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November 24, 2018 - 2:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Southern Palms with driver Kevin Cummings scores an upset in Batavia feature.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Southern Palms has been knocking on the door the past two weeks in Batavia Downs top trot, but Friday night (Nov. 23) he kicked that door down and dethroned Lougazi in winning the $11,500 Open Handicap trot.

Crystal Sphere (Billy Davis Jr.) and Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) both left from mid-pack and settled on the front in that same order. After doing one lap in :58.1 the outer flow came at them with last week’s winner Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) sitting third in the three-horse outside assault.

As the two-tiers past the five-eighths, Crystal Sphere and Southern Palms had separated from the field and Fisher tipped three-deep around the stalled outer advance, but he was still six-lengths from the front at the three-quarters in 1:27.4.

Heading into the lane Cummings pulled Southern Palms and took dead-aim at Crystal Sphere, passing that one halfway down the stretch. But he still had to deal with Lougazi who was flying down the middle of the track and looked like he might reach. But Southern Palms got to the wire first and won by a head in 1:57.

It was the eighth win of the year for Southern Palms ($15.60) who has now banked $66,441 in earnings this year for owner Mike Torcello. Western New York racing legend Gerry Sarama trains the winner.  

The $8,800 Open II trot was won by Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) who tracked the front-running Lenny Mac (Billy Davis Jr.) from the garden spot the entire mile before pulling at the head of the lane and out-trotting her to the wire to win by a head in 1:58.1. It was the fourth win of the year for Barn Winner ($5.90) who is trained by Ryan Swift for owners Tanah Merah Farm and the Swift Racing Stable.  

Drew Monti and Billy Davis Jr. led all drivers on Friday with two wins each on the card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Nov. 24) with post time at 6 o'clock.

November 22, 2018 - 2:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

Kaitlyn Rae with driver Drew Monti wins for the 14th time of the year in Batavia.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Who has 63 lifetime wins, 14 of which were taken this year and is currently the fourth winningest mare in North America? That would be Kaitlyn Rae, who bested the top female pacers in Western New York once again on Wednesday evening (Nov. 21) after she won the $10,400 Open Handicap pace for fillies and mares at Batavia Downs. 

Out-stepping Hey Kobe (Ray Fisher Jr.) to the front, Kaitlyn Rae (Drew Monti) took a comfortable lead to the half in :59.1 and three-quarters in 1:29 through 20-degree temperatures and a biting wind. Coming off the far turn, she opened up a two-length advantage and looked to be home free. But Sportsmuffler (Billy Davis Jr.) who was last at the half, made a second-over move off cover and was barreling down the lane full of pace. Kaitlyn Rae needed the wire with Sportsmuffler gaining quickly and it came just in time as Kaitlyn Rae hung on by a head in the photo and won in 1:58.2. 

Kaitlyn Rae ($7.50) is flush this year, earning $75,421 for her owner/trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. She is also currently tied with her well-known win machine stablemate Quicksilvercandy A for wins in 2018. 

In the $8,800 fillies and mares Open II, Mean Pauline (Shawn McDonough) followed A Crafty Lady (Drew Monti) for seven-eighths of the mile before pulling and brushing past the pace-setter to win her fourth race of the year, timed in 1:57.3. Harry Wortzman owns Mean Pauline ($9.40) who is trained by her driver McDonough. 

The two hottest drivers currently competing at Batavia Downs are Denny Bucceri and Billy Davis Jr. 

Over the last five cards of racing Bucceri has won 13 races, including two Grand Slam performances, the second of which was on Wednesday. Bucceri rewarded his backers with scores by Donegal Jim (1:58.4, $3.70), Ciro (2:02, $36.20), Ugly Betty (1:59.4, $6.00) and Wallflower (2:00.1, $4.30). 

Billy Davis Jr. also won 13 races during that span and not to be outdone by Bucceri, had a driving Hat Trick on the card Wednesday.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 23) with post time at a special early time of 4:45 p.m. 

The management and staff of Batavia Downs would like to extend wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving to all horsemen and women as well as our customers both live and simulcast.

November 22, 2018 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, news, Batavia HS, batavia, notify.

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When you're a high school football player, it's something special to get to practice on Thanksgiving Day. It means only one thing. You're playing for a chance to win a state title.

The Batavia Blue Devils (12-0) held a walk-through practice this morning at the Batavia Middle School gym, rehearsing plays and defensive schemes in preparation for that championship match up with the Glens Falls Indians (10-2) at noon Saturday (Nov. 24) inside the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

"It was a special thing to practice on Thanksgiving and my father and I always talked about it, saying, 'wow, you know, think about it, some high school teams are practicing today,' " said Head Coach Brennen Briggs, son of Section V Hall of Fame Coach Jim Briggs. "It's finally us, so you know the hard work has paid off with all these guys and we're excited to get out there on Saturday."

Batavia got to the state final by outscoring the #1 ranked Skaneateles Lakers 54-49.

That game was the first time all season the Blue Devils faced a standout, strong-armed, athletic quarterback, in Patrick Hackler. As they turn their attention to the Indians, they're again facing a top-ranked QB, Joseph Girard III, who has a 63-percent completion rate on the season.

Again, he's big and athletic (he's all-time leading scorer in Basketball for Glens Falls, with 3,306 career points, and just signed a basketball scholarship with Syracuse).

He's also not the only member of the Girard family on the team. He's one of six cousins from a family with 75 years of athletic history in Glens Falls.

Briggs said facing Hackler and Skaneateles definately helped his team be better prepared to defend against Girard and the Indians.

"Obviously it's a very good football team over there," Briggs said. "You know we're game-planning for their quarterback and their skill positions. It's going to be a tough test for us. I think we'll be up for the challenge and you know we're hoping to get another good day of work in tomorrow."

