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Batavia, NY --- The 73rd season of live harness racing at Batavia Downs gets underway on Wednesday (July 24), runs through Saturday (Dec. 14) and features the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions which will be the richest card of racing ever presented in Western New York. Opening night post time is 6 p.m. During the 65-day season, live racing will take place on Wednesdays at 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m. (Sundays through August only). There will also be racing on Monday on four occasions during the meet including July 29 (5 p.m.), August 5 (5 p.m.), Labor Day Sept.2 (1:15 p.m.) and Columbus Day Oct. 14 (1:15 p.m.). And please note a special 3:15 p.m. post on Saturday (Nov.2) for Breeders Cup Day. The racing product will be as good as it gets in both stake and overnight action led by eight divisions of the NYSS that will visit the Downs on Wednesday (July 24), Sunday (July 28), Sunday (Aug. 4), Wednesday (Aug. 7), Wednesday (Aug, 14), Tuesday (Aug. 23), Wednesday (Aug. 24) and Sunday (Aug. 28). And the NYSS Night of Champions will be contested on Saturday (Sept. 14). That night will also mark the return of Batavia Downs signature stake the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Invitational pace. The overnight action is sure to draw the best horses available with the announced 10-percent purse increase across the board. With that in place the Open I events on both gaits (with a minimum of six starters) will compete for $12,500, Open II for $11,000 and Open III for $10,000. Claiming races will be positively affected as well and at all levels. For example, a $25,000 claimer will go for a $11,000 purse, a $10,000 claimer will go for $8,500 and a $4,500 claimer will go for $4,900. As a result, Batavia Downs will pay out over $8 million in purse money during the 65-day meeting. Last year's leading driver Drew Monti will be back to defend his titles against the likes of Kevin Cummings, Billy Davis Jr., Ray Fisher Jr. and Shawn McDonough. The Downs top trainer JD Perrin will also return to try and repeat against last year's leaders that include James Clouser Jr., Ryan Swift, Gerry Sarama and John Mungillo. All participating horsemen will find the track has been completely resurfaced with newly banked turns, proper stretch grading and all new surface material. This should ensure a lightning fast and safe track that and produce fast miles and strong competition. There have been some changes made to the betting menu this year with the addition of a late Pick-3 (on a minimum 10-race card) and a late Pick-4 (on a minimum nine-race card) giving fans two chances to play this popular wager each night. Also starting after Labor Day there will be a guaranteed Pick-5 pool offered on Wednesday in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program. This will include free downloadable program pages available for each of those nights. Betting minimums for each wager include $2 Win/Place/Show, $1 Daily Double and Exacta, 50-cent Trifecta, Pick-3, Pick-4 and Pick-5 and 20-cent Superfectas. The Downs very popular Clubhouse group dining packages (minimum of 10 people) will return offering delicious buffet options, free programs, Free Play on the gaming floor and new this year, a free $2 bet for each attending member of a group. For availability and pricing check our website at www.bataviadownsgaming.com or call Mary Bucceri at 585.344.6144. Fans attending the track will again find a robust slate of promotions throughout the year. A total of 30 food, betting and prize promotions dot the 65-day schedule with something to interest everyone. Opening night features free programs (while supplies last) to everyone attending the track. Dollar Sundays run from July 28 to August 25 and feature hot dogs, draft beer and soda for only $1 from noon until the last race. Saturday (Aug. 10) is Batavia Downs Gaming Hotel Night where 10 one-night stays at the beautiful Hotel at the Downs will be given away to eligible Players Club members who enter the drawing. Saturday (Aug. 17) is TAG Jewelry Night and a $3,500 (retail) diamond bracelet will be given away to eligible Players Club members who enter the drawing. Saturday (Aug. 24) is Artemis Spa Night. 10 $100 spa gift certificates will be given away to eligible Players Club members who enter the drawing. Sunday (Aug. 25) is Family Fun Day and the famous Wiener Dog Races. This is always the most attended day at the track and features the 15th annual Dachshund Dash wiener dog races sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia. Ten elimination races with eight dogs in each will come down to one final to crown this year's champion. Other events that day include free pony rides, face painting, sand art, snow cones and appearances by Pringles the Clown, Jason the Juggler, Johnathan the Magician and Mr. Scribbles. Monday (Sept. 2) is the annual Labor Day Driver's Bike Race. Eight of our top drivers compete on bicycles for a quarter mile and then those bicycles are randomly given away by drawing to fans who selected the winning driver. Saturday (Sept. 14) is