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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    

Batavia, NY --- After being involved in harness racing accident at Batavia Downs late last week, perennial western New York driving leader Kevin Cummings will not return to action until next year. While driving in the first race on Friday night (Dec. 7) Cummings horse made a break causing the horse directly behind to collide into him, hitting Cummings on the left-side back at full speed. The two horses became entangled but were brought to a stop in the clubhouse turn just past the half. Cummings and the driver of the other horse, Mike Caprio (who also became unseated), were evaluated on site immediately after the track was cleared. Caprio returned to drive the remainder of the night however Cummings was sent for further medical evaluation. After being examined in the hospital it was determined that Cummings had three broken ribs, torn cartilage and internal bleeding. He was sent home and is in the process of healing under the care of his personal physician. Given the severity of his injuries, Cummings estimated his time away from the sulky to be two to three months. "I always wear my safety vest under my colors. It's paid off in the past and it certainly paid of Friday. If I didn't have that thing on I would have crushed my entire rib cage and had extensive organ damage," said Cummings. "I always tell the young guys to make sure they use theirs because you never know when you are going down." Cummings, who is a four-time dash champion at Batavia Downs, is currently second in the standings this year with 102 wins and had a legitimate shot at taking a fifth title. This season saw him earn over $1.2 million in purses which is the tenth straight year he has gone over the million-dollar mark. For his career Cummings has won 3,820 races and over $17 million in earnings. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Akron, NY --- The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has announced that Steve Pratt will receive their Lifetime Achievement Award during the Night of Distinction at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 14). Pratt first got his grooms license in 1970 and from there has been involved in harness racing ever since. He has been training and racing horses in western New York since the late seventies when the star of his barn was an Open trotter named Willow Hill Boy who under the reinsmanship of the legendary Gaston Guindon, won 42 races in only five years against the best horses on the grounds at the time. Pratt moved on from racing overnights to concentrate on breaking and developing young horses. He became a presence on the New York county fair circuit but made the move to the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) in the mid-nineties. There he found early success with horses like Sal The Barber (1:58.2, $114,887) and Choyote's Miss (1:59.1, $121,785). But he really got on a successful roll in the NYSS starting in 2012. For the last seven years Pratt has been a trotting force in the state-bred series with a string of "Barn" named horses that have competed in the NYSS, the Excel series and also at the county fairs. The parade of his champions is led most prominently by Barn Doll (1:52.1, $874,083), Barn Bella (1:51.3, $742,350), Barn Girl (1:52.3, $734,668), Barn Babe (1:54.2, $350,463) and Barn Winner (1:56, $165,273). During those seven years Pratt-trained horses have earned over $2 million in only 227 starts, winning 97 races which gave him a phenomenal 42% win percentage. Pratt's Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) for that same period is a stellar .558 and all this was accomplished racing primarily in stake competition. Steve Pratt will receive his trophy in the Purple Haze Winner's Circle between races during the live card. By Tim Bojarski, president, Upstate New York USHWA

Batavia, NY --- Lucky McTrucky got back to his winning ways taking the $11,500 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec.8). The feature field got away in post position order leaving Cultural Paradise (Jim McNeight Jr.) on top calling the shots and with no pressure to the half, it was a soft fraction of :58 flat. However that would soon change when In Runaway Bay N (Truman Gale) came calling first-up on the outside where the race began to get interesting. In Runaway Bay N paced along with Cultural Paradise up the backstretch in a quick :28.3 third panel and while that was going on, Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) joined the party late but came with lots of pace. Halfway through the turn Monti tipped Lucky McTrucky three-deep and caught the leaders by the top of the stretch and then went right by in the lane to win by two-lengths in 1:55.4. It was the 55th lifetime win and 13th of the season for Lucky McTrucky ($10.60) who now has earned $93,405 in 2018 for owner Tessa Roland. JD Perrin trains the winner. The $9,900 Open II pace saw Western Rockstar A (Shawn McDonough) close sharply after chasing an early speed battle between Linkjack Hanover (Bob Verney) and Littlebitofabrat (Ray Fisher Jr.) to pull the upset in 1:56.2. Western Rockstar A ($24.00) captured his fifth win of the year for owner Super Mile LLC. Angelo Nappo is the trainer. Three drivers won 10 of the 12 races on Saturday evening. Drew Monti was the big dog copping a Grand Slam of wins. Then Shawn McDonough and Denny Bucceri were right behind, each having a triple on the card. Next week is the final week of racing at Batavia Downs and it starts on Friday night (Dec. 14) with post time set at 6 p.m. There is no racing on Wednesday (Dec. 12) next week. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs      

