By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Batavia Downs has announced that Wanda Polisseni’s Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Center and the New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund will be sponsoring a cocktail party to be held before the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions on Saturday (Sept. 14) at the Downs.
The party is by invitation only and is for all NYSS finals participants and their guests and some VIPs and will run from 4:30 until 6 p.m. in Grandstands Banquet Room, which is located on the second floor of the building, adjacent to the hotel entrance. The party will conclude in time for everyone to make their way to the clubhouse for the first championship final of the night that will be carded as race two.
Kelly Young, executive director of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and Todd Haight, director/general manager of Live Racing expressed their excitement looking forward to this very important night for all who race in New York State.
“The Night of Champions is a time for the connections of all the horses who made it to the finals to look back on the year and celebrate their success. These equine athletes rose to the top of their class and thrived during a demanding season gathering points across the state from Buffalo to Yonkers, and every harness track in between,” Young said.
“We’re so pleased to join with Wanda Polisseni and her Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Center to celebrate the best of the best at Batavia Downs. Wanda is a dedicated owner of New York-bred horses and her love of the sport makes her a great partner to honor our Night of Champions participants.”
“It’s been many years since Batavia Downs hosted the Breeders Crown back in 1988 and we couldn’t be more proud to have been selected this year to showcase the very best horses that have been bred and raced in New York State,” Haight said.
“Wanda is a longtime friend of Batavia Downs and our 'Purple Haze' winner’s circle is named after her stable. Now she is joining with us again on this great night to host the NYSS cocktail party and enjoy the best racing in the state. I can’t wait for September 14!”
Henry Wojtaszek is the CEO and president of Batavia Downs Gaming. His thoughts about the event go beyond its racing significance and expresses the financial impact it will have on the communities that WROTB benefits.
“The Night of Champions being held at Batavia Downs is a testament to the hard work being put forth by our staff into making this one of the best racetracks in the country,” Wojtaszek said.
“Not only will this event attract folks from all over the state to our facility, but also to local hotels, restaurants and businesses. The economic benefit of having this marquee event right here in Genesee County will be felt by all.”
The $1.8 million Night of Champions races will highlight the richest card of racing ever held in Western New York. Also featured on the card will be Batavia Downs signature stake, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Invitational pace and a slate of races featuring the best resident overnight horses on the grounds. Post time for this grand night of racing will be 6 p.m.