the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions and the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Invitational Pace. There will also be a NYSS T-shirt give-away in conjunction with the Night of Champions. Players Club members will receive a ticket redeemable for a New York Sire Stake T-shirt after the seventh race. "Although our meet is just getting underway, our staff has been working feverishly all year with an aggressive schedule of projects to ready the Downs for the biggest meet we've ever held," said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Batavia Downs. "With the New York Sire Stakes selecting us to host the Night of Champions, it was our goal to have our track and facilities in the best possible shape to provide the best conditions for visiting owners, trainers, drivers, their horses and our customers all year and I think we have done just that." By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Registration for one of the most popular promotions of the season at Batavia Downs Gaming --- the annual "Dachshund Dash" wiener dog races --- begins on Thursday (July 18) and will remain open until entry capacity is met. These races are scheduled to take place on Sunday (Aug. 25). If you have a dog that has competed in this event in the past or have one you would like to enter for the first time, please call Sara Tenney at 585-343-3750, ext. 439 to register or for more information. If you leave a message you will receive a call back for confirmation. Please be aware that entries are limited to the first 80 dogs and the fields have filled fast the last several years. This is the 15th year Batavia Downs has hosted the annual races that are sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia. A total of 10 heats will be contested with eight dogs competing in each heat. The first race will begin after the last live harness race of the day, which will be approximately 4:30 p.m. All those who enter will receive doggie bags full of treats courtesy of Genesee Feeds of Batavia, the official sponsor of the race. The owners of all heat winners will receive $25 in gaming Free Play and the top three finishers in the championship race will receive two 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. The wiener dog races are the final part of Family Fun Day at Batavia Downs Gaming that runs from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. This fun-filled event includes many activities for kids including free pony rides courtesy of Castilone Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. Also on that day there will be $1 hot dogs and sodas from noon until last race. Last year a crowd of nearly 3,000 people showed up to watch "Louie" nose out "Jasper" in a photo finish with "Dexter Tyberius" finishing a close third in the championship heat. The very friendly Louie, who is owned by Bruce Hummel of Pittsford, NY, quickly became a fan favorite in the Purple Haze winner's circle after the race. Track officials expect to host a similar sized crowd again this year. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs has announced that Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Center and the New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund will be sponsoring a cocktail party to be held before the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions on Saturday (Sept. 14) at the Downs. The party is by invitation only and is for all NYSS finals participants and their guests and some VIP's and will run from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. in Grandstands Banquet Room which is located on the second floor of the building, adjacent to the hotel entrance. The party will conclude in time for everyone to make their way to the clubhouse for the first championship final of the night that will be carded as race two. Kelly Young, Executive Director of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing expressed their excitement looking forward to this very important night for all who race in New York State. "The Night of Champions is a time for the connections of all the horses who made it to the finals to look back on the year and celebrate their success. These equine athletes rose to the top of their class and thrived during a demanding season gathering points across the state from Buffalo to Yonkers, and every harness track in between," said Young. "We're so pleased to join with Wanda Polisseni and her Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Center to celebrate the best of the best at Batavia Downs. Wanda is a dedicated owner of New York-bred horses and her love of the sport makes her a great partner to honor our Night of Champions participants." "It's been many years since Batavia Downs hosted the Breeders Crown back in 1988 and we couldn't be more proud to have been selected this year to showcase the very best horses that have been bred and raced in New York State," said Haight. "Wanda is a longtime friend of Batavia Downs and our "Purple Haze" winner's circle is named after her stable. Now she is joining with us again on this great night to host the NYSS cocktail party and enjoy the best racing in the state. I can't wait