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Batavia, NY --- $107,000 was up for grabs when the New York Sire Stake (NYSS) 2-year-old pacing fillies visited Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 14) and the winners of both divisions put in stellar performances. The first $53,000 split was won by Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight) who took no prisoners in a gate to wire victory. Merga Hanover was floated off the gate by driver Matt Kakaley for the first eighth of a mile while the rest of the field set up, then he gunned her to the front and controlled the rest of the mile. After getting to the half in :57.2 with the trailing horses in single file, Cash Roll (Scott Zeron) pulled first up with The Fun Marshall (Billy Davis Jr.) right behind her trying to push the issue. Merga Hanover continued to set the pace to the three-quarters, around the turn and into the stretch with the competition unable to make up any ground. Kakaley gave his filly her head down the lane and Merga Hanover was quickly on cruise control, pacing away to a handy two-length win in 1:55. "I eased her out of the gate because I never drove her before," said Kakaley. "But I let her pace the last turn and she coasted home. It was all her." The win vaulted Merga Hanover into the NYSS points lead for her division, now with 175. It was the fourth win in only five lifetime starts for Merga Hanover ($6.90) and it pushed her earnings to $86,866 for owners Thomas Dillon, Scott Dillon, Joe Sbrocco and William Donovan. Ron Burke trains the winner. Merga Hanover was bred by Hanover Shoe Farm. The second division went for $54,000 and provided a sizable upset for the betting public when Movie Town (American Ideal-New Hollywood) came off the pace and lit up the board at 20-1. Racine Bell (Jason Bartlett) left and took the lead before giving it up to Major Battle (Jim Morrill Jr.) past the quarter. The race proceeded to the half without any changes when Turnthefrownaround (Matt Kakaley) and Movie Town (Tyler Buter) both rolled up in the outer flow to start chasing down the front runner. Major Battle hit the three-quarters in 1:26.4 with positions remaining the same behind him; that was until the top of the last turn when Movie Town tipped three-deep and started to make her move. Buter fed Movie Town the lines and she was fully engaged, passing the inside horses easily and stretching out to a two-length win in 1:57. Movie Town ($43.60) scored her second NYSS win of the year for owner Bay Pond Racing and trainer Jeff Stafford. Winbak Farm bred Movie Town. Three divisions of the $15,000 Excel "A" series were also contested on Wednesday with the following results. The first Excel "A" event in the third race was a dead-heat between Alleyesonme As and Sus) Alleyesonme As (Heston Blue Chip-Twincreeks Jewel) Driver - Jason Bartlett  Owner - Anette Lorentzon and Acl Stuteri Ab Trainer - Anette Lorentzon  Breeder - Anette Lorentzon and Acl Stuteri Ab Time - 1:58.2  Mutuel - $2.10 Sus (Art Major-Outtathisworld) Driver - Jim Morrill Jr.  Owner - Yankeeland Partners Trainer - Brett Bittle  Breeder - White Birch Farm Time - 1:58.2  Mutuel - $8.70 Charm And Grace (American Ideal-Another Hanover) Driver - Jim Morrill Jr.  Owner - John Dwyer Trainer - John Mongeon  Breeder - Kentuckiana Farms and Marvin Katz Time - 1:57.2  Mutuel - $4.20 Hen Party (Roll With Joe-My Lady Day) Driver - Matt Kakaley  Owner - William Donovan Trainer - Ron Burke  Breeder - Frederick Hertrich III Time - 1:55.2  Mutuel - $4.30 Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 16), which is the first Friday of racing this meet. Post time for the first race is 6:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs will host the 2-year-old pacing fillies on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 14) when the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) return for their fifth of nine 2019 stops and the two harness racing divisions that will compete for a combined $107,000 in purses look to be very competitive races. The first leg (carded as race four) goes for $53,000 and has Cash Roll (Roll With Joe-Rockonomics) installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Cash Roll has won three of five starts this year, two of which were in NYSS action, and currently sits second in points and fourth in earnings. She took her lifetime mark of 1:56 last month at Yonkers in a gate to wire, 4-¼ length romp in the mud. She has outstanding gate speed and loves to cut the mile and after drawing post one for this race, must have her driver Scott Zeron feeling really good about their chances. Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight) has a similar career path to Cash Roll. She also has three wins to her credit, two in the NYSS, is third in earnings and fourth in points and also likes to be on or near the lead. The only variant to her schedule this week is she picks up Matt Kakaley to drive and he knows the Batavia oval very well. Kakaley and Merga Hanover will leave from post six. If the front end pace between those two gets hectic, The Fun Marshall (So Surreal-Hallmark Hanover) will be close to pick up the pieces. The Fun Marshall didn't get her year off to as fast a start of her opponents, but she certainly made a statement on July 11. After sitting a garden spot trip, she closed sharply down the lane to score a lifetime best victory of 1:55.4 at Yonkers over a sloppy track. The Fun Marshall starts from post two with Billy