The game plan for Batavia will come as no surprise to Glens Falls Head Coach Matt Shell: Give the ball to Ray Leach and make the Indians stop him.

So far in the postseason, every other opponent of the Blue Devils has found that impossible.

Leach has 1,223 yards rushing and has scored 22 touchdowns over the past three games, including eight touchdown performances against both Cheektowaga and Skaneateles (state playoff records). He was handed the ball 50 times against the Lakers. He set a new state record (breaking his previous week's record) with 474 yards rushing. His 50 points scored is a playoff record for New York.

Leach also intercepted a Hackler pass on defense, with Andrew Francis snagging another key interception to open the third quarter and allow Batavia to extend its lead by two touchdowns for the first time in the game.

The interceptions, perhaps, made the biggest difference and highlight a weakness for high school teams that live by the pass. Even the best high school quarterbacks are more prone to turnovers than top running backs.

Batavia's big line will be ready to pressure Girard and with Leach, Francis, and Taiyo Iburi-Bethel in the defensive secondary, the Blue Devils have the tools to disrupt the passing game.

"If we do what we do by taking care of the football, as we've done, then it should be pretty good for us," Briggs said. "I think that we've got some guys out there that are hungry to get the football once it's in the air so hopefully we can put some pressure on him, contain him, and create some turnovers."

At the end of today's practice, Briggs and his coaches told their players -- enjoy Thanksgiving with their families, be thankful for what they've got, recognize the unique position they're in -- a chance to play for a state championship, take care of themselves and be ready to go on Saturday. 

If you're not attending the game, you can listen to the WBTA broadcast (UPDATE: WBTA will stream the came on WBTAi.com) or check The Batavian for updates.

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November 19, 2018 - 5:34pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Triplicates in league bowling are hard to come by, especially when each game is 247.

But it happened last Monday night when Chris Huntz of Perry turned the trick in the Monday Nite 5 League at Perry Bowling Center.

Huntz, who turned 35 yesterday, rolled 247-247-247 for a 741 series, and earned a beer stein from the Genesee Region USBC in the process.

At Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Keith Jensen of Brockport fired a 300 game and just missed an 800 series, finishing with 798 in the G&W Vending League last Tuesday night.

On Thursday night, Bill Yates of Churchville continued his fine season with 279--774 in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl, and Rich Wagner of Batavia kept the hot (left) hand with 279--793 in the Toyota of Batavia 5-Man League at Mancuso Bowling Center.

For a list of high scores last week, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

November 19, 2018 - 2:32pm

The sixth annual Caryville Inn 5K & Turkey Trot will be held on Thanksgiving Day -- Thursday, Nov. 22 -- in memory of K9 "Destro."

Registration begins at 8 a.m., with race starting at 9 at Caryville Inn, located at 25 Main St. in the Village of Oakfield.

Proceeds benefit the Genesee County Sheriff's Office K9 Fund.

Preregistration is $20, with T-shirts available for participants while supplies last.

Register via email:   [email protected]

Or in person at Caryville Inn during normal business hours.

Questions? Call 948-9780.

November 19, 2018 - 1:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Horsemen racing at Batavia Downs should take note of the revised draw schedule for the upcoming Thanksgiving week.

There will be a double draw held on Tuesday (Nov. 20) for Friday (Nov. 23) and Saturday (Nov. 24). The box closes at 9 a.m. The main change to note is Saturday’s draw is moved up one day from Wednesday to Tuesday.

Driver changes for both days must be received by the judges by 3 pm on Tuesday.

Also please note that post time for Friday (Nov. 23) is early at 4:45 p.m. while post time for Saturday (Nov. 24) is the regular start time of 6 p.m.

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

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

November 19, 2018 - 1:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Lucky McTrucky with driver Drew Monti won the photo finish by a head in the year's most exciting race Saturday.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Undoubtedly the most exciting race of the year occurred at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 17) when Lucky McTrucky parked out all comers before driving home a winner in the $11,000 Open Handicap pacing feature.

I’m So Handsome (Kevin Cummings), Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) and Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) left the gate together and paced three-deep around the clubhouse turn and up the backstretch until I’m So Handsome relented, letting Lucky McTrucky and IyqYqr continue to argue at the quarter in :26.4.

And argue they did.

Lucky McTrucky refused to let Iyq Yqr take the front and Iyq Yqr refused to take a seat behind Lucky McTrucky so the pair paced in unison to the half in :55.1. The fanatical feud continued around the third turn before Iyq Yqr said nighty-night, but there was still no rest for the weary. Go Collect N (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled from fourth and drew alongside Lucky McTrucky past the five-eighths and a new battle ensued.

Monti and Davis rocked and knocked, high-lined and bounced from the three-quarters all the way to the wire with inches between them left to right and front to back and it took a photo to call the winner. The winner was Lucky McTrucky who closed the deal by a head in 1:54.3 while the sold-out clubhouse roared in appreciation.

It was the 12th win of the year and 54th of his career for Lucky McTrucky ($4.90) who now boasts $85,815 in earnings this year. The uber-game 9-year-old gelded son of McArdle is owned by Tessa Roland and is trained by JD Perrin,

The $9,900 Open II pace was won by Upfront Countryboy (Billy Davis Jr.) who sat third to the quarter before pulling to take the lead by the half and then pulled away by four lengths in the lane to win in 1:54.3. It was the 13th win of the year for Upfront Countryboy ($6.30) who is trained by James Clouser Jr. for owner William Emmons.  

Drew Monti the top teamster on Saturday scoring a Grand Slam on the card. Besides the big win with Lucky McTrucky, Monti also had pictures taken with Hardts Or Bettor (1:55.2, $10.80), Foreign Officer (1:56.2, $4.80) and Linkjack Hanover (1:56.4, $7.40).