for September 14!" Henry Wojtaszek is the CEO and President of Batavia Downs Gaming. His thoughts about the event go beyond its racing significance and expresses the financial impact it will have on the communities that WROTB benefits. "The Night of Champions being held at Batavia Downs is a testament to the hard work being put forth by our staff into making this one of the best racetracks in the country," said Wojtaszek. "Not only will this event attract folks from all over the state to our facility, but also to local hotels, restaurants and businesses. The economic benefit of having this marquee event right here in Genesee County will be felt by all." The $1.8 million Night of Champions races will highlight the richest card of racing ever held in western New York. Also featured on the card will be Batavia Downs signature stake, the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Invitational pace and a slate of races featuring the best resident overnight horses on the grounds. Post time for this grand night of racing will be 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The first condition sheet of the season for Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel is now available at the track's web site www.bataviadownsgaming.com. Simply click the "Live Racing" tab and then the "Horsemen" tab. The condition sheet is also available at www.ustrotting.com . The 2019 season gets underway on Wednesday (July 24). Tack is allowed on grounds beginning Thursday (July 18) and horses may begin arriving on Saturday (July 20). The first draw of the season for opening night which includes a leg of the New York Sire Stakes, will take place on Friday (July 19). The next draw for Saturday (July 27) will occur on Wednesday (July 24). The entry box closes at 9 a.m. each draw day. For more information or additional help please call the race office at 585-344-6161. The 73rd season at America's oldest lighted harness track features 65 race dates, including six matinees.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs Gaming and Racetrack seeks a parade marshal/outrider for the 2019 live harness racing meet which begins on Wednesday (July 24) and ends on Saturday (Dec. 14). Applicants must have harness racing experience. Batavia Downs pays competitive wages and provides a professional work environment. Applications can be found by clicking this link. Interested parties can also contact Director/GM of Live Racing Todd Haight at 585.343.3750, ext. 322.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- With the start of the live harness racing racing season just three weeks away, horseman should be advised this is the last call to turn in a stall application for the upcoming 2019 Championship summer/fall meet. Stall applications must be received by the track no later than Monday (July 8). The backstretch opens for tack on Thursday (July 18) at 8 a.m. and horses may begin arriving on Saturday (July 20) at 8 a.m. Stall applications, agreements and reservation forms are available for download on the track's website (www.bataviadownsgaming.com). Simply click Live Racing>Horsemen to find all three forms. Applications are also available at the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association office located on-site at Buffalo Raceway. The first draw will be held on Friday (July 19) for Wednesday (July 24) which is the first New York Sire Stake engagement of the year at the Downs. Batavia Downs offers a text messaging service for notices about draws, entries and other racing information. Horsemen are encouraged to text the word "HORSEMAN" to 51660. You will then need to reply "YES" and you'll be opted in for race office text message updates. All stable inquiries should be directed to Todd Haight, Director/GM of Live Racing, at 585.343.3750, ext. 6322.   By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Horsemen wishing to race at Batavia Downs for the upcoming 2019 Championship summer/fall meet should take note that stall applications are now available on the track's website (www.bataviadownsgaming.com). Simply click Live Racing>Horsemen>Stall Application and Agreement and also Stall Reservations links to download. The complete 2019 racing schedule can also be found at Live Racing>Live Racing Schedule. Stall applications are also available at the Western New York Harness Horseman's Association (WNYHHA) office located on-site at Buffalo Raceway. Racing Secretary Joe Zambito has stated that stall applications must be received by the track no later than Friday (July 5). The backstretch opens for tack on Thursday (July 18) at 8 a.m. and horses may begin arriving on Saturday (July 20) at 8 a.m. There is much anticipation and excitement surrounding the upcoming Batavia Downs season with the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions scheduled for Saturday (Sept. 14) and another purse increase in place for opening night. Open I events on both gaits (with a minimum of six starters) will compete for $12,500, Open II for $11,000 and Open III for $10,000. Claiming races at all levels will also be raised. For example, a $25,000 claimer will go for a $10,500 purse, a $10,000 claimer will