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.


December 23, 2015

Peter Berry To Call Races At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Peter Berry, the voice of Mountaineer Park in West Virginia since 2004, will be calling the action for the first half of the season at Buffalo Raceway when their 90-day campaign opens up on Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

Buffalo Raceway Chief Operating Officer Jim Mango said, "Peter is an A+ announcer by anyone's standards and we are pleased to have him here for the first half of our meet."

Berry said, "I'm thrilled to get the opportunity to call harness racing in the United States. I was a long-time writer for the sport in Australia and it has been my first love for as long as I can remember.

"I did some harness race-calling at a very young age in Australia while attending a race-calling academy but moved to journalism at 17 and had to put my passion on hold. That passion was reignited by Wiggle It Jiggleit at the Little Brown Jug,” he added.

Berry will return to Mountaineer Park in mid-April when their season begins.

A former news editor at the Daily Racing Form, Berry was a harness racing writer and United States sports correspondent and columnist for The Age in Australia. The Youngstown, OH resident also has owned standardbreds in Australia.

Located at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg, Buffalo Raceway will race on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 p.m. throughout the meet. Sunday afternoons will be added starting on June 19 with post times of 12:35 p.m. Closing day is July 24.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway including the latest news, entries, results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


December 17, 2015

Batavia Downs 2015 season a positive one

The 69th live racing season at Batavia Downs wrapped up last Saturday (Dec. 12) much the same way it kicked off back in July; with a packed house of fans watching the best racing in Upstate New York.

The stellar calendar of stake races provided those in attendance a great opportunity to see some of the best horses in New York State and a fair number of Grand Circuit players as well.

The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) produced three record performances. The first was on Sunday (Aug. 30) when 3-year-old pacing colt Betting Exchange (Bettor’s Delight-Cheeky Hanover) tied the track record of 1:51.2 for sex and gait in winning his division of the $120,400 NYSS event. This was the fastest pacing mile of the meet.

Then on Wednesday (Sept. 16), Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover) took advantage of a lightning-fast track and 80 degree temperatures to set a new world’s record of 1:52.4 for 2-year-old pacing fillies in winning her division of the $109,000 NYSS race. It (obviously) was also a new track record for Batavia Downs, smashing the old standard of 1:54.2.

The 13th renewal of Batavia Downs signature event, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace, took place on Saturday (Oct. 3) and one of the winningest horses in North America added his name to the roster of champions of that race. 17 time winner in 2015, Atta Boy Dan (Western Terror-Dropitlikeitshot), paced his last quarter in :27.4 and pulled away to an easy win in 1:52.1.

The all-time pacing track record of 1:51.1 was not broken in that race, however track trotting history was made instead in the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial the same night.

Top local trotting star Lutetium destroyed the field, at one point opening up a gap of as much as 15 lengths, before scooting home to a six-length victory in 1:55.2. The winning time broke the existing track record of 1:56 for aged trotting geldings set in 2014. This race was also the fastest trotting mile of the meet.

Kevin Cummings easily defended his driving title at the Downs by winning 134 times during the meet, far ahead of the rest of his competition. Those rounding oIut the top five included Dave McNeight III with 89 wins, Shawn McDonough with 82 wins, Jack Flanigen with 81 wins and Drew Monti with 73 wins.

JD Perrin also defended his training title by sending 57 horses to the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle. The competition behind him was decidedly closer and included James Clouser Jr. with 45 wins, Dave McNeight Jr. with 41 wins, Maria Rice with 34 wins and Kirk Desmond with 32 wins.

Cobble Beach (Artiscape-Mirmattculous 1:51.2 $176,867) was named pacer of the meet with six Open wins, $42,270 in earnings and a seasonal mark of 1:52.4.

Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby 1:52.4 $356,617) was the trotter of the meet with six Open wins, $37,750 in earnings and a new track record of 1:55.2.

Memumsnotnice (Jereme’s Jet-Bunny Town 1:51.4 $308,343) was named distaff performer of the meet with four Mares Open wins, $32,942 in earnings and a personal season's mark of 1:55.

The top three winningest post positions for the meet were post 1 with 230 wins, post 2 with 131 wins and post four with 129 wins.

In 2015, the on-track handle took a dip of 5.4%, or $1263 a night. But the export handle was up a substantial 21.2%, or $13,220 per night. Combined, the total handle was up a healthy 9.6 %, or $10,250 per night.

Batavia Downs paid out $5,438,400 in purses this year, up $208,400 over 2014.

There was no shortage of promotions for Batavia Downs customers this year as something special was going on during 31 nights of the season. Giveaways, contests and food specials dotted the schedule but the year featured four major happenings.

In August the Downs hosted the annual wiener dog races, to the delight of thousands who gathered at the rail to see them. September included the Drew Monti bobblehead night, the annual Labor Day driver’s bike race and a special fund raiser for the family of Brad Hanners.

Then on Sunday (Nov. 15), Batavia Downs hosted the USTA District 8 membership meeting, Director election and New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) year-end awards banquet, sponsored by the New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund.

"We couldn't be happier with the way things went this year" said Todd Haight, GM/Director of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. "We had outstanding weather the whole year; not one flake of snow. That facilitated many opportunities for our live crowd to come out and that they did."

"The product on the track was as good as it's ever been and the export numbers confirm that. A lot of people were betting the action at Batavia Downs at all the simulcast facilities that took our signal. The meet ended very strong." Haight concluded.

Live racing will resume at Batavia Downs in July of 2016; dates pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commision.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


December 13, 2015

Major Trick treated backers in Batavia Downs feature

Batavia, NY---On the final night of racing for 2015, Yonkers invader Major Trick (Drew Monti) took an early overland route to victory in the $10,000 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 12).

Post time favorite Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) shot right to the lead with the rest of the field following in post-position order to the quarter in :28.4. But complicity to the pacesetter ended past three-eighths when Major Trick pulled and started an outer flow that included Cobble Beach (Dave McNeight III) and Jokerman (Jim McNeight).

The race continued in two rows from there on, with Major Trick and Lucky Nadotremblay duking it out to the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.4. Around the far turn, Major Trick was gaining momentum and down the lane he was gaining ground, eventually pulling ahead to win by a half-length in 1:55.3.

It was the eighth win of the year for Major Trick ($8.10) and it raised his purse earnings to $68,387 for 2015. The 4-year-old son of Art Major is owned by Anthony Nicometo, John Mariano and Stuart Oppenheimer and is trained by David Russo.

In the co-featured $8,400 Open II pace, Mr. Perseverance (Ron Beback Jr.) put on quite a show while taking his fourth straight win. The 7-year-old Real Artist gelding won by five open lengths in 1:54 and returned $5.30 for owner William Emmons. James Clouser Jr. trains Mr. Perseverance.

Drew Monti led all drivers Saturday night scoring three wins while Jack Flanigen, Dave McNeight III and Ray Fisher Jr. all doubled up. Trainer Gerry Sarama also sent two winners to post.

With the meet coming to a close, the management of Batavia Downs would like to wish everybody a very Happy Holiday season and is looking forward to the return of live harness racing to the oldest lighted harness track in America in July of 2016.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


December 12, 2015

Bellagio Hanover takes final Batavia trotting feature

Batavia, NY---After not having much success after jumping up from the claiming ranks, the 8-1 Bellagio Hanover (Jim McNeight) had a reversal of fortunes in winning the $10,000 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 11).

Leaving from post one, Bellagio Hanover briefly yielded the front to Leave Your Mark (Truman Gale) but retook the lead before hitting the quarter in a comfortable :29.2. But shortly after that station, Write That Down (Shawn McDonough) pulled first-up and drew next to the leader; a position he would maintain for nearly a half mile.

The pair dueled past the half in :59 and three-quarters in 1:28 flat before Bellagio Hanover finally put away the challenge of Write That Down around the last turn. From there he trotted clear of the field and won handily by a long length in 1:58.2.

It was the seventh win of the year for the lightly regarded Bellagio Hanover ($19.00), six of which were for owners Jack and Maria Rice who claimed the horse at Tioga Downs on July 11 for $5,000. Maria Rice trains the winner.

In the co-feature $7,700 Open II trot, Red Clay (Shawn McDonough) notched his eighth win of the Batavia Downs meet, making him the winningest trotter of the 2015 session. Red Clay was sitting fourth when he pulled past the stands for the first time, took the lead and trotted his back half in :58.4 to win by six open lengths in 1:59.4. Red Clay ($3.10) is owned by Patricia and Carmen Cappotelli and is trained by Carmen Cappotelli.

Shawn McDonough had a driving triple on the card while Jim McNeight and Jack Flanigen both chimed in with doubles. Trainer Maria Rice conditioned two winners as well.

The meet comes to a close at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 12) with a 12-race card on tap. There is a $396 carry over pool for the Pick-5 wager and it carries a mandatory payout. Post time for the first race is 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


December 10, 2015

Mach This Way out duels foes in Batavia Mares Open

Batavia, NY---This was the fourth straight week that Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) and Memumsnotnice (Ray Fisher Jr.) locked horns with “Mach” having a 2-1 advantage over “Mum” to date. After a hard fought battle, Mach This Way reigned victorious again in the $9,500 distaff pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Dec. 9).

Memumsnotnice left sharply and paced on the front uncontested to the half in :57.2. Mach This Way had pulled at three-eighths and drew alongside the leading mare as they hit the clubhouse turn. From that point on it was basically a match race.

Mach This Way and Memumsnotnice paced in tandem past three-quarters in 1:25.3, around the far turn and half-way down the lane. It was then the Mach This Way got a slight advantage and pulled away to a length victory in 1:55.2. The Filly Princess (Truman Gale) closed strong to be second and Memumsnotnice faded to third, in a dead-heat with Kisses N Kicks (Dave McNeight III).

It was the eighth win of the season for Mach This Way ($4.20) and pushed her earnings to $59,880 for owner William Emmons. Batavia Downs Rising Star Award winner James Clouser Jr. trains Mach This Way.

In the $7,700 Mares Open II co-feature, Heavenly Place (Dave McNeight III) went gate-to-wire in 1:57.1 to notch her 13th win of 2015. She had won in this class two weeks ago and found herself back at home after stepping down from Open I competition last week. Heavenly Place is owned by Courtney McNeight and is trained by Dave McNeight Jr.

Horsemen scoring multiple wins included drivers Kevin Cummings with three and Shawn Mcdonough, Ron Beback Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. each with two. Trainers James Clouser Jr. and Chris Naedele each sent two winners to post.

Only two days of live racing remain at Batavia Downs for the 2015 season and Friday (Dec. 11) is the first of the pair, with post time set at 6:15.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


Bruce Tubin to receive Service to Industry Award

By Tim Bojarski, President, UNY-USHWA

The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has announced that Bruce Tubin, Director of the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association, will receive the Service to Industry Award for his lifelong dedication to the sport of harness racing.

Tubin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and a Juris Doctor degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He discontinued a growing law practice in 1976 to actively pursue his first love, that of owning, training and driving Standardbreds. Tubin has been involved in the sport as an owner since 1972 and as a trainer-driver from 1976-1992.

Tubin became President and Administrative Director of the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association in 1992. One of his first orders of business was to represent all of the New York State harness horsemen as a member of the board of directors of an industry-wide lobbying group that was ultimately successful bringing video lottery terminals to New York State racetracks. The result of that action was an immediate turnaround of the standardbred racing and breeding industry that is still thriving to this day.

In western New York, Tubin negotiated the first designated purse account in harness racing. He inherited a floundering pension plan and made it solvent for its participants. Now it is one of the largest pension plans of its kind in the sport. He oversees a health insurance program that pays 60% of the cost for member drivers and trainers and covers grooms for free. He understands all aspects of the industry and when addressing issues of importance to his constituents, works well with track management to reach a mutually beneficial resolution.

Tubin also represents the horsemen as a USTA Director for District 8 in Upstate New York.

Tubin and his wife, Beth, have a daughter, Andrea, a son, Brian, and four grandchildren.

Bruce Tubin will receive his award in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 12) during UNY-USHWA’s Night of Distinction.


Ken Ball to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, President, UNY-USHWA

Akron, NY---Scores of horsemen and women have come and gone over the years at Batavia Downs, but the ever changing look of the local driving colony has had a single, steady constant in its midst that still sends horses postward after 49 years in the business. His name is Ken Ball.

Ball got started in harness racing in 1966 as a second trainer for Eldon Harner. But it wasn’t long before he departed to start his own stable.

The first and probably best owners he ever had were Morris and Betty Miller. They bred and raced a string of horses that bore the “Whiz” name. These horses were stalwarts of his stable for thirty years.

During his time in the business, his most successful horse was Missile T (1:57.2 $313,644). The Master of Style colt was one of the best 2 and 3-year-old male trotters in New York State in 2006 and 2007. The largest purse Ball ever won was the $100,000 Elitist Cup at the Syracuse Mile with Brass Target Sam ($1:56.2 $74,793) in 1990. And the fastest race he ever drove was a 1:56.2 mile with his good Open trotter, Derby Tex Whiz (1:56.2 $125,941), also at the Syracuse Mile.

But the hits didn’t stop there. Ball was also responsible for the careers of Major T Collins (1:59.2 $221,804), PJ Whiz (2:00.2 $161,696), Super Whiz (1:59.4 $142,879), Crescent T Collins (2:02.2 $94,178), Gantry T (1:57.2 $69,923), Tempest Lobell (2:03.2 $63,411), BJ Grattan (2:02.4 $60,035), Chip Rebel (2:02.3 $58,474) and of course, the local legend Mr. Tizwhiz (1:59.3 $48,633).

For his career, Ken Ball drove 1,143 winners that accounted for $3.1 million in purses. On the training side, Ball started 2,337 horses posting 263 wins, 311 seconds and 324 thirds (40% in the money) and earned another $1.1 million for those starts.

Ball is still actively training today, but limits his driving to county fairs and an occasional qualifying race. He defers the pari-mutuel lines to his son, Keith, who is continuing the family tradition. Keith Ball is also a Monroe County Sheriff.

Ken Ball still lives in Batavia with his longtime companion Patricia Arnold. But he’s more likely to be found shipping his horses to the track or a fair than at his house. But that’s the only way one could ever put together such an impressive body of work.

Ken Ball will receive his award in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 12) during UNY-USHWA’s Night of Distinction.


Top horses of 2015 to be lauded at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, President, UNY-USHWA

The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has named their choices for the best performing horses at the 2015 Batavia Downs meet.

Pacer of the Meet: Cobble Beach (Artiscape-Mirmattculous 1:51.2 $176,867)

Cobble Beach faced the best Open pacers at the Downs week in and week out and never seemed to fail to give his best effort. In 17 starts at Batavia, Cobble Beach won six, finished second four times and third three more. His efforts earned him $42,270 and a seasonal mark of 1:52.4.

Cobble Beach is owned by Leonard Segall and trained by James Clouser Jr.

Trotter of the Meet: Lutetium (Credit Winner-Luby 1:52.4 $356,617)

This year at Batavia, Lutetium has the most wins of any trotter competing in Open company. In nine starts he won six and finished second the other three. And in those three seconds he was only beaten a length, a neck and a nose. In those nine starts he amassed $37,750 in purses and set a new track record of 1:55.2 for aged trotting geldings at Batavia Downs.

Lutetium is owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw

Mare of the Meet: Memumsnotnice (Jereme’s Jet-Bunny Town 1:51.4 $308,343)

After not winning a race since February 4, Memumsnotnice hit her stride at Batavia Downs, winning four Open’s, finishing second four times and third five more. She earned $32,942 and took a seasonal mark of 1:55, which was also the fastest Memumsnotnice ever paced over a half mile track.

Memumsnotnice is owned by Thatsideofthefence LLC and John Mungillo, who also trains her.

The Heart of the Standardbred award is given to a horse that displays the will to overcome all odds in pursuit of becoming a race horse.

This year, that award goes to Red Clay (American Mike-Ersa Kash 1:57.4 $21,964)

Red Clay was turned out, green and unraced at two when Pat and Carmen Cappotelli acquired him. Far behind the curve, he was only raced three times at fairs at age three. Then after showing much promise in qualifiers after a very late start at age four, Red Clay experienced more issues that limited that season to only three starts as well.

2015 saw the continuation of Red Clay’s penchant for breaking but it was matched by Carmen Cappotelli’s patience with trotters and that patience was rewarded with an eye-opening qualifying win at Batavia on August 26. And from there, Red Clay beat the odds.

Red Clay won his next seven out of nine starts and finished second two more times besides that. The seven victories made him the winningest trotter of the meet as well. He was so good in his class he was sent off as the favorite seven times during that nine-race stretch. He took a lifetime mark of 1:57.4 on September 26, a time that at one point seemed unattainable by many, but not by Red Clay.

The connections of all four horses will receive their awards in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 12) during UNY-USHWA’s Night of Distinction.


Cummings, Perrin and Clouser best at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, President, UNY USHWA

Akron, NY---The Batavia Downs meet isn’t over, but the competition for the winningest driver and trainer certainly is. Kevin Cummings and JD Perrin are the leading dash driver and trainer for the 2015 season, repeating their dominance from last year and they will be honored by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness writers Association (UNY-USHWA).

Cummings currently has 131 victories during the meet, which total 49 more than his nearest competitor. And his $683,838 in purses won is at least a quarter-million dollars more than anyone else.

For the year, Cummings has already posted career numbers with 334 wins, $1.77 million in earnings and a UDR of .367. That UDR ranks him tenth in North America among all drivers. Cummings seasonal totals only pile onto his career statics that include 3,304 wins and $13.7 million in earnings.

Perrin posted 56 wins for the meet and his horses earned $236,822 for his efforts. He is also firing at a lofty .376 UTR.

As far as the entire year is concerned, Perrin has 125 wins, $633,747 in earnings and a UTR of .353. That UTR ranks him tenth as well among all trainers in North America to this point in 2015. Perrin’s career numbers include 569 wins and $2.4 million in purses.

UNY-USHWA has also named James Clouser Jr. their recipient of the 2015 Rising Star Award.

Since relocating his base of operations to Upstate New York early last summer, James Clouser Jr. has been on a tear. After only making minimal starts as a conditioner from 2008 until 2013, Clouser made some noise in 2014 winning 42 races from 191 outings and banked $229,887 in earnings. But this year he’s more than doubled all those numbers.

With only days of live racing left this year, Clouser has won 86 races and earned $454,359 in prizes on the strength of 286 starts. He is also boasting a gaudy .439 UTR. The 86 wins make him the top dash winning trainer in North America for conditioners with fewer than 300 starts.

For the current Batavia Downs meet, Clouser is the second leading trainer (behind JD Perrin) with 42 wins from 140 starts, $207,894 in earnings and a .431 UTR.

Kevin Cummings, JD Perrin and James Clouser Jr. will receive their awards in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Dec. 12) during UNY-USHWA’s Night of Distinction.


December 6, 2015

Lucky Nadotremblay scores career best in Batavia Open; Jack Flanigen wins five

Batavia, NY---Lucky Nadotremblay was pushed every step of the way Saturday night (Dec. 5), but the performance of a lifetime got him across first in the $10,000 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs.

Leaving from post one, Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) was immediately greeted by Adversary Seelster (Ron Beback Jr.) and Jokerman (Jim McNeight) as the race rounded the first turn. The treble cavalry charge ferociously continued up the backside and to the quarter in :27.1 before Jokerman pulled off from three-high and dropped in second-over behind Adversary Seelster.

Adversary Seelster continued to pace side by side with Lucky Nadotremblay past the half in :56 but started to do the backstroke by the three-quarters in 1:24.4. At that station Cobble Beach (Dave McNeight III) who had been tracking from fifth, tipped three-wide around the fading competition to move alongside Lucky Nadotremblay which started a two-horse competition that pulled away from the field. Cobble Beach inched closer and closer but Lucky Nadotremblay refused to lose and hung on to win by a neck in 1:53.4, which was a new lifetime mark for the victor.

It was the eighth win of the year for Lucky Nadotremblay ($7.20) and it boosted his 2015 earnings to $65,320 for owners Paul Viele and Ronald Louis Viele. Alex Giuliani trains the 5-year-old son of Blissful Hall.

Veteran reinsman Jack Flanigen put on a show, winning five races on the card that included the first four straight events. He scored with Big Dutch ($2.60), Bondy N ($2.10), Boots N Bourbon ($4.90), China Dream ($7.00) and Keystone Dalton ($2.50). Dave McNeight III won three and Ron Beback Jr. scored a double. James Clouser Jr. had a training hat-trick while Jim Graham and Maria Rice conditioned two winners each.

The final week of racing kicks off on Wednesday night (Dec. 9) with post time set for 6:15 p.m. The meet is down to the final three nights of live racing for 2015.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


December 5, 2015

Justgottogetthere tough as nails in Batavia Downs feature

Batavia, NY---It’s not too often a horse gets passed at the head of the lane and comes back on to win, but that is exactly what Justgottogetthere did in Friday night’s (Dec. 4) $9,500 trotting feature at Batavia Downs.

Leaving from post four, Justgottogetthere (Ron Beback Jr.) left quickly to take the lead and provide pylon-starter Leave Your Mark (Kevin Cummings) with a perfect trip. The rest of the field struggled to keep up as the leading pair went to the half in :59.3.

After that second station, it became two separate races; Justgottogetthere and Leave Your Mark broke away from the pack by four lengths. Cummings pulled Leave Your Mark at the three-quarter pole and drew alongside of Justgottogetthere before taking a length lead at the top of the stretch. Looking well on his way to victory, Leave Your Mark was quickly rebuffed when Beback urged Justgottogetthere on and the game trotter responded; retaking the lead and eventually winning the race by a length in 1:58.3.

The win was the tenth of the year for Justgottogetthere ($7.50), but the first since August 28. The winner’s share of the purse pushed his 2015 earnings to $63,402 for owners Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing LLC. Jerry Nugent Jr. trains the 6-year-old gelded son of Valley Victor.

Shawn McDonough had the hot hands on Friday, winning four races driving as well as one as trainer. Drew Monti was right behind with a hat-trick and Ron Beback Jr. doubled up. Trainers Russell Bratt and Alex Giuliani both sent two winners to get their pictures taken.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 5) at 6:15 p.m. There are only 4 cards of racing left in the 2015 meet.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


December 3, 2015

Mach This Way goes gate to wire in Batavia Mares Open

Batavia, NY---It was round two of the heavyweight fight between Mach This Way and Memumsnotnice in the $9,500 distaff pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Dec. 2) and when the race was run, Mach This Way avenged last week's result.

In a complete role reversal from a week ago, Memumsnotnice (Ray Fisher Jr.) was forced to sit in second as Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.) forced her way to the lead and made it clear that no one else would head her. Then over a rain-soaked track, they proceeded to splash to the half in :57.3.

As the girls made their way past three-quarters, Mach This Way and Memumsnotnice separated themselves from the rest of the field and it became a two-horse race at the top of the lane. From there, Memumsnotnice pulled and tried to overtake, but Mach This Way dug in and toughed-out a solid length victory in 1:57.

It was the seventh win of the year for Mach This Way ($3.30), including four wins in six consecutive Batavia Downs starts and the winners share enhanced her financial situation to $55,130 for owner William Emmons. James Clouser Jr. trains the 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three.

Several horsemen had multi-win evenings. Ron Beback Jr. scored a driving triple while Kevin Cummings registered a double. Trainers Kirk Desmond, James Clouser Jr. and Russell Bratt all sent two winners to post.

Live Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 4) with post time at 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


December 1, 2015

Stall Applications Available For Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Stall applications for the upcoming 2016 live harness racing season at Buffalo Raceway are now available at various sites and locations.

All stall applications must be returned no later than Friday, December 11. The barn area at Buffalo Raceway will open on January 5 with the first night of action coming on Wednesday, January 13 with a 5 p.m. post.

Chief Operating Officer of Buffalo Raceway Jim Mango said, "More improvements have been made in the stable area during the off season adding to the new barns and extensive upgrades to the grounds in recent years. There is no doubt that Buffalo Raceway has one of the most beautiful racetrack stable areas in the country."

He went on to say, "This fall, in cooperation with the WNYHHA, 1200 tons of new material was placed on the racetrack, following up on the extensive track work completed in 2014. It is the finest material I have seen in many years. Hopefully, old man winter will be kinder this year, making the racing experience more palatable for everyone.

The applications can be obtained on the website, at the Western New York Harness Horseman's Association office in Batavia or by calling Buffalo Raceway Racing Secretary Tom Agosti at 716-649-1280, ext. 6234.


November 29, 2015

Jokerman scores his tenth win in Batavia feature

Jokerman ($4.20) led from gate to wire in the $9,000 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 28) to register his tenth win of the year.

After easily taking the lead, driver Jim McNeight guided Jokerman through even fractions of :28.3 and :58.4 before anyone in the field made a move. At the half, Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) pulled to challenge the leader and pushed the issue to the three-quarters in 1:27. But Jokerman had the last laugh, pacing away from him as well as the rest of the field to score a two-length win in 1:55.2.

Besides being his tenth win of the year, Jokerman has also been the picture of consistency; finishing in the money 27 out of 39 starts. The purse raised Jokerman’s 2015 earnings to $76,131 and that, combined with his double-digit wins, has produced a career year for his owners Robert Roth, Randy Roth and Richard Roth, who also trains the 6-year-old American Ideal gelding.

Batavia Downs leading dash driver Kevin Cummings completed a five-day, 24-win run as he registered another five wins on Saturday night. Ron Beback Jr., Jack Flanigen and Jim McNeight also got across two winners each. Trainer James Clouser Jr. sent three of his students to the winner’s circle while Gerry Sarama and JD Perrin each sent two.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Dec. 2), kicking off the last six days of live racing for this year at the oldest lighted harness racing track in America.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


November 28, 2015

Corleone Hall sweeps the field in Batavia Downs trot

Batavia, NY---On a night that featured high wind, rain and a very sloppy track, Corleone Hall overcame the conditions, as well as five other horses, as he won the $9,000 top trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 27).

Corleone Hall got off to a very slow start and watched Diamonds For Life (Jack Flanigen) scoot out to an early lead from fifth, a gapped eight-lengths off. Diamonds For Life trotted along unchallenged and maintained a two-length advantage to the half in 1:00.1.

At that point, post time favorite Studio City (Dave McNeight III) pulled first-over and was followed by Northern Bullet (JD Perrin). As the field bunched going to three-quarters, Mike Caprio swung Corleone Hall three-deep and moved into striking position. Studio City took the lead at the head of the lane but there were five horses within three lengths of each other, all ready to stampede to the wire. But it was Corleone Hall, widest of all, who found solid footing in the center of the track and stormed down the lane to capture a narrow victory in 2:02.3.

It was the sixth win of the year for Corleone Hall ($8.00) and it pushed his annual earnings to $43,002 for owner/trainer Perry Wilson.

Batavia Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings, registered another multi-win evening Friday when he got across first in four races on the card. In the last four nights of racing at Batavia, Cummings has won 19 races. Jack Flanigen and Dave McNeight III both won two races and trainers Alex Giuliani and JD Perrin sent two stable members each to the winner’s circle.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 27) with post time for the first race set at 6:15.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


November 26, 2015

Memumsnotnice mighty tough in Batavia Mares Open

After fading late in her last two outings, Memumsnotnice displayed true grit this week to win the $9,500 top distaff class at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 25)

Downs leading reinsman, Kevin Cummings, rousted Memumsnotnice off the gate and into the lead before pacing unchallenged to the half in :58.1. But it was at that point it became a true horse race. Mach this Way (Ron Beback Jr.) pulled first-over at that station and drew alongside the leader. The pair then paced in tandem through the cold night air, for the next quarter mile in :28.1.

They continued their duel into the far turn before Memumsnotnice got stout-hearted and forged ahead of her foe. When she established a length advantage, Memumsnotnice dug in and would not let anyone get closer than that. She hit the wire first in 1:56.

It was the sixth win of the year for Memumsnotnice ($4.90), including four wins in her last six starts at Batavia Downs. The winner’s share of the purse pushed the mare’s 2015 bankroll to $51,018 for owners Thatsideofthefence LLC and John Mungillo, who also trains the daughter of Jereme’s Jet.

Three drivers won ten of the 12 races on Wednesday. Kevin Cummings had a four-bagger while Shawn McDonough and Dave McNeight III both scored hat-tricks. Trainer Kirk Desmond also sent two of his students to the winner’s enclosure.

Batavia Downs would like to wish all horsemen and fans a very Happy Thanksgiving and looks forward to the next card of live racing which will be held on Friday (Nov. 27) at 6:15 p.m. Just a reminder; there are only eight racing days left in the year.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


November 22, 2015

Kevin Cummings wins six at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---How do you top a five-win night? Simple; win six! That’s exactly the kind of weekend Batavia Downs dash driving leader Kevin Cummings had. After winning five races on Friday, Cummings took six of the 12 races on the card Saturday night, including the last five straight races. And he finished second twice and third three times besides. In fact, he was only off the board once all night. That performance translated into a .676 UDR for the night.

Cummings took pictures with Lucky Nadotremblay ($2.80), B Eva’s Lucky Lad ($5.50), In The Clear ($7.20), Camstar ($10,20), Noble Legend ($7.50)and Precise Accusation ($18.00).

As a result of his two-day winning spree, Cummings now has 115 victories for the meet and that puts him 39 ahead of his nearest competitor. For 2015, Cummings has registered 318 wins and $1.7 million in earnings. That win total is only 16 shy of his career best which was set last year.

In the $10,000 Open pace feature at Downs, a two-horse duel resulted in Adversary Seelster being the best among seven of the best resident pacers.

Jokerman (Jim McNeight) left fast to take control of the front, but Adversary Seelster (Ron Beback Jr.) came out early to overtake him by the quarter. Positions remained the same until Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) pulled at the half and charged hard at the leader.

Cummings pushed the pace to three-quarters, gaining a slight advantage on the outside at that point. But after Beback popped the plugs on Adversary Seelster, the gelding found another gear and responded in kind. He put away Youwillwishyouhad and then fended off a late challenge by Jokerman before hitting the wire first in 1:55.2.

It was the fourth win of the year for Adversary Seelster, and the winning time was a seasonal mark for him. The winner’s share of the purse pushed his 2015 earnings to $35,100 for owners Keith Pinkowski and Curtis Edholm. Adversary Seelster is trained by the currently red hot, Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr.

Jim McNeight and Ron Beback Jr. both had driving doubles while conditioner Alex Giuliani sent three of his trainees to the winner’s circle.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 25) at 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


November 21, 2015

Lutetium in a class by himself; Cummings wins five at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---It’s an old story, but one that’s frequently told in western New York. Lutetium wins another $9,500 Open trot feature race at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 20).

Leaving from the outside (post six) in an abbreviated field, Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) shot right to the front and took a lead he would never relinquish. With a loose, two-length advantage for most of the race, Lutetium cut quarters of :28.2, :58.3 and 1:28.2. As he opened up a wider margin past that last station, Cummings guided Lutetium to the wire first in 1:58.2 as the rest of the field viewed his efforts while arguing for minor spoils.

It was the tenth win of the season for Lutetium ($3.20) and sixth victory at Batavia Downs this meet. The winner’s share of the purse inflated his 2015 earnings to $80,371 for owner Colleen Girdlestone. Mark Laidlaw trains the 8-year-old gelded son of Credit Winner.

The Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings, registered a quintet of victories Friday night, extending his already insurmountable lead in the dash win category for the meet. He finished first with Lutetium ($3.20), Creating A Dream ($3.10), Leave Your Mark ($8.90), Livefreeordiehard ($8.10) and Rebel Teen ($4.80). Shawn McDonough and Ray Fisher Jr. also had driving doubles.

On the training side, John Mungillo sent three horses to the winner’s circle and Mihalo Zdjelar Jr. did the same with two.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 21) at 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


November 19, 2015

Mach This Way scores hard fought victory at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Wind gusts topping 50 mph could not dissuade the best effort of Mach This Way after she got aired-out for more than half a mile before winning the $10,000 Open mares pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 18).

The race was basically the tale of two mares. Memumsnotnice (Drew Monti) who shot right to the front to cut the fractions as she normally does and Mach This Way (Ron Beback Jr.), who was taken back to sixth until past the quarter pole.

Coming to the head of the stretch the first time, Beback pulled Mach This Way first-over and started a slow, methodical march towards the leader. By the time the field hit the three-quarter pole, Mach This Way was almost alongside Memumsnotnice and had no intention of stopping. The pair broke away from the pack, paced stride-for-stride around the far turn and matched steps all the way down the stretch until Mach This Way got a late advantage to win by a half-length in 1:56.4.

It was the sixth win of the year for Mach This Way ($17.80) and pushed her earnings to $48,005 for owner William Emmons. James Clouser Jr. trains the Mach Three mare.

Ron Beback Jr. had an outstanding night in the sulky, winning four races. He took pictures with Dirt Track Momma ($6.90), Mach This Way ($17.80), China Dream ($3.30) and Carman Coyote ($13.20). Drew Monti, Jack Flanigen and Ray Fisher Jr. all scored driving doubles. Trainers James Clouser Jr. and Maria Rice also sent two horses each to the winner’s enclosure.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 20) at 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


November 15, 2015

Western Alumni upsets in Batavia Downs Open Pace

Batavia, NY---The weather was clear but Western Alumni made it rain Saturday night (Nov. 14) at Batavia Downs when he went worst-to-first at 12-1 in the field of seven to capture the $10,000 Open pace feature.

It was a jailbreak off the gate as Adversary Seelster (Ron Beback Jr.), Jokerman (Jim McNeight) and post time favorite Cobble Beach (Kevin Cummings) went three deep for the first two furlongs, tripping the timer in :26.4. The field settled itself just in time for Western Alumni (Ray Fisher Jr.) to pull from seventh and start his outside trek towards the leader.

At the half, Button Fly (Shawn McDonough) pulled out in front of Western Alumni and provided a windshield for him to the top of the lane. From there, Western Alumni tipped three-deep and Fisher proceeded to rock-n-knock to a length victory over a fast-closing Best Ears (Jack Flanigen) in 1:54.3.

It was the fifth win of the year for Western Alumni ($26.20), pushing his earnings to $49,986 for 2015. Jerry Nugent Jr. trains the 7-year-old Western Hanover gelding for North Creek Racing LLC.

Trainer JD Perrin widened his lead as the top dash-winning trainer of the meet by sending four horses to the winner’s enclosure. Barn stars for the night included Dancin Thea ($8.40), Meadowlandcampbell E ($2.50), Youwillwishyouhad ($2.50) and Veto Hanover ($5.00). Drivers Drew Monti, Kevin Cummings, Jim McNeight and Ray Fisher Jr. all won two races.

Live racing at Batavia Downs resumes on Wednesday night (Nov. 18) with post time at 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


November 14, 2015

Studio City toughs-out close win in Batavia feature

Batavia, NY---Racing brave in a first-over trip, lightly regarded Studio City ($19.80) scored his second straight top-class win, taking the $10,000 Open trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 13).

After Curious George (Jack Flanigen) directed the field to a :28.4 quarter, Studio City (Dave McNeight III) pulled first-over at three-eighths and started his march to the front. The outer flow continued to grow as Write That Down (Shawn McDonough) joined the fray in a :59.1 half.

When the group hit three-quarters, Studio City and Curious George were neck and neck before Write That Down tipped three-deep around the last turn and Justgottogetthere (Ron Beback Jr.) found room in the passing lane. The quartet battled four-abreast all the way down the lane with Studio City getting up to photo out Justgottogetthere in 1:59.2. Write That Down finished third.

Two heads and a neck separated the top four finishers of the race.

It was the fifth win of the year for Studio City and pushed the 2015 earnings of the 6-year-old Conway Hall gelding to $50,407 for owners Scott Woogen and Lisa Denison. Lisa Lederhouse trains the winner.

Sean McDonough continued to be the hottest driver on the grounds, winning four races on Friday. That moved him in to third place among the locals for dash wins this meet. The leader in that race, Kevin Cummings, had a driving double along with Ron Beback Jr. and Dave McNeight III.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 14) with post time set at 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


November 12, 2015

Little Santamonica comes up big at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Before returning last week, Little Santamonica hadn’t competed at Batavia Downs since early in the 2014 meet when she won back to back Open distaff races. It took her a week, but she regained her old form at the Genesee County oval on Wednesday night (Nov. 11) in winning the $10,000 Open mares pace.

Little Santamonica (Shawn McDonough) took a seat early and watched as three-straight winner, Memumsnotnice (Kevin Cummings), battle her way to the lead in a swift :27 quarter over a track rated “good”. Then as she has done for the past three weeks, Memumsnotnice proceeded to lead the field by a loose two-lengths en route to tripping the three-quarters in 1:25.3.

At the top of the last turn, Ding (Jack Flanigen) took her best shot, getting almost alongside the leader. But that advance gave Little Santamonica (who had been locked in fourth) just enough room to swing off the pylons and tip three-deep. From there, McDonough needed little urging as the mare flew down the lane past the leader to win in 1:55.3.

It was the tenth win of the season for Little Santamonica ($7.40) and the winner’s share of the purse boosted her annual earnings to $79,735 for owner Jordan Hope, who also trains the mare.

Shawn McDonough scored the natural driving hat-trick in races five through seven with Enzo Seelster ($13.80), Red Clay ($2.70) and Little Santamonica ($7.40). Kevin Cummings, Ron Beback Jr. and Jim McNeight also scored driving doubles.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 13) with post time at 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


November 8, 2015

Cobble Beach wins Batavia feature; Flanigen wins five

Batavia, NY---Not one to be camera shy, Cobble Beach took the overland-route to capture another $9,000 Open pace feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 7).

Sent off as the 3-2 favorite, Cobble Beach was taken to the back of the pack by driver Jack Flanigen at the start of the race as a contentious battle for the lead was staged between Button Fly (Shawn McDonough) and FB Seelster (Dave McNeight III). The latter took command before the group completed the first circuit in :57.2.

Cruising past five-eighths, If It Rains (Kevin Cummings) pulled first-over and brought Cobble Beach with him in tow. After the herd hit three-quarters in 1:26.4, If It Rains went by FB Seelster around the far turn and Cobble Beach passed If It Rains in the lane to take the lead and the race in 1:55.3.

It was the tenth win of the season for Cobble Beach ($5.10) and his best single-year earnings total continued to rise to $78,680 for owner Leonard Segall. James Clouser Jr. trains the 5-year-old Artiscape gelding.

The red-hot Jack Flanigen has been on a tear of late and Saturday was no exception. Flanigen bagged a quintuplet of victories and lit up the tote board in the process with Stirling Cadillac ($36.80), Cobble Beach ($5.10), Best Ears ($8.80), Peter Pumpkineater ($2.60) and Reachinforthestars ($11.40).

Kevin Cummings, Jim McNeight and Ron Beback Jr. also had driving doubles. Trainers JD Perrin and Maria Rice both sent two starters to the winner’s circle.

The $2,004 Pick-5 carry-over pool provided one lucky bettor a $4,700 payout for a .50 bet Saturday after he cashed in his 6-1-6-1-1 winning ticket.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night with the first post set for 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


November 5, 2015

Memumsnotnice three-peat in Batavia mares Open

Batavia, NY---After winning two of her first four races of 2015 back in January and February, Memumsnotnice went 0-for-21 the next eight months. But that drought ended in October and now the mare is riding a three-race win streak, all in Open mares company and all at Batavia Downs.

On Wednesday (Nov. 4), Memumsnotnice ($7.20) took the $10,000 distaff Open pace in the same dominating fashion she displayed the previous two weeks. After leaving from post five, she led by a loose two-lengths while cutting fractions of :28.2, :57.4 and 1:25.4 before cruising home unchallenged in 1:55. The winning time was a new seasonal mark.

In her last three starts, Memumsnotnice has led at every station and won those races by a combined seven lengths.

The winner’s share of Wednesday’s purse pushes Memumsnotnice's earnings to $42,568 for owners Thatsideofthefence LLC and John Mungillo, who also trains the 6-year-old Jereme’s Jet mare.

Kevin Cummings, Shawn McDonough, Jack Flanigen, Dave McNeight III and Ray Fisher Jr. all scored driving doubles Wednesday night.

When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 6) at 6:15, the Pick-5 carryover will be $1,173. That is one of the largest carry-over pools of the season.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


USTA District 8 and NYSS Banquet at Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Batavia, NY---On Sunday (Nov. 15), Batavia Downs will be the site for the USTA District 8 membership meeting, Director election and New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) year-end awards banquet, hosted by the New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund.

All members of USTA District 8 are invited to attend the general membership meeting which begins at 4 p.m. in the Robert J. Kane board room. The agenda includes a discussion of proposed USTA rule changes and other business, followed by questions and answers.

There will also be voting for two Director’s seats that are currently available and polls will open at 4 p.m. If you are not attending in person, be advised that your mailed ballot must be received by the USTA no later than November 11.

At the conclusion of the meeting, there will be a cocktail party held in advance of the dinner that will start at 6:30 p.m. and be hosted by Batavia Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Monticello Raceway, Saratoga Raceway, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. Cocktails and hors devours will be available at in the Grandstands Banquet Room, located on the upper level.

Dinner will start at 7:30 p.m. and will also be held in Grandstands.

Shortly after dinner begins, opening remarks will kick off the NYSS awards ceremony and presentations by the USTA and the New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund.

Tickets for the banquet are $30 per person and must be purchased in advance. Anyone purchasing a ticket will also receive $15 worth of "free-play" on the gaming floor.

Tickets can be obtained by sending a check (payable to the NYS Harness Horse Breeders) to NYS Harness Horse Breeders, 12 Avis Drive, Suite 1, Latham, NY 12110 Attention: Betty. Payment must arrive no later than Wednesday (Nov. 11) and the general public is welcome to attend.

If you need further assistance, please call the HHBNYS at 518-785-5858.


November 1, 2015

Cobble Beach and Historian highlight Batavia Downs matinee card

Batavia, NY---The last matinee card of the year at Batavia Downs was held on Saturday (Oct. 31) and featured the top-two pacing classes on the grounds and the performances turned in by the winner of each were equally impressive.

Cobble Beach (Jack Flanigen) shook off a couple fringe finishes and took no prisoners going wire to wire in the $10,000 Open pace in 1:54.4. It was the ninth win of 2015 for Cobble Beach ($7.70), which has become a career year for wins and earnings (now $74,180) for the 5-year-old Artiscape gelding. James Clouser Jr. trains Cobble Beach for owner Leonard Segall.

In the co-feature $8,400 Open II, Historian (Jim McNeight) took advantage of a two-hole trip behind FB Seelster (Dave McNeight III) and stalked the leader the entire mile before shooting up the passing lane in deep-stretch to garner victory by a mere head. Historian ($12.20) toured the course in 1:53.3, which was a new lifetime mark for the 5-year-old Stonebridge Regal gelding. Jack and Maria Rice own the winner with Maria Rice also doing the training.

Several horsemen made multiple trips to the winner's circle on Saturday. Kevin Cummings, Jim McNeight and Jack Flanigen all had driving triples while trainers Maria Rice, James Clouser Jr. and JD Perrin all sent two winners postward.

Arainna Brone, who was visiting Batavia Downs while home for the weekend from college, won the $4,000 pair of diamond earrings in the “Diamond of a Day” promotion sponsored by TAG Jewelers.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 4) with post time at 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 31, 2015

Write That Down scores again in Batavia Downs feature

Batavia, NY---Write That Down proved that last week’s Open II win was no fluke as he took on the best resident trotters Friday night (Oct. 30) and came out on top in the $9,500 Open trot at Batavia Downs.

When prohibitive post-time favorite Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) left from post six to take the lead, the rest of the field stood down and followed in post one-through-five order behind him. After a :28.1 quarter, the leader started to back-off the pace and that is when Write That Down (Shawn McDonough) pulled and started his move.

Slowly and methodically, Write That Down advanced on the outside and drew within a length of the leading Lutetium at three-quarters in a brisk 1:27.3. When the race rounded the last turn, these two separated themselves from the rest of the field; Lutetium at the pylons and Write That Down to his right flank. With both Cummings and McDonough rocking and knocking down the lane, Write That Down nosed out Lutetium at the wire in 1:57.2.

It was the seventh win of the year for Write That Down ($15.80) including three wins at Batavia Downs in only four starts here and his owners Scott Beecher and Daniel Seidberg have now banked $43,642 on account of the 4-year-old’s efforts. Jeff Sorenson trains Write That Down.

Ron Beback Jr. piloted three winners on the night and Jack Flanigen had two.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 31) with a special Breeders Cup matinee that gets underway at 1:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 29, 2015

Memumsnotnice makes a splash in Batavia feature

Batavia, NY---Experiencing the same inclement weather as most of the country on Wednesday night (Oct. 28), six top-class distaff side-wheelers went postward in the wind, rain and sloppy track conditions to compete in the $9,500 Open mares pace at Batavia Downs. And when all was said and done, Memumsnotnice dominated her peers once again.

Starting from post one for the fourth consecutive week, Memumsnotnice (Ray Fisher Jr.) briefly yielded the lead to Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) before retaking at the quarter. She then waltzed unchallenged to a :32 second quarter, unfazed by the river of mud underfoot.

While maintaining a solid three-length lead up to that point, Fisher let the mare out a notch and paced a quick :28.3 third panel in an attempt to put the girls away at that station. The ploy was successful and no one had an answer; Memumsnotnice left the field in her spray en route to a convincing, four-length victory.

It was the fourth win of the year (including second in a row) for Memumsnotnice ($4.90) and the spoils pushed her annual earnings to $37,568 for owners Thatsideofthefence LLC and John Mungillo, who also trains the mare.

Ray Fisher Jr. scored a driving triple Wednesday while Drew Monti, Dave McNeight III and Jack Flanigen all registered doubles. Trainers Jim Graham, Dave McNeight Jr. and James Clouser Jr. each sent two winners postward.

Racing resumes on Friday night (Oct. 30) with post time set at 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 25, 2015

Jokerman was all business in Batavia Downs Open pace

Batavia, NY---Despite stiff competition and some very inclement weather, Jokerman had the last laugh Saturday night (Oct. 24) by winning the $9,500 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs.

Western Alumni (Ron Beback Jr.) left hard and made it known he was going to cut the mile. And in kind, everyone then followed in post-position order. Past the quarter, Button Fly (Shawn McDonough) came first up and brought Cobble Beach (John Cummings Jr.) in tow. This left Jokerman (Jim McNeight) tucked in nicely, second at the pylons.

Positions remained basically the same through three-quarters and around the last turn. But as soon as they hit the stretch and the passing lane opened up, McNeight directed Jokerman into that gap and muscled his way to the lead and the win in 1:55. Western Alumni hung on for second with Cobble Beach rallying three-wide for show.

It was the ninth win of 2015 for Jokerman who has now earned $66,051 for the year. The 5-year-old American Ideal gelding is trained by Richard Roth, who co-owns with Robert Roth and Randy Roth.

The $8,400 Open II pace co-feature was one of the more entertaining races of the night. Lucky Nadotremblay (Kevin Cummings) and FB Seelster (Dave McNeight III) fought side-by-side, tooth, fang and claw for the front for almost three-quarters of the mile before Arrived Late (Shawn McDonough) tipped four-wide around them at that station to take the lead and open up by three. But he wasn’t safe as If It Rains (John Cummings Jr.) who was right behind him, tracked him down in the stretch to win by a length. Sent off at 16-1, If It Rains, made it rain, returning $35.80.

Jim McNeight scored a driving hat-trick while Kevin Cummings, Ron Beback Jr. and Jack Flanigen all registered doubles. Trainers Gerry Sarama, Alex Giuliani and Maria Rice each sent two winners to post as well.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 28) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 24, 2015

Write That Down scores a breathtaking win in Batavia Downs feature

Batavia, NY---In what could only be described as an unbelievable display of relentless heart by a racehorse that was managed by a masterful drive, Write That Down, under the guidance of Shawn McDonough, won the $7,700 Open II trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 23).

Tequila Haze (Jim McNeight) and Justgottogetthere (Ron Beback Jr.) both left for the lead with the latter getting it by the quarter. Then the field stayed seated past three-eighths before an outer flow began. Write That Down, who was lightly regarded by the betting public, was sitting last at the half in :58.3.

After the group rounded turn-three, Serious George (Jack Flanigen) tipped three-high around three horses parked out, and started to gain momentum up the backside. This left Write That Down in an impossible spot; last behind a wall of horses that at this point, were going nowhere.

As they headed into the last bend, Serious George cleared and took command of the race while mid-pack hangers, Iain’tnomamaluke (Denny Bucceri) and Leave Your Mark (Kevin Cummings), both packed it in. Their demise gave Write That Down just enough room to finally pull off the pylons and swing four-wide at the top of the stretch. From there, McDonough had Write That Down trotting out of his shoes as they flew down the stretch. McDonough seemed to have the Serious George measured as Write That Down got by him just before the wire to win in 1:58.2.

