a difficult year, professionally and personally."

Chase said he has had medical issues doing the year that made things more difficult.

"The reality is this is my third city in four years," Chase said. "I’ve sort of developed a reputation of going into troubled markets and none of them have failed yet so I might have one or two more years of that lifestyle left in me."

He thinks he will leave Batavia in good shape but the day the Muckdogs leave Batavia is still close at hand. It gives the team two or three more years before moving.

"That's still better than it was a year ago," he said.

At the start of the season, associates of one of baseball's top executives, Larry Lucchino, former president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox and co-owner of the AAA team in Pawtucket, inquired about the Batavia franchise, Chase said.

The scenario discussed at that time involved the Muckdogs either moving to Pawtucket or Worcester. 

There have been no further discussions since but it's been announced that the Pawtucket franchise will move to Worcester, where a new stadium is being built.

The problem with any such move is that the Red Sox have territorial rights over the area and currently, the NYPL team in that market is Lowell, a Red Sox affiliate. For the Muckdogs to move to Pawtucket, the team would need to become the NYPL Red Sox affiliate and the Lowell franchise would have to move to another city.

One reason the Muckdogs haven't moved yet is there appears to be no city in the Northeast that has the facility and market availability to accommodate a short season Class A team, so if Lowell had to move the league would face the same difficulty in trying to relocate that team.

The earliest, apparently, any of this can happen, is 2021.

Meanwhile, the affiliate agreement between Batavia (which has not gone bankrupt, contrary to a story in the Lowell Sun), and the Marlins is up for renewal. The renewal is expected to take place by the end of the month. The length of any such agreement could complicate a move by Batavia to New England.

Chase is confident the Marlins will return to Batavia in 2019. He said when the team packed up after the last game, they left a lot of equipment behind.

"That seems to indicate a desire to come back," Chase said.

September 5, 2018 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta, sports, news, batavia, Le Roy.

Press release:

WBTA Radio has expanded its coverage of local high school football with the addition of a secondary streaming channel WBTAi2.

“This new streaming service allows us to provide live, play-by-play coverage of two games at the same time,” said WBTA President Dan Fischer.

The station plans to use the new service to cover all Le Roy Knights home and away games for the entire regular season. Scott Ripley will call the games.

The secondary stream can be accessed from the WBTA website (WBTAi.com) or the station’s mobile app for iPhone and Android devices.

The station has also announced it will broadcast all Batavia High School Blue Devils varsity football games in the Livingston County League, home and away. WBTA veteran sports announcers Bob Brown, Jay Moran and John Vazquez will call the Blue Devils games along with selected Saturday afternoon contests featuring other area schools.

The Blue Devils games will be broadcast over WBTA AM & FM and streamed on the stations’ main online channel, WBTAi.com

A complete schedule of game broadcasts is available at WBTAi.com

September 5, 2018 - 1:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

As a result of no winning ticket once again on Monday (Sept. 3), there is a $606 carryover and Batavia Downs will offer a $2,000 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool when racing resumes this afternoon (Sept. 5) at the oldest lighted harness track in America.

The Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that begins in race one and runs through race five. There is no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners, the entire pool (minus takeout) will be carried over once again.

Batavia Downs is also featuring The New York State Sire Stake 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings today, with those events going in race one, five and six. 

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

September 4, 2018 - 2:10pm

Press release:

Enjoy a trail run in the Genesee County Park & Forest this fall! ACORNS 5K/10K trail run and walk takes place there on Sunday, Sept. 30th.

Grab a friend for some great exercise, fun and free stuff!

Race signup includes coupons and special offers from local businesses and restaurants, including a free drink chip from Eli Fish Brewing Company. Meet at Pavilion B for race start.

This 5K/10K trail run and walk is designed for people of all ages and activity levels. Awards will be given to the top overall male and female running finishers in each race. Awards will also be given to the top male and female running finishers in each age group.

Sign up for the Kids Fun Run, free to youth 10 & under! Must register on race day. This run takes place on a grassy playing field and has age-appropriate categories and distances. Everyone is a “winner” and gets prizes to take home and enjoy! 

Surround yourself in the beauty of the forest in October on trails through the woods, along the headwaters of Black Creek and over rolling hills. Walk or run on single and double track trails through the forest, along a creek and up and down rolling hills in the Genesee County Park & Forest, with an estimated 100 feet of climb in the 10K loop. Trails are very wide and easy to negotiate (minimal rocks and roots). The course starts on asphalt and then leads into the woods for a truly beautiful run and walk through the countryside. Enjoy post-race snacks and drinks as you congratulate your fellow participants!

