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December 6, 2021 - 6:45pm
posted by Press Release in sports, Batavia Downs, horseracing.


Press Release by Tim Bojarski, president, Upstate New York USHWA

The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has announced that driver Kyle Cummings was named their Rising Star for the 2021 racing season at Batavia Downs. 

It should come as no surprise that Kyle Cummings has been one of the best drivers in western New York this past year despite a very brief career, as he hails from a family deeply rooted in racing. His father Todd Cummings, mother Tammy Cummings, grandfathers John Cummings Sr. and Hugh Stevens, grandmother Cindy Stark-Casale, uncles John Cummings Jr., Tony Cummings, Kevin Cummings, John Stark Jr., Doug Ackley and aunt Laurie Stark have all been successful trainer/drivers spanning the last 45 years. So he had a wealth of knowledge to draw from and clearly he paid attention. 

Cummings got his first pari-mutuel win in April of 2019 with a pacer named Jude Hall and his production at the track took off from there. To say he had a break-out season in 2021 would be an understatement as in only his third year in the bike, the 21-year-old Cummings doubled his win and earnings output posted over the first two years of driving. This year overall he's competed in 721 races with 109 wins, 107 seconds and 101 thirds and has bankrolled $688,417 in purses. But let’s break that down a little further.

At the current Batavia Downs meet, Cummings sits third in dash wins with 50 -- behind his Uncle Kevin -- with earnings of $391,352. Over the summer he was the leading dash driver on the New York Sire Stake fair circuit and was named the NYSS County Fair Driver of the Year at their awards ceremony in November. During that competition he had 50 starts with 26 wins -- that included two finals at Goshen Historic Track -- 19 seconds and one third and earnings of $60,942 while racing across the state. That equates to a phenomenal UDR of .738 for that series. 

For his outstanding performance this year, Kyle Cummings will be presented with the Rising Star award in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 11) during UNY-USHWA’s Night of Distinction. Saturday is closing night at Batavia Downs and post time for the first race is 5 p.m. 

Photo credit by Paul White

June 9, 2014 - 4:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, horseracing, belmont stakes.

Press release:

Representatives from Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) announced today that total wagering at WROTB on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes totaled $1,246,239. This beat WROTB’s previous record set in 2004 of $853,578. That year, Smarty Jones nearly completed the Triple Crown.

The 2014 handle number for WROTB is a 59-percent increase over 2013’s $786,062.10. Belmont handle nationwide was up 35 percent from last year. This new record comes on the heels of WROTB’s best day ever, which happened on Kentucky Derby Day, along with a record handle number on the Preakness Stakes. WROTB celebrated its 40th year of existence in May.

“It’s encouraging to see our corporation out pacing the national numbers," said WROTB CEO and President Michael Kane. “California Chrome’s story certainly inspired an excitement not seen since Big Brown had a shot in 2008.  Hopefully his story will generate more interest in the sport of horse racing.”

TV Ratings showed that Buffalo Ranked 8th nationally among viewership in major cities posting a 15.9 rating and a 36 share.

“The hope for a triple crown winner comes up every few years,“ said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing of Batavia Downs and WROTB. “This was the first real Triple Crown shot in the modern social media era. We saw not just sports fans, but nearly everyone talking about the Belmont Stakes in the days leading up.”

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 30 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility.

June 12, 2012 - 2:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, horseracing.

Press release:

Officials at Western Regional Off-Track Betting (WROTB), the owner of Batavia Downs Casino, announced today wagering handle on the Belmont Stakes was the public benefit corporation’s third-best ever totaling more than $856,000. This is a 12-percent increase over last year. WROTB saw a 16-percent increase on the Kentucky Derby and a 3-percent increase on the Preakness from last year.

“The anticipation leading up to the race was the best in years,” said Todd Haight, OTB’s handicapper and the GM of Batavia Downs Racetrack. “Despite I’ll Have Another‘s late scratch on Friday afternoon, the publicity surrounding the race was enough to pique the public’s interest.”

The race was won by Union Rags, who ran down Paynter in the final furlong of the race. Union Rags will race next in the Travers’ Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse on Aug. 25.

Batavia Downs in owned and operated by Western Regional Off-Track Betting, a public benefit corporation. Municipalities that own Batavia Downs Casino include the 15 counties of Western New York as well as the cities of Buffalo and Rochester. The track is also home to Batavia Downs Casino, featuring 640 video slot machines. Batavia Downs Casino is located less than one mile from Thruway Exit 48 and is open daily from 8 to 4 a.m.

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