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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 --- It was a total team effort in the top tier races at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (July 31) as horses trained by Jim Clouser Jr., driven by Jim Morrill Jr. and owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi won both fillies and mares Opens in coast to coast fashion. It's been nine weeks since Miss Mary Mach cut the mile in a race, but it finally happened again and produced the same result. Miss Mary Mach beat the best mares on the grounds in the $12,500 distaff Open Handicap. Leaving from post one Miss Mary Mach seated the field and Morrill set a pace that was comfortable for his mare. They went to the quarter in :27.2 and the half in :56.3 where Heaven's Diva (Kyle Cummings) drew near the leader and made it interesting to three-quarters in 1:24.4. But shortly after that station Miss Mary Mach dug in, put away the competition around the last turn and paced away down the lane to win handily in 1:53.1. The time was a new seasonal mark and just 1/5th of a second of her lifetime mark. It was the ninth win in 25 starts this year for Miss Mary Mach ($3.60) who now has earned $65,262 in 2019. Then in the $11,000 fillies and mares Open II pace, the second half of Clouser's alliteration entry was Blue Bell Bonnie who also left from post one and dictated the pace. Morrill found himself on the point with Blue Bell Bonnie before the turn and with no one mounting a challenge to the half, the leader backed it off to a very pedestrian :59.2 first half. Finally Mach's Echo (Drew Monti) rolled up the rim and got close to the front runner at the five-eighths pole and forced a :28.2 third split. But Morrill leaned back and raised the lines a bit and the mare did the rest herself. Blue Bell Bonnie paced away with no urging down the lane to win by a length in 1:56. Blue Bell Bonnie ($3.60) scored her fourth win of the year in Wednesday's effort. Both Morrill and Clouser picked up one additional win during the card giving them each three to lead their respective categories for the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 3) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

  HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Rose Run Ranger ($10.60) usually finds success on the front end but he had no trouble in reversing his role to a closer on Saturday night (May 25) and it paid off with a win in the $12,000 Class AA pace at Buffalo Raceway.   The front-stepping Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) returned to harness racing action after a year layoff and immediately went to his typical spot, setting the pace. While Rose Run Ranger settled into sixth and last, Fireyourguns posted splits of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:25.4 in coming off the sidelines.   But driver Ray Fisher Jr. and Rose Run Ranger started their drive to the front down the stretch the first time and eventually rolled past Fireyourguns in the lane. They took a 2-1/4 triumph in 1:55.1 over the good track. China Dream (Billy Davis Jr.) was third.   Co-owned by the Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, the 6-year-old gelded Rose Run Ranger (Major In Art-A And Gs Finest) is trained by James Clouser Jr. The victory moved his 2019 winnings to $37,885 and $112,861 in his career.   In the $11,500 Class AA pacing event, Western Passage ($7.60) relinquished the lead to Littlebitaclass just before the opening panel but rallied in the stretch to capture the 1-1/4 length victory in a seasonal best 1:54.0.   Littlebitaclass (Monti) played give and go with Western Passage and set the fractions of :28.2, :57.1 and 1:26.1. But at the top of the stretch, driver Kevin Cummings tipped to the outside with Western Passage and used a :27.3 last quarter to secure the win over Littlebitaclass. Upfront Countryboy (Ray Fisher Jr.) rallied late to take third place.   Western Passage (Sportswriter-Ever Western) is owned by the Finocchario's Dream Stable and is trained by Mike Ohol. The victory upped his season earnings to $23,791 and $229,275 lifetime.   There were a pair of $10,000 Class A paces on the under card. Manceiver (Cummings) went wire-to-wire and held off A F F Bigdaddy (David McNeight III) by a length in 1:54.3 to notch the $7.70 decision in the first bracket.   The other division went to Western Conquest ($4.90) as Fisher Jr. guided him to an easy 1-1/4 length win over Next Success (Davis Jr.) in 1:55.3.   Shawn McDonough led the way for the drivers with three wins while Fisher Jr., Ron Beback Jr. and Cummings each had two victories.   Racing will resume on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a nine race program to be presented. There's a $285 carryover in the Pick-5 that begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Beachy Dream ($12.80) put in a gutsy effort and notched the harness racing victory in Buffalo Raceway's $12,500 Class AA Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night (May 18)..   