Day At The Track
Search Results
33 to 48 of 1240

Batavia, NY --- Marcus Melander has come a very long way in harness racing in a very short amount of time. After making the move to North America from his home in Sweden at the age of 21 to work for Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter, Melander went off on his own and hasn't looked back. Over the last five years, Melander's stable has won in excess of $7.8 million in purses, had five trotters reach the Hambletonian final and was awarded two year-end Dan Patch Awards for divisional winning horses. Melander himself received the 2018 Dan Patch Rising Star Award this past February in Orlando, Florida in recognition of his exceptional early career accomplishments. This year two of the best horses in his stable just happen to be New York-bred and both are undefeated in their New York Sire Stake (NYSS) starts this year. They are 3-year-old trotting colt Gimpanzee and 2-year-old trotting filly Hypnotic Am and they both will be competing in the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14). In his freshman season, Gimpanzee was undefeated going nine for nine. He swept the NYSS to become the 2-year-old champion, won the $600,000 Breeders Crown final and amassed a total of $591,358 for the year. That earned him the 2018 Dan Patch Award for 2-year-old trotting colts. This year Gimpanzee started out by running up his lifetime undefeated streak to 13 before joining Melander stablemates Greenshoe and Green Manalishi S in the Hambletonian final. Gimpanzee got parked out from post seven in his elimination and finished fourth. He then drew post seven again in the final, went a similar trip and finished third. He closed very well in both starts (:26.4 and :26.2) and was only beaten a length in each race. Melander reflected on those starts as he was preparing him for the New York finals this weekend. "He went tremendous in both races and finished strong in both despite having the seven hole. If he had a little better post in the final I think he could win the race because he was flying home. But he raced real good that day and we could not be more happy. He showed everyone that he is fast enough," said Melander. Despite the task of racing two heats in one day, Gimpanzee came out unfazed and continued his winning ways at Batavia on Saturday (Aug. 24). "He came out of those heats better than I thought but that doesn't surprise me. He's very laid back and easy on himself. It was good that there were no eliminations for the Yonkers Trot so we could bring him up to Batavia that week and get some more points and get some experience around that track. It was a great surface to race over at Batavia and he got around it very well," said Melander. After the New York final, Gimpanzee will be going down to the Red Mile for the Bluegrass Series and the Kentucky Futurity with his sights strongly focused on a second Breeders Crown championship. Stablemate Hypnotic Am hasn't visited Batavia yet this year because she was busy winning the $310,000 James Doherty Memorial at the Meadowlands the week her division competed there. Hypnotic Am was bred by her owner Courant and was such an impressive yearling that they sent her to Melander to train, rather than the sale last fall. And clearly that has worked out well for all involved. "She trained down good and every start she seems to get better and better. She has no problem doing the work herself; she has speed, she has stamina, she has everything a good horse should have," said Melander. "She went a big mile in the Doherty (1:53), a track record at Yonkers (1:56.1) and was a was very strong as a wrapped-up winner at Saratoga in 1:54.4 over an off track. She's a very nice filly." Her performances this year speak volumes. She is currently the fastest 2-year-old trotter overall in North America, richest 2-year-old trotting filly and the second richest overall behind Real Cool Sam, who has raced two more starts to this point and is coincidentally also undefeated at 8-8. After the NYSS final, Melander said she may head down to Lexington for the Grand Circuit races as well, but that will be a decision he makes later. But one thing is for sure, She will compete in the Breeders Crown. "We may go to Kentucky, depending on how she races and comes out of the race this week. I like to be careful with the 2-year-olds because they can get sick and that can happen very easily when they travel." Both Gimpanzee and Hypnotic Am are by Chapter Seven out of a granddaughter of Muscles Yankee. It's a cross Melander likes and his trotting star of two years ago Fourth Dimension, who was a four-time NYSS winner and the 2017 Dan Patch Award 2-year-old trotting colt of the year, had the same. Melander looks to continue his success in New York in the coming years, stating the program helps develop young talent. "I think it's a very good series and although there are a lot of half mile tracks, most of them have good surfaces. Many are very soft for the horses and that helps a young horse a lot. And as long as the tracks are good, that's good for the horse's