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Batavia, NY --- Zero Tolerance comes into her $225,000 New York Sire Stake (NYSS) Night of Champions final at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14) with quite a body of work. She is the undefeated top point-getter (250) and highest earning 3-year-old pacing filly in her division ($177,500) and is currently the fourth richest filly in North America overall this year with $382,423 on her harness racing card. She is a naturally talented filly that has been developed and managed masterfully by her Hall of Fame connections of driver David Miller and trainer Joe Holloway. Zero Tolerance was a first crop daughter of Heston Blue Chip and was a $30,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Select Sale in 2017 and it's no surprise why her trainer Joe Holloway decided to buy her based on a couple successful fillies he had previously raced. "I selected her for her maternal side. I had Somwherovrarainbow and Rainbow Room and they were both out of Rainbow Blue and I had good success with both them. And this filly is out of a sister to Rainbow Blue named Feelinglikeastar," said Holloway. Zero Tolerance started her 2-year-old campaign strong with a win at the Meadowlands in 1:51.3. Her first NYSS race was the following week where she finished second by a neck after cutting the mile. After being sick and having three weeks off, she returned to the track and rattled off five consecutive wins including the Geers and Reynolds stakes at Tioga Downs and NYSS legs at Vernon Downs and Monticello Raceway. She did not race in the NYSS final, rather closed out the year with an aggressive Grand Circuit schedule where she won the Bluegrass at the Red Mile before finishing second in the Breeders Crown at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and the Three Diamonds at the Meadowlands. This year, Zero Tolerance came out of the gate and won her first three NYSS races by a combined 16-3/4 lengths. She hit the Grand Circuit again for two starts finishing second in the James Lynch Memorial at Pocono in 1:49.3 and fourth in the Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands. She returned to New York and won the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga in a lifetime best of 1:50.2 and two more NYSS races at Saratoga and Batavia to go five for five in the series. "She's been good in the NYSS this year so far. Each time she has raced she's performed for us and that was the plan. When she looked like she was dominant, I was going to go to the Jugette. But where it's New York, and it's such good money, basically close to the same money as the Jugette after you've got to go heats, we decided to race here instead," said Holloway. In that last start at Batavia, Zero Tolerance got away third to the half before pulling with cover up the backstretch and simply paced away from the field with no urging down the lane to win easily in 1:54.2. There has been almost three weeks between starts for Zero Tolerance but her routine didn't change that much. "As far as the time off, I usually don't train her too much anyway. So I trained her real hard a week out and I trained her lightly on Wednesday (Sept. 11). The seven hole doesn't help us in the final but she'll be alright," said Holloway. "Overall she's a nice filly although she gets a little bit high strung now and then. But a lot of my better fillies have been that way. Probably the biggest thing she does this year is she's bad in the winner's circle. She kicks and I don't want her hurting herself so we haven't been in the winner's circle to long when she gets there." The NYSS final will not be the last race of the year for Zero Tolerance. Holloway indicated that she would be going to Lexington for two weeks before the Breeders Crown and the Matron. Zero Tolerance comes into the NYSS finals as one of the richest participants this year with $868,236 made lifetime and she will be looking to substantially add to that total on Saturday night. 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. Peter Kleinhans will be the tracks 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. $4,000 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool Friday As a result of no one selecting a winning combination in the Pick-5 wager at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 11), there will be a $1,302 carryover and a $4,000 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool when racing resumes at 6 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 13) at the oldest lighted harness track in America. Friday’s guaranteed pool is also part of the USTA’s Strategic Wagering Program which offers free program pages courtesy of Trackmaster for the Pick-5 races at Batavia Downs under the “Handicapping” tab at www.ustrotting.com .  The Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that begins in race one and runs through race five. There is no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners, the entire pool (minus takeout) will be carried over once again. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY --- Many dignitaries were on hand Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 11) at Batavia Downs to draw post positions for the eight harness racing divisions of the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) that will be held during the Night of Champions on Saturday night (Sept. 14). Kelly Young, who is the Executive Director of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund, joined the Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs, Todd Haight in welcoming New York State Assemblyman Stephen Hawley to the Downs to serve his constituents in a little different fashion. Mr. Hawley was the Honorary Drawmaster for this event and pulled pills alongside the President of the Western New York Horseman's Association, Bruce Tubin. Eight full fields of eight will pit 64 of the best horses bred in New York that were decided as a result of their competition throughout the state all summer. Notable participants as expected are 3-year-old trotting colt Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows) 1:52.4 ($1,145,996), 3-year-old pacing filly Zero Tolerance (Heston Blue Chip-Feelinglikeastar) 1:50.2 ($868,236), 3-year-old trotting filly Quincy Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Sirenuse) 1:53.2 ($562,930), 3-year-old trotting filly Winndevie (Credit Winner-Vida De Vie) 1:54 ($467,932), 3-year-old pacing colt Shakethathouse (American Ideal-Shake That Junk) 1:47.4 ($452,804), 3-year-old pacing colt Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star) 1:48.4 ($414,427), 2-year-old trotting filly Hypnotic Am (Chapter Seven-Daydream Am