October 20, 2017

Exotic Beach wins easily in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Without even a moment of doubt in the mile, Exotic Beach overpowered her five 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.


October 17, 2017

In Runaway Bay an upset winner in Batavia Downs Open

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

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 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.


October 13, 2017

John Mungillo scores 1,000th training win at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

(Photo left to right: Larry Willer, John Mungillo and Jennifer Papiernik)

Batavia, NY---Western New York veteran 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.


October 10, 2017

Foiled Again, DW’s NY Yank win at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

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 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.


October 6, 2017

Miss Irish Rose A dominates; Stalbaum wins eight at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---The wind and rain blew into Genesee County prior to 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 McCardle 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.


October 4, 2017

Don’tcallmefrancis was frank winning at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

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 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.


Osprey Vision upsets in Batavia Downs trot

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

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 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.


September 28, 2017

Miss Irish Rose A makes winning debut at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

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.


September 26, 2017

Focus Power in career best at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

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 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.


Noble Legend on point in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Noble Legend looked very sharp on the front end while defeating six top-end 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.


Girl’s night at Batavia led by All Charged Up

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---The Wednesday night (Sept. 20) spotlight fell on the 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.


September 18, 2017

Team Captain upsets in Batavia Open pace

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Even though the betting public completely overlooked Tioga Downs invader Team Captain at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 16), the 16-1 pacer made his presence known in the $10,500 featured Open by upsetting local favorite Fireyourguns in one of the most exciting races held at the Downs this season.

Team Captain (John Cummings Jr.) got away last in the field of seven as even-money shot Fireyourguns went three-deep to take the lead and set quick early fractions of :26.1 and :54.2. He was being prompted by Believe This Bob (Shawn McDonough) who was parked out the entire mile. As the field bunched into two rows up the backstretch, Team Captain was still last and third-over in the outer flow at three-quarters in 1:23.1 but that was about to change.

Coming off the last turn, Focus Power (Drew Monti) tipped three-deep around Itsonlyrocknroll A (Larry Stalbaum) and Team Captain tipped four-wide around him. As the cavalry charge roared down the stretch, Fireyourguns weakened inside as Focus Power and Team Captain went toe-to-toe all the way to the wire with Team Captain eventually getting a head advantage under the light in 1:52.4.

Team Captain ($34.20) scored his sixth win of the year for owner Joseph Martinelli Sr. who has benefited from his horse's efforts this year in the amount of $35,610. Paul Bernardo trains the 5-year-old gelded son of Cam’s Card Shark.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pacing event, Show Stopping ($28.20) tracked fast fractions set by Mister Livan N (Larry Stalbaum) from sixth before pulling second-over at three-quarters and then tipping three-wide at the top of the stretch to pace away from the field and win by one-half length in 1:53.1.

Show Stopping is owned by Resilient Racing Stable and trained by Rose Russo.

Drew Monti, Kevin Cummings, John Cummings Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. all had driving doubles Saturday. Trainer Rose Russo also sent out two winners from her stable.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Sept. 18) with post time at 5 p.m.


Egosnattitudes rallies for Batavia Downs feature win

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Slow starts and fast finishes are his trademark and Egosnattitudes followed the playbook to a “T” on Friday night as he captured the $9,000 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs.

Egosnattitudes (Larry Stalbaum) got away last by ten-lengths to begin the race while Lutetium (Denny Bucceri) called the shots on the front end. While the race cruised by the half in :57.3, Egosnattitudes was rolling up on the outside, trying to get in the mix. Striker Ace (Kevin Cummings) pulled underneath him and drew even with Lutetium and those two matched strides until the five-eighths when Lutetium made a break. With Striker Ace (Kevin Cummings) now on the point, Egosnattitudes kept in hot pursuit and incrementally drew alongside the leader at the top of the lane before continuing right by him in the stretch to win in 1:57.1.

It was the sixth win of the year for Egosnattitudes ($3.80) and the third win in four Batavia Downs starts. Egosnattitudes is owned by Graham Grace Stables LLC and is trained by Kim Asher.

In the $8,500 Open II, Skyway Priss (Jim Morrill Jr.) was the only mare in the field and led every step of the way, winning her seventh race of the year in 1:57.3, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the second straight win for Skyway Priss ($4.20) both of which were for her new owners Buona Fortuna Stable and Marissa Russo who purchased the mare privately on September 3. David Russo trains the winner.

Several horsemen had multiple win nights at the Downs on Friday. Leading driver Drew Monti and Jim Morrill Jr. both had a triple on the card while Larry Stalbaum brought two to the circle. And trainers Darrin Monti, Mark Temperato and Kim Asher conditioned two winners apiece during the proceedings.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 16) with the first post slated for 6 p.m.


September 14, 2017

Top Flight Angel wins in track record time at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---The $121,500 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters rolled into Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Sept. 13) and the track record for that age, sex and gait, which is also the all-time track trotting mark of 1:54.3 set by Archangel in 2012 was tied by his son, Top Flight Angel (Archangel-Top Photo).

In the first $60,200 division, Top Flight Angel (Andy Miller) left the gate, took the lead and called all the shots from there. Travelling well in hand and totally unchallenged the entire mile, Top Flight Angel set quarter fractions of :29, :58.2 and 1:26.2 while opening up a five-length advantage in the process. With the fans on hand aware of the track standard, all eyes were simultaneously on the leader and the clock as Top Flight Angel cruised down the lane and won in 1:54.3, tying the mark.

“He was awesome; he just breezed around there. He likes the half. It’s just a matter of getting him out of the gate and keeping his attention. He’s got the (NYSS) final in a couple of weeks, the Breeders Crown if he’s up to it and a couple later stakes. So hopefully we’ll be going to the Breeders Crown” said driver Andy Miller.

It was the fourth win of the year for the Yonkers Trot champion, Top Flight Angel ($3.80) and it pushed his earnings for 2017 to $362,016 for owner Legendary Standardbred Farm. Julie Miller trains the winner.

In the second $61,300 division, Swell Chap (Drew Monti) left from post six and dropped in third as Icanflylikeanangel (Mickey Mc Nichol) took the lead. The field was moving at a brisk clip (:28.1, :57.3) when Monti pulled Swell Chap and started an outer flow in front of the grandstand.

Swell Chap drew alongside Icanflylikeanangel and the two matched strides up the backstretch and around the last turn when Stick With Me Kid (Chris Lems) joined the party three-deep coming into the stretch. With the three across the track, Icanflylikeanangel gained a short advantage, but Swell chap swelled-up and came back under urging to win by a length in 1:56.1.

“He raced awesome. He put in a good effort at Buffalo (Raceway on July 9) but I didn’t get the trip I wanted. I didn’t get it tonight either but he got the job done. He’s a nice horse” said driver Drew Monti.

The win was the sixth of the season for Swell Chap ($11.60) whose earnings now total $157,451. Foge McKeever and Eldon Thompson own Swell Chap (Chapter Seven-Gia) who is trained by Todd Rooney.

Two $15,000 Excelsior A series races were also featured on the card Wednesday.

Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) won the first division wire to wire in 1:56.4 with Andy Miller aboard. Big Man Ev ($3.10) is owned by the Andy Miller Stable, the Lindy Racing Stable and Harvey Eisman and is trained by Julie Miller.

Zack’s Zoomer (Deweycheatumnhowe-Passageway) won the second division, cutting the mile in 1:55.2 for Jim Morrill Jr. Zack’s Zoomer is owned by the Ervin Miller Stable Inc. and Harvey Eisman. Erv Miller does the training.


September 12, 2017

Top Flight Angel leads NYSS trotting colts into Batavia

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Some of the best sophomore trotting colts and geldings on the Grand Circuit will be in town on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 13) to vie for a total of $121,500 in purses offered in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs. And with only one more stop after Batavia before the finals, everyone will be jockeying for point position in a very close race.

The first $60,200 division (carded as race three) features Yonkers Trot winner Top Flight Angel and Hambletonian finalist Guardian Angel AS.

Top Flight angel (Archangel-Top Photo) was having a very solid year that turned outstanding for his connections last week when he won the $500,000 Yonkers Trot. Previous to that victory he finished fourth in the Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs and had one win in a NYSS leg. He is currently seventh in points for the final and is in need of a win here to keep pace with the leaders and make the draw for the Night of Champions. With $331,916 earned and a mark of 1:55, he is as solid a choice here as you could want.

Leaving from post one and listed at 7-5 morning line, Top Flight Angel will be driven by Andy Miller for trainer Julie Miller.

Guardian Angel AS (Archangel-Provide AS) has seven wins this year, two of which were in the NYSS. He raced in the Hambletonian final in August and was trotting second in the stretch when he was involved in the highly contentious interference call that saw him break and finish ninth. Most recently Guardian Angel AS won his elimination of the Yonkers Trot, defeating Top Flight Angel in the process. But in the final he made a break after the start and was never in the race after that.

Trainer Anette Lorentzon has regular driver Jason Bartlett up once again behind Guardian Angel AS who has drawn post four and is the early 6-5 choice.

In the second $61,300 division, Lord Cromwell (Chapter Seven-Oh Oh Its Magic) come in on a two-race win streak and a freshly set 1:54.3 lifetime mark at Saratoga Raceway. He won the $143,737 Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway in May and was in the Empire Breeders Classic in June where he finished a close sixth after getting parked the whole mile. He is the top money earner in this race with $169,965 and is part of a stable entry with The Last Chapter (Chapter Seven-J C Josie).

Lord Cromwell will depart from post three with Jim Morrill Jr. in tow and the Ed Hart trainee is listed in the entry at 2-1.

Eye Ofa Tiger AS (Chapter Seven-Cascade AS) is the top point-getter in the NYSS for this category on the strength of two wins and three seconds in the series. In his last start at Saratoga, he was parked out the better part of the mile and still hung on tough to finish second behind Lord Cromwell, who cut it. For the year overall he has five wins and has never missed the board in 10 starts and those outings have put $138,660 on his card.

Like Guardian Angel AS, Eye Ofa Tiger AS is trained by Anette Lorentzon and will be driven by Jason Bartlett. He has post seven and is the early second choice at 5-2.

Also on the card are two $15,000 Excel A series trots on the card that offer great betting opportunities and will be hotly contested. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m.


Focus Power takes Batavia Open; Stalbaum wins five

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Focus Power moved up to the top class on the grounds after winning in the Open II last week, but the ascension was no impediment as he won the $10,000 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 9).

Focus Power (Drew Monti) left from post four and was in front and on the pylons before they race even hit the turn. With the short field settling, Believe This Bob (Shawn McDonough) wanted the front and came before the eighth pole and cleared before the quarter in :28.1. Positions remained unchanged until Southwind Torque (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled mid-way up the backside in what would be a short-lived bid.

As the outside challenge faded in the turn, Believe This Bob was looking solid in front as they headed for home. However as soon as the passing lane was accessible, Monti directed Focus Power into it and shot right by Believe This Bob and paced away to a two-length win in 1:53.1.

Focus Power ($7.80) now has $73,845 on his card on the strength of seven wins this year and the win time of 1:53.1 was only one-fifth of a second off the lifetime mark he just set last week. James Caradori owns the 5-year-old altered son of Shadow Play that gets his conditioning from Darrin Monti.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II, Itsonlyrocknroll A (Larry Stalbaum) got away last and methodically worked his way up the rail while chasing fractions of :26.4, :54.4 and 1:23.3 and before getting loose around the far turn to tip three-deep and simply pace away from everyone to win by two open lengths in 1:53.1.

It was the second win in a row and 11th of the year for Itsonlyrocknroll A ($16.40) who now has earned $61,695 in purses for Stalbaum who also owns him. Kim Asher is the trainer.

Larry Stalbaum visited the winner's circle five times on Saturday with Itsonlyrocknroll A, Teo Enteo A (1:56, $7.90), Mister Livan N (1:53.2, $4.60), Anderlecht (1:54.4, $3.20) and Saint William A (1:56.3, $7.10).

Not wanting to be outdone, Drew Monti and Kevin Cummings each had two winners apiece as well. Trainer Kim Asher also sent four of her horses to the winner’s enclosure for pictures.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Sept. 11) with post time set at 5 p.m.

Jim Morrill Jr. tops $100,000 million at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---The first race at Batavia Downs Friday night (Sept. 8) may have only been a $6,500 Excelsior B pace for first-year fillies, but to one participant of the race it was a once in a lifetime milestone.

After finishing second with Fast Date in 1:57.2, Jim Morrill Jr. surpassed the $100,000 million dollar mark in career earnings. That places him 22nd on the list among all harness drivers in the history of the sport.

Morrill got his start in the business working for his father at Foxboro Park. The elder Morrill, an accomplished driver himself, always had a small stable there and he laid the groundwork for his son and helped him hone his skills. Jim Morrill Jr. got his first driving start in 1984 and from there he was on his way.

“My father meant everything to my career. He set down everything to get me going when he was still driving and put me on every horse in the barn. I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time and would drive one bad here or there and if the owner complained about it, he told them to take their horse to somebody else. And then he’d come back to me and tell me “you cost me another horse you little whelp.”

The family’s operation was eventually moved to Maryland and Rosecroft Raceway where the number of horses in the barn grew. Besides driving his father’s stock, Morrill started getting a lot of catch drives and soon was finding himself in demand.

Rosecroft used to take six-weeks off during Christmas each year and Morrill didn’t want to sit idle, so in 1990 he went to New York and started driving for Ray Schnittker and George Anthony at Yonkers Raceway. He soon found a lot of success there as well and decided that move would be permanent.

Morrill recalls his most memorable races as being the 2004 Meadowlands Pace where Holborn Hanover was a 58-1 upset winner in 1:49, equaling the stake mark and the 2009 Jugette where Showherthemoney made a break in her elimination before coming back to win that race and the final as well three races later.

Jim Morrill Jr. left the New York metropolitan area in 2005 and relocated his business and family to western New York.

“I have never regretted moving to the Batavia-Buffalo circuit, we love it here. My wife’s sister and mother live near us and when I’m on the road she has her family now instead of being up in New Jersey by herself. The New York Sires Stakes has been great for me as well as the overnight starts and we’re just gearing up for the next however-many years to come.”

In 2006 at Batavia Downs, Morrill set the all-time driving standard for the track with 177 wins and a UDR of .537 for one meet.

For his career to date, Jim Morrill Jr. now has had 37,332 starts with 6,902 wins, 5,692 seconds and 4,753 thirds with $100,046,554 in earnings.


NYSS at Batavia go to Azreal As It Gets and Ubettergo Go

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The 2-year-old pacing fillies were at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 8) to battle for their share of the $109,000 in purse money up for grabs in the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS).

The first $54,500 contest saw Azreal As It Gets (Matt Kakaley) lead briefly before yielding to favored Alexis Faith (Jim Morrill Jr.) past the quarter and settle into a garden-spot trip. Azreal As It Gets took full advantage of that strategic spot as Alexis Faith then battled Michelle’s Jazz (Ray Fisher Jr.) from the three-eighths pole to the top of the stretch. From there she found the passing lane and scooted through to win by two lengths in 1:55.4, with a snappy :28.2 final panel. The time was a new lifetime mark for the filly.

It was the first win in six tries for Azreal As It Gets (So Surreal-Vanite Semalu) who now shows $58,461 on her card for owners Our Horse Cents Stable and Stable 45. Azreal As It Gets ($6.70) is trained by Jake huff.

In the second $54,500 division, Ubettergo Go (Billy Davis Jr.) took off the gate and tucked in fifth while Wisdom Tree (Kevin Cummings) and Hurrikane Shorty (Jason Bartlett) set the early pace on the front-end. When Jan (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled first past the half, Ubettergo Go followed second-over and advanced up the backside. Around the last turn, Hurrikane Shorty gapped the leader and Jan dropped in second. But Ubettergo Go continued to advance against the stubborn Wisdom Tree, who would not give up. Down the lane Cummings and Davis were driving hard but Davis got more out of his filly in the end and won by a half-length in 1:55.3.

The victory was the third of the year for Ubettergo Go (Art Major-Ubetterthink Think), all of which were in NYSS races. Ubettergo Go ($22.40) has earned $87,359 so far this year for owners Tony Basile, Reginald Petitpas, Ozzie MacKay and Blake Macintosh, who also trains the filly.

There were also three $15,000 Excelsior A races on the program Friday night.

In the first division, Act Like A Diva (Roll With Joe-Music Row) went wire to wire for Jim Morrill Jr. in 1:57.2. Act Like A Diva ($6.00) is owned by Paymaq Racings, Greg Gillis, Louis Willinger and Craig Henderson and is trained by Erv miller.

The second division went to Checkered Past (American Ideal-Character Flaw) who tripped-out in 1:57.4 for Jim Morrill Jr. Checkered Past ($4.30) is owned by All Star Racing Inc. and is trained by Peter Foley.

The final split was won by Pelican Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven-Feathery Fame) who went gate to wire in 1:56.2. Pelican Blue Chip ($3.60) is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Michelle Rosato and Matthew Dugan and is trained by Tracey Brainard.


September 5, 2017

Barn Bella and Celebrity Ruth in NYSS at Batavia Wednesday

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Two of the best 3-year-old trotting fillies on the Grand Circuit will be at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 6) in a division of the $108,200 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS). Barn Bella and Celebrity Ruth will go head to head in the second $59,100 division (carded as race four) of the NYSS in what looks to be a heavyweight battle for the ages with possible track record implications.

Barn Bella (Conway Hall-Bravissima) comes into the race as the second richest ($329,584) and third fastest (1:51.3) 3-year-old trotting filly in North America. She has scored 10 wins in 12 starts this year, making breaks the only two times she hasn’t finished first.

Having campaigned exclusively in New York State this year, Barn Bella has won five legs of the NYSS as well as the $228,250 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) at Vernon Downs in 1:51.3, which was her lifetime best effort.

In her last start on August 18, Barn Bella was racing older male trotters in the overnight Open at Tioga Downs and made a break in the first turn while everyone was jockeying for position. This will be her first start back in 18 days and she looks to rebound with a big effort in the short six-horse field.

Barn Bella will be a big hometown favorite as all her connections are from only a few miles of Batavia Downs. Co-owner/trainer Steve Pratt, co-owner Wanda Polisseni and driver Jeff Gregory all call Batavia Downs their “home track” and will converge there with high expectations for their star performer.

Barn Bella has drawn post six and has been made the 8-5 morning line favorite.

Looking to spoil the homecoming is Celebrity Ruth (Archangel-Celebrity Obsession) who comes in fresh off a win in the $119,010 Hudson Trot final at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 2).

Celebrity Ruth was unraced at two but has made up for time lost this year. She has won three legs of the NYSS as well as the afore mentioned Hudson Trot. She also took a major check finishing second to Barn Bella in the EBC. In all, her five wins and five seconds have put $280,938 in her bank account this year. She has a lifetime mark of 1:53.4 taken at Tioga Downs but has been race timed in 1:52.1 at Vernon.

Trond Smedshammer trains Celebrity Ruth and has regular driver Jason Bartlett up once again and the pair will depart from post two, listed at 3-1.

In the first $59,100 division (carded as race three) Mamora Bay will start at Batavia Downs only four days after competing in the Hudson Trot as well where she finished third behind Celebrity Ruth.

Prior to Saturday, Mamora Bay (Chapter Seven-Giulie Bi) had been off since August 1 as she was trying to get over the effects of a virus she has been dealing with all year, as reported by her trainer Sam Schillaci in a recent interview. With that said, she did look good qualifying twice at Northfield Park getting ready for that big stake.

In the Hudson, Mamora Bay got away sixth and was forced to come third-over in a dull outer flow and had to overcome a strong front-runner, the rain and a breaking horse around the last turn but still closed well to finish third, beaten less than four lengths.

With $66,331 on her card so far in 2017, Mamora Bay has only one win in six starts this year and her connections are hoping she gets back to her form of last year now that she is back in action.

Sam Schillaci is aboard once again and has been named the early favorite at 9-5 leaving from post three.

Looking to challenge for the spoils is Maewegonow (Deweycheatumnhowe-Mauresmo) who is the highest money earner in this leg with $91,220 banked. But she also only has one NYSS win to her credit.

Maewegonow has shown versatility racing on the front end as well as from behind and in this short field could be successful with either strategy. She has hit the board in seven out of 11 starts and took a lifetime mark of 1:55.3 in her last outing at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs in an overnight event.

Charlie Norris trains and drives Maewegonow who has drawn post two and is tabbed at 5-2.

The current track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies is 1:57.2 set by Cowgirl Hall in 2012 and matched by Bouncing Bax in 2013.

There are also two divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior A series on Wednesday that are programmed as races six and seven.

Post time for the first race Wednesday is 5 p.m.


Fireyourguns runs away with Batavia feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---After tasting defeat for the first time this year at Batavia Downs last week, Fireyourguns rebounded in a big way as he routed the best local pacers in the $10,500 Open Handicap feature on Saturday night (Sept. 2).

After getting parked three-deep leaving for almost a quarter of a mile, Fireyourguns (Jim Morrill Jr.) finally cleared and took the front before the first bend and then never looked back from there. He was loose on the lead the whole journey, gapping the chasing Southwind Torque (Ray Fisher Jr.) by as much as three lengths as the trailers merely scrambled to keep up.

When the race passed three-quarters in 1:23.3, Morrill was content with how things were going and merely fed some line, leaned back and watched as Fireyourguns took it home by himself to win by a comfortable two-lengths in 1:53.

It was the 54th lifetime win in only 119 starts for Fireyourguns ($3.10) who now has $381,706 on his card. Robert and Jennifer Lowe own the 8-year-old gelded son of American Ideal in partnership with Terence Mc Clory who does the training.

In the secondary featured $9,000 Open II pace, Focus Power (Drew Monti) led every step of the way, posting three quick :28 and change quarters before flying home in :27.3 to put away the field in 1:53 flat, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner. The win was the sixth of the year for Focus Power ($5.80) who now has earned $68,845 in 2017. James Caradori owns the Shadow Play progeny and Darrin Monti trains him.

Jim Morrill Jr. drove a grand slam on Saturday while Kevin Cummings, John Cummings Jr. and Larry Stalbaum each had two winners during the night. Trainer Kim Asher also had two winners sent out from her barn.

Racing resume at Batavia Downs on Monday afternoon (Sept. 4) for the big Labor Day matinee program that features the annual driver’s bicycle race.


Classy Lane Rose blossoms in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Classy Lane Rose has been a shrinking violet with the Batavia Downs winner’s circle this meet having not won in four starts here. But the mare was in full bloom on Wednesday (Aug. 30) as she went gate to wire in convincing style to win the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open pace.

Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) left with the gate and the field willingly settled in post-position order behind her. After letting her intentions be known, she then tempered her speed to the half, backing it down to :58 flat. No one made a move until the three-eighths pole when Susie’s Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) came first-up and brought Kruella (Shawn McDonough) along with her.

Monti kept the challengers at bay, speeding up the third panel to :28.1 and from there the race was won. Despite horses fanning four-wide around the final turn, Classy Lane Rose was in full stride and paced home in a crisp :27.4 to win by a length.

Now with $60,300 in the bank on the strength of six wins this year, Classy Lane Rose ($3.30) is owned by Carl Monti and trained by Darrin Monti.

The co-feature $8,000 distaff Open II field was shortened to five starters after two late scratches and as a result, Mean Pauline (Shawn McDonough) got a perfect pocket trip behind the point-mare Hot Patootie (Larry Stalbaum) and then shot through the lightning lane to win by a length in 1:55.2.

It was the fifth win of the year for Mean Pauline ($11.80) and owner Harry Wortzman. McDonough also trains the winner.

Drivers Drew Monti, Larry Stalbaum and Ray Fisher Jr. all had two wins on the card. Trainer Kim Asher also scored two victories on Wednesday evening. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 1) with post time at 6 p.m. Friday’s card features the $106,000 NYSS for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings.


August 28, 2017

Tito scores career best in NYSS at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Two divisions of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings vying for $107,000 in purse money highlighted the Sunday afternoon (Aug. 27) card at Batavia Downs and a live crowd of 3,500 was on hand to watch the proceedings.

In the first $53,500 division, Tito (Andy Miller) left from post one and took an undisputed lead right off the gate. After going a moderate 1:01.3 to the half, the heavily favored My Lindy Winner (Jim Morrill Jr.) came first-up and delivered some moderate pressure to the front-runner. But Tito was up to the task and buzzed home in a quick :56.4 back-half to win easily by two-lengths in 1:58.2.

It was the first career win for Tito (7.20) and thus the time was a new lifetime mark. The time was also only one-fifth of a second off the track record for 2-year-old trotting colts.

Tito, who is by Muscle Mass out of Stonebridge Encore (Angus Hall), is owned by Anthony Lombardi, George Golemes and Louis Willinger and is trained by Erv Miller.

In the second $53,500 split, Clive Bigsby (Chris Lems) used the exact same game plan. After taking the lead from post one, Lems backed off the fractions to 1:01.2 while three horses broke behind him. He continued to grab leather up the backside with no challengers in sight and gave Clive Bigsby his head for the last quarter where he trotted home in :28.4 to an easy three-length win in 1:59.1.

The win puts him in a first place tie in points (200) with Fourth Dimension as the top horse in his NYSS division. Fourth Dimension did not enter this week’s NYSS race.

Clive Bigsby ($3.10) now has five wins in seven starts this year and an impressive bank of $93,562. The progeny of Muscle Mass out of Northern Flare (Angus Hall) is owned by the Winters Racing Stable and George Ducharme, who also trains the colt.

There were also two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior series on the card.

The first group was bested by Dewey Hava Winner (Deweycheatumnhowe-Kosher Winner) who scored a half-length decision in 2:00.4 for trainer/driver Ray Schnittker. Dewey Hava Winner ($4.10) is owned by Eric Taddeo.

The second set went to If Not Why Not (Muscle Mass-Amazing Grace) after a good late brush off a pocket-trip in 2:01.1 for Phil Fluet. If Not Why Not ($10.00) is owned by Michael Polansky and is trained by Dave Spagnola.


Barn Winner trips-out to easy win at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---After spending most of his summer racing the New York fair circuit, Barn Winner made a rare night time pari-mutuel appearance and went home victorious in the $10,000 Open Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 25).

It seemed way too easy. Barn Winner (Kevin Cummings) left from post one and yielded the lead to Lutetium (John Cummings Jr.) in the first turn and from there he just had to sit and wait. Lutetium took the group through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27 before he started showing signs of fatigue.

At the top of the far turn, Cummings pulled Barn Winner and he trotted right on by the leader and just kept on going. BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) came flying late outside and Corleone Hall (Drew Monti) found room up the passing lane, but Barn Winner held them at bay and won by a length in 1:57.1.

It was the eighth win in 17 starts this year for Barn Winner ($7.80) and it provided him with a new lifetime mark as well. Now boasting earnings of $30,980 for 2017, Barn Winner is owned by Steve and Nancy Pratt and is trained by Steve Pratt.

In the co-featured $8,000 Open II trot, Egosnattitudes (Larry Stalbaum) came from sixth and made a bold three-wide move at three-quarters to sweep the field and catch the front-running Nobel Legend (Ray Fisher Jr.) by a neck to win in 1:56.4. Egosnattitudes ($13.00) is owned by Graham Grace Stables LLC and is trained by Kim Asher.

Kevin Cummings and Larry Stalbaum both had driving hat tricks on Friday while Drew Monti captured two races of his own. Joe Skowyra had a training triple with Angelo Nappo garnerning two training wins as well.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 26) with the first race post set at 6 p.m.


August 24, 2017

Sportsmuffler silences rivals; Morrill wins five at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Sportsmuffler has not missed the board in the weekly distaff pacing feature since the start of the meet and Wednesday (Aug. 23) was no exception as she scored her second win in the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open pace at Batavia Downs.

Voltina (Kevin Cummings) and Exotic Beach (Larry Stalbaum) slugged it out for the lead through the first quarter mile with Voltina gaining the advantage at that station in :27.2. With Exotic Beach’s nose right on Cummings helmet and the rest of the field strung-out behind her, Voltina rolled to the half in :56.1 with no one looking to pull.

At the three-eighths pole Sarah Cola (Drew Monti) came first-up and advanced towards the leader with Sportsmuffler (Jim Morrill Jr.) on her tail. Cummings popped the plugs on Voltina as Sarah Cola sidled her and the two paced as one around the far turn. At the head of the stretch Sarah Cola took the lead as Voltina faded, but Sportsmuffler tipped three-deep around her and started driving down the lane. With heavy urging from Monti, Sarah Cola gave all she could but Sportsmuffler shuffled right on by to win by a length in 1:55.3.

It was the seventh win in 30 starts this year for Sportsmuffler ($5.10) and it raised her 2017 earnings to $38,244 for the Lav Racing Stable Inc. The 5-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster is trained by Steve Kiblin.

In the co-featured $8,000 Fillies and Mares Open II pace, Squeeze This (Jim Morrill Jr.) made quick and easy work of the field going from gate to wire while the competition scrambled behind her, winning by a length in 1:56.1. It was the fourth win of the year for Squeeze This ($5.10) but her first of the current Batavia meet. The winner is owned by Garth Bechtel and is trained by Jim Graham.

Jim Morrill Jr. did his best to tighten up the driving derby at the Downs by winning five races on the card Wednesday. He scored with Sportsmuffler (1:55.3, $5.10), Alexa’s Hope (1:58, $3.50), Squeeze This (1:56.1, $5.10), Roll With Sparky (1:57.3, $2.70) and Mystical Danica (1:58, $4.10).

Drew Monti also had a driving double while trainers Steve Kiblin scored three wins and Jim Graham captured two.

When the lights went down after Wednesday’s card, Drew Monti holds the dash driving lead for the meet with 33 wins, Ray Fisher Jr. is second with 29 and Jim Morrill Jr. is third with 25.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 25) with post time for the first race set a 6 p.m.


August 23, 2017

Fireyourguns still undefeated at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo of Fireyourguns courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---In a race that provided more moves than United Van Lines, Fireyourguns once again showed his local dominance as he won his third $10,000 Open Handicap victory at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 19).

Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) left and tucked in behind last week’s Open winner Believe This Bob (Drew Monti) by the eighth pole. But before they got to the quarter, Caprio decided to pull and take the lead himself and all that action only took :26.3 seconds. Despite the race proceeding at a crisp pace, the newly imported Australian Teo Enteo A (Larry Stalbaum) who had gotten away fourth, was already out and rolling at the three-eighths and grabbed the front by the half in :54.4.

Teo Enteo A continued to motor along up the backside when Believe This Bob popped out from third and tried to push the issue. He got up to second on the outside and eventually drew even with the leader at the top of the stretch. But as those two continued to battle, Teo Enteo A tired and started to drift allowing the pocket-sitting Fireyourguns a clear path to the wire. Caprio raised the lines and drove hard and Fireyourguns did the rest, winning by a neck in 1:53.1.

It was the fifth win in 11 starts this year for Fireyourguns ($3.00) and third win in as many starts at Batavia Downs. Now boasting $376,456 in lifetime earnings, Fireyourguns is owned by Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terrence McClory, who also trains the winner.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) who hasn’t left in the last four weeks, shot off the gate and took the lead then never looked back; winning by two-lengths in 1:54. Shady City ($7.80) captured his ninth win of the year for owner/trainer Larry Stalbaum.

Driver Ray Fisher Jr. had three wins on the night.

The guaranteed $5,000 USTA Strategic Wagering Pick-5 pool produced a $3,308.50 payout for the 4-1-6-4-7 combination.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 23) with post time at 5 p.m.


Edom Up Blue Boy rings the bell at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---On a night when overlooked horses took the spotlight, Edom Up Blue Boy ground-out a hard earned, first-over victory in the $10,500 Open Handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 18) despite being dismissed by the betting public at 37-1

Osprey Vision (Dave McNeight III) played give-and-go with the always front running Lutetium (Drew Monti) and seated the latter for the first time since March. Osprey Vision then marched out quarters of :28.2 and :59.1 before Edom Up Blue Boy (Rock C. Vinci) pulled first off the stodgy second quarter. Edom Up Blue Boy eventually pulled alongside Osprey Vision past three-quarters and the two then matched strides from there until the wire.

Osprey Vision held a short advantage over Edom Up Blue Boy all the way down the stretch while BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) and Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) were surging and gaining three and four wide. As the wall of horseflesh hit the wire, Edom Up Blue Boy snuck ahead of Osprey Vision while turning away the late closer’s best his efforts to win in 1:59.1.

It was the fifth win of the year for Edom Up Blue Boy ($57.50) and second Open trot victory at Batavia Downs in the past month. Driver Rock C. Vinci also owns and trains the winner.

In the co-featured $8,000 Open II trot, Corleone Hall (Mike Caprio) pulled from fourth at three-quarters to overtake the front-running Winky’s Pride (Drew Monti) and win by one-half length in 1:59.3. The winning time was a seasonal mark as it was the first win of the year for Corleone Hall ($16.00) who is owned and trained by Perry Wilson.

Mike Caprio and Drew Monti both scored driving doubles on the card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 19) with a $5,000 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool as part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program. The early Pick-5 starts with the first race and runs through race five.

Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.


August 18, 2017

Two in a row for All Charged Up at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---The Canadian owned, central New York based All Charged Up has been plying her trade in western New York for three-weeks now and on Wednesday evening (Aug. 16), she just captured her second straight $9,000 Mares Open Handicap pacing feature at Batavia Downs.

All Charged Up (John MacDonald) left, but yielded to Little Santamonica (Larry Stalbaum) who wanted the front and got her way. From there she did all the heavy lifting, setting fractions of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:25.1. At that station MacDonald started to roll All Charged Up to the outside and the mare paced right around the leader. She had command before they hit the stretch and then paced away to an easy five-length victory in 1:53.1, which was only one-fifth of a second off the track record for aged pacing mares (Xenia Hanover 1:53, 2013).

It was the 25th lifetime win for All Charged Up ($4.40) and it pushed her career earnings total to $236,532 for owner J P Stables. The 6-year-old daughter of Ponder is trained by “The Prime Minister” John MacDonald.

MacDonald doubled his fun by winning the co-featured $8,000 Mares Open II pace with Drea’s Good Powow. Getting a similar two-hole trip, Drea’s Good Powow sat behind Voltina (Kevin Cummings) until the top of the stretch when he pulled her and paced right by to win by a length in 1:55.2.

It was the second win in three starts for Drea’s Good Powow ($3.80) and the second win of the night for owner J P Stables and trainer/driver MacDonald.

The biggest win mutual of the meet so far was realized in the eighth race on the card. Ray Fisher Jr. took advantage of a fast :55.3 half and swooped the field from worst to first with Canthelpbutwin at 54-1. When the dust had settled from the tote board being blown up, the win price displayed was $101.50 for a $2 wager. That prompted a $2 “7-2” Exacta that paid $1,129, a $2 “7-2-all” Trifecta that paid $1,646 and a $1 “7-2-all-all” Superfecta that returned $464.50.

John MacDonald wasn’t the only horseman to capture two driving and training wins on the night. Shawn McDonough and Larry Stalbaum also attained the same achievement.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday with post time at 6 p.m. The early Pick-5 on Friday starts with a $1,500 pool and goes as races one through five.


August 14, 2017

Empire Earl N takes feature; Monti wins half the card at Batavia

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---After three near misses in the resident top trot, Empire Earl N got the job done in winning the $10,500 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 11).

Striker Ace (Drew Monti) and Osprey Vision (Dave McNeight III) butted heads for the lead for almost a quarter mile before Striker Ace finally took control, but the :27.3 first quarter would take a toll on both later in the race. Past the half Edom Up Blue Boy (Rock Vinci) pulled first-over with Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) right behind.

Edom Up Blue Boy made a steady advance and took over the lead by the top of the lane. But his shadow Empire Earl N kept coming, eventually swung clear in the stretch and trotted away to a relatively easy win in 1:59.2.

Empire Earl N ($9.40) now has earnings of $45,905 on the strength of five wins this year for his owner Larry Stalbaum. Kim Asher does the training.

Batavia Downs defending dash driver Drew Monti had the hot-hand on Friday, winning half the races on the card. His quintuple conquests included Rollovin (1:55.4, $3.10), Tenor Duharas (1:59.1, $3.30), Winky’s Pride (1:59.2, $3.10), Lutetium (1:57.2, $8.40) and Skyway Tia (1:57.3, $6.90).

With those five wins Monti vaulted himself back into the dash driving lead once again this year, now with 18 tallies. That is one ahead of Ray Fisher Jr. (17) who also had a driving triple on Friday, and two ahead of Jim Morrill Jr. (16) who was at Tioga Downs driving in New York Sire Stakes action.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 12) with post time set at 6 p.m.


August 11, 2017

All Charged Up was electric at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---After just missing off a perfect two-hole trip last week in the top distaff pace, All Charged Up bounced back and got the job done in winning the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 9).

All Charged Up (John Macdonald) hit the pylons early and let the unsuspecting Jolt Of Jo (Dave McNeight III) dictate the quarters. Taking on the challenge, Jolt Of Jo then went in :28 and :57.3 before the sleeping giant, All Charged Up pulled first over past the stands.

The race proceeded up the backside with All charged Up advancing on Jolt Of Jo and eventually taking command with only a quarter of a mile to go. She cleared the front in the final bend and paced away down the lane to open up a two-length advantage, coasting home to a wrapped-up win in 1:54.3, which was a new seasonal mark.

It was the first win in only her fifth start of the season for the late-starting All Charged Up ($3.10) and owner J P Stables. John Macdonald also trains the winner.

In the co-featured $8,500 Mares Open II, Susie’s Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) made easy work of seven foes as she went gate to wire without much effort in 1:55.3, which was also a new seasonal mark for the winner. Susie’s Delight ($6.90) is owned by the Swift Racing Stable and is trained by Ryan Swift.

Ray Fisher Jr. found himself being photographed four times on Wednesday as he shooed home Mintiliscious (1:55.1, $3.60), Sin City Shark (1:55.3, $3.90), John’s Jesse Bird (1:58.2, $3.40) and the aforementioned Susie’s Delight.

Jim Morrill Jr. and Larry Stalbaum both chimed in with driving doubles while trainer Maria Rice registered two winners as well.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 11) with post time set at 6 p.m.


August 7, 2017

Clear Idea, Angel’s Pride win NYSS at Batavia Downs

   

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---The competition was keen among the two divisions of 3-year-old pacing fillies in the $117,600 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs as Clear Idea and Angel’s Pride both beat post-time favorites to add to their points and earnings in the state-bred series on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 6).

In the faster of the two $58,800 divisions, Clear Idea (American Ideal-Glass Maker) turned a two-hole trip into her eighth win of the year and solidified her spot as the top NYSS 3-year-old pacing filly.

Heavily favored Tequila Monday (Matt Kakaley) was a tentative leaver from post five and it took her over three-eighths of a mile to grab the front from Clear Idea (Jodi Jamieson) and finally hit the pylons. After tripping the half in :55.2 Kakaley kept his filly rolling up the backside for the next quarter before Roaring To Go (Dan Rawlings) rolled alongside to push the issue. But into the lane Clear Idea found the passing lane and paced by the rest under steady urging from Jamieson to win by a length in 1:53.3.

It was the sixth win in a row for Clear Idea ($4.30) and fifth NYSS win for the filly that has now earned $181,733 this year for owners Hutt Racing Stable and Blake Macintosh, who also trains the winner.

In the other $58,800 split, Angel’s Pride (Roll With Joe-Angel Place) benefitted from an early break by 1-4 favorite Candlelight Dinner (Jim Morrill Jr.) to score her second NYSS victory this year and move up in the standings.

Queen Josephine (Jodi Jamieson) cut the mile from the start and backed off the half to a pedestrian :58.2 as a gapped leader. That lead would soon end as Angel’s Pride (Matt Kakaley) pulled from third past the five-eighths and circled to the front by the three-quarter pole and she just kept pacing away from there. Angel’s Pride opened up a five-length advantage with Kakaley sitting motionless to win in 1:54.2.

Angel’s Pride ($15.20) registered her fourth win of the year and second in the NYSS. The filly now has earned $81,356 this year for owners Triple D Stables Inc. and JFE Enterprises LLC. Angel’s Pride is trained by Scott Di Domenico.

There were also three divisions of the Excelsior A series, each going for $15,000.

The first division was won by Ameraway (American Ideal-Shyaway) in 1:54.2. Ameraway ($8.30) was driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Erv Miller for owners the Erv Miller Stable Inc., Paymaq Racing, Tangie Massey and Neil Cumsky.

The second split went to Roll With Sparky (Roll With Joe-Circle Game) in 1:55.2. Roll With Sparky ($3.10) was driven by Jodi Jamieson and trained by Jim Graham who owns the horse with Lee Winters and Paul Tandlmayer.

The final contest went to All About The Pace (Roll With Joe-Queen Of Blues) in 1:56. All About The Pace ($73.50) was driven by Drew Monti and trained by Scott Di Domenico for owners Triple D Stables Inc. and JFE Enterprises LLC.


BZ Glide, Striker Ace take top trots at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Heavy storms blew through western New York and provided less than desirable conditions, but an off-track and six foes couldn’t keep BZ Glide from getting to the winner's circle in the $10,500 Open handicap trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 4).

Noble Legend (Ray Fisher Jr.) left with the gate and dropped in second behind Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) who was not about to give up the front. The race then proceeded from there in single-file order in :28.3 and :59.1. Pulling first-over at that point was Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) who brought BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) in tow fourth.

The outer flow was dull and Jim Dandy had trouble getting to the leader up the backside, but he finally drew alongside around the final bend. At the top of the stretch Lutetium and Jim Dandy were joined by three –across by Noble Legend who ducked in the passing lane. But the final blow came when BZ Glide, who had drafted second-over, tipped four-deep around Jim Dandy and out-trotted everyone down the lane, pulling away to an easy length victory in 2:00.1.

BZ Glide ($4.00) registered his third win of the year and 33rd win of his career. The 8-year-old gelded son of Yankee Glide is owned by the Caprio Stable LLC and is trained by Alana Caprio.

In the $8,000 Open II trot, Striker Ace (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled first-over from fourth at the three-eighths and advanced to the lead by the three-quarters before opening up a three-length lead and trotting home handily to win by four in 1:58.3. Striker Ace ($25.60), who is now two for two at Batavia Downs, is owned by Finish Line Investors and John Mungillo, who also trains the winner.

“Drivin” Drew Monti had a grand slam Friday winning with Doing Some Damage (1:57.1, $27.40), Tenor Duharas (2:01.1, $5.00), Button Fly (1:56.2, $33.20) and Rollovin (1:57.4, $6.40).

Kevin Cummings also had a driving triple and Larry Stalbaum registered a double. Conditioner Rose Russo sent two sent two trainees to the winner’s circle for photographs.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night with a guaranteed pool of $6,000 for the early Pick-5 which goes in races one through five. The carry-over pool for that wager is $3,281. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.


August 4, 2017

Kruella records lifetime best in Open win at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Despite winning the distaff feature at Batavia Downs last week, Kruella was overlooked this week in lieu of two ship-in entries from Vernon Downs. But after a furious stretch drive late, Kruella sent the interlopers packing as she won the $9,500 fillies and mares Open pace at Batavia on Wednesday night (Aug. 2).

The heavily favored Vernon invader Little Santamonica (Shawn McDonough) out-left Vernon cohort All Charged Up (Larry Stalbaum) off the gate and went right for the lead, rushing the girls to a :27.3 quarter. With the field standing pat behind her, McDonough backed the half off to :57.1 and it looked like everything was going their way.

As the race went up the backstretch, All Charged Up pulled from second and was followed by Susie’s Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) and Kruella (Kevin Cummings). The outer flow continued to advance around the turn and drew even with the front-runner at the top of the stretch. At that point Cummings tipped Kruella three-deep but was still three-lengths off the leader. With five horses spread across the track and all the drivers applying heavy urging, Kruella closed like a jet on the grandstand side and proved to be the best, winning by a length in 1:54.2.

It was the third win in a row and of the year for Kruella ($14.60) who registered a new lifetime mark with the 1:54.2 clocking. The 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal and Villa Hanover is owned by Two Gals Stable LLC and is trained by Jineen Simone.

In the $8,500 fillies and mares Open II, Jolt Of Jo (Dave McNeight III) got a perfect two-hole trip behind Voltina (John Cummings Jr.) before popping the pocket at the top of the lane and pacing away to a length victory in 1:54.4, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner.

Jolt Of Jo ($26.60) if owned by R. Lewis Hauber and is trained by Jim Graham.

Larry Stalbaum had a driving triple as Shawn McDonough won the last two races on the card. Trainer Kim Asher also had three wins on the night.

With a silent auction, patron contributions and horsemen donating their win percentages from the night, the fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester was able to raise in excess of $9,500.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 4) with post time set at 6 p.m.


August 1, 2017

Batavia Downs post time Wednesday is 5 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---When Batavia Downs opened last week Wednesday (July 26) post time was at 6 p.m. That post time was only for opening day. Starting this week (Aug. 2) post time switches to 5 p. m. on Wednesday and will stay 5 p.m. on Wednesday for the remainder of the year.

The current live schedule for the meet is Sunday afternoon at 1:15 p.m., Wednesday at 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m. Monday will replace Sunday in September and go at 5:00 p.m.

Please log onto www.bataviadownsgaming.com and click the “Live Racing” tab for complete paddock and Lasix schedules for each day.

Also on Wednesday this week, Batavia Downs will conduct its annual Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester fundraiser. The auction runs from 5:00 p.m. until the last race in the Paddock room.

Some of the silent auction items up for bids include two suite tickets to the Bills-Raiders game on Sunday (Oct. 29), four suite tickets to the Sabres-Capitals game on Tuesday (Nov 7), a Batavia Downs Hotel racing package, a recliner courtesy of Max Pies Furniture of Batavia and other Sabres and Bills merchandise.


In A Single Bound, Chip Walther, Funknwaffles win NYSS at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Perfect summer weather and a lighting fast track greeted the glamour division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) on Sunday afternoon (July 30) as the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers invaded Batavia Downs to compete for $119,000 in purses.

In the first $39,900 division, In A Single Bound was peerless as he pulled away to an easy victory.

In A Single Bound (Billy Dobson) yielded the lead to Ideal Wheel (Jim Morrill Jr.) for about an eighth of a mile before retaking command at the quarter, and from there the race was effectively over. In A Single Bound paced strong on the lead that he would increase as the race progressed.

When they hit the three-quarters in 1:24.1, Dobson gave his charge a tap to let him know the race wasn’t officially over and In A Single Bound responded like Superman, opening up ten around the last turn before flying home to a six-length advantage in 1:52.3.

“He raced well, he went pretty good. He kind of pulled up on the backside when he was by himself but he took back off when I asked him so that’s good. He’s eligible to the Empire Breeders Classic and it’ll be nice to see what he can do against those kind of horses” said Billy Dobson.

It was the seventh win of the year for In A Single Bound ($2.40) and fourth in NYSS action. The 3-year-old gelded son of Roll With Joe out of Armbro Bianca is owned by Dennis and Simone Noud and is trained by Monica Krist.

In the second $39,200 split, Chip Walther held off a late challenge to win his second of the year.

Chip Walther (Marcus Miller) left and dropped in the two-hole behind Octane Blue Chip (Corey Callahan) but then changed his mind and decided to take the lead. Having accomplished that by the quarter, Miller then led the field to the half in :56.3.

As they motored up the backside Serious Major (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled first-over and paced up alongside the leader and put his head in front as they hit the last turn. But Chip Walther turned away that challenge before digging in down the lane to hold off all comers and win by a length in 1:53.1.

“He went good, that was a good mile. He’s a little lazy; he didn’t used to be like that last year but I think that’s okay because when you do ask him to go, he does go on” said Marcus Miller.

It was the second straight win of the year for Chip Walther ($4.50), both of which were in NYSS action. The 3-year-old son of Art Major out of Bittorsweet Terror is owned by the Ervin Miller Stable, Paymaq Racing, the Nick Surick Stable LLC and Louis Willinger and is trained by Erv Miller.

In the final $39,900 division, Funknwaffles showed his dominance with an open-length victory.

Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan) dropped in fourth off the gate and was soon third after avoiding a breaking America’s Fleet (Kevin Cummings), who then regained pace and hung outside the favorite. Not wanting anymore road trouble, Callahan quickly pulled Funknwaffles and put him on the lead by the three-eighths, where he would then proceed to destroy the field.

Callahan kept Funknwaffles in tight rein for the next quarter, stringing out horses behind him. When they hit the five-eighths, he shook the lines once and the party was over. Funknwaffles opened up an immediate three-length lead and really started to pace. Under a line drive with Callahan sitting in the easy chair, Funknwaffles rounded the final turn and paced away to a seven-length lead down the lane, crossing the wire wrapped-up like a birthday present in 1:53.2.

“He’s such a good little horse, he’s like a little sports car. He’s real handy; you can do whatever you want. I think he’s better chasing horses but I didn’t want to take a chance of getting pinned in there so I moved him to the lead and he did everything from there” said Corey Callahan.

It was the fourth win of the year for Funknwaffles ($2.50), all four of which were in NYSS races. The 3-year-old gelded son of American Ideal out of Hatsoff Hanover is owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by John Butenschoen


Fireyourguns on target in Batavia feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Fresh off three starts at Tioga Downs, Fireyourguns returned to Genesee County and picked up right where he left off last year by winning the $10,000 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (July 29).

Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) left like a bullet and grabbed an early, gapped lead. When Caprio saw everyone seat behind him, he hit the brakes and slowed the proceedings to :57.1 at the half. By that station Lucky King (Ron Beback Jr.) pulled first-over and started a hearty challenge to the leader. Rounding the last turn and heading for home, Fireyourguns held position down low while Lucky King kept driving hard on the outside. But the drive was not enough to catch the leader in the end and Fireyourguns won by a half-length in 1:53.2.

It was the third win in only eight outings this year for the late-starting Fireyourguns ($4.10) and owners Jennifer Lowe, Robert Lowe and Terrence Mc Clory who also trains the winner.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, Sir Ziggy Z Tam ($13.00) laid off the pace before coming first over at the half and eventually pulled away to a two-length victory in 1:54.2, which was his second win in a row and third in his last four starts. Drew Monti did the steering for owner Tessa Roland and trainer JD Perrin.

Driver Drew Monti and trainer JD Perrin teamed up to register a total of four winners on the night. Besides the afore mentioned Sir Ziggy Z Tam, the duo also shooed in Cracker Pullet (1:54.2, $13.00), Instant Hit (1:56.2, $6.80) and Beechwood Wayne (1:57, $2.70).

Ray Fisher Jr. also drove two winners during the nights activities.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (July 30) with a 1:15 p.m. post time. The card features three divisions of the New York Sires Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers.


Edom Up Blue Boy takes Batavia trot feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---After getting aired-out at Vernon Downs last week, Edom Up Blue Boy returned home to western New York and benefited from a perfect trip to win the $10,500 Open trot at Batavia Downs on Friday (July 28).

Habitual leaver Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) was on point and everybody knew the drill. Rolling swiftly around the first turn, no one in the race wanted to challenge for the front so it was post-parade order behind the leader from there. This left Edom Up Blue Boy (Rock C. Vinci) sitting pretty in the garden spot for the next seven-eighths of a mile. As the race moved past the half in a pedestrian :59 split, a weak outer-flow led by Gwally (Drew Monti) tried to mount a challenge, but that soon fell apart moving to three-quarters.

Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) who had been sitting third pulled into the last turn and advanced on Lutetium who was showing signs of fatigue. He pulled alongside by the top of the stretch at the same time the passing lane opened up for Edom Up Blue Boy and the pair simultaneously passed the leader. The two then trotted in step all the way to the wire with Edom Up Blue Boy getting the slightest advantage at the wire to win by a head in 1:59.

It was the fourth win in 19 starts this year for Edom Up Blue Boy ($18.60) and pushed his earnings to $23,552 for owner Rock C. Vinci who also trains the winner.

In the $8,000 Open II trot, Noble Legend ($5.20) was never headed, leading gate to wire for a five-length victory in 1:58.3 for driver Ray Fisher Jr. Jack and Maria Rice own the winner with Maria Rice doing the training.

Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple while Drew Monti doubled up. Trainer Russell Bratt sent two students for pictures as well

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (July 29) with post time set at 6:00 p.m.


July 28, 2017

Svanstedt stable goes four for four in NYSS at Batavia

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Ake Svanstedt put on a training and driving clinic in the $108,600 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old trotting fillies at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (July 26) winning all four divisions he competed in, going wire to wire with each and even equaling a track record with one.

In the first $21,800 division, Fury Road (Muscle Mass-Bar Ballad) opened up a sixth-length lead at the quarter and never looked back. After setting almost equal fractions through the first three-quarters, she trotted home in :29.3 to score a seven-length, 2:00.1 victory.

It was the first lifetime win for Fury Road ($2.80) after two second place finishes for owner Knuttson Trotting Inc.

Next Svanstedt sent Natalie Hanover (Chapter Seven-Nanticoke Hanover) off the gate to lead the entire mile unchallenged to eventually win by three-lengths in 1:59.4, which shattered her previous lifetime mark of 2:04.

That was the second lifetime tally in three tries for Natalie Hanover ($3.60) who is owned by the Svanstedt-Nasstrom Stable, the Van Camp Trotting Corp., Anders Olsson and Lars Berg.

Lucky Ava (Lucky Chucky-Ava Marion) was the next stable star Svanstedt sent down the road, going in :29.1, :58.4 and 1:29 before trotting home to win in 1:59.3, which was another lifetime mark for the winner.

Lucky Ava ($2.40) is now a perfect three-for-three lifetime for owners Ake Svanstedt, Little E LLC and the Van Camp Trotting Corp.

Svanstedt’s grand slam came when Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass) followed the script and chased the car off the wings. She opened up a three length lead setting quarters of :29.3, 1:00 and 1:29.4 before turning for home with a widening gap, stopping the clock in 1:59, which tied her lifetime best as well as the 7-year-old track record at Batavia Downs.

Plunge Blue Chip ($2.10) is also undefeated lifetime with three consecutive wins so far this year for owners Ake Svanstedt and Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc.

In the only division Svanstedt did not start a filly, Missus Mia Wallace (Credit Winner-Upscale) overcame a break at the start to take the lead by the quarter and tour the facility unencumbered to win by two lengths in 2:02.2.

It was the first lifetime win for Missus Mia Wallace ($12.80) that is owned by Connie Hochstetler, Robert Buddig and Allen Schwartz. Jim Morrill Jr. drove for trainer Homer Hochstetler.

There were also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card.

Barn Bliss (Credit Winner-Jupiter) won the first division in 2:04 to set a new lifetime mark. Barn Bliss ($5.90) is owned by Steve Pratt, Nancy Pratt, the Purple Haze Stable and the Out In The Country Stable. Jim Morrill Jr. drove for trainer Howard Okusko.

In the second division, Miss Muscle (Muscle Mass-Pacific Edge) won by a mere head in 2:01.3 to win her first lifetime start for owners David Smith, John Stark Jr., James Gianuzzi and Daniel Gianuzzi. Miss Muscle ($13.80) was trained and driven by John Stark Jr.

The final leg was won by Pittstop Emerald (R C Royalty-Nowerland Kristen) by a three-length margin in 2:00.2 which was a new lifetime mark in her second lifetime victory. Pittstop Emerald ($6.60) is owned and trained by Robert Gale and was driven by Chris Lems.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (July 28) with post time for the first race set at 6 p.m.


July 24, 2017

Batavia Downs 2017 live meet kicks off on Wednesday

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The 71st season of live harness racing at America’s oldest lighted track opens on Wednesday (July 26) and runs through Saturday (Dec. 16). This year’s schedule features 71 race dates including seven matinee cards.

The live schedule this year has new post times. Racing will be presented on Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m., opening Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. (then switches to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays for the remainder of the meet) and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m. to begin the season. Monday will replace Sunday in September and go at 5:00 p.m.

The finest Standardbreds in the Empire State will be on hand as the New York Sire Stakes will be making eight stops at the Downs this year, each worth an estimated $100,000 for the contestants. Mark your calendars for Wednesday (July 26), Sunday (July 30), Sunday (Aug. 6), Sunday (Aug. 27), Friday (Sept. 1), Wednesday (Sept. 6), Friday (Sept. 8) and Wednesday (Sept. 13) to see some of the best racing all year.

Once again the local action will be highlighted by the very popular claiming series that the track introduced last year. Mid-level claimers who accumulate points throughout the year will vie for championship final purses of between $15,000 and $20,000 for each respective division in November.

Many familiar faces will be returning to drive this year including last year’s dash title winner Drew Monti, runner-up Jim Morrill Jr., Ray Fisher Jr. and Larry Stalbaum.

Monti accumulated 117 wins at the Downs last year before moving to the Meadowlands to drive when this meet concluded. Morrill was right behind him in second with 112 tallies and Fisher was third with 98. Stalbaum never showed up at the Downs until Saturday (Nov. 5) but made the most of his cameo appearance by winning 32 races in only 18 nights.

This year all four are sporting equally impressive numbers and the competition on the track looks to be fierce from start to finish. To date, Stalbaum has won 206 races, earned $1.08 million and has a UDR of .372, Monti has won 155 races, earned $964,900 and has a UDR of .304, Morrill has won 132 races, earned $1.01 million and has a UDR of .333 and Fisher has won 109 races, earned $705,458 and has a UDR of .319.

“The start of a new meet is always busy and exciting and I am really looking forward to getting the horses back on the track” said Todd Haight, Director/GM of Live Racing. “We have some great stake action on tap, a good overnight program in place and a very tough driver colony that competes very hard every race. This is definitely a meet that will offer value for our bettors.”

For the fans, another lengthy slate of 20 promotions dots the live schedule and offers something for everyone that comes to Batavia Downs all year long.

Starting at 4:30 p.m. on opening night, fans will receive a free racing programs and magnetic racing schedules while supplies last. Programs will be available at the program stands and the magnets can be obtained by swiping your Player’s Club card at member services.

Sunday (July 30) is Old Fashion Day when hot dogs and soft drinks are only 50 cents and draft beer is $1. Items are available from noon to 4 p.m. on the track apron and at the Homestretch Grill. Batavia Downs is the only harness track that still offers concession items at this price during the Old Fashion Day promotion.

Every Sunday in August is Dollar Sunday. Draft beer, hot dogs and soft drinks will all be $1 from noon until the final race of the afternoon.

On Saturday (Aug. 12) there is a great promotion to highlight the newest addition to the track, The Hotel at Batavia Downs. Starting after the fifth race and for four consecutive races after that, 12 names will be randomly drawn to win a free night’s stay at the beautiful new facility. Any Player’s Club member who swipes their card before 7 p.m. will be automatically entered to win. Patron’s do not have to be present to win and can only win once.

There will be a gold rush at the Downs on Saturday (Aug. 19) when five sealed boxes will be given away to randomly drawn contestants. Four will contain a one ounce silver bar but one will contain a one ounce pure gold bar valued at $1,500. The promotion is sponsored by TAG Jewelers of Cheektowaga, New York (www.tagjewelers.com ). Any Player’s Club member who swipes their card before 7 p.m. will be automatically entered to win.

Sunday (Aug. 27) is the very popular Family Fun Day and Wiener Dog races. There is a full slate of free fun for kids of all ages including pony rides sponsored by Castilone Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (www.castilonechryslerdodgejeep.net ), Pringles the Clown, Jason the Juggler, Mr. Scribbles and booths set up on the apron including face painting, sand art and snow cones.

Then following the live harness racing action, the Wiener dogs hit the track for the “Dachshund Dash” sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia. Up to 10 heats with eight dogs per heat will line up before the championship field is decided. There, the top three dogs will earn their owners Clubhouse buffets and gaming Free Play packages valued up to $200. And all dogs entered will be rewarded with a “doggy bag” full of gifts.

Labor Day (Sept. 4) brings back the annual driver’s bike race and chicken bar-b-que. A tradition since 1975 the driver’s bike race pits eight of the Down’s top reinsmen against each other on a different kind of bike; a 10-speed. The contest is held after the seventh live harness race and the bikes are randomly given away after the race to eight lucky patrons who correctly put their name in the box of the winning driver. Entry slips will be distributed between noon and 2:30 p.m. and must be deposited before the seventh race. Winners must be present to win.

The bike race is sponsored by Crazy Cheap Cars of Oakfield, New York (www.crazycheapcars.com ) and the chicken bar-b-que is sponsored by the Center Street Smoke House of Batavia (www.centerstreetsmokehouse.com ).

“With the new hotel added to the property last year, many groups have been here for different functions. We have aggressively promoted live racing to them and are looking forward to many new fans attending starting this Wednesday night” said Haight. “Our concert series has brought in tens of thousands of people this summer, many of which were new to the track. We hope our promotions keep them coming back to watch the races all season long.”

For more information and updates as they happen, log onto the track's website at www.bataviadownsgaming.com and click on “Live Racing”. Follow us on Facebook as well (www.facebook.com/bataviadownsracetrack )!


Stalbaum, Asher Sweep Buffalo Raceway Awards

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The 2017 debut at Buffalo Raceway for the dynamic duo of driver Larry Stalbaum and trainer Kimberly Asher couldn't have gone much better as the pair swept all the season-ending honors at Hamburg half-mile oval.

Stalbaum was named Driver Of The Year while Asher was selected Trainer Of The Year for the 2017 campaign. To top off their incredible meet, two horses in the stable belonging to the tandem, Quicksilvercandy A and Empire Earl N, were named Pacer and Trotter Of The Year respectively.

Despite the season be cutting short by three days due to a tornado, Stalbaum and Asher put up some gaudy numbers.

Stalbaum finished the season at Buffalo Raceway with 194 victories in 839 starts, winning $1,010,597 in purse earnings.

Ray Fisher Jr. finished in second place in the driver's standings with 134 wins while Drew Monti took third place with 130.

Asher in the meantime dominated the training standings from start to finish. In 367 starts, she complied 115 wins for $575,663 in purse money and an astounding UTR of .473. Asher currently is atop the leader board nationally in the 300-499 start category with a .468 UTR and is seventh overall in training wins with 119.

Four-time defending training champion JD Perrin finished in second place with 74 victories while Gerry Sarama took third with 66.

Quicksilvercandy A, a 13-year-old mare, produced 13 wins on the year and earned $66,629 thus far to easily take the Pacer Of The Year award. The 13 victories is currently the second most nationally. She has been in the money 23 of 26 attempts this year and has a lifetime bankroll of $635,363.

Empire Earl N made it a clean sweep for the Stalbaum/Asher stable as he took the Trotter Of The Year award. He captured four races in just 11 starts but put $31,700 in the bank with most of his races coming from outside posts in Open competition.

There were four track records broken during the meet. Plunge Blue Chip started things off on June 30 by winning the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters in 2:00.0, breaking the old mark of 2:00.1 established in 2009 by Munis Blue Chip.

The aged (5+) pacing mare mark of 1:54.2 set by Majic Laughter in 2014 was tied by Deliciouslynaughty in 2017 by was eventually broken by Sarah Cola on July 12 as she toured the half-mile oval in 1:54.1.

The long-standing 1:54.0 record of Civil Attack set in 2008 stood the test of time as the aged (5+) pacing horses couldn't beat it until late in the season. Ironically, it was shattered twice in a week as Show Stopping put up a 1:53.4 time on July 8 only to see Utah Beach come along on July 15 and wipe out that time with a 1:53.2 mile.

There were career milestones that were reached as well as driver Ray Fisher Jr. notched his 4,000th lifetime victory on March 29 and Ron Beback Jr. drove to his 2,000th career win on April 19.

On February 25, it was a unique night for the McNeights as driver David McNeight III drove home three winners for three generations of his family. He first guided Sea Star to the victory for his father David McNeight Jr. and then helped himself out be winning aboard his own, Lucky Millionaire. On the last event on the card, McNeight III won for his grandfather, David McNeight Sr., with Spring Terror to complete the unusual trifecta.

For the season, Buffalo Raceway had a 41.95 winning percentage for post time favorites.

In the handle department including the export, Buffalo Raceway broke even compared to the 2016 numbers. Director of Operations Jon Cramer said, "We are holding our own. We are very pleased with our simulcast network."

The 2018 season is expected to begin in mid-January.


July 20, 2017

Buffalo Raceway Forced To Cancel Remainder Of Season

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. ---Racing and simulcast wagering at Buffalo Raceway has been cancelled for the remainder of the 2017 season due to significant damage created by a tornado that hit the Hamburg, N.Y. area on Thursday.


Quicksilvercandy A Keeps Going At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The old gal just keeps on chugging along. Quicksilvercandy A, a spry 13-year-old mare, won her 13th race of the season and easily took the $16,500 finale for the filly and mare pacers ($8,000-$12,500 category) in the Championship Claiming Series at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 19).

Amazingly, Quicksilvercandy A (Bad Bert-Forzett) has been in the money 23 of 26 starts in 2017. With the victory, her Buffalo Raceway earnings for the year are now at $66,629, the most since Golden Terror produced $63,084 in 2011. It also the most wins at the Hamburg half-mile oval since Ophiuchus N and That Horse JD each registered 12 in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

The triumph also sent driver Larry Stalbaum over the $1 million mark in purse earnings at Buffalo Raceway this year.

It was another gate-to-wire performance that got the job done for Quicksilvercandy A. Leaving from the six post, she posted fractions of 28.4, 58.4 and 1:28.1 en route to a 1:57.1 victory. Quicksilvercandy A ($5.20) beat Letsgosomewhere (Ron Beback Jr.) by 2-3/4 lengths with Springhouse Star (John Cummings Jr.) taking third.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher, Quicksilvercandy A has earned $635,363 in her stellar career.

In the other division of the Championship Claiming Series, Heavenly Place ($19.00) won the $11,500 title for the filly and mare pacers ($4,000-$6,000) as driver David McNeight III guided her to a nose decision over Wacky Rei in a seasonal best 1:56.3.

Heavenly Place (Riverboat King-Angel Place), a 9-year-old mare, is owned by Courtney McNeight and trained by David McNeight Jr. The win was her sixth of the season and moved her earnings to $18,724 and $232,914 lifetime.

It was a slow and steady but effective journey for Sportsmuffler as she took the scenic overland route to capture the $10,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. Sportsmuffler ($6.70) beat Classy Lane Rose by two lengths in tying her seasonal mark of 1:54.4.

Sitting fourth at the half mile marker, Sportsmuffler started her first over trip and methodically cut into the lead of the pace-setting Voltina who posted splits of 28.2, 57.1 and 1:25.4.

Turning for home, Ray Fisher Jr. shifted Sportsmuffler into a another gear and she responded perfectly by pacing away from the field. Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) rallied for second and Voltina (John Cummings Jr.) held on for third.

Owned by the Lav Racing Stable and trained by Steven Kiblin, Sportsmuffler (Sportsmaster-Whatifthere'smores) is a 5-year-old mare who has five wins in 26 tries this year. The victory bumped her seasonal winnings to $25,734 and $179,178 lifetime.

Fisher Jr. and Monti finished the night with a driving triples with Stalbaum getting a pair. Asher and Angelo Nappo finished with a training doubles.

Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 9-race program scheduled. It will kickoff the final weekend of racing on the 2017 season at Buffalo Raceway.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 18, 2017

Busy Closing Week At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway begins its final week of the 2017 campaign on Wednesday night (July 19) but there's plenty on the line the last four racing days.

The Championship Claiming Series finals will be run throughout the week with the filly and mare pacers going at it on Wednesday night in two classifications. There will be two trotting brackets that will be contested on Friday evening while the horse and gelding pacers will battle in four title events on Saturday evening.

Closing day on Sunday will feature the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters along with Excelsior A and B Series races.

All eyes will be on trainer Kimberly Asher who has 113 victories on the year at Buffalo Raceway. She is just eight wins behind the all-time mark of 121 set in 2011 by Sherri Holliday.

Asher ranks seventh nationally in training wins with 117 and leads the UTR (300-499 starts) category with an astounding .469.

Larry Stalbaum has wrapped of the driving title with 192 wins but is less than $5,000 from going over the $1 million in purse earnings.

Also up for grabs during the final week will be Pacer of the Year and Trotter of the Year honors as several candidates for these awards trying to make their final impressions.

Saturday night is Erie County Fair Night at the track with fans having the opportunity to win tickets and prizes all night long.

Wednesday's 10-race card gets underway at 5 p.m. with an $882 carryover in the Pick-5 starting in the second race. Friday will also have a 5 p.m post with Saturday getting underway at 6 p.m. and Sunday's matinee starting at 12:30 p.m.

A reminder as well that simulcasting at Buffalo Raceway will end on Sunday but will resume after the Erie County Fair is over in mid-August.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Batavia Downs condition sheet is now available

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The condition sheet for the first week of the 2017 live racing season at Batavia Downs is now available. The meet kicks off on Wednesday (July 26) with post time set for 6 p.m. Declarations deadline for all draws is 9 a.m. each draw day.

Please note the following draw schedule for the first week of racing at Batavia Downs. Wednesday (July 26) will be drawn on Friday (July 21), Friday (July 28) will be drawn on Tuesday (July 25), Saturday (July 29) will be drawn on Wednesday (July 26) and Sunday (July 30) will be drawn on Thursday (July 27). And as previously noted, the box closes at 9 a.m.

There are New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior races on Wednesday (July 26) and Sunday (July 30) so overnight races are limited on those days. The first qualifiers will be held on Saturday (July 29) at 4:30 p.m. with schoolers at 4:15 p.m. The draw for those is on Friday (July 28) and that box closes at 10 a.m.

The 71st season of live harness racing at America’s oldest lighted harness track runs through Saturday (Dec. 16) and features 71 race dates including seven matinee cards. Live racing will be presented on Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m., Wednesday at 6 p.m. (switching to 5:00 p.m. in August) and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m. to begin the season. Monday will replace Sunday in September and will go at 5:00 p.m.

