Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Batavia Downs

September 26, 2021 - 12:51pm
posted by Press Release in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

black_is_back.jpg

Press release:

Perennial local driving leader Kevin Cummings had a big night at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 25) after winning both weekly pacing features with Black Is Back and Foo Fighter N and vaulting himself into second place for dash wins at the current meet.

It has been some time since Black Is Back visited the Purple Haze winner’s circle but he definitely earned the right this day as he turned a first-over move into a hard fought victory in the $12,300 Open Handicap pace.

Black Is Back got away third in the short field of six while Raksmach N (Denny Bucceri) took his usual position on the point where he led at the half in :57 flat. Looking solid on the lead, Raksmach N was soon visited by Black Is Back and Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) who were rolling up the rim at the five-eighths. Black Is Back took command of the race on the backstretch after Raksmach N succumbed to his challenge and then Crockets Cullen N moved right alongside. and these two tangled all the way to the wire.

After tripping the third-panel timer in 1:25.3, Black Is Back and Crockets Cullen N tangled all the way to the wire. The pacing pair opened up 2-1/2 lengths on the field but couldn’t separate themselves with a sheet of paper. Both Cummings and Stalbaum drove hard down the stretch and to the line and after all their hard work, it took a photo to decide Black Is Back won by a head in a seasonal best 1:54.1

Black Is Back ($13.40) scored his fourth win of the year for owners Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. The 8-year-old Western Terror gelding is trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr.   

Then Cummings scored with Foo Fighter N in the $11,000 Open II Handicap with the fastest clocking of the night.

Foo Fighter N took the lead off the gate and held a 1-1/2 length advantage to the half with Itsonlyrocknroll A (Larry Stalbaum) tracking intently. Cummings tapped the gas and Foo Fighter N sped to a :28.1 third-quarter and extended his lead to 2-1/2. From there he was a runaway, opening up six lengths by the top of the stretch and then sprinted home in another :28.1 panel to win by eight in 1:53.

Foo Fighter N (7.20) is having a career earnings year with now $62,506 in the bank for owner William Emmons. Jim Clouser Jr. trains the winner.

Cummings is now in second place in the driving derby, tied with Dave McNeight III with 27 wins. However, they are both chasing the leading Jim Morrill Jr. who sits in the throne with 54 wins.  

Other horsemen having multiple wins Saturday include drivers Jim McNeight Jr. and Larry Stalbaum along with trainer Jim McNeight, all tallying two wins for the evening.

When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 29) there will be a plethora of punting opportunities with major payouts available as “carryovers” is the word of the day.  

First, there is an $837 carryover in the Pick-5 wager in the first race and Todd Haight -- General Manager of Batavia Downs -- has announced there will be a guaranteed $5,000 pool for that wager on Wednesday. The guarantee is in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free past performance pages for races, one through five will be available on the USTA’s website on Monday as well as Batavia Downs website and Facebook page.

Then later in the card, there is a $467 carryover in the Jackpot Pick-6 bet in the fourth race and finally, in race nine, the Jackpot Super Hi-5 features a $3,449 carryover.

Free complete past performance programs are always available for download at bataviadownsgaming.com and the Batavia Downs Facebook page and Wednesday’s (Sept. 29) program with all these excellent betting options will be available tomorrow (Sunday, Sept. 26) so you can get a head start on handicapping.

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

September 25, 2021 - 12:16pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports.

fb_img_1632535321103.jpg

Three Open trots headlined the Friday night (Sept. 24) card at Batavia Downs and all three winners won in gate to wire fashion. 

In the $12,300 Open I Handicap, Frank's Watching (Ray Fisher Jr.) left from post three and opened up a four length lead by three-quarters. From there he coasted home to a 1:57.3 win by 1-¼ lengths. 

It was the second straight win and eighth of the season for Frank's Watching ($3.10) who is owned by Mary Warriner and trained by Ryan Swift.

Then in the $11,000 Open II Handicap, J-s Swanman (Jim McNeight Jr.) led comfortably to the half in a soft :59 until Willie B Worthy (Kevin Cummings) put the pressure on at three-quarters. But as he drew alongside J-s Swanman, Willie B Worthy made a break at the top of the turn and J-s Swanman was clear. He held off a late challenge from All About Thechase (Mike Caprio) in deep stretch to win by ¼ length in 1:59.

J-s Swanman ($15.80) is owned by Mike Ventura and is trained by Jim McNeight. 

Finally in the $9,000 Open III Handicap, Majestic Kat (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled a "drop-and-pop" from Open II and registered an easy 3-½ length win without any challenge at all in 1:58.2.

Majestic Kat ($3.80) is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner. 

Morrill ended up the top driver on Friday after scoring a hat trick during the program. 

There was no winner in the Jackpot Super Hi-5 pentafecta wager again on Friday so there will be a carryover of $2,981 for that wager on Saturday (Sept. 25) when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs. The is also a small carryover of $360 in the Jackpot Pick-6.

