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August 10, 2020 - 11:03am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo: American Courage with driver Matt Kakaley.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia Downs played host to the New York Sire Stake 2- and 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 9) and the perfect weather brought out some exceptional performances. 

Outstanding 2-year-old colt American Courage (American Ideal-Nola Fool Bluechip) remained undefeated when he won his $50,400 NYSS division. After starting a bit off the gate, American Courage tucked in fifth momentarily before driver Matt Kakaley pulled and advanced him to third at the quarter behind the leading Carrythetorchman (Marcus Miller). But just past the three-eighths, Kakaley had him out and rolling again and this time right to the front.

American Courage cleared and took the lead by the five-eighths pole and really dug in from there. Kakaley sat chilly as American Courage opened up four lengths at the three-quarters, six lengths by the top of the stretch and then jogged home by 10 open lengths, wrapped up in 1:54.2.  

“The gate got going a little fast and got away from us. I just wanted to get away clean and get around the track,” Kakaley said. “This is a serious colt.” 

American Courage ($2.10) remains perfect, now winning six of six lifetime starts for owner Fiddler’s Creek Stable, who also bred the winner. Travis Alexander is the trainer.

(Photo: own Gossip with driver Jim Morrill Jr.)

The other $50,400 2-year-old division went to Town Gossip (American Ideal-Fibbertigibbet) who led at every station from post one. Jim Morrill Jr. backed down the half to a pedestrian :59 before stepping on the gas and letting Town Gossip accelerate away from the field. After hitting the three-quarters in 1:28.1, Town Gossip turned for home and opened up a 5-1/4 length lead at the wire for a 1:57.1 win. 

It was the second NYSS win of the year for Town Gossip ($3) who is owned by Robert Weinstein. Jennifer Bongiorno trains the $25,000 Lexington Selected acquisition who was bred by Winbak Farm. 

(Photo: Groovy Joe takes the lead with driver Matt Kakaley.)

The sophomore set saw its best performance come in the second $55,000 split when the 3-year-old colt Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk) went coast to coast in the fastest mile of the day.

Matt Kakaley rushed Groovy Joe off the gate and out-muscled Save Me A Dance (Jason Bartlett) for the lead at the quarter in :27. The race proceeded in single file to the half and past the five eighths before anyone decided to pull on the leader. 

Splash Brother (Tyler Buter) tipped from last midway up the backstretch and tried to push the issue but came up short in the last turn. Groovy Joe was clear in the lane by two lengths with only the pocket sitting Save Me A Dance with a chance at him. He did close strong down the lane but Groovy Joe hung on to win by a half length in 1:52. 

It was the second NYSS win this year for Groovy Joe ($4.30) who is owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Blake Macintosh, Ozzie Mackay and Hoofbid Racing. Blake Macintosh also trains the winner who was a $17,000 Goshen Yearling sale purchase that was bred by Winbak Farm.

(Photo: Major Betts and driver Dexter Dunn in the forefront.)

The first $54,000 3-year-old division was won by Major Betts (Art Major-Southwind Johanne) for driver Dexter Dunn who made his first-ever driving appearance at Batavia Downs. 

Major Betts took the lead and cut fractions of :27, :56.4 and 1:25.4 before his first challenge of the race came from Blank Stare (Corey Callahan) who pulled within a length of him at that third station. Major Betts successfully rebuffed that attack and headed down the lane on top by a length. But as he drifted just off the pylons, the pocket sitting Ideal Perception (Jason Bartlett) shot up the cones to take his best shot. Major Betts still had pace and stood his ground to win by a head in 1:53.3. 

It was the third straight NYSS victory for Major Betts ($2.10) and owners Joseph Jannuzzelli, Mark Harder and Deena Frost. Mark Harder also trains the colt who was bred by Southwind Farms and sold at the Lexington Selected sale for $70,000. 

There were seven $15,000 divisions of Excelsior A and four $6,600 divisions of Excelsior B races Sunday as well and those results can be found at this link. (https://racing.ustrotting.com/chart.aspx#636946)

Matt Kakaley, Jason Bartlett and Drew Monti all had hat tricks on the all-stake card with Tyler Buter and Jim Morrill Jr. each scoring two wins as well.

August 9, 2020 - 1:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Percy Z Tam started slow but put on a spirited late rally to capture the $8,500 Open I pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Aug. 8). 

Getting away fifth, Percy Z Tam (Jim Morrill Jr.) watched as Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) took command and led the group to the half in :57. Thor De Vie (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled at that point and Percy Z Tam followed one back as the race moved around the clubhouse turn. 

From there, positions remained unchanged until halfway through the final turn when Morrill tipped Percy Z Tam three-deep into the head of the lane and started to accelerate. First he circled Mr. Euroman (Billy Davis Jr.) who came off the pylons and then caught Under Paid before the wire to win by 1/2 length in 1:54.2. 

It was the fifth win of the year for Percy Z Tam ($8.80) who is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama. 

In the $7,500 Open II pace, Iluvtomakemoney (Ray Fisher Jr.) was hopelessly boxed in at the three-quarters yet managed to find racing room in the last turn. Fisher then went three-high turning for home and Iluvtomakemoney was able to catch Atlantis (Jim Morrill Jr.) at the wire by a nose to win in 1:55.3.

Iluvtomakemoney ($8.70) scored his fourth win of the year for the Tanah Merah Farms and Swift Racing Stable. Ryan Swift is the trainer. 

Shawn McDonough remained red hot at Batavia, winning three more races as both driver and trainer. Jim Morrill Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. also both had three driving wins Saturday while trainer Jim Clouser Jr. also had a hat trick. Trainer Gerry Sarama and Maria Rice each scored two conditioning victories as well. 

