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Batavia, NY --- Harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr. hit another milestone in his illustrious career after he steered Love The Dragon ($3.00) to victory in the third race at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 21) to reach 7,500 wins lifetime. In his typical style, Morrill went right to the front, rated a perfect mile and was a wrapped-up winner in 1:58.3. To date, Jim Morrill Jr. now has 40,273 starts with 7,500 wins, 6,220 seconds and 5,152 thirds with $108,289,933 in earnings. Morrill currently sits 13th in North America for UDR with a mark of .380. At the current Batavia Downs meet, Morrill is the leading driver with 86 wins, $426,956 in purse money and a UDR of .381. Morrill made his first start driving for his father at Foxboro Park in 1984. The family's operation eventually moved to Rosecroft Raceway where Morrill started getting many catch drives and soon found himself in high demand. In 1990 Morrill went to New York and started driving for Ray Schnittker and George Anthony at Yonkers Raceway and with much success achieved there, decided that move would be long term. During his time competing at the New York/New Jersey circuit Morrill recalled his most memorable race as being the 2004 Meadowlands Pace where Holborn Hanover was a 58-1 upset winner in 1:49 to equal the stake mark. After 15 years of driving at the highest level, Morrill left the metropolitan area in 2005 and relocated his family and business to western New York and since arriving has not only been at the very top of the driver colony on that circuit, but also an annual dominant force in the New York Sire Stakes. In 2006 at Batavia Downs, Morrill set the all-time driving standard for the track with 177 wins and a UDR of .537 for one meet. Long Train Runnin showed a lot of heart and determination as he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the $8,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 21).  Long Train Runnin (Shawn McDonough) got away third as Stratosphere (Drew Monti) took the scratch-shortened, single-file field to the half in :58. As they passed that station, Long Train Runnin was already out first-over and moving fast towards the leader as they proceeded into the clubhouse turn.  Moving towards three-quarters, Stratosphere and Long Train Runnin were pacing side-by-side and had broken away from the pack by three lengths on the strength of a :27.3 third panel. As they were rounding the final bend, Stratosphere pulled clear and opened up a length advantage heading into the stretch. But the relentless urging of McDonough reinvigorated Long Train Runnin who found another gear and caught Stratosphere at the wire by a head in 1:54.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Long Train Runnin ($6.10) who has now earned $32,552 this year for owner WIlliam Emmons. Jim Clouser Jr. does the training. Emmons and Clouser teamed up again in the very next race to capture the $7,500 Open II Handicap with McSpidey (Jim Morrill Jr.) who went wire to wire by 2-¼ lengths in 1:54.4. It was also the fifth win for McSpidey ($2.40) who is now over $343,000 in lifetime bank.  Shawn McDonough had a huge night at Batavia on Saturday, driving four winners and sending two for pictures that he trained. McDonough steered the aforementioned Long Train Runnin, Are You In (1:58.2, $22.40), Santana Beach (1:56, $25.80) and Nesh Cruiser (1:58.1, $27.40), who he also trained along with PL Lester (1:54.3, $10.20).  Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 25) with post time at 5 p.m. and there will be a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for the Pick-5 on Wednesday. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages for races one through five will be available on the USTA and Batavia Downs websites early next week. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- It's the same old story, same old song and dance for Il Mago, who has been seemingly unbeatable of late at Batavia Downs. And there was no page turned as he took yet another $8,500 Open I Handicap harness racing  trot in Genesee County on Wednesday night (Nov. 18) over an off track that saw snow flurries earlier in the day. Jim Morrill Jr. took his usual spot on the point with Il Mago off the gate and cut fractions of :28.2 and :57.2 without any early challenges. But past the half, Cr Blazin Beauty (Dave McNeight III) came calling and would accompany the leader all the way to the wire. Cr Blazin Beauty trotted towards Il Mago up the backside and around the final turn and by the top of the stretch, the leader was in her sights. As the finish drew near it was clear Il Mago needed