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

September 23, 2021 - 12:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Alzheimer’s Association, batavia, news.

alzheimer_presentation-01.jpg

Press release:

Western Region Off-Track Betting (WROTB) President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek was joined by Batavia Downs employees to present the Alzheimer’s Association with a $2,000 check to support Western New York patients and their families.

“We could not be prouder of the team at Batavia Downs. As we’ve made our way through the pandemic, we understand now more than ever the need to support our neighbors any way we can,” Wojtaszek said. “We look forward to working with the Alzheimer’s Association and supporting their amazing work for years to come.”

Funds were collected earlier this summer at Batavia Downs' “Rockin the Downs” concert series. Local food vendors donated a portion of their sales on Batavia Downs grounds back to support the regional charitable causes.

Lynn Westcott, Director of Corporate Relations for the Alzheimer’s Association said, “We are very grateful for this partnership and donation. Batavia Downs recognizes the challenges so many people face because of this disease, and they have stepped up to ensure that free, crucial care and support services are available to residents of Genesee County who are living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia, and their care partners. Through consultations, education classes, a 24/7 Helpline (1-800-272-3900), early-stage programs, and support groups, the Alzheimer's Association WNY Chapter strives to make a difficult time a little easier to manage.”

State Assemblyman Jeff Gallahan, who is on the State’s Committee on Aging, added; “Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible disease that effects nearly two-thirds of all dementia cases and countless families. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leader in global Alzheimer’s support and research.  I share in their vision to have a world without Alzheimer’s and dementia, but without proper funding, that vision cannot come to fruition. Thank you to Western Region OTB for their generous donation to the Alzheimer’s Association for their continued research.”

Batavia Downs and Western Region Off-Track Betting (WROTB) runs a year-round fundraising program to support local charities. In 2021 alone, WROTB has distributed more than $50,000 in various forms, including stay and play certificates, cash sponsorships, merchandise, and tickets.

Batavia Downs also partnered with Genesee County to host a vaccination drive earlier this year where they raffled off a signed Thurman Thomas Bills Jersey, passes to the concerts, and coupons to any of the restaurants at Batavia Downs.

“We’ve always looked for creative approaches to partnerships with charities and worthy causes,” Wojtaszek said. “We encourage anyone who thinks we might be able to play a positive role in helping achieve their mission to reach out to our team to see how we can help.”

Submitted photo: From left, Lynn Westcott – Director of Corporate Relations for Alzheimer’s Association of WNY, WROTB President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek, Connie Czworka, Batavia Downs receptionist and organizer of community outreach efforts.

September 23, 2021 - 10:51am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

The weather was cool but Misty Memory N stayed hot after she won her fourth race out of five starts at Batavia Downs, taking the $12,300 distaff pacing feature on Wednesday night (Sept. 22).

Misty Memory N (Denny Bucceri) played give-and-go with Protect Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) and finally settled on the lead for good past the :28 first quarter. Upon reaching the half, Stay Beautiful (Braxton Boyd) was on a first-over rush and hastened the pace to 1:26 at three-quarters. But it was a one-shot deal for Stay Beautiful and Misty Memory N left her and the rest of the field behind while she opened up a 2-1/4 length lead at the top of the stretch. From there she paced home on her own, extending her advantage further at the line where she won in 1:54.3, which was her fastest win time at the Downs despite the off track.

Overall it was the ninth win of the year for Misty Memory N ($5.60) who has now earned $71,976 in 2021. The 8-year-old daughter of Real Desire-Deja Vous is owned by the JP Houle Stable who claimed her for $24,000 on August 25. Gaston Lareau trains the winner.

The $11,000 Open II pace for fillies and mares went to Queen Of Thrones (Jim Morrill Jr.) who took the lead after being parked the first quarter in :27.4 and continued to extend her lead from there. After getting to three-quarters in 1:26 on top by 1-3/4, Queen Of Throne gapped the field by three at the head of the stretch and ran away to a four length win in 1:55.1.

After three consecutive second-place finishes, Queen Of Thrones ($5.50) got her fourth win of the year for owner/trainer Ryan Swift. 

Driver Braxton Boyd and trainer Jennifer Giuliani teamed up to win three races on Wednesday to lead all others in their respective categories. They both had pictures taken with Ohio Prince (1:56.1, $2.30), Thedoginthefight (1:56.3, $3.30), and Rural Art (1:58.2, $2.70). 

When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 24) there will be two carryovers featured. The Jackpot Super Hi-5 pentafecta has a carryover of $2,005 and the Jackpot Pick-6 has a carryover of $212. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m.

September 20, 2021 - 12:01pm
posted by Press Release in Wiener Dog Race, Batavia Downs, news.

weinerdograce2017-2.jpg

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel announced today that Batavia Downs will be hosting their famous wiener dog races on Sunday, October 17th. While there is no live harness racing that day, a different type of racing will go on at Batavia’s historic track.

Up to 80 dachshunds will be racing for the crown of the fastest wiener dog in Western New York.  Each “heat” winner will receive free play and the top 3 finishers in the championship race will receive free play, food vouchers, and a free hotel stay.