Batavia, NY --- After going winless since September 7 when he trotted a season's best 1:56.3, Empire Earl N has regained early season form winning two consecutive harness racing top-class races at Batavia Downs. The second score came on Friday night (Dec.7) when he captured the $11,000 Open Handicap trot. Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) got away third as Crystal Sphere (Billy Davis Jr.) made a beeline for the lead and when he got there, backed off the proceedings. After a leisurely stroll to the half in 1:01.2, Davis hit the gas, opened up a five-length advantage and tried to put the swoop to the group. Motoring along well on the point, Crystal Sphere looked very much the best, however there was a lot of race left. As the group moved from the five-eighths to the three-quarters, Monti tipped Empire Earl N and started chipping away at Crystal Sphere's lead. Around the last turn he was on his back and at the head of the stretch he drew even on the outside and from there, Empire Earl N got stout and trotted away under mild urging from Monti to win by a length in 1:59.3. Empire Earl N ($4.70) reached double-digit wins for 2018, scoring his 10th of the year for owner Kim Asher. He has also earned $90,354 this year which has been his career best under the tutelage of trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. In the $8,800 Open II trot Labatt Hanover (Shawn McDonough) made easy work of five foes, posting even fractions en route to a three-length victory in 1:59.3. Labatt Hanover ($8.70) scored his sixth victory of 2018 for owners Gary and Cynthia Saj. His driver McDonough also does the conditioning. Aside from capturing the feature race, driver Drew Monti also had two other wins giving him a Hat Trick on the night. Billy Davis Jr. and Mike Caprio also had driving doubles during the nine-race card. There was no winner of the early Pick-5 on Friday and as a result, there is a $534 carry-over and a guaranteed pool of $1,500 for the early Pick-5 when racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday. Post time for the first race at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Horsemen racing at Batavia Downs should take note of the draw schedule for the final week of harness racing for 2018. There will be a double draw held on Tuesday (Dec. 11) for Friday (Dec. 14) and Saturday (Dec. 15) with the box closing at 9 a.m. After the draw, the judges will also close both programs on Tuesday (Dec. 11). Also please note that post time for Friday (Dec. 14) is 6 p.m. while post time for Saturday (Dec. 15) is early at 4:45 p.m. For any inquiries about conditions or to call your entries in, please contact Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6304. The complete condition sheet for racing at Batavia Downs is available on the Batavia Downs website (www.bataviadownsgaming.com) under Live Racing>Horsemen>Condition Sheet and also on the USTA website (www.ustrotting.com) by clicking Horsemen>Condition Sheets.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- As the weather gets colder, she keeps getting bolder. Sportsmuffler continued to dominate the local harness racing distaff colony by winning the $10,400 fillies and mares Open handicap pace with little effort on a cold night at Batavia Downs on Monday (Dec.5). Driver Billy Davis Jr. left three-wide with the 1-5 Sportsmuffler and out-dueled Kaitlyn Rae (Mike Caprio) to the catbird seat from where she dictated the rest of the race this night. With no challengers for three-quarters of the mile, Sportsmuffler got to that station in 1:26.4 when Caprio pulled the pocket-sitting Kaitlyn Rae to take their best shot. But try as they might, their best was no match for the streaking Sportsmuffler who after a tap and a swish from Davis, paced away to a two-length victory in 1:55.4. Sportsmuffler ($2.40) has now won five out of the last eight top class mares races in as many starts at Batavia. She has also matched her 2017 career-best total of wins, scoring her 11th this year and has reached a new single-season high for earnings of $74,506 for owner Rose Campbell. Steve Kiblin is the trainer of the Sportsmaster progeny. Davis had a stellar night in the bike besides winning the feature. He also won two other races on the card of eight giving him a Hat Trick for the evening. Davis has been on a roll the past couple of weeks and as such, is now in the conversation for leading dash driver of the meet. With Wednesday's three wins Davis now has 97 for the session, only 10 behind the leading Drew Monti (107) and five behind second place Kevin Cummings (102). With four nights left in the meet, Davis has a legitimate shot of making up the shortfall and taking the 2018 driver race to a photo finish. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 7) with post time set for 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) hosted its Annual Awards Banquet December 2 at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel, honoring the top horses, trainers, drivers, owners and breeders of the 2018 harness racing season. Awards were given to the 2 and 3-year old champions across the three racings series: the New York Sire Stakes, the Excelsior Series and the County Fair Series. This season's NYSS "Night of Champions" was held at the Yonkers Raceway on September 22. Taking home a combined $1.8 million in purses were champions Winndevie (Credit Winner-Vida De Vie), Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows), Money Shot Hanover (Art Major-Marinade Hanover), Reigning Deo (Rock N Roll Heaven-Little Miss K), Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato), Helpisontheway (Chapter Seven-Porque), Wisdom Tree (Betterthancheddar-Wisdom), and Rockapelo (Rock N Roll Heaven-Capelo Rose). The title of Leading Breeder went to Winbak Farm, Linda Toscano took home Leading Trainer and Jim Morrill Jr. was honored with Leading Driver of 2018. The 2019 Night of Champions' date was unveiled during the awards banquet. New York's richest night of racing will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at Batavia Downs. The evening honored the NYSS Excelsior Champions, who took home $55,000 each at Saratoga Casino Hotel on September 23. The 2018 champions are Lifetime Credit (Credit Winner-Mariah De Vie), Labadee As (Conway Hall-Smith Hall), Heavens Challenge (Rock N Roll Heaven-Challenge Accepted), Cal (American Ideal-Hula's Z Tam), Michando (Muscle Mass-Haul'n Fanny), Nows The Moment (Credit Winner-Glide By), Special Kay Deo (American Ideal-Little Miss K), and Thor De Vie (So Surreal-Pebblebeach De Vie). The evening also celebrated the NYSS County Fair Champions, crowned at Monticello Raceway on September 6, following two months of racing at 20 county fairs across New York State. Each final carried a purse of $10,000, collected by Golden Gypsy (Ulay Boko-Uffra Girl), Hereyago (Muscle Mass-End of Innocence), Lily Hammer (So Surreal-Jens Underdog), Cal (Roll With Joe-Crystal De Vie), Good Luck Ginny (Lucky Chucky-Classical Ginny), Royal Bahama (RC Royalty - Becca J), Heaven's Diva (Rock N Roll Heaven-Village Bolero), and Super Roll (Roll With Joe-Calista). Joseph Chinado Sr. took home Leading Trainer, and his son, Joseph Chindano Jr. took home the title of Leading Driver of 2018. "It's always a special evening to be able to reflect on the past season and relive so many of the impressive moments from the New York Sire Stakes," said M. Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. "We want to thank Batavia Downs for their incredible hospitality and we look forward to being back here next fall for the 2019 Night of Champions." The USTA District 8 Champions recognized at the banquet included Winndevie, Thunder (Conway Hall-Cr Oh Suzanna), Brooklyn Lilacs (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sombodythatiustono), Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star), Atlanta (Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip), Perlucky (Lucky Chucky-Paper Girl), Alexis Faith (American Ideal-Cannae Cammie), and Trump Nation (Betterthancheddar-Late Flyin N). Atlanta took home the coveted title of Horse of the Year, while Toscano was named as Trainer of the Year, Morrill Jr. as Pari-Mutuel Driver of the Year and Chindano Jr. as County Fair Driver of The Year. The Bruce Hamilton Memorial Medal was awarded to longtime NYSS supporter and Standardbred owner, Kenneth Jacobs. The medal is presented annually by Harness Horse Breeders of New York State in recognition of outstanding contributions to harness horse racing and the improvement of breeding Standardbred horses in New York. About the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund: The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund (the Fund) is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races. Jason Politi | Baker Public Relations