futures then it works great to have them in this program," said Melander. "I will be shopping for New York horses at the sales this fall and if I can find something I like I will definitely try to buy them. I like the New York circuit. It's good money and a good program for us." The $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions that are comprised of eight $225,000 races will be held at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 14) with a first race post time of 6 p.m. The draw for that card is on Wednesday (Sept. 11) at noon and will be live streamed on the NYSS website as well as both the NYSS and Batavia Downs Facebook pages. Batavia native and New York State Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley will serve as the honorary drawmaster. Peter Kleinhans will be the track's guest host and handicapper for the in-house and simulcast broadcast and Heather Wilder will be in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle interviewing the winners and all their connections after each stake race. There will be two $7,500 guaranteed pools in both the early and late Pick-4 wagers that night and both will be all-stake Pick-4's (races 3-6 and races 7-10). The pools are part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and free program pages will be available on the USTA's website and through links on the Batavia Downs Facebook page when they become available. Free full card programs will also be available for download from the Daily Racing Form starting Thursday. There will be a T-shirt giveaway courtesy of the NYSS on Saturday night as well. Fans attending the races live only need to swipe their Player's Club card at guest services starting at 4:30 p.m. to receive a ticket to get their shirt after the seventh race. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- After only one year of competing full time on the New York Sire Stake (NYSS) harness racing circuit, Tyler Buter claimed his first driving title in the series as its top reinsman for both wins and earnings. In a category long dominated by Hall of Famer Wally Hennessy and Jim Morrill Jr., Buter hopes to become as familiar a name driving champion New York-bred Standardbreds as theirs. Buter will be a busy man on Saturday (Sept. 14) when he returns to Batavia Downs for the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions. A native of Michigan, Tyler Buter has been one of the most consistent and sought after drivers in the northeast over the past 10 years. The 34-year-old Manchester native started driving at age 17 and got his first win at the Gladwin Fair in his home state in 2002 with a horse named I Luv My Pasture. Earlier this year he hit his career milestone 3,000th win with Daddy Let Me Drive at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and in between he has spent time perfecting his craft at tracks in Michigan and Chicago before moving to Monticello, Yonkers and the Meadowlands while earning over $38 million in purses. Currently calling the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono home, Buter still does often compete at the other venues. But an event that occurred this past February that affected both his personal and professional life prompted him to make a career-changing decision. "Earlier this year my longtime owner and friend Gene Oldford passed away and a lot of things changed. After discussing it with my family I decided to get away from running a stable and focus on driving full time," said Buter. "And as it turned out, many of the trainers I have been driving for had horses in the NYSS and I made the decision to commit to making all the dates and it's worked out well for me." Buter had made some sporadic starts in the series before this year but 2019 was the first time he committed his whole summer to it. "There are some excellent horses coming out of New York; the breeding is great and the competition is second to none. I've enjoyed this year and look forward to driving here again next year," said Buter. And based on his results in the bike, the connections of the New York-bred horses he drives are looking forward to it as well. Buter posted 25 wins out of 87 starts and had a stellar .390 Universal Driver Rating (UDR) as a result of hitting the board over 50% of the time in the NYSS and that gave him just over $1 million in purses for those starts. When asked about winning the driving title, Buter was quick to praise his competition and not focus on himself. "Jason (Bartlett, 2017 leading driver) and Jimmy (Morrill, 2018 leading driver) and myself have put in a lot of miles this year and it was a great competition right to the end. All the guys who compete here are tough and make you earn every dollar and that makes you better as a driver," said Buter. Although he missed a lot of starts with overnight horses during the summer, Buter realized something he truly enjoys in his new role. "I really like racing 2- and 3-year-olds. I like helping them to develop and seeing when the light bulb comes on in their head as they mature. That's when they finally get it and move forward. And