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August 11, 2019 - 12:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, muckdogs, baseball.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs start an important six-game home stand late this afternoon at Dwyer Stadium with a two-game lead over West Virginia in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

The Muckdogs take on Mahoning Valley today at 5:05 p.m. as well as Monday and Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.

The second-place West Virginia Black Bears (Pittsburgh Pirates) are at Dwyer Stadium Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, all games at 7:05 p.m.

On Saturday night, Batavia needed extra innings to fight off Pennsylvania's third-place State College, 3-2.

State College had a 2-1 lead in the ninth, but Batavia Manager Tom Lawless went to work with a series of moves to tie the game.

After Harrison Dinicola singled, Ronal Reynoso pinch ran and Julian Infante singled him to second. Lawless then called on Brayan Hernandez to lay down a bunt which sent Reynoso to third. Jack Strunc then hit a ball to the right side scoring Hernandez to tie the game.

In the 10th, the minor league rules start a runner on second. Lawless put the speedy Kobie Taylor on the bases and he scored on a fielders choice by Troy Johnston.

In the bottom of the 10th, Lawless turned to closer Evan Brabrand, who got one out on a bunt, moving the tying run to third. He struck out a batter and got a groundout to Dalvy Rosario for the win.

Brabrand, a ninth-round draft pick of the Miami Marlins this year out of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., is 3-1 on the season with 11 saves in 15 appearances with a 1.84 ERA.

Eli Villalobos, a 14th-round pick out of Southern California's Long Beach State in 2018, had a strong start, going five innings with six strikeouts, did not allow a run and walked just one scattering three hits. Brock Love struck out three in two innings and Josh Simpson struck out two in 1.2 innings without a walk or run, lowering his ERA to 0,63.

At the plate, J.D. Orr, the NYPL's leading hitter went 2-for-5 with his 23rd stolen base as Johnston, Nic Ready (Double) , Dinicola, Infante, Strunc and Mikey Hernandez (RBI double) all had hits.

Sean Reynolds walked and stole his second base of the season.

Kids run the bases today after the game and MuckPup Kids Club members get in free. There will be autograph sessions and a chance for photos and selfies with your favorite players starting at 4:20 p.m. near the concession stand.

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.

August 11, 2019 - 12:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Saratoga Raceway regular Saulsbrook Deputy shipped into Western New York on Saturday night (Aug. 10) for the first time and immediately laid down the law after winning the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs 

Driver John Cummings Jr. took his time placing Saulsbrook Deputy on the lead but cleared by the quarter and opened up a two-length advantage at the point. The pair then proceeded to the half in a pedestrian :58.2 split before Lucan Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) rolled up on the outside with Iammrbrightside N (Ray Fisher Jr.) on his back to apply some pressure for the second circuit. 

The top three horses maintained their positions to the three-quarters in 1:26.2 and then around the last turn where Saulsbrook Deputy was still two-lengths clear. But Iammrbrightside N tipped three-deep around the stalled Lucan Hanover and was barreling down the middle of the track and closing with every stride. Cummings was urging his horse all the way down the lane and Saulsbrook Deputy responded and stayed game to win in 1:55.1. 

Saulsbrook Deputy ($5.70) scored his fifth win of the year for owner Kevin Quinn and brought his 2019 earnings to $49,491. Paul Zabielski trains the winner. 

In the undercard $11,000 Open II pace, Drunkonaplane (Billy Davis Jr.) scored his second straight win at Batavia Downs after a very strong performance. 

Drunkonaplane had the lead four-steps off the gate and relinquished that spot only momentarily before the quarter when he let Manceiver (Jim Morrill Jr.) clear. But he immediately retook the front and closed out the deal. Davis cut quarters of :56.3 and 1:24.4 before turning for home and holding off 51-1 shot Tullow N (Ray Fisher Jr.). 

Drunkonaplane ($4), who now has six wins this year, is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable Jack Rice and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice is the trainer. 

Several horsemen and one horsewoman had very productive nights at Batavia on Saturday. Billy Davis Jr. and Jim Morrill Jr. both had four winners on the card while trainers Jackie Greene, Paul Zabielski and Maria Rice all sent two winners to the winner’s enclosure. 

Live racing resumes Batavia Downs on today (Aug. 11) Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m.

August 9, 2019 - 12:48pm

Press release:

MIDDLETOWN -- Michael Waltrip, two-time Daytona 500 champion and MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES driver will appear at the Orange County Fair Speedway (OCFS) on Saturday, Aug. 17th, the final day of the 100-year-old speedway’s special “Centennial Race Weekend.”

The former driver and team owner serves as an analyst for FOX NASCAR’s coverage of the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES, NASCAR XFINITY SERIES and the NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES (NGOTS), the series in which occasional OCFS competitors Stewart Friesen and Tyler Dippel race.

Waltrip won’t be the only NASCAR presence felt at the Centennial Race Weekend, as Stewart Friesen and Sheldon Creed are set to face off in a special exhibition in their NGOTS trucks at OCFS, in a first-ever experience. With an all-new clay racing surface, drivers and fans alike are excited to see what kind of speeds a NASCAR truck does at “The House of Power” with one of the sport’s greatest legends there to see it all go down.