Be part of this unique trail run through the forest with a 10K option for nonprofit fundraising.

All proceeds benefit the ACORNS, the non-profit organization that supports the Genesee County parks with a mission to enhance the visitor experience and foster environmental stewardship and education.

Check-in begins at 8 a.m. The 10K run begins at 9 a.m.; the 5K run/walk begins at 9:15 a.m. Kids Fun Run begins about 10:30 a.m.

Registration is required! Fee is $30 through Sept. 26th at 5 p.m.; $35 after Sept. 26th at 5 p.m.

Register by Sept.16th to get your long-sleeved race tech shirt.

Register online here, or at check-in on the day of the race.

Enjoy the morning in the forest and Run for the ACORNS – You’re “NUTS” if you don’t! See you there!

For more information visit this website or call 585- 344-1122.

September 4, 2018 - 12:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Hitman Hill with reinsman Brett Miller. (Photo by Frances Blazer/Fotowon.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

There is a lot at stake for all the entrants of the $117,600 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 5) as this is the last race for that group before the $225,000 final at Yonkers on Saturday(Sept. 22).

But the one division all eyes will be on features a heavyweight match between Springsteen and Hitman Hill who both need to win for the opportunity to make that final. 

Currently Springsteen is 10th in points with 100 while Hitman Hill is sitting behind him in 12th with 75. The majority of the horses currently in position to make the final are also competing on Wednesday so it all depends on how well everyone does. 

There are three $39,200 divisions of the NYSS carded as race one, five and six. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m.

Springsteen (Rock N Roll Heaven-American Charm) has had a huge year. He won the $500,000 Hempt at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a lifetime best 1:48.3 in June along with two NYSS divisions this year. But he failed to make the $400,000 Adios final and more recently finished seventh in the $400,000 Milstein. And this past Saturday (Sept, 2) he had a rough outing finishing last in the $500,000 Messenger Stake at Yonkers. 

He currently sits eighth in North America among all 3-year-olds for earnings with $341,175 and has the sixth fastest win time for that same group of 1:48.3 

Louis Roy has been tabbed by trainer Rene Allard to drive Springsteen and they are the morning line choice at 8-5 from post three. 

Hitman Hill (American Ideal-Fox Valley Shaker) has had a full dance card this year as well and has put in stellar efforts in each one of his outings. He finished third in the Hempt (behind Springsteen), third in the Adios final and fourth in the $272,025 Empire Breeders Classic. He finished one-two in his pair of NYSS events and returns to Batavia Downs as the reigning track record holder for 2-year-old pacing geldings with a mark of 1:52.4 taken here in 2017. 

For the year, Hitman Hill has three wins and $200,387 in earnings with a seasonal and lifetime best mark of 1:49.3. 

Akron, New York native Chris Oakes trains Hitman Hill and has Brett Miller in the bike as usual. They will depart from post six listed at 5-2. 

The first division’s early 8-5 favorite is Topville Olympian (American Ideal-Our Sophia) who just finished a close third behind Stay Hungry and Jimmy Freight in the Messenger Stake at Yonkers on Saturday. He has one NYSS win this year but has never missed the board while competing in that series. He’s the top money earner in this race with $129,170 and picks up the services of Brett Miller for this outing. 

His main rivals appear to be Rockapelo (Rock N Roll Heaven) who scored his best win at Tioga Downs this year in the Geers Stake going 1:50.2 and the NYSS points leader Rootin Tootin (Roll With Joe-Wild Retreat) who has 180 and is 55 points ahead of his nearest rival. 

Ideal Feeling (American Ideal-Feelinglikeastar) gets the track handicapper’s nod in the second division as he is listed at 2-1. After taking an early season mark of 1:51.3 at Tioga, Ideal Feeling acquitted himself well in an elimination of the Meadowlands pace in July that went in 1:49, although he missed the final. Then he finished a strong second to Courtly Choice in an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic before drawing post seven in the final, finding himself chasing a 1:48.3 mile from the back of the pack. He draws post four in a short field here and has Jason Bartlett up for the ride. 

Also looking to get the win are Real Surreal (So Surreal-Armbro Wallflower) who finished third in the Empire Breeders Classic, pacing in 1:50 in defeat while Ostro Hanover (Betterthancheddar-Ozmopolitan) makes his fourth start for his new trainer after winning a 1:52.4 NYSS race at Saratoga Raceway.