For questions, concerns or to call in entries please contact Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-343-3750 Ext 6304 or Assistant Race Secretary Shane Hoehn at 585-343-3650 Ext 6302.


Betterthangraduate Wins NYSS Showdown At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- In what looked to be a showdown between three previous winners in the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old filly pacers, Betterthangraduate turned it into a blow out by destroying her competition in 1:57.1, the fastest of the three $36,000 (approx.) divisions at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 16).

Betterthangraduate had to battle Walk From Heaven and Twin B Peaches who each had successful debuts in Vernon Down on July 7. But only one was going to come out with bragging rights and that was Betterthangraduate (Chris Lems) who easily beat Twin B Peaches by a comfortable 3-1/2 lengths.

In the other two legs ,Ubettergo Go was sent off at 1-to-9 odds and she responded like a heavy favorite should by romping to an easy two length victory over American Myth in 1:57.2 while Another Lawsuit got a perfect trip and pounced on the opportunity late to nip the pace-setting Kim's The Best by a neck in 1:57.3.

Fresh off a 1:55 victory in the Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs, Betterthangraduate made it two straight victories with a gate-to-wire journey around the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval. With fractions of 29.2, 59.2 and 1:28.2, Bettergraduate only received a minor challenge in the last panel from Twin B Peaches (Jody Jamieson) but it wasn't nearly enough. Princess Dalia (Marcus Miller) took the show position.

Betterthangraduate (Betterthancheddar-Western Graduate) has now won twice in three career starts for trainer Ron Burke, putting $35,658 in the bank. She is co-owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Silva Purnel & Libby, Pete Collura and Weaver Bruscemi.

Ubettergo Go is also undefeated in her two New York Sire Stakes races. She had no issues in trouncing the field that was scratched down to five due as Classy Chris and Azreal As It Gets were excused due to illness.

With fractions of 29.8, 59.4 and 1:29.4, Ubettergo Go ($2.10) breezed to the wire while American Myth (Dan Rawlings) and Pleasant Beauty (Marcus Miller) finished in second and third respectively.

Co-owned by trainer Blake MacIntosh, Tony Basile, Reginald Petitpas and Ozzie MacKay, Ubettergo Go (Art Major-Ubetterthink Think) increased her seasonal bankroll to $31,858.

Another Lawsuit (Jim Morrill Jr.) sprung a $14.00 surprise in the opening division as she made a last gasp effort from the pocket to push past the pace-setting Kim's The Best. Sand Artist (Marcus Miller) took the third place check.

Owned by Carl Stackheim and trained by Nicholas DeVita, it was the first win in two starts for Another Lawsuit (American Ideal-Court Stenographer).

In the Excelsior A Series, KJ's Bekah zoomed around the track in 1:58.2 to register the $3.00 victory for Jamieson to highlight the three $15,000 classifications. Never Walk Alone produced a huge $66.50 upset in 2:00.0 with Chris Lems in the sulky while KJ's Justine (Brett Miller) notched a popular $2.30 decision in 2:00.1.

Jericho Diva (Monti) produced the fastest time in the Excelsior B Series with a 1:58.2 time and returned $2.70 for the win. Surreal Feeling uncorked a $22.00 shocker in 2:00.2 for Marcus Miller while Pasta Blue Chip (Jamieson) took the final $6,600 bracket with a 2:00.1 trip that returned $3.50.

Jamieson finished the afternoon with three wins with Lems, Monti and Marcus Miller getting doubles. Toscano and MacIntosh had a pair of training victories.

There was a mishap during the Excelsior A Series, the fourth race on the card. Drivers Larry Stalbaum and Morrill Jr. were involved with both being taken off their remaining rides on the card. Only Stalbaum was taken to the Erie County Medical Center to be evaluated. The filly pacers Eazy Spreezy and Tell Me A Joke both appeared to be uninjured.

The final week of the 2017 season will begin on Wednesday night with 10 races scheduled. There's a $882 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Utah Beach Erases Track Mark At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After standing tall for nine years, Buffalo Raceway's track record for the aged (5+) pacing horses took a beating for the second time in a week. On Saturday night (July 15), Utah Beach ($6.50) did the damage as he covered the mile over the fast track in 1:53.2, topping the old mark of 1:53.4 just set on July 8 by Show Stopping.

Before Show Stopping's effort last week, Civil Attack's standard of 1:54.0 stood proudly since 2008.

It was a gate-to-wire performance by Utah Beach (Ray Fisher Jr.) who notched fractions of 28.1, 56.2 and 1:24.4. Before Utah Beach was officially awarded the victory and becoming a track record holder, the 5-year-old horse had to sweat out a photo finish with Bahama Bay, who eventually was deemed a nose behind.

Sending Utah Beach right to the lead off the gate was the game plan according to driver Ray Fisher Jr. "The horse gets a little pouty if he's not on the lead so I just let him roll. I thought he might run out of gas but he dug in at the wire." Fisher Jr. added, "I didn't realize it was a record until (track photographer) Steve Roth told me in the winner's circle."

Owned by James Kurilla and trained by Jeff Amann, it was the third win in 12 starts this season for Utah Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Pears N Amoretto). The victory pushed his 2017 earnings to $19,636 and $112,677 lifetime.

In the featured $9,000 Preferred Pace, Itsonlyrocknroll A ($4.00) tied a seasonal best of 1:53.3 in putting away Major Trick (Fisher Jr.) by two lengths while Western Alumni (Kevin Cummings) was third.

Starting from the five post, Larry Stalbaum had little resistance in getting Itsonlyrocknroll A to the top, posting solid fractions of 28.0, 56.4 and 1:25.4. There was little drama heading to the wire as Itsonlyrocknroll A kept to his task and cruised across the wire.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher, it was the ninth win of 2017 for the 6-year-old gelded Itsonlyrocknroll A (Million Dollar Cam-Boldandbeautiful). He increased his seasonal winnings to $45,970 and $218,643 lifetime.

Stalbaum finished the night with four wins with Fisher Jr. adding a triple. Asher had a training double.

Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon with 11 races going to the post at 12:30 p.m. There will be action in the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old filly pacers along with races in the Excelsior A and B Series.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, to to www.buffaloraceway.com


Osprey Vision In Focus At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Osprey Vision was in focus during Buffalo Raceway's $8,200 co-featured trot on Friday night (July 14) as he went a lifetime best 1:57.1 over the fast track to produce a surprising $23.60 victory over Serious George.

Lucky Pablo ($18.00) kept the upsets going in the co-main event by breaking an 0-for-20 streak in 2017 with a head victory over Shawnee Magic in 1:59.3.

It was all Osprey Vision in the opener as David McNeight III sent him right to the top. Establishing fractions of 28.3, 58.3 and 1:28.0, it appeared the only trotter to have a chance to catch Osprey Vision was Before I Die. But his hopes were quickly dashed as he broke stride allowing Osprey Vision to hit the wire uncontested. Serious George (John Cummings Jr.) was 3-1/4 lengths back and picked up the second place check with Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) rolling into third.

Owned by Marissa Russo and trained by David Russo, the 8-year-old gelded Osprey Vision (Ken Warkentin-Summerhill Hallie) now has six wins in 24 starts, pushing his seasonal earnings to $43,214 and $142,947 lifetime.

It was a real tussle in the second $8,200 trotting race with Shawnee Magic, Trotting R T, and City Kid all enjoying the front end before hitting the opening panel in 29.1. With Shawnee Magic (Kevin Cummings) hitting the half in 58.2, Lucky Pablo was sixth but first over and on the move.

Grinding it out to the top in the stretch, Lucky Pablo (Monti) got up in the shadow of the wire to nip the favored Shawn Magic by a head while a game City Kid (Larry Stalbaum) finished in third.

Lucky Pablo (Lucky Chucky-Classical Princess) is owned by Crawford Farms Racing and is trained by Maria Rice. The win moved the 5-year-old gelding's winnings to $20,980 this year and to $97,317 in his career.

McNeight III, Cummings Jr., Stalbaum and Monti all produced doubles on the evening.

Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with an 11-race program set.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 14, 2017

Freshmen Lady Pacers To Battle At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The 2-year-old filly pacers in the New York Sire Stakes have just one day of competition under their belts this season, that coming on July 7 at Vernon Downs when four brackets were run. But the action will heat up again for the freshmen females at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 16) with all previous division winners entered.

The third division, scheduled for the fifth race, is loaded as three of the four winners will square off for a purse of $35,000 (approx.). Twin B Peaches, Walk From Heaven and Betterthangraduate all captured their respective divisions at Vernon. The other winner, Ubettergo Go, will compete in the second leg, scheduled for the third race on the 11-race card that is set to begin at 12:30 p.m.

Twin B Peaches (Betterthancheddar-Beach Bound) is a perfect 2-for-2 in her young pari-mutuel career including an eye-opening 1:52.0 victory at Vernon on July 7th. This $30,000 Harrisburg sale mare is the 3-to-1 morning line choice for Jody Jamieson after drawing the seven post.

Walk From Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Walk Of Shame) got three three spot and is fresh off a Sire Stakes win in 1:53.2 at Vernon Downs. Brett Miller is slated to steer the 4-to-1 choice.

Betterthangraduate (Betterthancheddar-Western Graduate) went 1:55.0 in her Sire Stakes debut at Vernon and will have the services of Jim Morrill Jr. from the five post. She is a $52,000 purchase last year at the Harrisburg Sales.

Others in the division include Silk Reed (John Cummings Jr.), Heaven's Diva (Drew Monti), Wisdom Tree (Dan Rawlings) and Princess Dalia (Marcus Miller).

The Sire Stakes will kick off in the second race with seven damsels looking to get into the win column for the first time. There are two high-priced pacers seeking the photo opportunity as Kim's The Best, a $50,000 purchase at the Lexington Sales and Checkered Past, a $75,000 buy at the Harrisburg Sales. They'll start from the one and two posts respectively with Jamieson handling Kim's The Best (Betterthancheddar-Kim's Caper) and Checkered Past (American Ideal-Character Flaw) having Cummings Jr. in control.

The remainder of the field includes Sand Artist (Marcus Miller), Another Lawsuit (Morrill Jr.), Line Dancer (Brett Miller) and Make Music K (Drew Monti).

Ubettergo Go (Art Major-Ubetterthink) is the 2-to-1 early choice in the other Sire Stakes race, scheduled as the third event on the program. She romped to a four length win in the Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs in 1:53.0 and will have Jamieson, who posted a four-bagger Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway, in the sulky. But Ubettergo Go will be facing some stiff and high-priced competition on Sunday.

Classy Chris (Art Major Rocknroll Wishes) brought $75,000 in the Harrisburg Sales, American Myth garnered $65,000 and Better Speed (Betterthancheddar-Misty Speed) $50,000 at Lexington. Classy Chris will have Morrill Jr. in the bike, American Myth (American Ideal-Mythical) will be steered by Rawlings and Better Speed gets Brett Miller.

Also in the race are The Band K (Monti), Azreal As It Gets (Lems) and Pleasant Beauty (Marcus Miller).

There will also be racing in both the Excelsior A and B Series.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Sarah Cola Steals The Headlines At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The spotlight was supposed to be on the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers in the New York Sire Stakes at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 12) but someone forgot to tell that to Sarah Cola. She stole the headlines by breaking the track record for aged (5+) pacing mares with a 1:54.1 victory over Voltina in an $8,200 optional claimer.

Driven by Jody Jamieson, Sarah Cola snapped the old mark held by Majic Laughter (2014), Case Solved (2014) and Deliciouslynaughty (2017) of 1:54.2.

"I left out of the gate and was trying to be in good position to get a piece at the end," said Jamieson of pulling the $24.20 upset with Sarah Cola. "The track was lighting fast and with the high humidity, it helped out as well."

Co-owned by trainer Jim Graham and Giuseppe Micchia, the 5-year-old mare Sarah Cola (No Pan Intended-Saramotion) captured her third straight win and pushed her seasonal earnings to $23,040.

In the featured Sire Stakes, Casual Cool, a $165,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Sales last season, returned his first dividend on the investment by rallying late to nip Topville Olympian by a nose in 1:56.0. It was the fastest time of the three $35,000 (approx.) divisions and just a fifth of a second off the track standard of 1:55.4 set in 2013 by He's Watching.

Ghost Dance (Michael Saftic) captured his leg with a hard-charging win over Delightful Joe in 1:57.3 while Sammy's Lightning thundered around the Hamburg half-mile oval in 1:58.0 and posted the mild $12.00 upset.

Casual Cool (Chris Lems) used a 56.2 final half-mile to track down the pace-setting Topville Olympian (Jamieson) and register the rather surprising $23.00 victory. Rock Lights (Jim Morrill Jr.) was third.

"He's a little green but running on the outside for a half mile, that was a big mile for him in his first start. He's going to be a good one," Lems said of Casual Cool, owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano.

Earlier, Ghost Dance ($6.60) was three-wide down the lane and got past Delightful Joe (Billy Dobson) to pull off the 3/4-length decision. Major Sugar Rush (Ray Schnittker) rounded out the top three.

"Once we straightened out in the stretch, I knew we had a chance," Saftic said of Ghost Dance.

Owned by the Millar Farms and trained by Eric Adams, Ghost Dance (American Ideal-Epoxy Queen) has now won his first two pari-mutuel starts.

In the opener, Sammy's Lightning (Jim Morrill Jr.) set the fractions and held off all challengers in the drive to the wire to take the victory. Cheese Melt (Daniel Dube) was second and I Soar Him First (Mickey McNichol) was third.

"I was a little cautious with him around the turns but with the slow fractions, I figured we have enough in the tank," Morrill Jr. said of the 304/-length win by Sammy's Lightning.

In the Excelsior A Series, Rootin Tootin (Jamieson) went coast-to-coast in 1:59.1 and scored the popular $2.80 victory. Jamieson then made it a clean sweep with a 1:59.2 journey aboard Dewar N Jack ($11.80).

It was a match race in the lone $6,200 Excelsior B Series race, a non-betting affair, as Too Much Duncan (Schnittker) beat Thor De Vie (Larry Stalbaum) in 2:02.0.

Jamieson finished the evening with four victories with Stalbaum notching a triple. Trainer Blake MacIntosh posted two wins.

Racing will continue on Friday evening at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program slated for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Eyes Ofa Tiger, Guardian Angel AS Win In NYSS At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Eye Ofa Tiger continued his impressive front-stepping style in the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 9) with an easy 1-1/2 length win over Swell Chap in 1:57.2 in the first division worth $60,000 (approx.).

It was survival of the fittest in the second event as Guardian Angel AS ($3.40) benefited from breaking horses in easily disposing of Neon Lights by eight lengths in 1:57.1, the fastest of the two legs. All but Guardian Angel AS and Neon Lights had clean trips around the track as the remaining four either broke or were involved in the commotion created by the missteps.

It was a good afternoon for co-owners Acl Stuteri Ab and Kjell Johnsson, trainer Anette Lorentzon and driver Jason Bartlett as the connections swept both Sire Stakes races.

Coming in off a pair of open length victories at Yonkers, Eye Ofa Tiger (Jason Bartlett) played 'come and get me' over the Hamburg half-mile oval. Putting up fractions of 29.3, 59.2 and 1:29.1, Eye Ofa Tiger ($3.50) felt little pressure from the remaining five competitors in the lane and trotted away to the 1-1/2 length win. Swell Chap (Drew Monti) took the place position with Money MacIntosh (Andy Miller) rounding out the top three.

Bartlett said, "Eye Ofa Tiger is real sharp right now. He's a nice little horse. He likes being on the front end but can come from behind as well."

Eye Ofa Tiger (Chapter Seven-Cascade AS) is a 3-year-old gelding that has four wins in six tries in 2017, pushing his season earnings to $71,970 and $94,690 lifetime.

In the second division, it was a three-horse breakaway by the first quarter marker. Arch Credit (Jim Morrill Jr.) led the way with Neon Lights (Chris Lems) and Guardian Angel AS following in second and third respectively.

After splits of 29.1, 58.1 and 1:28.0, Guardian Angel AS was first over and looked to challenge Arch Credit at the top of the stretch. But things got much easier for him as Arch Credit jumped it off, allowing Guardian Angel AS to jog home uncontested. Neon Lights finished in second while Another Chapter (Per Henrikson) picked up the pieces and took third.

Bartlett stated that he had planned to leave off the gate with Guardian Angel AS "just to see what would happen." That plan changed quickly. "I had to go easy with him into that first turn to keep him flat," Bartlett added. "I thought we'd win despite the break by Arch Credit."

It was the fifth win in six attempts this season for Guardian Angel AS (Archangel-Provide AS). The victory moved the 3-year-old colt's seasonal winnings to $76,857 and $90,350 lifetime.

Big Man Ev (Miller) was the quickest in the two $15,000 Excelsior A Series races with a 1:58.0 tour over the Hamburg half-mile oval, returning $13.40 to his backers. Patton (Lems) pulled a minor surprise in the second division with $9.20 decision in 2:00.4.

In the Excelsior B Series, New York Chrome ($4.90) went gate-to-wire in 2:01.2 to take the victory for Lems in the first division while Finally Michaels ($3.90) had no problems in posting the 2:02.2 win in the second leg for Miller. Trainer David Dewhurst swept both events Excelsior B Series.

David McNeight III, Miller and Lems finished the afternoon of racing with each getting doubles.

Racing will resume on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled. The program will begin the final two weeks of action at Buffalo Raceway for the 2017 season.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Show Stopping Steals The Show At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Show Stopping sure did steal the show on Saturday night (July 8) at Buffalo Raceway by breaking a long-standing track record in winning the featured $9,000 Preferred Pace in 1:53.4. The time beat the old mark for the aged pacing horses (5+) of 1:54.0 established way back in 2008 by Civil Attack.

"I didn't realize it was a track record until I was told about it," winning driver David McNeight III said after the big $33.00 upset victory aboard Show Stopping. "I got a good trip behind Lucky McTrucky. I knew it was going to be close at the finish. Trainer Matt Tumolillo had him ready to race."

Tumolillo, who has just started to spread his wings as a first year trainer said, "I wasn't even thinking about a track record, I was just thinking about getting the win." Tumolillo's small stable now has hit the board in six of eight starts including a pair of victories this season. He said, "I've had my training license for a while but this is the first time I am putting it to use."

Lucky McTrucky (Kevin Cummings) did the dirty work in helping Show Stopping break the record. Setting fractions of 28.1, 56.3 and 1:25.1, Lucky McTrucky was begging for the line but Showing Stopping edged out late in the stretch and took the victory by a narrow nostril. Lucky King (Ron Beback Jr.) took the show position.

Show Stopping (I Am A Fool-Posterone) is a 7-year-old horse that is owned by Robert Izzo. He now has six wins in 21 starts this year, earning $42,196 and $151,089 lifetime.

Ray Fisher Jr., Jim Morrill Jr. and McNeight III all completed the night with doubles. Gerry Sarama conditioned a pair of winners.

Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with 10 races on the card. The program will feature action in the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters along with events in the Excelsior A and B Series. There's also a $799 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


BZ Glide Gets Revenge At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After a pair of heart-breaking losses to Empire Earl N the past two weeks, BZ Glide was able to turn the tables on him and capture the $10,000 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (July 7) in a seasonal best 1:57.3 over the fast track.

BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) was second best by just a nose and a half length to Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) in their last two encounters. But the favored BZ Glide ($3.40) was able to go gate-to-wire and get revenge on Empire Earl N by 1-1/2 lengths.

In drawing the two post, a rarity for BZ Glide, the 8-year-old gelding had no struggles in reaching the front end, putting up fractions of 28.3, 58.4 and 1:28.4. Empire Earl N, who got away fifth in the field of five, was first over and was in a perfect striking position with a final stanza to trot.

But BZ Glide was sick of being a bridesmaid and put up a last quarter of 28.4 to comfortably turn back the mild challenge from Empire Earl N in the stretch drive. Noble Legend (Ray Fisher Jr.) took third place.

Owned by the Caprio Stable LLC and trained by Alana Caprio, BZ Glide (Yankee Glider-Bloomer Zoomer) has won two times in nine starts in 2017. The victory pushed his seasonal winnings to $16,700 and $220,297 lifetime.

Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Larry Stalbaum padded his win total with three victories while Fisher Jr. also posted a triple.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 6, 2017

Classy Lane Rose Goes Last To First At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It doesn't matter where Classy Lane Rose ($5.00) begins from on the starting gate because she figures to be a factor at the wire with her strong closing speed. That was the case in the $10,000 Open Pace for the mares at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 5) as Classy Lane Rose zoomed from last to first to snag the victory from V'La Faire by a head in 1:57.0.

The victory moved Classy Lane Rose's lifetime earnings to $531,941 with $47,230 of it coming in 2017.

Susie's Delight set the fractions from the rail and put up steady splits of 28.4, 58.4 and 1:27.4. Sitting sixth and last down the backstretch the final time, Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) was second over and fanned out three wide in the race to the wire.

With steady and powerful strides, Classy Lane Rose was able to hit the finish line first and hold back the challenge of V'La Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) who was charging hard in the passing lane. Susie's Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show spot.

Owned by Carl Monti and trained by Darrin Monti, it was the fifth win in 15 tries for the 8-year-old mare Classy Lane Rose (Jereme's Jet-Titanic Rose).

Drew Monti and David McNeight III finished the night with driving triples.

Racing will resume Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with 10 races set to begin at 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Drew Monti Get Four Wins At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Driver Drew Monti was as hot as a firecracker on Sunday afternoon (July 2) as he capped a successful week of action at Buffalo Raceway with a four-bagger. Monti finished the 45-race week with 11 victories.

The 22-year-old Monti was the delight of the chalk players as he guided Rock The Dream ($2.30) Barry Hanover ($3.00), Fall Toy ($2.60) and McSexy ($2.70) to victories. He currently sits in third place in the driver's standings with 115.

Buffalo Raceway's leading driver is Larry Stalbaum and he pushed his seasonal total at the Hamburg half-mile oval to 177 thanks to a trio of wins aboard Dash For The Cash ($3.20), Thunderbolt Jaxon ($3.50) and Motor Shark ($7.40). Stalbaum had 10 wins on the week.

JD Perrin had a training double on the matinee card.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled. Buffalo Raceway will offer simulcasting on Monday (July 3) and Tuesday (July 4) which would normally be dark days.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Itsonlyrocknroll A Romps In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Itsrollrocknroll A ($2.50) took advantage of the luck of the draw in the $9,000 Preferred Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (July 1) and crushed the field in 1:54.2.

After getting strapped with the seven and eight posts the past two weeks, Itsonlyrocknroll A (Larry Stalbaum) finally drew the pylons and set sail from the rail in easily defeating Lucky King (Ron Beback Jr.) by a throttled down 1-1/4 lengths. Show Stopping (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.

Lucky McTrucky took the early lead off the gate but once the field straightened out down the back stretch the first time, Stalbaum stepped on the gas with Itsonlyrocknroll A and powered to the top in 28.2. With the half going in 58.0 and the three quarters in 1:26.2, Itsonlyrocknroll A opened up a two length margin at the top of the stretch and cruised to the wire thanks to a 28.0 final panel.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher, it was the eighth victory in 17 attempts in 2017 for Itsonlyrocknroll A (Million Dollar Cam-Boldandbeautiful). The 6-year-old gelding has now earned $43,350 this season and pushed his career bankroll to $213,520.

Stalbaum completed the evening with four wins, David McNeight III had a triple while Kevin Cummings and Drew Monti got doubles. Asher had three training victories with Rose Russo collecting two.

Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 10-race program set. There's a $791 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Plunge Blue Chip Sets Mark In First Career Try At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- For Plunge Blue Chip, it was quite an impressive way to start out your racing career by getting a New York Sire Stakes victory and setting a track record.

Plunge Blue Chip made her memorable debut in the New York Sire Stakes on Friday night (June 30) for 2-year-old trotting fillies by winning her $21,800 division and erasing one of Buffalo Raceway's longest standing track marks in doing so. She motored around the Hamburg half mile oval in 2:00.0 and eclipsed the old standard of 2:00.2 established in 2009 by Munis Blue Chip.

The journey was just one of three victories for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt in the Sire Stakes on the evening.

The heavily-favored Plunge Blue Chip scored off the rail and as the earlier four Sire Stake races proved, the front end was the place to be.

Roaring out to the advantage off the starting gate, Plunge Blue Chip ($3.60) was in command the entire mile with fractions of 29.3, 59.3 and 1:30.2. A final split of 29.3 ensured the track record as Ithinkthatsmine (Chris Lems) and White Cheetah (Matt Kakaley) could do nothing but watch history being made from second and third respectively as Plunge Blue Chip blew them out by six lengths.

Svanstedt said after the race, "She trained really nice all week and went the mile with ease. She just seems to have that little bit extra compared to my other two winners. I think this is just the beginning for her...there's plenty more to come."

Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato) is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc. and Blue Chip Bloodstock.

The Sire Stakes started off with a bang as Oooteeny (Ray Schnittker) kicked things off with a $64.00 win in the opening division while Lima Novelty followed that up a $15.00 victory. Natalie Hanover took the third event with a $7.80 payoff and Lucky Ava got the $5.30 nod in the fourth.

In the first leg, Oooteeny (Credit Winner-Lindy's Head Nurse) benefited from breakers and easily got the lead from the start. After putting up fractions of 31.4, 1:02,3 and 1:34.2, Oooteeny wasn't challenged at all in the stretch and rolled to the 3-1/4 length triumph over Donttellvoula (Matt Kakaley) in 2:03.4. Ladyyouraregorgeous (Lems) took the show position.

Oooteeny (Credit Winner-Lindy's Head Nurse) is owned by the Runthetable Stables and is trained by Jim Campbell.

In the second leg, Lima Novelty made her winning move just before the opening quarter pole as she trotted from third to the lead. It proved to be the right call by driver Jody Jamieson as Lima Novelty (Chapter Seven-No Pictures Please) never looked back after that in downing Fury Road (Svanstedt) by a non-threatening half length. Abbie Hall (Trond Smedshammer) was third.

Lima Novelty is co-owned by trainer Carl Jamieson and Dr. Robert Boyce.

Natalie Hanover (Svanstedt) captured the third division in 2:04.0 by barely holding back the late charging Big Checkmate (Donald Dupont) by a nose. Kowtow Hanover (Kakaley) was third under the wire.

Co-owned by the Svanstedt-Masstrom Stable, the Van Camp Trotting Corp., Anders Olsson and Lars Berg, Natalie Hanover (Chapter Seven-Nanticoke Hanover) is trained by Svanstedt.

Lucky Ava (Svanstedt) went gate-to-wire to defeat Dew To Win (Smedhammer) by two lengths. Setting solid fractions of 30.3, 1:02 and 1:33.1, a 28.2 final panel was more than enough to hold off any challengers. Good Lucky Ginny (John Cummings Jr.) was the third place finisher.

The 2-year-old Lucky Chucky-Ava Marion sidewinder is co-owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC and the Van Camp Trotting Corp.

There were a pair of $15,000 events in the Excelsior A Series. Chilicheatum (Smedshammer) captured the first race with a $10.20 win in 2:05.0 while Pittstop Emerald (Lems) tripped the timer in 2:04.1 in taking the $7.10 victory.

In the lone $6,500 Excelsior B Series race, Minne Cheatum (Cummings Jr.) covered the mile in 2:04.3 and returned $13.00 to her backers.

Empire Earl N ($3.70) made it two straight victories in the $10,000 Open Trot with a nose win over BZ Glide in 2:00.2 as Larry Stalbaum guided him to the winner's circle.

Racing will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with 11 races scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 29, 2017

Freshmen Filly Trotters Land At Buffalo Raceway Friday

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There's plenty of hope and high expectations on Friday night (June 30) at Buffalo Raceway as many of the entrants in the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old filly trotters begin their racing careers in earnest.

There are 38 fillies that will be battling in five divisions worth approximately $22,000 each and only four have actually had a pari mutuel start so experience is basically non-existent. The only one who has a trip to the winner's circle is Bonamassa (Muscle Mass-Under The Pines). This sidewinder took a $6,000 maiden race by a neck in 1:59.3 at Saratoga on June 22.

The sires of these freshmen is a like a 'Who's Who' in the harness racing world. Some of the possible proud papas at the end of the night include Muscle Mass, Conway Hall, Credit Winner, Lucky Chucky, Deweycheatumnhowe. Rc Royalty and Chapter Seven.

While most of the names are unknown right now, top-notch conditioners such as Ake Svanstedt, Trond Smedshammer, Ray Schnittker, George Ducharme, Linda Toscano and John Butenschoen bring their charges to Buffalo Raceway in hopes their trainees might household names.

One of Buffalo Raceway's longest standing track records could be on the line as well. The mark for 2-year-old trotting fillies is 2:00.2 established in 2009 by Munis Blue Chip.

The Sires Stakes will go off as the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth races on the unique all-trot program.

The second division seems to be the most intriguing as several big purchases from the Lexington Sale in 2016 will be involved..The leader of the pack is Abbie Hall (Conway Hall-Armbro Archer) who was bought for $85,000. She gets the six post for driver/trainer Trond Smedshammer.

Starting next to Abbie Hall off the seven post will be A Gift To You (Credit Winner-Soprano Hanover), a $50,000 purchase at the Lexington Sale. The George Ducharme trotter put up a 1:57.2 qualifying victory at Vernon Downs on June 23.

The third leg features a pair of Lexington Sales gals who went for nice prices. Kowtow Hanover (Credit Winner-Kristins Victory) was purchased for $34,000 and Girl Talk (Credit Winner-Hey Mister) went for $35,000.

Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato) tops the final Sire Stakes event as she was bought for $42,000 at the Harrisburg Sale.

The 14-race card gets underway Friday at 5 p.m. Besides the New York Sire Stakes, there will be competition in the Excelsior A and B Series along with the always exciting $10,000 Open Trot. There's $2,951 in the Pick-5 carryover which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Dustlanemissmolly Gives Elders A Lesson At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Dustlanemissmolly may have been the youngest participant in the $10,000 Open Pace for the mares on Wednesday night (June 28) at Buffalo Raceway but she was also the fastest and taught her elders a lesson in taking a head victory over Susie's Delight in 1:55.4.

The 4-year-old Dustlanemissmolly served the youth well as she went gate-to-wire for Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Larry Stalbaum in posting the popular $4.70 victory.

Starting from the rail, Dustlanemissmolly had no trouble in gaining the lead off the starting gate and put up reasonable fractions of 28.0, 57.2 and 1:26.2. Turning for home, the pocket-sitting Susie's Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) appeared to have the only realistic chance of chasing down Dustlanemissmolly but just ran out of real estate. Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) put in a late kick and settled for the show spot.

Co-owned by the Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and the Pine Hill Racing Stable, LTD, Dustlanemissmolly is trained by Maria Rice. It was the fifth win in 18 attempts in 2017 for Brandon's Cowboy-The Boss' Daughter mare. The victory pushed her seasonal earnings to $41,951 and $68,532 lifetime.

Monti and Fisher Jr., each registered driving triples while Stalbaum had a pair. Trainer Russell Bratt had three victories with Gerry Sarama and Rice getting two.

There's a unique all-trot 14-race card slated for Friday night beginning at 5 p.m. There will be New York Sire Stakes action with the 2-year-old filly trotters ready to tangle in five events worth approximately $22,000 each. There will also be Excelsior A and B Series races along with the $10,000 Open Trot. There's a $2,951 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 27, 2017

Mamora Bay, Heels On Wheels Win NYSS At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- All eyes were focused on Barn Bella in the $58,000 first division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (June 25). But a break in stride by the heavy 1-to-9 favorite going into the first turn sure changed the entire complexion of the race in a real hurry.

Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci) took advantage of Barn Bella's misfortune and registered the $20.60 upset victory over Maewegonow by a 1-1/4 length in 1:59.4 over the fast track.

In the second division worth $59,100, there was drama as well as 3-to-5 favorite Amber Ella broke gait several times which opened up opportunities for the remaining five. Heels On Wheels (Jim Morrill Jr.) bounced on the chance created by Amber Ella's bobbles and scored the neck win over Chapter Too (Jeff Gregory) in 1:59.4.

In the first stunner, the defending 2-year-old champion, Barn Bella (Gregory) jumped it off as soon as she started to enter the first turn. In the meantime, the remaining four trotters stayed on their best behavior knowing the race was up for grabs.

Maewegonow (Charlie Norris) took the lead off the rail and posted splits of 30.0, 1:01.0 and 1:31.2. The race boiled down to three ladies in the stretch with Mamora Bay using the passing lane to go past Maewegonow while Mighty Surf (Morrill Jr.) took the show spot. Barn Bella regrouped in time to take fourth but was 8-1/4 lengths behind the winner.

Schillaci said, "Mamora Bay wasn't herself at Vernon Downs last week but she felt good today." He added, "A little racing luck didn't hurt with Barn Bella breaking and then getting a perfect trip up the passing lane."

Owned by Peter Barbato and trained by former Buffalo Raceway regular Schillaci, Mamora Bay (Chapter Seven-Giulie Bi) got her first victory of the 2017 campaign. The win moved her seasonal earnings to $41,433 and $223,804 lifetime.

In the second division with Amber Ella out of contention around the opening turn, Heels On Wheels ($9.10) got to the lead and put up splits of 29.3, 59.1 and 1:30.0.

The drive to the finish line was a little tense as Heels On Wheels started to get leg weary while Chapter Too was charging down the lane but came up just short. Deli-Delite (Drew Monti) captured the show check.

Morrill Jr. stated after the race, "She's a nice filly and we caught some luck with the breaking favorite. Once Heels On Wheels got settled on the lead, she was game to hold off Chapter Too late."

Co-owned by the Burke Racing Stable, the Crawford Farm Racing Stable, Lawrence Karr and Weaver Bruscemi, it was the second victory in five tries this season for Heels On Wheels (Conway Hall-Go Go Dancer). The win upped her 2017 winnings to $40,863 and $139,113 lifetime.

Seventh Heaven ($4.10) was able to overcome the eight post and capture the first $15,000 division of the Excelsior A Series race. Jason Bartlett toured the half mile oval aboard Seventh Heaven in 2:02.2. The second division went to Cinnamon Prayer ($6.70) who also found the winner's circle from the eight spot. Morrill Jr. was in the sulky as Cinnamon Prayer went the mile in 2:02.3.

In the lone $6,600 Excelsior B Series race, Running Prayer ($6.10) went gate-to-wire in 2:02.3 for Morrill Jr.

Morrill Jr. finished the afternoon with four victories Monti had two wins. Trainer Dennis Laterza had a double.

Action will continue on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program scheduled. There is a $907 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


China Dream Gives Great Gift At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was trainer Maria Rice's birthday on Saturday evening (June 24) and her trainee, China Dream, gave her a great present by winning the featured $9,000 Preferred Pace at Buffalo Raceway in a seasonal best 1:54.1 over the fast track.

China Dream (Drew Monti) led at every quarter mile station and held off a pesky Lucky McTrucky (Kevin Cummings) by a half length. Show Stopping (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.

Starting from the rail, the favored China Dream ($4.40) played the give-and-go with Lucky McTrucky and set the fractions with a 28.3, 56.4 and 1:25.2.

China Dream started to drift out in the charge for the wire but stayed the course long enough to turn back the threat of Lucky McTrucky.

Co-owned by Jack and Maria Rice, the 6-year-old gelded China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art) has won five times in 19 outings in 2017. The win upped his seasonal earnings to $40,770 and $213,443 lifetime.

Cummings notched a driving triple while Monti and Jim Morrill Jr. had doubles.

Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 10-race program scheduled. The New York Sire Stakes will highlight the action with the 3-year-old trotting fillies set to do battle in a pair of events worth more than $58,000 each. Barn Bella, the defending NYSS champion, headlines the fifth race field. She arrives riding a 10-race win streak.

There will also be races contested in the Excelsior A and B Series.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Empire Earl N Storms To Buffalo Raceway Open Trot Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG,N. Y. --- After getting saddled with a post position of six or worse in the past month, Empire Earl N must of felt he was heaven with the five hole. He took advantage of the 'better' starting position and scored a half length victory over BZ Glide in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (June 23).

Despite the outside posts since May 19, Empire Earl N was still very competitive during that time by earning a check in four of the five starts including a win, second and third.

BZ Glide got parked to the opening quarter mile by Lutetium and Jim Dandy as the feature event unfolded. Setting fractions of 29.0, 59.0 and 1:29.4 over the sloppy track, BZ Glide looked liked he might steal the win in front-running style.

But Empire Earl N had other ideas. Sitting in fourth place and second over with a final panel to trot, driver Larry Stalbaum got Empire Earl N ($4.70) into high gear four wide in the stretch and collared BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) at the wire by a half length. Gwally (David McNeight III), who broke just before the half mile marker, regrouped in time to capture third.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher, it was the third win in 14 tries this year for the 9-year-old gelded Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita). The victory increased his seasonal earnings to $29,270 and $115,195 lifetime.

John Cummings Jr. tripled in the sulky with Stalbaum and Ray Fisher Jr. each getting a double. JD Perrin picked up three training victories and Asher two.

Racing will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m.with an 11-race card set. There's a $448 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 22, 2017

Obvious Blue Chip, Clear Idea Win In NYSS At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Obvious Blue Chip and Clear Idea took advantage of the long home stretch at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (June 21) and rallied with impressive victories in the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old filly pacers.

The quickest time of the two divisions each worth over $60,000 went to Obvious Blue Chip who covered the mile in 1:56.4 while Clear Idea won her leg with a 1:55.1. Both were well short of the Buffalo Raceway standard of 1:53.3 established in 2015 by Mosquito Blue Chip.

It took a great charge in the stretch by Clear Idea (Mark MacDonald) to help post the $12.80 surprise.

Planet Rock (Scott Zeron) set the fractions of 28.0, 56.4 and 1:26.0 and appeared home free turning for the finish line. Trailing by 3-1/4 lengths, Clear Idea (American Ideal-Glass Maker) uncorked a 28.4 final panel to register the come from behind victory. Planet Rock held on for second with Ann Hill (Larry Stalbaum) taking the show spot.

MacDonald said, "Clear Idea was real sharp. After awaiting the confusion to clear on the final turn, I pulled her out and she dug in to get the win."

Co-owned by trainer Blake MacIntosh and the Hutt Racing Stable, Clear Idea has been in the money in all 10 of her starts this season. With her fourth win of the campaign, Clear Idea has now won $87,759 in 2017 and $102,709 lifetime.

Obvious Blue Chip (Jason Bartlett) didn't need as big of rally to get the job done but hit the finish line in impressive fashion.

Sitting fourth with a quarter mile to pace, Obvious Blue Chip ($2.70) tipped three-wide and buried the field in the lane, winning by three lengths. The pace-setting Studio One (Kevin Cummings) took second and Word Apart (Zeron) finished third.

Bartlett stated of the winning journey, "I let them (Studio One and Artrageous) carry us through the first half mile and once we got through the first turn on the second circuit, I cut her loose down the back stretch. She's a nice filly, really sharp."

Co-owned by the NLG Racing Stable and Stephen Klunowski, Obvious Blue Chip (Roll With Joe-Put On A Clinic) is trained by Mark Steacy. It was the third victory in four starts in 2017 for Obvious Blue, a winner of $58,827 this year and $94,306 lifetime.

Robin J ($3.20) was the fastest in the three $15,000 Excelsior A Series races with a 1:54.4 time for driver Scott Zeron. Takeyourbreathaway (MacDonald) lit up the tote board with a $45.80 win in 1:56.4 while Bestgirlfriendever ($12.20) tripped the timer in 1:57.1 for Bartlett.

In the lone $6,700 Excelsior B Series race, Miss Roll Joe ($6.00) got the decision for Jim Morrill Jr. and local trainer Jim Graham in 1:58.4.

Morrill Jr. finished the night with a driving triple while Bartlett, MacDonald and Ray Fisher Jr. all doubled.

Racing will resume on Friday night with an 11-race program set for 5 p.m. The action will continue on Saturday with 11 races slated for 6 p.m. and on Sunday afternoon beginning at 12:30 p.m. The Sunday matinee will feature the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters with Barn Bella scheduled to compete in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 15, 2017

Classy Lane Rose Takes F&M Open Pace At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a family affair in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open Pace for the ladies on Wednesday night (June 14) as three generations of the Monti lineage had a part in Classy Lane Rose's victory.

Owned by grandfather Carl Monti, trained by son Darrin Monti and driven by grandson Drew Monti, Classy Lane Rose ($6.50) exploded midway down the lane and put away V'La Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:55.1. It was the first win in three starts at Buffalo Raceway for Classy Lane Rose since arriving in early May from Yonkers.

Dustlanemissmolly and V'La Faire played give and take to the quarter marker in 28.0. After regaining the lead around the second turn, Dustlanemissmolly posted fractions of 57.3 and 1:26.2 but couldn't sustain the lead.

Classy Lane Rose, who was second over behind Kruella around the final turn, overpowered the rest of the field in the stretch as a 28.3 last quarter mile was more than enough to get the photo opportunity. V'La Faire was second with Dustlanemissmolly (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.

The 8-year-old Classy Lane Rose (Jereme's Jet-Titantic Rose) has now won four times in 12 outings this season. The victory pushed her seasonal earnings to $40,230 and $524,941 lifetime.

Drew Monti led the way in the driving category as he posted four wins while David McNeight III doubled. Trainer JD Perrin sent a pair to the winner's circle.

Racing has been cancelled for Friday night, but it still will be a busy weekend at Buffalo Raceway. Action will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race program. Sunday afternoon racing will begin this week with a 12:30 p.m. post.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 12, 2017

Fireyourguns 'Guns' Down Field At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Fireyourguns had just two starts to begin his 2017 season and in both attempts, well, he fired blanks. But in Buffalo Raceway's $9,000 Open II Pace on Saturday night (June 10), Fireyourguns had a full arsenal and easily gunned down the field in 1:53.0 over the fast track.

With fifth and seventh place finishes to begin the year, Fireyourguns, who holds the Buffalo Raceway all-time track record of 1:52.0 set in 2015, never looked back in going gate-to-wire. He handily defeated Western Alumni by a comfortable 1-1/4 lengths.

Able to reach the lead off the starting gate, Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) set fractions of 27.3, 56.3 and 1:25.0. Those fractions were more than enough to take the starch out of the rest of the field in the stretch as Fireyourguns ($4.00) strolled to the victory. Western Alumni (Todd Cummings) took second with Sir Ziggy's Z Tam (Ray Fisher Jr.) finishing in third.

It was the 49th win in 109 lifetime starts for the 8-year-old gelded Fireyourguns (American Ideal-Villa Hanover). Co-owned by trainer Terence McClory and Robert and Jennifer Lowe, Fireyourguns now has earned $351,556 lifetime.

Fisher Jr. and Beback Jr. each completed the night with three victories while Jim Morrill Jr. and Larry Stalbaum doubled. Trainers James Clouser Jr. and Maria Rice had triples.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with 12 races scheduled for a 5 p.m. start.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Studio City Wins Again At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's been all or nothing for Studio City this season as the 8-year-old gelding either wins or is out of the money. But for the second straight week, Studio City ($8.70) has been something as he now has posted back-to-back victories at Buffalo Raceway with a 1-1/2 length decision over Jim Dandy in a seasonal best 1:58.2 over the fast track in the $10,000 Open Trot.

It was the third win of the campaign in eight appearances for Studio City (Conway Hall-Yagot Prestige).

It was a mad scramble to the lead as BZ Glide, Winkys Pride and Osprey Vision all battled for supremacy to the first quarter. When things calmed down, BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) was able to set the splits while Winkys Pride and Osprey Vision tucked in second and third respectively.

There was plenty of movement approaching the half as Kahoku was first over while Studio City followed the live cover to the three-quarter marker in 1:28.3.

Fanning out five wide for the drive to the wire, Studio City (Kevin Cummings) was by far the fastest with a 29.4 last panel. He was able to register the 1-1/2 length win over a rallying Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) with BZ Glide holding on for the show spot.

Co-owned by Dr. Scott Woogen and Lisa Denison, Studio City is trained by Lisa Lederhouse. The triumph pushed his seasonal winnings $14,760 and $283,470.

Cummings, Drew Monti and Ray Fisher Jr. all had triples in the sulky with Larry Stalbaum adding a double. Trainer Bob Gruber III had a pair of victories.

Racing will resume on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with 12 races on tap at a special 7 p.m. post time which will enable fans to watch and wager on the Belmont Stakes from Belmont Park. There's a $584 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays,results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 8, 2017

Buffalo Raceway Changes Condition Sheets

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It an attempt to make it easier for fans and horsemen to understand the condition sheets, Buffalo Raceway will institute an Open I through IV classification for the trotters and pacers beginning on Wednesday, June 14. The draw for this program will be on Saturday, June 10.

You can find the condition sheets at www.ustrotting.com or www.buffaloraceway.com

"We won't have to add conditions anymore to fill races," Buffalo Raceway Race Secretary Tom Agosti said. "Sometimes it ends up like reading a book on all the conditions we had to add to fill races. For the next couple of weeks, we'll have what parameters your horse needs to have to enter the Opens. It will be easier for me to move a horse or two around. But after that, it will be like an Open, Open II on so on. It will be easier for the fans to understand as well."

Agosti added that horses winning two of their last four races in claiming and conditioned races will be required to move up in class.

Also at Buffalo Raceway, a reminder that Saturday's 12-race card will have a special 7 p.m. post to allow patrons to watch and wager on the Belmont Stakes from Belmont Park. There will be free past performances sheets for Belmont Park's card and Player Reward Club members will earn double points on all their wagers.

Doors for simulcasting will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday with Belmont's first post coming at 11:35 a.m.

The track has cancelled racing on Friday, June 16.

Sunday racing, however, will begin on Father's Day on June 18 with a post time of 12:30 p.m. The track will then begin a four day a week schedule with Wednesday and Friday posts coming at 5 p.m, Saturday will have a 6 p.m. start while Sunday matinee racing will begin at 12:30 until the end of the meet on July 23.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Favorites Rule In NYSS At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There were no surprises to be found in the New York Sire Stakes for the sophomore pacing males at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (June 7) as all three $40,600 divisions were won by the post time favorites in front running fashion.

The fastest leg of the evening was In A Single Bound ($4.20) who covered the mile in 1:54.0. Outkast Blue Chip ($4.30) found the winner's circle with a 1:54.2 journey around the Hamburg half-mile oval while Serious Major ($2.10) scored with a 1:54.3 time in the last division.

The track records were never in jeopardy on the night. The mark for the 3-year-old colts is still 1:52.3 set in in 2012 by Steelhead Hanover while Missile J continues to own the standard for the geldings with a 1:53.1 established in 2016.

The opening leg saw In A Single Bound (Billy Dobson) make it three straight and his fourth in six tries in 2017 with an easy gate-to-wire 2-1/2 length decision over Octane Blue in 1:54.0.

After a brief of a tussle with Octane Blue Chip to reach the top, In Single Bound (Roll With Joe-Armbro Bianca) cleared to the lead and put up reasonable splits of 28.,3 57.4 and 1:26.2. Heading for home, the 3-year-old gelding found clear sailing to the wire as no threats came his way. Octane Blue Chip (Fern Paquet Jr.) managed second and Barry Hanover (Drew Monti) captured the third place check.

"I eased him into the first turn and once he relaxed on the lead, he was in cruise control," Dobson said of In A Single Bound.

Owned by Dennis and Simone Noud and trained by Monica Krist, the win moved In A Single Bound's seasonal bankroll to $48,775 and to $60,975 in his young career.

The second division saw Outkast Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) use a front-running strategy to put away the field in 1:54.2. America's Fleet (Kevin Cummings) was second, a non-threatening length behind, while What's Goin On (Mike Simons) rolled into the show position.

Starting from the six spot, Outkast Blue Chip had little resistance in setting the fractions with times of 29.0, 57.3 and 1:26.1. It was a stress free drive to the finish line as no one was able to launch a serious bid.

Outkast Blue Chip is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock, Inc. and is trained by G. Buzz Sholty. It was the third win in five appearances in 2017 for Outkast Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven-Armbro Savannah). The victory jacked the three-year-old colt's earnings to $37,800 and $50,448 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. made it two straight in the Sire Stakes as he enjoyed the tour aboard Serious Major in 1:54.3. They topped Manattack (Chris Lems) by 2-1/2 lengths while Twin B Cowboy (Monti) was third.

Like the previous two events, the front was the place to be. Serious Major, coming in from the 7/8-mile track at Hoosier Park, handled the four turns at Buffalo Raceway as a seasoned veteran, putting up fractions of 28.3, 58.1 and 1:26.1 en route to the 1:54.3 victory.

Serious Major (Art Major-Seriously), is a 3-year-old gelding that is owned by the Emerald Highlands Farm and trained by Brian Brown. The win pushed his 2017 earnings to $37,335 and $129,628 in his career.

Morrill Jr. said of his two wins in the Sires Stakes, "I was told both were a little lazy so once we got through the first turn, I just had to keep on them a little bit. Both raced well."

In the Excelsior A Series races, with both carrying a $15,000 purse, Morrill Jr. swept both divisions. He took Mattarolla (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mattadorable) to a 1:57.0 win in the non-betting affair and then steered Bold And Brassy (Rock N Roll Heaven-Cams Leading Lady) to the popular $3.30 victory in 1:55.0.

Going off at 1-to-9, Beckarama (Roll With Joe-Miss Mulberry) made it nine wins in 16 appearances in 2017 with a 1:56.1 score in the lone $6,700 Excelsior B Series event. Larry Stalbaum drove Beckarama to the 3-1/4 length triumph.

Morrill finished the evening with seven victories (six pari-mutuel/one non-betting) in the bike.

Racing will resume on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Stall applications for Batavia Downs 2017 meet are now available

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Horsemen wishing to race at Batavia Downs for the upcoming summer/fall meet please note that stall applications are now available for download on the track's website (www.bataviadownsgaming.com). Simply click Live Racing>Horsemen>Stall Application and Agreement. The complete 2017 racing schedule can be found at Live Racing>Live Racing Schedule.

Stall applications are also available at the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association (WNYHHA) website (www.wnyhha.net) or at the WNYHHA office located at Buffalo Raceway.

Race Secretary Joe Zambito has advised that all stall applications must be received by the track no later than Friday (July 7). The backstretch opens for tack on Tuesday (July 18) and horses may begin arriving in the barn area on Thursday (July 20).

The 71st season of live harness racing at America’s oldest lighted harness track features 71 race dates including seven matinee cards. The meet opens on Wednesday (July 26) and runs through Saturday (Dec. 16).

Live racing will be presented on Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m., Wednesday evenings at 5:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m. to begin the season. Monday will replace Sunday in September and go at 5:00 p.m.

Once again, the 2017 meet will be highlighted by the very popular claiming series that the track introduced last year. Mid-level claimers accumulate points throughout the year and then vie for championship final purses of between $15,000 and $20,000 in November for each respective division.

All stable inquiries should be directed to Todd Haight, Director/GM of Live Racing at 585-343-3750 ext. 6322.


June 5, 2017

Itsonlyrocknroll A Cruises To Buffalo Raceway Feature Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- To put it mildly, it was just a solid effort from start to finish for Itsonlyrocknroll A ($5.70) in the featured $9,000 Open II Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (June 3).

Lulling the field to sleep with a soft opening panel of just 29.0, Itsonlyrocknroll A only got better the rest of the way and posted a convincing two length decision over China Dream in a seasonal best of 1:53.3 over the fast track.

Larry Stalbaum and Itsonlyrocknroll A got an uncontested lead right off the gate and managed to open up a solid two length margin through the first split of 29.0 while Littlebitaclass was next in line.

The tempo picked up the rest of the way as Itsonlyrocknroll A hit the half in 57.0, starting to leave the remainder of the field in his dust. The final half mile went in 56.3 with Itsonlyrocknroll A using a 28.1 last panel to secure the win. China Dream (Drew Monti) picked up the second place check with Western Alumni (Todd Cummings) finishing in third.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher, Itsonlyrocknroll A (Million Dollar Cam-Boldandbeautiful) is a 6-year-old gelding that has seven wins in just 14 tries in 2017. The victory upped his seasonal earnings to $38,130 and $208,350 lifetime.

Stalbaum continued to dominate in the sulky with five wins on the night while Monti and Jim Morrill Jr. had doubles. Asher had four training victories with JD Perrin getting two.

Action will resume on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race card scheduled for 5 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes will roll into town for the first time this season with the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers ready to battle in a trio of $40,600 events. There will also be competition in the Excelsior A and B Series.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Noble Legend Strolls To Open Trot Win At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The weather was just ideal for a nice stroll at Buffalo Raceway on Friday evening (June 2) and Noble Legend ($8.50) did just that in easily turning back the field in the $10,000 Open Trot.

With crystal blues skies and the temperature hovering around 70, Noble Legend (Ray Fisher Jr.) went gate-to-wire and thoroughly enjoyed the tour around the half-mile oval in 1:57.1. He soundly beat Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) by 3-1/4 lengths while Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) rolled into third place.

It didn't take long for Noble Legend to reach the top and take in the fresh air, posting splits of 29.0, 59.1 and 1:28.1. Down the lane, Noble Legend was looking for some challengers but none materialized. A 29.0 final panel was more than enough to ruin the slim hopes of the other six entrants.

Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It) is co-owned by Jack and trainer Maria Rice. The 5-year-old gelding has now won four times in 17 attempts in 2017, putting $38,350 in the bank this season and $133,835 lifetime.

Kevin Cummings led the drivers on the night with a four-bagger while Stalbaum had a triple. Trainers Maria Rice and Kimberly Asher checked in with doubles.

Racing will resume on Saturday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 6 p.m. There's a $2,626 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Double Joy Wins Second Straight At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Double Joy is finding that shuffling off to Buffalo was the right move.

After departing Freehold Raceway in the end of April, Double Joy ($7.80) has been finding her new digs at Buffalo Raceway to her liking as she won her second straight with an easy 2-1/4 length victory over Voltina in the $8,200 event for the distaff pacers on Wednesday night (May 31).

In posting a seasonal best of 1:54.4 over the fast track, Double Joy has now a pair of victories, a second and a third place finish in her four appearances over the Hamburg half-mile oval.

Double Joy rocketed off the starting gate for driver Larry Stalbaum and they set the fractions of 28.0, 56.2 and 1:25.3 while the favored Voltina (Kevin Cummings) got the pocket trip.

In the race for home, Double Joy's lead was never in jeopardy as she smartly paced to the wire and scored the impressive win. Voltina managed to hang on for second while Who Says That (Ray Fisher Jr.) was third.

Owned by Irwin Kaplan and trained by Bo Sowers, it was the ninth victory in 21 tries this season for Double Joy (Armbro Deuce-Jenna's Joy). The 6-year-old mare has earned $25,675 in 2017 and $154,970 lifetime.

Stalbaum continued his winning ways at Buffalo Raceway as he put another four victories on the board while Jim Morrill Jr. and Drew Monti added a pair apiece. Trainers Kim Asher, JD Perrin and Sowers each doubled.

Racing will resume on Friday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. There's a $972 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Shady City Wins Second Straight Open At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG,N.Y. --- Shady City put no shade on who was the best in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (May 27).

Getting parked the entire mile, Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) took his second straight featured event with a impressive 1-1/2 length victory over Sir Ziggy Z Tam in a seasonal best 1:53.3 over the fast track.

Gallant Seelster, set the fractions of 28.0, 56.1 and 1:25.2 while Shady City found the long journey to be just a nuisance in the end.

Turning for home, Gallant Major had enough for the night. That allowed Stalbaum and Shady City to show who the best were. After taking the lead, they were easily able to stave off the threats from Sir Ziggy Z Tam (Ray Fisher Jr.) and Brees Creek (Drew Monti) who finished in second and third place respectively.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, it was the fifth win in 18 tries for the 7-year-old gelded Shady City (Metropolitan-Maid In Shade). Finishing in the money 14 times in 2017, Shady City has increased his bankroll to $41,536 and $272,113 lifetime.

Stalbaum finished the evening with four victories, Jim Morrill Jr. had a triple and Kevin Cummings and Monti two wins each. Asher had three training victories.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with an 11-race card set for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 26, 2017

Shane Hoehn joins Batavia Downs staff for the 2017 meet

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Batavia Downs is pleased to announce that Shane Hoehn will be joining their staff as Assistant Race Secretary and Program Director for the upcoming live harness racing meet that begins on July 26.

Hoehn was born and raised in Vernon, NY and started working at Vernon Downs right out of high school. During his 20-year tenure there, he started out selling programs and eventually became their full-time Race Secretary, a post he held for seven years.

In 2010, Hoehn left his duties at Vernon to pursue his own business venture. However in 2012, he went back to his racing roots and took the Assistant Race Secretary position at Saratoga Raceway, where he worked until 2014.

“I am looking forward to coming to Batavia Downs and get back into racing full time. I have never been to western New York and am very excited to move there and get started. I have known (Batavia Downs Race Secretary) Joe Zambito for quite a while and am looking forward to working with him” said Hoehn.

As much as Hoehn is anxious to starting his new position, track management is equally pleased with the new addition to their team.

“In an era that requires personnel in our industry to wear many hats on a daily basis, Shane Hoehn brings 22 years of experience in race track administration with him to Batavia Downs and will be a valuable asset to the racing community here” said Todd Haight, Director and General Manager of Live Racing at the Genesee County oval. We look forward to getting him settled in and underway in with his duties.”

Batavia Downs opens its 2017 live racing season on Wednesday (July 26) and will host 71 cards of harness racing action through Saturday (Dec. 16).


BZ Glide Celebrates With Open Trot Win At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- BZ Glide ($10.20) made it a joyous celebration of his 100th career start on Friday night (May 26) with a neck victory over Jim Dandy in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open Trot in 2:00.0 over the good track.

It was the 31st time in his career that the 8-year-old gelded BZ Glide (Yankee Glide-Bloomer Zoomer) has found the winner's circle. The victory was the first in three tries this season for BZ Glide, now a winner of $208,597 lifetime.

The favored Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) set the fractions of 28.2, 59.0 and 1:29.4 in the main event and brought BZ Glide in tow.

At the top of the lane, Kahoku bid everyone a good night while BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) was anxiously waiting to drop into the passing lane and trotted first to the line. Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) made a serious attempt to collar BZ Glide late but ran out of real estate and finished just a neck behind. Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the show spot.

BZ Glide is owned by the Caprio Stable LLC and is trained by Alana Caprio.

Morrill completed the night with four victories while trainers Maria Rice and Gerry Sarama registered doubles.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Hot Patootie Stubborn In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Hot Patootie ($4.60) was sure a stubborn mare in the home stretch at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (May 24) and it paid off with a narrow nose victory over Classy Lane Rose in the $10,000 Open Pace for the ladies

It was the third straight win for Hot Patootie (Larry Stalbaum) who covered the mile in 1:55.4 over the fast track.

Starting from the six post, it took Hot Patootie a quarter mile to reach the top in 27.4. She was helped by the pocket-sitting Voltina who blew far turn the first time and scattered the field.

With a half of 56.0, Hot Patootie opened up a three length edge to the three-quarter marker but looked like she was going to drop anchor in the lane as Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) cut into the margin.

But Stalbaum kept the Hot Patootie afloat in the stretch and had just enough to hang on for the victory over a tough luck Classy Lane Rose. Squeeze This (Ron Beback Jr.) took the show position.

Owned by David Crumb and trained by Joe Skowyra, the 5-year-old Hot Patootie (Hot Pans-Getting Better) now has six wins in 17 tries in 2017. The victory upped her seasonal bankroll to $22,578 and $85,767 lifetime.

Jim Morrill Jr. had the hot hand in the sulky with four wins while Monti had a triple and Stalbaum added a double.

Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race card on tap.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 21, 2017

Shady City Finally Gets Victory In Buffalo Raceway Open

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Shady City ($2.60) finally broke the second place blues by capturing the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (May 20). Shady City had finished a heart-breaking second in four consecutive starts in Open competition.

It wasn't easy for Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) to get re-acquainted with track photographer Steve Roth as he needed a seasonal best of 1:54.3 over the fast track to get the first place check. He beat Gallant Seelster (David McNeight III) by 1-1/4 lengths while Pan Street USA (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show spot.

It was a mad dash to the opening quarter as Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) went three-wide to wrestle the top from Shady City and Pan Street USA in a 27.3 first panel. Settling in and putting up the next two fractions of 55.3 and 1:25.0, Fireyourguns ran out of ammunition in the stretch.

Shady City, enjoying the pocket trip, slipped down into the passing lane and was the strongest of all in getting to the finish line first while a hard-charging Gallant Seelster was second best.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, the 7-year-old gelded Shady City (Metropolitan-Maid In Shade) has four wins in 17 starts. The win increased his 2017 earnings to $36,536 and $267,113 lifetime.

Stalbaum finished the night with four victories while Fisher Jr., Jim Morrill Jr. and Drew Monti produced doubles. Asher had three training wins.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night with an 11-race program set for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Empire Earl N Continues To Please At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- For owner/driver Larry Stalbaum, he's not been hard to please lately when it comes to his trotter Empire Earl N.

For the second time in three weeks, Empire Earl N found his way into the winner's circle at Buffalo Raceway by taking the $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (May 19). They got the photo opportunity thanks to a 3/4-length victory over Osprey Vision in 1:57.3 over the fast track.

Stalbaum said after the race, "Not too much to complain about. I was able to work out a good two hole trip." With a pair of wins and a narrow second place in his last three outings, Stalbaum has a good reason to be happy with his trotter.

With Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) setting the splits of 29.2, 59.0 and 1:27.3, Stalbaum and Empire Earl N were able to drop into the pocket from the six post off the gate. Biding their time until the passing lane, Empire Earl N then zoomed past the tiring Winkys Pride to get the win.

Osprey Vision (David McNeight III) was closing fast on the outside and secured second place while Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) finished in third.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, the 9-year-old gelded Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita) has now produced two wins in nine starts this season. The victory upped his 2017 earnings to $20,070 and $105,995 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. led the driving statistics on the night with a triple while Ray Fisher Jr. had a double. Trainer Jeff Amann conditioned a pair of winners.

Racing will return on Saturday night with a 12-race card. There's a special 7 p.m. post time for the live action in order to accommodate the simulcasting of the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 18, 2017

Hot Patootie Goes Long Trip For Win At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Hot Patootie has been used to going gate-to-wire recently to find her way to the winner's circle at Buffalo Raceway. But that method went out the window on Wednesday night (May 17). Getting the long journey on the outside the entire mile, Hot Patootie was still good enough to top the field in the $8,200 pace for the mares.

For Hot Patootie ($13.20), it was her third victory in her last four starts. She beat Double Joy by a half length in 1:56.0 over the fast track.

It was a four-way battle to the top and when the dust settled on the warm evening, Voltina found herself in the lead. Going by the half in 57.4, Double Joy (Larry Stalbaum) was in command with Hot Patootie (Drew Monti) inching her way closer on the outside.

The final panel boiled down to a battle between the two mares with the relentless Hot Patootie managing to wear down Double Joy late to take win. Squeeze This (Ron Beback Jr.) took the show spot.

Owned by David Crumb and trained by Joe Skowyra, it was the fifth victory in 16 appearances for Hot Patootie (Hot Pans-Getting Better). The win upped her seasonal earnings to $17,578 and $80,767 lifetime.

Monti finished the evening with four wins in the bike while Stalbaum and Jim Morrill Jr. posted doubles. Trainer JD Perrin had a training triple and Bo Sowers had two.

Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 16, 2017

Hot Deuce Sizzles In Buffalo Raceway Open Pace

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Hot Deuce turned in the fastest mile of the 2017 season at Buffalo Raceway and also set a lifetime best with a scorching 1:52.1 over the fast track to win the featured $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (May 13).

The time turned in by Hot Deuce (Drew Monti) was just off the all-time Buffalo Raceway track record of 1:52.0 established in 2015 by Fireyourguns who ironically was in Saturday's event.

While it was the fifth victory in 13 starts for Hot Deuce, it was also another heart-breaking loss for Shady City (Larry Stalbaum). He now has five runner up finishes in his last six tries in Open competition at the Hamburg half mile oval.

Drawing the rail, Hot Deuce immediately shot to the lead and put up impressive fractions of 28.0, 56.1 and 1:24.3. In the final panel, it was a two-horse breakaway with Shady City trying desperately to collar Hot Deuce but came up 3/4 lengths short. Gallant Seelster was next under the line to take the show spot.

Owned by Mike McAllister and trained by Sabrina Clevenger, Hot Deuce (Armbro Deuce-Hot Dam Here Iam) is a 5-year-old gelding that has earned $23,996 this season and $59,856 lifetime.

The ageless wonder, 14-year-old horse Saint William A, won his sixth straight and seventh of the season as he took a $7,000 pace for $10,000 claimers for owner/driver Stalbaum and trainer Kimberly Asher. It was the 300th career start for the veteran Saint William A (Presidential Ball-La Saint). The win was his 54th lifetime victory and moved his career earnings to $733,983.

Stalbaum had four victories while Jim Morrill Jr. and Monti each had triples in the sulky. Clevenger finished with three training victories with Rose Russo and Asher getting two.

Racing will resume at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night with an 11-race program scheduled for 5 p.m. There will be a $2,594 carryover in the Pick-5 that begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Kahoku Uses Inside Trip To Win Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After five straight weeks of being parked to the quarter pole, Kahoku finally drew the rail and got to see what the pylons look like at Buffalo Raceway. The inside markers were definitely a welcomed sight for Kahoku as he took advantage of the rail and registered a neck victory over Empire Earl N in the $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (May 12).

Empire Earl N actually took the lead with an opening split of 28.4 but driver Ron Beback Jr. had Kahoku quickly retake the lead and went 58.3 to the half and 1:28.0 to the three-quarter pole.

In the final panel, the now pocket-sitting Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) made a final charge near the wire but Kahoku had enough left in the tank to score the victory in 1:57.1 over the fast track. Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) took the show check.

Owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw, the 9-year-old gelded Kahoku (SJ's Caviar-Tags Goal) has now put $22,414 in 2017 and $231,891 lifetime.

Jim Morrill Jr. had a five-bagger on the night while Monti and Kevin Cummings had a pair of victories in the sulky. Gerry Sarama notched a training double.

Racing will resume on Saturday at 6 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled. There's a $594 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

Fore more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 11, 2017

Hot Patootie Cools Off Field In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Hot Patootie cooled off the field in the featured $8,200 pace for the mares at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (May 10) by going wire-to-wire and breezing to a easy 2-1/4 length win over Sandy De Vie in 1:55.0.

With the usual front-running Deliciouslynaughty scratched from the event sick, it enabled Hot Patootie (Drew Monti) to get an uncontested lead from the pylons while the rest of the field dropped into line quickly in post position order.

With fractions of 28.4, 57.3 and 1:26.3 over the fast track, Hot Patootie ($6.00) had nothing but clear sailing down the stretch as the reminder of the field failed to mount any kind of threat. The favored Sandy De Vie (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the place position while Squeeze This (Ron Beback Jr.) won the battle for third.

Owned by David Crumb and trained by Joe Skowyra, Hot Patootie (Hot Pans-Getting Better) is a 5-year-old mare that now has four victories in 15 attempts in 2017. The win moved her seasonal earnings to $13,478 and $76,667 lifetime.

Monti, after posting a six-bagger on Saturday night, remained hot with four more victories while Stalbaum added a triple.

Racing will continue on Friday evening at Buffalo Raceway with an 11-race program slated for 5 p.m.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 9, 2017

Western Alumni Takes Open, Monti Wins Six At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Driver Todd Cummings made his first 2017 appearance in the winner's circle at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (May 6) and did so in fine fashion by steering Western Alumni to a stunning $28.80 victory in the $10,000 Open Pace.

While Cummings got to the winner's circle for the first time, driver Drew Monti was wearing out a path to there. Monti collected six victories on the night, including three in the Claiming Championship Series finals for the horse and gelding pacers.

Littlebitofclass led the way over the sloppy track in the feature and posted fractions of 28.4, 57.4 and 1:27.0. Turning for home, the pocket-sitting Western Alumni dropped into the passing lane and was able to hold off a stubborn Shady City (Stalbaum) who was hung out to dry the entire mile on the rainy night.

The margin of victory was 1-1/2 lengths as Western Alumni covered the mile in 1:56.1, equaling his seasonal best. Littlebitaclass (Morrill Jr.) managed to hold on for third.

Owned by James Dunn and trained by Tammy Cummings, it was the third victory in 11 appearances this season for the 9-year-old gelded Western Alumni (Western Hanover-Countryview Miss). The win pushed his earnings to $17,030 on the campaign and $324,109 lifetime.

In the Claiming Championship finals, Beechwood Wayne overcame the outside post and posted a $22.80 surprise to take the lion's share of the $9,000 purse for the $4,000 claimers. In the $12,500 finale for the $5,000-$6,000 classification, Ideal Affair rallied in the stretch to post a $7.70 decision.

The 14-year-old Saint William A ($5.80) won his fifth straight in capturing the $15,000 title race for the $8,000-$10,000 bracket and Royal Reception ($4.00) won his ninth race of the season by registering a win in the $17,500 final in the $12,500-$15,000 level.

Beechwood Wayne (Monti) came from last to first to win the $4,000 division in 1:58.0 as the top four finishers were separated by less than a half length. Beachfront (Jim Morrill Jr.) finished in second with Halton Hurricane (Todd Cummings) taking the show spot.

Owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin, it was the fifth win in 15 tries in 2017 for Beechwood Wayne (Western Terror-Sanskrit Hanover). The win upped his seasonal winnings to $19,921 and $267,562 lifetime.