the line as Cr Blazin Beauty had now trotted alongside. But the 11-year-old Il Mago knows how to close the deal and he did once again, winning by a neck in 1:57.3. It was the third straight win and fifth in the last seven for Il Mago ($5.20) who is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama. The Morrill, Torcello and Sarama team collectively had the Hat Trick on Wednesday as Toothofthedragon (1:58, $4.20) and Concertina's Image (1:58.4, $6.80) also registered wins. In the undercard $7,500 Open II pace for fillies and mares, Wonderful World (Billy Davis Jr.) tripped-out behind Yankee Secret (Dave McNeight III) until the stretch where she pulled and paced away to a 1-3/4 length win in 1:56.4. Wonderful World ($11.00) is owned by Mike Carrubba and her trainer, Sabrina Shaw. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 21) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Percy's Z Tam fought off a pair of challenges in the mile en route to winning the $8,500 Open I Handicap harness racing pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 14). When the gate released race, no one left and they headed around the first turn in post position order. Seeing the opportunity, Jim Morrill Jr. tipped Percy's Z Tam from third and took the front by the quarter in :28 and from there, he controlled the remainder of the contest. After coasting to the half at his own pace, the competition then headed his way as Tullow N (Ray FIsher Jr.) and Stratosphere (Drew Monti) came in the outer flow in the third turn in pursuit of the leader. Heading towards three-quarters, Percy's Z Tam turned back the outside threat but Long Train Runnin (Shawn McDonough) who was tripping out to this point, was poised to take his best shot. That came at the top of the stretch where McDonough pulled Long Train Runnin and started to drive hard. He made up ground all the way to the wire but he could not get by Percy's Z Tam, who hung on by a neck to win in 1:54.1. It was the seventh victory of the year for Percy's Z Tam ($6.50) and it pushed his earnings to $59,235 for owner Mike Torcello. Gerry Sarama trains the winner. In the $7,500 Open II pace, Thor De Vie (Dave McNeight III) grabbed the lead at the quarter, turned back a strong third quarter challenge from Barry Hanover (Kyle Cummings) and then out-paced the pocket sitting McSpidey (Jim Morrill Jr.) down the lane to capture his sixth win of the year in 1:55.2. Thor De Vie ($3.10) is owned by his trainer Jim Graham along with Lee Winters, Paul Tandlmayer and Giuseppe Micchia. Dave McNeight III had three other winners on the card giving him the driving Grand Slam. Besides Thor De Vie, he also won with Myell's Rockstar (1:55.3, $10.20), Falcon's Luke (1:59.3, $12.00) and Charmbo Orbit (1:55.4, $41.20). Another winning combination was driver Jim Morrill Jr., trainer Gerry Sarama and owner Mike Torcello who sent three winners to post Saturday night. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 18) with post time at 5 p.m. And since there was no Pick-5 winner on Saturday, there is a carry over of $1,157 and a guaranteed pool of $5,000 for the Pick-5 on Wednesday. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages for races one through five will be available on the USTA and Batavia Downs websites early next week. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The Wednesday evening (Nov. 11) racing menu at Batavia Downs featured a pair of $8,500 Open I handicap harness racing events that produced definitive winners on both the pace and the trot and also saw the meet's second winningest driver, Billy Davis Jr., win five races on the card. In the handicap pace for fillies and mares, Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) took the lead and was pushed through blistering early fractions of :27 and :55.4 by Tellawoman (Dave McNeight III). But the feverish tempo to the half only gave way to a fantastic finish by Protect Blue Chip, who kicked away by three lengths around the last turn and stretched that out to five at the wire where she won handily in 1:55.3. It was the fifth win of the year for Protect Blue chip ($4.10) who is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock and is trained by Maria Rice. Later in the handicap trot, Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) bolted to a 3-1/2 length advantage at the quarter, extended that to five open at the half and stretched it out to six at the head of the stretch. From there he closed out the mile on top by three in 1:57. For Il Mago ($7.70) it was the seventh win of the year and 53rd lifetime and the winner's share of the purse pushed his career earnings in excess of $891,000. Mike Torcello owns the Gerry Sarama trained son of Kadabra-Northern Style. Billy Davis Jr. had a monster night, winning five races on the card including a natural Hat Trick in races one through three. Besides the already mentioned Protect Blue Chip, Davis scored with Hey Sweetie (1:56.3, $14.00), Babylon's Bridge (1:59.4, $4.00), Aunt Betty (1:58.3, $7.30) and Kredit Karma (2:00.2, $12.80). Three of Davis's winners were trained by Maria Rice and she led all conditioners on Wednesday as a result. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 14) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Fresh off a late closing victory in the top pace at Batavia Downs last week, Mr. Euroman N found himself right back in the winner's circle once again after capturing the $8,500 Open I Handicap pace at the Downs on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 7). M. Euroman N (Billy Davis Jr.) got away fourth as Tullow N (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the lead by the quarter and then paced smartly to the half in :57. At that point Davis had Mr. Euroman N out and moving first-over into the third turn and drew alongside Tullow N by the three-quarters. Davis and Fisher then commenced rocking and knocking around the far turn with Mr. Euroman N getting an advantage heading down the lane that he would keep all the way to the line where he won by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.3. It was the third Open I win in the last four stars for Mr. Euroman N ($4.80) and owners Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner. The $7,500 Open II pace went to Stratosphere (Drew Monti) who dropped down from Open I company this week and led throughout the entire mile before holding off the tripped-out Percy's Z Tam (Jim Morrill Jr.) at the light to win by a neck in 1:54.1. It was the sixth win of the year for Stratosphere ($5.80) who is owned by his driver and trained by Darrin Monti. Billy Davis Jr., Drew Monti and Jim Morrill Jr. all had three driving wins on Saturday while trainers Darrin Monti, Jerry Nugent Jr., Gerry Sarama and Lee Dahn all had two wins apiece. When racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 11) there will be a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for the Pick-5 wager that day. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages will be available courtesy of Trackmaster on both the USTA and Batavia Downs website early next week. Post time for Wednesday is set at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- One came from behind and one led all the way, but both were the best in their harness racing class at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Nov. 4). The $8,500 Open I Handicap trot was won by Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) who got away a gapped fifth while Daylon Phantom (Dan Yetman) took an unchallenged lead to the half in :58.2. There, Before I Die (Jim McNeight Jr.) pulled first over with an advancing Lougazi on his tail. Positions remained the same up the backside and around the far turn until Lougazi tipped three-deep at the top of the stretch and the pocket-sitting Majestic Kat (Billy Davis Jr.) found room inside and shot through. Four pylons from the wire, Lougazi and Majestic Kat passed Daylon Phantom and then hit the line together in 1:58.4. After the photo, Lougazi got the nod and came back for his picture.   It was the fourth win of the year for Lougazi ($8.10) who made his first start in almost a month for owner Mary Warriner. Ryan Swift is the trainer. Then in the Open II pace for fillies and mares, Tellawoman (Jim Morrill Jr.) led every step of the mile, tripping the timers in :28.4, :58 and 1:26.3 before turning for home and hitting the line on top by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:55.4. It was the third straight win and fourth out of the last five for Tellawoman ($3.10) who is owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Russell Bratt. Tellawoman winning in 1:55.4 Ray Fisher Jr. led all drivers on Wednesday as he registered a hat trick. Also Jim Morrill Jr., Billy Davis Jr. and Drew Monti, who are currently the top three dash drivers of the meet in that order, all had two wins. On the conditioning side, 12 different trainers accounted for the night’s 12 winners. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Nov. 7) with post time at 1:15 p .m. The early start is due to the Breeders Cup races.