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Batavia, NY --- The eighth and final "regular season" visit of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) to Batavia Downs brings the 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings to Genesee County on Wednesday (Sept. 12) to compete in two divisions for a total of $109,000 dollars. The Batavia Downs track record for 2-year-old pacing colts is 1:54.2 and that standard is definitely in danger of going down. The NYSS events are carded in race three and five. Two $15,000 Excelsior "A" legs will be held in race one and two. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. The first $54,500 NYSS freshman pace features the top point earner in the series Melodies Major (Art Major-Hilarious) and the red hot Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star) in a race that could easily rewrite the local record book. Melodies Major has raced exclusively in NYSS events this year and has excelled, winning five out of seven of them. And he's been successful over every size track in the state. In his most recent outing he scored a big come-from-behind win at Vernon Downs, taking a new lifetime mark of 1:51.3 in the process. He comes in here sharp as a tack and looking forward to the final. Melodies Major is 2-1 morning line and leaves from post five with his regular driver Tyler Buter aboard for trainer Mark Ford. Pushing the issue will be Hickfromfrenchlick who has won four out of his last six outings. Hickfromfrenchlick has won his last two NYSS races and like Melodies Major, took a new lifetime mark of 1:51.3 at Vernon Downs last week. The start before that he won in 1:53.3 at Yonkers, beating Melodies Major by only a half-length. He hasn't been worse than second all year and he will be a force to deal with here. Western New York native trainer/driver Ray Schnittker will be aboard from post six as the second choice at 5-2. The second $54,500 split has Reining Deo (Rock n Roll Heaven-Little Miss) looking to cement his spot in the NYSS final. Reining Deo is currently eighth in points but could still be knocked out in a worst-case scenario. He has been one-two-three in four NYSS starts and has a mark of 1:54.2 at Saratoga. A win would give him 142 points and a ticket to ride in the final. Trainer Brett Pelling has Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike and they have been made the 2-1 morning line favorite from post five. JoJo's Place (Roll With Joe-Angel Place) is winless this year but has hit the board in three NYSS races. He has a very outside chance of making the final but only if he could win here. Recently he has been hampered with outside posts for the last five outings and drawing post two will definitely help. Although he finished fifth last week at Vernon, he still paced in 1:52.3 in defeat. Matt Kakaley will be driving for trainer John Butenschoen and they were made 3-1 by the track handicapper. Major March (Art Major-March You And Me) has been a bit of a late bloomer. After winning big in an Excel "A" race at Saratoga in 1:54.1 by seven lengths, he stepped up to the NYSS for the last two starts and acquitted himself well. He seems to fit this field nicely and should not be overlooked given his recent outings. Hall of Fame trainer Linda Toscano has tabbed Drew Monti to drive and they will start from post six at 7-2. The 2018 NYSS Consolations races which carry a total purse value of $320,000 will be held at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 21). By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs      

Batavia, NY --- Finding himself hopelessly boxed in approaching the stretch, Focus Power somehow shook loose and out-paced everyone to the wire to win the $10,500 Open Pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 8). China Dream (John Cummings Jr.) took the lead by the quarter and backed the half off to :57 flat as no one challenged the position. But last week's Open winner Validus Deo (Kevin Cummings) started to advance on the outside in front of the stands with Heaven Rocks (Ray Fisher Jr.) following him. This left Focus Power locked in on the pylons fifth, with nowhere to make a move. China Dream threw in a swift :27.4 third panel which stifled the advance by the outside horses. Cummings Jr. had let China Dream out another notch around the last turn and had a solid two length advantage at the top of the stretch. Still fifth on the pins, Focus Power found a lane to move forward as Validus Deo drifted out and then Monti went to work. Under a solid right-hand drive Focus Power was a blur with pace, making up the five lengths he was behind to win by a neck in 1:53.3. Focus Power ($7.20) got his third win in his last six starts and fifth overall of the year for owner Jim Caradori, who has now benefitted the amount of $41,541 from his gelding's efforts. Darrin Monti conditions the winner. In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, Whosurpapa (Billy Davis Jr.) rebuffed and early challenge from Mr. Euroman N (John Cummings Jr.), another try from him at the three-quarters and then a late push from the pocket-sitting Barry Hanover (Shawn Mcdonough) to go gate to wire never headed in 1:54.1. Whosurpapa ($11.80) got his 10th win of the year and padded his bank to $59,318 for owner William Emmons and trainer James Clouser Jr. Billy Davis Jr. got his second consecutive driving hat trick on Saturday, besting all reinsmen for wins on the night. Davis currently sits third in the dash driver standings with 35 wins behind the leading Kevin Cummings (47) and Drew Monti (46). Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday afternoon (Sept. 10) with a post time of 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Schenectady, NY --- The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund today announced Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel as the host of the 2019 New York Sire Stakes finals, also known as the Night of Champions. The Fund’s Board of Trustees selected Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel at a scheduled board meeting this afternoon, following a proposal submission process. The date for the 2019 finals has yet to be set. The Fund invited race tracks from across New York State which host New York Sire Stakes events to submit proposals. Tracks were considered on various criteria including the offering of a 24-hour detention barn, ability to promote the event and offer an exciting fan experience. Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel was chosen based on the merits of an impressive proposal, and its capacity to host the championship finals for the top state-bred 2- and 3-year-old Standardbred horses. "Batavia Downs Gaming is extremely proud and excited to have been selected to host the 2019 New York Sire Stakes finals,” said Todd Haight, director/GM of live racing at Batavia Downs Racetrack. “This series has annually been a centerpiece of our live racing presentation since its inception in 1965, as our track has been so committed to the development of New York-bred horses going back to the 1950s when we facilitated our own colt and filly stakes. We look forward to welcoming all the owners, horse people and horses that make the New York Sire Stakes the premier program of its kind, to Batavia Downs to enjoy our new paddock, new hotel and excellent clubhouse facilities." “The Sire Stakes Night of Champions shines a spotlight on the excellence of our equine industry, which supports the agricultural economy across the State,” said M. Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. “Having hosted significant New York Sire Stakes events in the past, Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel will provide an excellent showcase for the 2019 Night of Champions, our premier event of the season. Batavia Downs offers a fantastic clubhouse and fan experience that will only complement an outstanding racing program.” The 2018 Night of Champions is scheduled for Saturday (Sept. 22), hosted by Yonkers Raceway. The eight-race event will hand out $1.8 million in purse money. The New York Sire Stakes program promotes the breeding, buying, and racing of Standardbred horses in New York State, and is administered by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. It was the first program of is kind, featuring 2- and 3-year-old colts and fillies, and has become the model for state-bred racing programs in North America. From the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund 

Batavia, NY --- He may be 10, but Empire Earl N looked more like a 3-year-old as he came from far back to brush down the lane and win the $10,000 Open Handicap trot in the fastest mile of his life on Friday evening (Sept. 7) at Batavia Downs. Post time favorite BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) and 13-1 shot Empire Earl N (Ray fisher Jr.) started and finished the race side by side but took two different paths to the wire. BZ Glide went right for the front from post six while Empire Earl N got away last from post five. BZ Glide set his own set of fractions as no one challenged him until halfway up the backstretch when Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) came first over at the five-eighths and got even with the leader by the three-quarters. As the action was unfolding up front, Empire Earl N was tracking it second over and Fisher was timing his move. That came as they rolled out of the last turn; Empire Earl N tipped three-deep and was barreling down the center of the track with Fisher rocking and knocking all the way. The three horses hit the wire a neck apart with Empire Earl N getting there first ahead of BZ Glide in 1:56.3, which was a new lifetime mark It was the eighth win of the season for Empire Earl N ($28.60) and it bolstered his 2018 earnings to $61,378 for owner Kim Asher. Riley Stalbaum-Asher trains the winner. In the $8,000 Open II, Call My Broker (Kevin Cummings) took no prisoners going gate to wire in 1:58.3, holding off the fast-closing Snapshot Springs (Drew Monti) and Barn Star (Mike Caprio) to chalk up his fourth win of the season. Frank Meier owns the Angelo Nappo trained gelding. Billy Davis Jr. led all drivers on the card as he started the night out hot with a natural hat trick in races one through three. The Batavia Downs early Pick-5 was part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program and was featured as the USTA Play of the Day on Friday with a carryover of $2,900 and a guaranteed pool of $6,000. That pool ballooned to over $10,000 when the first race went off and it yielded an instant jackpot payoff after the fifth. A $1 ticket on the combination of 1-7-6-5-3 returned $4,417.50. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs with a twilight card on Saturday featuring a post time at 4:45 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Three divisions of 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings went postward at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept.5) to compete for the $117,600 in purses up for grabs as well as the last chance to accrue available points to make the $225,000 final for this group. In the first $39,200 division, Ghost Dance (American Ideal-Epoxy Queen) pulled the upset at 9-1 and closed hard to do it. . The heavy post time favorite Topville Olympian (Brett Miller) shot right to the front and took the field to the half in :55.3. There, Rockapelo (Jason Bartlett) pulled first up with Ghost Dance (Scott Zeron) on his back as they heaed into the turn. Rockapelo cleared quickly around the tiring Topville Olympian, whose gap then allowed Ghost Dance to drop back to the pylons behind the new leader to save ground. These two stood pat until the top of the lane where Zeron pulled Ghost Dance and paced by Rockapelo at the wire winning by a length in 1:52. "The race set up well for us and he got brave with the two-hole trip. And then he paced strong in the lane" said Zeron after the race. It was the fourth win of the year for Ghost Dance ($20.00) and it pushed his earnings to $98,002 for owner Millar Farm. Rick Zeron trains the winner. The second $39,200 split was won by Ideal Feeling (American Ideal-Feelinglikeastar) who made a statement move at the half and then stretched out from there. Ostro Hanover (Louis Roy) rushed to the front and set early splits of :27 and :56.3. But before they hit that second timer, Ideal Feeling (Jason Bartlett) was out and rolling and took the front by the time they hit the third turn and from there, the race was history. Ideal Feeling opened up a three length advantage as he hit the third quarter in 1:24 and then rounded the final bend and cruised home in :28 flat, winning by as many as he wanted in 1:52. "Last time he had the eight hole and had no chance, but he just felt like he was a great horse. I was hoping Mike (trainer Deters) would bring him up here because I thought he'd be good. He showed it today, he's a real nice horse. He left, he came first over and he won easy" Bartlett said after the race, Rick Berks owns Ideal Feeling ($7.90) who now has four wins this season and $62,791 in purses. The third $39,200 division looked to be a match race between Springsteen and Muscle Hill and it was for three eighths of a mile. But it was Mach N Cheese (Betterthancheddar-Mach You And Me) that pulled off the upset at 19-1 when they hit the wire, Hitman Hill (Brett Miller) was intent on cutting the race and he got his way; leading the group to the half in a slow :57.1. Not happy with the tepid pace, Springsteen (Louis Roy) came up first with Mach N Cheese (Jim Marohn Jr.) in tow. Springsteen locked up with Hitman Hill up the backside and the two tangled from there, around the last turn and down the stretch. But Mach N Cheese who had been drafting during the up-front battle, tipped three-wide in the straight and under heavy prompting from Marohn, paced by the leaders to win by a neck in 1:53.4. "It was a slow half but we picked it up pretty good up the backside and there was a really good horse on the front. But I followed the horse I needed to follow and everything just worked out for us from the top of the stretch home. He got around here very well. He's a very good half mile track horse" said Marohn in the winner's circle. Mach N Cheese ($41.00) scored his sixth win of the year for the Save The Day Stable and trainer Rob Harmon. There was one Excelsior "A" race on the card and the winner there could have competed in the top class tonight. Thor De Vie (So Surreal-Pebblebeach De Vie) was very impressive leading every step of the way and winning by four lengths in 1:52.2, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner. Thor De Vie ($3.30) is owned by his trainer, Jim Graham, Lee WInters, Paul Tandlmayer and Giuseppe Micchia. Batavia Downs offered a $2,000 guaranteed early Pick-5 pool on Wednesday and there were no winning tickets once again. As a result there is a $2,900 carryover for Friday (Sept. 7) and there will be another guaranteed pool of $6,000 for the early Pick-5 (which runs from race one to race five) that will be part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program. Post time for Friday evening is 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- There is a lot at stake for all the entrants of the $117,600 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 5) as this is the last race for that group before the $225,000 final at Yonkers on Saturday (Sept. 22). But the one division all eyes will be on features a heavyweight match between Springsteen and Hitman Hill who both need to win for the opportunity to make that final. Currently Springsteen is 10th in points with 100 while Hitman Hill is sitting behind him in 12th with 75. The majority of the horses currently in position to make the final are also competing on Wednesday so it all depends on how well everyone does. There are three $39,200 divisions of the NYSS carded as race one, five and six. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. Springsteen (Rock N Roll Heaven-American Charm) has had a huge year. He won the $500,000 Hempt at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a lifetime best 1:48.3 in June along with two NYSS divisions this year. But he failed to make the $400,000 Adios final and more recently finished seventh in the $400,000 Milstein. And this past Saturday (Sept, 2) he had a rough outing finishing last in the $500,000 Messenger Stake at Yonkers. He currently sits eighth in North America among all 3-year-olds for earnings with $341,175 and has the sixth fastest win time for that same group of 1:48.3 Louis Roy has been tabbed by trainer Rene Allard to drive Springsteen and they are the morning line choice at 8-5 from post three. Hitman Hill (American Ideal-Fox Valley Shaker) has had a full dance card this year as well and has put in stellar efforts in each one of his outings. He finished third in the Hempt (behind Springsteen), third in the Adios final and fourth in the $272,025 Empire Breeders Classic. He finished one-two in his pair of NYSS events and returns to Batavia Downs as the reigning track record holder for 2-year-old pacing geldings with a mark of 1:52.4 taken here in 2017. For the year, Hitman Hill has three wins and $200,387 in earnings with a seasonal and lifetime best mark of 1:49.3. Akron, New York native Chris Oakes trains Hitman Hill and has Brett Miller in the bike as usual. They will depart from post six listed at 5-2. The first division's early 8-5 favorite is Topville Olympian (American Ideal-Our Sophia) who just finished a close third behind Stay Hungry and Jimmy Freight in the Messenger Stake at Yonkers on Saturday. He has one NYSS win this year but has never missed the board while competing in that series. He's the top money earner in this race with $129,170 and picks up the services of Brett Miller for this outing. His main rivals appear to be Rockapelo (Rock N Roll Heaven) who scored his best win at Tioga Downs this year in the Geers Stake going 1:50.2 and the NYSS points leader Rootin Tootin (Roll With Joe-Wild Retreat) who has 180 and is 55 points ahead of his nearest rival. Ideal Feeling (American Ideal-Feelinglikeastar) gets the track handicapper's nod in the second division as he is listed at 2-1. After taking an early season mark of 1:51.3 at Tioga, Ideal Feeling acquitted himself well in an elimination of the Meadowlands pace in July that went in 1:49, although he missed the final. Then he finished a strong second to Courtly Choice in an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic before drawing post seven in the final, finding himself chasing a 1:48.3 mile from the back of the pack. He draws post four in a short field here and has Jason Bartlett up for the ride. Also looking to get the win are Real Surreal (So Surreal-Armbro Wallflower) who finished third in the Empire Breeders Classic, pacing in 1:50 in defeat while Ostro Hanover (Betterthancheddar-Ozmopolitan) makes his fourth start for his new trainer after winning a 1:52.4 NYSS race at Saratoga Raceway. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- The 39th annual Batavia Downs Labor Day driver's bicycle race took place on Monday (Sept. 3) with a full field of eight local reinsmen lining up to compete. And with three previous race winners in the 2018 field, a first time victor emerged from the pack. The starting car picked up the field at the top of the far turn and let them go at the head of the stretch for the one-eighth mile dash. Billy Davis Jr. took a quick early lead but he was soon joined by Drew Monti and Denny Bucceri who flanked him inside and out. Then halfway down the stretch Brad Jackson, who was hindered by post eight, was cruising in the middle of the stretch and got by everyone to win by two lengths. Jackson celebrated the win with a "flying leg" pose as he crossed the wire. After the race, the bikes were given away via random drawing to eight lucky fans who correctly selected Jackson to win before the event. Also on Monday afternoon, drivers Billy Davis Jr. and Kevin Cummings had the hot hands during the live card of racing, winning four and three races respectively. Davis piloted Bad Glamour Girl ($6.10), Dark Horse ($4.00), Peter Pumpkineater ($15.00) and Cashco ($5.40) while Cummings steered Dwntwnskeeterbrown ($28.40), Montezuma Bluechip ($3.70) and Our Last Photo ($7.20). Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 5) with the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings in the house. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- After taking air for over a half mile, Validus Deo looked finished coming off the last turn. But he regrouped in the stretch and rallied to win in close quarters at the wire in the $10,000 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Sept. 1). Bugatti (Billy Davis Jr.) outdueled Heaven Rocks (Ray Fisher Jr.) for the lead off the gate and had the front by the quarter in :27.2. Positions remained unchanged until the half when Validus Deo (Kevin Cummings) pulled first from fourth and started up the rim. As he advanced towards the leader he forced Heaven Rocks out of the two-hole and found himself with live cover for the rest of the race. Buggati and Heaven Rocks continued to battle up the backstretch and around the far turn and looked like the two to beat as Validus Deo was fading away from the action. But heading into the stretch, Focus Power (Drew Monti) tipped three-wide and pulled next to Validus Deo and rekindled the latter's interest in the proceedings. Cummings continued heavy prompting during the final eighth and Validus Deo split horses mid-stretch and hit the wire first by a neck in 1:54.4. It was the third win in the last five starts and eighth win of the year for Validus Deo ($6.30) who now has earned $552,307 lifetime. Matthew Rosiek, Robert Johnson and his driver-trainer Kevin Cummings own Validus Deo. In the undercard event $9,000 Open II, China Dream (John Cummings Jr.) followed up a second place finish last week, coming off a two-month hiatus, with a winning effort; going gate to wire and fending off a late charge from the pocket-sitting R M Hawk (Ray Fisher Jr.) in the lane to win in 1:54.1, tying his seasonal best. China Dream ($3.60) scored his fifth win of the year for owners Jack and Maria Rice. Maria Rice is the winner's conditioner. For the second straight night, Drew Monti scored a driving Grand Slam on the nine-race card. Monti won with Sunset Sid (1:55.1, $3.30), Linkjack Hanover (1:53.3, $6.30), Littlebitaclass (1:55.1, $3.30) and Arch Hanover (1:57.3, $9.00). With those four wins Monti now jumps into the lead in the dash win category for the meet ahead of Kevin Cummings (who had one winner on Saturday) 42 to 40. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Labor Day Monday (Sept. 3) with a special matinee card that has a 1:15 p.m. post time. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- In four starts in the top trot class this year at the oldest lighted harness racing track in America, Icanflylikeanangel has not been worse than second. That trend continued on Friday night (Aug. 31) when he won the $10,000 Open Handicap trot at Batavia Downs. Empire Earl N (Billy Davis Jr.) left hurriedly to grab the lead immediately off the gate. The remainder of the field hit the pylons behind him allowing a tepid first quarter split of :29.2 to occur. But things changed quickly as Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) pulled first up at the three-eighths bringing Icanflylikeanangel (Drew Monti) in tow. Southern Palms drew even with Empire Earl N in the third turn and the two trotters tangled to the three-quarters just whiskers apart. That battle continued around the final bend but Icanflylikeanangel, who had been shadowing the leaders, was loaded with trot and tipped three-deep and head-long into the fray. With three horses now strung across the track, Monti asked for more from Icanflylikeanangel and more is what he got. Icanflylikeanangel dug in and gained the advantage by mid-stretch, winning by a neck in 1:58.1. Icanflylikeanangel ($2.70) registered his sixth win of the season and bulked his bank to $58,795 for owner Joseph Hess. D. Benny Eggers conditions the winner. In the $8,000 Open II, Bold Dresser (Shawn McDonough) pulled off an instant replay of his win last week, going gate to wire cutting fractions of :28.4, :59.2 and 1:28.1 before trotting away down the lane under no duress in 1:58.2. It was the fourth win of the year for Bold Dresser ($5.50) who is owned by Harry Wortzman. His driver McDonough also does the training. Drew Monti had the hot hand driving Friday, winning four races on the card. Besides taking the feature with Icanflylikeanangel, Monti also won with Gimme The Pacifics (1:57, $2.80), Golden Kronos (1:59.3, $3.20) and Barn Sis (1:58, $3.50). Monti now with 38 wins for the meet, is only one win behind Kevin Cummings (39) for first place in the dash driving competition. There was no winner in the early Pick-5 wager on Friday night so there is a carry over pool of $496 for tomorrow. As a result, Batavia Downs is offering a guaranteed pool of $1,500 for the early Pick-5 on Saturday (Sept. 1) when live racing resumes at 6 p.m. The early Pick-5 runs from race one to race five. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---A full card of harness racing action, food specials and a driver's bicycle race are all on tap as part of the annual Labor Day activities at Batavia Downs on Monday (Sept. 3). The live harness racing action kicks off at 1:15 p.m. with 10 exciting races. But there will also be something for the whole family to enjoy all day long and no one will go hungry for sure. The featured meal is a $10.95 chicken barbecue provided by the Center Street Smoke House from noon to 3 p.m. in the clubhouse. The smell of the on-site prepared barbecue chicken with "all the fixin's" will permeate the grandstand and come with built in value. Every meal purchased comes with $10 in Batavia Downs Gaming Free-play to be used on the gaming floor after earning one base-point. If chicken is not to your liking, there will also be $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, $1 draft beer and $1 soda available on the track apron outlets from noon until the last race. Then after the seventh race, Batavia Downs will present the annual Driver's Bicycle Race sponsored by Crazy Cheap Cars of Oakfield, NY. This race features eight of the top drivers at the Downs competing in a race on bicycles that will then be given away to the fans who correctly picked the winner of the race. Our live guests may place an entry in the box of the driver that they think is going to win from noon to 2:30 p.m. There will be eight names chosen from the winning driver's box after the bike race is completed and each name drawn will receive one of the bikes used in the race. There is no purchase necessary, you must be 18-years-old or older to enter and you must be present to win. This year's competing drivers include (in post-position order) are John Cummings Jr., Rock Vinci, Billy Davis Jr., Denny Bucceri, Shawn McDonough, Drew Monti, Jim McNeight Jr. and Brad Jackson. Monti, Vinci and Bucceri have all won this race and bragging rights will be on the line Labor Day for the next twelve months. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs      

Batavia, NY --- The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters visited Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 28) and ended up making a big impression on the track's record book. In the first $58,000 division, Winning Shadow (Credit WInner-Sheena's Shadow) came into the race off a new lifetime mark taken at the Poconos last week and at the end of the day not only bested that, he also broke two long standing Batavia Downs track records. Winning Shadow (Mike Simons) went right for the lead and held it mostly uncontested for the rest of the mile. Simons cut some lively fractions going to the quarter in :27.2, the half in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24.3 at which point it was clear a track record was well in reach. At that last station the pocket-sitting Clive Bigsby (Jason Bartlett) started to pull and take his best shot at the leader. Coming with him second-over was Cruising In Style (Jim Morrill Jr.) who quickly found himself three-deep leaving Voss Volo (Andy Miller) on the pylons behind the leader. Heading into the lane, these horses were three across the track, trying to advance behind Winning Shadow. But Simons was line-driving down the lane and Winning Shadow crossed the wire with authority by a length in 1:53.4. The winning time was a new lifetime mark for Winning Shadow, a new track record for 3-year-old trotting geldings and a new all-time track trotting record breaking the previous standard of 1:54.3 set by Archangel in 2012 and tied by his son, Top Flight Angel in 2017. "Coming into the race I was very confident, but scoring down he was a little more aggressive than he usually is and I was a little worried about that. But he handled himself well; he's maturing fast. He had plenty left, he just keeps getting better and Jake (Huff) has done a great job with him" said Simons after the race. Winning Shadow ($10.80) is owned by Our Horse Cents Stable, is trained by Jake Huff and was bred by James Wilhite Jr. A lightning storm rolled in just before the second $58,000 split, but it didn't detract from the performance of I'm The Muscle (Muscle Mass-Lady Bling) who was the easiest of winners after moving into NYSS action for the first time from the Excelsior "A" ranks. Perlucky (Trond Smedshammer) was quickest off the gate but that lead was not held for long. I'm The Muscle (Jason Bartlett) who had gotten away fourth, was out and rolling past the three-eighths and took command in front of the stands by the half. Under a tight hold by Bartlett, I'm The Muscle opened up a three-length advantage that he maintained up the backstretch and around the far turn. Heading into the stretch, Bartlett was just a passenger as I'm The Muscle rambled off to a four length lead and won for fun in 1:55.2, which tied his lifetime mark set just last week. I'm The Muscle ($2.60) scored his fifth consecutive win and the first of his career in NYSS action. Owned by Rheau Viau and trained by Rene Allard, I'm The Muscle was bred by Blair and Erna Corbiel. There were also two Excelsior "A" races on the card. Troller (Muscle Mass-Pearls Last Chance) went gate to wire in 1:57. Troller ($4.30) was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for owner/trainer Paul Kelley and was bred by Bonnie Woodward. And Crime Fighter (Chapter Seven-Southwind Cocoa) closed late and just got up to win in 1:58.1. Crime FIghter ($6.60) is owned by Richard Gutnik, William Augustine, Joseph Lozito Jr. and T L P Stables. Gutnik and Augustine bred the winner. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- The sixth of eight stops by the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs this year occurs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 29) when 10 top Empire State-bred 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings will compete in two divisions for the $116,000 of prize money available for distribution. The NYSS events go as race one and seven. There are also two Excelsior "A" contests that go in race two and five. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m. The first $58,000 division is a wide open affair with little separating the field. Cruising In Style (Muscle Mass-Sos Respect) has yet to win a NYSS race but has raced well in other events this year. He has a win at Yonkers in 1:55.1 (which is his lifetime mark) in June and finished a respectable fourth at the Meadowlands in the $50,000 Drazin Stake on Hambo day in 1:51.4 after cutting the mile. He is the top money winner in this division and should be able to leave in here, should they so desire. Jim Morrill Jr. is up for the second straight start for trainer Andrew Harris and has been made the morning line favorite at 2-1 from post five. Clive Bigsby (Muscle Mass-Northern Flare) finally draws inside after eight straight weeks of outside posts, On The Ropes (Chapter Seven-Rs Giggles) looks to improve off three straight third place finishes in NYSS action and Voss Volo (Credit Winner-Silver Springs) has the fastest seasonal mark of these but looks to get back the consistency he displayed earlier this year. The second $58,000 split has I'm The Muscle (Muscle Mass-Lady Bling) listed as the 9-5 favorite and he comes in streaking. I'm The Muscle started the year racing overnights at Rideau Carlton before transferring to the stable of Rene Allard in mid-July. Since then he has won four straight races including two Excel "A" events before taking a lifetime mark of 1:55.2 at Yonkers in his last outing. However this will be the first time this gelding has faced the top level NYSS competition, but he still figures to be a formidable foe. Jason Bartlett is in town to drive and will start from post one. Don (Credit Winner-Angostura) has earned $116,466 this year on the strength of two NYSS victories but has also finished second in the $133,800 Dexter Cup final and the Empire Breeders Cup consolation. Perlucky (Lucky Chucky-Paper Girl) hasn't missed a check all year before getting parked out in his last start, fading late and Purpose Blue Chip (Chapter Seven-Munis Blue Chip) has two NYSS wins this year and seems versatile enough to leave or sit. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- It looked like a trackside racing crowd from the 1960's at Batavia Downs as a gathering of over 4,000 people jammed the stands and the apron to watch the 14th annual "Dachshund Dash" on a beautiful late summer Sunday afternoon (Aug. 26). The Wiener Dog races were the centerpiece of Batavia Downs Family Fun Day presentation. 80 dogs were programmed to compete in 10 heats with one winner from each advancing to the final. And after several close finishes, three romps and one runaway dog, "Louie" nosed out "Jasper" in a photo finish with "Dexter Tyberius" finishing a close third in the championship heat. Louie is owned by Bruce Hummel of Pittsford, New York and quickly became a fan favorite in the Purple Haze winner's circle after the race. All those who entered received doggie bags courtesy of t Genesee Feeds of Batavia who is the official sponsor of the race. The owners of all heat winners received $25 in gaming Free Play and the top three finishers in the championship race received (2) Clubhouse buffet certificates and $100, $75 and $50 (first through third) in Free Play for the gaming floor. The top winner's total prize package including the gaming Free Play is valued at $200. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs      

Batavia, NY --- Drew Monti has become "Mr. Saturday Night" by winning five of the 10 races on the card at Batavia Downs for the second week in a row. Among his plethora of prizewinners this Saturday (Aug. 25) was Focus Power, who made a statement in his return after a six-week layoff in the $10,500 Open Handicap pace. Buggati (Billy Davis Jr.) was the fastest off the gate and got to the front ahead of the pylon-starting Focus Power by the eighth pole. The pack followed the leader in single file to the quarter in :27 and past the half in :55.4. The top two continued unchallenged from behind to the three-quarters and it was obvious at that point that it would be a two-horse race to the wire from there. Davis rolled Buggati into the far turn with Focus Power doubled-up with pace on his back, waiting to get the call from Monti. That came at the apex of the final bend when he popped the deuce, broken headpole and all, and found a new gear immediately. Focus Power switched into glide and blew right past Buggati at the head of the lane and paced away under no urging whatsoever to a wrapped-up win in 1:53.1, which tied his seasonal mark. It was the fourth win in only 12 starts this year for Focus Power ($8.10) and it pushed his bank to $35,091 for owner James Caradori. Darrin Monti trains the winner. Monti's other four driving wins came with R M Hawk (1:54.3, $4.90), Littlebitaclass (1:55, $4.80), Linkjack Hanover (1:53.4, $2.60) and Foreign Officer (1:55, $2.40). All four of these horses are trained by JD Perrin who led all conditioners for wins on the card. And not to be overlooked; another driver/trainer pair who had a big night Saturday was Shawn Gray and James Clouser Jr. who teamed up to send three winners for pictures. One of those was Tyler ($6.80) who took the garden spot tour before tipping off the last turn to win the $9,000 Open II in 1:55.3, last half in a fast :55.3. Tyler won his seventh race of the year for owner William Emmons. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 26) with post time at 1:15. Sunday is Family Fun Day and features the annual Wiener Dog races which begin at the conclusion of the last live harness race (approximately 4 p.m.) By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- BZ Glide took the most direct path to victory Friday night (Aug. 24) going gate to wire on the point to win the $10,000 Open Handicap trot at Batavia Downs and claim his 40th lifetime win in the process. BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) left three-deep into the first turn grabbing the front by the eighth pole and then hitting the pylons, but that didn't mean it would be an easy trip from there. Empire Earl N (Shawn Gray) was rolling up the outside and drew alongside the leader at the quarter in a speedy :27.3, but Caprio didn't let him go. These two battled it out to the half before Empire Earl N started to tail near the five-eighths marker. The end of one challenge led to the start of another as Call My Broker (Ray Fisher Jr.) was in gear from the back of the pack and went three-wide around Empire Earl N, and following him on the same path was Icanflylikeanangel (Drew Monti). The three fanned across the track at the head of the stretch with Monti and Fisher employing highly animated driving technics. But Caprio sat chilly, letting his big horse do the work and BZ Glide held of everyone to cross the wire on top by a length in 1:57.1. It was the fifth win of the year and third Batavia top class victory for BZ Glide ($5.90) who is owned by the Caprio Stable and trained by Alana Caprio. In the co-featured $8,000 Open II trot, Gwally (Ray Fisher Jr.) was parked out the final five-eighths of the mile chasing and eventually collaring the fleet-footed front runner Ruddy Rusty (Jim McNeight Jr.) at the wire by a half-length in 1:58.4. Gwally ($13.60) got his 30th lifetime win and registered a new seasonal mark doing it for owners Marissa Russo and John Mariano and trainer Dave Russo. Shawn Mcdonough had a big night, besting all drivers on Friday by winning three races on the card, two of which he also trains. Racing resumes on Saturday (Aug. 24) at Batavia Downs with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---It's time to release the hounds at Batavia Downs! On Sunday afternoon (Aug. 26), 80 speedy Dachshunds will go to post in 10 heats trying to become one of the 10 finalists in the 2018 Batavia Downs Wiener Dog races sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia. The Wiener Dog races will begin at approximately 4:00 p.m. at the conclusion of the live harness races and are the final event of the annual Family Fun Day at the Races at America's oldest lighted harness racetrack. Admission and parking are free for the afternoon of entertainment that always produces the largest on-track attendance of the year. Family Fun Day includes many free kids activities set up trackside in front of the new Batavia Downs Hotel. All those who enter will receive a doggie bag courtesy of the official race sponsor, Genesee Feeds of Batavia. The owners of all heat winners will receive $25 in gaming Free Play and the top three finishers in the championship race will receive (2) Clubhouse buffet certificates and $100, $75 and $50 (first through third) in Free Play for the gaming floor. The top winner's total prize package including the gaming Free Play is valued at $200. Please note: If you have a dog racing, you must check in to the dog "paddock" tent near the valet parking lot and the dogs are NOT allowed on the apron of the track during the live horse races. Dachshund racing was first held in Australia during the 1970's and rose in popularity in North America after a 1993 Miller Lite commercial made the "sport" cognizant nationally. In 1995 there was a national circuit formed with a final held in Ft. Wayne, Indiana as part of their German-fest celebration. The Wiener Dog Nationals were held there in 2018 for the 23rd year. Batavia Downs is the first Harness track in North America to present Wiener Dog racing as a promotion and has done so annually since 2005. The popularity of this event has grown exponentially since then with many other race tracks now putting on their own races. However the first and now longest running Dachshund meet held at a Standardbred track will continue its tradition of excellence once again this year. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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