In 2007, Waltrip ushered Toyota into the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES as team owner for Michael Waltrip Racing and driver of the No. 55 Toyota, leading the manufacturer’s efforts in its first year of Cup competition. Waltrip opened the doors of his one-of-a-kind race shop and fan experience in a former movie theater in Cornelius, N.C., and welcomed Rob Kauffman as co-owner in the fall of 2007.

In 2012, MWR earned its first two berths in the Chase for the NASCAR Cup with Clint Bowyer, who finished second, and Martin Truex Jr. In 2010, Waltrip segued to a part-time driving schedule and scored two top-five finishes in only four starts in 2013. MWR campaigned fulltime in the Cup Series through the conclusion of the 2015 season.

The Owensboro, Ky., native spent 33 years as a driver in the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES. He won the 2001 and 2003 DAYTONA 500, making him one of 10 multi-time winners. Waltrip owns four Cup wins and four pole positions, alongside 11 career NASCAR XFINITY SERIES wins and one NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES victory – at the 2011 Daytona race in a last-lap pass.

He made his Cup Series driving debut in the 1985 COCA-COLA 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he also won the 1996 NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE, as well as the 1991 and 1992 Winston Open and 1995 Winston Select.

August 9, 2019 - 12:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in NASCAR, sports, car racing.

Submitted photo and press release:

MIDDLETOWN -- Racing’s top talents are expected to be in Middletown, Orange County, at next week’s “Centennial Race Weekend” on Aug.15, 16 and 17. Among the hundreds of competitors from the northeast will be a number of current and former NASCAR stars, all looking to make history, but also looking for that $100,000 to win check, the biggest ever purse in Modified Dirt Racing.

Hot off of a big win at Eldora Speedway, dirt racing star Stewart Friesen will be hauling out to Middletown after running with the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in Michigan this Saturday night. Friesen hopes to roll up with 2 big consecutive NASCAR wins under his belt. As expected, joining Friesen at Orange County Fair Speedway is his fellow truck series driver and northeast dirt mod driver, Tyler Dippel, of Ulster County.

Both Friesen and Dippel race extensive schedules in both Northeast dirt racing, and NASCAR trucks, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that the two would be in attendance for this 100th Anniversary event, the big shocker however was that Friesen would also be appearing with his NASCAR Truck in a special 10-lap exhibition with Sheldon Creed at the “House of Power”!

In addition to the 10-lap exhibition, Creed will also strap into a dirt modified and throw down with best of them for that $100,000 paycheck. Can this NASCAR standout (who just finished second to Friesen at Eldora) win big against the legions of local teams who have called OCFS home for decades?

Many OCFS hometown favorites have returned to Middletown after success in NASCAR and ARCA series racing. The 2017 OCFS track champ, Jimmy Horton, had a prolific ARCA career with wins at Daytona. Now in his 60s, Horton remains a fierce competitor at OCFS with his Halmar Race Team no. 43 modified and is expected to be a top runner at the Centennial Race Weekend.

Even OCFS all-time winner and current championship points leader, Brett Hearn, branched out and competed on the national stage with NASCAR at one point in his career.

Prolific dirt modified drivers like Tighe Scott and Gary Balough have earned legend status at Orange County Fair Speedway, as well as on the NASCAR circuit. Balough, who recently appeared on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s TV show and Podcast, will be at the Centennial Race Weekend event with his no.112 “Batmobile” -- one of dirt racing’s most dominant and innovative cars ever built.

In addition to his car(s) being on display, Balough will also hold a lecture on car building and will premiere the trailer for a documentary about his life and career as a driver and his downfall as a smuggler on Thursday, Aug. 15th, the first day of the three-day Centennial Race Weekend event. 

Since its inception in 1919, OCFS has been home to many drivers who have achieved national acclaim, many of the speedway’s first competitors were Indy 500 drivers and winners.

Even into the 1960s with Mario Andretti and Bobby Allison racing in Middletown, OCFS has always been a place where the best of the best battled it out on the dirt.

Many of these DIRT & NASCAR racing heroes and more will participate in two massive autograph sessions at OCFS over the anniversary weekend, with free posters for fans while supplies last.

The Centennial Race Weekend is a once-in-a-lifetime event, your chance to see NASCAR stars RACE at your local dirt track, and meet them for an autograph in our “Champions Plaza” a space that will pay tribute to OCFS’s rich, 100-year history.

For a full list of Centennial Race Weekend events, visit: orangecountyfairpseedway.net and check out the schedule or news sections.

August 9, 2019 - 10:37am
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The numbers are in and they’re impressive to say the least. After completing two weeks of the 2019 live harness racing meet, Batavia Downs has reported unprecedented increases in handle from every source of wagering.

Western Regional Off Track Betting (WROTB) operates Batavia Downs and released the following numbers after the first nine cards of racing.

Export betting was up 36 percent, on-track betting was up 20 percent and WROTB betting from all outlets was up 10 percent. Total betting is up 30 percent or a total of $291,351 with an average increase of $32,372 per night.

“On Monday (Aug. 5) the track handle was up 90 percent while the total handle was up 127 percent from the same Monday last year. It was the fifth largest of all time since WROTB reopened the track in 2002,” said Todd Haight, director/general manager of Batavia Downs.

