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Batavia, NY --- There are many promotions and schedule changes at Batavia Downs over the next nine days and here is a look at the line-up. This Saturday (Oct. 6) has an early post of 4:45 p.m. and promises a full night of entertainment. The featured race on the live racing card is the $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot, named for the long-time western New York trainer/driver whose specialty was diagonal-gaited Standardbreds. Schroeder raced some of the best trotters of his era at Batavia Downs and even competed in the 1993 Hambletonian with Collier St. Joey. Among the entrants of that race is the French-bred trotter Bioness (Sam Bourbon-Quiradelle D'hilly) who was purchased and imported this spring through the French American Trotting Club program developed by the Standardbred Owners Association of New York. Since coming to the U.S. Bioness has won three out of seven starts, taking a mark of 1:54.3 at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs and has earned $88,970 in the process. Fans attending the races Saturday can take advantage of the Match Play promotion. Wager a minimum of $25 with a mutuel clerk on any Batavia Downs Gaming live harness race at the same time between 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and receive $25 in gaming free-play. After the races on Saturday, there will be a live tribute concert to American Graffiti in the Paddock Room. Tickets are $10 and seating is on a first come basis. Then on Columbus Day Monday (Oct. 8) enjoy Batavia Downs annual matinee racing card with a special 1:15 p.m. post. Purchase a chicken barbecue (provided by the Center Street Smoke House) for $10.95 from noon to 3 p.m. in the club house and receive $10 in gaming free play. If chicken isn't your pleasure there will also be $1 Sahlen's hot dog, draft beer and soda at the Homestretch Grill and on the apron from noon until after the last race. All live racing programs will also be only $1. Then there is a schedule change that needs to be noted. There will be no racing on Wednesday (Oct. 10) and Thursday (Oct. 11). Wednesday was cancelled due to a lack of horses and Thursday was simply moved to Saturday (Oct. 13), which was not originally scheduled. Saturday's post time will be 4:15 p.m. Friday (Oct. 12) will remain as scheduled with a 6 p.m. post time. Saturday (Oct. 13) will feature a special Texas Barbecue in the clubhouse with pulled pork and chicken and all the fixings to go along with it for only $16.95. And everyone buying the barbecue will receive $15 in gaming free play. The clubhouse and buffet both open at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday. For more information on live racing at Batavia Downs please log on to www.bataviadownsgaming.com. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- She was perfect in September and has now started October the same way. Roll With Faith has owned the top pacing mares at Batavia Downs of late and proved it once again; winning her fourth consecutive $10,000 Open Handicap distaff feature on Wednesday evening (Oct. 3). Kevin Cummings sent Roll With Faith to the front of the scratch-shortened field and settled into a comfortable dictatorial position. Stepping off fractions of :29, :58.2 and 1:26.3, Cummings sat confident as Roll With Faith threw in a :28.2 final panel and won easily in 1:55. It was the 12th win of the year for Roll With Faith ($3.30) pushing her seasonal earnings to $65,309 for owners Finish Line Investors, Lawrence Willer and John Mungillo, who also conditions the winner. In the co-featured $8,800 fillies and mares Open II pace, Kaitlyn Rae (Ray Fisher Jr.) won in similar fashion, going gate to wire in domineering fashion. Fisher went :28.1, :57.4 and 1:26.4 before scooting home in :28.4 to pull away by three in 1:55.3. It was the 10th win of the year for Kaitlyn Rae ($3.20) who now has put $51,025 in the bank for her owner/trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. Asher-Stalbaum also sent her win machine Quicksilvercandy A to the winner's circle for the 14th time this year and the 77th time in her career. Over the last two seasons this mare has won just under half of her lifetime races, bagging 35 wins over that period. It's also interesting to note that based on Wednesday's results, Quicksilvercandy A is tied in fourth for the most 2018 wins in North America and Roll With Faith is currently tied for sixth. Ray Fisher Jr. got the driving hat trick on Wednesday while Kevin Cummings and Shawn McDonough both scored driving doubles. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 5) with post time set for 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Lucan Hanover (John Cummings Jr.) made it three in a row at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 29) after winning the $10,500 Open handicap pace in impressive style. As was the case the past two weeks, Cummings put Lucan Hanover on the point right off the gate and was never headed from there. Posting fast fractions of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:24.2, Lucan Hanover turned for home and paced away with a two-length margin of victory in 1:52.2. "Lucan did it all himself; he's all class," said Cummings after the race. It was the 35th lifetime win for Lucan Hanover ($9.70) who now has over $1.14 million on his card. He is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Pine Hill Racing LTD and is trained by Maria Rice. In the $9,000 Open II pace, Heaven Rocks (Drew Monti) got a perfect two-hole trip behind China Dream (John Cummings Jr.) from the start of the race until the top of the stretch when the leader bore out and Heaven Rocks shot through the void to win in 1:54.1, which was a new seasonal mark. Owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin, Heaven Rocks ($12.00) registered his sixth win of the year. The Downs leading driver Drew Monti and trainer JD Perrin teamed up for a Grand Slam on Saturday. Besides Heaven Rocks, the tag-team of Monti and Perrin also shuttled across Four Diamond (1:55.3, $5.70), Hands Off Frank (1:55.2, $2.40) and Hardts Or Bettor (1:54.2, $3.60). Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 3) at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY -The ever-traveling CKG Billings Harness Driving Series moved on to Batavia Downs on Saturday(Sept. 29) for a eight-horse pace and just before it was all over Billings president, Tony "The Capo" Verruso, rallied Fridaynightflight to a come-from-behind 1:57.3 head victory over the pacesetter, Regal Mac driven "Buffalo Bob" Davis. This event is the first of three Billings races that will be presented on this tour. On Sunday the Billings moves some 50 miles north to Canada for a contest at Flamboro Downs. in Hamilton, Ontario. Then, on Monday it'll be on to Woodbine Mohawk for another trot in the eight-month amateur series. In tonight's contest Verruso fell into the two- hole as the rail horse, Regal Mac got into a speed duel with Story Book, after "Don Juan" Hoover gunned him out quickly but Davis wouldn't allow 37-1 shot to take command and opted to leave Hoover out in the fresh air. They raced side-by-side past the half in :58.2 and after that they had to send out the bloodhounds out to find Hoover's pacer who ended up distanced at the finish. Meanwhile after the speed duel with Story Book, Regal Mac then had to brace for Fridaynightflight who contentedly followed the action from the catbirds seat, as Regal Mac straightened up the backside Verruso moved his pacer off the pylons and the two leaders raced head-to-head past the three quarters, around the final turn, and all through the homestretch before Fridaynightflight got his head in front just before the wire to claim victory over a 'dead -game' Regal Mac in 1:57.3. David "Poppa" Glasser, who had a covered journey with Little Man Cam, finished third just a length and quarter behind the race winner. John Hallett trains the winner, a Panspacificflight 9-year-old whose owned by Lee Clark. Sent off as the favorite ,Fridaynightflight paid $4.20. For Verruso it was his second winning drive of the season and 70th of his amateur career. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Batavia, NY --- BZ Glide waved bye-bye to the field as he passed them all going from worst to first in the $10,500 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday afternoon (Sept. 8). BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) got away last off the gate while Chelseas Chance (Billy Davis Jr.) smoked early fractions of :27 and :57. At that station, Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) pulled first up with Call My Broker (Drew Monti) on his back and they tried to advance on the leader past the five eighths. But Southern Palms bid failed and Call My Broker was forced to go wide around him. At that point BZ Glide was locked in tight last behind horses fanning three deep at the three-quarters and things were looking bleak. But as the race progressed through the turn, Southern Palms finally faded to last allowing BZ Glide a spot to get off the pegs. Then a good five lengths off the leader and forced to tip three-wide himself, Caprio unleashed BZ Glide and with a couple of rocks and a couple of knocks the big horse responded heartily and rolled by everyone to win in 1:57. It was the second straight top-class trot victory at Batavia Downs for BZ Glide ($5.20) who now has seven wins on the year and $56,343 earned for owner Caprio stable LLC and trainer Alana Caprio. In the $8,000 Open II trot, Bold Dresser (Shawn McDonough) was never headed going gate to wire in 1:58.3 to score his fifth victory of the year. Harry Wortzman owns Bold Dresser ($3.70) who is trained by his driver, Shawn McDonough. Drew Monti led all drivers on the night with three wins while Shawn McDonough and Ray Fisher Jr. each garnered a pair. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 29) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY --- When the going got tough, Machin Marley got going and won the $9,000 Open Handicap pace for fillies and mares at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Sept. 26). Machin Marley (Drew Monti) hit the pylons last while Little Joke (Billy Davis Jr.) fired off the wings to take the early lead. But Little Joke would soon submit to a takeover coup by Sportsmuffler (John Cummings Jr.) who came hard midway up the backstretch. The field stayed in single file past the half in a tepid :30 second quarter before Kaitlyn Rae (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled first over at the five-eighths. The top two tangled to the three-quarters in 1:26.1 with neither getting