(Photos courtesy of Paul White.)
Above, winning wiener dog, Pablo, with owner Adrienne Penders.
Above, the crowd packed the spectator area at Sunday's Wiener Dog Races at Batavia Downs and free bottles of cold water helped them beat the heat.
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
The centerpiece of Batavia Downs Family Fun Day on Sunday (Aug. 28) was the annual Wiener Dog Races and this year, 2,400 live patrons came out to watch a great program of live harness racing while anticipating the nine qualifying wiener heats that followed.
After the qualifying events were held and the final field was set, nine dogs went postward in the two-pylon sprint as the rail trackside was literally five-deep with spectators.
Track announcer Joe Zambito gave the word and they released the hounds for the race. After the pack thundered down the stretch and the dust had settled, Pablo was a convincing winner, with Nibbles beating out Minnie in a close photo for second.
It was the third time Pablo had competed in this event and the third time was a charm for him and his owner.
“He’s always been competitive and always done well in the race, but he never won it,” said Pablo’s owner Adrienne Penders. “This year he finally got it done.”
Nibbles is owned by Tammy Anderson; and Minnie is owned by Lori Laine.
Last year’s champion Piglet, won his qualifying heat this afternoon but failed to hit the board in the final despite a hearty attempt.
"Once again, Family Fun Day was a great success" said Todd Haight, director/general manager of Live Racing. "The stands were full with kids of all ages and everyone had a great time at Batavia Downs. The wiener dogs put on another great show and we would like to thank everyone who brought their dogs out to compete and to Genesee Feeds of Batavia who sponsors the event every year."
Each of the nine qualifying heat winners received a $25 free play voucher to Batavia Downs Gaming. The winning owner of the final was presented a $100 free play voucher, the second-place finisher received $75 in free play, and the third-place finisher will enjoy $50 in free play. All three owners will also get two complimentary buffets each in the Batavia Downs clubhouse.
The 2-9-3 doggie-tri combination was reported to return 25 Milk-Bones among trackside punters.