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Batavia, NY---Without even a moment of doubt in the mile, Exotic Beach overpowered her five harness racing rivals to jog home with authority in the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 18). Exotic Beach (Larry Stalbaum) tucked in third off the gate while Squeeze This (Billy Davis Jr.) settled on the lead. But that was just a ruse by Stalbaum as he pulled Exotic Beach halfway up the backstretch and gunned her to the front in :27 flat. After clearing, Stalbaum grabbed some leather just to let the five trailers think they were in the race. But it became obvious that wasn't the case once they hit the second stanza. Exotic Beach opened up a gapped three-length lead and that was as close as the rest would get for the rest of the race. She cruised to three-quarters in 1:24, rounded the turn in full stride and paced away down the stretch to win by four in 1:53.3. The time was a new seasonal mark for Exotic Beach and only three-fifths of a second off the track record for aged pacing mares. It was the sixth win of the year for Exotic Beach ($4.30) who has now earned $52,266 for owner Larry Stalbaum, who also does the training. Owner/trainer/driver Stalbaum similarly won the co-featured $8,000 Fillies and Mares Open II pace when he went from last at the half to three-deep at three-quarters to a half-length victor in 1:55, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. Kaitlyn Rae ($5.80) won her ninth race in 18 starts this year giving her $36,594 in the bank account. The top three dash drivers of the meet had a very business night on Wednesday. Larry Stalbaum had four winners, Ray fisher Jr. three and Drew Monti two. As a result there has been movement at the top of the leader board. Larry Stalbaum who was behind in double digits only a week ago is now in a first place tie with former leader Drew Monti with 79 wins apiece. Ray Fisher Jr. is a close third with 75. With nine weeks left in the meet, this is going to be a tight three-way competition for the rest of the year. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 20) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---Racing against Foiled Again last week must have had a positive effect on In Runaway Bay as he put a circle around the best local harness racing pacers in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 14). In Runaway Bay (Kevin Cummings) fired off the gate and crossed over like a flash of light. Cruising unchallenged from there until the half, the leader saw fit to cut a rather casual :57.3 fraction. At that point In Runaway Bay was confronted first by Santana Beach (John Cummings Jr.) until three-quarters and then by Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) when that one faded. Try as he might Fireyourguns couldn't get closer than a length from the time he pulled and when the race hit the stretch, In Runaway Bay ran away to a three-length victory in 1:53.1, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. It was the fifth win of the year for In Runaway Bay ($26.60), all five of which were scored at Batavia Downs. Owner Super Mile LLC has received $30,010 in purses as a result of the 7-year-old Mach Three offspring's efforts this year which were achieved through the training of Angelo Nappo. In the $9,000 Open II co-feature, Show Stopping (Kevin Cummings) sat a tight two-hole trip behind the heavily favored Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum) before popping the pocket off the last turn and out-pacing the leader to the wire to win in 1:52.1, which was a new lifetime mark. Show Stopping ($7.20) is owned by Resilient Racing Stable and trained by Rose Russo. Kevin Cummings led all drivers with four wins on the night and James Clouser Jr. led all trainers with three. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 18) with post time at 5 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---With little challenge at the start of the mile, Kahoku set pedestrian early fractions and hung on late to win the $10,500 harness racing Open Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 13).   The car released the field and surprisingly nobody left; giving the pylon-sitting Kahoku (Kevin Cummings) the command spot by default. Feeling right at home in that position, Kahoku slowed the fractions considerably with a :30.1 second panel and :59.3 half. Fleet Bumblebee (Drew Monti) was outside on the move at that point and came within a length of the leader by the five-eighths pole.   Pushing the issue from there, the pace quickened to :28.2 for the third quarter but that took a toll on Fleet Bumblebee, who faded as they came off the turn. However a fresh Northern Matador (Ray Fisher Jr.) who had been sitting second the whole mile found the passing lane and incrementally gained ground down the stretch on that path. Sensing the challenge, Cummings urging Kahoku to dig in and he did his best to comply, hanging on to win by a nose in 1:58.   