Family-related activities will also take place including on-site entertainers, kettle corn stand, pumpkin painting, carriage rides, pony rides and $1 hot dogs and sodas. These will take place from 1 to 3pm with the wiener dog races commencing at 3 pm.

If you have a pure-bred dachshund and would like to enter your dog to participate, please call or email Arna Tygart at 585-343-3750 ex 6437 or email at [email protected].

Admission and Parking is free.

“The Wiener Dog Races have a great history here at Batavia Downs,” said President and CEO, Henry Wojtaszek.  “We look forward to welcoming families and the community back for another fun and affordable event.”

Photo: File photo from 2017 race.

September 19, 2021 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports.

american_zest_a.jpg

Press release:

Former Batavia Downs driving champion Larry Stalbaum returned to western New York and has already started to find his old groove. On Saturday night (Sept. 18) “The Bomber” swept both pacing features with horses he owns and trains and he did it in impressive fashion. 

Stalbaum took the $12,300 Open I Handicap with recent acquisition Matticulous GB, with a tough first-over trip.

Art Scene (Jim Morrill Jr.) outfought Daylight Rush (Dave McNeight III) and Major Authority (Wade Tomaszewski) for the front and led the field to the half in :56. Stalbaum pulled Matticulous GB first-over and drew alongside Art Scene by three-quarters. The two pacers then went stride for stride around the last turn and into the final eighth. The battle continued into a deep stretch where Matticulous GB got the edge over Art Scene and then held off a late burst from Daylight Rush to win in 1:53.4.

Matticulous GB ($5.50) got his third win of the year, but first in two starts for Stalbaum.

Then in the $11,000 Open II pace, American Zest A returned to the Downs after two starts at Saratoga and despite being a beaten favorite in four previous Genesee County starts, demolished the resident group this night.

Stalbuam played give-and-go with Catch A Lefty A (Mike Baumeister) at the start of the race before taking control of the race with American Zest A by the quarter and from there, the race was history. After getting to the half in an unchallenged:56.4, American Zest A started to lengthen his lead at three-quarters and by the top of the stretch he was clear by four. Stalbaum sat chilly as American Zest A cruised down the lane by open lengths and won in a sparkling 1:52.3.

American Zest A ($3.00) got his sixth win of the year and pushed his earnings to $58,168 this year. 

Stalbaum added a win with catch drive Better Watch Out (1.56.1, $) to lead all drivers with three wins and all trainers with two. 

There was a guaranteed $5,000 pool in the Pick-5 wager on Saturday and $5,438 of new money was generated on the strength of the $898 carryover and a USTA Strategic Wagering guarantee. The combination of 2, 1, 1, 2, 4-3, 5 paid $142 for a 50-cent wager.

There was no winner in the Jackpot Hi-5 pentafecta wager on Saturday so there will be a carryover of $1,527 for that wager on Wednesday (Sept. 22) when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs with post time for the first race at 5 p.m.

September 18, 2021 - 11:54am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press  release:

When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 18) there will be two carryovers and one guaranteed pool.

With no winner of the Pick-5 on Friday (Sept. 17), there is a carryover of $898 and the management of Batavia Downs has announced that the track will offer a $5,000 guaranteed pool for that wager on Saturday (Sept. 18). The guarantee is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages are available courtesy of Trackmaster on the USTA’s website or by clicking here. (https://www.trackmaster.com/freeContent/usta/freeContentFiles/hpl/btv0918x.pdf)

Free program pages can also be downloaded at bataviadownsgaming.com under the live racing tab.

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, any carryover pool will be moved to the Pick-5 wager on the next day of racing.

Then in race 9, the Jackpot Super Hi-5 has a carryover of $1,156. Free program pages for these races can also be downloaded at bataviadownsgaming.com under the live racing tab where free full card past performance programs are always available for every live racing night at Batavia Downs.

And if you can't attend the races in person, you can still watch a live stream of the entire night's action on the Batavia Downs Youtube channel. 

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

September 18, 2021 - 11:52am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

r7.jpg

Press release:

Driver Ray Fisher Jr., trainer Ryan Swift, and owner Mary Warriner were a formidable team at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 17) as they won both top trotting features of the week. 

Friday's "A" Team took the $12,300 Open I Handicap trot with Lougazi ($3.00) who made his first Batavia Downs appearance of 2021. 

Willie B Worthy (Kevin Cummings) led to the quarter in a slow:29 split, so Fisher pulled Lougazi early from third and sat outside the leader pushing the pace. After a :56.4 half and 1:26.4 three-quarters, Lougazi finally crossed over and took command heading into the final bend. From there he trotted home with authority and won by a length in 1:56.

It was the 39th-lifetime win for the 7-year-old gelded son of Lou's Legacy.

Then in the $11,000 Open II Handicap, Frank's Watching was assigned post eight and dismissed by the betting public at 25-1. But that had little bearing on the outcome. 