September 4, 2018 - 12:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, news, sports.

Above, Brad Jackson celebrates his win in the Downs' 39th annual Driver's Bicycle Race with a “flying leg” pose as he crosses the wire. 

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The 39th annual Batavia Downs Labor Day driver's bicycle race took place on Monday (Sept. 3) with a full field of eight local reinsmen lining up to compete. And with three previous race winners in the 2018 field, a first time victor emerged from the pack. 

The starting car picked up the field at the top of the far turn and let them go at the head of the stretch for the one-eighth mile dash.

Billy Davis Jr. took a quick early lead but he was soon joined by Drew Monti and Denny Bucceri who flanked him inside and out. Then halfway down the stretch Brad Jackson, who was hindered by post eight, was cruising in the middle of the stretch and got by everyone to win by two lengths. Jackson celebrated the win with a “flying leg” pose as he crossed the wire. 

After the race, the bikes were given away via random drawing to eight lucky fans who correctly selected Jackson to win before the event.

Also on Monday afternoon, drivers Billy Davis Jr. and Kevin Cummings had the hot hands during the live card of racing, winning four and three races respectively. Davis piloted Bad Glamour Girl ($6.10), Dark Horse ($4), Peter Pumpkineater ($15) and Cashco ($5.40) while Cummings steered Dwntwnskeeterbrown ($28.40), Montezuma Bluechip ($3.70) and Our Last Photo ($7.20). 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 5) with the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings in the house.

Photos courtesy of Paul White.

Bottom photo: Harness racing drivers ride their bicycles down the stretch at Batavia Down's Monday afternoon.

September 3, 2018 - 11:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

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On the final day of the season, the Batavia Muckdogs had a chance to play spoiler against their Thruway rivals, the Auburn Doubledays, but after falling behind 8-2 after three innings, the team couldn't crawl its way back and lost 8-5.

Starter Josh Roberson (1-1) was lifted after the second inning. He gave up four runs. Evan Estes gave up four runs in the third inning. Tyler Kolek came on and stopped the bleeding, giving up only one hit over three innings, striking out three.

The offense was led by Demetrius Sims, who was 2-4 with two doubles and two runs scored (seen in the top photo scoring in the fifth inning).

Sean Reynolds was 0-4 but finished the season as the league leader in home runs (17), RBIs (52), Runs (49) and walks (42). He's the team leader in stolen bases with 13 (also the highest success rate in the league). He is the only player in 2018 to play every inning of all 76 games. He also finishes with a batting average .193 and a new league record of 133 strikeouts.

With the win, Auburn becomes the wildcard team in the NYPL playoffs.

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September 3, 2018 - 2:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, Alabama Hunt Club, marksmanship, Basom.

The Alabama Hunt Club, founded in 1946, will host a Public Fall Shoot the weekend of Sept. 29 and 30 at its Clubhouse and Range, located at 1857 Lewiston Road, Basom.

The Saturday shoot will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday's will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Traditional and inline muzzleloader matches available.

Shoot any projectile and any powder designed for muzzleloader shooting.

Many traditional and inline matches offered at 25- to 200-yard ranges, silhouette, too!

Shoot off hand or bench.

Lunch available for $5.

Registration fee is $10 / $1 per target.

Prize money awarded per match based on participation.

Note: Any match can be shot by a Junior -- age 12-16 -- and will be scored separately in "Junior" Class. Please inquire.

Any questions, call Sam DiSalvo at (585) 297-7747 or John Szumigala at (716) 714-5514.

September 2, 2018 - 6:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

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Sean Reynolds doubled and tripled Sunday afternoon, driving in four runs, to lift the Batavia Muckdogs past the Auburn Doubledays 5-4 in the second-to-last game of the regular season at Dwyer Stadium.

Reynolds (shown swatting his triple in the third inning, second photo) now has 52 RBIs on the season to lead the league. He also struck out twice, extending his record-breaking K total to 131 (the previous NYPL record was 117 set in 1982 (previous story)).

Bryce Howe started and tossed the first four frames, giving up two runs and striking out seven. The win went to Elkin Alcala (4-2). Jameson McGrane got his third save despite giving up two runs in the ninth.

Davis Bradshaw, an 11th-round pick from Missouri, who has been batting leadoff and hitting .333 since joining the team three weeks ago, had two hits and scored a run.

The Muckdogs close out the season tomorrow with a Labor Day game that starts at 1:05 p.m.

