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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) hosted its Annual Awards Banquet December 2 at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel, honoring the top horses, trainers, drivers, owners and breeders of the 2018 harness racing season. Awards were given to the 2 and 3-year old champions across the three racings series: the New York Sire Stakes, the Excelsior Series and the County Fair Series. This season's NYSS "Night of Champions" was held at the Yonkers Raceway on September 22. Taking home a combined $1.8 million in purses were champions Winndevie (Credit Winner-Vida De Vie), Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows), Money Shot Hanover (Art Major-Marinade Hanover), Reigning Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven-Little Miss K), Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato), Helpisontheway (Chapter Seven-Porque), Wisdom Tree (Betterthancheddar-Wisdom), and Rockapelo (Rock N Roll Heaven-Capelo Rose). The title of Leading Breeder went to Winbak Farm, Linda Toscano took home Leading Trainer and Jim Morrill Jr. was honored with Leading Driver of 2018. The 2019 Night of Champions' date was unveiled during the awards banquet. New York's richest night of racing will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at Batavia Downs. The evening honored the NYSS Excelsior Champions, who took home $55,000 each at Saratoga Casino Hotel on September 23. The 2018 champions are Lifetime Credit (Credit Winner-Mariah De Vie), Labadee As (Conway Hall-Smith Hall), Heavens Challenge (Rock N Roll Heaven-Challenge Accepted), Cal (American Ideal-Hula's Z Tam), Michando (Muscle Mass-Haul'n Fanny), Nows The Moment (Credit Winner-Glide By), Special Kay Deo (American Ideal-Little Miss K), and Thor De Vie (So Surreal-Pebblebeach De Vie). The evening also celebrated the NYSS County Fair Champions, crowned at Monticello Raceway on September 6, following two months of racing at 20 county fairs across New York State. Each final carried a purse of $10,000, collected by Golden Gypsy (Ulay Boko-Uffra Girl), Hereyago (Muscle Mass-End of Innocence), Lily Hammer (So Surreal-Jens Underdog), Cal (Roll With Joe-Crystal De Vie), Good Luck Ginny (Lucky Chucky-Classical Ginny), Royal Bahama (RC Royalty - Becca J), Heaven's Diva (Rock N Roll Heaven-Village Bolero), and Super Roll (Roll With Joe-Calista). Joseph Chinado Sr. took home Leading Trainer, and his son, Joseph Chindano Jr. took home the title of Leading Driver of 2018. "It's always a special evening to be able to reflect on the past season and relive so many of the impressive moments from the New York Sire Stakes," said M. Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. "We want to thank Batavia Downs for their incredible hospitality and we look forward to being back here next fall for the 2019 Night of Champions." The USTA District 8 Champions recognized at the banquet included Winndevie, Thunder (Conway Hall-Cr Oh Suzanna), Brooklyn Lilacs (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sombodythatiustono), Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star), Atlanta (Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip), Perlucky (Lucky Chucky-Paper Girl), Alexis Faith (American Ideal-Cannae Cammie), and Trump Nation (Betterthancheddar-Late Flyin N). Atlanta took home the coveted title of Horse of the Year, while Toscano was named as Trainer of the Year, Morrill Jr. as Pari-Mutuel Driver of the Year and Chindano Jr. as County Fair Driver of The Year. The Bruce Hamilton Memorial Medal was awarded to longtime NYSS supporter and Standardbred owner, Kenneth Jacobs. The medal is presented annually by Harness Horse Breeders of New York State in recognition of outstanding contributions to harness horse racing and the improvement of breeding Standardbred horses in New York. About the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund: The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund (the Fund) is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races. Jason Politi | Baker Public Relations