With two weeks of racing now in the books, Jim Morrill Jr. is the current dash driving leader with 13 wins followed by Billy Davis Jr. with 10, Dave McNeight III with seven and Shawn McDonough with six. On the training side, Gerry Sarama and Shawn McDonough are tied for the lead with seven wins apiece followed by Jim Clouser Jr. with six and Maria Rice with five. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs today (Aug. 9) with a special early post time of 1:15 p.m. It’s an all New York Sire Stake card featuring 2 and 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

August 8, 2020 - 1:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

A marathon 15-race card will be held at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 9) when the New York Sire Stakes roll into town for the second and final time this summer. Four NYSS divisions of 2- and 3-year-old male pacers headline with an undercard featuring 11 Excelsior legs that all tolled offer $341,200 in purse money. 

Nine 3-year-olds will go to post in two NYSS divisions and will feature some very fast horses. 

The first $54,000 leg has Major Betts (Art Major-Southwind Johanne) listed as the morning line favorite and for good reason. Major Betts took a lifetime mark of 1:49.4 at Tioga Downs in a NYSS event in June before competing in the $636,650 Meadowlands Pace in July. In that stake he drew post eight, got away tenth and chased a 1:47.2 mile in vain. The following week he jogged in 1:51.1 in another NYSS race at Yonkers. 

Dexter Dunn is scheduled to make his first-ever driving appearance at Batavia Downs to drive Major Betts for trainer Mark Harder. 

The other three horses in the short field of four have all been race timed under 1:50 this year but will definitely have their hands full on Sunday. Blank Stare (Bolt The Duer-Hypnotize) took his mark of 1:50.1 in a NYSS race at Tioga, Genius Man (Art Major-Unred Hanover) has won his last two starts and Ideal Perception (American Ideal-Southwind Siren) has not missed a check in NYSS action this year.

Blank Stare gets Corey Callahan for trainer John Butenshoen, Genius Man has Marcus Miller up for Erv Miller and Ideal Perception will have Jason Bartlett driving for Andrew Harris. 

The second $55,000 split features three closely spotted starters. 

Splash Brother (So Surreal-Sugarcoated) is a winner of three out of five races this year including one NYSS victory and his 1:48.2 lifetime mark at the Meadowlands in June. That is the fastest mile paced by a 3-year-old gelding so far in 2020. 

Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk) who won six NYSS races last year at two before finishing second in the final. In three tries this year he has only one win, but it was a lifetime best effort of 1:48.4 at Vernon Downs. 

Save Me A Dance (Heston Blue Chip-Dance Hall Girl) has three consecutive second place finishes in NYSS action after winning his seasonal debut at the Meadowlands in 1:51.1. 

Tyler Buter drives Splash Brother for trainer Ray Schnittker, Matt Kakaley will steer Groovy Joe for Blake McIntosh and Jason Bartlett will team Save Me A Dance for Andrew Harris.  

A dozen 2-year-olds will also compete in NYSS action in two $50,400 splits and this division features one of the top freshman horses in North America.

American Courage (American Ideal-Nola Fool Bluechip) is undefeated coming in to Batavia, going five for five this year and including two NYSS wins. He also won the $154,250 MGM Springfield Stake at Yonkers. He took his lifetime mark of 1:51.3 in his last start at Tioga Downs and that win pushed his earnings to $119,908.

To date he is the fastest 2-year-old pacing colt, the richest overall 2-year-old pacer and the third winningest overall 2-year-old pacer in North America.

Matt Kakaley will drive American Courage for trainer Travis Alexander.

Trying to take their best shot to beat him is Carrythetorchman (American Ideal-Kattimon) who won a preliminary leg of the MGM Springfield at Yonkers and has finished second in two NYSS events and Sauvignon Bluechip (Art Major-Some Girls Do) who tripped-out behind American Courage last week to finish second at Tioga.

Marcus Miller will drive Carrythetorchman for trainer Erv Miller and Tyler Buter will team Sauvignon Bluechip for trainer David Dziengiel.

The other 2-year-old leg has two competitors getting some relief from chasing American Courage, but who will now face off against each other. 

Town Gossip (American Ideal-Fibbertigibbet) has raced American Courage three times this year and finished second behind him twice. He did win his only start when not facing him in a NYSS race at Tioga where he went wire to wire in convincing fashion. 

King James Express (Art Major-More Diamonds) tripped-out and won his first NYSS event at Saratoga before drawing in with American Courage at Tioga and getting a rough overland trip where he was parked over half the mile. 

Jim Morrill Jr. will drive Town Gossip for trainer Jennifer Bongiorno and Jason Bartlett will be behind King James Express for Mark Harder. 

There are also seven $15,000 Excelsior A races carded along with four $6,600 Excelsior B races. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m.

August 6, 2020 - 1:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Photo: Gia’s Surreal with driver John Cummings Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

There were some big performances put forth at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 5) as Gia’s Surreal muscled her way to victory in the top distaff pace and Jim Morrill Jr. won five races on the card to extend his driving lead for the meet. 

After coming up short from a tough spot last week, Gia’s Surreal put an exclamation point on her performance in the $9,000 fillies and mares Open I pacing feature at the Downs. 

Gia’s Surreal (John Cummings Jr.) settled in fifth off the gate but only until the eighth pole, where Cummings pulled her and flew to the lead by the quarter in :28.1. She didn’t get much of a breather from there as HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) pulled before the half and was on the attack and pushing the issue. 

HP Sissy fully engaged Gia’s Surreal and kept the fractions honest going up the backside, but after the 1:25 third panel on the rim, she tired while Gia’s Surreal accelerated. Cummings commenced bouncing in the bike around the far turn and opened up 2-1/4 lengths by the top of the stretch. From there the race was history as Gia’s Surreal extended her lead to 3-1/2 at the wire where she won in 1:54.4. 

