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derby day

May 8, 2022 - 8:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, derby day, Sports.

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Shock maybe.  Certainly dismay.  Those were the reactions of race fans at Batavia Downs when 80-1 long shot Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby today.

While not all the data on today's wagers are in, Marketing Director Ryan Hasenauer said at least one patron wwnt home happy. She turned her $15 bet on Rich Strike into more than a $1,000 windfall.

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May 8, 2022 - 8:00am

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In August 2019, life in the Morgante family went from happy-go-lucky to something far more stressful.

Doctors found that Donato, at 13 months old, had cancer.  His little kidney had swollen, and it was essentially a single mass of diseased tissue.

The good news, if there was any, was that the cancer was stage one.  It hadn't spread to any other organs.  After six months of chemo, Donato was in remission and doctors estimate that he has a 91 percent chance of remaining in remission.

That news brought a round of applause from the more than 200 in attendance at the annual Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Derby Day Gala Saturday at Terry Hills.

Along with the doctors, this was the foundation that gave the Donato family -- Joe and Jackie along with their other four children, Nina, Ryan, Vincent, and Coleman -- the most hope and the most support.

"They really got us through the most trying time of our lives," Joe said.

After Joe shared his family's experience, Laurie Napoleone presented Joe with a giant $2,000 check as a gift from the Foundation. Joe immediately said "We're donating it back."  Laurie wouldn't have it. "No," she said. "Go do something fun with your family.  Go on a vacation."  

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April 4, 2022 - 4:26pm

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Press release:

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is getting Back to the Races as they prepare for the 2022 Derby Day Gala. Due to the pandemic, this major fundraiser has been on hold for the past 2 years, but it is back and better than ever!!! 

The Kentucky- Derby-themed event includes an evening filled with big hats, colorful outfits, food, beverages, raffles and auctions all to support the mission of the foundation. In preparation for the event, the Foundation is reaching out for sponsorships, donations, and prizes.   

Tickets and table sponsorships can be obtained by calling 585-861-0550. More information can be found at www.michaelshope.org. Tickets include admission, food, wine, beer, a professional photo and a random ticket for the actual race. There will be a contest for the best hat, prizes for the most Dapper Derby male and Dapper Derby couple!  

The event will be held May 7 at Terry Hills Golf Course & Banquet Facility in Batavia from 4-9 p.m. 

The Michael Napoleone Foundation assists families facing the challenges of a childhood cancer diagnosis, provides grants for youth activities and programs and supports research efforts in the study of pediatric blood cancers. The Foundation was created in memory of Michael Napoleone, who passed away in 2006 after a battle with Burkitt’s Lymphoma. It was created to give back to those who assisted and pay it forward to those in need.  

Lend a Hand of Hope and come and support a great event for a greater cause! 

Photos: File photo by Howard Owens

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May 6, 2019 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Sports, Batavia Downs, WROTB, derby day, kentucky derby.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs Gaming

Representatives from Western Regional Off-Track Betting (WROTB) reported today (May 6) that a record $2,039,088.30 was wagered on the Kentucky Derby through their outlets including BataviaBets.com, OTB Branches and EZ Bet Locations.

In particular the Empire branch in Rochester, saw significant growth, up 27 percent from the previous year. And wagering was also very strong at Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel, up 7 percent there.

Batavia Downs hosted three separate parties with a full house of happy, gambling revelers enjoying the Run for the Roses. The Park Place Party served an all-time high 751 dinners; well eclipsing the 605 meals sold last year. Thurman Thomas’ Sports Bar “34 Rush” had their highest single day total for sales.

Down on the gaming floor, $4 million credits were played which was the second highest in their history. The week ending Saturday saw the highest credits played total of all time, with $18.3 million in Credits Played, beating the previous best seven-day period of $17.4 million.

The results of the 145th Kentucky Derby may have been controversial with the subsequent disqualification of Maximum Security, who was first under the wire, but according to Henry Wojtaszek, president and CEO of WROTB, Derby Day 2019 was unbelievable all the way around.