This was the sixth victory of the season for Write That Down ($19.20) and the second win in three Batavia Downs starts this year. The 4-year-old Crazed gelding has now earned $38,892 in 2015 for owners Scott Beecher and Daniel Seidberg. Jeff Sorenson trains Write That Down.

Arduous efforts were put in by several horsemen on Friday night. John Cummings Jr. had a driving grand slam while Kevin Cummings, Jim McNeight and Ray Fisher Jr. all registered doubles. Trainers JD Perrin and Carl Smith also sent two winners each to post.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 24) with post time set for 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 22, 2015

Memumsnotnice dominates top distaff pacers at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---It’s not too often a horse jumps up in class and dictates the proceedings but that’s just what happened to Memumsnotnice in the $8,500 Open mares pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 21).

Leaving from post one for the third consecutive week, Memumsnotnice (Ray Fisher Jr.) took quick control of the front and led her minions by a loose two-lengths for the entire mile. After fractions of :29.1, :57.2 and 1:26.1, Fisher raised the lines, cracked the whip and enticed Memumsnotnice to open up a three-length lead and draw away at the wire in 1:55.1.

It was the third victory of 2015 for Memumsnotnice and the winner’s share boosted her seasonal earnings to $32,818 for owners Thatsideofthefence LLC and John Mungillo, who also trains the winner.

Driving and training multiplicity ran rampant at Batavia Downs on Wednesday as Ray Fisher Jr. scored a driving hat trick on the card while Kevin Cummings and Jack Flanigen both copped doubles. Trainers John Mungillo and JD Perrin also both had two winners apiece.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 23) with post time set for 6:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 20, 2015

Batavia Downs new post time is set for 6:15 p.m.

Batavia, NY---Starting on Wednesday (Oct. 21), Batavia Downs will move to a new, earlier post time of 6:15 p.m. for the remainder of the season. The only race date that will not start at that time is the final 1:15 p.m. matinee which will be held on Breeders Cup Saturday (Oct. 31).

Horsemen are advised to check the paddock and Lasix schedule for the new 6:15 starting time which is available on the Batavia Downs website. They should also take note that all qualifying races for the rest of the meet will be held on Wednesdays at 4:45 p.m.

Racing fans coming to the track should take note that the gates will be open at 4:45 p.m. and the very popular Early Bird Daily Double (the bet that gives you $10 in gaming free-play when you wager $10 on the daily double) will be available in the Paddock Room only from 5-6 p.m.

With 45 days of racing completed, many great promotions have already been presented. But with 24 days of racing left, there is still much more fun yet to come.

Breeder’s Cup day (Oct. 31) will be one of the track’s biggest promotions of the entire year. Live harness racing starts at 1:15 and the races will be intermingled with each Breeder’s Cup event. The track will also offer a Breeder’s Cup Party package for only $20. Fans will receive a lunch buffet, a Breeders’ Cup program, a Batavia Downs program, an American Pharaoh T-shirt and $10 in gaming free-play. This is a $47 value.

Also on Oct. 31, the track will present the “Diamond of a Day” give-away sponsored by TAG Jewelers (www.tagjewelers.com). Five customers will be chosen at random to pick one of five jewelry boxes. Four boxes will contain gold earrings worth $200 a pair and one box will contain a set of diamond earrings valued at $4,000.

Wednesday (Nov. 25) is the “second chance” Drew Monti bobblehead give-away. A limited amount of these remaining, very desirable collectibles will be distributed on a first come-first served basis to customers who swipe their card at Player’s Club and get a ticket. They will be distributed after the seventh race in the Paddock Room. Racing fans will also have the choice of selecting a Batavia Downs wine rack in the event the bobbleheads are gone. The Drew Monti bobbleheads are also sponsored by TAG Jewelers (www.tagjewelers.com).

During the first two weekends of December, Batavia Downs will host the free $1,000 Pick-6 contest, sponsored by the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association. Fans can swipe their card at Player’s Club and get an official entry form.

Saturday (Dec. 5) is the first $500 leg. If no one selects all six winners, then Friday (Dec. 11) it goes to $1,000. If no one selects all six winners that night, then Saturday (Dec. 12) is a “must-pay” to the player(s) with the most winners selected out of six.

And finally, Friday (Dec. 11) is customer appreciation day. Everyone in attendance will receive free sandwiches from Subway of Batavia, free cake from BJ’s Wholesale of Batavia, free coffee and $1 programs.

The final live racing card of the season is on Saturday (Dec. 12).

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 18, 2015

Button Fly no longer camera shy in Batavia feature

Batavia, NY---Since coming to Batavia Downs three starts ago, Button Fly had yet to taste victory after three narrow decisions. But class relief and post one worked wonders for him this week as he captured the $8,400 Open II pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 17).

After yielding the lead to Gold Star Spike (Drew Monti) at the eighth pole, Button Fly (Shawn McDonough) pulled and retook the lead by the quarter and never looked back. After putting the field to sleep in a stodgy :58 half, Button Fly paired :28.1 and :28.2 final panels en route to an easy two-length win in 1:54.3.

Sent off as the prohibitive 1-5 favorite, Button Fly ($2.40) captured his fifth win of the year and boosted his 2015 earnings to $40,285 for owners David Ball and Jerry Reinhart. Winning driver, Shawn McDonough, also conditions the 5-year-old Lis Mara gelding.

Shawn McDonough had a very productive night, winning four races as a driver as well as two as a trainer. His driving wins included Red Clay ($2.70), Kruella ($3.80), Button Fly ($2.40) and Enzo Seelster ($17.00); the last two he also trains. Kevin Cummings scored a driving double as did Dave McNeight III. Trainer Dave McNeight Jr. conditioned two that visited the winner's enclosure.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 21) at a new, earlier post time of 6:15 p.m. This will be the post time for all evening cards for the remainder of the 2015 meet.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 17, 2015

BZ Glide goes worst to first in Batavia Open trot

Batavia, NY---Neither wind, rain, gloom of night nor five worthy competitors could keep BZ Glide from completing his appointed rounds as he once again won the $9,500 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 15).

After intermittent late-afternoon downpours provided a wet and tacky racing surface for the evenings’ events, Vernon Downs invader Hold On Tightly (John Cummings Jr.) found good footing off the gate and went right to the lead. He maintained that position unchallenged for the bulk of the mile, setting pedestrian off-track fractions of :30.1, 1:01.4 and 1:31.2 in the process. During those same fractions, BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) sat last, gapped two-lengths off, watching it all happen.

But six furlongs at the back of the bus was long enough. Into the final turn, Caprio pulled BZ Glide three-deep before fanning out four-wide at the top of the lane. The pair switched into overdrive, swooped the field and passed Hold On Tightly at the wire to win by a length in 2:01.4.

It was the seventh victory in 17 starts for BZ Glide ($3.60) and the winner’s share of the purse enhanced his 2015 financial situation to $50,570 for owner Caprio Stable LLC. Alana Caprio trains the 6-year-old altered son of Yankee Glide.

On a night that went against recent trends, only one driver scored multiple wins on the card; John Cumming Jr. had two. Other than that, 10 different drivers won the remaining 10 races and the Downs top two leading reinsmen, Kevin Cummings and Dave McNeight III, were blanked.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 16) at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


Batavia Downs and ADK Hospitality to Break Ground on New Hotel

Batavia, NY — Batavia Downs Gaming and ADK Hospitality, LLC, today announced it will hold the groundbreaking ceremony for its Batavia Downs Gaming Hotel project on Monday, October 19, 2015 beginning at 11:00 am. The Batavia Hotel Project is strategically located at Batavia’s most significant tourist attraction, Batavia Downs Gaming.

"The recent transformational expansion by Batavia Downs Gaming has been a tremendous benefit for the region and we are thrilled to be part of this area’s growth." said ADK’s partner Anthony Baynes. "We intend to build a first class hotel to complement all the exciting new construction projects that will take Batavia to new heights.”

The $7.5 million privately funded ADK Project is expected to open by May of 2016.

Plans for the hotel will accompaniment the newly completed $28 million interior renovation of the current Batavia Downs Gaming. “Construction of a 4-story, 84-room hotel will help support the newly modernized 500 seat banquet facility, Fortune’s Italian restaurants and the Thurman Thomas’ 34 Rush Sports Bar and Lounge”, said Batavia Downs Executive Vice President Mike Nolan.

“As designed, the new hotel will provide patrons with spectacular liveracing views of the oldest lighted harness racing track in America from their rooms,” said ADK partner Kent Frey.

The new Batavia Downs Gaming Hotel has partnered with the Hart Hotel Group to operate this new project. "We are excited to be working with Hart Hotel Group, Western New York’s largest hotel management company," said David McNamara of ADK.

"We believe the new Batavia Downs Gaming Hotel will only enhance the Batavia Downs Gaming experience for our customers as well as provide the potential to drive additional visitation to the Batavia region, and we look forward to completion of the construction,” said Western OTB CEO and President, Michael D. Kane.

Batavia Downs/ Western Regional Off-Track Betting is a public benefit corporation owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 28 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standardbred racetrack and gaming facility.

Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 15, 2015

Wicked Elphaba takes mare Open; Monti wins four

Batavia, NY---Wicked Elphaba started slow but finished strong to take the $10,000 Open mares pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 14).

Wicked Elphaba (Ray Fisher Jr.) quickly found herself with a ten-length deficit when Aurora Borealis (Kirk Desmond), Seascape Hanover (John Cummings Jr.) and Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) all battled for the lead in a brisk :27.1 quarter. From there, Seascape Hanover took the front and cut the mile while leaving Country Delight hung out to dry.

As the group passed the half and moved towards five-eighths, Fisher pulled Wicked Elphaba and brushed strongly up the backside. At the three-quarter pole, Wicked Elphaba tipped three-deep around the fading Country Delight, drew even with the front-running Seascape Hanover, and then flew by to take the lead. The mare paced away down the lane to win by three lengths in 1:56. It was the fifth win of the year for Wicked Elphaba ($9.20) and the first in the top class for distaff pacers at this meet. The winners share pushed her 2015 earnings to $25,873 for owner Tanah Merah Farms. The 5-year-old Western Terror mare is trained by Ryan Swift.

Drew Monti had a grand slam on Wednesday night, taking pictures with Climate Hanover ($2.80), Missevil ($9.70), R T Lange ($32.20) and Diditagain Hanover ($26.00). Shawn McDonough and Dave McNeight III both had doubles on the card as well.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 16) at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 13, 2015

Rock Vinci wins the Italian-American race at Batavia

Batavia, NY---Although it was Columbus Day at Batavia Downs, it was Groundhog Day for Rock Vinci. That is because Vinci won the special Italian-American drivers race (known as the Christopher Columbus Pace) for the second year in a row, in the identical time as last year and with another bombs-away payoff.

Vinci left with his horse, the 12-1 Bruener, before giving way to 102-1 Put It In Gear (Denny Bucceri). Past three-eighths, the prohibitive 1-9 favorite, Feets Of Magic (Drew Monti), pulled to try and take the lead from Put It In Gear. But while those two jousted until the top of the stretch, Vinci snuck Bruener up the pylons and won going away in 1:58.2. The winner paid $26.20.

Last year, Vinci won the "race for the cannolis" with Windsong Destroyer off a similar two-hole trip, also in 1:58.2 and returned a healthy $16.80.

Aside from the gratitude of owner Joe Kilburg, trainer JD Perrin and his driving percentage of the purse, Vinci was also presented with a half dozen gourmet cannolis in the winners's circlr and gets to retain his bragging rights for another year.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 11, 2015

Phil Your Boots upsets in Batavia feature

Batavia, NY---Sent off at 12-1, the lightly regarded Phil Your Boots made believers out of those doubters as he overcame a huge deficit at the half to win the $9,500 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 10).

Off the wings, Cobble Beach (John Cummings Jr.) and Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) both left in search of forward positioning. Jokerman (Jim McNeight), who had the pole, let Cobble Beach go while seating Fireyourguns. After all grabbed a spot, the single-file pack tripped the quarter in :28.4 and the half in :56.1. At this point, eventual winner Phil Your Boots (Drew Monti) was sitting last, 10-lengths off the lead behind a drifting and gapped Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.).

Monti got his charge around the lagging horse and quickly caught the field. When Button Fly (Shawn McDonough) started an outer-flow, Phil Your Boots followed second-over as they reached the three-quarters in 1:26.1. At the top of the stretch, Cobble Beach packed it in but Fireyourguns still looked strong. Undaunted, Phil Your Boots tipped three-deep and put on a ferocious charge to just nose-out Fireyourguns in 1:54.2.

It was the tenth win of the year for Phil Your Boots ($26.00) including six out of his last eight. And the winner’s share of the purse inflated his 2015 earnings to $43,750 for owner Lou Frascella. Carl Smith trains the winner.

Drew Monti scored a driving triple Saturday, winning with Phil Your Boots ($26.00), Rockstar Temper ($3.40) and The Battle Begins ($3.60) while Kevin Cummings, Shawn McDonough and Jim McNeight all registered driving doubles.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Oct. 12) with a special Columbus Day matinee card that gets underway at 1:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 10, 2015

Tequila Haze a clear winner in Batavia feature

Batavia, NY---In as definitive a manner as could be displayed, Tequila Haze ($11.20) led at all stations en route to capturing the $7,700 Open II trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 9).

While weekly regulars Lutetium and BZ Glide were not in the race, Tequila Haze (Jim McNeight) took full advantage of the opportunity and used his gait speed to power to the front off the gate and take immediate command of the race. Enjoying a loose-length lead, McNeight took the field through fractions of :29.2, :59.3 and 1:28.3 before raising the lines and giving Tequila Haze his head around the last turn.

With some rocking and knocking encouragement down the lane, Tequila Haze held strong and hit the wire in front in 1:58. Keystone Wild Card (Drew Monti) was second and Studio City (Dave McNeight III) was third.

It was the fourth win of the year for the 4-year-old gelded son of Muscle Mass and it raised his seasonal earnings to $33,399 for owners Michael Ventura and James McNeight Jr.

Shawn McDonough scored a driving triple of Friday’s card while Jack Flanigen and Ray Fisher Jr. both had doubles.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 10) with post time for the first race set at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 8, 2015

Country Delight takes Batavia feature; Cummings Jr. wins five

Two divisions of $7,700 Open II pacing mares headlined the card at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 7) with eleven ladies going postward.

The better of the two contests turned out to be the second when Country Delight ($5.00) took a pocket trip en route to winning the seventh race by a long length.

Memumsnotnice (Kevin Cummings) got away sharply as Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) tucked in behind her as the only leaver in the race. From there, Cummings led the field through fractions of :28, :58.2 and 1:27 before they circled the far turn.

At the top of the stretch it appeared as if Memumsnotnice had the race won, but Flanigen shooed Country Delight into the passing lane where she accelerated past the leader to win in 1:55.4.

It was the ninth win of the year for the 5-year-old American Ideal mare who has now earned $57,473 in purses this year for owner James Frandsen. Country Delight is trained by James Clouser Jr.

In the first division, Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight) went to go in front immediately at the start and maintained that position the entire mile, hanging on to beat the pocket-sitting 1-9 favorite, Climate Hanover (Drew Monti) by a mere nose in 1:57.

It was the fifth win of 2015 for Infrontigo Hanover who now has $50,444 in the bank for the year. The 7-year-old Western Hanover mare is trained by Bob Gruber, who co-owns with Summer Wind Stable of NY.

Driver John Cummings Jr. was on fire Wednesday, winning five races on the card. He took his picture with LG’s Pride ($65.50), Seascape Hanover ($5.10), Voltina ($10.80), Hawaiian Joe ($4.60) and Regal Beau ($4.60). Sean McDonough and Jack Flanigen each had driving doubles.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night with the first post set to go at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 4, 2015

Atta Boy Dan wins Kane at Batavia; Morrill Jr. wins 7

The marquee event at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 3) was the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace. But history and outstanding performances in other races combined to provided a show that those in attendance won’t soon forget.

In the main event, Atta Boy Dan led at every post en route to a three-length victory in the 13th annual Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace.

Off the gate, Atta Boy Dan (Jim Morrill Jr.) rebuffed early challenges from Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) and Doctor Butch (Jim Marohn Jr.) and seated them both past the eighth pole. Then after the field followed in single file to a :27.4 quarter, Morrill backed off the half to :56.3 and took full control of the race.

Royal Heart (Drew Monti) started an outer flow into the clubhouse turn and had Aslan (Sean McDonough) in tow, but no one got closer than two-lengths before they hit the head of the stretch. From there, Fireyourguns pulled the pocket for one last shot but Atta Boy Dan, pacing his last quarter in :27.4, was just too good and pulled away to an easy win in 1:52.1.

Fireyourguns hung on to be second and Aslan came up to be third.

“I had a smooth journey to the half and as soon as I called on him, he was on cruise right to the wire. That was a good horse (Fireyourguns) sitting on my back and I was a little worried about him, but mine felt pretty good too. I wish I could have a Burke horse off the rail every year in this race” said winning driver Jim Morrill Jr.

It was the sixteenth victory of the year for Atta Boy Dan ($2.30) and the winner’s share boosted his earning to $222,757 in 2015 for owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi.

Atta Boy Dan was just part of the story for Jim Morrill Jr. on Saturday night as he won seven races out of the 11 he had on the card. Combine those with a second and third he also had and Morrill posted an amazing .717 UDR for the evening.

The all-time pacing track record of 1:51.1 was not broken in the race; however trotting history was made instead.

Lutetium got back to his front-running comfort zone and destroyed the field in the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot.

In a late driver change, John Cummings Jr. was tapped to steer Lutetium and wasted no time earning his keep. When prohibitive betting favorite, Tall Cotton made a break in the first turn, Cummings rushed Lutetium away and opened up a gap of as much as 15 lengths between himself and the rest of the field through fractions of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:25.1 before scooting home to a six-length victory in 1:55.2.

The winning time broke the existing track record of 1:56 for aged trotting geldings that was co-held by Lutetium and Second Hand News, both who set that mark in 2014.

“They said he hasn’t been leaving well lately, so I scored him down fast. Once he got the front in the race; the more I grabbed him, the more he went on. I was a passenger” said Cummings Jr.

It was the ninth win of the year for Lutetium and it pushed his bank account to $68,886 for owner Colleen Girdlestone and trainer Mark Laidlaw. Overlooked at 10-1, Lutetium returned $22.60.

This was just one of three wins for John Cummings Jr., who scored the hat trick on the night.

There were also two, $50,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolation events on the card for 2-year-old colts and geldings and also fillies.

The boy’s division was won by Southern Palms (RC Royalty-Pacific Elegance) in 1:59.2. The post-time favorite went wire to wire and won by four-lengths. It was the first career win for Southern Palms ($4.40) who is trained by Erv Miller for owners Ronald Michelon and Anthony Lombardi.

After the race, winning driver Jim Marohn Jr. said “Erv (Miller) tipped me off that he was a handful tonight; and he was!”

The distaff leg went to Royal Surprise (RC Royalty-Miss Conway), also in 1:59.2. After getting away fourth, the filly tipped three-deep at three-quarters and pulled away to a two-length win. It was also the first career win for Royal Surprise ($6.50) who is trained by Dan Daley for owners Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford, Richard Lombardo and Michael White.

“She was good the whole mile and when I asked her, she just trotted away. She was good tonight” said winning driver Jim Morrill Jr.

There was a huge crowd on hand Saturday night and the fans both in the stands and watching remotely, were putting some money through the windows. The total handle was up 15% this year, versus Kane night of 2014.

The Paddock Room and enclosed grandstand were very crowded and the clubhouse was sold out once again. There were so many people in line to receive their free Kane Pace t-shirt, it took over two races to distribute the goods.

Racing will reconvene at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 7) for a 12-race program that will commence at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 2, 2015

2015 Kane Memorial field is stellar at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Possibly the finest overall field of Open pacers to ever set hoof on the Batavia Downs racing surface will come together for the 13th annual Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace on Saturday night (Oct. 3). The card will offer $220,950 in total purses, the second highest amount in the history of the track behind September 9, 1988; the night that featured the only Breeders Crown to ever be contested at the Downs. ($321,656 in total purses)

A newly-crowned world record holder, two millionaires and one of the grittiest top-end pacers in the north-east lead an all-star field to post in pursuit of the $50,000 purse and possible new all-time track record.

Installed as the morning line 5-2 choice is Atta Boy Dan (Western Terror-Dropitlikeitshot) who is from the powerful Ron Burke Stable. This 6-year-old gelding has three Open wins at three different tracks in his last four starts. His mark of 1:49.1 was taken at the Meadows on July 8 and was only one of six, sub-1:50 mile wins he registered this year. He has 15 wins in 2015 and is 24 out of 27 in the money.

Leaving from post one, Jim Morrill Jr. will be driving Atta Boy Dan for the first time since June 15, 2013, when he guided him to victory in 1:50.1 at Pocono Downs.

New world record holder, Royal Heart (Royal Art-BJ’s Sunrise), is the second choice at 3-1 and lines up next to the favorite in post two.

Royal Heart made history last week at Saratoga Raceway when he toured that facility in 1:50 flat, which was a new lifetime mark for the 4-year-old gelding and also made him the fastest 4-year-old pacing gelding ever over a half mile track. He comes into this event razor sharp, looking to register his tenth win of the year.

Trainer Jose Godinez has given Drew Monti the driving duties and looks to benefit from some pretty stiff front-end speed.

Doctor Butch (Art Major-Classical Yankee) enters this race on the heels of finishing two-lengths behind Mach It So and Foiled Again (who won the Kane Memorial twice) in 1:51.1 in the $150,000 Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway.

This 5-year-old horse has seven, sub-1:50 wins this year including three timed in 1:48.1 (his lifetime mark), 1:48.2 and 1:48.4. He also paced in 1:48.2 twice while finishing third. All the 1:48 miles were at the Meadowlands.

In all, Doctor Butch has 9 wins and purses totaling $214,165 for the year. Lifetime he has won just over $1 million in purses.

Trainer Linda Toscano has Jim Marohn Jr. in the bike and they will leave from post five listed at 7-2.

The second millionaire in the race is Luck Be With You (Western Ideal-Trim Hanover) and he comes into this race on a bit of a roll.

Luck Be With You has faced the toughest Open pacers all year and the highlight of the campaign was definitely his victory in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace at Pocono Downs on July 4, when he went coast to coast in 1:49 beating the heavily favored State Treasurer.

In August, he was shipped to Canada to compete at Mohawk Raceway and raced in the tough Preferred company there. But after several disappointing starts was shipped back to the States, where he has caught fire once again. He has since won back to back starts at Pocono Downs in 1:49.1 and 1:50.2.

Trainer Chris Oakes brings Luck Be With You in with much momentum and has Batavia Downs driving leader, Kevin Cummings, at the lines. Cummings and the seven-time winner will leave from post eight, preliminarily rated at 5-1.

The entire field is as follows:

1 Atta Boy Dan Jim Morrill Jr. 5-2

2 Royal Heart Drew Monti 3-1

3 Aslan Shawn McDonough 8-1

4 Fireyourguns Mike Caprio 7-1

5 Doctor Butch Jim Marohn Jr. 7-2

6 Frankies Dragon Ronnie Wrenn Jr. 10-1

7 Cobble Beach John Cummings Jr. 15-1

8 Luck Be With You Kevin Cummings 5-1

The current all-time pacing track record at Batavia Downs is 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in 2011, which was taken when he won the Kane Memorial Pace that year.

There is also an outstanding undercard on Saturday night’s 12-race schedule.

The $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot has Ron Burke’s Tall Cotton shipping in from the Meadows to take on local favorites BZ Glide and Lutetium. And two $50,000 divisions of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolation races for 2-year-old trotters will feature eight fillies and eight colts and geldings going postward.

Post time for the first race is 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


Batavia Downs horsemen raise $9,200 for the Hanners family

Batavia, NY---Batavia Downs race track held a fundraiser Wednesday night (Sept. 30) to help support the family of driver Brad Hanners.

The event was overseen by Jami Rae Chatt, whose enthusiasm and passion to help others definitely rubbed off on the owners, trainers, drivers and even the fans of the Downs, as they all pitched in together to raise $9,200 for the Hanners family.

Brad’s Aunt, Ann Coe, was on hand Wednesday and was truly moved by the outpouring of support that everyone at the races that night provided. She spoke with many on hand near the silent auction area and was greeted by all in a winner’s circle presentation after the tenth race.

Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs said “Batavia Downs would like to thank everyone for their generosity in making this fundraiser a huge success. It was truly a touching and remarkable night. I would also like to thank Jami Rae Chatt for once again leading the way with this effort and making it a winner for Brad's family.”

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


October 1, 2015

Climate Hanover trips out for Batavia Open win

Taking full advantage of post and position in the race, Climate Hanover ($5.10) scored an impressive victory in the $8,500 Open mares pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 30).

Starting from the pylons, Climate Hanover (Drew Monti) yielded the lead to a hard charging Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) who left from post eight. With the field then following the leader in post-position order, Country Delight led the girls to a modest :58 half.

Past that station, Call Me Maybe (Shawn McDonough) was motoring on the outside and drew near-even with the leader at three quarters in 1:26.4. Those two then battled on top until the head of the stretch when the passing lane opened and left clear passage for the pocket-sitting Climate Hanover to shoot through and pull away to a two-length victory in 1:55.4.

It was the seventh win of the year for the 5-year-old Western Ideal mare and the winner’s share of the purse boosted her 2015 income to $57,284 for owner James Caradori. Climate Hanover is trained by Darrin Monti.

Climate Hanover’s triumph capped off a three-win night for driver Drew Monti, who also took post-race pictures with Maradona ($14.60) and Old Mcheath ($11.40). Drivers Dave McNeight III and Ray Fisher Jr. also had driving doubles.

Batavia Downs returns live on Friday night (Oct. 2) with a 12-race card that will begin at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


September 29, 2015

Robert J. Kane Pace entries close Wednesday

Batavia, NY---Horsemen are advised that Batavia Downs will be accepting entries for the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace through Wednesday morning (Sept. 30) at 9 a.m. The race will be held Saturday (Oct. 3) on one of the richest cards ever offered at the oldest lighted harness track in America.

Known as the Downs signature event, The Robert J. Kane Memorial is named for the former Chairman of the Board of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, owner of Batavia Downs. The race has had three millionaires win it, including Foiled Again ($7.1M), who won it twice; Bolt The Duer ($1.8M) and Aracache Hanover ($1.7M) who set the all-time track of 1:51.1 in 2011.

Other premium racing opportunities that night include the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot and a $10,000 Open pace. Also scheduled are two $50,000 New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old consolation races.

Entries or inquiries can be made by calling the race office at 585-344-6161.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Racing Media Relations


Batavia Downs to hold Brad Hanners fundraiser Wednesday

Batavia, NY---The racing community has once again come together at Batavia Downs to help out the family of one of their own. Wednesday night (Sept. 30) is the “Helping the family of Brad Hanners Fundraiser” night.

There are many facets to this endeavor but one singular goal as horsemen are donating purses and donated items will generate revenue through a silent auction.

Drivers who will be donating their entire 5% income for the Wednesday night card include Drew Monti, Shawn McDonough, Dave McNeight III and Jack Rice. Trainers who have also agreed to donate their entire 5% are Dave McNeight Jr., Maria Rice, Mike Carrubba and Bob Gruber.

Drivers and trainers who will be making a general donation include, Ron Beback Jr., Russell Bratt, Denny Bucceri, Mike Caprio, Kevin Cummings, James Clouser Jr., Lee Dahn, Alex Giuliani, Brad Jackson, Lisa Lederhouse, Jim McNeight, Darrin Monti, Jim Mulcahy, John Mungillo, Angelo Nappo, Jerry Nugent Jr, Courtney Ohol, JD Perrin, Don Rothfuss, Rose Russo, Ron Van Wagoner and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr.

Owners who have agreed to donation a portion of their Wednesday earnings include Steve Andzel, Dave Bratt, Louis Frascella, Mike Torcello and Howard Ouriel.

Organizations who will be donating funds include the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) and the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association.

Those attending the races live can also make cash donations or bid on any of the silent auction items that will be available. The auction will be held in the Paddock Room and bids will be accepted from 6:15 p.m. until five minutes after the tenth race.

Auction items include:

-A set of bobbleheads consisting of Jim Marohn Jr., Wendy Ross, Tim Tetrick, Drew Monti and Jody Jamieson

-An autographed whip from William O’ Donnell, David Miller and Jody Jamieson and a Sweet Lou cup

-A Future Hall of Famer, Yannick Gingras, autographed jacket and driving gloves

-A Hall of Famer, Ron Pierce, autographed driving jacket

-An autographed full set of driving colors from Hall of Famer, Ron Pierce

-A Breyer Foiled Again horse signed by Yannick Gingras

Jami Rae Chatt is the driving force behind the fundraiser and is well qualified to do it. Chatt also organized the Anthony Coletta fundraiser that raised $12,835 in 2013; an effort that garnered her the Unsung Hero Award from USHWA last year.

“Because we did so well for Anthony Coletta, we wanted to help the Hanners family any way we could. When everyone is on the racetrack, it’s all business. But other than that, we’re all one big family and I have seen how generous the Western New York racing community can be on many occasions. I’m just glad to be a part of it” said Chatt.

Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing said “Jami is an amazing young lady. When she came to me asking if the track would help put this on we were more than happy to help anyway we could. Jami is a very caring individual and her efforts for Anthony Coletta proved that. I only hope we can be as successful for this family as they go through this very bad time.”

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Racing Media Relations


September 27, 2015

Cobble Beach wires the field in Batavia feature

Batavia, NY---Cobble Beach was in full command the entire way as he put a circle around the five-horse field in the $9,000 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 26).

Leaving from post four, Cobble Beach (John Cummings Jr.) shot right to the lead and took instant control of the race. While about five lengths back, prohibitive betting favorite Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) got away fourth and was content to stay there until the half.

After hitting that station in :56.4, Caprio unleashed Fireyourguns and advanced as far as second at the three-quarter pole. But the assault creased when the gelding faded uncharacteristically around the far turn. From there, Cobble Beach paced home in a speedy :27.4 to win by three-lengths in 1:52.4.

It was the eighth win of the year for Cobble Beach ($4.70) and the fourth top-class victory for him at Batavia Downs. The winners share boosted his bankroll to $67,565 for owner Leonard Segall and trainer James Clouser Jr.

Saturday was a night of multiplicity for several horsemen. The driving/training team of Dave McNeight III and Dave McNeight Jr. scored a hat trick with Goldstar Thumper ($3.50), Maple Leaf Matt ($14.20) and Outoftexas ($7.30) while the driving/training team of John Cummings Jr. and James Clouser Jr. registered a double with Bad Bad Boy ($3.40) and Cobble Beach ($4.70). Shawn McDonough, Jack Flanigen and Ray Fisher Jr. also had driving doubles as well.

The next card of live racing will be Wednesday (Sept. 30) at Batavia Downs with post time set for 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Racing Media Relations


September 26, 2015

BZ Glide scores an easy victory in Batavia Downs trot feature

Batavia, NY---BZ Glide ($6.10) made a change in race strategy pay off by going wire to wire in the $9,500 Open trot feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 25).

In what seemed to be a race from a parallel universe, nothing that is known to normally happen, occurred. BZ Glide (Mike Caprio), who almost always comes from off the pace, went right for the lead. And habitual frontrunner, Lutetium (Kevin Cummings), settled in the garden spot, opting to let someone else dictate the race.

In the end the contrary methodology of one paid off while the other, not so much.

BZ Glide performed like a well-oiled machine on top, covering scads of ground with his long, fluid stride. He controlled the field by a loose length the entire race under a passive hand-drive by Caprio, setting fractions of :28.2, :58.4 and 1:28.4 before rounding the final turn.

As they headed down the stretch, Cummings directed Lutetium off his cover and tried to gain momentum on the pylons, but their attempt was ineffective as BZ Glide trotted home without issue in 1:57.4.

It was the sixth win in 15 starts for BZ Glide this year and the winner’s share of the purse boosted his earnings to $42,695 for owner Caprio LLC. The 6-year-old Yankee Glide gelding is trained by Alana Caprio.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 26) with a 6:35 p.m. post time.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Racing Media Relations


September 23, 2015

Act Now is no pretender at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---What does a mare that raced the likes of Anndrovette, Table Talk, Color’s A Virgin and Rocklamation just two months ago do when she comes to Batavia Downs? Win by four lengths in the $10,000 Open distaff pacing feature on Wednesday night (Sept. 23).

The 4-year-old pacing mare Act Now, who just scorched the Open class ladies at Flamboro Downs in 1:53 flat last week, came south of the border on Wednesday to take on the best in Western New York. However the best weren’t good enough to even challenge the invader who toured the facility unencumbered this night.

Act Now (Kevin Cummings) left the gate and shot right to the front, opening up a three-length advantage; a lead that was extended up to six-lengths during the race. Cummings had a stranglehold on the mare through fractions of :27.2, :55.1 and 1:23.4 when talk of another track record started swirling through the press box.

With the plugs popped and Cummings clearly driving with the time in mind, Act Now flew home with no opposition nearby, to win by four lengths in 1:53.3. The finishing time was only three-fifths of a second off the track record of 1:53 for aged pacing mares set by Xenia Hanover in 2013.

It was the second win in 10 starts this year (including two in a row) for Act Now ($4.10) and her share of the purse boosted her lifetime earnings to $521,717 for owners Joseph Davino and Patrick O’Brien. The Western Ideal mare is trained by Nikolas Drennan.

The Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings, had five winners on the card Wednesday night. He took a picture with Socialdelight ($4.10), Dedalos ($4.20), Most Happy Rider ($4.70), Act Now ($4.10) and Mystical Danica ($5.10). Sean McDonough and Dave McNeight III both scored driving doubles.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 25) with the first race post time set at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


September 20, 2015

Cobble Beach scores easy feature win at Batavia Downs

Winning the $9,000 Open pace at Batavia Downs seemed like a walk in the park for Cobble Beach on Saturday night (Sept. 19) as he made putting away the competition look pretty much, stress-free.

Assigned post seven, Cobble Beach (Jack Flanigen) left sharply to take a lead he would not relinquish this night. With the field in post-position order behind him, Cobble Beach set fractions of :27.3 and :56.3 before a weak outer flow developed past five-eighths.

As the group hit the six-furlong marker in 1:26.1, the outside threat failed just as Spender Hanover (Don Rothfuss) and Closing Credits (Dave McNeight III) came out to take their best shot after following quietly on the pylons. But their best wasn’t good enough as Cobble Beach coasted to an easy two-length victory in 1:55.2.

It was the sixth win in 32 starts for Cobble Beach ($8.40) this year and the purse increased his earnings to $63,065 for 2015. The 5-year-old gelded son of Artiscape is owned and trained by James Clouser Jr.

The Downs top-two drivers, Kevin Cummings and Dave McNeight III, both scored driving triples Saturday while Jack Flanigen and Sean Mcdonough both doubled their pleasure.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Tuesday afternoon with the second (and final) twilight post time of 4:30 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


September 19, 2015

Serious George trips-out for Open trot win at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Serious George ($10.80) took full advantage of a favorable draw and a perfect trip to narrowly capture the $10,000 Open trot feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 18).

Starting from the pylons, Serious George (Jack Flanigen) immediately yielded the front to post time favorite Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) in lieu of a garden spot journey. With two marginal players making breaks before the quarter, the seven-horse field had narrowed to five and the pace to the half slowed to a stodgy :59.2.

With no legitimate challenges coming from behind, Lutetium maintained a two-length advantage to three-quarters in 1:28.2 and it looked like he was going to chalk up his ninth win of the season. But when they straightened out for home, Flanigen pulled Serious George and charged hard at the leader, snagging him at the wire to win his first Open of the year by a neck in 1:57.4.

The finishing time equaled Serious Georges’ lifetime mark set back on July 15 of this year; his only other win of 2015. The purse boosted his annual income to $31,447 for owner James Palladino. The winner is trained by Rich Mays.

Jack Flanigen scored a driving hat-trick while Kevin Cummings, Sean McDonough and Dave McNeight III all visited the winner’s circle twice during the evening.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 19) with the first post set for 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


September 17, 2015

Dime A Dance sets a world record at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---A lightning-fast track and 80 degree temperatures greeted the New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old pacing fillies at Batavia Downs where two divisions offering a total of $109,000 in purses, along with important points needed to make the NYSS final, were up for grabs on Wednesday night (Sept. 16).

Prohibitive 2-5 favorite Dime A Dance didn't dissapoint her backers as she put on a show in her $54,500 division, winning in definitive style and resetting the world's record for a 2-year-old pacing filly over a half-mile track.

Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover) took off the pace fourth and watched as No Clouds Bluechip (Kevin Cummings) and American Ivy (Mark Macdonald) duked it out for the lead in a fast :26.4 quarter. From there, the field remained stagnant until the half when Mother Of Art (John Cummings Jr.) pulled first over from third and Dime A Dance (Matt Kakaley) took cover second-over behind her.

The group picked up the pace with a :28.4 third panel but that wasn’t fast enough for the eventual winner. Dime A Dance swung three-deep at that station and circled the field to clear and pull away by three-lengths in an impressive and uncontested victory in 1:52.4.

The time was a new world's record for 2-year-old pacing fillies, besting that of Isabella Blue Chip's 1:53.1 at Delaware, Ohio in 2006. It was also a new track record for Batavia Downs, smashing the old standard of 1:54.2 set by Sassa Hanover just last year.

“She’s definitely one of the better fillies this year. She was just awesome tonight; she could have paced faster” said driver Matt Kakaley.

It was the third win in eight starts for Dime A Dance ($2.90) and it pushed her earnings to $101,513 for owners Our Horse Cents Stable, Blue Chip Bloodstock and J&T Silva Stables. The filly is trained by Ron Burke.

In the first $54,500 division, Encore Deo hung on strong down the lane for a close victory over Art Critic.

Wishy Washy Girl (Ray Schnittker) took a quick, early lead before yielding to Encore Deo (Matt Kakaley) before the quarter that went in :28. The field remained single-file to the half before the heavily favored Upside Surprise (Mike Micallef) pulled from fifth to start her outside trek.

Upside Surprise got to third and hung and couldn’t gain anymore as the leader took the field to three quarters in 1:25.4. Positions stayed the same to the top of the stretch and Encore Deo was riding a short lead when Art Critic (Jim Morrill Jr.) swung inside the fading Wishy Washy Girl and came up the pylons. The two battled in deep stretch with Encore Deo just hanging on by a nose in 1:55.1.

“I wanted to try her on the lead tonight. At three-quarters I thought I was going to win but it got a little close there at the end” said Matt Kakaley.

It was the second win in eight starts for Encore Deo ($13.40) and the winning time was a new lifetime mark for the filly. The winner’s share of the purse pushed her earnings to $56,578 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Jason Melillo and Lawrence Carr. Ron Burke mentors the filly.

There were also two divisions of the $15,000 NYSS excelsior series on Wednesday.

The first split was won by Major Millie (Art Major-Gravity) in 1:57. The filly is trained by Erv Miller and was driven to the victory by Matt Kakaley. Major Millie ($9.10) is owned by KDM Stables Corp.

The second stanza was won by Milky Way Rae (American Ideal-Aurora Borealus) in a swift 1:55.3. She is trained by Tracy Brainard and was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Milky Way Rae ($3.90) is owned by Fortunate One LLC.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 18) at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


September 15, 2015

Freshman fillies close out NYSS series at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The eighth and final division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) will visit Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 16) when fifteen 2-year-old pacing fillies congregate to vie for their share of the $109,000 in purses up for grabs.

This will be the last time this class will compete before the $900,000 NYSS Night of Champions for 2-year-olds at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 26) and for some, the outcome of their performance here will dictate whether or not they make the cut in the point standings. The top-six point-getters are solid to make the final, but the last two slots are definitely up for grabs.

The first $54,500 division (carded as race three) has four horses on the verge of making the final, but the morning-line favorite is making her first start in a NYSS event this year.

Upside Surprise (Art Major-Latte Lady) got a late start to her career after being scratched sick in her first race back on July 10 at the Meadowlands. She did not return to the track until August 18 when she broke her maiden in a big way, winning by 10-lengths at Pocono Downs in 1:53.4.

Her next engagement was the Shes A Great Lady Stake at Mohawk Raceway where she was second in her elimination before finishing sixth in the $341,250 final behind L A Delight in 1:51.2 on September 5.

Upside Surprise (2-1) will leave from post 4 with Jordan Stratton at the lines for trainer Tony O’Sullivan.

The next four horses by odds are all looking to capture those last two spots in the final and they all need a win to have a shot. But that is something three of them have not done all year.

North American leading trainer, Ron Burke, has three horses in the race: Art Critic (Art Major-Snippet Hanover) and the coupled entry of Encore Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven-Docdor Cameo) and Rockin Date (Art Major- Rockin Beauty).

Art Critic (3-1) has not won at all this year but also has not missed a check in NYSS action either. Her best race time was 1:54.3 at Vernon Downs just two starts ago and she put out a good performance at Yonkers last week as well.

Art Critic will have Jim Morrill Jr. aboard and leave from post 2.

Encore Deo (7-2) does have one NYSS victory at Buffalo Raceway back on July 1 in a career best 1:57.3. She was race timed at Vernon in 1:53 flat two starts ago and moves back inside after drawing post six at Yonkers last week.

Encore Deo gets the driving services of Matt Kakaley and will leave from post three.

Rockin Date (7-2) is also winless this year but also never seems to get beat by much. Unfortunately for her, after drawing post one and two four times in her last five starts, she moves out to post seven for tonight and that will be difficult to overcome.

Local driving leader Kevin Cummings picks up the lines for the contest.

In the second $54,500 split (carded as race four) six of the top seven point-getters are competing in the absence of the overall point-leader, Soft Idea. With a lot of early speed behind the gate, Sassa Hanover’s track record of 1:54.2 could be in jeopardy.

Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover) comes into this event red-hot. She has won her last two outings including a lifetime best, 1:52.2 at Vernon Downs before coming right back in 1:55.4 at Yonkers. She is currently fifth in the standings but could move up considerably with a win here. This filly likes to come off the pace and with the all the leavers entered, this race could set up just right for her.

Dime A Dance (3-1) is another student of Ron Burke and will start from post three with Matt Kakaley in the bike.

No Clouds Bluechip (Roll With Joe-B J’s Sunshine) currently sits second in points with 224 as well as NYSS earnings of $101,999. She strung three-straight wins in NYSS action in July and August and hasn’t finished worse than third in the series all year.

Pegged as the second choice at 7-2, No Clouds Bluechip gets the services of Kevin Cummings as chosen by trainer John Berger.

American Ivy (American Ideal-Haunted) is seven for seven in the money this year and finished second to Soft Idea in her last two outings. Last week at Yonkers she was beaten a narrow neck in 1:53.4 off a perfect trip, but that was the fastest of the divisions that night.

Joe Holloway trains American Ivy (9-2) and has assigned Mark Macdonald to steer from post five.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


September 12, 2015

BZ Glide was smooth in Batavia Downs feature trot

After coming off two sub-par performances and no wins since July, BZ Glide put on the performance of his life in winning the $10,000 Open trot feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 11)

Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) took an immediate lead at the start of the race while BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) left just enough from post five to tuck in third. Monti took the field through a soft :58.2 half until Caprio swung out at that station to start his assault.

BZ Glide advanced with machine-like precision up the backside while trotting a :28.2 third panel. His momentum continued around the far turn as his margin of dominance widened. He trotted down the lane without a challenge from the field or encouragement from his driver and in victory, set a new lifetime mark of 1:56.3.

It was the fifth win in 13 starts this year for BZ Glide ($4.90) and the effort increased his earnings to $37,445 for 2015. The 6-year-old Yankee Glide gelding is owned by the Caprio Stable LLC and trained by Alana Caprio.

Drivers Mike Caprio, Jim McNeight and Dave McNeight III all scored driving doubles on the card.

One of the biggest win mutuels in recent memory occurred in the sixth race when Stirling Cadillac (Mike Caprio) overcame post 8 to win at 77-1 and return $156.00. The exorbitant payoff triggered some lofty exotics as well. The 8-3 exacta paid $3,428.00 and the 8-3-all trifecta returned $4,169.00.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 12) with the first post set at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


September 10, 2015

Makes Her Mark does so in mares Open at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---After making quite a jump in class, Makes Her Mark ($15.00) took full advantage of an assigned inside post to trip-out in the $8,500 mares Open I-II Handicap on Wednesday night (Sept. 9) at Batavia Downs.

It was a pretty simple race most of the way: All About Boyz (Dave McNeight III) left and went right to the front while the rest of the field remained in post position order behind her. Makes Her Mark (Kevin Cummings) who had post one, sat in the garden spot as the group went through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27.1.

When the field was approaching the third station, Call Me Maybe (Drew Monti) was moving on the outside with Ugly Betty (Mike Caprio) in tow.Then Caprio swung that one three-deep as the field entered the turn.

Call Me Maybe’s bid failed along with Ugly Betty’s and their demise opened the door for Makes Her Mark to come off the pylons and go after the leader. Cummings pulled the mare and went to the stick to get the advantage at the wire in 1:56.4. Badlands Love (Jim McNeight) snuck up the rail for second and Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) picked up the pieces for third.

It was the sixth win in 15 starts for Makes Her Mark and the victory pushed her yearly earnings to $20,732 for Jim Dunn, who owns and trains the 6-year-old Codyscoltfortyfive mare.

The Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings, scored a driving triple on the card while Drew Monti and Dave McNeight III both tallied driving doubles.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 11) with post time set for 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


September 8, 2015

Mickey Holliday wins Labor Day bike race at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The Labor Day bike race at Batavia Downs is a tradition that goes back to 1979 and an event that many of the locals look forward to. This year it was held on Monday (Sept. 7) and the eight drivers going postward were (from the pylons out) Shawn McDonough, Rock Vinci, Lee Dahn, Bradley Jackson, Wade Tomaszewski, Denny Bucceri, Mickey Holliday and last year’s winner, Drew Monti.

It was an uncharacteristly hot and humid 91 degrees as the drivers lined up behind the gate at the quarter pole and the group was sweating before the start. They followed the car to the top of the turn (where the official start was) and pedaled away in a flurry as the wings closed to initiate the contest.

Denny Bucceri sped out to the early lead and set the pace to the top of the stretch. At that point Rock Vinci came out of the pack to take the front from Bucceri. But his advantage didn’t last long as Mickey Holliday swung four-high and barreled down the lane to score a convincing three-length victory. Bradley Jackson snuck up the rail for second and Vinci hung on for third.

Holliday made sure to pedal all the way to the wire this year; a mistake that cost him the win in 2014 when he pulled- up thinking he had the race won.

It was the second time Holliday has won this race besides the second place finish last year.

After the race, Holliday randomly selected eight names from his supporters who chose him to win and presented each of them one of the bikes used in the race.

The annual bike race was sponsored by Crazy Cheap Cars of Oakfield, NY.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


September 6, 2015

Fireyourguns takes third straight Open at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---One of the toughest horses to ever race in upstate New York continued his dominance at Batavia Downs by winning his third consecutive start in the $9,500 Open pacing feature on an 85 degree, late-summer Saturday night (9-5) in front of a full house of race-goers.

It was a battle from the start as Closing Credits (Dave McNeight III) pushed hard for the lead, parking Cobble Beach (Jack Flanigen) and Pocono Downs invader Scott Rocks (Kevin Cummings) two and three wide to the quarter in :26.4. Scott Rocks eventually cleared the front but didn’t slow the pace as the group rambled to the half in :55.1. At that point Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) was sitting last.

Scott Rocks continued his unfettered lead past three-quarters in 1:23.2 when his immediate pursuers started to fan three-across the track at the top of the stretch, forming a wall in front of the trailing Fireyourguns. But undaunted, Caprio dinked inside one horse and dunked around another, finding just enough room to allow Fireyourguns to turn on the afterburners and make up about two-lengths in the final 20 yards and score a breathtaking victory in 1:52.3.

It was the eleventh win in 14 starts for the gelded son of American Ideal and it pushed his 2015 earnings to $68,625 for owners Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terry McClory, who also trains the horse. The winner paid $9.20.

Saturday was also Drew Monti bobblehead night and the promotion seemed to have a decided effect on the attendance and handle. Not only were all the bobbleheads distributed to anxiously waiting fans, the on-track handle was up 16%, making it the second best live wagering night of the season. The overall handle was likewise up 11%.