It was the fourth score of the year for Gia’s Surreal ($4.50), who is owned by Edward Peron, Lee Winters, Thomas Mariano and Jim Graham, who also trains the winner. 

The top trot of the night was the $8,000 Open II event where Noble legend (Billy Davis Jr.) took a new seasonal mark of 1:58.2 after leading unchallenged at every station to score his second win of the year. It was the 35th lifetime win for the 8-year-old son of Kadabra-Lovin It and the purse pushed his total earnings in excess of $300,000; now with $302,519 in the bank for owners Vogel & Wags Nags, Team Rice and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains Noble Legend. 

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. turned heads once again on the strength of his five win outing on Wednesday. He was a frequent visitor of the Purple Haze winner’s enclosure as he made his way back there with Lyra (1:55.3, $12.40), Littlebitaclass (1:57.3, $3.80), Mighty Nicky (1:59.2, $7.80), All Music (1:59, $3) and The Bay Front (1:56.3, $2.30). He ended the night with a .535 universal driver rating.  

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 8) with post time at 6 p.m.

August 2, 2020 - 10:49pm

Photo: Driver Andy Miller with Love A Good Story.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

It was a big stake day at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2) as an all-New York Sire Stake card of racing featured 2- and 3-year-old trotting fillies vying in four divisions for a total of $213,400 in purses.

The highlight of the day was Love A Good Story (Chapter Seven-Celebrity Lovin) who took the second $55,000 division for 3-year-olds in memorable style. 

Driver Andy Miller floated Love A Good Story off the gate and dropped in third while Without A Warning (Scott Zeron) got to the quarter in a quick :27.4. Positions remained unchanged in the throttled-down :30.2 second panel until Love A Good Story pulled first up as she made her way into the turn. 

Past the five eighths, Love A Good Story drew alongside Without A Warning and the two trotted side-by-side up the backstretch and to the three-quarters in 1:26.2. The match race continued around the last turn and down the lane when Love A Good Story got the edge with Miller urging her on and hit the wire in 1:55.1. 

The time was a new track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies, besting the standard of 1:55.4 set by Quincy Blue Chip just last year. 

It was the 10th win in 15 lifetime starts for Love A Good Story ($2.50) who has now earned $400,484 for owners the Pinske Stables, the Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Daniel Plouffe. Julie Miller trains the winner. 

Love A Good Story was bred by Celebrity Farms and was a $90,000 Lexington Selected yearling purchase. 

(Photo: Tom Jackson with Island Lily.)

The first $54,000 split had an abbreviated four-horse field that saw Island Lily (Chapter Seven-Up Front Hotsey) dominate. 

Tom Jackson put Island Lily on the front and then led at every station with Destiny Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) on her back. After fractions of :29, :58.4 and 1:28.2, Destiny Blue Chip pulled the pocket and took a run at the leader in the turn. But Island Lily headed for home and trotted away clear to an easy 4-1/2 length victory in 1:57.2

It was the first lifetime win for Island Lily ($4.90) who was unraced at two. Fred Grant both owns and trains the filly. 

Island Lily was bred by Noel Daley and Up Front Racing and sold for $70,000 at the Harrisburg yearling sale.

The freshman class saw the best performance come in the second $52,200 division from Destined To Dance (Chapter Seven-Go Go Dancer) who dropped in fourth from post seven as Eliza B (Scott Zeron) scooted to the quarter in :29 flat. With four horses breaking early, the field was now in two groups with the top quad playing follow the leader to the half. 

Past the five-eighths Just Joshing (Andy Miller) came from third and made a move for the lead while Destined To Dance was still a gapped fourth. But after they entered the final bend, Tyler Buter hit the gas and Destined To Dance responded in dynamic fashion. Still three lengths off the lead, Destined To Dance dug in hard and with a full head of steam, flew down the stretch with ease while reeling off a :28.1 quarter to win by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:59.1.

It was the third straight win, all in NYSS action, for Destined To Dance ($3.80) who is owned by Heritage Standardbreds, Crawford Farms Racing and Rich Prezzioti. John Butenshoen trains the winner. 

Destined To Dance was bred by Crawford Farms and sold for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected yearling sale.   

(Photo: Ake Svanstedt with Broad Strokes.)

The complexion of the final $52,200 division changed quickly as post time favorite No Pay No Way (Scott Zeron) broke going for the lead. But Ake Svanstedt was happy to take her place when he guided Broad Strokes (Chapter Seven-Lady Marian) to the front and then never looked back. Broad Strokes slowed the half down to 1:01.1 as no one challenged and Svanstedt continued to grab leather into the second circuit. 

Credit Income (John Stark Jr.) finally advanced on the outside and got within a length of Broad Strokes in the final turn and the two were on a breakaway. Broad Strokes and Credit Income traded leads all the way down to the wire where Broad Strokes got a slight advantage and won by 1/4 length in 2:01.2.

It was the first lifetime win and a lifetime mark for Broad Strokes ($6.80) who is owned by Little E, Joe Sbrocco, L. Berg Inc. and Triple Play Trotters. Ake Svanstedt also trains the winner. 

Broad Strokes was bred by Fair Winds Farm and was a $50,000 Harrisburg yearling sale acquisition. 

There were six $15,000 divisions of Excelsior A races held on Sunday as well with the following results.

