Day At The Track

NYSS and Wiener Dog race weekend at Batavia

12:14 AM 24 Aug 2019 NZST
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Wiener Dog Racing, harness racing Gimpanzee, harness racing
Wiener Dog races are Sunday at Batavia Downs
Tom Melanson photo
Gimpanzee races at Batavia Downs on Saturday in the NYSS
Fotowon photo

Batavia, NY --- It's not too often Batavia Downs gets to host a Hambletonian finalist and Dan Patch Award winner all in the same night, but Saturday (Aug. 24) will be one such occasion as Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows) will be in town to compete in the $118,500 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old colt and gelding harness racing trotters.

After going a perfect nine for nine, sweeping all the NYSS legs and final and closing out the year with a win in the $600,000 Breeders Crown, Gimpanzee was named the Dan Patch 2-year-old colt trotter of 2018. He picked up at three right where he left off when he won his first start in the $215,200 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs and then two consecutive NYSS events. He also took a new lifetime mark of 1:52.4 at Tioga Downs and ran his lifetime unbeaten streak to 12.

His next start was the Hambletonian elimination where he was parked the whole mile from post seven and finished fourth, only a length behind Green Manalishi in a time of 1:50.3. He advanced to the final and experienced almost the exact same trip; left from post seven, was parked the whole mile and finished a strong closing third, beaten only a length behind the winner Forbidden Trade in 1:51.

Gimpanzee's first start in the three weeks since will be in the $58,700 division of the NYSS and for obvious reasons, he is heavily respected as the 1-5 morning line choice. Trainer Marcus Melander has his regular driver Hall of Famer Brian Sears in the bike and they drew post one in this seven-horse race.

There will only be win betting offered on the race.

The Batavia Downs track record for 3-year-old trotting colts is 1:54.3 set by Archangel in 2012 and later tied by his son Top Flight Angel in 2017. Given Gimpanzee's 1:55, 7-1/2 length romp over the half at Yonkers back in June, this record could be in serious jeopardy.

In the second $59,800 split of the evening, Livinonthedash (Muscle Mass-Sunshine Glide) has been made the 2-1 morning choice and certainly looks the part.

Livinonthedash comes in with four wins (all on half-mile tracks) out of his last five starts, the only loss in that stretch being to Gimpanzee. Unraced at two, he made his first state stake start in the Excel A series where he made a break and was placed sixth. From there his fortunes turned around. After two overnight starts at Harrah's Philadelphia, Livinonthedash has since been a formidable contender in the NYSS and has the highest money earned ($129,622) and is the third highest point-getter (179) in his bracket.

The father and son team of trainer Erv Miller and driver Marcus Miller will start from post four.

Winnerup (Credit Winner-Up Front Hotsey) looks to make his presence known despite having drawn post eight as he is the highest money winner ($126,945) and has the second most points (200). Winnerup also likes a half-mile track having won easily at Monticello and Yonkers and just getting beat at Saratoga last week by Livinonthedash.

Trainer Trond Smedshammer who usually drives Winnerup has put Brian Sears in the seat for this race and that is the first time anyone other than Smedshammer has sat behind this horse since April.

Lucky Weekend (Lucky Chucky-Weekend Vacation) has only missed the board once in his last six starts and that was due to a break while out of contention. He comes into this race off a win at Yonkers as well and that was gate to wire from post eight.

Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the lines for trainer Chris Lakata in here.

There are also two $15,000 Excel A races on the card. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.

Wiener Dogs races on Sunday

The “Dog Days of Summer” at Batavia Downs doesn’t only refer to the weather. It also means it's time for the annual Genesee Feeds Wiener Dog races. This popular event is happening once again on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 25) with post time for the first Dachshund dash scheduled for approximately 4:30 p.m. after the completion of the live harness racing card. 

There will be 10 heats 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 will receive $100 in free play, second place finisher $75 in Free Play and third place $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 doggy bags for their athletes from the official sponsor of the Wiener Dog races, Genesee Feeds of Batavia.

The doggy dashes draw one of the biggest crowds of the season to Batavia Downs and is the main event of “Family Fun Day” at the races. 

"Family Fun Day is one of my favorite live racing days of the meet” 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 the entire afternoon and it costs next to nothing.”

Treat the kids to a fun, affordable day out with $1 Sahlen's hot dogs and soda. Then enjoy free pony rides from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. provided courtesy of Castilone Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep of Batavia.

There will also be special guest appearances by Pringles The Clown, Mr. Scribbles, Jason the Juggler, Johnathan the Magician and other fun activities like face painting and sand art for kids of all ages. And everything is presented in a clean, safe environment where kids 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, promotions, race replays and the upcoming live racing schedule including the New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions go to www.bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing.

by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

 
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