Frank's Watching went right to the front, increased his lead incrementally at each quarter station, turned for home with a  3-⅓ length margin and coasted home to win in a new lifetime best time of 1:57.1. 

That was the seventh win of the year for the upset-minded Frank's Watching ($52.50).

Shawn McDonough was the leading horseman on Friday with a driving hat trick and also two training wins. 

Frank's Watching wasn't the only longshot to hit the board on Friday. The card opened with a real bomb when Western Passage was sent off at 37-1 to pay $77.50. Being the first race of the Pick-5 wager, it resulted in no one having the winning combination. As a result there is an $898 carryover for that wager on Saturday (Sept. 18) and the management of Batavia Downs has announced there will be a $5,000 guaranteed pool as well. That will be part of the USTA's Strategic Wagering and free program pages for those races are available on the USTA's website or by clicking this link. 

https://legacy.trackmaster.com/usta/btv0918x.pdf 

There is also a carryover of $1,156 for the Jackpot Super Hi-5 pentafecta in the last race on Saturday and free full card program pages are always available for download at the Batavia Downs website and Facebook page. 

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

September 16, 2021 - 10:51am
posted by Press Release in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

protect_blue_chip_9_15_2021.jpg

Press release:

Protect Blue Chip finished third in her first start back last week after returning from a five-week respite. That start served her well as she bounced back with a season’s best effort in winning the $12,300 Distaff Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 15).

Jim Morrill Jr. hustled Protect Blue Chip to the lead and kept everyone honest through fractions of:27.4 and:57. At that point the field split -- three in and three out -- with the outer flow consisting of Stay Beautiful (Braxton Boyd), Wonderful World (Drew Monti), and Misty Memory N (Shawn McDonough).

Feeling the pressure, Morrill tapped the gas and Protect Blue Chip sped up the third panel to:28.2. However, despite the increased tempo, Stay Beautiful continued to reel in the leader and Misty Memory N tipped three high and was full of pace. Heading for home and in the midst of the attack, Protect Blue Chip stayed brave and fended off all comers under a mere line drive by Morrill and won by a 1-1/4 lengths in 2021 personal best of 1:54.

It was the eighth win of the year for Protect Blue Chip ($3.40) who is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice is the trainer.

Morrill ended up as the winningest driver on Wednesday after he added scores with Willy Mouse (2:00.1, $5.40) and Hey Kobe (1:56.4, $4.20) to take home the hat trick.

A scratch shortened field of five mares started in the $9,900 Open III pace and when they hit the wire they were all only 1-1/2 lengths apart from each other.

Ellieonthemove (Kevin Cummings) got away easy and led to the half without opposition. Then Twin B Kini (Drew Monti) tipped first-over at five-eighths and drew even with the leader by the 1:27.3 three-quarters. At the top of the stretch the entire field fanned out across the track and all five horses had a shot to win, but Twin B Kini was toughest of all and hung on by a neck in 1:56.4.

Twin B Kini ($5.00), who came in fresh off winning the New York Sire Stake County Fair final for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Historic Track in Goshen on Sunday (Sept. 5), increased her 2021 win total to 11 on the strength of this victory for her owners John Sixt and Judy Blaun, who also does the training.

Monti and Blaun combined to score a consecutive double after they won with Barry Hanover (1:55.3, $3.10) in the following race.

The Jackpot Hi-5 perfecta was not hit in the last race on Wednesday so there will be a $946 carryover for that bet on Friday when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs at 5 p.m.

September 11, 2021 - 9:53am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports.

r7.jpg

Press release:

Jim Morrill Jr. was in top form at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 10) by winning four races that included a natural hat trick in races six, seven and eight and the top two trots.

In the $11,800 Open I-II, Morrill sent Party Boy Hanover down the road and dominated his rivals for two tours of the oval. After leading to the three-quarter pole by as much as two open lengths, Party Boy Hanover turned for home and out-legged the field by 1-½  lengths in a season's best time of 1:57.4. 

It was the third win in five starts since coming to Batavia for Party Boy Hanover ($12.40).

Then in the $8,700 mid-level condition trot, Morrill air mailed Keystone Apache from post six and proceeded in a similar style. After quarters of :28.3, :58 and 1:27.3, Keystone Apache held off all comers down the lane to win in 1:57.3, which was also a seasonal mark. 

It was the fifth win of the year for Keystone Apache ($6.10). 

Both horses are owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing, and Adelphi Bloodstock, and both are trained by Maria Rice. 

Morrill rounded out his grand slam with Innocent Victim (1:56.1, $2.80) and Heez Orl Black N (1:56.3, $2.30). 

From his 10 starts on Friday, Morrill also had two seconds and two-thirds giving him a stout .525 UDR for the evening. 

The fundraiser to benefit the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester that was held at Batavia Downs on Friday raised a total of $16,500. The management of Batavia Downs would like to sincerely thank everyone who attended the function and especially thanks to everyone who made a donation. 