3-year-old trotting filly Excel A winners:

  • Lady Jeter (Muscles Yankee-Salt Hill Brigid) 1:59.2, $22.40
  • Owner -- Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford IV and Donald Brenner
  • Trainer -- Dan Daley
  • Driver -- Dan Daley
  • Breeder -- Salt Hill Farm
  • Morrisville sale -- $22,000


  • Reciprocalbluechip (Chapter Seven-Fraction) 1:59, $5.90
  • Owner -- Carrie Norris, M T Pockets Stable, Acadia Farms and G and B Racing
  • Trainer -- Charlie Norris
  • Driver -- Charlie Norris
  • Breeder -- Diamond Creek Farm
  • Lexington Selected sale -- $65,000


  • Soprese (Conway Hall-Isabella Gal) 1:59, $8.30
  • Owner -- Crawford Farms, James Crawford IV and Ann-Mari Daley
  • Trainer -- Dan Daley
  • Driver -- Dan Daley
  • Breeder -- Crawford Farms
  • Lexington Selected sale -- $25,000

2-year-old trotting filly Excel A winners:

  • Lovely Belle (Chapter Seven-Somebody To Love) 2:02, $3.20
  • Owner -- Crawford Farms Racing
  • Trainer -- Tony Alagna
  • Driver -- Jason Bartlett
  • Breeder -- Crawford Farms
  • Lexington Selected sale -- $110,000


  • A Million Chuckles (Lucky Chucky-Win A Million) 2:04, $3.70
  • Owner -- Peter Peck
  • Trainer -- Jim Shupe
  • Driver -- Tyler Buter
  • Breeder -- Peter Peck
  • Homebred


  • Enchanting Woman (Deweycheatumnhowe-Enchantment) 2:04, $7.70
  • Owner -- Hossman
  • Trainer -- Robert Gale
  • Driver -- Jimmy Whittemore
  • Breeder -- Dunroven Stud
  • Lexington Selected sale -- $15,000
August 1, 2020 - 1:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The New York Sire Stakes makes its first of two stops at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2) and will feature both 2- and 3-year-old trotting filly divisions. 

There are 16 freshman fillies divided into two divisions, each going for $52,200. 

The first group features No Pay No Way (Credit Winner-Not A Diva) who has one NYSS win in only one lifetime start. After qualifying handily at the Meadowlands in 1:56.4, No Pay No Way took a come from behind win at Yonkers on July 21 in a state-bred race, banking the bulk of the $$48,866 purse after the win in 2:00. 

Scott Zeron will be in the bike for trainer Rick Zeron. 

Titans Hope (E L Titan-Fiery Manes) made an impressive first start at Yonkers, finishing third after a mid-mile move. A change in barn and driver seemed to step her up from her qualifier and she looks to continue improving in here.

Jason Bartlett drives for trainer Andrew Harris. 

Also in the race is Credit Income (Credit Winner-Income De VIe) who won an Excel A outing in 2:01 at Saratoga Raceway on July 8 before stepping up to a top level, second-place finish at Yonkers where she trotted in 1:59.2. 

John Stark Jr. drives for trainer Maureen Salino.

The second division has Destined To Dance (Chapter Seven-Go Go Dancer) starting from post seven and looking for her third consecutive win on the year. This filly has won gate to wire at Saratoga on July 8 in 1:59.4 and from off the pace at Yonkers on July 21 in her lifetime best 1:58.3. 

Tyler Buter will steer again for trainer John Butenschoen. 

Just Joshing (Chapter Seven-Jodi’s Jayme) has two consecutive wins in Excel A company and both were very impressive. She takes the next step here and looks to be a formidable force against the top group this week for driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller. 

Elize B (Chapter Seven-Legal Lady) made a stellar debut after cutting the mile and just getting beat in 1:59.2 at Saratoga. She made a break in her next outing at Yonkers from post seven and looks to make amends for that misstep. Scott and Rick Zeron are also the driver/trainer team on this filly. 

There are only nine entrants in the sophomore soiree that will also go in two groups for $54,000 and $55,000 respectively. 

The first division has four starters who are winless this year but who also show a lot of potential. 

Destiny Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Chasin Clouds Away) was caught up in a torrid 1:53 mile at Tioga Downs on June 21, chasing Love A Good Story who is in the other division. In her last start at Vernon Downs, she was parked out for over three-quarters of the mile before tiring in the last turn in a race that went in 1:52.1. She is now in a short field that looks like she should be able to make use of those tighteners. 

Ake Svanstedt both trains and drives. 

Starystarrynight (Conway Hall-Makes Me Crazy) has won three times last year but has still not found the winner’s circle in 2020. After winning her qualifier on June 15 at Yonkers, Starrystarrynight has been racing overnight condition races at Harrah’s Philly where she was recently race timed in 1:55.2. Now back facing her own age and gender, she should be well prepped for a top effort in her first stake start this year. 

Billy Davis Jr. drives for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera. 

Island Lily (Chapter Seven-Up Front Hotsey) showed good early work this year before finishing fourth in an Excel A event. After a month layoff, she qualified in a lifetime best time of 1:56.4 by 3-1/2 lengths at Pocono. She steps up to the top level here but comes in looking the part. 

Tom Jackson drives for trainer Fred Grant. 

The second $55,000 leg is stacked with three of the top five point-getters in this division. 

Love A Good Story (Chapter Seven-Celebrity Lovin) has won both of her NYSS outings this year taking a lifetime mark of 1:52.1 at Vernon Downs on July 11. She also finished second to Hypnotic Am in the $207,250 Empire Breeders Classic and most recently competed in the $253,500 Del Miller at the Meadowlands against Hambletonian hopeful Ramona Hill who won it in 1:50.3.  

Team Orange Crush handles Love A Good Story with Andy Miller in the bike for trainer Julie Miller. 

No Mas Drama (Muscles Yankee-Massive Drama) hasn’t missed a check all year until an impossible trip in the Del Miller where she found herself 10th at the quarter chasing a 1:50.3 mile and Munster (Chapter Seven-Richesse Oblige S) has also cashed in four starts behind the gate. However both are still looking for win number one of the year. 