Top Photo: Bradshaw singles safe after trying to score from third on a groundball to short. Home plate umpire Roberto Pattison disagreed with Bradshaw's assessment of the play, ruling that Doubledays catcher Wilmer Perez applied the tag in time.

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Bryce Howe

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Bradshaw in the first inning stroked a ground ball down the third base line for a double.

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Ronal Reynoso with a sacrifice bunt.

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Bubba Hollins

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Reynolds at first.

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Reynoso

September 2, 2018 - 1:05pm

Press release and results for Wyoming County International Speedway
By: Dan Turner /Speedway announcer

As the 2018 whines down, everyone thought turn to one of biggest racing weekend in the Northeast.   Known as the Shootout at the Bullring.   It’s a 2 day event this year with racing starting Friday night Oct 12th and more racing Saturday Oct 13th.  To cap off the fall weekend is the 100 lap Jim Pierce Memorial race.   Why is this race so important?   Well first it’s a tribute to a great Driver, Mechanic and family man.  Jim Pierce was a SST Modified driver that was well respected and a great wheel man.   Was always helping others no matter what class you ran, Mod, Super stock, 4 cylinder.   It also helps that it’s a significant payday for the winner of $2600. (26 being Jim’s racing number).  Details of the racing itinerary and camping info can be found on the tracks web site www.wcisbullring.com 

With the Shoot just a few weeks away, many drivers and crews were on hand to try and get some good note and set up for the big race that caps off racing for 2018 at the Wyoming County Intl. Speedway.   It was a full house in the garage area with nearly 70 cars signed in to race.   And for those that came to watch most definitely got their money’s worth with fantastic racing and some flared emotions on the speedway.   

I was told by an older gentleman in the midway area, “it’s a great night of racing, when you have 4 to 8 cars all with a very capable of winning in any given class, “ and he was right.   The smallest of cars are the 4 cylinders, but they are far from the smallest in excitement.   1/3 of the cars in this division have won feature in 2018.  Sickles and Sass where the two guys pacing this field to green.  It would take no time for the non-regular, but 3x winner in 2018, Jacob Gusafson to jump out front from his third starting spot.   Most thought the race was for the seconf position, but we were all wrong as the 2x winner of Greg Moldts would find his way to the front and the #26 The Shadow Jimmie Pierce Jr would come from last starting spot to battle with Moldts and then start running down Gusafson.   Jacob had to put together 25 almost perfect laps to keep the Pirce and Moldts behind.   That’s exactly what he did.   “She’s a lil' banged up, Thanks Jody, but it’s mostly cosmetic, it’s still a rocket,” said Gustafson.   

Super 6’s got a bit of good new on this night.   With all the effort by local teams and participation from other track‘s teams, Super 6 will be a weekly class at the Blacktop Bullring in 2019.   Great to give new drivers and crews a great entry level class and they have a  whole winter to get a car and get it prepared for 2019.   More invaders were on hand than WCIS regulars.   Parthemer and last weeks winner Barrett Schenk brought this highly compitive fields to green for their 20 main event.   Schenk wasted no time in showing why he is a track champion and that last week’s win was no fluke.   Hallett in the #36 had a valient effort to no avail as his right rear tire was going bad for the mid point in the race, but would hang on for second as new comer or first time to Wyoming this season, Brandon Allen would put his #89 in third at the conclusion of the Super 6 feature.

SST Super Stocks, this is where the emotion and tempers flared tonight.   Mike Chenaille and Scott Gleed would bring this field to green for their 50 lap event.   Both Chenaille and Gleed have had terrible luck. Gleed, all year in the features as he has won some heats.  Chenaille was had bad luck in the second half of the season.   Both looking to turn it around and close out 2018 strong.   Gleed and Chenaille would battle for the lead and it was not long befor the Stealth missle of Joe Horvatits would take control of the race.   Thru a few cautions and restarts, Horvatits was dominating.   His closest competition was the 17x of Meyers the 2018 track champion and the 14 of Dan Majchrzak.

Early in this feature there seemed to be some bad blood between Majchrzak and Meyers from the previous week.   Last week these two came together in a heat race cutting down a tire on the 17x and the 14 bent a rear axel.   Both would make repairs and run the balance of the night.   That brings us to tonight where you have two very good drivers that was not going to cut any slack to the other.   Early in the 50 lap main these two were racing hard and they made contact with each other entering turn 3.   Both cars heading for the concrete wall that always wins.   Majchrzak hit the hall a ton and the right side of the car climbed the wall doing significant damage to the Majchrzak machine.   Meyer on the other hand had significant damage to his right side.   What appeared to be mostly cosmetic, as Meyers went pit side and was checked over by his crew.   Meyers would return and get a very respectful second for the night.