it's very gratifying to know you had a part in that growth." The $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions that are comprised of eight $225,000 races will be held at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 14) with a first race post time of 6 p.m. The draw for that card is on Wednesday (Sept. 11) at noon and will be streamed live on the NYSS website as well as both the NYSS and Batavia Downs Facebook pages. Batavia native and New York State Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley will serve as the honorary drawmaster. There will be two $7,500 guaranteed pools in both the early and late Pick-4 wagers that night and both will be all-stake Pick-4's (races 3-6 and races 7-10). The pools are part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and free program pages will be available on the USTA's website and through links on the Batavia Downs Facebook page when they become available. Free full card programs will also be available for download from the Daily Racing Form starting Thursday. There will be a T-shirt giveaway courtesy of the NYSS on Saturday night as well. Fans attending the races live only need to swipe their Player's Club card at guest services starting at 4:30 p.m. to receive a ticket to get their shirt after the seventh race. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

BATAVIA, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) notifies harness racing horsemen of the following information regarding the draws for the New York Sire Stakes Finals and Consolations. All horses must be entered at Batavia Downs by Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, no later than 9:00 a.m. for both the New York Sire Stakes Finals and Consolations. Batavia Downs will draw post positions for the Finals, to be contested on Saturday, Sept. 14, and transmit the remaining entries to Vernon Downs to draw post positions for the Consolations, to be contested on Sunday, Sept. 15. Horses will be drawn at 12:00 p.m. at Batavia Downs for the Final, after which horses will be drawn at Vernon Downs for the Consolation. For the Excelsior A Finals, all horses must be entered at Saratoga Raceway by Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, no later than 9:00 a.m. The Finals will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21. Further information and racing reminders can be found in the NYSS Finals Summary. From the New York Sire Stakes  

Batavia, NY --- Tullow N was all business when he went to the front and never looked back en route to winning the $12,500 Open I Handicap harness racing pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 7). Driver John Cummings Jr. flew off the wings with Tullow N and had one thing in mind; going down the road. After Tullow N settled on the pylons he was immediately confronted by Sir Pugsley (Jim Morrill Jr.) who was also on the attack. Cummings never flinched and refused to give up the lead and as a result, the two horses paced side by side to the quarter in :27.2 and to the half in :54.4. Heading up the backside on the second circuit, Tullow N was pacing strong on the point while Sir Pugsley succumbed to brutal trip. Tullow N opened up a two length lead by the three-quarters in 1:23.2 but saw Race Me Rocky (Shawn McDonough) pull from third to advance, the pocket-sitting Southwind Torque (Billy Davis Jr.) was getting closer and Some Attitude (Shawn Gray) joined the party at the top of the stretch. Heading to the wire they were four across the track but Tullow N was not to be denied on this night and hung on by one-half length to win in 1:53.2. It was the fourth score of the meet and sixth of the year for Tullow N ($7.20) who is owned by Blindswitch Racing and trained by Dave Russo. In the $11,000 Open II pace, Rock To Glory (Shawn Gray) got away third and stayed there for a half before pulling first-over past the five-eighths pole to out-muscle the front-running Manceiver (Ray Fisher Jr.) down the lane and win by a length in 1:54.1. It was the fourth win in the last five starts and the sixth of the year for Rock To Glory ($12.40) who is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin. Shawn Gray and Billy Davis Jr. both had driving grand slams on the night while John Cummings Jr. scored a double. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 11) with a 5:00 p.m. post time. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Two top class Open races -- one on the trot and one on the pace -- were carded on Friday night (Sept. 6) at Batavia Downs and Lougazi and Miss Mary Mach provided very exciting finishes in their respective harness racing contests. It's been four weeks since Lougazi came away a winner, but that all changed Friday in the $12,500 Open I Handicap trot. CR Blazin Beauty (John Cummings Jr.) took her usual spot on the lead while Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) tucked-in sixth off the gate. After single-file following occurred for the first three-eighths, Joey Pro (Shawn McDonough) came first up from third and Lougazi was obliged to follow. Rolling up the backside, CR Blazin Beauty continued to set the tone but Joey Pro had enough. That meant Fisher tipped Lougazi three-deep and and had him in full flight around the far turn. As they came down the lane, Lougazi matched strides with CR Blazin Beauty before clearing in mid-stretch. From there Fisher fist-pumped while Lougazi crossed the wire first in 1:56.2, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the sixth win of 2019 for Lougazi ($5.90) and it raised his earnings to $62,250 for the year for owner Mary Warriner. Ryan Swift trains the winner. Then in the $12,500 Open I Handicap distaff pace, Miss Mary Mach entered the double digit win category after an exhilarating stretch drive to victory. It was the tale of two strategies. HP Sissy (John Cummings Jr.) bolted for the front while Miss Mary Mach (Jim Morrill Jr.) got away last. HP Sissy paced along easily in :27.4, :56.2 and 1:24.4 with no one giving her grief. At the three-quarters, Miss Mary Mach was still last and boxed in as well, without much of a shot to get out. As the race came off the final bend the horses outside of Miss Mary Mach faded and she finally had some room to roam. However HP Sissy was still four lengths ahead with only an eighth of a mile to go. Morrill had the plugs popped and was working hard in the sulky, but Miss Mary Mach was working hard on her own as she paced up a storm in the stretch and nosed out HP Sissy under the wire in 1:54.2. It was the 10th win of the year for Miss Mary Mach ($5.00) and pushed her to $81,887 in earnings for the year. Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi own the 4-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Mary Artman who is trained by James Clouser Jr. Several horsemen had very productive nights at Batavia on Friday. Wade Tomaszewski, Jim Morrill Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. had driving triples. On the training side, James Clouser Jr. had three from is stable visit the winner's circle while Chris Naedele and Steve Kiblin each won two. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 7) with a 6:00 p.m. post time. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts   

BATAVIA, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) and Batavia Downs will be livestreaming the harness racing draw for the 2019 "Night of Champions," via Facebook on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley (Batavia) will serve as Honorary Drawmaster. Wednesday's draw will begin at 12:00 p.m. and can be accessed through the NYSS website and Batavia Downs and NYSS Facebook pages. The draw is open to the public and will take place in the End Zone Room, located just off 34-Rush Sports Bar. No RSVP is required. The finals for New York State's premier harness racing program for 2- and 3-year-olds are set to take place Saturday, Sept. 14. The eight race event will feature $1.8 million in purse money. "We have made an effort this year to expand our live streaming capabilities as we continue to increase access to fans and the harness racing community across the state," said M. Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. "I invite owners and horsemen to join us live or online as the excitement builds toward next Saturday's finals at Batavia." Updated points standings for all divisions of the NYSS are available at: www.nysspoints.com. From the New York Sire Stakes

Batavia, NY --- Horseman please be advised that the harness racing draw for Wednesday (Sept. 11) at Batavia Downs has been pushed back one day from Friday (Sept. 6) to Saturday (Sept. 7) with the entry box closing at its normal 9 a.m. time. Driver changes will be due on Saturday (Sept. 7) by 1 pm . Anyone seeking further information should contact racing secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6161. The 2019 racing season continues through Saturday (Dec. 14) with racing conducted every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night through the end of November. In December racing will be held on Friday and Saturday nights only. The only other exception is Columbus day week when racing will be held on Monday, Friday and Saturday. The compete racing schedule can be found at www.bataviadownsgaming.com. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Labor Day at Batavia Downs has meant two things for over 30 years. A matinee card of harness racing and eight local drivers mounting two-wheeled bicycles to compete for bragging rights for a year in the annual driver's bike race. This year, longtime local horseman and Oakfield, NY native Mike Caprio got the jump off the gate, took the lead and methodically made his way down the lane and to the wire to win by three-lengths over Rock C. Vinci. John Cummings Jr. was another length back in third. The clocking for the eighth of a mile was unofficial but believed to be a new lifetime mark for Caprio, who is a previous winner of this event. Caprio currently sits at 1,999 career driving wins and should reach that coveted milestone this week. However this win did not count towards that total. Caprio returned to the winner's circle and drew