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December 10, 2019 - 2:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for UNY USHWA

James Carll Caradori has been in the harness racing business since 1968 and during his 51-years of participation has been very successful as an owner. 

However beyond that, he has always been an ambassador for the sport and his decades of dedication are the reason the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) are honoring him with the 2019 Good Guy award during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 14).

Caradori raced horses in the 1970’s and 80’s under the stable name Jamison Acres and had a slew of local champions that included the great Free Chase, Delmer Wynwood, Prince Rapide N, Gi Gi Lamour, Pamela Wynwood and Count Adios A.

Fast forward to the modern era and Caradori has more recently campaigned horses like Rockstar Temper, Inthenameofjames and the 2017 Batavia Downs Pacer of the Meet, Focus Power. He is currently racing a stable of four at the Downs and is as active a participant as in any point of his career.

But to Caradori it’s more than just racing horses. He has always made it a practice of getting people involved in the sport by bringing friends and groups the the track, hosting family functions in the clubhouse, inviting people to come out for win pictures with his horses (even if he just met them) and is always ready to help with fund raisers and activities that are held at the track. 

Caradori is not only a good guy, he is a true friend of the sport.

James Caradori will receive his award in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs between races on Saturday (Dec. 14). Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.

December 10, 2019 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Joseph "Joe" Beszczynski Jr., of Darien Center, passed away at the age of 89 on Nov. 29 after a long illness.

Beszczynski was born in Buffalo to the late Joseph and Anna (Krawczyk) Beszczynski Sr.

Although he worked construction, he eventually got involved in harness racing and ended up training and driving horses for more than 30 years. He competed at Batavia Downs and Vernon Downs for most of the year but would travel to Aurora Downs in the winter on the advice of his good friend Bob Altizer.

Beszczynski was first licensed to drive in 1962 and campaigned a stable of horses until 1993. During that time he amassed 154 wins and earned $316,747 in purses. His best year came in 1983 when he won 17 races. He raced horses of both gaits but one of this top horses was a trotter named St. Joesph, who was a 12-time winner during his career and was bred and owned by his wife, Helen.

When Beszczynski retired from racing he worked at Skyline Campground, which was near his home and also spent his time enjoying stock car racing.

Beszczynski is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Helen (Rustowicz); his children, Joe (Kate) Beszczynski III and Linda (David) Shoe; grandson, Joe (Janet) Beszczynski IV; and great-grandchildren, James, Abigail, and Destiny; siblings, Adele (the late Dan) Tybor, Gene (Edwina) Beszczynski, Dan (the late Cecilia) Beszczynski; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his grandson, Timothy, and his brothers, Ray and Cy Beszczynski.

December 10, 2019 - 2:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Maryann Sarama-Luce was a pioneer in harness racing in Western New York as one of only a handful of female drivers who raced full time at Batavia Downs. And despite beating the odds more than just in a race, she not only met the challenges she faced in her role, she exceeded them and excelled in the sport for decades.

As a result of her place in the history of harness racing, the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) will posthumously present her with their Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday (Dec. 14) at Batavia Downs during the Night of Distinction awards ceremony.

Sarama-Luce passed away in July of 2011 at 73 years of age after a long battle with leukemia. She was introduced to the business when she met Danny Sarama in the late 1960s and from that point on, the two formed the successful Mardan Stable.

Their most memorable performer was the pacer You Devil You, who won 10 races in a row in 1976 while rising from a lowly claimer to an Open class pacer. In the early 1980s after separating from Danny, she continued on her own as both a trainer and a driver and had her best year in the bike in 1983 when she won 21 races. 

She ended her driving career in 1990 with 109 wins and $201,435 in earnings, but at that point she started training full time and continued to do so until her passing. As a conditioner she sent 107 horses to the winner’s circle and their efforts produced $334,835 in earnings. Some of the best horses she trained included Gold Bandit N, Top Dog Alex, Top Dog Nicholas, Easy L Bar and Guy Lee Debbie. 

After her passing, her son Carl and husband Richard have carried on with her stable.