“We were hoping to see increases as a result of our stakes programs this year, but we are ecstatic to be seeing it on our overnight product as well.”

The centerpiece of the 2019 meet is the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions that will be held at the Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14) along with the track's signature stake, the $50,000 Kane Memorial Invitational pace.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs this week on Saturday (Aug. 10) with post time at 6 p.m.

August 9, 2019 - 10:24am
posted by Billie Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

Press release:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The race for the Pinckney Division lead in the New York-Penn League is getting hot as August as the Batavia Muckdogs lost and West Virginia picked up at least one win on Thursday.

Batavia (31-22) has a 2.5 game lead over West Virginia, who won the first game of a doubleheader against Williamsport on Thursday.

Batavia's lone run in a 4-1 loss to State College Thursday came in the ninth when Julian Infante had a RBI double. He finished with two hits and is hitting .300 on the season.

J.D. Orr continued his tear, going 2-for-4 with a run to increase his lead-leading average to .387.

Milton Smith II, Harrison Dinicola and Andres Stormes all had hits for Batavia.

Andrew Miller threw the first five innings with two strikeouts, one earned run and two walks. Dakota Bennett went three innings with four strikeouts and one earned run.

Batavia is at State College Friday and Saturday and return to Dwyer Stadium for a 5:05 p.m. game on Sunday with Mahoning Valley.

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.

August 8, 2019 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, 24U baseball, batavia.

Story by Dan McComb:

Despite outhitting their opponent, North Town, 9-3, the Batavia 24U Baseball Team came out on the losing end of a 3-2 extra-inning thriller on Aug. 1.

Down 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Batavia rallied to tie the game at 2 when Burnie Jonis singled and went to second on a wild pitch.

Tristan Aldinger then doubled him home, and Jerry Reinhardt singled him home.

The game was tied at 2 in the bottom of the eighth inning when a critical play went against Batavia.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Jonis singled with one out. Jerry Reinhardt then with two outs lined a double down the left field line all the way to the fence, and Jonis was called out at home on a controversial play. The catcher later admitted he never tagged Jonis.

In the top of the ninth inning, North Town would score the winning run when their lead-off hitter walked with one out.

Trevor Sherwood then attempted to pick off the lead-off hitter and appeared to have a successful pick-off, but in the run-down an errant throw went into left field, placing the runner on third base.

With the infield drawn and 1 out, a ground ball was hit to the infield, and despite a perfect throw and tag at home plate, the runner was called safe, and North Town delivered a 3-2 upset win over the previously undefeated Batavia squad.

Sherwood pitched a great game, allowing only three hits and striking out nine in eight-and-a-third innings.

Zeke Lynn came on in relief and struck out the two batters that he faced.

Reinhardt collected three hits and AJ Marcello and Jonis collected two hits each. Also collecting hits were Lynn and Aldinger.

Despite the heartbreaking loss the season was a success.

This squad has been together for seven years and has added key players every year.

The coach referred to this team as the best team he has ever coached, and said the players are all class acts. Although the season ended on a controversial and sour note, nonetheless it was fun and drew a lot of fans to the park.

August 8, 2019 - 10:52am

The 19th Annual Van Hulburt Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit the comfort care home Crossroads House and Masonic Charities will take place Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Batavia Country Club.

It is hosted by Hesperus Masonic Lodge #837, Bergen.

Cost is $70 per person and includes: 18 holes of golf with cart; lunch; dinner; prizes -- men & women  / closest to the pin / longest drive / tournament winners.

Guests are welcome for a $22 fee.

The tournament is a four-person scramble. Sign in is at 11 a.m., lunch is 11:30, shotgun start is at noon.

All teams must be paid by Aug. 9th to guarantee placement in this tournament.

There will also be basket raffles, a 50/50, and Chinese auction.

For more information, contact Marty Krause at (585) 730-2809.

The tournament is sponsored by Triple-0-Mechanical Inc. Other sponsors include: Alexander Country Deli; Bergen C-Store & Dunkin Donuts; Ashley Capital; Ralph & Rosie's Deli & Pizzeria; Bonduelle USA; Jerry Hulburt & Family.

The tournament's namesake, Van Hulburt, worked for 35 years at Byron-Bergen Central School as a teacher, counselor and he coached golf for 25 years. He was a Past Master of Hesperus Lodge and a beloved member of the Masonic community.

August 8, 2019 - 7:23am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Above, Bourbon Express with driver Jason Bartlett.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters invaded Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 7) and they did some damage to the record book by breaking the local mark for their age, gender and gait in two successive series races. 

In the first $52,000 division, Bourbon Express (RC Royalty-Kasha) was sent down the road by driver Jason Bartlett and once gone, the pair never looked back. Operating with a gapped advantage, Bourbon Express went quarters of :28.4, :59.2 and 1:28.2 before rounding the last turn and heading into the stretch with a two-length lead. From there he trotted home a wrapped-up winner by four-lengths in 1:57.3. 

The time was a new lifetime mark for Bourbon Express and also a new Batavia Downs track record for 2-year-old trotting colts. The former mark was 1:58.1 set by Zack’s Zoomer in 2016. 

“This horse is very handy, he doesn’t act like a 2-year-old,” Bartlett said. “He’s a real nice colt.”