“The wagering, party and gaming numbers are a continuation and reflection of the solid year Batavia Downs has been experiencing,” Wojtaszek said. “We could not have pulled this off if it wasn’t for our dedicated OTB branch and Batavia Downs staff, who worked tirelessly on Derby Day. We appreciate the solid support from our loyal customer base.”

WROTB is already gearing up for the second jewel of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown to be held on May 18 at Pimlico racetrack.

Among the events scheduled for Preakness is the $15 Trifecta special that will take place in the Park Place Event Center at Batavia Downs from 4 to 7 p.m.

Live harness racing return to Batavia Downs on Wednesday (July 24) for the meet that will run through Saturday (Dec. 14).

Video Sponsor
April 1, 2019 - 2:58pm

File photos from 2018 and press release:

It’s Off to the Races as the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, prepares for its Derby Day Gala 2019, a fundraising event held in conjunction with the running of the 145th Kentucky Derby.

The event raises monies to support the mission of the Foundation, namely to assist families struggling with the diagnosis of pediatric cancers, support research efforts in the area of childhood cancers, and provide assistance to youth activities and programs.

Win, Place and Show your support for the Foundation’s annual fundraising event to be held at Terry Hills Golf Course & Banquet Facility in Batavia from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 4th.

The Foundation, a 501(C) 3, was founded by Mark Napoleone and Laurie (Pero) in 2007 after the loss of their 8-year-old son to Burkitt’s Lymphoma, an aggressive form of blood cancer.

To date, the foundation has assisted 382 families with $378,000 worth of support during their child’s illness, contributed $75,000 to support research, gave $52,000 to assist youth organizations, donated $50,000 to building the new Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, and most recently pledged $25,000 to UMMC for a pediatric room.

 The evening features Kentucky Derby theme, food, drinks, live music, silent and live auctions, and a professional photo in your best Derby attire. There will be prizes for the best woman’s hat, Dapper Derby Award for the men and a best dressed couple’s award. Tickets are $75/each and Win, Place and Show sponsorships are available.

There are sponsorship opportunities and many ways for you to support this event -- auction donations (gift certificates, electronics, sports memorabilia, spa packages, and weekend getaways). Monetary donations are also accepted. All donations are tax deductible. Your assistance will make our Derby Day Gala 2019 a winning success and help us Lend a Hand for Hope.

For those who are interested in attending the gala, tickets can be purchased by calling 585-861-0550, or Venmo us @MNMF8. For more information, gallop onto our website: www.michaelshope.org.

March 20, 2019 - 1:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in derby day, Batavia Downs, news.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel announced today their plans for a second Kentucky Derby party to be held on Saturday, May 4th. A total of three parties will take place on site.

The party announced today will run from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m., will take place in the Batavia Downs Gaming Park Place event center, formerly known as the Paddock Room. This party has seen more than 600 attendees for several years in a row.

New this year is the Superfecta Deal. Patrons will receive their choice of a variety of meals, $15 in Free Play once one point is earned on the gaming floor, a $5 wager on the Derby and program, and a commemorative Kentucky Derby glass, all for just $20.

There will be $5 mint juleps specials, which includes Derby glass and samplings from Black Button Distilling as well as Angry Orchard Rose. Many big screen televisions will show the races and there will be mutuel clerks available to take wagers.

The second annual Derby Gala will take place in the Batavia Downs Gaming Grandstands Banquet Room on the second floor. Tickets went on sale in February at Bataviaconcerts.com and at the Lucky Treasures Gift Shop. Half of the tickets have already been sold.

Admission for the Derby Gala at the Downs is $75 per person and proper attire is required. Patrons will receive an open bar from 4:30 to 7 p.m., grazing stations, a $10 wager on the Derby, $25 in Free Play and a Free Derby program.  

The Gala also includes a Best Dressed Contest and Best Hat Contest, which will take place with prizes from the Hotel at Batavia Downs and Four Roses Bourbon. 

The third party, taking place inside 34 Rush, will have Woodford Reserve Bourbon sampling along with sampling from Blue Moon. Patrons may place Derby wagers using self-service terminals. The $5 mint julep special will also be available, which includes a Derby commemorative glass. 