The tempo-setting Beachy Dream found plenty of challengers in the stretch but had just enough to hold off the serious late bids of Rose Run Ranger and Heaven Rocks who finished second and third respectively.   Putting up splits of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:26.1, Beachy Dream braced himself for the expected charge to the finish line and the closers didn't disappoint.   Rose Run Ranger (Ray Fisher Jr.) took dead aim on Beachy Dream on the outside while Heaven Rocks (Drew Monti) mounted his bid through the passing lane. But those attempts were thwarted as driver Cummings kept Beachy Dream on task and posted the narrow win in 1:55.0.   Owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, it was the fifth win in 14 outings for the 8-year-old gelded Beachy Dream (If I Can Dream-Beachy Girl). The victory improved his 2019 earnings to $38,295 and $218,435 in his career.   In the $11,500 Class AA Open Handicap Pace, Upfront Countryboy (Fisher Jr.) went from last to first and turned back Charmbo Orbit (David McNeight III) by a half length in 1:54.4.   After watching Charmbo Orbit set the splits of :28.4, :58.1 and 1:26.4, Upfront Countryboy ($11.80) sat last but began to gobble up ground just past the half.   Reaching the lead, it appeared Upfront Countryboy was about to drop anchor at the top of the stretch but Fisher Jr. re-rallied the 10-year gelding and took the win. Charmbo Orbit held on for second with Andy's Ideal (Mike Caprio) finishing in third.   Trained by James Clouser Jr. and owned by William Emmons, it was the fourth win in 15 attempts for Upfront Countryboy (Dragon Again-Cambloid). The win sent his earnings to $37,845 this year and $477,265 lifetime.   A F F Bigdaddy (David McNeight III) collected the $4.90 decision in the $10,000 Class A pace with a two length nod over Focus Power in 1:55.2.   It was the fourth victory in 10 tries for A F F Bigdaddy who is owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steve Kiblin. The triumph moved his seasonal winnings to $22,440 and $101,465 lifetime.   Shawn McDonough and Fisher Jr. had driving doubles while Clouser Jr. collected three training wins and McDonough two.   Racing will resume on Wednesday evening with a nine race program set for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     by Brian J. Mazurek for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There was little suspense in Buffalo Raceway's two main harness racing events on Wednesday night (March 6) as a pair of heavy favorites had no issues in posting dominating victories.   You Mach Me Crazy ($3.10) crushed the field in the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap for the distaff pacers while Noble Legend ($3.00) led every step of the way to collect the win in the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Trot.   Driver Shawn Gray directed You Mach Me Crazy to a gate-to-wire decision over HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) in 1:57.0 over the good track.   Setting fractions of :29.1, :59.1 and 1:28.2, You Mach Me Crazy was in total control with a panel to pace and nailed the victory down with a :28.3 last quarter. HP Sissy was 3-1/4 lengths back with Ticket To Fly (Shawn McDonough) third.   It was the fourth victory in seven tries this year for You Mach Me Crazy (Mach Three-Lady Terror). Owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr., the 6-year-old mare has now produced $21,685 in earnings in 2019 and $128,148 lifetime.   It was basically the same story for Noble Legend in the featured trot. Darting to the lead from the start, Noble Legend played 'catch me if you can' and did so successfully.   Noble Legend wires the field in Open Trot. -    Photo by Steve Roth   Using splits of :29.3, 1:00.0 and 1:29.4, a :30.0 last frame by Noble Legend was more than enough to squash any flickering hopes of Are You In (Kevin Cummings) and Snapshot Springs (Drew Monti). They finished in second and third respectively behind Noble Legend who won by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:59.4.   Co-owned by the Vogel & Wags Nags Stable along with Jack Rice, Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It) is a 7-year-old gelding conditioned by Maria Rice. It was the third victory in eight appearances this season for Noble Legend, now a winner of $21,390 and $221,476 in his career.   Davis Jr. and Monti each had triples on the card with Jim McNeight Jr. doubling. Jim McNeight had a pair of training victories.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com     by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "It was a good but a trying season," Buffalo Raceway Operations Director Jon Cramer said in reflecting back on the recently completed 2018 campaign.   Buffalo Raceway had originally been scheduled to have an 89-day meet but lost 29 of those dates due to weather issues and a shortage of horses. But once things settled down, the trotters and pacers got rolling and put in some stellar performances.   