It was the third win of the year for Bourbon Express ($5.90) who started 2019 as a winner in Excelsior “A” action. Now he has won two NYSS races. Those victories have earned $78,008 for his owners Salvatore Vullo, James De Armond and Jessica Okusko, who also trains the winner. 

Annette Roydon bred Bourbon Express. 

(Above, Barn Holden with driver Andy Miller.)

Then two races later in the second $51,000 division, Barn Holden (Conway Hall-Barn Babe) and driver Andy Miller seemed to be taking the record-breaking seriously as they were on a mission as soon as the gate released them. Barn Holden was on top by three at the quarter and that margin would only grow as the race progressed. 

After a :28.2 and :57.4 first lap, Barn Holden opened up four lengths by the three-quarters in 1:27.1 and five by the top of the lane. Miller however kept his colt to task and tapped the wheel disk twice in the straight and raised the lines mid-stretch and Barn Holden trotted away to an eight-length win in 1:57.1, eclipsing the mark set less than an hour earlier by Bourbon Bay and becoming the new Batavia standard-bearer. 

“I thought he was the best going in and I wanted the front,” Miller said. “He trotted very handily to the wire.” 

Barn Holden ($2.70) has now won three out of his last four races, all in NYSS action, and has an even $90,000 on the card for his efforts. Steve Pratt, Nancy Pratt, the Purple Haze Stable and the Out In The Country Stable own the top points and money earner in his NYSS division. 

Steve and Nancy Pratt bred Barn Holden. 

Andy Miller had a big day at Batavia winning four races on the card and posting a stout .814 Universal Driver Rating (UDR) for the six races he was in. Those wins included both $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior “A” series and those horses were both trained by the other half of Team Orange Crush, Julie Miller.     

Book Seven (Chapter Seven - Tantalizing Donna) 

Driver -- Andy Miller

Owner -- Stroy Inc.

Trainer -- Julie Miller

Breeder -- Winbak Farm

Time -- 1:59 

Mutuel -- $7

All Profit (Credit Winner -- Bambino Supreme) 

Driver -- Andy Miller

Owner -- Andy Miller Stable and Kapildeo Singh

Trainer -- Julie Miller

Breeder -- Steve Jones

Time -- 2:02 

Mutuel -- $10.20

Jason Bartlett, who just scored his 8,000th driving win this past June, added three more to his total after getting a hat trick on Monday. Like Miller, Bartlett’s percentage for his eight drives was stellar as well, as he ended the evening with a .597 UDR. 

Batavia Downs perennial driving leader Kevin Cummings was involved in a spill before the start of the third race when the horse he was driving fell behind the gate. Cummings was transported to the hospital for further evaluation and no further information is available at this time. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 10) with post time at 6 p.m.

August 8, 2019 - 7:15am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, muckdogs, baseball.

Submitted photo and press release:

WILLIAMSPORT -- The Batavia Muckdogs ended a three-game losing streak with a doubleheader sweep of the Williamsport Crosscutters by identical scores of 6-3 on Wednesday night.

Despite a six-run first inning in game one and a huge clutch triple in game two, the story of the night was the dominating pitching performance of Easton Lucas. He reached his pitch limit in the fourth and did not get the decision, but Batavia Pitching Coach Chad Rhodes said he did his job.

"He did for us what we needed and plus some," Rhodes said. "He took the spirit out of them with his command and tied up some good hitters with his fastball inside."

Williamsport started the night with a six-game win streak.

"His fastball coupled with his command set the tone and made hitters have to cover the whole zone which allowed him to push and pull them with his changeup tonight," Rhodes said. "He was very crisp and in complete control."

Lucas struck out eight in 3.1 innings and walked one, gave up one hit and one run. Lucas is 1-1 on the season with 26 strikeouts in 21 innings allowing just four walks and six runs all year with a 0.86 WHIP and a 2.57 ERA.

Geremy Galindez improved to 4-0 on the mound as he threw the final two innings of the second game, striking out one, did not walk a batter and gave up three hits.

Brock Love tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, striking out three without giving up a hit. Love is a 2019 draft pick of the Marlins out of the University of Alabama.

The big hit was from shortstop Dalvy Rosario, who broke a 2-2 tie in the final inning with a triple to centerfield.

Rosario finished with two hits and run while Andrew Turner was 2-for-4 with a run to increase his average to .283 (Turner had a 2-RBI single which was later ruled a fielder's choice), Nic Ready had a RBI and scored while Jack Strunc had a RBI single and catcher Mikey Hernandez ripped a double.

Milton Smith II stole second and third, for 14 steals on the season while Rosario stole his 10th base of the season and Ready swiped his third steal.

In the first game, Batavia scored six runs in the top of the first to seal the 6-3 victory.

From there, four pitchers took over. Edgar Martinez went the first three, striking out three without allowing a walk, Josh Simpson picked up his first win of the season, going two innings and striking out two with no walks and one run, the first he has given up this season. His ERA is a minuscule 0.71. Simpson is a 6-foot-2 lefty out of Columbia and a 32nd round pick of the Marlins this year.

Joey Steele earned his third hold of the season, throwing one inning of shut out ball with two strikeouts, no walks and one hit.