“Harness racing was her number one priority and passion,” her daughter Lynette McGiveron said. “Her horses were the driving force behind her battle to recover. Even in her final days she worried more about her horses than herself.”

McGiveron continued “A passion of Maryann's was to have her mares bred and to raise the foals to race. She named them after her kids and grandchildren and had planned on doing so until every child and grandchild was named.

"The last foal to be born on her farm was 'Top Dog Morgan' named after her grandson. Unfortunately Mary Ann never got to see it in person. He was born the night she went into the hospital for her final stay.”

Sarama-Luce will join previous Lifetime Achievement award recipients Gaston Guindon, Fred Haslip, Ken Ball and Gerry Sarama in this honor. 

Sarama-Luce's family will be presented the award in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs between races on Saturday evening (Dec. 14). Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.

December 8, 2019 - 12:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After racing at Northfield Park the last two weeks, Down On My Luck returned to Batavia Downs and his winning ways as he captured the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace on Saturday night (Dec. 7). 

Cultural Paradise (Billy Davis Jr.) took the lead from the pegs with the field following him in post position order. After going to the half is a very pedestrian :59.1,  driver Drew Monti tapped the gas and pulled the pocket, rocketing alongside and then past Cultural Paradise to take the lead at the three-quarters in 1:27.1. From there Down On My Luck strode out to a two length lead at the head of the stretch and won easily from there by 1-¾ lengths under the light in 1:55.1. 

It was the seventh win in only 10 starts at Batavia Downs and the 11th win of the year for Down On My Luck ($6.30) who is owned by Robert Woodburn and trained by Patrick Shepherd.

(Photo of Brunello N and driver Drew Monti in a dead heat with Lucky McTrucky and driver Dave McNeight III.)

The $11,000 Open II pace was an interesting affair after Brunello N (Drew Monti) and Lucky McTrucky (Dave McNeight III) battled for most of the second half of the mile and then paced side by side down to the wire where they stopped the clock simultaneously in 1:57.2, resulting in a dead heat. 

Brunello N ($2.30) got his third win of the year for owner Carl Monti and trainer Darrin Monti and Lucky McTrucky ($3) got his seventh win of 2019 for owner Tessa Roland and trainer JD Perrin.  

Monti ended up having a big night, scoring a Grand Slam Saturday. Besides the aforementioned Down On My Luck and Brunello N, Monti also won with Way To Go Fabio (2:00, $2.80) and Santana Beach (1:56.4, $21.40). 

Other horsemen having multiple successes during the evening included Denny Bucceri, who scored the driving hat trick along with Jim McNeight Jr. and Renaldo Morales III, who each had two driving wins. Trainers Jim McNeight and Steve Andzel also both sent out two stable members to victory. 

With no winner in the Pick-5 wager on Saturday, there is a $1,164 carryover and a $3,500 guaranteed pool for the Pick-5 wager on Friday (Dec. 13) when racing resumes at Batavia Downs.

The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, there will be free program pages available on the USTA’s website on Wednesday morning (Dec. 11). Post time for Friday (Dec. 13) is at 6 p.m.

December 7, 2019 - 11:56am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Fox Valley Veto out front with driver Billy Davis Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

With no more Wednesday racing this year at Batavia Downs, the top distaff pace joined the weekly featured trot on Friday night (Dec. 6) with one race providing an upset and the other satisfying the chalk bettors.

In the $12,500 Open I Handicap trot, Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) settled in fourth off the gate and watched as Chuckabuck (Drew Monti) made a break and Alert Hanover (Jim McNeight Jr.) overtook Empire Earl N (Mike Caprio) for the lead at the quarter pole. After all that action sorted itself out, Davis pulled Veto off the pegs at the three-eighths pole and motored to the top by the half in 1:00.2.

As the race progressed onto the second circuit, Wheels A Turning (Shawn McDonough) came calling on the outside and matched strides with Fox Valley Veto up the backside, around the far turn and into the stretch. The battle continued down the lane until Fox Valley Veto slammed the door at the light, winning by one-half length in 1:58.3 at 15-1 .

It was the 11th win of the year for Fox Valley Veto ($33.40) and owners Vogel and Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner.