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 11) with post time for the first race at 5:00 p.m. and there are two small carryovers to mention. The Jackpot Pick-6 has a carryover of $639 and the Jackpot Hi-5 pentafecta has a carryover of $248.

September 10, 2021 - 2:46pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports.

Press Release:

Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel is gearing up to host its annual fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) on Friday night (Sept. 10) in the track’s historic clubhouse. 

The fundraiser includes a $30 clubhouse buffet package deal, a silent auction with a wide variety of items up for bid, sponsorship of races, and private donations. The clubhouse opens at 4 p.m. and the first race post time Friday is 5 p.m. 

“The officers and staff at Batavia Downs are thrilled to be able to partner with the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester for their annual fundraising event,” said Facility Vice-President of Operations Scott Kiedrowski. “The tremendous outpouring of support year after year from our customers, horsemen and women, and residents from the surrounding communities is very heartwarming and makes this fundraising effort a true success.”  

The silent auction will be held in the clubhouse entryway with bidding opening at 4 p.m. and continuing until the start of the tenth race which will be approximately 8 p.m. High bidders do not need to be present when the silent auction closes.

Many local horsemen and women get greatly involved in helping out with this great cause by donating all or some of their Friday night earnings and many have already pledged in advance. Anyone wishing to make a donation should contact Jami Chatt via Facebook (@Jami Rae) or in the paddock Friday night.  

“We had so many sponsors this year we had to double up on most races,” said Todd Haight, Director and General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. “The last time we held this event was 2019 when we raised over $17,000. I think we’ll take a run at that total this year.” 

The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester is the only full-scope, an independently-operated organization focused on serving breast and gynecologic cancer survivors in the Central and Western New York regions and each year they benefit from over 100 fundraising events like this. They are a community-based, grassroots organization dedicated to eradicating breast cancer through research and advocacy along with offering supportive and educational programs that are available to breast and gynecologic cancers survivors. And all programs and services are free of charge.

A very busy Labor Day
Those who attended the races on Labor Day at Batavia Downs had to be impressed by the size of the crowd as it was certainly the largest attendance at the track since the prestigious New York SIre Stakes Night of Champions was held in 2019. 

“Traditionally Labor Day is our biggest day of the season. We’ve had some big Labor Days in the past but no doubt this one was up there with others from 20 years ago. Fueled by $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, sodas and drafts, on-track betting was double per race than it normally is. You could simply look at the tote board and see the pools were bigger than usual,” said Haight.

“Our loyal patrons certainly came out to play the races and enjoy our dollar specials. We went through 2000 hot dogs (in four hours) and hundreds of sodas and drafts. Our food and beverage department did an incredible job handling the lines.”

September 7, 2021 - 8:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

loyal_fox_hanover_9_6_2021.jpg

Press release:

After repeating a winning strategy, Loyal Fox Hanover went gate to wire once again to win the $12,300 Open I Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Labor Day Monday (Sept. 6). 

For the third time in his last four starts, Jim Morrill Jr. marched Loyal Fox Hanover to the front and led all the way home. After Willie B Worthy (Denny Bucceri) made a break, Loyal Fox Hanover kept the remaining four foes in check with quarters of :28, :57.4 and 1:27.1 with Mugshots Bro (Shawn McDonough) at his back and Barn Hall (Kyle Cummings) to his outside in chase.

As the race rounded the far turn, CR Blazin Beauty (Kevin Cummings) joined the party three-wide and all of a sudden it was a real scramble. From the top of the stretch to the finish line, Barn Hall and CR Blazin Beauty continued to gain on Loyal Fox Hanover and when they hit the light the three were across the track only a neck apart. But Loyal Fox Hanover hung on in 1:57.

In five Batavia starts, Loyal Fox Hanover ($7.60) has not missed the board with three wins, one second and one third for owners Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner. 

Morrill and Rice also hooked up to win with Majestic Kat (1:59.4, $3.30), giving each two wins on the card.  

In the $11,000 Open II Handicap trot, Franks Watching (Dave McNeight III) dropped down from the top class and circled the field to win by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:58.2. It was the sixth win of the year for Franks Watching ($3.50) for owner Mary Warriner and trainer Ryan Swift. 

The third trotting feature was the $10,400 Open II-III where Lunar Credit (Jim McNeight Jr.) started from post one and finished in the same position as he led the entire mile. After stopping the timer in 1:59, Lunar Credit ($2.40) chalked up his fourth win of the year for owner Jim McNeight Jr. Jim McNeight trains Lunar Credit. 

There was a $2,403 carryover in the Jackpot Super Hi-5 pentafecta in the eighth race and it generated a huge payoff. Despite the heavily favored Hellrider ($5.10) winning the race, the 3-7-2-6-9 returned a generous $4,278.10 for a 20-cent wager. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 10) with post time at 5 p.m.

September 4, 2021 - 8:44am
posted by Press Release in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Press release:

When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 4) there will be three carryovers and one big guarantee. 