It was the 4th win of 2017 for Kahoku ($10.60) and it raised his earnings to $37,448 for owner Colleen Girdlestone and trainer Kirk Desmond.   In the $8,000 Open II trot, Winky's Pride (Billy Davis Jr.) was also a wire to wire winner, touring the facility unencumbered in 1:58.3. Winky's Pride ($7.80) is owned and trained by Robert Hummel.   Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 14) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Western New York veteran harness racing trainer John Mungillo reached a major milestone at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 11) and he did it in a very convincing manner. Mungillo sent out his 3-year-old pacing filly Roll With Faith that he co-owns with Lawrence Willer and Finish Line Investors and watched her go wire to wire at 1-9 over a very sloppy race track in 1:57.3 to notch the 1,000th training victory of his career. The grand achievement didn't happen overnight, it was a culmination of a lifetime's labor. Mungillo started working as a groom for Pete Mondi at Batavia Downs in 1981 and eventually became second trainer for Don Rothfuss where he earned his driver's license and started teaming regularly. When Mungillo went on his own in 1986 his objective was to have horses from his barn win, regardless of who did the driving and didn't let ego stand in the way of success. Although he did drive regularly from 1987-1989, he focused more on training his stock from that point on and really started accumulating wins as his stable grew. Mungillo's career best training year was in 2013 when he scored 155 wins with a .309 UTR and earnings of $683,812 as a result. For his entire training career Mungillo has 6,099 starts with 1,000 wins 860 seconds and 791 thirds with $4,466,409 in purses. That's 43% in the money lifetime and that's not too shabby. Currently at the Downs Mungillo is racing ten horses regularly and ranks eighth among all trainers with 13 wins, eight seconds and 14 thirds off 84 starts and has banked $66,782 in purses so far. For the entire year he has 32 wins and $202,945 in purses. Squeeze This breaks the bank in Batavia Downs feature The feature race at Batavia Downs on Wednesday was the $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace and Squeeze This paid big dividends after being overlooked by the betting public and tripping-out to a narrow margin of victory. Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) went right to the front and seated all the girls behind her around the first turn. Exotic Beach (Larry Stalbaum) who had gotten away last, became restless at the eighth pole and pulled to start a slow, methodic march to the front. With Classy Lane Rose comfortable on the lead, it took Exotic Beach another half mile outside before she reached the pacesetter at the three-eighths pole to get within striking range. Aware of the challenge at hand, Monti stepped up the third quarter with his mare but the pesky Exotic Beach would not relent. The two then argued around the last turn before Classy Lane Rose showed some fatigue at the head of the stretch. It was there the pocket-sitting Squeeze This (Billy Davis Jr.) snuck into the passing lane and zoomed by both of them to win by a nose in 1:57.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Squeeze This ($37.80) who now has $41,591 in the bank. Garth Bechtel owns the 5-year-old Allamerican Native offspring that is trained by Jim Graham. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 13) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The Nation's leading trainer Ron Burke shipped two of his millionaires into Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 7) and won the two biggest overnight races of the season at the oldest lighted harness racing track in America with Foiled Again and DW'S NY Yank. Burke, The Burke Brigade and driver Kevin Cummings had a very good night. The pacing feature was the $15,000 George "Duke" Dranichak Memorial named for a longtime local horseman and racing official whose career spanned over five decades. Focus Power (Drew Monti) went for the front but outpaced the turn, making a break. This left In Runaway Bay (Ray Fisher Jr.) calling the shots with five behind him in :27.3. Right at the quarter Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) pulled and sidled the leader around the turn and past the half in :55.1, but Fireyourguns couldn't clear and remained parked into the second circuit. With the outer flow stagnant, Teo Enteo A (Larry Stalbaum) tipped three-wide at the three-eighths