There were a total of 12 track records either tied or broken during the year including both the all-aged pacing and trotting marks. Sir Ziggy's Z Tam became the fastest horse ever at Buffalo Raceway when he paced the mile in 1:51.2 on June 9 and Fox Valley Veto took down the all-aged trotting standard with a 1:56.0 mile on July 20.   Drew Monti won his first driving championship at Buffalo Raceway with 123 victories as the 23-year-old went over $700,000 in purses. Shawn Gray took the runner up spot with 106 wins and Billy Davis Jr. finished in third with 100 in his initial season at the track.   James Clouser Jr. took his first training title at the Hamburg half-mile oval with 81 wins and over $415,000 in earnings. JD Perrin ended up second in the standings with 63 victories while Maria Rice rounded out the top three with 42 victories.   The "Trotter of the Year" went to Fox Valley Veto while the "Pacer of the Year" award went to Lightning Raider N (Christian Cullen-Talent Hanover) as the 13-year-old gelding posted 12 victories in 21 starts in 2018.   Winning favorites took 311 of 673 races in 2018 for a 46.21 percent average.   The one post captured the most victories on the season with 174 while the four post was next with 126 wins.   Buffalo Raceway and the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association have agreed on a contract for 2019 season with an option for a second year. There will be 66 scheduled days of racing starting in the end of January, 2019. Racing will then continue twice a week in February and March and three cards per week in April, May, June and July. The exact dates and starting times will be announced in the future.   "We expect to keep the same purse structure next year as it was when we completed the 2018 season," Cramer noted.   Buffalo Raceway's simulcasting area is closed now through August 21 due to the Erie County Fair.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After watching the field go a relaxed opening half mile time, Upfront Countryboy wanted no part of that slow down in Buffalo Raceway's featured $11,500 Open Pace on Saturday night (June 23).   Putting matters into the hands of driver Shawn Gray, Upfront Countryboy used a blazing :54.4 back half, including a :27.3 final split, to waltz to an easy 4-1/2 length win over Focus Power in 1:52.4 over the fast track.   The field of five went in post position order off the gate with Western Conquest leading the way with soft opening frames of :28.3 and :58.0.   But then, enough was enough for Upfront Countryboy as he wasted no time in going first over and taking command at the three-quarter pole in 1:25.1.   From there, it was a sight-seeing journey down the Buffalo Raceway homestretch for Gray and Upfront Countryboy as they pulled away for the convincing decision. Focus Power (Drew Monti) took second and China Dream (Billy Davis Jr.) third.   Owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr., it was the eighth victory in 17 starts in 2018 for the 9-year-old gelded Upfront Countryboy (Dragon Again-Cambloid). The win upped his seasonal earnings to $39,620 and $401,620 lifetime.   Gray had five victories on the card with Monti adding four. Clouser Jr. finished with four training wins and JD Perrin got a triple.   Due to changes in the racing calendar, action that originally scheduled for this Sunday afternoon has been cancelled.   Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with 11 races slated. An $845 carryover awaits in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race. The New York Sire Stakes will highlight the program with the 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters to compete in three divisions. There will also be events in the Excelsior A and B series.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

Mr Perserverance tried to cut the mile and Fridaynightflight did everything he could not to allow it to happen. The final result? The harness racing pair ended up in a dead heat in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (May 14).   At the start, Mr Perserverance went right to the lead and registered splits of 29.0, 58.0 and 1:27.0. It looked like a perfect set up for the closers Knocking Around and China Dream. While both were lurking on outside turning for home, neither one fired and finished out of the money.   So with the two closers no longer involved, Mr Perserverance (Ron Beback Jr.) had to deal with unexpected challenges in the passing lane from Fridaynightflight (Todd Cummings) and Babe's I Scoot. It seemed like Mr Perserverance ($12.70) might hang on but a late surge by Fridaynightflight ($8.40) resulted in a finish that couldn't separate the pair in the photo. Babe's I Scoot (Kevin Cummings) finished third, just a neck behind in the race that went in 1:55.3.   Mr Perserverance (Real Artist-Miss Tenacity) is an 8-year-old gelding who is owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr. It was his third victory in 10 starts this season, pushing his earnings to $16,630 and $274,279 lifetime.   Fridaynightflight (Panspacificflight-Ramlin Rosie) is a 7-year-old gelding owned by Tessa Roland and conditioned by JD Perrin. The win was the fifth in 16 tries for Fridaynightflight, improving his 2016 bankroll to $34,600 and $651,095 in his career.   Beback Jr. had a good night in the bike with a four-bagger along with a training victory while Todd Cummings, Shawn McDonough and Drew Monti all doubled. Buffalo Raceway's leading trainer JD Perrin added another three wins to total while Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr., Maria Rice and Clouser Jr. conditioned two.   Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with 11 races scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway              