Steele has a 0.00 ERA this season. The 6-foot-2 righty, a 30th round draft pick this year out of University of San Francisco has appeared in 12 games, thrown 11 innings with 18 strikeouts and one walk, not allowing a single run.

Evan Brabrand picked up his 11th save of the season, throwing the final inning, striking out one and not allowing a walk, run or hit. Brabrand, a ninth-round pick this year out of Liberty University (Lynchburg, Va.) has made the most of his 14 appearances, going 2-1 with 11 saves, a 2.03 ERA and has struck out 18 in 13.1 innings.

At the plate, Julian Infante, a 36th-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tenn.) this season, went 3-for-4 with a RBI double, a run and increased his average to .304.

J.D. Orr is hitting a lead-leading .383 as he had a RBI single, scored a run, walked and stole his 22nd base of the season.

Brayan Hernandez (RBI), Dustin Skelton and Strunc (RBI, run) all had hits.

Batavia is at State College (Pa.) Thursday, Friday and Saturday and return to Dwyer Stadium for a 5:05 p.m. game on Sunday with Mahoning Valley.

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: Batavia pitcher Easton Lucas struck out the first six batters of game 2 to set the tone of Batavia’s 6-3 win. The Muckdogs are 31-21 with a four-game lead in first place.

August 7, 2019 - 11:52am
posted by Billie Owens in kayaking, sports, recreation, DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia.

Kayaking at the pond at DeWitt Recreation Area, which was cancelled last month due to the heat wave, will be offered this Saturday.

Preregistration is required on or before Thursday Aug. 8th, call 585-344-1122.

A maximum of 20 participants will be allowed.

Seize the day with a guided kayak tour of DeWitt Pond! Explore the pond by water and discover a new world.

  • Session 1 takes place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Session 2 takes place from 1 to 3 p.m.

Meet at the boat launch at DeWitt Recreation Area. No experience needed, a beginner kayaking lesson is provided! Rent a kayak or bring your own. Kayak rentals with life vests are provided by Adventures in Fitness Inc. Solo kayak rentals are available for ages 12 and up, tandem kayak rentals are available for kids under 12 and must be piloted by an adult.

Guided tour fee is $20/person without rental or $25/person with kayak rental per session. Fee for children under 12 is $12 per session. Maximum 20 participants per session.

For more information visit the website here, or contact Kayla Edmunds [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

August 6, 2019 - 11:20am
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings will be in Genesee County on Wednesday (Aug. 7) to compete for their share of the $103,000 in total purses available in two divisions to be raced at Batavia Downs. 

Third Shift (Chapter Seven-Overnight Command) and Barn Holden (Conway Hall-Barn Babe) are the top two point-getters and money earners in their age, gait and gender group and will both be on hand for this stop. 

The first division (carded as race five) goes for $52,000 and has Third Shift leading the way. 

Third Shift has two lifetime wins and both were in NYSS action. He finished second in the other start after a break that set him back at Yonkers. And he just took a lifetime mark of 1:54.4 at Vernon Downs last week in a come-from-behind performance that has him coming into this race perfectly spotted. 

Trainer Ake Svanstedt will drive Third Shift from post two at 5-2 morning line.

His main threat in the race looks to be Bourbon Express (RC Royalty-Kasha) who cut the mile and finished third behind Third Shift at Vernon last week. He drew post one and will have the chance to cut the mile again and hope to hang on this week. 

Bourbon Express has Jason Bartlett aboard at 2-1 for trainer Jessica Okusko. 

The second leg (carded as race seven) has a purse of $51,000 with Barn Holden spotted as the morning line even-money favorite. 

Barn Holden also has two wins this year and is also coming in off a new lifetime mark at Vernon. Barn Holden led the entire mile and trotted away down the stretch to win by four and a half lengths in 1:55.3. His other win this year was also on the front end and it looks like that may be the strategy here with the short five-horse field. 

Batavia regular Kevin Cummings drove to Vernon to steer Barn Holden last week; Wednesday trainer Steve Pratt will bring the colt to Batavia for Cummings and last week’s winning combination have drawn post two for this event. 

Berkery J (Chapter Seven-Southwind Catlin) will look to stand in the way of another Barn Holden win and has shown he has the ability to do so. He threw a huge mile at Yonkers three starts ago, winning in 1:58.2 by over seven lengths to take his lifetime mark. That’s faster than any horse in this race over a half-mile track. He has gate speed and with a trip, could be dangerous.

Trainer George Ducharme has assigned Jason Bartlett to drive Berkery J once again the they will leave from post four at 2-1. 

There are also two divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior “A” series trots that will go in races two and four. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. 

August 6, 2019 - 7:33am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, muckdogs, baseball.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs ran into the hottest team in the New York-Penn League on Monday, falling to the Williamsport Crosscutters, 9-3.

Batavia (29-21) could not overcome a four-run first inning as Williamsport won their  sixth straight and Batavia has dropped three. With the loss and a West Virginia win, Batavia now has a three-game lead for first place in the Pinckney Division and trails Lowell by 1.5 games for the best overall record in the NYPL.

Leadoff hitter J.D. Orr, who is always good for at least one hit a game, went 4-for-5 to increase his NYPL leading average to .385 while scoring a run and stealing his 21st base. Orr is a 10th-round draft pick of the Miami Marlins out of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and has played left and center for the Muckdogs.