and brought Don'tcallmefrancis (Billy Davis Jr.) into the fray with him. This left Foiled Again (Kevin Cummings) hopelessly locked in at the rail fourth behind a wall of horses. Just before the three-quarters In Runaway Bay stopped, Fireyourguns finally cleared and Cummings was somehow able to maneuver Foiled Again out of the box and moved him into third behind Teo Enteo A. Halfway through the final bend, Cummings tipped the richest Standardbred of all time three-deep and had him in full gear. Foiled Again proceeded to barrel down the stretch and show his class once again, pacing by everyone under mild urging to win in 1:52.2. It was the 96th lifetime win for Foiled Again ($4.60) and his fourth victory at Batavia Downs where he won the Kane Memorial Pace in 2009, 2013 and 2016. The richest Standardbred of all time got even richer and now has an unbelievable $7,543,278 in lifetime earnings. Foiled Again is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables LLC. The top trot was the $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot named in honor of the local trainer/driver who developed many great trotters and excelled on the Grand Circuit. The heavily favored DW's NY Yank left from post six and went right to the front. As the field settled behind him there were no serious challenges as they tripped the timers in :28, :57.1 and 1:27.1. But when they spun off the far turn the leader's biggest test was yet to come. Fleet Bumblebee (Drew Monti) had been sitting in the garden spot the whole race and when they straightened out, he hit the passing lane. With DW's NY Yank suddenly looking vulnerable, Monti went to work on Fleet Bumblebee inside of Cummings who was already high-lining the leader. The two drivers were highly animated all the way down the lane with Fleet Bumblebee gaining with every stride. But as they hit the wire DW's NY Yank hung on to win by a nose in 1:57 in a very exciting finish. It was the third win in a row for DW'S NY Yank ($2.40) and sixth win of the year and that effort boosted his bankroll to $140,750 for 2017. His career numbers got even more impressive, now with 46 wins and $1,156,335 in purses to his credit. The 8-year-old altered son of Dilbert Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---The wind and rain blew into Genesee County prior to harness racing post time on Wednesday (Oct. 4) but the sun did come out for the first race. That combination may have helped Miss Irish Rose A bloom for a second straight week as she easily won the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at Batavia Downs in impressive style. Larry Stalbaum fired Miss Irish Rose A hard off the gate and crossed over to the pylons before anyone knew what happened. They may as well have put the finish line there because at that point, the race was over. Leading the rest of the way with a gapped advantage, Miss Irish Rose A cut the corners in :28, :57.1 and 1:25.4 where she opened up a six-length advantage. Stalbaum shut her down at the top of the lane but Miss Irish Rose A still paced home in :28.2 to win by over a length in 1:54.1. It was the second consecutive win for Miss Irish Rose A ($3.20), her second win in North America and her second successive lifetime mark. Larry Stalbaum owns the 5-year-old McArdle progeny who is trained by Kim Asher. In the $8,000 F&M Open II co-feature the Asher/Stalbaum playbook was still opened to the same page as Exotic Beach took a quick lead and toured the facility in front from there, winning by a length in 1:56 over an even muddier track. Exotic Beach ($5.70) scored her fifth win of the year for the Man from Matamoris, who owns this one as well. It was quite a big night for the Larry Stalbaum/Kim Asher combination as they teamed up for seven wins on the card. Besides Miss Irish Rose A and Exotic Beach, they also scored with Kaitlyn Rae (1:56.4, $6.70), Rockin Kasbah (1:57, $6.70), Quicksilvercandy A (1:56.4, $7.20), Cartoonist (1:56, $5.80) and Saint William A (1:57.4, $2.50). The eighth win by Stalbaum was with Hitontheflipside (2:01, $19.00) who is trained by Jim Graham. Stalbaum had 10 drives on the card with eight wins and one third and that gave him an unbelievable .833 UDR for the evening. The wielding of wins on Wednesday by Stalbaum vaulted him into second place among drivers for dash wins for the meet. Currently Drew Monti is on top with 68 wins, Stalbaum is now is second with 60 and Ray Fisher Jr. has dropped into third. As far as Asher is concerned, she is now firmly in the lead for wins by a trainer this session with 40. That is seven more than JD Perrin who currently sits in second place as a result of the stellar night by the Asher entourage. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 6) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY--- Harness racing horsemen be advised that Batavia Downs will draw Wednesday (Oct. 4) for the two biggest overnight races of the year; the $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot and the $15,000 George "Duke" Dranichak Memorial Pace, which will both take place on Saturday (Oct. 7). The Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot has been held annually for 10 years to commemorate one of the most successful Western New York horsemen ever to race on the Grand Circuit. Schroeder was a long-time trainer and driver who passed way after a lengthy illness in 2007 at the age of 67. His career was highlighted by starts in the 1993 Hambletonian with Collier St. Joey and the 1995 Breeders Crown with Financial Paige. Other top trotters Schroeder raced throughout his career were Collier St Kathy, Top Trotter, Remind Me, Mykonos, Texas Café, Matched Pearls and Taylor T Collins. The George "Duke" Dranichak Memorial Pace was added this year to be an accompanying race for the laterally gaited. George Dranichak was born and raised in Binghamton, NY and lived most of his life in Pavilion, NY. He graduated from Niagara University in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. He became interested in harness racing and started his career working for then top trainer/driver on the circuit, Dick Welch. He would later become second-trainer for Bruce Tubin, who now serves as president of the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association. When his career on the track came to a close, Dranichak became a patrol judge, then a presiding judge and ended up retiring from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board as the Director of Racing Officials for all the harness and thoroughbred tracks in the Empire State. "In the history of Batavia Downs, Brian Schroeder and Duke Dranichak will always be considered local legends" said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at the Downs. "Their careers not only made impressions locally, but also in the National spotlight, and both for different reasons. The Downs is proud to be able to memorialize their respective careers and expose today's generation of race fans to their impact on the sport." There will also be a Batavia Downs Gaming T-shirt giveaway that night. Racing fans may go to the Players Club starting at 4:30 p.m. to swipe their card and get a ticket redeemable for one shirt after the seventh race. The Schroeder Trot will be carded as race five and the Dranichak Pace will go as race seven. There is also a $10,000 Open Handicap pace on the condition sheet that may go three divisions if enough horses declare so there will be plenty of earnings opportunities for those shipping in. The entry box closes on Wednesday (Oct. 4) at 9 a.m. You may call your entries in to Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6304 or Assistant Race Secretary Shane Hoehn at 585-344-6302. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY--- Don'tcallmefrancis competed against Racing Hill in the $500,000 Messenger at Yonkers Raceway last year and beat Boston Red Rocks in the $150,000 Abbatiello Classic at the Meadowlands as well. On Saturday evening (Sept. 30) he took on the best resident harness racing pacers in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace at Batavia Downs and showed that back class in victory. Leaving from post one, Don'tcallmefrancis (Jim Morrill Jr.) let In Runaway Bay (Ray Fisher Jr.) have the lead for about an eighth of a mile before coming back out to regain the front by the quarter in :27.4. In single file, Morrill backed down the second panel to :57.1 and from there the race was effectively over. There still was no movement from behind until the five-eighths pole when the pocket-sitting In Runaway Bay pulled and gave it his best shot. In Runaway Bay got within a head of Don'tcallmefrancis around the far turn but Morrill was still hanging on at that point. He went to work at the head of the lane and Don'tcallmefrancis responded in kind. In Runaway Bay would not go away but Don'tcallmefrancis wouldn't let him go by either. The two argued all the way to the wire but Don'tcallmefrancis was clearly the best and hung on to win by a neck in 1:53.1. It was the sixth 2017 win for Don'tcallmefrancis ($3.00) who has now surpassed the quarter-million dollar mark in lifetime earnings. The 4-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover is owned by Blindswitch Racing Stable and is trained by Al Annunziata. The result of the $9,000 Open II pace was never in doubt once the gate released the field as Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) was a strong front-runner that led the whole race, opened up two-lengths at the head of the