go for $8,500 and a $5,000 claimer will go for $5,700. The first draw will be held on Friday (July 19) for Wednesday (July 24) which is the first New York Sire Stake engagement of the year at the Downs. Batavia Downs will also offer its new text messaging service for notices about draws, entries and changes to the racing schedule. Horsemen are encouraged to text the word "HORSEMAN" to 51660. You will then need to reply "YES" and you'll be opted in for race office text message updates. The 73rd season of live harness racing at America's oldest lighted harness track features 65 race dates including eight matinee cards. The meet opens on Wednesday (July 24) and runs through Saturday (Dec. 14). Live racing will be presented on Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m. (through August), Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. There will also be racing on four Mondays during the meet including July 29 (5 p.m.) and August 5 (5 p.m.), Labor Day Sept.2 (1:15 p.m.) and Columbus Day Oct. 14 (1:15 p.m.). There is also a special 3:15 p.m. post on Saturday (Nov.2) which is Breeders Cup Day. All stable inquiries should be directed to Todd Haight, Director/GM of Live Racing at 585-343-3750, ext. 6322.   By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs has announced that they have retained the services of Heather Wilder and Peter Kleinhans as their on-air personalities for the broadcast of the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions which will be held at the track on Saturday (Sept. 14). Wilder will be doing pre and post-race interviews and Kleinhans will provide analysis and handicapping insight. Heather Wilder grew up with solid roots in harness racing being the daughter of Dan and Ruth Altmeyer and later marrying Meadows leading driver Mike Wilder. Her knowledge of every aspect of the sport is extensive as is her relationships with all its participants. Besides being actively involved in racing everyday, Wilder currently handles talent management for the Delaware County Fair during the live TV broadcast of the Little Brown Jug. She has also been a regular part of the United States Harness Writers Association's (USHWA) Dan Patch Awards Banquet both as an onstage host and Facebook live interviewer and producer for many years. While she worked as public relations and marketing director for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) she became a pioneer of reporting on racing on Facebook Live and coordinated the promotion of countless on-track events. In recognition of her fine work she was the recipient of USHWA's Lew Barasch Memorial Breakthrough Award for industry career achievements in 2013. Wilder's lifelong involvement with the sport and its players will make for interesting trackside and winner's circle interviews throughout the night. Peter Kleinhans started going to Roosevelt Raceway as a teenager and his passion for the sport grew from there. Eventually he started training and driving his own stable and reached the top of the game. Peter Kleinhans            --photo Meadowlands Kleinhans was training a stable of 20 horses led by Enough Talk who was the first trotter in the world to break the 1:50 barrier when he won by over eight lengths in 1:49.3 at Colonial Downs in 2008. Enough Talk also won the Breeders Crown in 2010 and received the Dan Patch older trotter of the year trophy from USHWA in each of those two seasons. Although he still competes as an amateur driver, Kleinhans has expanded his role in the sport to announcer, analyst and host and has recently filled in at the Meadowlands in those capacities. His knowledge and expertise of the sport and articulate delivery of same will provide an informative and entertaining look at the night's races for all who are watching. "We are very excited to add such accomplished and professional talents to our production of the Night of Champions" said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. "Heather and Peter have performed at the highest levels of the sport both on and off the track and will bring a unique perspective to the show for our fans." The Batavia Downs live racing meet kicks off on Wednesday (July 24) and runs through Saturday (Dec. 14). For more information on the upcoming racing season log on to www.bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing.   By Tim Bojarski  for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Representatives from Western Regional Off-Track Betting (WROTB) reported Monday (May 6) that a record $2,039,088.30 was wagered on the Kentucky Derby through their outlets including BataviaBets.com, OTB Branches and EZ Bet Locations. In particular the Empire branch in Rochester, NY saw significant growth, up 27% from the previous year. And wagering was also very strong at Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel, up 7% there. Batavia Downs hosted three separate parties with a full house of happy, gambling revelers enjoying the Run for the Roses. The Park Place Party served an all-time high 751 dinners; well eclipsing the 605 meals sold last year. Thurman Thomas' Sports Bar "34 Rush" had their highest single day total for sales. Down on the