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Batavia, NY --- A short but select group of entrants will compete in one race for the winner's share of the $118,800 up for grabs when the 3-year-old trotting fillies march into Batavia Downs for their 2019 New York Sire Stake (NYSS) local appearance. Quincy Blue Chip and Winndevie have been the two best horses in the state series for the past two years and will once again line up and face off at Batavia in the fifth race with six other competitors trying to derail them both. Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Sirenuse) is having a career year with six wins, a lifetime mark of 1:53.2 and $284,025 in earnings to date. She won the $209,500 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs in May and three NYSS events since then. She was on a two-race win streak going into her last start at Vernon Downs where she made an untimely break going to the quarter, trying to get the lead. Quincy Blue Chip currently sits in second place in points (191) and earnings ($160,715) in this series behind Winndevie, who also beat her in the NYSS 2-year-old final last year. Quincy Blue Chip will try to get the best of her competition here and draws post five and trainer Richard Banca has regular driver Jim Morrill Jr. back up for this race. She has been made the track handicapper's morning line choice at 2-1. Winndevie (Credit Winner-Vida De Vie) is the top point-getter (212) and money earner ($166,385) in her class this year, that includes three wins and without missing the board in any of her NYSS events. She comes into this race off a lifetime best performance at Vernon Downs where she won in 1:54 flat and appears to be as sharp as she's been at any point in her career. Winndevie drew post eight and trainer Trond Smedshammer once again assigned Jason Bartlett to drive and that bodes well for her chances despite the post. She is listed at 7-2 morning line. This is the last leg of the NYSS 3-year-old trotting fillies and as the points go, six of the eight horses racing here Friday have already made the final. The two horses who are outside looking in are Blue Ribbon Gal (Credit Winner-Carolla) who could move into the final group of eight by merely finishing fifth and gaining a minimum of five points and Avalonia (Muscles Yankee-Ava Marion) who is already mathematically eliminated. Post time for the first race on Friday is 6 p.m. $35,000 guaranteed Pick-5 on Friday When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 23) at 6:00 p.m., the track will feature a $35,000 guaranteed pool on the early Pick-5 wager that runs from race one to race five. It is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages are available for those races on the USTA website (http://handicapping.ustrotting.com/) or by clicking here for a direct download. (https://www.trackmaster.com/freeContent/usta/freeContentFiles/hpl/btv0823x.pdf). The actual carry-over is $14,913 and the $35,000 guaranteed pool is the largest in the history of Batavia Downs.  And to make it even more interesting, the fifth race of the Pick-5 is a $118,800 leg of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies that has Quincy Blue Chip and Winndevie facing off against each other once again.  By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- With the prohibitive harness racing favorite coming up short, Little Joke took it upon herself to win the $12,500 fillies and mares Open I Handicap Pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 21) and blow up the tote board at 21-1. Lady London (Shawn McDonough) went right to the front while the rest of the field opted to stay in post position order behind her, except for HP Sissy (Ray Fisher Jr.) who broke behind the gate. Lady London went to the quarter in :28 and an even slower half of :57 and still no opposition from anyone in the race. As they moved into the third turn, 3-5 favorite Sidewalk Dancer (Hunter Oakes) pulled from fifth and tried to advance in the breeze. But progression was negligible as she hung a parked third to the three-quarters in 1:24.4, still 2-3/4 lengths behind the leader. At this point Billy Davis Jr., who had been enjoying a perfect trip in the two-hole with Little Joke, tugged the right line and asked the mare to drive on. And respond she did; pacing past Lady London at the top of the lane and then under an animated drive by Davis, held off a fast closing Miss Mary Mach (Dave McNeight III) in deep stretch to win in 1:53.1. The time was a new seasonal mark for Little Joke and was only 1/5th of a second off the track record for aged pacing mares. It was the sixth win of the year for Little Joke ($44.20) who has now earned $50,928 for owners Vogel and Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner. Davis and Rice had so much fun in the feature, they teamed up again for an instant replay in the $11,000 Open II Handicap with Hey Sweetie ($7.00), who like her stablemate earlier, tripped out behind the front-running Mach's Echo (Drew Monti) until the top of the stretch where she pulled, took the lead and won in 1:55.1. Hey Sweetie is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Adelphi Bloodstock. Billy Davis Jr. went on to win two more races, giving him the Grand Slam on the evening. Long prices seemed to be the theme of the day and in the third race, Missevil (John Cummings Jr.) was happy to oblige. She scored from post eight at 25-1 paying $52.50, beating 19-1 Keystone Zeta (James McNeight Jr.) who finished second. These top two finishers sparked an 8-3 exacta that returned $1,504, an 8-3-2 trifecta that paid $3,524 and an 8-3-2-ALL superfecta that produced an instant jackpot payout of $11,316. There was a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-5 pool at The Downs on Wednesday that was not hit and as a result another guarantee has been made. When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 23), the Pick-5 will have a guaranteed pool of $35,000 as part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and free program pages will be available on the USTA website as a result. This is the highest guaranteed pool ever offered in the history of Batavia Downs. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 21) at 5:00 p.m., the first race of the night, and of the $10,000 guaranteed Pick-5, is the $12,500 fillies and mare Open I Handicap pace and this week it's loaded with talent. Paul Zabielski's Spreester (Drew Monti) is two for two at Batavia since shipping in from Saratoga Raceway, winning the Open II and Open I in successive outings. In her win last week, Spreester drew off by 11-3/4 lengths in the stretch and made a shambles of the competition in a season's best 1:53.2 effort. However this week Chris Oakes' Sidewalk Dancer (Hunter Oakes) ships in from The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono fresh off of her top performance of the year; a 1:51, 3-1/4 length win in an upper-level conditioned event over the storied 5/8th's oval in Wilkes-Barre. The 8-year-old Spreester has 51 lifetime wins whereas the 4-year-old Sidewalk Dancer is seasoned for her age, having faced the toughest 3-year-old fillies on the Grand Circuit all last year. These two will square-off in a heavyweight battle making the first leg of the $10,000 guaranteed Pick-5 a wide open affair. The track will feature a $10,000 guaranteed pool on the early Pick-5 wager that runs from race one to race five. It is part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering program and as such, free program pages are available for those races on the USTA website (http://handicapping.ustrotting.com/) or by clicking here for a direct download. (bit.ly/Bat82119) By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Black Is Back took full advantage of post one in Saturday night's (Aug.17) $12,500 Open Handicap harness racing pace at Batavia Downs, going gate to wire in impressive fashion. Driver Dave McNeight III flew off the wings to claim the point with Black Is Back in the first turn and then kept his foot on the gas to the quarter in :27 flat. The race was basically over at that point as the pair would just continue to extend their lead from there. After hitting the half in :56.2 on top by 1½, Black Is Back paced away to a two length lead at three-quarters and four lengths by the top of the stretch. As he turned for home, McNeight sat statuesque as the wrapped-up Black Is Back continued to pull away and hit the beam on top by seven in 1:53.2. It was the second win in four Batavia Downs starts and seventh win of the year for Black Is Back ($3.70) who now has banked $50,110 this year for owners Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr.. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. trains the winner. The $11,000 Open II Handicap also went to a coast to coast winner; Tullow N. John Cummings Jr. rousted Tullow N off the gate and to the front and never let anyone get close to them the whole mile. After clicking off fractions of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:24.4 with a loose lead to boot, the field was scattered behind Tullow N except for Manceiver (Drew Monti) who sat the pocket the entire way and was close enough to be considered a contender. But Tullow N didn't see it that way as he turned for home and pulled away to a 2-¾ length win in 1:53.1. With $55,135 in earnings on the strength of four wins in 2019, Tullow N ($8.10) is also two for four since coming to Batavia Downs. Blindswitch Racing owns the 8-year-old altered son of Mach Three-Tessa Bromac and Dave Russo does the training. Shawn Gray was in from Saratoga to drive on Saturday and put on a clinic while he was here. Gray won half the card; five out of the 10 races including a natural Hat Trick in the final three races of the night. He had his picture taken with Best Ears (1:54, $9.20), Myell's Rockstar (1:54.2, $6.30), Thisjetsabookin (1:54.2, $4.20), M G Home Run (1:56, $13.60) and P C Shockwave (1:56.4, $2.60). The five-bagger vaulted him from ninth to fourth in the local driver standings in one night. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 18) at 1:15 p.m. Sunday will feature a $3,000 guaranteed pool on the early Pick-5 wager that runs from race one to race five. It is part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering program and as such, free program pages are available for those races on the USTA website or by clicking here for a direct download. (http://bit.ly/2Nc7pwj) By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs      

Batavia, NY --- After heavy late afternoon rains degraded the track to sloppy, a very game Wheels A Turning overcame the weather, a slow start and a breaking horse to score a decisive harness racing victory in the $12,500 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Aug. 16). Off the gate, Dragin The Wagon (Shawn McDonough) went for the lead and in doing so, got parked three-deep around the first turn before clearing at the quarter in :27.3. Once on top, McDonough backed off the half to :57 trying to save some for later. Going past the stands before they hit the third turn, Rose Run Speedster (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Wheels A Turning (Dave McNeight III) pulled and got an outer flow going to try and take advantage of the early speed. As they trotted past the five-eighths, Keystone Apache (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled from second and immediately made a break in front of Rose Run Speedster. That cleared the way for Rose Run Speedster to