Batavia, NY --- As the rain came down, In Runaway Bay N splashed through it in a convincing gate to wire harness racing triumph in the $11,500 Open Handicap pace on Saturday night (Dec. 1) at Batavia Downs. In Runaway Bay N (Kevin Cummings) took early command from post two and set down even early fractions; reaching the half in :58.3. As they rounded the second turn and headed up the backstretch Upfront Countryboy (Billy Davis Jr.) came first-over with Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) on his back and both tried to push the issue from there. Moving to the three-quarters Upfront Countryboy's bid stalled, forcing Iyq Yqr to go three-wide. When In Runaway Bay N tripped the timer there in 1:27.1 he seemed to be pacing stronger as the outside bid from both horses failed. The only challenge left would be from Dark Horse (Shawn McDonough) who had been sitting the pocket trip and was game to take his best shot. But as the race headed down the stretch In Runaway Bay N opened up two-lengths on everyone and paced home sharply to win in 1:55.2. In Runaway Bay N ($6.90) is owned by Mark Jakubik and trained by Angelo Nappo. The 8-year-old altered son of Mach Three has had a stellar year scoring eight wins and earning $66,125 in purses to date, Golden Gun (Josh Kinney) came from well off the pace in the $9,900 Open II undercard and out-muscled Western Rockstar A (Shawn McDonough) and Sunset Sid (Denny Bucceri) at the wire to win in 1:57.2. Owned by the Whiz Kids Stable, the Jeff Sorenson trained Golden Gun ($4.80) scored his eighth win of the year and raised his earnings total to $38,550 for 2018. Kevin Cummings scored a driving Hat Trick on Saturday leading all drivers on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday with post time for the first race at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Another sloppy track greeted participants for Friday night's (Nov. 30) harness racing card but it was no impediment for Empire Earl N who double-moved to victory in the $11,500 Open handicap trot at Batavia Downs. Leaving from post four, Empire Earl N (Drew Monti) tucked second behind Crystal Sphere (Billy Davis Jr.) who led the field to the half in :59.1. At that station the outside train came with Labatt Hanover (Shawn McDonough) on the engine and post time favorite Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) third-over in the caboose, As the group motored up the backside Fisher grew impatient and pulled Lougazi three-wide to try and sweep the field. But several steps into that move Lougazi made a break and the whole raced changed right there. Empire Earl N now had room to come off the pylons and Monti got him rolling around the last turn. After drawing next to Crystal Sphere, Empire Earl N continued right on by and under mild urging, opened up a length lead to win in 1:58.3. Now boasting $84,854 in earnings on the strength of nine wins this year, the 10-year-old Empire Earl N ($12.40) is having a career year for wins, earnings and mark for owner Kim Asher and trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. In the $8,800 Open II trot, Are You In (Kevin Cummings) turned a second-over trip past the half into a winning three-wide move at the top of the stretch where he passed Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) down the lane to win his fourth race of the year, timed in 2:00. Are You In ($5.40) is owned by Anthony Alessi and is trained by his driver, Kevin Cummings. Shawn McDonough had a huge driving triple on Friday, lighting up the board with two of the wins. He scored with Heza Swan ($60.00), Raylan Givens ($6.50) and Back To Motown ($26.80). With no winning ticket on the early Pick-5 on Friday, there is a carry-over of $570 and a guaranteed pool of $1,500 for the early Pick-5 on Saturday evening (Dec.1) when racing resumes at Batavia Downs. Post time for the first race at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs has announced today that a new late-closer series for horses that have raced at the haness racing track this year will be offered in December. "The Dash for Holiday Cash" is for horses that are non-winners of $20,000 in 2018 as of Tuesday (Nov. 27) with at least 10 starts at Batavia Downs and five of those starts must have been for a purse of $5,200 or less since Wednesday (July 25). There is no entry fee for this series. Eliminations will be held on Saturday (Dec. 8) for a purse of $6,000. The final will be on Saturday (Dec. 15) and will offer a purse of $20,000. There will also be a consolation on Saturday (Dec. 15) and they will vie for $8,000. The eliminations will go with six or more horses with no more than two horses per owner or trainer. The finals will go with eight horses with no more than two horses per owner or trainer. There will be one also-eligible drawn for the final. Horses will advance from the eliminations to the finals based on the horses placement in the eliminations, fastest time in the eliminations and most money made in 2018. The series will be on the regular condition sheet for the respective Saturdays and regular entry rules will apply. For any inquiries about this series please contact Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6304. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Trounced would be kind; annihilated would be accurate. Sportsmuffler took the best local harness racing mares to task at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Nov. 28) and taught school after winning by open-lengths going away in the $10,400 Open Handicap fillies and mares pace. Billy Davis Jr. wasted no time getting the lead off the gate and started a gapped journey immediately. After getting to the half in :58.1 over the sloppy track in a snow-globe, Sportsmuffler strode-away to a three-length lead when she hit three-quarters in 1:27. And then after rounding the far turn, she was gone. As she spiraled out the final bend and hit the straight Sportsmuffler was in a race against time alone as no one was even near her. With Davis a mere passenger, Sportsmuffler continued to widen her advantage, eventually stretching it to eight at the wire where she was the easiest of winners in 1:56.1. It was the 10th victory of the year for Sportsmuffler ($2.80) who has now earned $69,306 for owner Rose Campbell. Steve Kiblin does the training. In the $8,800 fillies and mares Open II, Susie's Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) led from gate to wire, taking advantage of pedestrian fractions to the three-quarters to close out the contest with a one-length victory in 1:59.4. Ryan Swift trains the winner for the Swift Racing Stable. Billy Davis Jr. also won two other races on the card Wednesday giving him the Hat Trick to lead all drivers. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Nov. 30) with post time set for 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- After finishing fourth last week while being parked out the whole mile, Iyq Yqr rebounded Saturday night (Nov. 24) with a come-from-behind effort to win the $11,500 Open Handicap harness racing pace at Batavia Downs. There were no leavers this week when the gate released the group, leaving In Runaway Bay (Kevin Cummings) in charge of the fractions and as such, they went to the quarter in :29.2 and the half in :58.4. Cummings breather ended there though as Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) was out and rolling at that point and was looking for revenge. Iyq Yqr moved forward methodically and drew near In Runaway Bay by the three-quarter pole. These two hooked up around the last turn, matching strides and pacing in unison. At the head of the stretch Iyq Yqr got the lead and drew clear to a length advantage that he held to the wire where he won in 1:56.2. It was the eighth win of the year for Iyq Yqr ($8.30) who has now earned $34,451 this year for owners Blindswitch Racing Stable, Anthony Nicometo, Good Friends Racing Stable and Santo Farina. Jeff Amann trains the winner. In the $9,900 Open II pace Dark Horse (Shawn McDonough) made a three-wide move from fourth at the three-quarters to draw alongside of the leading Sunset Sid (Denny Bucceri) around the last turn before going right on by in mid-stretch to win by a length in 1:57.1. Having a career year, Dark Horse ($9.40) now has six wins and $54,696 earned for owner VHF Racing and trainer Sabrina Clevenger. Drew Monti and Denny Bucceri led all drivers on Saturday scoring three wins each on the 13-race card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 28) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Southern Palms has been knocking on the door the past two weeks in Batavia Downs top harness racing trot, but Friday night (Nov. 23) he kicked that door down and dethroned Lougazi in winning the $11,500 Open Handicap trot. Crystal Sphere (Billy Davis Jr.) and Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) both left from mid-pack and settled on the front in that same order. After doing one lap in :58.1 the outer flow came at them with last week's winner Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) sitting third in the three-horse outside assault. As the two-tiers past the five-eighths, Crystal Sphere and Southern Palms had separated from the field and Fisher tipped three-deep around the stalled outer advance, but he was still six-lengths from the front at the three-quarters in 1:27.4. Heading into the lane Cummings pulled Southern Palms and took dead-aim at Crystal Sphere, passing that one halfway down the stretch. But he still had to deal with Lougazi who was flying down the middle of the track and looked like he might reach. But Southern Palms got to the wire first and won by a head in 1:57. It was the eighth win of the year for Southern Palms ($15.60) who has now banked $66,441 in earnings this year for owner Mike Torcello. Western New York racing legend Gerry Sarama trains the winner. The $8,800 Open II trot was won by Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) who tracked the front-running Lenny Mac (Billy Davis Jr.) from the garden spot the entire mile before pulling at the head of the lane and out-trotting her to the wire to win by a head in 1:58.1. It was the fourth win of the year for Barn Winner ($5.90) who is trained by Ryan Swift for owners Tanah Merah Farm and the Swift Racing Stable. Drew Monti and Billy Davis Jr. led all drivers on Friday with two wins each on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Nov. 24) with post time at 6 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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