gaming floor, $4 million credits were played which was the second highest in their history. The week ending Saturday saw the highest credits played total of all time, with $18.3 Million in Credits Played, beating the previous best seven-day period of $17.4 Million. The results of the 145th Kentucky Derby may have been controversial with the subsequent disqualification of Maximum Security, who was first under the wire, but according to Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO of WROTB, Derby Day 2019 was unbelievable all the way around. "The wagering, party and gaming numbers are a continuation and reflection of the solid year Batavia Downs has been experiencing," said Wojtaszek, "We could not have pulled this off if it wasn't for our dedicated OTB branch and Batavia Downs staff, who worked tirelessly on Derby Day. We appreciate the solid support from our loyal customer base." WROTB is already gearing up for the second jewel of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown to be held on May 18 at Pimlico racetrack. Among the events scheduled for Preakness is the $15 Trifecta special that will take place in the Park Place Event Center at Batavia Downs from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Live harness racing return to Batavia Downs on Wednesday (July 24) for the meet that will run through Saturday (Dec 14).   By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs Gaming

Batavia, NY --- Even though live harness racing at Batavia Downs doesn't begin for another three months, track officials have announced that when the summer/fall meet begins on Wednesday (July 24) it will be the most lucrative session of Standardbred competition ever offered in Western New York. With the equine competition once again highlighted by eight legs of the lucrative New York Sire Stakes (NYSS), this year Batavia Downs will also be host to the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions finals and $50,000 Kane Memorial Pace that will both be held on Saturday (Sept. 14). And where the stake action garners most of the attention, the overnight races make up the bulk of the meet. And that is where good news for horsemen choosing to race at Batavia Downs this year comes in. Track officials have announced that purses will be raised 10 percent across the board on opening night and remain that way for the duration of the meet. With the increases in place, the Open I events on both gaits (with a minimum of six starters) will compete for $12,500, Open II for $11,000 and Open III for $10,000. Claiming races will be positively affected as well and at all levels. For example, a $25,000 claimer will go for a $10,500 purse, a $10,000 claimer will go for $8,500 and a $5,000 claimer will go for $5,700. As a result, Batavia Downs will pay out over $8 million in prize money during the 65-night meeting. "This is big news, make no mistake about it. Racing in Western New York has never been better and this will be the year to compete at Batavia" said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Racing at Batavia Downs. "We are already making preparations to get the meet underway and are looking forward to having the best horses in the state competing here all year." Haight explained the bigger purses are a result of fewer races last year and a robust gaming floor feeding the purse account. "We simply weren't able to card as many races as we had hoped in 2018 and as a result, all the money sitting in the purse account was not paid out. Plus the Batavia Downs Gaming floor has been registering record numbers all winter and is coming off the best month we have ever had. That translates to a very healthy purse account that we will be distributing to everyone participating at the meet this year," said Haight. This is the second purse increase at Batavia Downs since October of 2018 when they were also raised by 10 percent. There are several things to note for horsemen who plan to race at Batavia this year. Management has hired track consultant Kim Crawford to oversee a complete resurfacing of the Batavia oval, including freshly banking the turns. This will ensure a fast and safe racing surface that will provide more competitive races and much sounder horses. As a result of polling local horsemen, the track will once again offer a traditional condition sheet and will not utilize the ABC System. Trainers will enter their horses by earnings or for a claiming price, and will be classified as such. The track has also announced there will be another claiming series this year with several legs for both gaits and a final for the top finishers. More details about this will be available closer to the meet. Batavia Downs will also switch to the USTA Electronic Draw System to determine post position this year. "The 2019 championship meet at Batavia Downs is a great opportunity for overnight horsemen to join the racing colony here and take advantage of everything we have to offer. Stall applications will be available on the Batavia Downs website on Saturday (June 1) and we would love to see new stables ship in for the meet," Haight concluded. For more information about racing at Batavia Downs in 2019, log onto www.bataviadownsgaming.com and access the live racing link.   