In the battle for the $5,000-$6000 claimers, Monti made it two straight wins in the Claiming Series as he guided Ideal Affair to a 2-1/4 length victory over Story Book (Morrill Jr.) in 1:58.2. Box Car Johnnie (Stalbaum) finished in third.

Owned by Eric Prevost and conditioned by Sabrina Clevenger, Ideal Affair (American Ideal-Private Affair) has now earned $27,188 this year thanks to six wins and moved his career bankroll to $125,019.

The classy old-timer Saint William A (Stalbaum) went coast-to-coast in the $8,000-$10,000 class and held off the late threat from Panalytical (Ray Fisher Jr.) in 1:58.4. Bahama Bay (Kevin Cummings) was able to roll into show position.

Owned by Stalbaum and conditioned by Kim Asher, Saint William A (Presidential Ball-La Saint) has $28,100 in earnings this season and $730,483 in his career.

Finally, Royal Reception (Monti) got the photo opportunity in the $12,500-$15,000 division with a half length triumph over a late closing Montezuma Blue Chip in 1:57.2. Steuben Patriot (Stalbaum) got the third place check.

Jason Newell owns the 6-year-old gelded Royal Reception (Stonebridge Royal-Celebrity Hall). Trained by Richard Roth, Royal Reception moved his 2017 earnings to $37,155 and $124,359 lifetime.

Despite Monti dominating the night in the sulky, Fisher Jr. still managed to post a triple.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night with a 10-race card scheduled for 5 p.m. There will be a $797 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Empire Earl N Rules In Buffalo Raceway Open Trot

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Empire Earl N ruled over the field in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (May 5) by tying a lifetime best of 1:58.3 with a solid 2-1/4 length victory over Winkys Pride.

In the $16,500 Claiming Championship Series final for trotters ($8,000-$12,500), Osprey Vision took top honors with a 2:00.4 mile over the sloppy track while in the $11,500 title race for the trotters ($4,000-$5,500), it was Wild Ride who captured the crown with 2:02.1 clocking.

It was a heads up drive by Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Larry Stalbaum which aided in Empire Earl N's Open victory.

The pace-setting Kahoku set the fractions of 28.4 and 58.4 but started to stall down the backstretch. Southern Palms was first over and took over the lead while Empire Earl N ($5.00) sat the pocket.

Sensing he might get caught behind the back peddling Kahoku, Stalbaum alertly found a closing gap to maneuver Empire Earl N to the outside and easily rambled past Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the stretch. Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) rallied late to get the place position while Southern Palms took third.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, it was the first win of the season for Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita). The 9-year-old gelding has put $12,570 in the bankroll in 2017 and $98,495 lifetime.

Osprey Vision ($9.90) used a first over journey to register the victory in the $16,500 finale with a three length advantage over Tymal Colossus.

Sitting third behind Dash For The Cash, Osprey Vision (Stalbaum) started to make his winning move before the half and never looked back once gaining the top. The favored Tymal Colossus (Jack Flanigen) took second with Dash For The Cash (Todd Cummings) holding on for third.

It was the fourth win in 14 appearances this season for Osprey Vision (Ken Warkentin-Summerhill Hallie). The 8-year-old gelding, owned by Marissa Russo and trained by David Russo, moved his season winnings to $28,424 and $129,157 in his career.

Wild Ride (Monti) was able to sneak past the favored Grecale AS (Morrill Jr.) to spring the $19.00 upset victory in the $11,500 claiming title clash.

The pair were noses apart down the long Buffalo Raceway stretch but Wild Ride managed to get a nose in front in the shadow of the wire to post the win.

Wild Ride (Pegasus Spur-Birdsall Annie) is an 8-year-old gelding that is owned by Sharon Tufts Morgan and is trained by Darrin Monti. The victory was the second in 11 attempts in 2017 for Wild Ride, now a winner of $12,225 this year and $119,962 in his career.

Stalbaum finished the evening with four wins in the bike while Ray Fisher Jr., Monti and Morrill Jr. each doubled. David Russo had two training victories.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race program set with a special 7 p.m. scheduled post to accommodate the running of the 143rd Kentucky Derby. There will be four finals in the Claiming Championship Series for the male pacers along with the $10,000 Open Pace.

For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 4, 2017

Deliciouslynaughty Keeps On Rolling At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Deliciouslynaughty just keeps piling up the honors.

After tying the track record for aged mare pacers at Buffalo Raceway last week in 1:54.2,, Deliciouslynaughty added the Claiming Championship Series title to her resume on Wednesday night (May 3) with a head victory over stablemate Quicksilvercandy A in 1:56.3 in the $8,000-$12,500 level that carried a purse of $16,500.

In the other division for the pacing mares, Helena's Hope captured the $4,000-$6,000 bracket worth $11,500 by beating Thats My Dream by 2-3/4 lengths in a seasonal best 1:56.2.

Deliciouslynaughty (Larry Stalbaum) had a brief tussle with Quicksilvercandy A (Drew Monti) to the quarter pole but was able to take command and set the splits of 29.0, 58.3 and 1:28.1.

Turning for home, Deliciouslynaughty ($2.10) was able to hold back the late surge of Quicksilvercandy A while Bettor's Night took the show position.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, the 10-year-old Deliciouslynaughty has won seven times in 17 attempts this season, putting $43,856 in the bank and has cashed $457,401 lifetime.

The complexion of the second classification was changed due to the scratches of Moccasin Blue Chip and Babe's Chip.

Now down to a field six with five betting interests, Amoreuble Hanover was able to set the fractions with times of 28.2, 58.2, and 1:27.3.

Helena's Hope (Monti) started a first over trip before the half mile marker and just used a steady grind to reach the top just past the three-quarter station.

In the stretch, Helena's Hope ($9.70) pulled away from the field and easy handled Thats My Dream (Stalbaum) and Springhouse Star (Jim Morrill Jr.) who finished second and third respectively.

The 8-year old Helena's Hope (Dream Away-Windy Witch) is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin. The win upped her winnings to $17,980 this year and $187,603 in her career.

Stalbaum had three victories while Monti, Morrill Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. each had two wins in the sulky. Trainer Jim Graham posted a triple with Perrin adding two.

Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with 11 races scheduled including two divisions of the Claiming Championship Series featuring the trotters.

For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 2, 2017

Busy Week Ahead At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It will be a busy week at Buffalo Raceway starting on Wednesday evening and going right on through Saturday with the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby.

Things get hopping on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with the first two finals of the Claiming Championship Series taking place as the filly and mare pacers collide in the fifth and seventh races. First post for the 11-race card is at 5 p.m.

Friday night, things really get rolling as the trotters battle in two levels of the Claiming Championship Series with post time once again set for 5 p.m.

The popular Weidner Chicken BBQ begins at noon and runs until 7 p.m. with proceeds from the meal benefiting the Food Bank of Western New York. Cost for the chicken dinner is $10.

Fans can also watch the Kentucky Oaks and bet the popular Kentucky Oaks-Kentucky Derby daily double. Advanced wagering on the Kentucky Derby will also be available Friday.

Then on Saturday, Buffalo Raceway's doors will open at 10 a.m. as a full day of simulcasting and live racing will take place. Churchill Downs' first race is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. with the Kentucky Derby having an approximate post of 6:45 p.m.

The simulcast center located in the Buffalo Raceway clubhouse will have over 20 tracks to wager on including, Churchill, Tampa, Belmont, Gulfstream, Woodbine, Finger Lakes and Santa Anita in the afternoon and The Meadowlands, Yonkers and Northfield at night.

There will be a free Kentucky Derby glass giveaway for fans along with free past performances for both Belmont and Churchill Downs.

The final four divisions of the Claiming Championship Series will highlight the live racing program at Buffalo Raceway which will have a special post time of 7 p.m. in order to accommodate the running of the Kentucky Derby via simulcast.

Also on Saturday is the Spring Winner's Circle contest where you can win a $50 betting voucher and a chance to get even more later in the season. Just select who you think will win the ninth race at Buffalo Raceway and if your horse finishes first, you will have a chance to win the $50 voucher. All contestants will receive $5 in free play at Hamburg Gaming just for entering, which is free to do.

Player Club Reward members will also receive double points on Saturday.

Happy Hour is held from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the clubhouse every live racing day, including both Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Days.

You can also strike it big at Hamburg Gaming which will be open its normal hours of 8 a.m. until 4 a.m. There is free shuttle service between Buffalo Raceway and Hamburg Gaming on Saturday.

For more information including upcoming promotions, entries, results, race replays and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Gallant Seelster Wires Field In Buffalo Raceway Open

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Gallant Seelster ($5.30) is finding the rail at Buffalo Raceway to be in his comfort zone. For the second time in three weeks, Gallant Seelster went gate-to-wire from the pylons and won the $10,000 Open Pace with a seasonal best 1:53.2 on Saturday night (April 28).

Drawing the rail in the field of six, Gallant Seelster (David McNeight III) took off from the start and posted splits of 28.1, 56.1 and 1:25.0.

Shady City (Larry Stalbaum), who got parked for most of the race, battled Gallant Seelster down the stretch but ended up a neck short while China Dream (Jack Rice) finished in third.

Co-owned by Peter Kibler, James Costa and Courtney McNeight and trained by David McNeight Jr., Gallant Seelster (Stonebridge Regal-Gold Not Silver) is a 7-year-old gelding that now has won seven times in 17 races in 2017. The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $43,978 and $432,907 lifetime.

Kevin Cummings finished the evening with four victories in the sulky while Ray Fisher Jr. and Stalbaum doubled. Kim Asher and Sabrina Clevenger each had two training wins.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program scheduled. There will be two finals in the Championship Claiming Series with the filly and mare pacers taking center stage.

For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Kahoku Ends Drought With Buffalo Raceway Victory

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After posting 13 victories and putting over $82,000 in the bank last year, Kahoku was in search of his first win of the 2017 campaign after 10 unsuccessful tries. The dry spell ended on Friday night (April 28) as Kahoku took the featured $10,000 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway by turning back Empire Earl N by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:57.0.

It was a three-way war to the opening quarter as Empire Earl N, Noble Legend and Kahoku all had a taste of the lead through the first panel of 28.1.

Things finally settled down on the front end as Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) gained the lead and stepped off fractions of 57.2 and 1:27.2. But it was going to get interesting again as Kahoku locked horns with the first over Empire Earl N (Larry Stalbaum) around the final turn.

Midway down the stretch, Kahoku ($4.30) managed to slowly pull away from the stubborn Empire Earl N and stopped the beam in 1:57.0, the quickest trotting time of the season. Noble Legend (John Cummings Jr.) finished in third.

With the victory, the 9-year-old gelded Kahoku (SJ's Caviar-Tags Goal) moved his seasonal earnings to $16,914 and $226,391 lifetime. He is owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw.

In addition to the Open Trot driver Ron Beback Jr. and trainer Mark Laidlaw paired to win two additional races.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 13-race program scheduled. A two day carryover of $2,217 awaits in the Pick 5 that starts in Race 2.

For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 27, 2017

Deliciouslynaughty Ties Track Record In Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Deliciouslynaughty has certainly been a dominate damsel this season. She proved it once again on Wednesday night (April 26), this time by finding a place in the Buffalo Raceway record book with a gutsy nose victory over V'La Faire in 1:54.2.

The time equaled the standard for aged pacing mares of 1:54.2 established by Majic Laughter and Case Solved in 2014.

It appeared that Deliciouslynaughty (Larry Stalbaum) was going to set the fractions in the $8,200 featured pacing event for the ladies by reaching the quarter pole in 28.1. After going by that station, V'La Faire, sitting third, tipped out and cruised to the lead, posting a half in 56.4 and hitting the three quarter marker in 1:26.1.

In the stretch drive, it looked like V'La Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) might hang on for the victory but Deliciouslynaughty ($5.50) made one last gasp and managed to stick a nose in front at the wire. Mayabelle (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.

"My mare kicked in at the last moment at the wire," Stalbaum said of pulling out the narrow win aboard Deliciouslynaughty. "I never thought about a track record. I was more worried about catching V'La Faire."

Deliciouslynaughty has been in the money in 14 of 16 races this season, including six victories. The 10-year-old mare (Mach Three-Naught Enough Hare) has earned $35,606 in 2017 and $449,151 lifetime. She is owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher.

Fisher Jr. found the winner's circle four times while Stalbaum and Ron Beback Jr. doubled. Kimberly Asher and Jim Graham posted two training wins.

Racing will continue on Friday evening at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program scheduled. There's a Pick-5 carryover of $778 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 24, 2017

Hot Deuce Goes Lifetime Best In Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Just imagine if Hot Deuce would have seen a pylon.

Being parked the entire mile in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open pace on Saturday night (April 22), Hot Deuce still incredibly managed to post a lifetime best 1:53.0 over the fast track in nipping the front stepping Shady City by a head.

Shadowing Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) on the outside, Hot Deuce (Drew Monti) eventually managed to wear down the stubborn pace-setter in deep stretch to pull off the $21.80 upset victory. Gallant Seelster (David McNeight III), last week's Open winner, took the show spot.

Owned by Mike McAllister and trained by Sabrina Clevenger, the 5-year-old gelded Hot Deuce (Armbro Deuce-Hot Dam Here I Am) has now won four times in 10 races. He has earned $18,196 in 2017 and $54,056 lifetime.

Monti, Stalbaum and Jim Morrill Jr. all doubled in the sulky while Bo Sowers trained two winners.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Studio City Gets Win In Buffalo Raceway Return

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After making two starts at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland to begin his 2017 campaign, Studio City had a successful return to familiar territory, that being Buffalo Raceway on Friday evening (April 21) and captured the featured $8,200 trot with a length victory over Noble Legend in 1:59.2.

Studio City, who had five wins on the Western New York circuit in 2016, made two uneventful starts at Rosecroft earlier this month before shuffling off to Buffalo.

It was a mad scramble for the lead in the early going as Kahoku, Noble Legend and Studio City battled for command.

Noble Legend won the dash to the quarter pole, parking out Kahoku along the way while Studio City ($7.70) tucked into the pocket. With fractions of 28.4, 57.4 and 1:29.0, the race eventually boiled down to that trio who pulled away from the pack.

Studio City (Larry Stalbaum) rolled to the lead from the passing lane while a stubborn Noble Legend (John Cummings Jr.) settled for second and a tiring Kahoku (Kevin Cummings) hung on for third.

Co-owned by Scott Woogen and Lisa Denison and trained by Lisa Lederhouse, the 8-year-old gelded Studio City (Conway Hall-Yagot Prestige) has now earned $5,660 in his young 2017 season and $274,370 lifetime.

David McNeight III swept the mid daily double with Mr Bricks ($64.50) and Hunter Valley ($85.50) to produce a massive $1433.00 payoff. The big bombs also created a $1712 carryover in the Pick-5 going into Saturday night's 11-race program which begins at 6 p.m.

Larry Stalbaum had a triple with Drew Monti, Jim Morrill Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. all doubling in the bike. Trainers Kim Asher and Darrin Monti each had a pair of winners.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 20, 2017

Ron Beback Jr. Hits 2,000 Career Wins At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "The way things went several times in my career, I never thought I'd be able to reach 2,000 wins," driver Ron Beback Jr. said after reaching that milestone on Wednesday night (April 19) steering Ergo Hanover ($3.60) to victory in the sixth race at Buffalo Raceway.

The 52-year-old Beback Jr. has had to overcome two serious medical issues over the years but has bounced back each time with a clean bill of health to help grow his win total.

"Back in May of 1999, I was involved in an on-track accident," he said. "After about two weeks, I developed a pair of blood clots that went to my heart which gave me a heart attack. My heart nearly exploded. The doctor told me he didn't want me drive again but I recovered well. Driving is something I love to do."

But then in 2012, Beback Jr. said he developed some dizzy spells and after battery of tests were taken, he found out he had vertigo. "The doctors straightened things out so I was able to get back to racing."

In a four-year span from 2007 through 2010, Beback Jr. was able to find the winner's circle 603 times with 2009 his top season of all-time with 189 victories. Then after the vertigo issue, he returned to get 467 wins from 2013 through 2015. He has over $8.1 million in career purse earnings with most coming on the Western New York circuit.

He also trains horses but has seen this stable go from nearly 30 during his peak to just a handful now. "The owners I used to have just aren't around anymore," Beback Jr. stated.

Besides his own, he gets regular duties from trainers Mark Laidlaw and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. . Beback Jr. said he prefer the trotters with two of his favorites to drive now being Lutetium and Kahoku.

And for the future, Beback Jr. said he plans to continue on racing as long as possible. "I'm going to take it year by year but I have no plans of stopping any time soon."

Deliciouslynaughty (Larry Stalbaum) won the featured $8,200 pace for the mares with a head victory over V'La Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) in 1:57.2 over the sloppy track. Who Says That (John Cummings Jr.) finished in third place.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, it was the fifth win in 15 starts this year for the 10-year-old Deliciouslynaughty (Mach Three-Naught Enough Hare). The victory pushed her earnings to $31,506 in 2017 and $445,051 lifetime. Stalbaum and Asher combined for a driver/trainer double.

Racing will resume on Friday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. There's a $671 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 18, 2017

Gallant Seelster Wires Field In Buffalo Raceway Open

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Gallant Seelster ($4.70) put in a gallant effort and easily strolled away for a two length victory over Littlebitaclass in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (April 15).

Drawing the inside post in the field of seven, Gallant Seelster (David McNeight III) went gate-to-wire in a seasonal best 1:54.0 over the fast track.

From the start, it was Gallant Seelster who was in command as the rest of the field fell in behind in post position order. Setting markers of 29.1, 57.3, and 1:26.2, Gallant Seelster dropped a 27.3 final panel to squash the hopes of the closers.

Littlebitaclass (Ray Fisher Jr.) held on for second place while Hot Deuce (Drew Monti) rallied for the show spot.

Owned by Pete Kibler, James Costa and Courtney McNeight, the 7-year-old gelded Gallant Seelster (Stonebridge Regal-Gold Not Silver) is trained by David McNeight Jr. The victory was the sixth of the season for Gallant Seelster, now a winner of $37,778 in 2017 and $426,707 lifetime.

Larry Stalbaum took the spotlight for the drivers with a four-bagger, Fisher Jr. had a triple while McNeight III posted two victories. Gerry Sarama and Sabrina Clevenger trained a pair of winners.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


The Bronx Bumper Has Right Recipe At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was the perfect recipe for success on Friday night (April 14) for The Bronx Bumper in Buffalo Raceway's featured $8,200 trot.

Drawing the pylons in a six-horse field and mixing in the services of driver Jim Morrill Jr., The Bronx Bumper ($3.10) made it look easy in posting a 2-1/4 length win over Kahoku in a seasonal-best 1:57.2 on the fast race track.

The Bronx Bumper and Kahoku were fortunate to head to lead early as the remainder of the field was scattered thanks to breaks by City Kid and Lucky Pablo. It became a two-horse breakaway as The Bronx Bumper, using fractions of 28.4, 58.1 and 1:28.0, brought Kahoku along in second.

In the stretch, The Bronx Bumper faced no challengers and was able to trot away from Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) and third place finisher Ali De Vie (Ray Fisher Jr.).

Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, it was the sixth victory in 14 starts this season for the 8-year-old gelded The Bronx Bumper (Ken Warkentin-Carolina Hall). The win pushed his 2017 earnings to $30,284 and $183,889 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. and Larry Stalbaum each finished the evening with three victories while Kevin Cummings had a pair. Trainers Kirk Desmond and Sarama each doubled.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled. There is a $488 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 13, 2017

Voltina Finds Inside To Her Liking At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Voltina found the inside post to her liking on Wednesday night (April 12) as she took advantage of the great draw to register a 3/4-length victory over Deliciouslynaughty in the $10,000 Open pace for the mares at Buffalo Raceway in 1:55.2.

The victory by Voltina in the opener was just a start of a outstanding night for Kevin Cummings as he scored five wins, including several long shots. Cummings won with Voltina ($11.20), Chickenwithabanjo ($2.80), Springhouse Star ($7.20), Amoreuble Hanover ($27.40) and Our Last Photo ($47.20).

In the feature, Wanna Rock N Roll (Drew Monti) was in command of the fractions with panels of 28.0, 56.4 and 1:26.2 over the fast track. But those splits proved to be too much in the end for Wanna Rock N Roll as the closers began making their big moves in the stretch.

Voltina, tracking along in the garden spot, found the passing lane to be the best place to be. She dipped to the inside and paced to the lead while Deliciouslynaughty (Larry Stalbaum) and Who Says That (John Cummings Jr.) charged late but settled to take second and third respectively.

Owned by Chs Racing LLC and trained by Anthony Cummings, Voltina (Allamerican Native-Best Not Tell) has won three times in 12 starts in 2017. It pushed her earnings to $18,690 this season and $159,231 lifetime.

Ray Fisher Jr. had a double in the sulky.

Racing will resume on Friday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card slated.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 10, 2017

Hot Deuce On Fire At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's safe to say that Hot Deuce is on fire right now. After scoring an eye-popping 14-length win in 1:54.2 last week in an $8,000 claiming event in his Buffalo Raceway debut, Hot Deuce took a giant step up in class on Saturday night (April 9).

Landing in the $10,000 in Open pace, Hot Deuce ($12.00) put in another blistering performance, beating Shady City by a neck in 1:53.2 over the fast track. The time was the quickest of the season at Buffalo Raceway and was also a lifetime mark for Hot Deuce.

After making starts this season at Western Fair, Flamboro Downs and Woodbine, Hot Deuce is thriving in his new Buffalo Raceway surroundings as he is now a perfect 2-for-2.

At the start, China Dream was able to jump to the top in the field of six. Setting fractions of 28.1, 57.0 and 1:25.0, China Dream (Shawn Gray) had to deal with the pesky Hot Deuce (Drew Monti) who got a first over trip starting just before the opening half.

In the stretch, Hot Deuce continued to grind on the outside and was able to take the lead late. Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) made a gallant effort and finished a tough-luck second a neck back while China Dream was third in the blanket finish.

Owned by Mike McAllister and trained by Sabrina Clevenger, Hot Deuce (Armbro Deuce-Hot Dam Here Iam) is a 5-year-old gelding that has three wins in eight tries in 2017. The victory upped his season bankroll to $11,996 and $47,856 lifetime.

Monti was on fire in the sulky as he registered a five-bagger while Ray Fisher Jr. tripled and Ron Beback Jr. doubled. Trainer JD Perrin had two winners.

Racing will resume on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


City Kid Does The Dirty Work At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- City Kid showed he's not afraid of doing the dirty work, literally.

For the second straight week, City Kid ($3.40) trudged around the sloppy Buffalo Raceway half mile oval and took the $8,200 featured trot on Friday evening (April 7).

After scoring an impressive 3-1/4 length win last week in the off going, City Kid (Larry Stalbaum) spanked the field this time around, registering an easy eight length victory in 2:00.0. Lucky Pablo (David McNeight III) was second with The Bronx Bumper (Jim Morrill Jr.) finishing in third.

Firing to the lead off the gate, City Kid had no resistance in putting up fractions of 28.1, 57.4 and 1:28.0.

With a quarter mile to trot, City Kid opened up an insurmountable 10-length advantage on the field and never looked back in the stretch.

Owned by Marissa Russo and trained by David Russo, the 9-year-old gelded City Kid (Cincinnati Kid-Salagadoola) has now won five times in 12 seasonal attempts. The victory pushed his 2017 earnings to $24,174 and $212,764 lifetime.

Stalbaum, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, continued to pile up victories as he found his way to the winner's circle four more times. 20-year-old provisional driver Jim McNeight Jr. added a triple while Jim McNeight conditioned the three winners driven by his son.

Racing will continue on Saturday night with 12 races set to go to the post starting at 6 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 6, 2017

Deliciouslynaughty On Best Behavior At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Deliciouslynaughty was on her best behavior at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (April 5) and rallied late to capture the featured $8,200 pace for the mares in 1:57.0 over the fast track.

Getting a perfect second over trip, Deliciouslynaughty (Larry Stalbaum) went three-wide down the long Buffalo Raceway stretch and was able to surge past Who Says That (John Cummings Jr.) in the final strides to capture the victory. Susie's Delight) managed to secure the show position.

Scarlet N Silk had to tussle with Susie's Delight to grab the top and posted fractions of 28.4, 57.2 and 1:27.3.

But down the lane, Scarlet N Silk started to get leg weary while Deliciouslynaughty and Who Says That were revved up on the outside.

Who Says That enjoyed a slight advantage midway down the stretch but couldn't hold off the fast closing Deliciouslynaughty who posted the head win.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher, it was the fourth win in 13 appearances for Deliciouslynaughty (Mach Three-Naught Enough Hare). The 10-year-old mare has now put $24,906 in the bank this year and $438,451 lifetime.

Jim Morrill Jr had a triple in the bike while Stalbaum and Kevin Cummings all had doubles. Trainer Bo Sowers picked up three wins and Asher had a pair.

Racing will resume at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night with an 11-race card set for 5 p.m. There is a $999 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 3, 2017

Lucky McTrucky, Shady City Don't Fool Around At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was April Fool's Day at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (April 1) but it was Lucky McTrucky and Shady City who didn't fool around in the $8,600 co-featured pace.

Taking off for the lead from the start, Lucky McTrucky ($7.10) made his Buffalo Raceway debut an impressive one with a diminishing half length victory over China Dream in 1:57.3 over the good track.

In the other co-feature, Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) used his patented late kick to gun down the field in a seasonal best 1:55.1.

After competing at Yonkers Raceway and Pocono Downs earlier this season, Lucky McTrucky (Ray Fisher Jr.) arrived at the Hamburg half-mile oval sniffing for his first win of 2017.

Going right to the top, Lucky McTrucky put of fractions of 29.1, 59.1 and 1:28.4. Things appeared in order for Lucky McTrucky down the stretch but a late surge by China Dream (Shawn Gray) made the race close in the end. Lucky King (Ron Beback Jr.) took the show position.

Owned by James Krurilla and trained by Jeff Amann, it was the first victory of the season for Lucky McTrucky (McArdle-Truculent Lady). The 8-year-old gelding has now earned $10,350 this season and $344,437 lifetime.

In the second feature, Shady City ($6.60), starting on the outside, took advantage of the breaking pace-setter Flying Cowboy to wrangle the victory. Southwind Torque (Shawn Gray) took second but was 2-1/2 lengths back while Dodger Hanover (John Cummings Jr.) was third.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, it was the third victory in 10 tries for Shady City (Metropolitan-Made In Shade). The 7-year-old gelding has now put $17,236 in the bank this season and $248,813 in his career.

Fisher Jr. finished the evening with four wins while Drew Monti added a double. JD Perrin, Kimberly Asher and Sabrina Clevenger all had two training victories.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


No One Can Catch City Kid At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- City Kid played catch me if you can and his seven rivals just couldn't do it in Buffalo Raceway's featured $8,200 trot on a rainy Friday evening (March 31).

Grabbing the lead from the beginning of the race, City Kid ($12.80) was too tough for the others as he toured the mile in 2:00.0 over the sloppy track. The Bronx Bumper was the nearest rival to City Kid in the end, finishing 3-1/4 lengths back. Chelseas Chance (Drew Monti) took the show spot.

Starting from the five post, driver Larry Stalbaum set the fractions aboard City Kid with panels of 29.2, 59,2 and 1:29.3.

At the top of the stretch, City Kid enjoyed a solid two-length edge and drew away as The Bronx Bumper (Jim Morrill Jr.) never made a threatening move in the dash to the wire.

Owned by Marissa Russo and trained by David Russo, City Kid (Cincinnati Kid-Salagadoola) has scored four victories in 11 attempts this season. The win pushed the 9-year-old gelding's earnings to $20,074 in 2017 and $209,664 lifetime.

Stalbaum, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, continues to pile up the victories as he notched five wins on the card while Ray Fisher Jr. and Morrill Jr. added doubles. Trainer Sabrina Clevenger had a triple while David Russo had two.

Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with 12 races on tap. There is a $558 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 30, 2017

Ray Fisher Jr. Gets 4,000th In Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "I never thought I'd get my first win or even get a hundred wins let alone four thousand," driver Ray Fisher Jr. said after he posted his 4,000th career victory aboard Autocorect Hanover ($9.80) in the eighth race at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (March 29).

"I didn't even know I was close to four thousand wins until a few weeks ago. I was kind of surprised," Fisher Jr. said.

The 48-year-old Fisher Jr. suffered a broken back in a track mishap in 2013 and that slowed his march to 4,000 wins down. It possibly could have ended his career but he was positive he would come back.

"Not driving again never entered my mind," Fisher Jr. said about the possibility of not getting on the sulky again. "I may have come back too soon physically after breaking my back but mentally I had to get out there as quickly as I could. It was just something I had to do."

He's definitely back in his comfort zone now as he currently sits in third place at Buffalo Raceway with 56 victories. Fisher Jr. piled up 81 wins last season at the Hamburg half-mile oval and added 98 more in the fall meet at Batavia Downs.

Fisher Jr. said he enjoys the competition of driving, especially going against the likes of Jim Morrill Jr., Larry Stalbaum, Shawn Gray and Kevin Cummings on the Western New York circuit. "They are tough to beat for sure but I am fortunate that I get to do it."

And is 5,000 wins in the cards for Fisher Jr., a winner of nearly $17 million in career purses? He didn't discount it.

"With the evolution of the catch driver now, you can get a lot of chances every night. I've always had good opportunities here or at other tracks so hopefully that will continue," Fisher Jr. said in conclusion.

In the co-featured $8,200 paces for the mares, the two favorites found the winner's circle. Dontch Remember (Morrill Jr.) won the opener in 1:57.2 and returned $3.10 while Ben McNeil piloted Looney Dune to the $5.00 victory in 1:56.1.

Drew Monti tripled and Morrill Jr. finished the night with a driving double. JD Perrin conditioned a pair of winners.

Racing will resume on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with an 11-race program scheduled for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 27, 2017

Zipnthruthehall 'Zips' To Buffalo Raceway Victory

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Zipnthruthehall showed plenty of 'zip' in the stretch and captured the $8,600 featured pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (March 25) by holding off Jolt Of Whiskey by a half length in 1:57.4.

Starting a first over journey at the half mile marker, Zipnthruthehall ($3.80) and driver Ray Fisher Jr. were able to finally grab the lead at the three-quarter pole. They managed to hold off the late charge of Jolt Of Whiskey (Shawn Gray) who came up just short while Babe's I Scoot (David McNeight III) was able to win the battle for third.

Owned by Samuel Smith and trained by Gerry Sarama, Zipnthruthehall (Blissful Hall-Zipadeedoodah) is a 9-year-old gelding that has won three times in seven tries in 2017. The victory pushed his seasonal earnings to $18,374 and $282,405 lifetime.

Driver Larry Stalbaum led the way with three trips to the winner's circle while Kevin Cummings and Gray each posted doubles.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with an 11-race card set for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


The Bronx Bumper Doesn't Disappoint At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The Bronx Bumper was sent off at 1-to-5 odds on the tote board and he didn't disappoint on that proposition in easily taking down the field in the featured $8,200 trot at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (March 24).

Drawing the rail and having the services of red-hot driver Jim Morrill Jr., The Bronx Bumper ($2.50) allowed Lucky Pablo and City Kid tussle for the lead before making a charge to take command just before the quarter pole.

Posting fractions of 30.0, 59.2 and 1:29.2, The Bronx Bumper enjoyed the fresh spring air down the stretch and easily cruised to the dialed down length victory over Lucky Pablo (Drew Monti) in a seasonal best 1:58.1 over the fast track. City Kid (Larry Stalbaum) held on for the show position.

Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, The Bronx Bumper (Ken Warkentin-Carolina Hall) has now won five times in 11 appearances in 2017. The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $23,160 and $176,755 lifetime.

Monti finished the evening with three victories while Morrill Jr. and Stalbaum had doubles. Steven Weaver had two training wins.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m.with 11 races scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Sandy De Vie, Deliciouslynaughty Share Buffalo Spotlight

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Sandy De Vie made it three straight victories while a stubborn Deliciouslynaughty was just good all around as the pair shared top honors in the co-featured $8,200 paces for the mares at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (March 22).

Sandy De Vie ($5.80) was the quickest of the two main events, going 1:57.1 over the fast track while Deliciouslynaughty ($14.20) went gate-to-wire in 1:58.1.

It was also an impressive night for drivers Jim Morrill Jr., Larry Stalbaum and trainer Kim Asher. Morrill Jr. finished with five victories, Stalbaum had four wins while Asher had four go to the winner's circle.

In the opener on the 12-race program, Deliciouslynaughty paced straight to the lead, using fractions of 29.1, 58.4 and 1:28.4.

While enjoying the front end trip, Deliciouslynaughty (Larry Stalbaum) knew there were going to be challengers in the drive to the finish.

Dontch Remember, who was hung out to dry most of the mile, tried in vain to collar the determined Deliciouslynaughty (Jim Morrill Jr.) but couldn't get any closer than 1-1/2 lengths and had to settle for second. Scarlet N Silk (David McNeight III) took third.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Asher, Deliciouslynaughty (Mach Three-Naught Enough Hare) has now posted three wins in 11 starts in 2017, earning $19,822 and $434,367 lifetime.

Sandy De Vie used a first over trip and turned back Who Says That (John Cummings Jr.) by 3/4 lengths.

With Letsgosomewhere setting the early tempo, Morrill Jr. started his march with Sandy De Vie to the lead just before the half mile marker.

Enjoying a two length advantage at the top of the stretch, Sandy De Vie had no issues in the lane as Who Says That took place position while Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) found the show spot.

Co-owned by Michael Torcello and Samuel Smith and trained by Gerry Sarama, Sandy De Vie (Mach Three-On The Beach) is a 4-year-old mare that has won $10,944 this season and $41,921 in her young career.

Also on the card, trainer Bo Sowers registered a double.

Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with 10 races scheduled to go to the post.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 21, 2017

China Dream Wires Field In Buffalo Raceway Open

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- With less than ideal weather and track conditions at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (March 18), it appeared that the times weren't going to be all that impressive.

Someone forgot to tell that to China Dream.

Going the fastest mile of the meet with an eye-popping 1:54.3 clocking, China Dream ($3.30) steamrolled the field in the $10,000 Open Pace with an easy wire-to-wire victory over Believe This Bob by 2-3/4 lengths.

With temperatures in the upper 30s, light rain showers and a sloppy track, China Dream seemed to be on a mission to get back to the comforts of his stall as quick as possible.

Using fractions of 28.3, 58.3 and 1:27.1, China Dream (Shawn Gray) posted a 27.2 final panel to erase any hopes the other five participants had of pulling out the victory. Believe This Bob (Drew Monti) took the place position while Littlebitaclass (Jim Morrill Jr.) was third.

Co-owned by Jack and trainer Maria Rice, it was the third win in eight tries this season for the 6-year-old gelded China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art). The victory pushed his season earnings to $22,120 and $194,793 lifetime.

Larry Stalbaum was on fire Saturday night as he posted a four-bagger, Gray tripled with Monti and Ray Fisher Jr. doubling. Sabrina Clevenger scored two training wins.

Racing will resume on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


City Kid Is The Man In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- City Kid showed who the 'man' was on Friday night (March 17) at Buffalo Raceway by winning the featured $8,200 trot by a length over The Bronx Bumper in a seasonal best 1:58.2 on the fast track.

After a pair of narrow defeats the past two weeks, City Kid ($14.40) finally his photo opportunity thanks to a pylon-skimming journey over the Hamburg half-mile oval.

Lenny Mac, the lone mare in the event, set the tempo in the race with fractions of 29.4, 59.0 and 1:28.4. She had to deal with The Bronx Bumper who pestered her on the outside the entire mile while City Kid enjoyed the ground saving trip.

Turning for home, City Kid (Larry Stalbaum) dropped to the passing lane to rustle the lead but had to hold off a stubborn The Bronx Bumper (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Lenny Mac (Kevin Cummings) who finished a game second and third respectively.

Owned by Marissa Russo and trained by David Russo, City Kid (Cincinnati Kid-Salagadoola) is a 9-year-old gelding who now has earned $14,990 in 2017 and $203,580 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. finished the evening with a four-bagger while David McNeight III had a pair of victories. Jeff Amann notched a training double.

Racing will resume on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a 12-race card slated. The night will be highlighted by the World Harness Handicapping Challenge at Buffalo Raceway.

There's a $10 entry fee for The Challenge which includes past performances for both the Buffalo Raceway and The Meadowlands cards.

The winner of the Buffalo Raceway contest will receive $500 along with an entry into the World Harness Handicapping Championship at The Meadowlands in April along with two nights hotel accommodations.

For more information and rules on the contest or for upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 13, 2017

Win Tastes Good For Gallant Seelster At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Gallant Seelster got his first taste of Open competition at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (March 11) and he found it to be delicious.

Rising up through the ranks successfully the past four weeks, Gallant Seelster ($6.20) landed in the $10,000 Open Pace this time around and led at every marker in scoring the three-quarter length win over China Dream in 1:55.3 over the fast track.

Just a few weeks ago, Gallant Seelster was in $15,000 optional claimers and after stringing together three impressive wins in four tries, it was time to tackle the best.

Using the same tactics that got Gallant Seelster into the Open event, driver David McNeight III sent the 7-year-old gelding right to the lead.

After putting up splits of 28.0, 57.4 and 1:26.4, the lukewarm favorite Gallant Seelster was primed to take on any callers through the stretch. There was just one taker, that being China Dream (Shawn Gray).

While in perfect striking position, China Dream couldn't make up any ground in the stretch as Gallant Seelster had more than enough pace to withstand the challenge. Believe This Bob (Drew Monti) took the show position.

Co-owned by Pete Kibler, James Costa and Courtney McNeight, Gallant Seelster (Stonebridge Regal-Gold Not Silver) is trained by David McNeight Jr. Now a winner of five races this season in 10 tries, Gallant Seelster has put $25,578 in the bank in 2017 and $414,507 lifetime.

Jim Morrill Jr. remained on fire as he notched five wins in the sulky while Larry Stalbaum had a double. Gerry Sarama posted a training triple and David Russo had two.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. when an 11-race card is set. There will be a $848 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Patience Pays Off For Noble Legend At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Noble Legend and driver Shawn Gray showed plenty of patience in the $10,000 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (March 10) and it paid off with a strong 1-1/4 length victory over Southern Palms in 1:58.1 over the fast track.

Noble Legend is the 2016 Trotter of the Year at Buffalo Raceway and also holds the track record for 4-year-old geldings with a 1:56.3 mark set last season.

In the feature, last week's winner Southern Palms set the fractions of 28.3, 48.3 and 1:28.2 but things weren't going to come easy this time around.

Winkys Pride was first over turning for home while Noble Legend sat in the pocket, breathing down the back of the pace-setting Southern Palms.

The waiting game worked out perfectly for Gray and Noble Legend ($4.50) as they cruised to the lead in the passing lane. Southern Palms (Ray Fisher Jr.) and Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) could do nothing but watch and finished in second and third respectively.

Co-owned by Jack and trainer Maria Rice, it was the second victory in eight tries for the 5-year-old gelded Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It). He is now a winner of $18,980 in 2017 and $114,465 lifetime.

Buffalo Raceway's defending driving champion Jim Morrill Jr. broke into the win column for the first time in 2017 and did so in fine fashion by registering a four-bagger. Gray finished the night with three wins in the bike..

Racing continues on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with an 11-race program.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


It's A Breeze For Voltina At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There were strong, gusty winds at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (March 8) but Voltina found things to be just a 'breeze' in the featured $8,200 pace for the mares.

Scoring from the rail, Voltina (Kevin Cummings) made every step a winning one and defeated Dontch Remember (Jim Morrill Jr.) by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:58.3 over the fast track.

Voltina had no problem in getting to the lead as the favored Deliciouslynaughty broke stride just as the starting gate opened.

After putting up fractions of 29.3, 58.4 and 1:28.3, Voltina enjoyed a two length advantage heading into stiff wind down the stretch.

The margin proved to be more than enough as Voltina ($11.80) was able to hold off Dontch Remember and Honor Roll (Shawn McDonough) who took second and third place respectively.

Owned by Chs Racing and trained by Anthony Cummings, it was the second win in eight tries in 2017 for Voltina (Allamerican Native-Best Not Tell). The win upped the 7-year-old mare's bankroll to $12,378 this season and $152,919 lifetime.

Racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card set for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 5, 2017

Gallant Seelster Warms Things Up At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The thermometer at Buffalo Raceway read a brisk 19 degrees on Saturday night (March 4) but Gallant Seelster sure did make the mercury rise with an impressive victory in the featured $8,600 pace.

Tying the fastest mile of the 2017 meet with a 1:54.4, Gallant Seelster (David McNeight III) went gate to wire and beat Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) by solid 2-1/4 lengths. A scorching 56.4 second half mile including a 28.0 last panel was more than enough for Gallant Seelster to register the $5.50 win.

Starting from the five post, Gallant Seelster faced little resistance in setting the pace. After putting up splits of 29.1, 58.0 and 1:26.4, Gallant Seelster was waiting for some challengers in the lane, but there were no takers. Shady City managed to hang onto second place while Babe's I Scoot (Ray Fisher Jr.) was third.

Gallant Seelster (Stoneridge Regal-Gold Not Silver) is co-owned by Pete Kibler, James Costa and Courtney McNeight. David McNeight Jr. handled the training duties for the 7-year-old gelding, now a winner of four races this season in nine appearances. Gallant Seelster has earned $20,578 in 2017 and $409,407 lifetime.

Shawn Gray and Ray Fisher Jr. had triples in the bike with Kevin Cummings and McNeight III each getting a double. Sabrina Clevenger, Maria Rice and Gerry Sarama each had two training victories.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with 11 races scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Southern Palms Returns To Winning Ways At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After opening the season with an impressive three-race win streak, Southern Palms hit the skids and failed to earned a check in his next two starts.

But on Friday night (March 3) in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot, Southern Palms regrouped and got back to his winning ways with a $23.40 upset victory in a seasonal best 1:58.2 over the fast track. He was able to comfortably hold off the late charge by Ali De Vie (Kevin Cummings) and Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) who finished second and third respectively.

There were two consecutive stunners to open the Friday card which produced a $1479.00 early daily double. The opening leg was kicked off by an $85.50 win by Change Your Luck (Monti) which was then followed by Southern Palms' effort.

After a battle to get the lead from the start in the feature, Southern Palms (Ray Fisher Jr.) settled in and produced fractions of 28.2, 58.3 and 1:28.3.

There looked like plenty of contenders as heads turned for home but they ended up being pretenders as Southern Palms convincingly trotted to the wire with 3/4 lengths to spare.

Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, it was the fourth victory in six tries for the 4-year-old gelded Southern Palms (Rc Royalty-Pacific Elegance). The win pushed his seasonal bankroll to $14,300 and $168,505 lifetime.

Fisher Jr. had four winners in the sulky, Shawn Gray had three with Monti and Larry Stalbaum each getting a double. Sarama had a training triple.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. There is a $692 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 2, 2017

Susie's Delight Takes Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Rain and the 'lightning' lane proved to be a perfect combination for Susie's Delight ($4.60) at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (March 1) as she got the win in the featured $8,200 pace for the mares in 1:58.4.

With Missevil set fractions of 30.0, 59.4 and 1:29.2, pacers fanned out four wide. With five ladies having a realistic chance, it was just a matter of who had the best closing kick and would get the photo opportunity.

Drafting behind the pace-setting Missevil, Susie's Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) dropped down in the passing lane and rolled her way to a 1-1/2 length decision over Deliciouslynaughty (Larry Stalbaum). Missevil (Drew Monti) hung on for third place.

Susie's Delight had a final panel of 28.3 which was more than enough to hold off the wall of pacers that followed behind.

Owned by the Swift Racing Stable and trained by Ryan Swift, it was the first victory of the year for Susie's Delight (Bettor's Delight-Shezaflamintower). The win upped the 7-year-old mare's earnings to $9,306 in 2017 and $137,360 lifetime.

Stalbaum, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, put up a four-bagger while Fisher Jr. finished the night with a triple. Kevin Cummings had a pair of victories including a $112.00 win aboard Kesons Silhouette.

Trainer Kimberly Asher added to her win total with four more victories.

Buffalo Raceway had its highest handle of the season with a total of over $363,000.

Racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with 12 races set to go to the post at 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 28, 2017

It's 'All In The Family' For McNeights At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a unique version of 'All In The Family' for the McNeight crew on Saturday night (Feb. 25) at Buffalo Raceway as driver David McNeight III drove three horses to victory which covered three generations of his family.

In the third race, trainer David McNeight Jr. enjoyed watching his son (David III) guide Sea Star to a $38.00 victory.

Lucky Millionaire ($12.80), who was driven and trained by David III, captured the ninth race.

So with two generations now covered, there was a chance for the unique trifecta in the 12th race as Spring Terror, trained by grandfather David McNeight Sr. was entered with David III in the bike.

Sure enough, Spring Terror ($4.00) got up in the shadow of the wire to score the half length win, giving the McNeights a unique three-generation family hat trick.

McNeight III sits fourth in the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings with 21 wins while David McNeight Jr. is in fourth place in the trainer's rankings with 17 wins.

Racing resumes at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with 12 races scheduled. There's a $2,347 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.


China Dream Captures Buffalo Raceway Open Pace

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- China Dream is known for his late closing speed but a change in tactics paid off for him in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (Feb. 25) by beating Itsonlyrocknroll A by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55.4 over the good track.

In an uncharacteristic move, China Dream (Shawn Gray) fired off the gate and had to go three-wide to grab the lead as Gallant Major and Thunderbolt Jaxon played hard ball to the opening quarter.

After setting splits of 28.3, 57.3 and 1:26.4, China Dream ($8.40) opened up a commanding four length advantage turning for home and cruised to the throttled down victory over the favored Itsonlyrocknroll A (Larry Stalbaum). Knocking Around (David McNeight III) took the show position.

Co-owned by trainer Maria Rice and Jack Rice, China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art) is a 6-year-gelding that has earned $14,620 in 2017 and $187,293 lifetime.

Gray had four victories in the bike with Stalbaum and McNeight III scoring triples. Trainers Kimberly Asher and Gerry Sarama each notched a double.

Racing will return on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled. There will be a carryover of $2,347 Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Bo Sowers Gets 1,000th Win With Buffalo Victory

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- When Monster Cantab ($20.40) crossed the finish line in Buffalo Raceway's sixth race on Friday night (Feb. 23), it gave trainer Philip 'Bo' Sowers his 1,000th career victory.

"It now puts me in a category that I never thought I'd ever reach when I started training," Sowers said of hitting that magical plateau.

Back in 2002, Sowers was training four horses as a hobby in Maine but this wife suggested he start doing it full time.

"I was driving a truck from 8 to 5 every day and wasn't enjoying it," he said. Now with 1,000 wins in the books and almost $3 million in purse earnings, Sowers is sure glad he made the switch.

While getting most of his victories in Maine at Scarborough and Bangor race tracks, Sowers was a little apprehensive about making the move to Buffalo Raceway this winter.

"I was asked by the Mo Coo Stables the past few years if I wanted to go to Buffalo Raceway and train," Sowers said. "I kept turning it down until this year and I am very happy I came here. I wondered how I'd be treated here because I was a newcomer but everyone has been absolutely great. They've welcomed me and have made me feel right at home. It's a closeness here like I felt back in Maine."

Sowers added that he'll be starting his quest for 2,000 victories in Western New York. "We have over 20 horses here and my wife and I decided a few days ago that we will be staying at Buffalo Raceway throughout the season. We love it here."

Osprey Vision ($9.10) wasn't going to be denied in Buffalo Raceway's first co-featured $8,200 trot as he gamely held off Kadabrasnewrecruit by a neck in 2:00.0 over the fast track.

In the second $8,200 trot, Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) was able to power by the pace-setting Northern Matador in the stretch and post the mild $11.60 upset in 1:58.3.

David McNeight III and Ray Fisher Jr. each tripled while John Cummings Jr. had two wins.

David McNeight Jr. and Gerry Sarama had two training victories each.

Racing will resume on Saturday night with a 12-race program set for 6 p.m. There is a $1,034 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 16, 2017

Who Says That Skims Pylons For Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Who Says That skimmed the pylons and that ground saving journey proved to be the difference in the $10,000 Open Pace for the mares at Buffalo Raceway on a snowy Wednesday night (Feb. 15).

Using the passing lane, Who Says That (Shawn Gray) held back the late-charging Wanna Rock N Roll (Drew Monti) by a half length while Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) finished in third.

At the start, Looney Dune set the pace by posting times of 29.0, 58.2 and 1:28.4. Turning for the wire, the first over Honor Roll got the lead but started to falter. Who Says That in the meantime dipped into the passing lane and rallied to get victory in 1:58.4.

Co-owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Christopher Shambo and Jack Rice, the 6-year-old Who Says That (Badlands Hanover-Powercorp) is trained by Maria Rice. It was the first victory in six tries this season for Who Says That, now a winner of $9,350 in 2017 and $103,478 lifetime.

McNeil helped throw a monkey wrench in the Pick-5 as he registered a double by driving Aritzia ($13.80) and Get The Look ($40.80) to victories. Larry Stalbaum helped out as well he took Power Off to a $37.80 decision to kick off the sequence.

With the big prices, Buffalo Raceway will have a $3,359 carryover in the Pick-5 heading into Friday night's 12-race card that begins at 5 p.m. The Pick-5 starts in the second race.

Truman Gale had the largest win price of the night as he drove Paltrow Blue Chip to the $105.00 victory.

Gray finished the evening with a driving triple while Stalbaum and Ray Fisher Jr. doubled.

Gerry Sarama and Jeff Amann each recorded two training victories.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 13, 2017

Knocking Around No Longer Camera Shy At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Knocking Around has been camera shy recently but that doesn't mean the 7-year-old gelding hasn't been trying.

With three runner up finishes and two shows in his last five appearances in Open competition, it was just a matter of time before Knocking Around got back into the win column.

That time came on Saturday night (Feb. 11).

Knocking Around ($6.10) got a perfect first over trip and held on at the wire to take Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Pace in 1:59.3 over a sloppy track. After 10 victories and $86,370 in earnings in 2016, it was the first win in four starts this year.

With Littlebitaclass setting the splits of 29.2, 1:00.0 and 1:30.2, the closers were ready to pounce in the final panel on the pace-setter in the stretch.

Pounce they did.

Knocking Around (David McNeight III) led the charge down the stretch and was able to hold back the valiant attempts by China Dream (Shawn Gray) and Itsonlyrocknroll A (Larry Stalbaum) who finished in second and third respectively. It was a blanket finish with just three-quarter lengths separating the top three finishers.

Owned by Courtney McNeight and trained by David McNeight Jr., Knocking Around (Western Terror-So Completely) has now won $11.200 this season and $262,603 lifetime.

Stalbaum, Kevin Cummings, Ray Fisher Jr., Shawn Gray and McNeight III all doubled on the program while McNeight Jr. and Kimberly Asher each had two training victories.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. There's a $1,291 carryover in the Pick-5 on Wednesday which starts in the second race. It's the first Pick-5 carryover of the season.

For more information including results, race replays, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Ali De Vie Pulls The Upset At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It appeared that the featured $8,200 trot at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (Feb. 10) was going to boil down to a battle between the heavily favored Southern Palms and second choice City Kid.

But that evaporated quickly as the two top choices failed to make it to the first turn due to breaks at the start. It left the event to be decided by the five remaining combatants, all sitting at odds of at least 13-1.

So with the tote board primed and ready to sport some big numbers, it was Ali De Vie ($28.40) who got to celebrate the upset victory with a neck win over Osprey Vision in 2:00.2 over the good track.

The 5-6 long shot exacta returned a healthy $533.00 for a $2 wager.

Shawn Gray swept the early double as he took the opener with Noble's Grand Slam and steered Ali De Vie to the feature win. The 1-5 early daily double returned $147.50. Gray finished the evening with three wins.

With City Kid and Southern Palms making miscues at the start, it allowed Cashco to open up an uncontested six length lead to the opening panel in 30.1. Limitless, Osprey Vision and Ali De Vie who were scattered the start, were able to tighten up the pack as the half went in 1:00.2.

With Cashco (Ron Beback Jr.) still in front past the three-quarter marker in 1:30.2, it was a matter of who was the best down the long Buffalo Raceway stretch.

With the four-pack all fanning out in the lane, it was Ali De Vie who was fastest of all and was able to stick a neck in front at the wire as Osprey Vision (John Cummings Jr.) took second with Limitless (Mike Baumeister) third.

Owned and trained by Marc Shuttleworth, Ali De Vie (Conway Hall-Excusez Moi) is a 7-year-old gelding that won for the first time this season in five tries. The victory pushed his 2017 bankroll to $7,052 and $138,424 lifetime. Shuttleworth ended the night with a owner/trainer triple.

Ray Fisher Jr. posted a four-bagger in the sulky.

Racing will resume on Saturday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 6 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 9, 2017

Wanna Rock N Roll Returns To Winning Ways At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After seeing her five-race win streak come to a screeching halt last week, it didn't take Wanna Rock N Roll ($4.90) long to get back to the winner's circle as she went gate-to-wire in a season's best 1:58.2 to capture Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open pace for the ladies on Wednesday night (Feb. 8).

Last week, Wanna Rock N Roll had a troubled trip and settled for a disappointing fifth behind My Tallia Ideal, snapping her impressive run.

But Wanna Rock N Roll (Drew Monti) turned the tables on My Tallia Ideal this time around.

Starting from the rail, Wanna Rock N Roll posted fractions of 30.4, 1:00.1 and 1:29.3 over the good track and disposed of My Tallia Ideal (David McNeight III) by a non-threatening 3/4 lengths. Scarlet N Silk (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show spot.

Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steven Kiblin, Wanna Rock N Roll (Rocknroll Hanover-Cams Leading Lady) is a 6-year-old mare that has now won three times in four appearances in 2017. The victory moved her seasonal earnings to $15,500 and $242,977 lifetime.

Larry Stalbaum had four wins in the bike while Shawn Gray tripled. Trainers Gerry Sarama and Kimberly Asher each conditioned three winners.

Racing will resume on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 10-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 7, 2017

Andrew Torre, 82, Passes Away

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Andrew Torre of Amherst, N.Y., a long time horseman in Western New York, passed away on February 5, 2017 at the age of 82.

Mr. Torre competed at Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs over the years as a owner, trainer and driver, and was a member of the Western New York Harness Horseman's Association.

Born on May 24, 1934, Mr. Torre was the husband of the late Betty Jane Torre, father of Andrew (Kristen) Torre, Michael (Roslyn) Torre and Carolyn (Todd) Reynolds. He was also the grandfather of Bryna, Nicole, Isabelle and Camille and the brother of James (Diane) Torre and Catherine Torre. He is also survived by many relatives and friends.

Visitation will be on Tuesday (Feb. 7) from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Lombardo Funeral Home (Northtowns Chapel) on 885 Niagara Falls Boulevard near Eggert/Sheridan Drive.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Mr. Torre will be celebrated at St.Christopher's Church at 2600 Niagara Falls Boulevard in Tonawanda on Wednesday (Feb. 8) at 9:30 a.m. Please assemble at the church. Entombment will be at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Online condolences can me made at www.lombardofuneralhome.com


The Beat Continues For Itsonlyrocknroll A At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The beat goes on for Itsonlyrocknroll A at Buffalo Raceway as the 6-year-old gelding took the featured $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (Feb. 4) in a seasonal best time of 1:55.0 over the good track.

It was the third straight victory for Itsonlyrocknroll A ($4.60) and the second consecutive night the combination of owner/driver Larry Stalbaum and trainer Kim Asher have captured the featured event. Friday night in the $10,000 Open Trot, Perfect Rendition found the winner's circle for the Stalbaum/Asher connection.

At the start, Moonwards Hanover took the early lead but Itsonlyrocknroll A was able to grab the top before the quarter pole and went into cruise mode.

After putting up fractions of 28.2, 57.2 and 1:26.2, Itsonlyrocknroll A appeared home free at the top of the stretch with a seemingly comfortable two length advantage. But things got a little scary near the wire as a fast closing Knocking Around (David McNeight III) made a valiant attempt to collar Itsonlyrocknroll A but came up just a neck short. Major Trick (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) finished in third.

Itsonlyrocknroll A (Million Dollar Cam-Boldandbeautiful) has now earned $14,500 in 2017, thanks to a perfect 3-for-3 record, and upped his lifetime earnings to $184.720.

Ray Fisher Jr. led the way in the sulky with five victories while Stalbaum, Shawn Gray and Bruce Aldrich Jr. each doubled.

David Russo and Sabrina Clevenger had training doubles.

Racing will continue on Wednesday evening with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Perfect Rendition Is Still Perfect At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Things continue to be perfect for Perfect Rendition at Buffalo Raceway as he got a great trip to register a come-from-behind neck victory over Noble Legend in the featured $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (Feb. 3).

With the trip to the winner's circle, Perfect Rendition is now 3-for-3 at Buffalo Raceway this season.

Noble Legend, Buffalo Raceway's 2016 Trotter of the Year, and the front-running Lutetium fought to the opening quarter in a snappy 28.4 over the good track. Watching the slug fest on the front end, Perfect Rendition ($10.60) and driver Larry Stalbaum started their march toward the top despite being nine lengths back at the half. They eventually got into contention with a final panel to race.

In the stretch, Noble Legend (Shawn Gray) and Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) battled but Perfect Rendition gobbled up ground on the outside and managed to pull out the victory. Noble Legend held on for second place while Lutetium finished in third.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, the 11-year-old gelded Perfect Rendition (Perfectly-Ella Go Go) has now won $13,200 this season and $290,035 in his career.

Gray finished the evening with four victories, Ray Fisher Jr. tripled while Bruce Aldrich Jr. posted a double.

Joe Skowyra, Bo Sowers, Gerry Sarama and David Russo had two training victories apiece.

Racing resumes on Saturday night with a 12-race program set for 6 p.m.

For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 2, 2017

My Tallia Ideal Is 'Ideal' At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- My Tallia Ideal and driver David McNeight III knew if they wanted to win Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open pace for the mares on Wednesday night (Feb. 1), their best chance was going to come on the front end.

That tactic proved to be ideal as My Tallia Ideal set all the fractions and turned back Kaitlyn Rae by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:57.2 over the good track.

The favored and front-running Wanna Rock N Roll, who was assigned the six post, entered the event on a five-race win streak. It began like it might be an instant replay of previous races by Wanna Rock N Roll as driver Drew Monti went straight to the top off the starting gate with her.

But that advantage was short-lived as My Tallia Ideal, who started on the pylons, wanted no part of a pocket trip and retook the lead on the give-and-go.

Setting the splits of 29.0, 59.2 and 1:28.1, My Tallia Ideal ($5.40) put away the fading Wanna Rock N Roll in the stretch and cruised off to the comfortable victory. Kaitlyn Rae (Larry Stalbaum), the winner of last week's Open for the ladies, was second with Missevil (Shawn Gray) taking third in the battle for minor spoils.

Co-owned by Pete Kibler, Ken Owczarczak and Courtney McNeight, the 7-year-old mare (Western Ideal-Bolero Tallia) scored her first victory in four attempts this season. It pushed her seasonal winnings to $7,900 and $255,181 lifetime. David McNeight Jr. handled the training duties.

Drew Monti each finished the night with a four-bagger, Stalbaum had a triple while Ray Fisher Jr. had a double.

Trainer David Russo found the winner's circle three times with JD Perrin, Rose Russo and Kimberly Asher each producing a pair of victories.

Racing will resume on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with 11 races set to go to the post at 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 30, 2017

Itsonlyrocknroll A Partying Tonight in Buffalo

by Brian Mazurek

Itsonlyrocknroll continued his winning wins taking the Saturday feature at Buffalo Raceway. After winning the Open II last week Itsonlyrocknroll finished with a 3 length victory in the Open Pace.

Shawn Gray put Southwind Torque on the early led but was overtaken by Major Trick (Bruce Aldrich Jr) before the half. As the field entered the final turn they were three wide. Leading driver Larry Satlabaum got Itsonlyrocknroll to the lead at the top of the stretch and pulled away to the 3 length win.

A trio of drivers each had three wins on the night Ray Fisher Jr, Bruce Aldrich Jr, and Shawn Gray.

Racing will resume at the Hamburg Fairgrounds on Wednesday with a 5:00 first post.


Perfect Rendition Repeats In Buffalo Feature

by Brian Mazurek

Perfect Rendition set all the fractions in the Friday feature at Buffalo Raceway for the second week in a row. Going off as the 1-5 favorite Perfect Rendition battled with Northern Matador and City Kid through the first quarter and tripped the timer in :29.1. Driver Larry Stalbaum and Perfect Rendition cleared and set the marks the remainder of the race.

At the top of the stretch City Kid who was sitting in the pocket broke stride and Perfect Rendition finished with 2 1/2 length victory over Love You Forever (Ray Fisher Jr) and Chelseas Chance (Kevin Cummings).

Racing will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night with the first post scheduled for 6 p.m.


January 26, 2017

Kaitlyn Rae Captures Fillies and Mare Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

In the Wednesday (January 25) feature race Kaitlyn Rae used a late rush to capture the Fillies and Mare Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway. The first half mile was uneventful as the horses stayed in post position order with favorite Artzia Hanover on the lead in :59.3. By the time the horses reached the back stretch the second time around they were three wide. Ben McNeil kept Artizia Hanover on the lead til the top of the stretch before the top three finishers rushed by her. Driver Larry Stalbaum used the center of the track to put the 8 year old bay mare in the winner's circle, just ahead of The Filly Princess and My Talia Ideal.

Stalbaum and trainer Kim Asher teamed to win four races on the night.


January 23, 2017

Rebel Jet Lands Perfectly At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Rebel Jet ($12.40) has been a well-traveled pacer the past few months but he found a perfect landing spot at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (Jan. 21) by winning the $10,000 Open in 1:57.1 over the good track.

After visiting Vernon Downs, Batavia Downs, Pocono and The Meadowlands in the past three months, Rebel Jet (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) was ready to give Buffalo Raceway a try.

It was a success as he got a perfect pocket trip then used the passing lane late to hold off Knocking Around (David McNeight III). Southwind Torque (Shawn Gray) took third.

After taking the lead briefly, Rebel Jet had to settle into second place as Southwind Torque set the pace with splits of 29.2, 58.0 and 1:27.1.

Turning for home, Southwind Torque hung tough but retreated to third place. Rebel Jet, however, revved his engines in the passing lane and squeezed out the half length decision while Knocking Around came on the outside to take second.

Owned by Rocco Stebbins and trained by Joe Skowyra, the 8-year-old gelded Rebel Jet (Jerome's Jet-Heart ofthe Matter) has now earned $218,224 in his career thanks to 26 lifetime victories.

Gray led the drivers with a triple with Aldrich Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. each notching a double. Trainer JD Perrin conditioned three winners and Skowyra posted two.

Action will resume at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night with a 12-race program slated to begin at 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Perfect Rendition Wires Field At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After posting seven victories on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway, driver Larry Stalbaum picked up right where he left off by guiding Perfect Rendition to an easy gate-to-wire victory in the featured $8,200 trot on Friday night (Jan. 20).

Stalbaum ended up sweeping the early daily double and finished the night with three wins.

Taking the lead after a brief battle into the first turn, Perfect Rendition enjoyed a uncontested journey over the sloppy Hamburg half-mile oval. The 11-year-old gelding (Perfectly-Ella Go Go) put up fractions of 29.4, 1:00.1 and 1:31.0 before tripping the beam at the wire in 2:00.4.

Dirty Secret (David McNeight III) was parked the entire mile and finished a well-deserved second, 2-3/4 lengths behind the winner. Chelseas Chance (Kevin Cummings) took third.

Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kim Asher, it was the first victory of the season in two starts for Perfect Rendition. The win moved his 2017 earnings to $4,100 and $280,835 lifetime.

Driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. tripled and Ray Fisher Jr. doubled on the program while David Russo had a pair of training victories.

Action will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race card. The 75th Commemorative Coin giveaway will be held after being postponed last week.

Each coin has an exacta combination on the back. Fans having the correct exacta in any race from the second through tenth will spin the wheel for free wagers in the 12th race.


January 19, 2017

Wanna Rock N Roll Posts Another Win At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It may have been damp and dreary night at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday (Jan. 18) but Wanna Rock N Roll, driver Larry Stalbaum and trainer Kim Asher sure did brightened the night with some superb efforts.

After going wire-to-wire last week, Wanna Rock N Roll ($2.80) and driver Drew Monti used the same tactic to discard her five rivals in 1:59.0 over the sloppy track to take the $10,000 open pace for the mares.

The victory was the fifth consecutive for Wanna Rock N Roll. The 6-year-old mare (Rocknroll Hanover-Cams Leading Lady) closed the 2016 campaign with three in a row at Batavia Downs and now is a perfect 2-for-2 to start the year at Buffalo Raceway.

Stalbaum, in the meantime, is getting to know track photographer Steve Roth very well as he found the winner's circle seven times on Wednesday night while Asher enjoyed five victories.

In what looked like an instant replay of last week's victory, Wanna Rock N Roll fired off the starting gate and was in command by the time the field reached the backstretch the first time. Setting the splits of 29.3, 59.0 and 1:29.2, Wanna Rock N Roll received minor encouragement from Monti in the stretch and held off runner up Aritzia Hanover (Ben McNeil) by a non-threatening half length. Who Says That (Shawn Gray) took the show spot.

Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steven Kiblin, Wanna Rock N Roll now has $10,000 in the bank this year and $242,477 lifetime.

Also during the 11-race program, David McNeight III scored a pair of victories in the bike while trainer David Russo had a double.

Racing will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night with the first post scheduled for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 12, 2017

Wanna Rock N Roll Cruises In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It may be a new racing season but Wanna Rock N Roll continued to be up to her old tricks as she pummeled the field in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 featured pace for the mares on Wednesday night (January 11).

After completing the 2016 season at Batavia Downs with three consecutive victories, Wanna Rock N Roll ($4.10) showed the holiday break and change of venues didn't quell her appetite for winning as she easily put away her five rivals by 6-1/2 lengths in 2:00.2.

Wanna Rock N Roll (Rocknroll Hanover-Cams Leading Lady) had 10 wins in 30 starts in 2016 with $71,220 in earnings.

Starting from the assigned six post, driver Drew Monti sent Wanna Rock N Roll right to the top off the starting gate, posting fractions of 30.0, 1:01.1 and 1:30.2 over the good track. Tiger Boudoir, who sat the pocket, broke stride at the top of the stretch to scatter the field. The miscue wouldn't have mattered as Wanna Rock N Roll was long gone.

Warrawee Qually (Larry Stalbaum) won the tight battle for second place with My Tallia Ideal (David McNeight III) finishing in third.

Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steven Kiblin, Wanna Rock N Roll is a 6-year-old mare who has now produced 22 wins in 92 career appearances, putting $237,477 in the bank.

There were some big prices to be had on the opening night card as Heavenly Place took the first race and returned $45.00 while in the seventh race, First Of Fun notched a $93.00 victory.

Monti, who won the 2016 Batavia Downs driving title and is finding success at The Meadowlands, produced a four-bagger on the night while Ray Fisher Jr. doubled.

Action will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled. Buffalo Raceway's Saturday card has been canceled due to lack on entries.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 9, 2017

Top F&M Pacers In Buffalo Raceway Opener

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's 'ladies first' in the season opening feature at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (Jan. 11) as the filly and mare open pacers will square off for the $10,000 purse that is slated as the fifth race.

The program is the first night of the 75th Anniversary season at Buffalo Raceway where 90 days of racing will take place through Sunday, July 23rd.

The initial 2017 card will have 10 races with post time scheduled for 5 p.m.

A classy but select field of six will nuzzle up behind the starting gate for the feature. Wanna Rock N Roll was assigned the six post and will start as the 2-1 morning line choice.

After winning her last three starts at Batavia Downs to close out the season, Wanna Rock N Roll and driver Drew Monti seek to start the 2017 campaign with a bang. A winner of 10 races and over $71,000 last year, the 6-year-old mare (Rock N Roll Hanover-Cams Leading Lady) produced a 1:54.3 victory at Yonkers in 2016.

Her main competition could come from Who Says That, a 12-time winner last season. Shawn T. Gray will be aboard the 6-year-old mare (Badlands Hanover-Powercorp). Who Says that earned just a shade under $67,000 last year and was in the money 27 times in 40 tries. She drew the four post and is tabbed at 4-1.

The remainder of the field includes Tiger Boudoir (Truman Gale), My Tallia Ideal (David McNeight III), Warrawee Qually (Larry Stalbaum) and Aritzia Hanover (Ben McNeil).

Free magnetic schedules will be given out on Wednesday night while Friday features the popular fish fry dinner along with the 2016 Awards Presentations. The week of action will conclude on Saturday with a 75th Anniversary Commemorative Exacta Coin giveaway.

Each coin with have an exacta combination on the back and should it come in from the second until the tenth race, you'll get to spin the Cash Wheel for free wagers on the 12th race. Also, everyone picking up a coin will receive $10 in free play at Hamburg Gaming.

Post time on Friday is 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 4, 2017

Buffalo Raceway preview

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway begins its 75th anniversary harness racing season on Wednesday, January 11 and will celebrate in various ways throughout the 90-day meet until closing day on Sunday, July 23.

The new season will bring some changes both on and off the track at the Hamburg half-mile oval which is located on the Erie County Fairgrounds.

"We are looking forward to the upcoming season and creating more winners," Buffalo Raceway Director of Operations Jon Cramer said as the track preps for the 75th season.

Buffalo Raceway will have a post of 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday evenings while Saturday's program will get underway at 6 p.m. Matinee racing will begin June 18 with a 12:30 p.m. start. There's a special 7 p.m. post when thoroughbred's Triple Crown races are contested.

Racing fans can expect four new barns to make their debut this season with George Anthrop, Kim Asher, Joe Skowyra and Bo Sowers all coming in during the campaign.