stretch and cruised home under mild urging to win in 1:53, which was a new seasonal mark. Lucky McTrucky ($8.10) is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 4) with post time at 5 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---The old wagering adage suggesting you bet the longest shot in the shortest field was right on point in the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 29) as Osprey Vision scored big after being overlooked at 10-1 in the five-horse harness racing field. With the late scratch of Lutetium, Noble Legend (Jim Morrill Jr.) decided to be the leader to follow this week and took that position shortly after the start. With a sloppy track and no early opposition, Morrill took the field down to the half in :58.1 and looked comfortable in doing so. As the group was into the second circuit, Egosnattitudes (Larry Stalbaum) was motoring up on the outside with Osprey Vision (Drew Monti) second over. But halfway up the backstretch Egosnattitudes copped one and made a break, leaving Osprey Vision advancing alone towards the leader around the final turn. By the time the race hit the head of the lane Osprey Vision looked Noble Legend in the eye before trotting right by. Osprey Vision then maintained the lead while holding off the late charging Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) and BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to win in 1:59.2. Osprey Vision ($23.80) now has eight wins and $55,814 earned this year for owner Marissa Russo and trainer David Russo. In the $8,000 Open II trot Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) broke a six-week drought, coming from way off the pace at the half following dull outside cover before tipping three-deep off the last turn to close down the lane and win by a neck in 1:59.4. Empire Earl N ($12.00) registered his sixth win of the year and bumped his bank to $55,590 for his owner who drives him, Larry Stalbaum. The New Zealand bred son of Earl is trained by Kim Asher. Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple on Friday. Drivers scoring two wins included Drew Monti and Larry Stalbaum. Trainers getting two wins included Kim Asher, David Russo and Angelo Nappo. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 30) at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---Aussie invader Miss Irish Rose A, who was privately purchased from down-under on August 23 by Larry Stalbaum, made her North American debut a winning one by taking the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 27) as heavy downpours moved through the area. From the start, Machin Marley (Kevin Cummings) and Squeeze This (Jim Morrill Jr.) argued vehemently for the lead over the rain-soaked track and pushed the quarter to :28 flat. Machin Marley settled on the front around the second bend and proceeded to take the race to the half in :58. At that station the race became a two-tiered event with Who Says That (Ray Fisher Jr.), Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) and Miss Irish Rose A (Larry Stalbaum) advancing in the outer flow. With three-in and three-out, there was a lot of action up the backside as Who Says That took the lead from Machin Marley for an eighth of a mile before Classy Lane Rose wrestled it from her at the three-quarter pole in 1:25.4. But Miss Irish Rose A was still on the attack and drew alongside the latest leader around the final turn, and then getting a slight advantage at the head of the stretch. It was Rose v. Rose as they headed for the finish; Classy Lane inside and Miss Irish outside. But despite a good fight, Miss Irish Rose A pulled away from her formidable foe about ten yards from the wire and won by a length in 1:54.2. The tenth lifetime win for Miss Irish Rose A ($3.00) was not only her first in the northern hemisphere; it was also a lifetime mark for the 5-year-old daughter of McArdle. Kim Asher trains the winner. In the $8,000 Mares Open II pace, Voltina (Kevin Cummings) abandoned her normal front-running posture in lieu of a two-hole trip to victory behind Mean Pauline (Shawn McDonough) courtesy of the passing lane in 1:56.1. Voltina ($7.10) is owned by CHS Racing LLC and is trained by Tony Cummings. Kevin Cummings had the driving hat-trick on Wednesday while Drew Monti, Larry Stalbaum and Ray Fisher Jr. each each had two wins apiece. Trainer Kim Asher also sent two from her stable to the winner's enclosure. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 29) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---Focus Power left no doubt who the top pacer on the grounds was this week as he tripped out to a two-length harness racing victory in the $10,000 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Sept. 23).   