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August 21, 2019 - 10:20am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, equestrian, horseback riding, dressage, 4-H, NYS Fair.

Photo and rider information submitted by reader Nancy Ewert.

SYRACUSE -- Katherine Ewert, 13, of Batavia, and her horse Seamus won Grand Champion for the Dressage Young Rider Division for both Training and First Level on Sunday at the New York State Fair.

This was a United States Dressage Federation Schooling Show.

Katherine has been competing in dressage for three years through Genesee County 4-H, two of them at the state level. Last year, she was Reserve Grand Champion in dressage at the NYS Fair.

The middle-schooler has been riding horses since age 10.

About Dressage

The word "dressage" is French, commonly translated to mean "training." It is a highly skilled form of horseback riding performed in exhibition and competition, as well as an "art" sometimes pursued solely for the sake of mastery. In dressage, horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements.

At its best, the horse responds smoothly to a skilled rider's minimal aids. The rider is relaxed and appears effort-free while the horse willingly performs the requested movement.

Rules for it were first published in 1550 by Frederico Grisone, a thousand year after the first treatise "On Horsemanship" by Xenophone.

In modern dressage competition, successful training at the various levels is demonstrated through the performance of "tests" -- a prescribed series of movements ridden within a standard arena. Judges evaluate each movement on the basis of an objective standard appropriate to the level of the test and assign each movement a score from zero to 10.

To learn more about dressage, click here.

August 20, 2019 - 1:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 21) at 5 p.m., the track will feature a $10,000 guaranteed pool on the early Pick-5 wager that runs from race one to race five.

It is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering program and as such, free program pages are available for those races on the USTA website, or by clicking this for a direct download: http://bit.ly/Bat82119

The first race of the night, and of the Pick-5, is the $12,500 fillies and mare Open I Handicap pace and this week it’s loaded with talent.

Paul Zabielski’s Spreester (Drew Monti) is two for two at Batavia since shipping in from Saratoga Raceway, winning the Open II and Open I in successive outings. In her win last week, Spreester drew off by 11-3/4 lengths in the stretch and made a shambles of the competition in a season’s best 1:53.2 effort.

However this week Chris Oakes’ Sidewalk Dancer (Hunter Oakes) ships in from The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono fresh off of her top performance of the year; a 1:51, 3-1/4 length win in an upper-level conditioned event over the storied 5/8th's oval in Wilkes-Barre.

The 8-year-old Spreester has 51 lifetime wins whereas the 4-year-old Sidewalk Dancer is seasoned for her age, having faced the toughest 3-year-old fillies on the Grand Circuit all last year. These two will square-off in a heavyweight battle making the first leg of the $10,000 guaranteed Pick-5 a wide open affair.

August 20, 2019 - 8:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, sports, baseball.


Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs used a balk and a three-run home run to hold off Mahoning Valley, 8-6 on Monday night.

Meanwhile, in West Virginia, the host Black Bears fell to Williamsport, 8-7 in extra innings. As a result, Batavia (35-29) and West Virginia (34-28) are tied at the top of the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division heading into the All-Star break.

The break won't be relaxing for the Muckdogs as they have an NYPL high of seven players and three starters in the game on Wednesday at Staten Island.

On Monday night, Batavia trailed 2-0 to Mahoning Valley, a team that won four straight and was not allowing Batavia on the scoreboard.

Batavia shortstop Dalvy Rosario hit one of the biggest home runs of the season in the top of the third, a three-run home run to give Batavia the lead.

With the scored tied, 4-4 in the top of the seventh, J.D. Orr coaxed a balk, his eighth of the season as a runner causing a balk, allowing Albert Guaimaro to score the go-ahead run.

While Mahoning Valley would stick around, Joey Steele and Evan Brabrand shut the door for the win and the save, respectively.

Steele improved to 2-0 on his solid season, as he threw 2.1 innings of shut out ball, striking out four and giving up just two hits.

Steele, an all-star selection and 30th-round draft pick of the Miami Marlins out of University of San Francisco, lowered his ERA to 1.59. He has thrown 17 innings and walked just three wile striking out 28.

Meanwhile, Brabrand, who has made a final-score impact in the stats in every game he has pitched in but one (that was a perfect inning), had a new roll on Monday.

Batavia manager Tom Lawless, looking to stop Mahoning Valley's win streak and Batavia's losing streak, brought Brabrand in with two outs in the eighth. The 6-3 righty closer out of Liberty in Lynchburg, Va., where he was a ninth-round pick of the Marlins, hit the first batter in the ninth, but got a double play to end the game.

Brabrand now has 12 saves on the season and a 3-1 record in 17 games. He has struck out 21 in 17 innings, walked just one and given up just three runs for a 1.59 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Josh Simpson picked up his sixth hold of the season striking out one while Andrew Miller had the start and struck out five over 4.1 innings.

Rosario, just 19 and a Marlins signing out of the Dominican Republic, is 10-for-23 (.435) in his last six games. In addition to his second home run of the season, he also crushed his 13th double of the season, scored twice, had the three RBIs and a walk.

J.D. Orr, who will start in left in the all-star game, increased his NYPL leading average to .387 going 2-for-4 with a RBI and run.

Troy Johnston had a hit and an RBI while Nic Ready and Guaimaro each had a single, Sean Reynolds walked and scored, Harrison Dinicola had two hits and scored and Jack

Strunc had a double and a run. Catcher Dustin Skelton also had an RBI single and scored a run for Batavia.

The all-stars for the Muckdogs are Ready, Orr, Johnston, Milton Smith II, and pitchers Julio Frias, Brock Love and Josh Simpson.