Wagering will also be available at the second floor Downs Simulcast center. Prize drawings for Derby T-shirts and glasses will take place there beginning at 10 a.m.

The hotel at Batavia Downs is already sold out, but other local hotels do have availability and a shuttle will be running that day to take patrons from those hotels over to Batavia Downs beginning at 3 p.m. instead of the usual 5 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to another great day of parties surrounding our Kentucky Derby events,“ said Todd Haight, general manager of Racing at Batavia Downs Gaming. “The success of the Derby Gala last year adds to the already tremendous day of wagering and entertainment that our guests have come to expect from Batavia Downs.

"Based on the recent Kentucky Derby prep races, this year’s Run for the Roses seems more wide open than ever.”

February 19, 2019 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, derby day, news.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel announced part of their onsite plans for the upcoming Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4th.

The Second Annual Derby Gala will take place in the Batavia Downs Gaming Grandstands Banquet Room on the second floor. Admission for the Derby Gala at the Downs is $75 per person and proper attire is required.

Guests MUST be 21 years of age or older to attend. Guests will receive an open bar from 4:30 to 7 p.m., grazing stations, a $10 wager on the Derby, $25 in Free Play and a free Derby Program.

There will also be televisions showing the days’ races and mutuel clerks for patrons to place wagers. A best dressed contest and best hat contest will take place with prizes from the Hotel at Batavia Downs and Four Roses Bourbon.

Tickets will go on sale tomorrow -- Wednesday, Feb. 20th at 10am -- on Bataviaconcerts.com and at the Lucky Treasures Gift Shop. Tickets are very limited.

The hotel at Batavia Downs will be offering a special VIP rate for those who wish to add an overnight stay to their Derby experience. Use promo code KD5419. Tickets to the event and a hotel room are to be purchased separately.

“We’re looking forward to another great day of events surrounding the Run for the Roses,“ said Henry Wojtaszek, president and CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming. “The success of the Derby Gala last year adds to the already tremendous day of wagering and entertainment that our guests have come to expect from Batavia Downs.”

Details on the other two, non-ticketed parties on Derby Day will be announced at a later time.

April 5, 2018 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, derby day, batavia, news.

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Press release:

It’s Off to the Races as the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, prepares for its Derby Day Gala 2018, a fundraising event held in conjunction with the running of the 144th Kentucky Derby.

The event raises monies to support the mission of the Foundation, namely to assist families struggling with the diagnosis of pediatric cancers, support research efforts in the area of childhood cancers, and provide assistance to youth activities and programs.

Win, Place and Show your support for the Foundation’s annual fundraising event to be held at Terry Hills Golf Course & Banquet Facility in Batavia from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 5th.

The Foundation, a 501(C) 3, was founded by Mark Napoleone and Laurie (Pero) in 2007 after the loss of their 8-year-old son to Burkitt’s Lymphoma, an aggressive form of blood cancer.

To date, the foundation has assisted 355 families with $332,000 worth of support during their child’s illness, contributed $73,000 to support research, gave $49,000 to assist youth organizations and donated $50,000 to building the new Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester.

The evening features “Kentucky Derby” theme, food, drinks, live music, silent and live auctions, and a professional photo in your best Derby attire. There will be prizes for the best woman’s hat, Dapper Derby Award for the men, and a best dressed couple’s award. Tickets are $75/each and Win, Place and Show Sponsorships are available.

There are many ways for you to support this event -- auction donations (gift certificates, electronics, sports memorabilia, spa packages, and weekend getaways). Monetary donations are also accepted. All donations are tax deductible. Your assistance will make our Derby Day Gala 2018 a winning success.

For those who are interested in attending the gala, tickets can be purchased by contacting Ann Marie at 721-0151.

Through the generosity of individuals and businesses, and the work of our volunteers, we have been able to “Lend a Hand for Hope” to those in need for over 10 years.

For more information, gallop onto our website: www.michaelshope.org or call 861-0550.

Photos: File photos by Howard Owens.

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May 6, 2017 - 8:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, derby day, batavia, news.