The track also catered to a sold-out crowd in the clubhouse and was encouraged to see a solid group fans on the apron and at the fence. Attendance was estimated at 3,000.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday afternoon (Sept. 7) for the annual Labor Day matinee with post time set for 1:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


September 5, 2015

Wings Of Royalty soars to victory in NYSS at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Perfect weather and a lightning fast track greeted the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters to Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 4) and those participants took full advantage of the conditions to pursue their share of the $120,400 in purses available.

Heavily favored Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) rewarded his backers as he turned in a very strong performance, winning his division convincingly in 1:56.3.

After pole-sitter Mythology Bluechip (Mark Macdonald) made a break in the first turn, Gabe The Bear Dean (Ray Schnittker) took the early lead until Wings Of Royalty (Chris Lems) motored on by before the quarter in :28.4. The participants then remained single-file behind the leader through a :59.1 half and 1:27.4 three-quarters.

At that point Schnittker pulled Gabe The Bear Dean from second and tried to mount a challenge, but the attempt was futile. Lems let Wings Of Royalty out a notch and he flew down the stretch to win easily by three lengths with a snappy :28.4 final panel.

“I knew Ray (Schnittker) would let me go (to the front) and once we made it, he was on cruise control. He was very strong finishing the mile” said driver Chris Lems.

It was the fourth win in 14 starts for Wings Of Royalty ($3.20) and it raised his 2015 earnings to $178,323 for owner Raymond Campbell. The colt is trained by George Ducharme.

The first division was historic as it was the only time a NYSS race at Batavia Downs ended in a dead heat. The judges camera could not separate Fashion Creditor (Credit Winner-Bon Voyage) and Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art of Deception) at the wire.

There was a stiff battle off the gate when Royal Lad (Aaron Byron) would not let Maestro Bluechip (Trond Smedshammer) go, who in turn parked-out Royal Deceptor (Michael McGivern) and the three horses went three-wide to the quarter in :28.3. As they hit the turn, they all finally seated with Royal Deceptor being the best of the bunch. At this point, Fashion Creditor (Jim Morrill Jr.) was a gapped fourth watching the proceedings.

After the dust had settled, McGivern grabbed leather and grabbed it hard as he gave Royal Deceptor a serious breather with :31 and :30.3 second and third quarters. During that time, Royal Lad made a break from third and Fashion Creditor advanced to that spot, creeping closer to the leader.

Then Morrill pulled at three-quarters and began to force the issue. Royal Deceptor still had a three-length lead but the advantage was clearly perilous. At the head of the stretch, Fashion Creditor was trotting his hips off down the lane, gobbling up ground with every stride while Royal Deceptor was expending every ounce of energy he had left to hang on to his lead. At the wire, both horses’ best efforts gained them victory in 1:58.3.

It was the third win in 13 starts for Fashion Creditor ($2.10), pushing his earnings to $106,380 for the year. The gelding is owned by Joseph Smith and trained by Tom Fanning.

For Royal Deceptor, it was his seventh win in 13 starts and it increased his 2015 bank to $137,163 for owners Charles Foster, Michael Sentiwany Jr., and Michael James. The colt is trained by Cheryl McGivern.

There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior Series “A” trot that went for a combined $30,000 in purses.

Crazshana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) won the first division in 1:59.2 for trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer. The gelding is owned by Wanda Polisseni’s Purple Haze Stable.

The second split was won by Bavaro (Credit winner-Repetitions) in 1:59 flat for trainer-driver Ray Schnittker. Schnittker shares ownership of the colt with Paul Bordogna and Jonathan Kurnit. The winner returned a handsome $46.80.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept.5) with post time set at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


Batavia Downs offers a promotion-packed weekend

Batavia, NY---Labor Day weekend is the last hurrah for summer fun and Batavia Downs is taking full advantage of the great weather Western New York is in the midst of by presenting a full slate of giveaway’s and activities to help its racing fans ease into fall.

It all starts on Saturday (Sept. 5) when the Downs presents Drew Monti bobblehead night.

Monti is one of the rising stars at Batavia Downs and has quickly become a fan favorite. So much so the fans themselves asked for this promotion featuring “Driving Drew”. So starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, fans can pick up a ticket at the Players Club desk and redeem it for a Drew Monti bobblehead after the seventh race in the Paddock Room. Distribution is limited while supplies last. You must be a Players Club member for this promotion.

You are encouraged to bring your bobblehead back to the track on Labor Day, Monday afternoon (Sept. 7) to get it autographed by Monti trackside, prior to the first race.

The Drew Monti bobbleheads are sponsored by TAG Jewelers and Gold Brokers (www.tagjewelers.com) of Cheektowaga, NY.

Saturday the Downs will also be honoring longtime local horseman, Anthony “Tony” Strollo with a memorial race in the seventh. Strollo died this past April after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

The Labor Day matinee card also features a list of promotions that offer something for everyone in the family.

The feature event of the day is the annual Batavia Downs driver’s bike race. This “friendly” competition between the horsemen has been going on at the Downs since 1979 and the tradition will continue this year. Eight local drivers 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 “Driving Drew” Monti in a photo over Mickey Holliday. Monti will be back to defend his title against Holliday and face new challenges from Shawn McDonough, Dave McNeight III, Lee Dahn, Rock Vinci, Denny Bucceri and Bradley Jackson.

But the best part is the fans get to win the actual brand new bikes used in the race.

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 bike race will be held after the seventh harness race and the drawing, 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 present to win.

The bike race is sponsored by Crazy Cheap Cars (www.crazycheapcars.com) of Oakfield, NY.

And what would Labor Day be without a cookout? Batavia Downs has that covered too, and for any size appetite.

$1 charcoal grilled Sahlen’s hot dogs along with $1 beer and soda will be available on the apron from noon until the last race.

In the clubhouse, there will be a $10.95 chicken barbeque with all the fixings. And for every barbeque purchased you will receive $10.00 back in free-play on the gaming floor. So you can enjoy a holiday cook-out without the work or mess for only $0.95 net! This food special will only be available from noon to 3:30 p.m.

Chicken barbeques will be prepared by the Center Street Smoke House (www.centerstreetsmokehouse.com) of Batavia, NY.

Post time for Saturday (Sept. 5) is 6:35 p.m. Monday (Labor Day, Sept. 7) is a matinee with first post set at 1:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


September 3, 2015

Country Delight upsets in Batavia Mares Open

It was bombs away at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 2) as the betting public errantly overlooked Country Delight in the $10,000 mares Open pace feature.

When the gate released the pacers, Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) took the lead immediately as the rest of the field seemed content to follow in post-position order to a :28 quarter. With no pressure at all, Flanigen continued to grab leather and strolled to a pedestrian :58 half.

Having had enough of it at that point, post time favorite Call Me Maybe (Drew Monti) pulled first-over and got as close as a length off by three-quarters in 1:27, but at that point it was too late. Flanigen let his mare out a notch and she did the rest; pacing home in :28.1 to win in a season’s best, 1:55.1.

It was the eighth win in 28 starts for Country Delight ($22.20) and it pushed her annual income to $48,623 for owner James Frandsen and trainer James Clouser Jr.

Driver Dave McNeight III scored a driving triple getting across with Jimgethejobdunn ($7.50), Momara ($4.10) and Heavenly Place ($3.40). Drew Monti and Ray Fisher Jr. both had driving doubles.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 4) at 6:35 p.m. when the New York Sire Stakes come to town featuring 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters who will compete for $120,400 in purses.


Fashion Creditor, Wings of Royalty headline NYSS at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---It’s not too often Hambletonian competitors make their way to Batavia Downs but that will be the case Friday night (Sept. 4) when the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings convene at that fast half-mile track in upstate New York.

Thirteen horses will go in two divisions (slated as race three and four) to compete for a total of $120,400 in purses.

The first $60,200 leg has Fashion Creditor (Credit Winner-Bon Voyage) as the 5-2 morning line favorite.

Besides competing in the NYSS, Fashion Creditor has been facing many of the top juvenile trotters on the Grand Circuit all year, including a start in the first elimination of the $1 million Hambletonian. After getting away last and having to deal with a breaking horse in front of him, Fashion Creditor rallied to finish only three and one-half lengths behind the race and eventual Hambo winner, Pinkman, and was only a half-length shy of qualifying for the final. And then on August 15, he was narrowly beaten fourth in the $200,000 Colonial Trot at Pocono Downs.

Fashion Creditor took his lifetime mark of 1:52.3 at the Meadowland on July 31, the first of three consecutive races he was timed in 1:52 and change. His six in-the-money finishes (that include two wins) have earned him $83,805 for the year. Jim Morrill Jr. will drive for trainer Tom Fanning.

His toughest competitor looks to be Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art of Deception) who has put together a solid campaign this year.

Although Royal Deceptor has two NYSS wins and one Excelsior series tally, he did not fare as well in the $255,325 Empire Breeders Classic or the $370,000 Zweig. He was solidly beaten in both of those but has still managed to put away $114,588 for the year.

Michael McGivern will drive again for trainer Cheryl McGivern, which has been the case for the horse’s entire career.

In the second $60,200 stanza, Wings of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) puts his impressive resume on the line and is the odds maker’s choice at 5-2.

Much like Fashion Creditor, Wings of Royalty has faced some of the best trotters in his class this season. He finished one and one-half lengths behind Hambletonian champion, Pinkman, in the Zweig in 1:52.1 before finishing fifth behind Hambletonian runner-up, Mission Brief, in the Hambo elimination. Although he qualified for the final, he drew post nine and was never a factor in the race. He just missed qualifying for the final of the $580,000 Yonkers Trot last week finishing fifth, but is listed as the also eligible for the race.

He is the highest money earner in this race for 2015 with $148,223 made on the strength of three wins, only one of which was in NYSS action. Chris Lems drives Wings of Royalty for trainer George Ducharme.

A major threat to the favorite’s success will come from Mythology Bluechip (Crazed-Sirenuse) who is now racing for a new barn.

Mythology Bluechip was sold on July 7 and switched trainers to Nancy Johansson. The story isn’t that the colt had been racing poorly for his previous connections but more the bad posts he’s drawn for his new owners. He has had three nine-holes and an 11 in his last five starts and last week when he left from post five, he was interfered with. The horse has shown gate speed as well as closing ability and his 1:53.1 mark at the Meadowlands this year is the best of anything in this race.

Marcus Johansson will make a rare Batavia Downs visit to drive for trainer Nancy Johansson, who also does not compete at this venue too often.

There are also two $15,000 NYSS Excelsior Series “A” legs on the card that will go as races two and five.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 31, 2015

Betting Exchange ties track record at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---There was no doubt who the best New York bred 3-year-old colt competing at Batavia Downs was on Sunday (Aug. 30) after Betting Exchange (Bettor’s Delight-Cheeky Hanover) tied the track record of 1:51.2 for sex and gait in winning his division of the $120,400 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS).

After taking an easy lead from post one, Betting Exchange (Jason Bartlett) extended his advantage to two lengths over The Spy (John Cummings Jr.) at the quarter as post time favorite Artistic Major (Jim Morrill Jr.) got away poorly and was gapped a distant third. The leader was cruising along untested until Morrill rushed Artistic Major up by half-time and alongside Betting Exchange into the turn.

The challenge continued up the backside and to three-quarters in 1:24 but it was there the race was decided. Bartlett gave Betting Exchange his head and he simply paced away from the field. At the wire he was 10 lengths the best in 1:51.2, pacing the back half in a dazzling :55 flat.

The winning time tied the track record for 3-year-old pacing colts set by All Bets Off in 2014 and was also just one-fifth off the all-time track record of 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in 2011.

After the race, Jason Bartlett commented “He raced super. I let him roll on the turn and he opened up. He's really a nice one.”

It was the second win in 14 starts for Betting Exchange ($4.50) and it pushed his 2015 earnings to $318,475 for owners Howard Taylor, Susan Kajfasz and Tom Fanning, who also does the training.

In the first division, Rockin In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Tropic’s Beachgirl) overcame a fast battle for the lead and two subsequent challenges to hold on for an impressive victory.

Off the wings, no one played nice when Americanprimetime (Jason Bartlett), K-Rock (Matt Kakaley) and Rockin In Heaven (Trevor Henry) went three-abreast to argue for the lead. The trio motored up the backstretch and eventually seated with Rockin In Heaven taking the lead in a speedy :26.3. Positions remained unchanged to the half when Americanprimetime pulled first over from third to go after the leader.

With Americanprimetime outside prompting Rockin In Heaven past three-quarters in 1:24.1, K-Rock was sitting the perfect trip behind the pair waiting for his chance. When they hit the head of the lane it was obvious Rockin In Heaven had put away Americanprimetime but then had to fight off K-Rock who made his way into the passing lane. This was accomplished with a strong finishing kick as Rockin In Heaven won in 1:53 by a half-length.

“I wanted to get him out of the starting gate and to the lead. He dug in well when I called upon him” said Trevor Henry in the winner’s circle.

It was the eighth win in 15 starts for Rockin In Heaven ($2.60) and it boosted his earnings to $310,565 for 2015. The colt is owned by Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte, Gordon McComb and Dr. Ian Moore, who also trains the horse.

There were two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior Series “A” also on the card that went for a combined $30,000.

The first event was won by the heavily favored Masterson (Bettor’s Delight-Tug River Princess) in 1:54 and it was the fourth straight win for the gelding owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock. Masterson ($3.20) was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Tracy Brainard.

In the second split, Pop Icon (Bettor’s Delight-Pop Queen) overcame a slow start and breaking horses to win in 1:56.3. It was the second Excel “A” win this year for Pop Icon ($11.80) who is owned by Ken Weckstein, Richard Rubin and Gary Messenger, who also trains the horse. Jim Morrill Jr. did the driving.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 2) with post time set at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


Fireyourguns was on target again in Batavia Downs feature

Batavia, NY---The horse named pacer of the meet for the last two years at Batavia Downs is making a case for a third as Fireyourguns won his second straight $9,500 Open pace at the oldest lighted harness track in North America on Saturday night (Aug. 29).

Leaving from post five in the five-horse field, Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) got away last as Bad Fox (Lee Dahn) rushed to the lead before Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) brushed right on by at the quarter. Cummings then throttled down Youwillwishyouhad through as stodgy :30 second quarter as they hit the half in :58.1.

At that point, Caprio rolled Fireyourguns out to initiate his march to the front and incrementally improved position with each stride the pacer took. He pulled even with the leader at the three-quarter pole and a real battle ensued at that point. They paced in tandem around the last turn and half-way down the lane before Fireyourguns displayed superiority against his opponent and pulled away to a one and one-half length victory in 1:54.2.

It was the tenth win in 14 starts this year for Fireyourguns ($3.10) and the victory pushed his annual earnings to $63,875 for owners Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terry McClory, who is also the gelding’s trainer.

Drew Monti, who was involved in a spill at the Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 26), returned to the bike on Friday (Aug. 28) but did not hit the winner’s circle. However that changed Saturday. Monti came back with a vengeance, scoring three wins and two seconds as he got back into a real groove.

Jack Flanigen also had three winners on the card while Kevin Cummings chimed in with a driving double. Maria Rice and Carl Smith both registered training doubles.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 30) with post time at 1:15 p.m. The card features two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings going for a total purse of $120,400.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


Lutetium remains unbeaten at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Despite the best efforts of local rival BZ Glide and the red hot ship-in Auspicious Hanover, Lutetium once again demonstrated he was the best Friday night (Aug. 28) in the $9,500 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs. He is now four-for-four at the Genesee County oval and remains undefeated there in 2015.

Kevin Cummings sent Lutetium to the front from post six and led the whole race by two lengths while the rest of the field could do nothing but argue for place. The 8-year-old gelded son of Credit Winner set fractions of :28.1, :59 and 1:28.3 along the way before closing out the victory in 1:57.3.

It was the eighth win in 23 starts for Lutetium ($8.70) whose earnings were increased to $56,081 as a result of his efforts. The winner is trained by Mark Laidlaw for owner Colleen Girdlestone.

Batavia Downs leading driver Kevin Cummings had four victories on the night, pushing his win total to 43 for the meet. Shawn McDonough, Jim McNeight and Dave McNeight III all scored driving doubles. Trainers Kirk Desmond and Dave McNeight Jr. also had two conditioning wins apiece.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 29) with a 6:35 p.m. post time for the first race.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 27, 2015

Badlands Love goes worst to first in Batavia distaff feature

Batavia, NY---A patient steer from a veteran driver produced an upset victory in the $9,500 mares Open pace feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 26). It was Badlands Hanover (Jim McNeight) who sat last and watched the rest of the field argue position before swooping in to claim the spoils.

There was a traffic jam off the wings when Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) and All About Boyz (Dave McNeight III) went toe-to-toe through a fast 27.3 quarter. Not wanting to join the front-end fray yet locked out of a hole, heavy 1-9 favorite Ugly Betty (Drew Monti) ended up drafting third on the outside the entire time. These positions held firm past the half and three-quarters; that station in 1:26.2.

As the group left the turn at the top of the stretch, Ugly Betty tried a three-wide tip and Dontch Remember (Ray Fisher Jr.) reached four-high. But wily veteran McNeight, who was saving ground the entire race, stuck to his guns and thus, the pylons, before barreling up the inside the pack to end up best of all with a 1:57.2 victory.

It was the seventh win in 30 starts this year for Badlands Love ($29.40) and the winner’s share pushed her coffers to $52,803 for owners Richard, Randy and Robert Roth. Richard Roth conditions the 4-year-old Badlands Hanover mare.

Driver Shawn McDonough score a natural hat trick winning races six, seven and eight. Jim McNeight, Ron Beback Jr. and Jack Flanigen all tallied doubles.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 28) with the first post set for 6:35 p.m.

Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


Drew Monti injured in Downs mishap

Batavia, NY---Western New York driving favorite Drew Monti was taken to a local hospital Wednesday night (Aug. 26) after being involved in a post-race spill that took place just past the wire.

After finishing second with Schooner or Later in the fourth race, Monti’s horse locked wheels with another horse while pulling up after the finish line, causing him to fall off the race bike. Before he could get up, he was struck by a trailing horse and knocked down again.

Track and first aid personnel were on the scene immediately to assist Monti off the track and into the ambulance. He was evaluated on the scene and then transported to the Erie County Medical Center as a precautionary measure. Monti suffered cuts and abrasions but no broken bones and was released from the hospital late Wednesday night.

Drew Monti currently sits third in the Batavia Downs driver standings with 19 wins on the meet. He finished second at the recently concluded Buffalo Raceway meet with 139. For his career, the 20-year-old Monti has 417 wins and $2.1 million in earnings.

Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 23, 2015

Barn Doll stars in NYSS action at Batavia Downs Saturday

Batavia, NY---Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) lived up to her hype as she toyed with the field in her division of the $120,400 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 22)

As Ray Schnittker flew off the gate with Waiting Room to take an early three-length lead, Jeff Gregory floated Barn Doll out before settling in fourth. As the pack entered the clubhouse turn, Gregory started his outside march with the filly and quickly found himself sitting second outside of the leader at the three-quarter pole in 1:28.3.

Then halfway through the final turn, strategy came into play. Schnittker popped the earplugs looking to pull away while Gregory held his filly firm, making sure she got through that turn without issue. As the pair hit the top of the stretch, Barn Doll became explosive with trot and left the rest behind like they were tied to a post.

Barn Doll ($2.10) was a five-length winner in 1:57.3, which was only one-fifth second shy of the track record for this gait and sex. It was the ninth win in 11 starts for the top NYSS point-earning trotting filly and raised her 2015 earnings to $311,520.

After the race, Gregory commented “She just loves to pass horses down the lane. The filly is just a pleasure drive.”

Barn Doll is owned by Steve and Nancy Pratt and Wanda Polisseni’s Purple Haze Stable. Steve Pratt also trains the horse.

In the other division, Jewels In Hock (Credit Winner-Jewels Galore) proved to be much the best even though she was tested early.

Chris Lems put Jewels In Hock took and held the point immediately, until Nunkeri (Ray Fisher Jr.) motored up the outside to challenge and then take the lead at the quarter. But with the tepid :30 clocking, Lems pulled to retake the front and did so without issue. From there the race was pretty much over.

Lems line-drove the filly to a 1:00.2 half and 1:29.4 three-quarters before letting her out a notch and trotting away from the field to win by two in 1:58.4.

“She just does it so easy” Said Lems. “She trotted real strong to the wire. She will definitely be a factor in the finals in a couple of weeks.”

It was the eighth win in 15 starts (and five out of her last 6) for Jewels In Hock ($3.10) who saw her 2015 earnings inflate to $220,450 for Ken Jacobs’ KJ Stable and trainer Linda Toscano.

There were also two $15,000 NYSS Excelsior Series A races on the card Saturday.

The first was won by Allerage Belle (Conway Hall-Bourbon Belle) in 2:00. The filly was driven by John Cummings Jr. for trainer Megan Wilson. Allerage Belle ($11.80) is owned by Alan Hainsworth.

The second division went to High Rise (Conway Hall-RC Biscuit) in 1:58.4. Chris Lems drove High Rise ($2.60) for trainer George Ducharme and owner Ray Campbell Jr.

The Downs $9,500 overnight pacing feature was won by Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) in 1:53.4 in one of the most exciting finishes this track has seen in some time.

After getting away last and remaining there passed five-eighths, Caprio took full advantage of his rail ride as the field fanned four-deep at the three-quarter pole. Now only three lengths off the lead and with a wall of horses in front of him, Fireyourguns was tipped widest off all; five-deep, and he had a head of steam to back him up. At the top of the lane, Fireyourguns forced his will on the field and pulled away to a one-length victory.

It was the ninth win in 13 starts this year for Fireyourguns ($18.60) who is owned by Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terry McClory, who also trains the 6-year-old son of American Ideal.

Visiting drivers Jeff Gregory and Chris Lems both scored driving doubles on the card.

Racing resumes Sunday afternoon at Batavia Downs with a 1:15 p.m. post time.

Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 22, 2015

Batavia Downs welcomes Sydney Weaver on Family Funday Sunday

Batavia, NY --- The youngest ambassador in the sport of harness racing will be the guest of honor at Batavia Downs on Sunday August 23, during Family Fun Day.

15-year-old Sydney Weaver, known to everyone in North American harness racing, and her parents Lisa and Don Weaver are driving down from their home in Ontario to Batavia Downs for their first ever visit to America’s oldest lighted harness track.

Sydney is a phenomenal young woman who just graduated from eighth grade as an honor roll student. She got her groom’s license at age 10, authors a column for the racing site “Harnesslink”, has won major youth writing awards for her stories about harness racing and is the youngest member to ever join the United States Harness Writers Association.

She owns a horse that is coincidentally named Sydney Seelster (Aka "Pinky" because she was always harnessed in pink; Sydney's favorite color). The Weaver’s campaigned the mare at tracks in Ontario for the past several years before retiring her to the breeding shed where she is currently in foal.

Regardless of the season or weather, Sydney is always at the races watching from her favorite spot at the rail. She roots for the horses, cheers for and congratulates the horsemen and documents all the action on her Facebook page every day.

This type of schedule would be taxing for any young lady, but it is just another day for this dynamic individual. And throughout it all, Sydney battles with Cerebral Palsy and is usually confined to her wheelchair. But that never has nor ever will stop her from achieving her goals. She still jogs horses on the racetrack and is working towards getting her trainers license.

Todd Haight, General Manager/Director of Live Racing at Batavia Downs said “Sydney is an inspiration to everyone, not just those in harness racing. The energy and passion for horses she puts forth is exemplary as is her love of the sport. She is what we all hope for in the next generation of racing fans and participants.”

Batavia Downs is rolling out the red carpet in honor of Sydney’s visit with a race named in honor of Sydney’s visit this afternoon.

When asked about her trip Sydney Weaver said, "I cannot wait to go to Batavia Downs; I love the thrill and anticipation of visiting a track I have never been to before. It is always an adventure, and I always meet so many wonderful people."

Tim Bojarski
Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 16, 2015

Cobble Beach dominates top class at Batavia Downs

John Cummings Jr. bought a ticket to ride and he didn’t care while winning the $9,500 Open pace feature with Cobble Beach ($6.80) at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 15).

Cobble Beach flew off the wings and took the top before the quarter while post time favorite, Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) took to the wood. After the leader passed the quarter in 27.1, Caprio wasted no time getting Fireyourguns in gear as he moved him to the outside in pursuit. Although it seemed like a good move in theory, the exercise was futile because there was no catching Cobble Beach tonight.

Cummings Jr. had the best view of the proceedings as his charge flew by the half in 55.3 and three-quarters in 1:23.2. Then he raised the lines, laid back in the bike and with a swish of the whip opened up four and was looking for more. The pair then proceeded to pace away to an impressive 1:52.1 win.

James Clouser Jr. owns and trains the 5-year-old altered son of Artiscape and his evenings efforts increased the horse’s annual earnings to $51,440.

Drivers scoring multiple victories on the card included Kevin Cummings and Dave McNeight III with three and Jim McNeight with two. Trainer Dave McNeight also registered a double.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 16) with a matinee card starting at 1:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 15, 2015

Lutetium stays unbeaten at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY--He’s three-for-three at the current meet and continues to win at will. Lutetium wired his foes on Friday night (Aug. 14) in the $10,000 Open trot feature at Batavia Downs.

Once again leaving from the widest post in the draw (7), Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) made quick work of taking the lead before setting-down for the mile. However this week his main rival BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) decided to leave as well and tucked in third for the trip.

The field was led to a soft half in: 58 when the tempo picked up on the backside. Lutetium tripped the three-quarters in 1:26.3 with BZ Glide on the outside, closing in for the chase. As the race hit the top of the stretch, Lutetium’s 2-length advantage was dwindling and continued to do so as the sparring pair drove to the wire. But when they hit, the 8-year-old gelded son of Credit Winner mustered just enough to gut out a head victory over the fast closing BZ Glide.

It was the seventh win in 21 starts for Lutetium ($7.60) and pushed his earnings to $48,331 for owner Colleen Girdlestone and trainer Mark Laidlaw.

Five drivers were seeing double on Friday as Kevin Cummings, Shawn Gray, Dave McNeight III, Ray Fisher Jr. and Jim McNeight all scored two wins on the card. Shawn Gray, Jim McNeight and Carl Smith also tallied a pair as trainers.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 15) with post time set for 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 13, 2015

Ugly Betty looks good in Batavia Downs feature

Ugly Betty returned to western New York after a quick trip to Northfield Park and wasted no time dominating the local mares once again in the $9,500 distaff Open at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 12).

In her normal style, Ugly Betty (John Cummings Jr.) went right to the front and led by two through quarters of 27.3, 56.4, 1:25.3 before coasting home to a one-length victory in 1:55.3. Eyemajet (Shawn Gray) came up the rail for second and All About Boyz (Dave McNeight III) rallied from last to finish third.

It was the tenth win in 25 start this year for Ugly Betty ($3.80), boosting her pocketbook to $62,505 for owners Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone. Rex Clabaugh trains the winner.

Drew Monti scored a driving triple on the night with VT’s Gold Key ($12.00), Climate Hanover ($3.40) and September Hall ($5.70). Kevin Cummings and John Cummings Jr. both registered driving doubles. Trainer Rex Clabaugh also sent two winners postward.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 14) with post time set at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 10, 2015

Joe Larry N Curly dominates in NYSS at Batavia Downs

Batavia Downs hosted two divisions of the $108,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Sunday (Aug. 9) and the star of the show was Joe Larry N Curly (Roll With Joe-Lovely Lady) with his overpowering win.

With morning line co-favorite Travel Playlist scratched sick, the field was cut down to five pacers. But there was no “stoogery” in Joe Larry N Curly’s performance as he was all business, pacing his fastest winning mile ever over a half-mile track.

Leading NYSS driver, Jim Morrill Jr., got away third with Joe Larry N Curly as Carlos Danger (Kevin Cummings) cut the quarter in 28.4. But as soon as they passed that station, Morrill pulled the 1-9 favorite and methodically moved to the front by the head of the stretch.

The field remained unchanged until Joes On A Roll (John Cummings Jr.) came first over to challenge the leader at the five-eights. But before he could mount any kind of serious threat, Morrill popped the ear-plugs and then held on tight as Joe Larry N Curly switched into overdrive and paced away from everyone. He came home in a brisk 28 flat to stop the timer in 1:56.2 and win by four lengths.

After the race, a visibly pleased Jim Morrill Jr. said “I couldn’t be happier with the way he raced. I pulled the plugs at the three-quarters and he took off like a rocket. I should have left them in! He won easy; he was simply awesome”.

It was the third win of the year for Joe Larry N Curly ($2.30) and increased his earnings to $82,794. The colt is trained by Mark Harder, who co-owns him with Joe Jannuzzelli and Dawn Colucci.

In the first division, Red Roll (Roll With Joe-Red Carpet Queen) lit up the tote board after the heavily favored Autotune Hanover was unable to overcome an early miscue.

Red Roll (Kevin Cummings) shot right to the lead as Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter) had trouble navigating the first turn before making a break. While Cummings piloted the leader to a pedestrian 59.3 half, Buter had settled Autotune Hanover before pulling the colt around gapped horses in an attempt to mount another attack at the front.

After looking rough again in the clubhouse turn, Autotune Hanover made quick work of the back stretch and got within a length of the leader. But after tucking to the pylons behind Red Roll in 1:28.4, Cummings started rocking and knocking the leader and got away from the pack by three lengths at the head of the lane before bringing Red Roll home victorious in 1:57.2.

“I drove him at Buffalo last month so I knew the horse. I took a shot, went to the front and was able to cut the mile I wanted. He was good the whole race” said Cummings in the winner’s circle.

Overlooked in the betting, Red Roll returned a healthy $23.00 for the win.

It was the first win of the year for Red Roll and thus also his lifetime mark. Despite only one win so far, the horse has not missed a check in NYSS action all year and that has put his earnings at $59,117. Red Roll is trained by Judy Blaun for owner John Sixt.

There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior “A” series on the card.

The first $15,000 division was won by 1-9 favorite, Craftship (Art Major-Capri Hanover) who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Craftship ($2.20) is trained by Tony Alagna for owners Crawford Partners, J. Fodera N M Frank Stable, Joe Sbrocco and Craig Henderson.

The second $15,000 leg was won by KJ Erich (Roll With Joe-Michelle’s Scooter) in 1:59.2. The colt was driven by John Cummings Jr. for trainer Gary Messenger. KJ Erich ($7.20) is owned by Scott Woogen, Brenda Messenger and Phillip Shapiro.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. was as hot as the western New York weather Sunday, winning five of the 12 races on the card. He scored with the aforementioned Craftship ($2.20) and Joe Larry N Curly ($2.30) as well as Lucky Pablo ($7.40), If It rains ($2.90) and Zipnthruthehall ($2.60).

Morrill is currently the third leading driver in North America for UDR with a .383. only .002 out of the second place George Napolitano Jr. He is fourteenth in North America in earnings with $3,123,201, but number one in NYSS competition with $920,602.59, more than three times more than his nearest competitor.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 12) at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 9, 2015

Youwillwishyouhad strikes late in Batavia Downs feature

The $10,000 Open pace feature at Batavia Downs was up for grabs for most of the race. But a patient drive by leading reinsman Kevin Cummings proved valuable as Youwillwishyouhad ($7.70) won his first race for his new connections on Saturday night (Aug. 8).

It was a cavalry charge off the gate as Ponyta Boy (Shawn McDonough), Beachfront (Dave McNeight III), Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) and Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) all had sights on the lead. The field momentarily settled behind the still battling Ponyta Boy and Beachfront, who eventually got the front. As they passed the quarter in 27.1, Fireyourguns pulled from fourth and took the front by the top of the stretch. He then led the group to the half in 56 as an outer flow began.

Now in two rows heading up the backside, Elite Awards (Drew Monti) tipped three-high with fresh legs as they breezed by three-quarters in 1:25. At that point, Youwillwishyouhad snuck off the rail from his perfect trip and into contention outside of the charging Elite Awards. At the top of the stretch, Fireyourguns ran out of ammunition and it became a two-horse race. Elite Awards tried hard to hang on but Youwillwishyouhad wore him down and powered on to win by two lengths in 1:54.

It was the third win in a row and eleventh win in 20 starts for the 4-year-old Artiscape gelding and the win brought his 2015 bankroll up to $60,178. Youwillwishyouhad is trained by J.D. Perrin for Mark Jakubik and Tessa Roland, who just claimed him last week for $31,250.

Kevin Cummings, Drew Monti and Jack Flanigen all scored driving doubles on the card.

Racing resumes on Sunday (Aug. 9) at Batavia Downs with two divisions of 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings competing for $108,000. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 8, 2015

Lutetium remains undefeated at Batavia Downs

It was business as usual Friday night (Aug. 7) for one of the best resident trotters to ever ply his trade at the historic Genesee County oval. Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) led from gate to wire for the second week in a row and captured the $9,500 featured Open trot at Batavia Downs.

Leaving sharply from post six, the 8-year-old gelded son of Credit Winner went right to the front and set fractions of 28.2, 59.1 and 1:28.2 before closing out the deal in 1:57.3. Cummings rated the horse perfectly and had no problem holding off a late charge by post time favorite, BZ Glide (Mike Caprio).

It was the sixth win in 20 starts this year for Lutetium ($5.50) and the proceeds raised his annual earnings to $43,331 for owner Colleen Girdlestone. The winner is trained by Mark Laidlaw.

Batavia Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings, and Dave McNeight III both scored driving triples on the night.

Shawn Gray made his return to the sulky a winning one after taking the second race with Four Starz Trump ($3.20). Gray had been sidelined for just over three weeks after being involved in an accident at Buffalo Raceway on July 15.

Racing resumes on Saturday night (Aug. 8) at Batavia Downs with post time set at 6:35.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


Autotune Hanover in NYSS at Batavia Downs Sunday

Batavia, NY---There is a small but select group of 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings entered to compete in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 9). 13 entrants will compete in two divisions (carded as race two and four) for their share of the $108,000 purse up for grabs.

The first $54,500 division features Autotune Hanover (Art Major-Anderosa Hanover) who has been on fire at Yonkers Raceway recently. Last week he won a division of the $76,512 NYSS wire to wire and 12 days prior to that, was victorious in the $107,500 L.B. Sheppard Stake final in a lifetime best 1:54.3.

Autotune Hanover has earned over $95,000 in only four starts this year and the speed and versatility he has shown on a half-mile track over the past two weeks is evidence he is a serious contender for the major share again this week.

The track record for 2-year-old pacing colts at Batavia Downs in 1:54.2 set by Doctor Butch in 2012 and then tied by He’s Watching in 2013. Based on his effort in the Sheppard Stake at Yonkers, Autotune Hanover has a very good chance of setting a new standard at Batavia Downs on Sunday.

Autotune Hanover is trained by Mark Harder and will start from post three for driver Tyler Buter. He has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite.

Fine Diamond (Rock N Roll Heaven-Yellow Diamond), who hails from the stable of North America’s leading trainer, Ron Burke, looks to be his major competition. Although the colt is winless in four starts this year, he has not finished out of the money during that time. Fine Diamond can leave enough to gain early position in order to track Autotune Hanover, who will most certainly set the pace.

Fine Diamond starts from post 5 for local driving favorite John Cummings Jr. and has been designated as the early second choice at 5-2.

There is no clear-cut favorite in the second $53,500 division and the two main players should be in a battle to the wire.

Joe Larry N Curly (Roll With Joe- Life’s Image) is currently the top point-getter in NYSS competition for this sex and gait to date and Travel Playlist (Art Major-Village Madonna) sits third behind him. Whereas they both have two wins in NYSS competition, Travel Playlist is undefeated and one of his wins was over Joe Larry N Curly last week at Yonkers.

Both horses 2015 earnings are separated by only $845 (both in excess of $56,000) and their lifetime marks are only three-fifths of a second apart. They can both leave the gate and in this short field (only six horses entered) they will probably be looking to do just that, having drawn the outside posts.

Joe Larry N Curly will start from post five for NYSS leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. and is listed at 8-5 in the early line. Mark Harder conditions Joe Larry N Curly.

Trainer Erv Miller has appointed Mark Macdonald to steer Travel Playlist and he will wear number six behind the gate, rated second choice at 9-5.

There are also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior Series “A” races on the card that will go for a total purse of $30,000.

Post time for the first of 12 races is set for 1:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 6, 2015

Dayson much the best in New York Sire Stake at Batavia

He’s yet to taste defeat and judging from his performance on Wednesday (Aug. 5) at Batavia Downs, it might be quite some time before that happens.

Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey’s Taurus) simply obliterated the competition in his $55,500 leg of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings and set a new lifetime mark in the process.

When Dante (Ake Svanstedt) shot to the front for the early lead, Southern Palms (Marcus Miller) made a break and caused momentary confusion to the horses behind him in the first turn. Dayson, who was trotting on the outside at the time, was taken three-deep around the commotion by driver Jeff Gregory and motored to the front to take command.

At that point, for all intents and purposes, the race was over.

Dayson was a gapped leader for the rest of the contest with Dante and Reve Royale (Chris Lems) chasing, more than following. After setting fractions of 29.2, 59.4 and 1:29.3, Gregory laid the whip on his shoulder and enjoyed the ride home as Dayson opened up four and tripped the timer in 1:59.1, which was his new personal best.

“Dayson has been a pleasure to drive this year and he was very strong tonight” said Jeff Gregory after the race.

Dayson is now a perfect four-for-four in 2015 with $91,556 in earnings for Howard Okusko and owners Margaret Butler and Amy Butler. The winner returned $3.40.

In the second $55,500 NYSS division, Allerage Echo (Conway Hall-Echonomical) took advantage of post one and a perfect trip to score his second victory of the campaign.

Chargin Cadet (Ray Schnittker) flew off the wings and crossed over to the lead before the group straightened up the backside. The rest of the field fell in line in post-position order and followed the leader past the half. But even though Schnittker set tepid fractions of 30.1, 1:01.3 and 1:32.1, the race was far from over .

Credevie (Trond Smedshammer) pulled from third to try and challenge the leader, leaving Allerage Echo (Chris Lems) sitting chilly in the garden spot. But at the top of the stretch, that bid failed and Chargin Cadet again looked solid. But Allerage Echo was relentless, digging all the way to the wire and eventually getting up for the win in 2:01.1, with a 28.3 final quarter.

“He got a very good trip. And even though they backed down the third quarter, I thought I could get up down the lane” said driver Chris Lems, who did just that.

It was the second win in four starts for Allerage Echo who paid $10.80. The winner’s share increased his earnings to $58,381 while the time was a new lifetime mark. The gelding is trained by George Ducharme for owner Ken Jacobs.

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

The first went to Cashuz (Cash Hall-Sister Shuzy) and driver John Cummings Jr. in 2:00 flat. Cashuz ($8.20) is trained by J.D. Perrin and is owned by Tessa Roland and Lesa Peters.

The second division was won by Gremlin Wilson (Sand Vic-Savannah Montana) and driver John Cummings Jr. once again in 2:03. Meghan Wilson trains Gremlin Wilson ($9.60) for Cummings Jr. who also owns the colt.

The final leg saw Kaylon’s Prayer (Prayer I Am-Kaylon) victorious for Downs leading driver, Kevin Cummings, in 2:03.4. Dennis Laterza trains Kaylon's Prayer ($8.50) for owner Roy Dobbins.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 7) with post time at 6:35 p.m.

Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 4, 2015

Battle of unbeaten in New York Sire Stakes at Batavia Downs

When the 2-year-old colts and geldings converge on Batavia Downs for the $111,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) on Wednesday (Aug. 5), an unstoppable object will face an immovable force to lay claim to being the best in the state for this sex and gait.

The first division of the $55,500 stake features Reve Royale (RC Royalty-Dream Street) lining up against Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey’s Taurus) in a contest that will see one of them suffer their first defeat of the year.

Reve Royal is a perfect three-for-three and just took his lifetime mark of 1:56.3 at the Meadowlands last week. He is a perfect two-for-two in NYSS action this year, including a very impressive 1:59.4 win at Saratoga Raceway that saw him trot a 58.4 back half over the half-mile oval.

He is trained by George Ducharme, who conditioned the 2013 Hambletonian winner, Royalty For Life, and will be driven by Chris Lems. Reve Royal has been listed as the morning line favorite and will leave from post 5.

Dayson is also undefeated with three consecutive wins and has been trotting away from his competition in all of his races. His fastest outing to date was at Saratoga on July 2; a win in 2:00.1. But his best effort may very well have been last week at Buffalo Raceway.

After making a break after the start, Dayson and driver Jeff Gregory spotted the field 16-lengths at the quarter pole. Gregory then gathered his horse together and rallied for a one-length victory in 2:02.2; last half in 59.2, last quarter in 28.4.

Dayson and Gregory will team up once again to see if they can get another tally from post six for trainer Howard Okusko. Okusko is hot right now having just won the Adios Pace this past Saturday (Aug. 1) with Dude’s The Man.

It’s interesting to note that Reve Royal is a colt and Dayson is a gelding, so there is a chance that one of two track records could be rewritten in this race, depending on who wins. The Batavia Downs record for a 2-year-old trotting colt is 1:58.4 set in 2010 by Dejarmbro and the 2-year-old trotting gelding mark is 1:58 set just last year by Buen Camino.

The second $55,500 contest has the three perceived favorites lining up from the three inside posts as mirror images of each other. All are geldings, have comparable earnings, have one NYSS victory and are all coming off lifetime marks.

Credevie (Credit Winner-Fleur De Vie) drew post seven in his last start at Yonkers Raceway but overcame it with style. Trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer left and tucked third before pulling at the three-quarters to gain a close victory in 2:00.3. Credevie did not compete in the NYSS leg at Buffalo last week so he has not raced in three weeks.

Andrew Goldstein (RC Royalty-Final Time) had post five at Yonkers and left for position. He eventually sat the pocket trip for trainer/driver Kim Crawford, before pulling away to an easy four-length win in 2:00.4. Andrew Goldstein also did not compete in the NYSS leg at Buffalo last week so he too has not raced in three weeks.

Allerage Echo (Conway Hall-Echonomical) did race at Buffalo last week and did it well. Trainer George Ducharme had driver Chris Lems cut the mile and that allowed Allerage Echo to walk away with an easy five-length victory in 2:03.3. The horse could have obviously gone more but it wasn’t necessary as he had the race well in hand.

Credevie has post three and is favored at 2-1. Andrew Goldstein has post two and is 5-2. Allerage Echo starts from thepylons and is listed at 4-1.

There are also three divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series that will split a total of $45,000.

Post time for the first of the 12-race card at Batavia Downs is 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 3, 2015

No surprises in New York Sire Stakes at Batavia Downs Sunday

Batavia, NY---The mutuel payouts may have been small, but the purses were spread around in the 3-year-old filly pacing division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2). A different sire, driver and trainer won each leg of the series as they represented the best New York State has to offer for this sex and gait.

In the first $39,200 division, Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) left the gate and took a methodic path to the front in 27.4. Leading the single-file group and still unchallenged to the half, Morrill kept a tight grip on the filly with an eye on closing out the deal. When they rolled towards three-quarters, Morrill popped the plugs and Mosquito Blue Chip responded in kind, quickly pulling away to a four-length advantage. With Morrill stretched out like he was in a recliner, the pair scurried home in 28.2 with no one even close, to win in 1:54.2.

“She felt like her old self today. She was on cruise control the entire mile” said driver Jim Morrill Jr. of the filly who is now two-for-two lifetime at Batavia Downs.

Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor’s Delight-Sandfly Hanover) was sent off the prohibitive 1-9 favorite and paid $2.30 for the win. Paul Jessop trains and co-owns the filly with Our Three Sons Stable and Donato Falcicchio.

As most expected in the second $39,900 leg, Band Of Angels (Matt Kakaley) and Moremercy Bluechip (Andy Miller) left from post three and four respectively and got away 1-2 before sauntering to a pedestrian 29-second first quarter. With the rest of the field still in post-position order behind the two favorites, Kakaley continued to grab leather in an even slower 29.4 second panel.

From there it was all Band Of Angels who was given her head and quickly opened up a five-length lead before Kakaley lowered the lines and stored the whip. Band Of Angels ($2.50) paced the back half in 56.2, winning in 1:55.1 with Moremercy Bluechip closing ground on the wrapped-up winner to finish second.

After the race, winning driver Matt Kakaley pointed out “She did it as easily as a horse could do it and had plenty left coming down the stretch”.

Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again) is conditioned by North America’s leading trainer, Ron Burke for owner W.J. Donovan.

The final $39,900 split featured a speed duel between two unrelenting contestants and it started as soon as the gate pulled away.

As the field headed into the first turn, they were spread three-wide across the track; Jag Out (Andy Miller) on the pylons, Nippy W Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the middle and Artiawitchtoyou (Doug McNair) out widest of all. Off the turn, Nippy W Hanover settled in second but Artiawitchtoyou opted to go on. As she drew next to Jag Out at the quarter in 27.1, it was clear the leader had no intentions of giving up that spot.

As they contentiously passed the half in 55 flat, Jag Out and Artiawitchtoyou were seemingly pacing in tandem heading into the third turn, but then Artiawitchtoyou had taken all the air she could and by the 1:24.3 three-quarter split, started to show the effects. As she started to fade off, Jag Out continued to drive on to an impressive two-length victory in the fastest time of the day (1:53.4). The winner paid $8.00.

“She was awesome! I know we went fast early but she's that good” said driver Andy Miller about the speed duel between his charge and Artiawitchtoyou.

Jag Out (American Ideal-Impertinent) is trained by Erv Miller, who co-owns her with Paymaq Racing and Mystical Marker Farms LLC.

There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series on the card for $30,000 in purses.

The first went to Yes You Can (If I Can Dream-Cantbuymehappiness) went gate to wire in 1:56.2 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Heidi Rohr. Yes You Can, who paid $2.40 is owned by the Holland Racing Stable.

The second division was won by Hey Kobe (Bettor’s Delight-American West) who also led the entire mile for driver Mark Macdonald and trainer Marthe Drolet. Hey Kobe is owned by Stephen Schneider and William Siegel. The winner returned $4.00.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. notched four victories on the card with Kevin Cummings adding two more wins to his meet-leading total.

Racing resumes on Wednesday at Batavia Downs when two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings go postward for a total of $110,000 in purses. Post time is set for 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 2, 2015

Kevin Cummings wins six at Batavia Downs

Victories have been coming in bunches for this tracks top drivers of late and tonight was no exception. Not to be outdone by Drew Monti’s five-victory outing on Friday (July 31), Batavia Downs defending dash driving champion Kevin Cummings struck back fast and hard tonight taking a six-pack to the winners circle.

Cummings came out swinging, winning with Vintage Fenom ($4.90), Terlingua ($5.40), Youwillwishyouhad ($3.30), Cobble Beach ($2.70), Bettor Again ($4.10) and Southwind Whiski ($3.70).

After having two doubles and a triple in the first three days of the meet, Cummings now has 13 victories at Batavia Downs and leads all drivers for wins to date. He also sports a gaudy .438 UDR over the same period of time.

At this point of the year, Kevin Cummings is on pace to shatter his career high numbers that he just set last year. He already has 215 wins and $1,151,609 in purses and a 2015 UDR of .374 that ranks him seventh overall in North America. For his career, Cummings has 3,185 wins and over $13 million in earnings.

Cummings fourth score just happened to be behind the winner of the featured $10,000 Open pace, Cobble Beach.

Mr. Icon (Jim McNeight) left with a rush from post three to take the early lead. But 1-4 post time favorite, Cobble Beach, became king of the hill before they hit the quarter in 27.4. The group continued in single file when Jokerman (Dave McNeight III) started the outer flow just before they hit the half in 57.1.

Jokerman continued to advance until he got within a half-length of the leader, who rang up a 1:25.3 third panel. But a half-length was as close as he got as Cobble Beach turned up the heat in the final two furlongs with a 28.3 clocking to win by a length in 1:54.1. Mr. Icon, who benefitted from a perfect trip caught second and Jokerman hung on for third.

It was the fifth win in 26 starts for Cobble Beach and it inflated his 2015 wallet to $45,490 for owner/trainer James Clouser Jr. The winner returned $2.70.

Other notable performances by horsemen competing tonight:

Drivers Dave McNeight Jr. and Ray fisher Jr. both had driving doubles and trainers John Mungillo, Gerry Sarama, James Clouser Jr. and Russell Bratt each registered two wins apiece.