(Photo of Lady London with reinsman Ray Fisher Jr.)

Then in the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace of fillies and mares, Lady London (Ray Fisher Jr.) drifted fourth on the outside for the first eighth of a mile before she made a quick rush for the lead at the quarter in :28.2. From there the race was history.

Lady London opened up a 1-&frac12 length lead by the half in :58.3 and extended it to four at the three-quarters in 1:26.4. With no one even close as she sprinted around the last turn, Lady London jogged home wrapped up like a Christmas present to win by 6-½ lengths in 1:56.

It was the third win in the last four starts for Lady London ($5.40) and owner VHF Racing. Sabrina Shaw is the trainer.

Eight participating horse people had multiple win performances on Friday night. Drivers Billy Davis Jr. and Drew Monti led the way with three wins each on the card while Shawn McDonough and John Cummings Jr. both won two. And trainers Sabrina Shaw, Maria Rice, Jim Tronolone and Dave Russo all sent two stablemembers to the winner’s enclosure for photographs.

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

December 5, 2019 - 2:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

On Friday (Dec. 6) there is a carryover of $868 in the Pick-5 at Batavia Downs and a guaranteed pool of $3,000 has been announced for the Pick-5 wager that day.

The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages are available courtesy of Trackmaster on the USTA’s website or by direct download by clicking here

The Pick-5 wager begins in race one and runs through race five. It is a 50-cent base wager and if all five winners aren’t selected, the carryover amount will move to the Saturday (Dec. 7) program.

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

December 1, 2019 - 1:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Sir Pugsley with driver Drew Monti in the lead.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Sir Pugsley took full advantage of a rare inside post, a favorable trip and a failed favorite to light up the tote board in the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 30). 

Driver Drew Monti tucked Sir Pugsley in second behind last weeks winner Howmac Dancer (Renaldo Morales III) going to the quarter as the heavy favorite Crocketts Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) failed to negotiated the first turn and made a break as a result. Stalbaum gathered his 1-9 shot back together and rushed up the rim to pull close to the leader and remained there for the rest of the mile. 

The top three horses continued to pace in that order -- Howmac Dancer on top, Sir Pugsley in the hole and Crocketts Cullen N on the outside -- to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25.4. When they rounded the last turn and headed into the stretch, Crocketts Cullen N faded just enough to allow Monti to extract Sir Pugsley off the pegs and he came out with a full head of steam and mowed down Howmac Dancer in deep stretch to win by a length in 1:55.2.

It was the seventh win of the year and third of the meet at Batavia Downs for Sir Pugsley ($18.80) who has now earned $88,270 this year for owner Robert Woodburn. Patrick Shepherd trains the winner. 

In the co-featured $11,000 Open II Handicap, Rise Up Now (Shawn McDonough) tripped-out behind the front-running Brunello N (Drew Monti) for over 7/8ths of a mile before popping the deuce mid-stretch and brushing to the lead at the beam to win in 1:56.2. 

It was the fifth win of the year for Rise Up Now ($34.80) who is owned and trained by Steve Andzel. 

Driver Shawn McDonough continued his hot streak in the bike winning three more races on Saturday and he rewarded his backers with premium mutuels with all three. His longshots included Dark Horse ($44.60), the aforementioned Rise Up Now and Willey Bite ($26.40). In the last three nights McDonough has won seven races. 

Also on Saturday night drivers Ray Fisher Jr. and Renaldo Morales III each scored two wins. Trainers Ryan Swift, Joe Skowyra and Steve Andzel all had two wins apiece as well. 

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

November 30, 2019 - 11:18am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

It was a big night for driver Ray Fisher Jr. on Friday (Nov. 29) as he hit a major career milestone by surpassing the $20 million mark in career earnings at Batavia Downs after winning with trotter Lady Justice who is owned and trained by his wife, Ryan Swift. 

Fisher first started driving in 1987 and 30,212 starts later he has now registered 4,494 wins, 3,995 seconds and 3,725 thirds, all of which pushed him to this current earnings mark. Fisher’s career best one-year win total came in 1997 when he got 317 and his best earnings total came just two years ago when he banked $1,437,878 in 2017.