draw alongside Dragin The Wagon and Wheels A Turning, who was on his back, to go three-deep at three-quarters in 1:26.3. Dragin The Wagon said goodnight at the top of the stretch leaving Rose Run Speedster and Wheels A Turning engaged in a match race to the wire. After trotting in unison for almost the last eighth of a mile, Wheels A Turning finally nudged ahead before the wire and won by a length in 1:56.4. The eighth win of the season for Wheels A Turning ($5.60) was also a seasonal best effort and the winner's share of the purse boosted his earnings to $61,810 for owners Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi. James Clouser Jr. trains the winner. In the $11,000 Open II trot, Lucky Guess (Ray Fisher Jr.) was on a mission when the gate released the field, taking control from post one like a shot. After being unchallenged to the half in a tepid :59.2, Noble Legend (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled from third at the half with Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) behind him and they both started to push the issue. Motoring up the backstretch, Lucky Guess and Noble Legend went stride for stride to the three-quarters when Noble Legend started to fade and Southern Palms tipped three-deep and advanced. When the race moved off the turn, Lucky Guess had opened up a two-length lead and down the lane, Fisher raised the lines over his head to let his horse trot home on her own and win in 1:58.2. The time was a new lifetime mark for the 6-year-old daughter of Lucky Chucky-Athenea. It was the second win in three Batavia Downs starts for Lucky Guess ($14.20) and her owner Dennis Beaver. Kirk Desmond trains Lucky Guess. Ray Fisher Jr. was the hot driver for the night, scoring a Grand Slam on the card. Jim Morrill Jr. got the Hat Trick and Dave McNeight III and Billy Davis Jr. each had driving doubles. In a true oddity of racing, there were two dead heats for win recorded at Batavia Downs on Friday with Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer JD Perrin involved in both of them. Batavia Downs hosted a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) on Friday night. Donations by many owners, trainers and drivers along with donations from fans attending live racing combined with proceeds from the silent auction to earn a total of over $13,500, which exceeds last year's best-ever record. That money will go directly to the BCCR. Batavia Downs would like to thank everyone who participated in this great fundraiser for such a worthy cause. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 17) with post time at 6 p.m. Saturday's card features a chance for one lucky fan to win a $3,500 diamond bracelet courtesy of TAG Jewelers. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY --- Friday night (Aug. 16) at Batavia Downs is noteworthy for two reasons. One, it's the first live card of harness racing held on a Friday this meet at the Downs as the track previously hosted their now completed concert series on Friday. Second, it's the night of the Batavia Down's annual "Races to Benefit the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester" (www.bccr.org) fundraiser that will be held at the track to raise both awareness and dollars to fight this deadly disease. This annual event is one of the larger fundraisers held by this organization and Batavia Downs has been proud to put on the event with them and be a part of this very worthy cause. It will be held in the clubhouse and runs from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. "We have partnered with BCCR for several years now and each year this event gets bigger and better," said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing. "It's an opportunity for us to help raise money to defeat the scourge of breast cancer in our lifetime. The generosity of our horsemen and patrons always shines through and I'm sure we will see that again this Friday." There will be a silent auction held adjacent to the clubhouse with a list of prizes that will please anyone's taste. They include two suite tickets to the Buffalo Bills versus Philadelphia Eagles at New Era Field on Sunday (Oct. 27), four suite tickets to the Buffalo Sabres versus the St. Louis Blues at Key Bank Center on Tuesday (Dec. 10), two suite tickets for the Carrie Underwood concert at Key Bank Arena on Sunday (Oct. 13), one Batavia Downs Hotel night and racing package, two Batavia Downs clubhouse racing packages, a recliner form Max Pies Furniture in Batavia and a host of other items too numerous to mention. Dozens of local owners, trainers and drivers have already committed to donating some or all of their winnings realized on Friday night with more coming on board every day. The track will also be taking cash donations from anyone willing to help that will be forwarded directly to the BCCR. "Last year we were able to raise in excess of $13,000 and this year we aim to break that record. The clubhouse has been sold out for weeks so we'll have many caring people here that night. And we will also have runners in both the paddock and grandstand area taking bids for the silent auction and also collecting any donations people may wish to make," said Haight. Post time for the first race is at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- $107,000 was up for grabs when the New York Sire Stake (NYSS) 2-year-old pacing fillies visited Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 14) and the winners of both divisions put in stellar performances. The first $53,000 split was won by Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight) who took no prisoners in a gate to wire victory. Merga Hanover was floated off the gate by driver Matt Kakaley for the first eighth of a mile while the rest of the field set