All four of Monti’s wins were trainees of JD Perrin that are owned by Tessa Roland.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 21) at 5 o'clock.

November 17, 2018 - 8:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, sports, notify, football.

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PHOTOS: from Jim Burns.

In big games, big-time players come up big and Ray Leach, for the second time in the postseason, scored eight touchdowns to, quite literally, carry his team, the Batavia Blue Devils, to a 54-49 win over defending state champion Skaneateles to propel Batavia to a state title shot Saturday at the Carrier Dome.

In three games, the Section V championship, the Far West Regional championship, and today's state finals playoff game, Leach has run for 1,223 yards and scored 22 touchdowns. 

"I'm speechless, really," said Head Coach Brennan Briggs after the game. "What he does every single week is impressive. You know, when he really turns it on, I don't know that anybody is stopping him in New York State. So hopefully you know we can put together a great week and hopefully, he can have a great game for us next week along with our offensive line."

Credit to the offensive line for opening holes but Leach was also impressive in his ability to step through small gaps, side-step diving linemen, create space on sweeps, break tackles, and if all else failed, drag one or two Skaneateles players along for a few extra yards.

For the second game in a row, Leach set a state record for rushing yards in a playoff game, hitting 472 tonight (on 52 carries), breaking last week's record of 427 yards.  His eight touchdowns tied last week's record eight touchdowns.

Josh Barber, who was once again a defense stalwart, said Leach helps lift the team's confidence.

"Ray Leach has played great since his freshman year," Barber said. "I knew he could get it done."

As is his habit in post-game interviews, Leach gave credit to his offensive line but he also acknowledged that Briggs expects him to be the man on the field and get the job done.

"I definitely got to come out hear him perform how I'm supposed to, and I just follow my line and things work out," Leach said.

Skaneateles came into the game 11-0, ranked #1, and behind quarterback Patrick Hackler one of the most potent offensives in the state. Hackler is a big kid and impressive when he heaves long passes downfield. With Nick Wamp as a frequent target and Areh Boni in the backfield, the Lakers kept the pressure on Batavia's defense all night.

Hackler was 17-30 passing for 260 yards and three TDs. He also ran for 149 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. Wamp caught seven passes for 145 yards and two TDs. Boni ran for 64 yards and a TD.

Both teams came into the game with an unblemished streak of never trailing at any point in any game during the season. Batavia ruined the Laker's out-front run on its first drive, with Leach carrying the ball on all six plays, including the final 15-yard run to score.

Skaneateles would tie the game three times but with Batavia up 28-21 to start the second half, Andrew Francis intercepted Hackler on the first play from scrimmage setting up a Blue Devils drive that extended the lead but was only possible because Ethan Biscaro was able to scramble on a busted pass play, making his way to the far sideline, where he dodged Lakers down the line for a more than 20-yard gain, giving Batavia a first down on what had been a third-and-long play.

"Ethan's a fantastic athlete," Briggs said. He's got a great sense for the game. He knew exactly what he needed to do when he extended the play. He's a great football player."

From the Lakers' 47, Leach sprinted to the five-yard line and then scored on the next play.

Leach also led the team with 9 tackles and he had a key interception near the end of the third quarter.

Skaneateles still had a chance in the fourth quarter, scoring three touchdowns, including one on a 54-second drive that pulled them within five points, but Batavia was, as Briggs preaches, relentless, and answer the Lakers score for score.

"You know he (Leach) is an unbelievable player but up front, they got a job and they got the job done all night defensively," Briggs said. "Obviously there were some holes in there but that's a very good football team. Our kids banded together. They bend but they don't break."

For more game pictures click HERE

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November 17, 2018 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

TO LISTEN TO THIS GAME, Tune in to WBTA.

Batavia received the kickoff. First play from scrimmage, Ray Leach gained about 30 yards. On the six play of the drive, with Leach carrying the ball on all six plays, Leach scores from the 15. Extra point is good, 7-0 Batavia.

Skaneateles second play from scrimmage is a 15-yard pass by Patrick Hackler for a first down. On the fourth play, Hackler breaks free on a keeper from the 45, carrying it to the Blue Devils' 25. Areh Boni scores on a handoff from Hackler from the 25 after a couple of incomplete passes. Extra point is good; 7-7.

Leach gets the ball on the first play of the drive for a five-yard gain. Leach gets the first down on the next play. Next play, Leach breaks through the line and carries the ball to the Lakers' 11-yard line. Leach again, for six yards. Puts the ball just short of the four-yard line. The Lakes manage to hold Leach to just a one-yard gain making it third and two. Leach scores from the two. Extra point is good; 14-7.

Lakers start next series on the 36. Hackler connects on the first play for 50 yards to Nick Wamp. Hackler on a keeper gains four yards. Hackler tries for the corner of the end zone and misses. Pitch to Areh Boni, held to a short gain. Skaneateles loses 10 yards on a holding penalty. On a fourth-down play from the 34, Hackler has to scramble and fails to reach the first-down marker. Batavia takes over on downs.

From the 28, Leach gains six yards on the first play. Leach stopped for a loss. Ball on the 32. Ethan Biscaro on a keeper. He reaches the 34 bringing up fourth and three. Batavia punts. Wamp receives the punt on the 30 but a flag on the play. The penalty is against Skaneateles. 

The Lakers series starts at their 19-yard line. A two-yard run by Boni. 

End of the first quarter, Batavia 14, Skaneateles 7.