They can expect to tussle with JD Perrin who remains at the top of the list for local conditioners. He posted his third consecutive training title at Buffalo Raceway last season, rolling up 106 victories. Perrin has won six straight crowns on the Western New York circuit between the Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs.

There is one new driver confirmed for 2017 and that is Larry Stalbaum who joined the Western New York driving colony at Batavia Downs mid-season.

Stalbaum finished with 32 victories in 175 starts at Batavia Downs but will have to deal with the likes of defending Buffalo Raceway champion Jim Morrill Jr., reigning Batavia Downs leader Drew Monti and the always dangerous Kevin Cummings.

Monti has been competing at the Meadowlands during the hiatus in Western New York and is looking forward to the upcoming campaign.

"It's been unbelievable racing at the Meadowlands," a confident Monti said. "I'm looking for another good year in 2017 and hopefully the momentum I had at Batavia and the Meadowlands will carry over to Buffalo Raceway. I started slow last season at Buffalo so hopefully I will get off to a better start."

Off the track, Buffalo Raceway patrons will notice a updated look in the clubhouse with new table and chairs, the addition of several 50-inch televisions and other cosmetic changes.

Cramer said, "I think patrons will enjoy the updated clubhouse and it will make their evening pleasant."

Wayne Teaven will be handling the race calling duties full-time for the 2017 season after announcing part of 2016.

"This is definitely a dream of mine," Teaven said about getting the full-time position. "Buffalo Raceway has a lot of rich history and I am glad to be a part of the 75th anniversary season. I am definitely looking forward to it."

The wagering menu has some slight modifications this season as Buffalo Raceway will offer a Pick-5, Pick-4, a pair of Pick-3s, three daily doubles along with the standard win, place, show, exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets.

Opening week will be busy with a free magnetic schedule giveaway on Wednesday night, the 2016 Awards presentation along with the always popular fish fry dinner on Friday while Saturday evening, a commemorative 75th Anniversary Lucky Exacta Coin will be handed out.

On the back of the coin will be two numbers representing an exacta for races 2 through 10. If your coin has the winning exacta number, you'll spin the Wheel of Cash to determine how much in free wagers you will be given to bet on in the 12th race, the 75th Anniversary Year Pace.

If the 7-5 exacta comes in on any race, the lucky holders will spin the wheel for double the amount. You can win on multiple races plus all fans receive $10 in free play at Hamburg Gaming.

Starting on Saturday, January 21 and continuing every Saturday throughout the meet is the Winter Winner's Circle Contest. Fill out an entry and drop it into the box of the horse you think will win the ninth race. A slip will be drawn from the winning horse's entry box with $50 in Buffalo Raceway wagers going to the lucky fan. They'll also be eligible for the March 25th final with a chance to collect $250 in wagers.

All entrants will also receive $5 in free play at Hamburg Gaming.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


December 23, 2016

Batavia Downs concludes their platinum season

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---On Saturday (Dec. 17), the curtain came down on the 70th anniversary season of racing at Batavia Downs. America’s oldest lighted harness track’s meet that began on Monday (July 25), ran two days longer than originally scheduled after racing was extended for an extra weekend.

As usual, the stake season was highlighted by eight divisions of the New York Sire Stake series which featured the best state bred horses and Grand Circuit horsemen. The series featured visits from the likes of John Campbell and Andy Miller and produced two new track records.

On Saturday (Sept. 3) Pointomygranson (Marcus Miller) toured the facility in 1:53.2 and set a new standard for 2-year-old pacing geldings and on Wednesday (Sept. 14) Zack’s Zoomer (Marcus Miller) trotted a mile in 1:58.1 and established a new track record for 2-year-old trotting colts.

Racing under saddle (RUS) made its debut at the Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 7) and that produced a new track record as well. Admirable Hanover who was ridden by Vanessa Karlewicz won the $4,000 event in 2:03.4.

On Saturday (Oct. 9), Batavia Downs signature stake, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial trot saw the $7 million man, Foiled Again (Kevin Cummings) come from well off the pace to win by a length in 1:52.2 on the strength of an exciting stretch drive at 9-1. That win marked the 90th trip to the winner’s circle for the richest standardbred in the history of the sport.

For the first time ever, Batavia Downs offered a new claiming series that ran throughout the whole meet. Claimers of both gaits accrued points month to month in order to make finals worth between $15,000 and $20,000. On Saturday (Nov. 13) trotters Love U Forever and Chrome Finish, and pacers Outoftexas, War Front, Vals Jett, Big Unit and Can U Be Fun won the finals in their respective divisions.

In September, Batavia Downs hosted a new owner’s seminar in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association and the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. 26 people took part in the workshop that took them from the classroom to the paddock and provided them with everything they needed to learn in order to make informed decisions about Standardbred ownership.

On the track, one of the best driving colonies in some time put on quite a show. Perennial local favorite Jim Morrill Jr. put in another stellar effort that was highlighted by a seven-win night, two six-win nights and four five-win nights.

But it was 22-year-old Drew Monti who eventually won the dash driving title with 116 wins for the meet. Monti also registered a seven-win night and two five-win efforts as well. It was the first ever driving title won by Monti.

Jim Morrill Jr. did set a new single meet earnings record at the Downs after he banked $849,024 in purses from July to December.

JD Perrin “three-peated” his training crown, finishing first again this year with 47 wins. Perrin’s meet started off strong before many of his horses fell ill. But after a trying middle stretch, the stable got back on track over the last month and Perrin was able to defend his title again.

The winningest post position was post one with 231 wins followed by post two (151), post four (138) and post three (126). Post one also made the board 63% of the time.

Also, the favorites won the race 46% of the time during the course of the meet.

“We had a very exciting year at Batavia Downs this year. The product on the track was very competitive and having drivers like Jim Morrill Jr., Drew Monti, Shawn Gray and newcomer Larry Stalbaum joining the fray, the competition was fierce every night” said Todd Haight, GM/Director of Live Racing. “Despite our handle being down 5% for the meet, we paid out a record $5.9 million in purse money and we look forward to doing that again next year.”

Pending approval from the New York State Gaming Commission, the 2017 live racing meet at Batavia Downs will start on Wednesday (July 26).

The management and horsemen of Batavia Downs would like to wish everyone in the industry a very Happy Holiday season and the best of luck in the upcoming new year.


December 19, 2016

Shady City closes out the meet with feature win at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Shady City stuck to script with a strong come from behind effort to win the $9,500 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 17).

Foreign Officer (Shawn Gray) shot out for the lead quickly and gained that position without any opposition. Once there, he led the group in single file to the half in :57.2. When the race advanced past five-eighths, Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) pulled first up and brought Warrawee Qually (Kevin Cummings) with him as they proceeded to advance toward the leader.

Those positions remained unchanged around the far turn, but at the head of the stretch, Shady City put on another of his furious closing brushes. He went by the fading Foreign Officer, as well as Western Expression (Mike Whelan) who had tripped-out and snuck up the rail, to win by a head in 1:54.4.

It was the sixth win of the year for Shady City ($4.10) who has now earned $68,332 for 2016. The 6-year-old gelded son of Metropolitan is owned by his driver, Larry Stalbaum and is trained by Kim Asher.

In the $9,000 co-featured Open II pace, Rock The Dream (Ray Fisher Jr.) came from last at the half to go three-wide at three-quarters and win a narrow decision over Private Equity (Todd Cummings) in 1:55.1. It was the fourth win in five starts for Rock The Dream ($7.90) who is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by the Downs leading trainer, JD Perrin.

Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving grand slam while Larry Stalbaum got the hat trick and Shawn Gray doubled up. Trainer Kim Asher also had three wins on the night followed by JD Perrin with two.

As the 2016 meet came to a close, the leading driver and trainer were welcomed in front of the grandstand and presented with their winning hardware. Drew Monti was the leading dash driver with 116 wins and trainer JD Perrin was the top conditioner for the third straight year at the Batavia summer/fall meet with 47 wins.


Wanna Rock N Roll goes coast to coast in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Wanna Rock N Roll continued her late season dominance of the best local mares as she fended off challenges the entire race to take the $9,000 Mares Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 16).

Wanna Rock N Roll (Drew Monti) left like a freight train and took a lead she would never relinquish. But her journey was not without pressure. Scarlet N Silk (Ray Fisher Jr.) also left from post eight and acted like a prompter in a time trial for three-quarters of a mile.

After recording stiff fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:27.1 on a frigid night, Wanna Rock N Roll put away Scarlet N Silk, but then face an onslaught of horses swinging four-wide around the parking ticket recipient.

The Filly Princess (Kevin Cummings), Aritiza Hanover (Ben McNeil) and Tymal Luckynpink (Shawn Gray) were bearing down on the leader around the last turn and inching closer with every stride. But Monti started urging and his mare, who responded in kind, and Wanna Rock N Roll paced away to a length victory in 1:56.3.

It was the third straight victory in the top distaff class at Batavia Downs for Wanna Rock N Roll ($2.70) and tenth overall for the year. She has now earned $71,220 in 2016 for owner Rose Campbell. The 5-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover is trained by Steve Kiblen.

Shawn Gray registered a driving triple on Friday while Drew Monti, Shawn McDonough and Ray Fisher Jr. each had a double.

The final card of racing for the 2016 season is Saturday (Dec. 17) at a special post time of 5 p.m.


December 16, 2016

UNY-USHWA to honor top horses at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for USHWA

Batavia, NY---The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has named their divisional winning horses of the meet for Batavia Downs, whose live racing season comes to a close on Saturday (Dec. 17). The connections of these horses will be honored and presented trophies in the Purple Haze winner’s circle on Friday night (Dec. 16).

Male Pacer of the Meet

Thunderbolt Jaxon 18-8-2-4 $41,100 1:53.3

Owner: Michael L. Torcello

Trainer: Gerry Sarama

Driver: Jim Morrill Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr.


Male Trotter of the Meet

Kahoku 15-4-4-1 $34,005 1:56.3

Owner: Colleen Girdlestone

Trainer: Mark Laidlaw

Driver: Ron Beback Jr. and Kevin Cummings


Female Pacer of the Meet

My Tallia Ideal 16-5-3-4 $38,061 1:53.4

Owner: Peter Kibler, Kenneth Owczarczak and Courtney McNeight

Trainer: Dave McNeight Jr.

Driver: Dave McNeight III


Female Trotter of the Meet

Love U Forever 17-6-5-2 $37,680 1:58.3

Owner: Michael L. Torcello and Samuel Smith

Trainer: David Weston and Gerry Sarama

Driver: Jim Morrill Jr. and Dave McNeight III


Claimer of the Meet

Charmschooldropout 17-8-3-1 $27,394 1:56.4

Owner: Priscilla Mooney and Edward Belica

Trainer: Priscilla Mooney

Driver: Jim Morrill Jr., Kevin Cummings and Ray Fisher Jr.


Armbro Casino to be retired at Batavia Downs Friday

From Batavia Downs Media Relations

Batavia, NY---Not too many Standardbreds are tough enough to make it through their 14th year and still be on the track winning races. Former Open trotter Armbro Casino is one and he will lead the post parade for the Open trot on Friday night (Dec. 16) at Batavia Downs and then circle back to the winner’s circle where he will be officially retired.

Whereas some horses make a lot of money in a short period of time winning stake races, it takes a special kind of horse to be competitive night after night, year after year and accumulate over a half-million dollars in the process. Armbro Casino has done just that.

Armbro Casino is by Striking Sahbra out of the Pine Chip mare Chiptease. He was bred by the Armstrong Brothers of Brampton, Ontario and as a yearling, sold at Lexington as hip number 189 for $25,000.

He didn’t race as a 2-year-old and then his first four years at the races after that were at best, inauspicious. He didn’t even make enough to cover costs. Between dealing with issues that racehorses do, his starts were limited and the quality of those were as well. But he always showed promise and glimpses of what he really was.

Armbro Casino’s first really good year was in 2009 when he competed in upper level condition races at major east coast tracks under the tutelage of Shaun Vallee. Over the next five years, Vallee and Armbro Casino would be household names at those venues as they would go on to accrue 26 wins, a mark of 1:55.4 and $439,845 in purses during that time.

Even at the end of that run, the then 12-year-old gelding was far from done. On September 5, 2014, the venerable trotter set a new lifetime mark at Harrah’s Philly when he went wire to wire in 1:53.3 by a gapped six-lengths while the rest of the field could only watch.

During his career, Armbro Casino raced at 17 different tracks in 9 different states. He had 305 starts, 55 wins, 38 second, 41 thirds and made $600,188 in purses. That’s an average of just under $2,000 per start, all in overnight races.

For the last two years, Armbro Casino has raced under the ownership of USHWA president Tim Bojarski and Tony Gruppo. They have arranged for him to go to New Vocations in Laurelville, Ohio to be retrained for life after racing and eventually, re-homed with his new skills.

New Vocations is one of the premier racehorse retraining facilities and has a program that their horses go through which is designed with the best interests of the horse in mind. The Laurelville location is run by Jennifer Daniels.

“The first week he’ll settle in and start acclimating to our barn routine and being turned out. By the end of the week he will likely be paired with one or two paddock mates. If he needs a bit of a rest we'll let him vacation for a while. But if he's ready to go back to work, we'll start with longeing and groundwork in the first part of week two” said Daniels.

Week two is when their horses are evaluated for temperament, aptitude and soundness. After a couple days of in-hand work and longeing, they put a rider up with a third line. Usually after five or 10 minutes of learning leg and seat aids, they come off the line and are being ridden solo. From there it's just a matter of putting quiet saddle time in.

“We want to give each horse the best possible chance to succeed in their new home-- we want them to be relaxed and happy in their job so we take things slow and instill solid basics. It will be an adopter's job to finish their training. Our job is to prep them for that and figure out who the horse is as an individual, the type of rider they will need and the lifestyle they're best suited for” said Daniels.

Once they feel they've got a good handle on who the horse is, New Vocations then takes photos and video and posts their profile to their website (newvocations.org). Then carefully screened and approved adopters will reach out when they see a horse they're interested in.

“We evaluate their application carefully and set up an interview time-- it's really important to make a good match. We are a service for the horse first and foremost; the successful adopter will be one that's the best fit for that individual horse. Typically every horse will get 20-40 inquiries and our job is to find the best match” Daniels summarized.

Winnie Morgan Nemeth is the Standardbred Program Director at New Vocations. She was raised in the Standardbred business and is passionate about the breed and promoting them beyond the race track.

“Having a retirement ceremony like this (for Armbro Casino) brings so much awareness to our great horses and lets our audience know how much the racing connections care about their them. I think it is a very fitting tribute for him as well. We are excited to have him come to New Vocations!” said Morgan Nemeth.


Rich Mays and Jim McNeight Jr. to be honored by UNY-USHWA

By Tim Bojarski, president of USHWA

Batavia, NY---As the 2016 live racing season comes to a close at Batavia Downs, the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association annually recognizes the top horses and horsemen who put on the show for the racing fans during the meet.

This year the Chapter will present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Rich Mays and the Award of Valor to Jim McNeight Jr.

Richie Mays got his start in harness racing by working for his father, Frank Mays, who was a respected longtime horseman in western New York. They were stabled at the Butternut Farm which was a training facility they owned in Silver Creek, NY.

At a young age, Mays, along with his brothers Frank Jr, Tom and Terry, were taking care of outstanding horses like Mighty Tar Heel, a local legend that his father trained. Richie perfected his skills from the ground up and was eventually driving by the 1970’s. Getting good mounts from the family stable gave Mays notoriety and it didn’t take long before he became a very popular catch driver.

Through the 1970’s and 80’s, Mays was one of the top drivers on the Batavia-Buffalo circuit and the horses that he and his family campaigned dotted the top classes for many of those years.

Magician, Lyron Hanover, May O Neighs, Avon Sweet Song, Suspense, Elmo Hanover, Sam Fella, R L Lobell, Family Fortune, Spooky Doyle, Mountain Pam, Karen’s Joy, Diesel Duke, Two Twenty Two and Serious George are just a small sampling of names that Mays brought to the winner’s circle in a career that spans over five decades and is still going strong.

Mays has logged career numbers as both a driver and trainer. Driving he has 1,638 wins and $4.22 million in earnings. As a conditioner he shows another 273 wins and $1.2 million in purses.

Successful and professional could be used when discussing Richie Mays. But liked and respected by all who know him is what everyone would tell you first.

On June 1 of this year, longtime western New York driver Jim McNeight went down in a three-horse accident at Buffalo Raceway and seriously injured his back. Being immediately sideline from doing any training or driving, and with a qucik come back not a consideration, the day to day operation of the stable was seriously in jeopardy.

Jimmy’s son, 19-year-old Jim Jr., had been grooming horses for a little over a year before getting his “Q” license. He had only driven 20 qualifiers in 2015 and 14 more in 2016. He was given his “P” license and made his first pari-mutuel start on May 6 of this year. 17 professional drives into his career, his father went down and it was time for him to step up. And step up is exactly what he did.

It’s not easy to fill the shoes of a horseman who has 3,578 wins and $13 million earned driving and another 974 wins and $3.3 million training. But the young McNeight answered the bell and put up impressive numbers despite taking on his father’s training and driving responsibilities of a 10-horse stable with little experience.

McNeight Jr. had a lot to learn. He had never even driven a truck and trailer before. But with the help of Michelle Gramza and Bradley Jackson who would help him train, Bill Weigand who helped him jog, and Bruce Scheffler, Dale Donovan and Mike Kwoka who helped with barn work, the young McNeight eventually got a handle on the day to day operation and fell into a groove that helped his family keep the business running smoothly.

Two days after McNeight Jr. took over the barn, he scored his first ever win behind their good trotter, Jim Dandy in 2:00 flat. For the remainder of the Buffalo meet he added 4 more wins, 8 seconds and 14 thirds out of 71 starts and earned $37,544 in purses.

During the current Batavia Downs meet, McNeight Jr. has 12 wins, 10 seconds and 15 thirds with $94,224 in earnings.

In the face of adversity and under a tremendous amount of pressure, Jim McNeight Jr. has put together a year he can be proud of. He registered 208 starts with 17 wins, 18 seconds and 29 thirds with $102,975 in purse money.

He also gained a wealth of experience through sweat equity, all with helping his family in mind.

Rich Mays and Jim McNeight Jr. will receive their awards in the Purple Haze Winners’ Circle at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 16).


December 14, 2016

Drew Monti and JD Perrin named top horsemen at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---With only two nights of racing left in the 2016 season at Batavia Downs, the competition for top horsemen of the meet has been decided.

Drew Monti is the dash winning driver of the meet and JD Perrin is the dash winning trainer of the meet.

Drew Monti currently has 114 wins at Batavia Downs and is two ahead of Jim Morrill Jr., who began his winter break a short while ago. He also has 89 seconds and 79 thirds with $621,716 in earnings. For the year, Monti has won 217 races and earned a single year career best $1.2 million in purses.

This is the first ever driving title won by Monti and at just 22 years of age, makes him one of the youngest drivers ever to accomplish this in western New York.

Monti has been driving full time for the last four years while attending Canisius College to attain his degree in economics. Despite the long hours required for these endeavors, Monti excelled both in school and at the track.

His four-year career totals to date show 688 wins, 644 seconds and 694 thirds on the strength of 4,885 starts and just under $3.7 million in purses.

JD Perrin has now won the training crown for a third straight year at Batavia Downs. Perrin sent 44 horses to the winner’s circle, six more than Maria Rice who did not enter any horses at Batavia this weekend. Perrin also had 44 seconds and 34 thirds. These efforts helped his students put $255,338 in the bank this meet.

Overall in 2016, Perrin has won 151 races with 103 seconds and 83 thirds with $716,319 in purses. It’s also interesting to note that his starts, wins and purses won were all career high numbers.

Although Perrin doesn’t drive much anymore since turning his attention to training full time upon arriving in western New York in 2012, he did manage to get eight starts in the bike this year with one win for his efforts.

Perrin's career training numbers show 723 wins, 561 seconds and 460 third out of 3,377 starts and $3.1 million in earnings.

Monti and Perrin will be honored in a winner’s circle presentation at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 17) during the races.

Here are the current top five drivers and trainers of the 2016 Batavia Downs meet:

Drivers

Drew Monti 114 wins
Jim Morrill Jr. 112 wins
Ray Fisher Jr. 92 wins
Kevin Cummings 75 wins
Dave McNeight III 67 wins

Trainers

JD Perrin 44
Maria Rice 38
Gerry Sarama 34
Dave McNeight Jr. 30
Priscilla Mooney 24


December 12, 2016

Shady City charges to Open win at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---The public was heavily backing Thunderbolt Jaxon after he won the top class the last three weeks, but Shady City ($9.40) had other ideas as he fired late to a photo win in the $9,500 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 10).

Three horses bolted from the gate and argued for the front before Thunderbolt Jaxon (Ray Fisher Jr.) took control as they passed the quarter pole. Things settled down until the half when Brees Creek (Drew Monti) pulled first over bringing an outer flow that had the race in two rows; three in and three out.

Heading towards three-quarters, Thunderbolt Jaxon had gapped Brees Creek and he went back to the pylons. This left China Dream (Shawn Gray) and Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) outside on the chase around the last turn. China Dream and Thunderbolt Jaxon then went stride for stride to the top of the lane and it looked like it was one of theirs for the taking. But three-lengths behind them, Stalbaum cranked up Shady City who then paced furiously down the lane. He gobbled up ground all the way to the wire and headed China Dream for the win in 1:55. Thunderbolt Jaxon hung on for third.

It was Shady City’s second win at Batavia Downs and fifth overall for the year and it increased his earnings to $63,582. Larry Stalbaum owns the 6-year-old son of Metropolitan who is trained by Kimberly Asher.

The Stalbaum-Asher combination also took the co-featured $8,600 Open II-III pace when Itsonlyrocknroll A went wire to wire in 1:54.1 to score his third win in his last four starts and ninth win of the year. Stalbaum also owns Itsonlyrocknroll A who now has earned $49,454 in 2016.

Several horse people had multiple win performances on Saturday night. Drew Monti and Larry Stalbaum both had the driving hat trick while Shawn Gray scored a double. Trainer Kim Asher sent three winners to post and JD Perrin sent two.

With two nights of racing left in the 2016 meet, Drew Monti is the dash driving leader with 114 wins and trainer JD Perrin leads in his category with 44 wins.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 16) with post time for the first race at 6:15 p.m.


Wanna Rock N Roll takes top mares at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---As squalls streamed off of Lake Ontario, it was like racing in a snow globe at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 9). But despite the inclement weather, Wanna Rock N Roll delivered like the mailman and won the featured $9,500 mares Open pace as a result.

Wanna Rock N Roll (Drew Monti) took a quick early lead before releasing that spot to the charging Aritzia Hanover (Ben McNeil) at the quarter. The field remained in single-file style to the half when Susie’s Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled first-over with Who Says That (Shawn Gray) on her tail.

Racing up the backstretch, McNeil popped the plugs on Aritzia Hanover and accelerated the pace, causing the outer flow to stall as they passed three-quarters in 1:26.4. That uncovered the pocket-sitting Wanna Rock N Roll who was primed to strike at the top of the lane, and that’s just what she did. Monti tugged the right line and began methodical urging and the mare responded in kind, pacing right by Aritzia Hanover in 1:55.4 while Monti tucked the whip.

It was the second straight top distaff class victory for Wanna Rock N Roll ($5.20) and her ninth win overall in 2016 and it inflated her earnings for the year to $66,720. Rose Campbell owns the 5-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover who is trained by Steve Kiblin.

In the co-featured $8,500 Open trot, Kahoku ($9.00) overcame the dreaded eight-hole to gain an easy coast to coast victory in 1:58.2 with Ron Beback Jr. in the bike. Kahoku now has 13 wins this year and $82,415 in earnings for owner Colleen Girdlestone and trainer Mark Laidlaw.

Drew Monti had hot hands on the cold Friday night, winning three races on the card. After that, doubles were the norm. Shawn Gray and Ray Fisher Jr. both had two driving wins while Steve Kiblin and Jeff Amann each watched two of their students get pictures taken.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 10) with post time for the first race set at 6:15 p.m.


December 9, 2016

‘Tis the season for promotions at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The 2016 live harness racing meet may be coming to a close at Batavia Downs next week, but there are still plenty of promotions left on the slate before the final race goes off.

A free $500 Pick-6 contest will be held on Saturday (Dec. 10), Friday (Dec. 16) and Saturday (Dec. 17). Players must pick all six winners to win on December 10 or December 16. If that is not done, the December 17 prize increases to $1,000 and is a mandatory payout. So if no one picks all six winners, those who select the most will get paid, as the pool will be divided equally.

The Pick-6 starts on race four and runs through race nine. Players can pick up their entries at Player’s Club beginning at 5:00 p.m. each night. Entries can then be deposited until start of 4th race. Because of the earlier 5 p.m. post time on Saturday (Dec. 17), the sign up for the Pick-6 will commence at 3:30 p.m. There is a limit of one entry per person.

Friday (Dec. 16) is also Customer Appreciation Day at Batavia Downs. After the fourth race, live racing fans can celebrate with free sandwiches from Subway of Batavia, free cake from BJ’s Wholesale of Batavia and coffee courtesy of Batavia Downs. All are while supplies last. It’s Batavia Downs way of saying “Thank You” to all our loyal customers.

Then on Saturday (Dec. 17), there will be a free “all-age” Holiday concert by country music recording artist Ricky Lee in the Paddock Room from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. He will perform many seasonal favorites along with some of his original hits.

The clubhouse is completely sold out for Saturday (Dec. 17) so this Saturday (Dec. 10) will be the last night to dine on the Downs famous prime rib, crab leg and shrimp buffet.

Finally, simulcast wagering returns to Batavia Downs 7 days a week starting on Sunday (Dec. 18) in the simulcast center.

There are only four cards of racing left in the 2016 season: Friday (Dec. 9), Saturday (Dec. 10), Friday (Dec. 16) and Saturday (Dec. 17). Post time is 6:15 p.m. each night except for Saturday (Dec. 17), when post time will be 5:00 p.m.


December 5, 2016

Thunderbolt Jaxon’s third strike at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---In what could only be described as the claim of the year in western New York, Thunderbolt Jaxon who was taken for $12,500 on October 1, has now won his third straight $9,500 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec.3).

Thunderbolt Jaxon (Ray Fisher Jr.) left sharply and eventually took the lead after being parked out by Inthenameofjames (Drew Monti) to the quarter. When the field settled in, they stayed single file to the half when Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) pulled and started an outer flow with Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) on his heels.

Feeling the heat, Fisher let his charge out a notch up the backside and put some space between him and the attackers as they sped by three-quarters in 1:26.1. At the head of the stretch, Inthenameofjames popped out of the two-hole and took a quick shot at the leader. But that challenge was swiftly turned away as Fisher rocked and knocked in perfect timing and Thunderbolt Jaxon sped away to an easy two-length victory in 1:55.1.

It was the sixth win in nine starts since being claimed, and 10th win of the year for Thunderbolt Jaxon ($10.80). He has now accrued $53,846 in annual earnings, the bulk of which has benefited his current owner Mike Torcello. The 4-year-old gelded son of Mach Three is trained by Gerry Sarama.

In the co-featured $8,600 Open II pace, P H Hellcat (Shawn Gray) led from the quarter pole until about 200 feet from the wire; that’s when the pocket-sitting Brees Creek (Drew Monti) paced on by him to win by a neck in 1:56. Brees Creek ($8.70) is owned by the Resilient Racing Stable and trained by Rose Russo.

Several horse people had multiple win performances on Saturday night, led by Drew Monti who had a driving triple. Shawn Gray had a driving double while Sean McDonough was victorious with two horses he both drove and trained. And trainers Rose Russo and JD Perrin each sent two students to the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle for pictures.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Dec. 7) with post time at 6:15 p.m.


Wanna Rock N Roll emerges victorious at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Wanna Rock N Roll had an impressive first part of 2016, racing at Yonkers Raceway and Vernon Downs. But after making four starts at Batavia in the distaff Open, the mare was turned out in August. Now in only her second start back from the layoff, Wanna Rock N Roll was victorious in the $9,500 mares Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 2).

Even-money favorite My Tallia Ideal (Dave McNeight III) left and became the early race commander, taking the abbreviated field of five through their paces in post-position order in :28.3 and :59.3. When the group passed the five-eighths pole, Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) and Susie’s Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) both came off the rail and went nowhere, but the move allowed Kruella (Shawn McDonough) to shoot up the pylons from last to third behind the pocket sitting Wanna Rock N Roll (Drew Monti).

As the girls came off the last turn, Wanna Rock N Roll tipped out and started pacing by the tiring My Tallia Ideal while Kruella ducked to the passing lane and did the same. But Wanna Rock N Roll had the jump and cruised to an easy length victory in 1:57.

This was the eighth win of the year for Wanna Rock N Roll ($14.80) and the purse increased her earnings to $61,970. Rose Campbell owns the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover that is trained by Steve Kiblin.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open trot, Noble Legend (Shawn Gray) followed Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) for 7/8th’s of a mile before pulling pocket and out-brushing the leader to the wire by a nose to win in 1:58.3. The ninth win of the year raised Noble Legends bank to $68,138 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner.

Drew Monti scored a driving triple on the card and that pushed him to 102 wins for the meet. Shawn Gray and Larry Stalbaum both had driving doubles while Steve Kiblin also had a training double.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 3) with post time at 6:15 p.m.


November 29, 2016

Larry Stalbaum is right at home at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Larry Stalbaum has been a regular competitor at Yonkers Raceway and Pocono Downs for many years now. But much like Jim Morrill Jr. before him, the small-town feel of western New York has drawn Stalbaum from the major circuits and he couldn’t be happier about the move.

Stalbaum made his first start of the year at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 5) and has since been one of the hottest drivers at the track. In only 10 nights of racing his own stable of 16 along with catch drives, Stalbaum has had 79 starts with 20 wins, 12 seconds and 10 thirds. That amounts to a 22% win and 54% in the money percentage, a .329 UDR and $100,570 in purse earnings in very short order.

Stalbaum was born in Valparaiso, Indiana and started racing ponies at age seven. He went to work with standardbreds after graduating from high school and has been doing it ever since. Through his early years he worked for many horsemen, but credits Frank O’Mara for teaching him all he knows about harness racing.

“I started grooming in Louisville at Latonia and eventually made my first career driving start at Brandywine Raceway in 1986” said Stalbaum. “Since them I have raced just about everywhere, even tracks that most people have never heard of.”

Racing everywhere has taken Stalbaum 29 years and the numbers that he has accrued in that time are pretty impressive to see; 5,378 wins and over $37 million in purses.

Stalbaum lives in Matamoris, PA, which is just across the Delaware River from Port Jervis, NY. He races off his 152-acre farm there and makes the 560 mile, 9-hour round trip to Batavia every race night.

His whole operation is family based. Stalbaum’s wife, Kimberly Asher, is the trainer and his four children Riley, Kiley, Hawk and Sky jog, train and groom the stock.

“My four children are all involved in racing and our business. They all do the horses, they all like the horses and they all want to drive eventually” said Stalbaum. “My oldest daughter Riley just passed her test and got her qualifying license and will start driving very soon. And my other kids will follow along one by one as they get old enough. I don’t have any help in my stable right now other than my wife and kids. They do it all.”

With having much success at bigger tracks that were closer to his home, Stalbaum still made the decision to race at Batavia Downs.

“I’m getting a little older and I wanted to slow down a bit. That’s part of the reason I was racing at Monticello recently; it was close to home” said Stalbaum. “But the money isn’t quite as good there as it is here. What I really wanted to do is just get away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger tracks.”

“I’m tired of shipping three to this track and four to that track and being on the road every night. I would much rather just ship the whole stable over three days and get them all raced and spend more time at home” Stalbaum concluded.

After having raced at Batavia for almost a month now, Stalbaum has become quite comfortable in his new environment. The local racing community has embraced him and he is happy to be competing there.

“I like western New York. It’s got a lot of farm country like where I was raised and many of the people who race there come from families that have been racing locally for generations, and I like that” said Stalbaum. “I tell people all the time about it and when you tell them about being in New York, they think New York City. Because if you’re not from upstate New York, you don’t know any better.”

After the Batavia meet ends, the plan is to move the stock to Buffalo Raceway and stable at the track.

“When I go to Buffalo, Kim and the kids aren’t coming and that’s going to be hard for me because I’ve never been away from them. But because of the winter, I can’t ship like I do right now but also can’t move the family up here at this point. But that’s what we have to do and we’ll see how it goes” said Stalbaum.

“If everything goes right, we are planning on moving up here permanently. We’ll sell the farm in PA and buy some land in western New York and settle down here and race this circuit”.

With four children aspiring to make harness racing their livelihood, Stalbaum appreciates the atmosphere in western New York for both raising a family and racing for a living.

“The future of this sport is young people and all my kids are interested in it now. I let them choose what they want to do with their lives and they all want to race and that makes me happy. I can’t make them a doctor or a lawyer, but I can teach them how to be a solid trainer and driver. I just hope the sport is still here for them” Stalbaum said.


November 28, 2016

Buffalo Raceway Stall Applications

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Stall applications for the upcoming 2017 live harness racing season at Buffalo Raceway are now available at various sites and locations.

The applications can be obtained on the Buffalo Raceway website, at the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association office in Batavia or by calling Buffalo Raceway Racing Secretary Tom Agosti at 716-649-1280, ext. 6234.

All stall applications must be returned no later than Friday, December 9. The barn area at Buffalo Raceway will open on Wednesday, January 4 with the first night of racing coming on Wednesday, January 11 with a 5 p.m. post. The first qualifiers of the season are tentatively slated for Saturday, January 14.

Buffalo Raceway will be celebrating its 75th season of racing in 2017. The schedule for the 90-day meet shows action on Wednesday and Friday evenings starting at 5 p.m. with Saturday nights having a 6 p.m. post. Sunday matinee racing will be added beginning on June 18 and will continue until the end of the season on July 23 with post times at 12:30 p.m.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway including the latest news, promotions, schedule and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Thunderbolt Jaxon narrowly takes Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---With another dark and stormy night as the backdrop, Thunderbolt Jaxon didn’t despair over the wet track; he reveled in it as he won his second straight $10,500 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 26).

It was basically a two-horse race from the word go. Thunderbolt Jaxon (Ray Fisher Jr.) left and parked Sam Hill (Kevin Cummings) to the quarter in :27.3 before letting him overtake. Once settled in, Sam Hill looked strong on the front and took the group to the half in :56.3.

With Thunderbolt Jaxon safely tucked in second, Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) came first over past the half and tried to mount a challenge. He did draw alongside the leading pair at three quarters but faded from contention by the top of the lane. There, Thunderbolt Jaxon shot into the passing lane and began eroding Sam Hill’s lead with each stride, eventually sneaking by him at the wire by a short neck in 1:55.4.

It was the ninth win of the year for Thunderbolt Jaxon ($15.00), five of which were accomplished for owner Mike Torcello who claimed the 4-year-old gelded son of Mach Three on October 1. Gerry Sarama trains the winner.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, Southwind Torque ($7.80) made a four-wide move around the last turn to nose out the front running Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) at the wire in 1:57.3. It was a four-horse photo finish that saw six horses within one length of each other at the wire. Southwind Torque is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice and is trained by Maria Rice.

Shawn Gray and Larry Stalbaum both had the hat trick on Saturday while Ray Fisher Jr. settled for a pair. On the training side, Kim Asher and Maria Rice both sent two horses for pictures.

The early Pick-5, which was part of the USTA’s Strategic Wagering program on Saturday paid $4,365 for the 1-1-3-5-8 combination.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 30) at 6:15 p.m.


It was an encore performance for Perfect Rendition at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---For the second week in a row, Perfect Rendition stalked quick early fractions before gearing up in the payoff half to win the $10,000 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 25).

When the gate released the short but classy field of six trotters, Noble Legend (Shawn Gray) went for the early lead, seating Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) and Perfect Rendition (Larry Stalbaum) in the process. The leader then proceeded to cut quarters of :28.2 and :58 and did it unchallenged as the trailing drivers were content to sit in.

The situation remained unchanged until just before three-quarters when Perfect Rendition pulled and started to advance. By the time they hit that panel in 1:27.3, Perfect Rendition was matching strides with Noble Legend and a battle ensued around the final turn. When the pair straightened out at the head of the lane, Perfect Rendition got a slight advantage under Stalbaum’s urging and as a result, ended up the best of the bunch as he trotted to victory in 1:57.2 over the rain-soaked track.

It was the fourth win of the year for Perfect Rendition ($19.40), half of which were registered at Batavia Downs the last two weeks. The 10-year-old son of Perfectly who is trained by Kimberly Asher has now bankrolled annual earnings to $29,763 for owner-driver Larry Stalbaum.

In the co-featured $9,000 filly and mares Open pace, Kruella ($8.60) scored her third win in a row, coming from second-over in the outer flow to tip three-wide at the head of the lane and brush by to a slick 1:56.4 win for driver Shawn McDonough. Kruella is trained by Jineen Simone who co-owns the mare with Bonnie Kowalcyk.

Ray Fisher Jr. had a grand slam Friday night, including a natural hat-trick in races four through six. He won with Wicked Elphaba ($6.50), Southern Palms ($11.20), Rock The Dream ($9.60) and Babes Chip ($2.60).

Shawn Gray and Larry Stalbaum both registered driving triples on the evening while trainer Kim Asher sent two of her students to the winner’s circle.

Racing resumes on Saturday night (Nov. 26) with first race post time set at 6:15 p.m.


November 22, 2016

Batavia Downs extends 2016 meet

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The New York State Gaming Commission has approved a request from Western Regional Off Track Betting (WROTB) to extend the current Batavia Downs meet by two days: Friday (Dec. 16) and Saturday (Dec. 17) will be added to the current schedule.

Post time for Friday (Dec. 16) will be 6:15 p.m. and Saturday (Dec. 17) will be 5:00 p.m.

“WROTB asked for the additional days to make up for the first Sunday of the current meet that was cancelled due to a shortage in the box and also to accommodate the large number of Christmas parties looking to book the clubhouse during live racing” said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. “It will also shorten the amount of down time for our horsemen between when our meet ends and Buffalo Raceway starts back up.”

Please note; there will be a double-draw on Tuesday (Dec. 13) for both Friday and Saturday of that final week.

For more, information log onto www.bataviadownsgaimng.com and click on the “live racing” tab.


November 21, 2016

Thunderbolt Jaxon does swimmingly in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Old man winter reared his ugly head on Saturday night (Nov. 19) as high winds and driving rain greeted the night’s competitors. However the extremely sloppy conditions couldn’t dissuade Thunderbolt Jaxon from his best effort as he splashed to a gate to wire victory in the $10,500 Open pace at Batavia Downs.

Thunderbolt Jaxon (Jim Morrill Jr.) left and took the front by the quarter as the rest of the field ducked for cover. The leader and a close-following Spender Hanover (Drew Monti) led pedestrian fractions of :29.2 and :59.1 as an outer flow started to chase. Shady City (Larry Stalbaum), who had been parked out from the start and Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) constituted that bid but neither could sustain up the backside. Around the last turn, it was Thunderbolt Jaxon who could sense the win as he strode out and paced away from Spender Hanover down the lane and crossed the wire well in hand in 1:57.2.

It was the first Open class win for Thunderbolt Jaxon ($5.60) at Batavia Downs since being claimed on October 10, and his eighth overall win of the year. He has now earned $43,846 in 2016. The 4-year-old gelded son of Mach Three is owned by Mike Torcello and is trained by Gerry Sarama.

Since Larry Stalbaum started racing regularly at Batavia Downs, he’s been winning races at a hurried pace. That trend continued Saturday as he scored a grand slam on the card. And the winning horses gave Kim Asher the training grand slam as well. The two teamed up in the winner’s circle with Story Book ($5.30), Itsonlyrocknroll A ($2.50), Steuben Patriot ($31.20) and Box Car Johnnie ($3.50).

Jim Morrill Jr. had another three-win night to remain the Downs leading dash driver, now with 112 wins.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 23) with post time at 6:15 p.m.

Please note that a double draw will take place on Tuesday (Nov. 22) for race cards to be held on Friday (Nov. 25) and Saturday (Nov. 26). The entry box will close at the normal time of 9:00 a.m. For more information please visit the horsemen's link at www.bataviadownsgaming.com.


Perfect Rendition delivers in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---After three outside draws in lower class, Perfect Rendition (Larry Stalbaum) moved into the top class and took advantage of post one to rebuff six challengers in the $10,000 Open trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 18).

Noble Legend (Shawn Gray) left and took a hard fought lead at the quarter in :28.1. But as soon as he crossed over, Perfect Rendition pulled and retook the lead. From there he dictated a :58 half and a 1:27.2 third panel. During that stretch, The Bronx Bumper (Jim Morrill Jr.) came first over to challenge but never got closer than third. At the head of the stretch The Bronx Bumper challenge had ended, but then Nobel Legend popped the two-hole and drew a bead on the leader. Noble Legend gained ground with every stride but he ran out of stretch before they hit the wire and Perfect Rendition won by a head in 1:57.2.

It was the third win of the year for Perfect Rendition ($6.70) and it pushed his earnings to $24,763. Larry Stalbaum owns the 10-year-old gelded son of Perfectly who is trained by Kim Asher.

Jim Morrill Jr. won three more races on Friday while Shawn McDonough, Ray Fisher Jr. and Larry Stalbaum each won two.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 19) with post time set at 6:15 p.m.


November 14, 2016

Claiming champions divide $125,000 at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---With $125,000 up for grabs to the “blue-collar” horses of western New York, the local racing scene became decidedly more interesting on Saturday night (Nov. 12). The 2016 Batavia Downs Claiming Championship Series culminated with lots of action on the track, a clubhouse full of owners and a very bettable card of races for the gamblers.

In the $20,000 final for $7,500-$10,000 claiming trotters, Love U Forever (Jim Morrill Jr.) tracked a fast first half before pulling first-over at the five-eighths. When he cleared at the top of the stretch, he pulled away into a stiff headwind to take a length victory in 1:59.1. It was the 11th win of the year for Love U Forever ($3.30) and his 2016 earnings are now $59,802 for owners Mike Torcello and Sam Smith. Dave Weston trains the winner.

The $20,000 final for $8,000 to $10,000 claiming pacers went to Outoftexas (Jim Morrill Jr.) on the strength of an overpowering performance. Leaving from post five, Outoftexas went right to the front and never looked back, winning by three lengths in 1:55. It was the 10th win if the year for Outoftexas ($4.40) and it inflated his earnings to $53,223 for the year. The 11-year-old Camluck gelding is owned by Dan Antocicco and is trained by Steve Kiblin.

The $20,000 final for $5,000 to $6,000 claiming horse and gelding pacers went to War Front (Jim Morrill Jr.). War Front ($3.00) got away mid-pack and pulled at three-eighths with cover. Morrill tipped him three deep at the three-quarter pole and they flew by the field around the last turn before cruising to an easy three-length win in 1:57. Owner-trainer Lee Dahn saw his winner’s bankroll increase to $30,308 on the strength of his sixth win this year.

The $20,000 final for $5,000 to $6,000 claiming filly and mare pacers was won in commanding fashion by Vals Jett (Ray Fisher Jr.). Taking the lead from post one, Vals Jett was heavily pressured from the half all the way to the wire and refused to let anyone get by her to win by two-lengths in 1:58. Vals Jett ($3.00) has now earned $31,914 and six wins this year for owner-trainer Dave Dylo Jr.

The $15,000 final for $4,000 to $5,000 claiming trotters was won by Chrome Finish (Shawn Gray). Gray fired Chrome Finish off the gate like a rocket and led the whole race. He set blistering early fractions of :28, :57.2 and 1:28 before closing it out on top by two in 2:00.2. It was the seventh win of the year for Chrome Finish ($4.60) and it raised his annual earnings to $30,934 for owner Mary Warriner. Ryan Swift trains the winner.

The $15,000 final for $4,000 claiming horse and gelding pacers was won by Big Unit (Drew Monti). Monti pulled Big Unit second-over before the half and followed that cover to the head of the lane. When he hit the stretch, he found another gear and motored to the front and pulled away by a length in 1:57.3. It was the third consecutive win for Big Unit ($3.60) and fourth of the year and the purse increased his 2016 earnings to $17,634 for owners Carl and Darrin Monti; the latter also trains him.

And finally, the $15,000 final for $4,000 claiming filly and mare pacers was won by Can U Be Fun (Shawn McDonough). Can U Be Fun tucked in second and sat a perfect two-hole trip for the whole mile to the head of the lane. There, McDonough shook her loose and she paced away to an impressive four-length win in 1:57.3, which was a new seasonal mark for her. It was the fourth win of the year and it boosted her bankroll to $21,306 for owner Kathleen Lauer. Shawn McDonough also trains Can U Be Fun.

Jim Morrill Jr. wins five more races at Batavia Downs

Jim Morrill Jr likes winning in bunches and his penchant to do so was quenched again on Saturday night (Nov. 12). After he scored five wins this past Wednesday and five on Friday, he got five more horses across Saturday to end the week with an exclamation point.

Morrill won with Love U Forever ($3.30), War Front ($3.00), Mobil Big John ($6.00), Outoftexas ($4.40) and Littlebitaclass ($3.70).

Morrill now has 104 wins during the meet and leads all other horsemen in that category by at least 14 wins.


BZ Glide takes feature; Morrill wins five at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---BZ Glide drew the outside for the fourth consecutive week, but also found himself in lower company. So he used his class to overcome post eight and win the $8,500 Open II trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 11).

Mike Caprio hustled BZ Glide off the gate and took a lead he would never relinquish. He tripped the timers in :28.2, :59 and 1:28.2 while his seven opponents struck several formations of chase behind him. But it didn’t matter who was in and who was out on Friday night as BZ Glide kept his mind on his business, while Caprio kept his whip on his shoulder, and trotted home confidently to win in 1:58.2.

It was the fourth win in 17 starts this year for BZ Glide ($7.10) and it pushed his earnings to $33,630 for the Caprio Stable LLC. The 7-year-old Yankee Glide gelding is trained by Alana Caprio.

Jim Morrill Jr. kept up his torrid winning pace as he scored five more wins during the night. He visited the Purple Haze Winner’s circle with Justgottogetthere ($2.90, 2:00), Caliber Seelster ($10.40, 1:57), Zipnthruthehall ($7.10, 1:56.3), Bags Of Money ($2.80, 1:55.4) and Medolandcampbell E ($8.30, 1:56.4).

The quintuple pushed Morrill’s win total for the meet to 94, now 10 ahead of second place Drew Monti, who was blanked on the evening. Kevin Cummings moved into third place on the strength of one win Friday, now sporting 69 victories which is one ahead of Ray Fisher Jr. at 68.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 12), featuring seven divisional finals of the Batavia Downs Claiming Championship Series with purses totaling $125,000. Post time for the first race is 6:15 p.m.


November 10, 2016

Morrill and Monti in heavyweight battle Wednesday at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The dash driving lead has been a hotly contested issue this meet at Batavia Downs and the lead has changed hands several times. But recently, Jim Morrill Jr. and Drew Monti have separated themselves from the pack and have been pulling away nightly.

That rivalry continued on Wednesday (Nov. 9) as Jim Morrill Jr. won five races on the card while Drew Monti won four. And the wins could have gone either way during the night as the two finished a close one-two in races one, three, seven and twelve.

Morrill won with American Anthem ($6.50, 1:57.1), Connery Blue Chip ($5.90, 1:59), Weapon To Win ($5.70, 1:58.3), Olivia’s Z Tam ($5.10, 1:58.3) and Charmschooldropout ($2.30, 1:58.3).

Monti won with Niche Blue Chip ($6.20, 1:59.3), Jimi Wind Ricks ($9.50, 1:59.4), Court’s N Session ($22.40, 1:59.3) and Don’t Sweat My Swag ($17.80, 1:59).

Besides winning at a remarkable rate over the last several weeks, both drivers have also exhibited lofty UDR’s during that time as well. Tonight, with each driving in 11 out of the 12 races on the card, they both hit the board nine times. Morrill’s UDR was .616 and Monti’s was .576.

After Wednesday’s action, Morrill is the current dash leader with 94 wins, five ahead of Monti who is sitting in second with 89. Kevin Cummings and Ray Fisher Jr. are tied for a distant third with 68 victories to their credit.

With 16 nights of racing remaining in the 2016 season, the all-time track record of 177 wins during the meet set by Morrill in 2006 looks safe. However the heated competition between these top two titans for this year laurels will more than likely go down to the final night.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 11) with post time at 6:15 p.m.

There is a $550 carry-over for the early Pick-5 on Friday (races one through five) and that pool will be guaranteed at $1,500.


November 7, 2016

Shady City circles the wagons in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Yonkers Raceway invader Shady City got away last before sweeping the field around the last turn to pull away and win the $10,000 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 5).

Last week’s Open pace winner, China Dream (Shawn Gray), tried to repeat his effort by going to the front in a quick :26.4 quarter. After he settled, the field of six rounded the turn before splitting into two-rows as they motored to the half. Thunderbolt Jaxon (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled first up in the outer flow with Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) and Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) following right behind him.

The group remained three in and three out past the five-eighths when Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) swung three-deep as the leader tripped the third panel in 1:25.2 with a two-length lead. Shady City seemed to stall by the head of the stretch and China Dream was looking like a winner. But Stalbaum went to the stick in the lane and with his tail flagging and ears perked, Shady City made up three lengths and strode by China Dream like an easy day at the office to win in 1:54.1.

It was the fourth win of 2016 for Shady City ($9.60) and it pushed him to $53,882 in earnings for the year. Stalbaum owns the 6-year-old son of Metropolitan who is trained by Kimberly Asher.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, Lucky King (Ron Beback Jr.) took the long way home, coming from seventh and parked out from just past the quarter, to swing five-deep in the stretch and win by one and one-half lengths in 1:56. It was the fifth win of the year for Lucky King who is owned by Keith Pinkowski and trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. The grossly overlooked winner returned a healthy $77.00.

Drew Monti had a four-win night while visiting reinsman Larry Stalbaum copped three. Shawn Gray and Ron Beback Jr. both took two races apiece. On the conditioning side, Kimberly Asher had the training hat-trick.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 9) with a guaranteed Pick-5 pool of $3,500. Post time is 6:15 p.m.


Dontch Remember gets brave in mares pacing feature at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---For the second time in four weeks, Dontch Remember ($3.80) defeated the best resident pacing mares on Friday night (Nov. 4) in the $10,000 distaff Open at Batavia Downs.

Dontch Remember (Jim Morrill Jr.) got away third as Kaitlyn Akeeper (Kevin Cummings) and V’la Faire Wade Tomaszewski) took the top two spots through the first turn. But not happy with that position, Morrill pulled before the quarter and took the top just after that station in :28. Positions remained unchanged until Who Says That (Shawn Gray) pulled first-over just passed the three-eighths and started a slow grind up the outside.

Making up ground with every stride, Who Says That got even with the leader at the three-quarters in 1:26.4, then eventually took the lead from Dontch Remember as they headed around the final turn. But just before they straightened out for the stretch drive, Dontch Remember regained her advantage and surged along the pylons. She held off a stubborn Who Says That and a late surging Kaitlyn Akeeper to win the race by a length in 1:55.3.

It was the ninth win of the year for Dontch Remember and the winner’s share boosted her earnings to a career one-year high $53,805 for owner Mike Torcello. Gerry Sarama trains the winner.

Jim Morrill Jr. padded his dash driving lead by winning four consecutive races on Friday’s card, bringing his total for the meet to 86. Shawn Gray got a driving hat trick and Ray Fisher Jr. scored a double. Trainers Mike Carrubba and Maria Rice each sent to winners to post.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 5) with an early 3:30 p.m. post time for a special Breeders Cup day presentation.


November 3, 2016

Jim Morrill Jr. scores a six pack at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The steady rain that diminished track conditions couldn’t dampen the performance put on by driver Jim Morrill Jr. on Wednesday night (Nov. 2) as the high-percentage reinsman turned away the weather, along with his competition, to visit the Purple Haze winner’s circle six times during the evening.

Victorious horses that Morrill piloted included Charmschooldropout ($3.70, 1:57.1), Release The Terror ($3.70, 1:57.3), Weapon To Win ($2.20, 1:59.1), Sunland Dakota ($7.50, 2:02.2), Iaquinta ($4.10, 1:57.1) and Safe Bet Hanover ($2.70, 2:00.2).

Besides his six wins, Morrill also had three seconds and a third among his 10 drives and that gave him an eye-popping .800 UDR for the night.

Morrill currently sits fourth in North America in UDR for 2016 with a .421. Overall for the year he has 334 wins, 233 seconds and 158 thirds from 1,227 drives. Morrill has also bankrolled $3.8 million in purses as a result.

Morrill is also currently in first place among dash winning drivers at Batavia Downs with 82 wins. Drew Monti, who scored a driving triple on Wednesday, sits right behind him in second with 78 wins and Kevin Cummings remains in third place with 68 tallies.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 4) with a 6:15 p.m. post time.


Batavia Downs to host Breeder’s Cup party

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Two racing worlds will meld on Saturday (Nov. 5) as the trotting capital of western New York, Batavia Downs will host a throng of Thoroughbred fans at its annual Breeder’s Cup party which will be held in the clubhouse.

The doors open at 2pm and the party will run until after the last Breeder’s Cup Race. Post time for the first Breeder’s Cup race is 3:05 p.m. Live harness racing will be comingled between the Breeder’s Cup races and the first live harness post time is 3:30 p.m. Approximately two live harness races will be run between each televised Breeder’s Cup race.

The $20 package deal includes a special Italian buffet (served from 3-7 p.m.) that includes chicken parmesan, chicken piccata, greens and beans, eggplant parmesan, beef tips in burgundy sauce, Italian sausage with peppers and onions, baked ziti, tossed salad, a dessert bar and coffee or soda. It also includes a Breeder’s Cup program, a live Batavia Downs program (which contains $5 in free-play) and $10 in free-play on the gaming floor. (You must earn one base point to redeem)

This is a $37 value. Must be 18-years-old to play video gaming machines or to wager on horses.

Reservations are recommended by calling 585-343-3750. Walk-ups are welcome but will be subject to availability.

Batavia Downs is also introducing another clubhouse promotion this week, that will run through the month of November in celebration of their 70th anniversary of live harness racing.

It’s the “Friday Four-Pack”. For $70 (plus tax and gratuity) you get four buffet dinners, four Batavia Downs live racing programs (each contains $5 in free-play) and four $15 free-play vouchers for the gaming floor. This is the best deal in town; it’s like getting money and eating free!

You must make your reservations three days prior to the Friday you want and use “Promo Code 70” to receive the full offer. Call 585-343-3750 to make your reservation.

Live racing continues three days a week at Batavia Downs, now through Saturday (Dec. 10).


October 31, 2016

China Dream much the best in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---A scratch-shortened field of six top class pacers became a mere group of spectators who watched China Dream command their fate from the start of the race as he won the $10,500 Open feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 29).

China Dream (Shawn Gray) left sharply and crossed over to the pylons before the field rounded the first turn and then opened up a gapped advantage he would maintain for the remainder of the race. After Gray hit the brakes with a :29.3 second quarter, Littlebitaclass (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled first up in an attempt to advance to the front with Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) right on his back. But after hearing the footsteps, Gray asked his charge for more and more is what he got. China Dream pulled away in a quick :28 third panel and found himself leading by seven lengths at the top of the stretch. He continued his momentum all the way to the wire and cruised to a wrapped-up 1:54.4 victory.

It was the tenth win of the year for China Dream ($4.40) and it inflated his one-year earnings to $77,680 for owners Jack and Maria Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II, Thunderbolt Jaxon (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the lead just past the quarter and cruised to an easy three-length win in 1:54.1. It was the third straight win for Thunderbolt Jaxon ($5.00) and seventh of the season. Mike Torcello owns the winner who is trained by Gerry Sarama.

Jim Morrill Jr. led all drivers on Saturday night with four wins while Drew Monti, Jim McNeight Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. all scored doubles. Trainers Gerry Sarama, Jim McNeight and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. each sent two winners for pictures.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 2) with a 6:15 p.m. post.


My Tallia Ideal scores a measured victory in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---My Tallia Ideal followed live cover that she eventually overtook to win the $10,000 Open mares pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 28).

Leaving from post six, My Tallia Ideal (Dave McNeight III) got away last and trailed as Kaitlyn Akeeper (Kevin Cummings) led the field through quarters of :28.3 and :58.3. Who Says That (Shawn Gray) pulled first-up at the half and My Tallia Ideal traveled second over as the two advanced and eventually drew even with the leader by three-quarters in 1:27.4.

Who Says That took the lead from Kaitlyn Akeeper when they turned for home, but My Tallia Ideal then tipped outside of her to challenge immediately. With more than a length to make up, My Tallia Ideal dug in and methodically closed in with every stride, eventually getting up to win by a head in 1:56.3.

It was the eighth win of the year for My Tallia Ideal ($9.00) and the purse increased her 2016 earnings to $63,410 for owners Peter Kibler, Kenneth Owczarczak and Courtney McNeight. Dave McNeight Jr. trains the winner.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open I-II trot, Kahoku ($13.80) regained his early season form when he went wire to wire in unfettered fashion to win by two lengths in 1:57. Ron Beback Jr. drove for owner Colleen Girdlestone. Mark Laidlaw trains Kahoku.

It was bombs away in the ninth race as Jim Dandy (Jim McNeight Jr.) rallied from seventh at the half to pull the upset of the meet when he trotted away by two lengths at 48-1. The winner returned $99.50 to win and spurred a $660.00 exacta (7-4) and $1,829.00 late Double (5-7).

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 29) with post time at 6:15 p.m.


October 27, 2016

It was the Drew Monti show at Batavia Downs Wednesday

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---On a night when he could seemingly do nothing wrong, Drew Monti put on a driving clinic Wednesday (Oct. 26) at Batavia Downs, winning seven of the ten races he competed in. And among his drives, he also scored a second and a third and posted a lofty .788 UDR for the evening.

Track photographer Paul White spent some quality time with Monti in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle as he took his picture with Jimi Wind Ricks ($5.00, 1:59.1), Wild Ride ($4.60, 2:01.4), Hustleonhome ($14.60, 1:57.4), Heavenly Way ($4.80, 1:57), Springhouse Star ($10.00, 1:56.3), Girls Luv Diamonds ($3.50, 1:56.2) and Always An Optimist ($4.20, 1:56.4).

By the end of the year, Monti has a chance to eclipse his career best numbers for wins and money earned that he set in 2015. In his short four-year career, the 22-year-old Monti has won 649 races and has bankrolled just under $3.5 million in purses.

With his two closest competitors for the dash driving title not in action on Wednesday, Monti jumped into a two-win lead as a result of his efforts. He now sits alone atop the standings with 75 wins, ahead of Jim Morrill Jr. who is second with 73 and Kevin Cummings who is third with 68.

With 20 nights of racing remaining in the meet, it will most likely be a battle to the last race on the final night to decide this year’s driving winner.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 28) with the first race post time set at 6:15 p.m.


October 24, 2016

Jim Morrill Jr. wins seven at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Jim Morrill Jr. was on fire at Batavia Downs Saturday night (Oct. 22) as he won seven of the 13 races carded and vaulted himself into the dash driving lead for the meet.

Morrill started early and was relentless as the night went on. He scored with Thunderbolt Jaxon ($4.80, 1:56.3), Outoftexas ($5.50, 1:55.3), Green Olives ($3.30, 1:56.2), Dodger Hanover ($2.80, 1:57.3), Littlebitaclass ($7.00, 1:54.2), Adversary Seelster ($3.50, 1:57.1) and Zipnthruthehall ($2.90, 1:57).

The current record for wins on one card at Batavia Downs is eight, set by Jim Morrill Jr. in 2005 and matched by John Cummings Jr. in 2006.

Beside his septuple successes, Morrill also had three seconds and a third among his 12 drives for the night and that added up to a .750 UDR for the evening.

Morrill is currently ranked third in North America for UDR in 2016, sporting a gaudy .415 for the year. He has amassed 322 wins in 1,197 starts and earned $3,776,654 as a result to this point.

The fifth win of the night for Morrill was with Littlebitaclass who won the $10,000 Open pacing feature.

Claimed two weeks ago for $20,000 and victorious in each start since, Littlebitaclass left and out-legged China Dream (Shawn Gray) to the front shortly after they passed the quarter pole. From there, Morrill grabbed leather to settle the gelding until Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) drew alongside approaching three-quarters.

When they tripped the timer in 1:25.2 at that station, Knocking Around took a half-length lead and appeared to have gotten the best of the leader. But Littlebitaclass gallantly fought back and regained a neck advantage by the head of the stretch. But Knocking Around would not go away and was joined in the fray by China Dream, who had gotten the trip and came up the passing lane. Flanked by adversaries on both sides, Littlebitaclass dug in hard and refused to lose, hitting the wire first by a mere head in 1:54.2.

It was the ninth win of the year for Littlebitaclass and it boosted his earnings to $52,201 for 2016. The 5-year-old gelded son of Santana Blue Chip is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama.

Trainer Alex Giuliani sent three winners postward while fellow conditioners Gerry Sarama and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. each doubled up.

As was previously mentioned, there is a new dash driving title leader at Batavia Downs in Jim Morrill Jr, who now tops everyone with 73 wins. Kevin Cummings, who was not in action Saturday, is tied for second with Drew Monti with 68 wins and Ray Fisher Jr. is a close fourth with 62.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 26) with post time at 6:15 p.m.


Who Says That sails to victory in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---On a night not fit for man nor beast, Shawn Gray and Who Says That overcame a day-long deluge of rain along with five fit female pacers to win the $9,500 Open mares featured pace at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Oct. 21).

Gray took Who Says That off the gate and tucked her in fifth along the pylons and was content to sit off the pace to the half as My Tallia Ideal (Dave McNeight III) smoked that fraction in :57.4 over the rain-soaked track. At that point, Who Says That pulled and coaxed cover in the outer flow from last week’s Open winner, Dontch Remember (Jim Morrill Jr.) as the field passed the five-eighths marker and motored up the backside.

When it became evident that Dontch Remember would not pace on, Gray tipped Who Says That three deep and proceeded to advance expeditiously. Fourth, third, second and finally first at the head of the lane; Who Says That splashed away from the competition and opened up a five length lead before hitting the wire a wrapped-up winner in 1:57.

My Tallia Ideal was second and the recently claimed Kaitlyn Akeeper (Kevin Cummings) brushed up to be third.

Although it was the first win for Who Says That ($10.60) since August 10, it was also her eleventh win of the year overall. The 5-year-old Badlands Hanover mare has now earned $57,557 in 2016 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Chris Shambo and Jack Rice. The winner is trained by Maria Rice.

Maria Rice had a very profitable night at Batavia Friday as she conditioned three winners on the card. Besides Who Says That, she also sent Southwind Serenity ($5.70) and Lucky Pablo ($3.50) to the winners circle. Shawn Gray scored a driving triple teaming all of Rice’s entries.

Ray Fisher Jr. also drove three winners, two of which were trained by John Hallett, who scored a stable double.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 22) with the first post set at 6:15 p.m.


October 17, 2016

BJ’s Guy swoops foes in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Fresh off a win in the Yonkers preferred pace last week, BJ’s Guy shipped into Batavia Downs to take on the best local talent on Saturday night (Oct. 15) and went from worst to first in the $9,500 Open pacing feature.

Normandy Invasion (Jim Morrill Jr.) took a methodical stroll to the front off the gate and eventually opened up a two-length lead at the quarter in :27.2. Positions remained unchanged to the half in :55.2, when BJ’s Guy (Drew Monti) started up on the outside from last and prompted Brees Creek (Kevin Cummings) and China Dream (Shawn Gray) to pull in front of him, establishing a three-horse outer flow going up the backside.

When the group passed three-quarters, China Dream tipped three-deep and BJ’s Guy followed in step and they both began to chip away at Normandy Invasion’s lead. As they came off the turn and stormed down the lane, Normandy Invasion began to tire and China Dream got to the front, but BJ’s Guy brushed harder and overtook him in the middle of the track and got home first in 1:53.4. China Dream did hold on for second and Junior Pride (Ray Fisher Jr.) snuck up the passing lane to grab third.

It was the ninth win of the season for BJ’s Guy ($7.70) who has now earned $91,902 during the year for owners Blindswitch Racing Stable, David Sebolsky and Stanley Yoskowitz. The 7-year-old gelded son of Towner’s Big Guy is trained by Jose Godinez.

Jim Morrill Jr. won four more races on Saturday night and those wins pushed him into second place for the dash winning lead with 65 victories behind Kevin Cummings who has 68. The quadruple also gave him 12 wins in the last three nights of racing at Batavia.

Also on Saturday, Shawn Gray scored a driving hat trick while Drew Monti doubled up on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 19) with post time set at 6:15 p.m.


Noble Legend takes Batavia Downs feature; Morrill wins five

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---After finishing second in the top local trot twice last month, Noble Legend ($25.40) blew up the tote board along with his rivals in winning the $10,500 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 14).

After taking last week off, Noble Legend returned to the track with a new attitude and approach. Driver Shawn Gray sent Noble Legend right to the front and took no prisoners from there. He lead the troops by two open lengths through fractions of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:26.2 while the trailers were struggling to keep up.

At the top of the lane, Noble Legend was cruising under mild urging from Gray when Studio City (Dave McNeight III) who was second the whole mile, drifted off the pegs in an attempt to collar the leader. But all that did was allow BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to slide up inside him and get into the action. Noble Legend trotted on to win in 1:56.4 by a length over the fast-closing BZ Glide and Studio City, who finished second and third respectively.

It was the eighth win of the season for Noble Legend who increased his 2016 bankroll to $55,983 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the 4-year-old son of Kadabra.

In the co-featured $10,000 Open mares pace, Dontch Remember ($26.20) shook off a two-month winless streak and led the ladies wire-to-wire by gapped lengths to win her eighth race of the year in a new lifetime mark of 1:54.4. Gerry Sarama trains the 6-year-old Western Terror mare for owner Mike Torcello.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. continued his torrid pace at the Downs, winning another five races on the card. He scored with Love U Forever ($3.70, 1:58.3), The Bronx Bumper ($7.10, 1:58.4), Keystone Wild Card ($4.10, 2:02), Dontch Remember ($26.20, 1:54.4) and Son Of Nordic ($9.90, 1:58.3). The five wins and one second in eight starts gave Morrill a .694 UDR for the night.

Drew Monti had a driving double and Mike Ohol had two winners on the training side.

The dash driving leader board continues to be tight. Kevin Cummings, despite not visiting the winner’s circle on Friday, remains on top with 67 wins. Drew Monti is second with 62 and Jim Morrill Jr. vaulted into third on the strength of his performance with 61 victories.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 15) at 6:15 p.m.


October 13, 2016

Kaitlyn Akeeper double up in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---For the second week in a row, Kaitlyn Akeeper shown best in winning the $7,800 mares Open II/optional claiming feature race at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 12).

Rather than bolt for the lead as he had done over the last three weeks, Jim Morrill Jr. took Kaitlyn Akeeper off the gate and allowed Mondatta (Dave McNeight III) and Terrorcam (Wade Tomaszewski) to duke it out for the front. When they had finally settled, Morrill tipped Kaitlyn Akeeper early and took the lead from them before the three-eighths pole. From there the race was history.

Kaitlyn Akeeper got to the half in :58.1 and three-quarters in 1:26.4, all the time with horses in two-rows behind her. With a gapped two-length lead going around the far turn, the win looked assured and the race would be for minor spoils. As they headed down the lane, Mayabelle (Kevin Cummings) shook loose from behind the fading Mondatta and made a run at the leader, but Kaitlyn Akeeper hung on to win in 1:55.4 by a diminishing two lengths.

Mayabelle was second and Mondatta hung on for third.

It was the seventh victory of the year for Kaitlyn Akeeper ($2.60) and it raised her purse total to $45,272 for owner Mike Torcello. The winner was trained by Gerry Sarama.

Kaitlyn Akeeper was also claimed out of the race for $21,750 by Mark Jakubik.

Jim Morrill Jr. scored a driving triple on Wednesday night while Kevin Cummings, Shawn Gray and Dave McNeight III all had two wins apiece. Trainer Dave McNeight Jr. also conditioned two winners on the card.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 14) with post time at 6:15 p.m.


October 11, 2016

Drew Monti wins five, and the cannolis at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---The temperature was cool for the final matinee card of racing at Batavia Downs for 2016 but Drew Monti was red hot, winning five races on Monday afternoon (Oct. 10) including the special Columbus Day featured $5,000 “Run for the Cannolis” Italian driver’s race.

The Run for the Cannolis is an annual tradition at the Downs to honor the large Italian population in the city of Batavia. It was started decades ago and has continued each year on Columbus Day.

In this year’s edition, Monti drove Beechwood Wayne to a three-length win in 1:58.1. After getting away second, Beechwood Wayne followed closely as Goddess’s Justin (at the pylons) and First Of Fun (outside) battled side-by-side for the lead for over a quarter mile. When First Of Fun finally failed, Beechwood Wayne popped the pocket at three-quarters and blew right by Goddess’s Justin.

But the race wasn’t over.

Rock C. Vinci, who has won this race for the last two years, had tracked Monti’s move around the far turn and was now breathing down Beechwood Wayne back at the head of the lane. As both drivers went to the stick in the dash to the wire, “Drivin’ Drew” had the jump and got Beechwood Wayne there first to claim the cannolis for 2016.

It was the ninth win of the year for Beechwood Wayne ($3.60) and third in a row during his current streak. The 9-year-old gelded son of Western Terror is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin.