Davis Jr. in tow. In the second $54,000 division, Racine Bell (So Surreal-Ty's Artist) brings a stellar resume to post and has been recognized as the favorite by the track handicapper at 5-2 as a result. Racine Bell is the top money earner among her peers and is also tied for the top in points. She has three wins in six starts, hasn't missed the board all year and comes into this race off a career best tying 1:56.1 win at Yonkers. Her regular driver Jason Bartlett will be in town to drive once again and they will start from post seven for this event. Turnthefrownaround (Roll WIth Joe-Knockout Pout) is the second choice at 3-1 but appears to be a real wild card. Although she has the fastest win time of this group this year from a 1:53.3 victory over the 5/8th's mile track at Tioga Downs, she has also made two breaks at Monticello and Yonkers which are both half-milers. She will be on a half Wednesday at Batavia and will have to mind her manners to succeed. Matt Kakaley has been assigned the drive and he start that task from post five. Major Battle (Art Major-Savhorsrideacowboy) makes her first NYSS start but recent form shows her potential. Although she has exhibited gate speed in her first lifetime start, her last start shows her strong closing ability after she got away eighth by 15-lengths at Mohawk and paced the final five-eighths of a mile parked-out and closing to finish second in 1:53.3. Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the drive and the pair will start from post four. There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excel "A" series on the card. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY --- Trainer John Hallett left the friendly confines of Tioga Downs with Joey Pro this week in lieu of a visit to Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 11) but despite the change in venue, they came away with the same result. Joey Pro scored another win, but this time in the top-class $12,500 Open Handicap trotting feature at the oldest lighted harness track in North America. Joey Pro (Jim Morrill Jr.) made it quick and simple; he left, took the lead and outlasted the competition. Morrill set quarters of :29, :58.1 and 1:27 with the field pretty much single-file behind him. Going into the last turn, Wheels A Turning (Dave McNeight III) was moving up the outside first-over, two-lengths behind the leader and he was also trotting up a storm. When the race straightened out down the lane, Wheels A Turning had drawn almost even with Joey Pro and appeared poised to motor right on by, but Joey Pro swelled up and held him off at the wire to win by a nose in 1:56.2 for his third straight victory. Well on his way to beating his career year of 2018, Joey Pro ($10.80) has now registered eight wins in 2019 and pocketed $41,780 in purses for owner ark Wamp. The $11,000 Open II Handicap trot also went to an outsider after Saratoga Raceway regular Rose Run Speedster (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled past the half, took control of the race before the three-quarter pole and rebuffed a late bid by Fox Valley Veto (Billy Davis Jr.) to win handily by 1-¼ lengths in 1:57.4. Rose Run Speedster ($4.40) is owned by Simzer and Derue and trained by Brett Derue. Jim Morrill Jr., Shawn Gray and Billy Davis Jr. all had driving triple on the card; Davis scoring the natural hat trick in the final three races of the day. Trainers Brett Derue, JD Perrin and Steve Kiblin all had two wins apiece. Live racing resumes Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 14) and the New York Sire Stake 2-year-old pacing fillies will be in town to compete for $107,000 in purses. Post time for the first race is 5:00 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Saratoga Raceway regular Saulsbrook Deputy shipped into western New York on Saturday night (Aug. 10) for the first time and immediately laid down the law after winning the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs Driver John Cummings Jr. took his time placing Saulsbrook Deputy on the lead but cleared by the quarter and opened up a two-length advantage at the point. The pair then proceeded to the half in a pedestrian :58.2 split before Lucan Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) rolled up on the outside with Iammrbrightside N (Ray Fisher Jr.) on his back to apply some pressure for the second circuit. The top three horses maintained their positions to the three-quarters in 1:26.2 and then around the last turn where Saulsbrook Deputy was still two-lengths clear. But Iammrbrightside N tipped three-deep around the stalled Lucan Hanover and was barreling down the middle of the track and closing with every stride. Cummings was urging his horse all the way down the lane and Saulsbrook Deputy responded and stayed game to win in 1:55.1. Saulsbrook Deputy ($5.70) scored his fifth win of the year for owner Kevin Quinn and brought his 2019 earnings to $49,491. Paul Zabielski trains the winner. In the undercard $11,000 Open II pace, Drunkonaplane (Billy Davis Jr.) scored his second straight win at Batavia Downs after a very strong performance. Drunkonaplane had the lead four-steps off the gate and relinquished that spot only momentarily before the quarter when he let Manceiver (Jim Morrill Jr.) clear. But he immediately retook the front and closed out the deal. Davis cut quarters of :56.3 and 1:24.4 before turning for home and holding off 51-1 shot Tullow N (Ray Fisher Jr.). Drunkonaplane ($4.00), who now has