The second quarter begins with Skaneateles on its own 22-yard line, second down. Hackler completes a 10-yard pass followed by a screen pass for a one-yard gain. Boni gains more than 20 yards on a run, putting the ball on the Blue Devils' 46. Taiyo Iburi-Bethel breaks up a long pass, bringing up second and 10. Boni rushes for three yards. Third and seven. Hackler scrambles pursued to the sideline where he dumps it off to Nathan Mulligan for a first down. Ball on the 32. Handoff to Nick Wamp stopped after a five-yard gain. Boni gains three, third and two. Keeper, Hackler for the first down. Ball on the Blue Devils' first down. Heckler on a keeper. Blue Devils close up a big hole quickly and stop him at the 12-yard line. Hackler overthrows William McGlynn. Offsides on the Blue Devils. First down for Skaneateles on the seven-yard line. Boni with the carry, gains two. Hackler on the keeper. Extra point is good; 14-14.

Short kickoff snagged in the air by Zack Anderson, who steps out of bounds at the 42. Leach dragged down from behind after a two-yard gain. Flag on the play. Holding on Batavia. It will be first and 20 from the 32. Biscaro attempts a 30-yard pass, dropped by the receiver. Leach breaks three tackles, gains 70 yards before he's tripped up on the one-yard line. First and goal. Leach scores. Extra point is good. 21-14, Batavia.

Nick Wamp takes the kickoff and is stopped by Leach with a hard-hit at the 34-yard line. Screen pass to Wamp, who picks his way through the defense for a 30-yard gain. Hackler's long pass skips into the arms of his receiver for an incomplete. Wamp rushes for six yards, bringing up third and four. Hackler on a keeper to the 22-yard line for a first down. Hackler tries to connect with McGlynn in the end zone, ball knocked away by Iburi-Bethel. Hackler carries on an option for a first down, first-and-10 at 10-yard line. Hackler's to Wamp on the six is complete. Hackler on the keeper, breaks through the line and scores. Extra point is good; 21-21.

Batavia starts its series on the 39-yard line. Skaneateles calls a timeout. Ray Leach gains 10 on the first play. Leach gains five. Leach gains four. Leach gains five, first down, ball on the Lakers' 41. Leach with another first down. Ball on the 24. Leach just short on his next carry of the first-down marker. Leach tiptoes through the line, finds a small hole, gains four and gets the first down. First and goal on the nine. Leach carries, carrying defenders to the one-yard line. Leach scores. Extra point is good; 28-21.

And the half ends with Batavia up 28-21. The Blue Devils will kick off to start the second half.

Skaneateles starts the half at the 49. First play, Hackler goes long and is picked off by Batavia's Andrew Francis. 

Batavia on its own 18. Leach stopped at the line of scrimmage on the first play. Delay of game, second and 15 at the 14. Leach sweeps to the near-side and gains seven. Biscaro drops back and then scrambles to the far-side and picks his way along the sideline to the Lakers' 47 for a first down. Leach on the next play carries the ball to the five-yard line. Leach from the five, scores. Extra point is good; 35-21. This is the first two-possession lead for the Blue Devils (this is also the first game all year that Skaneateles, who came in at 11-0, has ever trailed).

Leach has five TDs and more than 300 yards on the ground. He has more than 1,000 yards over three post-season games.

Nate Wellington takes the kickoff down to the eight-yard line of the Blue Devils, first and goal. Nick Wamp carries it to the four-yard line. Hackler sweeps right to the two-yard line, but the play is negated by a holding call. Second and 17. Hackler to Nick Wamp for the touchdown. Extra point good; 35-28.

Ethan Biscaro on the kickoff return, brings it back to the Lakers 45. Leach stopped at the line. Leach for a five-yard gain. False start. Third and 10. Leach held to only four yards on his next carry. Brings up fourth and eight. Batavia will go for it. Biscaro's pass is incomplete. Lakers take over on downs.

Skaneateles takes over on their own 43 and Hackler is stopped for no gain on the first play. Hackler passed to Nate Wellington who is hit immediately by Leach, for a five-yard gain. Hackler's next pass falls incomplete. On fourth and five, Hackler completes a pass in the flat but is two-yards short of the first down. Batavia takes over on downs.

Batavia starts on its own 47. Leach pushes through the line for a seven-yard gain. Leach stopped at the line by penetration from the line, Jimmy Liberatore making the initial hit on Leach. Biscaro tries to sweep to the far sideline and comes up short of the first down but he is face-masked and Skaneateles is assessed a 15-yard penalty.  Ball on the 30. Leach is the ball carrier and gets it to the 15-yard line for a first down. Leach gains seven on next run. Leach takes a direct snap and gets it to the first down. Biscaro on the carry to the two. Second and goal. Leach scores. His sixth touchdown on the night. Extra point is good; 42-28.

Skaneateles starts on their own 47. Leach intercepts a long pass from Hackler on the 10-yard line and brings it back to the 25-yard line. 

First and 10, Batavia at the 25.

End of the third quarter, Batavia 42, Skaneateles, 28. Short gain for Leach. Biscaro, looking to pass, hustles out of bounds for a loss. Batavia will punt.

From the Blue Devils' 39, Hackler with a run for eight yards. Hackler connects with Nick Wamp for a first down inside the 10-yard line. Hackler tries a keeper and is dragged down in the backfield. Hackler to Boni in the flat but Boni stumbles and falls, with nobody between him and the end zone, on the five-yard line. Third down. Hackler up the middle, stopped on the two-yard line by Josh Barber. Hackler with a light toss to William McGlynn for the touchdown. Extra point is good. 42-35, Batavia leads.

Skaneateles tries an onside kick and recovers but the ball doesn't go 10 yards. Batavia's ball on the Lakes' 49. Leach carries for nine and then on next carry takes it to the 32 for a first down. Leach gains seven. Leach brings the ball to the 16. First down. Leach scores. That's his seventh TD. Extra point is blocked; 48-35. 

Lakers' ball on their own 42, first and 10. Hackler takes the ball to the 49, second and three. Hackler stands tall in the pocket and finds Nick Wamp in the flat for a first down. Ball on the 34. Hackler to Wamp, 13-yard gain and a first down. Hackler runs, gains six and he makes it out of bounds. Pass to Wamp in the flat, who gets a good block and scores. Extra point is good; 48-42. The drive took only 54 seconds off the clock.