The game is hosted by the Staten Island Yankees and starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Just one game separates seven teams fighting for four spots in the NYPL playoffs.

The Muckdogs return home on Thursday for three straight crucial home games at 7:05 each night against State College (Pa.), then three more home games against Williamsport.

Tickets are available at muckdogs.com or stop by the Dwyer Stadium Ticket office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week. The number is 585-483-3647.

Photo: The Batavia Muckdogs are in first place at the All-Star break with just 12 games left and one game separates seven teams from the playoff spots. The Muckdogs are home at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia starting Thursday for six straight games that could decide the division. Batavia Muckdogs head into All-Star break and home stretch in first place.

August 19, 2019 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dwyer stadium, muckdogs, baseball, sports, batavia.


Kayla McIntire shared this photo with us of sunset at Dwyer Stadium during Friday's Muckdogs game.

August 18, 2019 - 12:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo: Black Is Back with driver Driver Dave McNeight III.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Black Is Back took full advantage of post one in Saturday night’s (Aug.17) $12,500 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs, going gate to wire in impressive fashion.

Driver Dave McNeight III flew off the wings to claim the point with Black Is Back in the first turn and then kept his foot on the gas to the quarter in :27 flat. The race was basically over at that point as the pair would just continue to extend their lead from there. 

After hitting the half in :56.2 on top by 1-½, Black Is Back paced away to a two length lead at three-quarters and four lengths by the top of the stretch. As he turned for home, McNeight sat statuesque as the wrapped-up Black Is Back continued to pull away and hit the beam on top by seven in 1:53.2. 

It was the second win in four Batavia Downs starts and seventh win of the year for Black Is Back ($3.70) who now has banked $50,110 this year for owners Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr.. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. trains the winner. 

The $11,000 Open II Handicap also went to a coast to coast winner; Tullow N. 

John Cummings Jr. rousted Tullow N off the gate and to the front and never let anyone get close to them the whole mile. After clicking off fractions of  :27.4, :56.4 and 1:24.4 with a loose lead to boot, the field was scattered behind Tullow N except for Manceiver (Drew Monti) who sat the pocket the entire way and was close enough to be considered a contender. But Tullow N didn’t see it that way as he turned for home and pulled away to a 2-¾ length win in 1:53.1. 

With $55,135 in earnings on the strength of four wins in 2019, Tullow N ($8.10) is also two for four since coming to Batavia Downs. Blindswitch Racing owns the 8-year-old altered son of Mach Three-Tessa Bromac and Dave Russo does the training.

Shawn Gray was in from Saratoga to drive on Saturday and put on a clinic while he was here. Gray won half the card; five out of the 10 races including a natural Hat Trick in the final three races of the night. He had his picture taken with Best Ears (1:54, $9.20), Myell’s Rockstar (1:54.2, $6.30), Thisjetsabookin (1:54.2, $4.20), M G Home Run (1:56, $13.60) and P C Shockwave (1:56.4, $2.60). The five-bagger vaulted him from ninth to fourth in the local driver standings in one night. 

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on this afternoon (Aug. 18) at 1:15 p.m. Sunday will feature a $3,000 guaranteed pool on the early Pick-5 wager that runs from race one to race five. It is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering program and as such, free program pages are available for those races on the USTA website or by clicking here for a direct download. (http://bit.ly/2Nc7pwj)

August 17, 2019 - 11:41am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, muckdogs, baseball.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs lead in the New York-Penn Pickney Division is down to a half game after a 9-3 loss to West Virginia on Friday night.

Batavia is on the road for three games starting Saturday at Mahoning Valley then the all-star break before returning to Dwyer Stadium on Aug. 22 to host State College (Pa.).

Batavia's Sean Reynolds blasted his 12th home run of the season on Friday and the 34th of his short minor league career in the fifth-inning in the loss.

J.D. Orr had two doubles and scored a run increasing his league-leading average to .379.

Harrison Dinicola hit his sixth double of the season while Dalvy Rosario had a RBI, and Andrew Turner singled in a run. Milton Smith II had the other Muckdog hit.

Julio Frias took the loss and is 4-3 on the season. He struck out three in four innings. Edison Suriel had six strikeouts in three innings of work giving up one run while Joey Steele struck out two in one inning and Evan Rebrand had two strikeouts without giving up a run in the ninth.

Batavia is 34-26 and West Virginia is 33-26.

Tickets are available at muckdogs.com or stop by the Dwyer Stadium Ticket office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week. The number is 585-483-3647.

Photo: Julio Frias records one of his three strikeouts Friday night against West Virginia.

August 17, 2019 - 11:32am
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

Above, Wheels A Turning with driver Dave McNeight III.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After heavy late afternoon rains degraded the track to sloppy, a very game Wheels A Turning overcame the weather, a slow start and a breaking horse to score a decisive victory in the $12,500 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Aug. 16). 

Off the gate, Dragin The Wagon (Shawn McDonough) went for the lead and in doing so, got parked three-deep around the first turn before clearing at the quarter in :27.3. Once on top, McDonough backed off the half to :57 trying to save some for later. Going past the stands before they hit the third turn, Rose Run Speedster (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Wheels A Turning (Dave McNeight III) pulled and got an outer flow going to try and take advantage of the early speed. 