Monti also won with Big unit ($7.50, 1:58), Quick Silver ($9.40, 1:58.4), Mystical Valentine ($4.00, 1:56.4) and Girls Luv Diamonds ($4.10, 1:57) to complete the five-bagger. His wins combined with a second and two thirds saw Monti’s UDR soar to .519 for the day.

Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple on Monday and Kevin Cummings scored a double. And the wins recorded by all three drivers have made the dash competition at the meet extremely close. After Monday’s races, Cummings sits on top with 62 wins, Monti is second with 60 and Fisher is third with 56. With 28 racing days left, the driving crown is definitely up for grabs.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Oct. 12) with post time set for 6:15 p.m.


Foiled Again wins the $50,000 Kane Memorial at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Although overlooked by many and sent off at a hearty 9-1, Foiled Again brought his A-game to Genesee County and exhibited the heart that has earned him over $7.4 million in lifetime earnings to win the 14th annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 8).

Off the gate, Scott Rocks (John Cummings Jr.) and Mel Mara (Jim Morrill Jr.) argued for the lead and registered a swift :26.4 quarter in the process before Mel Mara relented and tucked in second. With Scott Rocks now dictating the proceedings, the field stayed in single-file around the far turn before Polak A (Shawn Gray) pulled first-over at the three-eighths to start the outer flow.

Polak A drew alongside Scott Rocks at the half, stalked him around the turn and then passed the tiring leader before crossing over at three-quarters in 1:22.4. At this point Foiled Again (Kevin Cummings) who had been tracking the race from fifth, tipped three-deep around Southwind Amazon (Shawn McDonough) and caught up to the leader by the top of the stretch. Then as they came down the lane, Foiled Again swelled up under mild urging from Cummings and paced right by Polak A to win by a length in 1:52.2.

Polak A hung on for second and Mel Mara overcame road trouble to grab third.

It was the third time Foiled Again has won the Kane Memorial, having also scored victories in the 2009 and 2013 editions and the second time Kevin Cummings has won it after taking the 2006 race with Michael Scores.

“He went real well tonight” said Cummings. “He was a little lazy early but he did a good job tracking the field. He knows his business and I was confident at the three-quarters that he could win this. It was great to win the Kane tonight.”

It was the 90th career win for Foiled Again ($20.20) who now sits just $13,492 short of $7.5 million lifetime. The 12-year-old Ron Burke trainee is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and the JJK Stable.

In the co-featured $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot, Serious George (Shawn Gray) got away fourth before pulling first-over at the half to pound out an arduous journey and overtake the front-running BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to win in a new lifetime mark of 1:57.2. Serious George ($23.00) is owned by James Palladino and trained by Rich Mays.

Driver Shawn Gray was red hot on Saturday, winning five races on the card. He scored with Studio City ($3.90, 1:58.1), Surfer’s Paradise ($8.60, 1:55.4), Serious George ($23.00, 1:57.2), Gallant Major ($5.40, 1:56.2) and Life’s Lessons ($4.40, 1:56.1).

Kevin Cummings and Jim Morrill Jr. both had driving hat tricks and trainers Ron Burke and Gerry Sarama each claimed three wins apiece.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday afternoon (Oct. 10) for the last matinee card of the season. The Columbus Day special gets underway at 1:15 p.m.


October 7, 2016

$50,000 Kane Memorial at Batavia Downs Saturday

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Seven horses with a combined lifetime earnings of over $11 million comprise the field for the 14th annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace which will be contested at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 8).

The Kane Memorial is dedicated to the former chairman of the board of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (which owns and operates Batavia Downs), Robert J. Kane. Kane worked on the board for 26 years and had the vision to see the value in purchasing the track in 1998, that had been shuttered for three years after having its license revoked. The facility has gone through a complete turnaround since then and WROTB has developed the property into the premier entertainment destination spot in Genesee County.

The 2016 edition of the Kane (which goes as race seven) is also a homecoming of sorts for trainer Chris Oakes who is originally from nearby Akron, New York. He started his career at the Downs in the 1980's and conditions two horses in this year's Kane, with his stable star Luck Be Withyou installed as the 5-2 morning line choice.

Luck Be Withyou has faced Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki many times this year and has always been formidable competition for those two dominant aged pacers. Luck Be Withyou took a lifetime mark of 1:47.4 at Pocono Downs on July 2 and has also been race-timed under 1:50 on seven other occasions this year. His best effort on a half-mile track was a 1:51.1 win at Saratoga Raceway in July, but he was race-timed in 1:50.3 at Harrington Raceway just two weeks ago.

Leaving from post one, Luck Be Withyou will be driven by the Downs leading reignsman, Kevin Cummings.

Mel Mara is the second choice at 7-2 and is one speedy pacer. On June 4 at the Meadowlands, he beat a very talented Open class field and equalled the all-time race record for an older pacing stallion on a mile track when he stopped the clock in 1:47. In his 21 starts this year, Mel Mara was race timed under 1:50 15 times and his best effort over a half-mile track was a 1:50.1 win at Harrington Raceway three starts ago.

Jim Morrill Jr. takes the reigns for trainer Dylan Davis and starts from post three.

Scott Rocks comes in sharp as a tack and knows this oval well. He just raced at Batavia Downs on September 24 and jogged in 1:52. He was a wrapped up winner with a lot left in the tank and he did it after being off for three weeks. He took a lifetime mark of 1:48 at Pocono Downs on May 28, but he also won in a phenomenal 1:49 clocking at Northfield Park on September 3.

Leaving from post two, John Cummings Jr. will once again team Scott Rocks, who is the other entrant for trainer Chris Oakes.

Southwind Amazon is fast on any surface. He took a lifetime mark of 1:49.2 at Pompano Park on March 13, but was also race timed in 1:49.2 at Northfield Park in a second place finish to Scott Rocks on September 3. He has also won in 1:50.3 at Northfield and 1:50.4 at Saratoga Raceway. Southwind Amazon is having a career year with 11 wins and $109,599 earned and looks to add to those numbers in this event.

Shawn Mcdonough gets the nod from trainer Paul Holzman and will depart from post five.

The entire field is as follows:

1 Luck Be Withyou Kevin Cummings 5-2

2 Scott Rocks John Cummings Jr. 5-1

3 Mel Mara Jim Morrill Jr. 7-2

4 Polak A Shawn Gray 4-1

5 Southwind Amazon Shawn McDonough 9-2

6 Foiled Again Jack Flanigen 8-1

7 Rockin In Heaven Drew Monti 6-1

The current all-time pacing track record at Batavia Downs is 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in 2011 when he won the Kane Memorial that year. In recent weeks, the track at Batavia Downs has been lightning fast and with favorable weather forecast, this field has the ability to demolish that standard.

There is also an outstanding undercard on Saturday night’s 11-race schedule and it includes the $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot, to go as race five.

Local favorite BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) is the 5-2 pick to hit against Yonkers Raceway invaders Lady’s Dude (Kevin Cummings, 3-1) and Auspicious Hanover (John Cummings Jr., 4-1).

Post time for the first race is 6:15 p.m.


October 6, 2016

Kaitlyn Akeeper wins Batavia feature; Fisher wins four

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---After dropping down from Open company and back into the claiming ranks, Kaitlyn Akeeper ($4.10) hung on to win the $7,800 mares pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 5).

Jim Morrill Jr. shot off the gate and put Kaitlyn Akeeper on the lead and set early fractions of :27.4 and :57. At the five-eighths pole, Mayabelle (Kevin Cummings) pulled first over and applied pressure on the outside for the rest of the race. The group moved to three-quarters in 1:26.4 before rounding the turn and pacing down the lane. With just a length separating them, Mayabelle was outside, Kaitlyn Akeeper in the middle and Missevil (Shawn Gray) was on the pylons after getting the two-hole trip. But Kaitlyn Akeeper toughed it out and won by a neck over Missevil in 1:55. Mayabelle finished third.

It was the sixth win in 2016 for Kaitlyn Akeeper and the purse boosted her annual earnings to $41,372 for owner Mike Torcello. The 4-year-old American Ideal mare is trained by Gerry Sarama.

Ray Fisher Jr. had a big night, winning four races on the card; three of which provided substantial payoffs. He scored with Chrome finish ($14.00, 2:00), Sobhon Hanover ($26.00, 1:59.1), Twin B Sportsman ($3.90, 1:55) and Artistic Topaz ($28.20, 1:57.2).

Jim Morrill Jr. had a driving triple and Shawn Gray doubled up for the night. Trainers Gerry Sarama and John Mungillo also both sent two winners for pictures.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 7) with post time at 6:15 p.m.


October 3, 2016

Highview Conall N splashes to Open victory at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---An all-day rain left the track sloppy for the card at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 1), but some of the fastest times of the meet were recorded during the evening. None the least the one Highview Conall N registered while winning the $10,000 featured Open pace at the Genesee County oval.

The red-hot Jim Morrill Jr. fired the New Zealand bred off the gate and to the lead as the rest of the field watched in single-file fashion. After fractions of :27.3 and :56.2, Highview Conall N and the second place Heaven Rocks (Kevin Cummings) had a two-horse breakaway in place as they opened up six-lengths on the rest of the field while motoring up the backside.

As those two continued to compete alone, Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) pulled from fourth and started to close the distance with the leader. Around the far turn, Highview Conall N was widening the gap between himself and Heaven Rocks as Knocking around was closing it from third. When they straightened out down the lane it was Highview Conall N pacing strong to the wire for a 1:53.2 win with Knocking Around closing well for second over Heaven Rocks.

It was the eighth win of the year for Highview Conall N ($4.10) and it raised his annual income to $74,770. The 7-year-old son of Christian Cullen was a recent acquisition for owner/trainer Nick Gampietro Jr., who purchased him privately on September 26.

For the second night in a row, John Cummings Jr. scored a driving grand slam. He returned to the Purple Haze winner’s circle with Cheyenne Louie ($6.70, 1:54.4), Normandy Invasion ($2.70, 1:54.4), Youwillwishyouhad ($63.00, 1:55.1) and Bags of Money ($6.00, 1:57.4).

Jim Morrill Jr. was a close second with a triple and Drew Monti came through with two. Trained JD Perrin also conditioned two winners on the night.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 5) with the first post set at 6:15 p.m.


Justgottogetthere got there in Batavia Downs top trot

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Justgottogetthere was one of the best resident trotters in western New York last year, however 2016 has been a bit of a different story. But it was like old times for the gelding on Friday night (Sept.30) as he won the $10,500 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs.

Justgottogetthere (Jim Morrill Jr.) went right to the front at the start of the race and remained there until the end. While setting early panels of :28.2 and :58.4, the only challenge the leader got came from Snapshot Springs (Drew Monti) who pulled near the half and tried to engage the front. But the closest he could get was a half-length from second seated Noble Legend (Shawn Gray) who was tracking there the whole mile. After they hit three-quarters in 1:27.2, Justgottogetthere got busy and extended his lead around the far turn and just trotted away in the lane to win by three in 1:57.1.

Noble Legend was second and Snapshot Springs finished third.

It was the fourth win of the year and a seasonal mark for Justgottogetthere ($11.20), and the first trip to the winner’s circle with him for new owner Mike Torcello, who privately purchased the son of Valley Victor on September 3rd. Gerry Sarama trains Justgottogetthere.

In the co-featured $8,500 Open II trot, Serious George ($5.50) came early to press the front running Socialdelight (Ray Fisher Jr.) before running her down to win in 1:57.4. Serious George is owned by James Palladino and is trained by Richard Mays.

John Cummings Jr. won four races Friday night. He had pictures taken with Gun Show ($4.00, 1:56.2), Hez a Buckeye ($5.60, 1:59), V I P ($9.20, 2:02) and Northern Matador ($13.20, 1:59).

Shawn Gray and Jim Morrill Jr. both chimed in with two wins apiece.

The Batavia Downs early Pick-5 which on Friday was part of the USTA Strategic Wager with a guaranteed $4,000 pool, recorded the track’s largest handle ever by 50%. The 3-2-1-2-6 combination returned $202.00.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 1) with a guaranteed early Pick-5 pool of $1,500. Post time is 6:15 p.m.


September 29, 2016

My Tallia Ideal takes top test at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Wednesday night (Sept. 28) was a return to form for My Tallia Ideal when she came from off the pace to take the lead and fend off a late challenge to capture the featured $9,500 mares Open pace at Batavia Downs.

Kaitlyn Akeeper (Jim Morrill Jr.) left for the lead around Memumsnotnice (Kevin Cummings) while My Tallia Ideal (Dave McNeight III) went from fifth to third and tucked. Positions remained unchanged through fractions of :27.2 and :56.2 when My Tallia Ideal pulled first over past the clubhouse with Who Says That (Shawn Gray) on her back.

My Tallia Ideal eventually pulled alongside Kaitlyn Akeeper at the three-quarters before going right on by in the far turn. But just as it looked like she was going to pull away, Who Says That tipped around and came hard at her in the stretch. The two dueled head to head all the way down the lane and hit the wire near simultaneously, but the photo showed My Tallia Ideal was the victor by a nose in 1:54.1.

The win was the seventh of the year for My Tallia Ideal ($2.80) and it pushed her earnings to $51,375 for owners Peter Kibler, Kenneth Owczarczak and Courtney McNeight. The 8-year-old Western Ideal mare is trained by Dave McNeight Jr.

Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving grand slam Wednesday, winning with Wicked Elphaba ($6.40), Purple N Gold ($17.40), Prince Jubilee ($10.80) and Val’s Jett ($2.60). Wade Tomaszewski and Jim Morrill Jr. both scored driving doubles.

Trainers Richard Tomaszewski and Richard Lareau both sent two students to the winner’s enclosure.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 30) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m. On Friday, the early Pick-5 (Races 1 to 5) starts with a guaranteed pool of $4,000.


September 26, 2016

Scott Rocks rolls to victory at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---In the featured $10,000 Open pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 24), the only race was for second as the heavily favored invader, Scott Rocks led at all stations en route to registering the fastest pacing mile of the year at the Genesee County oval.

John Cummings Jr. left with Scott Rocks and after easing him through a brutally sunlit first turn, got his horse in gear on the back straight and took the lead by the quarter in :27.4. As soon as he crossed over to the pylons, Cummings popped the plugs and took a reclined posture in the bike as he became a passenger for the rest of his ride.

Scott Rocks was up by one and one-half lengths at the half in :56.2 and by two at three-quarters in 1:23.4. With the rest of the field scrambling to keep up at that point, the leader opened up three lengths under mild urging from Cummings and won wrapped-up in 1:52.

China Dream (Shawn Gray) closed strong to catch second and Heaven Rocks (Kevin Cummings), who followed the winner the entire mile, hung on for third.

It was the ninth win of the year, including three straight most recently for Scott Rocks ($2.50) and the purse increased his 2016 bank to $133,374 for owners Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey. The 6-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover is trained by Chris Oakes.

John Cummings Jr. had a driving grand slam on Saturday winning with Scott Rocks ($2.50, 1:52), Keystone Dalton ($3.10, 1:55), Foreign Officer ($4.30, 1:54.1) and Untouchable One ($3.40, 1:56).

Drew Monti had a driving triple while Ray Fisher Jr. doubled up.

Trainer JD Perrin conditioned three winning horses on the night.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 28) with the first post at 6:15 p.m.


September 24, 2016

Snapshot Springs convincing in Batavia Downs Open trot

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Fresh off a solid win in Open II company last week, Snapshot Springs moved to the top class for resident trotters and took a new lifetime mark in winning the $10,500 Open at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 23).

With three horses leaving off the gate, it took until the quarter for the favored Kahoku (Kevin Cummings) to clear in :28.1. He then proceeded to lead the pack in single-file order to the half in :57.4. At that station, Snapshot Springs (Drew Monti) pulled first-over from fourth and motored up on the outside.

Up the backside, Snapshot Springs pulled even with Kahoku and at that point, Monti popped the plugs before they hit the three-quarters in 1:27.1. From there he cleared and opened up a two-length lead around the last turn. Then with mild urging from Monti down the lane, Snapshot Springs coasted home to a fairly easy two-length win in 1:57.

It was the seventh win of the year for Snapshot Springs ($8.40) and it enriched his 2016 earnings to $41,085 for owner/trainer Allan McCarty.

Bob Davis won both $5,000 divisions of the C.K.G. Billings races. In the trotting leg he scored a wire to wire win with V I P ($15.80) and in the pacing division he went from worst to first with Helena’s Hope ($7.00).

John Cummings Jr. had a driving triple while Drew Monti and Shawn Gray scored doubles. Trainers Edgar Clarke and Jeff Amann both sent two horses to the winner’s enclosure.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 24) with a 6:15 post time.


September 19, 2016

China Dream toughs-out victory in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Track conditions were sloppy at best after torrential downpours swept through Genesee County, but China Dream didn’t seem to mind the mud as he came first-over and put in a gutsy effort while winning the $10,000 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 17).

From the pylons, Heaven Rocks (Kevin Cummings) took the lead by default as no one else in the field left. From there Cummings proceeded to cut pedestrian fractions for the class of :29.1 to the quarter and :59.1 to the half with his competitors following in post position order.

Shortly past that station, China Dream (Shawn Gray) pulled first-up and drew alongside Heaven Rocks. The two matched strides up the backside and around the last turn. At the head of the lane, China Dream wore down Heaven Rocks, but met another challenge from Foreign Officer (John Cummings Jr.) who had tipped three wide and was driving. But China Dream was the better horse this night and held all comers at bay to win by length in 1:56.2.

It was the ninth win of the year for China Dream ($10.80) and it raised his annual income to $65,055 for owners Jack and Maria Rice. China Dream is trained by Maria Rice.

Shawn Gray posted four driving victories on the night while Ray Fisher Jr. won two. Trainers Maria Rice, Angelo Nappo and Richard Lareau all sent two winners postward.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. for the final twilight card of the year.


BZ Glide back on track in Open trot at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY--- The last time BZ Glide visited the winner’s circle was on May 27 of this year, but that absence was quelled when he got up late to win the $10,000 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 16).

As the race got underway, habitual leaver Kahoku (Kevin Cummings) took a stay-at-home approach and let Studio City (Dave McNeight III), Noble Legend (Jack Flanigen) and Serendipitious (Ray Fisher Jr.) all go for the top. Those three battled three-wide to the quarter in :27.4 before Noble Legend finally cleared and then Serendipitious overtook from him. But the action was far from over before they reached the half as Studio City pulled first over with Kahoku shadowing the move.

The field was in two rows at three-quarters in 1:27.3 when Cummings pulled Kahoku three-high around the far turn. Not to be outdone, Mike Caprio pulled BZ Glide from the back of the pack and swung four-wide at the head of the lane. With horses coming from everywhere, four had a shot in mid-stretch. But it was BZ Glide who brushed the best to win by a neck in 1:58.1.

It was the second win of the year for BZ Glide ($4.30) who is just rounding into form after being off two months over the summer. So far in 2016, he has earned $18,625 for owner Caprio Stable LLC. BZ Glide is trained by Alana Caprio.

The Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings and Drew Monti both had triples on the card while Mike Caprio checked in with two winners.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 17) with the first post set at 6:15 p.m.


September 15, 2016

Zack’s Zoomer breaks track record at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photos courtesy of Paul white)

Batavia, NY---The 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings who came to Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 14) to compete in the $107,000 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) put on quite a show, but none more than Zack’s Zoomer, who set a new track record for age, gender and gait.

Zack’s Zoomer (Deweycheatumnhowe-Passageway) had finished second to division leaders Devious Man and Money Macintosh racing from off the pace his last two starts, but tonight driver Marcus Miller took no prisoners and sent Zack’s Zoomer right to the front along with Neon Lights (Chris Lems) and Money Macintosh (Andy Miller) in the first $53,500 division . As they headed into the first turn, favorite Money Macintosh made a break and left Zack’s Zoomer to dictate the fractions with Neon Lights parked out right next to him.

The two colts continued to battle; one in, one out, through fractions of :29, :58.2 and 1:28.4 before Neon Lights tired and Zack’s Zoomer found additional momentum. Rounding the final turn, Marcus Miller was just line driving his horse as they sped away and opened up a three length lead by mid-stretch. At the wire, Zack’s Zoomer was a wrapped-up winner in 1:58.1 by a comfortable two-lengths.

The time of 1:58.1 was a new lifetime mark for Zack’s Zoomer ($5.40) as well as a new track record for 2-year-old trotting colts at Batavia Downs. The old record of 1:58.4 was set by Dejarmbro in 2010.

“He has been drawing poorly, but he’s just been getting better and better. So when he got the rail, this is pretty much what I had planned tonight” said Marcus Miller. “I think he’s a very nice horse.”

This was also the second track record Marcus Miller has set at Batavia Downs in just over a week. On Saturday (Sept. 3), Miller drove Pointomygranson to a five-length, 1:53.2 win to set a new standard for 2-year-old pacing geldings.

This win was the second in six starts for Zack’s Zoomer and it pushed his earnings for the year to $71,265. The 50 points earned for the win, moved him up to fifth in the NYSS standings (155) and solidified his spot in the $1.8 million Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 24).

Zack’s Zoomer is owned by Ervin Miller Stable Inc. and Harvey Elsman and is trained by Erv Miller.

In the first $53,500 split, Devious Man (Credit Winner-Miss Garland) displayed why he was sent off 2-5 as he overpowered the field from post six.

Stick With Me Kid (Chris Lems), Volare (Mark Macdonald) and Devious Man (Andy Miller) all left the gate. Volare tucked in second behind the front running Stick With Me Kid while Devious Man floated in fourth. Just past the eighth pole, Stick With Me Kid made a break and simultaneously, Devious Man pulled and proceeded towards the front. That march was completed by the top of the far turn and from there, he took total control.

Devious Man led the field to the half in 1:01.1 and then proceeded to close out the race. He opened up and immediate three-length lead and with Miller sitting chilly, hit the three-quarters in 1:31 before trotting home in :28.4 to be a gapped winner in 1:59.4.

“I was a little worried about the six hole, but he just cruised around there; it didn’t really seem to matter” said Andy Miller. “After that horse made a break and he cleared the front, he was pretty much on his own from there.”

It was the fifth win of the year for Devious Man ($2.90) and the fourth in a row during his current streak. The purse enhanced his coffers to $167,733, making him the richest 2-year-old trotting colt in the NYSS this year. The 50 points gained for the win also made him the highest point-earner (287) for his category.

Devious Man, who is a three-quarter brother to 2005 Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo, is owned by Story Inc. and is trained by Julie Miller.

There were also three divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior A series on the card.

The first $15,000 division was won by American Cheque (Conway Hall-Cheque Lavec) who was driven by John Campbell in 2:00.3. American Cheque ($3.30) is trained by Linda Toscano for owner Michael Keeling.

The second $15,000 leg went to Top Flight Angel (Archangel-Top Photo) who was driven by John Cummings Jr. in 1:58.4. Top Flight Angel ($8.60) is trained by Megan Wilson for Legendary Standardbred Farm.

The final $15,000 split was won by Barn Winner (Credit Winner-Hallmarker) who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Barn Winner ($4.50) is trained by Steve Pratt who also owns him along with Nancy Pratt and the Out In The Country Stable.

Several horsemen had outstanding performances on Wednesday. John Cummings Jr. scored a driving triple while John Campbell, Marcus Miller and Jim Morrill Jr. all had doubles. Trainers Erv Miller and Jim Graham each sent two horses to the winner’s enclosure for portraits.


September 13, 2016

Team Orange Crush colts favored in NYSS at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---As the 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings mark the final New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) stop of the year at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 14), some of the entrants will be looking to solidify their spot in the $1.8 million Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 24). But stablemates Devious Man and Money Macintosh from the Julie Miller stable have already advanced as the top two point-earners in the series and can concentrate solely on the $107,000 in purse money available this week.

Devious Man (Credit Winner-Miss Garland) has won three consecutive NYSS events after making a break in the $294,450 Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands on August 6. He won in the mud at both Yonkers Raceway and Tioga Downs, the latter setting his lifetime mark of 1:55.3. And then the following week won again back at Yonkers in 1:58.3. He’s a very handy horse winning from both the front end and from behind.

In all, Devious Man has four wins this year, all in NYSS action and $140,983 in earnings. $125,397 of that total was made in the NYSS and makes him the highest money earner for his age, gait and gender. He is also the second highest point-earner (237) for his category.

Andy Miller will make an infrequent stop at the Genesee County oval to drive Devious Man for his wife Julie Miller from post 6 and has been made the prohibitive morning line favorite at 1-1 in the first $53,500 division.

Stick With Me Kid (Deweycheatumnhowe-Chelsea Hall) has only one win to his credit this year, but it was an impressive outing in the NYSS at Vernon Downs on July 21. He pulled from off the pace and trotted away to victory in 1:56.2, which was his career best. Chris Lems sat behind him for that start and trainer George Ducharme has him up again here.

Looking to add to his $64,051 in earnings and points to his total for the final, Stick With Me Kid has drawn post one, is the second choice at 7-2 and looks to be the stiffest competition for the favorite.

In the second $53,500 split, Julie Miller’s Money Macintosh (Credit Winner-Apple Plush) is almost a mirror image of Devious Man. He is coming in off two straight wins at Tioga and Yonkers and has four victories on the year, all in NYSS races. His lifetime mark of 1:56.2 was taken at Tioga Downs and he hasn’t missed the board all year.

Money Macintosh has won $122,829 in 2016, all of which was made in NYSS races. That puts him second in that category behind Devious Man, although he tops the list for points earned (262) in his category.

Andy Miller will also team Money Macintosh from post six and has been made the early choice at 2-1.

Such An Angel (Credit Winner-Michelle’s Angel) sits third in points for the final and will no doubt use this start as a tune up. After winning three-straight NYSS events at Vernon Downs, Saratoga Raceway and Yonkers, Such An Angel encountered some road trouble in his last two and finished off the board. With an inside draw and his gate speed, this is a good spot for the colt to rebound.

Trainer Paul Kelley again has the services of Hall of Fame driver John Campbell and will see Such An Angel depart from post three at 5-2.

Zack’s Zoomer (Deweycheatumnhowe-Passageway) currently sits seventh in points and needs a good outing to seal the deal. Although he has only won one NYSS event this year, he has finished a solid second in his last two outings from post four and looks to be rounding into form at just the right time.

Marcus Miller will steer Zack’s Zoomer for trainer Erv Miller and leave from post one at 3-1.

There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excel A series on the card that is slated to begin at 6:15 p.m.


September 12, 2016

Morrill and Brainard sweep the NYSS at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Horses trained by Tracy Brainard and driven by Jim Morrill Jr. have been tough to beat over the years and Saturday night (Sept. 10) at Batavia Downs was no exception. That dynamic duo swept both 3-year-old pacing filly divisions of the New York Sires Stakes and claimed the winner’s share of $119,300 in purses.

In the first $60,200 division, Milky Way Rae (American Ideal-Aurora Borealus) was used early and late before grinding out a victory down the lane.

Milky Way Rae left for the lead but was pursued from the outside by American Ivy (Dan Daley) through a :27.3 quarter. By the three-eighths America Ivy had taken a seat third allowing the leader a breather and a :56 half. But before Milky Way Rae could get too comfortable, No Clouds Bluechip (Kevin Cummings) had pulled from fourth with Dime A Dance (Drew Monti) right behind her.

As the trio paced by three-quarters in 1:25, No Clouds Bluechip stalled and Dime A Dance went three-wide around her in the last turn. Starting with a two-length deficit at the top of the stretch, Dime A Dance put on a ferocious drive and took it to the leader, but Milky Way Rae fended off the challenge to win by a nose in 1:54.4.

“The race shaped up good for her because she likes to rock on the front” said Morrill. “I thought she could go in 1:52 tonight on this track but it didn’t come to that.”

It was the fifth win of the year for Milky Way Rae ($13.20) and it boosted her 2016 earnings to $86,674 for owner Fortunate One LLC.

The second $59,100 leg saw Wishy Washy Girl (Roll With Joe-Wish All you Want) trip-out for the win and give the Morrill/Brainard team their second winner's circle presentation.

Wishy Washy Girl left and dropped in second behind Time On My Hands (Ray Fisher Jr.) who was rolling from the pylons. But despite the two being ahead of the field by a good ten lengths, Morrill pulled and tried to go to the front, cutting the quarter in :27. However Fisher would have none of that and he pushed his filly on and made Morrill see-saw his back into the hole.

Between the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.4, Art Critic (Drew Monti) pulled and drew alongside Wishy Washy Girl. At the same time, Fisher was highly animated in urging on the front-running Time On My Hands who was clearly running out of gas. This locked in Wishy Washy Girl who was raging with pace until the top of the lane. When the passing lane finally opened up, Morrill popped Wishy Washy Girl through the opening and sped to an instant two-length lead and won in 1:54.4.

“She was good but she would have been a lot better if they went 1:22 to three-quarters” Morrill explained. “That’s why I came out of the two-hole at the quarter, because when they go too slow she’s tough to hold. She was crawling over that horse around the last turn; she was very good.”

The win gave Wishy Washy Girl three for the year and the purse enriched her bank account to $82,328 for owners Michael Cimaglio and Stephen Demeter.

There were also two divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior A series on the card.

Ghost Runner (Art Major-Spirit Of The West) was an easy wire to wire winner in 1:54.1 for Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Erv Miller. Ghost runner ($2.30) is owned by Dr. Scott Leaf, Deborah Mackenzie, Gerald Fielding and Tom Jackson.

The Morrill/Miller combo also took the second division with Rolling Going Gone (Roll With Joe-Long Gone) in 1:58, and once again wire to wire. Rolling Going Gone ($2.30) is owned by Ross Bonafield. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. ended the night winning five races.


Kahoku delivers in Open trot at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---In Hawaiian, Kahoku means “star” and Friday night (Sept. 9) at Batavia Downs, Kahoku ($4.30) lived up to his name as he shown bright on the front end in the $10,500 Open trotting feature.

Driver Kevin Cummings left from post four with Kahoku and out-tussled Noble Legend (Jack Flanigen) for the lead past the quarter timed in :28.3. That would be the last lead change of the race. Kahoku trotted with a gapped lead and went to the half in :59.2 and three-quarters in 1:28.3. With the field unable to catch him up to that point, Kahoku strode away to an easy two-length victory in 1:58.

Noble Legend followed him to the wire for second and B Z Glide (Mike Caprio) closed the best for show.

It was the tenth win in 28 starts for Kahoku and it bumped his earnings up to $59,358 for the year. The 8-year-old altered son of SJ’s Caviar is owned by Colleen Girdlestone and Michael Gentner and is trained by Mark Laidlaw.

In the co-featured $8,500 Open II trot, The Bronx Bumper ($7.60) stepped up from the claiming ranks to dominate some top-flight condition horses when he came from off the pace to win in 1:58.3. Dave McNeight III drove the winner to his fourth win of the year for trainer Gerry Sarama and owner Mike Torcello.

Three drivers won 90% of the card on Friday as Kevin Cummings, John Cummings Jr. and Dave McNeight III all scored driving triples.

Racing resumes on Saturday night (Sept. 10) at Batavia Downs with the first post set for 6:15 p.m.


September 9, 2016

NYSS sophomore filly pacers at Batavia Downs Saturday

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The seventh of eight sessions of the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) stops at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 10) and this week it will be the 3-year-old pacing fillies who will participate in two divisions, going for $119,300 in available purses.

This will be the last stop for the second-year distaff side-wheelers who are trying to position themselves for the NYSS Night of Champions finals at Yonkers Raceway on September 24.

The first $60,200 division features No Clouds Bluechip (Roll With Joe-B J’s Sunshine) who comes in fresh off a big win in the $239,225 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) at Tioga Downs. After winning her elimination in 1:53 wire to wire, No Clouds Bluechip came from off the pace in the final to annihilate her competition, winning in 1:50.1 by five lengths.

No Clouds Bluechip is a four-time winner this year and has amassed $233,208 in earnings for her efforts and currently sits sixth in points for the final.

Trainer John Berger has tabbed Batavia’s leading driver, Kevin Cummings to steer and has been named the 2-1 morning line favorite from post two.

The race’s second choice, Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover) raced at Batavia Downs on one other occasion. Just short of a year ago, the filly scorched the Genesee County oval in 1:52.4 and set a new track and world record for 2-year-old pacing fillies over a half-mile track.

This year, Dime A Dance has matched her wins from 2015 but not her mark or earnings. Most recently she won two straight NYSS events before qualifying for the EBC final at Tioga. Unfortunately in that race, she drew post nine and made an untimely break at the quarter and was never in contention after that.

Dime A Dance has four wins on the year and $166,210 in the bank. She is also the top point earning filly in her division and is a lock for the NYSS final.

Dime A Dance drew post five and has been made 7-2 on the early line. Trainer Ron Burke has called upon Drew Monti to sit in the bike for this event.

In the second $59,100 split, Time On My Hands (American Ideal-Bewitching Jewell) looks like the one to beat on the strength of her body of work. She’s a three-time NYSS winner and took her lifetime mark of 1:53.2 in a leg at Saratoga Raceway.

Her most recent outing was in the $109,050 Lady Maud at Yonkers where she got away last and was chasing a :56.2 closing half. She did finish fifth and paced home in a snappy :27.4 final quarter.

In 2016, Time On My Hands has four wins and $146,893 in assets. She is currently second in points and has qualified for the final as well.

Time On My Hands has drawn post one and will team with Ray Fisher Jr. for trainer Chris Ryder.

Wishy Washy Girl (Roll With Joe-Wish All You Want) cut blazing fractions in the EBC but paid the price in the end. She finished sixth, but it was not unexpected with a 1:21.3 three-quarters. Prior to that under more moderate rating, she has been a handy filly since entering the Brainard stable.

Although her lifetime mark is 1:54.1 at Pocono Downs, she just missed going wire to wire in 1:51.3 in the EBC elimination two starts back where she finished third by a half-length.

Wishy Washy Girl has won two races this year but neither were in Sire Stake action.

Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the lines for the fourth straight time behind Wishy Washy Girl as assigned by trainer Tracy Brainard and the pair will depart from post five listed at 7-2.

There are also two divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior Series A races on the card that will go postward at 6:15 p.m.


September 8, 2016

All Charged Up wins back to back features at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Vernon Downs invaders All Charged Up and her trainer/driver John MacDonald have made Batavia Downs their second home now that they’ve won their second straight $10,000 fillies and mares Open pace on Wednesday night (Sept. 7).

MacDonald fired right to the front when the gate released the field and All Charged Up took complete control of the race. With the field in single file behind her and no one pulling the right line, MacDonald was on top grabbing both as he slowed the pace to 1:00.1 at the half. From there the race was over.

The Filly Princess (Kevin Cummings) eventually did come first over past the half and brought My Tallia Ideal (Dave McNeight III) with her in tow. They advanced towards the leader who had sped the third panel up to :28.1, but All Charged Up was steady and paced away in a :28 flat closing quarter to win by almost three lengths in 1:56.2.

It was the tenth win of the year for All Charged Up ($4.30) and it padded her already stout bankroll to $79,144 for owner J P Stables.

Mark Whitcroft won three races on the card while Chris Lems and Truman Gale won two apiece. Trainer Sally Cartier also sent two horses to the winner’s enclosure.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 9) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m.


Admirable Hanover wins RUS New York championship at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Wednesday night (Sept. 7) was historic for Batavia Downs as the first ever racing under saddle (RUS) contest was held at the oldest lighted harness track in America. And the show put on by the competitors in the $4,000 RUS New York championship race had the fans on their feet and cheering.

Five horses went postward before My Friend Charlie (Andrea Pratt) went right for the lead as the race began. But shortly after getting away second, Funny Photo (Sophie Engerran) came early, pulled alongside the leader and immediately pushed the issue.

The two trotted side by side setting fractions of :30 and 1:00.3 to the half before Funny Photo made a break past the five-eighths pole. At that point My Friend Charlie was alone on top but Admirable Hanover (Vanessa Karlewicz), who inherited second after the break, was right on her tail. As the race moved off the last turn, Karlewicz pulled Admirable Hanover and drew alongside the leader. The pair trotted in step in a thrilling race to the wire before Admirable Hanover got a slight advantage and won by a neck in 2:03.4.

My Friend Charlie was second and Jeanie Marie closed sharply for third after an early race miscue in the non-betting event.

It was the third win in six starts under saddle for Admirable Hanover this year. This is the fourth year the 9-year-old gelded son of Cantab Hall has competed in RUS and the 2:03.4 clocking was a new lifetime mark under saddle for him.

Admirable Hanover is owned by Peter Gerry and is trained by his rider, Vanessa Karlewicz.

“The crowd loved this race” said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing. “They were on their feet at the rail cheering as the two horses battled down the stretch. The girls put on a great show and we hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of RUS at Batavia Downs.”

Since this was the first ever RUS event at Batavia Downs, the winning time of 2:03.4 is a new track record.


September 7, 2016

$80,000 NYSS County Fair finals at Batavia Down on Wednesday

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---With the county fair racing now wrapped up in the Empire State, the top point-getters from each age, gait and gender group will converge on Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 7) to compete in the eight $10,000 finals.

After racing was scheduled at 22 stops around New York from July 1 through August 25, it has come down to 53 horses spread across eight finals on one night. Those events have been carded as races one through eight with the first post time set for 6:15 p.m.

Here is a list of the top point leaders from each group.

3-year-old pacing colts and geldings Midnight Pass (Kenneth J-The Company Store) 362 points

3-year-old trotting colt and geldings Steuben Bentley (Crazed-Be A Babe) 333 points

3-year-old pacing fillies Sea’s Ideal (American Ideal-A B Sea) 483 points

3-year-old trotting fillies Linda’s Choice (Conway Hall-Howard’s Sister) 358 points

2-year-old pacing colts and geldings Sea Rocky Roll (Rock N Roll Heaven-A B Seascape) 311 points

2-year-old trotting colt and geldings Steuben Surfs Up (Conway Hall-Pana Colada) 255 points

2-year-old pacing fillies Math Writer (Riverboat King-Mathamomics) 383 points

2-year-old trotting fillies Too Cool To Fool) Conway Hall-Travelin Deal) 300 points

A complete list of county fair points broken down by category can be viewed by clicking on this link. (http://www.nysirestakes.com/backend/News/news_upload/county_fair_schedule__105.pdf )


Pointomygranson sets a new track record at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings went postward at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 3) to compete for their share of the $110,000 purses up for grabs and one of the winners made track history.

Pointomygranson (American Ideal-Sangaal) went to the front and took a lead he would never relinquish en route to a five-length victory in 1:53.2 in his $55,500 division. That time was a new track record for 2-year-old pacing geldings.

Marcus Miller rushed Pointomygranson off the gate and set unchallenged fractional times of :28.2 and :58. At that point, Jim Morrill Jr. had the heavily favored Funknwaffles rolling up on the outside trying to catch the leader. But when Miller saw him coming past five-eighths, he asked his horse for more and then hung on as Pointomygranson accelerated.

Pointomygranson would not let the challenger get anywhere close to him up the backside and when they hit the stretch, he was pulling away with every stride and Miller was sitting chilly behind him. He paced his last quarter in :27 flat under wraps.

“He was real strong in the race, I couldn’t have been happier with him” said Marcus Miller. “It was the first time I drove him but they told me he would be good tonight and he was!”

It was the second NYSS win of the year for Pointomygranson ($7.00) and it pushed his earnings to $63,229 for owner Gold Standard Equine LLC. The winner is trained by Chris Ryder.

It was bombs away in the first $55,500 split when 30-1 Americanfirewater (American Ideal-Lucky Turn) pulled a major upset.

1-4 favorite Miso Fast (Jim Morrill Jr.) had things his own way on the front end with the field in single-file behind him, cutting even fractions of :28.2, :58.1 and 1:27.3. But just when things were looking anticlimactic, Drew Monti pulled Americanfirewater from the three hole and shot up alongside the leader in quick fashion.

Miso Fast and Americanfirewater then tore around the far turn, matching strides as they went. At the top of the lane it was anyone’s race and after both colts were driven hard to the wire, Americanfirewater wanted it more and won by a length in 1:56.2, which was a new lifetime mark.

“When he came out of the hole, I knew he had a real shot. He was super aggressive today and you could tell right away” said Drew Monti.

It was the first lifetime win for Americanfirewater ($62.50) and the winner’s share boosted his annual income to $54,739 for owner Rock & Roll Stable Inc. Americanfirewater is trained by Rick Dane Jr.

There were also two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card.

In the first division, Rollin About (Roll With Joe-Flitabout) was a wire to wire winner for driver Marcus Miller in 1:56.4 for owners Anthony Lombardi, D Van Witzenburg and George Golemes. The winner paid $8.20.

The second division went to Percy’s Z Tam and Pat Lachance in 1:56.2 on the strength of a three-wide move at three-quarters. Percy’s Z Tam ($9.70) is owned by Z Tam Stable LLC, M & M Harness Racing LLC, Royal Flush Stable LLC and Pat LaChance, who also trains him.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday afternoon (Sept. 5) with a special Labor Day matinee card featuring the annual driver’s bike race, which will be held after the seventh race.


Drew Monti wins five, both features at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Drew Monti put on a driving clinic at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 2) winning five races on the card that included both top trots of the week.

In the featured $10,000 Open for the diagonal gaited, Winky’s Pride ($14.20) went gate to wire in unfettered style. After leaving from post four, Winky’s Pride was perfectly rated through fractions of :28.2, :58.2 and 1:28.2 when J A T O (Mike Caprio) sidled her at three-quarters. Monti glanced back and popped the plugs right after and the chestnut mare new to turn it up.

After they circled the turn and headed down the lane, J A T O continued his assault from the outside and Studio City (Dave McNeight III) shot through the passing lane in pursuit as well. But Winky’s Pride would not relent and under mild urging, held off all challengers to the wire and won by a long neck in 1:57.4. Studio City was second and J A T O was third.

It was the fifth win of the year for Winky’s Pride and the second consecutive week she beat the boys in the feature. With the winner’s share of the purse, her earnings rose to $46,039 in 2016 for owner-trainer Robert Hummel.

In the co-featured $8,500 Open II trot, Monti scored with El Diablo Hall ($12.20) in his first local start after a private purchase. El Diablo Hall sat second behind BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) for the entire mile, before finding room in the passing lane. From there, he powered up the pylons to a half-length victory in 1:57.4.

El Diablo Hall is owned by James Caradori and is trained by Darrin Monti.

Rounding out Monti’s five winners were Chelsea’s Chance ($8.70), Tenor Duharas ($4.20) and Warhorse ($5.00). His UDR for the night was .593.

There were other outstanding performances by several horsemen on Friday night as well. John Cummings Jr.'s Batavia homecoming saw him win three races during the night as did trainer Darrin Monti. And Kevin Cummings hit the winner’s circle twice along with trainer Mike Carrubba.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 3) with two main events. The New York Sires Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings rolls into town along with the $7.4 million dollar horse, Foiled Again, who will compete in the overnight featured $10,000 Open pace. Post time for the first race is 6:15 p.m.


September 2, 2016

NYSS freshman male pacers at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The top two point leaders for New York Sire Stake 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings will headline the 16 starters who will compete for $111,000 in two divisions at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 3)

In the first $55,500 division, Miso Fast (Roll With Joe-Sakura Hanover) comes in leading all his peers with 205 NYSS points on the strength of four consecutive wins in that competition this year. In his last start at Yonkers, he got parked out the better part of the mile and ended up finishing fifth in 1:55.4. That event was on August 18 and he hasn’t raced since, so he comes in to this race off a 16 day layoff.

This year, Miso Fast has a mark of 1:53.1 at Tioga Downs and has banked $79,636 in earnings.

Trainer Ron Burke has retained the services of Jim Morrill Jr. to do the driving and Miso Fast will leave from post three as the 9-5 morning line favorite.

Serious Major (Art Major-Seriously) will be strong competition as he moved into the NYSS level after winning three straight races at the Excelsior A level. Since making the jump he has won at Yonkers Raceway in 1:56.2 and finished second at Vernon Downs in 1:52.3 to Funknwaffles who will race in the other division here. For the year, Serious Major is five out of six in the win column.

Serious Major took a mark of 1:54.4 at Tioga Downs and has won $78,606 in purses.

Ray Fisher Jr. will pick up the lines for trainer Chris Ryder and leave from post 5 as the 7-2 second choice.

In the second $55,500 split, Funknwaffles (American Ideal-Hatsoff Hanover) is a perfect six for six on the year, leads all his NYSS competitors in earnings and currently sits second in points with 150. He started out in Excelsior A, winning three races there before moving up to NYSS action where he won three more.

Funknwaffles just scored his lifetime mark at Vernon last week in 1:52.1 and has $106,439 in purses for his efforts.

Jim Morrill Jr. will be in the bike for trainer John Butenschoen and is listed at 9-5 from post seven.

Pointomygranson (American Ideal-Sangall) has only one NYSS win this year and would just make the final if today’s points were to decide it. But he’s been a solid competitor in every race he’s been in. He was second at Monticello Raceway in 1:56.1, coming home in :27.3. And last week at Mohawk Raceway in the Metro he closed sharply from seventh in :26.1 to finish fourth, beaten only a length and a half in a 1:51.3 mile.

Pointomygranson has a mark of 1:55.1 at Saratoga Raceway and has earned $35,479 this year.

Marcus Miller will be in the house to drive for trainer Chris Ryder and drew the invisible rail at 4-1.

There are also two divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card that is slated to begin at 6:15 p.m.


Batavia Downs driver’s bike race set for Labor Day

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---A tradition that started in 1979 continues on Monday (Sept. 5) during the Labor Day matinee extravaganza at Batavia Downs and that is, the annual driver’s bike race. This “friendly” competition between the horsemen features eight local drivers who will line up at the quarter pole and make their way around the far turn and head for the wire.

Last year’s winner was Mickey Holliday who won with a strong stretch drive. Holliday will be back to defend his title against some new faces as well as some cagey veterans. But the best part is the fans get to win the actual brand new bikes used in the race.

You must sign-up in the Paddock Room between noon and 2:45 p.m to be eligible. Each patron can put their entry in one of eight boxes; each coinciding with a driver in the race. Then from the winning driver’s box, eight winners will be randomly drawn and each will be given one of the bikes the drivers used. The bike race will be held after the seventh harness race and the drawing for the bikes after the bike race has been declared official.

There is no purchase necessary but you must be at least 18-years-old to enter and you mist be present to win.

The bike race is sponsored by Crazy Cheap Cars of Oakfield, NY.

Click this link for a video of last year’s race. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l_rbJ9yhR4 )

Here is the line-up of drivers competing in the 2016 Invitational:

Post -Driver

1-Patrick Galbraith

2-Rock Vinci

3-JD Perrin

4-Jimmy McNeight Jr.

5-Mickey Holliday

6-Brad Jackson

7-Denny Bucceri

8-Drew Monti

Also featured on the Labor Day card are $1 Sahlen’s hot dogs, draft beer and soda on the track apron from noon to 4 p.m. And in the Clubhouse from noon-3:30 p.m. you can enjoy a $10.95 chicken bar-b-que provided by the Center Street Smoke House of Batavia. And with each dinner you buy you will receive $10 worth of free-play on the gaming floor, so it’s almost like eating for free!

And of course there are 13 live harness races scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m.


September 1, 2016

Dayson dominates in NYSS; Morrill wins five at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---He’s diminutive in size but dominant on the track. Dayson ($2.20) came from off the pace and pulled away to a convincing victory in his division of the $119,300 New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 31).

Off the wings, Allerage Echo (Chris Lems) and The Royal Harry (Oskar Florhed) both left and battled old-school to the quarter in :28 flat before The Royal Harry finally took the lead. Meanwhile Dayson (Jim Morrill Jr.) relaxed in third about eight lengths behind, waiting for the dust to settle. The field remained unchanged to the half but became more closely grouped, nose to tail.

At the five-eighths pole, Morrill tipped Dayson and asked for more, and more is what he got. He eased past Allerage Echo and snuck up on The Royal Harry as they circled the final turn. When they hit the top of the stretch, Dayson found another gear and he pulled away on his own. Morrill had the whip tucked and the lines in his lap as they crossed the wire a four-length winner in 1:57.3.

“He was very good; nice and strong. He got around the track perfect tonight and didn’t do anything wrong” said winning driver Jim Morrill Jr. “I tipped him up the backside and was hand-wrapped to the wire.”

It was the eighth win in 12 starts this year for Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey’s Taurus) who now boasts $230,583 in 2016 earnings for owners Burke Racing Stables LLC, Our Horse Cents Stable, J&T Silva Stable LLC and Rossie Smith.

In the other NYSS division, A Jersey Contract ($14.00) pulled the upset after a crafty drive by the Downs leading driver Kevin Cummings that gave him the home-field advantage.

With the scratch of morning line favorite Smalltownthrowdown due to his participation in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot on Saturday, Sir Royson (Jim Marohn Jr.) became the favorite and went off at 1-1. However he also made a break before the gate opened and that immediately made the race interesting. Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) took full advantage off the gaffe and opened up a three-length lead over pocket-sitting A Jersey Contract going to the quarter.

The field stood pat past the half when That’s A Bad Boy (Tyler Freese) pulled first over with Drazzmatazz (Mark Macdonald) on his helmet. The top four were then grouped two-by-two at three-quarters in 1:28.4. Around the last turn, Drazzmatazz tipped three-wide around That’s A Bad Boy trying to gain on the leader, but A Jersey Contract who had the perfect journey in second, shot up the pylons and collared Southern Palms by a neck in 1:57.4. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner.

“The race shaped up real well for us. We got a two-hole trip right to the wire and he had a lot of trot sitting in there” said his driver Kevin Cummings. “I knew when I got him in the passing lane he’d give me more.”

It was the third win this season for A Jersey Contract (Lucky Chucky-Giza Dream) and it pushed his yearly earnings to $88,574 for owners Tom Vassiliou and Nicholas Tallarico. A Jersey Contract is trained by Maureen Salino.

There were also two divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card.

The first division was won by Credevi (Credit Winner-Fleur De Vie) in 1:58, which was a new lifetime mark. Credevi ($2.30) was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for owner Wanda Polisseni’s Purple Haze Stable and trainer Trond Smedshammer.

The second leg went to Royal Bachelor (RC Royalty-Becca J) in 1:57.4. Royal Bachelor is trained and driven by Dan Daley and is owned by Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford IV and Michael White. The winner returned $9.00.

Jim Morrill Jr. is the leading driver on the New York Sire Stake circuit and also the third leading UDR driver in North America and he showed why on Wednesday as he won five races; three in stake races and two overnighters. His victories included Credevie ($2.30), Dayson ($2.20), Thanks for Playin ($2.60), Terrorcam ($5.10) and Purple N gold ($5.10).

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 2) with post time set for 6:15 p.m.


August 31, 2016

Dayson headlines NYSS trotters at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---On Wednesday night (Aug. 31), the New York Sire Stake 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters will visit Batavia Downs to compete in two divisions for a total of $119,300 in purses and Dayson comes in ready after recent Grand Circuit competition.

Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey’s Taurus) took on the best male sophomore trotters in North America in his last start when he faced off against Hambletonian champion Marion Marauder and Southwind Frank in the $500,000 Colonial Stake at Pocono Downs. After being parked out half the mile, Dayson finished fifth behind winner Southwind Frank, beaten only three lengths in 1:52.4.

Prior to that start, Dayson strung together three straight wins including a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 at the Meadowlands in the $50,000 Townsend Ackerman Stake. For the year, Dayson has seven wins in eleven starts and $201,033 in the bank. He currently sits second in the points standing for his sex, age and gait.

Trainer Ron Burke has assigned leading NYSS driver Jim Morrill Jr. to steer Dayson in his $59,100 division and they will leave from post three as the prohibitive morning line 6-5 favorite.

The Royal Harry (RC Royalty-Wilsonator) will be major competition for the favorite after he recently competed in the Hambletonian in August. The Royal Harry faced the best of his class in that race and acquitted himself well, trotting back to back heats race-timed in 1:53 and 1:53.3.

In four NYSS starts this year The Royal Harry has posted two wins and two second place finishes and that ties him with Dayson for second in overall points. Those starts also helped pad his wallet this year to the tune of $136,283.

Trainer Ake Svanstedt has listed Oskar Florhed to drive The Royal Harry and they will line up in post two as the 2-1 second choice.

In the other $60,200 split, NYSS divisional point’s leader Smalltownthrowdown (Cash Hall-Ann’s Promise) comes into western New York red hot on the heels of two eye-popping victories.

Last week he went wire to wire in 1:56.2 at Monticello Raceway to win by almost nine-lengths and two weeks before that, he won in similar style at Saratoga Raceway in 1:54.4 by five-lengths. That time was also a new lifetime mark. Smalltownthrowdown has five wins in 12 starts this year and $156,795 in earnings.

Trainer/driver Dan Daley will be in his usual spot behind Smalltownthrowdown and depart from post five, listed at 7-5.

Sir Royson (Crazed-Leibovitz Hanover) has had a mixed bag of racing luck of late. A nice 1:56.3 second place effort behind Dayson at Yonkers on July 14 was sandwiched between a break at Buffalo Raceway and one at Saratoga. But after a 10 day sabbatical, Sir Royson qualified in good form at Freehold in 1:59.2 and looks to build on that effort in here.

Sir Royson has three 2016 wins, two in NYSS action and $94,928 in earnings. He took a mark of 1:54 at Tioga Downs back in May.

Trainer Linda Toscano has Jim Marohn Jr. in the sulky and Sir Royson will leave from post two as the 4-1 second choice.

There are also two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the program that are carded as race one and two.

Post time for Wednesday’s first race is 6:15 p.m.


August 30, 2016

Kevin Cummings wins five at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The weather wasn’t the only thing that was hot at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 28), Kevin Cummings was as well. The Downs leading driver who is currently sporting 37 wins at the meet reached that total on the strength of today’s performance.

Cummings won with Windemere Maggie ($4.20) and Ona Dream ($7.20) to complete the early Daily double ($24.60). After that, he finished the card scoring with Sea Deuce ($4.10), Lexis Amigo (5.40) and B Evas Lucky Lad ($8.60).

Cummings third winner, Sea Deuce, took the afternoon’s $7,200 feature pace in 1:56.3. Sea Deuce went wire to wire in victory, coming home strong in :28.2 to hold of the pocket sitting Mystical Valentine (Jack Flanigen) in the process. It was the sixth win of the year for the 6-year-old gelded son of Armbro Deuce that is owned by Cummings and trained by Priscilla Mooney.

Not to be outdone, Dave McNeight III (who is currently second is dash wins behind Cummings) and Ray Fisher Jr. also reached the winner’s enclosure twice.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 31) at 6:15 p.m. and will feature two divisions of the New York Sires Stake 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings who will vie for $119,300 in purses.


Pablo wins the “Dachshund Dash” at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The centerpiece of Batavia Downs Family Fun Day on Sunday (Aug. 28) was the annual Wiener dog races and this year, 2,400 live patrons came out to watch a great program of live harness racing while anticipating the nine qualifying Weiner heats that followed.

After the qualifying events were held and the final field was set, nine dogs went postward in the two-pylon sprint as the rail trackside was literally five-deep with spectators.

Track announcer Joe Zambito gave the word and they released the hounds for the race. After the pack thundered down the stretch and the dust had settled, Pablo was a convincing winner with Nibbles beating out Minnie in a close photo for second.

It was the third time Pablo had competed in this event and the third time was a charm for him and his owner. “He’s always been competitive and always done well in the race, but he never won it” said Pablo’s owner Adrienne Penders. “This year he finally got it done”

Nibbles is owned by Tammy Anderson and Minnie is owned by Lori Laine.

Last year’s champion Piglet, won his qualifying heat this afternoon but failed to hit the board in the final despite a hearty attempt.

"Once again, Family Fun Day was a great success" said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing. "The stands were full with kids of all ages and everyone had a great time at Batavia Downs. The Wiener dogs put on another great show and we would like to thank everyone who brought their dogs out to compete and to Genesee Feeds of Batavia who sponsors the event every year."

Each of the nine qualifying heat winners received a $25 free play voucher to Batavia Downs Gaming. The winning owner of the final was presented a $100 free play voucher, the second place finisher received $75 in free play, and the third place finisher will enjoy $50 in free play. All three owners will also get two complimentary buffets each in the Batavia Downs clubhouse.

The 2-9-3 doggie-tri combination was reported to return 25 Milk-Bones among trackside punters.


August 28, 2016

Milliron Pete wires foes in Batavia Downs pacing feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Milliron Pete made his local debut for new connections last week after 19 days off and experienced an off-track and road trouble for his effort. But the Northfield Park invader more than made up for that outing on Saturday night (Aug. 27) when he won the $10,000 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs in convincing fashion.

With the scratch of Heaven Rocks, the abbreviated field of five departed the gate with Milliron Pete (Ron Beback Jr.) scooting right to the front. Everyone stood pat until the three-eighths when the 2-5 favorite Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) pulled first up as they hit the half in a meager :58 flat.

Positions remained unchanged as the group circled the final two turns with Knocking Around just outside the flank of the front-running Milliron Pete. And despite his best effort to collar the leader down the lane, Knocking Around could not as Milliron Pete held fast and paced home in :28.1 to win by a long-length in 1:54.4. Knocking around toughed out the place spot while China Dream (Jack Flanigen) came from mid-pack for third.

It was the ninth win of the year for Milliron Pete ($20.40) and the winner’s share of the purse pushed his annual income to $60,315. Milliron Pete is owned Elm Racing and is trained by Ron Beback Jr.

Saturday turned out to be long-shot night at the Downs led off by Green Olives ($53.00) winning the second race and triggering a $305 Exacta (8-5), $1,662 Trifecta (8-5-3) and $4,220.50 Super (8-5-3-2). Then in the third, Kashability ($21.00) spurred a $621 Exacta (3-8) and a $2,712 Trifecta (3-8-5).

Ray Fisher Jr. scored three wins on the card while Kevin Cummings followed up with two.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 28) with post time set for 1:15 p.m. Sunday is Family Fun Day featuring the annual Wiener Dog races and a guaranteed Pick-5 pool of $1,500 starting in the first race.


August 27, 2016

Winky’s Pride beats the boys in Batavia Downs Open trot

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---After back-to-back second place finishes to Serendipitious and Studio City in Open company races the last two weeks, Winky’s Pride got her revenge by beating them both, along with five other top-flight trotters in the $10,500 feature trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 26).

As the starting car sped away, Serendipitious (Ray Fisher Jr.), WInky’s Pride (Drew Monti) and Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) all left as fast as the gate and then argued strongly for the lead. As they moved by the quarter in :28, Serendipitious took the front from the first seated Winky’s Pride and the two mares left Kahoku parked-out to dry.

The field stayed pretty much unchanged to the half in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:27.3 before Kahoku folded from taking air and Serendipitious started to look like a winner. But Monti had other ideas as he tipped Winky’s Pride by the head of the stretch and under light urging, trotted away to a two-length victory in 1:57.2. Studio City (Dave McNeight III) snuck up the rail to be second and Serendipitious hung on for third.

It was the fourth win in 26 starts this year for Winky’s Pride ($19.60) and the winner’s share pushed her earnings up to $41,039 for 2016. The time of 1:57.2 was a new seasonal mark for the 8-year-old chestnut daughter of Amigo Hall and only 2/5th’s of a second off her lifetime best.

Winky’s Pride is owned and trained by Robert Hummel.

Dave McNeight III and Ray Fisher Jr. both had driving doubles and trainer Lisa Mariacher conditioned two winners as well.

Racing resumes at Batavia Down on Saturday night (Aug. 27) with post time set for 6:15 p.m.


August 26, 2016

Batavia Downs to host Family Fun Day and Wiener Dog races Sunday

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The 'Dog Days of Summer' at Batavia Downs means it's time for the annual Genesee Feeds Wiener Dog races. That popular event is once again happening this Sunday afternoon (Aug. 28) with post time for the first Dachshund race scheduled for approximately 4:20 p.m. after the completion of the live 11-race live harness racing card.

Last year, Heidi Kaiser’s Dachshund “Piglet”, made his third Downs appearance and cruised to a comfortable victory defeating nine other fleet-footed Wiener-racers in the championship final.

On Sunday, seven heats will be contested with each heat winner scoring a $25 free play voucher to Batavia Downs Gaming. The heat winners will then return for a championship race where the winning owner getting $100 in free play, second place finisher gets $75 in free play, and the third place finisher receives $50 in free play. The owners of the top three finishers will also get two complimentary buffets in the Batavia Downs clubhouse.

All entrants will receive doggie bags for their athletes from the official sponsor of the Wiener Dog races, Genesee Feeds of Batavia.

The Wiener Dog races are one of the biggest promotions of the season at Batavia Downs and the main event of 'Family Fun Day' at the races.

"Family Fun Day is one of my favorite live racing days” said Director/General Manager of Live Racing, Todd Haight. “The kids always have a great time. You can bring the whole family out because there is something for everyone and you can eat, drink and enjoy everything going on for the entire afternoon and it costs next to nothing.”

Treat the kids to a fun, affordable day out with $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, soda, and snow cones and free pony rides from 2-4 p.m., sponsored by Castilone Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep of Batavia. There will also be special appearances by Pringles The Clown, Mr. Scribbles, Jason the Juggler and other fun activities for kids of all ages. And everything is presented in a clean, safe environment where they can just enjoy themselves.

Admission and parking are free and live harness racing action begins at 1:15 p.m.

For more information including news, upcoming schedule, promotions and race replays, go to bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing.


August 25, 2016

Back to Back Open wins for My Tallia Ideal at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The $9,500 mares Open pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 24) was like “Groundhog Day” for the winner as My Tallia Ideal once again came from off the pace to dominate at the end and score consecutive victories in the Genesee County oval’s top distaff class.

Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) took a slow slow methodic outside route to the lead after the small but select field of mares broke from the gate for race one. She cleared before the quarter in :27.3 and from that point, the trailing field followed her in post-position order until they straightened out for the half.

At the head of the stretch, My Tallia Ideal (Dave McNeight III) pulled and began motoring up towards the leader followed by All Charged Up (John McDonald) and Who Says That (Drew Monti) in the outer flow. By the middle of the backstretch, My Tallia Ideal’s forward assault was complete when she cleared and tripped the three-quarter timer in 1:25. From there, the gauntlet was laid down as the daughter of Western Ideal opened up by two, then three and pulled away more to a 1:53.4 win over All Charged Up and Who Says That.

It was the sixth win of the year for My Tallia Ideal ($5.90) including three out of four Batavia Downs starts, all being in the top class at the Downs. The win pushed her earnings for the year to $43,525 for owners Peter Kibler, Kenneth Owczarczak and Courtney McNeight. My Tallia Ideal is trained by Dave McNeight Jr.

Four drivers owned most of the card as Todd Cummings won three races and Kevin Cummings, Jack Flanigen and Dave McNeight III each won two. Trainer Dave McNeight Jr. also sent two horses to the winner’s enclosure.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 26) with post time for the first race at 6:15 p.m.


August 22, 2016

Robin J wins the $110,200 NYSS at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---A heavy early rain dampened the track, but not the enthusiasm shown by the eight 2-year-old pacing fillies competing for one of the largest single purses ever offered at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 20). And when the all the moves were made, Robin J (Roll With Joe-Mommy Robin Q) saved her best one for last and captured the victory in the New York Sire Stake event.

Artrageous (Jim Morrill Jr.) left sharply for the lead and Robin J (Jim Marohn Jr.) settled in behind her as the field moved to the quarter in :28.3. Shortly after they passed that marker the outer flow set up with American Cheer (Billy Davis Jr.) coming first over and Pleasant Roll (Chris Lems) and Roaring To go (Kevin Cummings) following right behind.

At the three-quarter pole they fanned four across the track when Pleasant Roll tipped three wide and Roaring To Go went four abreast. Pleasant Roll took the lead from Artrageous by a half-length in the last turn, but Artrageous dug in and took it back before they hit the stretch. As they headed down the lane Artrageous was in the middle of the track trying to fight off Pleasant Roll when Marohn moved Robin J into the passing lane and powered by them both to take the win in 1:56.

“She was real good tonight, but I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. The way it set up and the way the race went; it was all about the trip” said Marohn after the race.

It was the fifth win in six lifetime starts for Robin J ($4.50) and the purse enhance her lifetime total to $131,605 for owner Ken Jacobs. Robin J is trained by Linda Toscano.

There were also four $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the program.

The first division was won by Megyn K (American Ideal-Fantasy Jet) in 1:58 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Jean Drolet. Megyn K ($2.90) is owned by Stephen Schneider, William Siegel, Jay Lieberman and Karen Munk.

The second division went to Bullvillestephanie (Roll With Joe-Bullville Ana) in 1:57.4 for driver Ray Schnittker and trainer Steve Crevani. Bullvillestephanie ($11.40) is owned by Crevani Farms.

The third leg was won by Ann Hill (Rock N Roll Heaven-Taxi Fare Hanover) in 1:57.1 for driver Chris Lems and trainer Tony Alagna. Ann Hill ($3.30) is owned by Tom Hill.

The final split was taken by Pirinea’s Princess (Roll With Joe-Chant-a-nuka) in 1:59.1 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Dennis Laterza. Pirinea’s Princess ($3.00) is owned by Latz A Luck Stable.

Jim Morrill Jr. scored four driving wins on the card that included three in stake action and one in the overnight featured $10,500 Open pace with Ron Burke’s multi-million dollar winner, Clear Vision (Western Hanover-Artistic Vision) in 1:53.4, wire to wire.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 21) with post time set at 1:15 p.m.


Bombs away in the top trot at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

There were two mares against the boys in the $10,000 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 19) and girl-power prevailed as Serendipitous, who was overlooked at 9-1, pulled out a wire to wire victory in a lifetime best time of 1:57.1.

Weekly leaver Lutetium (Todd Cummings) made a break off the gate which handed Serendipitous (Ray Fisher Jr.) the lead and with it, the mare took the field in post-position order to the half in :57.3. At the five-eighths, Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) pulled first over and brought heavily favored J A T O (Mike Caprio) in tow and the pair motored up towards the front.

That outer flow chased the leader to the three-quarter station in 1:27.1 without gaining much ground when J A T O pulled three wide in the last turn and started his solo assault. But when he actually drifted five-wide in the move, Serendipitous was able to maintain her lead in mid-stretch and fend off the pocket-sitting Winky’s Pride as well as the late rush by J A T O to win by a neck.

Winky’s Pride (Drew Monti), who was the other mare in the race, finished second and J A T O settled for third.

It was the sixth victory of the year for Serendipitous ($21.80) and the winner’s share of the purse padded her bank account to the tune of $33,267 for Guy Polillo Est. and trainer John Mungillo.

The secondary feature carded as the $8,500 Open II saw Kahoku ($7.70) avoid some early road trouble and go wire to wire in a fast 1:56.3 for driver Ron Beback Jr. The 8-year-old gelded son of SJ’s Caviar is trained by Mark Laidlaw for owners Colleen Girdlestone and Michael Gentner.

Batavia Downs leading dash driver Kevin Cummings had a driving triple on the night while Drew Monti doubled up.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 20) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m. Saturday’s card features the NYSS 2-year-old pacing fillies going for $110,200 in race four on the card.


August 19, 2016

NYSS pacing fillies ship into Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---There is $110,200 up for grabs in the 2-year-old pacing filly division of the New York Sire Stakes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 20) but it’s being competed for all in one race. In a rare instance, only eight of the 43 2-year-old pacing fillies that have started in NYSS competition this year have entered the top level this week and they will go postward in race four.

The $110,200 one-race payoff is one of the most lucrative purses ever offered at Batavia Downs behind the all-time record of $286,756 that was distributed in the 1988 Breder's Crown.

Robin J (Roll With Joe-Mommy Robin Q) has been made the prohibitive 8-5 morning line choice on the strength of four wins in five lifetime starts and all were in stake competition. Last week, Robin J went wire to wire in the Geers Stake at Tioga Downs and registered the victory in 1:54, with a last quarter in an eyepopping :26.3, and in doing so set a new lifetime mark. She can race on point or off the pace and that makes her a double threat.

Jim Marohn Jr. makes an infrequent appearance at Batavia Downs to drive Robin J for trainer Linda Toscano and leaves from post two.

Challenging will be Artrageous (Art Major-In Deep Thought) who is a two-time winner this year, most recently in NYSS action at Saratoga Raceway where she won cutting the mile in 1:55.4, her career best. It’s interesting to note Artrageous defeated Robin J in that contest. The filly was race timed in 1:52.4 at Vernon Downs last week in a third place finish and hasn’t been off the board this year in five tries.

Jim Morrill Jr. takes the reins for trainer Andrew Stafford and departs the gate from post one.

Pleasant Roll (Roll With Joe-Pleasant But Bad) has only one win this year but has shown tremendous growth over her last two starts. After dropping down to the Excelsior A level two weeks ago, Pleasant Roll destroyed her field and won by six lengths in a lifetime best 1:53.3. She then followed that effort up with a second place finish in 1:53 in the Geers Stake at Tioga after being parked out for a good part of the mile. Her division time and her personal clocking of 1:53.3 were both faster than Robin J’s race that day.

Chris Lems is in the bike for trainer Julie Miller and will leave from post five.

There are also four $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A Series on the card and they will provide some outstanding wagering opportunities.

The first division (Race 2) has Megyn K (American Ideal-Fantasy Jet) listed as the 2-1 morning line choice from post five for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Jean Drolet.

The second division (Race 3) features the Blake Macintosh-trained entry of Takeyourbreathaway (Rock N roll Heaven-Leave Em Gasping) with Billy Davis Jr. aboard from post two and Clear Idea (American Ideal-Glass Maker) with Drew Monti at the lines from post eight, pegged as the 5-2 handicappers selection.