Skaneateles tries another on-side kick, recovered by Andrew Francis, ball on the Lakers' 47, first and 10. Leach stopped in the backfield. Second and 11. Leach breaks free on a sweep for a 48-yard TD run, his eighth TD. Two-point conversion fails; 54-42, Batavia.

Nate Wellington picks up a squib kick and is tripped up on the Lakers' 38-yard line, first and 10. Hackler pass falls incomplete. Hackler to Nick Wamp, putting the ball on the Blue Devils' 34. Hackler sprints out of bounds to the 18-yard line, first down. Hackler's pass into the corner of the end zone, incomplete. Defended by Andrew Francis. Hackler on a keeper up the middle to the four-yard line, another first down. Hackler on a sweep, scores. Extra point good; 54-49.

Batavia recovers another on-side kick. First and 10 at 50-yard line. 2:19 left in the game. No gain on the first play and the Lakes call a timeout. Leach with the carry for six, bringing up third and four. Leach for the first down. Lakers take a timeout. Leach for two yards. Leach for another three. One minute left with a third down play.

BATAVIA WINS, 54-49.

November 17, 2018 - 10:24am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Lougazi with driver Ray Fisher Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

On the heels of a Nor'easter that dumped significant amounts of snow, sleet and rain in western New York, the track at Batavia Downs was swampy at best. But that didn’t deter Lougazi from flexing his muscle in winning the $11,000 Open Handicap trot on Friday night (Nov. 16).

Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) outdueled Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) for the lead and paid the price with a :28.4 quarter. Cummings then grabbed leather to give his horse a breather to the half in 1:00.1. But the party ended there as rolling up on the outside when they hit that second fraction was Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) and he wasn’t fooling around.

Lougazi hooked up with Southern Palms as they motored up the backside and the two trotted in tandem past the three-quarters and around the last turn. At the head of the stretch, Fisher gave Lougazi his head and then sat chilly in the bike as Lougazi simply walked away from the field to win by two in 2:00.1.

Definitely the hottest trotter in western New York, Lougazi ($3.90) scored his 10th win of 2018 for owner Mary Warriner who has now benefited the amount of $54,570 as a result of his performances.

The $8,800 Open II trot went to Crystal Sphere (BIlly Davis Jr.) who went gate to wire, pulling away in a romp and winning by six lengths in 2:00.1. It was the 12th win of the year for Crystal Sphere ($15.80) who is trained by James Clouser Jr. for owner William Emmons.

Billy Davis Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. were the top reinsmen on Friday, each winning three races on the card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Nov. 17) at 6 o'clock.

November 16, 2018 - 11:55am
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

 

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

As a result of no one selecting a winning combination in the early Pick-5 at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 14), there will be a $1,036 carryover and a $3,000 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool when racing resumes at 6 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 16) at the oldest lighted harness track in America.

Friday’s guaranteed pool is also part of the USTA’s Strategic Wagering Program which offers free program pages courtesy of Trackmaster for the Pick-5 races at Batavia Downs under the “Handicapping” tab at www.ustrotting.com . You can access the program pages directly by clicking here. (https://www.trackmaster.com/freeContent/usta/freeContentFiles/hpl/btv1116x.pdf )

Friday's Pick-5 is also featured as the USTA Play of the Day in the Harness Racing Fan Zone. 

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

November 15, 2018 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in marksmanship, sports, news, shoot-offs, gun competition, batavia.

Submitted photos and press release:

Eugene Jankowski Jr., of Batavia, finished Second Place Semi-pro and 11th overall in the practical division and qualified for the final shoot-offs at the 2018 3-Gun Nation nationals.

He is president of the Batavia City Council and a retired lieutenant with City of Batavia Police Department.

Held in Clinton, S.C., more than 100 competitors from all over the country used three guns (pistol, modern sporting rifle and shotgun) to complete eight challenging natural terrain courses of fire over two days.

Competitors were required to safely engage multiple targets for the quickest time while navigating various obstacles and unusually wet, muddy weather conditions.

3GN Nationals, presented by NRA Sports, brings shooting challenges, camaraderie, shoot-offs and sponsor engagement to 3 Gun Nation members.

November 15, 2018 - 12:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Kaitlyn Rae with driver Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After earning minor spoils in her three most recent outings, Kaitlyn Rae returned to her winning ways in the $9,500 fillies and mares Open Handicap pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Nov. 14). 

Kaitlyn Rae (Drew Monti) left with little opposition from Hey Kobe (Kevin Cummings) who was content to sit the pocket trip for the duration. Seeing no one coming, Monti tapped the brakes and strolled to the half in :59. That forced Susie’s Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) to pull first over for a bid that would fall short by the three-quarters. 

Heading into the final turn, Cummings tipped Hey Kobe to try and make a run. But after barely getting within a length, Kaitlyn Rae responded to a high-line and a couple taps of the shaft to pace away and win by a length in 1:56.1. 

It was the 61st career win and 13th victory of 2018 for Kaitlyn Rae ($6.30) who has now earned $71,021 for owner/trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. 

In the $8,800 distaff Open II, Tymal Luckynpink (Brad Jackson) doubled her pleasure by winning her second straight outing in gate to wire fashion in 1:57.3. The Ken and John McKeever-owned 7-year-old Camluck mare scored her seventh win of the year under the tutelage of trainer Brad Jackson. 

Drew Monti had the driving hat trick on Wednesday to lead all other reinsmen on the card. Besides the already mentioned Kaitlyn Rae, Monti also won with Scarlet n silk (1:59.1, $8.80) and Honey Booboolina (1:57, $8.10). 