This year Fisher has earned $971,684 to date on the strength of 120 victories. At the current Batavia Downs meet Fisher has 49 wins and more than $400,000 in earnings. 

Fisher was joined in the winner’s circle by his wife Ryan and son Kyle for a special presentation made by Batavia Downs Director/General Manager of Live Racing Todd Haight. 

The top races on Friday night were both trots and each yielded convincing winners.

In the $12,500 Open I Handicap, Rockefeller Lindy (Mike Baumeister) tripped-out behind the frontrunning Majestic Kat (Billy Davis Jr.) until mid-stretch when Baumeister pulled right line, cleared and hit the wire three-quarters of a length ahead in 1:58.4.

It was the fourth win of the year for Rockefeller Lindy ($20.60) who has now earned $46,093 for owners Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi. James Clouser Jr. trains the winner 

Then in the $10,000 Open II trot, newcomer Chuckabuck (Drew Monti) toured the facility on the front end from start to finish and won by 2-1/2 lengths in 2:00. Scoring his seventh win of the  year, Chuckabuck ($7.40) scored his first for new owner Carl Monti. Darrin Monti trains the winner. 

The Downs leading dash driver Billy Davis Jr. lit it up again, winning four races on the card. He now has 123 wins for the meet, 42 ahead of second place Jim Morrill Jr. Shawn McDonough also had a good night winning three races each. Angus McDonald and JD Perrin led all trainers Friday with two wins each. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Nov. 30) with post time at 6 o'clock.

November 28, 2019 - 11:33am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Blue Bell Bonnie with driver Dave McNeight III.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Rain driven by 50 mile-per-hour winds that blew right down the stretch made racing conditions less than desirable on Wednesday evening (Nov. 27) but it didn’t bother Blue Bell Bonnie who displayed intestinal fortitude while cutting the mile to victory in the $12,500 Open I Handicap for fillies and mares at Batavia Downs. 

Driver Dave McNeight III took command from post two when the gate released the girls and was never headed from there. After cutting fractions of :29.4, 1:01.2 and 1:31.2, Blue Bell Bonnie scooted around the last turn and took her one-length advantage all the way to the wire where she won in 2:00.2. 

It was the ninth win of the year for Blue Bell Bonnie ($8.30) who has now made $68,383 for owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. James Clouser Jr. trains the mare. 

The inclement weather stifled chalk bettors in two races as longshots blew up the tote board starting in race one where Playin The Ponies (Denny Bucceri) rallied late at 45-1 to win by a length and pay $92.50. The win also generated a 7-1-5 trifecta that paid $4,776.

Then in the fifth race, Better To Be Lucky (Renaldo Morales III) came from off the pace as well to win at 56-1 and return $114.50. The 8-6 exacta paid $764, 8-6-7 trifecta paid $3,528 and the 8-6-7-ALL superfecta returned $5,726. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 29) with post time at 6 p.m. Also please note that there is a $930 carry-over for the Pick-5 wager that starts in race one. 

November 26, 2019 - 3:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, lougazi, Batavia Downs.

From Todd Bojarski for Batavia Downs.

The race summary for Friday, Nov. 22nd at Batavia Downs will tell you that Lougazi won the $12,500 Open 1 Handicap trot in the seventh race by an easy 1 ¼ lengths, but that’s not the whole story.

It capped an amazing 24 hours for the horse, who just the night previous had an adventure which saw him corralled in the Batavia Downs parking pot at 2 a.m.

Due to high winds on Thursday night, the bar door of Barn 1 swung open and after opening his own stall door, Lougazi went for a walk, ambling around the barn area. After meandering his way over to the Richmond Avenue entrance, he proceeded to walk out the gate onto Richmond Avenue.  

After spending some quality time at the VA, he walked down to Alex’s Place to check out their festive holiday decorations. Feeling a bit lucky, next he headed over to the Batavia Downs parking lot where a friendly patron was able to stall him until Batavia Downs staff could coax him back to his stall with a midnight snack of horse feed.