up, then he gunned her to the front and controlled the rest of the mile. After getting to the half in :57.2 with the trailing horses in single file, Cash Roll (Scott Zeron) pulled first up with The Fun Marshall (Billy Davis Jr.) right behind her trying to push the issue. Merga Hanover continued to set the pace to the three-quarters, around the turn and into the stretch with the competition unable to make up any ground. Kakaley gave his filly her head down the lane and Merga Hanover was quickly on cruise control, pacing away to a handy two-length win in 1:55. "I eased her out of the gate because I never drove her before," said Kakaley. "But I let her pace the last turn and she coasted home. It was all her." The win vaulted Merga Hanover into the NYSS points lead for her division, now with 175. It was the fourth win in only five lifetime starts for Merga Hanover ($6.90) and it pushed her earnings to $86,866 for owners Thomas Dillon, Scott Dillon, Joe Sbrocco and William Donovan. Ron Burke trains the winner. Merga Hanover was bred by Hanover Shoe Farm. The second division went for $54,000 and provided a sizable upset for the betting public when Movie Town (American Ideal-New Hollywood) came off the pace and lit up the board at 20-1. Racine Bell (Jason Bartlett) left and took the lead before giving it up to Major Battle (Jim Morrill Jr.) past the quarter. The race proceeded to the half without any changes when Turnthefrownaround (Matt Kakaley) and Movie Town (Tyler Buter) both rolled up in the outer flow to start chasing down the front runner. Major Battle hit the three-quarters in 1:26.4 with positions remaining the same behind him; that was until the top of the last turn when Movie Town tipped three-deep and started to make her move. Buter fed Movie Town the lines and she was fully engaged, passing the inside horses easily and stretching out to a two-length win in 1:57. Movie Town ($43.60) scored her second NYSS win of the year for owner Bay Pond Racing and trainer Jeff Stafford. Winbak Farm bred Movie Town. Three divisions of the $15,000 Excel "A" series were also contested on Wednesday with the following results. The first Excel "A" event in the third race was a dead-heat between Alleyesonme As and Sus) Alleyesonme As (Heston Blue Chip-Twincreeks Jewel) Driver - Jason Bartlett  Owner - Anette Lorentzon and Acl Stuteri Ab Trainer - Anette Lorentzon  Breeder - Anette Lorentzon and Acl Stuteri Ab Time - 1:58.2  Mutuel - $2.10 Sus (Art Major-Outtathisworld) Driver - Jim Morrill Jr.  Owner - Yankeeland Partners Trainer - Brett Bittle  Breeder - White Birch Farm Time - 1:58.2  Mutuel - $8.70 Charm And Grace (American Ideal-Another Hanover) Driver - Jim Morrill Jr.  Owner - John Dwyer Trainer - John Mongeon  Breeder - Kentuckiana Farms and Marvin Katz Time - 1:57.2  Mutuel - $4.20 Hen Party (Roll With Joe-My Lady Day) Driver - Matt Kakaley  Owner - William Donovan Trainer - Ron Burke  Breeder - Frederick Hertrich III Time - 1:55.2  Mutuel - $4.30 Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 16), which is the first Friday of racing this meet. Post time for the first race is 6:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs will host the 2-year-old pacing fillies on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 14) when the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) return for their fifth of nine 2019 stops and the two harness racing divisions that will compete for a combined $107,000 in purses look to be very competitive races. The first leg (carded as race four) goes for $53,000 and has Cash Roll (Roll With Joe-Rockonomics) installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Cash Roll has won three of five starts this year, two of which were in NYSS action, and currently sits second in points and fourth in earnings. She took her lifetime mark of 1:56 last month at Yonkers in a gate to wire, 4-¼ length romp in the mud. She has outstanding gate speed and loves to cut the mile and after drawing post one for this race, must have her driver Scott Zeron feeling really good about their chances. Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight) has a similar career path to Cash Roll. She also has three wins to her credit, two in the NYSS, is third in earnings and fourth in points and also likes to be on or near the lead. The only variant to her schedule this week is she picks up Matt Kakaley to drive and he knows the Batavia oval very well. Kakaley and Merga Hanover will leave from post six. If the front end pace between those two gets hectic, The Fun Marshall (So Surreal-Hallmark Hanover) will be close to pick up the pieces. The Fun Marshall didn't get her year off to as fast a start of her opponents, but she certainly made a statement on July 11. After sitting a garden spot trip, she closed sharply down the lane to score a lifetime best victory of 1:55.4 at Yonkers over a sloppy track. The Fun Marshall starts from post two with Billy Davis Jr. in tow. In the second $54,000 division, Racine Bell (So Surreal-Ty's Artist) brings a stellar resume to post and has been recognized as the favorite by the track handicapper at 5-2 as a result. Racine Bell is the top money earner among her peers and is also tied for the top in points. She has three wins in six starts, hasn't missed the board all year and comes into this race off a career best tying 1:56.1 win at Yonkers. Her regular driver Jason Bartlett will be in town to drive once again and they will start from post seven for this event. Turnthefrownaround (Roll WIth Joe-Knockout Pout) is the second choice at 3-1 but appears to be a real wild card. Although she has the fastest win time of this group this year from a 1:53.3 victory over the 5/8th's mile track at Tioga Downs, she has also made two breaks at Monticello and Yonkers which are both half-milers. She will be on a half Wednesday at Batavia and will have to mind her manners to succeed. Matt Kakaley has been assigned the drive and he start that task from post five. Major Battle (Art Major-Savhorsrideacowboy) makes her first NYSS start but recent form shows her potential. Although she has exhibited gate speed in her first lifetime start, her last start shows her strong closing ability after she got away eighth by 15-lengths at Mohawk and paced the final five-eighths of a mile parked-out and closing to finish second in 1:53.3. Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the drive and the pair will start from post four. There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excel "A" series on the card. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY --- Trainer John Hallett left the friendly confines of Tioga Downs with Joey Pro this week in lieu of a visit to Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 11) but despite the change in venue, they came away with the same result. Joey Pro scored another win, but this time in the top-class $12,500 Open Handicap trotting feature at the oldest lighted harness track in North America. Joey Pro (Jim Morrill Jr.) made it quick and simple; he left, took the lead and outlasted the competition. Morrill set quarters of :29, :58.1 and 1:27 with the field pretty much single-file behind him. Going into the last turn, Wheels A Turning (Dave McNeight III) was moving up the outside first-over, two-lengths behind the leader and he was also trotting up a storm. When the race straightened out down the lane, Wheels A Turning had drawn almost even with Joey Pro and appeared poised to motor right on by, but Joey Pro swelled up and held him off at the wire to win by a nose in 1:56.2 for his third straight victory. Well on his way to beating his career year of 2018, Joey Pro ($10.80) has now registered eight wins in 2019 and pocketed $41,780 in purses for owner ark Wamp. The $11,000 Open II Handicap trot also went to an outsider after Saratoga Raceway regular Rose Run Speedster (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled past the half, took control of the race before the three-quarter pole and rebuffed a late bid by Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) to win handily by 1-¼ lengths in 1:57.4. Rose Run Speedster ($4.40) is owned by Simzer and Derue and trained by Brett Derue. Jim Morrill Jr., Shawn Gray and Billy Davis Jr. all had driving triple on the card; Davis scoring the natural hat trick in the final three races of the day. Trainers Brett Derue, JD Perrin and Steve Kiblin all had two wins apiece. Live racing resumes Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 14) and the New York Sire Stake 2-year-old pacing fillies will be in town to compete for $107,000 in purses. Post time for the first race is 5:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Saratoga Raceway regular Saulsbrook Deputy shipped into western New York on Saturday night (Aug. 10) for the first time and immediately laid down the law after winning the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs Driver John Cummings Jr. took his time placing Saulsbrook Deputy on the lead but cleared by the quarter and opened up a two-length advantage at the point. The pair then proceeded to the half in a pedestrian :58.2 split before Lucan Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) rolled up on the outside with Iammrbrightside N (Ray Fisher Jr.) on his back to apply some pressure for the second circuit. The top three horses maintained their positions to the three-quarters in 1:26.2 and then around the last turn where Saulsbrook Deputy was still two-lengths clear. But Iammrbrightside N tipped three-deep around the stalled Lucan Hanover and was barreling down the middle of the track and closing with every stride. Cummings was urging his horse all the way down the lane and Saulsbrook Deputy responded and stayed game to win in 1:55.1. Saulsbrook Deputy ($5.70) scored his fifth win of the year for owner Kevin Quinn and brought his 2019 earnings to $49,491. Paul Zabielski trains the winner. In the undercard $11,000 Open II pace, Drunkonaplane (Billy Davis Jr.) scored his second straight win at Batavia Downs after a very strong performance. Drunkonaplane had the lead four-steps off the gate and relinquished that spot only momentarily before the quarter when he let Manceiver (Jim Morrill Jr.) clear. But he immediately retook the front and closed out the deal. Davis cut quarters of :56.3 and 1:24.4 before turning for home and holding off 51-1 shot Tullow N (Ray Fisher Jr.). Drunkonaplane ($4.00), who now has six wins this year, is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable Jack Rice and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice is the trainer. Several horsemen and one horsewoman had very productive nights at Batavia on Saturday. Billy Davis Jr. and Jim Morrill Jr. both had four winners on the card while trainers Jackie Greene, Paul Zabielski and Maria Rice all sent two winners to the winner's enclosure. Live racing resumes Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 11) Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The numbers are in and they're impressive to say the least. After completing two weeks of the 2019 live harness racing meet, Batavia Downs has reported unprecedented increases in handle from every source of wagering. Western Regional Off Track Betting (WROTB) operates Batavia Downs and released the following numbers after the first nine cards of racing. Export betting was up 36%, on-track betting was up 20% and WROTB betting from all outlets was up 10%. Total betting is up 30% or a total of $291,351 with an average increase of $32,372 per night. "On Monday (Aug. 5) the track handle was up 90% while the total handle was up 127% from the same Monday last year. It was the fifth largest of all time since WROTB reopened the track in 2002," said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Batavia Downs. "We were hoping to see increases as a result of our stakes programs this year, but we are ecstatic to be seeing it on our overnight product as well." The centerpiece of the 2019 meet is the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions that will be held at the Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14) along with the track's signature stake, the $50,000 Kane Memorial Invitational pace. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs this week on Saturday (Aug. 10) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters invaded Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 7) and they did some damage to the record book by breaking the local mark for their age, gender and gait in two successive series races. In the first $52,000 division, Bourbon Express (RC Royalty-Kasha) was sent down the road by driver Jason Bartlett and once gone, the pair never looked back. Operating with a gapped advantage, Bourbon Express went quarters of :28.4, :59.2 and 1:28.2 before rounding the last turn and heading into the stretch with a two-length lead. From there he trotted home a wrapped-up winner by four-lengths in 1:57.3. The time was a new lifetime mark for Bourbon Express and also a new Batavia Downs track record for 2-year-old trotting colts. The former mark was 1:58.1 set by Zack's Zoomer in 2016. "This horse is very handy, he doesn't act like a 2-year-old," said Bartlett. "He's a real nice colt." It was the third win of the year for Bourbon Express ($5.90) who started 2019 as a winner in Excelsior "A" action. Now he has won two NYSS races. Those victories have earned $78,008 for his owners Salvatore Vullo, James De Armond and Jessica Okusko, who also trains the winner. Annette Roydon bred Bourbon Express. Then two races later in the second $51,000 division, Barn Holden (Conway Hall-Barn Babe) and driver Andy Miller seemed to be taking the record-breaking seriously as they were on a mission as soon as the gate released them. Barn Holden was on top by three at the quarter and that margin would only grow as the race progressed. After a :28.2 and :57.4 first lap, Barn Holden opened up four lengths by the three-quarters in 1:27.1 and five by the top of the lane. Miller however kept his colt to task and tapped the wheel disk twice in the straight and raised the lines mid-stretch and Barn Holden trotted away to an eight-length win in 1:57.1, eclipsing the mark set less than an hour earlier by Bourbon Bay and becoming the new Batavia standard-bearer. "I thought he was the best going in and I wanted the front," said Miller. "He trotted very handily to the wire." Barn Holden ($2.70) has now won three out of his last four races, all in NYSS action, and has an even $90,000 on the card for his efforts. Steve Pratt, Nancy Pratt, the Purple Haze Stable and the Out In The Country Stable own the top points and money earner in his NYSS division. Steve and Nancy Pratt bred Barn Holden. Andy Miller had a big day at Batavia winning four races on the card and posting a stout .814 Universal Driver Rating (UDR) for the six races he was in. Those wins included both $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series and those horses were both trained by the other half of Team Orange Crush, Julie Miller. Book Seven (Chapter Seven - Tantalizing Donna) Driver - Andy Miller   Owner - Stroy Inc.  Trainer - Julie Miller Breeder - Winbak Farm  Time - 1:59  Mutuel - $7.00 All Profit (Credit Winner - Bambino Supreme) Driver - Andy Miller  Owner - Andy Miller Stable and Kapildeo Singh  Trainer - Julie Miller Breeder - Steve Jones  Time - 2:02  Mutuel - $10.20 Jason Bartlett, who just scored his 8,000th driving win this past June, added three more to his total after getting a hat trick on Monday. Like Miller, Bartlett's percentage for his eight drives was stellar as well, as he ended the evening with a .597 UDR. Batavia Downs perennial driving leader Kevin Cummings was involved in a spill before the start of the third race when the horse he was driving fell behind the gate. Cummings was transported to the hospital for further evaluation and no further information is available at this time. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 10) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY --- The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings will be in Genesee County on Wednesday (Aug. 7) to compete for their share of the $103,000 in total purses available in two divisions to be raced at Batavia Downs. Third Shift (Chapter Seven-Overnight Command) and Barn Holden (Conway Hall-Barn Babe) are the top two point-getters and money earners in their age, gait and gender group and will both be on hand for this stop. The first division (carded as race five) goes for $52,000 and has Third Shift leading the way. Third Shift has two lifetime wins and both were in NYSS action. He finished second in the other start after a break that set him back at Yonkers. And he just took a lifetime mark of 1:54.4 at Vernon Downs last week in a come-from-behind performance that has him coming into this race perfectly spotted. Trainer Ake Svanstedt will drive Third Shift from post two at 5-2 morning line. His main threat in the race looks to be Bourbon Express (RC Royalty-Kasha) who cut the mile and finished third behind Third Shift at Vernon last week. He drew post one and will have the chance to cut the mile again and hope to hang on this week. Bourbon Express has Jason Bartlett aboard at 2-1 for trainer Jessica Okusko. The