Troy Johnston (17th-round pick this year out of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.) had two hits and a run while Albert Guiamaro is back in the lineup and belted a RBI double. Kobie Taylor, a 15th-round pick out of Texas in 2016 by Miami, came off the bench and since for the second game in a row.

Julian Infante (RBI, run), Harrison Dinicola (RBI) and Jack Stunc (RBI) also had hits.

Julio Frias dropped to 3-2 on the season, but went five innings and struck out six as his ERA is 2.79.

Edison Suriel was another bright spot, throwing a perfect ninth and striking out the side.

Batavia is at Williamsport for two more games before heading to West Virginia for three games and returning home on Sunday.

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.

August 6, 2019 - 7:23am
posted by Billie Owens in 5K, sports, Batavia Area Jaycees, Labor Day.

Press release:

The Batavia Area Jaycees are proud to announce their 32nd Annual Labor Day 5K Run & Walk, to be held on Monday, Sept. 2nd at MacArthur Park in Batavia.

Participants should check in from 8 to 8:50 a.m. Race time is 9 o'clock.

The registration fee for runners/walkers is $25 if preregistered until Aug. 18th and $30 afterward, including the day of the event. The fee for runners/walkers 17 and younger is $20 preregistered until Aug. 18th and $25 afterward.

Awards will be presented to the top three finishers and first place in age group. 

You can register at runsignup.com or go to Batavia Area Jaycees Facebook page. Registration forms are available at runsignup.com and the day of race.

The Batavia Area Jaycees have been a part of the community and helping out for more than 65 years. Our goal is to provide young people with the opportunity to develop personal, professional and leadership skills through community involvement and specific trainings tailored to enhance their abilities for future endeavors.

Batavia Area Jaycees

PO Box 285

Batavia, NY 14021


August 5, 2019 - 7:30am
posted by Billie Owens in muckdogs, sports, baseball.


Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs lost in grand style on Sunday as the Connecticut Tigers powered by a grand slam home run by Avery Tuck powered the visitors over the Muckdogs, 9-2.

Despite the loss, the Muckdogs (29-20) still have a four game lead in the New York Penn-League Pinckney Division as second place West Virginia also lost and are tied with State College for second.

Batavia's J.D. Orr continued his impressive 2019 season with a 2-for-4 performance and a run, raising his league-leading average to .368.

Gunner Schubert was 2-for-3 and is hitting .444 since joining the team last week. Harrison Dinicola also had two hits and a RBI for Batavia while Nic Ready and Kobie Taylor had hits.

Moises Nunez also homered for the Tigers and Riley Greene, the No. 1 pick of the Tigers in the 2019 draft and No. 5 pick overall, had a RBI single and scored.

Jackson Rose fell to 5-3 with the loss for Batavia as Brock Love threw a strong two innings with one hit and two strikeouts without allowing a run and his ERA is still 0.00.

M.D. Johnson threw the ninth for Batavia and gave up a hit and no runs.

Batavia is on the road for six straight games in six days at Williamsport and State College before returning home on Sunday, Aug. 11 to play Mahoning Valley at 5:05 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.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.








August 5, 2019 - 7:25am
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Hickfromfrenchlick came to play on Sunday (Aug. 4) in his $58,700 division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Batavia Downs and he went gate to wire in impressive fashion and equaled the track record time. 

Leaving from post one driver Matt Kakaley was rolling immediately with Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl’s A Star) and had prohibitive post time favorite Shake That House (Tyler Buter) alongside, also trying to make the front. These two tangled to the quarter in :26.2 when Buter relented and ducked into the pocket heading into the second turn. With no pressure moving to the half Kakaley backed it down to :28.3, but as soon as the second circuit ensued, Shake That House pulled and came right back at the leader one more time. 

Hickfromfrenchlick and Shake That House squared off and were pacing in tandem from the five-eighths to the three-quarters and got there in a lightning 1:22.4. Around the final bend Hickfromfrenchlick got a 1/2 length advantage that he took into the stretch. Kakaley was throwing lines and his horse was responded with more. Hickfromfrenchlick put away Shake That House and held of a quick closing Buddy Hill (Marcus Miller) to win by a neck in 1:51.2. 

The winning time of 1:51.2 was a new lifetime mark for Hickfromfrenchlick and also tied the Batavia Downs track record for 3-year-old pacing colts set by All Bets Off back in 2014. Oddly enough Kakaley also drove All Bets Off in that record performance. 

“Well we had the rail and he’s good on the front so that’s where I wanted him, especially with no passing lane here. We controlled the pace and he responded well to the challenge,” said Kakaley. “He was getting a little tired in the lane but he saw the one (Buddy Hill) coming at him and had enough left to hold him off at the wire.”  

When told he tied the track record of All Bets Off Kakaley said “As I recall we were on the front that day too and he had quite a bit left at the wire.”

All Bets Off ran away with that race by eight lengths. 

Hickfromfrenchlick ($6.50) scored his fourth win in seven starts this year and now has $114,925 on the card in 2019. Ray Schnittker trains and co-owns Hickfromfrenchlick with Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico. 

Steve Jones was the breeder of Hickfromfrenchlick. 

In the second $58,700 division American Mercury was peerless in victory after controlling all fractions from the start. 