The third division (Race 6) has trainer Tony Alagna’s Ann Hill (Rock N Roll Heaven-Taxi Fare Hanover) listed at 5-2 for driver Chris Lems who will leave from post five.

And the final division (Race 7) has seen Opaline Blue Chip named the 5-2 early favorite for trainer Richard Ringler and local driving favorite Kevin Cummings, who starts from post five.

Post time for the first race is 6:15 p.m.


August 18, 2016

My Tallia Ideal holds court in mares Open at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---My Tallia Ideal ($5.50) let her foes do the heavy lifting for the first half of the race and then proceeded to pick up the pieces for an easy victory in the $9,500 mares open pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 17).

Wanna Rock N Roll (Todd Cummings), Jann Down (Jack Flanigen) and V’la Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) went three-wide around the first turn and then up the backside, scorching a :27.2 quarter in the process. V’la Faire finally claimed the lead and led the girls to the half.

My Tallia Ideal (Dave McNeight III) pulled first-over in advance of that station and floated outside the leader as they went around the clubhouse turn. When they straightened up the backside, McNeight let out the lines and his mare responded in kind. Clearing by the three-quarter pole in 1:26.3, My Tallia Ideal proceeded to stride away from the rest of the field and opened up a four-length lead by the time she stopped the timer in 1:54.3, pacing her last quarter in :28 flat.

Who Says That (Drew Monti) rallied strong to be second and a very game V’la Faire hung on for third.

It was the second win in three Batavia downs starts for My Tallia Ideal, both of which were in the top company. The 6-year-old daughter of Western Ideal has now earned $38,775 in 2016 for owners Peter Kibler, Kenneth Owczarczak and Courtney McNeight. Dave McNeight Jr. does the training.

Wins came in multiples for many horsemen on Wednesday night. Drivers Dave McNeight III and Ray Fisher Jr. both had triples while Drew Monti and Kevin Cummings chimed in with doubles. On the training side, Dave McNeight Jr. and Angelo Nappo each sent two horses to the winner's enclosure for photos. Racing resumes on Friday night (Aug. 19) at Batavia Downs with the first post set for 6:15 p.m.


August 15, 2016

Goosebump Hanover, Non Stick score in NYSS at Batavia Downs

   

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Despite the oppressive humidity at post time, victory in the $119,300 New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies was no sweat for Goosebump Hanover and Non Stick at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 13).

Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) took a wait-and-see approach in the first $59,100 division as Jim Morrill Jr. took back to last while Lindylicious (Kevin Cummings), Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) and Earn Your Wings (Charlie Norris) accounted for three lead changes before the half that was reached in :58.2.

At that station, Earn your Wings was on top by two when Morrill pulled Goosebump Hanover to follow the live cover of Lindylicious, who had made a move at five eighths. Morrill followed the outer flow until it stalled and then swung three-wide at the top of the far turn and started pouring on the speed. When they hit the straightaway, Goosebump Hanover was in full-stride and scored a one length victory in 1:58.

After the race, driver Jim Morrill Jr. spoke glowingly of his filly. “The race set up perfectly for her with the fast half. But when I tipped her and asked her for more, she trotted strong to the wire.”

Goosebump Hanover ($10.40) is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, J&T Silva Stables LLC, Crawford Farms LLC and Joseph DiScala Jr.

In the second $60,200 leg, Non Stick (Lucky Chucky-Meucci Madness) took no prisoners as trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt left immediately and worked his way to the lead by the quarter in :29 flat. Open Access (Charlie Norris), who left behind Non Stick, was pressuring her on the outside at that point but made a break in the turn and that allowed the leader a :30.4 breather in the second panel.

Approaching the five eighths pole, post time favorite Fad Finance (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled from third and drafted outside of Non Stick up the backside. But as soon as the pair hit the final turn, Morrill gave the filly her head and Fad finance surged a length ahead of Non Stick. However the tables turned quickly when they straightened out in the lane as Non Stick came back on and pulled away to an easy two-length win in 1:58.2.

Non Stick ($5.60) is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc. and Little E LLC.

There were also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card and two of them showed up the headliners by just missing the track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies by a fifth of a second (Cowgirl Hall, Bouncing Bax-1:57.2).

The first division was won by Wendy’s Girl (Lucky Chucky-East Creek Wendy) who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. in 1:57.3. Wendy’s Girl ($2.80) is trained by Tracy Brainard for owners Howard Taylor and Edwin Gold.

The second leg was won by Dazzling Dollars (Cash Hall-Designed To Dazzle) who was also driven by Jim Morrill Jr. and was also timed in 1:57.3. Dazzling Dollars ($3.30) is trained by Trond Smedshammer for owner Wanda Polisseni’s Purple Haze Stable.

The third split was captured by Hullaba Lulu (RC Royalty-Lulu Pernilla) who was teamed by his trainer, John Stark Jr. in 1:58.2. Hullaba Lulu ($16.20) is owned by the estate of Edmund Smith, Daniel Giannuzzi, James Giannuzzi and Carol Wink.

Jim Morrill Jr. had a driving triple on the card while Dave McNeight III won with two.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 14) with the first post slated for 1:15 p.m.


J A T O flies home in Batavia Downs Open trot

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

J A T O is an acronym for jet-assisted take-off and given the style of his racing, there has probably never been a more aptly named horse. At Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 12), J A T O (Mike Caprio) turned on the jets from last and flew home to capture the $10,000 Open trotting feature in the fastest trotting mile of the meet.

Lutetium (Todd Cummings) took his familiar position up front as he left from post six and dictated the fractions. He went to the half in :57.2 with a two length lead before anyone made a move. As they motored up the backside, Lutetium then opened up a four length lead and was beginning to look like a winner, but Mike Caprio pulled J A T O from last and made a very strong three-wide move.

When the field reached three quarters in 1:26.3, J A T O had moved into second and cut Lutetium’s lead in half and when they hit the top of the stretch, it was all over; J A T O simply trotted away to a length victory in 1:57.2. Lutetium hung on for second and Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) closed well for third.

It was the third win in nine starts for J A T O ($3.80) and it pushed the 4-year-old gelded son of Big Apple Deli’s bankroll to $35,075 for 2016. The time of 1:57.2 was a seasonal mark for the winner.

J A T O is trained by Alana Caprio for owners Margaret Butler and Amy Butler.

Kevin Cummings scored a driving triple and that pushed him into second place among the local driver colony for dash wins, now with 15. Drew Monti and Todd Cummings both had doubles on the card as well.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 13) with two legs of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies on the card. Post time for the first race is 6:15 p.m.


August 12, 2016

Non Stick, Swinging Royalty favored in NYSS at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---When the 3-year-old trotting filly division of the New York Sire Stakes rolls into Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 13), three of the top six richest distaff sophomore trotters of 2016 will be on hand to compete for the $119,300 in purses being offered.

In the first $60,200 leg that is carded as race three, Non Stick (Lucky Chucky-Meucci Madness) comes in with $158,332 bankrolled this year on the strength of a win in the $225,000 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) at Vernon Downs on Sunday (June 19) in a career best 1:54 time. Those earnings rank her fourth among all 3-year-old trotting fillies in North America.

Last week at Yonkers Raceway, Non Stick was a beaten 1-5 favorite after making an uncharacteristic break for driver Daniel Dube while on the lead in the last turn. But the filly drew well again here and will look to make amends this week.

Non Stick is the 2-1 morning line favorite and will start from post two. Trainer Ake Svanstedt takes back the reins and will do the driving here.

Fad Finance (Credit Winner-Armbro Vanity) is more than a formidable foe and comes in boasting three straight NYSS victories. On Sunday (July 24) Fad Finance finished third in the $140,000 Zweig Memorial trot at Vernon Downs, beaten by Flowers N Songs and Woman’s Will who both competed in the Hambletonian Oaks eliminations at the Meadowlands on Saturday (July 30).

Fad Finance has four wins this year, is the leading point-getter in her division of the NYSS and has $141,806 banked, putting her sixth in North America in earnings for age, sex and gait. The filly is picked second and listed at 5-2 morning line and will once again get the services of Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike.

Race four is the second $59,100 division and Swinging Royalty (RC Royalty-Swing Anna Cash) comes in with a very impressive resume. After finishing second to Non Stick in the EBC, Swinging Royalty scorched the Vernon Downs oval in an overnight event in 1:54.1, winning by 15 lengths and registering a new lifetime mark. The filly then backed that up with her first NYSS win the week after at Tioga Downs.

Swinging Royalty is the third highest point-getter in her division and her $142,147 in earning this year has her ranked fifth among all 3-year-old trotting fillies in North America.

Trainer George Ducharme has Chris Lems back in the bike after a two-week hiatus and he will leave from post six at 2-1. Lems has been aboard for all four lifetime wins by Swinging Royalty.

Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) had a slow start this year before winning the $27,690 Tompkins trot at Tioga in July. However her subsequent two outings may have been considered less than expected. So trainer Ron Burke added Lasix for her last start at Yonkers and that could make a difference this week.

Jim Morrill Jr. will steer again this week and leave from post 5 at 3-1

Earn Your Wings (Credit Winner-Southwind Serena) put in a stellar effort at Yonkers last week, winning from post eight in 1:57. After leaving in :28.2, Earn your Wings yielded the lead to heavy favorite Non Stick and then sat in the pocket. Non Stick made a break before the stretch and Earn Your Wings took it from there, scoring a length victory at 30-1.

With three wins this year and just under $100,000 accumulated, Earn Your Wings drew post two and trainer Annette Lorentzon has called on Mark MacDonald to pilot this week.

There are also three divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior A series carded as races five through seven and all look like solid wagering opportunities.

Wendy’s Girl (Lucky Chucky-East Creek Wendy) is the 8-5 choice in race five for trainer Tracy Brainard and driver Jim Morrill Jr., Winky’s Gal (RC Royalty-Tessel) is the 5-2 favorite in race six for driver Chris Lems and trainer James Weidman and Outsidecourt (Conway Court-Getaway Cheyenne) is the 2-1 morning line in race seven for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Gary Messenger.

Post time for the first race is 6:15 p.m.


August 11, 2016

Who Says That collars foes in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---After getting away fifth and chasing a stiff pace to the half, Who Says That ($11.00) followed live cover in a wily drive by Drew Monti to capture the $9,500 mares Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 10).

My Tallia Ideal (Mike Caprio) left and got the lead in a speedy :27.1 first panel. But as soon as she settled in, Yes You Can (Todd Cummings) pulled and went right after her and in doing so, rang up a :55.2 half.

Out of the third turn, My Tallia Ideal had pulled a full length ahead, but V’la Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) tipped three-deep around the now back-peddling Yes You Can and Who Says That pulled from fifth to follow that move. The three mares paced side-by-side around the far turn and into the stretch when Who Says That inflicted her will on the opponents and pulled away to a three-length victory in 1:54.

It was the tenth win in 27 starts this year for Who Says That and it pushed her earnings total for 2016 to $44,162. The time of 1:54 was a new lifetime mark for the 5-year-old Badlands Hanover mare that is trained by Maria Rice for owners Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Christopher Shambo and Jack Rice.

Todd Cummings and Ray Fisher Jr. both scored driving triples and Drew Monti had a double. Trainers Tony Cummings and Maria Rice both sent two winners postward.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Thursday (Aug. 12) at 6:15 p.m.


August 8, 2016

Roll Away Joe, Talk Show dominate; Morrill Jr. wins six at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Perfect summer weather enticed a large live crowd trackside to watch the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 7) and the horses did not disappoint.

In the first $59,100 division, it was all about Roll Away Joe (Roll With Joe-Chatelaine) who left sharply to take a lead he would not relinquish. Jim Morrill Jr. led the field to a very soft :59 half as no one pulled to challenge the pacesetter to that point.

When an outer flow finally did start to form, they couldn’t even get close to Roll Away Joe after Morrill gave him his head at the five-eighths pole and then sat as a passenger. They flew home in :56 flat, stopping the clock in 1:55 as a wrapped-up winner by two-lengths.

After the race, Morrill said “It couldn’t have gone any easier. After a half in :59, it would take a pretty good horse to beat him. I just shut him down; it was kind of like a training mile for him.”

Roll Away Joe ($2.40) is owned by Howard Taylor, Stephen Demeter and Thomas Lazzaro and is trained by Tracy Brainard.

In the second $60,200 split, they were piled four-deep around the first turn with Talk Show, Acting Out, Ideal Son and Fine Diamond all gunning for the front. Talk Show (Jim Morrill Jr.) released Acting Out (Kevin Cummings) and Fine Diamond (Matt Kakaley) who then continued to battle to the quarter in :27.2. When Fine Diamond finally cleared in the turn, Morrill immediately pulled Talk Show at the three-eighths pole and was back on the pylons with the lead by the half.

Up the backside, Talk Show was holding a gapped lead with Beast Mode (Mike Whelan) outside at his flank when Artmagic (Billy Dobson) moved from fifth and swung three-deep to challenge at three-quarters in 1:25.1. But as soon as he got close, Morrill popped the plugs and Talk Show went into overdrive. He opened up an immediate three-length lead and then cruised down the lane, crushing the field by over five-lengths in 1:54.2.

“That (first) quarter helped me. I just tried to keep him nice and quiet and those guys mixing it up made it easy for me to do that” said Morrill. “He had a ton left in the tank at the end of the mile; I shut him right down to a walk.”

Talk Show (Art Major-Lush Limbaugh) is owned by Talk Show Partners LLC, Bradley Grant and Howard Taylor and is trained by Tracy Brainard. The winner paid $2.90.

There were also two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card.

The first division was won by Dateline Hanover (Rock N Roll Heaven-Don’t Deny Me) in 1:55.1, which was a new lifetime mark. Dateline Hanover ($8.60) was driven by Tyler Buter and trained by Mark Harder for owners Rick Phillips, Peter Venturini, Deena Frost and Mark Harder.

The second leg saw Fresh Cut (American Ideal-Flip For Love) score in 1:54.4 for driver Kevin Cummings and trainer Erv Miller. Fresh Cut is owned by Bay Pond Racing Stable. The winner returned $7.50.

Jim Morrill Jr. drove six winners on the card, surpassing his total of five taken during his last visit to the Downs this past Wednesday. He tallied with Americanation ($2.10), Roll Away Joe ($2.40), Talk Show ($2.90), Fashionable Apple ($5.50), Fast Fool ($5.90) and No Real Surprise ($5.50)

Billy Dobson also had a driving double while trainer Dave McNeight Jr. sent three to the winner’s circle and Tracy Brainard guided two.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 10) with first post set for 6:15 p.m.


August 7, 2016

Brainard, Morrill Jr. look to dominate NYSS Sunday at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The New York Sire Stake 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings come to Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 7) to compete for $119,300 in purses and the dynamic duo of trainer Tracy Brainard and driver Jim Morrill Jr. are heavily favored in both divisions. Given this team’s track record at the Downs, the competition will have to be on their toes.

In the first $59,100 division, Roll Away Joe (Roll With Joe-Chatelaine) is on a streak right now, winning his last three NYSS outings and banking $142,989 so far this year. In his last start at Saratoga Raceway, he went wire to wire in the fastest division and took a new lifetime mark of 1:51.4 for his effort in the two-length victory. He is also the NYSS point’s leader and top money earner so far in 2016 for his age, sex and gait.

Roll Away Joe is the morning line favorite at 8-5 from post 5 and trainer Tracy Brainard who has Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike.

Stolen Glimpse (Art Major-Jated Love) had been racing primarily at the Meadowlands until July when he started his stake engagements. After finishing fourth in his only NYSS appearance to date, Stolen Glimpse just missed qualifying for the $400,000 Adios Pace final at the Meadows when he finished fifth, beaten only five lengths in 1:49.1

Starting from post one at 5-2, trainer Ron Burke has assigned Matt Kakaley to drive for the third consecutive time.

In the second $60,200 division, Talk Show (Art Major-Lush Limbaugh) has two starts in NYSS action this year, scoring a win in 1:53.3 at Monticello Raceway in June and finishing last after a break at Saratoga in his most recent outing. However just prior to that he faced off against Control The Moment and Racing Hill in the $730,000 Meadowlands Pace. Unfortunately he started from post 10 and finished eighth in the 1:48.2 mile.

Making his first start for trainer Tracy Brainard, Talk Show drew post one and is the 2-1 morning line favorite with Jim Morrill Jr. aboard.

Coupled in the betting with Talk Show is Ideal Son (American Ideal-Sunduel A). Unlike the rest of this field, Ideal Son was unraced at two and now only has 12 lifetime starts; 10 of which he hit the board. This three-time winner captured his first NYSS victory in his last outing when he went coast to coast in 1:54.4 at Saratoga.

Trainer Tom Fanning starts Ideal Son from post four with Tyler Buter in the bike and he is also listed at 2-1.

Artmagic (Art Major-Sammy’s Magic Girl) has been the picture of consistency this year, hitting the board six out of seven starts. His lone win was in NYSS action at Yonkers Raceway where he went in 1:55.1. But he did compete in the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace in May and he finished fourth to Missile J. In his two most recent starts he was up against Roll Away Joe and finished second and third. But he doesn’t have to worry about either of them today.

Billy Dobson was assigned to drive by trainer Trond Smedshammer and will leave from post five at 5-2.

Fine Diamond (Rock N Roll Heaven-Yellow Diamond) is the highest money winning horse in this race with $124,052 to his credit. He is a four-time winner and is nine out of 10 in the money for the year. He has a lifetime mark of 1:53.3 at Yonkers and has exhibited the ability to race either on the front or from behind.

Matt Kakaley gets the nod in the bike once again from trainer Ron Burke and will leave from post seven at 3-1.

Aside from the main events, there are two divisions of the Excelsior A Series on the card, each going for $15,000.

Sunday is also the return of the wildly popular “Old Fashioned Day” at Batavia Downs. You can treat the whole family to 50-cent Sahlen’s hot dogs, draft beer and soft drinks from noon to 4 p.m. while you watch the best harness racing action in western New York.

Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m. --


Sam Hill dominates locals in Batavia Downs feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Trainer John Sullivan is a regular at the Meadows Racetrack. But the Rochester, NY native visited his old stomping grounds on Saturday night (Aug. 6) and left with the winner’s share of the $10,000 purse after winning the Open pace at Batavia Downs with his classy veteran, Sam Hill.

If the race were a fight, they would have called it early after Kevin Cummings left with Sam Hill and put local top side-wheeler Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) in his place when he tried to leave against him. From there, Sam Hill called all the shots.

Sam Hill led and Fireyourguns was sitting second when they passed the half in :56.3, then Whosurpal (Todd Cummings) joined the party when he pulled from fifth and tried to challenge. But the best he could do was get within a loose length of the leader in the :28.3 third panel. From there Kevin Cummings gave Sam Hill his head and he powered away to an easy two-length victory in 1:53.3. The time was the fastest pace of the 2016 meet to date.

It was the fifth win in 15 starts for Sam Hill ($5.10) and it pushed his earnings to $55,100 for the year. The 10-year-old Artsplace gelding now has 44 wins and $478,767 lifetime. Sam Hill is owned by Don Tiger.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, the red hot Jim Graham Stable saw Closing Credits ($8.70) add to their win total as the 6-year-old Rambaran gelding went wire to wire in 1:54.3 for driver Dave McNeight III. Closing Credits is owned by his trainer and the Cybo Stable Inc.

Drivers Dave McNeight III and Jack Flanigen both scored triples on the card, as did trainers Jim Graham and JD Perrin. Flanigen and Perrin teamed up to win the last three races of the night.

Racing resumes on Sunday Afternoon (Aug. 7) at Batavia Downs at 1:15 p.m. when the NYSS 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings invade the Genesee County oval to compete for $119,300 in purses.


August 6, 2016

Noble Legend scores in Batavia Downs feature trot

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---The quickest route between two points is a straight line and that was the game plan for Noble Legend to win the $10,500 Open trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 5).

Leaving from post one, Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) fired off the gate and went right to the lead with Lutetium (Todd Cummings) prompting him from the outside. After the field passed the quarter in :29, Lutetium finally found his way clear and took the lead. From there the group remained unchanged to the half in a pedestrian 1:00 clocking.

As they headed into the clubhouse turn, Shawnee Magic (Ray Fisher Jr.) came first over and drew even with Lutetium, leaving Noble Legend in the pocket with perfect cover. The two trotted in tandem by three-quarters and around the far turn to the head of the stretch when Shawnee Magic faded, Lutetium bore out slightly and Noble Legend made a bee-line straight up the pylons to a two-length victory in 1:59.1.

J A T O (Mike Caprio) finished second in a furious rush coming from last and Lutetium hung on for third.

It was the seventh win of the year for Noble Legend ($3.00) and it pushed his 2016 earnings to $43,238 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags and Jack Rice. The 4-year-old gelded son of Kadabra-Lovin It is trained by Maria Rice.

Noble Legend was on of three winners that trainer Maria Rice sent postward on Friday. She also captured both halves of the early double with Pan Street USA ($3.60) and Schlim Schlamma ($7.80).

Kevin Cummings and Jack Flanigen both had a driving triples on the night and trainer Mike Carrubba sent two horses to the winner's enclosure for photographs.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Aug. 6) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m.


August 4, 2016

My Tallia Ideal trips to victory in Batavia feature

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Making her local debut for new connections, My Tallia Ideal ($3.80) took a garden-spot trip and turned it into a victory in the $9,500 mares Open pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 3).

When the gate closed, the field got away in post-position order and remained that way until the half. Wanna Rock N Roll (Todd Cummings) cut fractions of :29.2 and :59.2 while My Tallia Ideal (Dave McNeight III) sat in tow second.

As the group passed the half, Who Says That (Drew Monti) pulled first over and prompted the sluggish pace to the three-quarters in 1:28.3. That bid took a toll on the leader as they headed down the stretch when My Tallia Ideal found the passing lane and drove right by her to win by two lengths in 1:57. Who Says That toughed it out for second and Wanna Rock N Roll hung on for third.

It was the fourth win of the year for My Tallia Ideal and the purse raised her annual income to $33,265. The daughter of Western Ideal-Bolero Tallia is owned by Peter Kibler, Kenneth Owczarczak and Courtney Wright and is now trained by Dave McNeight Jr.

Jim Morrill Jr. took up residency in the winner’s circle as he registered five driving wins on the card. He smiled for the camera with Springhouse Star ($8.70), Caddy Jeff ($4.20), Lake Shark ($6.70), Mr. Avalanche ($4.40) and Kaitlyn Akeeper ($3.10).

Dave McNeight III also had a driving triple and trainer Jim Graham won two on the conditioning side.

The Batavia Downs annual breast cancer awareness fundraiser, held in conjunction with the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR), raised in excess of $6,000 for that organization. The BCCR provides support to those touched by a diagnosis of breast cancer, to make access to information and care a priority through education and advocacy, and to empower women and men to participate fully in decisions relating to breast cancer.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 5) with the first post slated for 6:15 p.m.


August 3, 2016

Western New York Connections In Hambletonian

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's a rarity to see a Western New York connection in the Hambletonian but there's one set for the 2016 edition which is scheduled for this Saturday afternoon (August 6) at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.

Buffalo Trotting Association President Bill Richardson along with former Buffalo Raceway regular Jeff Gregory have teamed up along with Jesmeral Stable (Steven Finklestein) to send the three-year-old gelded trotter Tight Lines (Yankee Glide-IIia) into this year's Hambletonian.

"I've never been to a Hambletonian before and I am thrilled to death to be going this year," the 83-year-old Richardson said. "I've been involved in racing for more than 45 years and this is the highlight. I'm excited to get a chance to see Tight Lines participate in the Hambletonian."

The last time Western New York was represented at the Hambletonian was in 2012 where Archangel battled it out for trainer/co-owner Pete Arrigenna and driver Jim Morrill Jr. Archangel finished second in his elimination, losing to eventual Hambletonian winner Market Share in 1:52.2.

Tight Lines drew the seven post into the first elimination scheduled as the eighth race with an approximate post time of 2:20 p.m. and is a long shot at 25-1. To advance to the $1 million finals, Tight Lines needs to finish in the top five of his elimination which has nine entrants.

"I think we have a really good chance of doing that," Richardson said confidently.

The morning line odds didn't bother Richardson at all. "I'm realistic about our chances. Tight Lines is a really nice colt who's had a little bit of bad luck. Jeff (Gregory) is very high on him and believes he is better than what a lot of people think."

Gregory said, “Obviously he’s going to be a long shot, but this is a tough race to pass up. He’s a nice little horse. He’s an over-achiever, if anything. He’s never really disappointed us. By no means do we expect anybody to respect us too much, but we didn’t want to pass up the opportunity. You don’t know how many more of these opportunities you’ll get. It’s a shot in the dark but we want to give it a try.”

Tight Lines missed most of his two-year-old campaign due to an injury but Gregory thinks he might just be rounding into top form.

“We just started him a couple times to get him some experience,” Gregory said. “But he was one of my better 2-year-olds training down last year. He’s a little bit green this year, but he’s really done everything we’ve asked of him. He’s learning. It doesn’t seem like he’s ever tired. He’s always willing. He raced super in the Zweig. We had a terrible post (nine) and he finished great. He came home in :27.1 and did it the right way.”

With three victories in 11 career stars, Tight Lines has won $50,781 in his brief career. All of his wins have come at Pocono Downs.

For Richardson, he was offered a unique chance to get in on 25 percent of Tight Lines.

The 49-year-old Gregory bought Tight Lines as a yearling for owner Bill Weaver. A renowned owner and breeder and a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, Weaver passed away in February and thus giving Richardson and Steven Finkelstein’s Jesmeral Stable an opportunity to buy in.

Richardson said, "Oddly enough, I have yet to meet Steven Finkelstein."

But nothing would be better for them to get to know each other on Saturday in the winner's circle.

The CBS Sports Network will have a 90-minute live broadcast including the $1 million Hambletonian final, the $225,550 U.S. Pacing Championship, and the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks beginning at 4 p.m. The first post for Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands is noon.


August 2, 2016

David A. Spaziano Dies

From Batavia Downs Media Relations

Batavia, NY --- Long time Western New York Horseman, David A. Spaziano of Rochester, New York, died on July 25, 2016 at age 76.

According to his family, “If we had to sum up David's life in one picture, this one says it all. Horses and horse racing were his heart and soul.”

Mr. Spaziano drove home 152 winners during his harness racing career. His trainees won over 70 races. Some of his most popular horses include Scorpion Prince and Passion Time.

His last driving win came at Buffalo Raceway on November 12, 1997 behind Handsome Boy.

David is predeceased by Ida & Anthony Spaziano. David is survived by daughters Laurie, Layna and Michelle (former spouse Ann Marie Spaziano), son David (companion Gloria Jean Ricci), grandchildren Frankie, Michael, Shane and Kendra, sister Dolores (Lee) Capomaccio and brother Al (Elaine) Spaziano .

Celebrate David's life with a night at Batavia Downs. No calling hours.


August 1, 2016

Fireyourguns is best in Batavia Open

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

To say Fireyourguns is a local favorite would be an understatement, but the fans made it clear Saturday night (July 30) when they sent him off at 1-9 and then watched him reply in kind by winning the $10,000 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs.

Making his first start at the Downs this year, Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) took control of the race by the quarter after feeling some resistance from Instant Thrill (Jim Morrill Jr.) away from the gate. Caprio then led the short field of five through fractions of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:25.3 and had a comfortable three-length advantage at the head of the stretch.

As the leader paced for home, Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) and Whosurpal (Todd Cummings) rallied late to make it interesting but both came up short behind Fireyourguns, who won in 1:54.3 by one-half length.

Fireyourguns ($2.10), a 7-year-old son of American Ideal-Villa Hanover, is owned by Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terrence McClory, who also trains the gelding.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II, Beast Mode (Michael Whelan), who competed in the North American Cup in June, left for position and then pulled again before three-quarters to take the lead by the head of the stretch. From there he powered to an impressive three-length victory in 1:55.1.

Beast Mode ($2.60) is owned by Christopher Nicol and is trained by Todd Clements.

Jim Morrill Jr. won four races on the card while Dave McNeight III scored a double. JD Perrin had a training double as well.

As was previously reported, the live racing card for Sunday (July 31) at Batavia Downs has been cancelled. Live racing will resume on Wednesday (Aug. 3) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m.


JATO flies to victory in Batavia Downs feature trot

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After taking a wait and see approach, JATO (Mike Caprio) mounted a furious closing brush to capture his foes along with the winner's share of the $10,000 purse in the Open trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (July 29).

With the morning line favorite Lutetium scratched, a short but select field of five lined up behind the gate. It was a three-horse blast to be front as Studio City (Dave McNeight III), Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) and Lucid Thoughts (Shawn McDonough) were spread across the track. Noble Legend eventually won the argument and the field settled in for the journey.

The leader cut fractional times of :28.2 and:58.1 before Red Clay (Drew Monti) pulled and advanced to second by the three quarters in 1:28.1. These two then trotted side by side, stride for stride around the far turn while JATO (Mike Caprio) was winding it up from last in overdrive and began gobbling up ground. Caprio tipped three-deep at the top of the stretch and simply trotted away from the field from there, winning by two lengths in 1:58.4.

It was the second win in only six starts this year for JATO ($6.00) who is owned by Margaret Butler and Amy Butler and is trained by Alana Caprio.

In the co-featured $8,400 conditioned trot, Leave Your Mark (Todd Cummings) took a quick, early lead and dictated the first three quarters of the race. But around the last turn, Serious George (Kevin Cummings) tipped three-deep around Undercover Bro (Ray Fisher Jr.) and trotted his hips off down the lane to power by Leave Your Mark and win by one half-length in 1:59.2.

It was the second win of the year for Serious George, who is owned by James Palladino and trained by Richard Mays.

Drivers Kevin Cummings, Mike Caprio and Ray Fisher Jr. all had driving doubles and conditioner John Mungillo sent two winners to post.

Racing resumes on Friday night (July 30) at Batavia Downs with the first post set for 6:15 p.m.


July 29, 2016

Batavia Downs claiming series underway

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---If you have a horse in a claiming race at Batavia Downs, as of Monday (July 25) you are eligible to compete for up to $20,000 if it accumulates enough points to make the final for its respective gait and class. That's because of the Batavia Downs Claiming Championship Series that is currently underway.

The point-based competition will be broken down by gait and claiming price and the accrual of points will be on a monthly basis. There is no nomination or entry fee to participate and the event is being conducted under the rules and regulations of Batavia Downs Gaming, in conjunction with the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association.

“If you predominantly race claimers, you may want to consider racing them at Batavia Downs” said Todd Haight, Director/GM of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. “The Downs is offering a great earnings opportunity and with the short fields we have seen, you have a chance to accumulate solid points early in the process.”

Divisions will include $4,000, $5,000-$6,000 and $8,000-$10,000 claimers on the pace and $4,000-$5,000 and $7,500-$10,000 on the trot. Points will be awarded to the top-five finishers of each race and points will accrue monthly.

The eight horses from each class category making the final will be comprised of the top three pointer earners in August, (July 25 – August 31) and September (September 1- 30) and the top two point earners in October, (October 1- 31). They will advance to the November 12 Claiming Championships Finals.

Once a new month starts, all point earned towards the finals revert back to zero (with the exception of July, which will carry over into August).

The $4,000 and $4,000-$5,000 categories will compete for $15,000 in the final and all other categories will vie for $20,000.

Anyone interested in racing at Batavia Downs can contact our race secretary Joe Zambito, directly at 585-344-6161 for more information or to enter your horses.

For complete rules log onto www.bataviadownsgaming.com and click the “Live Racing” tab and then the “Horsemen” tab.


Batavia Downs cancels Sunday (July 31) card

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Officials at Batavia Downs Gaming were forced to cancel live racing on Sunday (July 31) due to the lack of entries. This made it impossible to put together a competitive card.

With the large amount of tracks currently operating in and around New York State, horsemen training on farms have a lot of racing options open to them and clearly it took its toll on the Batavia Downs entry box for Sunday.

“We regret to have to cancel Sunday’s program,” said Todd Haight Director/GM of Live Racing, “but there is currently a horse shortage in Western New York. And while every effort was made by our racing department to fill Sunday’s program, those efforts proved unsuccessful. “

The Old Fashion day celebration originally scheduled for July 31 has been moved back a week to Sunday (Aug. 7).

Live racing at America’s oldest lighted harness track will be conducted as scheduled this Friday (July 29) and Saturday (July 30) with post time for the first race set at 6:15 p.m.


July 28, 2016

V’la Faire scores mares Open win at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photo courtesy of Paul White)

Despite consistent performances most of the summer, V’la Faire was lightly regarded and sent off at 5-1 when the windows closed. But she made a believer of those who backed her as she came from off the pace to beat three others by a nose in the $9,500 mares Open pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (July 27).

Princess Katie (Ray Fisher Jr.) left for the lead and got it by the quarter. From there, Fisher grabbed leather as he dictated an uncontested pace and got the field to three quarters in a stodgy 1:30. The action started there when V’la Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) pulled first over with Wanna Rock N Roll (Todd Cummings) on her back.

When they hit the top of the lane, Ugly Betty (Kevin Cummings) slid-out around Princess Katie and V’la Faire and Wanna Rock N Roll fanned three and four deep. The cavalry then charged to the wire with V’la Faire getting the nod by a head in 2:00.1.

It was the third win of the season for V’la Faire ($13.40) and it pushed her bankroll to $24,169 for 2016. The 9-year-old daughter of Village Jove-Trade Fair is owned by Oakhurst Farms and trained by Richard Tomaszewski.

In the $8,000 co-featured mares Open II, Mach This Way (Todd Cummings) got away first in the short field of five and never yielded the lead. After leading the group through fractions of :28.1, :59.2 and 1:29.1, Mach This Way held off a mid-race challenge from Kaitlyn Akeeper (Dave McNeight III) and a late-race rush from Taboo Seelster (Shawn McDonough) to win by a decisive two-lengths in 2:00.

Mach This Way ($3.50) is owned by William Emmons and trained by JD Perrin.

Todd Cummings won four races on the card while Drew Monti had a double. On the conditioning side, Leonard Segall and JD Perrin both sent two horses to the winner’s enclosure.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (July 29) at 6:15 p.m.


July 26, 2016

Mamora Bay wins thriller in NYSS action at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

(Photos courtesy of Paul White)

Batavia, NY---Local racing fans turned out in healthy numbers on opening night at Batavia Downs on Monday (July 25) to watch three $37,267 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies and they were treated to some very exciting finishes.

In what turned out to be a real heavyweight bout, Mamora Bay proved the best over Scarey Karie after a quarter-mile, two horse breakaway in the eighth race.

Four horses left, with Scarey Karie (Phil Fluet) eventually getting the lead and going to the quarter in 30.3 while Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci) hit the wood. Mamora Bay then pulled first-over from fifth going to the half and methodically worked her way up to the leader before they hit three quarters, and from there it was a two-horse race.

With Scarey Karie on the rail and Mamora Bay on the outside, the two trotted stride for stride around the far turn and down the stretch. The battle continued all the way to the wire with Mamora Bay ultimately claiming victory by a head in 2:03.4.

“She’s just been an incredible filly. She’s never been flashy since day one; to be honest with you we never thought she was this good. But from the first time she’s seen the starting gate she just loves what she does” said trainer/driver Sam Schillaci.

Mamora Bay ($3.70) is owned by Peter Barbato.

In the first division, prohibitive 1-2 favorite Might Surf (Kevin Cummings) went right to the front and opened up a quick three-length lead. As the field moved to the quarter, Barn Bella (Claude Huckabone Jr.) who was sitting second, made a break and that allowed Hotel Royale (Chris Lems) to then claim that spot.

The field stayed pretty much the same through fractions of :30.2, 1:01.4 and 1:32.4 until just before the top of the stretch. Hotel Royale pulled and challenged the leader down the stretch, but Mighty Surf was just too tough and hung on to win by a length in 2:03.2.

"She was good tonight, maybe a little bumpy in the turns. The track was a little deep but the race was never in doubt" driver Kevin Cummings said after the race.

Mighty Surf ($3.00) is owned by Roy Dobbins and trained by Dennis Laterza.

The second division saw Flyhawk Charm (Chris Lems) leave sharply to take an uncontested lead as Maewegonow (Charlie Norris) was content to sit second with the trip. The girls trotted to a pedestrian 1:03.1 half before Deli-Delite (John Campbell) pulled from fourth and moved into second on the outside by the three quarters.

That challenge lasted until the top of the stretch when Deli-Delite faded just as Maewegonow was moving up the rail to mount a rally against the leader. Maewegonow and Flyhawk Charm trotted side by side down the lane, with Flyhawk Charm proving to be the best and win by a nose in 2:04.

"She's great gaited, she gives you all's she's got, she's just a nice filly. She likes horses around her and that's why she responded so well down the stretch" commented driver Chris Lems.

Flyhawk Charm ($20.20) is owned by Edward Flynn and Joe Flynn, who also trains her.

There were also three divisions of the Excelsior A series that went for $15,000 each.

Eternal Flame AS ($3.90) driven by Jim Morrill Jr. and trained by Annette Lorentzen won the first leg in 2:03.4 for owners Acl Stuteri Ab.

Billie Blue ($16.00) driven by Chris Lems and trained by George Ducharme was victorious in the second division in 2:04.4 for owners George Ducharme Stable LLC, Paul Fontaine and Charles Iannazzo.

Teasin N Pleasin ($5.10) driven by John Campbell and trained by Thomas Corelli wired the third heat field in 2:05.4 for owners Edward Reich, Thomas Corelli and Fred Corelli.

John Campbell, Chris Lems and Jim Morrill Jr. all had driving doubles on the card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (July 27) at 6:15 p.m.


Buffalo Raceway Shows Gain In Daily Handle

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- With the 2016 season now in the books, Buffalo Raceway showed an increased of three percent on the daily handle for the 88 day campaign.

"We're holding our own for the entertainment dollar with all the casinos in the area and account wagering opportunities," Buffalo Raceway Director of Operations Jon Cramer said in describing the recently completed meet.

"The three percent increase is another positive sign," he added.

The Pick-5 wager was a new addition in 2016 on the Buffalo Raceway wagering menu and was a big success. "It was very well received," Cramer said and noted that the average payoff was nearly $1,000.

In the year-end awards announced on closing day, That Horse JD was named the Pacer Of The Year at Buffalo Raceway.

Co-owned by Tessa Roland and Thomas Mazzone, That Horse JD won 12-of-24 starts in 2016 and earned $57,760. Trained by JD Perrin, That Horse JD (Rustler Hanover-Art Of The Sea) was claimed in four consecutive weeks in June but continued to produce victories along the way.

Noble Legend was selected Trotter Of The Year thanks to six wins in 20 starts including a track record of 1:56.3 set on June 10, establishing a new mark for 4-year-old geldings. Owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable along with Jack Rice, the Maria Rice trained Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It) was in the money 13 out of 20 starts at the Hamburg half-mile oval, earning $35,488.

JD Perrin won the Trainer Of The Year award after putting up 106 victories in just 309 starts. It was the second most wins by a conditioner in Buffalo Raceway history. Sherri Holliday holds the mark of 122 set in 2011.

It was the fourth straight season that Perrin has topped the trainer's rankings in wins.

Perrin has an incredible Universal Training Rating of .398 and has earned $460,494 on the campaign. He currently sits in third place for UTR for trainers with 300-499 starts nationally and is tenth overall in the United States in wins with 106.

Maria Rice finished in second place in the trainer's standings with 54 victories while John Mungillo was third with 52 wins.

Jim Morrill Jr. won his first driving title at Buffalo Raceway since he captured the crown in 2006 when he posted 214 victories.

While driving just part-time at Buffalo Raceway, Morrill Jr. made the most of his starts with 131 wins in just 338 appearances to get Driver of the Year honors. He had seven trips to the winner's circle on four different occasions in 2016.

Morrill Jr. won at a 39 percent rate and had a Universal Driving Rating of .532. He also led the way in purse earnings with $720,581.

Todd Cummings finished the season in second place in the driver's standings with 106 victories while Kevin Cummings was third with 95 despite missing several months of action with a broken arm.

All award winners will be honored for their accomplishments in January, 2017.

The post time favorites won at a 44 percent clip on the year.

Simulcasting will be held during the off-season at Buffalo Raceway with the current schedule showing only Tuesday the only day dark until the conclusion of the Saratoga meet.

For more information including the simulcast schedule, the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Kevin Cummings Wins Five On Buffalo Raceway's Closing Day

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Driver Kevin Cummings took the spotlight on closing day at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 24) as he guided home five winners on the nine-race program.

Cummings was the two-time defending driver's champion at Buffalo Raceway but a broken arm in an off-track mishap early in the year put him on the sidelines for several months and thus eliminated his chances of a three-peat.

But Cummings managed to climb his way up the standings once he returned and finished in third place with 95 victories despite his shortened year. Jim Morrill Jr. took the title with 131 wins.

On Sunday, Cummings started the day by directing Freaky Flyer to a $58.50 victory and followed that up with wins aboard Sea Deuce ($4.20), Western ($4.40), Catch The Wave ($3.50) and Babe In The City ($8.20).

Vintage Fenom and driver Denny Bucceri produced the biggest bomb of the day as the duo combined to produce a $80.50 win price.

David McNeight III had a driving double while Richard Roth had two training wins.

Buffalo Raceway also announced its award winners for the 2016 campaign. That Horse JD was selected the Pacer Of The Year, Noble Legend earned the Trotter Of The Year award, Morrill Jr. took Driver Of The Year honors while JD Perrin captured the Trainer Of The Year title.

For more information including the latest news, simulcast schedule, promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 24, 2016

Instant Thrill Smokes Field At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Instant Thrill was the point leader in his Claiming Championship Series category ($12,500-$15,000 horse and gelding pacers) and he showed that wasn't a fluke by smoking the field in the $15,600 finale at Buffalo Raceway on a steamy Saturday night (July 23).

Putting up a seasonal best time of 1:54.0, Instant Thrill (Michael Whelan) romped to an 6-3/4 length victory over Keeping Optimistic (David McNeight III) in wire-to-wire fashion and returned a surprising $14.00 for the win.

Using blistering splits of 27.4, 56.2 and 1:25.1, Instant Thrill was up by eight lengths at the top of the stretch as the field was waving the white flag in surrender by then.

Owned by Paul and Ronald Louis Viele and trained by Alex Giuliani, it was his sixth win in 21 starts for Instant Thrill, now a winner of $33,660 this season and $159,187 lifetime.

In the $8,000-$10,000 category of the horse and gelding pacers, Zipnthruthehall (McNeight III) battled with Enzo Seelster (Shawn McDonough) through the stretch before pulling away for a 1-1/2 length decision in a seasonal best 1:56.0 to win the lion's share of the $14,000 purse.

Donegal Jim (Drew Monti) got the perfect pocket trip and rallied in the passing lane to capture the $10,800 event for the $5,000-$7000 colt and gelding pacers. Donegal Jim ($8.40) covered the mile in 1:57.0.

K C Colt sprung a $16.00 upset in the $10,000 battle for the $4,000 horse and gelding pacers with a 1:57.1 time for driver Mickey Holliday.

Socialdelight (Kevin Cummings) was able to nose out a stubborn Im The Cash Man (Drew Monti) to take the title in the $8,000-$12,500 trotting bracket. Socialdelight ($5.10) covered the mile in 1:59.2 to win the $14,800 race.

Herbie Is Gone ($3.40) was long gone in the $10,000 race for $4,000-$5,500 trotters with an easy 1-1/2 length decision over stablemate Terracina AS (Todd Cummings). Herbie Is Gone (Ray Fisher Jr.) toured the Hamburg half-mile oval in 2:00.4.

McNeight III had a driving triple on the evening with Whelan notching a double. Trainer Alex Giuliani conditioned a pair of winners.

Buffalo Raceway will close the 2016 campaign on Sunday afternoon with first post at 12:30 p.m. It will be Customer Appreciation Day with free programs, drawings for concert and Erie County Fair tickets along with free sno cones and cotton candy for the kids.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays and results. go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 23, 2016

Lutetium Has Seasonal Best In Buffalo Raceway Open Trot

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was another typical victory for Lutetium as the 9-year-old gelding went wire-to-wire in a seasonal best 1:57.0 to post an easy 3-3/4 length decision over J A T O in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (July 22).

Zooming off the gate from the five post, driver Todd Cummings, who finished the night with four victories, put Lutetium ($6.20) in his customary spot on the front end and it was clear sailing from there.

With fractions of 28.2, 58.1 and 1:27.1, Lutetium had a comfortable two length edge with a quarter mile to trot and enjoyed the uneventful journey to the finish line. J A T O (Mike Caprio) was second with Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) third.

Owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw, Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby) has won five times in 21 starts this season, pushing his earnings to $41,980 and $398,597 lifetime.

It was a great night for the long shots as the average win price on the 10-race program was $17.50. Scarlet Starlet lit up the tote board with a $53.50 victory while Jann Down ($32.60) and Livefreeordiehard ($31.20) were other big priced winners.

Kevin Cummings and Ray Fisher Jr. each had a driving double and Angelo Nappo had a pair of training victories.

Racing will resume on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. The program will feature six finals of the Championship Claiming Series.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results, simulcast schedule and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 21, 2016

Batavia Downs kicks off its 70th season on Monday

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY--- A new era gets underway at America’s oldest lighted harness track on Monday (July 25) when Batavia Downs raises the curtain on its 70th season of live harness racing action.

Opening night features the $100,000 New York Sires Stakes division for 2-year-old trotting fillies along with free racing programs and magnetic racing schedules for the fans on track. Post time is set for 6:15 p.m.

The 2016 season (that runs through December 10) features 70 race dates and includes seven matinees and three twilight programs.

Live racing will be presented on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights to begin the season with a new post time of 6:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon will replace Monday night beginning on July 31.

Holiday matinees include Labor Day (Sept. 5) and Columbus Day (Oct. 10). All matinee post times are 1:15 p.m. A special Breeders Cup program on Saturday (Nov. 5) begins at 3:30 p.m.

The renaissance begins with the new "Hotel at Batavia Downs, which is located trackside between the grandstand and the paddock. Racing fans can check into this fantastic 82-room facility and access the track and the gaming floor for the duration of their stay without ever having to leave the premises.

Half of the rooms in the hotel overlook the home stretch of the track and members of bataviabets.com can watch and wager from their room. There are even four balcony suites facing the track.

The hotel is slated to open in September.

Fans will see the best racing possible after the Downs invested $125,000 in racetrack improvements under the guidance of new track superintendent, Peter Arrigenna.

Arrigenna designed and directed the re-banking of the turns, leveling of the straightaways and then topping it off with 5,000 tons of new surface material to provide the fastest and safest racing strip possible. Once the track sets up, the competition should produce record speeds all year.

"These are very exciting times for Batavia Downs" said Todd Haight, Director/GM of Live Racing. "There has been a lot of money invested in the racing side of this facility this year between the new hotel and track improvements and the entire management and staff cannot wait for our customers to come out and enjoy them."

Over $1,000,000 in purse money will be up for grabs in stake races during the meet and that will draw some of the top horses and drivers in North America to the Genesee County oval.

Eight divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) each going for an estimated $100,000, will highlight the best youthful performers in the Empire State this year and that should provide competition for the fans that is both exciting to watch and profitable to wager on.

NYSS divisions by age, sex and gait will be at Batavia on Monday (July 25, opening night), August 7, 13, 20 and 31, and September 3, 10 and 14. And eight New York County Fair finals, each vying for $10,000, will be contested on Wednesday (Sept. 7).

Batavia Downs signature stake, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace, will be held on Saturday (Oct. 8) and will draw some of the top older Open pacers from the northeast. This race has become a highly anticipated event by the fans as it presents an opportunity to break the all-age track record each year.

During the 70 cards of racing there will be 25 major promotions scattered throughout the year. Highlights of these special events include Sunday Dollar Days in August, the very popular wiener dog races and Family Fun Day, the first ever Racing Under Saddle (RUS) non-wagering exhibition at Batavia Downs (pending NYS Gaming approval), the Labor Day driver's bike race, a Columbus Day Chicken BBQ and another "Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend" promotion, when the racetrack will be giving away a pair of diamond earrings valued at $4,000.

There are buffet specials in the clubhouse every racing night all year, and the chef will once again be serving up his famous prime rib, crab leg, and shrimp buffet every Saturday night for the entire meet. All clubhouse buffet specials include gaming free play offers.

"We have put together the most aggressive entertainment package possible and believe we offer something for every member of the family all year" Haight continued. "Between the caliber of horses that will compete over the new surface and the new amenities our customers will enjoy, we are looking for our seventieth year of racing to be the most memorable one yet."

For more information and updates as they happen, log onto the track's website at www.bataviadownsgaming.com and click on “Live Racing” and follow us on Facebook as well.


What's Goin On Stuns Field In NYSS At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- What's Goin On probably had the fans asking that exact question as he shocked the field in his $36,567 division of the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 20).

In covering the mile in 1:56.4, the fastest of the three divisions, What's Goin On (Mark MacDonald) paid a handsome $37.60 to his faithful backers.

In other Sire Stakes action, driver Jody Jamieson took Windsong Napoleon straight to the lead and never looked back in registering an easy 6-1/4 length triumph over Twin B Cowboy (Jim Morrill Jr.) in 1:57.2 while the heavily-favored Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley) avoided disaster down the backstretch and was able to track down the pace-setting Americanfirewater (Jamieson) in 1:57.3.

The winners were short of the track records of He's Watching (1:55.4) set for the colts in 2013 and Roadside Delight (1:56.3) established in 2010 for the geldings.

In the most shocking result of the night, What's Goin On led from the start and put up respectable splits of 29.4, 59.4 and 1:29.1. The Mark Harder-trainee had plenty left in the tank for the last quarter mile as he paced home in 27.3 to hold off any late threats. This Is My Song (Jamieson) finished in second while Offdahook Bluechip (Kakaley) finished in third.

Owned by Rick Phillips, the VIP Internet Stable, Deanna Frost and Mark Harder, it was the first victory for What's Goin On (Roll With Joe-Shipps Xclamation).

In the first leg, Windsong Napoleon was able to set fractions of 29.4, 59.3 and 1:29.1 and used a final panel of 28.1 in going gate-to-wire in disposing of Twin B Cowboy and third place finisher America's Fleet (Mark MacDonald).

Owned by trainer Carl Jamieson, Thomas Kyron and Douglas Good, Windsong Napoleon (Art Major-Bunny Dearest) now has two victories in four career tries, earning $26,879.

In the other bracket, Miso Fast ($2.30) was fortunate to avoid trouble heading to the three-quarter pole and used a 27.4 last split to collar Americanfirewater in 1:57.3. Willie Joe Hall (Pat Lachance) took the show position.

Going first over down the backstretch, Miso Fast and a heads up Kakaley were able to swing wide and avoid the pocket-sitting Outkast Blue Chip who broke stride and scattered the field.

In the home stretch, Americanfirewater could feel the pressure being applied by Miso Fast in the lane and could do nothing but helplessly watch.

Miso Fast (Roll With Joe-Sakura Hanover) is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stable and the J&T Silva Stable. It was his second straight Sire Stakes victory, now a winner of $39,896 in just two lifetime appearances.

Morrill Jr. took a pair of $15,000 Excelsior A Series events. He guided Funknwaffles ($2.50) to a 1:57.4 victory and Serious Major ($2.70) to a 1:59.1 decision. In the other leg, Percy's Z Tam ($4.60) found the winner's circle with a 2:00.0 score with Lachance in the bike.

Sargeant Reckless was a popular $4.20 winner in the $6.500 Excelsior B Series as Morrill Jr. steered him to a 2:01 victory. Watch Me Fly ($5.00) took the other division in 2:01.3 with Kevin Cummings aboard.

There were two divisions of the Claiming Championship Series contested with Fresh Squeezed ($4.50) posting a 1:56.1 victory for Kakaley in the $14,800 finale for filly and mare pacers ($8,000-$12,500).

In the $10,000 championship event for the distaff pacers ($4,000-$7,000), Mystical Danica ($3.20) cruised to a 1:57.2 victory under the guidance of Cummings.

Princess Katie (Ray Fisher Jr.) toured the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval in 1:55.2 to capture the $9,500 Open Pace for the filly and mares. She returned $4.20 for the victory.

The final week of racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with 10 races going to the post at 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 19, 2016

Batavia Downs draws Thursday for opening night

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY--- The 2016 live harness racing meet at Batavia Downs gets underway on Monday (July 25) at 6:15 p.m. and the draw for that initial card will be held this Thursday (July 21).

Opening night will feature the $100,000 New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies and those horses will also need to be declared that day.

Entries can be made by calling Race Secretary Joe Zambito directly at 585-344-6161 or online through the USTA entry service. The box closes at 9 a.m.

Condition sheets for the entire first week of racing are now available at www.bataviadownsgaming.com by selecting “Live Racing” and then “Horsemen”.

A total of 70 live racing cards will be held during the 2016 meet, which will run through Saturday (Dec. 10).


Burke Stable Has Favorites In NYSS At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway kicks off its final week of the 2016 season on Wednesday night (July 20) with the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers ready to clash in three $36,566 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes.

Trainer Ron Burke is bringing in four promising youngsters and they all have been tabbed the morning line favorite in their respective divisions. He's bringing in Rock It Scott, Major Key, Miso Fast and Offdahook Bluechip to the Hamburg half-mile oval for the event.

With 10 track records either tied or broken this season at Buffalo Raceway, the standard for the 2-year-old colt and geldings is on the line. He's Watching holds the colt mark of 1:55.4 established in 2013 while Roadside Delight has the gelding mark of 1:56.3 set in 2010.

In the first division, Burke has an entry of Rock It Scott (Roll With Joe-Vanite Semalu) and Major Key (Art Major-Capri Hanover).They are the 2-1 top choice.

Matt Kakaley gets the call aboard Rock It Scott who easily wired the field at Saratoga on July 8 in the Sire Stakes. Starting from the rail, Rock It Scott won by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:54.3. They'll get the inside post once again in hopes of an instant replay.

Kevin Cummings will be behind Major Key who was seventh in his only start of his career after drawing the seven post. Major Key will get a better starting position this week as he got the four slot.

The main competition could come from Windsong Napoleon (Art Major-Bunny Dearest) with Jody Jamieson in the bike. Windsong Napoleon lost by a neck in 1:53.1 on July 11 at Mohawk Raceway. The Carl Jamieson-trained colt will start from the five post.

In the second leg, Miso Fast (Roll With Joe-Sakura Hanover) headlines the field after burying the field on July 8 in the Sire Stakes at Saratoga Raceway. He posted an impressive 3-1/2 length decision in 1:54.3. Kakaley will steer Miso Fast, the 8-5 morning line choice, from the six spot.

Leading driver at Buffalo Raceway Jim Morrill Jr. will try and contend with Outkast Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Hanover-Armbro Savannah). In his career debut, Outkast Blue Chip started from the seven position and managed to work out a fourth place finish. They'll try their luck from the three hole this time around.

The final division finds Offdahook Bluechip the 5-2 choice after a fast closing second place finish to Music In Art on July 8 at Saratoga. Starting from the three post with Kakaley in the sulky on Wednesday, Offdahook Hanover (American Ideal-Stefani Blue Chip) should be loving the long stretch at Buffalo Raceway.

Zampara put in a stellar performance in a $15,000 Excelsior A Series event at Saratoga on July 8 with a wire-to-wire victory in 1:54.3. Pat Lachance will guide Zampara (American Ideal-Valobesta) from the inside post and could be tough from the pylons.

Outrajus Blue Chip had tough luck in his career debut. He was interfered with at the start and lost all hope but finished sixth after trailing by more than 14 lengths. Morrill Jr. will drive Outrajus Blue for trainer Aaron Lambert.

There will also be three $15,000 Excelsior A Series races and two $6,500 contests in the Excelsior B Series on the card.

The Claiming Championship finals will also be contested. The first bracket is for filly and mare pacers ($8,000-$12,500 claiming price) who will tangle for the $14,800 purse while the other final features the filly and mare pacers ($4,000-$7,000 claiming price) who will go for $10,000.

The 12-race program gets underway at 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 18, 2016

Straight A Student, Fad Finance Tie Mark In NYSS At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Straight A Student ($3.10) and Fad Finance ($3.50) took their respective $60,200 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes and tied the Buffalo Raceway track record for 3-year-old filly trotters in doing so with times of 1:58.2 over the fast track on Sunday afternoon (July 17).

The clocking equaled the mark of 1:58.2 established in 2015 by High Rise.

In the opening leg, Straight A Student (Mark MacDonald) got a perfect trip and won the cavalry charge down the stretch to register a head victory over Lindylicious (Kevin Cummings). Goosebump Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the show position.

At the start, Straight A Student parked Goosebump Hanover to the quarter pole before finally relinquishing the lead. From there, Goosebump Hanover was in command until the top of the stretch when Straight A Student came charging down the passing lane and Lindylicious attacked from the outside.

It was a blanket finish with Straight A Student getting the head win over Lindylicious while Goosebump Hanover was just a neck back.

"I just wanted to make it around the first turn," MacDonald said in getting Straight A Student to the winner's circle. "I knew if I followed Goosebump Hanover around the track, I'd be where I wanted to be in the end."

Straight A Student (Credit Winner-Smarter Than Smart) as been playing second fiddle for much of the season as she has had five runner up finishes in her seven starts. "She's trotted some big miles this season and finally got the win," MacDonald added.

Trained by Paul Kelley, Straight A Student pushed her seasonal earnings to $71,885 and $93,675 lifetime.

In the second division, Fad Finance was ready to roll midway down the backstretch the final time but had to wait for racing room before rallying late to nip Monarchs Sequel (MacDonald) by a nose. Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) secured the show position.

Fad Finance had nowhere to go heading to the three-quarter marker as the pace-setting Swinging Royalty and the first-over Monarchs Sequel had her boxed in along the pylons.

In the race for the wire, Fad Finance found some wiggle room and just got up in time to take the nose victory.

"I did all I could do to keep her in the two hole," Morrill Jr. said of Fad Finance's journey. "If I could have gotten her free down the backstretch, we probably would have won by five lengths."

Trained by Trond Smedshammer, it was the third victory of the year for Fad Finance (Credit Winner-Armbro Vanity). The win pushed her seasonal bankroll to $83,038 and $129,988 in her career.

Fruition ($5.10) was the fastest in the $15,000 Excelsior A Series with a 2:00.0 victory which gave MacDonald a double while Kevin Cummings drove Outside Court ($7.30) to a 2:00.4 win.

Shawn McDonough swept both of the $6,600 Excelsior B Series as he was aboard Catalina Cash ($6.60) and Barn Diva ($10.40). Catalina Cash covered the mile in 2:02.0 while Barn Diva toured the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval in 2:03.1.

Morrill Jr. took top honors on the day in the bike as he posted five wins.

The final week of the 2016 season at Buffalo Raceway will start on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled. The New York Sire Stakes will kick off closing week as the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers will be in action.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 17, 2016

Whosurpal Making New Owners Proud At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Whosurpal was claimed two weeks ago for $15,000 by Tessa Roland and Thomas Mazzone and the 6-year-old gelding is sure making a great impression with his new connections.

After rolling to an 8-3/4 length victory last week in 1:53.3 in a $7,400 conditioned pace in his debut in the JD Perrin barn, Whosurpal stepped up in class and found the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway a breeze as well by coasting to an easy 2-1/4 length victory over China Dream in 1:54.4 on Saturday night (July 16).

Driven for the second straight week by Jim Morrill Jr., Whosurpal sat fourth behind the pace-setting He's Got It (Ron Beback Jr.) to the half in 57.1.

But down the backside the final time, Whosurpal was first over and brushed to the lead without any trouble, opening up a commanding six length advantage at the top of the lane. Midway through the stretch, Morrill Jr. throttled down Whosurpal and beat the non-threatening China Dream while Bad Fox (Lee Dahn) was third.

It was the third victory in 25 starts this season for Whosurpal (Whosurboy-Galyn Seelster), a winner of $31,112 this season and $115,308 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. finished the card with five victories while Todd Cummings had a double. Perrin had a training four-bagger and Roland had four trips to the winner's circle as an owner.

There's an 11-race card set for Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes will be in town with the 3-year-old filly trotters to square off in a pair of $60,200 events. There will also be action in the Excelsior A and B Series.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com.


July 16, 2016

Quality Abounds In NYSS At Buffalo Raceway Sunday

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There's not a lot of quantity when the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old trotting fillies rolls into Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 17) but there is definitely some good quality.

There are just 14 ladies entered in the two races with each going for a stellar purse of $60,200. The powerful Ron Burke stable has four trotters involved with the Cummings brothers, Kevin and Todd, scheduled to pilot the coupled entry in each event. Surprisingly, none are morning line favorites.

The high-steppers will also be chasing the Buffalo Raceway track record of 1:58.2 set in 2015 by High Rise in what is expected to be a perfect afternoon for racing.

The first division will kickoff off the Sunday card which begins at 12:30 p.m. Straight A Student (Credit Winner-Smarter Than Smart) gets the rail for driver Mark MacDonald and is the 2-1 morning line pick.

Straight A Student, who is trained by Paul Kelley, has been a bridesmaid most of this season with five second place finishes in seven tries. She was a heart broken second in her last start on July 10 at Tioga Downs, finishing 1-1/2 lengths behind Swinging Royalty in the NYSS. Despite only one win this season, Straight A Student has amassed $41,785 in earnings.

The Burke entry of Goosebump Hanover (Rc Royalty-Good Common Cents) and Winning Princess (Credit Winner-Cabaret Princess) will start from the four and seven post respectively.

Goosebump Hanover (Kevin Cummings) has earned $147,215 in her career but has only victory in 2016, that coming at Tioga Downs on July 1 in the Tompkins Stakes in 1:55.2.

Last season at Buffalo Raceway, Goosebump Hanover notched a 2:01.4 victory in the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters with Kevin Cummings aboard. The pair are hoping lightning will strike twice.

Winkys Gal (John Stark Jr.) enters on a two-race win streak. Drawing the two post, Winkys Gal (Rc Royalty-Tessel) is fresh off a 16-1/2 length romp in a conditioned trot at Saratoga and followed that up with a 1-3/4 length decision in a $15,000 Excelsior Series A event at Tioga on July 10.

The second leg of the New York Sire Stakes is slated for the fourth race with the razor-sharp Swinging Royalty listed as the 2-1 morning line choice for driver Chris Lems.

With eight starts under her belt already in 2016, Swinging Royalty (Rc Royalty-Swing Anna Cash) has put $102,739 in the bank this season. In her most recent start on July 10 at Tioga, she went gate-to-wire in 1:56.2 from the seven post to get the stakes win. Lems will have a stern test once again as they drew the seven hole.

Swinging Royalty has hit the board in all eight starts this year, including a second place finish in the finals of the $225,000 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs on June 19.

The main competitor could be Fad Finance who gets the services of Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Jim Morrill Jr.

In her most recent try on July 10 at Tioga Downs, Morrill Jr. guided Fad Finance (Credit Winner-Armbro Vanity) to an easy two-length win in 1:54.3. in a $40,200 division of the New York Sire Stakes.

Dolly Drama PV pulled a $153.50 shocker last year in NYSS action at Buffalo Raceway and returns again this season with Drew Monti in the sulky. Dolly Drama PV (Lucky Chucky-Massive Drama) drew the pylons and is tabbed at 6-1.

The 11-race program will also feature two $15,000 races in the Excelsior A Series and a pair of $6,700 contests in the Excelsior B Series.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Red Clay Responds Late To Take Buffalo Raceway Open Trot

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Red Clay wasn't asked to do much for more than three quarters of the mile but when driver Shawn McDonough called on him to go to work, he responded in a big way and captured the $10,000 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (July 15).

Getting a perfect pocket trip, Red Clay ($11.00) roared by the pace-setting Winkys Pride in the stretch and scored a convincing two length victory in 1:59.1 over the fast track.

Winkys Pride managed to grab the lead from the start and set fractions of 28.3, 59.2 and 1:29.1. Red Clay in the meantime was more than happy to draft along in second until the top of the lane.

When his opportunity arrived, Red Clay pounced on it and rolled to the lead while Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) could do nothing but watch. Serious George (Mike Caprio) showed some late trot and gobbled up the show spot.

Co-owned by trainer Carmen Cappotelli and Patricia Cappotelli, Red Clay (American Mike-Ersa Kash) now has three victories in 12 starts in 2016. The 6-year-old gelding has earned $20,526 this season and $46,340 lifetime.

Todd Cummings and Kevin Cummings each had driving doubles while trainer Angelo Nappo had two wins.

Action continues on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a 13-race card on tap. There's a $857 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 14, 2016

Charles Bacon Passes Away At Age 80

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Veteran Western New York driver and trainer Charles Bacon passed away recently at the age of 80. He was a regular on the Buffalo Raceway-Batavia Downs circuit for nearly 40 years.

Bacon, who was a resident of Batavia, N.Y., began his driving career in 1978 and remained in the sulky until 2015. He had 7,132 starts with 710 victories, 830 second place finishes and 840 thirds with over $1.4 million in earnings.

He began his training career in 1991 and finished with 2,289 starts including 262 wins and $552,098 in purses. He conditioned six winners in 29 tries in 2015.

His last career start in the bike was his only one in 2015 and it was a victory aboard the aptly named Charlie's Last on August 8 at the Chemung County Fair in Elmira, N.Y.

Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association President Bruce Tubin said, "I knew Charlie since 1977 and he was a member of our Association for over 40 years. He was always a professional and just a wonderful person to be around.

"He was ill for several years and fought hard but he kept coming to the track," Tubin added.

Bacon is survived by his wife Ada and several children.


It's Miller Time In NYSS At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. ---- It was 'Miller time' at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 13) as the husband and wife combination of Andy and Julie dominated the action in the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters.

The Millers won three $27,250 divisions as Devious Man set a new mark for the 2-year-old colt trotters with a 1:59.2 tour over the Hamburg half-mile oval but only to see stablemate Money Macintosh come along and absolutely destroy it three races later with a powerful 1:58.4 time. Big Man Ev completed the Miller 'trifecta' by taking his race with a 2:00.0 time.

Devious Man first broke the Buffalo Raceway colt standard of 1:59.3 set in 2014 by Royal Deceptor but didn't celebrate it for long as Money Macintosh quickly erased it.

To cap off the night, the Millers took a $15,000 Excelsior A Series bracket as Southwind Cruze ($2.60) trotted the mile in 2:02.2. Andy finished the evening with a five-bagger in the sulky while Julie finished with four training victories.

It was Western New York connections that took the final New York Sire Stakes division as Barn Winner remained undefeated, cruising to an easy 1-3/4 length win in 2:00.0 with former Buffalo Raceway regular Jeff Gregory in the bike.

Barn Winner is co-owned by locals Steven and Nancy Pratt of Corfu, N.Y. and Out In The Country Stables of Darien Center, N.Y.

In Money Macintosh's track record victory, it looked like an instant replay of Devious Man's effort...sit back third, get to the backstretch the final time, use a big brush to the top and never look back.

Lindy The Second was in charge through an opening half of 1:00.0 but was stunned as Money Macintosh ($4.00) exploded and took command, romping to an impressive four length decision over Lindy The Second (Morrill Jr.). Annapolis Hall (Ray Schnittker) took the show position.

"He loves to work," Miller said of Money Macintosh. "I asked him to go at the five-eighths pole and he really responded." A 28.2 final quarter mile proved that Money Macintosh wasn't fooling around.

Money Macintosh (Credit Winner-Apple Plush) is owned by Stroy Inc.

In the second division, Devious Man ($4.30) relinquished the lead to Eastern Promise to the opening panel and that move proved to work out perfectly.

Eastern Promise (John Campbell) went to the half in a wicked 59.1 and could only watch as Devious Man blew past him midway down the backstretch the final time.

It looked like Optimist Blue Chip was going to pose a serious threat in the lane but Devious Man found another gear and trotted off to the two length victory. Optimist Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) managed second and Desired Effect (Jeff Gregory) took the show spot.

"He's a handy trotter," Miller said of Devious Man. "He had a couple of nice bursts in the race. The first was going down the backstretch and then in the stretch. I was cautious going around the final turn but once he straightened out, he was able to get going again."

Devious Man (Credit Winner-Miss Garland) is owned by Stroy Inc. and was able to capture his first lifetime win in his second appearance.

A perfect first over trip by Big Man Ev ($18.60) got the Millers off to a great start on the night, notching 1-1/2 length win over Neon Lights in 2:00.0.

Lightning Lindy was able to set the tempo with times of 30.0, 1:00.4 and 1:31.1. Big Man Ev was sitting in third and started his winning journey down the backstretch and wore down the pace-setter in mid stretch helped by a 28.4 last quarter.

Neon Lights (Chris Lems) rallied late to grab the place position while Lightning Lindy (Sam Schillaci) held on for third.

Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) is co-owned by the Andy Miller Racing Stable, the Lindy Racing Stable and Harvey Eisman. It was the first victory for Big Man Ev in two career tries.

Barn Winner (Credit Winner-Hallmarker) had little problem in getting around his stomping grounds in 2:00.0 for Gregory. After playing the give-and-go with Aces And Eights (Dan Daley), Barn Winner found no threats the rest of the way. He was able to turn back Aces And Eights by a non-threatening 1-3/4 lengths while Odeon Blue Chip (Morrill Jr.) was third.

It was the second win in as many career starts for Barn Winner with both victories coming in New York Sire Stakes competition.

In the $15,000 Excelsior A Series, Carmen's Fluke ($3.90) took the first division in 2:00.4 with Campbell in the bike.

Chili ($6.50) took the second leg with a 2:02.3 triumph and Southwind Cruze captured the third division with a 2:02.3 clocking with Miller steering both to victories.

Yank Me Away (Chris Lems) took the first $6,700 Excelsior B Series race in 2:07.1 and returned $5.10 while Security Guard (Kevin Cummings) found the winner's circle in 2:06.3 and paid $6.30 to his backers.