With those three wins, Monti pulls into a first place tie with Kevin Cummings (who had two wins on Wednesday) for the dash driving title. Both drivers currently have 93 tallies this meet. 

There was no winner in the early Pick-5 on Wednesday and as a result, there is a $1,036 carry over and a guaranteed $3,000 pool for the early Pick-5 on Friday. This will be a part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program and free program pages will be made available on the USTA site courtesy of Trackmaster starting on Thursday under the "Handicapping" tab. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Nov. 16) with post time for the first race set at 6 o'clock.

November 15, 2018 - 8:11am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

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Rose Garden Bowl proprietor Tom Sardou, left, congratulates Jeff Dewar and Kevin Donaghue following Sunday's 11th annual Triple O Mechanical Singles Handicap Tournament. Dewey, center, defeated Donaghue in a title match decided in the 10th frame.

Rochester’s Jeff Dewar has been knocking on the door for the past two years, but in this year’s Triple O Mechanical Singles Handicap Tournament at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen he decided to kick it in.

The hard-throwing right-hander, who turned 49 earlier this month, had reason to celebrate again on Sunday when he fired two strikes in the 10th frame to defeat Kevin Donaghue of Depew, 245-238, in the title match.

The victory was worth $500 for Dewar, a sales rep for Wright Beverage, while Donaghue pocketed $250 for placing second. Donaghue struck out in the 10th frame to force Dewar to get two strikes in his 10th frame to win.

Donaghue, a wealth management advisor for TIAA-Cref in Buffalo, is the son of former Batavian Pat Donaghue, who also cashed in the tournament.

“I finally broke through,” said Dewar, who qualified with 730 in 2016 and 736 in 2017, losing in first round and second round of the eliminator finals, respectively.

This year, he tied Frank Fitzmaurice of Rochester as the high qualifier with a three-game score of 769, all scratch since he averages higher than 220. From there, he posted 229, 279 and 248 to reach the final match.

A once-a-week league bowler, he said this is his first tournament win, and he did it using a Storm Intense on the Rose Garden Bowl house shot.

Kevin Donaghue qualified in the fourth position – 16 bowlers advanced – with 748 and proceeded to roll games of 259, 248 and 278 in the eliminator rounds. 

Fitzmaurice of Rochester and Bob Wiley of Fairport were ousted in the third round and took home $125 apiece. Fitzmaurice’s day was highlighted by his first 300 game, coming in the middle of a 769 series, which included 12 pins handicap.

Other cashers:

Rochester residents Steve Meyer, who also had a 300 game during qualifying; Scott Dingman, 83-year-old Charlie Gfeller, and defending champion John Martorella Sr., $90 apiece;

Kevin Gray Sr. of Honeoye Falls, A.J. Allenbrandt of Le Roy, Pat Donaghue of Honeoye Falls, Gary Kinyon of Lockport, James McCormick of Churchville, Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron, Geoff Harloff of Batavia and Kara Mangiola of Rochester, $65 each.

Two-hander Mark Scuderi of Rochester picked the 7-10 split.

The tournament drew 70 entrants, two short of a full field. It took a score of 725 to make the top 14, with Mangiola taking the women’s spot with 713 and Kinyon earning the Super Senior spot with 709.

WARSAW’S RON BACON CAPTURES GR SENIOR MASTERS

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Ron Bacon, left, Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters champion and Jim Pursel, runner-up.

Ron Bacon of Warsaw defeated Batavian Jim Pursel in the title match to claim the Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters crown on Saturday at Livingston Lanes in Geneseo.

The victory – Bacon’s first singles tournament win -- was worth $230 plus a free entry into the GRUSBC Masters and a plaque from Joe's Awards & Trophies.

Bacon, a 54-year-old right-hander, defeated Pursel 204-132, to cap a day that saw him post 673 in the three-game qualifying round, 455 in the two-game second round and 214 in the one-game third round prior to the three-person step-ladder finals.

“I had a really good look from the start,” said Bacon, noting that his seven games ranged from 204 to 244. “Normally I play up the boards, but here I moved left a bit to the 12th board and had a great line to the pocket.”

He said he used a Track Alias to conquer the Livingston Lanes house shot.

A mill operator at Markin Tubing in Pearl Creek, Bacon bowls in a Monday night league at Perry Bowling Center and in a Friday night league with his sons, Kyle and Jeff, at Letchworth Pines in Portageville (where he averaged 216 last season).

Pursel made it to the title match by rolling two strikes in the 10th frame to edge Roger Allis of Medina, 189-185.

Scott Kern of Basom was the high qualifier with 717, followed by Batavians Scott Shields and Paul Spiotta, who posted 710 and 701, respectively.

Other qualifiers were Allis, 697; Al Vlietstra of Geneseo, 683; Bacon, 673; Mike Kime of Honeoye Falls, 671; Matt Balduf of South Byron, 668; Don Parrott of Warsaw, 666; Pursel, 649; Doug Johnston of Livonia, 636, and Joe Trigilio of Attica, 627.

Six of the 12 bowlers advanced from the second round – Balduf, 491; Kern, 469; Pursel, 458; Bacon, 455; Allis, 414, and Shields, 404. In the one-game third round, advancing were Pursel, 222; Bacon, 214, and Allis, 183.

Pursel earned $150 for his runner-up finish, while Allis won $100. Kern, Balduf and Shields made $60 apiece, while the other qualifiers pocketed $45 each.

The tournament drew 38 entries.

GLADYS FORD SENIOR WOMEN TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Bowlers from Mount Morris Lanes, Letchworth Pines and Perry Bowling Center claimed age group titles Saturday at the Gladys Ford Senior Women’s Tournament conducted by the Genesee Region USBC.

Winners of the various age classifications and their three-game scores with handicap are as follows:

Class AA -- Bonnie Wass, Perry 674.

Class A -- Jeanne Rosa, Perry 674.