second leg (carded as race seven) has a purse of $51,000 with Barn Holden spotted as the morning line even-money favorite. Barn Holden also has two wins this year and is also coming in off a new lifetime mark at Vernon. Barn Holden led the entire mile and trotted away down the stretch to win by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:55.3. His other win this year was also on the front end and it looks like that may be the strategy here with the short five-horse field. Batavia regular Kevin Cummings drove to Vernon to steer Barn Holden last week; Wednesday trainer Steve Pratt will bring the colt to Batavia for Cummings and last week's winning combination have drawn post two for this event. Berkery J (Chapter Seven-Southwind Catlin) will look to stand in the way of another Barn Holden win and has shown he has the ability to do so. He threw a huge mile at Yonkers three starts ago, winning in 1:58.2 by over seven lengths to take his lifetime mark. That's faster than any horse in this race over a half-mile track. He has gate speed and with a trip, could be dangerous. Trainer George Ducharme has assigned Jason Bartlett to drive Berkery J once again the they will leave from post four at 2-1. There are also two divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior "A" series trots that will go in races two and four. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Hickfromfrenchlick came to play on Sunday (Aug. 4) in his $58,700 division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Batavia Downs and he went gate to wire in impressive fashion and equaled the track record time. Leaving from post one driver Matt Kakaley was rolling immediately with Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star) and had prohibitive post time favorite Shake That House (Tyler Buter) alongside, also trying to make the front. These two tangled to the quarter in :26.2 when Buter relented and ducked into the pocket heading into the second turn. With no pressure moving to the half Kakaley backed it down to :28.3, but as soon as the second circuit ensued, Shake That House pulled and came right back at the leader one more time. Hickfromfrenchlick and Shake That House squared off and were pacing in tandem from the five-eighths to the three-quarters and got there in a lightning 1:22.4. Around the final bend Hickfromfrenchlick got a 1/2 length advantage that he took into the stretch. Kakaley was throwing lines and his horse was responded with more. Hickfromfrenchlick put away Shake That House and held of a quick closing Buddy Hill (Marcus Miller) to win by a neck in 1:51.2. The winning time of 1:51.2 was a new lifetime mark for Hickfromfrenchlick and also tied the Batavia Downs track record for 3-year-old pacing colts set by All Bets Off back in 2014. Oddly enough Kakaley also drove All Bets Off in that record performance. "Well we had the rail and he's good on the front so that's where I wanted him, especially with no passing lane here. We controlled the pace and he responded well to the challenge," said Kakaley. "He was getting a little tired in the lane but he saw the one (Buddy Hill) coming at him and had enough left to hold him off at the wire." When told he tied the track record of All Bets Off Kakaley said "As I recall we were on the front that day too and he had quite a bit left at the wire." All Bets Off ran away with that race by eight lengths. Hickfromfrenchlick ($6.50) scored his fourth win in seven starts this year and now has $114,925 on the card in 2019. Ray Schnittker trains and co-owns Hickfromfrenchlick with Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico. Steve Jones was the breeder of Hickfromfrenchlick. In the second $58,700 division American Mercury was peerless in victory after controlling all fractions from the start. Tyler Buter floated American Mercury (American Ideal-Tessa Hanover) off the gate after Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) bolted to the front. He then rolled up the outside and took over the lead in a comfortable :28.1. The field stayed in single-file and American Mercury hit the half in only :57 and things were looking very much in his favor at that point. Magic Joe Lindy (Drew Monti) pulled first up at the five-eighths and advanced towards the leader. He got to within one length of American Mercury at the three-quarters and stayed there around the last turn. When they hit the stretch Buter was line driving American Mercury and he was pacing strongly all the way to the wire to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.2. It was the third straight win for American Mercury ($2.10) and sixth of the season. The gelding has now earned $211,843 this year for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Northfork Racing Stable, Chuck Pompey and Scott Bice. Steve Stewart, Julie Nash and Charles Nash bred American Mercury. There were also $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series that were won by: Rickybobbyandthehaus (American Ideal-Molly Can Do It) Driver - Tyler Buter Owner - Crawford Farms, Northfork Racing Stable, Billy Timmins and Anthony Timmins Trainer - Chris Oakes   Breeder - Blue Chip Bloodstock Time - 1:53.4  Mutuel - $4.40 Chatelroll (Roll With Joe-Chatelaine) Driver - Jason Bartlett  Owner - Purple Haze Stable Trainer - George Ducharme  Breeder - Twinbrook Limited Time - 1:53.2  Mutuel - $3.00 Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Aug. 5) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Saratoga Raceway regular Hudson Phil traveled four hours west on the 90 for his first-ever harness racing start at Batavia Downs and the trip was worth his while. He won the $12,500 Open Handicap pace in gate to wire fashion at the Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 