Princess Katie took the $9,000 pace for the filly and mares as driver Ray Fisher Jr. guided her to the mild $10.40 upset in 1:56.1.

Racing will resume on Friday evening at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program set.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 11, 2016

McDonough Guides Long Shots At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway's winning favorites have been hitting at nearly a 45 percent clip this season but that statistic took a beating on Sunday afternoon (July 10) as long shots ruled the day.

Only three post time favorites found the winner's circle while the big prices were the norm.

Driver Shawn McDonough was the main culprit on the day as he steered home three double digit winners.

McDonough, who also had a training victory, scored aboard Goddess's Justin ($10.60), Alexa's Prayer ($16.20) and Lucky Style ($27.00).

Michael Whelan brought home the biggest price on the program with a $30.60 victory on Western Expression.

Kevin Cummings had a driving double as he brought home bombs Scarlet Starlet ($12.60) and Mixed Media ($24.00).

Ray Fisher Jr. wasn't a part the chaos as he had a double, registering wins with the favored Lady Jill ($5.10) and Whitesand Noble ($4.70).

Racing will return on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 14-race card set. The New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters will be in the spotlight along with action in the Excelsior A and B Series. The Pick-5, which starts in the fifth race, will have a $597 carryover.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Morrill Jr., Southwind Whiski Dominate At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jim Morrill Jr. has been what could be best described as a 'part-time' driver at Buffalo Raceway this season but incredibly he took a giant step toward winning the 2016 driving championship after posting a six-bagger on Saturday night (July 9).

Morrill Jr. moved his win total to 117 at Buffalo Raceway in just 293 attempts and leads runner up Todd Cummings who has 96 victories in 612 races with nine racing dates left on the season.

And while Morrill Jr. dominated the night in the sulky, the heavily-favored Southwind Whiski ($3.10) was the dominate force in the featured $9,000 pace by trouncing his six rivals in 1:55.3.

Scoring from the rail, Southwind Whiski (Ray Fisher Jr.) played give-and-go with Bad Fox to the opening quarter mark. With fractions of 28.4, 58.1 and 1:27.3, Southwind Whiski exploded on the final turn and smartly paced away from the field with the help of a 28.0 final panel. Bad Fox (Lee Dahn) was second 2-3/4 lengths back while American Bull (Kevin Cummings) was third.

Co-owned by John Mungillo and Thatsideofthefence LLC, the 8-year-old gelded Southwind Whiski (Bettor's Delight-Winona Hanover) now has four victories in 23 starts this season, earning $27,094 and $149,066 lifetime.

It was also a big milestone for trainer JD Perrin as he tripled and moved his seasonal win total at Buffalo Raceway to 100.

Racing will resume on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Kahoku Ties Standard In Open Trot Win At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kahoku had to battle to get to the lead but found little resistance after that and it helped him tie the Buffalo Raceway track record for aged (5+) gelded trotters with a 1:56.2 time in capturing the featured $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (July 8).

The clocking equaled the mark set in 2014 by stablemate Lutetium who ironically won the next race in 1:58.2 to complete the $13.60 daily double for trainer Mark Laidlaw.

Starting on the outside in the field of six, Kahoku had to go three-wide to the opening quarter as Noble Legend and Winkys Pride played hardball for the top.

After getting the advantage and posting splits of 28.3, 57.4 and 1:27.3, driver Ron Beback Jr. and Kahoku ($6.40) were searching for closers in the lane but none were found as a final panel of 28.4 squashed any threats. Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) finished second a length back while Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) was third.

Co-owned by Colleen Girdlestone and Michael Gentner, the 8-year-old Kahoku (SJ's Caviar-Tags Gold) now has eight victories this season in 22 tries, earning $47,318 and moved his career bankroll to $174,380. Girdlestone also owns Lutetium.

Drivers Beback, Mike Caprio, Kevin Cummings each posted doubles while trainers Angelo Nappo and Laidlaw had two wins apiece.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with 10 races scheduled. There's a $581 carryover in the Pick-5 which starts in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 7, 2016

She's A Billionair Sets New Mark In NYSS At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- She's A Billionair's front-running style paid big dividends in the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old filly pacers on Wednesday night (June 6) at Buffalo Raceway as she set a new track record for that classification with an easy three-length win over Artrageous in 1:56.2.

The time erased the old mark of 1:56.3 established in 2011 by Silky Purse and tied by Summertime Lea in 2012.

It was also great night for driver Tim Tetrick, owner Ken Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano as the trio teamed up to win two Sire Stake divisions. Robin J was the fastest winner for the connections with a gate-to-wire victory in 1:57.2 while stablemate Planet Rock covered the fast Hamburg half-mile oval in 1:58.0.

Okidoki Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the final $27,750 leg by rolling to a 1:59.0 triumph over Rollingndiamonds (Brett Miller).

She's A Billionair ($10.20) was in command the entire mile as she stepped off panels of 29.0, 58.4 and 1:28.1. There was little doubt was the winner was going to be in the stretch as Brett Miller was in a prone position under the wire with She's A Billionair in 1:56.2. Artrageous (Jim Morrill Jr.) was second best while Yourlipstogodsears (Tetrick) took third.

"She's a small filly who is built for this kind of track," Miller said She's A Billionair. "She felt really good, is good gaited, and can scoot around these tight turns on a half-mile track."

The Winbak Farm-bred She's A Billionair (Artiscape-She's Game) is owned by Frank Chick and trained by Dylan Davis.

Robin J had little problem in disposing of her field as she went wire-to-wire to defeat That's How We Roll by 2-1/4 lengths while Lady Of Heaven (Brett Miller) took the show spot.

Setting fractions of 29.2, 59.2 and 1:29.3, Robin J (Roll With Joe-Mommy Robin Q) was never threatened along the way in posting her first pari mutuel win.

Planet Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven-Villa Hanover) let Roaring To Go (Brett Miller) do all the dirty work on the front end and then rolled on by late to capture the opening division in 1:58.0.

Roaring To Go zoomed out to the lead off the gate and set splits of 29.2, 59.3 and 1:29.4 but had no answer in deep stretch as the pocket-sitting Planet Rock ($7.10) uncorked a 27.4 final panel to key the half length victory. Rockinsangria (Morrill Jr.) took the show position.

Okidoki Blue Chip took the last division that was scratched down to a field of five as Roll With Faith, Twin B Onaroll and Under The Bus were all under the weather.

The front end was the place to be as Okidoki Hanover had no problem in getting the advantage and never looked back in posting the solid 3-1/2 length score over Rollingndiamonds while Donato's Artist (Chris Lems) finished in third.

Okidoki Hanover (Roll With Joe-Mattaroni) is trained by Tracy Brainard and co-owned by Brainard, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Howard Taylor and Charles Iannazzo.

In the $15,000 Excelsior Series A races, Funkymonkeysunshine (Yannick Gingras) covered the mile in 2:02.0 and paid $4.90 in the opening leg.

Gingras made it two straight in the A division as he guided Bullvillestephanie to a $19.20 upset in 2:00.1.

Haviture Way Honey ($3.70) went coast-to-coast and just held on by a nose to tip Megyn K in 2:00.2 with Andy Miller in the sulky in the third bracket.

Hayleigh's Hat (Kevin Cummings) pulled a $23.00 surprise in the final division with a 2:01.4 time.

In the $6,700 Excelsior B Series event, Island Adventure had a trouble-free 2:02.1 journey for Morrill Jr. and posted the popular $4.10 victory.

Mach This Way (Brett Miller) rallied in the passing lane and took the $9,000 feature for the filly and mares pace in 1:56.4 and returned $8.90.

Morrill Jr. finished the night with a triple while Gingras, Brett Miller and Tetrick all doubled. JD Perrin, Brainard and Toscano all had a pair of training victories.

Racing will return on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Batavia Downs to offer claiming series

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

The 2016 Batavia Downs season will feature a new earning incentive for horsemen when the Claiming Championship Series will make its debut in July.

The point-based competition will be broken down by gait and claiming price and the accrual of points will be on a monthly basis. There is no nomination or entry fee to participate and the event will be conducted under the rules and regulations of the New York State Gaming Commission, the USTA and Batavia Downs.

Divisions will include $4,000, $5,000-$6,000 and $8,000-$10,000 claimers on the pace and $4,000-$5,000 and $7,500-$10,000 claimers on the trot. Points will be awarded to the top-five finishers of each race.

The top eight horses from each class category making the final will be comprised of the top three pointe earners in August, (July 25 – August 31) and September, (September 1- 30) and the top two point earners in October, (October 1- 31). They will advance to the Claiming Championship Finals on November 12.

Once a new month starts, all the points earned will revert back to zero (with the exception of July, which will carry over into August).

The $4,000 and $4,000-$5,000 categories will compete for $15,000 in the final and all other categories will vie for $20,000.

As is the case with all horses racing at Batavia Downs, horses entered in these races must have a current negative Coggins test, current proof of a rabies vaccination and a current health certificate. All owners, trainers and drivers must also have a current membership with the USTA.

Click here (http://www.bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/LRW-ClaimChampSeries-Fullpg-16-0778.pdf) for complete rules or log onto www.bataviadownsgaming.com and click the "Live Racing" tab and then the “Horsemen” tab.


July 5, 2016

Top Drivers Arrive For NYSS At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The 2-year-old pacing fillies coming to Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night for the New York Sire Stakes may just be starting their careers but they sure did attract some of the top drivers from around North America to help them out.

Names such as Tim Tetrick, Yannick Gingras, Andy Miller, Jim Morrill Jr., Daniel Dube, Brett Miller and Chris Christoforou are all scheduled to be in the sulky guiding the ladies around the Hamburg half-mile oval in four divisions worth $27,500 each.

And while there are some well-known drivers coming to town, some big-name trainers will be bringing in their charges including top conditioners Ron Burke, Linda Toscano, Julie Miller and Ray Schnittker.

Besides the battles going on between the drivers, trainers and the damsels, bragging rights are also on the line for the sires. Art Major has 10 daughters entered while Roll With Roll has eight, Rock N Roll Heaven seven and American Ideal four.

With hot and humid conditions in the forecast along with a fast track, the Buffalo Raceway track record for 2-year-old filly pacers of 1:56.3 set by Silk Purse in 2011 and Summertime Lea in 2012 may be on the chopping block.

The opening division, set for the third race, features 5-2 morning line favorite Roaring To Go (Brett Miller), an impressive winner at The Meadowlands on June 24. Sitting 9-1/4 lengths from the lead in the race, Roaring To Go (Art Major-Lioness Hanover) unleashed a 25.3 final quarter mile to pull off the victory in 1:54.4.

Not to be overlooked is the 7-2 second choice in Planet Rock (Rock N Roll Hanover-Villa Hanover). The Linda Toscano-trained Planet Rock will be driven by Tetrick and produced a 1:56.2 time in a qualifier at The Meadowlands last time out.

The second leg, slated as the sixth race, will feature the Toscano-Tetrick combination once again as Robin J gets the seven post and is tabbed the 3-1 favorite. She has two victories in qualifiers including a 1:56.4 win back on June 18 at The Meadowlands.

That's How We Roll (Art Major-Rockn At The Beach) drew the rail and is the second choice at 7-2. Trained and driven by former Buffalo Raceway regular Ray Schnittker, That's How We Roll, a $75,000 purchase in 2015 at the Lexington Sales, showed some late pace with a 25.4 last quarter in a third place finish on June 24 at The Meadowlands.

The third division, the seventh race, appears to be the most competitive on paper with Artrageous (Morrill Jr.) the 3-1 pick out of the five post. She's undefeated with two wins in qualifiers and an impressive 3-3/4 length victory in 1:56.2 in her debut at Harrington Raceway on June 30. Artrageous (Art Major-In Deep Thought) was a $35,000 buy at the Lexington Sales in 2015.

Pleasant Roll (Andy Miller) gets the 7-2 second from the four hole. A $55,000 selection at Lexington, she has yet to taste defeat as Pleasant Roll (Roll With Joe-Pleasant Yet Bad) has a pair of 'baby race' wins including a 1:55.0 score at The Meadowlands on June 25.

At This Hour, a $75,000 buy at the Harrisburg Sales, is the favorite in the final leg, set for the ninth race. Trained by Ron Burke, At This Hour (Art Major-Dreamland's Jo Jo) gets the three spot with Gingras in the bike.

Getting the seven post is Okidoki Blue Chip (Morrill Jr.) who was tabbed the second choice at 7-2. She's just missed in her qualifying attempts, losing by just a neck and head in her only two appearances. Okidoki Blue Chip (Roll With Joe-Mattaroni) is trained by Tracy Brainard.

The 14-race program has a 5 p.m. post and will include four $15,000 Excelsior Series A races and one $6,700 Excelsior B Series race. There's also a $487 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Chalks, Long Shots Sprinkled About At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There was a little bit of something for everyone at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 3) as the program was sprinkled with chalks and long shots.

On the 12-race card, the favorites found the winner's circle six times while horses with win mutuels over $30.00 came in three times.

Driver Drew Monti spearheaded the long shot parade as he posted a $65.50 win aboard Warhorse in the opener and followed that up by guiding Fox Valley Lena to a $34.20 victory.

Ray Fisher Jr. was a part of lighting up the tote board with a $32.80 score on Lady Jill.

David McNeight III had a triple and conditioned two winners while Todd Cummings had two victories in the sulky.

There's a 14-race card scheduled for Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with the New York Sire Stakes rolling back into town with the 2-year-old filly pacers in the spotlight. There will also be competition in the Excelsior A and B Series. The Pick-5 has a carryover over $487 heading into the card.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


American Bull Is Red Hot In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The fireworks started two days early at Buffalo Raceway as American Bull was as hot as a firecracker in deep stretch and blew up the tote board with a $38.20 victory in the featured $9,000 Open II pace on Saturday night (July 2).

Getting a pocket journey for most of the mile, American Bull (Todd Cummings) was able to win the cavalry charge to the finish by beating Jolt Of Whiskey (Kevin Cummings) by a neck while Bad Fox (Lee Dahn) took third.

Big Bad George played give-and-go with American Bull to set the tempo with times of 30.0, 59.2 and 1:29.1. But in the final panel of pacing action, the favored Big Bad George was in retreat mode while American Bull, Jolt Of Whiskey and Bad Fox were gearing up three-wide heading for the wire.

Using the passing lane, American Bull had all the momentum in the shadow of the finish line to power past Jolt Of Whiskey and Bad Fox in 1:58.0.

Owned by Sidney Easton and trained by Anthony Cummings, American Bull (American Ideal-Touch Of Pearls) is a 5-year-old gelding that has two wins in 11 appearances this season. The win upped his 2016 bankroll to $15,210 and $103,865 lifetime.

It was a great night for Shawn McDonough as he drove home four winners and had a pair of training victories while Drew Monti had a triple in the bike. Maria Rice had a training double.

Racing will resume on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.

For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Patience Pays Off For Studio City At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Patience paid off perfectly for Studio City in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open trot on Friday night (July 1) as the 7-year-old gelding waited until deep stretch to put away Serious George by a neck in a seasonal best 1:58.0.

Studio City (David McNeight III), who started from the pylons, took some of the starch out of Noble Legend by parking him to the quarter pole in 29.3. Noble Legend held on to the top spot until the three-quarter marker as the first over Serious George (Mike Caprio) took command at that point.

But things weren't settled yet. Waiting until the final turn to make his winning move, Studio City ($13.00) fanned out three wide and eventually wore down the stubborn Serious George late to score the narrow victory. Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) managed to secure the show spot.

It was the second straight win for Studio City who jumped up into Open company after posting a 1-1/2 decision last week in a winner's over event.

Co-owned by Scott Woogen and Lisa Denison, the Winbak Farm-bred Studio City (Conway Hall-Yagot Prestige) is trained by Lisa Lederhouse. It was his third win in 14 starts this season, pushing his earnings to $21,346 and $248,045 lifetime.

Todd Cummings completed the night with a driving triple while Shawn McDonough and Kevin Cummings posted doubles. Trainer JD Perrin conditioned a pair of winners.

Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with a 10-race program scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


July 1, 2016

Cherry Royal Ruby Impressive In NYSS At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Cherry Royal Ruby put in the fastest time of the five divisions ($109,800) of the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old filly trotters at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (June 29) as she romped to an easy 6-1/2 length victory in 2:02.1.

Despite the eye-opening performance by Cherry Royal Ruby, it was well off the track record for her classification of 2:00.2 set in 2009 by Munis Bluechip.

There was a dead heat in the fifth division as Scarey Karie and Run For Royalty couldn't be separated by a photo in 2:04.0.

Maewegonow ($3.70) took her division with a win in 2:03.3, Mighty Surf got the perfect gate-to-wire journey from driver Kevin Cummings to notch a $27.00 surprise in 2:04.4 while Heels On Wheels used a last panel of 29.1 to dispose of the field in her bracket in 2:04.0.

It was a good night for the sires Conway Hall and Rc Royalty as each had offspring win two divisions with Prayer I Am and Deweycheatumnhowe having one winner apiece.

The most impressive on the picture perfect night was Cherry Royal Ruby (Rc Royalty-Nowerland Kristen). After putting up an opening half mile of 1:03.1, driver Dan Daley stepped on the gas with her on the back half, going in 59.0 including a 28.2 final panel.

Nightflix Hanover (Ray Schnittker) finished in second with Royal Pine (Matt Kakaley) taking the show spot.

Cherry Royal Ruby ($3.30) is co-owned by the Cherry Hill Farm and Todd Van Alstyne and is trained by Daley.

Scarey Karie (Phil Fluet) and Run For Royalty (Kakaley) were fortunate to be involved in the win photo.

It first appeared that Barn Bella (Chuck Huckabone Jr.) was going to catch the front-running Speedy Prayer but broke stride coming off the final turn. Speedy Prayer (Kevin Cummings) looked home free but jumped it off midway down the lane.

Those miscues put Scarey Karie ($2.60) and Run For Royalty ($3.30) on top but the they hit the wire deadlocked in 2:04.0. Mamora Bay took third for driver Sam Schillaci.

Scarey Karie (Conway Hall-Alabama Hotel) is owned by Michael Woodward and is trained by Fluet.

Run For Royalty (Rc Royalty-Feegee) is owned by Simo Jalava and is conditioned by Jenny Melander.

In the opening division, Mighty Surf ($27.00) zoomed to the lead and avoided trouble with the breakers on the opening turn to score the front-running 2-3/4 length victory over Creditover in 2:04.4. Busy Doing Nothing (Mark Etsell) took the show position.

Mighty Surf (Prayer I Am-Big Surfer) is owned by Roy Dobbins and is trained by Dennis Laterza.

Heels On Wheels ($8.40) and Kakaley made a first-over move down the backstretch and that proved to difference to dispose of Dazzlash (Trond Smedshammer) and Deweybelievenhowe (Ed Greeno Jr.) in 2:04.4.

Owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Crawford Farms, Lawrence Karr and Weaver Bruscemi, Heels On Wheels (Conway Hall-Go Go Dancer) is conditioned by Ron Burke.

A big brush heading to the three-quarter pole gave Maewegonow (Charlie Norris) a commanding edge and never looked back in registering a throttled down 1-1/4 length nod over Shecheatedondewey (Kakaley) in 2:03.3. Deli-Delight (Mike Simons) placed third.

Maewegonow (Deweycheatumnhowe-Mauresmo) is co-owned by Carrie Norris and Acadia Farms and trained by Charlie Norris.

In the $15,000 Excelsior A races, Onyx Blue Chip ($7.30) took the first division in 2:06.3 with Ray Schnittker board while Jenny's Dew Drop went wire-to-wire and posted a $22.40 upset for John Cummings Jr. in 2:04.4.

Ms McGillicuddys (Kevin Cummings) was victorious in the non-betting $6,200 Excelsior B series as she covered the mile in 2:13.1.

Racing will resume on Friday evening with 10 races slated to begin at 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 28, 2016

Filly Trotters Ready To Begin Careers At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There are 37 horses entered in five $22,000 (est.) divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters on Wednesday night (June 29) at Buffalo Raceway and only four have had a pari-mutuel start.

So to say that experience is at a premium is an understatement, but there's still plenty of hope and optimism as most of the young ladies get their race careers started.

There could be some proud fathers by the end of the night with Deweycheatumnhowe leading the way with nine off-spring going to the starting gate, Rc Royalty has seven while Conway Hall and Chapter Seven each have five.

The first division will feature Creditover (Credit Winner-Andover The Top) who was a $95,000 purchase at the 2015 Lexington Sale. Trond Smedshammer is the driver-trainer of Creditover for owner The Purple Haze Stable.

A couple of high-priced trotters collide in the second division as Heels On Wheels (Conway Hall-Go Go Dancer), a $75,000 buy at Lexington, will go against Chapter Too (Chapter Seven-Wood Blue Chip) who was a $50,000 purchase at Harrisburg Sale.

The most competitive leg looks to be the third division as Royal Pinot (Rc Royalty-Graduation Party), a $55,000 selection at the Morrisville Sale, will have to contend with the likes of Chapter Heaven (Chapter Seven-Southwind Angel) and Blurred (Chapter Seven-Blur) who were each $42,000 choices at the Harrisburg and Lexington Sales respectively.

There have been six track standards lowered at Buffalo Raceway this season and with ideal conditions expected, the 2-year-old filly trotting mark of 2:00.2 set by Munis Blue Chip back in 2009 could definitely be in jeopardy.

There is a non-betting $6,200 Excelsior Series B race that will go off at 4:30 p.m. while the regular card that features 12 races including a pair of $15,000 Excelsior A Series events will begin at 5 p.m.

For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Smalltownthrowdown Sets Mark At Buffalo In NYSS

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. ---Smalltownthrowdown threw down the gauntlet early and held on late to win his $61,300 leg of the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old trotting colt and geldings in a track record 1:56.2 at steamy Buffalo Raceway Sunday afternoon (June 26).

The previous record for 3-year-old trotting colts was 1:56.4 established in 2014 by Cash Me Out.

In the other division, The Royal Harry led every step of the mile and beat Crazycat by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:59.4 over the fast track.

Smalltownthrowdown opened up a commanding six length lead to the quarter pole and was cruising, maintaining a two length cushion turning for home the final time.

But after putting up splits of 29.2, 59.0 and 1:28.0, Smalltownthrowdown ended up beckoning for the finish line and held on for a diminishing half length victory over the never-say-die Drazzmatazz (Francisco Del Cid). Do The Deal (Ake Svanstedt) managed to take third.

"He's good on a half-mile track," driver Dan Daley said of Smalltownthrowdown. "The main thing was getting around the turns here and getting to the lead. That was key."

The relieved Daley smiled when asked about the close finish saying, "He flattened out a little bit in the end but he got the job done."

It was the third victory in eight starts this season for Smalltownthrowdown (Cash Me Out-Ann's Promise) and moved the Daley-trainee's earnings to $73,108 in 2016 and $195,073 lifetime.

The Royal Harry also went to the winner's circle in coast-to-coast fashion in the first division with a relatively comfortable decision over Crazycat (Drew Monti).

Setting fractions of 28.4, 59.2 and 1:30.0, The Royal Harry seemed worry-free in the stretch run but driver Svanstedt said there was an anxious moment. "I thought he was going to break stride in the lane but he got himself back before he did."

Crazycat made a brief rally in passing lane and settled for second while A Jersey Contract (Jim Morrill Jr.) took third.

Co-owned by Michael and William Pozefsky and trained by Svanstedt, The Royal Harry (Rc Royalty-Wilsonator) now has two victories in four attempts in 2016. The win sent his seasonal earnings to $65,624 and $79,254 lifetime.

In the $15,000 Excelsior A Series, Reasinforpleasin ($6.60) turned in the fastest time with 2:01.2 with Kevin Cummings in the sulky while Morrill Jr. guided Boxall ($4.60) to a 2:01.3 victory.

Chargin Cadet (Ray Schnittker) took a $6,500 division of the Excelsior B Series with a 2:03.1 time and Thanks For Playin (Chris Lems) got the job done in 2:03.3 in the other leg.

Robert Davis took both divisions of the C.K.G Billings Amateur Driving Series as he steered Christina Victory ($3.50) and Goddess's Justin ($5.30) to wins.

Morrill Jr. finished with a double as well while Buffalo Raceway's leading trainer JD Perrin had two victories.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with 12 race card set. The New York Sire Stakes returns once again with the 2-year-old trotting fillies highlighting the program.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


China Dream Use New Tactic To Take Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was apparent that the game plan for China Dream in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (June 25) was to try and cut the mile, something he's not accustomed at all in doing.

The new strategy worked to perfection though as the usually late-charging China Dream tied his lifetime best in going gate-to-wire to beat GD Airliner by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.0 over the fast track.

Off the starting gate, driver Drew Monti fired out with China Dream and had every opportunity to tuck into third but nixed that idea and continued on to the lead. Setting respectable fractions of 28.1, 57.1, and 1:26.4, China Dream was patiently awaiting the arrival of the other stone-cold closer in GD Airliner (David McNeight III) in the race for home.

But the charge never came to fruition as China Dream ($3.60) paced a 27.1 final quarter to leave the first over GD Airliner in a holding pattern while Bad Fox (Lee Dahn) was third.

Co-owned by Jack Rice and trainer Maria Rice, it was the seventh victory in 18 starts this year for the 5-year-old gelded China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art). The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $49,475 and $139,068 lifetime.

Todd Cummings and David McNeight III each had three wins on the night while Monti, and Ray Fisher Jr. doubled. Trainers JD Perrin, John Mungillo and Rice all had two wins.

Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled. The New York Sire Stakes will roll into town again with the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters set to battle it out. There will also be action in the Excelsior A and B series and a pair of races in the C.K.G. Billings Amateur driving series.

For more information including race replays, results, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Kahoku Disposes Field In Buffalo Raceway Open Trot

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kahoku ($10.40) found out for the second straight week that the front end was the place to be as he scored an unexpectedly easy length victory over Cold Certified in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open Pace on Friday night (June 24).

Last Friday, Kahoku never looked back in cruising to a 4-1/4 length decision in a non-winner's event in 1:56.4. This week, the 8-year-old gelding stepped up to face open company and never was threatened in posting the 1:57.2 victory over the fast track.

With two Buffalo Raceway track record holders in the field, Noble Legend and Strong Hope, Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) took his chances on the front end and had a minor skirmish with Cold Certified to reach the top.

Posting panels of 28.3, 58.0 and 1:28.0, the pace-setting Kahoku and Cold Certified managed to open up four lengths on the field turning for home. In the drive to the wire, there were no threats in the lane as Kahoku confidently trotted to the wire and disposed of Cold Certified by a length while Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) finished a distant third.

Co-owned by Colleen Girdlestone and Michael Gentner and trained by Mark Laidlaw, it was the seventh win in 20 starts for Kahoku (SJ's Caviar-Tags Gold). The victory upped his 2016 earnings to $41,438 and $168,500 lifetime.

Kevin Cummings and David McNeight III each had a pair of victories in the sulky.

Racing will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with an 11-race program on tap. There's a $603 carryover in the Pick-5 that begins in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 23, 2016

Mother Of Art, American Ivy Notch NYSS Wins

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Mother Of Art ($2.70) was the fastest of the two division winners in the New York Sire Stakes for three-year-old filly pacers at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (June 22) as she went gate-to-wire in 1:53.4 to beat stablemate Dime A Dance by 3/4 lengths.

The time just missed tying the track record for 3-year-old filly pacers of 1:53.3 set in 2015 by Mosquito Blue Chip.

In the other division, American Ivy (Andy Miller) got a perfect pocket trip and roared past Angels Rockn Pink to register the 1:56.0 victory over the fast track.

Mother Of Art protected the inside post position at the start in the second division) and set sail from the rail with splits of 28.0, 57.0 and 1:26.0. While Dime A Dance (Kakaley) made a mild threat late in the lane, it wasn't nearly enough as Mother Of Art comfortably prevailed. Time On My Hands (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the show position.

"She felt real good off the car," driver Mark MacDonald said of Mother Of Art. "She was good throughout the mile and had plenty left in the end."

The victory was the second in seven attempts in 2016 for Mother Of Art (Art Major-Mommy Robin Q). The Ron Burke-trainee upped her seasonal winnings to $68,287 and $151,543 lifetime.

The first division may have been won at the start as American Ivy, who started from the six post, showed early gate speed and was able to drop in second behind the pace-setting Angels Rockn Pink.

"I intended on leaving with her," Miller said in hopes of getting the lead with American Ivy. While they didn't get there, it all worked out perfectly. "I was content in following Angels Rockn Pink and she (American Ivy) performed well in the passing lane," Miller stated.

With fractions of 28.4, 58.0 and 1:28.1, those fractions seemed reasonable enough for Angels Rockn Pink to go gate-to-wire. American Ivy went into the passing lane and dropped a 27.3 final panel on the field to spring the $14.60 upset. Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) held on for second while Encore Deo (Matt Kakaley) finished in third.

Owned by Joe P Racing LLC and trained by Julie Miller, American Ivy (American Ideal-Haunted) has now won twice in seven starts this season, moving her 2016 earnings to $81,800 and $170,290 lifetime. Both of her victories have come in Sire Stakes competition with the first coming on May 23 at Monticello Raceway.

In the $15,000 Excelsior A Series race, Rolling Going Gone covered the mile in 1:59.0 and returned $2.30 with Morrill Jr. in the sulky.

The Excelsior B Series saw Wine Snob (Kakaley) use a 1:57.3 time in score the popular $2.30 win while in the second division, Stirling Electra (Morrill Jr.) posted a 1:58.0 clocking and returned $2.90 to her backers.

In the $10,000 Open Pace for the filly and mares, Who Says That (Drew Monti) rallied on the far outside and posted the $16.00 decision in a lifetime best of 1:55.0.

Morrill Jr. finished the evening with four wins while Kakaley had a double.

Racing will continue of Friday evening at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 21, 2016

Burke Entries Lead NYSS Fields At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The powerful Ron Burke stable definitely will have strength in numbers when they arrive Wednesday night (June 22) for the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year old pacing fillies at Buffalo Raceway.

Encore Deo (Matt Kakaley) and Vino And Formaggio (Jim Morrill Jr.) are the Burke-trainees entered in the first $59,100 division while Mother Of Art (Mark MacDonald), Dime A Dance (Kakaley) and Art Critic are coupled in the second $59,100 leg.

In the first event, scheduled as the second race, Encore Deo and Vino And Formaggio have just combined for one victory in 14 starts this season but are very capable in finding the winner's circle.

Encore Deo has finished second and third in her last two starts, both in Sire Stakes action at Tioga Downs and Saratoga. Vino And Formaggio has been in the money three times in seven starts this year and has earned $108,111 in just 18 career starts. Encore Deo and Vino And Formaggio will start from the two and four post respectively and are 7-2 in the morning line.

Angels Rockn Pink is the 7-5 morning line choice, however, with MacDonald in the sulky. She was a winner in the NYSS at Tioga on June 12, scoring a length victory over Dime A Dance in 1:52.1. Angels Rockn Pink has been in the money in all five of her 2016 starts, winning twice and putting $61,271 in the bankroll.

The remainder of the first division includes No Clouds Blue Chip (Kevin Cummings), Major Millie (Ray Fisher Jr.) and American Ivy (Andy Miller). Both No Clouds Blue Chip and American Ivy each have Sire Stakes victories on their resumes this year.

The fourth race features the Burke threesome of Mother Art, Dime A Dance and Art Critic who were tabbed the heavy 4-5 morning line choice.

Dime A Dance tops the entry as she has $285,136 in her brief career. After taking a Sire Stakes win at Saratoga, Dime A Dance came up a length short to Angels Rockn Pink on June 12. She's been in the money in all four tries this season and appears to be the one to beat.

While the Burke entry is mighty, don't overlook Time On My Hands (Morrill Jr.). She has two straight Sire Stakes victories and a second place finish in her last three outings. The Chris Oakes-trainee has $236,182 in earnings in just 12 career starts.

Soft Idea (Cummings) has a Sire Stakes win under her belt in 2016, that coming on May 23 at Monticello in 1:55.2. The front-running Soft Idea looks like the lone speed and could play catch me if you can.

Milky Way Rae (Drew Monti) completes the field having won two of her last three starts.

The 10-race card gets underway at 5 p.m. with Excelsior A and B Series races scheduled as well.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 20, 2016

Kevin Cummings Notches Four Wins At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kevin Cummings is the two-time defending driver champion at Buffalo Raceway but he entered Sunday afternoon's (June 19) action sitting in a unfamiliar fifth place in the rankings. It didn't have anything to due with his driving ability. It was because he was sidelined for several months with a broken arm in an off-track mishap.

But it appears Cummings is regaining his old form as he posted four victories on the card to move into a fourth place tie with Drew Monti in the standings with 65 wins. Jim Morrill Jr. leads the way with 100 trips to the winner's circle.

On the 11-race program, Cummings scored aboard Helena's Hope ($2.50), KJ's Flash Jordan ($2.20), Fire Up The Mach ($5.70) and Mach Stockn Barrel ($2.40)

Shawn McDonough and David McNeight III each had driving doubles on the day.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night with a 10-race card scheduled for 5 p.m. New York Sire Stakes action will highlight the program with the 3-year-old filly pacers taking center stage. There will also be events in the Excelsior A & B Series along with an extremely competitive field in the $10,000 Open Pace for the filly and mares.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 19, 2016

Lucky Nadotremblay Rallies For Buffalo Raceway Victory

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There was plenty of 'luck' to be had in Buffalo Raceway's featured $9,000 Open II pace on Saturday night (June 18) as Lucky Nadotremblay ($8.00) rallied in time to beat Lucky King by a half length in 1:55.0 over the fast track.

It was a scramble to the top as Lucky King managed to grab the lead just before the opening stanza as Lucky Nadotremblay settled back and enjoyed the pocket trip. With splits of 28.2, 56.3 and 1:25.4, Lucky King tried to make it to the end but in mid stretch, Lucky Nadotremblay got into high gear and roared on by to snatch the victory.

Lucky King (Ron Beback Jr.) was able to hold on for second place while Bad Fox (Lee Dahn) took the show spot.

It was the fourth victory of the season for Lucky Nadotremblay who is trained by Alex Giuliani and is co-owned the Paul and Ronald Viele. The win moved the 6-year-old's seasonal earnings to $22,623 and $152,992 lifetime.

Jim Morrill Jr. had a triple while Todd Cummings and David McNeight III each doubled in the sulky. Trainer JD Perrin had a pair of wins.

Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at Buffalo Raceway with the first matinee of the season getting underway at 12:30 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 18, 2016

Strong Hope Lowers Own Mark In Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Strong Hope ($5.10) remained razor sharp and proved it by lowering his own track record in winning the $10,000 Open Trot in 1:56.3 over the fast track at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (June 17).

He beat his own standard of 1:57.1 (aged 5+ colt) set this season on April 16. Strong Hope has now won four times in his last eight starts along with a trio of second place finishes.

It was the sixth time this year a track record has been rewritten at Buffalo Raceway.

With the field scratched down to five, Cold Certified tried to cut the mile with splits of 29.1, 59.0 and 1:28.0. But with a quarter mile to trot, Cold Certified called it a night and the first-over Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) powerfully took command and never looked back in the stretch, putting away the field with a 28.3 last panel.

The battle for the minor spoils went to Serious George (Mike Caprio) who finished 3-3/4 lengths behind the winner while Northern Matador (Jim Morrill Jr.) took third.

Owned and trained by Joe Agostino, Strong Hope (Cr Excalibur-Spring Lane Joanie) is a 9-year-old horse who has six wins in 20 attempts this season. The victory upped his 2016 winnings to $43,191 and $544,074 lifetime.

Fisher Jr. and Drew Monti each had triples in the bike while Angelo Nappo and Agostino each doubled.

Racing will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled. The Pick-5 has a $993 carryover starting in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 17, 2016

Batavia Downs stall applications now available

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Stall applications for the 70th season of live harness racing at Batavia Downs Gaming are now available on the track's website (www.bataviadownsgaming.com). Simply click on 'Live Racing' and then the 'Horsemen' tab.

Stall applications are also available at the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association website (www.wnyhha.net ) or in person at the Buffalo Raceway race office.

Stall applications must be received by Friday (July 8) according to Racing Secretary Joe Zambito.

The 2016 season at America’s oldest lighted harness track features 70 race dates and includes six matinees and three twilight programs. The meet opens on Monday (July 25) and concludes on Saturday (Dec. 10).

Live racing will be presented on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights to begin the season with a new post time of 6:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon will replace Monday night beginning on July 31.

Holiday matinees include Labor Day (Sept. 5) and Columbus Day (Oct. 10). All matinee post times are 1:15 p.m. A special Breeders Cup program on Saturday (Nov. 5) begins at 3:30 p.m.

The backstretch opens for tack on Sunday (July 17) at 8 a.m. Horses may begin arriving on Tuesday (July 19) also at 8 a.m.

The draw for opening night, which features New York Sires Stake action, takes place on Thursday (July 21).

Batavia Downs will also be featuring a claiming series this year which will begin in August. More details on that will be available when the meet begins.

Anyone with questions should contact Todd Haight, Director/GM of Live Racing at 585-343-3750; extension 6322.


June 16, 2016

Missile J, Morrill Jr. Score Big At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- A pair of track records, seven victories and a New York Sire Stakes win. It was just another day at the office for driver Jim Morrill Jr. at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (June 15).

Morrill Jr. captured a $58,000 division of the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacers as to guided Missile J to a neck victory over Manny in a track record of 1:53.1 which eclipsed the gelding mark of 1:53.4 set by Murder He Wrote in 2014.

Earlier in the program, Morrill Jr. and Terrorcam set a new track standard for the 4-year-old pacing mares with a 1:54.1 time in a filly and mare optional claiming race. It crushed the old time of 1:55.0 established by Bet The Ranch in 2009 and Skyway Tia in 2015.

It was the fourth time this season Morrill Jr. has posted seven wins on a program at Buffalo Raceway as he accomplished the feat on March 3, March 25 and April 15. Kevin Cummings still hold the Buffalo Raceway mark with eight wins back on June 2011, 2005.

Fine Diamond and driver Joe Bongiorno won the $59,100 first division of New York Sire Stakes with a half-length decision over Craftship in 1:56.0.

Missile J ($2.20), the winner of the $300,0000 Art Rooney Stakes at Yonkers earlier this season, opened up a six-length edge with a quarter mile to pace, but just had enough left to beat the hard-charging Manny (Chris Lems) by a diminishing neck in 1:53.1.

A blistering 26.2 second panel which set up a 54.0 half for Missile J wasn't was Morrill Jr. was hoping for, stating, "He was all wound up. He just wanted to go."

And go he did. Missile J tipped the timer in 1:23.1 to three quarters and but was begging for the finish line. "He was certainly tired at the end, especially with those fractions," Morrill Jr. said after the race. Manny finished in second with JK Heaven Sent (Bongiorno) taking third.

Owned by Kj Stables LLC and the Purple Haze Stables and conditioned by Linda Toscano, it was the sixth win in 10 starts this season for Missile J (American Ideal-Cantor's Daughter). It increased his season earnings to $232,675. Missile J was unraced in 2015.

In the other NYSS division, Fine Diamond and Bongiorno sat back and watched the front end battle between Craftship (Morrill Jr.) and Bottom Deals (Lems). The speed duel did the pair in as Fine Diamond scooted down the passing lane to register the half length decision. Craftship took the place position and Autotune Hanover (Dobson) was third.

"With Bottom Deals and Craftship pushing the fractions, it set it up pretty well for me," said Bongiorno. "Fine Diamond was excellent."

A Meadowlands, the 22-year-old Bongiorno said, "It's my first time here (at Buffalo Raceway) and it was a great experience."

It was the fourth win in six starts for Fine Diamond (Rock N Roll Hanover-Yellow Diamond). The decision pushed his seasonal bankroll to $63,635 and $209,145 lifetime. He is trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Buscemi and the Panhellenic Stable.

In the Excelsior A Series with each leg carrying a purse of $15,000, the winners were Hash-Tag Chrome (Sam Schillaci), Readysetletsroll (Billy Dobson) and Here's The Scoop (Morrill Jr.).

The non-betting Excelsior B Series race worth $6,200 went to Americanation (Dobson).

Wanna Rock N Roll (Lems) captured the $9,500 Open Pace for the filly and mares in 1:56.1 and returned $4.20.

Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 13, 2016

Missile J Headlines NYSS At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Missile J, the winner of the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace in late May at Yonkers Raceway, headlines one of the two $58,000 (est.) divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers that arrive at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday evening (June 15).

Co-owned by Kj Stables and the Purple Haze Stables, Missile J (American Ideal-Cantor's Delight) went unraced as a 2-year-old but he's sure making up for the lost season now.

In just nine career starts, Missile J has five wins, two seconds and a third for $198,675 in earnings. He's won six of his last eight tries and finished in second twice, losing by just a length each time.

Missile J's win in the Rooney on May 28 at Yonkers was impressive to say the least as he started from the dreaded eight post, but driver Brian Sears managed to work out a perfect trip with him. They stopped the timer in 1:53, beating Tailgunner Hanover by 2-1/4 lengths.

Last week however in a $39,900 division of the Sire Stakes at Monticello, Missile J (Tim Tetrick) tried the cut the mile from the seven post but couldn't hang on late as Talk Show got up in time for the victory in 1:53.4.

Jim Morrill Jr. gets the call aboard Missile J who is the 7-5 morning line choice that is trained by Linda Toscano.

The main threat in the race could come from Manny who scored from the rail last week in the Sire Stakes at Monticello in 1:54.2 for Chris Lems.

Others in the five-horse field, set for the ninth, are Nox Vegas Bluechip (Kevin Cummings), JK Heaven Sent (Joe Bongiorno) and Carlos Danger (Billy Dobson).

In the opening division, set for the eighth race, Fine Diamond looks to sparkle as he takes on five other rivals. A winner three times in five attempts this season, Fine Diamond draws the two post with Bongiorno in the sulky, finished second to Manny last week in the Sire Stakes at Monticello. Fine Diamond failed to win a race in 2011 but put $145,114 in the bank in just 11 starts.

The favorite at 2-1 is Craftship (Morrill Jr.) who drew the rail. He took a $39,900 leg last week at Monticello over Artmagic by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:53.2.

The remainder of the field includes Roll Away Joe (Kevin Cummings), Bottom Deals (Lems), Autotune Hanover (Dobson) and Cenovis (Ray Fisher Jr.).

With perfect weather expected along with a fast race track which has produced three track records already in 2016, the 1:52.3 colt mark set by Steelhead Hanover in 2012 could be in jeopardy along with the gelding standard of 1:53.4 established by Murder He Wrote in 2014.

There will also be three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A Series and one non-betting race for the Excelsior B Series.

Racing will begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday with a 11-race card set. There's a $487 carryover in the Pick-5 as well which begins in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to http://www.buffaloraceway.com/


June 12, 2016

GD Airliner Lands Victory At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After paying a visit to Tioga Downs last week, GD Airliner flew back into Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (June 11) and landed in a good place, the winner's circle, by taking the $10,000 Open Pace.

On paper, the race shaped up to be a battle of the closers in GD Airliner (David McNeight III) and China Dream (Drew Monti). It held true to form as GD Airliner got the first over trip and managed to hold off China Dream by a length in 1:54.2.

Whosurpal set the tempo of 28.2 and 57.2 but called it a night at the three-quarter marker as Big Bad George (Jim Morrill Jr.) took command with a panel to go. But Big Bad George had no answer for GD Airliner ($4.60) who brought China Dream into the fray.

There was no stopping GD Airliner in the lane as he held off the game China Dream by 1-1/4 lengths thanks to a 27.4 final quarter. Big Bad George held onto the third place position.

Co-owned by Pete Kibler, Ken Owczarczak, R. Osieja and Courtney McNeight, it was the fourth win in 15 starts for the David McNeight Jr.-trained GD Airliner (Panspacificflight-Mackenzie Beth). The 8-year-old gelding has now earned $25,394 in 2016 and $569,807 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. completed the night with five victories while McNeight III and Monti doubled. David McNeight Jr. and Maria Rice each posted training doubles.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. The first New York Sire Stakes event of the season will highlight the card as the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers invade the Hamburg half-mile oval.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Noble Legend Sets Another New Mark At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The ink had barely dried in the record book but Noble Legend didn't care one bit because he was erasing his own name.

For the second straight week, Noble Legend impressively smashed the track record for 4-year-old gelded trotters in winning the $10,000 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (June 10). He beat his old mark of 1:57.3 by a whole second with a blistering 1:56.3 over the fast surface. It threatened the all-time trotting mark of 1:56.1 set by Gural Hanover in 2014.

Last Friday, Noble Legend easily destroyed the old standard of 1:58.2 that was held by Sams Hope (2003), Baby Boy Grin (2009) and BZ Glide (2013). The clocking was also tied his career best of 1:56.3 set last season at Pocono Downs.

Cold Certified (Shawn McDonough) did the dirty work early, going 57.2 to the half. Midway down the backstretch the second time, the pocket-sitting Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) couldn't wait any longer and blasted past Cold Certified to the three-quarter marker.

There was little doubt who the winner was going to be in the stretch as Noble Legend ($9.00) and Cummings were in cruise control. They were looking for any potential threats but none materialized. Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) finished in second place 2-1/2 lengths behind while Cold Certified held on for third.

Co-owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice, Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It) is trained by Maria Rice. The victory, the sixth in his 2016 campaign, moved Noble Legend's bankroll to $30,788 this season and $58,195 lifetime.

Kevin Cummings ended the night with four victories while Todd Cummings and Drew Monti doubled. Mike Carrubba and Bob Gruber III each had two training wins.

Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 12-race card set for 7 p.m., one hour later than normal due to the running of the Belmont Stakes.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 9, 2016

Who Says That Keeps Hot Streak Going At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It may have been an unseasonably cool Wednesday night (June 8) at Buffalo Raceway but Who Says That ($5.40) continued her red-hot streak with an decisive three length victory in the $9,500 Open Pace for the mares.

It was the second straight win for Who Says That (Drew Monti) and the fifth in her last six outings.

Ugly Betty (Kevin Cummings) took the lead and notched splits of 28.3, 58.2 and 1:28.0. While things looked like they might go Ugly Betty's way the entire mile, Who Says That emerged three-wide in the turn and gobbled up plenty of ground in the stretch to bury the field in 1:57.0. Ugly Betty finished in second with V'La Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) taking third.

It was the eighth victory in 20 starts this season for Who Says That (Badlands Hanover-Powercorp), now a winner of $27,262 in 2016 and $54,456 lifetime. The 5-year-old mare is trained by Maria Rice and is co-owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Chris Shambo and Jack Rice.

Todd Cummings had a five-bagger in the sulky, Monti tripled while Jim Morrill Jr. and David McNeight III all doubled. JD Perrin had a training 'hat-trick' and Richard Roth and Maria Rice added two apiece.

Racing continues on Friday evening at 5 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.

For more information including race replays, results, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 5, 2016

China Dream Gets Perfect Trip In Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- China Dream and driver Drew Monti couldn't have asked for a better trip and the pair took total advantage of the situation to notch a 1-1/2 length victory over Knocking Around in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open I-II pace on Saturday night (June 4).

After watching Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) cut the half in 57.4, China Dream began a second over trip, following the live cover of Whosurpal (Jim Morrill Jr.).

With a quarter mile to pace, China Dream ($7.20) tipped three-wide in the stretch, unleashing a 28.4 final panel to easily secure the win in 1:55.0 over the fast track. Knocking Around (David McNeight III) rallied late and picked up the place position with Lucky Nadotremblay finishing in third.

Co-owned by trainer Maria Rice and Jack Rice, it was the sixth victory in 16 tries this season for the 5-year-old gelded China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art). The win pushed his 2016 earnings to $41,975 and $131,568 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. finished the night with five wins in the sulky while Ray Fisher Jr. doubled. Maria Rice registered two training victories.

Racing will resume on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled. There will be a $697 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 4, 2016

Strong Hope, Noble Legend Pull Buffalo Raceway Surprises

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There were a couple of surprises at Buffalo Raceway on a gorgeous Friday night (June 3).

First, Strong Hope stunned the betting public again with an easy 2-1/2 length victory over Cold Certified in the $10,000 Open Trot.

But not to be outdone two races later, Noble Legend set the track record for four-year-old gelding trotters with a 1:57.3 time over the fast track in beating Red Clay in a $8,200 conditioned event by a half length. It erased the old standard of 1:58.2 held by Sams Hope (2003), Baby Boy Grin (2009) and BZ Glide (2013).

Noble Legend ($3.40), driven by Kevin Cummings, was third at the top of the lane and used a late charge to nip Red Clay in the record setting clocking.

Owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice, Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It) has earned $25,758 this season thanks to four wins in 14 appearances this season. Maria Rice trained the winner.

In the feature, Strong Hope returned $22.20 for the win to go along with his $11.80, $17.40 and $53.50 in previous victories since April 1. The 9-year-old also has had two second places finishes during that stretch as well, but ironically has yet to go off the post time favorite.

As expected, Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) set the fractions starting from the seven post and put up reasonable splits of 28.3, 59.1 and 1:29.0. Strong Hope, who sat fourth from the beginning, was first over to the half and was on even terms with Lutetium at the top of the stretch.

There was no denying Strong Hope in the lane however as he powerfully trotted away from the field and left second place finisher Cold Certified (Shawn McDonough) and third place finisher B Z Glide (Mike Caprio) in his wake.

Owned and trained by Joe Agostino, it was the fifth win in 18 tries this season for Strong Hope (Cr Excalibur-Spring Lane Joanie). It moved his seasonal earnings to $35,691 and $536,574 lifetime.

James McNeight Jr. got his first pari mutual win ever as the 19-year-old steered Jim Dandy to a $9.70 win in the eleventh race.

Kevin Cummings had five wins in the bike while Fisher Jr. finished the night with a four-bagger. Angelo Nappo scored a training triple.

Racing will continue on Saturday night with an 11-race card set for 6 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


June 2, 2016

Who Says That Sets Lifetime Mark In Buffalo Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Who Says That turned in a lifetime best of 1:55.3 on Wednesday night (June 1) and easily strolled away from Memumsnotnice to take the $8,200 featured pace for the mares at Buffalo Raceway.

Sitting third behind the pace-setting Ugly Betty (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Memumsnotice (Ray Fisher Jr.), Who Says That came first over just past the three-quarter marker with Drew Monti in the sulky.

Turning for home, Who Says That ($11.60) zoomed past the faltering Ugly Betty and never looked back in notching the 1-1/2 length victory. Memumsnotnice got up in time for second while Ugly Betty had to settle for third.

Owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Chris Shambo, it was the seventh win in 19 starts in 2016 for Who Says That (Badlands Hanover-Powercorp). It was the first victory in just two starts at Buffalo Raceway for Who Says That, a winner now of $22,762 this season and $49,958 lifetime. Maria Rice handled the training duties.

Todd Cummings finished with a triple with Monti and Fisher Jr. having two each. JD Perrin and Rice scored training doubles.

Racing will continue on Friday night with a 12-race card slated at 5 p.m. There's a $2,020 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.

For more information including the the latest news, upcoming promotions, results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 29, 2016

GD Airliner Gets Perfect Trip In Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ron Beback Jr. got to pilot GD Airliner via a catch drive on Saturday night (May 28) and he gave the 8-year-old gelding a perfect flight in taking the $9,500 Open I-II Handicapped Pace at steamy Buffalo Raceway.

Getting over a second over trip, GD Airliner ($7.90) tipped three-wide in the stretch and used a 28.1 last quarter to gun down the tiring Lucky Nadotremblay in a seasonal best 1:54.3. China Dream (Drew Monti) rallied for second while Lucky Nadotremblay hung on for third.

It was a battle for the lead early as Lucky Nadotremblay and Bakken went head-to-head. After the dust had settled just past the quarter pole, Lucky Nadotremblay emerged in front and posted fractions of 28.1, 57.0 and 1:26.2.

Following the cover of the favored Youwillwishyouhad, Beback Jr. swung three-wide with GD Airliner in the stretch and easily overpowered Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough), winning by an length.

It was the third win in 13 tries this season for GD Airliner (Panspacificflight-Mackenzie Beth). He is owned by Pete Kibler, Ken Owczarczak, R. Osiejo and Courtney McNeight with David McNeight Jr. handling the training duties. GD Airliner has now earned $18,574 this season and $562,987 lifetime.

McDonough had a triple on the evening while Beback Jr. and Kevin Cumminigs each posting two wins. Kirk Desmond had a training double.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program scheduled. There's an $658 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.


May 28, 2016

Great Post Helps BZ Glide Score At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's a very rare occurrence when BZ Glide draws the inside post at Buffalo Raceway. It happened on Friday night (May 27) in the $10,000 Open Trot and BZ Glide took full advantage of it by posting a gate-to-wire victory over Lutetium in 1:57.1 over the fast track.

Usually known for his closing kick, BZ Glide ($3.40) started from the pylons and had to deal with the front-running Lutetium who scored from the two hole. Lutetium tried to leave but BZ Glide and driver Mike Caprio quickly put a stop to that thought.

Just before the opening quarter pole Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) had decided being parked wasn't the answer and had to settle back behind the pace-setting BZ Glide. With fractions of 28.0, 58.1 and 1:27.4, the race boiled down to a three horse affair.

BZ Glide turned for home a length in front with Lutetium attacking from the inside and Northern Bullet (Jim Morrill Jr.) on the outside. BZ Glide managed to stay strong in the lane and easily held off Lutetium and Northern Bullet who finished in second and third respectively. The margin of victory was a length.

Owned by the Caprio Stable LLC and trained by Alana Caprio, it was the first win in three starts for BZ Glide (Yankee Glide-Bloomer Zoomer). The 7-year-old gelding has now earned $7,000 this season and $176,167 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. had a five-bagger while Kevin Cummings and Shawn McDonough doubled in the bike. Buffalo Raceway leading trainer JD Perrin posted two wins.

Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions. go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 26, 2016

Wanna Rock N Roll Wires Field At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's only been two weeks since Wanna Rock N Roll arrived in Western New York from Yonkers Raceway but she has learned quickly that racing on the front end is the right thing for her to do.

In her second start of the season at the Buffalo Raceway, Wanna Rock N Roll ($3.60) again made every step a winning one in taking the featured $9,000 pace for the mares on Wednesday night (May 25).

In her seasonal debut last week at Buffalo Raceway, Wanna Rock N Roll went wire-to-wire in 1:56.1 in scoring a 1-1/4 length victory. She went even faster this start over the fast track with a 1:55.2 time in easily winning by 4-1/4 for catch driver Jim Morrill Jr.

Blasting from the five hole off the gate, Wanna Rock N Roll had no trouble in reaching the lead and posting splits of 28.1, 56.3 and 1:26.3. In the stretch, the race was all but over as Wanna Rock N Roll went uncontested to the finish line. Who Says That (Drew Monti) won the battle for second place while Passion R Virginie (Shawn McDonough) took third.

Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Mike Carrubba, Wanna Rock N Roll (Rocknroll Hanover-Cams Leading Lady) is a 5-year-old mare that now has won six times in 16 appearances this season. The victory upped her earnings to $45,475 in 2016 and $205,732 lifetime.

Kevin Cummings had a four-bagger while Todd Cummings, Jim McNeight and Morrill Jr. all had two wins in the sulky. Trainers JD Perrin, Carl Surdyk and John Mungillo each doubled.

Racing will continue on Friday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card set.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 24, 2016

Arrigenna named Batavia Downs track superintendent

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Peter Arrigenna, a long time horseman who also serves as a trustee of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and a Director of the Horse Harness Breeders of New York State, has been named the new track superintendent at Batavia Downs.

Arrigenna will replace Ralph Horton, who has retired after working at the Downs for 14 years.

Besides running a successful stable that produced 2012 Yonkers Trot champion, Archangel (Credit Winner-Michelle’s Angel 1:50 $1,140,972), Arrigenna also runs his own construction company. And it’s the combined experience from both fields that has provided him the insight and knowledge to design, construct and maintain very fast race tracks.

Arrigenna has built many farm tracks from scratch, but he also resurfaced Buffalo Raceway in 2014 to the rave reviews of the horsemen and was hired this year as a consultant at Harrah’s Philadelphia.

Although the meet doesn’t begin for another two months, Arrigenna’s duties will start immediately as his first order of business will be to rebuild the track.

“We will be leveling and filling the existing track to the grade indicated from a survey done in 2009. It will entail filling the ditches where it washed out, banking the turns better and putting it back to the original grade” said Arrigenna. “Once that is complete, we will be putting a new surface on top of that which should make it much better for the horses competing there.”

This will be the first time the track at Batavia has been resurfaced since 2010 and the $125,000 project will see the turns banked up to eight percent and over 5,000 tons of new material (a mixture of washed screenings and washed crushed stone) added to the surface.

The project is scheduled to begin on Monday (June 6) and be completed by Friday (July 1), well in advance of opening night of live racing, which is Monday (July 25).

“I look forward to starting at Batavia because it’s close to home and it’s a project I like to do” Said Arrigenna.

Todd Haight is the Director/General Manager of live racing at the Downs and he has high praise for Arrigenna’s abilities.

“We’re thrilled to have Peter as our Track superintendent” said Haight. “He knows what it takes to make a race track fair, but also safe, because he is a horseman as well as a contractor. His knowledge and experience will serve him well in his new position.”

“I would also like to thank Ralph Horton for his many years of service to the track and wish him the best in his retirement” added Haight.


May 22, 2016

Knocking Around Cruises To Win At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Knocking Around has been 'knocking' on the door the past three weeks in the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway. On Saturday night (May 21), Knocking Around finally busted right through that door to the winner's circle.

After a brief three-way battle to the lead, Knocking Around took command at the quarter pole and never looked back in posting a 4-1/4 length win over Fridaynightflight in 1:54.4 over the fast track.

Since arriving from Yonkers in late April, Knocking Around has had a pair of second place finishes and a fourth. The losses were by a combined total of just two lengths.

Starting from the rail, Knocking Around had to battle with Mr Perserverance and Western Alumni to gain control. Setting respectable splits of 27.3, 57.4 and 1:27.1, Knocking Around was in total command at the top of the lane and driver David McNeight III had nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the ride.

The main race was for minor spoils with Fridaynightflight (Kevin Cummings) taking second while China Dream (Drew Monti) finished third.

Owned by Courtney McNeight and trained by David McNeight Jr., it was the fifth victories in 14 starts for Knocking Around (Western Terror-So Completely). The win moved his seasonal bankroll to $37,420 and $202,453 lifetime.

Shawn McDonough had four wins in the sulky and Kevin Cummings added two.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with 12 races scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 21, 2016

Striker Ace Pulls Stunner In Buffalo Open Trot

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There were three divisional track record holders in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (May 20) but their past credentials didn't impress Striker Ace ($22.40) as he rallied to a half length stunner over Lutetium in a seasonal best 1:56.4.

Striker Ace (Todd Cummings) had to battle the likes of BZ Glide, Lutetium and Strong Hope who all have their names in the Buffalo Raceway record book. But the only one who really was involved was the pace-setting Lutetium as the other two were non-factors.

At the start, as expected, Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) fired right to the top with Striker Ace and Red Clay in tow. Hitting the three-quarter pole in 1:27.0, the threesome pulled away from the remainder of the field and were left to see who was best in the stretch.

Lutetium was on the inside with Red Clay and Striker Ace attacking from the outside. It was the late kick of Striker Ace who was the king as he turned back Lutetium while Red Clay (Shawn McDonough) took third.

It was the second victory in four seasonal starts for Striker Ace (Striking Sahbra-No Sugar Tonight). The 6-year-old gelding is owned by trainer John Mungillo and Finish Line Investors. The win upped his 2016 earnings to $8,854 and $117,810 lifetime.

Racing will continue on Saturday at 7 p.m. with 11 races scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 19, 2016

Wanna Rock N Roll Has Happy Return To Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After heading off to Vernon Downs for a two-race stint, Wanna Rock N Roll was ready to give Buffalo Raceway another try on Wednesday night (May.18). She made it successful return in the featured $8,200 pace for the ladies.

Going gate to wire from the inside, Wanna Rock N Roll had little trouble in disposing of five other rivals in scoring a 1-1/4 length over Voltina in 1:56.1.

While the trip down the Thruway to Vernon Downs was worthwhile resulting in a win and fourth place finish, Wanna Rock N Roll looked more than comfortable back at Buffalo.

The heavily-favored Wanna Rock N Roll ($2.80) was able to take the lead midway down the backstretch to the opening quarter. Driver Billy Davis Jr. sat back from that point on with Wanna Rock N Roll and posted fractions of 29.0, 58.8 and 1:27,2,

There looked to be some challenges coming in the stretch from second place finisher Voltina (Kevin Cummings) and Ugly Betty (Drew Monti) but neither managed to pose a serious threat in the end.

Owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Mike Carrubba, it was the fifth win of the season in 15 starts for Wanna Rock N Roll (Rocknroll Hanover-Cams Leading Lady). The win pushed the 5-year-old mare's earnings to $39,975 in 2016 and $201,594 lifetime.

Davis Jr. finished the night with a triple while Shawn McDonough and Ray Fisher Jr. doubled. Trainers JD Perrin and John Mungillo had two victories apiece.

Racing will continue on Friday night with an 11-race card set for 5 p.m. There's a $856 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 15, 2016

Buffalo Raceway Open Pace Ends In Dead Heat

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Mr Perserverance tried to cut the mile and Fridaynightflight did everything he could not to allow it to happen. The final result? The 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


May 14, 2016

Red Clay Goes Last To First In Buffalo Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Luck was on the side of Red Clay on Friday the 13th at Buffalo Raceway.

After making a costly break while leading the pack last week, Red Clay was on his best behavior this time around and scored a neck victory in 1:59.2 over Lucky Pablo in the featured $8,200 trot.

Sitting sixth and last past the half mile pole, Red Clay started his march to top as Lucky Pablo set the splits of 29.3, 59.4 and 1:30.2 over the fast track. At the top of the stretch, driver Shawn McDonough and Red Clay went three-wide, stayed on gait, and put a neck in front just before the wire. Lucky Pablo (Jim Morrill Jr.) was a broken hearted second and Striker Ace (Ray Fisher Jr.) third.

Co-owned by Patricia Cappotelli and trainer Carmen Cappotelli, Red Clay (American Mike-Ersa Kash) is a 6-year-old gelding who won for the first time in his third start of the campaign. His seasonal earnings moved to $5,142 and $30,956 lifetime.

McDonough, Morrill Jr. and David McNeight III finished the evening with a driving doubles while trainer John Mungillo had a pair of victories.

Racing will continue on Saturday at 6 p.m. with an 11-race program scheduled. The Pick-5, which begins in the fifth race, will have a carryover of $1,217.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Passion R Virginie Rallies For Another Win At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Another late charge in the home stretch resulted in another victory for Passion R Virginie as she captured the featured $9,000 pace for the mares on Wednesday night (May 11) at Buffalo Raceway.

Passion R Virginie has taken full advantage of the long stretch at Buffalo Raceway in posting her fourth come from behind victory in her last six outings.

Nutmegs Yankee (Kevin Cummings) set the tempo as she put up fractions of 28.3, 58.0 and 1:27.4 scoring from the seven post. Things started to fall apart for her however as the field got close to the top of the lane.

Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) was able to take the lead briefly but Passion R Virginie ($9.10) was rolling three-wide in mid stretch and had a neck in front at the wire to the win in 1:57.2. Mach This Way was a hard-luck second while Charmschooldropout (Todd Cummings) took the show position.

Trained and driven by Shawn McDonough, Passion R Virginie (Shanghai Phil-Decibelle Ray No) is a 9-year-old mare owned by Rocco Stebbins. It was the sixth victory in 15 tries for Passion R Virginie, now a winner of $27,418 in 2016 and $306,896 lifetime.

Beback Jr. finished the night with four wins while Drew Monti, Kevin Cummings and McDonough had two apiece. Kirk Desmond and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. each had a training double.

Racing will resume on Friday evening at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program slated.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 8, 2016

Fireyourguns Takes Another Open Pace At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Fireyourguns ($2.30) proved once again that he's a high caliber pacer after putting away the field in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open on Saturday night (May 7). Driven by Mike Caprio, Fireyourguns went gate-to-wire in 1:52.2, the fastest mile of the meet in beating Knocking Around by a non-threatening length.

Starting from the seven post, Fireyourguns was tested a bit to reach the top just before the quarter pole, but did so in a brisk 27.1.

Knocking Around (David McNeight III) was first over and appeared to have a chance to pull the upset in the stretch, but Fireyourguns went 27.4 in the last panel to turn back that challenge. Western Alumni (Todd Cummings) finished in third.

Co-owned by Trainer Terence McClory along with Jennifer and Robert Lowe, Fireyourguns (American Ideal-Villa Hanover) has captured three of five starts in 2016, earning $17,125. It moved the seven-year-old gelding's lifetime winnings to $321,466.

The card was also highlighted by five finals of the Championship Claiming Series.

In the $5,000-$7,000 claiming pacers with a purse of $10,800, Beechwood Wayne (Drew Monti) pulled a $14.80 surprise in a seasonal best 1:57.0. The $8,000-$10,000 pacing category worth $14,000 saw Urgently (Monti) taking the win in 1:56.2 and returning $6.10. Finally in the $12,500-$15,000 pacing bracket with a purse of $15,600, That Horse J D (Billy Davis Jr.) equaled his lifetime mark of 1:55.1 in blowing away the field by 6-1/4 lengths. He returned $4.10 on the $2 investment.

There were two trotting finals contested with Chrome Finish (Ray Fisher Jr.) victorious in the $4,000-$5,500 range to grab the lion's share of the $10,000 pool. Chrome Finish covered the mile in 1:59.4 and paid $8.50. Then in the $14,800 championship race for trotters in the $8,000-$12,500 division, Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) notched the win in 1:58.0 and paid $2.40.

Monti led the driver's statistics with a triple while Shawn McDonough, Beback Jr. and Fisher Jr. each had doubles. Trainers Ryan Swift and Mark Laidlaw each had a pair of winners.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program set.

For more information including upcoming promotions, race replays, results and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 7, 2016

Lutetium, Cummings Reunite For Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Lutetium and driver Kevin Cummings got back together after nearly a four month separation and they celebrated their reunion with an easy two length victory Friday night (May 6) in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot.

Lutetium sorely missed the services of Cummings who was out of commission with a broken arm since January 30. While Cummings was sidelined, the front-running Lutetium found the winner's circle just once, that coming back on February 19 when Truman Gale guided the 9-year-old gelding to the victory.

But with Cummings back in the sulky and rival B Z Glide in the field, Lutetium was ready to regain his old form.

Taking off when the starting gate swung open, Lutetium took no prisoners in setting fractions of 28.4, 58.4 and 1:28.0. While stalling out in recent races, there was no dropping anchor in the stretch this time with Cummings on board. Lutetium confidently trotted home and put up a seasonal best 1:57.4. Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) took second place and B Z Glide (Mike Caprio) third.

Owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw, it was the third win of the season for Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby). He has now put $26,360 in the bank this season and $382,977 lifetime.

Todd Cummings, Kevin Cummings and Jim Morrill Jr. each completed the night with a pair of victories in the bike.

Racing will resume at 7 p.m. on Saturday night with a 13-race scheduled. The night will feature the $10,000 Open Pace along with five finals of the Championship Claiming Series. The Pick-5, which starts in the fifth race, has a carryover of $959.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 5, 2016

Batavia Downs Kentucky Derby party

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Live racing doesn’t return to Batavia Downs until Monday (July 25), but the grandstand will be filled of race fans this Saturday (May 7) as the track will host its annual Kentucky Derby bash in the Paddock Room from 11:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

The $10 “Kentucky Derby Meal Deal” deal includes your choice of five entrees, a $2.00 Kentucky Derby wager and $5.00 in free play on the gaming floor. Programs, live tellers and plenty of big screen TV’s will be available throughout the facility.

In Thurman Thomas’s 34 Rush Sports Bar, drink specials include $6 mint juleps served in the official Kentucky Derby commemorative glass along with $2 drafts. Both will be available from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.

“The Derby party has really developed since 2005 and we are expecting in excess of 400 people to attend this year” Said Todd Haight, General Manager/Director of Racing at Batavia Downs. “It’s amazing how popular it has become and how much it has grown”.

All the Western Regional OTB branches in Western New York will open at 10 a.m. Friday (Kentucky Oaks day) for advance wagering on the Derby and again at 10 a.m. on Derby day.

Last year, WROTB had its second best handle ever and paid out more than it took in for the first time, dating back to 1974.


Helena's Hope, Kisses N Kicks Take Titles At Buffalo

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. ---Helena's Hope ($11.00) and Kisses N Kicks ($3.70) were the queens in the finals of the inaugural Claiming Championship Series at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (May 4) as each found the winner's circle in their respective divisions.

Helena's Hope took the $10,000 filly and mare pacing category for claimers $4,000-$7,000 in 1:57.3 while Kisses N Kicks captured the $8,000-$12,500 bracket in 1:57.3 for the distaff pacers in the race worth $14,800. Both winners posted seasonal marks in their victories.

The Claiming Series is based on gait, gender and claiming prices with horses earning points since the season began back in January. The top eight point earners in each division then battle it out for a purse that is approximately doubled than what they normally race for. The final five divisions will be held on Saturday night and a new Claiming Championship Series will begin next week and ending in July.

In the first event, Helena's Hope sat the pocket behind the heavily-favored Iwannabejustlikeu who cut the fractions of 28.2, 58.2 and 1:28.0. But in the stretch, driver Todd Cummings found plenty of room in the passing lane with Helena's Hope to take the lead. They had to hold back the late charge of Delightful Caitlin (Ron Beback Jr.) who finished in second 3/4 lengths back. Iwannabejustlikeu (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show spot.