With no winner of the Pick-5 on Friday (Sept. 3), there is a carryover of $1,059 and the management of Batavia Downs has announced that the track will offer a $4,000 guaranteed pool for that wager on Saturday (Sept. 4). The guarantee is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages for those five races are available courtesy of Trackmaster on the USTA’s website (ustrotting.com) or by clicking this link. (https://www.trackmaster.com/freeContent/usta/freeContentFiles/hpl/btv0904x.pdf)

Free program pages can also be downloaded at bataviadownsgaming.com under the live racing tab or at the Batavia Downs Facebook page. 

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, any carryover pool will be moved to the Pick-5 wager on the next day of racing.

Then in race five, there is a $225 carryover for the Jackpot Pick-6 and in race 10 the Jackpot Super Hi-5 has a carryover of $1,849. Free program pages for these races can also be downloaded at bataviadownsgaming.com under the live racing tab where free full card past performance programs are always available for download for every live racing night at Batavia Downs.

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

September 4, 2021 - 8:42am
posted by Press Release in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

misty_memory_n_9_3_2021.jpg

Press release:

Making her first start for new connections after being claimed last week, Misty Memory N moved up to the top class on the grounds and despite being overlooked by the betting public, won the $12,300 Distaff Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 3) in convincing fashion. 

Misty Memory N (Ray Fisher Jr.) started from an assigned post seven and settled in last as No Where To Hide (Kevin Cummings) led uncontested to the half in: 57.4. At that station, Misty Memory N left the pegs and started the long trek in the breeze without cover as they headed into turn three. 

As No Where To Hide took the field up the backside, Misty Memory N made her way towards the front, methodically picking off horse after horse. By three-quarters, she was second on the outside and the leader was starting to show fatigue. At the top of the stretch, Misty Memory N was in full flight and paced right by the tiring No Where To Hide. She opened up 1-1/2 lengths at the light and won in 1:56.2. 

In her initial outing for new owner JP Houle Stables and trainer Gaston Lareau, Misty Memory N ($18.40) won her third straight race at Batavia Downs and eighth of the year overall, increasing her 2021 earnings to $64,350. 

In the $9,350 Distaff Open IV Handicap pace, HP Sissy (Jim McNeight Jr.) looked very much in form as she went gate to wire with authority, winning by 2-3/4 lengths in a new seasonal best 1:56.1. HP Sissy ($6.20) is owned by Finnocchario’s Dream Stable and is trained by Jim McNeight. 

Finnocchario, McNeight, and McNeight Jr. also hooked up earlier with Smooth Mara N ($9.00) to have a connection double on the card. McNeight Jr. ended his night as the top driver with three overall winning steers. 

There were two other connection doubles registered on Friday. First, owner Mike Torcello, trainer Gerry Sarama and driver Kevin Cummings got across Nats A Lady (1:59, $34.00) and Backyard Swagger (1:55.4, $12.80) and then trainer Tammy Cummings and driver Kyle Cummings who also own Candy’s Desire (1:57, $11.80) and Heaven’s Diva (1:56.1, $16.60). 

When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 4) there will be three carryovers and one big guarantee. 

The Pick-5 wager in races one through five was not hit again on Friday and as a result, there is a $1,059 carryover and General Manager Todd Haight announced there will be a guaranteed $4,000 pool for that wager on Saturday. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and free program pages for races one through five are already available on the USTA website (ustrotting.com) under the Handicapping tab, on the Batavia Downs website (bataviadownsgaming.com) under the live racing tab and also on the Batavia Downs Facebook page. Or get it here by clicking this link. (https://www.trackmaster.com/freeContent/usta/freeContentFiles/hpl/btv0904x.pdf)

Then in race five there is a $225 carryover for the Jackpot Pick-6 and in race 10 the Jackpot Super Hi-5 has a carryover of $1,849. Free full card past performance forms for every race night are always available for download at bataviadownsgaming.com under the live racing tab. 

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

August 31, 2021 - 10:05am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

Horseman and racing fans should be advised of the following changes at Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel heading into the month of September.

Wednesday racing will take a two-week hiatus on September 1 and 8 but will resume on September 15 with post time remaining at 5:00 p.m.

Racing shifts back to Fridays starting on September 3 and post time will also be 5 p.m. The track has not been racing on Fridays thus far this year as live concerts have been ongoing every Friday since opening week.

Another change to note is that Saturday post times starting September 4 move to 5 p.m. for the rest of the season with the exception of Breeder’s Cup Saturday (Nov. 6) when post time will be 3:15 p.m.

There is one more matinee remaining during the summer-fall meet and that is Labor Day Monday (Sept. 6) with post time at 1:15 p.m. It’s also the final Dollar Day of the season. Sahlen hot dogs, sodas and draft beer will be just $1 from noon until 4 p.m. on Labor Day.

The clubhouse hours are also changing and will now be open from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. The only exception is Breeders Cup Day (Nov. 6) with the time to be announced. The Clubhouse will be closed on Labor Day. 

For the complete racing schedule please visit bataviadownsgaming.com.