Betting and attendance have been up significantly after the first four cards of racing at Batavia Downs. Handle is up 7% and the clubhouse has been sold out all week along with every available program. The beautiful weather in the area has also had the apron full of race-goers each night. It’s the best opening week the track has seen in years. The management would like to thank all their loyal customers who have made the opening such a success and promise to keep the excitement going as we move through the year.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2) with three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies going for $119,000 in purses. Post time for the first is 1:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Photo courtesy of Paul White


New York Sire Stakes Parade of Stars Sunday at Batavia

Batavia, NY---There is a veritable who’s-who list of harness racing celebrity coming to Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 2) to take part in three divisions of the New York Sires Stake (NYSS) 3-year-old filly pace and they will compete for $119,000 in total purses.

In what looks to be the marquee division, the nation's leading trainer, Ron Burke, has Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again) in town and she has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite. The pace of this division could become a heavyweight battle between her and the second choice, Moremercy Bluechip (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mercy Mercy Mercy) from the Julie Miller Stable.

Band Of Angels is coming off a very impressive effort in the $207,350 Mistletoe Shallee Stake at the Meadowlands on July 18. After winning her elimination heat the week prior in 1:50, Band Of Angels got locked in at the rail early in the final and never had any racing room until deep stretch. When Yannick Gingras was finally able to steer her clear, the filly literally flew through the stretch before running out of real estate at the wire, coming up only two-lengths short of a victory.

Band Of Angels has earned $277,904 lifetime on the strength of nine lifetime wins. Matt Kakaley will pick up the lines this week from post three and could pose a serious threat to the standing track record of 1:52.4 set by New Album in 2011.

After getting off to a rather slow start in 2015, Moremercy Bluechip has since won two consecutive NYSS contests; both huge efforts over half-mile tracks. She scored in 1:53.1 at Saratoga Raceway on June 25 and in 1:53.4 at Monticello Raceway on July 14. Andy Miller will make a rare Western New York appearance to drive the filly and will provide stiff competition to the favorite in this race.

The first leg features trainer Paul Jessop’s Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor’s Delight-Sandfly Hanover), who won at Batavia as a 2-year-old in 1:56.3. She was later crowned the NYSS 2-year-old pacing filly champion after winning the $225,000 final at Yonkers Raceway in 1:56 over a sloppy track.

This year she comes in off of six-straight solid efforts that include wins at Buffalo Raceway (1:53.3), Saratoga (1:53.3) and Harrah’s Philadelphia (1:52.3). She is the highest money-earner in the race ($79,735) for 2015 and her lifetime earnings are in excess of $320,000.

Jim Morrill Jr. is back up behind Mosquito Blue Chip and they will leave from post 4.

Bettor N Better (Bettors Delight-Vanite Semalu) is another Burke Stable star and is sporting two consecutive wins coming in: 1:53.3 at Saratoga and 1:54.4 at Monticello. On the strength of those outings, she appears to be entering this contest in her best form of the year.

In 2015, Bettor N Better earned $225,090 and took a mark of 1:51 at the Red Mile. She finished fourth in the Breeders Crown elimination to qualify for the final, but ended up unplaced in that event.

Matt Kakaley who was aboard for both recent successes will be at the helm once again. They will leave from post six as the track handicapper’s 2-1 choice.

The third split appears to be a wide-open affair as none of the entrants have won a NYSS race this year.

Nippy W Hanover (American Ideal-Northern Diligence) has two seconds and a third in NYSS action for trainer Casie Coleman, but her three wins have come other than this series. Her most recent victory was also her lifetime mark at Tioga Downs in 1:53.4 on June 7. Last week at Yonkers she was parked the middle half and faded late in a non-winner event. She has some gate speed and this would be a good place for driver Jim Morrill Jr. to use it.

Jag Out (American Ideal-Impertinent) has been having regular success in the Excelsior A series and steps up to try her luck in the top-tier this week. She does have a nice win at Saratoga on June 25 in 1:54 flat for trainer Erv Miller, who has enlisted the services of driver Andy Miller, who teamed the filly in her two recent wins.

Nippy W Hanover is the early choice at 5-2 and leaves from post 2 and Jag Out has the rail and is listed at 7-2.

There are also two divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card to be contested for $30,000 in total purses.

Post time for the first race Sunday is 1:15 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


August 1, 2015

Monti bags five at Batavia; Lutetium takes Open trot

Batavia, NY---More spectacular weather greeted a full house of fans at Batavia Downs on Friday night (July31) and the faithful were treated to extraordinary performances by both man and beast.

The man was 20-year-old Drew Monti, who put on a driving clinic scoring five victories on the card. He won with Feets Of Magic ($4.00), I’m The Cash Man ($15.80), Ooga Booga ($7.80), Greg’s Girl ($10.40) and Big Baller ($5.70).

But winning wasn’t the whole story.

Monti had a total of eight drives and never missed the board. Besides the already mentioned victories, he had two seconds and a third which gave him an amazing UDR of .805 for the program.

The beast was definitely Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) who regained old form and put forth a monstrous effort in winning the Friday night feature, $10,000 Open trot.

Leaving with the car when the race began, Lutetium was on top before track announcer Joe Zambito could articulate it. He then took his followers through fractions of 28.2, 57 and 1:26.2 before trotting away from the group by three-lengths in 1:56 flat. That time was one-fifth off the track record for aged trotting geldings, which Lutetium co-holds with Second Hand News. The effort was so dominant that no other horse in the race got close enough to make a bid.

It was the fifth win in 19 starts this year for Lutetium and it raised his annual income to $38,581 for owner Colleen Girdlestone. Mark Laidlaw trains the altered son of Credit Winner who paid $7.40.

Other notable performances included Downs defending driving champion Kevin Cummings scoring a hat trick and trainer Darrin Monti who also registered three winners on the card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night with post time set at 6:35.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


July 30, 2015

Kellys Cross is dominant in Batavia mares feature

Batavia, NY---It seemed like a stroll in the park on an 86 degree summer night for Kellys Cross as she totally overpowered a solid field of Open II pacing mares in Wednesday night’s (July 29) feature at Batavia Downs.

As the wings closed, the speedy Voltina (Jack Flanigen) bolted to the lead, but not before getting rimmed to the quarter by rail-rider Real Joy (Drew Monti) in 27.4. After she took, Real Joy came right back at her and the two continued to argue to the half.

At that point, Downs defending driving champion, Kevin Cummings pulled Kellys Cross from third and circled the dispute as the girls passed the three-quarters. From there the pair opened up a six-length advantage and coasted home in 29.1 with the victory never in doubt.

Kellys Cross tripped the timer in 1:55.1 and paid $11.40 to her backers. It was the fastest win time ever over a half-mile track for the 4-year-old Royal Mattjesty progeny. It was also the fifth win of the year for the mare that competes under the guidance of trainer John Mungillo for owner Frank Spagnolo.

Drivers scoring doubles on the card included Jim McNeight (who registered the natural daily double in races one and two), Kevin Cummings, John Cummings Jr. and Dave McNeight III.

Batavia Downs also hosted its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night in conjunction with the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, NY (bccr.org ). Each of the eleven races was sponsored by groups who made donations to the fund and presented blankets to the winners after each race. There was also a silent auction and raffle that was held during the night, with winners announced before the last race. The effort raised $5,200 that will go to BCCR to help find a cure and eradicate this scourge to women everywhere.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (July 31) night at 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


Batavia Downs announces Drew Monti bobble head night

Batavia, NY---Batavia Downs is pleased to announce that popular local reinsman, “Driving” Drew Monti, will be featured as a bobble head to be given away on Saturday (Sept. 5).

"When we first started discussing this project last year, we spoke with our customers to see who they would like to see used as the focus of this promotion and the overwhelming response was "Driving Drew" said Todd Haight, General Manager/Director of Live Racing at Batavia Downs.

"He started driving here at 18 just a few years ago but his career has taken off and he has obviously become a fan favorite. And as popular as bobble heads are in the sport right now, we are very excited for this promotion."

The 20-year-old Monti came on the driving scene in 2013, scoring his first pari-mutuel win in April of that year. He was the top first-year provisional driver in North America in 2013 and he has progressed at a torrid pace ever since.

Last year Monti won 170 races, $886,461 in purses and hit the board over 40% of the time. So far in 2015, he is on pace for career high numbers all around as he already has 146 wins and $753,078 in purses through Wednesday (July 29).

During his short three-year career, Monti has amassed 393 wins and $2 million in earnings with a combined year-to-year UDR of .252. He is definitely poised to make a run at the driving title at Batavia Downs this meet.

One of the more popular young drivers in social media and chat in the Harness Racing Fan Zone, Monti is an example of what the next generation of horseman is all about. While balancing his racing career and education at the same time, Monti will be entering his fourth year at Canisius College this fall as he pursues his BA in business.

The “Driving” Drew Monti bobble heads are sponsored by TAG Jewelers (www.tagjewelers.com ) of 936 Dick Road in Cheektowaga, NY. TAG Jewelers has been Western New York’s most trusted fine metals broker since 1977.

Tony Gruppo is the owner of TAG Jewelers and has been and owner and strong supporter of harness racing in the Western New York region for decades.

"I can remember coming to Batavia Downs with my friends on the weekend's while attending nearby Brockport State College over forty years ago" said Gruppo.

"The track has always been a part of my life, so when Todd (Haight) approached me about this promotion it was a natural fit for me. Drew Monti is a rising star and a fine young man. I think you will be seeing more of him on a bigger stage in the near future."

Distribution of the “Driving” Drew Monti bobble heads will begin immediately after the seventh race on Saturday (Sept. 5) in the Paddock Room. There is a limit of one per person and are available while supplies last. You must be a Players Club member to receive this premium.

Fans wishing to get their bobble heads signed by Monti are urged to bring them back to the track the following day during the Labor Day matinee. Driving Drew will be trackside for an hour before the first race to greet his fans and sign the statuettes.

This is the third bobble head issued by Batavia Downs. Previously, perennial New York Sire Stakes leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. was honored as was NFL Hall of Famer and Buffalo Bills great, Thurman Thomas. Thomas is featured in Batavia Downs “34 Rush” sports bar, which is located on the gaming floor.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


July 28, 2015

Posterity leads victors in New York Sire Stakes at Batavia

Batavia, NY---Four divisions of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old trotting fillies went postward on opening night (7-27) at Batavia Downs and as a result the first record of the season just missed being broken. The track proved lightning fast as three of the four divisions set lifetime marks.

Posterity (Lucky Chucky-Vintage Ship) took full advantage of an early break by favored Winning Princess (Jim Morrill Jr.) to wire the field and post a 1:59.1 victory, which was only one-fifth of a second off the track record set by Dreamy Dawn in 2010.

Charlie Norris, who both trains and drives the filly, left sharp and set even fractions en route to an easy three and one-half length decision. The winning time was a new lifetime mark and the second win in three starts this year for Posterity, who paid $7.00.

Posterity is owned by Carrie Norris, Janine Zito and Jerry Buck Sprinkle.

In the first division, Lima Playtime (Credit Winner-Pacific Legacy) was an easy coast to coast winner who led the field by open lengths the whole race. Driver Rick Zeron seemed to have a gas pedal at his disposal after they passed three-quarters in 1:32.1; that’s when the mare sped away from the group to come home in an impressive 28.3 and take a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4. The even-money favorite returned $4.20.

Zeron trains and co-owns Lima Playtime with Millar Farms, James Walker and Paul Fisher.

The second division saw a dominant winner displaced due to interference by her coupled entry.

Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) and Jim Morrill Jr. wasted no time getting the lead before setting speedy fractions of 28.4, 58.4 and 1:29.4 into the far turn. The entry on the ticket, Steel Wheels (Lucky Chucky-Some Girls) and Gates Brunet pulled off the rail from third to take a shot at the leader. But shortly after that move, she made a break and interfered with trailing horses.

After the heavily favored Goosebump Hanover pulled away to an easy five-length victory, the inquiry sign went up, and the winner came down due to the interference by the coupled horse. Second place finisher, Credit To Thelimit (Credit Winner-Prize Angie) and driver Sam Schillaci were then declared the winner ($23.80).

Credit To Thelimit is also trained by Schillaci for owners Matthew Bencic, Peter Barbato, Sam Bova and Jodi Schillaci.

In the final split, Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn-Portia) proved last week’s win was no fluke as she set a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4 while registering a four-length decision over her six competitors.

Lindylicious (Credit Winner-Scrumptious Lindy) flew off the wings for Chris Lems and went right to the front before leading for almost three-quarters of the race. But when the field was headed up the backside, driver Kevin Cummings pulled Dizzy Broad from third and appeared to fly past Lindylicious to take the lead. From that point on the only thing in question was how much the filly would win by.

Dizzy Broad, who is owned and trained by Noel Daley, returned $9.10 to her backers.

There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series on the card and the both also proved to be career best efforts for the winners.

Take The Cash (Cash Hall-Take The Lid Off) driven by Jim Morrill Jr. scored her first career victory in 2:01.4 and returned $4.60. Take The Cash is trained by Perry Simser, who co- owns the filly with Clifford Morcom, Richard Kaplan and Salvatore Corcione.

In the second leg, Barn Diva (Conway Hall-Misty Ridge) captured her second straight career win while also stopping the timer in 2:01.4. The winner, who returned $4.30, is trained and co-owned by Steve Pratt with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stable.

Racing resumes Wednesday night (7-29) at Batavia Downs with the first post set for 6:35 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


July 27, 2015

Buffalo Raceway Has Successful 2015 Campaign

By Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N. Y. --- With Buffalo Raceway's 2015 season now in the books, it can be said that it was a successful campaign both on and off the track.

Buffalo Raceway's on-track handle was even this year with fewer race dates compared to the 2014 while the export handle numbers were up 3% on a daily basis.

On the track, there were 10 records that were either broken or tied.

For the trotters, Winkys Pride set the new standard for all-age mares and aged (5+) mark with a 1:57.0 time. Serendipitious went 1:58.1 to establish a new record for the 4-year-old mare trotters.

The all age, all age gelding and aged (5+) gelding standard for pacers was destroyed by Fireyourguns with a 1:52.0 clocking. Instant Riches made the record book with a 1:54.3 time for the 4-year-old colt pacers while Skyway Tia tied the 1:55.0 time for 4-year-old filly and mare pacers.

Also on the track, driver Kevin Cummings made a serious run at Jim Morrill Jr.'s all-time win mark of 214 set in 2006 but came up 12 victories short.

All was not lost however. Cummings did win his second consecutive driving title with 202 wins, the third most in Buffalo Raceway history. Morrill Jr. (214) and Shawn Gray (206) are the only drivers to go over 200 victories in a season at the Hamburg half-mile oval.

Cummings was also the leading purse earner with $1,086,171. His winnings were the most in Buffalo Raceway history and he became only the second driver to go over the $1 million mark. Gray managed to do it in 2012 with $1.05 million in purses. Cummings also currently sits sixth nationally in the UDR standings with a .371 percentage.

Drew Monti, only 20 years old, took second place in the driver's standings with 140 wins while Gray was third with 123.

JD Perrin captured his third straight trainer's title by conditioning 70 winners. John Mungillo took the runner up spot with 54 victories and Kirk Desmond was third with 49.

The Prophet Mary had the most trips to the winner's circle on the season as the pacer scored nine times. Justgottogetthere was the top trotter with eight wins and $48,217 in earnings.

Jettison was the leading overall money earner as the pacer collected $50,314.

The post time favorite won 41.99 percent of the time.

There were seven dead heats for the win while there were seven for the place position and four ties in the show spot.

Racing is expected to resume in mid-January, 2016 with a similar schedule tentatively set as in 2015.

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


Beback Jr. Has Four Winners In Buffalo Raceway Finale

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The 2015 season came to a close at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (July 26) and driver Ron Beback Jr. capped the 91-day meet with a four-bagger.

Beback Jr. was aboard Lotto Ticket ($4.00), Almost Midnight ($3.10), Boots N Bourbon ($5.90) and Four Starz Trump ($3.70) The victory for Four Starz Trump was the 50th in the 12-year-old gelding's career and moved his lifetime earnings to $371,951. Beback Jr. finished the week with eight wins.

Driver Kevin Cummings made a run at Jim Morrill Jr.'s all-time win mark of 214 set in 2006 but came up a dozen victories short.

All was not lost however. Cummings did win his second consecutive driving title with 202 wins, the third most in Buffalo Raceway history. Morrill Jr. (214) and Shawn Gray (206) are the only drivers to go over 200 victories in a season at the Hamburg half-mile oval. Cummings was also the leading purse earner with nearly $1.1 million.

Drew Monti took second place in the driver's standings with 140 wins while Gray was third with 123.

JD Perrin captured his third straight trainer's title by conditioning 70 winners. John Mungillo took the runner up spot with 54 victories and Kirk Desmond third with 49.

The Prophet Mary had the most trips to the winner's circle on the season as the pacer scored nine times. Justgottogetthere was the top trotter with eight wins and $48,217 in earnings.

Jettison was the leading money earner as the pacer collected $50,314.

Live racing is tentatively scheduled to resume in January, 2016.

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


July 26, 2015

Batavia Downs opener features New York Sire Stakes action

Batavia, NY---As the western New York harness racing scene switches back to the oldest lighted harness track in America on Monday (July 27), Batavia Downs wasted no time welcoming back the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) to its schedule.

The series makes the first of eight stops at the Genesee County oval with a group of lightly-raced state bred 2-year-old trotting fillies who will compete in four divisions, vying for purses totaling $109,500.

The first leg is led by Dolly Drama PV (Lucky Chucky-Massive Drama) from the Mark Harder stable. This filly has made two starts this year, finishing third and first respectively while banking $16,241. Last week at Buffalo Raceway, she left sharply to gain early position and then trotted home in a snappy 29.4 to win by two-lengths in a lifetime best 2:03.4. Dolly Drama PV is 5-2, leaves from post two and will be driven by local favorite Jeff Gregory.

The royally bred Pampered Winner (Credit Winner-Pampered Princess) ships in from the Meadowlands to make her first NYSS start for Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. After qualifying three times at the iconic New Jersey track, she made her first lifetime start there in a juvenile overnight event where she finished five and one-half lengths off the pace in 1:59.3. Pampered Winner is the track handicapper’s selection at 2-1.

The second split features Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) who won the fastest (2:01.4) of four divisions at Buffalo last week for the top money-earning trainer in North America, Ron Burke. After getting away second, she went to the front past the quarter and then led the rest of the way for an easy one and one-half length victory. Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the lines for this week’s outing.

Steel Wheels (Lucky Chucky-Some Girls) made an unfortunate break at the start of her race last week that took her completely out of contention. That, after posting a win through disqualification at Monticello Raceway in an Excelsior A level race the week before. Steel Wheels, who is trained and driven by Gates Brunet, is coupled as a betting interest with Goosebump Hanover and they go postward as the morning line favorites at 2-1.

Royal Encore (RC Royalty-Spin The Planet) sat out last week after posting a solid second-place finish at Monticello on July 3. Now ready to make her second lifetime start, Royal Encore looks to improve for trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer. They leave from post four and are listed at 5-2.

Ron Burke’s Winning Princess (Credit Winner-Cabaret Princess) is the 2-1 early choice in the third division and looks to get back to her winning ways. She made a break at Buffalo last week that she couldn’t overcome after posting two convincing wins prior. In those starts she was victorious in 2:00.2 and 2:00.3 by a combined 10 lengths. Jim Morrill Jr. is back in the bike for the third consecutive time.

Winning Princess starts from post 2, and is coupled as a betting interest with Starlingmoon (Prayer I Am-Meadow Dion) who leaves from post 7 with Brett Miller aboard.

Posterity (Lucky Chucky-Vintage Chip) looks to pose the greatest threat to the favorite after having scored a first and second place finish in NYSS action this year. Charlie Norris both trains and drives Posterity who leaves from post three as the 5-2 second choice.

In the final leg, Lindylicious (Credit Winner-Scrumptious) is moving up from Excelsior A action after two solid wins over that group to take on the top level trotters here. Her 2:01.2 win at Buffalo last week was actually faster than the fastest NYSS leg which was won by Goosebump Hanover (2:01.4). She has proven to be a versatile performer; racing both on top and from off the pace, and her gate speed will suit her well this week as she leaves from post six.

George Ducharme, who won the 2013 Hambletonian with Royalty For Life, conditions Lindylicious and her regular driver Chris Lems is back up for the ride. They are rated as a 5-1 shot to win.

Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn-Portia) is coming off a NYSS win in her first lifetime start at Buffalo last week. It was a convincing victory, but also the slowest of the quartet that day (2:05.1). Western New York’s leading driver, Kevin Cummings, will be aboard the 5-2 handicapper’s choice for the second time.

Love Crazy Love (Crazed-Love U Overandover) drew the rail for the second straight week and has one win in NYSS action this year for trainer-driver Gates Brunet. She is a solid competitor that is listed at 3-1 morning line.

There are also two divisions of Excelsior A action that offer $30,000 in purses and two divisions of Excelsior B horses that will go after their share of $13,500.

Post time for the first race is 6:35 p.m. Opening night at Batavia Downs also features free programs and free magnetic schedules to all fans attending the races live. (While supplies last)

For more information on all the events at Batavia Downs this year, log on to www.bataviadownsgaming.com . There you can get full race schedules, entries, results as well as watch all the race replays immediately after each race is declared official. Live streaming video of all the races is available by becoming a member of Bataviabets.com .

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


Milliron Pete Continues To Impress At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ever since arriving from Scioto Downs in Ohio on June 28, Milliron Pete has sure made himself right at home at Buffalo Raceway. And while adjusting to his surroundings in Western New York, he's finding the winner's circle is a pretty good place to hang out as well.

For the fourth time in five starts at the Hamburg half-mile oval, Milliron Pete (Jim McNeight) showed he's not camera shy either by taking a half length victory in the $10,500 Open Pace in 1:55.0 over the fast track Saturday night (July 25).

While Milliron Pete ($9.60) has new stomping grounds, he has passed just about every test put in front of him. Starting out in a $4,800 conditioned race on June 28 at Buffalo Raceway, Milliron Pete has stepped his way up the ladder and it landed him on the top rung, the Open pace. Posting a 1-1/2 victory in 1:55.2 on July 18 in a $7,800 conditioned pace, the jump in class was well deserved.

Big Bossman did much of the dirty work in the race by setting fractions of 27.4, 57.1 and 1:26.1. Milliron Pete, who was assigned the inside post, drafted along perfectly in second and scooted through in the passing lane to stun Big Bossman (Jack Flanigen). Western Alumni (Ron Beback Jr.) took the show position.

Trained by McNeight and owned by the Eim Racing, Milliron Pete (American Ingot-Komoda Dragon) has now posted six victories in 26 tries in 2015. It sent the 5-year-old gelding's earnings to $34,816 this year and $57,481 lifetime.

In the $9,500 Open II pace, Cobble Beach (Kevin Cummings) reverted back to his front-running style and it resulted in an impressive four length win in a sizzling 1:53.1.

Scoring the from six post, Cobble Beach had to tussle with Mister Icon for the lead to the opening quarter but once getting there, it was all over.

Cobble Beach motored to the half in 56.2 and blistered a 28.1 last panel to put the remaining five horses in surrender mode. Mister Icon (McNeight) finished a distant second while I C D Moolah (Beback Jr.) was third.

Owned and trained by James Clouser Jr., Cobble Beach (Artiscape-Mirmattculous) has now posted four wins in 24 starts this season, moving his earnings to $40,490. The 5-year-old gelding upped his career bankroll to $134,597.

The 2015 season comes to a close Sunday afternoon when an 11-race card goes to the post at 1:05 p.m.

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


July 25, 2015

BZ Glide Shows Patience Again In Buffalo's Open Trot

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- No hurry. No worry.

That's got to be the motto for BZ Glide and driver Mike Caprio as once again their patience paid off in a victory.

BZ Glide ($3.20) used his familiar late charge, going from last to first, to take a head win over Studio City in the featured $10,500 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (July 24). He covered the mile in 1:58.1 over the fast track.

The race went pretty much true to form as Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) took his usual seat on the front end while BZ Glide settled back to ride the tailgate in fifth.

After watching Lutetium set fractions of 29.1, 59.4 and 1:29.1, BZ Glide, who skimmed the pylons the entire mile, found plenty of racing room in the lightning lane. Caprio used some urging in the stretch and BZ Glide responded by storming to the wire to post the decision. Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) got up in time for second while the tiring Lutetium held on for third.

It was the third consecutive win for the 6-year-old gelded BZ Glide (Yankee Glide-Bloomer Zoomer). Owned by the Caprio Stable and trained by Alana Caprio, it was the fourth victory in seven tries in 2015 for BZ Glide, now a winner of $25,250 this season and $142,207 lifetime.

The final weekend of racing continues on Saturday night with a 12-race card set to get underway at 6:35 p.m. The 2015 season will conclude on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. with 11 races.

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


July 23, 2015

Batavia Downs kicks off the 2015 live meet Monday

Batavia, NY---The 69th season of live racing at America’s oldest lighted harness track gets underway on Monday (7-27) with post time set for 6:35 p.m. That is the first of 70 live racing dates to be contested during the Batavia Downs summer-fall session that runs through December 12.

The racing schedule begins with a Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday rotation for the month of August and switches to a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday slate for the remainder of the meet.

For the first time in track history, there are eight matinee cards to be held during the year. Besides the five Sundays in August, afternoon starts are also set for Labor Day (9-7), Columbus Day (10-12) and Breeder’s Cup day (10-31). And two twilight Tuesdays have been penciled in for September 15 and 22.

Post time for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are 6:35 p.m. until October 21 when it gets pushed up to 6:15 p.m. for the remainder of the meet. All matinees start at 1:15 p.m. and the two Tuesday cards start at 4:30 p.m.

Todd Haight, General Manager/Director of Live Racing at Batavia Downs, is both busy and optimistic this week leading up to opening night as he handles many of the last minute details needed to make the meet successful.

“A new era of racing begins at Batavia Downs this year as we have inaugurated changes that will take racing here well into the future. Between the construction of the new trackside hotel, paddock changes, increased purses and our goal to present our live patrons with little down time between races with all our special events, the 2015 meet should be one to be remembered” said Haight.

The changes Haight spoke about will be evident to both fan and horseman alike upon entering the Batavia campus, most noticeably the construction of a new four-story hotel at the top of the stretch that will overlook the track. Slated to open on New Year’s Eve, the property will be going up as the meet goes on.

In order to facilitate that project, the existing paddock alignment has changed. It is now a four-race enclosure with 16 new wash stalls just adjacent in Barn 1. Horsemen are advised to become familiar with the new paddock schedule, which is available on the Batavia Downs website.

Purses have increased for many classes due to the increased handle on the gaming floor. To start the meet, the Open trot and pace will each go for $10,000.

Some of the best racing in the sport will be contested at the Genesee county oval this year, headed by a full complement of New York Sire Stake (NYSS) events. The best juveniles from the Empire State will compete here on July 27, August 2-5-9-22 -30 and September 4 and 16.

Then on Saturday (Oct. 3), the Downs will host the second richest night of racing ever (behind the Breeders Crown in 1988) when the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Invitational Pace and four $50,000 NYSS consolation events will headline the program. Horsemen will be competing for purses totaling almost $300,000.

Race Secretary Joe Zambito has put together another solid condition sheet and is anxious to get the meet underway.

“It’s a very exciting time at Batavia Downs with so many positive changes taking place. Our defending driving champion and seventh highest percentage driver in North America, Kevin Cummings, is back to protect his title along with our other veterans including Jim McNeight” said Zambito.

“Our young guns are led by “Driving Drew” Monti, Shawn McDonough and Dave McNeight III. And this year we welcome Craig Gilmour, who is shipping in with a 25 horse stable.”

Fans attending the live races will also notice some changes along with one of the most aggressive promotion line-ups available at any race track.

This year there is no quinella wager, superfecta minimums have gone from .10 to .20 and the track introduces their new “Early Bird Daily Double”, available only in the Paddock Room to patrons attending the races live. Bettors who wager a total of $10 or more on daily double wagers will receive $10 in free-play for the Batavia Downs gaming floor.

23 of the 70 racing dates feature promotions and giveaways that offer something for everybody.

On opening night there will be free racing programs and magnetic racing schedules (while supplies last) and that will be followed by Dollar Friday’s ($1 hot dogs, soda and beer) all during August. But the most anticipated events come after that.

August 23 is Family Fun Day and features the ever popular Dachshund or “wiener dog” races. A day-long schedule of special events designed especially for children will start at 2 p.m. and run through the afternoon. The 80 dog field starts their heats after the last live harness race. All events are sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia.

September 5 is a special driver bobble-head giveaway sponsored by TAG Jewelers. More information on this (including the driver featured) will be released shortly. September 7 is the annual Labor Day matinee featuring the driver’s bike race, which got its start back in the 1970’s. Eight of the Downs favorite reinsmen turn in their sulkies for ten-speeds to see who can peddle their way to victory. The eight bicycles used in the race will be randomly given away after the race to the fans who select the winning driver.

For more information on all the events at Batavia Downs this year, logon to www.bataviadownsgaming.com . There you can get full race schedules, entries, results and you can watch all the race replays immediately after each race has been declared official. Live streaming video of all the races is available by becoming a member of Bataviabets.com.

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations


Dayson Has Incredible Comeback Win In NYSS At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After spotting the field 16 lengths at the quarter pole, things certainly looked bleak for Dayson to keep his unbeaten streak alive.

But that huge head start wasn't enough to stop the determined Dayson as he mounted an amazing comeback and somehow score a length victory in the second $52,501 division New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (July 22).

It was the third consecutive Sires Stakes victory for Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus) in three lifetime starts. He covered the mile in 2:02.2 over the fast track.

In the first leg, Allerage Echo found little trouble in romping to an impressive five length decision in 2:03.3.

But the story of the night was Dayson.

Driver Jeff Gregory said of the adventurous trip and giving the field an early advantage due to a break at the start. "He was a little fumbly around the turns but I knew he had the speed to get back into the race."

Gremlin Wilson (John Cummings Jr.) set the tempo with splits of 30.0, 1:02, and 1:33.0 but figured the charge from the back of the pack was developing. Chargin Cadet (Jordan Stratton) and Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley) looked like the main contenders at the half. But the big-hearted Dayson regrouped and chipped away at the pack, finally getting within two lengths with a final panel to go.

Using a 28.4 final quarter mile, Dayson ($2.70) had plenty left in the tank and zoomed on by for the incredible victory over Chargin Cadet. Smalltownthrowdown took the show spot.

Co-owner Amy Butler said of Dayson's performance. "That was the first time he faced traffic at the start but I knew he had the speed to come back. I knew at the top of the stretch he was going to win." Dayson is also owned by Margaret Butler and trained by Howard Okusko.

A winner now of $64,806 in his three starts, Dayson is the Butler's first Sire Stakes horse ever. "This is just an awesome feeling," Amy Butler said in the winner's circle. "We are going to continue on with him in the Sire Stakes." Next stop is Batavia Downs on Wednesday, August 5.

Allerage Echo (Conway Hall-Echonomical) had no issues in going coast-to-coast in the opener, registering an easy five length victory. Crown Point (Dan Daley) placed a distant second with Rose Run Ransom (John Plutino) taking third.

"He's a nice horse," driver Chris Lems said of Allerage Echo ($5.80). "He was push button. He had a lot left at the wire and I never popped the plugs."

Allerage Echo went right to the lead and had times of 33.0, 1:03.0 and 1:34.3 in romping to the 2:03.3 final time.

Owner Ken Jacobs said of Allerage Echo, a horse he just acquired two weeks ago. "I told George (Ducharme) that he's a real good horse. He changed the rigging some and it has made a difference. George has been training him on a half-mile track and once we got around that first turn, I felt pretty good."

It was the first victory in three attempts for Allerage Echo, now a winner of $30,611 in 2015.

In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series races, Nono Lindy (Gregory) had the fastest time by posting a 2:03.2 time. Nono Lindy paid $4.80 for the victory.

Cashuz ($3.40) took a division with Cummings Jr. in the sulky in 2:03.4 while Do What You Dream ($3.40) went 2:04 for Lems in 2:04.0.

The $6,800 Excelsior 'B' Series events went to Radical Way (Gregory) in 2:06.0 while Thanks For Playin had a $47.60 upset victory for Lems in 2:08.3.

Lems and Gregory each finished the night with a 'hat-trick'.

Ugly Betty returned to her winning ways in the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open II pace by using a 1:55.1 clocking to beat Kisses N Kicks by 1-3/4 lengths. Jim Morrill Jr., who also had three wins on the night, was in the sulky with Ugly Betty ($3.60).

The final week of racing continues on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 10-race program set for 6:35 p.m.

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


July 22, 2015

Batavia Downs Gaming Wiener Dog Registration Begins

Batavia, NY --- Registration begins today (July 22) for one of the most popular promotions of the season at Batavia Downs Gaming. The annual Dachshund or “wiener dog” races will be held on Sunday, August 23. The 2015 live harness racing season gets underway on Monday July 27.

Sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia, a total of 10 heats will be contested with eight wiener dogs competing in each. The first race will begin after the last live harness race of the day, which will be approximately 4:20 p.m. The wiener dog races are the final feature of Family Fun Day at the races.

Last year, Kristy Drabek’s 2-year-old dachshund named Brinkley, stormed down the stretch of America’s oldest lighted harness racetrack to win the championship final after competing for the first time ever. The official margin of victory was a half (dog) length. 6-year-old Pablo Penders, owned by Adrienne Penders, surged at the wire to nip 5-year-old early leader, Ruby, owned by Sarah Farley for second.

The first 80 dogs entered will receive a canine gift bag courtesy of Genesee Feeds of Batavia. But the dogs won’t be the only winners here; their human counterparts are in line for a nice payoff as well. Each “puprietor” will be eligible to receive some nice prizes if their pet pooch proves prolific.

The owners of each heat winner (10 in all) will receive $25 in gaming free-play. And the winning, second and third place owner in the championship final will receive $100, $75 and $50 in gaming free-play respectively along with two complimentary clubhouse buffets each as well.

To register or for more information, all owners should call Arna Tygart at 585-343-3750 ext 437, during regular business hours.

Batavia Downs Media Relations


July 21, 2015

NYSS Freshmen Trotters Kick Off Buffalo's Closing Week

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The final installment of the New York Sire Stakes starts the closing week of the 2015 racing season at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 22).

The last day of racing at the Hamburg half-mile oval located at the Erie County Fairgrounds is Sunday, July 26.

The 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters will compete in two divisions with each carrying a purse of over $51,000. While the fields may be small, it doesn't mean that they are short on talent.

A select field of four go to the gate in the opener. Rose Run Ransom (Crazed-Bring It On Lindy) is the early even money choice for driver John Plutino from the three post. After breaking at the start in his last outing, Rose Run Ransom rebounded nicely and finished a solid second in the $37,556 Sire Stakes race at Yonkers on July 13.

Uncle Dan (Conway Hall-Risk Seeker) could be the main threat after winning a $15,000 Excelsior 'A' race at Yonkers on July 13 in 2:02.2. Jim Morrill Jr. gets the call on Uncle Dan and is tagged at 9-2 in the morning line from the four post.

The second division has a definite Western New York flavor as the unbeaten Dayson (Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus) headlines the field. He has been perfect in all four races, two of which were in Sire Stakes and the other two in qualifiers.

Dayson, locally owned by Margaret Butler of Cattaraugus N.Y. and Amy Butler of West Valley, N.Y., won by 2-1/4 lengths at Yonkers on July 13 and took a 1-1/2 length decision on 2:00.1 at Saratoga on July 2, both $37,556 Sire Stake events.

He's been over the Buffalo Raceway half-mile track as well, notching a 17 length victory in 2:05 in a 'baby' race on June 16. The Howard Okusko-trained Dayson will have Jeff Gregory in the sulky for the first time and drew the two post as the heavy 3-5 morning line choice.

Former Western New York regular John Cummings Jr. brings in Gremlin Wilson (Sand Vic-Savanah Montana). They set the pace in their last start in the Sire Stakes at Yonkers on July 13 before stalling out in the stretch to finish third.

Chargin Cadet (Conway Hall-Arabella Hall), a $75,000 Harrisburg Sales purchase last year, has been nibbling for a victory taking third in a pair of Sire Stakes races for trainer and former Western New Yorker Ray Schnittker. He'll get the services of Jordan Stratton in the sulky from the five post.

The Dan Daley entry of Smalltownthrowdown (Cash Hall-Ana's Promise) and Royal Bachelor (RC Royalty-Becca) get the one and three spot respectively but need to be on their best behavior at the start. Both Smalltownthrowdown (Daley) and Royal Bachelor (Morrill Jr.) were each off stride in the beginning of their tries which put a damper of their chances.

There will also be three divisions of the Excelsior 'A' series on the 12-race card along with two Excelsior 'B' division races. Post time is 5 p.m.

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


July 20, 2015

Wings Of Royalty, Workout Wonder Roll In NYSS At Buffalo

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Wings Of Royalty had the fastest time of the two $59,100 divisions in the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-colt and gelding trotters Sunday afternoon as he toured Buffalo Raceway's half-mile oval in 1:57.2 on Sunday afternoon (July 19).

Workout Wonder, eligible for the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands in early August, may have taken another step in that direction by coasting to a 1:58.3 victory over the fast track in the other leg.

The times, however, were well short of the track mark of 1:56.4 established in 2014 by Cash Me Out.

In the first division, driver Chris Lems had the rail with Wings Of Royalty ($2.80) but couldn't protect pylon position as Gabe The Bear Dean fired out from the five spot to cease the early advantage.

"I knew Ray (Schnittker) was going to leave with Gabe The Bear Dean so I just thought I'd let him go and I'd drop into the two spot," Lems said. It proved to be the right choice. Wings Of Royalty retook the lead before the quarter pole and never looked back from there.

Setting fractions of 30.0, 59.2 and 1:29.4, a 28.3 final panel was more than enough to hold off the challenge of Military Blue (Mike Simons) and third place finisher Andy Ray (Daniel Dube).

Owned by Raymond Campbell Jr. and trained by George Ducharme, Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparking Cider) has two victories in seven tries this season and increased his bankroll to $76,877 and $204,487 lifetime.

Buen Camino was expected to be a main threat in the Sire Stakes opener but was scratched.

Workout Wonder (Conway Hall-Dear Abs) kept his Hambletonian dreams alive after posting relatively easy victory against a field that was cut down to four due to the scratches of Fashion Creditor and Insomniac.

Dube went right to the lead with Workout Wonder ($3.30) and used soft fractions of 30.2, 1:00.3 and 1:30.2. Then they clicked off a blistering last quarter of 28.1 to turn back Royal Deceptor and salt away the victory.

"I kind of held him back around that last turn, but once we straightened out in the stretch, he took off," Dube said of Workout Wonder's fast last split.

About his strategy with Workout Wonder when going against just three others, Dube said, "I had a lot of confidence in him and just wanted to get him in front. I never even pulled the plugs."

Royal Deceptor (Michael McGivern) finished in second place while Maestro Blue Chip (Trond Smedshammer) took third.

Trained by Ake Svanstedt and owned by All Laid Out Stable, Inc., the win was the second in five outings for Workout Wonder, earning him $83,216 in 2015 and $94,818 lifetime.

In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series, Commentary ($3.70) went the mile in 1:59.3 for Aaron Byron while Smedshammer steered Crazshana ($3.90) to the decision in 1:59.2.

Mark MacDonald drove The African to a popular $3.00 win in the first division of $6,500 Excelsior 'B' series while Patronus ($7.10) took the second leg in 2:01.3 for Mike Simons.

Drew Monti had a driving triple of the steamy afternoon.

Buffalo Raceway starts its last week of the 2015 season on Wednesday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes will be back with the 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters ready to duke it out.

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


July 19, 2015

Youwillwishyouhad, Big Bossman Sweep Buffalo Features

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Owner Leonard Segall and trainer James Clouser Jr. must have told drivers Kevin Cummings and Jack Flanigen to put the pedal to the metal off the gate in the $10,500 Open and $9,500 Open II paces. Their charges, Youwillwishyouhad and Big Bossman, each used quick starts to waltz to gate-to-wire victories in sweeping the early daily double at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (July 18).

Youwillwishyouhad ($4.70) found little trouble wiring the field in the Open with a 1:55.2 clocking while Big Bossman ($2.80) was totally in charge of the Open II with an impressive 1:54.3 journey over the fast Hamburg half-mile oval. The chalky triumphs returned $8.20 on a $2 early double wager.

After suffering a disappointing nose loss in last week's Open Pace, Cummings put Youwillwishyouhad right to the lead and dared the remaining field of five to track him down. Instead they ended up battling for minor spoils.

With fractions of 27.4, 56.3 and 1:25.4, there were no serious takers in the stretch as Youwillwishyouhad cruised home to a 3/4 length decision over Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) while Rockstar Temper (Monti) closed fast to take third.

It was the ninth victory in 19 outings for the 4-year-old gelded Youwillwishyouhad (Artiscape-Dawn's Ideal). He has now put $51,048 in the bank in 2015 and $117,445 lifetime.

The heavily-favored Big Bossman was certainly the boss in the Open II.

With Flanigen in the sulky, there was no resistance in reaching for the lead for Big Bossman at the start and that resulted in big trouble for the remaining five entrants. With splits of 28.1, 47.0 and 1:26.1, Big Bossman was never threatened seriously in the 1/2 length score over Mister Icon (McNeight). I C D Moolah (Ron Beback Jr.) placed third.

It was the third straight win for Big Bossman (Feelin Friskie-Lovely American) and his fourth in his last five appearances. The 4-year-old gelding has earned $25,068 this season and $97,615 in his career.

The third race was a wild one to say the least as the three longest shots on the board took the top three positions. Ponyta Boy (Beback Jr.) turned in a lifetime best time of 1:55.2 and returned $51.50 in the upset win while Veto Hanover (60-1) finished second and American Bull (90-1) took the show spot. The $1 exacta paid $568 and the $1 trifecta was worth $2128.50.

Racing returns on Sunday afternoon with a 12-race program set for 1:05 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes will highlight the card with a pair of $51,900 races scheduled for the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters.

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


July 18, 2015

Opening Week Condition Sheet now available at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The first condition sheet of the season at Batavia Downs is now available at the track’s web site, http://www.bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/8-2-Condition-Sheets1.pdf

Simply click "Live Racing” Tab and then on "Horsemen" tab.

The condition sheet is also available at www.ustrotting.com.

The 2015 season gets underway on Monday (July 27). Horses may begin arriving on July 21. Tack is allowed on the grounds beginning July 19.

The first draw of the season will take place on Friday (July 24). Opening night features New York Sire Stakes action. The draw for Wednesday’s races (July 29), will occur on Saturday (July 25). The entry box closes at 9 a.m. After that the draw moves to its regular Tuesday through Friday schedule for the remainder of the season.

The 69th season at America’s oldest lighted harness track features 70 race dates, including eight matinees. The meet kicks off with a 6:35 p.m. evening first race post while matinees tip off at 1:15 p.m. After Labor Day, Tuesday evening post time will be 4:30 p.m. For more information please contact the race office at 585.344.6161. Batavia Downs Media Relations


Ron Beback Jr. Scores Three Times At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ron Beback Jr. drove home three winners on Friday night (July 17) to lead the action on the 13-race card at Buffalo Raceway.

Beback Jr. guided Studio City ($3.30), Suplemental Income ($11.40) and Northern Art ($6.30) to victories.

Drew Monti, Jim McNeight, David McNeight III and Ray Fisher Jr. all found the winner's circle twice on the muggy evening.

Monti was aboard Aroma ($13.20) and Feets Of Magic ($2.40) while McNeight crossed the finish line first with Cashmandu ($15.60) and Armbro Casino ($4.00).

McNeight III posted a pair of popular decisions with Brickstone ($2.70) and Lucky Millionaire ($3.30) while Fisher Jr. scored with a couple of long shots, Chrome Finish ($26.00) and Putnam's Kreme ($9.70).

Racing will resume on Saturday night with a 13-race card set for 6:35 p.m.

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


NYSS Sophomore C&G Trotters At Buffalo Sunday

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Something has got to give in the first $59,100 division of the New York Sire Stakes at Buffalo Raceway for the 3-year-old trotters on Sunday afternoon as five of the six entrants are coming in off a victory in their last start.

Who will keep their streak alive?

Scheduled as the second event on the 12-race program slated to begin at 1:05 p.m., there's a lot of intrigue in this field when the boys take to the Hamburg half-mile oval.

The race will feature a battle between Wings Of Royalty and Buen Camino who finished second and third respectively in last year's New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old colt and gelding final at Yonkers behind champion Crazy Wow.

Both Wings Of Royalty and Buen Camino seem to be rounding into mid-season form entering Sunday's clash.

Wings Of Royalty (Chris Lems) has been in the money five times in his last six starts. But that last try was a victory as he trotted in 1:54.1 over the Vernon Downs surface on July 11, winning by 1-1/4 lengths. Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) has won $47,777 this season and $174,449 and drew the rail.

Buen Camino (Cash Hall-Baby Bella), when last seen, was taking a 2-1/2 length win in 1:54.3 at Tioga Downs on June 28 in Sire Stakes competition. Driver/trainer Trond Smedshammer is the 2-1 morning line favorite with Buen Camino, a winner of $58,949 in 2015 and $209,285 lifetime. They'll score from the three post.

Military Blue (Mike Simons), Royal Lad (Mark MacDonald) and Andy Ray (Daniel Dube) are also arriving with a victory in their last outings. Military Blue won by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:55.2 at Tioga Downs on July 11, Royal Lad posted 3/4 length score in 1:57.2 victory on July 10 at Vernon Downs while Andy Ray had a 1-1/4 edge in 1:58.1 at Goshen on July 5.

Gabe The Bear Dean (Ray Schnittker), the only non-winner in his last try, was second in an Excelsior 'A' at Goshen in July 5 so expect him to involved in the mix as well.

Royal Deceptor leads the field in the second $51,900 division, slated as the fourth race. He went gate-to-wire in 1:57.4 at Goshen in a non-betting Excelsior 'A' race. Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art Of Deception) has won five times in eight starts this season and gets the services of Michael McGivern in the sulky from the four post.

Maestro Blue Chip (Smedshammer) started out the season on a promising note, winning twice and finishing second in another race. But things went south the past three outings as he has been out of the money. Maestro Blue Chip (Credit Winner-Up Front Hotsey) hopes the rail will help this time out and has been tagged the 2-1 morning line choice.

The sophomores will be aiming at the track mark of 1:56.4 set by Cash Me Out in 2014.

There are a pair of $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series races on the program along with two $6,600 Excelsior 'B' battles.

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


July 16, 2015

Goosebump Hanover Wires Field In NYSS At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Goosebump Hanover had to battle to get to the lead but that was the only battle she faced the rest of the way in going wire-to-wire in 2:01.4 over the fast track to highlight the action in the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (July 15).

It was the fastest of four divisions worth over $27,000 each but well off the track record of 2:00.2 set by Munis Bluechip back in 2009.

Go Mary Go (2:02.1) just kept right on going and never looked back to take her division while Dolly Drama PV (2:03.2), and Dizzy Broad (2:05.3) also found their way to the winner's circle on a picture perfect evening.

After Goosebump Hanover ($8.20) was challenged to the lead by Swing Royalty, it was all fresh air after that as she never was threatened to the finish line. Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) was 1-1/2 lengths behind at the wire with Threehundredlindys (Jim Morrill Jr.) taking the show spot.

"She was a little touchy at first," Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings said of Goosebump Hanover's trip. "She settled in good after that but I had to ask her a little in the stretch. She was pretty much in hand at the finish."

Trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Silva Stables, Crawford Farms and J. DiScala, it was the first win in two career starts for Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents).

It was also a gate-to-wire victory for Go Mary Go in the Sire Stakes opener. Driver Ray Schnittker scored a front-running win on on July 3 at Monticello Raceway and used the same tactic to get the job this week.

Go Mary Go put up fractions of 29.4, 1:01.2 and 1:32.3 in posting the head victory 2:02.1 over Posterity (Charlie Norris) while Royal Surprise (Dan Daley) finished in third.

"I'm impressed with her gate speed," Schnittker said of Go Mary Go (RC Royalty-Michelle's Way), now 2-for-2 in her young career with both victories coming on a half-mile surface. She is trained and co-owned by Ray Schnittker, Hero Stables, T. Gerwertz and DM Pepin.

Dolly Drama PV (Lucky Chucky-Massive Drama) won the battle of attrition in notching a huge $153.50 stunner for driver Jeff Gregory. She was the only trotting filly not to break stride in the race and that was the difference in going the mile in 2:03.2.

"She handled the turns perfectly," Gregory said. "Also, (trainer) Mark Harder put an open bridle on her and I think that really made a big difference."

Bundle Of Energy (Schnittker) recovered after a break at the start to take second place while Playtime Lima (Rick Zeron) was third.

It was the first career win for Dolly Drama PV, owned by Peter Paul Venturini.