Owned by Maurice Bazinet and trained by JD Perrin, it was the fifth victory in 13 starts for Helena's Hope (Dream Away-Windy Witch). The 7-year-old mare has made $17,150 in 2016 and $148,951 lifetime.

In the other race, Kisses N Kicks went wire-to-wire and held off stablemate Heavenly Place (David McNeight III) by 3/4 lengths while Voltina finished in third.

Kisses N Kicks went out and put up fractions of 29.0, 59.3 and 1:29.2. She looked like she was in a heap of trouble coming around the final turn as Heavenly Place and Voltina (Kevin Cummings) were converging in. But driver Jim Morrill Jr. kept Kisses N Kicks on task and they managed to hold for the victory.

Kisses N Kicks (Life Sign-Kissing Rain) is owned by Courtney McNeight and trained by David McNeight Jr. The win was the fourth of the year for the 8-year-old mare, moving her bankroll to $22,200 this season and $217,801 in her career.

Kevin Cummings and Todd Cummings each doubled in the bike while trainer Allan McCarty had two victories.

Racing will continue on Friday night with an 11-race card set for 5 p.m. Buffalo Raceway will be holding a benefit Chicken BBQ on Friday night from noon until 8 p.m. in the clubhouse. Tickets are $10 and all proceeds will benefit the Food Bank of Western New York.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


May 1, 2016

China Dream Ties Lifetime Mark In Buffalo Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a trip that China Dream ($4.10) couldn't have drawn up any better as the 5-year-old gelding tied his lifetime mark of 1:54.0 in taking the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (April 30).

With LA Camcharger setting the fractions 28.0, 56.3 and 1:25.2, Western Alumni took over command a quarter mile to pace. But the race was now ready to begin in earnest.

Knocking Around was first over and China Dream was in tow behind as both started to chase Western Alumni around the final turn. Knocking Around (David McNeight III) dropped into the passing lane and China Dream went wide to try and track down Western Alumni.

China Dream (Drew Monti) proved to be the best in the stretch, using a 28.2 final panel to take the half length victory over Knocking Around with Western Alumni (Todd Cummings) rolling into the show spot.

Co-owned by Jack and trainer Maria Rice, China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art) has now won five times in 12 starts this season, earning $33,400 and $122,993 lifetime.

Todd Cummings, Kevin Cummings and Monti all had doubles in the sulky while Buffalo Raceway's leading trainer JD Perrin had a triple while Chris Naedele and Rice scoring a pair of wins.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night with 11 races set to go to the post at 5 p.m. The card will include two finals of the Claiming Championship Series featuring the filly and mare pacers.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 30, 2016

Leave Your Mark Hangs On For Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Leave Your Mark made it three in a row at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (April 29), hanging on by a diminishing head over Strong Hope in the featured $9,000 trot. The winning time was 2:01.2 over the good track.

There were several win streaks on the line as Strong Hope came into the race with three straight while Leave York Mark and Red Clay each had two. While Red Clay finished fifth, Leave Your Mark and Strong Hope were determined to keep their streaks alive and battled right to the finish line.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. settled into third place with Leave Your Mark at the start but fired out and took the lead away from Lenny Mac just before the quarter pole. Putting up fractions of 31.1, 1:00.3 and 1:30.4, Leave Your Mark ($6.40) knew there would be challenges coming in the stretch.

Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) was first over and was in perfect striking position in the drive to the wire. Leave Your Mark didn't give in and was strong enough to hold off the hard-charging runner up Strong Hope. Ali De Vie (Todd Cummings) finished in third.

Leave York Mark (Yankee Glide-Celebrity Liza) is a 7-year-old gelding who is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin. It was the fourth win of the season for Leave Your Mark, now a winner of $21,514 in 2016 and $179,232 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. finished the night with three victories with Kevin Cummings, Drew Monti and Jim McNeight each registering doubles. Perrin and Kirk Desmond each had two training wins.

Racing will resume at 6 p.m. on Saturday night with another 11-race card set. There will be a $982 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 28, 2016

Cummings Not Rusty In Return To Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After being sidelined for nearly three months due to a broken arm, three-time defending Buffalo Raceway driving champion Kevin Cummings returned to the sulky on Wednesday night (April 27) and he showed absolutely no signs of rust.

Cummings scored a triple on the night and was aboard Nutmegs Yankee in the featured $9,000 pace for the mares to highlight the action.

Last seen on January 30, Cummings wasted no time in finding his way back to the winner's circle as he guided Voltina to a popular $4.40 victory in the first race.

It was vintage Cummings in the feature event as he sent Nutmegs Yankee ($13.00) right to the lead from the seven post and they never looked back in scoring the 1-1/2 length win over Mach This Way in 1:56.1. Dontch Remember (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show spot.

Owned by Mark Jakubik and trained by Angelo Nappo, Nutmegs Yankee (Real Desire-Salty Yankee) has been victorious four times in 14 appearances this season. The 8-year-old mare has earned $20,838 in 2016 and $395,806 lifetime.

Drew Monti and Billy Davis Jr. each had driving doubles while Angelo Nappo trained a pair of winners.

Racing will continue on Friday evening at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program set.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 24, 2016

Fireyourguns Has No Issues In Buffalo Raceway Open

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Fireyourguns ($2.60) had a full arsenal ready to go in the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway but the 7-year-old gelding never had to re-load in cruising off to an easy 4-1/2 length victory over China Dream in a seasonal best 1:53.4 on Saturday night (April 23).

Being assigned the eight post, the only work driver Mike Caprio had to do with Fireyourguns was get to the top. Once clearing for the lead just past the opening quarter of 27.2, it was clear sailing the rest of the way home.

Fireyourguns covered the half in 55.4 and felt no resistance on the second circuit in easily drawing away from the other seven competitors. The lone issue was for the minor spoils and that went to China Dream (Drew Monti) who grabbed second and Beach Hero (Shawn McDonough) who took third.

Co-owned by Jennifer and Robert Lowe along with trainer Terence McClory, it was the second win of the season in three starts for Fireyourguns (American Ideal-Villa Hanover). It moved his seasonal earnings to $10,000 and $314,341 lifetime.

Todd Cummings finished the night with three wins in the sulky while Jim McNeight, Monti and David McNeight III all doubled. Trainers Rose Russo and JD Perrin each conditioned two winners.

Racing will continue on Wednesday evening with an 11-race program set for 5 p.m. The card is expected to mark the return of three-time defending Buffalo Raceway driver's champion Kevin Cummings who was sidelined with a broken arm suffered in an off-track mishap. He is tentatively scheduled to drive in 10 races.

For more information including race replays, results, the latest news and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 23, 2016

Strong Hope Sets New Mark At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Sooner or later, Strong Hope is going to make believers out of the betting public. And after setting a new track record Friday night (April 22) in the $10,000 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway, at last he might get the well earned respect.

For the third straight race, Strong Hope was shunned at the betting windows and proved his doubters wrong once again with an impressive victory in 1:57.1 over the fast track. The time shattered the old standard of 1:58.1 for aged trotting colts (5+) set in 2014 by Armed Dangerously.

It was the third straight double digit win for Strong Hope who returned $11.80 for the comfortable 1-1/4 length victory over Northern Bullet. Strong Hope now has $17.40 and $53.50 win prices to his credit during his current streak.

And while Strong Hope continued his winning ways, so did driver Jim Morrill Jr.

He recorded another seven-bagger including a stretch of five in a row. Morrill Jr. now has posted 59 victories at Buffalo Raceway in 119 starts. It was the fourth time this season he has had seven wins on a card at the Hamburg half-mile oval. While flirting with the record, Kevin Cummings' mark of eight wins set on June 11, 2005 still stands.

In the feature, Lutetium set some wicked fractions of 28.1, 57.1 and 1:27.1 which was a perfect set up for the hard-charging Strong Hope.

Going first over past the half, Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) made steady progress toward the top and was in command at the top of the lane. Northern Bullet (Morrill Jr.) finished a non-threatening second while Lutetium (Todd Cummings) held on for third.

Owned and trained by Joe Agostino, it was the fourth win in 14 starts this season for the 9-year-old Strong Hope (Cr Excalibur-Spring Lane Joanie). The victory upped his 2016 winnings to $25,941 and $526,824 lifetime.

Trainer JD Perrin had three wins and Agostino two on the card. Ray Fisher Jr. doubled in the sulky.

Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 6 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 21, 2016

Billy Davis Jr. Takes Seven At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jim Morrill Jr. has been dominating Friday nights at Buffalo Raceway the past few weeks with seven wins on a card becoming a regular occurrence. Driver Billy Davis Jr. wanted to get in on the act and has taken over Wednesday evenings.

Making the weekly trip from Flamboro Downs, Davis Jr. is sure liking the Hamburg half-mile oval as he posted a seven-bagger, the first of his career, to highlight the Wednesday night action (April 20). He has now won 25 times in just 77 starts.

It's the fourth time in 2016 that a driver has seven wins on a program at Buffalo with Morrill Jr. doing it three times and Davis Jr. once. Kevin Cummings' record of eight still stands from June 11, 2005.

For Morrill Jr., he made the most of his one drive of the night as he drove the heavily-favored Dontch Remember ($4.80) to a nose victory over Fashion Katie in the $9,000 featured pace for the mares.

By guiding Dontch Remember to her third win of the campaign in a seasonal best 1:57.0, Morrill Jr. took over sole possession of first place in the driver's standings with 52 victories in just 108 starts. He'll have plenty of opportunity on Friday night to increase his margin as he is scheduled to drive in all 11 races.

It was a three-way battle to the top as Nutmegs Yankee, Mach This Way and Memumsnotnice all wanted command at the quarter pole. When the dust settled, Memumsnotnice came away with the lead and put of fractions of 28..0, 57.0 and 1:26.4. Those hot fractions proved to be costly in the end.

Dontch Remember, who wanted no part of the lead, and sat back in fourth. Going first over at the half and methodically cutting into the lead of Memumsnotnice, Dontch Remember finally gained control midway down the stretch.

It wasn't clear sailing, however, as Dontch Remember had to hold off the late rally of Fashion Katie (Drew Monti) and Nutmegs Yankee (Truman Gale) who finished second and third respectively.

Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, Dontch Remember (Western Terror-Dreamsicle) is a 6-year-old mare that has earned $15,300 this season and $144,413 lifetime.

Todd Cummings had a driving double while trainers Jim Graham, John Mungillo and JD Perrin each had two victories.

Racing will resume on Friday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled. There's a $1,884 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 17, 2016

Fireyourguns Has Successful 2016 Debut At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Fireyourguns made his 2016 seasonal debut at Buffalo Raceway a successful one as he went gate-to-wire in the $10,000 Open Pace to score an easy 1-1/4 length victory over Youwillwishyouhad in 1:54.2 over the fast track on Saturday night (April 16).

Being assigned the eight post, Fireyourguns ($5.40) and driver Mike Caprio went right to the lead and never looked back in posting fractions of 28.1, 57.3 and 1:26.2. A final split of 28.0 was more than enough to hold off any challenges from Youwillwishyouhad (Todd Cummings) and third place finisher Babe's I Scoot (Ray Fisher Jr.).

Trained and co-owned by Terence McClory along with Jennifer and Robert Lowe, it was just the second start of the season for Fireyourguns (American Ideal-Villa Hanover). He finished eighth at Pocono Downs on April 9 to kick off his 2016 campaign.

Fireyourguns holds the all-time Buffalo Raceway track record of 1:52.0 set last season. The 7-year-old gelding won 11 of 18 races in 2015, earning $84,220. This victory puts his lifetime winnings at $309,341.

Todd Cummings posted a driving triple on the night while Fisher Jr. and David McNeight III each notched doubles. Trainer JD Perrin, fresh off five wins on Friday evening, added three more on Saturday night.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night with an 11-race program slated for 5 p.m.

Fore more information including the latest news, race results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Morrill Jr., Perrin Dominate At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was quite a night once again for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and he brought trainer JD Perrin along for the ride as the pair absolutely dominated the action on Friday night (April 15) at Buffalo Raceway.

Morrill Jr. put up another seven-bagger and amazingly moved into a first place tie in the driver's standings with 51 victories in just 107 starts. He tied the injured Jack Flanigen who also has 51 wins but in 263 tries. Morrill Jr. finished in the money in all 10 drives.

It was the third time this season Morrill Jr. has had a seven-win night at Buffalo Raceway. He accomplished it on March 3 and March 25 and also did it twice before on March 1, 2013 and February 15, 2006.

Kevin Cummings holds the all-time mark at the track with eight victories on June 11, 2005.

And for Perrin, the three-time defending training champion at the Hamburg half-mile oval, he extended his huge advantage in the standings with a five-win night. He holds a 47-26 lead over Maria Rice who conditioned a pair of winners.

The Morrill Jr.-Perrin combination won five times as Precise Accusation ($3.50), Leave Your Mark ($3.90), Aberarder Smitty ($2.60), Bruener ($7.00) and Herbie Is Gone ($7.80) all went to the winner's circle.

In the feature, Noble Legend literally caught a 'good break' and took Buffalo Raceway's $8,200 trot.

Kahoku had an unfortunate miscue which helped Noble Legend take the two-length victory over the favored Ali De Vie in 1:58.3 over the fast track.

The race around the final turn and into the stretch seemed to belong to the front-stepping Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) as he enjoyed a comfortable two-length advantage over Noble Legend. Things changed in a hurry however as Kahoku broke stride, allowing the pocket-sitting Noble Legend to take command and cruise home to the victory. Ali De Vie (Morrill Jr.) took second while Kahoku regrouped in time and managed to roll into the show position.

Owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice, Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It) has now earned $17,854 in 2016 thanks to four wins in nine starts. The 4-year-old gelding is trained by Maria Rice.

Racing will continue on Saturday night with an 11-race program set to go to the post at 6 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 10, 2016

Western Alumni Uses New Tactic In Buffalo Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Western Alumni tossed out his front-running tactic and tried something new in the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (April 9). The new strategy worked to perfection as Western Alumni notched a 3/4-length victory over Babe's I Scoot in 1:56.3 over the fast track.

After trying to cut the mile unsuccessfully in three of his last four races, Western Alumni ($4.80) went back to the drawing board and gave the come-from-behind method a chance.

Watching from third place as Mr Perserverance set the tempo with times of 28.3, 59.0 and 1:27.2, driver Jim McNeight started Western Alumni on his winning move just before the three quarter pole. Slowly but surely cutting into the lead, Western Alumni took command midway in the home stretch and held off the mild threats of Babe's I Scoot (Todd Cummings) and In The Clear (David McNeight III) who finished in second and third respectively.

Owned by North Creek Racing LLC and trained by Jerry Nugent Jr., Western Alumni (Western Hanover-Countryview Miss) has now scored three victories in 12 tries in 2016. The win upped his seasonal earnings to $24,310 and $284,294 lifetime.

Jim McNeight had four victories on the evening while David McNeight III finished with a triple. Trainers Mike Carrubba and Rose Russo each posted two wins.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 9, 2016

Strong Hope Erases Doubt At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After pulling a mild $17.40 upset at Buffalo Raceway last Friday night, it seemed only natural that the public would give Strong Hope some more respect at the betting windows this week.

But that wasn't the case at all. Strong Hope was sent off at 25-to-1 odds this time around and proved his doubters dead wrong by posting a $53.50 victory over Northern Bullet in the featured $9,000 trot in 1:59.0 over the fast track.

Being assigned the outside post, Strong Hope (Ray Fisher Jr.) managed to drop into fourth place as Lutetium played catch me if you can as usual.

Strong Hope began his first over grind at the half, slowly chipped away at the lead and wore down eventual third place finisher Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) in the stretch. Northern Bullet (Jim Morrill Jr.) rallied late to take second place, a non-threatening length behind.

Owned by Nancy Knockwood and trained by Joe Agostino, Strong Hope (Cr Excalibur-Spring Lane Joanie) is a 9-year-old horse that has now earned $20,581 this season and $521,824 lifetime. It was the third victory of the season in 13 tries for Strong Hope.

Morrill Jr. finished the night with five wins, Fisher Jr. and Todd Cummings each doubled in the sulky while Agostino had a training double for the second Friday in a row.

In other news from the Hamburg half-mile oval, current leader in the driver's standings Jack Flanigen will be out of action several weeks after suffering a broken arm in off-track mishap.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with an 11-race card set for 6 p.m. There will be a $991 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, race results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 8, 2016

Missevil Good Enough In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Missevil was good enough when she had to be, at the finish line.

Getting a perfect ground saving trip behind the pace-setting Memumsnotnice, Missevil ($6.00) ducked into the passing lane and got up in time to post a half length victory in 1:57.3 over a good track in Buffalo Raceway's $8,200 featured pace for the mares on Wednesday night (April 6).

Memumsnotnice raced to lead from the start and set fractions of 30.0, 59.3 and 1:28.1 while Missevil (Jack Flanigen) sat back enjoyed the pocket ride. With a quarter mile to pace, Mach This Way was first over and went eyeball to eyeball with Memumsnotnice but couldn't gain the lead.

But that battle on the front end softened up Memumsnotnice enough to allow Missevil to roll on by in deep stretch via the passing lane. Memumsnotnice (Billy Davis Jr.) held on for second while Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) took the show spot.

Owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stables, Chris Shambo and Jack Rice, Missevil (Armbro Deuce-Impudent Hall) is trained by Maria Rice. The 5-year-old mare has won four times in 13 starts this season, earning $21,497 and $83,598 lifetime.

Billy Davis Jr., tripled on the night, Jim McNeight and David McNeight III each posted driving doubles while JD Perrin and David McNeight Jr. trained two winners.

Racing will continue on Friday night with a 12-race card beginning at 5 p.m.

For more information including results, race replays, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 6, 2016

Wayne Teaven To Call At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- When Buffalo Raceway track announcer Peter Berry heads back to his home base of Mountaineer Park starting on April 16th, Wayne Teaven has been named take over behind the microphone.

Teaven will be making the calls on Wednesday and Saturday evenings because Berry will still be in the booth at Buffalo Raceway on Friday nights when Mountaineer Park is dark.

Buffalo Raceway Operations Director Jon Cramer said of Teaven, "He's worked very hard training to be an announcer the past year. He's made some great improvements."

Teaven will also be the on-air handicapper every live race night now instead of just on Saturday nights.

"I'm excited to call at Buffalo Raceway," Teaven said. "I've settled down and now I am much more comfortable calling the races. I've picked things up along the way and it's getting easier."

Teaven said Berry has helped him along the way. "Peter told me after he heard me call a qualifier in January, 'Once your nerves settle down, you'll be just fine.' I think calling football games last year helped calm my nerves too."

He went on to say, "I've always wanted to be some kind of announcer since I was young. I think I was inspired by Pete Szymanski (former Buffalo Raceway caller) to get into harness racing."

Teaven said he isn't trying to copy anyone's style. "I've got a long ways to go to be where I want to be. I don't want to sound like anyone else but myself though. I have picked up little tidbits from other announcers. But I should be informative and be entertaining, but not over the top."

When Buffalo Raceway resumes racing on Wednesday night at 5 p.m., there will be a carryover of $2,795 in the Pick-5 pool which starts in the fifth race. It's the largest carryover of the season.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


April 3, 2016

In The Clear Takes Featured Pace At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It looked like In The Clear was all but beat at the three-quarter marker in Buffalo Raceway's $8,600 featured pace on Saturday night (April 2). That wasn't the case however as the 5-year-gelding came from absolutely nowhere and nipped Western Alumni by a nose in 1:56.4 over the good track.

Sitting sixth and trailing by 4-1/4 lengths with a final panel to go, In The Clear (Ron Beback Jr.) fanned out five-wide in the stretch and roared past the shocked Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) in the photo. Beach Hero (Shawn McDonough) was third as the top five finishers were less than a length apart at the wire.

Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, In The Clear (Western Ideal-Orchid Island) has found the winner's circle three times in 10 starts this season. The victory moved his 2016 earnings to $14,352 and $149,707 lifetime.

Todd Cummings scored a four-bagger in the sulky while Drew Monti tripled. Sarama led the conditioners with a pair of victories.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program. The Pick-5, which starts in the fifth race, has a carryover of $2,795.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Strong Hope Doesn't Fool Around At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It may have been April Fool's Day but Strong Hope wasn't joking around at all in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (April 1) as he registered a $17.40 surprise in a seasonal best 1:58.3.

Lutetium did the dirty work on the front end, setting splits of 28.4, 59.2 and 1:29.1 over the fast track. Strong Hope cruised along in second and was just waiting for the race for home. That where things got interesting as Lutetium felt an onslaught coming from all directions. Northern Bullet and Justgottogetthere were coming on the outside while Strong Hope went inside.

Driver Jack Flanigen gave Strong Hope some encouragement in the passing lane and he responded positively with a 29.1 last panel to draw off to a 1-3/4 length advantage over Northern Bullet (Jim Morrill Jr.). Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) and Justgottogethere (Jim McNeight) were in a dead heat for the show spot.

Owned by Nancy Knockwood and trained by Joe Agostino, Strong Hope (Cr Excalibur-Spring Lane) is a 9-year-old horse that has produced two wins in 12 starts in 2016, putting $16,441 in the bank. The victory also upped his career earnings to $516,324.

Beback Jr. finished the night with three victories in the sulky while Flanigen, Jim McNeight and Drew Monti all posted doubles on the card. Trainer Joe Agostino conditioned a pair of winners..

Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 12-race program scheduled for 6 p.m. There's a $1,129 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, race results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 31, 2016

Nutmegs Yankee Notches Stunner In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Nutmegs Yankee was overlooked at the betting windows but she rewarded those faithful followers by posting a 1-1/4 length victory over Missevil in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Pace for the ladies on Wednesday night (March 30).

Sent off at 13-1, Nutmegs Yankee (Todd Cummings) used a ground-saving trip to spring the $29.80 upset in a seasonal best 1:55.3 over the fast track.

Missevil (Jack Flanigen) raced to the lead from the rail, putting up fractions of 28.3, 58.1 and 1:26.4. Nutmegs Yankee managed to draft along in second place and pounced on her opportunity in the passing lane, collaring Missevil in mid stretch. A last quarter mile of 28.3 was more than enough to get the job done. Memumsnotnice (Truman Gale) was along late for the show position.

Owned by Mark Jakubik and trained by Angelo Nappo, Nutmegs Yankee (Real Desire-Salty Yankee) has three victories in 10 tries in 2016, putting $14,848 in the bank. The 8-year-old mare has now amassed $389,916 in lifetime earnings.

Cummings finished the night with four victories in the bike, Jack Flanigen tripled while Jim McNeight doubled. Trainer Kirk Desmond conditioned a pair of winners.

Racing will continue on Friday evening with a 12-race program slated to get underway at 5 p.m.

For more information including race replays, results, upcoming promotions and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 27, 2016

China Dream Rebounds For Open Win At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- China Dream ($2.60) proved that last week was just a hiccup and earned redemption this Saturday (March 26) by taking the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway in a seasonal best 1:54.2 over the fast track.

With a fifth place finish last week aided in part by interference at the start, China Dream used another perfect first over trip to score his third win against Open competition in his last four starts. He beat Beach Hero (Shawn McDonough) by 3/4 lengths while Babe's I Scoot (Todd Cummings) was third.

Sitting fourth headed to the half, driver Jack Flanigen tipped China Dream first over and began to slowly grind into the lead of the pace-setting Beach Hero. In the battle to the wire, China Dream was just too powerful and paced away convincingly for the win.

Owned by Jack Rice and trainer Maria Rice, China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art) is a 5-year-old gelding that now has won four times in eight appearances this season, earning $25,400 and $114,993 lifetime.

Todd Cummings finished with three victories in the sulky while Drew Monti and Flanigen each doubled. Maria Rice had two training wins.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night with an 11-race program scheduled for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 26, 2016

Jim Morrill Jr. Still Red Hot At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Incredible.

That's probably the best way to describe Jim Morrill Jr. and his current hot streak at Buffalo Raceway.

Morrill Jr. continued to make the Hamburg half-mile oval his personal playground as he notched a seven-bagger on Friday evening (March 25). It was the second time this season he has had a seven-win night. He accomplished the feat back on March 3. He's also done it at Buffalo Raceway twice before, on March 1, 2013 and February 15, 2006.

Kevin Cummings holds the all-time mark at the track with eight victories on June 11, 2005.

Morrill Jr. lost his chance to tie the record as his final ride of the night, Diditagain Hanover, was a late scratch in the 11th race.

In just 75 starts in 2016 at Buffalo Raceway, Morrill Jr. has 38 wins, putting him second in the driver's standings.

As far as the main event, the toughest part of Ali De Vie's race in the $8,200 trot on was getting the lead and that wasn't difficult. Once he gained control, it was smooth sailing to the finish line, winning his fourth straight race.

Ali De Vie ($3.40) and Morrill Jr. waited patiently for the front end to sort itself out and it proved to be the right strategy. The pair steamrolled to the top just before the opening quarter pole and were never challenged in the 1-3/4 length win over Kahoku in 2:00.1. It was the fourth consecutive week that Ali De Vie and Morrill Jr. have combined for a victory.

Setting fractions of 30.3, 1:00.3 and 1:30.2, Ali De Vie felt only minor pressure from Edom Up Blue Boy at the three-quarter pole but that fire was quickly extinguished. Kahoku (Ron Beback Jr.) took the second place spot with Im The Cash Man (Drew Monti) third.

Owned and trained by Marc Shuttleworth, Ali De Vie (Conway Hall-Excusez Moi) is a 6-year-old gelding that has now won five times in eight starts in 2016. His seasonal earnings jumped to $17,806 and $110,044 lifetime.

Jack Flanigen, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, doubled and trainer Maria Rice had a pair of victories.

Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 12-race card slated for 6 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 24, 2016

Ugly Betty Dominates In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ugly Betty is becoming the dominate damsel once again as she blew away her rivals in the featured $9,000 pace for the mares Wednesday night (March 23) at Buffalo Raceway.

After four so-so efforts to start the season, Ugly Betty is starting to regain her old form. She made it two straight victories by beating Mach This Way by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:57.4 over the fast track.

Retaking the lead just past the quarter-mile marker from Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.), Ugly Betty and driver Billy Davis Jr. toured the Hamburg half-mile oval worry-free the rest of the way home. A 29.3 last panel was more than enough to hold off any threats and allowed Ugly Betty to post the popular $3.20 victory.

Mach This Way held on for second place with Fashion Katie (Drew Monti) finishing third.

Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage), a winner of over $70,000 in 2015 thanks to 11 wins, has $11,084 in earnings this season and $255,312 lifetime. The 8-year-old mare is co-owned by trainer Jennifer Falcone and Margaret Payne.

Todd Cummings and Davis Jr. each posted three victories while Beback Jr. doubled on the night. Trainer Kirk Desmond conditioned two winners.

The harness racing action will continue on Friday evening when an 11-race card goes off at 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 21, 2016

Burton Blue Chip Springs Upset In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway had their own version of 'March Madness' in the $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (March 19) as Burton Blue Chip delivered a $21.40 upset victory in a seasonal best 1:56.0 over the fast track.

Drawing the rail, Burton Blue Chip managed a perfect pocket trip as Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) posted fractions on the front end of 28.3, 58.1 and 1:27.0. In the stretch run, the two closers, Youwillwishyouhad and China Dream were nowhere to be found, thus leaving Burton Blue Chip and Western Alumni to battle it out for top honors.

Driver Lee Dahn gave Burton Blue Chip a little encouragement in the lane and the 7-year-old gelding responded to roll past Western Alumni, scoring the 3/4-length decision. Cobble Beach (David McNeight III), the lukewarm favorite, finished in third.

Co-owned by trainer Lee Dahn and Larry Dahn, Burton Blue Chip (American Ideal-Crickets Can Talk) has now recorded two wins in seven tries in 2016, earning $12,260 and $126,757 lifetime.

Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Jack Flanigen had a three-bagger while Todd Cummings doubled.

Trainers JD Perrin and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. each conditioned two winners.

Racing continues on Wednesday night with an 11-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest mews, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Ali De Vie Loving Friday Nights At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ali De Vie sure must like the work of Buffalo Raceway track photographer Steve Roth.

For the third straight Friday night, Ali De Vie (Jim Morrill Jr.) posed for pictures in the winner's circle for Roth by taking the $9,000 featured trot in a seasonal best 1:58.1 over the good track.

And while Ali De Vie ($8.30) isn't camera shy, he's not afraid of taking on stiffer competition each week either. He's stepped up in class the past three starts and showed that he's capable of handling the tougher tasks.

As expected, the speed ball Lutetium (Ron Beback Jr.) zoomed to the top from the outside. Ali De Vie managed to find a seat in fourth as Lutetium posted panels of 28.4, 58.3 and 1:28.2.

Starting a first over trip just past the half-mile marker, Ali De Vie steadily began to slice into the lead of Lutetium and nudged ahead in mid stretch to pull away for a half length win. Lutetium was a stubborn second while Carbon Footprint (Drew Monti) picked up the third place check.

In was the fourth win of the season for Ali De Vie (Conway Hall-Excusez Moi). The 6-year-old gelding has put $13,706 in the bank in 2016 and $105,944 lifetime. He is owned and trained by Marc Shuttleworth.

Morrill Jr. finished the evening with four victories while Todd Cummings added a double.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled.

Buffalo Raceway will host a qualifier on Saturday for the World Harness Handicapping Championships at The Meadowlands. The winner will get an entry into the WHHC on April 30th along with hotel accommodations for two nights and $500. Entry fee is $10 and participants must be a Hamburg Gaming Players Reward member, which is free to join.

For more information including the latest news, replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 13, 2016

China Dream Gives Great Gift In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jack and Maria Rice celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary on Saturday night (March 12) and their pacer, China Dream, gave them a great gift by posting a 1-3/4 length victory over Babe's I Scoot in the featured $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway.

China Dream covered the mile in a seasonal best 1:54.4 and it was the fast clocking of the meet at Buffalo Raceway.

Getting a perfect trip from driver Jack Flanigen, China Dream rolled three-wide down the backstretch the final time and overtook the pace-setting Western Alumni at the top of the stretch. In the drive to the wire, it wasn't a matter of who was going to win but just by how much.

China Dream used a throttled down last split of 27.3 and that was more than enough to secure the win. Babe's I Scoot (Jim Morrill Jr.) took second place while Burton Blue Chip (Lee Dahn) rode the pylons for third.

It was the third victory in six tries for China Beach in 2016, increasing his bankroll to $19,900 this year and $109,493 lifetime. The 5-year-old gelding (If I Can Dream-China Art) is trained by Maria Rice.

Morrill Jr. had five more wins in the sulky while Ray Fisher Jr. and Jack Flanigen each doubled.

The racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled.

For more information including upcoming promotions, results, replays and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Cold Certified Powers Way To Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Cold Certified gave the field in the $9,000 featured trot at Buffalo Raceway the 'cold' shoulder in the stretch on Friday night (March 11) and romped to a convincing 2-3/4 length win over Winkys Pride in 1:59.1 over the good track.

Jim Morrill Jr., who guided Cold Certified to the victory, put on another driving clinic as he had a five-bagger, his 22nd win of the season at Buffalo Raceway in just 43 starts.

With a five-way battle for the lead right off the gate, Cold Certified managed to find a spot along the pylons and was in fourth while Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) and the parked Lutetium (Truman Gale) duked it out. The fractions were 29.0, 58.3 and 1:29.2 to the three-quarter marker.

Cold Certified swung out three-wide down the backstretch was gobbling up ground just before the final panel and had no issues in overpowering the helpless Winkys Pride in the stretch. Lucky Pablo (Jack Flanigen) managed to gain the third place position.

Co-owned by Paul and Ronald Louis Viele, Cold Certified (Kadabra-I Like Stephanie) has three victories in seven starts in 2016 and moved his seasonal earnings to $20,080 and $451,087 lifetime. Alex Giuliani trains the 7-year-old gelding.

Ray Fisher Jr. finished with a driving triple while Angelo Nappo had two training wins.

Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 6 p.m. post for the 12-race card.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 10, 2016

Missevil Plenty Good In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Missevil showed she was plenty good in Buffalo Raceway's $8,200 featured pace for the mares on Wednesday night (March 9) as she enjoyed a perfect pocket trip to earn a half length victory over Dontch Remember in 1:56.3 over the fast track.

On a perfect night for racing with temperatures hovering around 70, Ugly Betty (Billy Davis Jr.) managed to grab the lead to the quarter pole and handed out a parking ticket to Ding (Ron Beback Jr.) along the way. In the meantime, Missevil ($7.10) enjoyed the scuffle on the front end and drafted along perfectly in the garden spot, biding her time until the top of the stretch.

In the race to the wire, driver Jack Flanigen dropped Missevil into the 'lightning lane' and easily flew past the tiring Ugly Betty to score the win. Dontch Remember (Ray Fisher Jr.) showed some late kick to take second while Ugly Betty hung on for third.

It was the third victory in nine starts this season for Missevil (Armbro Deuce-Impudent Hall) and moved her seasonal winnings to $14,159 and $74,260 lifetime The 5-year-old mare is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stables, Chris Shambo and Jack Rice. Maria Rice handled the training duties.

Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Jack Flanigen scored a triple on the night while Drew Monti and Jim McNeight had a pair of wins.

Racing will resume on Friday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 6, 2016

Youwillwishyouhad, Morrill Jr. Sparkle At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It wasn't a matter if Youwillwishyouhad was going to win at Buffalo Raceway, it was just a matter of when.

Well, that elusive victory came about on Saturday night (March 5) as Youwillwishyouhad got the perfect trip and posted a 1-3/4 length decision over If It Rains in the $10,000 Open Pace. The winning time was 1:56.4 over the good track.

And while Youwillwishyouhad finally found the winner's circle, driver Jim Morrill Jr. has been making himself right at home there. He scored seven victories on the night and was in the money in all 11 races with two second place finishes and two thirds. Morrill Jr. now has an amazing 17 wins in 33 starts over a seven-day span at Buffalo Raceway.

Morrill Jr. has had seven wins on a program at Buffalo Raceway twice before. He did it on March 1, 2013 and February 15, 2006. Kevin Cummings holds the all-time mark at the track with eight wins on a card on June 11, 2005.

In the feature, after four second place finishes and a third in his last five tries in the Open Pace at the Hamburg half-mile oval, Youwillwishyouhad ($4.10) was more than primed for a winning effort and didn't disappoint as the even money choice.

LA Camcharger did the dirty work by cutting the fractions of 28.1, 57.1, and 1:27.0 while Youwillwishyouhad sat back and enjoyed the pocket sitting trip. In the stretch drive, driver David McNeight III dropped Youwillwishyouhad into the passing lane and cruised past the leg-weary LA Camcharger (Ron Beback Jr.) who finished in third.

If It Rains (Morrill Jr.) showed some late kick to take second place but was never a serious threat to the wire.

With his first victory of the 2016 campaign, Youwillwishyouhad (Artiscape-Dawn's Ideal) has now been in the money in seven of eight starts this year, earning $18,200. It jacked the 5-year-old gelding's lifetime bankroll to $160,260. He is co-owned by Mark Jakubik and Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin, who had conditioned two winners.

Racing will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night with an 11-race card set for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, upcoming promotions and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Justgottogetthere Takes Featured Trot At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's been a frustrating past two weeks for Justgottogetthere at Buffalo Raceway with a pair of solid but disappointing second place finishes. But that annoyance was erased on Friday night (March 4) as Justgottogetthere posted a convincing 2-3/4 length victory over Winkys Pride in the featured $8,200 trot.

Leave Your Mark (Jim Morrill Jr.) set the fractions through the opening three stations with times of 29.4, 1:00.0 and 1:29.0. Justgottogetthere, in the meantime, began his first over journey just before the half mile and eventually got on even terms with the pace-setter with a quarter mile to race.

In the drive to the wire, driver Jim McNeight gave Justgottogetthere some minor encouragement and he responded to draw away for the popular $4.10 win in 1:59.3. Winkys Pride (Denny Bucceri) came on late for second place with Kahoku (Truman Gale) taking third.

Co-owned by Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing, the 7-year-gelded Justgottogetthere (Valley Victory-Mara's Theme) scored his initial win of 2016 after four previous appearances. Trained by Jerry Nugent Jr., Justgottogetthere has won $8,660 this year and $211,534 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. registered four victories in the bike while Gale doubled. Trainer JD Perrin remained red hot as he conditioned three winners.

Racing will continue on Saturday night with an 11-race program set to go to the post at 6 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, replays and race results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


March 3, 2016

Wicked Elphaba Posts Big Win Again At Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Wicked Elphaba used a 'wicked' brush at the three-quarter marker and bolted away from the field in the $10,000 Open Pace for the filly and mares at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (March 2).

For the second straight race, Wicked Elphaba rewarded her supporters with a big win price. She returned $42.60 for the upset win this week after notching a $31.40 score in her previous start seven days earlier against softer company.

Sitting fifth at the half-mile pole, Wicked Elphaba (Ray Fisher Jr.) shook free down the backstretch and zipped past the pace-setting Ugly Betty. It was all over at the top of the stretch as Wicked Elphaba opened it up in the lane, using a 27.4 final panel to leave the other seven ladies in her wake. She finished the mile in 1:58.3 over the good track and was 5-3/4 lengths ahead of her nearest rival.

The only battle left in the feature was for the minor rewards and Kesons Silhouette (Truman Gale) skimmed the pylons for second with Little Santamonica (Shawn McDonough) taking third place.

The victory was the second in six appearances this season for Wicked Elphaba (Western Terror-Melajusted). She is owned by the Tanah Merah Farms LLC and is trained by Ryan Swift. The 6-year-old mare has now earned $14,932 this season and $129,271 lifetime.

Jim McNeight finished the night with four victories in the sulky, Todd Cummings tripled while Billy Davis Jr. and Jack Flanigen doubled. JD Perrin had a pair of training wins.

Racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program slated for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 28, 2016

Flashy Trick Takes Niatross Series At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The front running Flashy Trick had just enough gas left in the tank and managed to hang on by a nose over long shot Tymal Torch to capture the $24,000 Niatross Knockout Claiming Series final at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (Feb. 27).

It was a perfect ending to the popular month-long series as the top four finishers were within a half length of each other in the blanket finish.

Flashy Trick, a winner in gate-to-wire fashion in last week's semi-finals, set sail from the rail for driver David McNeight III. Putting up leisurely fractions of 30.1, 1:01.1 and 1:31.2 over the sloppy track, Flashy Trick knew things weren't going to come easy in the last quarter mile.

The race boiled down to the sprint to the finish line. Flashy Trick ($4.10) was up for the challenge and was able to turn back the serious threats from Tymal Torch and third place finisher Mach It Paid (Jim McNeight). M G Jade (Jim Morrill Jr.) was fourth, just a mere head off the winner.

Owned by Courtney McNeight and trained by David McNeight Jr., it was the third win of the season for Flashy Trick (Memphis Flash-San Trick) with all victories coming in the Niatross Claiming Series. The win upped the 7-year-old gelding's seasonal bankroll to $18,800 and $80,334 lifetime.

In the $10,000 consolation race of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series, Aberarder Smitty ($2.10) and Morrill Jr. absolutely smoked the field in 1:58.4, beating Sir Altb Z Tam (Todd Cummings) by 13-1/2 lengths. Le Reina Road (David McNeight III) took the show spot.

Aberarder Smitty, who won two legs of the Series but failed to reach the finals after a fifth place finish last week, took out his frustrations on the field of seven. Aberarder Smitty has now won five times in six tries this year. The win bumped his seasonal earnings to $15,234 for owner-trainer Jeff Amann.

China Dream has been coming up just short the past two weeks in the $10,000 Open Pace, finishing third each time by less an a length after gobbling up big ground in the stretch. This time though, China Dream was able to stalk the pace and used that patented closing kick to register a length win over the favored Youwillwishyouhad in 1:58.2.

Finishing no worse than third in his previous four appearances in the Open, driver Jack Flanigen maneuvered China Dream first over to the half, chasing the pace-setting Youwillwishyouhad. In the stretch run, the devastating late kick by China Dream was way too much as Youwillwishyouhad and driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. could do nothing but watch. Beach Hero (Truman Gale) finished in third.

Owned by Jack Rice and trainer Maria Rice, it was the second victory in five appearances for the 5-year-old gelded China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Art), now a winner of $14,900 in 2016 and $104,493 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. made his 2016 seasonal debut in the sulky and he started out the year with a bang by posting a five-bagger. Drew Monti had a driving double.

Racing will resume on Wednesday at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card slated for 5 p.m.

For more information including upcoming promotions, results, race replays and the latest news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 27, 2016

Kahoku Wins, Still Perfect At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kahoku made it a perfect 2-for-2 over the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval on Friday evening (Feb. 26) by going gate-to-wire to effortlessly beat Justgottogetthere by 2-3/4 lengths in the featured $8,200 trot.

In his debut at Buffalo Raceway on February 19, Kahoku (Truman Gale) cruised to a two-length decision in 2:01.3 over a sloppy track. Now stepping up a notch, he had no issues once again in trotting away from his seven rivals by rolling to a 2:00.1 decision on the fast track.

Kahoku, who was racing at Northfield Park, had no trouble in setting the tempo from the pylons. He set steady fractions of 30.0, 1:00.1 and 1:30.0 and faced no opposition in the drive to the wire. It was a battle for the minor spoils with Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) rallying for second and Strong Hope (Jack Flanigen) taking third.

Trained by Mark Laidlaw and co-owned by Colleen Girdlestone and Michael Gentner, Kahoku (SJ's Caviar-Tags Goal) is an 8-year-old gelding that now has put $10,760 in the bank this season and $137,822 lifetime.

Gale celebrated his birthday with a pair of victories while Flanigen and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. doubled. Maria Rice had two training victories.

The best card of the season is on tap for Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway beginning at 6 p.m. There's $116,500 in purse money up for grabs with the $24,000 finals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series set along with the $10,000 consolation and the $10,000 Open Pace to highlight the program.

For more information, including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 25, 2016

Buffalo Raceway Ready For Big Saturday Night Card

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's the best card thus far of the 2016 season from top to bottom at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (Feb. 27) as the 12-race program will carry $116,500 in purse money.

The featured race is the $24,000 finals of the popular Niatross Knockout Claiming Series along with the $10,000 consolation event. Bolstering the program will be the highly competitive $10,000 Open Pace as well.

The evening will mark the return of Jim Morrill Jr. as he begins his 2016 campaign. It's safe to say he's not easing into the year as he is slated to drive in 11 of 12 races. Morrill Jr. won 264 races last year and more than $5.4 million in purses.

Also appearing at the Hamburg half-mile oval will be driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. who sits eighth place nationally in victories this year with 65. He was fourth in 2015 with 663.

After three consecutive weeks of eliminations, the Niatross finale has eight combatants ready to go at it for the title which is scheduled for the eighth race.

Mach It Paid (Jim McNeight) is the 5-2 morning line favorite starting from the four post. He has finished either first or second in all six starts in 2016.

Flashy Trick drew the rail with current Buffalo Raceway leading driver David McNeight III and has been installed at 7-2. The 7-year-old gelding has won two legs in the series including a wire-to-wire trip in 1:58 last week in the semi-finals.

Beechwood Wayne rides a two-race win streak but has the seven post with Drew Monti slated to be in the bike at 5-1.

Others in the race include Midas Blue Chip (Truman Gale), Delightful Caitlin (Ron Beback Jr.), Tymal Torch (Ray Fisher Jr.), M G Jade (Morrill Jr.) and First Of Fun (Aldrich Jr.).

The consolation race has Aberarder Smitty drawing the rail at 5-2 with Morrill Jr. Aberarder Smitty took a four-race win streak into last week's semi-finals but finished fifth, thus was relegated to the consolation.

The Open Pace looks to be a wide-open affair with three horses coming in on torrid streaks. Cobble Beach has been victorious in three of his four 2016 starts and was assigned the eight post with McNeight III aboard.

Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) arrives on a two-race win streak including last week's Open while Youwillwishyouhad has been a runner up the past two weeks at this level, losing by a neck each time.

And now throw the dangerous China Dream into the mix. He has a win, second and a pair of third place finishes in his last four appearances in the Open. It's a perfect recipe for a interesting contest which is set for the fifth race.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Dontch Remember Splashes To Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was just two weeks ago that Dontch Remember put in a winning performance over a sloppy track at Buffalo Raceway. She didn't forget how to do it again.

Taking the lead just before the opening marker, Dontch Remember ($5.80) splish-splashed her way to the winner's circle with a convincing 1-3/4 length decision over Ding in the featured $7,400 pace for the mares on Wednesday night (Feb. 24).

Playing give-and-go with Ding, Dontch Remember (Ray Fisher Jr.) cut the fractions with splits of 31.0, 1:01.3 and 1:32.1. In the drive to the wire, no one had the answer for the front-running winner as Dontch Remember easily sailed home in 2:01.4 over the sloppy track. Ding (Ron Beback Jr.) held on for second with Kisses N Kicks (David McNeight III) finishing third.

Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, it was the second victory in five tries in 2016 for Dontch Remember (Western Terror-Dreamside). The win moved her seasonal earnings to $7,000 and to $132,163 lifetime.

Fisher Jr. led the way in the sulky on the soggy night with five victories while Jack Flanigen and Truman Gale each had two wins.

JD Perrin led the trainers with three victories while Ryan Swift and Jerry Nugent Jr. each produced a pair.

Racing will continue on Friday night when a 12-race program goes to the post at 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 22, 2016

Western Alumni Takes Buffalo Raceway Open Pace 'War'

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Western Alumni had a bit of a tussle to get to the front end in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (Feb. 20) but that battle ended up winning the war.

Facing a stubborn Listowel to the opening quarter, Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) managed to set the fractions and hung on late to register a neck victory over Youwillwishyouhad (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) in 1:56.0 over the fast track.

It was the featured event on the 13-race card that completed a three-day race week where the handle was over $900,000.

Buffalo Raceway Chief Operating Officer Jim Mango said, "It is nice to see the numbers like that for our operation in Hamburg. It was a week of hard work for the track crew with the rising temperatures playing havoc. The race secretary (Tom Agosti) has put together full competitive fields and it is starting to make a difference resulting in exciting racing in Western New York. The measure of it is more wagering. I think it will continue throughout the meet."

Back to the Open, Western Alumni ($9.30) posted fractions of 28.0, 57.4 and 1:26.3. The 8-year-old gelding then had to rebuff the late charges of Youwillwishyouhad and China Dream (Jack Flanigen) who both missed by a neck and head respectively.

It was the second straight win for Western Alumni (Western Hanover-Countryview Miss), now a winner of $12,060 this season and $272,044 lifetime. He is owned by North Creek Racing LLC and is trained by Jerry Nugent Jr.

The finals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series are set for next Saturday night with a purse of $24,000. Notching victories in the semi-finals were Flashy Trick (1:58.0) and Beechwood Wayne (1:59.3). Along with the winners, also earning a spot in the finals were Mach It Paid, Delightful Caitlin, M G Jade, Midas Blue Chip, First Of Fun and Tymal Torch.

Horses not reaching the finals will battle in the $10,000 consolation.

Racing will continue at 5 p.m. on Wednesday night with a 13-race card on tap.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


Lutetium Scores Nose Victory In Buffalo Raceway Open Trot

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's a good thing Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot is raced at an even mile because an inch longer, the result probably would have been different for the front-running Lutetium on Friday evening (Feb. 19).

Leading nearly every step of the way, Lutetium (Truman Gale) found the wire just in the nick of time to hold off the hard-charging Cold Certified (Shawn McDonough) by a nose in 2:01.0 over the sloppy track.

Lutetium ($4.60) managed to open up a 12-length advantage over Cold Certified who sat fifth after the first quarter mile. He needed every bit of that as Cold Certified, the winner of the past two Open trots, made steady forward progress through the final three panels.

In the drive to the wire, Lutetium was begging for the wire while Cold Certified launched a vicious rally in deep stretch only to come up a nostril short. Northern Bullet (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) was a mere neck behind in the blanket finish.

Owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw, Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby) has posted two victories in six seasonal starts, earning $14,750 in 2016. The 9-year-old gelding has bankrolled $371,367 lifetime.

Ronnie Wrenn Jr. tripled in his first appearance of the season at Buffalo Raceway while Jack Flanigen and Drew Monti each scored a pair of victories. Trainers Maria Rice and Laidlaw both doubled.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 13-race program scheduled. The feature will be the $10,000 Open Pace along with the semi-finals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 18, 2016

Little Santamonica Wins Buffalo Raceway F&M Open Again

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The $10,000 Open Pace for the filly and mares on Wednesday night (Feb. 17) looked like an instant replay of last week's event, Little Santamonica sitting dead last then bursting through in the home stretch to post an come from behind victory.

This time around, Little Santamonica ($9.00) gave herself a little more breathing room, romping past Memumsnotnice by 2-1/2 widening lengths at the wire. The margin of victory last week was just a head over Mach This Way.

Ugly Betty set up shop on the front end, putting up splits of 29.2, 59.1 and 1:28.2. Little Santamonica in the meantime was sitting seventh into the final turn and that's where driver Shawn McDonough went into action. He guided Little Santamonica into a perfect striking position at the head of the stretch and she did the rest.

The pair weaved through some minor traffic but blew past the field thanks to a 28.3 last quarter in going the mile in 1:58. Memumsnotnice (Ray Fisher Jr.) finished in second while the favored Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) took third.

Owned and trained by Jordan Hope, Little Santamonica (Little Steven-Tonianne N) is an 8-year-old mare who has won two consecutive races. It sent her 2016 earnings to $10,700 and $328,561 lifetime.

David McNeight III took over the lead in the driver's standings with three victories. He moved ahead of the injured Kevin Cummings 22-21. Jack Flanigen also tripled while Billy Davis Jr. and Jim McNeight registered two wins.

Trainer Tyler Nostadt posted a double.

It was a great night in the wagering department at Buffalo Raceway with the largest handle of the 2016 season.

Racing will return on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a 12-race program. Ronnie Wrenn Jr., who was snowed out of last week's seasonal debut at Buffalo Raceway, is scheduled to drive this Friday.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 14, 2016

Cobble Beach Uses New Tactic For Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- 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 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


February 11, 2016

Little Santamonica's Big Rally Takes Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Little Santamonica ($6.90) unleashed a furious rally in the stretch and stunned Mach This Way by a head Wednesday night (Feb. 10) to take Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Pace for fillies and mares in 1:59.2 over the sloppy track.

It appeared that Mach This Way had things under control at the top of the stretch with a brush to take the lead. But Little Santamonica, who was sitting dead last at the three-quarter marker, quickly began picking off horses one by one on the far outside to move into contention.

In the race to the wire, Little Santamonica had driver Shawn McDonough holding on tight as the pair zoomed past Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) who were left in total disbelief. A sizzling 28.3 final panel proved to be the difference. Charmschooldropout (Jim McNeight) took the show position.

Owned and trained by Jordan Hope, it was the first win in five tries in 2016 for Little Santamonica (Little Steven-Tonianne N) whose last six attempts came at Yonkers Raceway. The 8-year-old mare has now won $5,700 this year and $323,563 lifetime.

Driver David McNeight III continued his torrid pace as he posted a four-win night while Todd Cummings tripled and Ray Fisher Jr. added a double. Trainers Kirk Desmond and David McNeight Jr. each had a pair of victories.

Racing resumes Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m. Ronnie Wrenn Jr., one of the top drivers in North America, is slated to participate in 11 of the 12 races.

For more information including the latest news, replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 7, 2016

Diamond Cowboy A Gem In Buffalo Raceway's Open Pace

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Diamond Cowboy put in a gem of an effort on Saturday night (Feb. 6) to prevail in Buffalo Raceway's featured $10,000 Open Pace by beating a stubborn Beach Hero by 3/4 lengths in 1:55.4.

After finishing a disappointing sixth as the heavy favorite in last week's Open, Diamond Cowboy rebounded nicely for driver/trainer Shawn Gray to score the $14.40 mild upset victory. It was his second Open Pace win in three attempts this season.

It was a battle for the lead to the half mile marker as Beach Hero parked out Lucky Nadotremblay. A 57.1 opening circuit took the starch out of Lucky Nadotremblay but Beach Hero continued to roll.

Things started to develop on the backstretch the final time. Diamond Cowboy, who was assigned the outside eight post, made a three-wide brush to the three-quarter pole to pull on even terms with Beach Hero (Truman Gale). In the battle down the lane, the pair were stride-for-stride until Diamond Cowboy managed to nudge ahead late. Beach Hero had to settle for a tough luck second place while Youwillwishyouhad (David McNeight III) took third.

Owned by William Emmons, Diamond Cowboy (Six Of Diamonds-Money For Munchkin) is a 7-year-old gelding with $10,000 in earnings in 2016 and $404,915 lifetime.

In the opening round of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series, Aberarder Smitty and Flashy Trick shared the fastest times in the five divisions with a 1:58.3 clockings. Other winners were Midas Blue Chip (1:59.1), First Of Fun (1:58.4) and Mach It Paid (1:59.3).

Jim McNeight, Jack Flanigen, David McNeight III and Gray each scored two victories on the night while David McNeight Jr. and Russell Bratt had training doubles.

Racing will resume Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program slated for 5 p.m.

For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 6, 2016

Cold Certified Wins Buffalo Raceway Open Trot Again

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It sure turned out to be a head scratcher in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (Feb. 5).

Cold Certified, who won this event last week as the even money favorite in 1:59.1, was dismissed by the public at 6-1 this time around and made them pay for the oversight by scoring a gutsy neck victory over Lutetium in 1:59.4 over the good track.

David McNeight III shared the Friday spotlight with Cold Certified as he registered a six-bagger in the sulky and also produced a training win.

In the feature, after playing the give-and-go with Lutetium (Truman Gale), Cold Certified ($14.00) set the tempo with fractions of 29.0, 58.1, and 1:28.4. It appeared that those fractions might have taken its toll as Winkys Pride was first over and took a slight advantage turning for home..

But that was all Winkys Pride was able to muster. Cold Certified, who appeared to have thrown in the towel, was revitalized by driver Shawn McDonough midway down the lane and roared back for the neck win while Lutetium (Truman Gale) skimmed the pylons for second and Im The Cash Man (Drew Monti) rallied for third.

It was the second straight decision for Cold Certified (Kadabra-I Like Stephanie). The 7-year-old gelding is owned by Paul and Ronald Louis Viele and trained by Alex Giuliani. The win upped Cold Certified's seasonal winnings to $12,330 and $443,337 lifetime.

McNeight III had victories aboard Lucky Millionaire ($8.00), Goldstar Thumper ($2.60), Maple Leaf Matt ($4.70), Release The Terror ($22.80), Sailin Metro ($6.20) and Pictorian Pride ($42.00).

McDonough had a good night driving as well as he posted a triple while Ray Fisher Jr. had two victories. For the trainers, David McNeight Jr. and John Mungillo had two wins apiece.

Racing will resumes at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race card. The feature is the $10,000 Open Pace along with the opening round of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


February 4, 2016

Kesons Silhouette Posts Upset In Buffalo Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kesons Silhouette stepped up in class to Buffalo Raceway's featured filly and mare pace for $7,400 on Wednesday night (Feb. 3) and rewarded her faithful backers with a nice $36.00 win mutual.

After watching Ding (Ron Beback Jr.) do the dirty work in putting up some hot fractions of 28.2, 57.4 and 1:28.0, Kesons Silhouette (Truman Gale) was the benefactor. The tiring Ding offered no resistance in the lane as Kesons Silhouette zoomed right on by and registered length win in 1:58.2 over the good track. Ding held on for second while Charmschooldropout (Shawn McDonough) rallied for third.

It was the second straight victory for Kesons Silhouette (Shadow Play-Play Southwind), a 5-year-old mare owned by Michael Kessler and The Speed To Burn Racing Stables. Trained by Misty Carey, Kesons Silhouette now has bankrolled $7,250 this season.

Private Equity (Todd Cummings) scored the largest win price of the young season with a $143.00 victory in the sixth race.

Todd Cummings and David McNeight III each posted doubles on the night in the bike while James Clouser Jr. and Christopher Naedele had a pair of training victories.

Racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 31, 2016

Mr. Perserverance Impressive In Buffalo Open Pace

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Mr. Perserverance was on quite a terror with four straight 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


January 30, 2016

Cold Certified Is Red Hot In Buffalo Open Trot

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Cold Certified ($4.30) proved to be too hot to handle in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot Friday night (Jan. 29) with a convincing 1-1/4 length victory over Strong Hope in 1:59.1 over the fast track.

After competing at Yonkers and Woodbine Raceway since November, Cold Certified (Shawn McDonough) seemed to adapt well to his new home at the Hamburg half-mile oval.

Lutetium, as usual, darted straight to the lead from the eight post while Cold Certified was able to draft along in second place through fractions of 29.0, 59.1 and 1:29.4.

At the top of the stretch, Lutetium began to call it a night while Cold Certified was just getting into gear. Dropping into the lightning lane as soon as possible, Cold Certified roared to the top and posted a 29.1 last quarter to draw away smartly for the victory. Strong Hope (Jack Flanigen) rallied for second with Im The Cash Man (Drew Monti) taking the show spot.

Cold Certified (Kadabra-I Like Stephanie) is co-owned by Paul and Ronald Louis Viele and is trained by Alex Giuliani. It was the first victory in three starts this season for the 7-year-old gelding. Cold Certified has now earned $7,330 in 2016 and $438,337 in his career.

Driver Kevin Cummings continued on a torrid pace, getting four victories on the night. He now has seven wins in the past two race cards.

Trainers JD Perrin and Giuliani each had doubles.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card scheduled for 6 p.m.

For more information including race replays, results, the latest news and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 24, 2016

China Dream Has Dream Trip In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a dream trip for China Dream in the $10,000 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (Jan. 23) by coasting to a half-length upset victory in a brisk 1:55.4 over the fast track.

After battling momentarily with Wild Shot Hanover around the first turn, driver Jack Flanigen and China Dream settled into the lead and posted fractions of 28.0, 57.4 and 1:27.1 past the three-quarter marker. The pace-setting China Dream was awaiting a charge from the closers in the stretch, including the favored Diamond Cowboy, but nothing of consequence developed.

China Dream ($20.20) had a snappy last panel of 28.3 to help spring the surprise win. Listowel (Ron Beback Jr.) showed late pace to take second place while Wild Shot Hanover (Truman Gale) finished in third.

Owned by Jack and Maria Rice, China Dream (If I Can Dream-China Act) has a win and second place finish in a pair of 2016 starts, putting $7,500 in the bank. It also moved the 5-year-old gelding's lifetime earnings to $97,093. Maria Rice handles the training duties.

Shawn Gray, Ron Beback Jr., Shawn McDonough and Kevin Cummings all had a pair of wins in the sulky.

Trainer JD Perrin posted two victories on the program.

Racing will continue on Wednesday evening with 12 races slated to begin at 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 23, 2016

Northern Bullet On Target In Buffalo Raceway Open Trot

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The front-running and heavily favored Lutetium was the one to chase down in Buffalo Raceway's $9,000 Open Trot on Friday night (Jan. 22) and Northern Bullet ($11.60) was more than up to the task.

Blazing some hot fractions of 28.4, 58.2 and 1:28.1 on a frosty night, it seemed like Lutetium was going to runaway and hide from the field of six.

But Northern Bullet, who was five lengths back in third with a quarter mile to trot, took dead aim on the pace-setter. He easily gunned down the leg-weary Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) in the stretch to notch the 1-1/4 length decision in 1:58.2. A final panel of 29.1 proved to be the winning shot for Northern Bullet.

Driver Ray Fisher Jr. knew Northern Bullet was in good shape after seeing the three-quarter split posted. "He's a sprinter down the stretch. I told (trainer) JD Perrin yesterday that I knew this horse was going to win tonight."

Lutetium settled for second place while Leave Your Mark (Shawn McDonough) took the show spot.

Owned by Tessa Roland and trained by Perrin, the 6-year-old gelded Northern Bullet (Muscle Mass-Flame Tamer) has now earned $5,580 in two starts this season and $145,758 lifetime.

Kevin Cummings finished the evening with three driving victories while Todd Cummings, Drew Monti and Truman Gale each doubled.

Trainer Bob Gruber III led the conditioners with two wins.

Racing will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled.

For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 21, 2016

Memumsnotnice Skims Pylons For Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Memumsnotnice ($7.30) wasn't very nice to her five rivals in the filly and mare $9,200 pace at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday evening (Jan. 20) as she used a pylon-skimming trip in 1:57 to post a narrow neck victory.

It was also a great night for two-time defending driving champion Kevin Cummings as he registered a five victories on the snow flurry filled night.

In the feature, Janie Bay set the fractions with splits of 29.2, 59.1 and 1:27.3 over the fast track but had Mach This Way challenging her on the outside to the third-quarter marker. It looked liked those two mares were going to duke it out down to the wire but Memumsnotnice crashed the party from third midway down the stretch.

Ray Fisher Jr. angled Memumsnotnice in the lightning lane to take the lead but she wasn't home free yet. Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) still had something left in the tank and made a valiant attempt at the wire but came up just a neck short. Janie Bay (Jim McNeight) finished a tough- luck third a length back.

Memumsnotnice (Jereme's Jet-Bunny Town) is a 7-year-old mare co-owned by trainer John Mungillo and Thatsideofthefence LLC. The win pushed her career earnings to $313,743 and moved her lifetime wins to 22.

Trainer James Clouser Jr. picked up three victories as he conditioned Ding ($9.20), Big Dutch ($4.30) and Heaven On Earth ($5.00) while Kirk Desmond and Alex Giuliani posted a pair of training wins.

Ron Beback Jr. and Jack Flanigen each had driving doubles.

Racing will resume on Friday evening at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program scheduled for 5 p.m.

For more information including the latest news, race results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 18, 2016

Diamond Cowboy Rallies To Claim Buffalo Raceway Open

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The longest stretch on a half-mile track in the United States and a pacer with a form that shows a big time closing kick. That was the perfect recipe for Diamond Cowboy in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open pace on Saturday evening (Jan. 16).

Diamond Cowboy ($6.20) was parked out in the field of six from the start but was perfectly rated by driver Shawn Gray to stay in contention as Youwillwishyouhad set fractions of 29.1, 59.4 and 1:29.1.

At the three-quarter station, Gray tipped the locked and loaded Diamond Cowboy three-wide around the final turn and effortlessly went on to score the 1-1/4 length win in 1:58.4. China Dream (Jack Flanigen) rode the pylons for second while Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) held on for the show spot.

Diamond Cowboy (Six Of Diamonds-Money For Munchkin) is a 7-year-old gelding owned by William Emmons and trained by Gray. A winner of $61,118 in 2015 thanks to six victories, Diamond Cowboy has now earned $499,915 lifetime.

It was a great all around night for Gray as he registered a driving and training triple. He also drove and conditioned Harmony Oaks Ruler ($2.90) and Mercurio N ($3.60).

Shawn McDonough and Truman Gale each notched three-baggers as well on the evening.

Courtney Ohol scored a double for the second straight night on the trainer's side while Craig Gilmour also found the winner's circle twice..

Racing will resume on Wednesday at 5 p.m. with an 12-race program which will feature some of the best filly and mare pacers on the grounds battling for a purse of $9,200 in the opener.

For more information including the latest news, results, replays, entries and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 16, 2016

Lutetium Finds Winner's Circle Again In Buffalo Raceway's Opener

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway re-opened its doors after a six-month hiatus Friday night (Jan. 15) and Lutetium showed he hasn't lost his knack in finding his way around the track during that time.

A 10-time winner in 2015, Lutetium started off the new campaign in fine style, easily disposing of his seven rivals in the $9,000 featured trot in 2:02.1.

Assigned the outside eight post on the sloppy track, Buffalo Raceway's two-time defending driving champion Kevin Cummings immediately took off with Lutetium from the starting gate, grabbing control of the lead by the time they reached the backstretch.

The pair then enjoyed the front-running tour over the half-mile oval located at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg and used splits of 30.0, 1:00.2, 1:31.1 in posting a 2:02.1 time. Lutetium ($3.60) won by a comfortable 1-3/4 lengths over Strong Hope (Jack Flanigen), who won the scrum for runner-up honors, while Northern Bullet (Ray Fisher Jr.) finished third.

Lutetium bankrolled $80,621 in 2015 and was in the money 25 times in 32 races last season. It was his first appearance of the year and with the $4,500 winner's share of the purse, moved Lutetium's career earnings to $361,117. The 9-year-old gelding (Credit Winner-Luby) is owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw.

Cummings finished with a driving triple while Drew Monti, Truman Gale and Mike Baumeister all scored twice.

Courtney Ohol was the lone trainer with a double as she conditioned Garys Party ($21.40) and Mr. Casual ($19.20) to upset victories.

Buffalo Raceway Director of Operations Jon Cramer said, "It was a great opening night in the clubhouse, on track and off track. Our handle was over $238,000. Overall, things went very well."

Racing resumes on Saturday evening with a 12-race card scheduled for 6 p.m.

For more information including race replays, entries, results, the latest news and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 14, 2016

Buffalo Raceway To Try Again Friday

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The only winner at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night was Mother Nature as heavy lake effect snow wiped out the scheduled 11-race opening card.

But with much better weather anticipated, Buffalo Raceway will try again on Friday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race program on tap.

The first race has some of the top trotters on the grounds featuring the front-running Lutetium who will be scoring from the eight post. He was a winner 10 times in 2015 and put over $80,000 in the bank. Two-time defending driving champion Kevin Cummings is scheduled to get the call behind Lutetium.

Justgottogetthere looks to be the main competition in the race with Ron Beback Jr. aboard. Going to the winner's circle 10 times as well in 2015, Justgottogetthere looms the major danger in the feature.

Opening weekend continues on Saturday night with a 12-race card set at 6 p.m. The Open pacers are in the main event and it looks to be a wide-open affair. Lucky Nadotremblay has been either first or second in his last four starts to head the field of seven while the hard-knocking Youwillwishyouhad had 13 victories last year.

The new Pick-5 wager, with a .50-cent minimum, will start in the fifth race each night.

For more information including schedule, results, entries and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 12, 2016

Fillies & Mares To Clash In Buffalo Raceway Opener

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 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.


January 4, 2016

Buffalo Raceway Set For January 13th Opener

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The old adage goes "Times are a changing."

That cliche definitely holds true for Buffalo Raceway as new post times will greet fans for the 90-day meet which is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, January 13 at 5 p.m.

Wednesday nights will remain at 5 p.m. but Friday evening cards will now begin at 5 p.m. as well. The action on Saturdays moves to 6 p.m. and when Sunday afternoon racing commences on June 19, the horses will be off at 12:30 p.m. The season ends on July 24.

"We changed the first post because the export business will be better," Buffalo Raceway Operations Director Jon Cramer said. "We've found that earlier is better."

Another major change the fans will notice is the race announcer. Peter Berry, who has called the races at Mountaineer Park since 2004, will be behind the microphone until mid-April when the West Virginia thoroughbred track reopens.

"Peter is an A+ announcer by anyone's standards and we are pleased to have him here," Buffalo Raceway Chief Operation Officer Jim Mango said. "He's a world-class announcer and a major addition for us. We are thrilled."

The track itself continues to be upgraded as another 2,000 tons of material was added to the 6,000 tons put down last season.

"We continue work on the race track and high grades on that go to the track crew," Cramer said. "It's a difficult job to keep the track like that in the winter."

The backstretch area continues to get rave reviews according to Mango. "We continue to get great comments on the barn area and I think it's the finest stable area in harness racing."

Buffalo Raceway filled over the 300 stalls on-track that were available.

Racing behind the trotters and pacers will include Kevin Cummings who will be back in search of his third consecutive driving title. He registered 202 victories in 2015 at Buffalo Raceway, just missing the all-time mark set by Jim Morrill Jr. of 214 in 2006.

Some others ready to take a shot at the driver's crown will be the 'Young Guns' consisting of Drew Monti, David McNeight III and Shawn McDonough. Monti finished in second place last year in wins with 140.

On the trainer's side, JD Perrin returns and will be looking for his fourth straight championship. He posted 70 victories last year and is fresh off winning the title at Batavia Downs.

John Mungillo, David McNeight Jr. and James Clouser Jr. will also have strong barns and look to break Perrin's streak. Craig Gilmour's barn makes its first appearance at Buffalo Raceway after competing at Batavia Downs in the fall.

The Niatross Knockout Claiming Series, a favorite among the fans, owners, trainers and drivers, will also return in 2016, starting on Saturday, February 6. It's a chance for lower-priced claiming pacers to move up and win some nice purses but face the possibility of being taken at a higher tag as the series moves along or being eliminated if they don't finish in the top four. The finals are scheduled for Saturday, February 27.

A new wrinkle added to the racing menu as well is the 'Buffalo Raceway Claiming Championships' which will be contested throughout the meet. The first half will run from opening night until Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday, May 7 and the second half goes from Derby Day until Saturday, July 23.

"There are seven different divisions and every time you race in a specific claiming level, either a boy or girl, pacer or trotter, you'll will accumulate points just like the purse structure is broken down...50 points for a win, 25 points for second and so on," stated Buffalo Raceway Race Secretary Tom Agosti. "The top eight point getters in each category will come back on Derby Day and race for double what the normal purse would be for their claiming price. It will keep a lot of interest and hopefully keep the horses racing." The whole competition will then start over the next racing day with the finals on Saturday, July 23.

Also new at Buffalo Raceway is a Pick-5 wager which will replace the Pick-4. Starting in the fifth race each evening, you can wager on the Pick-5 and if no one hits it, the pool will roll over to the next card.

"The Pick-5 is becoming something of a fan favorite in harness racing and wanted to offer to our players," Cramer said.

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