Lots of action on the speedway for the Modifieds.  As I stated earlier, a bunch of invaders came to the track to shake down their cars in preparation of the BIG Shootout at the Bullring  October 12th -13th.   Twenty six cars on hand and that calculates into tons of action on a 1/3 mile speedway.    After the redraw, Bro Bradshaw would be on the pole with last weeks winner Alan Bookmiller to his outside.    Then it looked like the who’s who of Modified drivers, Rusty Smith, Tony Hanbury, TJ Potrzebowski, John Barbar, Patti Pruitt and our weekly runners.  Rick Knapp Jr,(2018 WCIS Champion),  Dan Majchrzak, the Bradshaw Brothers and the Dennie Girls.   A great start for all and it would not last as the first a a handful of cautions would slow the field.

The first was the #66 of Geoff Sharkey, seems the fuel cap came off and he was spilling fuel on the track.  Back to green and bookmiller had the lead with Bradshaw second and the charging Rusty Smith on his way to the front.   Hanbury, Potrzebowski and Majchrzak and Knapp were bidding their time and making their way to the front.   The surface of the Bullring is not overly abusive to tires, but these seasoned racers were not going to waste the tires in the first have of the race.  They all knew they needed some tire in the last 10 -15 laps if they wanted a shot at the win.

About 20 laps in it was Smith , Hanbury and Potrzebowski in the top three positions and as the restart happened it seemed Smiths car when wide forcing Hanbury up in the marbles.   Hanbury gathered it up and we stayed green, a few laps later Hanbury passed Smith and coming down the front straight Hanbury repaid the favor as he break checked Smith allowing Potrzebowski to blow by both cars.   That was short lived as both Hanbury and Smith would get back by the Potrzebowski  #72.   Then it seemed every 20 or so laps we would draw a caution and that would tighten the field back up and add to what could be a lot more drama.   Lap 25 the Billy Kosachook would spin his #19 machine.   Lap 32 the Timmy Lewis car would come to a stop in the infield just off the racing surface in turns 1 and 2.  Lap 55 saw the 6j machine of Carrie Bolton loose the handle and spin her ride off turn 2 and slide thru the grass on the back straight away.

The last caution flew on lap 85 with Jen Dennie looping her #22 ride off turn four.   This left us with a 15 lap shoot out, sort of a look into the future and see who was best prepared for the 100 laps tonight as well as the Jim Pierce Memorial race in a few weeks.  Hanbury was on point, Smith at the ready and local runners Knapp and Majchrzak representing WCIS well.   Also representing the speedway wall was the fact our four lady racers were all running together and in the top ten. Cassie Logsdon, 7th, Beth Dennie 8th, her sister Jen 9th and Carrie Bolton rounding out the top ten.  So the 15 lap shoot out.  The questions were answered soon as the green fell for the last 15 circuits or 5 miles.   It looks as if the top ten or so had played it just about perfect.  Hanbury jumped out front, smuith in second followed by Knap, Majchrzak and Potrzebowski.

Winner circle interviews were as expected, “Well Rusty ran me up in the loose stuff cause he knew we were a rocket on restarts, so after a few laps and the tires were cleaned off we got back around him and repaid the favor”  Smith said “ Tony has run into us before and this is twice I let him gather it up and we raced on, next time I won’t be so nice”.   So with the Writing on the wall it will be interesting at the very least to see if this power struggle of two very talented drivers carries thru to the Shoootout at the Bullring October.

Order your pictures and video of the Sept. 1st race and you decide who was right and wrong at www.mmsportsphotos.com  or www.racingfanchaser88.com 

The new 2018 Shootout at the Bullring format will be as follows:

Friday, Oct. 12th
WCIS Super Stocks (50), 6 Cylinders (25), 4 Cylinder Dash-4-Cash (20)
SST Modified Pit Stop Challenge during intermission
- 4 person crew/driver in-car
- 2 right sides
- $100 bonus to winning crew + 2 new air tire changing guns
Entertainment/Camp Fires to Follow

Saturday, Oct. 13th
SST Modified Jim Pierce Memorial 100 (100), NYSS Sandra Vogler Memorial 51, 4 Cylinders (30), Vintage Racecars (15)
SST Modified Race is $2,600 to Win! 