Cummings made it a driving double in the Sire Stakes with a victory aboard Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn-Portia) in 2:05.3.

Using a first over journey down the backstretch the final time, Dizzy Broad ($7.50) took advantage of a break by the pace-setting I Will Take Credit near the three-quarter pole and was able to hang on for the victory.

"I had to keep her mind on things in the stretch," Cummings said of the late going with Dizzy Broad, who is owned and trained by Noel Daley.

I Will Take Credit (Daley) regrouped in time to finish second while Crazyasclassic (John Cummings Jr.) took the show position.

In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series races, Outside Court ($11.40) scored for Gregory in 2:03.4 while Lindylicious ($2.60) trotted the mile in 2:01.2 for Lems.

Linda's Choice ($8.80) was victorious in 2:05.2 in the $6,600 Excelsior 'B' Series with Gregory in the bike while Lucky Lana took the non-betting race for Norris in 2:05.3.

Racing will continue on Friday night with a 13-race card scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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


July 14, 2015

Buffalo Raceway Welcomes 2-YO Filly Trotters Wednesday

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It's 'Ladies Night' at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday (July 15) as the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies are in the spotlight in four $27,500 divisions.

The 13-race card, which starts at 5 p.m., has 12 events featuring the filly and mares including Excelsior 'A' and 'B' competition along with overnight races for the distaffers.

With 11 track records already in the books in 2015 at Buffalo Raceway, the ladies will be gunning for another on the Hamburg half-mile oval mark. The time for which they'll be shooting for is 2:00.2 established in 2009 by Munis Bluechip.

Of the four Sire Stake divisions, the most intriguing is the third leg, scheduled as the sixth race. All the entrants except two were at least $25,000 purchases at either the Lexington, Morrisville or Harrisburg Sales. The lone exceptions are Winning Princess and LTS Sandie and ironically both are the two top morning line choices.

The field is headed by the 8-5 morning line favorite Winning Princess who has been turning heads in her brief career.

The Ron Burke-trained Winning Princess (Credit Winner-Cabaret Hanover) is 2-for-2 thus far with a 5-3/4 length win in Sire Stakes competition at Monticello Raceway in her last appearance on July 3, going the mile in 2:00.3.

She opened her career with an impressive four length victory at Vernon Downs in a conditioned trot on June 18 in 2:00.2. That was after she put a 27-length hurt on the field in a qualifier there on June 5 in 2:01.0. Winning Princess gets the services of leading New York Sire Stakes driver Jim Morrill Jr.

LTS Sandie (Conway Hall-Rejoycing) drew the two post and is the 7-2 choice for John Stark Jr. She was a game third losing by1-1/2 lengths to Posterity at Monticello on July 3 in Sire Stakes action.

Lima Playtime (Credit Winner-Pacific Legacy) had an impressive non-betting prep at Mohawk on July 7, going the mile in 2:00 and winning by four lengths. A $77,000 purchase at Lexington, Lima Playtime gets the pylons with Rick Zeron in the bike.

In the first Sire Stakes race, the opener on the card, Go Mary Go has been installed as the 3-1 choice for Ray Schnittker. Go Mary Go (RC Royalty-Michelle's Way) went gate-to-wire in taking a Sire Stakes event at Monticello in 2:02.1 and trotting off by 1-1/2 lengths. She was purchase for $45,000 last year at the Harrisburg Sales.

The main threat should come from Posterity, a winner already in the Sire Stakes for Charlie Norris. Some late kick down the lane sent Posterity to a length win at Monticello on July 3 in 2:01.2 so she'll be loving the long Buffalo Raceway stretch.

The second division, set for the third race, it a wide-open affair. All eight starters are looking to hit the wire first in a pari mutuel start. There are two fillies (I Will Take Credit and Martini Lindy) who posted wins in qualifiers while Steel Wheels got her photo taken via a disqualification.

Every Day Hanover (Credit Winner-Emmamazing) gets the slight 3-1 morning line nod as she will score from the rail with Morrill Jr. in the sulky. She comes in Harrah's Philadelphia for the Burke Stables with a pair of decent qualifiers.

Steel Wheels (Lucky Chucky-Some Girls) draws the eight post but won via disqualification on July 3 in a $15,000 Excelsior Series race at Vernon Downs on July 3. Her time was 2:02.4 and will be handled once again by Gates Brunet.

In the fourth and final leg, slated as the seventh, Swinging Royalty (RC Royalty Swing Anna Cash) looks like the one to catch. She has been perfect in three charted races with the last being a 5-1/4 victory in her first pari mutuel start. She crushed the field in 2:02.1 at Monticello on July 3. Chris Lems, who won three races at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday, will handle the driving duties and they are the 2-1 choices from the three post.

The Burke coupled entry of Love Crazy Love (Crazed-Love U Overandover) and Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) looks extremely dangerous. They drew the one and two posts respectively and will open at 3-1.

Love Crazy Love (Brunet) closed fast for a half length victory in the Sire Stakes at Monticello on July 3, tripping the timer in 2:03. Goosebump Hanover, after breaking at the start Monticello on July 3, re-qualified nicely on July 7 at Pocono Downs and lost by a nose in 2:00.1.

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


July 13, 2015

Barn Doll, Jewels In Hock Win NYSS At Buffalo Raceway

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Barn Doll and Jewels In Hock went about their business as expected on Sunday afternoon (July 12) in the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Buffalo Raceway but it was High Rise who did the unexpected by setting a new track record.

While Barn Doll and Jewels In Hock figured to challenge the 1:59.0 mark set by Glowngold in 2014, it was High Rise (Chris Lems) who smashed the mark for the sophomore filly trotters with a 1:58.2 time over the fast Hamburg half-mile oval in a division of the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series.

"That was a track record?" Lems asked when he returned to the winner's circle after the victory. When he was told it was, a big smile broke out on his face and he just shook his head in disbelief. He then said of High Rise, "She's a nice horse and she always gives her best and she gave her best today."

High Rise ($12.80) beat Nunkeri (John Campbell) by a length while Barn Girl (Jeff Gregory) finished third.

Owned by Raymond Campbell and trained by George Decharme, High Rise (Conway Hall-RC Biscuit) has now won six times in eight appearances this season pushing her seasonal earnings to $28,800.

The heavily-favored Barn Doll ($2.10) took her $61,300 division of the Sire Stakes in 1:59.0 which tied the track standard before High Rise came along.

Waiting Room (Andy Miller) set the tempo with splits of 30.2, 1:00.3 and 1:30.2 but Barn Doll had a first over trip and eventually wore down the front-runner, pulling away by 1-1/2 lengths at the wire. Summers Windsong (Ray Schnittker) took the show spot.

"She had no real problems," Jeff Gregory said of his trip with Barn Doll, now a winner of six straight races. "I kind of babied her around the turns but she was strong as usual."

Trainer and co-owner Steve Pratt said of Barn Doll, "She's gonna get a couple of weeks off now. She's been racing hard the past few weeks so she deserves a break."

Wanda Polisseni of the Purple Haze Stables LLC, who co-owns Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) along with Nancy Pratt, stated, "She needs a break. It's a long season."

Polisseni admitted she was nervous as usual about Barn Doll but felt good with Gregory in the sulky. "I always worry about my horses, all of my babies, when they race. But I love Jeff Gregory...he's my guy."

Barn Doll, now a winner of 13 of 16 lifetime starts, has pushed her seasonal earnings to $234,724 and $437,861 lifetime.

John Campbell took Jewels In Hock ($2.70) wire-to-wire in his $60,200 division of the Sire Stakes in 2:00.1.

It was Campbell's first drive at Buffalo Raceway since 1992 and the Hall Of Famer's first win here since 1990. She beat Lady Winona by two lengths while Zanna Blu (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the show spot.

Campbell said of Jewels In Hock's mile tour, "She controlled the race from the inside and did it all on her own."

She posted comfortable fractions of 29.1, 1:00.3 and 1:31.3 en route to the win.

When asked about returning to Buffalo Raceway after a 23-year absence, Campbell stated, "It's nice to be back and get a win. It's been a long time. I didn't race at Saratoga since 1988 and I went back there this year."

Campbell saw Jewels In Hock's owner Ken Jacobs in the winner's circle and said with a big grin, "Hey, this is a great place to meet up."

Jacobs said afterwards of getting Campbell to Western New York to drive Jewels In Hock. "I told I'd fly him up, that he's got the rail, he won't be going against Barn Doll and the purse is over $60,000." The sales pitch worked.

Campbell has now been aboard Jewels In Hock in her past six races and has four wins, a second and third place finish.

"You put him behind a trotter, that's why he's a Hall Of Famer," Jacobs said of Campbell.

Jewels In Hock (Credit Winner-Jewels Galore) now has five victories in 11 tries this season. She is trained by Linda Toscano has put in $117,770 in the bank in 2015 and $130,700 lifetime.

In the other $15,000 Excelsior Series 'A' division, Wanna Get Lucky ($5.20) scored for Lems in 2:00.2. Lems finished the day with a triple.

There was a local flavor with the winners in the $6,600 Excelsior B Series. John Cummings Jr. returned home and took Sweet Hana T to a surprising $13.60 win while former Buffalo Raceway regular Ray Schnittker took Kaliska to a popular $3.70 decision in 2:02.2.

Schnittker said after his victory, "It's always good to come home and get a win."

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 13-race program scheduled. The New York Sire Stakes returns once again as the 2-year-old filly trotter invade along with the Excelsior A and B series.

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


July 12, 2015

Jokerman Was 'No Joke' In Buffalo Raceway Open

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jokerman was the longest shot on the board in the $10,500 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (July 11) and showed he was 'no joke' at the finish line.

Registering a seasonal best time of 1:54.4 over the fast track, the determined Jokerman (David McNeight III) managed to nip the heavily-favored Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) by a nose and return a healthy $49.60 for the victory.

Watching from fourth as Mr. Perserverance put up splits of 27.1, 56.0 and 1:25.2, Jokerman swung three wide as the field of six turned from home. Youwillwishyouhad got the lead in the early drive to the wire but couldn't hold off the pesky Jokerman at the line. Rockstar Temper (Drew Monti), the winner of the past two Saturday night features, finished in third.

Co-owned by trainer Richard Roth along with Robert and Randy Roth, Jokerman (American Ideal-Shark Tail) has now won seven times in 22 starts in 2015, earning $49,644. The 6-year-old gelding increased his career bankroll to $98,787.

The tote board showed that the sub-featured $9,500 Open II Pace was going to be a wide-open affair and the field of eight didn't disappoint. Cobble Beach (Cummings) had a wicked trip but somehow held on for a head victory over Burton Blue Chip.

Cobble Beach, starting from the eight post, had to race three-wide past the quarter pole before finally settling on top. With fractions of 27.4, 55.2 and 1:25.1, there was no rest for the weary.

There were pacers coming from everywhere in the lane but Cobble Beach turned in a gutsy performance to hold back the attacks put forth by Burton Blue Chip (Lee Dahn), Art Two D Two (Monti) and I C D Moolah (Ron Beback Jr.) who completed the top four placements in the blanket finish.

The 5-year-old gelded Cobble Beach has now scored three victories in 23 starts for owner-trainer James Clouser Jr. The win increased his seasonal earnings to $35,440 and $130,347 lifetime.

It's a big afternoon of racing coming up Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at Buffalo Raceway. The New York Sire Stakes highlights the program with the 3-year-old filly trotters battling it out. Hall of Fame driver John Campbell will be in town, making his first appearance at the track since 1992. He is scheduled to compete in four events.

It's also 'Sunday Funday' with free sno cones, cotton candy, bounce house and crafts for the kids while the track side grill will also be open during the 13-race card.

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


July 11, 2015

Barn Doll Top Entrant In NYSS At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- To say the track record of 1:59.0 for the 3-year-old fillies at Buffalo Raceway is vulnerable on Sunday afternoon (July 12) is an understatement.

With warm weather and a fast track expected, the sophomore filly trotters will be taking dead aim on the mark established by Glowngold in 2014 when they hit the Buffalo Raceway half-mile surface for the New York Sire Stakes.

Post time for the 13-race program is 1:05 p.m.

Local favorite Barn Doll is the leading candidate to wipe out the mark. Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) set the track record at Saratoga on June 4th with a 1:55.3 time over the half-time track and headlines the first division, set for the third race.

Scoring from the five post for driver Jeff Gregory, Barn Doll has been installed as the heavy even money morning line favorite. She's a winner of over $400,000 in just 15 career starts and looks to make it six straight victories.

Barn Doll won impressively in the $248,275 Empire Breeders Crown on June 21 at Vernon Downs in 1:52.1. She is co-owned locally by Steven and Nancy Pratt of Corfu, N.Y. and the Purple Haze Stables of Fairport, N.Y. Barn Doll is 5-for-6 in 2015 with $193,074 in the bank. She also has been either first or second in 14-of-15 career appearances.

If a challenger is going to defeat Barn Doll, it could be Summers Windsong (Rc Royalty-O Dana O) who lost by a nose in 1:58.1 on July 5 at Goshen in an Excelsior 'A' Series race. Ray Schnittker trains and drives the filly and will guide her from the two post.

The second division, scheduled as the seventh race, looks wide open with Jewels In Hock with Hall of Fame driver John Campbell in the sulky getting a 4-1 morning line. She won by a nose in 1:58.1 at Goshen on July 5, edging out Summers Windsong.

Campbell, who hasn't raced at Buffalo Raceway since 1992, hasn't won here since 1990. He hopes to break the 25-year drought with a win off the rail with Jewels In Hock (Credit Winner-Jewels Galore). She is the top money winner in the field with $86,770 in the bank.

Lady Winona (Credit Winner-Ladylind) looks to be rounding into form after a sharp three-length win on July 4 in 1:54.1 at the Meadowlands. Starting from the four spot, Lady Winona will have Andy Miller in the bike for trainer Julie Miller. They are sitting at 2-1 in the morning line.

A horse to watch out for is Northern Obsession who starts from the seven post for driver Greg Merton. She has handle half-mile tracks very well with a win a Freehold and three narrow losses at Yonkers and Saratoga. Northern Obsession (Conway Hall-Northernpossession) is 5-1 on the morning line.

There will also be two $15,000 Excelsior Series 'A' races on the matinee card along with a pair of $6,660 Excelsior 'B' Series events.

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


Drew Monti Continues To Impress At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Drew Monti continues to put up some impressive numbers at Buffalo Raceway as the 20-year-old had a four-bagger on Friday night (July 10) to highlight the action on the 13-race card.

Monti, who combined to win 170 races total last season between Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs, upped his seasonal total to 126 in 2015 with the grand slam. He currently sits in second place in the driver's standings at the Hamburg half-mile oval, trailing runaway leader Kevin Cummings 189-126.

It was a good night to play Monti. He scored with Serendipitious ($17.20), Ooga Booga ($10.20), Feets Of Magic ($10.20) and Sherpa ($3.20).

David McNeight III had a triple as he won with Lucky Millionaire ($15.80), Life's Lessons ($5.60) and Alerthemedia ($3.20).

Shawn Gray also had three victories on the evening as he was aboard Regally Blonde ($28.20), Zarkana ($8.50) and Brickyard Nellie ($6.90).

Racing resumes on Saturday evening with a 13-race program set to go to the post at 6:35 p.m.

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


John Campbell To Drive At Buffalo Raceway Sunday

by Brian J. Mazurek, For Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG,N.Y. --- Long time, no see.

That statement will be thrown out the window on Sunday afternoon (July 12) when Hall of Fame driver John Campbell makes an appearance at Buffalo Raceway for the first time in over 20 years as he'll drive in the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies.

The last time Campbell raced at Buffalo Raceway was back on July 5, 1992 when drove in the $133,000 Final of the Hopeful Stakes aboard Giant Thrill. His last win at the Hamburg half-mile oval located at the Erie County Fairgrounds was on W R H on June 24,1990 in an elimination race of the Hopeful Stakes.

Campbell, who was elected into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1990, has won 10,841 races in his career with purse earnings of almost $293 million. He has won the prestigious Hambletonian and the North America Cup six times apiece and has also taken the Little Brown Jug three times.

The 60-year-old Campbell is scheduled to steer Jewels In Hock and Dancewithme Chuck in the two New York Sire Stakes events and will drive Miss B'Ville J and Nunkeri in the Excelsior 'A' races.

Along with Campbell, several other top-name drivers will be in town including Andy Miller, Jim Morrill Jr. and former Western New York regulars Ray Schnittker and Jeff Gregory.

Along with a slew of great drivers, Barn Doll, a winner of over $400,000 in earnings in just 15 career starts, looks to make it six straight victories in the first division of the Sire Stakes.

Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) set the track record at Saratoga on June 4th with a 1:55.3 time over the half-time track. Buffalo Raceway's standard is 1:59 for 3-year-old fillies set by Glowngold in 2014.

She also won impressively in the $248,275 Empire Breeders Crown on June 21 at Vernon Downs in 1:52.1. Barn Doll is co-owned locally by Steven and Nancy Pratt of Corfu, N.Y. and the Purple Haze Stables of Fairport, N.Y. Barn Doll is 5-for-6 in 2015 with $193,074 in the bank.

It's also 'Sunday Funday' at Buffalo Raceway as the 13-race card gets underway at 1:05 p.m. There's free cotton candy and sno cones for the kids along with crafts and a bounce house. The track side grill will also be open.

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


July 9, 2015

Fast N Victorious, Skip Jive Take NYSS Wins At Buffalo Raceway

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Fast N Victorious was just that in the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers while Skip Jive remained unbeaten in his brief career to share top honors at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (July 8).

In the first $54,500 division, Fast N Victorious ($5.70) drafted perfectly behind the pace-setting Red Roll, who put up solid times of 28.3, 59.1 and 1:28.3. It was a ding-dong battle to the wire with Fast N Victorious able to sneak past the stubborn Red Roll in the passing lane for the neck win in 1:58. Brigadoon (Billy Dobson) finished in third.

"Red Roll was very competitive and we had to fight for the win," Gregory said of the stretch drive. He added, "Fast N Victorious is like a race car and he loves the small tracks."

Owned by the Jesmeral Stable and trained by Gregory, Fast N Victorious (Art Major-Yankee Luck) rebounded nicely after a disappointing second place finish in his only start in Sire Stakes action last week at Monticello. The victory jumped his earnings to $35,891.

Skip Jive ($4.90) made it a perfect 2-for-2 in his young career putting in another impressive performance in 1:57.1 in the second division.

Being hung on the outside at the start, driver Mark MacDonald stepped on the gas with Skip Jive and took command at the quarter pole. Setting fractions of 28.4, 57.4 and 1:28.2, Skip Jive was ready for a stretch battle from a threatening Joes On A Roll and Best Of Ribera.

But things fell apart quickly as Joes On A Roll broke stride in the lane and interfered with Best Of Ribera, wiping out the chances both had of a win. Those issues allowed Skip Jive to cruise off with a 3-1/4 length victory. Carlos Danger (Jim Morrill Jr.) picked up the pieces for second place while Fine Diamond (Matt Kakaley) placed third.

MacDonald said the race at Goshen on June 21 where Skip Jive made a break at the start has turned him around. "We made a few equipment adjustments after Goshen and it really helped him out." He went on to say of Skip Jive, "He's a really nice horse. He was well in hand at the finish."

Co-owned by the W. Springtime Racing Stable and Shannon Brott, Skip Jive (Rock N Roll Heaven-Dancinwiththestarz) is trained by Paul Kelley. The win pushed his two-race career winnings to $42,033.

In the $15,000 Excelsior Series 'A' races, KJ Erich ($3.60) took the first division with a 1:58.3 mile for Gregory while Acting Out ($7.00) posted a 2:00.0 winning mark for Mike Simons. Gregory, a native of nearby Churchville, N.Y., finished the night with a double.

NY Whitesox ($7.50) took the $6,600 Excelsior Series 'B' race by going wire-to-wire for Dobson in 2:02.

BZ Glide ($7.70) went from last to first and took the $10,500 Open Trot in a seasonal best 1:57.0.

After watching Justgottogetthere cut the fractions of 28.3, 58.0 and 1:27.4, BZ went three-wide down the backstretch and trotted away smartly in the lane to post the 1-1/2 length win over Serious George (Shawn Gray). Winkys Pride (Drew Monti) took the show position.

Owned by the Caprio Stable and trained by Alana Caprio, BZ Glide (Yankee Glide-Bloomer Zoomer) has three wins in six starts in 2015, earning an even $20,000 and $135,957 lifetime.

Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) nosed out Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight) to take the $9,500 Open II pace for the fillies and mares. Country Delight toured the Hamburg half-mile oval in 1:56.1.

Racing will continue on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. with a 13-race program on tap.

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


July 7, 2015

Familiar Faces Return To Buffalo Raceway For NYSS

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- With a few starts, if any, on their racing lines thus far in their young careers, it's safe to say when the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers step onto the track at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 8), most of them will be unknown to the fans.

But the names that will be in the bikes behind the youngsters in the New York Sire Stakes, well, they should be very familiar..

It's a homecoming of sorts for some of the drivers coming to town for action on Wednesday. The old gang includes Billy Dobson, Jeff Gregory, Jim Morrill Jr., Sam Schillaci, Matt Kakaley and Ken Holliday. They all found great success during their time on the Western New York circuit but have since moved on to greener pastures. They come back to battle Buffalo Raceway's current king, Kevin Cummings, who is far and away the leading driver on the grounds with 188 victories.

The strong 12-race card gets underway at 5 p.m.

And while familiar faces will been seen around the Hamburg half-mile oval located at the Erie County Fairgrounds, there are 14 colts and geldings entered in the two Sire Stakes race, each with a purse of $54,500. Only one has broken his maiden, that being Skip Jive, so the other 13 are looking to meet track photographer Steve Roth in the winner's circle..

The gentlemen will be gunning for the track records for their divisions of 1:55.4 for the 2-year-old colts set by He's Watching in 2013 and a 1:56.1 on the gelding side established by Roadside Delight in 2010. Buffalo Raceway has had nine track records either broken or tied in 2015 and with good weather and a fast track expected, anything is possible.

The first Sire Stakes event is the second race and features Fast N Furious (Art Major-Yankee Luck) who'll score from the rail for trainer/driver Gregory, a native of nearby Churchville, N.Y. A $47,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Sales, he finished a respectable second 3-3/4 lengths behind Skip Jive on June 29 at Monticello.

Brigadoon (American Ideal-Armbro Agakhan) draws the two post and after three sparkling qualifiers at Saratoga. He finished third at Monticello in Sire Stakes action on June 29. Brigadoon was a $20,000 buy at the Harrisburg and gets the early morning line nod at 5-2. He is trained by Cheryl McGivern, will have the services of Dobson in the sulky.

Red Roll (Roll With Joe-Red Carpet Queen) has local connections. He was a $37,000 buy at Harrisburg and is owned by John O. Sixt of nearby Chaffee, N.Y.and is trained by Judith Blaun. Cummings gets the call on Red Roll, a second place finisher in his last start on June 29 at Monticello.

The second division of the Sire Stakes is the third race and there could be some reflection of the old days behind the starting gate as Morrill Jr, Holliday,Dobson, Kakaley, Gregory and Cummings all get together. The only non-regular, however, is Mark MacDonald and he could be the one to beat with Skip Jive.

Winning on June 29 in the Sire Stakes at Monticello, Skip Jive (Rocknrollheaven-Dancinwiththestarz) pulled away for a 3-3/4 length decision over Fast N Victorious in 1:57.1. Unfortunately the Paul Kelly-trained Skip Jive, the only horse in the Sire Stakes with a pari-mutuel win thus far, drew the seven post.

Fine Diamond, conditioned by Ron Burke, was a $50,000 acquisition at the Lexington Sales and gets the three post for Kakaley. The 3-1 morning line choice has been third in his two qualifiers and one pari-mutuel race but seeks to break the rut against the field of seven.

Joes On A Roll starts from the advantageous two spot and looks extremely dangerous for Holliday. He put on a show in a qualifier at Northfield Park on July 2, winning by a throttled down six lengths in a sizzling 1:57.1. Owned by the Black Magic Racing Stable and trained by Todd Luther, Joes On A Roll (Roll With Joe-Lovely Lady) is the second choice at 4-1.

There will also be two $15,000 Excelsior Series 'A' divisions races along with a $6,600 event in the 'B' classification.

The first race on the card should be quite interesting as three current track record holders collide in the $10,500 Open Trot. Entered are Winkys Pride (all-aged mare and aged mare +5), Lutetium (aged +5 gelding) and BZ Glide (3-YO gelding) and were assigned the five, six and seventh posts respectively.

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


July 1, 2015

Gotmyredressontnit Fastest In NYSS At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Gotmyredressontnit put up the fastest mile while Soft Idea and Encore Deo also found the winner's circle in their first career starts to highlight the action in the three $36,566 divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (July 1).

The track record at Buffalo Raceway of 1:56.3 set by Silk Purse in 2011 and tied by Summertime Lea in 2012 will remain safe for another season.

The first division was the quickest as Gotmyredressontnit just missed the track record with a 1:56.4 clocking while Soft Idea and Encore Deo each went the mile in 1:57.3 over the fast track.

The favored Gotmyredressontnit ($4.10) toyed with the field in the first division. Sitting third at the quarter pole, driver Jason Bartlett said it was time to go with Gotmyredressontnit and took command. She was on cruise control from there, going 58.1 in the second half mile, including a 28.2 last panel to pull away from runner up Wishy Washy Girl (Jordan Stratton) by 2-3/4 lengths while Another Look (Tom Jackson) finished in third..

Bartlett said after the race, "This filly is really fast. She's high speed and has a great gait." He added that he was confident when they passed the half-mile pole. "The way she's been qualifiying, I knew we had it won at the half mile. I still haven't pulled the plugs on her." Gotmyredressontnit won her two non-betting prep races by 3-1/2 and 4-1/2 lengths.

Owned and trained by Janice Connor, Gotmyredressontnit (Roll With Joe-Western Top Cat) is now a perfect 1-for-1 in her young career.

In the second division, a gutsy drive by Scott Zeron in the passing lane allowed Soft Idea (American Ideal-Walk Softly) to score a narrow victory over Vino And Formaggio and Angels Rockn Pink in an exciting blanket finish that was decided by a mere head.

Angels Rockn Pink (John MacDonald) set the fractions of 29.1, 59.0 and 1:28.1. They looked home free at the top of the stretch but things started to fall apart. The leg-weary Angels Rockn Pink was begging for the finish line but Soft Idea and Vino And Formaggio (Kevin Cummings) were pacing strong to the finish.

Soft Idea ($13.60) went as far down the passing lane as possible and managed to nose past the game Vino And Formaggio at the wire while Angels Rockn Pink was a head back.

Zeron admitted it was a tight squeeze down the stretch. He then added, "She was loaded the entire mile. I backed her off around the turns but down the stretch, I had a ton of horse."

Soft Idea is trained by Linda Toscano and is co-owned by the South Mountain Stable, the Bay's Stable, Radio Racing Stable and Little E LLC.

After losing a narrow decision in the second leg of the Sire Stakes, Cummings got his revenge in the third and final division aboard Encore Deo ($10.80).

Blasting to the top from the five post, Encore Deo, a $100,000 Lexington Sales purchase, played a game of catch me if you can and ended up wiring the field of seven. Putting up fractions of 30.1, 59.4 and 1:28.4, a 28.4 last quarter panel was enough to hold off any late threat. No Clouds Bluechip (Bartlett) finished 3/4 lengths back while Dime A Dance (Stratton) took the show spot.

"She handled the track really well," Cummings said of Encore Deo (Rock N Roll Hanover-Docdor Cameo). "I was a hair worried around the last turn, but once she straightened out in the stretch, she had a a lot left."

Encore Deo is trained by Ron Burke and co-owned by the Burke Stable, Weaver Buscemi, Jason Melillo and Lawrence Karr.

In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series, it was a clean sweep for Jim Morrill Jr. as he guided Amazon Ideal ($3.40) to a 2:00.3 win and was in the sulky with Roll Of Dreams ($4.00) who turned in a 2:00.1 time.

The $6,800 Excelsior 'B' Series went to Milky Way Rae ($4.20) who toured the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval in 2:00.4 with Bartlett in the bike.

BZ Glide (Morrill Jr.) was victorious in the $10,500 Open Trot in 1:57.2 and returned $2.70 for the win. Morrill Jr. finished the night with four victories.

Country Delight ($4.00) went coast-to-coast in notching a 1:57.3 win in the $9,500 Open pace for the filly and mares. John Cummings Jr. handled the driving duties.

Racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with 11 races scheduled to go to the post at 6:35 p.m.

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


June 30, 2015

NY Sire Stakes 2-YO Filly Pacers Invade Buffalo Raceway Wednesday

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There's a lot of hope and promise on Wednesday night (July 1) at Buffalo Raceway as many of the 2-year-old filly pacers kick off their careers in three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes worth $36,566 each.

Of the 21 filly pacers entered, only four have had a pari-mutuel start. The remaining 17 have had a couple of 'baby' races or qualifiers but that's it. With the hours of preparation in getting them to the races now completed, it's time for the ladies to strut their stuff. And for those who are successful, they will find a large paycheck awaiting them at the finish line along with some happy owners, trainers and drivers.

The Sire Stakes will go off as the second, third and fifth races on the solid 12-race program that is scheduled for 5 p.m.

With nine records either broken or tied at Buffalo Raceway this season, the freshmen fillies will be taking dead aim on 1:56.3 standard set in 2011 by Silk Purse and tied in 2012 by Summertime Lea.

The sire Roll With Joe has nine off-spring entered in the stakes event while Art Major follows with five, Rock N Roll Heaven four and American Ideal three.

The first event features a field of six who not have a pari-mutuel start between them. Gotmyredressontnit gets the early nod at 5-2 after putting in a 1:55.3 time in a baby race at Pocono Downs over a sloppy track on June 19. Jason Bartlett gets the call aboard the Janice Connor-trained Gotmyredressontnit (Roll With Joe-Western Top Cat) and will start from the six post.

Rockin Date, a $47,000 purchase from the Lexington Sales last year, is the second choice at 3-1 with Sire Stakes leading driver Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike. Starting from the five hole, Rockin Date (Art Major-Rockin Beauty) is trained by Ron Burke and finished in fourth place behind Gotmyredressontnit in her last prep. Morrill Jr. has 13 victories this season on the Sire Stakes circuit and nearly $450,000 in purse earnings.

The second leg is a wide open affair with a field of seven heading to the post. Angels Rockn Pink is 3-1 morning line choice with John MacDonald to be in the sulky. Arriving from Vernon Downs for trainer Homer Hostetler, Angels Rockn Pink was impressive in winning her two qualifiers at Vernon. She last won by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:55.4 back on June 19.

Soft Idea, a $70,000 purchase at the Lexington Sales, draws the six post for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Scott Zeron. Soft Idea (American Ideal-Walk Softly) went 1:58.4 in her last tuneup, winning by 2-1/2 lengths.

Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings gets the call on Vino And Formaggio off the rail. Sitting at 4-1 on the line, Vino And Formaggio (Art Major-Pasta LaVista) has gone wire-to-wire in her two qualifying victories at the Meadows.

The final division features Encore Deo, a $100,000 buy at Lexington. The Burke-trained Encore Deo, coupled with Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance), starts from the five post and gets the services of Cummings. Encore Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven-Docdor Cameo) hopes to start earning her keep begin what could be an solid career.

The main danger to the Burke entry could be Ghost Runner (Art Major-Spirit Of The West). She gets the pylons for trainer/driver Tom Jackson and is the 5-1 second pick. She finished sixth at Pocono Downs in 1:55.1 in her last appearance.

The card also will feature a pair of Excelsior 'A' Series races and a race in the Excelsior 'B' Series.

Also on tap on the stellar card includes the $10,500 Open Trot, the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace, and the $8,500 Fillies and Mares Open II Pace.

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


Post Time Change For Genesee County Fair Races

Batavia, NY --- Horsemen and racing fans are reminded that post time for the Genesee County Fair races to be held at Batavia Downs on July 16 have been moved to 5 p.m. to avoid any construction issues of the new hotel that will be located on the Batavia Downs property adjacent to the racing paddock.

The entry box closes at 10 a.m. on Monday (July 13). To enter please call Racing Secretary Donna Kerr at 716-338-5387.

Anyone with questions should contact Director/GM of Live Racing Todd Haight at 585-343-3750, ext. 322.

Batavia Downs Media Relations


June 29, 2015

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a mixed bag for the fans at Buffalo Raceway on a rainy Sunday afternoon (June 28). The long shots were a plenty but there were enough favorites to please the chalk players.

Drew Monti kept both happy as he posted a driving triple. He won with Power Off ($4.70) and Bet On Me Hanover ($5.80) while notching a surprising victory aboard Alabama Flash ($24.40) over the sloppy track.

The 20-year-old Monti sits in second place in the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings with 116 victories. He trails runaway leader Kevin Cummings who has 180.

Jim McNeight picked up a couple of long shot wins as he guided War Front ($21.00) and Milliron Pete ($45.00) to the winner's circle.

David McNeight III also doubled as he drove Sunland Dakota ($15.80) and Francessa ($3.30) to victories.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card slated for 5 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes will highlight the program with the 2-year-old filly pacers battling it out the Hamburg half-mile oval.


June 28, 2015

Rockstar Temper Posts Convincing Win At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Rain, wind and a sloppy track was a winning combination for Rockstar Temper ($8.00) as he took the $10,500 Open Pace in convincing fashion at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (June 27), beating Unicorn Hanover by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:58.1.

The heavily-favored Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) was parked to the opening panel in the feature and needed a wicked 27.3 first split to reach the lead. The hot fractions of 58.0 and 1:28.3 over the sloppy going would eventually be costly for the front runner.

Sand Savage (Jim McNeight) was first over going down the backstretch the final time and Rockstar Temper (Drew Monti) drafted perfectly behind.

The brutal times took their toll on Youwillwishyouhad as he threw in the towel at the top of the stretch and Sand Savage had enough as well.

Rockstar Temper in the meantime was loving the proceedings and rolled off cover to post the victory. Unicorn Hanover (David McNeight III) showed late kick to take second while Mr. Perserverance (Shawn Gray) rode the pylons for third.

Owned by James Caradon and trained by Darrin Monti, Rockstar Temper has scored four victories in 18 appearances in 2015. The 7-year-old gelding (Rocknroll Hanover-Dragon Temper) has earned $43,520 this season and $332,153 lifetime.

Jokerman ($43.40) didn't joke around in the $9,500 Open II pace by springing a 1-1/2 length upset win over Beachfront in 1:57.2.

After watching a speed duel on the front end between Ain't No Stoppin' and I C D Moolah, Jokerman was in 'wait and see' mode. Waiting and seeing the speed crumble, Jokerman was three-wide and winging, rolling in the stretch for a 1-1/2 length win over Beachfront (McNeight III). Cobble Beach (Cummings) rallied for the show spot..

Co-owned by trainer Richard Roth along with Randy and Robert Roth, Jokerman has six victories on the season and $43,894 in the bank. The 6-year-old gelding (American Ideal-Shark Tail) has now made $93,037 in his career.

Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. with a 12-race card.

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


June 27, 2015

Beback Jr. Scores Driving Triple At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG,N.Y.--- Ron Beback Jr. had a driving triple and posted a double on the training side to highlight the 10-race program at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (June 26).

Beback Jr. captured victories on Puppetandmee N ($5.20) and It Was An Honor ($8.20) and then saved his best for last as he registered a $91.50 win in the tenth race aboard Almost Midnight. The win by Almost Midnight sparked a 7-1 exacta worth $1616 and a $1 trifecta of 7-1-all returning $272.

Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. with an 11-race card scheduled.

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


June 25, 2015

Brittney Ohol named outrider for Batavia meet

By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Batavia Downs Gaming is pleased to announce that Brittney Ohol will go to post as the new parade marshal for the upcoming summer-fall meet.

Ohol grew up around harness racing while being raised by her grandparents (Mike and Brenda Ohol) who both competed on the western New York circuit for over 30 years. The 21-year-old Lockport (NY) High School graduate attended Medaille College for vet tech before deciding to return to harness racing as a full-time career.

After getting her trainer’s and qualifying driver’s licenses, Ohol started her own stable and now owns and races three horses. Besides conventional competition, she has also been involved with racing under saddle (RUS) in New York State.

Ohol started to learn the art of outriding from Wendy Ross at Tioga Downs in 2011 and has now worked with her on and off for over four years. In 2014, Ohol took the position full time at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland. But after the meet ended there, she returned home because it was too far away from family.

When the job at Batavia Downs came available this year, the call went out to Brittney Ohol because she was a natural fit and the timing was right for her as well.

“I love having the opportunity to take this position at Batavia Downs. It’s close to my family and my home base where I know everybody so it makes it so much easier. I want to remain in the business as long as harness racing is around” said Ohol.

“I have two good horses named Paco and Cody and they allow me to do my job as well as I can. I am really looking forward to the upcoming meet to get started.”

“Brittney Ohol has a harness racing pedigree and has been a part of the racing community here at the Downs since she was a child” said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. “Her abilities as a horsewoman combined with her passion for the sport makes her the perfect fit for this job and ensures high-quality assistance to all the horsemen who race here every night. We are very happy to have her on board.”

The 69th season of live harness racing at America’s oldest lighted harness track begins on Monday, July 27 with a 6:35 post time.


Winkys Pride Breaks Own Track Mark At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The record book hasn't been safe recently at Buffalo Raceway and Winkys Pride sure is helping in re-writing it.

For the second time in three weeks, Winkys Pride ($3.90) set a new standard in winning the $10,500 Open Trot at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (June 24), going the mile in 1:57.0. The time broke the all-aged mares trotting record and aged (5+) mare mark of 1:57.2 established by her on June 10th.

It was the ninth time in 2015 that a track record has either been tied or broken at the lightning-fast Hamburg half-mile oval located at the Erie County Fairgrounds.

Driver Drew Monti was all smiles in the winner's circle with Winkys Pride after the victory, saying "Wow, another track record, but it was tougher than I expected."

Being assigned the six-post, Winkys Pride went right to the top and posted splits of 29.0, 58.3 and 1:28.1. But it was the hard-charging Serious George (Shawn Gray) which made Winkys Pride work hard late and hold on for the half length win. Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) finished in third.

Owned and trained by Robert Hummel, Winkys Pride (Winkys Smile-Yankee Paco) is a 7-year-old mare who now has four victories in 2015, earning $20,394 along the way. She has made $196,317 lifetime.

In the $9,500 Open II pace for the fillies and mares, Kisses N Kicks ($7.70) roared down the stretch and nipped the pace-setting Infrontigo Hanover by a nose in 1:56.4.

With Infrontigo Hanover putting up fractions of 28.2, 58.1 and 1:27.4, she looked home free until Kisses N Kicks (David McNeight III) arrived on the scene at the top of the stretch. Using a 28.3 last panel, Kisses N Kicks got up in the shadow of the wire to pin the disappointing setback on Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight). Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) took the show spot.

Owned by Courtney McNeight and trained by McNeight III, it was the seventh win in 21 starts for the 7-year-old mare. Kisses N Kicks (Life Sign-Kissing Rain) now has bankrolled $37,553 this season and $195,960 lifetime.

Kevin Cummings finished the night with three victories while David McNeight III and Jim McNeight doubled.

Racing will continue on Friday night with a 10-race program scheduled to go to the post at 6:35 p.m.

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


June 22, 2015

Stall Applications available for upcoming Batavia Downs meet

By Tim Bojarski --- Batavia Downs Media Relations

Batavia, NY — Horsemen should be advised that stall applications for the 69th season of live harness racing at Batavia Downs Gaming are now available at the track’s website (http://www.bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Batavia-Downs-Stall-Reservation-Form-2015.pdf) or can be picked up in person at the second floor reception desk inside America’s oldest lighted harness track.

For the convenience of western New York horsemen who are currently racing at Buffalo Raceway, these applications are also available at the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association office located on the backstretch of that track.

The 2015 Batavia Downs season features 70 race dates and includes eight matinee cards. The annual summer-fall meet commences on Monday, July 27 and concludes on Saturday, December 12.

Live racing will be presented on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night basis except for Saturday October 31 (Breeders Cup day) when racing will be conducted at 1:15 p.m.

Aside from that three-day rotation, five Sunday afternoon programs will be held beginning on August 2 and continuing through the end of the month.

Monday racing includes opening night and holiday programs on Labor Day and Columbus Day.

Tuesday racing begins September 15.

The season begins with evening post times of 6:35 p.m. and matinee post times of 1:15 p.m.

New this year, Tuesday post time moves to 4:30 p.m. while beginning on October 21 all evening programs for the remainder of the season go off at 6:15 p.m., with an anticipated extra race each night being carded.

Stall applications can be mailed to the race office at 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY 14020, Attn: Joe Zambito or faxed to 585-343-2451. All stall requests must be received by July 10.

The backstretch opens for tack on July 19. Horses may begin arriving in the barn area on July 21.

For more information please contact Director/GM of Racing Todd Haight at 585-343-3750 ext. 322


J A T O Makes Successful Return To Races At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- When last seen, J A T O was in the winner's circle after posting a 1-1/2 victory in the $10,000 New York County Fair final for 2-year-old colt trotters at Monticello Raceway back on September 2, 2014.

After nearly a nine-month layoff, J A T O resurfaced again, ths time on Sunday afternoon (June 21) at Buffalo Raceway and the results were the same...impressive.

In winning the County Fair final back in September, J A T O broke stride at the start and spotted the field more than 11 lengths at quarter pole but roared back for the victory.

While not breaking this time, J A T O trailed the trotters in the $3,200 conditioned event at Buffalo Raceway by more than a dozen lengths after the opening panel but proved once again the lead wasn't insurmountable. The 3-year-old colt got in gear and smartly trotted around the field, taking a 3/4-length decision over TK's Diva in a lifetime best of 2:02.1.

The was only the second pari-mutuel start for J A T O (Big Apple Deli-Highwaytoheaven), both of which are now victories. He was 8-of-9 on the non-betting New York Fair circuit in 2014, earning $16,851 including the County Fair final purse.

Co-owned by trainer Margaret Butler and Amy Butler, J A T O was driven to the win by Doug Ackley.

In the C.K.G Billings Amateur Driving Challenge, Stephen Oldford won aboard Lady Jill ($6.00) while Robert Davis sprung an upset taking Stags Leap ($11.20) to the winner's circle in the second leg.

Ray Fisher Jr. was the only driver on the 10-race card as he posted a double.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 10-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.

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


June 21, 2015

Unicorn Hanover Uses Perfect Trip For Buffalo Victory

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Unicorn Hanover and driver Kevin Cummings worked out a perfect first over trip and took the featured $10,500 Open I-II pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (June 20).

Sitting sixth and last place to the half, Unicorn Hanover tipped to the outside and started his winning march to the lead, getting on even terms with Bakken at the three-quarter pole.

As the field of six turned for home, Unicorn Hanover ($5.20) was quickest of all, holding off a stubborn Rockstar Temper (Drew Monti) by a half length in 1:55.2 over the fast track. Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.), the pace-setter for much of the race, finished in third.

Owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, Unicorn Hanover (Four Starzzz Shark-Up Front Georgia) has now won three times in 11 attempts in 2015, putting $25,850 in the bank. The victory pushed his career earnings to $387,361.

In the sub-featured $8,800 pace, Beachfront turned in a seasonal best 1:55.4 and held off a late rush from Ponyta Boy (Ron Beback Jr.) and Art Two D Two (Drew Monti).

Setting the splits of 29.0, 58.1, and 1:27.1, driver David McNeight III and Beachfront ($6.90) were ready for challenges in the stretch and they weren't disappointed. Ponyta Boy and Art Two D Two each made serious late bids but Beachfront had enough in the tank to hang on for the head win.

Beachfront (Somebeachsomewhere-Up Front Norma) is a 5-year-gelding owned by the Limerick Racing Stable and trained by David McNeight Jr. It was his third win of the season and moved the 5-year-old gelding's winnings to $17,424 and $91,270 lifetime.

Racing resumes on Sunday afternoon with a 1:05 p.m. with a 10-race card set.

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


June 20, 2015

Flanigen Wins Three To Take Buffalo Raceway Spotlight

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Hamburg, N.Y. --- Jack Flanigen continued his Friday night dominance at Buffalo Raceway as he registered a triple to highlight the 10-race program.

Flanigen, who now has 16 victories in the past four Friday cards, scored aboard Secluded Island ($26.20), Major Reform ($3.40) and Classic Camelot ($2,60).

Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, Kevin Cummings, added two victories as he took Above The Storm ($16.60) and Carbon Footprint ($10.40) to the winner's circle.

Shawn Gray also hit pay dirt twice as he drove Ona Dream ($11.60) and Goddess's Justin ($4.50) to wins.

Racing will resume on Saturday night with a 10-race program scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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


June 18, 2015

Justtogtogetthere Wires Field In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- One thing is for certain, seven isn't a lucky number for Justgottogetthere.

With four starts in his last six outings coming from the seven post, Justgottogethere has come up empty. But the 6-year-old gelding has been lights out when drawing from the six post inward, going a perfect 4-for-4.

Wednesday night (June 17) was a perfect example of that. Justgottogetthere took advantage of some much appreciated post relief and went gate-to-wire to claim the featured $9,500 conditioned trot at Buffalo Raceway.

Driver Jim McNeight took the pace-setting Justgottogetthere right to the lead from the three hole and posted splits of 28.3, 59.0 and 1:28.1.

In the stretch, however, Justgottogetthere ($3.10) was begging for the finish line as BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) was charging fast but finished a disappointing neck behind in 1:57.0 over the fast track. Serious George (Shawn Gray) took the show position.

Now victorious eight times this season in 15 starts, Justgottogetthere (Valley Victor-Mara's Theme) is co-owned by Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing LLC. He has earned $46,327 in 2015 and $126,938 lifetime.

Kisses N Kicks ($10.40) ground out a first-over trip and pulled away from the field late in the $9,500 Open II for the distaff pacers.

A Cameo In Life posted the fractions of 29.2, 59.0 and 1:28.1 but Kisses N Kicks started the slow and steady grind on the rim just before the opening half. In the drive to the wire, Kisses N Kicks had little trouble holding off her competition and took a 1-1/4 length victory in 1:57.0. Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight) finished a non-threatening second while Country Delight (Jack Flanigen rallied for third.

Driven and trained by David McNeight III and owned by Courtney McNeight, Kisses N Kicks (Life Sign-Kissing Rain) has now won six times in 20 starts this season, putting $41,588 in the bank. It upped the 7-year-old mare's career total to $166,460.

Kevin Cummings finished the night with three victories and Jim McNeight had a driving double.

Racing returns to Buffalo Raceway on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. with a 10-race card scheduled.

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


June 15, 2015

Huge Payout Highlights Buffalo Raceway's Sunday Card

HAMBURG,N.Y. --- Kaboom!!!

That was the tote board at Buffalo Raceway Sunday afternoon (June 14) as some gigantic prices were posted across the board in the eighth race.

Little Haus (David McNeight III) was sent off at 34-1 and managed to rally, nipping 99-1 shot Vicky Winner (Dennis Dylo) at the wire while Wild Ride (Michael Baumeister) finished third at 45-1. Little Haus returned $70.50, $14.20 and $30.40 for the win. Vicky Winner paid $28.80 and $69.50 while Wild Ride's show price was $30.80. The 2-8 exacta price was $2,268 for a deuce and the rarely seen 2-all-all trifecta returned $23.00 for a buck.

The big mutuels were due to the fact that 1-to-9 favorite Oceana broke stride just past the half mile pole and finished seventh.

McNeight III and Drew Monti each had doubles on the 10-race card.

Racing resumes on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 10-race card scheduled 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 14, 2015

Sand Savage Continues Hot Streak Going At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y.--- Sand Savage played the old give-and-go with Mr. Perserverance and kept right on going to the winner's circle in the featured $10,500 Open I-II pace at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (June 13).

The victory kept a torrid streak going for the 8-year-old Sand Savage (Allamerican Native-Sheer Hose). In his last seven starts, he has five wins and a pair of narrow second place finishes.

Mr. Perserverance (Shawn Gray) managed to get to the top from the three post but that it was short-lived as the rail-sitting Sand Savage took command before the quarter pole. Setting splits of 27.4, 57.1 and 1:26.0, Sand Savage awaited the cavalry charge in the stretch.

While it looked like it might develop, driver Jim McNeight kept Sand Savage on task and held off Mr. Perserverance and Cobble Beach (Kevin Cummings), who finished in second and third respectively. The margin of victory was a length in a time of 1:54.3.

Co-owned by trainer Richard Roth along with Randy and Robert Roth, Sand Savage has now earned $41,383 in 2015 and $399,667 lifetime.