The Downs leading driver Drew Monti sent Focus Power off the gate and took a short-lived lead until he relinquished that spot to Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) who rushed up and grabbed it by the quarter in :26.2. Fireyourguns then set stout fractions of :55.3 and 1:24.1 while Focus Power drafted in the garden spot.   With little challenge coming from the rest of the field to that point, the top two horses rounded the final turn in line before Monti popped Focus Power out of the pocket and let him do the rest. Focus Power's legs were a blur as he paced into overdrive and flew by Fireyourguns and away from the rest of the group to win in 1:52.4, which was a new lifetime mark.   It was the third win in the last four starts for Focus Power ($6.40), two of which were Open-I paces at Batavia Downs and has earned $81,470 so far this year. The 5-year-old altered son of Shadow Play is owned by James Caradori and trained by Darrin Monti.   In the $9,000 Open II pace, Santana Beach (John Cummings Jr.) went gate to wire in commanding style, winning by eight lengths in 1:53, which was a new seasonal mark.   Santana Beach ($13.80) is owned by Jason Newell and is trained by Richard Roth.   RUS New York had an exhibition non-betting event after the seventh race and the finish was as exciting as last year's race.   Funny Photo (Sophie Engerran) led the entire race cutting fractions of :30.4, 1:02.3 and 1:33.3. But just when it looked like he was home free, One True Friend (Hillary Harnett) came flying from behind and mounted a serious challenge at the top of the lane. But although One True Friend made up almost seven lengths, Funny Photo still hung on and won in 2:04.3, which was a seasonal mark for the winner.   Funny Photo is owned by his rider, Sophie Engerran and is trained by Kimberly Gilman-Daios.   Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednsday (Sept. 27) with post time at 5 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Noble Legend looked very sharp on the front end while defeating six top-end harness racing trotters as well as an inquiry at the wire to win the $10,500 Open Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 22). Noble Legend (Ray Fisher Jr.) left strong off the gate and established a loose two-length advantage on the front end. After passing the quarter in :28.3 the post time favorite Egosnattitudes (Larry Stalbaum) pulled from last and flushed Striker Ace (Kevin Cummings) after they tripped the timer at :58.3 for the half. Moving up the backside Noble Legend was still strong on the lead as Striker Ace bowed out of the competition. As a result Egosnattitudes tipped three-wide at the three-quarters and advanced to second by the top of the lane. Stalbaum started urging his trotter as he drew closer to the leader, but before he could gain the advantage Egosnattitudes broke wildly halfway down the stretch and galloped across the wire a neck ahead of Noble Legend. As a result of the obvious lapped-on break, Egosnattitudes was disqualified by the judges and placed last while Noble Legend was named the official winner, timed in 1:57.1. It was the seventh win of the year for Noble Legend ($7.00) who has now earned $61,370 in 2017 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner. In the $8,000 Open II trot, Barn winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) was third at the half, gapped seven-lengths and chasing a runaway Lutetium (John Cummings Jr.) who took the field to a 1:25.3 third quarter, before pulling in the far turn and trotting right by the fading leader to win in 1:56, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner. Barn Winner ($20.20) now boasts nine wins on the year and $35,310 in the bank. The 3-year-old gelded son of Credit Winner was purchased privately on August 29 by his current owners Tanah Merah Farms LLC and the Swift Racing Stable and is trained by Ryan Swift. Kevin Cummings had a big night, winning four races on the card. He got across with Pilgrims All In ($5.00, 1:57.4), Shawnee Magic ($8.90), 1:58.1), Ona Dream ($6.40, 1:59.3) and Kings Treasure ($5.00, 1:55.3). Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple himself while trainers David Russo, Rose Russo, JD Perrin and Angelo Nappo all had two stable members cross the wire first. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 23) with post time at 6 p.m. Saturday's card will feature a non-betting Racing Under Saddle (RUS) race to be presented after the seventh race.