Business is Brisk

There are many positives to be noted during the first 18 days of the summer-fall meet at Batavia Downs. Total betting is up roughly $3,000 per race and the clubhouse -- albeit limited due to staffing issues -- has sold out on a regular basis. Also, the Winning Wednesday hotel package that was introduced this year has proven to be a hit as over 91% capacity has been achieved each week on Wednesday since the season began.

“The combination of having free full card past performances programs available online nightly and a nine-horse field in the last race has certainly helped our betting,” said Todd Haight, Director and General Manager of Live Racing. “You can simply look at the tote board and see our win pools are bigger and there has also been a lot of interest in our new Jackpot wagers as well.”

Haight was also pleased with the Clubhouse.

“Our staff is doing a great job keeping the Clubhouse open. We have very limited staffing but we are doing our best to keep it open and the only reason it’s happening is because of the hard work of our dedicated employees.”

“We thought the Winning Wednesday hotel deal would be a hit when we put it together and it has been, and it has positively affected all phases of our business. Our Wednesday night on-track handle is up and the clubhouse is busier (as are our other restaurants) along with the gaming floor,” Haight concluded.

The $79 hotel deal continues through Wednesday (Dec. 8).

August 30, 2021 - 9:31am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

Two weeks ago Loyal Fox Hanover won gate to wire in the Open II trot at Batavia Downs. After racing off the pace in defeat last week, driver Jim Morrill Jr. went back to basics as he moved up in class and circled the field once again in the $11,200 Open I Handicap trot at the Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 29). 

Morrill guided Loyal Fox Hanover on the lead through somewhat modest fractions of :29.2, :59.2 and 1:28.3 while Winning Legends (Justin Huckabone) and Willie B Worthy (Kyle Cummings) followed in chase. Heading into the far turn Winning Legends vacated the pocket to advance and Willie B Worthy slid in closer behind Loyal Fox Hanover. As the race headed down the lane those two inched closer but couldn’t reach the top as Loyal Fox Hanover trotted across the line first by 3/4’s of a length in 1:57 off a snappy :28.2 final panel.  

Vogel & Wags Nags, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock own Loyal Fox Hanover ($6.70) who scored his second win in his last four starts and hasn’t missed the board during that run at Batavia. Maria Rice trains the winner. 

Morrill and Rice also hooked up to win with Movie Star (1:54.3, $8.20) to each finish with two wins on the day.  

The $10,000 Open II trot went to Credit List (Justin Huckabone) who also went gate to wire in the easiest of fashion, winning by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:58.3. It was the first win of the year at Batavia, but ninth overall in 2021 for Credit List ($3.10) who is owned by Jonathan Appelbaum and trained by Justin Huckabone. 

Other horsemen who had multiple winners included the father-son team of trainer Jim McNeight and driver Jim McNeight Jr. who had two wins each and driver Drew Monti who scored a double. 

The live racing schedule changes at Batavia Downs next week as there will be no racing on Wednesday. However live racing returns to Friday (Sept. 3) with post time set for 5 p.m. On the Friday card there will be a $1,081 carryover in the Jackpot Super Hi-5 pentafecta wager in the last race. 

August 29, 2021 - 10:47am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

surfer_beach_8_28.jpg

Press release:

After coming off an eye-popping gate to wire 1:51.3 win last week, Surfer Beach reversed strategy and won again the $10,600 Open I-II featured pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 28).

Jim Morrill Jr. tucked in fourth with Surfer Beach while Black Is Back (Dave McNeight III) acted as commander of fractions. With Lord Willoughby A (Ray FIsher Jr.) parked and prompting, Black Is Back flew to the quarter in :27.3 and the half in :55.4. After that station Surfer Beach pulled and got in the outer flow, one out and one back. 

Positions remained unchanged to three-quarters where Surfer Beach tipped three-deep to circle the fading cover and continue to track down the leader. At the top of the stretch Surfer Beach hooked up with Black Is Back and the two battled all the way to the line. But despite a gallant effort by Black Is Back, Surfer Beach was just too much and he won by ¼ of a length in 1:53.1. 

It was the second straight win, fifth out of his last seven and eighth overall this year for Surfer Beach (2.90) who is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the royally bred 4-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Tempo. 

The undercard was the $9,200 Open II-III Handicap pace and Catch A Lefty A got the job done. 

Mike Baumeister put Catch A Lefty A right on the point and never looked back. He cut unchallenged tepid quarters of :28.3, :58.1 and 1:26.3 while only Silver Arrow (Jim Morrill Jr.) was able to stay close. And close was the best Silver Arrow could do as Catch A Lefty A flew off the last turn and paced home in :28.1 to win by 1-¼  lengths in 1:54.4.

Catch A Lefty A ($11.40) caught his fourth win of the year for owners Pat Galbraith and John Volkosh. Pat Galbraith also trains the winner. 

Jim Morrill Jr. and Dave McNeight III both had driving doubles on Saturday. 