By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel have announced their plans for a second Kentucky Derby party to be held on Saturday (May 4). A total of three parties will take place onsite. The party announced today will run from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the new Batavia Downs Gaming Park Place Event Center (formerly known as the Paddock Room). This party has seen over 600 attendees for the past several years and looks to grow that number in May with the new Superfecta Deal. Patrons will receive their choice of a variety of meals, $15 in Free Play on the gaming floor (once one point is earned), a $5 wager on the Derby, a program and a commemorative Kentucky Derby glass. The package price is just $20. There will be $5 Mint Julep specials that include a Derby glass as well as samplings from Black Button Distilling and Angry Orchard. Many big screen televisions will show the races and there will be mutuel clerks available to take wagers. The 2nd Annual Derby Gala (which was announced last month) will take place in the Batavia Downs Gaming Grandstands Banquet Room on the second floor. Tickets went on sale in February for that event at Bataviaconcerts.com and at the Lucky Treasures Gift Shop at the entrance of the gaming floor and half of those tickets have already been sold. Admission for the Derby Gala at the Downs is $75 per person and proper attire is required. Patrons will receive an open bar from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and admission includes grazing stations, a $10 wager on the Derby, $25 in Free Play and a Free Derby Program. The Gala also includes a best dressed contest and best hat contest which will take place and offer prizes from the Hotel at Batavia Downs and Four Roses Bourbon. The third party, taking place inside of "34 Rush" will offer samplings from Woodford Reserve Bourbon and Blue Moon. Patrons may place Derby wagers using self-service terminals located there. The $5 Mint Julep/commemorative Derby glass special will also be available. The Downs Simulcast Center located on the second floor will also be available for wagering. Prize drawings for Derby T-shirts and glasses will take place there beginning at 10:00 a.m. Rooms at the Hotel at Batavia Downs are already sold out, but other local hotels have availability and a shuttle will be running that day to take patrons from those venues to Batavia Downs beginning at 3p.m. instead of the usual 5 p.m. "We're looking forward to another great day of parties surrounding our Kentucky Derby events," said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Racing at Batavia Downs Gaming. "The success of the Derby Gala last year adds to the already tremendous day of wagering and entertainment that our guests have come to expect at Batavia Downs. Based on the recent Kentucky Derby prep-races, this year's Run for the Roses seems more wide open than ever." For questions and inquiries regarding additional information please contact Ryan Hasenauer, Batavia Downs Gaming Public Relations, at 585-343-3750 ex 6308.     Tim Bojarski   COB - United States Harness Writers Association Hoof Beats Magazine Columnist Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts Publicist Plainridge Park Publicist Batavia Downs Publicist and Track Handicapper  

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel announced part of their onsite plans for the upcoming Kentucky Derby on Saturday (May 4) as multiple events will take place. The 2nd Annual Derby Gala at Batavia Downs Gaming will be held in Grandstands Banquet Room on the second floor. Admission for the Gala is $75 per person and proper attire is required. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to attend. Guests will receive an open bar from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Grazing stations, a $10 wager on the Derby, $25 in Free Play and a free Derby program are also included. There will be televisions showing the days' races and mutuel clerks will be available for patrons to place wagers. There will also be a best dressed contest and best hat contest with prizes provided by the Hotel at Batavia Downs and Four Roses Bourbon. Tickets will go on sale Wednesday (Feb. 20) at 10 a.m. on Bataviaconcerts.com and at the Lucky Treasures Gift Shop located at the entrance to the gaming floor. Tickets are very limited. The hotel at Batavia Downs will be offering a special VIP rate for those who wish to add an overnight stay to their Derby experience. Use promo code KD5419 to get the special rate. Tickets to the event and a hotel room are to be purchased separately. "We're looking forward to another great day of events surrounding the Run for the Roses, "said Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming. "The success of the Derby Gala last year adds to the already tremendous day of wagering and entertainment that our guests have come to expect from Batavia Downs." Details on the other two, non-ticketed parties on Derby day will be announced at a later time. From Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- On a night when Drew Monti was to be honored