BATAVIA, N.Y. --- It is the final week of racing at Batavia Downs starting on Wednesday but there is plenty of excitement and promotions the final three nights that should keep North America's oldest lighted harness track bustling.Wednesday night, there is a 12-race program scheduled beginning at 6:30 p.m. The clubhouse will feature a great special when you purchase an entree, buffet or Rail Bar item, you'll receive $10 back in free play on the VLT's in the new gaming area.
Also, the entire card will also be broadcast live on Time-Warner Cable, Channel 98 in Rochester and surrounding areas.
On Friday night, it is 'Customer Appreciation Night' with free sub quarters complements of the Lewiston Road Subway restaurant along with dessert, cake and coffee from BJ's in the grandstand area. There will also be a free Pick-6 contest worth $1000 beginning in the fourth race. Entries can be submitted at the Player's Club starting at 5 p.m. The Pick-6 is co-sponsored by Batavia Downs and the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association.
The season concludes on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. While the clubhouse is almost sold out, Thurman Thomas' Bar 34-Rush and Fortuna's will be in full service mode for those seeking an alternative dining opportunity on track.
Another free Pick-6 contest is on tap with a minimum payoff of $500. Should no one hit the Pick-6 on Friday night, Saturday's jackpot will be $1000. Should there be more than one winner, on either night, the payoff will be shared equally.
There will be plenty of hardware handed out Saturday as well as the Upstate New York Harness Writer's Association presents its 'Night of Distinction' awards with several different category winners to be announced.
The last three nights will also decide the top driver and trainer of 2013 at Batavia Downs. Provisional driver Shawn McDonough leads the way with 93 victories while Ray Fisher Jr. is second with 84. Should McDonough hold on to the lead, he'll be the first ever provisional driver to win a driving title in North America.
John Mungillo has a six-win lead over JD Perrin for the top trainer honors. Mungillo has led since opening night and has a 63-57 advantage over Perrin going into the last three nights.
Batavia Downs Inter-Track Wagering area will be open at the facility every day starting December 8th.
Harness racing in Western New York switches over to Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday, January 8th for a 99-day meet. First post on opening night will be 5 p.m.
For more information including information on the close week activities, race replays and the latest news, go to http://bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing.
by Brian J. Mazurek, for Batavia Downs