Jim Morrill Jr. Drives No Mas Drama for trainer Jenn Bongiorno and Tyler Buter will team Munster for Per Engblom. 

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

August 1, 2020 - 1:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

(Photo: Driver Dave McNeight III with Black Is Back.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The first Open I pace of the year saw Black Is Back impose his will on a field of seven, going gate to wire handily to capture the $10,000 feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (July 31). 

Driver Dave McNeight III seated the field after taking a quick point position with Black Is Back and then went to the quarter in :28.3 and the half in :57.4. It was there that Class Six (Renaldo Morales III) pulled first-over and made his way up the outside. 

Class Six got to within a length of Black Is Back at the three-quarters before hanging there around the last turn. And that was as close as he would get as Black Is Back rebuffed the challenge and paced away to a 2-1/4 length win in 1:54.3, which was a new seasonal mark. 

It was the 32nd lifetime win in only 110 starts for Black Is Back ($3.90) who is owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. does the training.


(Photo: Driver Denny Bucceri with Under Paid.)

The $9,000 Open II saw a raw speed duel between Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) and Atlantis (Jim Morrill Jr.) who left from post seven and eight respectively. Under Paid got the lead and parked out Atlantis for three quarters of a mile while going fast fractions of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:25. When Atlantis understandably tired in the last turn, Don McWhite (Billy Davis Jr.), who had the perfect pocket trip, tipped out and looked to go by the leader. But the leader wasn’t done and Under Paid finished strong to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54.2. 

It was the second win in a row for Under Paid ($13) who is owned by Jennifer Rogowski and trained by Mike Ohol. 

Shawn McDonough’s stable had one big night at the Downs on Friday. Horses he trains made seven starts and scored four wins, one second and two thirds. Of those seven starters, McDonough drove six of them. He won three, had one second and two thirds. This all equates to McDonough having a Universal Trainer Rating of .746 and a Universal Driver Rating of .703 for the night. Statistically, that is one of the best dual performances ever recorded at the Genesee County track. 

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs with a special Sunday (Aug. 2) matinee card featuring all New York Sire Stake races. Post time Sunday is 1:15 p.m.

July 22, 2020 - 1:34pm

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The condition sheet for the first week of racing at Batavia Downs is now available www.bataviadownsgaming.com and on the United States Trotting Association website. Opening day of the 2020 meet is next Wednesday (July 29). 

The draw for Wednesday (July 29) will be held this Friday (July 24) and the draw for Friday (July 31) will be held on Tuesday (July 28). The box closes both days at 9 a.m. 

Full racing guidelines and requirements are listed on the condition sheet. The race office can be reached at (585) 344-6161 and the judges direct line is (585) 813-0376. 

The 2020 purse structure features a top value of $10,000 for Open class horse, gelding and mare pacers as well as Open class trotters and a lower range of $3,500 for $4,000 claimers and bottom condition entrants.

No paper entries will be accepted at this meet. All entries must be made either online or by phone. 

Also please remember that masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed on the grounds at all times.

It is strongly suggested that participating horsemen get on the race office text service list by texting the word “HORSEMAN” to 51660. This way you will be apprised of any and all changes during the entire meet.

July 20, 2020 - 10:44am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

When the Batavia Downs live racing meet gets underway on July 29 there will be no fans in attendance due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. However there will be one exception.

Listed owners of horses in to go will be allowed on the track apron starting opening night. General spectators or guests of owners will not be allowed onto the grounds until further notice as per New York State Gaming Commission regulations.

If you are going to have horses racing this meet and would like to watch them in person, please take note of the protocol that needs to be followed in order to do so.

Listed owners must make a reservation to attend in advance and be put on a list that will allow them to enter. Reservations must be made 24-hours before race time. The number to call to make a reservation will be on the Batavia Downs Facebook page and also the overnight sheet once the first draw is completed. Listed owners who register will receive email confirmation and security will only let in those that have registered and are on the list.

Upon arriving at the Downs, a temperature check and health status questionnaire must be completed by each listed owner in the lobby. Once that process is complete, you must then proceed through Park Place to the apron. No one is allowed to walk through the gaming floor to the apron.

Masks must be worn at all times and social distancing is required and will be strictly enforced. Also there will be no food or beverage service available.

Listed owners will be also be allowed in the winner’s circle for pictures if their horse wins, but anyone doing so must remain masked and observe proper social distancing.

Also please be aware that owners coming from states that are on the New York State Coronavirus Quarantine List are not allowed to attend at anytime. 

June 26, 2020 - 12:26pm

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Longtime Western Regional Off-Track Betting (WROTBC) employee Aaron Galanti was named the new Track Superintendent at Batavia Downs on Thursday after Fran Mruczek announced his retirement on Monday (June 22).

Galanti has worked under Mruczek for a number of years.

Galanti joined WROTBC, the owner of Batavia Downs, in 2008 and has worked with the track crew since 2009.

“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to become the track super,” Galanti said.

“Equine safety will continue to be our number one priority at Batavia Downs and I look forward to working with all the horsemen and horsewomen in regards to such.”

“We can’t thank Fran enough for his many years of dedicated service to our corporation," said Todd Haight, director/general manager of Live Racing. "It was not unusual to see Fran out on the track at 10 p.m. watering on dark days or here at 3 a.m. plowing snow. The racetrack was certainly his baby.” 

“And we’re all very happy for Aaron; he’s a great guy who has earned this opportunity. He has learned from the best and is ready for his new role; I’m confident he’ll do an outstanding job.”

Live harness racing returns to Batavia Downs on Saturday (July 25) with post time scheduled for 5 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Batavia Downs.