as the top driver of the 2018 Batavia Downs harness racing meet, he put on a clinic and showed why he toted home the hardware again as he won seven races on Saturday night (Dec. 15). Also it was no surprise that trainer JD Perrin, who Monti regularly drives for and was also honored as the top conditioner of the session, sent out six winners of his own. Those winning connections put the exclamation point on their stellar season as they watched Cheyenne Louie cruise to the easiest of victories in the $20,000 Dash for the Holiday Cash late closer final, which was the feature race of the night. Cheyenne Louie (Drew Monti) left strong and grabbed the lead past the eighth pole and from there the race was history. Cruising along in level fractions of :28.2, :58.2 and 1:27.4, Monti had the field stacked up behind as he sat chilly in the bike. At the top of the stretch several horses fanned wide to try and close the gap but Cheyenne Louie was four-lengths gone and under wraps when he hit the wire first in 1:57. It was the seventh win of the year for Cheyenne Louie ($3.20) whose share of the purse pushed him to $26,983 for 2018. Cheryle Perrin owns the winner that is trained by JD Perrin. Then the same driver/trainer pair hooked up to win the $11,000 overnight featured Open Handicap pace with Lucky McTrucky. Getting away fifth in the short field of five, Lucky McTrucky tracked the early pace before pulling past the half, tipping three deep at three-quarters and clearing the front at the top of the lane to win by three in 1:55.2. It was the 56th career win and 14th tally of the year for Lucky McTrucky ($5.70) who is now only $1,095 shy of $100,000 in earnings for 2018. Tessa Roland owns the 9-year-old Mcardle gelding. Other winners Monti steered besides the aforementioned Cheyenne Louie and Lucky McTrucky were with Cobble Beach (1:57.2, $4.70), Rock To Glory (1:56.4, $3.10), RM Hawk (1:55.3, $4.10), Heaven Rocks (1:56.3, $3.70) and OK Galahad (1:57, $4.10). Perrin's training double Hat Trick consisted of five that Monti drove (Cheyenne Louie, Lucky McTrucky, Rock To Glory, RM Hawk and Heaven Rocks) along with Foreign Officer (1:56.4, $7.70) who was driven by Ray Fisher Jr. After the 11th race this dynamic duo was named top driver and trainer of the Batavia Downs meet by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). This is the second driving title for Drew Monti at Batavia Downs and third overall of his career. The 24-year-old Monti put together another stellar year in the bike; to date starting 572 times, winning 122 races, finishing second 90 times and third 72 times. Those starts earned his connections $724,805 in purses and earned himself a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .337. JD Perrin won the training title at the Downs three straight years from 2014-2016 making this his fourth title at the track. With 208 starts, Perrin trainees have won 61 times with 31 seconds and 19 thirds giving him a Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) of .409. His stable banked $333,648 for the session. Batavia Downs will resume live racing in 2019 on Wednesday (July 24) and is the host track of the New York SIre Stakes (NYSS) Night Of Champions which will be held on Saturday (Sept. 14). By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Akron, NY --- The final weekend of harness racing at Batavia Downs kicks off on Friday (Dec. 14) and although 26 more races are yet to be contested, there are two that have already been settled. The dash winning driver and trainer for the 2018 meet are Drew Monti and JD Perrin. This is the second driving title for Drew Monti at Batavia Downs and third overall of his career. The 24-year-old Monti put together another stellar year in the bike; to date starting 560 times, winning 115 races, finishing second 89 times and third 72 times. Those starts earned his connections $686,305 in purses and earned himself a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .337. Those numbers were solid additions to Monti's overall figures for the year where he has 252 wins, 194 seconds and 174 thirds out of 1,260 starts with over $1.52 million in earnings and a UDR of .332. JD Perrin won the training title at the Downs three straight years from 2014-2016 making this his fourth title at the track. With 192 starts, Perrin trainees have won 55 times with 31 seconds and 19 thirds giving him a Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) of .409. His stable banked $298,248 for the session. Perrin's annual numbers show 442 starts yielding 126 wins, 68 seconds and 51 thirds earning his group $633,623. Also, Perrin currently ranks fourth in North America for UTR among trainers with less than 500 starts this year. Drew Monti and JD Perrin will receive their trophies in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle at Batavia Downs after the 12th race on Saturday night (Dec. 15). Please note that post time for Saturday's card is early at 4:45 p.m. Also on Saturday night, there are many opportunities for the fans to take advantage of before the lights go off for the last time this year. The $20,000 final of the Dash for the Holiday Cash series is the