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY--Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved on to Batavia Downs on Friday, September 22 for a pair of races--one on the trot, the other on the pace-- both for members in the series eastern region. These events come on the heels of a Billings trot at Delaware Ohio on September 17 which was won by two-time National Amateur Driver of the Year, "Hurricane Hannah" Miller. But tonight Ms. Miller wasn't among the drivers participating. However, talent flourished just the same when "Yankee Joe" Lee won the trot in 2:00.2 with Signal Hill OK while in the pacing split "Buffalo Bob" Davis hustled Donegal Jim to splendid 1:56.3 victory. Not surprising, both victories resulted from gate to wire performances. In his split "Yankee Joe" gunned Signal Hill OK to the lead from the four-hole and led the competition by the first stanza in :29.2. Then keeping the pedal to the metal Lee, the New York Yankee assistant locker room manager, kept the trailers in line as he urged his trotter through fractions of :31 and .30.4 which deterred any early challenges. "Buffalo Bob" was the first to move but that encounter didn't come until the field headed for the three quarters where Davis' Christina Victory rallied alongside Signal Hill OK as the timer flashed 1:30.4. Lee's trotter pulled away when they headed for paydirt but "Dandy Don" Hoover threatened with Grecale AS. However, some extra steps slowed Grecale AS's challenge and Signal Hill OK opened a three length lead all the way to the wire. Hoover's trotter recovered and finished second with Davis' charge garnering the show dough. The winner, owned by Marissa Russo,notched his third consecutive victory and returned a $6.70 mutuel. Marissa's hubby, Dave Russo, is the horse's trainer. Noticing that front end speed was holding up Bob Davis sent odds-on favorite Donegal Jim to the lead in the Billings pacing division and despite swift early fractions the front-end route proved advantageous. After grabbing command early Davis had to rebuff a challenge by Ontheclock Hanover and driver "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli who tried a quarter pole move but Davis wouldn't yield and the two led the field by the half in :57.2. Up the backside as Ciuffettelli's pacer was tiring and "Yankee Joe" Lee moved Canthelpbutwin three-deep around him but they were still two lengths off the lead. However, Donegal Jim was undeterred and opened up three lengths when he headed for home. At the wire it was all Donegal Jim with Canthelpbutwin still three lengths behind in second place. Billings president Tony "the Capo" Verruso finished third with Ty's A Big Star. The winner, a 9-year-old Modern Art gelding is owned by Teresa Roland and trained by JD Perrin. He paid $3.30 for win. Tomorrow (Saturday) the Billings Series moves on to Vernon Downs for a trotting contest   By John Manzi

Batavia, NY---The horses and riders of RUS New York will be at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 23) to compete for a $1,600 purse in a non-betting race that will take place after race seven on the regular live pari-mutuel harness racing card. Racing Under Saddle (RUS), also known as Monte Racing, is a cross between harness racing and thoroughbred racing. The rider is atop the Standardbred (generally a trotter) in a saddle instead of behind it in a sulky. Internationally, Standardbred RUS is conducted daily at many European tracks and it garners large wagering pools on their regular betting programs. The Fair Series is organized by RUS New York, an organization that helps coordinate and promote under saddle races across the Empire state. The main goal is to promote this unique sport, educate the public about the versatility of the Standardbred breed and to help Standardbreds find great homes after they finish their days on the track. The 2017 RUS New York summer schedule included 10 fair dates as well as races at Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and Saratoga Raceway. Batavia Downs is the fourth pari-mutuel track to host the series this year. RUS racing debuted at the Downs in 2016 with one of the most exciting finishes the series had all year as Admirable Hanover out-dueled My Friend Charlie down the lane to win by a neck in 2:03.4. The time was a new career best under saddle time for Admirable Hanover and it also produced a new track record at Batavia Downs. Saturday's race includes the top point-earners in the series for both human and equine categories. Michelle Miller is the leading rider with 258 points and she will be on the number one points horse, Railroad Lane. Railroad Lane has three wins in seven outings and is six out of seven in the money for the year. He has a mark of 2:09.3 at Monticello Raceway over a sloppy track, but was race-timed in 2:05 at Tioga Downs in a third place finish in July. Last year's winning rider at Batavia was Vanessa Karlewicz and she is currently the second leading point-getter in the series with 187 and she will be atop Boy Can She Fly who is