Class B -- Nancy Freelove, Mt Morris 616.

Class C -- Diana Bucknam, Mt Morris 658.

Class D -- Cathi Fournier, Mt Morris 651.

Class E -- Christy Hume, Letchworth 607.

BRIAN MORASCO MEMORIAL TOURNEY IS SATURDAY

Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia is hosting the 3rd annual Brian Morasco three-person handicap no-tap tournament this Saturday, with proceeds from the event and basket raffles going to Genesee Cancer Assistance and the Arthritis Foundation.

Squad times are 1 and 3 p.m. To sign up, call Mark Brown at 716-474-7900 or Mancuso Bowling Center at 585-343-1319.

First place, based on 48 teams, is $750. The entry fee is $75 per team.

VAN DUSER, SNOOK MAKE YOUTH BOWLING HEADLINES

Dennis Van Duser of Perry and Paige Snook of Albion, a pair of 16-year-olds, fared well in youth bowling action recently.

Van Duser, a two-hander, rolled his first USBC-certified 700 series – 706 – in the Genesee Region Youth Travel League at Legion Lanes in Le Roy.

His big series helped his Perry Bowling Center team defeat Mount Morris, 19-5, and move into third place in the seven-team league.

Rose Garden Bowl II continues to lead with a 52-20 record, while Oak Orchard Bowl I is in second at 45-24.

The league bowls again on Dec. 2 at Oak Orchard Bowl.

Snook competed in the Youth Bowlers Tour at Bowl-A-Roll Lanes in Rochester and finished in the 3rd-4th spot in the handicap division.

She bowled games of 200 and 202 in match play.

November 12, 2018 - 1:52pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

A ball change after the first game turned out to be the right move for Ron Lawrence of Stafford on Thursday night in the Toyota of Batavia 5-Man League at Mancuso Bowling Center.

The 61-year-old right-hander said he switched to a Storm Marvel Pearl after an opening 162 game, and proceeded to roll 205 and his first USBC-certified 300 to finish with a respectable 667 series.

"I couldn't figure it out in the first game, so I changed balls, and they started to fall," said Lawrence, who has been bowling on-and-off for the past 50 years -- regularly since 2014.

A longtime maintenance employee at Stafford Country Club, he averages in the 190s. Last season, he registered a 290 game.

Elsewhere around the Genesee Region last week:

-- Curtis Foss of Medina added to his long list of perfect games with a 300--752 effort in the Sneezy's Monday Night League at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

-- Sixteen-year-old Dennis Van Duser of Perry spun a 706 series to lead all competitors in the Genesee Region Youth Travel League on Nov. 4 at Legion Lanes in Le Roy. His big series helped his Perry team to a 19-1 win over Mount Morris Lanes and into third-place in the seven-team league behind Rose Garden Bowl II and Oak Orchard Bowl I.

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

November 11, 2018 - 1:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Photo of Iyq Yqr in the lead with driver Denny Bucceri.

By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Despite a substantial step up in class, Iyq Yqr held to script and went gate to wire to win the $11,000 Open Handicap pace on Saturday night (Nov. 10) at Batavia Downs.

Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) got away sharply off the gate, took the lead and rolled through the first two turns with no pressure at all. That came when Cool Like Fire (Billy Davis Jr.), who pulled at the three-eighths, drew alongside Iyq Yqr in front of the grandstand and tried to clear at that point. But Bucceri popped the plugs on Iyq Yqr and he responded to Cool Like Fire’s charge and put him away before the three-quarter pole.

As they headed into the final turn, Iyq Yqr opened up a clear advantage while trailing horses were bunching up for their stretch bids. But Bucceri was in the midst of a highly animated drive and Iyq Yqr responded to it down the lane to rebuff the late challenges of Cultural Paradise (Shawn McDonough) and In Runaway Bay (Kevin Cummings) to win in 1:57.

It was the third straight victory at Batavia Downs for Iyq Yqr ($13.20) who is owned by the Blindswitch Racing Stable, Anthony Nicometo, Good Friends Racing Stable and Santo Farina. Jeff Amann trains the winner.

In the $9,900 Open II co-feature, Go Collect N (Billy Davis Jr.) tripped out behind I’m So Handsome (Kevin Cummings) before pulling out by the three-quarters and taking a narrow lead at the head of the lane that he held to the wire where he won in 1:57.2.

Go Collect N ($4.40) scored his eighth win of the year for owner William Emmons who has now deposited $85,501 this year on his behalf.

Denny Bucceri led all drivers on Saturday scoring a Grand Slam on Saturday night. Besides winning the feature with Iyq Yqr, “The Oakfield Flash” Bucceri also won with R U Machin Me (1:57.1, $15), Michael’s Victory (1:58.1, $3.60) and Ugly Betty (1:59.4, $38.60).

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 14) with post time for the first race at 5 p.m.

November 11, 2018 - 9:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, news, oakfield-alabama, elba.

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Article by Mike Cintorino, OAE head coach.

The Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Football Team completed a perfect season on Saturday, finishing 8-0 and defeating the Weedsport Warriors 48-6 in the first-ever New York Upstate Championship in Eight-man Football. 

Once again it was the defense, as it has been the last three games for OAE, that truly set the tone for the day. 

After an opening offensive drive stalled for OAE, the defense got the ball right back after a 3 and out. 

Colton Dillon, Section V Offensive Player of the Year, scored the first three touchdowns for OAE. Dillon finished with 128 rushing yards on 13 carries with scores of 2, 6 and 61 yards. 

Gage Dieterle (Section V Defensive Player of the Year) added to his resume, earning MVP honors for the game. Dieterle only carried the ball six times but ran for 119 yards and for two big scores with runs of 50 and 35. 