six wins this year, is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable Jack Rice and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice is the trainer. Several horsemen and one horsewoman had very productive nights at Batavia on Saturday. Billy Davis Jr. and Jim Morrill Jr. both had four winners on the card while trainers Jackie Greene, Paul Zabielski and Maria Rice all sent two winners to the winner's enclosure. Live racing resumes Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 11) Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The numbers are in and they're impressive to say the least. After completing two weeks of the 2019 live harness racing meet, Batavia Downs has reported unprecedented increases in handle from every source of wagering. Western Regional Off Track Betting (WROTB) operates Batavia Downs and released the following numbers after the first nine cards of racing. Export betting was up 36%, on-track betting was up 20% and WROTB betting from all outlets was up 10%. Total betting is up 30% or a total of $291,351 with an average increase of $32,372 per night. "On Monday (Aug. 5) the track handle was up 90% while the total handle was up 127% from the same Monday last year. It was the fifth largest of all time since WROTB reopened the track in 2002," said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Batavia Downs. "We were hoping to see increases as a result of our stakes programs this year, but we are ecstatic to be seeing it on our overnight product as well." The centerpiece of the 2019 meet is the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions that will be held at the Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14) along with the track's signature stake, the $50,000 Kane Memorial Invitational pace. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs this week on Saturday (Aug. 10) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters invaded Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 7) and they did some damage to the record book by breaking the local mark for their age, gender and gait in two successive series races. In the first $52,000 division, Bourbon Express (RC Royalty-Kasha) was sent down the road by driver Jason Bartlett and once gone, the pair never looked back. Operating with a gapped advantage, Bourbon Express went quarters of :28.4, :59.2 and 1:28.2 before rounding the last turn and heading into the stretch with a two-length lead. From there he trotted home a wrapped-up winner by four-lengths in 1:57.3. The time was a new lifetime mark for Bourbon Express and also a new Batavia Downs track record for 2-year-old trotting colts. The former mark was 1:58.1 set by Zack's Zoomer in 2016. "This horse is very handy, he doesn't act like a 2-year-old," said Bartlett. "He's a real nice colt." It was the third win of the year for Bourbon Express ($5.90) who started 2019 as a winner in Excelsior "A" action. Now he has won two NYSS races. Those victories have earned $78,008 for his owners Salvatore Vullo, James De Armond and Jessica Okusko, who also trains the winner. Annette Roydon bred Bourbon Express. Then two races later in the second $51,000 division, Barn Holden (Conway Hall-Barn Babe) and driver Andy Miller seemed to be taking the record-breaking seriously as they were on a mission as soon as the gate released them. Barn Holden was on top by three at the quarter and that margin would only grow as the race progressed. After a :28.2 and :57.4 first lap, Barn Holden opened up four lengths by the three-quarters in 1:27.1 and five by the top of the lane. Miller however kept his colt to task and tapped the wheel disk twice in the straight and raised the lines mid-stretch and Barn Holden trotted away to an eight-length win in 1:57.1, eclipsing the mark set less than an hour earlier by Bourbon Bay and becoming the new Batavia standard-bearer. "I thought he was the best going in and I wanted the front," said Miller. "He trotted very handily to the wire." Barn Holden ($2.70) has now won three out of his last four races, all in NYSS action, and has an even $90,000 on the card for his efforts. Steve Pratt, Nancy Pratt, the Purple Haze Stable and the Out In The Country Stable own the top points and money earner in his NYSS division. Steve and Nancy Pratt bred Barn Holden. Andy Miller had a big day at Batavia winning four races on the card and posting a stout .814 Universal Driver Rating (UDR) for the six races he was in. Those wins included both $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series and those horses were both trained by the other half of Team Orange Crush, Julie Miller. Book Seven (Chapter Seven - Tantalizing Donna) Driver - Andy Miller   Owner - Stroy Inc.  Trainer - Julie Miller Breeder - Winbak Farm  Time - 1:59  Mutuel - $7.00 All Profit (Credit Winner - Bambino Supreme) Driver - Andy Miller  Owner - Andy Miller Stable and Kapildeo Singh  Trainer - Julie Miller Breeder - Steve Jones  Time - 2:02  Mutuel - $10.20 Jason Bartlett, who just scored his 8,000th driving win this past June, added three more to his total after getting a hat trick on Monday. Like Miller, Bartlett's percentage for his eight drives was stellar as well, as he ended the evening with a .597 UDR. Batavia Downs perennial driving leader Kevin Cummings was involved in a spill before the start of the third race when the horse he was driving fell behind the gate. Cummings was transported to the hospital for further evaluation and no further information is available at this time. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 10) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY --- The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings will be in Genesee County on Wednesday (Aug. 7) to compete for their share of the $103,000 in total purses available in two divisions to be raced at Batavia Downs. Third Shift (Chapter Seven-Overnight Command) and Barn Holden (Conway Hall-Barn Babe) are the top two point-getters and money earners in their age, gait and gender group and will both be on hand for this stop. The first division (carded as race five) goes for $52,000 and has Third Shift leading the way. Third Shift has two lifetime wins and both were in NYSS action. He finished second in the other start after a break that set him back at Yonkers. And he just took a lifetime mark of 1:54.4 at Vernon Downs last week in a come-from-behind performance that has him coming into this race perfectly spotted. Trainer Ake Svanstedt will drive Third Shift from post two at 5-2 morning line. His main threat in the race looks to be Bourbon Express (RC Royalty-Kasha) who cut the mile and finished third behind Third Shift at Vernon last week. He drew post one and will have the chance to cut the mile again and hope to hang on this week. Bourbon Express has Jason Bartlett aboard at 2-1 for trainer Jessica Okusko. The second leg (carded as race seven) has a purse of $51,000 with Barn Holden spotted as the morning line even-money favorite. Barn Holden also has two wins this year and is also coming in off a new lifetime mark at Vernon. Barn Holden led the entire mile and trotted away down the stretch to win by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:55.3. His other win this year was also on the front end and it looks like that may be the strategy here with the short five-horse field. Batavia regular Kevin Cummings drove to Vernon to steer Barn Holden last week; Wednesday trainer Steve Pratt will bring the colt to Batavia for Cummings and last week's winning combination have drawn post two for this event. Berkery J (Chapter Seven-Southwind Catlin) will look to stand in the way of another Barn Holden win and has shown he has the ability to do so. He threw a huge mile at Yonkers three starts ago, winning in 1:58.2 by over seven lengths to take his lifetime mark. That's faster than any horse in this race over a half-mile track. He has gate speed and with a trip, could be dangerous. Trainer George Ducharme has assigned Jason Bartlett to drive Berkery J once again the they will leave from post four at 2-1. There are also two divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior "A" series trots that will go in races two and four. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Hickfromfrenchlick came to play on Sunday (Aug. 4) in his $58,700 division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Batavia Downs and he went gate to wire in impressive fashion and equaled the track record time. Leaving from post one driver Matt Kakaley was rolling immediately with Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star) and had prohibitive post time favorite Shake That House (Tyler Buter) alongside, also trying to make the front. These two tangled to the quarter in :26.2 when Buter relented and ducked into the pocket heading into the second turn. With no pressure moving to the half Kakaley backed it down to :28.3, but as soon as the second circuit ensued, Shake That House pulled and came right back at the leader one more time. Hickfromfrenchlick and Shake That House squared off and were pacing in tandem from the five-eighths to the three-quarters and got there in a lightning 1:22.4. Around the final bend Hickfromfrenchlick got a 1/2 length advantage that he took into the stretch. Kakaley was throwing lines and his horse was responded with more. Hickfromfrenchlick put away Shake That House and held of a quick closing Buddy Hill (Marcus Miller) to win by a neck in 1:51.2. The winning time of 1:51.2 was a new lifetime mark for Hickfromfrenchlick and also tied the Batavia Downs track record for 3-year-old pacing colts set by All Bets Off back in 2014. Oddly enough Kakaley also drove All Bets Off in that record performance. "Well we had the rail and he's good on the front so that's where I wanted him, especially with no passing lane here. We controlled the pace and he responded well to the challenge," said Kakaley. "He was getting a little tired in the lane but he saw the one (Buddy Hill) coming at him and had enough left to hold him off at the wire." When told he tied the track record of All Bets Off Kakaley said "As I recall we were on the front that day too and he had quite a bit left at the wire." All Bets Off ran away with that race by eight lengths. Hickfromfrenchlick ($6.50) scored his fourth win in seven starts this year and now has $114,925 on the card in 2019. Ray Schnittker trains and co-owns Hickfromfrenchlick with Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico. Steve Jones was the breeder of Hickfromfrenchlick. In the second $58,700 division American Mercury was peerless in victory after controlling all fractions from the start. Tyler Buter floated American Mercury (American Ideal-Tessa Hanover) off the gate after Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) bolted to the front. He then rolled up the outside and took over the lead in a comfortable :28.1. The field stayed in single-file and American Mercury hit the half in only :57 