As they trotted past the five-eighths, Keystone Apache (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled from second and immediately made a break in front of Rose Run Speedster. That cleared the way for Rose Run Speedster to draw alongside Dragin The Wagon and Wheels A Turning, who was on his back, to go three-deep at three-quarters in 1:26.3. Dragin The Wagon said goodnight at the top of the stretch leaving Rose Run Speedster and Wheels A Turning engaged in a match race to the wire. After trotting in unison for almost the last eighth of a mile, Wheels A Turning finally nudged ahead before the wire and won by a length in 1:56.4. 

The eighth win of the season for Wheels A Turning ($5.60) was also a seasonal best effort and the winner’s share of the purse boosted his earnings to $61,810 for owners Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi. James Clouser Jr. trains the winner. 

In the $11,000 Open II trot, Lucky Guess (Ray Fisher Jr.) was on a mission when the gate released the field, taking control from post one like a shot. After being unchallenged to the half in a tepid :59.2, Noble Legend (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled from third at the half with Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) behind him and they both started to push the issue.

Motoring up the backstretch, Lucky Guess and Noble Legend went stride for stride to the three-quarters when Noble Legend started to fade and Southern Palms tipped three-deep and advanced. When the race moved off the turn, Lucky Guess had opened up a two-length lead and down the lane, Fisher raised the lines over his head to let his horse trot home on her own and win in 1:58.2. 

The time was a new lifetime mark for the 6-year-old daughter of Lucky Chucky-Athenea. 

It was the second win in three Batavia Downs starts for Lucky Guess ($14.20) and her owner Dennis Beaver. Kirk Desmond trains Lucky Guess. 

Ray Fisher Jr. was the hot driver for the night, scoring a Grand Slam on the card. Jim Morrill Jr. got the Hat Trick and Dave McNeight III and Billy Davis Jr. each had driving doubles. 

In a true oddity of racing, there were two dead heats for win recorded at Batavia Downs on Friday with Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer JD Perrin involved in both of them.  

Batavia Downs hosted a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) on Friday night. Donations by many owners, trainers and drivers along with donations from fans attending live racing combined with proceeds from the silent auction to earn a total of more than $13,500, which exceeds last year’s best-ever record. That money will go directly to the BCCR. 

Batavia Downs would like to thank everyone who participated in this great fundraiser for such a worthy cause.  

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs tonight (Aug. 17) with post time at 6 p.m. This Saturday’s card features a chance for one lucky fan to win a $3,500 diamond bracelet courtesy of TAG Jewelers.

August 16, 2019 - 2:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, batavia, muckdogs, all-stars game.

Submitted photo and press release:

The 2019 season for the first-place Batavia Muckdogs has been a special one at Dwyer Stadium. Now, add the all-star game to the memories.

The New York-Penn League has announced seven players will represent Batavia in the all-star game on Wednesday, Aug. 21 in Staten Island.

Nick Ready (third base), J.D. Orr (left field) and Troy Johnston (right field) were named starters. Milton Smith II (center field) and pitchers Julio Frias, Brock Love and Josh Simpson were also named to the team.

The all-star game is at 7 p.m. hosted by the Staten Island Yankees with gates opening at 3 p.m. There will be a home run competition between the New York City Fire Department and NYPD. 

During the pre-game, the 2019 NYPL Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place with Batavia's Gene Baker going in the hall with Bernie Williams, Jane Rogers and Josiah Viera. 

Baker, who died in 1999, became the first African-American manager in organized baseball, when the Pittsburgh Pirates named him skipper of the Batavia club in 1961. 

In 1963, he became the second black coach in the major leagues following Buck O’Neill by a half season. He can also be credited with being the first black manager in Major League Baseball when he took over for ejected Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh on Sept. 21, 1963. He was also the first African-American player to ever make the Chicago Cubs roster in 1953. 

Here is a look at the 2019 Batavia all-stars:

Nic Ready

It has been a wild year for Nic Ready. The son of former Major Leaguer Randy Ready, Nic won the 2019 NCAA Home Run Derby in Omaha, Neb., then was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 23rd round out of the Air Force Academy.

Ready, a 6-foot-3 righthander who plays third and first, has shown tremendous power this season with seven home runs and 34 RBI’s with 26 doubles and a triple. He is hitting .280 with a .525 slugging percentage.

Ready is currently active duty with the Air Force, but a new law will allow him to play professional baseball and fulfill his military commitments the next two years.

In the all-star game, Ready will start at third.

J.D. Orr

It is no surprise J.D. Orr will start in the outfield in the all-star game. The 5-foot-10 Orr was drafted this year in the 10th round of the draft by the Miami Marlins out of Wright State in Dayton, Ohio, where he led the nation in stolen bases.

In Batavia, he not only leads the team with 24 stolen bases, but he leads the entire New York-Penn League with a .373 average and has 59 hits. He has hit three doubles, two triples and scored 46 runs.

Troy Johnston

Another starter in the outfield for the Muckdogs will be Troy Johnston, a 17th-round pick of the Marlins out of Gonzaga University (Spokane, Wash.) this year.

Johnston, a 5-foot-11 lefty is hitting .295 with 46 hits, 11 doubles, a triple and two home runs. He has driven in 26 runs and scored 23. At Gonzaga, he was leading the nation in doubles furing the 2019 season and led his team in average.

Milton Smith II

During the 2019 season, Milton Smith II spent time as the top hitter in the New York-Penn League, and is still hitting .319 with 52 hits, a triple and 17 stolen bases, as he was caught just four times. Smith II is also an outstanding centerfielder for the Muckdogs.

Smith, a 5-foot-10 lefty, was drafted in the 22nd round by the Marlins out of Meridian Community College in Meridian, Miss., in 2018.