eight random names from those attendees who selected him to win the race and gave away the eight bikes used in the event. That giveaway was courtesy of Crazy Cheap Cars of Oakfield. There is no racing at Batavia Downs this Wednesday due to today's Holiday card. Live racing resumes at the Downs on Friday (Sept. 6) at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- If last week's seven-length romp wasn't proof enough he's on top of his game, Black Is Back beat the best harness racing pacers on the grounds again on Saturday (Aug. 31) in the $12,500 Open I Handicap at Batavia Downs. In a no-nonsense move, Dave McNeight III pushed Black Is Back off the gate and to the lead and set down the marching orders from there. With the field in post position order behind him, Black Is Back cut the quarters in :28.3, :57.2 and 1:25.3 with the only horse staying close to him being the pocket-sitting In Runaway Bay N (Drew Monti). Rolling off the far turn Monti pulled In Runaway Bay N off the pylons and took dead aim at Black Is Back and momentarily put a nose in front at the top of the stretch. McNeight asked for more from his horse and Black Is Back was up to the task; surging back to the lead and winning by a half-length in 1:54. Black Is Back now has eight wins and $56,360 earned in 2019. The 6-year-old gelded son of Western Terror-Magic Moments is owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. and is trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. In the $11,000 Open II pace Race Me Rocky (Shawn McDonough) got away fifth off the gate before pulling with cover behind Iammrbrightside N (John Cummings Jr.) past the half, tipped three-wide in the last turn and out hustled the competition to the wire to win in 1:53.2. It was the third win in the last four starts for Race Me Rocky ($12.40) who is owned by Delmis Esquivel and trained by Pat Galbraith. The fastest circuit of the night came in a $9,000 mid-level condition race where Mr. Euroman N (Billy Davis Jr.) went gate to wire by a gapped advantage and won by two in 1:52.3 which tied his seasonal mark for 2019. Mr. Euroman N ($3.90) is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner. Mr. Euroman N was only one of three winners for driver Billy Davis Jr. Saturday, who extended his lead as the top dash driver of the meet. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Sept. 2) with a special 1:15 p.m. post time for the annual Labor Day matinee. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- After destroying the harness racing field by nine-lengths in a lower conditioned start at the Downs last week, CR Blazin Beauty moved up to the $11,000 Open II and left the field chasing her once again as she won by open lengths in track record time at Batavia Downs. The players and the script were the same; driver John Cummings Jr. left hard and put CR Blazin Beauty on the point and did whatever they felt from there. After stopping the timer in :28, :58.2 and 1:27.3, CR Blazin Beauty opened up three-lengths at the head of the stretch and extended it to 5-¾ lengths at the wire where she won her second straight in 1:56.1. The time tied the track record for aged trotting mares set by Chelsea's Chance in 2018. CR Blazin Beauty ($4.00) pushed her earnings to $53,895 on the strength of her fifth win of the year. The 5-year-old daughter of Crazed-Melrose Abbey is owned by Marissa Russo and is trained by David Russo. Despite being a record-tying race, it wasn't even the feature. The $12,500 Open I trot was won by Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) who sat fifth while Osprey Vision (John Cummings Jr.) and Kahoku (Pat Galbraith) were battling on the front in a suicide mission to the half in :57.1. Davis pulled Fox Valley Veto at that point, tracked the leaders to the three-quarters and then pulled three-deep into the final turn. There he cleared and opened up two-lengths at the top of the stretch before holding off a fast closing Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) at the wire to win in 1:56.4. It was the eighth win of the year for Noble Legend ($9.40) who is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner. Billy Davis Jr. was red hot on Friday, winning four races on the card. He had his picture taken with Mr. Perseverance (1:56.2, $3.20), the aforementioned Fox Valley Veto, OK Galahad (1:55.3, $3.30) and Noble Legend (1:58.3, $4.50). Dave McNeight III had a good night as well scoring a driving hat trick during the proceedings. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 31) with post time for the first race at 6:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Zero Tolerance (Heston Blue Chip-Feelinglikeastar) and So Awesome (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl), who are the top two 3-year-old pacing fillies in the Empire State, came to compete in the $111,900 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 28) and both added harness racing wins to their resumes. Zero Tolerance (David Miller) got away third while Hurrikane Norakane (Carl Garofalo) shot to the front and eased the group to a mild :58.1 half. The pace picked up from there as they motored by the five-eighths pole when Sulky Queen (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled with Zero Tolerance on her back. Morrill got Sulky Queen to the front by the three-quarters while Zero Tolerance remained on the outside in second around the last turn. Heading into the stretch Sulky Queen had a one-length lead but with the whip over his shoulder and the lines firmly in hand, Miller sat chilly while Zero Tolerance blew by to take the lead and win easily in 1:54.2. "She was comfortable going to the half and when Jimmy (Morrill) came out, she was ready to roll," said Miller. "She finished strong down the lane; she was real good tonight," It was the fifth NYSS win of the year and sixth win overall for the heavily favored Zero Tolerance ($2.10) who now has $382,423 in earnings this year for owners Val D' Or Farms and Ted Gewertz and Hall of Fame trainer Joe Holloway. In the first division, So Awesome (Tyler Buter) was a gate to wire winner and put in an impressive mile in the process. Buter guided So Awesome through early quarters of :28.1 and :58 with the field in single file behind her. As they approached the three-quarters Matt Kakaley pulled Fool Me Again from third and made an aggressive brush towards the front. In the last turn the fillies were pacing wither to wither until the top of the lane where So Awesome got a slight advantage. But Fool Me Again was not done and charged back in deep stretch under heavy urging from Kakaley. However So Awesome simply refused to lose and hung on by a neck in 1:55..1. "We were lucky we won the draw in that race because Matt's horse was strong and coming down the lane we were right together," said Buter. "She raced real well and finished strong." It was the third win in the last four starts for So Awesome ($3.10) who is owned by William Hartt and trained by Scott Di Domenico. Both fillies will be back at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14) for the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions. There was one division of the $15,000 Excel "A" series contested on Wednesday that produced the following results. Topville Angelina (American Ideal-A Fiesty Affair) Driver - David Miller Owner - Erv Miller Stable, Michael Anderson and George Golemes Trainer - Erv Miller  Breeder - Robert Hamather Time - 1:54  Mutuel - $2.40 Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 30) with post time for the first race at 6:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Zero Tolerance is the second richest sophomore filly in all of North America this year and she will be competing in the final division of the $111,900 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 28). Plus her regular reinsman, Hall of Fame driver David Miller, will also be on hand for a rare western New York appearance. Zero Tolerance (Heston Blue Chip-Feelinglikeastar) has been perfect in NYSS action this year and comes into Wednesday's race off a victory in the $232,700 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs where she paced a lifetime best 1:50.2 mile. Prior to that back in June, she finished second in the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono where she just got beat less than a length and paced in 1:49.4. She is currently the top filly in points (200) and earnings ($149,250) in her NYSS bracket and is also the second richest distaff pacer and sixth richest overall among all 3-year-old pacers in North America with $354,173 on her card this year. Zero Tolerance drew post four in the five-horse field that will go for $56,500 and has been made the prohibitive morning line favorite at 2-5. Her all Hall of Fame connections of trainer Joe Holloway and driver Dave Miller will be on hand in full support. In the other $55,400 split, the number two gal in the state is nearly as favored going in to that event as well. So Awesome (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) sits directly behind Zero Tolerance in NYSS action in points (199) and earnings ($143,499) and like the leader, will be making a return trip to Batavia Downs for the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions finals in just over two weeks on Saturday (Sept. 14). After reeling off two straight wins prior to her last start, So Awesome got parked out and interfered with in that subsequent overnight outing at Pocono forcing her to finish off the board. However road trouble shouldn't be an issue in this four-horse field and as a result, she has been made 4-5 by the track handicapper in there. Trainer Scott Di Domenico has leading NYSS driver Tyler Buter in the bike once again for this outing. Despite the short morning line, this is a tough field. Fool Me Again (Roll With Joe-Fool That I Am) just finished second to Zero Tolerance in the Empire Breeders Classic and Carbon Capture (Art Major-Jated Love) who changed barns on a claim three starts ago has since won two consecutive races at Scioto Downs, taking two consecutive lifetime marks. Trainer Blake Macintosh has Matt Kakaley up on Fool Me Again from post three and and trainer Logan Powell has assigned Jim Morrill Jr. to steer Carbon Capture from post one. Due to the short fields, there will be no place or show wagering in either NYSS race. There is also one Excelsior "A" event on the card that goes as race one. Post time for that race is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows) was everything the large live crowd that gathered on the Batavia Downs harness racing apron came out to see as he cruised to an easy win in his division of the $118,500 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings at the Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 24). Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) got away third initially while Whimzical Chapter (Dan Daley) hustled to the front. But just past the eighth pole Sears pulled him and rushed to the front to claim the lead by the quarter in a pedestrian :29.2. Now firmly in control, the 1-9 shot led six 99-1 shots to the half in :58.1 and the three-quarters in 1:27.1. Gimpanzee seemed to switch gears on his own heading into the final turn as Sears sat still as a statue. Motoring around that bend he extended his lead with every lengthening stride and by the time he entered the stretch, he was gone. Chimpanzee opened up five and was in full flight down the lane and hit the wire all alone in 1:55.1.   "He is so easy to drive, from day one. Marcus (Melander) has done such a great job with him," said Sears. "The horse has got a lot of talent and he makes my job easy because he knows what we're trying to accomplish out there and he doesn't fight me. He is just a total professional in every way."   It was the 13th lifetime win in only 15 lifetime starts for Chimpanzee ($2.10) who moves closer to the million dollar mark, now with earnings of $895,996 on his card. The Dan Patch Award winning trotter is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. Marcus Melander is the trainer. In the other $59,800 NYSS split, Livinonthedash (Muscle Mass-Sunshine Glide) won handily after rationing out the speed in the middle panels. Livinonthedash (Marcus Miller) out-muscled Winnerup (Brian Sears) for the lead at the quarter in :28 and then led the group for the remainder of the race. Miller quickly put the breaks on from there and went the next two quarters in :30.3 and :30.2, getting to the three-quarters in 1:29. There, Lucky Weekend (Jim Morrill Jr.) had caught the leader and was trotting alongside around the final turn. But that would be as close as he would get as Miller gave Livinonthedash his head and he trotted away without urging to win by 1-¼ lengths in 1:58. "I haven't had him on the front end in quite a while and when I got him there we were able to go a nice slow middle half so it worked out well," said Miller. It was the third win in a row, fifth out of his last six and ninth of the year for Livinonthedash ($2.60) who has now amassed $201,272 for his owners the Ervin Miller Stable, David Prushnok and Tangle Massey. Erv Miller is the trainer. Both Gimpanzee and Livinonthedash will compete in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot next Saturday (Aug. 31) and then will return to Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14) for the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions. Two divisions of the $15,000 Excel "A" series were also contested on Saturday, producing the following results. Lights Come On (Chapter Seven-Starlit Eyes) Driver - Billy Davis Jr.  Owner - Acl Stuteri Ab, Ted Gewertz and Anette Lorentzen Trainer - Anette Lorentzen  Breeder - Winbak Farm Time - 1:57.1  Mutuel - $3.10 JNR Express (Conway Hall-Yankee T L C) Driver - Brian Sears  Owner - James De Armond and Russell Young Trainer - Jessica Okusko  Breeder - Donald La Page Time - 1:57.4  Mutuel - $7.60 Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 25) and features Family Fun Day and the very popular Weiner dog races. Post time for the first horse race is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Sirenuse) had a big night at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 23). She won the $118,800 New York Sire Stake (NYSS) sophomore filly trot, moved into the points and money earnings lead for her age and gender bracket and broke the standing track record for second year distaff trotters. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. left the gate easily with Quincy Blue Chip and took almost all of the :28.1 first quarter to make the front. But once they got the lead, the rest was history. With an open two-length lead, Quincy Blue Chip tripped the next two timers in :58.1 and 1:27.2, the last with With Out A Doubt (Marcus Miller) and Sensibility (Scott Zeron) directly at her flank pushing the issue. But Morrill let Quincy Blue Chip have her head and she trotted stronger as they headed into the stretch. Down the lane she was on cruise and crossed the line wrapped-up in 1:55.4. "I got her off the gate and eased her to the front. Once she got there she was very strong," said her driver Morrill. "I popped the plugs at the three-quarters and she was gone. She