and things were looking very much in his favor at that point. Magic Joe Lindy (Drew Monti) pulled first up at the five-eighths and advanced towards the leader. He got to within one length of American Mercury at the three-quarters and stayed there around the last turn. When they hit the stretch Buter was line driving American Mercury and he was pacing strongly all the way to the wire to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.2. It was the third straight win for American Mercury ($2.10) and sixth of the season. The gelding has now earned $211,843 this year for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Northfork Racing Stable, Chuck Pompey and Scott Bice. Steve Stewart, Julie Nash and Charles Nash bred American Mercury. There were also $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series that were won by: Rickybobbyandthehaus (American Ideal-Molly Can Do It) Driver - Tyler Buter Owner - Crawford Farms, Northfork Racing Stable, Billy Timmins and Anthony Timmins Trainer - Chris Oakes   Breeder - Blue Chip Bloodstock Time - 1:53.4  Mutuel - $4.40 Chatelroll (Roll With Joe-Chatelaine) Driver - Jason Bartlett  Owner - Purple Haze Stable Trainer - George Ducharme  Breeder - Twinbrook Limited Time - 1:53.2  Mutuel - $3.00 Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Aug. 5) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Saratoga Raceway regular Hudson Phil traveled four hours west on the 90 for his first-ever harness racing start at Batavia Downs and the trip was worth his while. He won the $12,500 Open Handicap pace in gate to wire fashion at the Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 3). Hudson Phil (Jim Morrill Jr.) flew off the wings and took command with Lucan Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) drafting close behind. After going to the quarter in :27.2, Morrill grabbed leather and backed the second panel off to a meager :29 as the rest of the field finally caught up. As they started on the second circuit Upfront Countryboy (Drew Monti) pulled first up on the outside to pass the gapped Adonis Bay (John Cummings Jr.) and then dropped back into third to save ground. The race moved into the last turn and Monti pulled Upfront Countryboy out again and aggressively started driving him as they headed into the stretch. Hudson Phil was still in command but Upfront Countryboy was closing with every step. Lucan Hanover, who had been following the leader the entire mile, was now full of pace but had nowhere to go and was locked on the pylons. Hudson Phil stayed strong on the point and held off all challenges to win by a neck in 1:53.3. Hudson Phil ($2.30) has now earned $86,832 for owner Kellogg Racing Stables on the strength of his eight 2019 wins. Jackie Greene trains the 4-year-old son of Shanghai Phil-Hazel. The $11,000 Open II was a very entertaining race. Cultural Paradise (Kyle Cummings) was cruising along smartly on the lead at the half in a moderate split of :56.1, before taking the race to the head of the stretch looking like a winner. But Iammbrightside N (Dave McNeight Jr.), who had been drafting on the outside for a half-mile, pulled three-wide at the three-quarters and was under a full head of steam. Cultural Paradise and Iammbrightside N battled side by side all the way to the wire where Iammbrightside N got the advantage by a neck in 1:53.3. It was the 33rd lifetime win for Iammbrightside N ($12.20) who is owned by Mirussa Russo and trained by Dave Russo. Several horsemen had multiple winners on Saturday night. Jim Morrill Jr., Dave McNeight III and Billy Davis Jr. all had three winners on the evening while trainer Dave Russo also sent two horses to the Purple Haze winner's circle. The New York Sire Stakes glamour division; the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings will invade Batavia Downs on Sunday when live racing resumes to vie for $117,400 in total purses. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- It will be a homecoming of sorts for Akron, New York native Chris Oakes when he brings two powerful members of his stable to Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 4) to compete in a pair of divisions of the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for purses totaling $117,400. In the first $58,700 division (carded as race one) Oakes will start Shake That House (American Ideal-Shake That Junk) as the morning line 6-5 favorite. Shake That House only has two starts in the NYSS this year and both were wins, but he has also been competing successfully on the Grand Circuit. After drawing the outside at Mohawk Park in an elimination of the North American Cup, Shake That House got parked for most of the mile and did not qualify for the final. But the resilient colt bounced right back to win his next start which was an elimination of the Max C. Hempt stake at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. After taking the lead past the half, Shake That House led the rest of the mile and won in 1:49, which was a lifetime mark. The following week in the $500,000 final he left from post seven, went right to the front and won handily in 1:49.2. Then in his most recent start, Shake That House was in a NYSS event at Vernon Downs and sat third to the half before pulling to take the lead before the three-quarter pole. From there he paced away from the field in 1:47.4 which was a new lifetime mark for him and a new track record for 3-year-old pacing colts for Vernon. The time was also just 1/5th off the all-time Vernon track pacing record. For the year Shake That House has six wins in seven starts and has made $336,400 to date. Tyler Buter will be in the bike behind Shake That House on Sunday and will start from post five. Shake That House will be coupled in a stable entry with Buddy Hill (Roll With Joe-Lessofit Hanover) for betting purposes. Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star) and Major March (Art Major-March You And Me) who finished second and third in that track record mile at Vernon are also in this division starting from post one with Matt Kakaley and post two with Jason Bartlett respectively. The second $58,700 split (carded as race six) finds another Oakes trainee, American Mercury (American Ideal-Tessa Hanover), the prohibitive morning line choice at 4-5. American Mercury has raced exclusively in NYSS races this year and has won four of the six he entered, finishing second and third in the other two. He took a new lifetime mark at Yonkers in June winning easily in 1:50.3 over the half-mile strip and it set a track record for 3-year-old pacing geldings. The time also tied the all-age seasons mark at the Hilltop. In his next start at Vernon, American Mercury lowered his personal best again while touring the facility in 1:49.4 and winning by two lengths. American Mercury has five wins in seven starts this year and has earned $182,493 as a result. Tyler Buter gets the call on American Mercury as well and gets post two off the gate. Magic Joe Lindy (American Ideal-Lindy's Bandita) who finished third to American Mercury in that sub-1:50 mile at Vernon should be his main competitor here and starts from post five with Drew Monti up. There are also two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series carded in races four and seven. Post time for the first race Sunday is 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- It was a total team effort in the top tier races at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (July 31) as horses trained by Jim Clouser Jr., driven by Jim Morrill Jr. and owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi won both fillies and mares Opens in coast to coast fashion. It's been nine weeks since Miss Mary Mach cut the mile in a race, but it finally happened again and produced the same result. Miss Mary Mach beat the best mares on the grounds in the $12,500 distaff Open Handicap. Leaving from post one Miss Mary Mach seated the field and Morrill set a pace that was comfortable for his mare. They went to the quarter in :27.2 and the half in :56.3 where Heaven's Diva (Kyle Cummings) drew near the leader and made it interesting to three-quarters in 1:24.4. But shortly after that station Miss Mary Mach dug in, put away the competition around the last turn and paced away down the lane to win handily in 1:53.1. The time was a new seasonal mark and just 1/5th of a second of her lifetime mark. It was the ninth win in 25 starts this year for Miss Mary Mach ($3.60) who now has earned $65,262 in 2019. Then in the $11,000 fillies and mares Open II pace, the second half of Clouser's alliteration entry was Blue Bell Bonnie who also left from post one and dictated the pace. Morrill found himself on the point with Blue Bell Bonnie before the turn and with no one mounting a challenge to the half, the leader backed it off to a very pedestrian :59.2 first half. Finally Mach's Echo (Drew Monti) rolled up the rim and got close to the front runner at the five-eighths pole and forced a :28.2 third split. But Morrill leaned back and raised the lines a bit and the mare did the rest herself. Blue Bell Bonnie paced away with no urging down the lane to win by a length in 1:56. Blue Bell Bonnie ($3.60) scored her fourth win of the year in Wednesday's effort. Both Morrill and Clouser picked up one additional win during the card giving them each three to lead their respective categories for the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 3) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs is pleased to announce they are partnering with the Daily Racing Form (DRF) to enhance and expand their coverage of the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions (NOC) that will be held at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14). "We are very excited to be working with DRF on this biggest night of racing in the state," said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. "I think this is a great opportunity for our track to partner with a world class name in horse racing and given the extent of their outreach and fan base, will be beneficial for Batavia Downs beyond the NOC." DRF will broadcast the entire night of racing live on their website, provide video analysis of races prior to the night and also provide content in their newsletters and on their website. "I think it's really important to provide the live video of the races for owners and breeders that can't get out to Batavia that night to see their horses in person. Some might not have an ADW or subscribe to some kind of service and this will give them the chance to watch all the action live," said Derick Giwner of DRF. "We will be producing a video analysis of some of the featured betting races or guaranteed pools, depending on what the card offers that night. The video will be available on the DRF Harness website starting the Thursday afternoon before the big night." DRF will also provide a Spotlight Newsletter that will be sent out to all their core subscribers, be