Brock Love

Love is a 6-foot-1 right-hander who has made a big impact on the Muckdogs this season coming out of the bullpen. He has thrown 14.1 innings with 18 strikeouts and just four walks, giving up just four runs for a ERA of 2.51 and a WHIP of 0.77.

He was picked by the Miami Marlins as the fourth pick of the 2019 draft in the 34th round out of the University of Alabama.

In college, Love was injured in 2017 but in 2018 he was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, something he did in his first seven performances with Batavia. In 2019 he led Alabama in strikeouts with 66 in 60 innings while starting 13 games. Love showed right away as a freshman his command of the strike zone, walking just three batters his first year while strikeout 21 with a 2.81 ERA.

Josh Simpson

The 2019 season has been frustrating for batters opposing Josh Simpson as the 6-foot-2 lefty has a 0.55 ERA in 11 games and has struck out 21 batters in 16.1 innings with just two walks. He has given up just one run all season for the Muckdogs.

Simpson was a 32nd-round draft pick out of Columbia University by the Miami Marlins this year. He was an all-Ivy League selection and struck out 56 batters. He threw a nine-inning complete game shut out against Cornell as a senior.

Julio Frias

Frias turned 21 as the season started, and the 6-foot-2 lefty out of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, has enjoyed a great season as a top starting pitcher. Frias has 11 starts and has gone 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 56.2 innings with just 21 hits allowed.

In his short career, Frias has tossed 182 innings with 174 strikeouts. His last start was on Aug. 11, a win over Mahoning Valley. Frias signed in 2014 as an international free agent with the Marlins at age 16.

Photo: Batavia has seven all-stars on the New York-Penn League All-Star team, including outfielders Milton Smith II, left, and Troy Johnston.

August 16, 2019 - 1:47pm

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Tonight (Aug. 16) at Batavia Downs is noteworthy for two reasons. One, it’s the first live card of harness racing held on a Friday this meet at the Downs as the track previously hosted their now completed concert series on Friday.  

Second, it’s the night of the Batavia Down’s annual “Races to Benefit the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester” (www.bccr.org) fundraiser that will be held at the track to raise both awareness and dollars to fight this deadly disease. 

This annual event is one of the larger fundraisers held by this organization and Batavia Downs has been proud to put on the event with them and be a part of this very worthy cause. It will be held in the clubhouse and runs from 5 until 9 p.m.

“We have partnered with BCCR for several years now and each year this event gets bigger and better,” said Todd Haight, director/general manager of Live Racing. “It’s an opportunity for us to help raise money to defeat the scourge of breast cancer in our lifetime.

"The generosity of our horsemen and patrons always shines through and I’m sure we will see that again tonight.”

There will be a silent auction held adjacent to the clubhouse with a list of prizes that will please anyone’s taste. They include:

  • Two suite tickets to the Buffalo Bills versus Philadelphia Eagles at New Era Field on Sunday, Oct. 27;
  • Four suite tickets to the Buffalo Sabres versus the St. Louis Blues at Key Bank Center on Tuesday, Dec. 10;
  • Two suite tickets for the Carrie Underwood concert at Key Bank Arena on Sunday, Oct. 13;
  • One Batavia Downs Hotel night and racing package;
  • Two Batavia Downs clubhouse racing packages;
  • A recliner from Max Pies Furniture in Batavia;
  • And a host of other items too numerous to mention.

Dozens of local owners, trainers and drivers have already committed to donating some or all of their winnings realized tonight with more coming on board every day.

The track will also be taking cash donations from anyone willing to help that will be forwarded directly to the BCCR.

“Last year we were able to raise in excess of $13,000 and this year we aim to break that record," Haight said. "The clubhouse has been sold out for weeks so we’ll have many caring people here that night.

"And we will also have runners in both the paddock and grandstand area taking bids for the silent auction and also collecting any donations people may wish to make."

Post time for the first race is at 6 p.m.

August 16, 2019 - 1:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, football, batavia bulldawgs.
The Batavia Bulldawgs our their regular season of football Saturday, Aug. 17, at Lions Park in Batavia against Barker/RoyHart.
The park is located at 11 Wallace St.
Game times are as follows:
  • Beginners (ages 6/7) at 10 a.m.
  • Mini (ages 8/9) at 12 p.m.
  • Junior Varsity (ages 10/11) at 2 p.m.
  • Varsity (ages 12/13) at 4 p.m.

For questions or comments, email:  [email protected]

August 15, 2019 - 9:18am
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

Photo: Merga Hanover with driver Matt Kakaley.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

A total of $107,000 was up for grabs when the New York Sire Stake (NYSS) 2-year-old pacing fillies visited Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 14) and the winners of both divisions put in stellar performances. 

The first $53,000 split  was won by Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight) who took no prisoners in a gate to wire victory. 

Merga Hanover was floated off the gate by driver Matt Kakaley for the first eighth of a mile while the rest of the field set up, then he gunned her to the front and controlled the rest of the mile. After getting to the half in :57.2 with the trailing horses in single file, Cash Roll (Scott Zeron) pulled first up with The Fun Marshall (Billy Davis Jr.) right behind her trying to push the issue.

Merga Hanover continued to set the pace to the three-quarters, around the turn and into the stretch with the competition unable to make up any ground. Kakaley gave his filly her head down the lane and Merga Hanover was quickly on cruise control, pacing away to a handy two-length win in 1:55. 

“I eased her out of the gate because I never drove her before,” said Kakaley. “But I let her pace the last turn and she coasted home. It was all her.”

The win vaulted Merga Hanover into the NYSS points lead for her division, now with 175.