When Cobble Beach has been scoring victories at Buffalo Raceway the past three weeks, it has been in gate-to-wire fashion. But in the $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (Feb. 13), Cobble Beach ($9.90) had to go last to first route to score a thrilling upset win over Youwillwishyouhad in 2:00.3 over the good harness racing track.   Being assigned the seven post, Cobble Beach (David McNeight III) settled back and watched as Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) set the fractions of 29.1, 1:00.0 and 1:31.1.   Going by the half mile, Cobble Beach managed to grab the cover of the first over favorite Southwind Terror and was able to eventually get into perfect striking position at the top of the stretch. Tipping three-wide, Cobble Beach was tracked down the tiring Lucky Nadotremblay and held off Youwillwishyouhad (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) by a neck. China Dream (Jack Flanigen) got up for third with a late rally through the passing lane.   Owned by Leonard Segall and trained by James Clouser Jr., it was the third win in four tries in 2016 for Cobble Beach. It pushed the 6-year-old gelding's seasonal earnings to $15,004 and $192,671 lifetime.   In the quarter-finals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series, Aberarder Smitty posted the fastest winning time in the four divisions with a 2:00.0 mile. Other scoring victories were Beechwood Wayne (2:01.4), Delightful Caitlin (2:03.4) and First Of Fun (2:01.1). The top four finishers in each leg will return for the semi-finals on Saturday night.   Todd Cummings finished the night with three victories in the sulky while Mike Baumeister and David McNeight III each doubled.   Clouser Jr. and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. each had two training victories.   Racing will continue on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race program scheduled for 6 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Mr Perserverance was on quite a terror with four straight harness racing victories before being shut down for a little rest and relaxation on December 12. He came back for a qualifier on January 23 and zoomed to an easy 6-1/4 length win in 1:57.4. But would those impressive credentials hold up in Saturday's $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway?   The answer was a resounding yes.   Mr. Perserverance ($4.60) went gate-to-wire once again and smoked the field of five in 1:56.4 over a good track, defeating Youwillwishyouhad by a non-threatening length.   The race looked liked it was going to shape up as a speed duel between China Dream and Mr. Perserverance. That didn't materialize as China Dream was a late scratch.   Appearing to be the lone speedster off the gate, driver Ron Beback Jr. and Mr. Perserverance took advantage of the situation and toured the Hamburg half-mile oval with little pressure. Posting splits of 28.3, 58.3 and 1:28.0, the pair had the other four entrants battling for the minor spoils in the battle in the stretch.   Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) finished in second place while Arrived Late (Shawn McDonough) took third.   Owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr., Mr. Perserverance (Real Artist-Miss Tenacity) is an 8-year-old gelding who now has won $262,849 lifetime.   It was a superb night for Clouser Jr. as he trained four winners on the night. Shawn Gray and Mike Carrubba each had two victories.   Jim McNeight, Gray and Ron Beback Jr. each posted doubles in the sulky.   Racing continues at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday evening with a 12-race program scheduled for 6 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway is wasting no time in presenting its feature race of the night as the filly and mare pacers battle in the Open II scheduled for the first event on the 11-race harness racing card that will start the 2016 campaign. Post time Wednesday night (Jan. 13) is set for 5 p.m.   Ding has been established as the early-morning line favorite at 3-1 with Ron Beback Jr. in the sulky. Trained by James Clouser Jr. and owned by Leonard Seagall, Ding has finished first and second in her most recent starts at this level at Batavia Downs and drew the six post.   Heavenly Place has been in the money in all of her last six starts and had 13 victories in 2015, earning over $62,000. She'll draw plenty of attention from the wagerers and will get the services of David McNeight III in the bike.   