In the co-featured $8,800 conditioned pace, Burton Blue Chip (Lee Dahn) used a late kick in the stretch to pull the $25.80 stunner in a career best of 1:54.2.

It seemed like it was going to be a three-horse battle to the finish line between Big Bossman, Peenie and Ponyta Boy. But a rousing drive to the wire by Burton Blue Chip on the far outside made it a four-horse contest. It turned into a blanket finish with Burton Blue Chip a head in front in the photo while Peenie (Cummings) and Big Bossman (Gray) ended up in a dead heat for second.

Burton Blue Chip (American Ideal-Crickets Can Talk) is co-owned by trainer Lee Dahn and Larry Dahn. It was the second win of the season for the 6-year-old gelding, now a winner of $16,698 and $97,304 lifetime.

Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at Buffalo Raceway with a 10-race card set to begin at 1:05 p.m.

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


June 13, 2015

Cummings, Monti Triple At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Hamburg, N.Y.--- There was a 10-race card at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (June 12) and between drivers Kevin Cummings, Drew Monti and Jack Flanigen, they weren't in much of a sharing mood.

The trio combined to win eight races of the 10 races on the program with Cummings and Monti having 'triples' while Flanigen notched a double..

Cummings, who is the leading driver at Buffalo Raceway, padded his total with three wins. He scored with Ahead Of The Crowd ($3.80), Instant Hit ($3.80) and Livefreeordiehard ($4.00). Cummings now has 164 wins on the campaign.

Monti found pay dirt three times with McArdle Direct ($25.20) Dante Seelster ($26.20) and Two Smart ($3.00). The 'three-bagger' put him over the 100-win barrier for the season at Buffalo Raceway as he now stands at 102 victories.

Flanigen, who had combined for 13 victories in the past three Friday night cards, added two more to that total. He drove Emiliana ($8.00) and Dancin Thea ($8.20) to the scores.

Mike Caprio and Shawn McDonough each had singles to complete the driver's actions.

Racing will continue on Saturday night when an 11-race card goes to the post at 6:35 p.m.

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


June 11, 2015

Winkys Pride Sets All-Age Mare Trotting Mark At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The old saying goes, 'Records were made to be broken'. At Buffalo Raceway, that cliche is sure holding true.

For the eighth time this season, a track record was broken on the lightning fast half-mile oval at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg. There already have been seven different divisional standards re-established in 2015

Wednesday night (June 10) in the $9,500 conditioned trot, Winkys Pride had the honors of getting her name in the record book with a 1:57.2 time over the fast track. The time broke the trotting mark for all-aged mares of 1:58.1 set on April 22, 2015 by Serendipitious and the aged (5+) mare standard of 1:58.2 set by Escrow Blue Chip in 2012.

Driver Drew Monti set reasonable marks with Winkys Pride ($5.90), putting up times of 29.2, 59.1 and 1:29.0. But the clincher was the last panel as Monti had Winkys Pride in high gear, posting a 28.2 last quarter. It put away second place finisher Diamonds For Life (Cummings) and Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) who took third.

Owned and trained by Robert Hummel, the 7-year-old Winkys Pride (Amigo Hall-Winky's Smile) has now won four times in nine tries this season, putting $14,527 in the bank. It also moved her career earnings to $186,062.

Don Rothfuss doesn't climb in the sulky very much these days but after the drive he gave It's De Lovely in the $9,500 Open II pace for the fillies and mares, he should consider a comeback.

Looking hopelessly boxed in by several horses in mid-stretch, Rothfuss squeezed It's De Lovely through a narrow gap and she did the rest after that, pacing away to a half-length win over A Cameo In Life in 1:56.4 over the fast track.

For Rothfuss, it was only his 10th start in the bike this season and was his first victory. It was also the first win for him at Buffalo Raceway since 2010.

A Cameo In Life (Kevin Cummings) took command from the start and set the tempo with fractions of 27.1, 58.4 and 1:28.0. Eyemajet (Shawn Gray) drafted along in the pocket, dipped to the passing lane, and looked like the major threat in mid-stretch. Those two seemed to destined to duke it out to the wire, but It's De Lovely had other ideas. She found a small seam and zoomed on past to notch the $18.20 victory. A stunned A Cameo In Life held on for second while Eyemajet took the show spot.

Co-owned by Michael and Howard Ouriel and trained by Rothfuss, It's De Lovely (Four Starzz Shark-Reflect Upon Life) has now scored four victories in 14 starts in 2015, earning $22,715 on the year. It also jacked up the classy 8-year-old mare's lifetime earnings to $630,667.

For 18-year-old Wade Tomaszewski, it was a memorable night for him as he scored his first pari- mutual victory of his career by taking V'La Faire gate-to-wire in 1:56.4, returning $4.60 as the favorite. Tomaszewski has been knocking on the door for his first win. He was in the money in 4-of-8 career starts before registering his first win in his ninth appearance.

The 10-race card was marred by an accident a the start of the sixth race, which was declared a 'no-contest' by the judges. There were no serious injuries to either horses or drivers.

Racing will continue on Friday night with a 10-race card slated for 6:35 p.m.

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


June 8, 2015

Shawn Gray Notches Four-Bagger At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was the first Sunday matinee of the season at Buffalo Raceway and driver Shawn Gray sure did enjoy the warm, brilliant day.

Sitting in second place in the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings with 102 victories, Gray put up a four-bagger Sunday (June 7) to highlight the 11-race card. He scored with Oceana ($2.10), Strung Out ($6.20), Artillery Major ($8.00) and Spring Terror ($4.00).

Ron Beback Jr., Kevin Cummings and David McNeight III each had doubles on the day.

Beback Jr. pulled a $31.80 stunner with Hawaiian Joe and also steered Almost Midnight to a popular $4.00 win. McNeight III had a $50.00 shocker on Le Reina Road and followed that up with a $7.60 decision on Caddy Jeff.

Cummings, who leads the way with 161 wins this year at Buffalo Raceway, posted wins with Sleep Talker ($$9.60) and Safe Bet Hanover ($10.60).

Racing returns on Wednesday night with a 10-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


Instant Riches Steals Buffalo Raceway Spotlight With New Record

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Somebody forgot to tell Instant Riches he wasn't in the featured or even co-featured race at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (June 6).

But Instant Riches ($6.50) didn't care and stole the headlines anyways with a 1:54.3 victory in a $8,800 conditioned/optional claiming event which set a new Buffalo Raceway mark for 4-year-old colt pacers, breaking the old standard of 1:54.4 established in 2006 by Moonstrosity.

After watching Mr. Perserverance hit the opening panel in 27.3, driver Jack Flanigen sent Instant Riches ($6.50) to the lead. They enjoyed the uneventful remaining three-quarter mile trip in front, scoring a 3/4-length advantage over Mr. Perservance (Shawn Gray), tripping the timer in a new record of 1:54.3. Burton Blue Chip (Lee Dahn) finished in third.

Owned by Eric Prevost and trained by JD Perrin, Instant Riches (Whitefish Falls-Boops) has nine wins on the season in 19 attempts, earning $35,910 in 2015 and $59,960 lifetime.

It may have been a slow opening half-mile produced by Lucky Nadotremblay but the 5-year-old horse sure put on the after burners in the payoff half in scoring surprising gate-to-wire 1-1/2 length victory over Unicorn Hanover in the $10,500 Open Pace.

Starting from the rail, driver Shawn McDonough and Lucky Nadotremblay had absolutely no challengers for the lead as the field of six neatly dropped to the inside in numerical order. Setting fractions of 29.1 and 58.1 to the half, Lucky Nadotremblay started to pick up the tempo the second time around.

The final half mile was a game of catch me if you can that Lucky Nadotremblay ($19.00) won. Posting a final split of 56.3, the five challengers had no answer and wre left to battle for the minor spoils. Lucky Nadotremblay held off Unicorn Hanover (Jack Flanigen) while Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) finished in third.

Co-owned by Paul and Ronald Viele and trained by Alex Guiliani, Lucky Nadotremblay (Blissfull Hall-Periella Hanover) has five wins this year and $36,869 in the bank.

In the co-featured $9,500 Open II Pace, Peenie (Kevin Cummings) set sail from the rail and coasted to a popular $4.00 victory over Sand Savage in 1:55.0 over the fast track.

With two horses breaking stride behind the starting gate, Charliesandjimmys and Junior Pride, Peenie had no problem charging to the top from the pylons. Setting fractions of 29.0, 58.0 and 1:26.3, Peenie (Kevin Cummings) had no trouble in holding off any emerging late threats.

Co-owned by trainer John Mungillo and the Decker's Corner Stable, the 10-year-old gelded Peenie (Real Artist-Tre Cross) has reached the winner's circle four times in 2015, earning $30,485 and increased his impressive lifetime earnings to $662,574.

Racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. with a 12-race program slated. It is the first Sunday matinee of the season.

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


June 4, 2015

Mosquito Blue Chip Sets New Mark With NYSS Win At Buffalo

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "She's back!"

Those were the first two words out of the mouth of a relieved Jim Morrill Jr. after he drove Mosquito Blue Chip ($3.70) to an impressive 1-1/2 victory over She's Heavenly in a track record time of 1:53.3 in the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old filly pacers at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (June 3). The time broke the old standard of 1:54.1 established in 2014 by Sweetnsinful.

Band Of Angels and Bettorhaveanother also scored victories in their respective $39,900 divisions, but neither could top the performance turned in by Mosquito Blue Chip.

The 2014 New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old filly pacing champion, Mosquito Blue Chip started the season with three rather mundane tries, finishing no better than fourth. But Morrill Jr. knew her fortunes were ready to change.

"I thought she was a little better last week but didn't give her the best trip. But I knew she was coming around," Morrill Jr. said.

Mosquito Blue Chip was sent right to the lead from the five post and set reasonable fractions of 28.2, 57.2 and 1:26.1. But it was all over from there as Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Vanite Semalu) cruised to a 27.2 to final panel to keep any threats from developing.

"She needed no urging," Morrill Jr. said of the last quarter mile.

She's Heavenly (Kevin Cummings) took the place position while Bettor N Better (Matt Kakaley) finished in third.

With her first victory in four starts this year, the Paul Jessop-trained Mosquito Blue Chip now has earned $23,938 in 2015 and $264,501 lifetime.

Morrill Jr. got his second Sire Stakes win of the evening aboard Bettorhaveanother. A gutsy move by Morrill Jr. early in the race set up Bettorhaveanother for the victory.

Watching a battle for the lead in the early going, Morrill Jr. found a tiny hole to drop Bettorhaveanother in the fifth position. That maneuver proved to be a good one as the tandem was able to pull out, pass traffic, and move into the pocket behind the pace-setting My Little Delight.

In the stretch, Bettorhaveanother used the 'lightning lane' and collared My Little Delight (Cummings) by a neck in 1:55.4 while Heaven On Earth (John MacDonald) took third.

"She took a couple of bad steps in the beginning so I wanted to drop her in to relax her. They were going kind of slow so I had to pull her out," Morrill Jr. said of the second move. He added about the stretch drive, "I had to steady her a bit but she was good."

Trained by Jackie Rousse and co-owned by Janie Martin and Kellogg Racing Stable, Bettorhaveanother (Bettor's Delight-Katie My Girl) has now won four straight, earning $59,440 in five seasonal starts. She has now bankrolled $69,517 lifetime.

Band Of Angels had the easiest time of all three divisions as she romped to a 4-3/4 win over Hipnumberone in 1:54.2. Gweneeee J (John Cummings Jr.) took the show spot.

Winning driver Matt Kakaley said of Band Of Angels, "She was very good. I really wasn't worried about anyone."

Taking the lead just past the opening marker, Band Of Angels ($5.10) went 58.0 to the half and never looked back thanks to a 27.2 last stanza.

Trained by Ron Burke and owned by W.J. Donovan, it was the first victory in three appearances this season for Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Hanover-Time N Again). It pushed her career earnings to $126,351.

In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series, Hot Lemonade ($9.40) took the first division in 1:55.4 while Jag Out ($5.30) captured the second leg in 1:56.0.

In the non-betting $6,400 Excelsior 'B' Series event, Kaitlyn Akeeper jogged to a 2:02.2 victory with Morrill Jr. in the sulky.

It was also a record-tying night in the 12th race as Skyway Tia (Cummings) tied the track record for 4-year-old filly/mare pacers with a 1:55 clocking. It tied the mark set in 2009 by Bet The Ranch.

Racing returns on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled.

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


June 2, 2015

Mosquito Blue Chip Tops Lineup In NYSS At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The 2014 New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old pacing filly champion Mosquito Blue Chip headlines the three divisions of the traveling series that arrives at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (June 3) starting at 5 p.m.

There will be three divisions of the Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old distaff pacers that will split the $105,000 pot.

With the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval lightning fast, the proof being three new marks set last Saturday night including Fireyourguns posting an all-time mark of 1:52.0, the ladies will be shooting at the record for their division of 1:54.1 established by Sweetnsinful in 2014.

The opening race on the 13-race program is loaded and will feature Mosquito Blue Chip along with top rivals, Bossers Joy, Bettor N Better and Not Before Eight. The seven entrants in the field have combined to win over $800,000 in their careers thus far.

After winning the 2-year-old crown on September 13 at Yonkers by a nose over Bossers Joy in 1:56.0, Mosquito Blue Chip hasn't quite found her footing yet as a 3-year-old.

With two starts in New York Sire Stakes competition at Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs along with a start in The Simpson at the Meadowlands, Mosquito Blue Chip has finished no better than fourth in those races.

Jim Morrill Jr. will get the nod aboard Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover) who starts from the five post as the 7-2 second choice in the morning line.

Not Before Eight (Bettor's Delight-Skinny Dip) didn't race as a 2-year-old but the Steve Elliott-trained filly has been lights out in her seven appearances in 2015. She has five victories in those starts and has finished a game second and third in her only two tries in Sire Stakes races. Not Before Eight is the morning line 5-2 choice with Rick Zeron scheduled to drive.

Bettor N Bettor put over $225,000 in the bank in 2014 thanks to strong showings in the 2-year-old Matron at Dover Downs and being involved in the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands. She has yet to hit the board in three starts this year and will get the services of Matt Kakaley. They drew the four post and are tagged at 5-1.

The deep field also includes Bossers Joy (Art Major-Esther's Joy) who finished a tough-luck second to Mosquito Blue Chip in last year's Sire Stakes final at Yonkers. She's been in two Sire Stakes this year with a second place finish at Vernon and was battled tested in the Reynolds Stakes at the Meadowlands. Bossers Joy, with earnings of over $133,000, will have Greg Merton in the bike as the pair score from the three post at 9-2.

In the second Sire Stakes race, scheduled as the back half of the early daily double, Beyonces Rockn arrives fresh off a second place finish at Tioga, finishing two lengths in back of Bettor Be Steppin. The Rock N Roll Heaven-Im Betting On You filly has been in the money in all nine appearances this year with $41,314 earned. Morill Jr. will guide her as the 3-1 morning line choice from the five post.

The main threat should come the Ron Burke-trained Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again) won over $187,000 last year and looks to just be rounding into shape. She finished third in her most recent start at Tioga Downs, finishing 2-1/2 behind Bettor Be Steppin. Kakaley is slated to drive the 7-2 proposition out of the three spot.

The field of seven in the $39,900 second division has combined earnings over $440,000.

The final $39,900 race on the Sire Stakes menu will have the red-hot Bettorhaveanother as the one to catch. Tied for points lead with Bettor Be Steppin (100 apiece) after two rounds of races, Bettorhaveanother is riding a two-race win streak including back-to-back 1:51 victories in the Sire Stakes at Tioga and Vernon Downs. She'll start from the six hole for Morrill Jr. as the morning line choice at 2-1.

Heaven On Earth (Rock N Roll Hanover-Mango Hanover) arrives for her first start in the Sire Stakes this year. She's coming off two victories in her most three recent tries at Yonkers. James MacDonald will score Heaven On Earth from the five post as the second pick on the morning line at 3-1.

There will also be a pair of $15,000 races in the Excelsior 'A' Series and a $6,800 non-betting race in the Excelsior 'B' Series that has a 4:30 p.m. post.

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


May 31, 2015

Fireyourguns Breaks All-Time Buffalo Raceway Track Record

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG,N.Y. --- Hopefully the Buffalo Raceway keeper of track records had plenty of erasers on hand Saturday night (May 30).

Unicorn Hanover set two track records in the opener by going the mile in 1:52.4 in the $9,500 Open II Pace. He produced new standards for the all-age geldings and aged (5+) pacing divisions.

But Fireyourguns wasn't going to be outdone on the muggy night.

Not only did the 6-year-old Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) shatter the records just set by Unicorn Hanover in the previous race, he took it a step further by breaking the all-time track record with a sizzling 1:52.0 time in the $10,500 Open Pace. It broke the old mark of 1:52.3 notched by Steelhead Hanover back in 2012.

The record times that were broken by Unicorn Hanover and 15 minutes later by Fireyourguns were the 1:53.1 time put up by Gimmebackmybullets for the all-age geldings in 2007 and the aged (5+) record of 1:53.2 scored by Lieback in 2006.

Returning to the races after a two-week layoff, Fireyourguns showed that his arsenal was fully loaded. Starting from the outside seven post, Caprio knew he was headed to the top and got there with relative ease with Fireyourguns as Cobble Beach (Kevin Cummings) put up mild resistance from the pylons.

"Before the race, (trainer) Terence McClory said you're leaving with him (Fireyourguns) tonight because he's a lot fresher right now," Caprio said.

After a rather soft opening quarter of 27.3, Caprio and Fireyourguns ($5.00) put a middle half mile of 56.0, hitting the three-quarter mark in 1:23.3. From there, it wasn't a matter of who was going to win, it was a matter of how fast.

"When I saw the time on the board at the three-quarter pole, I figured it was time to pull the plugs," Caprio said. Fireyourguns went 28.2 in the final leg to score a three-length win over Cobble Beach. Western Alumni (Drew Monti) took the show spot.

Co-owned by McClory along with Jennifer and Robert Lowe, Fireyourguns is now a perfect 3-for-3 on the season, earning $17,500 in 2015 and $237,621 lifetime.

In the opener, Unicorn Hanover ($4.50) went three-wide down the backstretch the final time and pulled away to throttled down two-length victory over Bakken in a short-lived record time of 1:52.4.

After sitting fourth past the half-mile in 56.0 posted by Little Man Cam, Unicorn Hanover (Shawn McDonough) followed the first-over cover of Burton Blue Chip and then used the three-wide move to take command by two lengths at the top of the stretch, tripping the clock in a lifetime best of 1:52.4. Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the second place position while Peenie (Kevin Cummings) finished in third.

Owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, the 8-year-old gelded Unicorn Hanover (Four-Starzz Shark-Up Front Georgia) has now won twice in eight starts in 2015, winning $17,135 and $378,942 lifetime.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race card set for 5 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes returns with the 3-year-old pacing mares battling for $105,000 spread out among three divisions.

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


May 30, 2015

Jack Flanigen, Long Shots Rule At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Friday evenings at Buffalo Raceway in the past two months have been known for long shots. You can now include driver Jack Flanigen into the Friday night mix.

After posting five wins last Friday night, Flanigen registered a four-bagger this time around as he scored aboard Dancin Thea ($4.60), Rollmein Chocolate ($11.00), Major Reform ($22.00) and Hunter Valley ($27.40).

Jim McNeight had a driving triple and rewarded his backers with some big win prices as he guided Lakers Vett ($11.60), Quater Bayama ($23.20) and Full Circle Spirit ($41.20) to surprising victories.

In the last five race cards spanning the past two weeks, Flanigen and McNeight have been the hottest drivers at Buffalo Raceway with 14 and 13 victories respectively.

The racing action continues on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race program set for 6:35 p.m.

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


May 28, 2015

Lone Survivor Fastest in NYSS At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- "I expected him to do this," driver Brett Miller after he guided Lone Survivor to the fastest time in the three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (May 27).

Lone Survivor (Art Major-Wenditone) cruised to an easy six-length victory in 1:53.4 in taking his $39,900 leg.

In other Sire Stakes activity, K-Rock was nearly as impressive after notching a 3-1/4 win in 1:54.0 while J Eagle Feather found the winner's circle for the first time in his brief four-race career by covering the mile in 1:56.0.

Miller took the blame for Lone Survivor's fifth place finish last week in Sire Stakes competition at Tioga Downs and was more than ready for redemption. "I drove this horse so bad last week," Miller said. "He's a nice colt and I knew he was ready tonight."

Sitting fourth headed down the backstretch, Miller went three-wide and paced away from the field. Quickly opening up a five-length edge at the top of the stretch, Lone Survivor ($5.40) finished with a six length advantage over runner up Artistic Major (Pat Lachance) and Americanprimetime (Rick Dane Jr.) at the wire.

"I wasn't worried at all going up the backstretch," Miller said about the final half-mile. "I was feeling good about him. I just let him go and he did his thing," added Miller about Lone Survivor's big backside move.

Trained by Sam De Pinto, it was the first victory in three seasonal starts for Lone Survivor, now a winner of $21,532 this year and $86,491 lifetime.

K-Rock had to tussle with We Think Alike in the opening panel scrum and that proved to be the right move. Posting fractions of 27.0, 56.1 and 1:24.2, K-Rock never looked back and disposed of the remaining six entrants easily by 3-1/4 lengths.

"I didn't want to sit third and get caught in traffic," winning driver Matt Kakaley said of the decision to send K-Rock to the top.

Enjoying a four-length advantage at the top of the lane, Kakaley admitted that K-Rock was throttled down in the drive for the wire. "He was kind of spent but still raced good. I think a 1:24.2 mark to the three-quarter pole is a pretty good time for this track."

Southwind Masimo showed some good closing speed to take the place position while Masterson (Jim Morrill Jr.) rallied for the show spot.

K-Rock (Rock N Roll Hanover-Sunduel A) is a 3-year-old gelding that is owned by Eugene Kurzrok and trained by Ron Burke. It was his second win in four starts in 2015 and pushed his seasonal winnings to $38,862 and $74,688 lifetime.

J Eagle Feather went gate-to-wire and held on to beat the highly-regarded Sicily by a neck in 1:56.0. A final sizzling quarter-mile of 26.4 secured the win for J Eagle Feather.

Using some soft splits of 29.3, 59.2 and 1:29.2, Morrill Jr. said in the winner's circle, "We got away with some cheap fractions. He's never cut the mile before and still is very green. The only time I asked of him was in the last quarter mile and he responded."

Sicily (Kakaley) took the hard-luck second place position while Maurice (Lachance) was third.

Trained by Linda Toscano and owned by Kj Stables LLC, J Eagle Feather (Bettor's Delight-Town Feather) picked up a nice check for $19,600 his first place effort. He has been in the money three times in four career appearances.

In the $15,000 Excelsior 'A' Series, Nobettorplacetobe tripped the timer in a solid 1:54.3 time to register the $7.20 decision for driver John Cummings Jr. In the other leg, Coaster (Kakaley) posted a popular $2.20 score in 1:58.1.

Tonite We Rock covered the mile in 1:57.4 for driver Jack Flanigen to take the $6,800 Excelsior 'B' Series event.

Kakaley and Morrill Jr. each finished the evening with driving triples.

Racing continues on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race program scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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


May 26, 2015

NY Sire Stakes Invades Buffalo Raceway Wednesday Night

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Memorial Day is known as the unofficial start of summer. Another sure sign of summer is the arrival of the New York Sire Stakes at Buffalo Raceway.

Wednesday night, the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers invade Buffalo Raceway to begin the first of eight different divisions of the New York Sire Stakes that will visit the half-mile oval at the Erie County Fairgrounds now through the close of the meet on Sunday, July 26.

There are three divisions of the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace Wednesday that will be worth $105,000 total. The three legs has attracted big-name drivers along with some top horses which are eligible for North America Cup and/or Meadowlands Pace.

They'll be gunning for the track records as well as a nice payday. The 3-year-old gelding pace record is 1:53.4 set by Murder He Wrote in 2014 while the 3-year-old colt mark is 1:52.3 established by Steelhead Hanover in 2012. That clocking is also the all-aged pacing track standard.

The opening race on the 13-card will be the first Sire Stakes test and will feature Ultimate G, a third place finisher at Tioga Downs in his last attempt. In the money in all four starts this season, Jim Morrill Jr. will guide Ultimate G as the 2-1 choice, the only entrant in the field of seven with a victory in 2015.

Americanprimetime is Meadowlands Pace eligible and will score from the five post for driver Rick Dane Jr. Americanprime (American Ideal-Prime Xample A) broke stride in his last outing in the Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs and lost any chance.

The back half of the early daily double will also feature the boys. K-Rock is the early choice at 8-5 with Matt Kakaley scheduled to drive. K-Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sunduel A) has a win and two second place finishes in his three appearances thus far this season. On May 17 in Sire Stakes competition at Tioga, K-Rock scorched a 1:23 time to the three-quarter marker but stalled out and finished in second just a half-length behind National Seelster.

Berkley is the top threat in the race for driver Mark MacDonald. A winner of $118,470 last season, Berkley (Art Major-Monterey) has been saddled with bad posts in his last two starts but should be a factor after drawing better this time. He'll start out of the four spot.

The last Sire Stakes contest, set as the fourth race, will feature Sicily (Art Major-Capri Hanover) who won the Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs on May17 in 1:51.1. Sicily, the 8-5 morning line favorite, will be driven by Matt Kakaley. A winner of over $114,000 in his young career, the Ron Burke trained Sicily could be using this race as a tune up for the prestigious North America Cup starting at June 13 at Mohawk Raceway along with the Meadowlands Pace.

The main challenger in the mile race could come from If You Want Fire who is also eligible for the Meadowlands Pace. With over $77,000 in the bank thus far in his lifetime, If You Want Fire (Bettor's Delight-Dream Of Treasure), will start from the six post for Brett Miller, who will be in the sulky for trainer Casie Coleman.

There will also be two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior 'A' Series for the 3-year-old colt and geldings and a $6,800 'B' Series race.

There are 13 races on tap with post time set for 5 p.m.

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


May 24, 2015

Western Alumni Pulls Stunner In Open Pace At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Western Alumni got a perfect pocket-sitting trip from driver Jim McNeight and notched a surprising $46.40 victory in 1:54.2 over a fast track in the $10,500 Open pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (May 23).

With the field shortened to five due to the scratch of Jokerman, Western Alumni tried to take the top from outside. The heavily-favored and rail-riding Cobble Beach, however, was ready and willing to hand out some parking tickets.

Western Alumni was throttled down and managed to find a seat in the garden spot just before the quarter-pole as Cobble Beach (Kevin Cummings) was in charge of the fractions with times of 28.1, 57.0 and 1:26.0.

With a final panel to go, Western Alumni tipped from the outside and managed to wear down second place finisher Cobble Beach by a length in 1:54.2. Rockstar Temper (Drew Monti) took the show spot.

Owned by North Creek Racing LLC and trained by Jerry Nugent Jr., Western Alumni (Western Hanover-Countryview Miss) now has three victories in 2015. It moved the 7-year-old gelding's earnings to $24,226 this year and $233,714 lifetime.

In the $9,500 Open II pace, Lucky Nadotremblay ($4.10) found the front end to his liking as he went gate-to-wire in 1:54.3.

Scoring from the rail, Lucky Nadotremblay (Jack Flanigen) had no issues getting the lead and posted times of 28.3, 58.0 and 1:26.3. There were a line of pacers ready for the stretch drive but Lucky Nadotremblay had an extra gear and held back the remaining field of four at bay.

Unicorn Hanover (Shawn McDonough) managed to get up for the place spot a`-`/4 lengths back with Peenie (Shawn Gray) in third.

Co-owned by Paul and Ronald Louis Viele, Lucky Nadotremblay (Blissfull Hall-Periella Hanover) has now four wins on the campaign and $31,194 in the bank. The 5-year-old horse also has made $93,583 in his career.

Racing resumes on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.

The New York Sire Stakes makes its first appearance of the season on Wenesday with the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers set to square off in three divisions worth $39,000 each. There will also be several Excelsior Series events on tap as well in both the 'A' and 'B' classifications.

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


May 23, 2015

Jack Flanigen, Monti Family Rule Friday At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Driver Jack Flanigen steamrolled his way to five victories while it was 'family night' for the Monti crew in sharing top honors at Buffalo Raceway Friday evening (May 22).

Flanigen posted wins aboard Dedalos ($5.40), Secluded Island ($5.90), Farmersixfournine ($4.80), Classic Camelot ($22.00) and Cracker Stoney ($14.80).

Driver Drew Monti picked up three victories while father Darrin had a pair of training wins on the 13-race program.

The Monti stable took the opener as Ooga Booga (co-owned by grandfather Carl Monti and Darrin) rolled to a popular $2.60 decision while later in the evening they saw Im The Cash Man (owned by Carl) go gate-to-wire for a paltry $2.60 return.

Drew Monti capped the 'hat-trick' with Sam Can who found the winner's circle for a $14.00 payoff.

Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings had three wins, all of which were for trainer Kirk Desmond.

Racing continues on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race card slated for 6:35 p.m.

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


May 17, 2015

Rockstar Temper, Thisoneandonemore Take Buffalo Features

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Driver Drew Monti let Rockstar Temper and Thisoneandonemore watch their competition do the dirty work but they each reaped the benefits in the end to highlight the featured events at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (May 16th).

Rockstar Temper took the $10,500 Open Pace with a 3/4-length win over Jokerman in a seasonal best 1:54.4 while in the $9,500 Open II Pace, Thisoneandonemore got up in the shadow of the wire to notch the victory in 1:55.2.

The victories by Rockstar Temper and Thisoneandonemore allowed Monti to sweep the early daily double, which returned $22.60. Monti finished the night with four trips to the winner's circle.

In the opener, Jokerman (Jack Flanigen) set sail from the rail and posted fractions of 29.2, 58.0 and 1:27.0. Rockstar Temper ($5.20) sat the pocket and tipped out to collar the pace-setting Jokerman. Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) was along for third.

It was the third win in 12 starts this season for Rockstar Temper (Rocknroll Hanover-Dragon Temper). The 7-year-old is owned by James Carll Caradon and trained by Darrin Monti. The gelding has earned $32,600 this year and $321,913 lifetime.

It was almost an instant replay of the first race in the back half of the early double as Thisoneandonemore ($11.80) sat in the garden spot behind the front-stepping Lucky Nadotremblay Shawn McDonough). This time, instead of tipping to the outside, Monti used the passing lane with Thisoneandonemore to win by a neck.

Lucky Nadotrembley was a 'tough luck' second while Charliesandjimmys (Kevin Cummings) rallied for third place.

Thisoneandonemore is owned by David Miller and is conditioned by Ryan Shafer. The 6-year-old gelding, fresh off two wins and a second at Northfield, has now won four times in 2015 tries, earning $21,013.

McNeight, Cummings, Shawn Gray and Ron Beback Jr. all had driving doubles on the program.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night with a 13-race card set for 5 p.m. at Buffalo Raceway.

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


May 16, 2015

Cummings, Monti Share Buffalo Raceway Spotlight

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kevin Cummings domination at Buffalo Raceway continued on Friday night as he guided home another three winners but it was the 20-year-old Drew Monti who sprung the huge upsets to share the spotlight.

Monti posted a trio of stunning upset wins as he steered McArdle Direct ($160.50), Hurtin Albertan ($13.00) and Little Myra ($17.40) to surprise decisions. Monti now sits in third place in the driver's race with 82 trips to the winner's circle this season.

Trainer/driver Denny Bucceri lit up the tote board in the 10th race as he drove Kely Jo Wiz to an $84.00 victory. Ray Fisher Jr. also was a part of the wild night at the Hamburg half-mile oval as he notched a $41.40 victory on Carson City Road.

The average win price at Buffalo Raceway Friday night was a whopping $31.20 with the last four races averaging $69.20.

Meanwhile, Cummings, who had a career year in 2014 with 334 victories and over $1.55 million in earnings on the Western New York circuit, continues to be on track to smash his all-time marks.

Last year on this date, the 44-year-old had 91 wins and over $442,000 in earnings. Currently, Cummings has eye-popping numbers with 147 victories through 49 race dates, good for 11th nationally, and over $652,000 in purses.

The most wins in a season at Buffalo Raceway is 214 set back in 2006 by Jim Morrill Jr. With 43 racing days left in the 2015 campaign, Cummings is on pace to crush that mark.

Besides easily sitting atop the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings, Cummings is also the leader nationally in UDR with a mark of .404 for those with over 500 starts.

Cummings scored Friday night aboard Terracina AS ($7.70), Always An Optimist ($3.10) and Spring Terror ($2.40).

Jim McNeight also had a driving double.

Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 12-race program slated for 6:35 p.m.

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


May 14, 2015

Justgottogetthere, Ugly Betty Take Buffalo Raceway Co-Features

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It wasn't easy but Justgottogetthere managed to narrowly 'get to' the finish line before anyone else and take the $9,500 conditioned trot at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (May 13th) in 1:59.1 over the fast track.

In the co-featured $9,500 fillies and mares conditioned pace, Ugly Betty continued to dominate the division with another impressive victory. This week, she cruised to a 3-1/4 length score over A Cameo In Life in 1:56.3.

The opener saw Justgottogetthere and driver Jim McNeight use their typical tactics, racing to the top and set the fractions. After posting panels of 29.2, 1:00.0 and 1:29.4, the duo was prepared to take on challengers in the final quarter mile.

The pocket-sitting Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) gobbled up ground down the passing lane but finished in second place just a head behind the leg-weary but game Justgottogetthere ($5.10). Northern Bullet (Jack Flanigen) had a great chance as well but drifted out badly in the stretch and settled for third.

It was the sixth victory in 11 appearances this season for Justgottogetthere (Valley Victor-Mara's Theme), who has missed the board just once in 2015. The 6-year-old gelding is co-owned by Antonietta Landi and the North Creek Racing Stable LLC. The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $35,387 and $173,869 lifetime.

Ugly Betty (David McNeight III) proved to be the best once again in the co-featured pace for the ladies. She was assigned the outside seven post, was parked the first quarter mile and that made no difference. Once driver Kevin Cummings got Ugly Betty to the lead, it was a battle for second place.

After being given a parking ticket by A Cameo In Life (Kevin Cummings) to the quarter marker, Ugly Betty ($6.20) cleared and registered times of 28.4, 58.0 and 1:27.3. She enjoyed a three-length edge at the top of the stretch and never looked back.

A Cameo In Life managed to take the place position while V'La Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) finished third. It was the first pari-mutuel start for Tomaszewski.

Owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone, Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage) has won seven times in 15 tries in 2015. The 7-year-old mare has now won $39,439 this season and $210,912 in her career. Rex Clabaugh handled the training duties.

The racing will resume on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program scheduled for 6:35 p.m.


May 10, 2015

Jettison Romps To Niatross Invitational Win At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jettison was sent off as the heavy 1-9 favorite in the $25,000 Niatross Invitational Pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (May 9) and the 6-year-gelding didn't disappoint on that promise in delivering a 1-1/2 length decision in 1:56.1 over the fast track.

Using a big closing kick to take the Niatross Knockout Claiming 'B' Series title back on April 25th, Jettison ($2.30) powered his way past Goddess's Justin (Shawn Gray) and Secluded Island (Jack Flanigen) in the stretch to take the Invitational title.

"He was loaded and I was confident coming off the (final) turn that no one was going to catch him," winning driver Kevin Cummings said of Jettison. "I wasn't worried at all about (second place finisher) Goddess's Justin on the inside."

Secluded Island set the tempo with splits of 29.0, 58.0 and 1:27.2 but felt the pressure on the outside at the three-quarter pole. Jettison was on rim, going eyeball to eyeball with the pace-setter and then easily pulled away, leaving eventual runner up Goddess's Justin and Secluded Island in his wake.

Co-owned by Curtis Edholm and the Ultra Racing Stable, Jettison (Jereme's Jet-Piazzacato) has notched six victories in 15 starts in 2015, earning $40,560. Darren Taneyhill handled the training duties.

Youwillwishyouhad continues to add to his impressive resume after going gate-to-wire in the co-featured $9,500 conditioned pace in 1:54.4, tying his seasonal mark. It was his second straight front-running win.

With the victory, Youwillwishyouhad ($6.30) has now won seven times in 11 appearances this season. Since the beginning of 2014, the 4-year-old gelding has had 39 starts, winning 18 times and finishing out of the money just seven times.

Assigned the seven post, Cummings was intent on getting to the lead with Youwillwishyouhad and got there with mild resistance from Jokerman (Jim McNeight).

Setting the fractions of 28.3, 58.0 and 1:26.3, Youwillwishyouhad registered a blistering 28.1 final panel which kept the remaining six competitors a safe distance behind at the wire. Bahama Bay (David McNeight III) finished in second a non-threatening 1-1/2 lengths behind while Jokerman took the show spot.

Owned by Leonard Segall and trained by James Clouser Jr., Youwillwishyouhad (American Ideal-Shark Tail) has earned $35,690 this year and $104,857 in his career.

Racing will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night with a 12-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


May 9, 2015

Cummings Wins Four, Morrill Jr Triples At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kevin Cummings registered four wins and Jim Morrill Jr. posted a driving triple to take the spotlight during the 12-race program at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (May 8).

Cummings, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, steered Farmerssixfournine ($17.00), Whitesand Noble ($10.60), Bet On Me Hanover ($4.00) and Sleep Talker ($5.00) to victories. Cummings now had 137 wins on the season and leads runner up Shawn Gray by 58 victories. The margin is 137-79.

Morrill Jr. swept the chalky early daily double ($8.10) aboard Historian ($5.00) and The Bronx Bumper ($3.20) then later scored with OK Braveheart ($4.10).

Something has to give on Saturday night when the $25,000 Niatross Series Invitational pace goes off in the ninth race at Buffalo Raceway.

After literally battling in two series over the past three months, the top four qualifiers from each leg return for bragging rights and the lion's share of the $25,000 pot. Dedalos and Jettison, winner's of the 'A' and 'B' Series respectively, hope to be wearing the overall crown when the dust settles. But there are several others lurking who are more than capable of spoiling the dreams of the two division winners.

Dedalos, who won the 'A' Series back on March 7th in 1:57.3, had three wins and a second place finish in the 'B' Series. Unfortunately for her, the lone setback came in the finals where Jettison rallied to take the length victory in 1:56.0.

It won't be easy for Dedalos, however, as the 11-year-old gelding drew the eight post with Jim McNeight in the bike. They are 9-2 on the morning line. The series has been a profitable one thus far for Dedlaos as he's made $33,974 thanks to five wins in 13 attempts.

Jettison and coupled entry-mate Delightful Caitlin (2-2A) are the 5-2 choice on the morning line thanks to the giant comeback win in the 'B' Series finals on April 25th. Sitting seventh at the half, Jettison began to roll three-wide at the three-quarter marker and put up a 28.4 final panel to collar Dedalos.

Owned by Curtis Edholm and the Ultra Racing Stable, Jettison is trained by Darren Taneyhill. Jettison has five victories on the season and $28,310 in the bank.

While Jettison and Dedalos look for another showdown, there are several others that could prove to be flies in the ointment.

Secluded Island is the second choice at 3-1 and drew the rail with driver Jack Flanigen in the sulky. The 11-year-old gelding has four wins and a pair of second place finishes in his last seven starts and has produced over $640,000 in lifetime earnings. Secluded Island set the pace in the 'B' finals on April 25th but flamed out to finish fourth.

Full Circle Spirit had a pair of wins in the 'B' series qualifying rounds but must overcome the seven post with driver Shawn McDonough. He is part of a coupled entry (1-1A) along with the always dangerous It Was An Honor.

Here's the field from inside post outward: Secluded Island (Flanigen), Goddess's Justin (Shawn Gray), It Was An Honor (David McNeight III), Jettison (Kevin Cummings), Delightful Caitlin (Ron Beback Jr.), KC Colt (Drew Monti), Full Circle Spirit (McDonough) and Dedalos (McNeight).

The Niatross Series Invitational tops the great card on tap Saturday night with 12 races going to the post at 6:35 p.m.The $9,500 conditioned pace opens the program with Youwillwishyouhad the early 3-1 choice from the seven post.

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


May 7, 2015

Ugly Betty Returns To Winning Ways At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After a two race drought, Ugly Betty returned to her winning ways by posting an easy 3-1/2 length victory over V'La Faire in the $9,500 conditioned pace for the fillies and mares at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (May 6).

Battling the boys one week and being straddled with a bad post in her next start, Ugly Betty was primed for a big effort against the five other mares. She didn't disappoint.

Sitting sixth and last, Ugly Betty (David McNeight III) got into gear early and was pressing as the field reached the half in 58.2. From there, Ugly Betty ($4.40) remained on the outside and slowly pulled away from the pack, notching a 1:56.0 final time over the fast track. V'La Faire (Drew Monti) placed second while A Cameo In Life (Kevin Cummings) took third.

Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage) is owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone. It was also the first career training victory for Rex Clabaugh.The 7-year-old mare has six wins in 14 appearances this season, winning $33,189 and $207,662 lifetime.

In the $7,900 Open II pace for the ladies, Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight) managed to grind out a neck victory over the pace-setting Kisses N Kicks (McNeight III) in 1:56.3.

After watching Kisses N Kicks put up fractions of 29.0, 59.0 and 1:28.3 from third place, Infrontigo Hanover ($8.70) was the first to make a move in the field of six, tipping out at the three-quarter marker. She eventually wore down Kisses N Kicks midway down the lane to post the victory. Real Joy (Kevin Cummings) took the show position.

Owned by the Summer Wind Stable of New York and trainer Bob Gruber III, it was the second straight victory for Infrontigo Hanover (Western Hanover-Ifyoucouldcwhati C). It moved the 7-year-old mare's bankroll to $19,915 in 2015 and $163,536 lifetime.

Initial Strike got his 'initial' win for his new owners Mike Ohol Jr. and Steven Gross after posting a hard fought half-length victory over Studio City in the $7,900 Open III trot in 2:00.1. It was also the fifth consecutive score for Initial Strike.

Hunter Valley, Leave York Mark and Fiorentina all tussled to the opening panel in a quick 28.4. The trio, however, were nowhere to be found in the end as the race set up perfectly for the closers.

Initial Strike ($7.30) was in the perfect spot in the drive for the wire. Driver Drew Monti went three-wide around the final turn with Initial Strike and had plenty of horse power to smartly trot away for the decision. Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) finished in second and September Hall (Shawn McDonough) took the show spot.

Trained by Courtney Ohol, the 10-year-old Initial Strike (Striking Sahbra-Donaver) now has registered five victories in 14 starts this season, earning $19,540 and $247,975 in his career.

McNeight III finished the evening with a driving triple.

A 12-race card is scheduled for Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a start time of 6:35 p.m.

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


May 3, 2015

Fireyourguns Makes 1st Start of 2015 A Winning One

By Michael Carter, for Buffalo Raceway

Hamburg, NY – On a night where the track was lightning fast all night there were some very big winners on the program.

Fireyourguns (American Ideal-Villa Hanover) returned to pari-mutual action this week after a valiant qualifying effort last week with Michael Caprio driving. When the gates swung open tonight Fireyourguns went right to the lead and never looked back. At the ½ Bahama Bay (Drew Monti) tried to make his presence felt and was joined by Mach Stockn Barrel (Kevin Cummings) on the outside. When they reached the back stretch it was obvious that the field was too tough for Mach Stockn Barrel never advanced.

Fireyourguns set some wicked fractions early in the race and continued that strong effort when they passed ¾ in 1:25 3/5. Turning for home it looked like Lucky Nadotremblay might pull off the shocker from the perfect pocket ride, but Fireyourguns dropped and hit another gear stopping the clock in 1:53 3/5 just missing the track record by 1/5 of a second. Bahama Bay closed strongly to finish a game 3rd.

Fireyourguns is trained by Terrance McClory and owned by Terence P McClory and Jennifer and Robert Lowe.

In the co-featured Open II pace Youwillwishyouhad (Kevin Cummings) continued his dominance after being parked the mile last week and finishing 5th. He left and cleared before the ¼ and had no issue getting to the top spot. At the ½ Salazar made his move and was followed by Bakken who never advanced. Going up the back stretch Unicorn Hanover challenged, but stalled and tried to come back on in the stretch to no avail.

Youwillwishyouhad is trained by James Clouser Jr. and owned by Leonard Segall of Clearwater, FL.

Racing resumes on Wednesday with a first post of 5:00 PM featuring $3.00 food specials at the Clubhouse Sports Bar.


May 2, 2015

Kevin Cummings Wins 5 At Buffalo

By Michael Carter, for Buffalo Raceway

On the eve of the Kentucky Derby, driver Kevin Cummings showed he was up for any challenge by winning 5 races on the Friday night program.

Kevin started the night off with a very nice victory in the opener with the thirteen year old Haste. He took back early in the mile to set the pocket and then came closing home late to win in 2:00 1/5. Kevin’s biggest winner of the night was aboard Terracina As (Allstar Hall-Madeleine It). She made her move going towards the quarter and got caught outside going up the backstretch the last time. When turning for home she looked like a beaten race horse, but was able to power past R A’s Shakenbake (Ron Beback Jr.) late to win by a length. Kevin also won with Instant Thrill ($7.30), Dry Ice ($2.90), and Sir Altb Z Tam ($2.50).

Saturday nights card at Buffalo Raceway is very strong opens up with the Horses & Geldings Open which features the return of Fireyourguns. Fireyourguns only raced in a couple of starts in 2014 at Buffalo, but was dominating in each performance. Fireyourguns qualified effortlessly last week under a hand drive by driver Michael Caprio. He faces a tough group of other Open horses including Mach Stockn Barrel who has been very consistent as of late and is returning to Buffalo after a tough trip at Mohawk.

The co-featured pacing event of the night is the Open II pace where Youwillwishyouhad returns trying to continue his dominance. He had a very good start to the season and then sort of tailed off for a couple of weeks after getting sick. Trainer James Clouser Jr. brings this horse in off a race where he was parked the majority of the mile. Also dropping in against him this week is Unicorn Hanover who is having a very slow start to 2015 and looks to rebound from the inside post.

Join Buffalo Raceway for Western New York’s biggest Kentucky Party beginning at 10 AM on Saturday. Live racing at the Hamburg-Oval on Saturday is at 6:35 PM.


April 30, 2015

A Cameo In Life Makes It 3 Straight In The Co-Featured Pace

By Michael Carter, for Buffalo Raceway

Hamburg, NY – Last week it was all about girl power in the featured trot, this week the boys showed Serendipitous how it was done.

Serendipitous (Kevin Cummings) broke at the start of the $8,500 co-featured trot allowing others to take a stab at the big prize. After she broke stride Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) had to battle Vagra (Doug Ackley) early on and was used very hard to get to the lead. When they went past the ¼ McNeight finally got Justgottogetthere and set some pretty easy fractions going to the ¼ in 29 1/5.

When no one decided to move going up the back stretch Northern Bullet (Shawn Gray) decided he had enough of the slow pace and moved out first over. Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) followed with cover and both attempted to take the lead from Justgottogetthere who would give it up. Turning for home though Shawn Gray stepped into over-drive and Northern Bullet took off winning by a length over Justgottogetthere who had to settle for 2nd and a hard closing Studio City was 3rd. They completed the mile in 1:58 2/5.

The victory gives Northern Bullet his 3rd win of the year for owner Tessa Roland of Grinnell, IA and trainer J D Perrin.

In the featured pacing event of the night A Cameo In Life (Kevin Cummings) managed to pull off a mild upset.

Ugly Betty returned to take on the mares this week and her normal early speed just was not there. A Cameo In Life went right to the lead early on, but Fiftyonefifty (Jack Flanigen) wouldn't just let that happen and took the lead past the ¼. When they moved past the ½ mile marker Kevin Cummings and A Cameo In Life had re taken the lead and tried to slow them down going to the ½ in 58 2/5. Ugly Betty made her move going into the turn the final turn, and looked strong, but flattened out in the stretch. A Cameo In Life had to watch out for hard closing Dontch Remember (Shawn McDonough) and Eyemajet (Shawn Gray), but held on just long enough to secure the victory in 1:57 3/5.

A Cameo In Life has now won 7 of 14 starts in 2015. He is owned by Clark Siminski of Buffalo New York and trained by Kirk Desmond.

Live racing returns to the Hamburg-Oval on Friday night with a first post of 6:35 PM. Buffalo Raceway on the fairgrounds in Hamburg races on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights.


April 26, 2015

Jettison Wins The War In Niatross Final At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jettison may have lost the battles but he ended up winning the war.