promoting the NOC on their website, social media and in their newsletters, provide a dedicated landing page at DRF.com on both the Thoroughbred and Harness sites, free downloadable Past Performances for the night and will also be tweeting out comments and results live the entire night of the races. "The idea is to get more eyes on these races. The people in the industry know when the NYSS NOC is and that it's at Batavia, but the general gambler out there who might never play Batavia may have no idea. We want to drive this traffic to Batavia that night," said Giwner. "The New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions is the pinnacle of racing in New York each year and DRF is excited to work together with Batavia Downs to make it a success." Haight had similar views on the importance of a quality, information-filled program that night. "We always have the desire to draw new customers to Batavia's racing product and everything DRF brings to the table in this partnership is going to help accomplish that. And the ability to get free past performances in the hands of the vast base of subscribers that DRF has could be potentially a big handle driver for us," Haight said. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The first week of live racing at Batavia Downs produced some very impressive numbers for betting and attendance, showing a dramatic spike over last year. After the last race on Sunday was over the track had realized a 27% increase of on-track handle, a 6.8% increase on export betting, WROTB handle up a total of 12%, total betting up 11% and attendance up 16%.. "Where we are very pleased with all of our handle numbers, the most impressive stat might be the attendance," said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. "Our opening night crowd was unbelievable and that carried over into the weekend. We had the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) and some really nice weather which helped, but there is a definite buzz about our championship meet in the area this year." The Batavia Downs summer/fall meet continues on Wednesday (July. 31) with post time at 5 p.m. The highlight of this year's racing session is the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions that will be held at the Downs on Saturday (Sept. 14). By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- As three $34,866 divisions of 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings went postward in the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs on Sunday (July 28) with Groovy Joe putting in the fastest performance of the day allowing him to remain undefeated. Sandy's Bolt (Jim Morrill Jr.) started from post one and led the majority of the race with Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) sitting in the garden spot. Morrill set quarters of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:26.3 and took his lead into the stretch. But Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk) popped the pocket and went right by Sandy's Bolt and then held off a late charging American Rebel (Tyler Buter) at the wire to win by a neck in 1:55, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the fifth straight win for Groovy Joe ($3.10), all in NYSS action, and it took him to $96,795 for the year. Hutt Racing and Blake McIntosh own the colt with MacIntosh also doing the training. Winbak Farm bred Groovy Joe. The other two divisions ended up being the Ray Schnittker Show as they were both won by his trainees in career best outings. First, Cigars And Port (So Surreal-Sweet On Art) grabbed the lead before the half and put in a strong effort from there. After getting to three-quarters in front by 1-½, Cigars And Port turned for home and opened up even more, eventually winning by three in 1:55.3, which was a new lifetime mark. Schnittker drove Cigars And Port ($7.50) and owns in conjunction with Nolamaura Racing, Ted Gewertz and Steve Arnold. Steve Jones bred the Cigars And Port. In the last division Teton Sunset (American Ideal-Gray Ghost) sat a perfect trip behind Oreo Dream Xtreme (Jason Bartlett) who cut the mile and Level Up (Jim Morrill Jr.) who pushed the pace from outside from the half before finding racing room in the stretch to pull away from both of them and win by a 3-½ length margin in 1:57.1, The time was also a new lifetime mark. Teton Sunset ($7.40) was driven by Tyler Buter for trainer/owner Schnittker and his partners David Pepin and Flintlock Farms. The ownership trio bred the winner. There were also three divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior "A" series on the card that were won by: Sunsetboozecruise (Roll With Joe-Rideintothesunset) Driver-Jim Morrill Jr. Owner-Matthew Dugan Trainer-Erv Miller  Breeder-Kentuckiana Farms Time-1:57.4 Mutuel-$2,10 I Rolled The Dice (Roll With Joe-Keystone Ivy) Driver-Jim Morrill Jr. Owner-Howard Taylor Trainer-Erv Miller Breeder-Howard Taylor Time-1:57.1 Mutuel-$8.90 Breakout Session (Heston Blue Chip-Troubled Escape) Driver-Scott Zeron Owner-Bay Pond Racing Stable Trainer-Linda Toscano Breeder-Winbak Farms Time-1:58.1 Mutuel-$14.20 Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (July 29) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY--- A craftily rated second quarter provided success at the end of the harness racing mile for Black Is Back who went gate to wire in the $12,500 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (July 27). Dave McNeight III sent Black Is Back to the