The major danger could come from the front-running Memumsnotnice who was assigned the eight post. The John Mungillo-trained Memumsnotnice has earned over $309,000 in her career including over $54,000 last season. Drew Monti gets the call on the 7-year-old mare, tabbed at 5-1 in the morning line.   Buffalo Raceway's new Pick-5 wager, which carries a 50-cent minimum, begins in the fifth race. If the pot is not hit, it will carryover to the next racing night.   Opening week will continue on Friday night with a new post time of 5 p.m. while Saturday night's action will now begin at 6 p.m.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Batavia, NY---This was the fourth straight week that Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) and Memumsnotnice (Ray Fisher Jr.) locked horns with "Mach" having a 2-1 advantage over "Mum" to date. After a hard fought harness racing battle, Mach This Way reigned victorious again in the $9,500 distaff pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Dec. 9). Memumsnotnice left sharply and paced on the front uncontested to the half in :57.2. Mach This Way had pulled at three-eighths and drew alongside the leading mare as they hit the clubhouse turn. From that point on it was basically a match race. Mach This Way and Memumsnotnice paced in tandem past three-quarters in 1:25.3, around the far turn and half-way down the lane. It was then the Mach This Way got a slight advantage and pulled away to a length victory in 1:55.2. The Filly Princess (Truman Gale) closed strong to be second and Memumsnotnice faded to third, in a dead-heat with Kisses N Kicks (Dave McNeight III). It was the eighth win of the season for the daughter of Mach Three ($4.20) and pushed her earnings to $59,880 for owner William Emmons. Batavia Downs Rising Star Award winner James Clouser Jr. trains Mach This Way. In the $7,700 Mares Open II co-feature, Heavenly Place (Dave McNeight III) went gate-to-wire in 1:57.1 to notch her 13th win of 2015. She had won in this class two weeks ago and found herself back at home after stepping down from Open I competition last week. Heavenly Place is owned by Courtney McNeight and is trained by Dave McNeight Jr. Horsemen scoring multiple wins included drivers Kevin Cummings with three and Shawn Mcdonough, Ron Beback Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. each with two. Trainers James Clouser Jr. and Chris Naedele each sent two winners to post. Only two days of live racing remain at Batavia Downs for the 2015 season and Friday (Dec. 11) is the first of the pair, with post time set at 6:15. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Akron, NY---The Batavia Downs meet isn't over, but the competition for the winningest harness racing driver and trainer certainly is. Kevin Cummings and JD Perrin are the leading dash driver and trainer for the 2015 season, repeating their dominance from last year and they will be honored by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness writers Association (UNY-USHWA). Cummings currently has 131 victories during the meet, which total 49 more than his nearest competitor. And his $683,838 in purses won is at least a quarter-million dollars more than anyone else. For the year, Cummings has already posted career numbers with 334 wins, $1.77 million in earnings and a UDR of .367. That UDR ranks him tenth in North America among all drivers. Cummings seasonal totals only pile onto his career statics that include 3,304 wins and $13.7 million in earnings. Perrin posted 56 wins for the meet and his horses earned $236,822 for his efforts. He is also firing at a lofty .376 UTR. As far as the entire year is concerned, Perrin has 125 wins, $633,747 in earnings and a UTR of .353. That UTR ranks him tenth as well among all trainers in North America to this point in 2015. Perrin's career numbers include 569 wins and $2.4 million in purses. UNY-USHWA has also named James Clouser Jr. their recipient of the 2015 Rising Star Award. Since relocating his base of operations to Upstate New York early last summer, James Clouser Jr. has been on a tear. After only making minimal starts as a conditioner from 2008 until 2013, Clouser made some noise in 2014 winning 42 races from 191 outings and banked $229,887 in earnings. But this year he's more than doubled all those numbers. With only days of live racing left this year, Clouser has won 86 races and earned $454,359 in prizes on the strength of 286 starts. He is also boasting a gaudy .439 UTR. The 86 wins make him the top dash winning trainer in North America for conditioners with fewer than 300 starts. For the current Batavia Downs meet, Clouser is the second leading trainer (behind JD Perrin) with 42 wins from 140 starts, $207,894 in earnings and a .431 UTR. Kevin Cummings, JD Perrin and James Clouser Jr. will receive their awards in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 12) during UNY-USHWA's Night of Distinction. By Tim Bojarski, President, UNY USHWA