Batavia, NY --- As the rain came down, In Runaway Bay N splashed through it in a convincing gate to wire harness racing triumph in the $11,500 Open Handicap pace on Saturday night (Dec. 1) at Batavia Downs. In Runaway Bay N (Kevin Cummings) took early command from post two and set down even early fractions; reaching the half in :58.3. As they rounded the second turn and headed up the backstretch Upfront Countryboy (Billy Davis Jr.) came first-over with Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) on his back and both tried to push the issue from there. Moving to the three-quarters Upfront Countryboy's bid stalled, forcing Iyq Yqr to go three-wide. When In Runaway Bay N tripped the timer there in 1:27.1 he seemed to be pacing stronger as the outside bid from both horses failed. The only challenge left would be from Dark Horse (Shawn McDonough) who had been sitting the pocket trip and was game to take his best shot. But as the race headed down the stretch In Runaway Bay N opened up two-lengths on everyone and paced home sharply to win in 1:55.2. In Runaway Bay N ($6.90) is owned by Mark Jakubik and trained by Angelo Nappo. The 8-year-old altered son of Mach Three has had a stellar year scoring eight wins and earning $66,125 in purses to date, Golden Gun (Josh Kinney) came from well off the pace in the $9,900 Open II undercard and out-muscled Western Rockstar A (Shawn McDonough) and Sunset Sid (Denny Bucceri) at the wire to win in 1:57.2. Owned by the Whiz Kids Stable, the Jeff Sorenson trained Golden Gun ($4.80) scored his eighth win of the year and raised his earnings total to $38,550 for 2018. Kevin Cummings scored a driving Hat Trick on Saturday leading all drivers on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday with post time for the first race at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Another sloppy track greeted participants for Friday night's (Nov. 30) harness racing card but it was no impediment for Empire Earl N who double-moved to victory in the $11,500 Open handicap trot at Batavia Downs. Leaving from post four, Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) tucked second behind Crystal Sphere (Billy Davis Jr.) who led the field to the half in :59.1. At that station the outside train came with Labatt Hanover (Shawn McDonough) on the engine and post time favorite Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) third-over in the caboose, As the group motored up the backside Fisher grew impatient and pulled Lougazi three-wide to try and sweep the field. But several steps into that move Lougazi made a break and the whole raced changed right there. Empire Earl N now had room to come off the pylons and Monti got him rolling around the last turn. After drawing next to Crystal Sphere, Empire Earl N continued right on by and under mild urging, opened up a length lead to win in 1:58.3. Now boasting $84,854 in earnings on the strength of nine wins this year, the 10-year-old Empire Earl N ($12.40) is having a career year for wins, earnings and mark for owner Kim Asher and trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. In the $8,800 Open II trot, Are You In (Kevin Cummings) turned a second-over trip past the half into a winning three-wide move at the top of the stretch where he passed Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) down the lane to win his fourth race of the year, timed in 2:00. Are You In ($5.40) is owned by Anthony Alessi and is trained by his driver, Kevin Cummings. Shawn McDonough had a huge driving triple on Friday, lighting up the board with two of the wins. He scored with Heza Swan ($60.00), Raylan Givens ($6.50) and Back To Motown ($26.80). With no winning ticket on the early Pick-5 on Friday, there is a carry-over of $570 and a guaranteed pool of $1,500 for the early Pick-5 on Saturday evening (Dec.1) when racing resumes at Batavia Downs. Post time for the first race at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs has announced today that a new late-closer series for horses that have raced at the haness racing track this year will be offered in December. "The Dash for Holiday Cash" is for horses that are non-winners of $20,000 in 2018 as of Tuesday (Nov. 27) with at least 10 starts at Batavia Downs and five of those starts must have been for a purse of $5,200 or less since Wednesday (July 25). There is no entry fee for this series. Eliminations will be held on Saturday (Dec. 8) for a purse of $6,000. The final will be on Saturday (Dec. 15) and will offer a purse of $20,000. There will also be a consolation on Saturday (Dec. 15) and they will vie for $8,000. The eliminations will go with six or more horses with no more than two horses per owner or trainer. The finals will go with eight horses with no more than two horses per owner or trainer. There will be one also-eligible drawn for the final. Horses will advance from the eliminations to the finals based on the horses placement in the eliminations, fastest time in the eliminations and most money made in 2018. The series will be on the regular condition sheet for the respective Saturdays and regular entry rules will apply. For any inquiries about this series please contact Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6304. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Trounced would be kind; annihilated would be accurate. Sportsmuffler took the best local harness racing mares to task at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Nov. 28) and taught school after winning by open-lengths going away in the $10,400 Open Handicap fillies and mares pace. Billy Davis Jr. wasted no time getting the lead off the gate and started a gapped journey immediately. After getting to the half in :58.1 over the sloppy track in a snow-globe, Sportsmuffler strode-away to a three-length lead when she hit three-quarters in 1:27. And then after rounding the far turn, she was gone. As she spiraled out the final bend and hit the straight Sportsmuffler was in a race against time alone as no one was even near her. With Davis a mere passenger, Sportsmuffler continued to widen her advantage, eventually stretching it to eight at the wire where she was the easiest of winners in 1:56.1. It was the 10th victory of the year for Sportsmuffler ($2.80) who has now earned $69,306 for owner Rose Campbell. Steve Kiblin does the training. In the $8,800 fillies and mares Open II, Susie's Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) led from gate to wire, taking advantage of pedestrian fractions to the three-quarters to close out the contest with a one-length victory in 1:59.4. Ryan Swift trains the winner for the Swift Racing Stable. Billy Davis Jr. also won two other races on the card Wednesday giving him the Hat Trick to lead all drivers. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Nov. 30) with post time set for 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- After finishing fourth last week while being parked out the whole mile, Iyq Yqr rebounded Saturday night (Nov. 24) with a come-from-behind effort to win the $11,500 Open Handicap harness racing pace at Batavia Downs. There were no leavers this week when the gate released the group, leaving In Runaway Bay (Kevin Cummings) in charge of the fractions and as such, they went to the quarter in :29.2 and the half in :58.4. Cummings breather ended there though as Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) was out and rolling at that point and was looking for revenge. Iyq Yqr moved forward methodically and drew near In Runaway Bay by the three-quarter pole. These two hooked up around the last turn, matching strides and pacing in unison. At the head of the stretch Iyq Yqr got the lead and drew clear to a length advantage that he held to the wire where he won in 1:56.2. It was the eighth win of the year for Iyq Yqr ($8.30) who has now earned $34,451 this year for owners Blindswitch Racing Stable, Anthony Nicometo, Good Friends Racing Stable and Santo Farina. Jeff Amann trains the winner. In the $9,900 Open II pace Dark Horse (Shawn McDonough) made a three-wide move from fourth at the three-quarters to draw alongside of the leading Sunset Sid (Denny Bucceri) around the last turn before going right on by in mid-stretch to win by a length in 1:57.1. Having a career year, Dark Horse ($9.40) now has six wins and $54,696 earned for owner VHF Racing and trainer Sabrina Clevenger. Drew Monti and Denny Bucceri led all drivers on Saturday scoring three wins each on the 13-race card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 28) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Southern Palms has been knocking on the door the past two weeks in Batavia Downs top harness racing trot, but Friday night (Nov. 23) he kicked that door down and dethroned Lougazi in winning the $11,500 Open Handicap trot. Crystal Sphere (Billy Davis Jr.) and Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) both left from mid-pack and settled on the front in that same order. After doing one lap in :58.1 the outer flow came at them with last week's winner Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) sitting third in the three-horse outside assault. As the two-tiers past the five-eighths, Crystal Sphere and Southern Palms had separated from the field and Fisher tipped three-deep around the stalled outer advance, but he was still six-lengths from the front at the three-quarters in 1:27.4. Heading into the lane Cummings pulled Southern Palms and took dead-aim at Crystal Sphere, passing that one halfway down the stretch. But he still had to deal with Lougazi who was flying down the middle of the track and looked like he might reach. But Southern Palms got to the wire first and won by a head in 1:57. It was the eighth win of the year for Southern Palms ($15.60) who has