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The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation celebrated the running of the Kentucky Derby again today with its Sixth Annual Derby Day at Terry Hills. The even also marked the 10th anniversary of the creation of the foundation, which honors the son of Mark and Laurie Napoleone, who died of Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia at age 8. The foundation raises money to fund pediatric cancer research, treatment and to help families with children in cancer treatment.

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To purchase prints, click here.

April 21, 2017 - 3:57pm

The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Derby Day Gala is at the starting gate and preparing for this year's gala.

The event will be held on Saturday, May 6th, 2017 from 4-9 p.m. at Terry Hills Golf Course and Banquet Center, Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

Tickets are $75/per person and Win, Place, and Show Sponsorships are available.

The ticket includes entry into event, hors d'ouevres, grazing stations, beer, wine, soda, a professional photograph and a gaming ticket. Prizes will be awarded for the best Derby Hat for a woman, the best Dapper Derby Apparel Award for a man, and the Dapper Duo Derby Award for the best "Derby-dressed" couple.

This year in celebration of the foundation's 10-year anniversary, we will be having a fireworks display (weather permitting). We have a live and silent auction, basket and reverse raffles, the gold ball drop, and a new purse raffle this year, along with some MobileSchlagen. It is a great evening for a great cause.

All proceeds support the mission of the foundation: assisting families with a pediatric cancer diagnosis, supporting research, and assistance to youth activities. For a sneak peak at some of the amazing prizes or to see sponsorship opportunites, go to www.michaelshope.org. For more information on a sponsorship, a donation or getting tickets, call 585-861-0550 or 585-409-3275.

May 8, 2016 - 12:16pm

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The Michael Napoleone Foundation hosted its annual Derby Day Fundraiser at Terry Hills yesterday.

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To purchase prints, click here.

April 25, 2016 - 12:15pm

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The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is busy planning their two biggest fundraisers. Co-directors Mark and Laurie Napoleone created the foundation in memory of their son, Michael, who passed away from Burkitt’s Lymphoma in 2006.

The Foundation was started in 2007, and its mission is to Lend a Hand for Hope to assist families with the challenges of a pediatric cancer diagnosis throughout the Western New York area, support research efforts in the area of childhood cancers, and provide assistance to youth activities and programs.

To date the Foundation has: Assisted 290 families and given over $220,000 in support, contributed $56,000 to Pediatric Cancer Research, donated $38,000 to youth sports/organizations, and  pledged $50,000 to the new Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester.

First -- it’s "Off to the Races" as the foundation prepares for its Derby Day Gala 2016, a fundraising event held in conjunction with the running of the 142nd Kentucky Derby. It is held from 3 to 9 p.m. on May 7 at Terry Hills Golf Course and Banquet Facility in Batavia. Admission is $75 per person and there are  $1500, $2500, or $5,000 Sponsorships available.

Ticket includes hors d’oeuvres, grazing stations, an amazing dessert table, beer, wine and soda, a professional photo, live music by Dave Stoll, and a randomly selected gaming ticket for the Kentucky Derby. Live and silent auctions will be held and awards given for best Derby Hat and Best Derby Attire. For more information, go to www.michaelshope.org or call 585-861-0550. 

Next -- we are moving to the baseball diamond as the Foundation hosts an annual Memorial Day Baseball Tournament, May 27, 28 and 29th. The tournament hosts teams from the Western New York region with the following age brackets: 8 & under ( $100 fee), 10 & under ($350 fee), and 12 & under ($350 fee). For more information, contact [email protected] or call 585-861-0550.

If interested in learning more about the Foundation’s events or if you would like to Lend a Hand for Hope, please go to our Web site www.michaelshope.org, or call 585-861-0551.

July 19, 2014 - 6:11pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in batavia, Genesee County Fair, demolition derby, derby day.

Food, fun and bumper cars for adults. Wait, that's not right. Friday night proved to be an excellent day for the Genesee County Fair's annual Demolition Derby. The grandstands were packed and fans got a thrill of cars smashing and mud flinging.

Other events included a Goat Costume contest, 4-H Horse Show, magician Magical John, GPS and Solar Fun Fest and many more exhibits and attractions.

The final day of the fair is today with exhibits and grounds open until midnight.

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