Sunday, Oct. 14th
Rain date for either days events

4 Cylinders          Heats:  O.Bradshaw,  J.Gustafson
1) J.Gustafson,  
2) J.Pierce Jr,  
3) G.Moldts,  
4) O.Bradshaw,  
5) J.Klamut,  
6) S.Sickles,                   
7) K.Ricketson, 
8) J.Sass,  
9) M.Hurlburt,  
10) K.Kocher,  
1) M.Virts,  
12) K.Landcastle,                
13) D.Heimes (DNS)

Super 6             Heats:  J.Parthemer,  B.Hallett
1) B.Schenk, 
2) B.Hallett,  
3) B.Allen,  
4) J.Parthemer, 
5) R.Cassidy,  
6) F.Kline,  
7) A.Cocilova,      
8) T.Faro, 
9) A.Knoepfler, 
10)  C.Parsons  

Super Stocks          Heats:  D.Majchrzak,  J.Horvatits
1) J.Horvatits,  
2) Z.Meyers,  
3) P.Flye,  
4) S.Gleed,  
5) E.Hastreiter, 
6) C.Hicks,  
7) K.Lanni,          
8) F.Kline,  
9) K.Skoney,  
10) D.Majchrzak, 
11) M.Chenaille, 
12) B.Raycroft,  \
13) E.Stone (DNS)

SST Modifieds         Heats:  A.Bookmiller,  R.Smith,  P.Pruitt
1) T.Hanbury,  
2) R.Smith,  
3) R.Knapp Jr,  
4) D.Majchrzak,  
5) Tj.Potrobowski,  
6) T.Bradshaw,    
7) C.Logsdon,  
8) B.Dennie, 
9) J.Dennie,  
10) C.Bolton,  
11) T.Lewis,  
12) Z.Kosachook,               
13) A.Bookmiller,  
14) P.Pruitt,  
15) B.Bradshaw,  
16) S.Fuchs,  
17) J.Barber,  
18) N.Michielsen,  
19) B.Kosachook, 
20) B.Kosachook Sr,  
21) G.Sharkey,  
22) D.Kluth,  
23) J.Matzen,  
24) T.Alloco,  
25) J.Whithey, 
26) G.Noe (DNS)

September 2, 2018 - 12:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Validus Deo with driver-trainer Kevin Cummings.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs​

After taking air for over a half mile, Validus Deo looked finished coming off the last turn. But he regrouped in the stretch and rallied to win in close quarters at the wire in the $10,000 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Sept. 1). 

Bugatti (Billy Davis Jr.) outdueled Heaven Rocks (Ray Fisher Jr.) for the lead off the gate and had the front by the quarter in :27.2. Positions remained unchanged until the half when Validus Deo (Kevin Cummings) pulled first from fourth and started up the rim. As he advanced toward the leader he forced Heaven Rocks out of the two-hole and found himself with live cover for the rest of the race. 

Buggati and Heaven Rocks continued to battle up the backstretch and around the far turn and looked like the two to beat as Validus Deo was fading away from the action. But heading into the stretch, Focus Power (Drew Monti) tipped three-wide and pulled next to Validus Deo and rekindled the latter’s interest in the proceedings. Cummings continued heavy prompting during the final eighth and Validus Deo split horses mid-stretch and hit the wire first by a neck in 1:54.4. 

It was the third win in the last five starts and eighth win of the year for Validus Deo ($6.30) who now has earned $552,307 lifetime. Matthew Rosiek, Robert Johnson and his driver-trainer Kevin Cummings own Validus Deo. 

In the undercard event $9,000 Open II, China Dream (John Cummings Jr.) followed up a second place finish last week, coming off a two-month hiatus, with a winning effort; going gate to wire and fending off a late charge from the pocket-sitting R M Hawk (Ray Fisher Jr.) in the lane to win in 1:54.1, tying his seasonal best. China Dream ($3.60) scored his fifth win of the year for owners Jack and Maria Rice. Maria Rice is the winner’s conditioner.  

For the second straight night, Drew Monti scored a driving Grand Slam on the nine-race card. Monti won with Sunset Sid (1:55.1, $3.30), Linkjack Hanover (1:53.3, $6.30), Littlebitaclass (1:55.1, $3.30) and Arch Hanover (1:57.3, $9). With those four wins Monti now jumps into the lead in the dash win category for the meet ahead of Kevin Cummings (who had one winner on Saturday) 42 to 40. 

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Labor Day Monday (Sept. 3) with a special matinee card that has a 1:15 p.m. post time.

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