trotted down the stretch a thousand; as fast as any 3-year-old filly I ever sat behind." The winning time of 1:55.4 was a new track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies, breaking the old mark of 1:56.4 set by Celebrity Ruth in 2017 and tied by Seventh Heaven that same year. It was the seventh win of the year for Quincy Blue Chip ($3.10) and it pushed her 2019 earnings to $343,425. She has now surpassed the half-million dollar mark lifetime with with $525,387 in the bank. Quincy Blue Chip is owned by Barbara and James Boese and Richard Banca, who also does the training. Before starting in the $225,000 NYSS final on the Night of Champions at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14), Quincy Blue Chip will compete in the Hudson Filly Trot at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Aug. 31). Morrill had a big night in the bike besides this win as he ended up with a hat trick on the card to lead all drivers on Friday. Two divisions of the $15,000 Excel "A" series were also contested on Friday, producing the following results. Qiss Me Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Make It Blue Chip) Driver - Billy Davis Jr. Owner - Rick Zeron Stable, James Walker, Noblock Racing Stable and Blue Chip Bloodstock Trainer - Rick Zeron Breeder - Ray Schnittker, Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo and Blue Chip Bloodstock Time - 1:58.2 Mutuel - $9.70 Amal Hall (Credit Winner-Arabella Hall) Driver - Jason Bartlett  Owner - Andy Miller Stable and DumaineHaven Trainer - Julie Miller  Breeder - Walnut Hall Time - 1:57.3  Mutuel - $2.40 Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 24). Post time for the first race is 6:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

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  

Batavia, NY --- A short but select group of entrants will compete in one race for the winner's share of the $118,800 up for grabs when the 3-year-old trotting fillies march into Batavia Downs for their 2019 New York Sire Stake (NYSS) local appearance. Quincy Blue Chip and Winndevie have been the two best horses in the state series for the past two years and will once again line up and face off at Batavia in the fifth race with six other competitors trying to derail them both. Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Sirenuse) is having a career year with six wins, a lifetime mark of 1:53.2 and $284,025 in earnings to date. She won the $209,500 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs in May and three NYSS events since then. She was on a two-race win streak going into her last start at Vernon Downs where she made an untimely break going to the quarter, trying to get the lead. Quincy Blue Chip currently sits in second place in points (191) and earnings ($160,715) in this series behind Winndevie, who also beat her in the NYSS 2-year-old final last year. Quincy Blue Chip will try to get the best of her competition here and draws post five and trainer Richard Banca has regular driver Jim Morrill Jr. back up for this race. She has been made the track handicapper's morning line choice at 2-1. Winndevie (Credit Winner-Vida De Vie) is the top point-getter (212) and money earner ($166,385) in her class this year, that includes three wins and without missing the board in any of her NYSS events. She comes into this race off a lifetime best performance at Vernon Downs where she won in 1:54 flat and appears to be as sharp as she's been at any point in her career. Winndevie drew post eight and trainer Trond Smedshammer once again assigned Jason Bartlett to drive and that bodes well for her chances despite the post. She is listed at 7-2 morning line. This is the last leg of the NYSS 3-year-old trotting fillies and as the points go, six of the eight horses racing here Friday have already made the final. The two horses who are outside looking in are Blue Ribbon Gal (Credit Winner-Carolla) who could move into the final group of eight by merely finishing fifth and gaining a minimum of five points and Avalonia (Muscles Yankee-Ava Marion) who is already mathematically eliminated. Post time for the first race on Friday is 6 p.m. $35,000 guaranteed Pick-5 on Friday When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 23) at 6:00 p.m., the track will feature a $35,000 guaranteed pool on the early Pick-5 wager that runs from race one to race five. It is part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages are available for those races on the USTA website (http://handicapping.ustrotting.com/) or by clicking here for a direct download. (https://www.trackmaster.com/freeContent/usta/freeContentFiles/hpl/btv0823x.pdf). The actual carry-over is $14,913 and the $35,000 guaranteed pool is the largest in the history of Batavia Downs.  And to make it even more interesting, the fifth race of the Pick-5 is a $118,800 leg of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies that has Quincy Blue Chip and Winndevie facing off against each other once again.  By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

33 to 48 of 1240