After losing narrowly to Dedalos twice in the past three weeks, Jettison turned the tables when it counted the most and captured the $24,500 final of the Niatross Knockout Claiming 'B' Series at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (April 25).

It was the big closing kick that sent Jettison to the victory. After drawing the seven post, Jettison sat contently seventh to the half mile marker as Secluded Island set scorching fractions of 27.4 and 56.4 to the midway point.

Following live cover to the three-quarter pole, driver John Cummings Jr. tipped Jettison ($6.00) three-wide and fanned four out at the top of the stretch. Using a 28.4 final panel,Jettison roared past Dedalos (Shawn Gray) to register the length victory in a seasonal best time of 1:56.0 while K C Colt (Jim McNeight) scooted up the passing lane for third.

"We were in good position down the backstretch the second time," Cummings Jr. said about the final half mile of action. "We had a ton of momentum on the outside. I was worried about the horse in the passing lane (K C Colt)," he added.

It won't be the last time Jettison and Dedalos, the Niatross Claiming Series 'A' Series winner, square off. The pair are both qualified for the $25,000 Invitational on Saturday May 9th. Also moving on from the 'B' Series will be K C Colt and Secluded Island. A wild card will also be selected since Dedalos earned two spots in the Invitational.

Owned by Curtis Edholm and the Ultra Racing Stable, Jettison (Jereme's Jet-Pizzacato), a 6-year-old gelding, was trained by Darren Taneyhill. It was the fifth victory in 14 starts in 2015 for Jettison and moved his earnings to $28,310 and $155,339 lifetime.

In the $10,000 Niatross consolation event, trainer Alex Giuliani watched his tandem of Looks R Deceiving and Carson City Road finish first and second respectively. Looks R Deceiving (Jack Flanigen) nipped stablemate Carson City Road by a neck in 1:57.0 while Wynsum Magic (McNeight) took the show position.

In the $9,500 conditioned pace, Jokerman ($7.90) got the lead and held on from there for a half-length triumph over the heavily favored Cobble Beach in 1:55.0.

Shawn Gray had a driving triple on the program while Kevin Cummings, Cummings Jr., Drew Monti and Shawn McDonough all doubled.

The racing action continues on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race set to go to the post at 5 p.m.

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


April 25, 2015

Monti Triples, Cummings, Gray Double At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The top three in the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings showed the way on Friday night (April 24) as the trio combined for seven victories on the 12-race card.

Drew Monti, who sits in third place in the rankings, had a triple and moved his seasonal total to 71. Last season, he posted 86 victories the entire season at Buffalo Raceway.

Leading driver Kevin Cummings had a double and now has 121 wins in 2015. Shawn Gray, who sits in second place with 72 trips to the winner's circle, also had a double.

It was bombs away in the ninth race at Shawn McDonough drove Girls Luv Diamonds to a $72.00 victory.

Looking ahead to Saturday's card, sometimes it's all about timing and luck. For Eim Racing and trainer Bradley Jackson, it was perfect timing and the luck of the draw.

They won 'the shake' from multiple claims put in on Dedalos in last week's semi-finals of the Niatross Claiming Knockout 'B' Series for $7,000 and are now in line for a couple of big paydays if things work out right starting Saturrday.

Dedalos, who drew the three post, is the 3-1 choice on the morning line in the Niatross $24,500 championship which highlights the program at Buffalo Raceway.

After winning the Niatross Knockout Claiming 'A' Series back on March 7th, Dedalos automatically earned a spot in the $25,000 Invitational set for Saturday, May 9th along with Goddess's Justin, It Was An Honor and Delightful Caitlin.

But with a spot already secured in the Invitational, Dedalos and his new owners would love nothing better than winning both ends. Riding a three-race win streak in the series, Dedalos posted the fastest time in the semi-finals last week with a 1:57.1. But don't expect things to be easy.

Jettison starts from the seven post. He's been claimed in three consecutive weeks in the series and ends up in the finale for co-owners Curtis Edholm and the Ultra Racing Stable and trainer Darren Taneyhill. Jettison, pegged at 4-1 in the morning line, has had two wins and a pair of second place finishes in his last four starts. Unfortunately, his losses have come to Dedalos.

Secluded Island is a dangerous 5-1 and scores out of the six spot. He cruised to a two-length win in the other semi-race last week in 1:58.0 and has four victories in his last five starts.

The field from the inside out include Full Circle Spirit (Ron Beback Jr.), Nighthawk Hall (Kevin Cummings), Dedalos (Shawn Gray), K C Colt (Jim McNeight), Tymal Torch (David McNeight III), Secluded Island (Jack Flanigen), Jettison (John Cummings Jr.) and Feets Of Magic (Drew Monti).

The top four finishers, as in the 'A' series, will advance to the $25,000 Invitational on May 9th.

The $10,000 consolation race of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series will go as the sixth race while the $9,500 conditioned pace is set for the second.

Post time for the solid 12-race card is 6:35 p.m.

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


April 23, 2015

Serendipitious Sets New Buffalo Raceway Trotting Standard

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Serendipitious proved she was better than the boys in the $7,900 conditioned/optional claiming trot at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (April 22) and made sure her male counterparts won't soon forget it. Serendipitious, not only destroyed the field of geldings by five lengths, she went the mile in track record time of 1:58.1, the fastest ever by a trotting mare at the Hamburg half-mile oval.

The previous all-aged mark for mares was 1:58.2 set by Escrow Blue Chip in 2012. The 1:58.1 time by Serendipitious also established a new standard for 4-year-old trotting mares at Buffalo Raceway. The old time for that level was 1:58.4 held by Hat (2011), Clydabell (2012) and Sabo (2012).

Driver Kevin Cummings was a hit with the ladies in the early going as he sent Serendipitious to the record-setting mile. A Cameo In Life ($8.70) then made a clean sweep for Cummings in the early daily double by rolling to a 1-3/4 length decision in 1:58 in the co-featured $8,500 Open II for the distaff pacers.

Serendipitious ($2.90) started off the night impressively in scoring a five-length decision, earning her third win in four tries in 2015. The track was fast but a raw wind, temperatures in the low 40s and occasional rain and snow showers made the record even more remarkable.

Serendipitious had little trouble going gate-to-wire. Scoring from the four post, Cummings went right to the top with the winner, facing no resistance. Posting fractions of 29.0, 49.0 and 1:29.0, the outer flow started to develop just before the three-quarter marker. That's when Serendipitious got her cue to put it into high gear. She had no issues in the stretch, going 29.1 in the final panel. September Hall (Shawn McDonough) and Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) were left to battle it out for the minor spoils and finished in second and third respectively.

Owned by Guy Polillo and trained by John Mungillo, Serendipitious (Majestic Son-Royal B G) has now earned $11,948 this season and $71,347 in her young career.

In the co-featured second race, A Cameo In Life completed the 4-2 Cummings' daily double combination that returned $14.00. Sitting third down the back stretch the final time, A Cameo In Life tipped to the outside, brushing easily to the lead and never looked back from there.

Eyemajet (Shawn Gray) finished in second while Wicked Elphaba (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.

Owned by Clark Siminski and trained by Kirk Desmond, A Cameo In Life (Lease On Life-Allamerican Cameo) has now put $20,938 in the bank this year and $80,028 lifetime. It was the fifth win in 13 attempts for the 6-year-old A Cameo In Life.

Cummings and Gray finished with three victories apiece while Jack Flanigen doubled.

Racing will continue on Friday night with a 12-race card set for 6:35 p.m.

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


April 19, 2015

Mach Stockn Barrel Post Career Best In Buffalo Raceway Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- No respect.

That's about the best way to summarize Mach Stockn Barrel at Buffalo Raceway as for the fifth time in six starts, the 4-year-old gelding failed to go off as the post time favorite despite an impressive resume.

But for the fifth time in those six starts, Mach Stockn Barrel ($7.00) found his way to the winner's circle after registering a hard-charging length win in a career-best 1:55.2 in the featured $9,500 conditioned pace on Saturday night (April 18).

With eight victories now in 12 starts in 2015, Mach Stockn Barrel drew the seven post and watched Jokerman post some wicked fractions of 27.4, 56.1 and 1:25.4,. It proved to be a perfect set up.

Mach Stockn Barrel, sitting last at the half in the field of seven, started making steady headway up the backstretch. Now gobbling up real estate on the outside past the three-quarter pole, Mach Stockn Barrel was locked and loaded. He used a powerful drive to the wire and blew past the stalling Jokerman (Jack Flanigen). Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn Gray) rallied and finished in second while Jokerman held on for third.

Owned by Leonard Segall and trained by James Clouser Jr., Mach Stockn Barrel (Mach Three-Timeless Classic) has now earned $36,856 in 2015.

The semi-finals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming 'B' Series, Dedalos ($6.30) and Secluded Island ($5.70) each posted wins.

Dedalos (Jim McNeight), who won the 'A' division back in March, had the fast time of the two divisions with a 1:57.1 clocking, nipping Jettison (Cummings Jr.) by a nose. Tymal Torch (Gray) finished in third and will advance to next week's $24,500 (estimated) final along with Full Circle Spirit (Drew Monti) who took fourth.

Secluded Island, in the meantime, had a little bit easier time after romping to a two length decision over Feets Of Magic (Monti). Also moving on to the finals are third place finisher Nighthawk Hall (Kevin Cummings) and K C Colt (Ron Beback Jr.) who rolled into fourth position.

A $10,000 consolation race will also be held next Saturday for those not making the championship event.

Racing will continue on Wednesday 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


April 18, 2015

Drew Monti Posts Five-Bagger At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG,N.Y. --- Driver Drew Monti tied a career-high in his young career for wins on a race program as he posted five to steal the spotlight at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (April 17)

The 20-year-old Monti, who sits in third place in the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings, has now 65 wins on the year.

Monti produced victories aboard Ooga Booga ($6.20), Initial Strike ($5.80), PC Troubadour ($4.90), Dalton Hanover ($5.10) and Ramblin Rick ($3.40).

Shawn Gray, who is in second place in the standings, had a driving double. Gray trails leader Kevin Cummings 113-67 in the rankings.

The semi-finals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming 'B' Series will be held Saturday night and will go off in the seventh and ninth races. Both divisions have a $7,000 purse with all carrying a claiming tag of $7,000 (mares $8,000). The top four finishers in each leg will return on Saturday, April 25th for the estimated $25,000 finale.

The first division looks on paper to be the toughest with three winners from last week's quarterfinals to square off. Dedalos, who captured the Niatross 'A' Series in early March, is one of those winners after posting a 1:58.1 time. He'll start from the four post with Jim McNeight in the sulky and is listed as the 4-1 third choice.

Jettison is the 5-2 morning line pick after registering a 1:57.2 win. John Cummings Jr. will take the reins and will score from the three hole. Full Circle Spirit also comes in off a quarterfinal victory with a 1:58.2 mile. Drew Monti will get the drive as Full Circle Spirit draws the six post and is listed at 6-1.

Goddess's Justin, who drew the rail, is the second choice at 3-1 for Ron Beback Jr. Goddess's Justin suffered a narrow 3/4-length defeat at the hands of Dedalos last week and hopes to turn the tables thid time around.

In the second division, Nora Lee was the lone winner from last week in the race and is listed the 7-2 selection from the three post. Cummings Jr. will drive Nora Lee who went the mile in 1:58.1 last Saturday.

Secluded Island (Jack Flanigen) is the morning line choice at 3-1. Getting the two post, Secluded Island fizzled out last week in the lane and had to settle for second, 1-1/2 lengths behind Jettison.

Sandwiched in between the Niatross Series races will be the $9,500 conditioned pace where Western Alumni is fresh off a 1:54.0 victory in last week's $10,500 Open. McNeight will guide Western Alumni from the six post as the 2-1 morning line favorite. He'll be battling Mach Stockn Barrel who has the seven post and is victorious in 7-of-11 events on the season.

First post Saturday night for the 12-race program is 6:35 p.m.

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


April 16, 2015

It's Home Sweet Home For Lutetium At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Home sweet home.

That's the way Lutetium has to be feeling after returning to Buffalo Raceway Wednesday evening (April 15) and strolling to an easy 6 1/4 length victory in the $8,500 conditioned trot.

Talk about loving home cooking. Lutetium has nine wins in 19 starts with $59,532 in earnings at Buffalo Raceway since the beginning of 2014. He has won 19 times in 38 tries overall in that span.

After scoring a win at Northville Downs and taking a parked fourth place at Northfield Park in Open trots the past two weeks, Lutetium ($3.20) took no prisoners on his home turf. Getting to the top with ease from the six hole, Lutetium put up splits of 28.3, 57.4 and 1:27.

The last quarter mile was a throttled down 29.4 as Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) had the remaining field of seven waving the white flag in surrender, stopping the timer in a seasonal best of 1:56.4 over the fast track. Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) finished in second place while Flaming Yankee (Shawn Gray) took third.

Owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw, Lutetium has now won three times in eight starts in 2015, earning $19,341. The 8-year-old gelding (Credit Winner-Luby) now has a career bankroll of $295,437.

In the co-featured $8,500 Open II pace for the fillies and mares, She's A Maniac had some bad luck in the photo finish as she was nosed out at the wire by Fiftyonefifty. But her misfortune turned into a victory a few minutes later as she was awarded the win via disqualification.

It looked like Fiftyonefifty (Cummings) was going to escape with a narrow nose victory as she just managed to get in front of the pace-setting She's A Maniac (Jim McNeight). The celebration was short-lived as Fiftyonefifty was placed fourth for an euro-rail violation at the top of the stretch.

She's A Maniac ($7.70) ended up in the winner's circle while Basic Survival (Jack Flanigen), who finished in third a nose behind, was elevated to second. It's De Lovely (David McNeight III) was moved up to third.

Owned by North Creek Racing LLC and trained by Jerry Nugent Jr., She's A Maniac (Rocknroll Hanover-Check And Raise) has now won $14,948 in 2015 and $311,185 in her career.

Real Joy was just that to her backers as Shawn McDonough steered her to a $118.50 victory in the seventh race.

Racing will continue on Friday night with a 12-race program set for 6:35 p.m. at Buffalo Raceway.

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


April 12, 2015

Western Alumni Posts Seasonal Best Time At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Western Alumni turned in the fastest mile of the season at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (April 11)) by going gate-to-wire to take the featured $10,500 Open Pace in 1:54.0.

Starting from the two post, Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) went right to the lead and forced the remaining field of six to try and track him down. It didn't happen.

Western Alumni ($10.80) put upsolid fractions of 28.4, 58.0 and 1:25.4 and used a final 28.1 panel over the fast track to hold off the the mild rally of second place finisher Cobble Beach (John Cummings Jr.) while Giant Sculpture (Shawn Gray) took the show spot.

Owned by North Creek Racing LLC and trained by Jerry Nugent Jr., it was the second victory of the season for Western Alumni (Western Hanover-Countryview Miss). The 7-year-old gelding has now banrolled $16,346 in 2015 and $226,644 lifetime.

In the quarterfinals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming 'B' Series, Jettison (Gray) had the fastest winning time of the of four divisions with a 1:57.2 tour over the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval. Jettison returned $4.00 for the victory.

Dedalos ($6.20), the winner of the 'A' series earlier this season, took his bracket with a 1:58.1 clocking for driver Kevin Cummings.

Driver Drew Monti took two legs with Nora Lee ($4.30) capturing her division with a 1:58.1 mile while Full Circle Spirit ($5.40) was on top at the end in his race with a 1:58.2 mark.

The top four finishers in each division will return this Saturday night for the semi-final round.

Racing will resume at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday evening with a 12-race program slated to get underway at 6:35 p.m.

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


April 11, 2015

Diditagainhanover Pulls $240.50 Stunner At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N. Y. --- It was sure a zany three-race stretch at Buffalo Raceway Friday night (April 10) as three long shots found their way to the winner's circle.

The fourth through sixth races were definitely as wild as could be with the average win mutuel being $105.15.

Wrangler Rockstar (John Cummings Jr.) started out the long shot parade in the fourth race with a stunning $63.00 victory to kick off the first half of the mid daily double.

Diditagainhanover wasn't going to be outdone as Ron Beback Jr. steered the 7-year-old gelding to a $240.50 shocker in the back half of the double. It was the largest win price of the season at Buffalo Raceway and it also prompted a unique daily double payoff of 6-all for $79.50 on a $2 wager.

The victory by Diditagainhanover was also the opening leg of the Pick-4 which returned $32.37 on the winning combination of 8-5-2-3 with just 3-of-4 needed for 50 cents.

Sunday Star (Shawn Gray) then posted a $21.00 decision in the sixth race before things settled down.

The Niatross Knockout Claiming 'B' Series continues Saturday night with the quarter-finals. The top four finishers in each of the four $6,000 divisions will move on to the semi-finals on Saturday, April 18. All starters can be claimed for $6,000, mares for $7,200 this week.

Full Circle Spirit is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the opener of the Series, scheduled for the ninth race, as Drew Monti takes hold of the reins. The 10-year-old gelding posted a 1:57.4 victory but could be tested by the pace-setting mare Ms Luck who drew the pylons.

Dedalos, the winner of the Niatross 'A' Series back on March 7, gets the nod in the next division. Ready to go from the six post, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings will be aboard the 3-1 favorite Dedalos who notched a winning mark of 1:57.3 last week.

The toughest leg could be the third, scheduled as the 12th, where Nora Lee (Monti) and K C Colt (Jimmy Whittemore) will tangle. Both are coming off victories in their preliminary round last week. They aren't the favorites, however, as rail-sitting Wainui Tabman N (Cummings Jr.) gets the slight early 3-1 edge.

Secluded Island enters on a three-race win streak and looks to expand on that after drawing the rail in the 13th race. Secluded Island had the fastest time last week with a 1:57.1 mark and will have Beback Jr. in the bike.

The $10,500 Open Pace will open the 6:35 p.m.card with Western Alumni the 2-1 morning line pick. Scoring from the two post, Western Alumni will have Jim McNeight driving. His main competition should come from Cobble Beach who made his seasonal debut at Buffalo Raceway last week a winning one with a 1:55.2 mile.

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


April 9, 2015

Ugly Betty Splashes Way To Seasonal Best Time At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ugly Betty seemed up against it. Battling rain, sloppy track conditions and the dreaded outside post position Ugly Betty was more than up for the challenge.

Starting from the eight spot, Ugly Betty registered a 'beauty' with a front-running 2-1/4 length win over Eyemajet in a seasonal best time of 1:56.2 in the featured $7,900 conditioned pace for the ladies on Wednesday night (April 8) at Buffalo Raceway.

After being parked on the outside by Fiftyonefifty and unable to find a seat along the pylons, driver Jack Flanigen had no choice but to step on the gas and send Ugly Betty to the lead. It proved to be the right move.

Ugly Betty put of fractions of 28.3, 57.4 and 1:27.3 and splish-splashed her way to the wire with a final panel of 28.4 to secure the victory. Eyemajet (Shawn Gray) finished in second place with Fiftyonefifty (Kevin Cummings) taking the show spot.

Owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone, the 7-year-old mare (Camluck-Red Road Rage) is trained by Dennis Dylo. It was her fifth win in 11 starts in 2015, increasing her bankroll to $29,679 and $203,430 lifetime.

In the co-featured $7,900 Open III trot, Flaming Yankee (Gray) found his way to the winner's circle for the first time this year with a neck decision over Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.).

The field of eight caught a break at the start as1-2 favorite Serendipitious broke before the gate opened up and spotted the field 11 lengths. That allowed Studio City to set the tempo with times of 31.1, 1:02 and 1:31.4.

Turning for home, Flaming Yankee (Yankee Glide-Flaming Tag), sitting third, used the lightning lane to nail Studio City by a neck inthe photo.

Serendipitious, after spotting the field the huge advantage, managed to get back into the race and almost pulled of a miracle comeback. Kevin Cummings did all he could to find some racing room but the traffic got the best of them. They had to settle for third place, just a length back.

Flaming Yankee, a 5-year-old gelding, is co-owned by William and James Emmons and is trained by Gray. The victory moved his winnings to $8,353 this season and $798,779 in his career.

Racing will continue on Friday night with a 12-race program getting underway at 6:35 p.m.

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


April 5, 2015

Jokerman Has Last Laugh In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jokerman had the last laugh in the featured $9,500 conditioned pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (April 4) with a stunning upset victory in a seasonal best time of 1:55.1 over the fast track.

Overlooked by the betting public, Jokerman returned a hefty $27.00 to his backers after turning back the mild rally of Bakken in the race to the wire

It was a battle to the lead as rail-sitting Lucky Nadotremblay tussled with the parked Jokerman to a quarter in a red-hot time of 27.4. Jokerman (Jim McNeight) was finally able to clear for the lead and posted times of 56.2 and 1:25.4 from there.

In the race to the finish, Jokerman posted a final panel of 29.2 and that was more than enough to hold off any challenges from the remaining six horses in the field. Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) show some mild kick but finished a non-threatening length back while Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) rolled into the show position.

It was the fourth win in 12 starts for Jokerman and the 6-year-old gelding has now been in the money in all but one start in 2015. He is co-owned by trainer Richard Roth along with Robert and Randy Roth. Jokerman (American Ideal-Shark Tail) has now earned $29,289 this year.

In the first round of the Niatross Knockout Claiming 'B' Series, Secluded Island ($4.10) was the fastest winner in the five divisions with a 1:57.1 clocking.

Dedalos ($3.30), who captured the Naitross 'A' Series earlier this season, took his leg with a 1:57.4 mark.

Other preliminary round winners included Nora Lee ($4.00), K C Colt ($15.80) and Full Circle Spirit ($12.00). The quarter-finals will be held next Saturday night.

Driver Drew Monti had a four-bagger on the night and Kevin Cummings went over the 100-win plateau on the year with four victories as well.

Trainer Michelle Gramza had three wins.

The racing action will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.

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


April 4, 2015

Kevin Cummings Inches Closer To 100 Wins At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kevin Cummings inched closer to the 100-win mark already this season at Buffalo Raceway after scoring a double on a rainy Friday night (April 3).

After driving Herbie Is Gone ($2.20) and Way To Go Fabieo ($5.40) to wins, Cummings pushed his seasonal victory total to 97 and now enjoys a huge 42-win margin over Shawn Gray in the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings.

In 2014, Cummings had a career year with 334 wins. He's well on his way to shattering that mark if things continue as they have been. Last season on this date, Cummings had 53 victories in 312 starts. Now in 2015, he has 97 wins in 345 tries, good for 15th nationally. He's tops nationally in the UDR for all drivers with over 200 starts with a .424 mark, leading Dave Palone who is next with a .404 rating.

Cummings is on pace to break Jim Morrill's track record of 214 wins set back in 2006. He'll have plenty of opportunities to increase his totals as Buffalo Raceway just completed their 34th racing date out of 92 days scheduled this season.

Shawn Gray had a four-bagger on the night while Jack Flanigen and David McNeight III also doubled on the program.

The preliminary rounds of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series will begin Saturday night to highlight the 13-race card at Buffalo Raceway. Post time set for 6:35 p.m.

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


April 2, 2015

Justgottogetthere Doesn't Fool Around In Buffalo Trot

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG,N.Y. --- It may have been April 1st but Justgottogetthere wasn't fooling around at all in the featured $8,500 conditioned trot at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night.

The heavily favored 6-year-old gelded Justgottogetthere ($2.40) toyed with the field of six and went coast-to-coast in posting a 3/4-length victory over Leave Your Mark in 1:59.1 on the fast racing strip. It was his fifth win in eight starts in 2015 to go along with three second places finishes.

Driver Jim McNeight had to go three-wide to gain the lead going to the quarter pole with Justgottogetthere but once the pair settled in, there weren't any anxious moments.

Posting fractions of 28.4, 59.3, and 1:30.1, a final panel of :29 by Justgottogethere kept the remainder of the field at bay. Leave Your Mark (Shawn Gray) tried to make a move in the passing lane but to no avail while Diamonds For Life (Kevin Cummings) and September Hall (Shawn McDonough) battled to a dead heat for third.

Justgottogetthere (Valley Victor-Mara's Theme) is co-owned by Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing LLC. Jerry Nugent Jr. handled the training duties and watched Justgottogetthere increase his seasonal earnings to $26,687 and $165,369 lifetime.

In the first of the two $7,900 co-featured paces for the fillies and mares, Fiftyonefifty ($9.30) was the 'pocket rocket' and flew past It's De Lovely (David McNeight II) and The Prophet Mary (Drew Monti) to score the victory in 1:56.0.

The Prophet Mary threw up fractions of 29.4, 58.3 and 1:27.4 but became leg-weary in the stretch. It allowed the pocket-sitting Fiftyonefifty to drop into the passing lane and race to the 1-3/4 length win.

It was the second win in 11 outings this season for Fiftyonefifty (Daggs-Tj's Little Cammie). The 6-year-old mare is owned by Sidney Easton and is trained by Anthony Cummings. She increased her 2015 bankroll to $16,078 and $145,901 lifetime.

In the second $7,900 pace for the ladies, Eyemajet (Shawn Gray) was a 'jet' in the lightning lane and took off for a 1-3/4 length decision over Ivy's Good News (Ron Beback Jr.) and the pace-setting Bad Girl Vegas (Monti).

Bad Girl Vegas put up some sizzling splits of 27.4, 57.0 and 1:27.0. Basic Survival was parked to the three-quarter pole and surrendered while Eyemajet drafted in second behind Bad Girl Vegas. It the stretch, Gray found the passing lane perfect as Eyemajet had little problem strolling off to the convincing victory.

Owned by William Emmons and trained by Gray, Eyemajet has two victories in 10 starts this year, earning $12,576 and jacking up her career total to $203,100.

Kevin Cummings, Buffalo Raceway's leading driver, finished the card with five winners. Buffalo Raceway's leading trainer, JD Perrin, is now a perfect 3-for-3 this year in the sulky after posting a driving double.

Racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card set to go to the post at 6:35 p.m.

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


Niatross Claiming Series Starts Saturday At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y.--- The New York State Lottery used a tag line "It only takes a dollar and a dream."

Well for the horses, owners and trainers at Buffalo Raceway in the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series, it takes only a $250 entry fee, some risk, racing luck and a dream to win some big money by the end of the second weekend in May.

The popular Niatross Knockout Claiming Series starts up again at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night with 38 pacers ready to go to the post in five divisions of the "B".

The $4,000 claimers will eliminate each other the next four weeks with the purses going up $1,000 each Saturday and the claiming tag increasing by $1,000 as well. The lone survivor will take home the lion's share of the approximately $25,000 purse on Saturday, April 25th.

And if that wasn't enough incentive to enter, the top four finishers in the "B" finale will come back on Saturday, May 9th and go against the four qualifiers from the "A" series including the winner Dedalos, Goddess's Justin, It Was An Honor and Delightful Caitlin for a $25,000 Invitational.

The eliminations start this week with the purse in each leg being $5,000 and the claiming price of $5,000 (mares are $6,000). Only six will be eliminated on Saturday, but then half of the fields will be knocked out each week as the top four finishers move on from each leg until reaching the Saturday, April 25th championship.

Buffalo Raceway's second leading trainer, John Mungillo, gave some insight on the Niatross Claiming Series.

"It's definitely a series that the owners like because they can make some very good money," said Mungillo. "You need some racing luck with good draws and also hope you don't get a horse claimed out of a race. If you get stuck with an eight hole, you basically are racing for at least fourth place or better so you can advance."

Mungillo remembered back in 2011 when he had Iam Billy The Man. He won the Niatross and did so without winning a leg until the finals. "It was like moving the chains...you just want to keep moving up and make the next round. I think Iam Billy The Man finished like fourth, third, second then won it all off the rail...and never got claimed."

He added, "Iam Billy The Man was one of my favorites and I think he won about $50,000 that year. That's a lot of money for a $4,000 claimer. It paid a lot of bills. That's a good thing about the Niatross. It's good money for these horses. The "A" finals went for over $26,000 earlier this year and even the consolation went for $10,000 which is quite an incentive to get your horses involved. Now with the $25,000 Invitational added, it's definitely worth it."

When asked about having a horse claimed out of the race in the series, Mungillo was quick to point out, "Basically you run that risk every time you enter your horse of the $4,000 caliber when they aren't in the Niatross. Those level horses normally are in for a price so you always take a risk of losing it anyways."

And one of the most heart-wrenching parts of the event is after the race is over when track announcer Michael Carter calls out the claims. You may be overjoyed with the victory or advancing on, but your horse may be headed to a new barn with a chance for bigger money and a higher claiming price next week.

"You can't worry about that part," Mungillo said. "It's usually a surprise (the claim) unless you've heard something before the race."

Mungillo made a prediction that there might be a lot of claiming out of the first round because only six horses are going to be eliminated and thus 32 will advance with a higher purse and steeper claiming tag in the quarterfinals."

There were 16 claims made in the "A" event earlier this year with the most coming in the second round ($6,000 claiming price/$6,000 purse). There were three taken out of the semi-finals for $7,000 and the new owners were then in line for the $26,200 purse after the $7,000 risk.

Dedalos escaped the claim box and he cruised to the victory in the finals from the rail for driver Drew Monti to take home the $13,100 first place check for owner Louis Frascella and trainer Michelle Gramza.

Of the 38 entered for the five divisions on Saturday, "A" division champion Dedalos and Goddess's Justin are the only two returning that have already earned a spot in the $25,000 Invitational on May 9th.

And if they are claimed somewhere during the series, the new owners of Dedalos and Goddess's Justin are in line for the $25,000 Invitational bid.

It's a great series for the fans to watch and one that the owners and trainers hope to cash in upon with little collateral damage.

Let the fun begin.


April 1, 2015

Genesee County fair races return to Batavia Downs

By Tim Bojarski-Batavia Downs Media Relations

Batavia, NY --- For the second year in a row, Batavia Downs will be conducting the Genesee County fair races, which feature the New York Sire Stakes fair series. This special day of racing is slated for July 16 with post time for the first race set at 1:15 p.m.

The race secretary for this event is Donna Kerr and she can be reached via phone at 716-338-5387. The entry box closes July 13 at 10 a.m. but entries can be made in advance of that date.

The 2015 live meet at the oldest lighted harness track in America kicks off on Monday, July 27 and will continue through Saturday, December 12.

Questions concerning any event of the upcoming racing season should be directed to Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing, at 585-343-3750.


March 29, 2015

Mach Stockn Barrel Continues Winning Ways At Buffalo

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Mach Stockn Barrel continued to flex his muscles at Buffalo Raceway as the 4-year-old gelding registered his sixth victory of the season in 10 starts with an impressive 1-1/4 length win over Jokerman in the featured $9,500 pace Saturday night (March 28).

Driver John Cumminigs Jr. was determined to get Mach Stockn Barrel to the top. It took some effort as Mr. Preserverance (Shawn Gray) handed out a parking ticket to the quarter pole in a solid 28.4.

But once gaining the top, Mach Stockn Barrel ($5.40) bottomed out the field, enjoying a widening two-length edge at the top of the stretch. There weren't any threats to the finish line as Mach Stockn Barrel was throttled down. Jokerman (Jim McNeight) showed some late kick to take second while Union Man Hanover (Shawn McDonough) finished in third.

Mach Stockn Barrel (Mach Three-Timeless Classic) is owned by Leonard Segall and is trained by James Clouser Jr. The win pushed his winnings to $26,666 in 2015 and $51,247 lifetime.

In the sub-featured $8,800 pace, the old veteran Peenie ($13.20) found the winner's circle for the second time in a week and the 51st time in his career with a head victory over I C D Moolah in 1:59.2.

Peenie (Gray) was sitting fifth at the three-quarter marker but was sailing on the outside down the stretch. He used a terrific final panel of 28.1 to notch the head win. I C D Moolah (Drew Monti) had to settle for the disappointing place spot while Lucky Nadotremblay (McDonough) arrived in the show position.

Co-owned by Decker's Corner Stable and trainer John Mungillo, the 10-year-old gelded Peenie (Real Artist-Tre Cress) has now earned $16,860 this season and $649,249 lifetime.

Cummings Jr. and Gray each scored four victories on the 13-race card while Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings had a double.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program slated to begin at 5 p.m.

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


March 28, 2015

JD Perrin Registers Training Triple At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Trainer JD Perrin scored the 'hat trick' and was assisted by three different drivers in doing so to highlight the Friday night (March 27) program at Buffalo Raceway.

Perrin, who leads the trainer's standings at Buffalo Raceway with a 35-24 edge over John Mungillo, swept the early daily double. Yosemite Camn ($12.80) took the opener with Jack Flanigen in the bike while Retail ($7.80) took the second race with Shawn McDonough aboard. The Perrin-trained daily double returned $93.50.

RA's Shakenbake ($3.40) then completed the thee-bagger for Perrin by taking the sixth race with Ron Beback Jr. in the sulky. It also started a nice streak for Beback Jr. as he also posted wins in the seventh race with Stonebridge Saga ($6.50) and Tsunami Dream ($23.80) in the eighth.

Driver Shawn Gray, who had four wins on the evening, took both halves of the mid daily double. He first guided The Ring King ($11.00) to the victory in the fourth race and then rallied Jettison ($22.60) to the upset win in the fifth. The 'Gray' double returned a healthy $180.00 for a $2 wager.

Big prices continued in the tenth race as Vintage Fenom ($12.00) topped a $4,780 trifecta for $1. Second place finisher Genuine Star N (Ken Koch), sent off at 47-1, helped boost the big trifecta mutuel while McArdle Direct rounded out the winning triple ticket.

Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 13-race card set at Buffalo Raceway starting at 6:35 p.m.

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


March 26, 2015

Ugly Betty, Sadies Place Win Buffalo Raceway Co-Features

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Driver Shawn Gray used two different methods in the co-featured $8,500 conditioned paces for the fillies and mares and got the desired results Wednesday night at rainy Buffalo Raceway (March 25).

Ugly Betty ($3.20) needed every inch of the race track to nip Basic Survival in the opener while Sadies Place ($3.70) got to the front end at the quarter pole and cruised from there to complete the chalky $8.70 early daily double.

It was just the start of a good night for Gray as he finished the card with four victories.

After battling against the boys the past two weeks, finishing a respectable second and fourth, Ugly Betty showed she's still 'looking good' when facing the girls.

Basic Survival (Jack Flanigen) zoomed right to the lead and put up fractions of 31.2, 101.1 and 1:30.2. Ugly Betty, in the meantime, began her first over journey at the three-eighths pole and made slow and steady headway to the half.

At the three-quarter marker, Basic Survival and Ugly Betty were eyeball to eyeball, preparing for the stretch run. It looked like Basic Survival had 'survived' the challenge midway down the lane but the stubborn Ugly Betty made one last gasp near the wire and pulled off the nose victory in 1:59 over the sloppy track. You're Too Funny (Jim McNeight) finished in third.

Owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone, Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage) is trained by Dennis Dylo. It the the fourth win in 10 attempts this season for the 7-year-old mare. She has earned $25,279 in 2015 and $198,752 lifetime.

Sadies Place in the meantime scored her second straight victory with a 1:58.2 decision over Bad Girl Vegas.

It was a three-horse scrum to the lead before the quarter pole with Fiftyonefifty and Bad Girl Vegas each enjoying a brief lead. But Sadies Place became the third leader of the race and ended up being the final one, stepping off to a 1-3/4 length win. Bad Girl Vegas (Drew Monti) took second while Dontch Remember rolled into the show spot.

Sadies Place (Sadies Dreamboat-Eicarl Leggs) is a 10-year-old mare owned by Barry Franklin and trained by Darren Taneyhill. She's now won four times in 10 starts this season, bankrolling $18,385 in 2015 and $326,390 lifetime.

Monti had a driving triple and Ron Beback Jr. posted a double on the night.

Buffalo Raceway's leading trainer JD Perrin hopped on the sulky for the first time this season and drove Northern Bullet to a popular $3.00 win. Perrin finished the night with two training victories as did Taneyhill.

Racing continues on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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


March 22, 2015

Peenie Finally Completes Test In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Peenie found out if at first you don't first succeed, try, try again.

After starting three times off the rail in his last four starts, Peenie attempted to go wire-to-wire in each start but couldn't complete the task.

But Saturday night (March 21) in the featured $9,500 conditioned pace at Buffalo Raceway, driver Kevin Cummings gave Peenie another chance on the front end and he passed the test with a length victory over Giant Sculpture in 1:57 over the sloppy track.

Peter Pumpkineater briefly took the lead in the race to the opening quarter pole, but Peenie wasted no time in re-taking and reaching the half in a brisk 57.4. The closers were in perfect position to challenge in the stretch but Peenie showed no quit and posted the win over Giant Sculpture (Shawn Gray). Mach Stockn Barrel (John Cummings Jr.) finished in third.

It was the first victory in eight tries this season for Peenie (Real Artist-Tre Cress) and the 50th of his career. Co-owned by Decker's Corner Stable and trainer John Mungillo, the 10-year-old gelding has now earned $12,470 in 2015 and $644,849 lifetime.

In the $8,800 conditioned sub featured pace, Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) used a slick move between the opening quarter and the half to take the lead and never looked back to score a 1-1/4 length decision over Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) in 1:58.2.

Sitting in third approaching the top of the stretch the first time, Lucky Nadotremblay was able to slip thorugh along the inside as King Otra (Drew Monti) and American Bull (Cummings) battled three-wide.

Taking over the lead to the half, Lucky Nadotremblay ($19.60) enjoyed a two-length edge at the top of the lane and was in cruise control to the finish. Bakken used a late kick to take second while Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) finished in third.

The victory was the third in nine starts this season for Lucky Nadotremblay (Blissful Hall-Periella Hanover). Owned by the Nickel City Ranch Stable, the 5-year-old horse is trained by Ron Van Wagoner. The win upped his 2015 bankroll to $15,488 and $77,977 in his career.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night with a 12-race card set for 5 p.m at Buffalo Raceway.


March 21, 2015

Long Shots Continue To Rule On Friday Nights At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Friday nights continued to be 'fright nights' for the chalk players at Buffalo Raceway as the long shots dominated the 12-race card once again.

Post time favorites have been victorious just 11 times in the past three Friday night programs. There were eight double digit win mutuels this week (March 20) with Lady Jill (Shawn Gray) topping the list with a $33.40 price. The average win price on the night was $12.50.

Shawn McDonough returned this week from Pompano Park and led the hit parade with three driving victories. He guided Columia County ($12.60), Real Joy ($12.80) and America Ferrera ($16.40) to upset wins.

Drivers Ron Beback Jr., Shawn Gray, Jack Flanigen and Kevin Cummings all doubled.

Brandi Somerville had a training double.

Racing will return on Saturday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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


March 19, 2015

Lutetium, Justgottogetthere Battle To Dead Heat At Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y.--- Lutetium is a known front-runner and Justgottogetthere is a known closer. You figured something had to give. Nothing did.

The pair couldn't settle their differences as Lutetium and Justgottogetthere finished in a dead heat for the victory in 1:58.3 over the fast track in the $8,500 conditioned trot at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (March 18).

Lutetium, starting in the eight post with Kevin Cummings in the sulky, managed to get to the lead while Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) was able to drop into the garden spot behind the pace-setter. Lutetium set the splits with times of 29.1, 59.1 and 1:28.9.

It boiled down to a two-horse race down the stretch with Lutetium ($6.50) begging for the wire while Justgottogetthere ($5.10) was charging on the outside. Nothing was settled in the photo as the pair battled to a draw. The Bronx Bumper (Jim Morrill Jr.) finished in third.

Lutetium, a 16-time winner in 2014, hit the winner's circle for the first time in 2015 after four previous attempts. The 8-year-old gelding is owned by Collen Girdlestone and trained by Mark Laidlaw.

Justgottogetthere has now won four out of seven starts this season. He's a 6-year-old gelding owned by Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing with Jerry Nugent Jr. the conditioner.

In the co-featured $8,500 pace for fillies and mares, it took another photo to separate the winners but his time the picture produced a victor as Sadie's Place ($12.60) had just enough in the tank to hold of Fiftyonefifty by a head.

Sadie's Place (Shawn Gray) had little trouble reaching the top from the four post. Settling back and enjoying the crisp Western New York air, Sadie's Place notched fractions of 28.4, 58.2 and 1:27.4 and welcomed any challengers.

Watching the action from second place, Fiftyonefifty was the lone threat and made a charge late in the lane but ran out of real estate, coming up a head short. Bad Girl Vegas (Drew Monti) took the show position.

With the win, the second in nine tries in 2015, Sadie's Place has earned $13,110 this season and $322,090 lifetime. The 10-year-old mare is owned by Barry Franklin and trained by Darren Taneyhill.

Racing will continue on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. with a 12-race program on tap.

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


March 15, 2015

Mach Stockn Barrel, King Otra Score Co-Feature Wins At Buffalo Raceway

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y.--- Mach Stockn Barrel made it two straight convincing victories and King Otra regained his throne to take the spotlight in the co-featured $8,800 conditioned paces at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (March 14).

In the opener, Mach Stockn Barrel (John Cummings Jr.) watched patiently from the back of the pack as Jokerman posted wicked fractions of 27.3, 58.2 and 1:28 over the sloppy track.

Jokerman (Kevin Cummings) put away the first-over challenge of Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) at the top of the stretch but Mach Stockn Barrel, four-length winner on March 7th, was just getting into high gear.

The hot splits started to take its toll on Jokerman and Mach Stockn Barrel ($8.50) took advantage, blasting by to register the length decision in 1:57.0 Jokerman held on for second while Terlingua (Drew Monti) took the show position.

Owned by Leonard Segall and trained by James Clouser Jr., it was the fifth win in eight starts this season for Mach Stockn Barrel (Mach Three-Timeless Classic). The 4-year-old gelding has now won $20,776 in 2015 and $45,357 lifetime.

Youwillwishyouhad (Cummings Jr.) did all the dirty work on the front end but it was King Otra (Monti) who cleaned up in the end to post the win in 1:58.0.

Setting the tempo with times of 28.2, 59.1 and 1:28.4, Youwillwishyouhad had the pocket-sitting King Otra ($8.50) breathing down his neck until mid stretch. Monti then tipped King Otra to the outside and paced away from Youwillwishyouhad by 1-3/4 lengths. Southwind Whiski (David McNeight III) finished in third.

With the victory, King Otra (Western Ideal-Queen Otra) has been victorious three times in eight appearances this year and has won $19,464 and $223,062 lifetime. The 8-year-old gelding is owned by Barbara Russo and trained by Neal Russo.

The tote board worked overtime in the second race as Lee Dahn drove Thisoneandonemore to a $73.00 victory. American Bull (Cummings Jr.) finished in second at 40-1 while 13-1 shot OK Braveheart (McNeight) took a show dough to complete the $2,159.00 trifecta for a buck.

In the seventh race, Put It In Gear (Cummings Jr.) went gate-to-wire from the eight post and paid a healthy $90.00 to his backers.

Racing will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night with the 12-race program getting underway at 5 p.m.

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


March 12, 2015

Dontch Remember Doesn't Forget Winning At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Dontch Remember didn't forget.

In just her second race of the season, Dontch Remember found her way back to the winner's circle as she rolled to an easy 2-1/4 length win over Cameron Lucky in the $8,500 pace for the fillies and mares at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday evening (March 11).

Dontch Remember used a perfect drive by Jim Morrill Jr. to register the victory, the 13th of her career.

Sitting third behind the front-stepping Cameron Lucky (Kevin Cummings), Dontch Remember tipped out and started gobble up ground as the field rolled to the three-quarter marker.

In the lane, Dontch Remember ($6.00) left little doubt of who was the best as the 5-year-old mare was in cruise control, using a 29.4 last panel to post a 1:59.0 time over the good track. Cameron Lucky held on for second while You're Too Funny (Jack Flanigen) finished in third.

Owned by Michael Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, the win was the first of the season for Dontch Remember (Western Terror-Dreamsicle), now a winner of $83,619 lifetime.

In the co-featured $8,500 trot, Aruba Vacation (Fern Paquet Jr.) relinquished the lead but never gave up in rallying back for a 1-1/2 decision over Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) in 2:01.3.

Enjoying the lead through the first half mile of action, Aruba Vacation could just watch as Flaming Yankee (Shawn Gray) took command at the three-quarter pole but had some bad luck with broken equipment, fading to sixth.

Aruba Vacation ($14.80) pounced on the opportunity and won the drive to the line, holding off Justgottogetthere while Diamonds For Life (Cummings) was third.

Owned by the Howard Stables and trained by Guy Howard, it was the first win in six tries in 2015 for Aruba Vacation (Dream Vacation-Dixie Hit). The 8-year-old gelding has now won $5,750 this season and $531,788 lifetime.

Racing will resume on Friday night when a 12-race card will be presented at 6:35 p.m.

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


March 8, 2015

Dedalos Captures Niatross Series Title At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Veteran pacer Dedalos, the oldest in the the field, teamed up with a 20-year-old rising driving star, Drew Monti, to win the $26,250 final of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (March 7).

"Dedalos was on full tilt tonight," Monti said after the race. "It was a big purse and I was driving to make sure he won."

Dedalos, an 11-year-old gelding, let Goddess's Justin take the lead briefly just before the quarter, but Monti wasn't happy with the pocket and aggressively regained the top. The pair then settled in and set times of 29.1, 58.4 and 1:28.2 and were ready for any assault that might be coming their way down the stretch. Nothing developed.

Monti kept Dedalos ($8.20) on task in the lane and confidently drove him to the win in 1:57.4 over the good track. He beat Goddess's Justin (Jack Flanigen) by a length while It Was An Honor (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) finished third.

"At the three-quarter pole, I knew I had it won," Monti said. "I was worried about (post-time favorite) One Chaser because a couple of weeks ago when I was driving Nora Lee, he went right on by me." That threat never materialized as One Chaser finished fifth.

Owned by Louis Frascella and trained by Michelle Gramza, Dedalos (Artiscape-My Tina) has now earned $17,649 this year and improved his lifetime earnings to $360,262 lifetime.

Dedalos, Goddess's Justin, It Was An Honor and fourth place finisher Delightful Caitlin (Ron Beback Jr.) will return this spring and will battle the top four finishers in the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series "B" in a $25,000 Invitational.

The $10,000 Niatross Knockout Claiming Series consolation race went to Ms. Luck (Kevin Cummings) in 1:59.0. The front-running Ms. Luck ($6.00) made every step a winning one as she defeated Whitesand Noble (John Cummings Jr.) by a neck with Dragon Ridge (Shawn Gray) finishing in third.

Ms. Luck, 9-year-old mare, is co-owned by trainer Bob Gruber III and Eric Ruppert.

There were a pair of $8,800 paces as sub-features on the 13-race program.

It was no laughing matter in the opener as Jokerman (Jim McNeight) made it two straight wins by going gate-to-wire in beating Lucky Nodotremblay (Wrenn) by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:57.2. Kennairn Buckwheat (Monti) finished in third.

Jokerman, who has been been in the money in all eight starts in 2015, now has three victories on the year. The 6-year-old gelding was in the barn of Richard, Randy and Robert Roth for just two weeks but was claimed out of the race for the $20,000 tag by Tessa Roland. Jokerman's earnings are now $19,689 on the season.

In the other $8,800 pace, Peter Pumpkineater (Cummings Jr.) used a ground-saving trip around the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval and nailed Ugly Betty in deep stretch to register the win in 1:56.3. Terlingua (Monti) rallied for the show dough.

Ugly Betty, the lone mare in the field of seven, posted splits of 28.0, 56.3 and 1:26.2. It was a mad dash to the line with Peter Pumpkineater ($7.60) sneaking through down the passing lane to hand Ugly Betty a 1-3/4 length loss.

Peter Pumpkineater, a winner of $16,194 in 2015, is owned by Mark Jakubik and Tessa Roland. It was the third win in seven starts this season for the 7-year-old gelding who is trained by JD Perrin.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race program set for 5 p.m.

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


March 6, 2015

Wrenn Jr., Cummings To Battle At Buffalo Raceway Saturday

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Harness racing fans in Western New York are in for a treat Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway as defending United States dash driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. comes to the Hamburg half-mile oval and will battle the red-hot Kevin Cummings in what is the best card of the 2015 season thus far.

Wrenn Jr., who had 847 victories last year to win the crown, is off to another excellent start in 2015. He sits in third place in the national dash standings with 144 victories. He trails leader Aaron Merriman who has 152 wins and Corey Callahan who has 145 victories.

In 2014, Wrenn Jr. was successful during his time at Buffalo Raceway. He produced 48 victories in 153 starts with $226,185 in earnings and a gaudy UDR of .467. Wrenn Jr. sports an overall UDR of .401 this season.

Cummings, who is the runaway leader in the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings with 63, is coming off a seven-win night on Wednesday. He is currently producing victories at a 30 percent clip.