It was the fourth win in only five lifetime starts for Merga Hanover ($6.90) and it pushed her earnings to $86,866 for owners Thomas Dillon, Scott Dillon, Joe Sbrocco and William Donovan. Ron Burke trains the winner.

Merga Hanover was bred by Hanover Shoe Farm.

(Above photo: Movie Town with driver Tyler Buter.)

The second division went for $54,000 and provided a sizable upset for the betting public when Movie Town (American Ideal-New Hollywood) came off the pace and lit up the board at 20-1. 

Racine Bell (Jason Bartlett) left and took the lead before giving it up to Major Battle (Jim Morrill Jr.) past the quarter. The race proceeded to the half without any changes when Turnthefrownaround (Matt Kakaley) and Movie Town (Tyler Buter) both rolled up in the outer flow to start chasing down the front runner. 

Major Battle hit the three-quarters in 1:26.4 with positions remaining the same behind him; that was until the top of the last turn when Movie Town tipped three-deep and started to make her move. Buter fed Movie Town the lines and she was fully engaged, passing the inside horses easily and stretching out to a two-length win in 1:57.

Movie Town ($43.60) scored her second NYSS win of the year for owner Bay Pond Racing and trainer Jeff Stafford.

Winbak Farm bred Movie Town. 

Three divisions of the $15,000 Excel “A” series were also contested on Wednesday with the following results. 

(The first Excel "A" event in the third race was a dead-heat between Alleyesonme As and Sus) 

Alleyesonme As  (Heston Blue Chip-Twincreeks Jewel)

Driver -- Jason Bartlett

Owner -- Anette Lorentzon and Acl Stuteri Ab

Trainer -- Anette Lorentzon

Breeder -- Anette Lorentzon and Acl Stuteri Ab

Time -- 1:58.2

Mutuel -- $2.10

Sus (Art Major-Outtathisworld)

Driver -- Jim Morrill Jr.

Owner -- Yankeeland Partners

Trainer -- Brett Bittle

Breeder - White Birch Farm

Time - 1:58.2

Mutuel -- $8.70

Charm And Grace (American Ideal-Another Hanover)

Driver -- Jim Morrill Jr.

Owner -- John Dwyer

Trainer -- John Mongeon

Breeder -- Kentuckiana Farms and Marvin Katz

Time -- 1:57.2

Mutuel -- $4.20

Hen Party  (Roll With Joe-My Lady Day)

Driver -- Matt Kakaley

Owner -- William Donovan

Trainer -- Ron Burke

Breeder -- Frederick Hertrich III

Time -- 1:55.2

Mutuel -- $4.30

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 16), which is the first Friday of racing this meet. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.

August 15, 2019 - 9:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

Press release:

There are 18 games left in the New York-Penn League season, but there was a playoff atmosphere at Dwyer Stadium Wednesday night.

With the West Virginia Black Bears coming in just 1.5 games behind Batavia, the managers were stealing bases, making pitching changes and even the players were involved in a stand-off that lasted over three hours.

In the end, the Batavia Muckdogs improved to 34-24 with an 11-5 win over West Virginia (31-26).

The Muckdogs trailed, 3-1 in the fourth when Nic Ready blasted a home run deep over the left-field fence to cut the lead to 3-2. Ready has seven home runs on the season and went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and his 25th double of the season.

A 2019 Miami Marlins draft pick in the 23rd-round out of the Air Force Academy, has 34 RBI's on the season.

Batavia shortstop Dalvy Rosario had it best offensive night of the season, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, 2 RBI's and scored two runs as well as turning two double plays with Jack Strunc.

J.D. Orr, who leads the NYPL in hitting with a .381 average stole his 24th base of the season and despite just one hit on the night scored four runs. Strunc had two hits and scored twice.

Troy Johnston, a 17th-round pick of the Marlins out of Gonzaga was 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs and a walk. He hit his 10th double of the season.

Milton Smith II is hitting .327 after going 2-for-4.

The crowd noticed a fun standoff between Batavia's Harrison Dinicola and West Virginia's Ryan Haug. The two held their hats over their hearts during the national anthem, then players from both teams picked them up like a statue and put them standing in the same position on the bench. During each inning, the players were decorated by Gatorade cups and never moved from the position for over three and a half hours.

When Haug finally had to leave the dugout after the game to catch the bus, Dinicola was the victor, touching off a wild celebration by the players including water and Gatorade bath.

"That was one of the hardest things I've done in my life. My teammates gave me a lot of adrenaline during the game," Dinicola said. "We had a great team win. The pitchers came in and did their job and our hitters kept hitting, I love it. Go Muckdogs!"

The video of the standoff on the Muckdogs social media sites had over 20,000 combined views after the game and was shared by Minor League Baseball, Yahoo Sports and others.

The Muckdogs went over 30,000 fans on the season, which is over 3,000 more than all of 2018 with 10 home games remaining.

Andrew Miller started and struck out four in 4.1 innings giving up three runs. With runners on in the fifth, M.D. Johnson came in and retired the only two batters he faced to pick up his first win of the season. At 1-0, Johnson has pitched 12.2 innings with 16 strikeouts.

Bryan Hoeing earned his third hold throwing two innings with two strikeouts, no walks, no runs, and just two hits.

Brock Love then closed it with three strikeouts in the last two innings.

Tonight is First Responders Night as all first responders receive two free general admission tickets. it is also Thirsty Thursday with Labatt's and other special $2 beer prices. The two teams also play Friday night at Dwyer Stadium, both games at 7:05 p.m.