Security was informed by a patron that the horse was loose and immediately took action.

“We followed the horse very slowly and got him back inside the gate on Richmond safely," said security guard Nate Stone.

After all that excitement, Lougazi managed to get enough sleep and was able to overcome any prerace jitters to win the Open Handicap the following night.

Photos courtesy of Paul White. Top, Lougazi with driver Ray Fisher Jr. out in front to win the Open 1 Handicap trot in the seventh race on Nov. 22. Bottom, Lougazi in the Winner's Circle.

November 24, 2019 - 1:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Photo of Howmac Dancer with driver Renaldo Morales III.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

A late-comer to the party, Renaldo Morales III headed to Genesee County upon the completion of the Tioga Downs meet and since arriving has become one of the hotter drivers in the area. On Saturday (Nov. 23) he continued to streak as he won four races, including both pacing features at Batavia Downs. 

In the $12,500 Open I Handicap Morales put Howmac Dancer right on the point and led the entire race by open lengths. After setting easy fractions of :28, :57.1 and 1:25.2, Morales let Howmac Dancer out a notch in the far turn and the gelding roared away down the lane, opening up a 3-½ length lead in a :28.1 final quarter to win in 1:53.3. 

It was the sixth win at Batavia Downs and eighth of the year for Howmac Dancer ($6.10) who is owned by the Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. James Clouser Jr. trains the winner.

Then in the $11,000 Open II pace, Morales did an about-face and took In Runaway Bay N off the gate and sat a snug fourth on the pegs through the first half. From there he pulled second-over behind Southwind Onyx (Kyle Cummings), followed that cover to the three-quarters where Southwind Onyx took the lead from Lots Of Loving (Denny Bucceri) and then ran that one down in the stretch to win by 1-½ lengths in 1:55.2.

In Runaway Bay N ($4.30) is owned by Mark Jakubik and trained by Angelo Nappo.

Morales completed his Grand Slam behind Weekend Atnannies (1:56, $8.10) and Cee Pee Panic (1:58, $2.70). 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 27) with pot time at 6 p.m. This will be the final Wednesday of live racing this  year.

November 23, 2019 - 1:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Lougazi in front with driver Ray Fisher Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After making back-to-back breaks earlier this month forcing him to qualify, Lougazi rebounded from an off-track last week to score an easy 1-¼ length victory in the $12,500 Open I Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Nov. 22). 

Rockefeller Lindy (Dave McNeight III) inherited the lead off the pylons as no one else left in the abbreviated field of five. He took advantage of the situation and went a pedestrian :29 to the quarter and :59.1 to the half. Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled first-over at that station and began to pursue around the third turn.

The race was on as Lougazi engaged Rockefeller Lindy on the backstretch and the two then trotted side-by-side to the three-quarters and around the last turn. Heading into the lane Lougazi took control, cleared and trotted away in the stretch, hitting the wire a wrapped-up winner in 1:58.3.

Lougazi ($3) raised his earnings for the year to $89,375 after scoring his ninth win for owner Mary Warriner and trainer Ryan Swift. 

In the $11,000 Open II trot, Ticket To Seattle (Renaldo Morales III) tripped-out behind Majestic Kat (Billy Davis Jr.) until halfway down the stretch when he tipped-out and blew by his cover at the light to win in 1:59. A $21.60 upset winner, Ticket To Seattle is owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr. 

Dave McNeight III was the top driver on Friday with three wins. 

There is a $1,200 carryover for the Pick-5 wager in the first race tonight (Nov. 23) when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs with a 6 o'clock post time.

November 22, 2019 - 1:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Horsemen and horsewomen are reminded of the draw schedule for Thanksgiving week at Batavia Downs.

A double draw will be held on Tuesday (Nov. 26) for races to be held on Friday (Nov. 29) and Saturday (Nov. 30). The entry box will close at 9 a.m. for both days.

After the draw, the judges must receive driver changes for Friday’s card (Nov. 29) by 1 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 26). Drivers changes for Saturday’s card (Nov. 30) are due by 10 a.m. Wednesday (Nov. 27).