In 211 starts in 2015, Cummings has 63 wins, 29 second place finishes and 34 show spots for a UDR of .429 which puts him 5th nationally. His closest rival locally is Billy Dobson with 45 wins, but he has returned to Saratoga Raceway. Cummings has earned over $250,000 in purses already this year.

Back on Friday, February 6th, Cummings scored his 3,000th career victory aboard Most Happy Rider and he's making a beeline toward 4,000 quickly.

Since the start of the 2014 season, Cummings has amassed 234 wins at Buffalo Raceway and 397 on the Western New York circuit. His nearest rival during that span is Ron Beback Jr. who has 164 victories.

Wrenn Jr. and Cummings will go head-to-head in 11 of 13 races Saturday night. Wrenn Jr. isn't scheduled to drive in the ninth and 13th races.

There's some great racing on tap as well with the $26,200 Niatross Knockout Claiming Series final set with One Chaser (Cummings) the morning line favorite at 2-1.

One Chaser, the 1-9 choice in last week's semi-finals, was stunned by Delightful Caitlin (Beback Jr.). One Chaser, however, had the fastest time in the series with a 1:57.3.

Besides One Chaser and Delightful Caitlin, the remaining field includes Dedalos (Drew Monti), Nora Lee (Greg Merton), It Was An Honor (Wrenn Jr.), Goddess's Justin (Jack Flanigen), Shaolin Master (John Cummings Jr.) and Jettison (Shawn T. Gray). The finals will go off as the 8th race.

The top four finishers in this race will return for a $25,000 Invitational later this season. They will go against the top four finishers in another Niatross Knockout Claiming Series which gets underway in a few weeks.

The racing begins on Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. with 13 events scheduled.

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


March 5, 2015

Kevin Cummings, Valorscross Steal Buffalo Raceway Spotlight

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Valorscross continued his impressive climb up the trotting ranks at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (March 4) as the 4-year-old gelding made it a perfect 5-for-5 on the season with a neck victory over Justgottogetthere in the featured $9,500 trot in 2:00.2 over the sloppy track.

It was a great night for Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings as well as he registered seven victories on the night.

Arriving from Woodbine to start his 2015 campaign, Valorscross ($4.50) began the year at the $3,200 level at Buffalo Raceway and has passed every stiffer test along the way. Wednesday night was his biggest challenge yet but scored another A+.

After watching Northern Spark and Aruba Vacation battle it out to the quarter pole in 29.2, Valorscross (Cummings) could wait no more and took command and put up a time of 1:02 to the half and 1:30.4 to the three-quarter marker.

Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight), in the meantime, started a first over trip to the three-quarter marker, bringing Armed Dangerously in tow to get within striking distance.

In the stretch, Justgottogetthere managed to poke a head in front but the never-say-die Valorscross battled back to regain the lead and score the neck win. Justgottogetthere finished second while Armed Dangerously (Jim Morrill Jr.) took third..

Valorscross (Comaro Dasolo-Poppea) is owned by Guy Polillo and is trained by John Mungillo. The victory pushed his bankroll to $13,050 this season and $114,074 lifetime.

In the co-featured $8,700 Fillies and Mares Open II Pace, Justatequilatalkin (David McNeight III) rallied to put a head in front in the shadow of the wire and nip SA Lowe (Morrill Jr.) in 1:59.2.

The race was basically a three-horse break away with a quarter-mile to pace as Cameron Luck set the fractions. Justatequilatalkin and SA Lowe both stalked the pace throughout and made their moves in the stretch.

Cameron Luck (Kevin Cummings) checked out midway down the lane to finish third while SA Lowe went to the passing lane and Justatequilatalkin went to the outside to duke it out.

It was a ding-dong battle to the line and when the dust settled, it was Justatequilatalkin ($10.80) getting a head in front while the favored SA Lowe had to settle for second.

Owned by the Limerick Racing Stable and trained by Daivd McNeight Jr., it was the third straight victory for 6-year-old mare Justatequilatalkin (Real Desire-Sausalito Cocktail) and moved her yearly winnings to $8,860.

Racing will return at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night with a 13-race program set for a 6:35 p.m. post.

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


March 1, 2015

Major Marcus Shuffles Off To Buffalo Raceway Feature Win

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After getting caught in the 'Buffalo shuffle', Major Marcus shook free from traffic woes in the stretch to pull out a neck win over Nothingbutmach in the featured $9,500 conditioned pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (February 28).

In the semi-finals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series, Delightful Caitlin scored a $20.00 shocker over the heavily-favored One Chaser in the first division while It Was An Honor who went gate-to-wire in the second leg.

Major Marcus ($8.90) was hung up in all kinds of traffic through three-quarters of a mile but driver Drew Monti never gave up and was able to find some racing room in the stretch to nail the never-say-die Nothingbutmach (Shawn Gray) at the wire in a time of 1:57.2. Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the show position.

It was the first start of the season for Major Marcus and his initial appearance at Buffalo Raceway. The 6-year-old gelding is owned by Clayton Faurot Jr. and is trained by Darren Taneyhill.

In the first division of the Niatross Knockout Series, Delightful Caitlin was able to track down the 1-9 favorite One Chaser in deep stretch to pace off with the three-quarter length victory. One Chaser (Kevin Cummings) set the fractions of 29.2, 1:00.0 and 1:30.0 but couldn't stop the late rally of Delightful Caitlin (Ron Beback Jr.), who stopped the timer in 1:59.1. Jettison (Gray) took the show money.

It was a different story in the second division as It Was An Honor (John Cummings Jr.) was able to hold off the late bid of Shaolin Master by a diminishing neck in 1:58.4, the quickest of the two legs. Dedalos (Monti) was just a length back in third.

The top four finishers in each division will return next Saturday for the $25,000 finals. The field will include semi-final winners Delightful Caitlin and It Was An Honor along with One Chaser, Jettison, Nora Lee, Shaolin Master, Dedalos and Goddess's Justin.

There will also be a $10,000 consolation race next Saturday for those not qualifying for the finals.

Racing will continue on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race program set to go to the post at 5 p.m.

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


February 28, 2015

Long Shots, Drew Monti Have Good Nights At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The chalk players have been loving life at Buffalo Raceway...until Friday night (February 27).

Post time favorites have been clicking at nearly 47 percent this season but that percentage took a beating as just two betting choices were able to find the winner's circle on the 13-race card.

It took until the tenth race for a favorite to register a victory as Sportsman, given the betting edge by just eight dollars, managed to post the $7.30 win. Then a race later, Feets Of Magic put up a $4.00 score to soothe the chalk players but that was it.

The average win price was $11.95 with Francessa the highest at $34.20 with Kevin Cummings in the bike.

It was a great night for driver Drew Monti as the 20-year-old posted a four-bagger. Monti currently sits fifth in the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings.

John Cummings Jr. added a triple on the program while Jimmy Whittemore and Jim McNeight doubled.

The semi-finals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series highlights the 13-race card on Saturday night at Buffalo Raceway along with the $9,500 pace. Post time is set for 6:35 p.m.

The Niatross Knockout Series will go off in the eighth and ninth races. The top four finishers in each leg will return next Saturday night for the $25,000 final while the others will battle in the $10,000 consolation event.

In the first division, One Chaser is the 8-5 morning line choice off the inside post with Kevin Cummings in the sulky. One Chaser has three victories in four starts thus far this season. Delightful Caitlin starts from the four post for Ron Beback Jr. and is the second pick at 7-2.

Shaolin Master is the early 3-1 pick in the second division. Scoring from the two post for driver Jimmy Whittemore, Shaolin Master will have to battle second choice Dragon Ridge who gets the services of Billy Dobson.

Nothingbutmach heads the field in the $9,500 pace with Shawn Gray aboard. Nothingbutmach will start from the three hole and is the 3-1 early selection in the opener on the night.

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


February 26, 2015

Ugly Betty, Justgottogetthere Roll To Convincing Buffalo Raceway Wins

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ugly Betty turned in another 'beautiful' effort while Justgottogetthere had little trouble in disposing of his competition to highlight the action at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (February 25).

Despite starting from the seven post, Ugly Betty made it three straight by circling the field in the $9,500 pace for the fillies and mares in 1:58.3.

A race later, Justgottogetthere, a hard-charging $58.50 winner last week, showed it wasn't a fluke. He used a front-running journey this time around to capture the $9,500 Open Trot in 2:01.3 over the good track.

Ugly Betty (Shawn Gray), drawing the rail the past three weeks and scoring two wins and a second place finish from there, was assigned the outside post this week. She showed it wasn't an issue.

After sitting seventh and last, Ugly Betty ($8.90) started the first over trip just before the half mile marker. She tipped three-wide to the three-quarter pole and rolled right to the lead in the stretch and never looked back. Ugly Betty registered a comfortable two-length victory over Sadie's Place (Andrew Monti) with She's A Maniac (Jim McNeight) taking the show position.

Owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Payne, the 7-year-old mare (Camluck-Red Road Rage) is trained by Dennis Dylo. The victory moved her 2015 winnings to $18,055 and $191,548 lifetime.

Justgottogetthere ($5.20) in the meantime used a completely different method to get to the winner's circle.

After showing a late kick in last week's victory, Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) flew off the gate from the four spot and was never threatened. Posting fractions of 31.0, 1:02 and 1:32.3, there was no serious threats in the lane as Justgottogetthere smartly trotted off to a 2-1/2 length win over Flaming Yankee (Gray) while Northern Spark (John Cummings Jr.) placed third.

Justgottogetthere (Valley Victor-Mara's Theme) is owned by Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing LLC. The 6-year-old gelding, trained by Jerry Nugent Jr., has now won three times in four starts this season, earning $14,750 in 2015 and $152,932 in his career.

Buffalo Raceway will continue racing on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. with a 13-race program.

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


February 22, 2015

Peter Pumpkineater Has Last Laugh In Buffalo Raceway Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Peter Pumpkineater had the last laugh in the featured $9,500 conditioned pace at a snowy Buffalo Raceway Saturday afternoon (February 21) as he rallied in the shadow of the wire to take a head victory over Peenie in 1:59.3.

After scooting off the gate from the four post, Peter Pumpkineater looked content to set the fractions. That wasn't going to happen, however, as Peenie re-took the lead to the opening quarter marker and Peter Pumpkineater had to settle back into the pocket.

After watching splits of 30.2, 1:01 and 1:31.0 put up by Peenie, driver John Cummings Jr. dropped Peter Pumpkineater ($7.40) into the passing lane and managed to poke a head in front at the wire. Peenie (Kevin Cummings) had to settle for second while Rude Boy (Billy Dobson) took the show position.

Peter Pumpkineater (Camluck-Disney Dream) is a 7-year-old gelding co-owned by Tessa Roland and Mark Jakubik. Buffalo Raceway's leading trainer JD Perrin handled the conditioning duties. The victory moved the winner's 2015 bankroll to $11,090.

In the co-featured $8,800 conditioned pace, Union Man Hanover ($6.10) toyed with the field and ran off with an easy 2-3/4 length win over Bakken in 1:59.4 over the good track.

Union Man Hanover (Cummings) played give-and-go with Art's Delight and kept right on going to the winner's circle. Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) showed some late kick in the lane to finish in second while Art's Delight (Frank Milby) hung on for third.

It was the first victory of the season for Union Man Hanover (Artiscape-Up Front Rose). The 6-year-old horse is owned by Stephen Andzel and is trained by Alex Giuliani. Union Man Hanover is now a winner of $7,853 this year.

In the quarterfinals of the Niatross Knocking Claiming Series, One Chaser ($4.90) put up the fastest time of the four division winners, going the mile in 2:00.1 with Cummings in the bike.

Shaolin Master (Shawn Gray) took the second leg with a 2:01.1 clocking and returned $5.50. Dragon Ridge ($5.90) won in 2:03.0 with Dobson in the sulky while Jimmy Whittemore guided Goddess's Justin to a $9.80 victory in 2:03.3 in the final division.

The top four finishers in each race will return next Saturday night for the semi-finals.

Racing will go back to its normal starting times at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night when a 13-race program goes to the post at 5 p.m.

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


February 21, 2015

Billy Dobson Drives Four Winners At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Billy Dobson is battling for the top spot in Buffalo Raceway driver's standings and he helped himself by recording four victories on Friday afternoon (February 20).

Dobson, who trailed defending champion Kevin Cummings 43-36 entering the day, posted wins with Fox Valley Lena ($9.50), Francessa ($10.40), Diamonds For Life ($7.00) and Donegal Jim ($4.30) to narrow the gap.

Cummings had a double on the card, however, and enjoys a 45-40 advantage.

Ron Beback Jr. had a driving triple and a training double. He drove and conditioned That Horse JD ($7.80) and Tymal Viva ($9.40) to wins and steered Dont Sweat My Swag to a $4.80 victory for trainer JD Perrin.

Jim McNeight also had a pair of wins on the 13-race program.

The racing will resume on Saturday afternoon when another 13-race card will be presented at 2:30 p.m.

The quarterfinals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series will be contested in the first, second, seventh and ninth races. The top four finishers in each leg will return next Saturday night for the semi-finals.

Also, the featured $9,500 pace will go off as the third race as Rude Boy, a winner of 3-for-4 races this season, will score from the six post as the 3-1 morning line favorite. Dobson will be in the sulky.

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


February 19, 2015

Buffalo Adjusts Post Time February 20 &21

Due to high voltage power issues on the Hamburg Fairgrounds, Buffalo Raceway has moved first post for Friday February 20 and Saturday February 21 to 2:30 pm.

“Unfortunately we were forced to cancel the last six races Wednesday night. At this time, we don’t know the status of the power issues that affect the track lights. The horsemen are prepared to race, and, we want to make one hundred percent certain that they do,” said COO Jim Mango.

Buffalo Raceway located on The Fairgrounds in Hamburg, NY offers harness racing Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and year round simulcast wagering.


Ugly Betty, Justgottogethere Register Buffalo Raceway Wins

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ugly Betty turned in another 'beauty' of a victory and Justgottogethere pulled a shocker to highlight the action at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (February 18).

It was an easy gate-to-wire win for Ugly Betty in the $9,500 conditioned pace for fillies and mares while Justgottogethere used a perfect pocket trip to register a $59.50 surprise in the co-featured $9,500 conditioned trot.

The program wasn't completed, however, as Buffalo Raceway was forced to cancel the races after the fifth race due to electrical issues.

Ugly Betty ($6.10) started from the rail and never looked back in cruising to her second straight win, an impressive 4-1/2 length decision over Memumsnotnice. Shawn Gray set sail from the rail with Ugly Betty and posted splits of 29.0, 58.0, 1:27.3 in posting a seasonal best time of 1:57.0. Memumsnotnice hung on for place (Frank Milby) while Sadies Place (Draw Monti) finished in third.

Owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone, Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage) is a 7-year-old mare who is trained by Dennis Dylo. With the win, Ugly Betty has now earned $13,425 this season and $186,798 lifetime.

It was a perfect game plan used by driver Jim McNeight and Justgottogetthere to get the victory in the featured trot.

Dropping into the garden spot at the start behind the pace-setting Lutetium, Justgottogetthere and McNeight waited patiently until the top of the stretch. They then roared by the leg weary Lutetium to pull away for the stunning 2-1/2 length win in 2:02.1. Fiorentina (Milby) showed late kick for second while Northern Spark (John Cummings Jr.) placed third.

The $59.50 win price by Justgottogetthere (Valley Victor-Mara's Theme) spurred a $480.50 exacta and $4,390.50 trifecta.

Justgottogetthere is a 6-year-old gelding owned by Antonietta Landi and the North Creek Racing Stable LLC. Jerry Nugent Jr. trained the the winner, now 2-for-3 on the season. It pushed the trotter's earnings to $10,000 in 2015 and $148,482 in his career.

Racing continues on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race card scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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


February 12, 2015

Ugly Betty, City Kid Rally For Buffalo Raceway Victories

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Ugly Betty and City Kid each rallied in deep stretch to pull out thrilling victories in the co-featured events at Buffalo Raceway on a snowy Wednesday night (February 11).

Ugly Betty took the $9,500 fillies and mares pace in 1:57.2 while City Kid notched the win in the $9,500 conditioned trot in 2:00.4 over the good track.

In the opening co-feature, Ugly Betty may have won the race in the opening quarter mile. Memumsnotnice (Kevin Cummings) tried to get to the lead but was stung by Ugly Betty (Shawn Gray) who handed out a parking ticket before relenting at the first marker.

From there, Ugly Betty ($10.00) drafted behind the pace-setter until the top of the stretch where the 7-year-old mare popped the pocket and wore down Memumsnotnice. Bad Girl Vegas (Billy Dobson) went down the passing lead and rallied fast for second place while Memumsnotnice had to settle for a disappointing third.

Co-owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone and trained by Dennis Dylo, it was the first victory of the season for Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage). It moved her earnings in 2015 to $8,575 and $182,548 lifetime.

As expected in the co-featured trot, Lutetium set sail to the top and dared anyone to catch him. While the betting public thought it was going to be Second Hand News, it was City Kid (Dobson) who did and sprung the $9.10 surprise.

Lutetium (Cummings) had no trouble getting to the top, setting the tempo with times of 29.3, 59.4 and 1:30.3. It was City Kid, however, that sat the garden spot and trotted away from the tiring Lutetium to score the half-length victory. Long shot Northern Spark (John Cummings Jr.) took the show position.

The heavily favored Second Hand News looked in perfect striking position on the outside before the three-quarter marker but failed to fire, settling for fifth place.

City Kid (Cincinnati Kid-Salagadoola) is owned by Barbara Russo and is conditioned by Neal Russo. It was the second win in five starts this year for the 7-year-old gelding and pushed his winnings to $8,498 and $169.351 lifetime.

Racing continues on Friday night with a 13-race card slated for 6:35 p.m.

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


February 8, 2015

King Otra Rallies To Take Buffalo Raceway Feature

HAMBURG, NY. --- King Otra returned to the throne and the pacers started eliminations in the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series to highlight the action at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (February 7).

In the $9,500 Open II Pace, Nothingbutmach (Shawn Gray) did the dirty work, setting the fractions of 29.0, 58.1 and 1:27.1. But in stretch, it was the pocket-sitting King Otra (Billy Dobson) who reaped the reward as he was able to stick a nose in front at the wire. A 28.1 final panel helped King Otra to the narrow victory over the tough luck runner up Nothingbutmach while Scofanman (David McNeight II) took the show spot. The winning time was 1:55.2 over the good track.

It was the second win in four starts this season for King Otra, who is owned by Barbara Russo and trained by Neal Russo. It upped his 2015 earnings to $12,160 and $215,458 lifetime.

The Niatross Knockout Claiming Series began with six divisions being contested.

One Chaser (Kevin Cummings) produced the fastest time and the largest win price, going the mile in 1:57.3 and returning $15.80 to his backers.

Delightful Caitlin (Brett Crawford) went the mile in 1:58.3 to win her division and give her supporters a $6.70 return.

Goddess's Justin (Cummings) toured the Hamburg track in 1:58.4 and paid $2.80 while Dedalos (Drew Monti) pulled a mild $11.80 upset with a 1:58.2 winning mark.

Nighthawk Hall ($2.40) took an elimination for Dobson in 1:58.4 while Jettison (Cummings) took the final leg with a 1:58.3 clocking. Jettison paid $4.60.

The quarter-finals of the Niatross Knockout Claiming Series will be held next Saturday night.

Racing will resume on Wednesday evening with a 13-race card scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

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


February 7, 2015

Kevin Cummings Reaches 3000-Victory Mark With Buffalo Win

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was appropriate that Kevin Cummings reached 3,000 driving wins in his career when he steered Most Happy Rider ($10.60) to a narrow neck decision in Buffalo Raceway's seventh race on Friday night (February 6).

Cummings became just that, a 'most happy rider' after sweating out the photo finish before officially being awarded the milestone victory.

"I didn't think I won it at the wire," a relieved Cummings said after the win. "I didn't think the photo (at the wire) did the finish justice. I thought it was a lot closer. (Second place finisher) Ideal Rowan was getting to me and had the momentum."

Cummings scored his 2,999th victory in the fourth race aboard Camstar ($3.20) but came up empty in his next two attempts. The third time became the charm as he went gate-to-wire with Most Happy Rider, who is trained by his brother Anthony Cummings and owned by Sidney Easton. They covered the mile in 1:59.1.

"I just wanted to get it over with," Cummings said after missing on two tries to reach the 3,000-win plateau. He added, "It's a big accomplishment for me. It just isn't a number." He finished the night with a triple.

Cummings started his racing career in 1989 where he won three races in his 15 starts and had earnings of just $4,438. His initial victory was Orlando Otto.

However, things skyrocketed after the calendar year turned to 2000. He had 132 victories that year and then reached the 200-win mark for the first time in 2005 with 209 victories.

Cummings then cracked the $1 million barrier in 2009 for the first time when he posted 265 wins with $1,189,102 in earnings. He's reached the million dollar mark every season since.

But the best was yet to come. His best campaign came in 2014 when Cummings won both the Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway driving titles thanks to a career-highs of 334 victories and $1,557,050 in earnings. It was the first time ever he won both crowns in the same year.

Over the span from 2009 until now, Cummings has amassed 1,477 victories and well over $7 million in earnings.

The way the 44-year-old Cummings is driving, it shouldn't take too long to reach the 4,000-win mark.


February 5, 2015

Memumsnotnice, City Kid Victorious At Buffalo Raceway

   

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The snow was coming down but it didn't halt Memumsnotnice and City Kid from registering popular victories in co-featured events at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (February 4).

Memumsnotnice ($2.60) went coast-to-coast in the $9,500 Optional Claiming Pace for the ladies in 1:59.4 while City Kid ($5.00) needed every inch of the mile in the $8,500 Open II Trot to score a come-from-behind neck victory over Northern Spark in 2:02.1 over the good track.

Dropping down a notch from the Open Pace for Fillies and Mares, Memumsnotnice set sail from the rail for driver Kevin Cummings in the first race. Posting fractions of 30.2, 1:00.4 and 1:31.4, she put up a final panel of 28.0 to keep the pocket-sitting Bad Girl Vegas (Billy Dobson) a half-length behind. R U For Me (Truman Gale) took the show position.

Co-owned by Thatsideofthefence LLC and John Mungillo, it was the second victory in four starts this season for Memumsnotnice (Jereme's Jet-Bunny Town). Trained by Mungillo, the 6-year-old mare has earned $15,250 in 2015 and $269,950 lifetime.

City Kid, in the meantime, sat the pocket and used a late surge to just nip the pace-setting Northern Spark in the Open II Trot.

After drafting in the garden spot behind Northern Spark (John Cummings Jr.), City Kid (Dobson) was bound and determined to get the victory. A final surge on the outside at the wire got the job done for City Kid as Northern Spark had to settle for a disappointing second place. Fiorentina (Shawn Gray) took third.

City Kid (Cincinnati Kid-Salagadoola), a 7-year-old gelding, is owned by Barbara Russo and is trained by Neal Russo. It was his first win of the season and moved his 2015 earnings to $7,635.

Buffalo Raceway completed the first month of the 2015 season with some eye-popping numbers. With nine racing days compared to the same number of dates in 2014, there was an increase of 40 percent in total handle wagered nationwide, averaging over $250,000 nightly. The wagering on track also increased by15 percent.

Racing will continue on Friday night with a 13-race program set to go to the post starting at 6:35 p.m.

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


February 3, 2015

Dr. Richard Hall Passes Away At Age 91

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Dr. Richard J. Hall ('Doc Hall') of Eden, N.Y. passed away on Sunday, February 1, 2015 at the age of 91. He was a long-time breeder and owner of standard bred horses in Western New York. He also served for many years as Buffalo Raceway track veterinarian.

Dr. Hall, a veterinarian for 62 years, was a member of the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association for the past 40 years. He was still a member until his passing and served as the Association's President from 1984 until 1992.

He was involved in harness racing for 80 years. He was introduced to the sport by his father at the age of 11.

Dr. Hall, a member of the Western New York Veterinarians Association, was a graduate of the Ohio State University of Veterinary Medicine.

Current Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association President Bruce Tubin said of Dr. Hall, "He was a timeless advocate of the every day local horseman. He was extremely generous when devoting his time and services to the horsemen at any time of any day. Dr. Hall he was way ahead of his time when it came to equine medical procedures and treatments."

Tubin added, "One of Dr. Hall's greatest thrills was our annual picnic where he was able to speak with all the horsemen and their families."

Vicky Loretto said of her father, "I remember my Dad and Mom taking me to the race track back in the 1960s. He just loved going to the race track. He loved the people there."

Dr. Hall is survived by his wife, Florence, and children Richard Hall, Thomas Hall, Ann Vakoc, Vicky Loretto. He was also the grandfather of T. Gus Hall, Kenneth Vakoc, Kathryn Hrisca along with Hayley, Drew and Madison Loretto.

The family will be present to receive friends Thursday from 1-4 p.m.and 7-9 p.m. at the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home, Inc., 5453 Southwestern Blvd. (corner of Rogers Rd.), Hamburg, N.Y. (716-646-5555). Funeral services are Friday morning at 11 o'clock at St. James United Church of Christ, 76 Main St., Hamburg, N.Y. (please assemble at church).


February 2, 2015

Frank Milby Getting Comfortable At Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- When driver Frank Milby was looking for a place to compete during the off season on the Maryland harness racing circuit, he decided his landing spot would be Buffalo Raceway.

Frigid Western New York in the dead of winter? Why, Frank, why? His response was very simple, "Why not?"

"I love to race and I felt Buffalo Raceway was the best fit for me," Milby said. "I wanted to race when the Maryland tracks were shut down. I looked around. I raced a few years ago at Vernon Downs (in the summer months, however) and I liked it there. I knew a few people from Vernon who are now racing at Buffalo Raceway so here I am."

The cold weather surprisingly hasn't affected Milby. "I was worried about being cold at first but I actually haven't felt it that much. I've stayed warm all the time. I'd love to drive all 13 races...the cold hasn't bothered me at all."

While he has kept himself warm, he sure has made the tote board red-hot thus far.

It didn't take Milby long to make himself known on the Western New York scene as he won the first race of the 2015 campaign at Buffalo Raceway when he guided Memumsnotnice to a $38.60 victory.

"Getting that win in the first race opening night took some of the pressure off me," Milby admitted. "Being new here, you don't want to wait to get that first one."

While posting the huge mutuel price on opening night, the 36-year-old Milby wasn't done yet. On Friday, January 23rd, he brought Nineanddivine from the eight post to register a $186.00 win price. Currently, Milby has six wins on the season at Buffalo with his average winner returning $52.60 his backers.

"Just been lucky," Milby said about pulling the upsets in the early part of the season. "I've been second call on some horses, gotten some outside posts so I've been trying to keep them going to get the owners a check. I've been fortunate enough to get some good trips and get the win."

While driving just a handful of races in his career at Buffalo Raceway for this winter, he was able to train a few horses the morning of opening night to get a feel for the Hamburg half-mile oval. "I've found if you keep the horse along the rail, the stretch is pretty long and you can make a move there."

He said the people on the backstretch of Buffalo Raceway have been great. "A lot of trainers have helped me out, especially Ron Van Wagoner," he stated. "I am getting more drives and hopefully it continues. I'd love to get 13 a night."

Milby also said of why the move to Buffalo Raceway. "I love working with the babies, breaking them. But the owner I worked for didn't get any this year so it kind of freed up my schedule."

He admitted he loved to drive the youngsters in the Sires Stakes and is hoping for an opportunity this spring and summer arises. "I did well in the New York Sire Stakes a few years back at Vernon Downs and if I stay here all season, I'd love the chance race them here."

Milby is also approaching a career mark, that being 2,000 career victories. He is just 13 away from that milestone.

"I know I am getting close but I am really not trying to pay attention to it because if you do, you can start to over drive," he said. "I am just going one race at a time and when it happens, it happens."

Milby started racing at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland and has competed at Chester, Colonial, Dover and Harrington Raceway. He's sitting on 1,987 career wins and has almost $10.5 million in lifetime earnings. Milby's best season came in 2013 where he had 265 victories and $1.5 in earnings.

And his initial thoughts on the local harness racing scene after a month, Milby was nothing but praise. "The people are great. The track is good. I love Hamburg...it's a nice place. I live in the middle of nowhere in Maryland so it's great here.

He also has liked the cuisine. Milby said, "I've had chicken wings at three different spots and can't wait to try 'that sandwich'." The sandwich he is referring to is 'beef on weck'.

As for the rest of the season, "I am going to play it by ear," Milby said. "Whenever you have a job, you can always do better. I think I am doing good now, but I definitely can do better. The big races are on Tuesday in Maryland so I might be able to race there then come back here for the rest of the week."

Milby did admit, however, that becoming a Bills' fan won't happen. "Nope...A Ravens here...that won't change."


February 1, 2015

Youwillwishyouhad Continues Torrid Streak At Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Youwillwishyouhad has become a regular customer of Buffalo Raceway track photographer Steve Roth in the winner's circle.

There was yet another photo session with him on Saturday night as Youwillwishyouhad continued the 2015 campaign with another victory in the $10,500 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night.

Now a perfect 3-for-3 this season and in the money 25 of 31 starts since the beginning of 2014 including 14 wins, Youwillwishyouhad (John Cummings Jr.) came charging down the lane to take a neck decision over Nothingbutmach in 1:56.1 over the fast track.

Surprisingly sent off the third choice in the field of seven at 3-1, Youwillwishyouhad ($8.60) was assigned the seven post and sat back and watched the action on the front end for more than a half-mile.

But down the back stretch the final time, Cummings Jr. gave Youwillwishyouhad the green light to go and he responded perfectly, winging it three-wide to the three-quarter marker. Through the stretch, the 4-year-old gelding paced smartly past the remaining field and notched the head decision over a late driving long-shot Nothingbutmach (Shawn Gray). A 28.4 last quarter by Youwillwishyouhad proved to the crushing blow to the field.

King Otra, the post time favorite, finished third with Billy Dobson in the bike.

Owned by Leonard Segall and trained by James Clouser Jr., Youwillwishyouhad (Artiscape-Dawn's Ideal) has now earned $15,750 this season and $81,917 lifetime.

Dobson and Kevin Cummings each had three victories on the card while Cummings Jr. doubled.

The harness racing action will resume Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a solid 13-race program to be presented starting at 5 p.m.

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


January 31, 2015

Legerdepan Fastest In Niatross Prep Races At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The popular Niatross Knockout Claiming Series begins next Saturday at Buffalo Raceway and some of the pacers slated to participate got to eyeball their competition in four divisions of prep races on a frigid Friday night (January 30).

Legerdepan ($4.90) produced the best time of all four winners as he went gate-to-wire for driver Billy Dobson in 1:59 over the fast track.

Emmys Junior Grin posted a popular $3.40 victory for Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings in 1:59.2 to take a leg.

Donegal Jim ($5.50) remained razor-sharp with a 2:00.1 decision. It was the second win in three starts this year for Donegal Jim, a 14-time winner in 2014.

Dave Panlone ($5.80) captured his prep race with a nose victory in 2:01 for Dobson.

Racing will continue on Saturday night with a 13-race program scheduled to begin at 6:35 p.m. The $10,500 Open Pace will go as the eighth race. Youwillwishyouhad has been installed as the 2-1 morning line choice from the seven post with John Cummings Jr. in the sulky.

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


January 29, 2015

Justgottogetthere, Bazooka Terror Victorious At Buffalo Raceway

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Justgottogetthere pulled the surprise while Bazooka Terror used a new tactic to highlight their victories in the co-featured events at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (January 28).

In the $10,500 Open Trot, Justgottogetthere was thinking that down the stretch and 'just got there' in time in holding off a flying Second Hand News by a head, posting the $39.00 upset victory in 1:59.3.

Bazooka Terror ($7.40) in the meantime is usually a hard-charging closer. Things were different in the $10,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace this week as driver Kevin Cummings took the 6-year-old mare to the lead from the eight post and scored the front-running half-length win over Memumsnotnice in 1:57.0 over the good track.

Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) sat the pocket behind the pace-setting Lutetium, who set fractions of 29.0, 59.1 and 1:29.3 in the Open Trot. Taking the lead midway down the lane, Justgottogetthere had just enough left in the tank to fend off Second Hand News (Frank Milby), who was hindered just a bit at the top of the stretch by a breaking Southwind Warsaw. Lutetium held on for the show spot.

Owned by Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing LLC, it was the 20th career victory for Justgottogetthere, who has now earned $143,732 lifetime. Jerry Nugent Jr. trained the winner.

Bazooka Terror took almost a quarter-mile to get to the top in the Fillies and Mares Open Pace and once she did, she proved more than capable of going gate-to-wire. After posting a brisk 28.3 opening panel, Cummings was able to control the tempo and never looked back.

Memumsnotnice (Billy Dobson) made a mild rally late at Bazooka Terror but finished a non-threatening half-length back at the wire while Up Front Cruiser (Milby) placed third.

It was the second win in three starts this season for Bazooka Terror and upped her seasonal earnings to $11,340. She is owned by Leonard Segall and is trained by James Clouser Jr.

The racing resumes on Friday night with another 13-race card slated for 6:35 p.m.

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


January 25, 2015

Youwillwishyouhad Sharp Again In Buffalo Raceway Open

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Youwillwishyouhad is making the 2015 harness racing season as successful as his 2014 campaign as he scored another impressive victory in the $10,500 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (January 24).

After posting 11 victories in 28 starts last year and finishing in the money 13 other times, Youwillwishyouhad made it a perfect 2-for-2 in the early going of 2015 after romping to an easy 2-1/2 length win over Western Alumni in 1:57.3 over the good track.

Starting from the three post, Youwillwishyouhad had little resistance in getting to the lead and put up fractions of 29.2, 59.3 and 1:29.0. Turning for home, driver John Cummings Jr. had Youwillwishyouhad in cruise control and looked for some challengers which never materialized. Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) skimmed the pylons to take second while No Real Surprise (Frank Milby) held on for third.

Owned by Leonard Segall and trained by James Clouser Jr., the 4-year-old Youwillwishyouhad (Artiscape-Dawn's Ideal) has now earned $10,500 this season and $76,657 lifetime. It was his 17th career trip to the winner's circle in just 39 starts.

Billy Dobson had a good night in the bike as he produced five winners while David McNeight III had a double.

Racing will continue on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 13-race card.

The early daily double will feature the $10,500 Open Trot and the $10,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace.

The opener is expected to be another showdown between trotters Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) and Second Hands News (Frank Milby). Lutetium is the slight 8-5 morning line favorite starting from the six hole while Second Hand News is next at 3-1 but gets the seven spot.

The F&M Open Pace will feature the hard-charging Bazooka Terror (Cummings) who was assigned the outside eight post. Bazooka Terror is listed as the 3-1 second pick behind 5-2 choice Memumsnotnice who drew the three hole with Billy Dobson in the sulky.

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


January 24, 2015

Nineanddivine Posts Huge Upset At Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The trotters in the second race at Buffalo Raceway sure did put on a show Friday night (January 23) and when the dust settled, Nineanddivine (Frank Milby) took a nose victory and returned a whopping $186.00 for the victory.

The top four finishers were all within a head of each other in the end and the entire field of eight were just three lengths apart at the wire.

Tremendous Hit (Shawn Gray) was in command through three-quarters of a mile but said good night at the top of the stretch. Trotters then started coming from everywhere in the lane and Nineanddivine, sitting seventh in the drive for the finish, rallied and nosed out 13-1 shot Chrome Finish (Ray Fisher Jr.) for the victory. Ryan's Caviar (Jim McNeight), 18-1 shot, was a head back to take third.

The $2 exacta of 8-6 returned $2,131 and the 50-cent trifecta of 8-6-5 was worth $6,228.

Nineanddivine is owned by Todd Santoro and is trained by Gary Gibson.

Racing will resume on Saturday night with another 13-race card scheduled.

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


January 22, 2015

Bazooka Terror, Second Hand News Win Buffalo Raceway Co-Features

   

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- They used two different routes but post time favorites Bazooka Terror and Second Hand News each found their way to the winner's circle at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday night (January 21) in the co-featured events.

Bazooka Terror went from last to first to take the $10,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace while Second Hand News showed plenty of heart in going gate-to-wire in the $10,500 Open Trot.

Buffalo Raceway's leading driver Kevin Cummings had a lot of patience with Bazooka Terror in the opener. After sitting sixth and last past the half-mile pole, the pair went first over down the backstretch and easily cruised past Memumsnotnice (Frank Milby) and Seascape Hanover (Ron Beback Jr.) in the stretch to score the 1-1/4 length win in 1:56.3. The winner turned in a 28.0 final panel.

Bazooka Terror (Western Terror-Lucky Liz) is a 6-year-old mare owned by Leonard Segall and is trained by James Clouser Jr. In the money 29 of 41 races in 2014, Bazooka Terror has now earned $157,987 lifetime with the victory.

In the Open Trot, Second Hand News and Milby set the fractions of 28.4, 58.4 and 1:29 and had the the usually front-running Lutetium breathing down their neck until the top of the stretch.

Second Hand News was first attacked by Lutetium on the outside down the stretch with no luck. Then midway down the lane, Cummings dropped Lutetium into the passing lane but again to no avail as Second Hand News ($4.40) and Milby opened up a 2-1/4 length edge at the wire. They went the mile in 1:57.3. City Kid (Billy Dobson) finished in third.

The 13-year-old Second Hand News (Pathway To Victory-Mohawk Super Night) is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Kent Conshafter. Ron Van Wagoner trained Second Hand News, now a perfect 2-for-2 on the young season.

Racing will continue on Friday night with a 13-race program set to begin at 6:35 p.m.

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


January 18, 2015

Youwillwishyouhad Cruises To Buffalo Raceway Open Victory

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Youwillwishyouhad loves racing on the front end. Drawing the rail in the $10,500 Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway would seem like a recipe for success. It was.

After playing given-and-go with Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) to the opening quarter pole, driver John Cummings Jr. put Youwillwishyouhad back on the lead and never looked back in posting a convincing 1 1/4-length win over No Real Surprise (Frank Milby) in a sizzling 1:55.4 over the fast track Saturday night (January 17).

Youwillwishyouhad (Artiscape-Dawn's Ideal) has been on an incredible stretch dating back to last year. The 4-year-old gelding has six wins and two places in his last eight starts. Also, since the start of 2014, he's been in the money 25-of-29 times including 12 wins.

After posting fractions of 29.3, 59.3 and 1:28, Youwillwishyouhad ($6.60) enjoyed a two-length edge at the top of the stretch and used a 27.4 final panel to keep No Real Surprise and third place finisher Cheyenne Cam (Billy Dobson) at a safe distance.

Youwillwishyouhad increased his lifetime bankroll to $71,417 with the victory. He is owned by Leonard Segall and is trained by James Clouser Jr.

Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 12-race card. The co-features will be the $10,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace and the $10,500 Open Trot. They will go off as the first and third races respectively.

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


January 17, 2015

Kevin Cummings Remains Red-Hot At Buffalo Raceway

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The temperature outside may be hovering near zero at Buffalo Raceway but driver Kevin Cummings is as hot as a mid-summer afternoon.

After scoring four times on the opening card Wednesday evening, Cummings had another huge night Friday (January 16) with four more victories to highlight the 10-race card. He now has eight wins in just 21 starts.

Cummings had a career year with 334 victories last season and over $1.5 million in purse earnings, taking both the Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs driving titles. Thus far, he hasn't missed a beat to start the 2015 campaign.

He scored the four-bagger with Emmy's Junior Grin ($5.90), A Little Crazy ($10.20), Yohansbastion Mach ($5.50) and Jettison ($5.10).

Shawn Gray, who also had four winners on Wednesday, came back with a double on the frigid Friday night.

Racing will continue on Saturday evening at 6:35 p.m. with a 13-race card. The feature is the $10,500 Open Pace that has attracted a field of six.

Youwillwishyouhad is the morning line favorite at 2-1 with John Cummings Jr. in the sulky. Youwillwishyouhad starts from the rail and has five victories and a pair of second places finishes in his last seven appearances.

No Real Surprise will start from the two post as the 3-1 second choice with Frank Milby in the bike. No Real Surprise comes in on a four-race win streak.

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


January 15, 2015

Memumsnotnice Takes Buffalo Raceway Opening Feature

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It didn't take long for driver Frank Milby to make himself known at Buffalo Raceway as he drove long shot Memumsnotnice ($38.60) to a stunning half-length victory in the featured $10,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace Wednesday evening (January 14).

It topped the successful opening night of the 92-day meet at Buffalo Raceway. Director of Operations Jon Cramer was delighted with the opener. "It was our best handle in at least 10 years. The handle was $377,777. There was some great racing out there tonight and some nice prices."

Milby, a regular at Dover Downs and Rosecroft Raceway, found his initial appearance at the Hamburg half-mile oval a memorable one. He smartly sent Memumsnotnice past the pace-setting S A Lowe (Billy Dobson) in the stretch. They covered the mile in 1:57.1 over the good track on the crisp, clear night. Seascape Hanover (Ron Beback Jr.) took the show spot.

S A Lowe set the fractions with times of 28.4, 59.0 and 1:28.2 and looked comfortable on the front end. But Memumsnotnice had other ideas. She followed the cover of the parked Ashlee's Cool Gal down the back stretch and was tipped three-wide by Milby at the three-quarter pole. From there, Milby used some mild encouragement on Memumsnotnice in the lane and she responded to draw off by a half length over a stubborn S A Lowe.

Owned by John Mungillo and Thatsideofthefence LLC and trained by Mungillo, it was the 16th career victory for Memumsnotnice and pushed the 6-year-old mare's lifetime earnings to $260,200.

Shawn Gray had a impressive return to Buffalo Raceway as he registered a four-bagger and also had a training win. Kevin Cummings also posted four driving victories while JD Perrin and Maria Rice each had two training wins.

Racing will resume on Friday night with a 10-race program set for 6:35 p.m.


January 13, 2015

Buffalo Raceway Opens Wednesday

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Buffalo Raceway is wasting no time in getting the 2015 live racing season off to a great start as the featured $10,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace is scheduled as the first race on the solid 12-race opening night card Wednesday. Post time is 5 p.m.

Bazooka Terror has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the opener despite being assigned the eight post. Defending Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs leading driver Kevin Cummings is slated to be in the sulky.

In her last appearance on December 6th at Batavia Downs, Bazooka Teror rolled to an impressive 3-1/2 length victory in 1:57.2. Trained by newcomer Jim Clousser Jr., Bazooka Terror posted 11 victories last season and earned $85,621 for owner Leonard Seagall. The 6-year-old was named 2014 'Mare of the Meet' at Batavia Downs.

Mondatta could be the main threat with David McNeight III in the bike. Starting from the rail, she has a pair of seconds and two third place finishes in her last four appearances. Mondatta is the 4-1 second choice.

The remainder of the field includes Ugly Betty (John Cummings Jr.), S A Lowe (Billy Dobson), Memumsnotnice (Frank Milby), You're To Funny (Jack Flanigen), Ashlee's Cool Gal (Shawn Gray) and Seascape Hanover (Ron Beback Jr.).

As the Buffalo Raceway season kicks off, a pair of drivers will looking to reach some lofty milestones. Kevin Cummings is just 30 wins away from 3,000 career victories while Frank Milby is just 20 away from the 2,000 plateau.

"I'd like to finish like where I left off in 2014," Cummings said. He had 334 victories last season and over $1.5 million in purse earnings.

When asked about nearing the 3,000-win mark, Cummings said, "I don't really think about it. I just want to stay on the roll I was on last year. It will come when it comes."

Wednesday night, the $5,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 sequence starts in the fifth race. There will also be free racing programs, free magnetic racing schedules along with $3 food and beverage specials in the clubhouse.

Racing will then resume on Friday and Saturday night with a 6:35 p.m. start time. For more information including entries, results, replays and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com


January 5, 2015

Buffalo Raceway Set For Season Opener Jan. 14th

by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The barns are completely full, the race track surface has been rebanked and some top-notch drivers are ready to roll into town as Buffalo Raceway gets into final preparation mode for the 2015 harness racing season.

The 92-day race meet begins on Wednesday, January 14th with a 5 p.m. post for the 13-race program.

The season schedule shows live racing on Wednesday evenings at 5 p.m. along with Friday and Saturday nights with 6:35 p.m. posts. Buffalo Raceway will then add the popular Sunday afternoon cards beginning on June 7th. The season concludes on Sunday, July 26th.

"We are expecting a great year," Buffalo Raceway's Director of Operations Jon Cramer said. "The barns are completely full, the track has been rebanked and our simulcasting is growing. We will be sending our signal throughout the state of Illinois this year and at Hoosier Park in Indiana. Also, we'll be on TVG and we expect our Canadian simulcast to grow as well."

Buffalo Raceway has been known in the past few years as the place to be for top drivers nationally to come for the winter months. This season, Buffalo Raceway may have hit the jackpot.

Scheduled to get in the sulky at the half-mile track includes two-time defending National Dash champion Ronnie Wrenn Jr. (847 wins), Rosecroft Raceway's top reinsman Frank Milby (245 wins) and Saratoga regular Billy Dobson (352 wins).

This season also marks the return of Shawn Gray, Buffalo Raceway's 2012 top driver in 2012 who posted 206 victories and over $1 million in earnings that year.

The newcomers will be challenging local star Kevin Cummings who won both the 2014 Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs driving crowns. Cummings had a career season with 334 victories and over $1.5 million in earnings.

Between Wrenn Jr., Milby, Dobson and the red-hot Cummings, they combined for 1778 wins in 2014. Those numbers should make for some competitive races and for driver supremacy at Buffalo to say the least in the early part of 2015.

Other regulars returning to the track include the three young guns in Shawn McDonough, David McNeight III and Drew Monti along with veterans Jim McNeight and Jack Flanigen.

Opening night includes free programs, free magnetic 2015 racing schedules, the Guaranteed $5,000 Pick-4 that begins in the fifth race along with $3 Wednesday specials which includes draft beer, hot dogs, pretzels and pizza.

New this year in January and February, make a reservation in the clubhouse for a Saturday night and each person will receive a free racing program, a $5 Hamburg Gaming free play and your table will get $5 off your Winner's Circle Cafe purchase. Reservations can be made by calling 716-649-1280, ext. 300. The clubhouse will have open seating on Wednesday and Friday nights.

Members of the Player's Rewards Club who wager $500 on Buffalo Raceway in either January or February will receive a free Buffalo Raceway polo shirt with their rewards voucher.

Other promotions set later this season will include the annual March Handicapping Contest with the winner receiving entry into the World Harness Handicapping Championships at the Meadowlands in April, the always popular Father's Day promotion, Back To The Track and Kentucky Derby Day.

On the track, expect some great racing with the renovation of the racing strip. The turns have been rebanked. Also nearly 6,000 tons of material was put down and drainage has been improved at the finish line area.

Tom Agosti, Buffalo Raceway's Racing Secretary, is entering his first full season in that role and is extremely optimistic about the upcoming season. "We are full in the barn area and I think we've got enough horses to be comfortable running 13 races a night, three nights a week. You look around and every track is losing horses. They are staying home now, like in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where we used to get horses. Tracks there are offering the same purses as we are at Buffalo."

Agosti said he's really trying to build the $6,000 to $10,000 claiming bracket at Buffalo Raceway. "That level should be the meat of our racing," he stated. "We seemed to have lost that middle class and I am trying to raise it back up."

On Wednesday nights, Agosti is trying to keep things consistent with the Open Trot and Filly and Mares Open Pace expected to go as the early daily double. "It will allow our fans to watch these horses each week, keep track of them and watch them at the same time every Wednesday."

The Niatross Claiming Knockout Pacing Series has been revamped and should be an exciting competition. The "A" division will begin eliminations on February 7th with the finals on February 28th. The "B" division will start on April 4th with the championship on April 25th. Horses eligible are those that have had a base claiming tag of $4,000 (mares $5,000).

The new wrinkle is the top four finishers from each division final will return for a $25,000 Invitational in May.

"The Niatross Series has always been very popular. Now that the $25,000 Invitational has been added, there should be even more interest," Agosti said.

While the stable area is full, one new barn will arrive for the first time winter and that belongs to Jim Clousser. He raced at Batavia Downs in the fall and brings eight into the backstretch at Buffalo Raceway. Previously, Clousser raced at Tioga Downs.

JD Perrin looks to defend his training title at Buffalo Raceway. He won the 2014 title with 76 victories and conditioned 125 winners during the year. Perrin also took the Batavia Downs title.

Now if the weather can just cooperate. Buffalo Raceway had seven cancellations in 2014 due to inclement weather but with a little help from Mother Nature, sunny days could lay ahead for 2015.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway including upcoming promotions, schedule, statistics and news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com

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