Tickets are available at muckdogs.com or stop by the Dwyer Stadium Ticket office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week. The number is 585-483-3647.


For over 3.5 hours, West Virginia's Ryan Haug, left, and Batavia's Harrison Dinicola were in the same position from the national anthem. Dinicola won the stand off and the video went viral Wednesday night after the Muckdogs won, 11-5 to stay in first place.

August 14, 2019 - 11:14am

Press release:

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) announces changes to the waterfowl hunt lottery application process for the 2019/2020 season. The preseason lottery will be conducted to select hunters for the first two Saturdays of the hunt season.

In order to streamline the lottery process, applications are now done online here. Follow the prompts to apply. Please note there will be a $5 application fee to cover administrative costs.

Applications can be filled out online from Aug. 15 until Sept. 15.

Winners will be notified approximately one week after the close of the application period by email if selected.

A copy of the lottery win receipt must accompany the hunter to the check station the morning of their hunt.

Please see our Waterfowl Hunting Fact Sheet for full details on the 2019/2020 waterfowl hunting season, which can be found here.

All other aspects of the Iroquois NWR waterfowl hunt will be similar as in previous years, including hunter standby, blind drawings, and non-lottery hunt days.

Youth waterfowl hunters and hunters with disabilities will apply using the same methods as in previous years. Click here for full details.

For further information contact Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, 1101 Casey Road, Basom, NY 14013, or call 585-948-5445.

Iroquois NWR is located midway between Buffalo and Rochester and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

August 13, 2019 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

Press release:

Tonight’s game here -- Muckdogs vs. Mahoning Valley -- has been postponed due to rain and wet field conditions. Tickets can be exchanged for any 2019 regular-season game.

August 13, 2019 - 1:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, golf, junior golf camp, batavia.

Information and photos from Tom Tucker.

The 2019 Junior Golf Camp took place at Batavia Country Club starting last month with instructors Tom Tucker and Roxanne Noeth.

The PeeWee Division Boys and Girls, for ages 7-10, was held July 22-26. The Senior Boys and Girls Division, for ages 11-15, was held July 29 through Aug. 2.

The PeeWee players, in photo above, experienced great weather and a had great week for golf! 

Front row, from left: Jake Gehlert, Brooklyn Jachimowicz, Tori Davis, Maisse Yunker, Jack Hilchey, Owen Glazier, George Sawyer.

Back row, from left: Coach Tom Tucker, Noah Calarco-Smith, Nicholas Calarco-Smith, Isaiah Proefrock, Hudson George, Brayden Jachimowicz, Jacob Rosenbeck, Xavier Vargas, Ben Vargas, Coach Roxanne Noeth.

The Friday Tournament saw newcomer to camp Hudson George, above, dominate the Boys Division with a score of 34.

Above, Girls Divison winner Brooklyn Jachimowicz, whose score was 39, shows off her swing.

Above are PeeWee Tournament medalists Hudson George and Brooklyn Jachimowicz.

Above, PeeWee Contest winners Maisse Yunker, Brooklyn Jachimowicz, Hudson George and Brayden Jachimowicz.

Closest to the pin winner on hole 13 was Brayden Jachimowicz, and on hole 17 the winner was Brooklyn Jachimowicz. The long drive winner on hole 14 was Noah Calarco Smith. 

Other PeeWee contests and winners were: 

  • Putting Contest Medalist / Boys -- Hudson George
  • Putting Contest Medalist /Girls -- Brooklyn Jachimowicz
  • Chipping Contest Medalist / Boys -- Brayden Jachimowicz (Playoff over Noah Calarco-Smith)
  • Chipping Contest Medalist / Girls -- Maisse Yunker
  • Lag Putting Contest / Boys -- Jack Hilchey
  • Lag Putting Contest / Girls -- Maisse Yunker
  • Aimline Accuracy / Boys -- Brayden Jachimowicz, and he won a few bucks for himself and his team for the effort
  • Aimline Accuracy / Girls -- Tori Davis
  • Pitching Target / Boys -- Jacob Rosenbeck
  • Pitching Target - Girls -- Maisse Yunker

The PeeWee kids had fun, we hope to see them all next year. 

Above is the group photo of the 2019 Senior Boys and Girls Division, ages 11-15, of the Junior Golf Camp.

Front row, from left: Quinton Cummings, Jada Fite, Lily Davis, Natalie Hamm, Greyson Fix.

Back row, from left: Coach Tom Tucker, Rhys Tanner, Will Fulton, Sam Dinsmore, Cooper Fix, Coach Roxanne Noeth. Absent from the picture with illness on tournament day was Hudson Luft, who had been coming on strong all week. 

We had great weather all week for these kids, and they all played very good golf.

The Friday Tournament saw newcomer to camp Quinton Cummings edge out camp veteran Sam Dinsmore 37 to 38 to take the Boys Medalist honors. The Girls Division was dominated by Jada Fite with a score of 37. 

Above, Senior Division Tournament medalists Jada Fite and Quinton Cummings.

Closest to the pin winner on hole 13 for the girls was Jada Fite. Closest to the pin winner on hole 17 for the boys was Quinton Cummings. The long drive winner for the girls on hole 14 was Natalie Hamm; no boys' winner -- no one hit the fairway. 

Above Senior Division contest winners, from left: Will Fulton, Jada Fite, Lily Davis, Natalie Hamm and Quinton Cummings.