an advantage. Then in the turn, Badlands Delight (Kevin Cummings) tipped three-deep and Machin Marley went four-wide from last and had almost five lengths to make up. With the whole field racing literally side-by-side in the lane, Machin Marley flew down the center of the track and collared them all at the wire to win in 1:55.2. It was the sixth win in 30 starts this year for Machin Marley ($15.20) who now has earned $39,381 for owners Thatsideofthefence and John Mungillo, who also does the training. In the $8,000 Open II pace for fillies and mares, Aritzia Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) got away mid-pack before pulling first-over to out-muscle Rockin Kasbah (Kevin Cummings) through the second lap and win by a length in 1:57.1. Aritzia Hanover ($4.40) is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Pine Hill Racing. Maria Rice trains the winner. Drew Monti and Billy Davis Jr. both had driving triples on Wednesday. Monti is the current dash driving leader for the meet with 64 wins. Davis is third with 48 wins behind Kevin Cummings who sits in second with 60. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 28) with post time set for 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- It was another big Saturday night (Sept. 22) for driver Drew Monti as he captured six wins on the card, including four straight from races two through five, to vault himself back into the lead for the dash driving title at Batavia Downs. Monti got his picture taken with Glory Jean (1:57.1, $7.20), Foreign Officer (1:54.4, $5.50), Four Diamonds (1:55.4, $5.80), Hands Off Frank (1:54, $6.80), Hardts Or Bettor (1:55.4, $2.90) and Barry's Shelby (1:55, $8.40). The six wins now give him 61 for the meet, one more than Kevin Cummings (60) who also had a driving double on Saturday. Four of Monti's wins (Foreign Officer, Four Diamonds, Hands Off Frank and Hardts Or Bettor) were behind horses trained by JD Perrin. And much like Monti, Perrin pushed himself into the dash win training lead now with 26 victories after Saturday, four ahead of James Clouser Jr. who has 22. Clouser and Perrin are the top two Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) trainers among all those in North America with less than 500 starts this year. Clouser has a UTR of .472 and Perrin is right behind him with a .417. The feature race on the card was an $8,500 Open III pace that was won by Barry Hanover (Shawn McDonough). Barry Hanover got away second behind Southwind Torque (John Cummings Jr.) who led the race until the three-quarters when McDonough pulled, took the lead and paced away to an impressive three-length victory in a new lifetime mark of 1:53. Barry Hanover ($4.40) is owned by John Sixt and trained by Judy Blaun. Racing Under Saddle (RUS) New York had an exhibition race on Saturday with a purse of $3,000 that proved to be one of the best on the card to watch. Rider Sietski Dijkhof from the Netherlands was making her first North American RUS start and this girl came to play. Dijkhof rode No Recess from post five in the field of six and got away second behind last year's Batavia RUS winner, Funny Photo (Sophie Engerran) and sat there until the half in 1:01.4. There Dijkhof pulled No Recess and went right after Funny Photo. The two horses trotted side by side, stride for stride up the backside and into the far turn when Funny Photo got a half-length advantage. But when they spun into the stretch, Dijkhof asked for more from No Recess and he responded by passing Funny Photo to win by a length in 2:02.1. The time was a new lifetime RUS mark for No Recess and a new RUS track record at Batavia Downs, replacing the 2:03.4 mark set by Admirable Hanover in 2016. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 26) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The $320,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolation races were contested in eight divisions at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 21) with Jason Bartlett and Marcus Miller getting the lion's share of the eight harness racing contests. Bartlett won three and finished third two more times while Miller won two and finished second four times. Despite a heavy downpour early in the card, the track set up quickly and two lifetime and two seasonal marks were set during the evening in the NYSS races. Here is a race by race recap of the consolation events. 2-year-old filly pace Winner-Topville Angelina (American Ideal-A Fiesty Affair) 1:57.2 Owners-Erv Miller Stable, Michael Anderson and George Golemes Trainer-Erv Miller Breeder-Robert Hamather (non-betting) Topville Angelina (Marcus Miller) travelled second the entire mile behind Sun Viser (Billy Davis Jr.) through even fractions until the top of the stretch when Miller tipped her and she quickly paced by the leader down the lane to win by three lengths in 1:57.2. 2-year-old filly trot Winner-Sweet Chapter (Chapter Seven-Mom's A Sweetie Pie) 2:01.2 Owners-Hutt Racing Stable, Blake MacIntosh, Glenn Bechtel and the Mortgage Boys Stable Trainer-Blake MacIntosh Breeder-Winbak Farm Mutuel-$3.20 Sweet Chapter (Jim Morrill Jr.) went right to the front and dictated the entire race. Contending with a heavy downpour during the mile, Sweet Chapter trotted to the three-quarters in 1:30.1 without a challenge before Hot Chapter (Marcus Miller) started an attack on the outside. Hot Chapter trotted hard down the lane in the middle of the track but Sweet Chapter had enough left to hang on and win in 2:01.2. 