Tyler Buter floated American Mercury (American Ideal-Tessa Hanover) off the gate after Artie’s Ideal (Marcus Miller) bolted to the front. He then rolled up the outside and took over the lead in a comfortable :28.1. The field stayed in single-file and American Mercury hit the half in only :57 and things were looking very much in his favor at that point. 

Magic Joe Lindy (Drew Monti) pulled first up at the five-eighths and advanced towards the leader. He got to within one length of American Mercury at the three-quarters and stayed there around the last turn. When they hit the stretch Buter was line driving American Mercury and he was pacing strongly all the way to the wire to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.2.

It was the third straight win for American Mercury ($2.10) and sixth of the season. The gelding has now earned $211,843 this year for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Northfork Racing Stable, Chuck Pompey and Scott Bice. 

Steve Stewart, Julie Nash and Charles Nash bred American Mercury. 

There were also $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior “A” series that were won by:

Rickybobbyandthehaus (American Ideal-Molly Can Do It)

Driver -- Tyler Buter

Owner -- Crawford Farms, Northfork Racing Stable, Billy Timmins and Anthony Timmins

Trainer -- Chris Oakes

Breeder -- Blue Chip Bloodstock

Time -- 1:53.4 

Mutuel -- $4.40

Chatelroll (Roll With Joe-Chatelaine) 

Driver -- Jason Bartlett 

Owner -- Purple Haze Stable

Trainer -- George Ducharme

Breeder -- Twinbrook Limited

Time -- 1:53.2 

Mutuel -- $3

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

August 4, 2019 - 11:23am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Saratoga Raceway regular Hudson Phil traveled four hours west on the I-90 for his first-ever start at Batavia Downs and the trip was worth his while. He won the $12,500 Open Handicap pace in gate to wire fashion at the Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 3). 

Hudson Phil (Jim Morrill Jr.) flew off the wings and took command with Lucan Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) drafting close behind. After going to the quarter in :27.2, Morrill grabbed leather and backed the second panel off to a meager :29 as the rest of the field finally caught up. As they started on the second circuit Upfront Countryboy (Drew Monti) pulled first up on the outside to pass the gapped Adonis Bay (John Cummings Jr.) and then dropped back into third to save ground. 

The race moved into the last turn and Monti pulled Upfront Countryboy out again and aggressively started driving him as they headed into the stretch. Hudson Phil was still in command but Upfront Countryboy was closing with every step. Lucan Hanover, who had been following the leader the entire mile, was now full of pace but had nowhere to go and was locked on the pylons. Hudson Phil stayed strong on the point and held off all challenges to win by a neck in 1:53.3. 

Hudson Phil ($2.30) has now earned $86,832 for owner Kellogg Racing Stables on the strength of his eight 2019 wins. Jackie Greene trains the 4-year-old son of Shanghai Phil-Hazel. 

The $11,000 Open II was a very entertaining race. Cultural Paradise (Kyle Cummings) was cruising along smartly on the lead at the half in a moderate split of :56.1, before taking the race to the head of the stretch looking like a winner. But Iammbrightside N (Dave McNeight Jr.), who had been drafting on the outside for a half mile, pulled three-wide at the three-quarters and was under a full head of steam. Cultural Paradise and Iammbrightside N battled side by side all the way to the wire where Iammbrightside N got the advantage by a neck in 1:53.3. 

It was the 33rd lifetime win for Iammbrightside N ($12.20) who is owned by Mirussa Russo and trained by Dave Russo. 

Several horsemen had multiple winners on Saturday night. Jim Morrill Jr., Dave McNeight III and Billy Davis Jr. all had three winners on the evening while trainer Dave Russo also sent two horses to the Purple Haze winner’s circle. 

The New York Sire Stakes glamour division; the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings will invade Batavia Downs on today (Aug. 4) when live racing resumes to vie for $117,400 in total purses. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m.

August 4, 2019 - 11:16am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, muckdogs, baseball.

Submitted photo and press release:

The five-game win-streak for the Batavia Muckdogs ended at the hands of the Connecticut Tigers, 5-3 on Saturday night.

The Muckdogs (29-19) have a four-game lead in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division going into the rubber match of the series today (Aug. 4). The game is at 5:05 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium.

Batavia starter Andrew Miller had an outstanding six-inning outing, scattering give hits and not allowing a run. The lefty draft pick of the Miami Marlins in the 2018 draft did not walk a batter and struck out three, lowering his ERA to 3.57.

The Muckdogs mounted a comeback in the eighth as Gunner Schubert ripped two-RBI single to cut the Tigers lead to 4-3. But the Tigers tacked on an insurance run and held on for the win.

J.D. Orr (run), Andrew Turner and Andres Stormes had hits for Batavia.

Today, there will be autographs and photos with players for the fans before the game near the concession stands; it's MuckPups Day for kids who also get to run the bases after the game.

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: Batavia's Jack Strunc got to first base to find former Creighton teammate Jake Holton holding him on. Holton and the Tigers won the second game of the series, 5-3 on Saturday. The series is tied 1-1 with the final game today at 5:05 p.m. at Dwyer.

August 3, 2019 - 11:30am
posted by Billie Owens in baseball, muckdogs, sports.