June 12, 2020 - 4:11pm

The New York Sire Stakes, the state's premier harness racing program, has released the complete and revised schedule for the 2020 racing season. Two-year-olds will begin with filly pacers on July 4 at Vernon Downs.

As previously announced, 3-year-old events get underway June 21 at Tioga Downs. A full schedule, including dates for Batavia Downs, can be found at nysirestakes.com.

All dates are pending New York State Gaming Commission approval at the individual raceways and are subject to alterations as racing, operating and regulatory conditions change. The NYSS will notify horseman as soon as possible if any changes occur.

"It’s an exciting step to release the revised schedule for our 2020 season,” said Kelly Young, executive director of the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. “We appreciate the patience of all our participants as we worked through many uncertainties and continue to address challenges as they emerge.

"We understand there are still many things that could change over the next few months, but this schedule reflects the best information we have at this time. We will continue to work with the state’s racetracks to stay as close to this schedule as possible if changes are necessary or if a track cannot accommodate an event.”

The NYSS would like to thank the management and staff at each track for their cooperation and assistance in developing this schedule. The NYSS is a partnership between the state, the horsemen and the raceways and we were inspired to see the collaborative spirit among all involved to help solidify the 2020 calendar.

Changes for the upcoming season have been approved by the Trustees of the Fund to address the shortfall in revenue due to the extended track closures. The NYSS and Excelsior Series will host five legs for each of the age, gait and sex divisions. Purses for each leg will be maintained at a level very similar to last year.

Excelsior purses remain the same for both the A and B levels ($15,000 and $6,000 plus starting fees, respectively) with no Excelsior events raced at Goshen Historic Track this year.

NYSS Finals on the Night of Champions, Excelsior Finals and County Fair Finals purses will remain at their previously announced levels of $225,000, $50,000 and $10,000, respectively, per division. There will be no Sire Stakes Consolation events this year.

An update on the County Fair schedule is slated to be announced in the coming week. The first racing date is slated for July 9 and the Finals are still planned for the Labor Day weekend.

The publication of the County Fair Racing Schedule booklet has been delayed as dates and procedures are confirmed with participating fairs, but will be available in print and digital form as soon as details are finalized.

May 12, 2020 - 5:43pm

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Bernie E. Hanley, age 84, of Batavia, NY, died peacefully on Thursday (May 7, 2020) at the home of his daughter while under the care of Hospice and his loving family. 

Mr. Hanley was born on Feb. 9, 1936, in Fulton, NY, a son of the late Laurence and Mary (Welch) Hanley. After graduating from Batavia High School, he went on to honorably serve his country in the Army during the Korean War. 

Upon returning stateside, Mr. Hanley got involved in harness racing in the 1960s and bought his first horse to compete at Batavia Downs, a pacer named Chief Maynard (2:00.3, $138,342). He was one of the best top-class pacers in Western New York at the time and found the winner’s circle many times. He also raced Mac’s Miss Mary (1:55.3, $150,794), Irish Dancer A (1:59, $117,693), Overnight Guy (2:01.3, $64,985) and several others during his career. 

Although Mr. Hanley was well known on the local harness racing circuit as an owner/trainer for many years, most would remember him (and his wife Mary Ann) as the owner of Hanley’s Restaurant, which was conveniently located directly across the street from Batavia Downs. Hanley’s was the “horseman’s hangout” after the races for decades where wins were celebrated, races were relived and many longtime friendships were formed.

Upon retirement, the Hanley’s moved South to Florida and enjoyed the sun for close to 30 years. While there, was Mr. Hanley was a member of the Deland Amvets Post 13 and the Deland Elks Lodge 1463. He was also a member of the Glenn S. Loomis American Legion Post 332 in Batavia. 

Mr. Hanley had many friends both in and out of harness racing and will be remembered by all as a hard-working man who loved his family deeply.

Mr. Hanley is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Mary Ann (Musshafen) Hanley of Batavia; children, Patrick (Carol) Hanley of Alabama, Elsie (Greg) Lee of Batavia and Dr. Greg (Angela) Hanley of Tennessee; brother, Larry (Mary) Hanley of Akron; 10 cherished grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren along with many nieces and nephews.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, Mr. Hanley’s Mass of Christian Burial will take place at a later date. 

Memorial contributions in his memory can be made to: HomeCare & Hospice, 26 Liberty St., Batavia, NY 14020 or at http://www.homecare-hospice.org.

You can share your words of comfort with Mr. Hanley’s family at www.tomaszewskifh.com.

For his full obituary, click here.

December 19, 2019 - 12:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Although the final day of racing was canceled on Saturday (Dec. 14) due to bad weather conditions, the clubhouse that night was still sold out and the 400 or so patrons enjoyed Christmas music instead of race calls. But that was the norm at Batavia Downs in 2019; happy customers having fun at the races. 

Indicators for every aspect of the racing product pointed toward positive territory and in several areas showed record breaking performances. 

Betting-wise the on track handle was up 12.2 percent, driven by a 5-percent increase in attendance, the export signal was up 24 percent and Western Regional Off Track Betting (WROTB) revenue was up 5.3 percent. All tolled, wagering from all sources was up a combined 19.9 percent and provided the highest total handle at the track and the top three highest single night handles since WROTB reopened the Downs in 2002. 

The total handle was also $1.4 million higher than last year and all of this was accomplished with three fewer race days on the schedule. 

“Our customers came out in force, both live and at simulcast to support us all year and we couldn’t be more grateful to them,” said Todd Haight, director/general manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. “We gave them some of the best racing in the state this year and they validated it by betting us the whole season.”

There were several reasons for the increases and they were all primarily driven by the eight legs of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) culminating in the $1.8 million Night of Champions (NOC) finals in September. Along with the highest overnight purses ever offered at the track, Batavia Downs dolled out more than $8.1 million in total purses this year and that drew top horses and horsemen from across North America all year, providing great betting opportunities for the customers. 