2-year-old colt and gelding pace Winner-KJ Leo (Art Major-Winsmith Jess) 1:54.4 Owners-Brenda Messenger, Philip Shapiro and Scott Woogen Trainer-Gary Messenger Breeders-Brenda Messenger, Philip Shapiro and Scott Woogen Mutuel-$24.40 Cub Fan (Marcus Miller) was a strong leaver and set the pace once he settled ahead of KJ Leo (Billy Davis Jr.) who would get the perfect trip. After getting to the half in :57.1, Jet Rock (Kevin Cummings) pulled first up and pushed the issue with Cub Fan all the way to the top of the stretch. At that point he faded and KJ Leo popped the pocket and paced down the lane stride for stride with Cub Fan. When they hit the wire they were a neck apart with KJ Leo getting the better of the photo in 1:54.4, which was a new lifetime mark. 2-year-old colt and gelding trot Winner-JNR Express (Coway Hall-Yankee T L C) 1:59.3 Owners-James De Armond and Russell Young Trainer-Jessica Okusko Breeder-Donald La Page Mutuel-$9.00 JNR Express (Kevin Cummings) took no prisoners as he left and led at every station. After trotting well in hand through a 1:29.2 three quarters, JNR Express took a two-length lead into a stretch and held off a late surge by Brady Bunch (Marcus Miller) and Whimzical Chapter (Dan Daley) to win in 1:59.3, which was a new lifetime mark. 3-year-old filly pace Winner-Solitary (American Ideal-Lonesome Day) 1:54.4 Owners-William Daggett Jr., Lawrence Vukovic and the J L Benson Stable Trainer-Nick Surick Breeder-Docs Farm Mutuel-$3.30 Pelican Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) grabbed the lead by the quarter and took the race to the half in :57. An outer flow began to advance and by the three quarters horses were three deep heading into the turn with Solitary (Jason Bartlett) locked in fifth with no racing room. Believe In Me (Drew Monti) who was second on the outside bore out and gave Solitary and opening to get out and get out she did. Bartlett gave the filly her head and she shifted gears and paced away from the field to win by three lengths in 1:54.4, which was a new seasonal mark. "The race didn't unfold as I expected and I had to make my way out of traffic in the last turn. But When I got her free it was over," said Bartlett after the race. 3-year-old colt and gelding trot Winner-I'm The Muscle (Muscle Mass-Lady Bling) 1:57.4 Owner-Rheau Viau Trainer-Rene Allard Breeder-Blair and Erna Corbell Mutuel-$2.30 In a race shortened by two scratches, I'm The Muscle (Jason Bartlett) wanted nothing but the front and didn't waste any time getting there. He trotted unchallenged on top by two open lengths in :29.3, :59.3 and 1:29.1 before rounding the last turn and flying home in a quick :28.3 to win in 1:57.4. "He has been getting better and better each week and last week he was closing on Six Pack Late. He's a real nice horse," said Bartlett in the winner's circle. 3-year-old filly trot Winner-Supergirl RIley (Muscle Mass-Crown Laurel) 1:57 Owners-Paymaq Racing, George Golemes and Harvey Eisman Trainer-Erv Miller Breeder-Brittany Farms Mutuel-$2.10 Marcus Miller took advantage of the continuing front end bias and put the 1-9 favorite Supergirl RIley right on the point as the field followed in single file. With the rest of the group gapping behind, the pocket-sitting Golden Muscle (Drew Monti) pulled at three-quarters to take her shot. But halfway through the turn, Golden Muscle broke and Supergirl RIley found herself all alone trotting down the stretch a wrapped-up winner by three in 1:57. "She's just an unbelievable horse. She does everything right and she won easy tonight," said driver Marcus Miller after the race. 3-year-old colt and gelding pace Winner-Ideal Feeling (American Ideal-Feelinglikeastar) 1:52.4 Owner-Rick Berks Trainer-Mike Deters Breeder-Winbak Farm Mutuel-$3.10 Ideal Feeling (Jason Bartlett) seated third off the gate but then came quick past the eighth pole to grab the lead. Rolling handily past the half and to three-quarters in 1:24.1 without any opposition, Ideal Feeling watched as Lyons Steel (Kevin Cummings) left his cover and made his bid for the win. As the race moved down the lane, Lyons Steel continued to gain ground but Bartlett kept Ideal Feeling to task and he won by a half length in 1:52.4 to take his third consecutive win. Before the races began, Batavia Downs held a press conference with regional media outlets to formally announce the track being awarded the 2019 NYSS Night of Champions. The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund awarded the $1.8 million finals to Batavia Downs because of its excellent facilities and their ability to promote the race and offer an exciting fan experience. Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel expressed his excitement looking forward to next year. "We are very excited for Batavia Downs Gaming to host the $1.8 million finals if the New York SIre Stakes with the long history this facility has with harness racing. We have made so many improvements to the track and can't wait to host everyone that weekend and showcase our new hotel and beautiful clubhouse." Kelly Young, Executive Director of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund said "2019 will be the 30th edition of the Night of Champions and we look forward to bringing it to western New York and Batavia Downs. We're really excited to watch this race track do what it does best; that is promoting harness racing and bringing fans in to watch the best horses the state has to offer." The date of the finals will be announced once the actual racing schedule is finalized. By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- It was a dark and stormy night in Genesee County as storms blew through the area on Friday night (Sept. 21). But that didn't deter the multitude of fans of Foiled Again from turning out in to witness the richest Standardbred of all time compete at Batavia Downs one last time. Prior to the eighth race, everyone in attendance gathered at the fence in anticipation of seeing one of the greatest pacers in the history of the sport. Foiled Again was in a $10,000 Open II pace that saw him start from post seven and get away fifth, where he would stay until the race approached the three-quarter pole. That's where driver Jim Morrill Jr. pulled him and tried to advance towards the leader. Although Foiled Again raced gamely pacing homes in :28.2 over an off-track, he came up two-lengths short of the win, finishing fourth in 1:53.4. After the race, Foiled Again was brought back to the winner's circle where he stood like a rock star with his caretaker Jordan Miller and his driver Jim Morrill Jr. to greet the hundreds of racing enthusiasts who ran down from all points of the grandstand and clubhouse to see him up close and take his picture. There is no doubt that Facebook accounts all over western New York will be rife with images of Foiled Again for the foreseeable future. Batavia Downs Gaming is very appreciative of Burke Racing, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, the JJK Stables and trainer Ron Burke for including us as a stop on the Foiled Again Farewell Tour. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- The richest Standardbred in the history of the sport, the $7.59 million winner Foiled Again will be racing at Batavia Downs tonight, Friday night (September 21) which is the next stop of his farewell tour as he heads to retirement at the end of the year. Foiled Again's lifetime win count is now at 103 races and he comes to Batavia on a three-race win streak having won at the Greenville Fair, the Windsor Fair and most recently at Freehold Raceway. This past week he made an appearance at the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio and went a training mile in front of the crowd on Jugette Day in preparation for his race at The Downs on Friday. The 14-year-old Foiled Again will compete in race eight at Batavia which is an Open II event going for $10,000 and the estimated post time for that race is 9 p.m. The visit was made possible through his owners Burke Racing, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and JJK Stables. Having raced at Batavia Downs six times in his career, Foiled Again has a five win and one second record. His first appearance was in 2009 when he won his first of three Robert J. Kane Memorial paces, which is Batavia Down's signature stake. He also won two Opens and finished second in a third. In an interview earlier this summer, trainer Ron Burke expressed his feelings about racing Foiled Again at Batavia Downs. "Of course Foiled will be coming to Batavia this year; Batavia is always on his list. One of the best memories we ever had of his career was his win in the 2016 Kane Memorial there. We were all at the Lexington sale watching the race on a monitor outside. We knew that was probably going to be his last stake ever. And when he came flying from the back of the pack after they kept him parked out the whole mile to swoop the field and win, we were all screaming and cheering. We were literally all crying, it was special for us." Jim Morrill Jr. will be in the bike behind the pacing legend this week to see if he can make his last visit at Batavia a winning one. Foiled Again is just part of one of the biggest nights of racing ever held at Batavia Downs. The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolation races will also be held with eight divisions going to post for the $320,000 in purse money available. The first NYSS race is non-betting with a 5:20 p.m. post time. Then NYSS events are in race one, two, three, five, six seven and 10. Post time for the first betting race is 6 p.m. The early Pick-5 wager (which runs from race one through race five) includes four of the NYSS consolation events and has a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for Friday. It is part of the USTA Strategic Wagering pool and race pages can be downloaded for free from Trackmaster and the USTA through this link. (http://handicapping.ustrotting.com) The Batavia Downs early Pick-5 on Friday is also the USTA Play of the Day on the Harness Racing Fan Zone. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- The horses that missed the cut for the $1.8 million up for grabs in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions finals will convene at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Sept. 21) to compete for the $320,000 in purse money available in the NYSS consolation races. There are eight divisions that will go for $40,000 each and the first is non-betting with a 5:20 p.m. post time. Then NYSS events are carded in race one, two, three, five, six seven and 10. Post time for the first betting race is 6 p.m. Supergirl Riley (Muscle Mass-Crown Laurel) is the early 6-5 favorite in the 3-year-old filly trot and comes in as the highest money earner competing in any of the consolations tonight with $221,589 on her card. Supergirl Riley appears to be at the top of her game after winning the $180,000 Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs in a lifetime best 1:54.3 over a sloppy track. She then matched that mark last week, winning a $50,000 Kentucky Sire Stake race at the Red Mile. And not to be overlooked was her start at Yonkers Raceway in the Hudson Trot final where she finished second by a nose in 1:53.1 to Plunge Blue Chip. Supergirl Riley is one of six entries for trainer Erv Miller in these consolations and Marcus Miller will be in the bike as usual. I'm The Muscle (Muscle Mass-Lady Bling) headlines the 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings and a quick look at the form explains why he's 8-5 morning line. After joining the Rene Allard Stable in July, I'm The Muscle rattled off five straight wins, the last of which was a four length romp in 1:55.2 at Batavia Downs in the rain. In his last start at Yonkers he finished third behind Yonkers Trot winner Six Pack and the top point-getter for this division Helpisontheway. This race would have to be considered class relief after that start and he should take advantage of that with Jason Bartlett up for the ride once again. The 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers should be a very interesting race as all eight of the starters competed at Batavia Downs two weeks ago in the final leg of their division this year. Ideal Feeling (American Ideal-Feelinglikeastar) won his split by six lengths in 1:52 after toying with the field the whole mile. He has since won again in an overnight at Tioga Downs in 1:52.2 by three lengths. He has faced Courtly Choice twice this year and knows what it takes to be the best. Jason Bartlett is back up and drew post three at 2-1 for trainer Mike Deters. Topville Olympian (American Ideal-Our Sophia) went off the heavy favorite here last time and started out the mile with a quick :55.3 half. But he faltered late and his failure to get any points knocked him out of the NYSS final and into this consolation. If he regains the form he had in the $500,000 Messenger final at Yonkers and most of the races before that, he will be a major player in this race. Trainer Chris Oakes has Tyler Buter up and they are rated as 3-1 morning line. Mach N Cheese (Betterthancheddar-Mach You And Me) was a winner in his Batavia outing, taking a 1:53.4 lifetime mark in the process. Jersey Jim (Artiscape-Jersey Pearl) scratched from that Batavia Start but has since finished third at Saratoga in an overnight in 1:51.3 and Cheese Melt (Betterthancheddar-B So Lucky) comes in off a tightener at Harrah's Philly where he ran away in 1:51.1, which was a new lifetime mark. The early Pick-5 wager (which runs from race one through race five) includes four of the NYSS consolation events and has a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for Friday. It is part of the USTA Strategic Wagering pool and race pages can be downloaded for free from Trackmaster and the USTA through this link. (http://handicapping.ustrotting.com)   The Batavia Downs early Pick-5 on Friday is also the USTA Play of the Day on the Harness Racing Fan Zone.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY --- For the third week in a row and the fourth time in the last five outings, Roll With Faith dominated the Downs damsels by winning the $9,500 fillies and mares Open Handicap pace at Batavia on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 19). Roll With Faith (Kevin Cummings) watched from last while Little Joke (Billy Davis Jr.) took the lead and led the group to the quarter in :28.1. But Cumming's passive status ended before the three-eighths pole when he pulled Roll With Faith and started the long trek up the outside. Roll With Faith caught up with Little Joke up the backside in the midst of a speedy :27.4 third panel and the two began to battle from there. The pair went stride for stride around the last turn and into the stretch when both Davis and Cummings really started to work their mounts. They continued to shadow each other until halfway down the stretch when Roll With Faith got stout and pulled away to a length victory in 1:54.1. Roll With Faith ($7.30) has earned $60,309 this year on the strength of her now 11 wins for owners Finish Line Investors, Lawrence Willer and John Mungillo, who also trains the mare. In the $8,000 fillies and mares Open II pace, Classy Lane Rose (Drew Monti) also got away last and stayed there until the three-quarters when Monti drove up the middle of the pack and then found room in the last turn where he swung three deep and flew past everyone to win in 1:56. It was the fourth win of 2018 for Classy Lane Rose ($23.80) who is owned by Carl Monti. Darrin Monti trains the winner. Ray Fisher Jr. was the leading reinsman at Batavia Downs on Wednesday, winning five races on the card. He scored with Odysseus (1:54.3, $2.70), Fox Valley Lena (1:55.4, $7.10), No Talking (1:56.1, $14.00), Ali De Vie (1:58.4, $8.90) and Lake Shark (1:57, $9.40). After tonight's races, Fisher sits in fourth place for the meet in the dash driving title competition with 28 wins. He trails Kevin Cummings and Drew Monti who are tied for first with 55 wins each and Billy Davis Jr. who is a solid third with 42 victories of his own. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 21) when eight divisions of the $320,000 New York Sire Stake (NYSS) consolation races will be held. Also the richest standardbred of all time, Foiled Again will be racing in his seventh and final appearance at the Downs as he makes his way towards retirement at the end of the year. Post time for the first non-betting NYSS event is 5:20 p.m. Post time for the first betting race on the card is 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- For the second time in three weeks, Validus Deo laid claim to being the best pacer in western New York after winning the $10,000 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 15). The starter released the field and they all hit the pylons in draw order going into the first turn. Halfway up the backside, Bugatti (Ron Beback Jr.) pulled to advance but Valudis Deo (Kevin Cummings) swooped three-deep around him and took the lead by the quarter in a tepid :28 and at that point, the race was won. Validus Deo motored down to the half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:24 flat as Whosurpapa (Billy Davis Jr.) tried to challenge first-over but didn't have any answers once out there. Rounding the last turn Cummings got more aggressive with his drive, knowing the pocket-sitting Barry Hanover (Shawn McDonough) was ready to pounce. As that situation unfolded, Validus Deo was up to the challenge and maintained his lead to the wire in 1:52.2, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. Validus Deo ($5.70) registered his ninth win of the year and 35th of his career for trainer/driver Kevin Cummings who co-owns the winner with Matthew Rosiek and Robert Johnson. The $9,000 Open II was won by Upfront Countryboy (Billy Davis Jr.) who got away last before sliding up to fourth along the pylons past the half and shaking loose three-deep at the top of the stretch to pull away and win by a length in 1:52.4. It was the 11th win of the year for Upfront Countryboy ($17.40) who is owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr. The fastest mile of the night was orchestrated by Lucan Hanover (John Cummings Jr.) who went wire to wire in 1:52 in an upper level condition race. The very classy $1.1 million earner Lucan Hanover ($5.10) took up residency at Batavia Downs in early August after a private purchase by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Jack Rice and Pine Hill Racing. Maria Rice trains the winner. Drew Monti led all drivers on Saturday with three wins followed by John Cummings Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. who both had two. There was no winner in the early Pick-5 wager on Saturday, meaning there is a carryover pool of $620 for the early Pick-5 when racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 19) at 5 p.m. DIrector/General Manager of Live Racing Todd Haight has also announced that the early Pick-5 pool will be guaranteed at $1,500 on Wednesday. By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- After settling for minor spoils in the top class at Batavia Downs over the last few weeks, Southern Palms swelled up on the front end to win the $10,500 Open Handicap trotting feature on Friday night (Sept. 14). After a lengthy delay for a shoe malfunction, Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) returned to the track well-heeled and uncharacteristically left the gate hard to take the front. He cut fractions of :27.2, :57 and 1:26.2 with only a mild challenge from last week's Open winner Empire Earl N (Ray Fisher Jr.) which didn't last into the final turn. However the pocket-sitting Chelsea's Chance (Billy Davis Jr.) was fresh and popped the deuce to bring game down the lane. Davis was urging Chelsea's Chance as best he could but Southern Palms was on cruise control and wouldn't allow the mare to get any closer than a length and won in a season's best 1:56.2. Southern Palms ($9.90) scored his sixth win of the year for owner Mike Torcello, who has now pocketed $47,946 this year as a result of his horse's good work. Gerry Sarama trains the winner. In the $8,000 Open II trot, Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.), who made his first start since July 20, tripped-out to the half before pulling to take a lead he would hold to the wire and win in 1:57.4. It was the second win in only 10 2018 starts for Barn Winner ($4.90) who is owned by Tanah Merah Farms and the Swift Racing Stable. Ryan Swift trains Barn Winner. Ray Fisher Jr. had a big night in the bike, scoring a driving grand slam. Besides the already mentioned Barn Winner, Fisher also won with Drive 'Em Cowboy (1:55.4, $4.20), Wallflower, (1:56.2, $6.50) and Lougazi (1:57, $24.20). Kevin Cummings also drove three winners on the night and those wins put him back on top of the dash driver standings by two, ahead of Drew Monti who had the lead going into the evening. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 15) at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs has announced today that starting on Wednesday (Oct. 3) and continuing through the end of the meet, all purses will be raised by 10 percent across the board. The increase is due to a combination of two factors: there has been a significant rise in handle realized by the track so far this season plus there were 43 less races run than last year. "Our on-track betting is up 4.9 percent and our export handle is up 15.3 percent after the first 26 cards of racing," said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. "By raising purses starting next month it will put approximately $204,000 back into local horsemen's pockets and that in turn can help bring new and better racing stock to western New York. We're pleased the numbers are heading in the right direction." The increase would take the current low to high purse structure from $2,750- $10,500 to $3,025-$11,550. The racing has been very aggressive this year, providing a better product to wager on and one of the reasons for that was the removal of the passing lane that had been in place since 1988. "There is no question that removing the passing lane has led to more competitive racing and both on and off track patrons have responded in a positive manner to that change. We've gotten feedback from our customers since the start of the meet and now they've also made a statement through the betting windows," Haight concluded. The Batavia Downs live meet continues through Saturday (Dec. 15) with a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday schedule. Post time remains 5 p.m. mid-week and 6 p.m. on the weekends. There is a special Columbus Day matinee on Monday (Oct. 8) that starts at 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs      

Batavia, NY --- Two divisions of New York Sire Stake (NYSS) 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers were in town on Wednesday (Sept. 12) to compete for $109,000 in purses at Batavia Downs and in the first $54,500 split, Melodies Major (Art Major-Hilarious) left a lasting impression on the locals by setting a new track record. Bicorne Hanover (Matt Kakaley) left from post one and opened up a quick two-length advantage while Melodies Major (Tyler Buter) dropped in second to get the perfect garden spot trip. The top two broke away from the field while setting fractions of :28.3, :58 and 1:26.3. At that last station Buter popped the plugs and pulled Melodies Major and he went right past Bicorne Hanover in the blink of an eye. At the top of the lane, Buter sat chilly while Melodies Major paced home in :27.3, well in hand at the wire in 1:54.1. The time of 1:54.1 is a new track record for 2-year-old pacing colts at Batavia Downs, replacing the 1:54.2 standard set by Doctor Butch in 2012 and matched by He's Watching in 2013. "When I pulled him he was loaded with pace," said Buter after the race. "We got a perfect trip, everything went well and I couldn't have asked for anything better." It was the sixth win in eight starts this year for Melodies Major ($5.50) who now has earned $166,433 in NYSS purses and finished as the top point-getter in his division with 325. Melodies Major is owned by Martin Scharf, is trained by Mark Ford and was bred by James Avritt Sr. In the second $54,500 division, Covered Bridge (American Ideal-Stonebridge Kisses) provided a major upset in a blanket finish. The heavily favored Reining Deo (Jim Morrill Jr,) took an expected spot on the front end and with no early challengers, Morrill took advantage and backed the half off to :59.1. Having his fill of the slow fractions, Ray Schnittker pulled Hurrikane Kingklee from fourth and started moving up the outside. Morrill responded with a :28.1 third panel effectively ending the first challenge. However Covered Bridge (Kevin Cummings) who was drafting second-over, tipped three wide at the same time and was raging with pace. Covered Bridge got to within a length of Reging Deo going into the final straight and then proceeded to run him down to the wire, winning by a head in 1:55.4 at 22-1. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner. "Off a half in :59, she went a big mile from where she was," said Cummings. "She raced huge, I like her a lot. She's a nice horse." It was the second win of the year for Covered Bridge ($46.80), both in NYSS action for owners David Smith and James Giannuzzi and trainer Jessica Okusko. Covered Bridge was bred by WInbak Farm. There were also two $15,000 Excelsior "A" races on the card. The first division was won by Shim (American Ideal-Feel Life) who got away sixth by 12 lengths, survived an interference break then rallied to win by two in 1:57.1. Shim ($5.90) was driven by Ray Fisher Jr. for owners Pat Lachance (who also trains the winner), M & M Harness Racing, Ira Rosenblum and the Royal Flush Stable. Shim was bred by White Birch Farm. The second division went to Cal (American Ideal-Hula's Z Tam) who got away third before pulling at the half to take the lead and eventually the race in 1:58.1. Cal ($10.40) was driven by Matt Kakaley for owners Crawford Farms Racing and the Northfork Racing Stable and trainer Chris Oakes. Cal was bred by Pat Lachance and the Z Tam Stable. The $320,000 NYSS consolation races will be held at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 21). The $1.8 million NYSS finals are the following night, Saturday (Sept. 22) at Yonkers Raceway. By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

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