For more information or to make phone entries please call the Batavia Downs Race Office at 585-344-6161.

November 21, 2019 - 12:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo: Lady London out front with driver Ray Fisher Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Just to prove last week’s 5-¾ length win was no fluke, Lady London moved up to the top class and wired the field again in the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace for fillies and mares at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 20).

Driver Ray Fisher Jr. was decisive in strategy and repeated last weeks script; he left strong with Lady London and called out every quarter. They went :28 to the quarter and :57.1 to the half with the field in single file, and then rolled to the three-quarters in 1:25.4 with Squeeze This (Billy Davis Jr.) following close in the pocket and the favored HP Sissy (Drew Monti) winging it first-over on the rim. 

Coming off the final bend HP Sissy stalled and Squeeze This popped the deuce and was in full flight coming for home. She made up ground all the way down the lane but despite her valiant attempt to close the gap, Squeeze This fell a nose short to Lady London who stayed tough and won in 1:56. 

It was the eighth win of the year for Lady London ($7.50) who has now earned $70,873 for owner VHF Racing. Sabrina Shaw is the trainer. 

In the $9,000 under-feature, Little Joke (Billy Davis Jr.) dropped from Open II company and looked impressive as the heavy favorite with a wire to wire 1-1/4 length victory in 1:57.1. The eighth win of the year for Little Joke ($2.40) pushed her earnings to $74,428 for owners Vogel and Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner. 

Ray Fisher Jr. and Denny Bucceri led all drivers on Wednesday with three wins each. 

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 22) with post time at 6 p.m.

November 19, 2019 - 1:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

On Wednesday (Nov. 20) there is a carryover of $1,135 in the Pick-5 at Batavia Downs and a guaranteed pool of $4,000 has been announced for the Pick-5 wager that day. 

The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages are available courtesy of Trackmaster on the USTA’s website or by direct download by clicking here

The Pick-5 wager begins in race one and runs through race five. It is a 50-cent base wager and if all five winners aren’t selected, the carryover amount will move to the Friday (Nov. 22) program.

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

November 16, 2019 - 11:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo: Tullow N and driver John Cummings Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Starting slow and finishing fast was a winning strategy for Tullow N, who posted a convincing victory in the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on a very cold Saturday night (Nov. 16). 

I’m So Handsome (Billy Davis Jr.) took command early and led the single-file field to the half in :58.2. It was there that Tullow N (John Cummings Jr.) pulled first-over and motored up the outside as they made their way around the third turn. 

When they straightened out on the backside Tullow N was in full gear and paced right by the entire field, clearing by the three-quarters. Cummings then settled Tullow N and took a two-length lead into the last turn. In the stretch, the pocket-sitting I’m So Handsome and a three-wide Howmac Dancer (Renaldo Morales III) tried their best to reel-in the leader, but Tullow N was on a mission and won in-hand in 1:55.2.

The eighth win of the year for Tullow N ($9.60) pushed his earnings to $89,260 for the season. The Blindswitch Racing Stable owns the classy 8-year-old altered son of Mach Three-Tessa Bromac who is trained by Dave Russo.

(Photo of Carlos Danger in front with trainer/driver Ron Beback Jr.)

Despite coming off a very solid win in his last start, a jump in class shied bettors from backing Carlos Danger this week in the $10,000 Open III pace. But the game 6-year-old had the last laugh over the doubters after he went gate to wire in 1:56.3 at 10-1 for trainer/driver Ron Beback Jr. Carlos Danger ($23.40) is owned by Decker’s Corner Stable, Decker’s Gate Stable and Jo’s Get R Done Stable. 

Billy Davis Jr. was the top dash driver again on Saturday adding three more wins to his total. He now has 111 wins for the meet and has long locked-up the driving title for the meet as he is 32 wins ahead of the second place Jim Morrill Jr.

Drew Monti and Dave McNeight III also scored two wins apiece.

There was no winner in the Pick-5 wager on Saturday night and as a result, there is an $1,134 carryover and a $4,000 guaranteed pool in the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday evening (Nov. 20) when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs at 5 o'clock.