3). Hudson Phil (Jim Morrill Jr.) flew off the wings and took command with Lucan Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) drafting close behind. After going to the quarter in :27.2, Morrill grabbed leather and backed the second panel off to a meager :29 as the rest of the field finally caught up. As they started on the second circuit Upfront Countryboy (Drew Monti) pulled first up on the outside to pass the gapped Adonis Bay (John Cummings Jr.) and then dropped back into third to save ground. The race moved into the last turn and Monti pulled Upfront Countryboy out again and aggressively started driving him as they headed into the stretch. Hudson Phil was still in command but Upfront Countryboy was closing with every step. Lucan Hanover, who had been following the leader the entire mile, was now full of pace but had nowhere to go and was locked on the pylons. Hudson Phil stayed strong on the point and held off all challenges to win by a neck in 1:53.3. Hudson Phil ($2.30) has now earned $86,832 for owner Kellogg Racing Stables on the strength of his eight 2019 wins. Jackie Greene trains the 4-year-old son of Shanghai Phil-Hazel. The $11,000 Open II was a very entertaining race. Cultural Paradise (Kyle Cummings) was cruising along smartly on the lead at the half in a moderate split of :56.1, before taking the race to the head of the stretch looking like a winner. But Iammbrightside N (Dave McNeight Jr.), who had been drafting on the outside for a half-mile, pulled three-wide at the three-quarters and was under a full head of steam. Cultural Paradise and Iammbrightside N battled side by side all the way to the wire where Iammbrightside N got the advantage by a neck in 1:53.3. It was the 33rd lifetime win for Iammbrightside N ($12.20) who is owned by Mirussa Russo and trained by Dave Russo. Several horsemen had multiple winners on Saturday night. Jim Morrill Jr., Dave McNeight III and Billy Davis Jr. all had three winners on the evening while trainer Dave Russo also sent two horses to the Purple Haze winner's circle. The New York Sire Stakes glamour division; the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings will invade Batavia Downs on Sunday when live racing resumes to vie for $117,400 in total purses. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- It will be a homecoming of sorts for Akron, New York native Chris Oakes when he brings two powerful members of his stable to Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 4) to compete in a pair of divisions of the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for purses totaling $117,400. In the first $58,700 division (carded as race one) Oakes will start Shake That House (American Ideal-Shake That Junk) as the morning line 6-5 favorite. Shake That House only has two starts in the NYSS this year and both were wins, but he has also been competing successfully on the Grand Circuit. After drawing the outside at Mohawk Park in an elimination of the North American Cup, Shake That House got parked for most of the mile and did not qualify for the final. But the resilient colt bounced right back to win his next start which was an elimination of the Max C. Hempt stake at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. After taking the lead past the half, Shake That House led the rest of the mile and won in 1:49, which was a lifetime mark. The following week in the $500,000 final he left from post seven, went right to the front and won handily in 1:49.2. Then in his most recent start, Shake That House was in a NYSS event at Vernon Downs and sat third to the half before pulling to take the lead before the three-quarter pole. From there he paced away from the field in 1:47.4 which was a new lifetime mark for him and a new track record for 3-year-old pacing colts for Vernon. The time was also just 1/5th off the all-time Vernon track pacing record. For the year Shake That House has six wins in seven starts and has made $336,400 to date. Tyler Buter will be in the bike behind Shake That House on Sunday and will start from post five. Shake That House will be coupled in a stable entry with Buddy Hill (Roll With Joe-Lessofit Hanover) for betting purposes. Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star) and Major March (Art Major-March You And Me) who finished second and third in that track record mile at Vernon are also in this division starting from post one with Matt Kakaley and post two with Jason Bartlett respectively. The second $58,700 split (carded as race six) finds another Oakes trainee, American Mercury (American Ideal-Tessa Hanover), the prohibitive morning line choice at 4-5. American Mercury has raced exclusively in NYSS races this year and has won four of the six he entered, finishing second and third in the other two. He took a new lifetime mark at Yonkers in June winning easily in 1:50.3 over the half-mile strip and it set a track record for 3-year-old pacing geldings. The time also tied the all-age seasons mark at the Hilltop. In his next start at Vernon, American Mercury lowered his personal best again while touring the facility in 1:49.4 and winning by two lengths. American Mercury has five wins in seven starts this year and has earned $182,493 as a result. Tyler Buter gets the call on American Mercury as well and gets post two off the gate. Magic Joe Lindy (American Ideal-Lindy's Bandita) who finished third to American Mercury in that sub-1:50 mile at Vernon should be his main competitor here and starts from post five with Drew Monti up. There are also two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series carded in races four and seven. Post time for the first race Sunday is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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