Submitted photo and press release:

The five-game win streak for the first place  Batavia Muckdogs is intact thanks to another clutch performance from Nic Ready.

Ready hit a home run to give Batavia a 3-0 lead, but with the Muckdogs tied 5-5 in the seventh, his RBI double proved to be the game-winner.

"I knew he was going to try to challenge me, he went in on me earlier and I didn't get to it," said Ready of his double. "I thought he was going to come with a fast ball, I got my foot down, I got my timing ready and I put the barrel on it."

Ready, who graduated from the Air Force, was a 23rd-round draft pick of the Miami Marlins this year. He finished the game 2-for-3 with the home run (his fifth) and double and three RBIs.

Batavia is 29-18 and up five games on West Virginia and six games on State College. Both teams chasing Batavia lost Friday night.

"It's the dog days of August, the dog are hot, let's have a strong second half," Ready said.

Troy Johnston, a 17th-round pick by the Marlins out of Gonzaga this year, had the game-winning run and went a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs and a RBI to up his average to .297.

Gunnar Schubert and Brayan Hernandez (two hits, run) tripled while J.D. Orr (run), Julian Infante and Dustin Skelton singled.

Evan Brabrand continued his impressive 2019 season, picking up his 10th save of the season. He threw a scoreless ninth, striking out one and lowering his ERA to 2.19.

Edison Surial (2-1) picked up the win, throwing 2.1 innings with three strikeouts and did not allow a run.

Easton Lucas had a solid start, going four innings, lowering his ERA to 2.55 by scattering three hits with no runs and a strikeout.

Batavia is home Saturday night for a 7:05 p.m. start and fireworks sponsored by O-AT-K-A after the game. Sunday is a 5:15 p.m. start with autographs and photos with players for the fans before the game near the concession stands, it's MuckPups Day for kids who also get to run the bases after the game.

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: Nic Ready is doused by water from Sean Reynolds after he hit a two-run home run and then the eventual game-winning RBI double to lift the Muckdogs to a 6-5 win, their fifth straight.

August 2, 2019 - 12:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Above: #4 -- Shake That House with driver Brian Sears. Photo by Fotowon.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Akron, New York, native Chris Oakes when he brings two powerful members of his now Wilkes-Barre, Pa., based stable to Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 4) to compete in two divisions of the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for purses totaling $117,400. 

In the first $58,700 division (carded as race one) Oakes will start Shake That House (American Ideal-Shake That Junk) as the morning line 6-5 favorite. 

Shake That House only has two starts in the NYSS this year and both were wins, but he has also been competing successfully on the Grand Circuit. 

After drawing the outside at Mohawk Park in an elimination of the North American Cup, Shake That House got parked for most of the mile and did not qualify for the final. 

But the resilient colt bounced back to win his next start which was an elimination of the Max C. Hempt stake at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. After taking the lead past the half, Shake That House led the rest of the way and won in 1:49, which was a lifetime mark. The following week in the $500,000 final he left from post seven, went right to the front and won handily in 1:49.2. 

Then in his most recent start, Shake That House was in a NYSS event at Vernon Downs and sat third to the half before pulling to take the lead before the three-quarters and then paced away from the field in 1:47.4 which was another new lifetime mark for him and also a new track record at Vernon for 3-year-old pacing colts. 

For the year Shake That House has six wins in seven starts and has earned $336,400 to date. 

Tyler Buter will be in the bike behind Shake That House on Sunday and will start from post five. Also, Shake That House will be coupled in a stable entry with Buddy Hill (Roll With Joe-Lessofit Hanover) for betting purposes. 

Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl’s A Star) and Major March (Art Major-March You And Me) who finished second and third in that track record mile at Vernon are also in this division starting from post one with Matt Kakaley and post two with Jason Bartlett respectively.

(Above, #6 -- American Mercury with Tyler Buter. Photo by Fotowon​.)

The second $58,700 split (carded as race six) finds another Oakes trainee, American Mercury (American Ideal-Tessa Hanover), the prohibitive morning line choice at 4-5. 

American Mercury has raced exclusively in NYSS races this year and has won four of the six he entered, finishing second and third in the other two. He started the year racing from off the pace but has since found as much success on the front end. 

He took a new lifetime mark at Yonkers in June winning easily in 1:50.3 over the half-mile strip and it set a track record for 3-year-old pacing geldings and also tied the all-age seasons mark at the Hilltop. 

In his next start at Vernon Downs American Mercury lowered his personal best again, touring the facility in 1:49.4 and winning by two lengths. 

American Mercury has five wins in seven starts this year and has bankrolled $182,493 as a result. 

Tyler Buter gets the call on American Mercury as well and drawing post two off the gate. 

Magic Joe Lindy (American Ideal-Lindy’s Bandita) who finished third to American Mercury in that sub-1:50 mile at Vernon should be his main competitor here and starts from post five with Drew Monti up.   

The track record for the 3-year-old pacing male division at Batavian a Downs is 1:51.2 and that mark is serious jeopardy with perfect weather being forecast for Sunday. 

Also at Batavia Downs for the matinee card is Dollar Sundays which continues this week. Sahlen’s Hot Dogs, draft beer and sodas are only $1 each from noon until the last race at the Homestretch Grille. 

Post time for the first race Sunday is 1:15 p.m.

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