feature event and goes as the sixth race. There is a free Pick-6 contest with a mandatory payoff of $1,000. The Pick-6 starts in race four and runs through race nine. Entry blanks can be picked up at Players Club and can be deposited with your selections prior to the start of the fourth race. Entries are limited to one per person. The Pick-6 is co-sponsored by the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association. Then there will be a random drawing from all the Pick-6 entries to win 10 "Driver of the Meet" Drew Monti bobble heads and 10 official Dan Patch Awards baseball caps. 10 winners will be drawn and each will receive both prizes. The bobble head and baseball cap give away is sponsored by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) and TAG Jewelers. Friday night (Dec. 14) is the UNY USHWA Night of Distinction awards presentations at Batavia Downs that will take place in the winner's circle between races. Post time on Friday is 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, president, UNY USHWA  

Akron, NY --- With the Batavia Downs harness racing meet coming to a close this Saturday (Dec. 15) the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has announced their horses of the meet. Horse of the Meet-In Runaway Bay N In Runaway Bay N (Mach Three-Pullover Brown) raced in the top pacing class at Batavia Downs 13 times in 2018, more than any other horse at the meet. From 17 total starts he won five, finished second twice and third five more times and earned $39,455. That total surpassed any other male pacer this season. He also defeated the legendary Foiled Again on Saturday (Sept. 21) in that great horse's last career appearance at the Downs. In Runaway Bay N is owned by Mark Jakubik, trained by Angelo Nappo and driven primarily by Kevin Cummings. Mare of the Meet-Sportsmuffler Sportsmuffler (Sportsmaster-Whatifthere'smore) competed in 14 Mares Open paces at Batavia Downs this year and won six of them. And when she won she did it with an exclamation point. In her 16 total starts this meet she also had three seconds and three thirds giving her an earnings total of $42,363 collected at the Downs. Sportsmuffler is owned by Rose Campbell, trained by Steve Kiblin and driven primarily by Billy Davis Jr. Trotter of the Meet-Lougazi Lougazi (Lou's Legacy-Winning Blade) had a rough start to the meet, making breaks with frequency. But in mid-September everything seemed to click and he turned into a monster. Making his way up through the classes, he hit the Open I and looked unbeatable there for a month. He won three in a row and four out of six and took a lifetime mark of 1:56.3 in the process. When the dust settled he had 14 starts with six wins, three seconds and one third and earned $38,231. Lougazi is owned by Mary Warriner, trained by Ryan Swift and driven by Ray Fisher Jr. Iron horse of the Meet-Empire Earl N Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita) is a 10-year-old trotter who came to North America from the New Zealand in 2016. In the little over two years he's been racing here he has more than doubled his previous lifetime bank and almost tripled his wins as well. His steady work continued at Batavia Downs this meet where he raced 19 times, won four times, finished second six times and third four more. These efforts earned him $43,736 in purses. Empire Earl N is owned by Kim Asher, trained by the 2018 Rising Star Award winner Riley Asher-Stalbaum and driven primarily by Drew Monti. The connections of all four horses will receive their trophies in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 14). By Tim Bojarski, president, UNY USHWA

Akron, NY --- She was born to harness racing and hit the ground running this, her first year of training. And hard work and perseverance has paid instant dividends for Riley Asher-Stalbaum and that is why she was named the 2018 Rising Star at Batavia Downs by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Asher-Stalbaum was brought up in the business, the daughter of accomplished trainer Kim Asher and longtime driver Larry Stalbaum. And having them first as parents and then as tutors have helped her to become very successful in life as a young lady and also in harness racing in her first venture as a full-time conditioner. This year, Asher-Stalbaum has raced a small but powerful stable that featured win-machines Quicksilvercandy A, Kaitlyn Rae and Empire Earl N who combined have a total of 38 victories and $231,488 in purses earned in 2018. At Batavia Downs her numbers showed 124 starts with 17 wins, 15 seconds and 17 thirds and $133,409 in earnings. All those statistics are very impressive for a first year trainer only 11 days removed from her 19th birthday. Asher-Stalbaum aspires to make a living doing what she loves and follow in the footsteps of her parents. And if the results of her first year are any indication, the business better take notice of the girl in the red and white silks in the coming years. Riley Asher-Stalbaum will receive her trophy in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Dec. 14). by Tim Bojarski, for UNY USHWA Chapter    

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