S) 1:53 ($273,957) and 2-year-old pacing colt Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk) 1:52 ($174,595). Here are the fields: 3-year-old pacing fillies 1 Hurrikane Norakane 2 So Awesome 3 Sulky Queen 4 Brooklyn Lilacs 5 Crazy Cute 6 JK American Beauty 7 Zero Tolerance 8 Dd Delicious 3-year-old trotting fillies 1 Blue Ribbon Gal 2 Stella Jane 3 Quincy Blue Chip 4 With Out A Doubt 5 Sweet Chapter 6 Pilgrims Lass 7 Sensibility 8 Winndevie 2-year-old pacing fillies 1 The Fun Marshall 2 Movie Town 3 Cash Roll 4 So Rude 5 Racine Bell 6 Hidden Cove 7 Merga Hanover 8 Galleria Gal 2-year-old trotting fillies 1 Hushabye 2 Hypnotic Am 3 Seventimesalady 4 Without A Warning 5 Really Blue Chip 6 Soprese 7 Illdoitmyself 8 Love A Good Story 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings 1 Sandy's Bolt 2 Freedom Warrior 3 Save Me A Dance 4 Splash Brother 5 Cigars And Port 6 Hurrikanekingjames 7 Level up 8 Groovy Joe 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings 1 Beerthirty K 2 Sky Castles 3 Hobbs 4 Third Shift 5 Barn Holden 6 Berkery J 7 Chaptima 8 Bourbon Express 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings 1 Cavill Hanover 2 Lucky Weekend 3 Powerscourt 4 Captain Krupnik 5 Livinonthedash 6 Travel Winner 7 Gimpanzee 8 Winnerup 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings 1 Hickfromfrenchlick 2 Major Blake 3 Artie's Ideal 4 Shake That house 5 Buddy Hill 6 Major March 7 Reining Deo 8 Rollwithpapajoe by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Blue Bell Bonnie has been one of the toughest harness racing mares competing at Batavia Downs this season. Coming off three wins in her last four starts and moving up in class, the mare went right to the front and never looked back in the $12,500 Open I Handicap Pace for distaff participants at the Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 11). Driver Jim Morrill Jr. sent Blue Bell Bonnie to the front and proceeded unchallenged to the half in relatively mild :57.4. With the field still in single file as they headed into the third turn, HP Sissy (John Cummings Jr.) finally pulled first-over past the five-eighths and made a bull rush towards the leader, drawing alongside her in the backstretch. The two matched strides to the three-quarters and into the final bend before Blue Bell Bonnie found a new gear and started to pull away. With a clear one-length lead, Morrill urged Blue Bell Bonnie down the lane and she responded to win by a length in 1:54 over a fast closing Little Joke (BIlly Davis Jr.). It was the eighth win of the year for Blue Bell Bonnie ($4.70) and it pushed her earnings to $52,798 for owners Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi. James Clouser Jr. trains the 7-year-old daughter of Mister Big-The Girl Can Bet. In the $11,000 Open II fillies and mares pace, Mean Pauline (Shawn McDonough) got a perfect pocket trip behind Machin Marley (Jim Morrill Jr.) before popping the deuce at the top of the stretch and wrestling away the lead at the wire to win by a head in 1:57. Now with four wins on the year and earnings of $30,756, Mean Pauline ($21.20) has already surpassed her efforts of last year for owner Harry Wortzman. Her driver Shawn McDonough also trains the winner. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. had a driving triple on the card to lead all reinsmen. When live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 13) at 6:00 p.m. there will be a guaranteed carryover pool of $4,000 for the Pick-5 wager. This will be part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages will be available for races one through five on the USTA's website. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The top 2-year-old harness racing pacing colt heading into the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14) proves you don't have to be rich to be successful in harness racing if you do your homework. Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk) p,2,1:52f ($174,595) was a $17,000 purchase at the 2018 Goshen Yearling Sale and has turned out to be quite a find. With the bulk of his 2-year-old campaign completed, he currently sits atop the NYSS standings for points (337) and earnings ($155,270) for his age, gender and gait, has seven wins in nine starts with two seconds overall and started it all off with a five-race winning streak. His body of work ranks beyond the state border too. Groovy Joe is currently one of the sports best first-year performers sitting third in earnings among all 2-year-old male pacers in North America and has paced the tenth fastest mile of all freshman pacers after his recent career-best outing of 1:52 at Tioga Downs. Blake Macintosh trains Groovy Joe and co-owns with the Hutt Racing Stable. Macintosh is the one who picked out the colt and knew all along that he'd be a good one. "I liked him when I saw him. He was well built, well bred and was my pick of the sale," said Macintosh. "And he turned out to be everything I thought he would. He broke easily and trained down well and he's become very smart and professional with his work." The colt's first five races, all of which were wins, came over half mile tracks. Macintosh stated he seemed to thrive there and progressed sharply through those starts. "He's not a big horse and he gets around a half-mile track perfectly. You could see him get stronger with each of those wins and he came home faster each week as he went along. The race at Buffalo was what really impressed me; when he flew home in a :57.2 back-half," said Macintosh. Groovy Joe has continued to improve and show his maturity after just winning back to back starts at Tioga in 1:52.4 and 1:52 flat. Macintosh is no stranger to success on the NYSS circuit and used the series to educate and develop his millionaire star Courtly Choice (Art Major-Lady Ashlee Ann) p, 3, 1:47.1m ($1,285,054). Courtly Choice won two races in the NYSS at two in 2017 but did not compete in the final. However he came back at three and won all his races in the state series, but he also won the Meadowlands Pace and the Empire Breeders Classic. He still did not race in the NYSS final in 2018 but that was because he was busy winning the Little Brown Jug that week instead. Are major stakes in the future for Groovy Joe? His trainer thinks so. "Besides racing in the NYSS, we are going to pay him into several Grand Circuit events next year and point him towards the North American Cup. I was very excited to win the Jug but I'd love to win the Cup. It's at my home track and in my own backyard," Said Macintosh. 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 --- 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  

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