now banked $66,441 in earnings this year for owner Mike Torcello. Western New York racing legend Gerry Sarama trains the winner. The $8,800 Open II trot was won by Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) who tracked the front-running Lenny Mac (Billy Davis Jr.) from the garden spot the entire mile before pulling at the head of the lane and out-trotting her to the wire to win by a head in 1:58.1. It was the fourth win of the year for Barn Winner ($5.90) who is trained by Ryan Swift for owners Tanah Merah Farm and the Swift Racing Stable. Drew Monti and Billy Davis Jr. led all drivers on Friday with two wins each on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Nov. 24) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Who has 63 lifetime wins, 14 of which were taken this year and is currently the fourth winningest mare in North America? That would be Kaitlyn Rae, who bested the top female pacers in western New York once again on Wednesday evening (Nov. 21) after she won the $10,400 Open Handicap pace for fillies and mares at Batavia Downs. Out-stepping Hey Kobe (Ray Fisher Jr.) to the front, Kaitlyn Rae (Drew Monti) took a comfortable lead to the half in :59.1 and three-quarters in 1:29 through 20-degree temperatures and a biting wind. Coming off the far turn, she opened up a two-length advantage and looked to be home free. Sportsmuffler (Billy Davis Jr.) who was last at the half, made a second-over move off cover and was barreling down the lane full of pace. Kaitlyn Rae needed the wire with Sportsmuffler gaining quickly and it came just in time as Kaitlyn Rae hung on by a head in the photo and won in 1:58.2. Kaitlyn Rae ($7.50) is flush this year, earning $75,421 for her owner/trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. She is also currently tied with her well-known win machine stablemate Quicksilvercandy A for wins in 2018. In the $8,800 fillies and mares Open II, Mean Pauline (Shawn McDonough) followed A Crafty Lady (Drew Monti) for seven-eighths of the mile before pulling and brushing past the pace-setter to win her fourth race of the year, timed in 1:57.3. Harry Wortzman owns Mean Pauline ($9.40) who is trained by her driver McDonough. The two hottest drivers currently competing at Batavia Downs are Denny Bucceri and Billy Davis Jr. Over the last five cards of racing Bucceri has won 13 races, including two Grand Slam performances, the second of which was on Wednesday. Bucceri rewarded his backers with scores by Donegal Jim (1:58.4, $3.70), Ciro (2:02, $36.20), Ugly Betty (1:59.4, $6.00) and Wallflower (2:00.1, $4.30). Billy Davis Jr. also won 13 races during that span and not to be outdone by Bucceri, had a driving Hat Trick on the card Wednesday. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 23) with post time at a special early time of 4:45 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Horsemen racing at Batavia Downs should take note of the revised draw schedule for the upcoming Thanksgiving week. There will be a double draw held on Tuesday (Nov. 20) for Friday (Nov. 23) and Saturday (Nov. 24). The box closes at 9 a.m. The main change to note is Saturday's draw is moved up one day from Wednesday to Tuesday. Driver changes for both days must be received by the judges by 3 pm on Tuesday. Also please note that post time for Friday (Nov. 23) is early at 4:45 p.m. while post time for Saturday (Nov. 24) is the regular start time of 6 p.m. For any inquiries about conditions or to call your entries in, please contact Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6304. The complete condition sheet for racing at Batavia Downs is available on the Batavia Downs website (www.bataviadownsgaming.com) under Live Racing>Horsemen>Condition Sheet and also on the USTA website (www.ustrotting.com) by clicking Horsemen>Condition Sheet. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Undoubtedly the most exciting race of the year occurred at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 17) when Lucky McTrucky parked out all comers before driving home a winner in the $11,000 Open Handicap harness racing pacing feature. I'm So Handsome (Kevin Cummings), Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) and Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) left the gate together and paced three-deep around the clubhouse turn and up the backstretch until I'm So Handsome relented, letting Lucky McTrucky and Iyq Yqr continue to argue at the quarter in :26.4. And argue they did. Lucky McTrucky refused to let Iyq Yqr take the front and Iyq Yqr refused to take a seat behind Lucky McTrucky so the pair paced in unison to the