The guaranteed pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and that means free program pages of the Pick-5 races will be available on the USTA website beginning on Sunday (Nov. 17).

November 16, 2019 - 11:50am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Wheels A Turning in the forefront with driver Shawn McDonough.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Wheels A Turning scored a narrow come-from-behind win in the feature trot at Batavia Downs last week. This week she took control off the gate and provided the same outcome in the $12,500 Open I Handicap trot over a sloppy track at the Downs on Friday night (11-15). 

The feature field was scratched down to five and the lone mare, Wheels A Turning (Shawn McDonough) was the best off the gate, hitting the quarter in :30 flat. With no one applying any pressure, McDonough kept the fractions tepid; 1:00.4 to the half and 1:30 to three-quarters. 

Rounding the far turn the pocket-sitting Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) and outside rusher Lougai (Ray Fisher Jr.) had the best shot for top honors and both were looking strong in pursuit. However under meaningful urging from McDonough, Wheels A Turning maintained her position and won by 1-¼ lengths in 2:00.1.

Wheels A Turning ($4.20) hit double-digit territory, scoring her 10th win of the year and hitting the $85,560 mark for purses. Allan Schmucker Jr. owns the mare that is trained by Sabrina Shaw.

(Above photo of Spoiler Alert with driver Renaldo Morales Jr.)

Despite his name, everyone apparently knew how this story would end in the $11,000 Open II Handicap trot as the heavy 3-5 favorite Spoiler Alert (Renaldo Morales Jr.) led every step of the way to score an impressive 1-½ length win in 1:59.3. Celebrating the eighth win of the year by Spoiler Alert ($3.20) were owner Jeffrey Hayes and trainer Misty Carey. 

Billy Davis Jr. remained hot and extended his already insurmountable dash win lead for the meet by winning four races on Friday. He now has 108 wins for the session. Renaldo Morales Jr. also had three wins in Friday. 

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Nov. 16) at 6 o'clock.

November 14, 2019 - 11:47am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The severe winter storm that hit western New York over the last two days caused many cancellations in the area due to bad driving conditions. Even though we are one day removed from the brunt of the disturbance it’s impact left the track at Batavia Downs unsafe to race over and as a result, management decided to cancel live racing for Wednesday (Nov. 13). 

“Our first and foremost consideration at Batavia Downs is the safety of our horses, horsemen and horsewomen and after speaking with our drivers and trainers, it was a unanimous decision to cancel tonight’s card,” said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. 

Batavia Downs had a guaranteed pool of $6,000 in the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday and it was announced that the same guaranteed pool will be moved to Friday's card (Nov. 15) when live racing resumes. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages will be available courtesy of Trackmaster on the USTA’s website starting tomorrow morning. 

The Pick-5 wager begins in race one and runs through race five. It is a 50-cent base wager and if all five winners aren’t selected, the carryover amount will move to the Saturday (Nov. 16) program.

Post time on Friday (Nov. 15) is at 6 p.m.

November 12, 2019 - 8:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, news.

bdmakeawish.jpg

Press release:

Leaders from Batavia Downs Gaming presented a check today to Western New York Make A Wish for revenue generated from the sale of koozies during this past summer’s concert series.

“Batavia Downs is happy to partner with Make A Wish," said Henry Wojtaszek, president and CEO of Batavia Downs. “We will expand on our partnership next year with a new chair rental program for our concert series where additional monies will be generated for Make A Wish.”

Revenues for koozie sales this summer were $4,000.

“We are thankful to Batavia Downs for the opportunity to sell koozies at this past year’s concert series,” said Ben Marchione, regional director of Western New York Make A Wish. “We were fortunate to meet so many families who have been touched by Make A Wish and we look forward to partnering with Batavia Downs on new projects next summer.”

The new chair rental program will begin with the first Rockin’ the Downs Concert series event slated for late June 2020.

Photo by Howard Owens. Pictured, Laura Nutty, co-coordinator, Development / Wishgranting Volunteer, Make a Wish Metro New York and Western,  Ben Marchione, regional director of Western New York Make A Wish, Henry Wojtaszek, president, and CEO of Batavia Downs.

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