Ty Mott continued his strong season with 21 carries for 158 yards and a 44-yard touchdown. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Peyton Yasses led the team with 13 tackles while Dieterle had five tackles with two sacks, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Mott and Ty Kornow both came away with interceptions. 

For the third-straight game, the OAE defense held the opposing offense out of the end zone. Weedsports lone score came on a 60-yard kickoff return by Hunter Morgan for a touchdown to open the second half. Jake Maloof led the Warriors with 87 yards on 13 carries.  

This has been an unbelievably successful season for the OAE team. The team overcame adversity with the switch to eight-man, learning to apply everything they have done in 11-man and apply it to this new opportunity. The team is 8-0 on the season, League Champions, Section V Champions, and NY Upstate Champions. 

Photos by Cindy Cassada .

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Colton Dillion, #2

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Gage Dieterle

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Ty Mott

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MVP Gage Dieterle

November 11, 2018 - 12:04am
posted by James Burns in news, sports, Batavia Blue Devils, football, Batavia HS.

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In a record-breaking season the Batavia Blue Devils will continue in the battle for a state championship after their win Saturday over Cheektowaga 28 to 56.

Hours before the game I asked someone from the coaching staff how the Blue Devils did preparing this week. He said he has never seen them so ready. He was right, they were ready. Apparently the Blue Devils are peaking at the right time.  

The offense was about as one-dimensional as it could get in tonight's game, it was all Ray Leach. Leach, tonight’s MVP, rushed for a NYS record setting 427 yards and eight touchdowns on 29 attempts. Don’t think he was all the Batavia offense had to offer, but he was more than they needed to defeat Cheektowaga. 

Leach did not do it all on his own, the front line opened up more than a few holes Leach could have walked through at his leisure and the other key offensive players made selfless blocks and served to distract Cheektowaga’s defense.

Like all true companionship contending teams, the Blue Devils defense was up to the task this evening. They made huge stops in the first half that kept Cheektowaga out of the game. Without stellar defensive plays it may have only been a seven-point game at the half instead of 8 to 36 Batavia. In the third quarter the defense put up a few points of their own with a safety. 

Coach Brennan Briggs congratulated the team after their victory and said “There are only four teams left in the state, why not us? Let's take it to the dome.” 

The Batavia Blue Devils will now face Skaneateles in Binghamton at 3 p.m. next Saturday, Nov. 17th.

For more photos of the game click HERE.

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November 10, 2018 - 7:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, football, sports, news.

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The Alexander Trojans won their first 10 games of 2018 by dominating their opponents, even bigger, stronger opponents.

Today, in Clarence, playing for the Far West Regional Championship, they met a team whose size they couldn't overcome.

The Trojans lost to the Clymer/Sherman/Panama Wolfpack 29-6.

The Trojans made it this far with a multi-player attack ground game and a defense that could stuff the run on the other side of the ball. Today, the Wolfpack outgained the Trojans 271 rushing yards to 148 rushing yards by dominating the line on both sides of the ball.

On defense, the Wolfpack linemen were often in the backfield as soon as the handoff.

On a team where 100-yard games have been common and frequent, only Ty Woods managed to break more than 100 yards rushing. He went for 116 yards on seven carries, but 86 of those yards came on the final play of the game. That's when Woods, who had taken over at QB, broke free on a run and scored Alexander's only touchdown.

"Where we made a living on speed and strength overcoming size and bulk, today we met a team that was our equal or better in the trenches and in the box," said Head Coach Tim Sawyer. 

There were two key moments in the game. In the first quarter, the Trojans advanced the ball to the red zone but a fumble pushed them back and gave them a 2nd and 17. The second decisive play was a third-quarter interception of a Dylan Busch pass.

"You cannot be in second and longs and third and longs against a team like this," Sawyer said.

Alexander was down by only a touchdown and seemed to be mounting a drive when they turned the ball over on the interception.

Sawyer admitted that may have deflated the team a bit.

Chris McClinic, who came into the game with 1,088 rushing yards on the season, an 11.7 per-carry average, was held to only 11 yards on 10 carries. Terrez Smith, who came into the game with 1,022 rushing yards on the season, a 9.55 per-carry average, was held to 20 yards on 10 carries. McClinic and Smith finish the season with 16 and 15 touchdowns apiece after not reaching the end zone once today.

It was a hard day to play football -- cold, made even colder by a strong, unrelenting wind that shortened passes and caused kicks to veer offline. 

With the Wolfpack shutting down the run, the wind and cold made Busch, who has put up great stats all year (49-92 for 907 yards, 15 TDs, and only six interceptions), a less effective alternative. He was 3-11 passing with three interceptions. The Wolfpacks QB, G. Hinsdale, was 4-12 passing with one interception.

The combined program of Clymer, Sherman and Panama gives the three schools a combined 328 student count (or what New York State Public High School Athletic Association calls "bed count." For football, for a team to qualify for Class D, the bed count should be 229 or below (Alexander's is 192). However, the NYSPHSAA used a formula that tallies the bed count of the second or third school in a combined program at 30 percent. That makes CSP's bed count 181.

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To purchase keepsake prints of game photos, click here.

November 10, 2018 - 1:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

As a result of no one selecting a winning combination in the early Pick-5 at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 9), there will be a $2,756 carryover and a $7,000 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool when racing resumes at 6 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 10) at the oldest lighted harness track in America.

Saturday’s guaranteed pool is also part of the USTA’s Strategic Wagering Program which offers free program pages courtesy of Trackmaster for the Pick-5 races at Batavia Downs under the “Handicapping” tab at www.ustrotting.com . You can access the program pages directly by clicking here. (https://www.trackmaster.com/freeContent/usta/freeContentFiles/hpl/btv1110x.pdf )

The race will also be featured as the Play of the Day on the USTA's Harness Racing Fan Zone (www.harnessracingfanzone.com). 

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

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