Senior Division Contest Winners

  • Putting Contest Medalist / Girls -- Lily Davis (37)
  • Putting Contest Medalist / Boys -- Will Fulton (38)
  • Chipping Contest Medalist / Girls -- Natalie Hamm
  • Chipping Contest Medalist / Boys -- Will Fulton
  • Lag Putting Contest / Girls -- Lily Davis 
  • Lag Putting Contest / Boys -- Cooper Fix 
  • Aimline Accuracy / Girls -- Lily Davis
  • Aimline Accuracy / Boys -- Cooper Fix
  • Pitching Target / Girls -- Lily Davis
  • Pitching Target / Boys -- Quinton Cummings, Hudson Luft won the shootout for $5

We hope to see everyone next year!

August 13, 2019 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, sports, baseball, steve ognibene's blog.


Press release:

As the race for the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division gets tighter, the Batavia Muckdogs have four crucial home games this week.

Batavia (33-24) fell to Mahoning Valley, 5-0 on Monday night as second-place West Virginia  (30-25) picked up a win to move two games out of first.

The lead was just 1-0 in the ninth as the pitching staff held Mahoning Valley in check.

Edgar Martinez who suffered the hard-luck loss, gave up one run in six innings, striking out one without a walk. He is 2-3 and his ERA dropped to 2.88

Easton Lucas had a strong seventh and finished with four strikeouts in two innings.

At the plate for Batavia, Dustin Skelton, Andrew Turner, Julian Infante, Nic Ready, Troy Johnston and Milton Smith II (stolen bases, his 17th on the season) all had hits, but the Muckdogs stranded all seven runners.

Tonight is $2 Tuesday as all general admission seats are just $2 and it's UMMC/Genesee Orthopedics Night as the first 1,000 fans will receive 16-ounce sturdy tumblers with dishwasher safe straws and lids, courtesy of UMMC. The game is at 7:05 p.m.

Also, it's Pups in the Park as dogs get in the game free.

On Wednesday, second-place West Virginia comes to town for three games.

COMING UP: The Batavia Muckdogs are holding First Responders Night at Dwyer Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 15 when the team takes on the second-place West Virginia Black Bears. 

In appreciation of area first responders, the Muckdogs will be offering two complementary general admission tickets to the game for all active police, fire, and emergency services personnel. First responders can receive their tickets by showing proper identification at the Dwyer Stadium box office during normal business hours (weekdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) leading up to the game or on game night up until the seventh inning.

In addition, first responders will have the opportunity to purchase additional tickets beyond the two complimentary at the group rate of $5 per ticket. The Muckdogs currently have a two-game lead over West Virginia for first place in a hotly contested playoff race. First pitch Thursday is set for 7:05 p.m. and it’s also Thirsty Thursday, presented by Labatt. All fans 21 and over can enjoy $2 16-ounce cans of Blue and Blue Light until the seventh inning.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.








August 13, 2019 - 5:55am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia Downs will host the 2-year-old pacing fillies on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 14) when the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) return for their fifth of nine 2019 stops and the two divisions that will compete for a combined $107,000 in purses look to be very competitive races. 

The first leg (carded as race four) goes for $53,000 and has Cash Roll (Roll With Joe-Rockonomics) installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite.

Cash Roll has won three of five starts this year, two of which were in NYSS action, and currently sits second in points and fourth in earnings. She took her lifetime mark of 1:56 last month at Yonkers in a gate to wire, 4-¼ length romp in the mud. She has outstanding gate speed and loves to cut the mile and after drawing post one for this race, must have her driver Scott Zeron feeling really good about their chances. 

Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight) has a similar career path to Cash Roll. She also has three wins to her credit, two in the NYSS, is third in earnings and fourth in points and also likes to be on or near the lead. The only variant to her schedule this week is she picks up Matt Kakaley to drive and he knows the Batavia oval very well. Kakaley and Merga Hanover will leave from post six.

If the front end pace between those two gets hectic, The Fun Marshall (So Surreal-Hallmark Hanover) will be close to pick up the pieces. The Fun Marshall didn’t get her year off to as fast a start of her opponents, but she certainly made a statement on July 11. After sitting a garden spot trip, she closed sharply down the lane to score a lifetime best victory of 1:55.4 at Yonkers over a sloppy track. The Fun Marshall starts from post two with Billy Davis Jr. in tow. 

In the second $54,000 division, Racine Bell (So Surreal-Ty’s Artist) brings a stellar resume to post and has been recognized as the favorite by the track handicapper at 5-2 as a result. 

Racine Bell is the top money earner among her peers and is also tied for the top in points. She has three wins in six starts, hasn’t missed the board all year and comes into this race off a career best tying 1:56.1 win at Yonkers. Her regular driver Jason Bartlett will be in town to drive once again and they will start from post seven for this event.

Turnthefrownaround (Roll WIth Joe-Knockout Pout) is the second choice at 3-1 but appears to be a real wild card. Although she has the fastest win time of this group this year from a 1:53.3 victory over the 5/8th’s mile track at Tioga Downs, she has also made two breaks at Monticello and Yonkers which are both half-milers. She will be on a half Wednesday at Batavia and will have to mind her manners to succeed. Matt Kakaley has been assigned the drive and he start that task from post five. 

Major Battle (Art Major-Savhorsrideacowboy) makes her first NYSS start but recent form shows her potential. Although she has exhibited gate speed in her first lifetime start, her last start shows her strong closing ability after she got away eighth by 15-lengths at Mohawk and paced the final five-eighths of a mile parked-out and closing to finish second in 1:53.3. Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the drive and the pair will start from post four. 

There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excel “A” series on the card. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m.