Batavia, NY---The last harness racing matinee card of the year at Batavia Downs was held on Saturday (Oct. 31) and featured the top-two pacing classes on the grounds and the performances turned in by the winner of each were equally impressive. Cobble Beach (Jack Flanigen) shook off a couple fringe finishes and took no prisoners going wire to wire in the $10,000 Open pace in 1:54.4. It was the ninth win of 2015 for Cobble Beach ($7.70), which has become a career year for wins and earnings (now $74,180) for the 5-year-old Artiscape gelding. James Clouser Jr. trains Cobble Beach for owner Leonard Segall. In the co-feature $8,400 Open II, Historian (Jim McNeight) took advantage of a two-hole trip behind FB Seelster (Dave McNeight III) and stalked the leader the entire mile before shooting up the passing lane in deep-stretch to garner victory by a mere head. Historian ($12.20) toured the course in 1:53.3, which was a new lifetime mark for the 5-year-old Stonebridge Regal gelding. Jack and Maria Rice own the winner with Maria Rice also doing the training. Several horsemen made multiple trips to the winner's circle on Saturday. Kevin Cummings, Jim McNeight and Jack Flanigen all had driving triples while trainers Maria Rice, James Clouser Jr. and JD Perrin all sent two winners postward. Arainna Brone, who was visiting Batavia Downs while home for the weekend from college, won the $4,000 pair of diamond earrings in the "Diamond of a Day" promotion sponsored by TAG Jewelers. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 4) with post time at 6:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Two divisions of $7,700 Open II pacing mares headlined the harness racing card at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 7) with eleven ladies going postward. The better of the two contests turned out to be the second when Country Delight ($5.00) took a pocket trip en route to winning the seventh race by a long length. Memumsnotnice (Kevin Cummings) got away sharply as Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) tucked in behind her as the only leaver in the race. From there, Cummings led the field through fractions of :28, :58.2 and 1:27 before they circled the far turn. At the top of the stretch it appeared as if Memumsnotnice had the race won, but Flanigen shooed Country Delight into the passing lane where she accelerated past the leader to win in 1:55.4. It was the ninth win of the year for the 5-year-old American Ideal mare who has now earned $57,473 in purses this year for owner James Frandsen. Country Delight is trained by James Clouser Jr. In the first division, Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight) went to go in front immediately at the start and maintained that position the entire mile, hanging on to beat the pocket-sitting 1-9 favorite, Climate Hanover (Drew Monti) by a mere nose in 1:57. It was the fifth win of 2015 for Infrontigo Hanover who now has $50,444 in the bank for the year. The 7-year-old Western Hanover mare is trained by Bob Gruber, who co-owns with Summer Wind Stable of NY. Driver John Cummings Jr. was on fire Wednesday, winning five races on the card. He took his picture with LG's Pride ($65.50), Seascape Hanover ($5.10), Voltina ($10.80), Hawaiian Joe ($4.60) and Regal Beau ($4.60). Sean McDonough and Jack Flanigen each had driving doubles. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night with the first post set to go at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Cobble Beach was in full command the entire way as he put a circle around the five-horse field in the $9,000 Open pacing feature at the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 26). Leaving from post four, Cobble Beach (John Cummings Jr.) shot right to the lead and took instant control of the race. While about five lengths back, prohibitive betting favorite Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) got away fourth and was content to stay there until the half. After hitting that station in :56.4, Caprio unleashed Fireyourguns and advanced as far as second at the three-quarter pole. But the assault creased when the gelding faded uncharacteristically around the far turn. From there, Cobble Beach paced home in a speedy :27.4 to win by three-lengths in 1:52.4. It was the eighth win of the year for Cobble Beach ($4.70) and the fourth top-class victory for him at Batavia Downs. The winners share boosted his bankroll to $67,565 for owner Leonard Segall and trainer James Clouser Jr. Saturday was a night of multiplicity for several horsemen. The driving/training team of Dave McNeight III and Dave McNeight Jr. scored a hat trick with Goldstar Thumper ($3.50), Maple Leaf Matt ($14.20) and Outoftexas ($7.30) while the driving/training team of John Cummings Jr. and James Clouser Jr. registered a double with Bad Bad Boy ($3.40) and Cobble Beach ($4.70). Shawn McDonough, Jack Flanigen and Ray Fisher Jr. also had driving doubles as well. The next card of live racing will be Wednesday (Sept. 30) at Batavia Downs with post time set for 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

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