The Downs also took full advantage of the Strategic Wagering Pool sponsored by the United States Trotting Association (USTA) and offered enhanced funds for exotic wagers that also provided free program pages for half the card on those nights. Aside from the NYSS NOC which was the highest handle in the tracks history under WROTB ownership, the track saw its highest total nightly handles on cards where the Strategic Wagering Pools were offered. 

“We had 14 Strategic Wagering opportunities during the course of the season and every one paid off," Haight said. "Many thanks to USTA Director Chris Schick and Social Media Director Michael Carter for their assistance with these wagers."

Two other factors for the increase include the simulcast department doing a great job marketing the live signal from Batavia and picking up many new customers this year which drove the export numbers and the track’s group sales department who brought in 31 percent more parties and events to the clubhouse than ever before and enhanced the live handle. 

“A lot of the people we see during live racing were introduced to the sport by attending our live concert series over the summer," Haight said. "They actually walk across the track and ask questions about horse racing and then come back when the meet starts to see it. It’s really been a good selling point for us and we’ve made many new customers as a result.”  

On the track, Billy Davis Jr. won his first driving title at Batavia Downs in 2019 by averaging two wins a night for the entire meet. His 131 wins, 102 seconds and 83 thirds out of 629 starts earned him a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .342 for the meet and $861,336 in purses.

Jim Morrill Jr. was second with 79 wins, 56 seconds and 37 thirds with $921,527 in earnings and Dave McNeight III was third with 78 wins, 61 seconds and 70 thirds with $543,064 in purses.

On the training side, Jim Clouser Jr. also won his first Batavia Downs training title after scoring 51 wins, 29 seconds and 39 thirds out of 219 starts for a UTR of .366 and $361,413 in earnings. His stable members finished in the money 54 percent of the time. 

Finishing second in the trainer race was Maria Rice who scored 43 wins, 31 seconds and 21 thirds out of 190 starts and earned $358,234 in purses with the legendary Gerry Sarama finishing third while making 246 starts with 32 wins, 40 seconds and 32 thirds with $256,619 in earnings. 

Live racing returns to the oldest lighted harness racing track in America on July 22, pending approval from the New York State Gaming Commission.

December 14, 2019 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

The Saturday night (Dec. 14) live card of racing at Batavia Downs has been cancelled due to heavy snow and inclement weather. This ends the 2019 racing season in Western New York as this was the last day of the meet. 

Live harness racing will return to the oldest lighted harness track in America in July.

Western Regional Off Track Betting would like to thank all the horsemen, horsewomen, fans and staff for the record season Batavia Downs had this year and wishes everyone a very Happy Holiday Season.

December 14, 2019 - 3:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Above, Fox Valley Veto pulls ahead with driver Billy Davis Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Two top class races highlighted the second last race card at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 13) and both winners rewarded their backers with premium mutuels. 

In the $12,500 Open I Handicap trot, Fox Valley Veto was overlooked at 11-1 and pulled the upset with a strong closing effort. 

Saratoga invader Golden Kronos (John Cummings Jr.) flew to the lead and rattled off fractions of :29 and :59.2. At the half Wheels A Turning (Shawn McDonough) pulled first up and Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) followed his cover. Positions remained the same until the top of the stretch when Davis tipped Fox Valley Veto clear and matched strides with Golden Kronos all the way to the wire where he got a slight advantage and won by a head in 1:58.4. 

It was the third win in a row and 12th of the year for Fox Valley Veto ($24.80) who has now earned $72,317 for owners Vogel and Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner.

(Photo: Blue Bell Bonnie and driver Dave McNeight III.)

Then in the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace for fillies and mares, Blue Bell Bonnie turned some heads as she breezed the fastest mile of the night. 

Driver Dave McNeight III burst through the gate with Blue Bell Bonnie, went right to the front and never looked back for a second. Posting furious fractions of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:25.2, Blue Bell Bonnie rounded the final bend and took a two length lead into deep stretch where he won in a shocker time of 1:54.3. 

It was the 10th win of the year for Blue Bell Bonnie ($10.60) and it pushed her total for 2019 to $75,258. Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi own and James Clouser Jr. trains. 

The Downs 2019 driving champion Billy Davis Jr. was the top dog again on Friday after winning four more races on the card. Besides the already mentioned Fox Valley Veto, Davis also won with Expensive Toy (1:58.4, $3), Traverse Seelster (1:59.3, $13.60) and Are You In (2:00.4, $8.70).

Drew Monti also scored a driving hat trick and Shawn McDonough doubled up both as a driver and a trainer. 

Live racing resumes for the final time in 2019 tonight (Dec. 14) with post time at 6 o'clock.

December 13, 2019 - 3:25pm

By Tim Bojarski, for UNY USHWA

The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (UNY USHWA) has named the top driver and trainer of the 2019 meet at Batavia Downs and will present each with a trophy between races in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 14). 

The driver of the meet was Billy Davis Jr. (top photo)

Davis started driving on a regular basis at Batavia Downs in 2016 and finished a strong third last year with 99 wins. This meet Davis started fast, maintained his momentum throughout, demolished the competition and in the end captured his first Batavia Downs driving title. 

Davis currently has a total of 127 wins, 48 more than the second place Jim Morrill Jr. who pulled the pin for the year on the first day of November. Those wins along with 101 seconds and 82 thirds out of 621 starts have earned him a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .341 for the meet and $839,581 in purses. The earnings total is a new track record for a single meet exceeding the standard of $802,528 set be Jim Morrill Jr. 13 years ago in 2006. 

For 2019 in its entirety, the 33-year-old Davis has won 270 races, pocketed $1,846,243 in loot and his UDR of .320 was the best of his career. 