August 13, 2019 - 5:51am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Muckdogs, baseball, first responders night.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs are pleased to announce that the Thursday, Aug. 15th, game vs. the West Virginia Black Bears will be First Responders Night at Dwyer Stadium.

In appreciation of area first responders, the Muckdogs will be offering two complementary General Admission tickets to the game for all active police, fire, and emergency services personnel.

First responders can receive their tickets by showing proper identification at the Dwyer Stadium box office during normal business hours (weekdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) leading up to the game or on game night up until the seventh inning.

In addition, first responders will have the opportunity to purchase additional tickets beyond the two complementary at the group rate of $5 per ticket.

The Muckdogs currently have a three-game lead over West Virginia for first place in a hotly contested playoff race.

First pitch Thursday is set for 7:05 p.m. and it’s also Thirsty Thursday, presented by Labatt. All fans 21 and over can enjoy $2 16-ounce cans of Blue and Blue Light until the seventh inning.

August 12, 2019 - 1:15pm

Press release:

MIDDLETOWN -- Following his momentous first ever NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) win at Eldora Speedway, Stewart Friesen will continue on the trail of his scheduled Northeast dirt racing events in the Halmar no. 44 Big Block Modified. One planned stop for the NGOTS number 3 in points driver is Orange County Fair Speedway's Centennial Race Weekend, the unprecedented 100-year-anniversary event that pays $100,000 to win.

Friesen's no. 52 Chevy Silverado has actually been sporting OCFS on the hood to promote the event that may shape up to be dirt track racing's biggest ever. 

When Friesen rolls into Middletown NY for the big $100K show, he'll be hauling in more than just his no. 44 modified, as Orange Motorsports & Entertainment (OME) has just revealed that Friesen and Eldora runner up, NGOTS driver Sheldon Creed, will run at Middletown's Legendary "House of Power" in a special 10-Lap exhibition.

Their trucks and haulers will be on display starting Friday, Aug. 16th, to all Centennial Race Weekend attendees, then on Saturday the 17th (before the big $100K race) Sheldon Creed will get his rematch with Stewart Friesen, 10-laps to make it happen. This will be the first time ever that NASCAR Truck Series trucks have been at Middletown.

Sheldon Creed is 21 years old and comes from El Cajon, Calif. He's an X-Games Gold-Medalist and two-time Stadium Super Trucks Series champion.  Creed is known for his diversity to drive anything with four wheels, competing in the Stadium Super Trucks (SST) Series where he has accumulated six wins in only 12 starts.

In 2017 Creed competed in the Trans-Am Series, ARCA, K&N, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series, totaling 28 different races with eight different teams. Sheldon won the 2018 ARCA Racing Series Championship and competes full time in 2019 with GMS Racing in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. 

Friesen’s opportunities in the NASCAR Truck Series have come largely from his ability to develop a complete driver’s skillset while racing 800-horsepower Big-Block Modifieds in the Northeast, where for the last few years he has been absolutely dominant. Can Creed’s adaptability outpace Friesen’s dirt modified experience when the two face off competitively in the 160-Lap, $100,000 to win big finale at the Centennial Race Weekend that follows their NGOTS exhibition? That’s right, Sheldon Creed will strap into a Dirt Modified for a real shot at redemption against Friesen (and MANY more talented drivers), on the DIRT!

In addition to this unprecedented, NASCAR approved exhibition, Orange Motorsports & Entertainment (OME) has jam packed the three-day Centennial Race Weekend with fun activities, attractions, live music and historical tributes.

With a newly resurfaced track, upgraded facilities and more new seating recently added, OCFS is poised to become the Northeast's premiere racetrack.  While the Centennial Race Weekend will be a tribute to the Speedway's rich history, it will also set the precedent for what is to come in this grassroots raceway's future.

August 12, 2019 - 10:54am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo: Joey Pro with driver Jim Morrill Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Trainer John Hallett left the friendly confines of Tioga Downs with Joey Pro this week in lieu of a visit to Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 11) but despite the change in venue, they came away with the same result. Joey Pro scored another win, but this time in the top-class $12,500 Open Handicap trotting feature at the oldest lighted harness track in North America. 

Joey Pro (Jim Morrill Jr.) made it quick and simple; he left, took the lead and outlasted the competition. Morrill set quarters of :29, :58.1 and 1:27 with the field pretty much single-file behind him. Going into the last turn, Wheels A Turning (Dave McNeight III) was moving up the outside first-over, two-lengths behind the leader. But he was also trotting up a storm. When the race straightened out down the lane, Wheels A Turning had drawn almost even with Joey Pro and appeared poised to motor right on by, but Joey Pro swelled up and held him off at the wire to win by a nose in 1:56.2 for his third straight victory.

Well on his way to beating his career year of 2018, Joey Pro ($10.80) has now registered eight wins in 2019 and pocketed $41,780 in purses for owner Mark Wamp. 

The $11,000 Open II Handicap trot also went to an outsider after Saratoga Raceway regular Rose Run Speedster (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled past the half, took control of the race before the three-quarter pole and rebuffed a late bid by Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) to win handily by 1-¼ lengths in 1:57.4. 

Rose Run Speedster ($4.40) is owned by Simzer and Derue and trained by Brett Derue. 

Jim Morrill Jr., Shawn Gray and Billy Davis Jr. all had driving triple on the card; Davis scoring the natural hat trick in the final three races of the day. Trainers Brett Derue, JD Perrin and Steve Kiblin all had two wins apiece.

Live racing resumes Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 14) and the New York Sire Stake 2-year-old pacing fillies will be in town to compete for $107,000 in purses. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m.

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