sixth among all horses. Boy Can She Fly has only one win in five starts and a mark of 2:15 at the Bath Fairgrounds. But she was race-timed in 2:05.3 at Vernon Downs in a third place finish back on August 25. Hillary Harnett who sits fourth in points will ride probably the hottest horse in the race as One True Friend has been competing outside of New York against some of the best RUS horses in competition. One True Friend has three wins in eight starts with a seasonal mark of 2:03.3 at Tioga Downs and has also been race timed at the Meadowlands in 2:01.2. Just last week One True Friend won by almost nine-lengths at Saratoga Raceway in 2:04.3. Rounding out the field is Sophie Engerran and Funny Photo. Funny Photo qualified in 2:04 handily at Vernon Downs on Friday (Aug. 18) but has only one start this year. That was at the Meadowlands earlier this month where he finished fifth, placed fourth after being interfered with. He is the unknown value in this race as he did win under saddle at Vernon Downs in 1:59.1 in 2016 and 1:59 in 2015. Post time for the RUS New York race will be approximately 8:10 p.m. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---The 36th season of C. K. G. Billings amateur harness racing rolls into Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 22) with two divisions (one trot and one pace) going for $5,000 each. Batavia is the 42nd stop of the combined 2017 season for the Billings, which has only 17 more to go before they convene for the finals at Yonkers Raceway on Sunday (Nov. 26) and vie for the Delvin Miller Gold and Silver Cup championships and $40,000 in purses. The series that began in the early 1980's is conducted by the Delvin Miller Harness Drivers Association and is considered the Grand Circuit of Amateur Racing. And as a result of their charitable efforts, tens of thousands of dollars are raised each year through amateur driving for the benefit of each club's charity. The C.K.G. Billings contributes its driver's percentage to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY. Participating drivers support these charities by directing their 5% driver's commissions for all Billings Races to either the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame or to the Delvin Miller Harness Drivers Association for further contribution to the Harness Racing Museum or to a local charity. Drivers who will be appearing at the downs to compete on Friday include Joe Faraldo, Joe Lee and Bob Davis who will all drive in both events, along with Don Hoover, Robert Ciavardini, David Glasser, Anthony Ciuffetelli, Anthony Verruso, David Drew and Matt Zuccarello who will all have one drive apiece. The two events are carded as race one and four and post time for the first race in at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---The Wednesday night (Sept. 20) spotlight fell on the harness racing fillies and mares at Batavia Downs and All Charged Up took center stage after capturing the $10,000 distaff Open on a beautiful late-summer evening. All Charged Up (John Macdonald) got away last from post six as Squeeze This (Ron Beback Jr.) inherited the front at the start with no one else deciding to go. Beback then took advantage of that situation, leading the girls to the half in a relatively tame :57.3, with the field still in single-file fashion. As they swung into the third turn, Kruella (Shawn McDonough) pulled and started an outer flow. This allowed All Charged Up to scoot up along the pylons into fourth, right behind the still-leading Squeeze This. By the three-quarters Kruella sidled the leader and gained the advantage by the top of the stretch, which is where All Charged Up found the passing lane. Macdonald shot her through like a rocket under heavy urging to nip Kruella under the wire in 1:54.2. It was the third win of the year for the speedy All Charged Up ($6.90), all of which were recorded at Batavia Downs. The J P Stables owns the 6-year-old daughter of Ponder who is trained by her driver, John Macdonald. In the $8,000 fillies and mares Open II, Exotic Beach (Larry Stalbaum) took full advantage of a drop in class to easily wire the field in 1:53.4, which tied her seasonal mark. The win pushed her 2017 bank to $41,016 for Stalbaum who also owns her, through the conditioning efforts of her trainer Kim Asher. Stalbaum had a big night in the bike, winning three more races besides the co-feature. This pushed his total for the meet to 46 and moved him ahead of Jim Morrill Jr. (45) into a second place tie with Ray Fisher Jr. (46), 13 wins behind the meet leader, Drew Monti (59). Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 22) with post time set at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

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