The trainer of the meet was James Clouser Jr. (above photo)

Clouser has been conditioning horses at Batavia since 2014 and has twice finished second in the standings in 2015 and 2018. This year Clouser took command early and stayed on top the entire meet to capture his first Batavia Downs training title. 

With a strong stable of horses anchored by owners Burke Racing/Weaver Bruscemi and William Emmons, Clouser posted 50 wins, 29 seconds and 37 thirds out of 214 starts for a UTR of .367 and $352,910 in earnings. That income total is the second highest ever recorded at the Downs behind Kim Asher’s $505,624 in 2017. 

For the calendar year overall, the also 33-year-old Clouser has won 270 races and $775,359 in purses. He is also nearing his 500th career training win (currently at 482) and the $3 million earnings plateau. 

Batavia Downs and UNY USHWA congratulate both men and all their connections.

(Photos courtesy of Paul White.)

December 13, 2019 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Tonight (Dec. 13) there is a carryover of $1,164 in the Pick-5 at Batavia Downs and a guaranteed pool of $3,500 for the Pick-5 wager.

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. 14) program.

Post time for the first race tonight is 6 o'clock.

December 13, 2019 - 3:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs, horses of the meet.

Photo: Pacer of the Meet -- Back Is Black.

By Tim Bojarski, for UNY USHWA

With the final weekend of racing at hand, the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (UNY USHWA) has announced the horses of the meet for 2019.

Pacer of the Meet -- Back Is Black (Western Terror-Magic Moments) 1:52.1 ($242,850)

Black Is Back started his year with a tag and ended up a top-class pacer. After being claimed for $20,000 at Saratoga Raceway back in May, Black Is Back found his way into the barn of trainer Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. through a private purchase by his current owners Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. He made his first start at Batavia Downs in July, soon won the $12,500 Open I pace and then never looked back.

For the season at Batavia, Black Is Back made 13 starts with five wins, two seconds and three thirds, all in Open I company and did not miss a single check the entire meet earning him $44,565 in the process. He finished in the money 77% of the time and his best win time at the Downs was 1:53.1.

For the entire year Black Is Back has made 26 starts with 10 wins, four seconds and four thirds for $79,765 in purses with a mark of 1:52.2.

Trotter of the Meet -- Lougazi (Lou’s Legacy-Winning Blade) 1:56.1 ($198,483) (Photo above.)

Lougazi made an encore performance this year as he was the 2018 Batavia Downs Trotter of the Meet. During the 2019 season in Genesee County, Lougazi made 16 starts with five wins, four seconds and three thirds and much like his side-wheeling counterpart Black Is Back, Lougazi made all his starts in Open I company as well. 

Lougazi had a very high 75 percent in the money average too and his $50,500 in purses was the highest amount earned by any overnight Standardbred competing at the meet this year. His career best year also included a new lifetime mark of 1:56.1 taken at Batavia in September.

Overall in 2019 Lougazi has made 34 starts with nine wins, 10 seconds and five thirds with $94,000 in earnings. Mary Warriner owns Lougazi who is trained by Ryan Swift.

Mare of the Meet -- HP Sissy (Up The Credit-Monica Blue Chip) 1:52.1 ($367,629) (Photo above.)

HP Sissy was purchased privately in January by John and Sally Finnocchario and became the star of the Finnocchario’s Dream Stable. She went on to win 13 races out of 37 starts and made $116,493 racing at tracks across New York State.

In July HP Sissy made her first of 13 starts at Batavia Downs and ended up winning four Open I paces for fillies and mares, besides finishing second three times and third four more and made $41,375 in purses along the way. She wound up in the money 85% of the time which was the highest percentage of hitting the board of any horse racing at the meet. Her fastest win time at the Downs was also her seasonal mark; 1:53.3. Mike Ohol is the trainer of HP Sissy.

All the connections of Black Is Back, Lougazi and HP Sissy will receive their awards in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs between races on Saturday (Dec. 14) during the UNY USHWA Night of Distinction. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.

December 11, 2019 - 12:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs, UNY USHWA.

By Tim Bojarski, for UNY USHWA

In an era where mainstream media habitually overlooks harness racing in their day to day publications, two news outlets in New York State routinely include harness racing news in their sports pages and continue to promote the sport despite their counterparts' failure to do so.

And the coverage given to the action at the track by the Batavia Daily News and The Batavian is why the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) will be presenting them with the 2019 President’s Award.

The Batavia Daily News is a print newspaper that was founded in 1878 and has been in operation ever since.Their circulation goes well beyond the confines of the City of Batavia and Genesee County, into several surrounding counties and also includes Buffalo and Rochester.

Additionally the paper has a strong online presence (thedailynewsonline.com) to go along with its daily print publication and both cover Batavia and Genesee County in depth.

The Batavian (thebatavian.com) is an online-only news outlet that was launched in 2008. It is the first local, online-only news source for the City of Batavia and Genesee County and has become one of Genesee County's most popular internet news sites and it provides local residents with news and information based mainly around Genesee County.

This outlet has a reputation of showing up at every major event in the city and posting timely firsthand reports and videos.

"Both of these outlets have provided outstanding coverage to harness racing at Batavia Downs over the years but in 2019, gave unprecedented weeklong coverage to the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions that were held at Batavia Downs and produced record numbers for the track as well as noticeably increased revenue for the city itself that weekend by visiting participants," said Tim Bojarski, president of UNY USHWA.

"They both do an outstanding job for the community in general and the sport in particular. The coverage provided to harness racing by these fine news sources sets a standard that outlets in other cities should well take note of."

The Batavia Daily News and The Batavian will be presented their awards in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 14). Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.

The Batavian -- Video: The Night of Champions at Batavia Downs

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.

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