half in :55.1. The fanatical feud continued around the third turn before Iyq Yqr said nighty-night, but there was still no rest for the weary. Go Collect N (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled from fourth and drew alongside Lucky McTrucky past the five-eighths and a new battle ensued. Monti and Davis rocked and knocked, high-lined and bounced from the three-quarters all the way to the wire with inches between them left to right and front to back and it took a photo to call the winner. The winner was Lucky McTrucky who closed the deal by a head in 1:54.3 while the sold out clubhouse roared in appreciation. It was the 12th win of the year and 54th of his career for Lucky McTrucky ($4.90) who now boasts $85,815 in earnings this year. The uber-game 9-year-old gelded son of McArdle is owned by Tessa Roland and is trained by JD Perrin, The $9,900 Open II pace was won by Upfront Countryboy (Billy Davis Jr.) who sat third to the quarter before pulling to take the lead by the half and then pulled away by four lengths in the lane to win in 1:54.3. It was the 13th win of the year for Upfront Countryboy ($6.30) who is trained by James Clouser Jr. for owner William Emmons. Drew Monti the top teamster on Saturday scoring a Grand Slam on the card. Besides the big win with Lucky McTrucky, Monti also had pictures taken with Hardts Or Bettor (1:55.2, $10.80), Foreign Officer (1:56.2, $4.80) and Linkjack Hanover (1:56.4, $7.40). All four of Monti's wins were trainees of JD Perrin that are owned by Tessa Roland. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 21) at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY --- On the heels of a Nor'easter that dumped significant amounts of snow, sleet and rain in western New York, the track at Batavia Downs was swampy at best. But that didn't deter Lougazi from flexing his muscle in winning the $11,000 Open Handicap trot on Friday night (Nov. 16). Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) outdueled Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) for the lead and paid the price with a :28.4 quarter. Cummings then grabbed leather to give his horse a breather to the half in 1:00.1. But the party ended there as rolling up on the outside when they hit that second fraction was Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) and he wasn't fooling around. Lougazi hooked up with Southern Palms as they motored up the backside and the two trotted in tandem past the three-quarters and around the last turn. At the head of the stretch, Fisher gave Lougazi his head and then sat chilly in the bike as Lougazi simply walked away from the field to win by two in 2:00.1. Definitely the hottest trotter in western New York, Lougazi ($3.90) scored his 10th win of 2018 for owner Mary Warriner who has now benefited the amount of $54,570 as a result of his performances. The $8,800 Open II trot went to Crystal Sphere (BIlly Davis Jr.) who went gate to wire, pulling away in a romp and winning by six lengths in 2:00.1. It was the 12th win of the year for Crystal Sphere ($15.80) who is trained by James Clouser Jr. for owner William Emmons. Billy Davis Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. were the top reinsmen on Friday, each winning three races on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Nov. 17) at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Plainville, MA --- With only five racing days left in the 2018 Plainridge Park meeting, this was the second-to-last Thursday (Nov. 15) trot-heavy card as the track will be dark on Thanksgiving. However solid efforts and fast times were still seen across the board from the diagonal-gaiters who competed this afternoon. In the $12,000 conditioned event for the 6-year-old and under group, Quicksilver Kemp (James Tomaso) watched from the rear before following cover on the outside from the half to the top of the stretch where he displayed his usual late-closing speed to win by a length in 1:58.1. It was the sixth win of the year for Quicksilver Kemp ($4.80) who has put together a stellar sophomore campaign. The 3-year-old son of Andover Hall has now earned $63,915 for his owner/trainer Joel Wheeler. Then the fastest miles of the day were registered in a pair of mid-level conditioned trots on the strength of surprising performances given under the cold and windy conditions of the day. In the first $8,500 split, Shorething Fashion (Nick Graffam) showed good foot leaving and a lot of heart finishing to out-battle L Dee's Yoyo Ma (Drew Campbell) to wire where he won in a sparkling 1:55.1. Shorething Fashion ($6.00) scored his fifth win of the year for owners Bob McHugh and Mike Eaton, who also does the training. And the second $8,500 contest went to Namesmuscle (Matt Athearn) who sat the perfect trip behind Bruizn (Drew Campbell) before pulling in the stretch to outmuscle that one at the wire and win by a neck in 1:55.3. It was also the fifth win of the year for Namesmuscle ($12.20) and owner William Phipps. Gretchen Athearn is the trainer. Driver Drew Campbell doubled on Thursday to lead all drivers for wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Nov. 19) at 1 p.m. Next week Plainirdge will only race Monday and Tuesday and will be dark for the holiday on Thursday. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Batavia, NY --- After earning minor spoils in her three most recent outings, Kaitlyn Rae returned to her winning ways in the $9,500 fillies and mares Open Handicap harness racing pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Nov. 14). Kaitlyn Rae (Drew Monti) left with little opposition from Hey Kobe (Kevin Cummings) who was content to sit the pocket trip for the duration. Seeing no one coming, Monti tapped the brakes and strolled to the half in :59. That forced Susie's Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) to pull first over for a bid that would fall short by the three-quarters. Heading into the final turn, Cummings tipped Hey Kobe to try and make a run. But after barely getting within a length, Kaitlyn Rae responded to a high-line and a couple taps of the shaft to pace away and win by a length in 1:56.1. It was the 61st career win and 13th victory of 2018 for Kaitlyn Rae ($6.30) who has now earned $71,021 for owner/trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. In the $8,800 distaff Open II, Tymal Luckynpink (Brad Jackson) doubled her pleasure by winning her second straight outing in gate to wire fashion in 1:57.3. The Ken and John Mc Keever-owned 7-year-old Camluck mare scored her seventh win of the year under the tutelage of trainer Brad Jackson. Drew Monti had the driving hat trick on Wednesday to lead all other reinsmen on the card. Besides the already mentioned Kaitlyn Rae, Monti also won with Scarlet n silk (1:59.1, $8.80) and Honey Booboolina (1:57, $8.10). With those three wins, Monti pulls into a first place tie with Kevin Cummings (who had two wins on Wednesday) for the dash driving title. Both drivers currently have 93 tallies this meet. There was no winner in the early Pick-5 on Wednesday and as a result, there is a $1,036 carry over and a guaranteed $3,000 pool for the early Pick-5 on Friday. This will be a part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program and free program pages will be made available on the USTA site courtesy of Trackmaster starting on Thursday under the "Handicapping" tab. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Nov. 16) with post time for the first race set at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Despite a substantial step up in class, Iyq Yqr held to script and went gate to wire to win the $11,000 Open Handicap harness racing pace on Saturday night (Nov. 10) at Batavia Downs. Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) got away sharply off the gate, took the lead and rolled through the first two turns with no pressure at all. That came when Cool Like Fire (Billy Davis Jr.), who pulled at the three-eighths, drew alongside Iyq Yqr in front of the grandstand and tried to clear at that point. Bucceri then popped the plugs on Iyq Yqr and he responded to Cool Like Fire's charge and put him away before the three-quarter pole. As they headed into the final turn, Iyq Yqr opened up a clear advantage while trailing horses were bunching up for their stretch bids. But Bucceri was in the midst of a highly animated drive and Iyq Yqr responded to it down the lane to rebuff the late challenges of Cultural Paradise (Shawn McDonough) and In Runaway Bay (Kevin Cummings) to win in 1:57. It was the third straight victory at Batavia Downs for Iyq Yqr ($13.20) who is owned by the Blindswitch Racing Stable, Anthony Nicometo, Good Friends Racing Stable and Santo Farina. Jeff Amann trains the winner. In the $9,900 Open II co-feature, Go Collect N (Billy Davis Jr.) tripped out behind I'm So Handsome (Kevin Cummings) before pulling out by the three-quarters and taking a narrow lead at the head of the lane that he held to the wire where he won in 1:57.2. Go Collect N ($4.40) scored his eighth win of the year for owner William Emmons who has now deposited $85,501 this year on his behalf. Denny Bucceri led all drivers on Saturday scoring a Grand Slam on Saturday night. Besides winning the feature with Iyq Yqr, "The Oakfield Flash" Bucceri also won with R U Machin Me (1:57.1, $15.00), Michael's Victory (1:58.1, $3.60) and Ugly Betty (1:59.4, $38.60). Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 14) with post time for the first race at 5 p.m. By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- When French-bred trotter Bioness last competed at Batavia Downs he won the $15,000 Schroeder Invitational trot in October. On Friday (Nov. 9) he stayed undefeated at the Genesee County oval by taking the $11,500 Open Handicap trotting feature under a slick drive by his young reinsman Hunter Oakes, over a very sloppy track. When the wings folded Bioness started the long trek from post seven to the front and gained that position by the quarter in :29.4. But the lead was short-lived as the local hot-trotter Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled at the three-eighths and rushed to the front by the half and grabbed the pylons into the second circuit. Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) made the next move, pulling at the five-eighths and drawing near Lougazi as the race progressed through the third panel. The top two trotters battled around the last turn and into the stretch before a gap allowed Oakes to pull Bioness out of the pocket and jet between them. He was by Southern Palms and overtook Lougazi at the wire to win in 1:59.4 by one-half length. It was the fifth win of 2018 for Bioness ($2.70) who now has $107,438 on his card for the year. The 7-year-old altered son of Sam Bourbon is owned by the Northfork Racing Stable and is trained by Chris Oakes. For the 20-year-old Hunter Oakes, it was his fourth consecutive win in only five career drives and his first career victory at Batavia Downs in his Western New York homecoming. In the $8,800 Open II trot, Labatt Hanover (Shawn McDonough) sat third the whole mile before tipping three-wide off cover in the lane to catch Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) at the wire to win by a neck in 2:00.1. It was the second win in the last three starts for Labatt Hanover ($11.60) and owners Gary and Cynthia Saj. McDonough also does the training. There was no winner in the early Pick-5 wager on Friday so the $2,756 carry over will supplement a guaranteed $7,000 pool for the early Pick-5 wager when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 10). This bet will be part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program and as such, will offer free race pages for races one through five for Batavia Downs tomorrow courtesy of Trackmaster. These free pages can be downloaded at www.ustrotting.com under the "Handicapping" tab. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Sportsmuffler remained the mare to beat in Western New York after scoring her second straight top class distaff pacing feature victory at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 7). Getting away fourth, Sportsmuffler (Billy Davis Jr.) watched as Machin Marley (Kevin Cummings) flew to the front and guided the field's fortunes to the half in a tepid :58.3. Shortly after that marker, Kruella pulled first-over and eventually took command of the pace by the three-quarter pole. With Machin Marley starting to lose touch, Davis, who was a boxed fourth, was able to sneak Sportsmuffler out and around the pack before going three-deep into the last turn. First drawing even with Kruella, Sportsmuffler then pulled away from everyone to win by three in 1:56.1. It was the ninth win of the year and 35th career victory for Sportsmuffler ($7.90) who is owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steve Kiblin. Sportsmuffler has now earned $60,366 this year. In the co-featured $8,800 fillies and mares Open II, Hey Kobe (Billy Davis Jr.) led every step of the way going gate to wire and winning by two lengths in 1:56.4. The Mihajlo Zdjelar trained Hey Kobe ($12.00) scored her sixth win of the year for owner Keith Pinkowski. Billy Davis Jr. won both top events on Wednesday but he ended up with a driving Grand Slam as well. Besides the already mentioned Sportsmuffler and Hey Kobe, Davis also won with Sweet Kimmy (2:03.1, $6.70) and Gussy's Dragon (1:58.3, $43). With no winning ticket in the early Pick-5 wager on Wednesday, there is a $709 carry-over and a $2,000 guaranteed pool for the early Pick-5 at Batavia Downs when live racing resumes on Friday night (Nov. 9). The early Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that starts in race one and runs through race five. Post time for the first race on Friday is 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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