point off the gate and took the six-horse field to the quarter in :28. He then grabbed leather and backed the second panel off to :29.3 and essentially won the race as a result. Mac's Jackpot (Drew Monti), who became forwardly placed third from post six at the start, pulled first-over at the half and proceeded with urgency towards the leader on the backstretch. He continued to gain ground on Black Is Back and got to within a half-length of him in the last turn. But that was as close as he would get as McNeight shook the lines and Black Is Back accelerated into the stretch and pulled away by 1-1/2 lengths at the wire in 1:53.3. A former Saratoga regular, Black Is Back ($12.80) now feels at home in western New York after scoring his first win at Batavia and sixth win of the year for owners Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr.. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. trains the winner. In the co-featured $11,000 Open II, Upfront Countryboy (Drew Monti) took the lead from Iammrbrightside N (Jim Morrill Jr.) before the quarter and then hit that station in :28 flat. From there he proceeded unchallenged to the half in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:25.1 before turning for home and pacing to the wire under minimal urging to win in by two in 1:53.3. It was the 59th lifetime win for Upfront Countryboy ($2.40) and it pushed his career earnings over the half-million dollar mark to $505,145. WIlliam Emmons owns the esteemed 10-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again-Cambloid that is trained by Jim Clouser Jr. Drew Monti won a total of three races on the card to lead all drivers on Saturday. Kevin Cummings, Shawn McDonough and Jim McNeight Jr. all had two wins apiece. Jim Clouser Jr. also had a double to lead all trainers for the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (July 28) with post time at 1:15 p.m, Three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings will compete for a total purse of $104,598 during the afternoon. By Tim Bojarski, For Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- $104,598 in purses will be up for grabs at Batavia Downs on Sunday (July 29) when the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) rolls into town for the second of nine 2019 stops at the oldest lighted race track in America. This leg will feature the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers who will vie in three $34,866 divisions carded as race three, five and seven. In the third race the undefeated Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk) puts his four-race win streak on the line against a truly loaded field. Groovy Joe had been having his way with the competition and posted a lifetime mark of 1:54.3 at Buffalo. However last week although he still won, it was in a dead heat at Saratoga with American Rebel with Freedom Warrior just a half-length behind in third. But he gets another start on a half, which he obviously handles well, and catches a short field too. Matt Kakaley is driving again for trainer Blake MacIntosh and will leave from post five at 9-5. It would seem his closest competitor will be the horse he dead-heated with last week, American Rebel (American Ideal-Restive Hanover). After winning an elimination of the L. B. Sheppard at Yonkers on July 6, American Rebel finished a close fifth in the $120,250 final and then posted a lifetime best at Saratoga of 1:55 the following week (in the dead heat with Groovy Joe). This one is certainly in top form and will look to make some noise here. American Rebel will be driven by Tyler Buter from post three for trainer Rob Harmon. The fifth race has Ray Schnittker's Cigars And Port (So Surreal-Sweet On Art) listed as the morning line choice at 2-1. After winning his first lifetime start in 1:56.3 in a NYSS event at Yonkers, Cigars And Port got parked half the mile the following week and finished fifth. In his last start he tripped-out behind Hurrikanekingjames but couldn't catch him in the lane. Schnittker will be in the bike this week and leaves from post five. Roll With JR (Roll With Joe-No One Is Alone) is winless in the NYSS this year but did just post a solid 1:54.3 career best effort in an overnight event at Harrah's Philadelphia in his last start. Now back in the series, he looks like he's ready to move forward. Kevin Cummings drives for trainer Jeff Cullipher and is 3-1 early line. Hurrikanekingjames (So Surreal-Luxury Goods) looked much the best going gate to wire at Saratoga in 1:55.1, beating Cigars And Port by 2-1/2 lengths. That was from post one; he drew post six here. Daniel Dube drives for trainer John Mc Dermott. The third division in race seven is a very close event. Oreo Dream Xtreme (American Ideal-Spotlight On) is the 2-1 choice and is one of only two horses in the race with a win. He got that in NYSS action at Buffalo and hasn't missed a check in the series yet. Level Up (Art Major-Apogee Hanover) got away poorly at Saratoga last week but rallied well to close sharply, just running out of stretch to finish second. He did not draw inside but it is a short field. Jason Bartlett drives Oreo Dream Xtreme from post three for trainer John Butenschoen and Jim Morrill Jr. drives Level Up for trainer Ed Hart from post five. There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior "A" series that are carded as races one, six and eight. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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