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 29) with post time for the first race at 1:15 p.m. This will be the last Sunday of racing for the season and the last $1 hot dog, draft beer, and soda Sunday of the meet.

August 26, 2021 - 8:05am
posted by Press Release in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Press release:

Braxton Boyd made his now regular mid-week sojourn to Genesee County on Wednesday (Aug. 25) and this week put on quite a driving clinic at Batavia Downs. Boyd won five races on the card, finished second four more times in his 10 starts and walked away brandishing a .722 universal driver rating for the evening.

Boyd started out by winning both ends of the $114.50 daily double with Innocent Victim (1:57.4, $3.80) and Edom Up Blue Boy (2:01.1, $55.00), then won the sixth race with Rocklindarock (1:55.3, $5.50) and finally took both ends of the late $7.20 double with Atlantis (1:58, $5.20) and Cinderella Delight (1:57.3, $3.10).

Boyd has been on a roll in Upstate New York since he broadened his scope of operations beyond Tioga Downs. Over the past week alone, Boyd has won 17 races while driving between Tioga, Vernon Downs, Monticello Raceway (where he had a consecutive grand slam on Monday (Aug. 23) and Batavia. 

In the midst of clearly the best year of his young career, the 21-year-old Boyd now has 145 wins, 159 seconds and 159 thirds from 999 starts and has bankrolled $870,218 for his connections. 

The one race Boyd didn’t win on Wednesday was the featured $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open II pace which went to Misty Memory N and driver Jim Morrill Jr. 

Morrill vaulted to the front with Misty Memory N and held a commanding lead throughout the race. After cutting fractions of :28.3, :58 and 1:26.3, Morrill rounded the last turn unchallenged and at the top of the stretch, Misty Memory N simply paced away to a 4-1/2 length win in 1:54.4. 

It was the seventh win of the year for Misty Memory N ($3.00) and owners Stephen Picarazzi, Scott Petillo and her trainer Brett Derue.  

Morrill had two more wins on the night finishing with the hat trick on Wednesday. 

Trainer Jennifer Giuliani had two wins and two seconds, all of which were piloted by Boyd, who also drove one of Jerry Nugent Jr.’s two winners during the proceedings. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 28) at 6 p.m.

August 23, 2021 - 1:52pm
posted by Press Release in news, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The management of Batavia Downs and the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association has announced that starting Wednesday (Sept. 1) purses for all races held at the track will be increased by 10%. The increase is due to the recent success in business the VLT’s have seen on the gaming floor and also from an increase in the live racing handle at the track.

“We are pleased that our recent success on the gaming floor and through increased live racing handle, we will be helping the horsemen and women that race here. As a public benefit corporation, we strive to support the communities and people around us and by helping the local horse racing industry with these larger purses, the economy surrounding the sport also benefits,” said Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO of Western Regional OTB and Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel.

Reflective of the new structure, the bottom purse at the Downs will be raised from $3,800 to $4,200 and the top purse will jump from $11,200 to $12,300.

“These purse increases are great news for our racing participants after the bad year the industry as a whole experienced in 2020 due to the pandemic. Everyone has been trying to get back on track financially and this increase will go a long way in helping all local horse people do that,” said Todd Haight, General Manager/Director of Live Racing at Batavia Downs.

August 23, 2021 - 8:55am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

It’s been four weeks since Winning Legends made his debut at Batavia Downs when he won the top trot. After failing to repeat in two subsequent attempts, the gelding put on a convincing performance to take the $11,200 Open I Handicap at the Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 22). 

Winning Legends (Justin Huckabone) went right to the front and after Frank’s Watching (Dave McNeight III) and Golden Kronos (Jim McNeight Jr.) settled in behind him, the final tote board top three had already been determined. These three followed each other through quarters of:28.2, 58.1, and 1:27.4, where Golden Kronos finally pulled and tried to advance towards the leader. He got close to Frank’s Watching but Winning Legends was untouchable. Huckabone calmly line-drove Winning Legends off the last turn and down the lane to a one-length victory in 1:56.2.

Winning Legends ($2.80) has been winning Opens all over upstate New York this year and this sixth victory pushed his earnings to $37,191 for owner Jonathan Appelbaum. Justin Huckabone also trains the winner. 

In the $9,500 Open II trot, Party Boy Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) got his second win in a row at Batavia after he went gate to wire on the point, holding off a pesky Lunar Credit (Jim McNeight Jr.) from the five-eighths to the wire where he won by 3/4’s of a length in a new seasonal mark of 1:58.1.

Party Boy Hanover ($3.10) is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing, and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner. 

Jim Morrill Jr. also won the last two races of the day with Movie Star (1:57.2, $3.30) and Mr. Sideburns (1:57.1, $4.40) to get the driving hat trick. Both of those horses were trained by Lisa Mariacher who ended up the leading trainer on Sunday. 

The Jackpot Pick-6 was hit on Sunday and returned a healthy $3,043.20 for a 20-cent wager on the combination of 5-5-1,6-5-5-1. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 25) with post time at 5 p.m.

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
 
 

Upcoming

Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button