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Harness racing driver Dave McNeight III has been on a tear of late at Batavia Downs and he stayed scary-good on Saturday (Oct. 31) as he won five races on the matinee card. He scored with Thor De Vie (1:54, $3.20), Barry Hanover (1:55, $10.40), Daylight Rush (1:55.2, $3.80), This Baby Rocks (1:57.3, $41.20) and In Runaway Bay N (1:56.1, $4.10). McNeight currently sits in fourth place in the driving race but has been gaining a lot of ground lately. In the last six cards of racing McNeight has won 16 races. The top race of the day was the $8,500 Open I Handicap pace and after not seeing the starting gate for 21 days, Mr. Euroman N made his return to action a triumphant one after a late stretch rush to grab the feature win. Mr. Euroman N (Billy Davis Jr.) got away sixth while Percy's Z Tam (Jim Morrill Jr.) barked the orders on the front end wIth horses in single file behind. They hit the quarter in :27,3 and the half in a slow :58.1. Heading up the backside, Mr. Euroman N was still sixth while only McSpidey (Denny Bucceri) pulled to make a bid. Around the last turn McSpidey faded and Percy's Z Tam looked a likely winner. But when they straightened for home, Stratosphere (Drew Monti) found room up the pylons, Tullow N (Shawn McDonough) tipped outside and Mr. Euroman N shook loose from mid-pack and went four-wide and when the four horses hit the wire, Mr. Euroman N was the best by a nose in 1:55.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Mr. Euroman N ($15.00) who is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner. BIlly Davis Jr., who currently sits second in the driver standings, also had a big day in the bike after he registered a grand slam on the card. Aside from winning the feature, his four scores were capped with a victory by the venerable 13-year-old pacer Expensive Toy (Camotion-Costly Toy) who went gate to wire in 1:58 to capture the 50th win of his long career. After having made 290 career starts, Expensive Toy has 50 wins, 52 seconds and 46 thirds with earnings of $468,848. Expensive Toy is owned and trained by Sabrina Shaw. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 4) at 5 p.m. There will be another guaranteed Pick-5 pool of $3,000 on Wednesday and it will again be part of the USTA's Strategic Wagering Program with free program pages available on both USTA and Batavia Downs websites starting early next week. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Just a reminder that Batavia Downs will host the first of two matinee cards today, Saturday (Oct. 31), with a 1:15 p.m. post time. This afternoon's card features 13 races including the weekly $8,500 Open I Handicap pace. The second matinee will be next Saturday (Nov. 7) also with a 1:15 p.m. post time due to the Breeders Cup races. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- On a damp Wednesday evening (Oct. 28) at Batavia Downs, a pair of $8,500 Opens produced runaway harness racing winners while the meet's third winningest driver inched closer towards the leaders. The night opened up with the fillies and mares Open I Handicap where Tellawoman (Jim Morrill Jr.) left with the gate and led at every point of the mile. After escorting the short field of five to the half in :58, Morrill stepped on the gas and Tellawoman sped away in a :28.1 third panel, stretching out to a 3-1/2 length lead at the point. As they rounded the last turn Tellawoman kept on going and kicked-away to a 5-3/4 length advantage at the wire in 1:56.1. It was the third win in the last four starts for Tellawoman ($8.00) who is owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Russell Bratt. Later in the program, Morrill also won the co-featured Open I Handicap trot with Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) who was utterly peerless this night. Il Mago left and established a six length lead at the quarter in :27.2. He extended that to 12 lengths at the half in :56 and 15-lengths by three-quarters in 1:25.2. Morrill had Il Mago wrapped up at that point and he just sauntered across the wire by 6-3/4 lengths in 1:57.4. It was the sixth win of the year for Il Mago ($4.20) and owner Mike Torcello. Gerry Sarama trains the venerable 11-year-old who has now won 52 races lifetime. Driver Drew Monti won five races on the card including a natural hat trick in races five through seven. Monti scored with Lucky Guess (2:01.2, $5.00), Keystone Keen (1:57.2, $4.70), Barn Beast (1:59, $11.00), Mean Pauline (1:58.1, $5.40) and Carly Girl (1:57, $5.00). Monti currently has 57 wins and sits in third place behind the leading Jim Morrill Jr. who has 70 wins and Billy Davis Jr. who is second with 61 wins after tonight. Kevin Cummings led all trainers on Wednesday winning three races during the proceedings. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 31) with a special Halloween matinee post time of 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Heavily backed at the windows, Black Is Back delivered for his harness racing supporters after going gate to wire in the $8,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 24). The red-hot Dave McNeight III pushed the car away with Black Is Back and took the point passing the quarter in :28 and led a single file field to the half from there. Rounding turn two, McSpidey (Denny Bucceri) and Cultural Paradise (Kyle Cummings) pulled into the breeze and prompted the third quarter to a snappy 1:25.2. Rounding the last turn, Cultural Paradise tipped three deep, Percy's Z Tam (Jim Morrill Jr.) went four wide around him and McSpidey shook loose from the pylons and all five horses were charging down the lane. With a highly animated group of drivers doing their best to get there first, McNeight and Black Is Back refused to lose and hung on by ½ length in 1:54.4. It was the seventh win of the year for Black Is Back ($2.80) who is owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zedjelar Sr. Mihajlo Zedjelar Jr. trains the winner. The $7,500 Open II Handicap pace went to Machlicious (Drew Monti) who got away fourth before pulling first-over at the half, taking the lead at the three-quarters and then maintaining a 1½ length lead to the wire where he won in 1:55.2. Machlicious ($5.10) captured his third win in his last four starts for owner Jim Caradori and trainer Darrin Monti. Dave McNeight III led all drivers on Saturday with driving Grand Slam but Ron Beback Jr. had a big night as well, winning three races as both a driver and a trainer. There was a $5,000 guaranteed Pick-5 pool at Batavia Downs on Saturday that paid out big. The winning combination of 6-3-5-5-4 returned $6,065 for a $1 wager. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 28) at 5 p.m. There will be another guaranteed Pick-5 pool of $3,000 on Wednesday and it will again be part of the USTA's Strategic Wagering Program with free program pages available on both USTA and Batavia Downs websites starting early next week. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Western New York racing legend and former Grand Circuit driving star Gerry Sarama reached another harness racing career milestone after getting his 1,000th training victory with Ohio Prince in the 12th race at Batavia Downs. Sarama has been around the sport his entire life as his father owned and raced horses. He started driving at an early age and quickly found himself at the top of the driver colony in western New York and won many driving titles at Batavia Downs. Sarama made a move to Roosevelt Raceway in the late 1970’s and successfully competed with the best in the nation on the biggest stage at the time, racing side by side with the likes of Carmine Abbatiello, Herve Filion, Billy Haughton and all the other great New York City reinsmen of that era. But he eventually found his way back to his roots and continued to be at the top of his game ever since. The one constant of Sarama’s career regardless of what track he was competing at, he was always a highly sought after catch driver.    During his driving career, the now 78-year-old Sarama amassed 2630 wins and bankrolled $11.5 million dollars. But he curtailed that activity in 2007 and turned his attention to training full time. Since doing so Sarama has found as much success in the jog cart as he did in the sulky. He currently oversees about 14 horses and since taking over conditioning duties full time, his stable has won in excess of $5.6 million. During his entire training career Sarama has made 6,153 starts with 1,000 wins, 931 seconds and 843 thirds giving him a .292 UTR. The entire staff at Batavia Downs as well as all our horsemen would like to congratulate “The man with the hands” Mr. Gerry Sarama on this accomplishment.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- A rain-soaked track greeted horsemen for the night’s proceedings at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 21) but stellar harness racing performances were still on display, especially by top class winners Before I Die and Tellawoman. A scratch-shortened field of six horses went to post in the $8,500 Open I Handicap trot and the race turned into a tale of two races. Chapter one was Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) who screamed off the gate and sped away to an eight-length lead at the half in :58 and looked like a walk-over tonight. At that same station, Before I Die (Jim McNeight Jr.) was sitting fourth and 11 lengths in arrears. Chapter two was when McNeight pulled Before I Die at the five-eighths and started making tracks towards the leader and doing it in a timely fashion. At the three-quarters Il Mago’s lead was down to four and diminishing with every stride while Before I Die was in full gear. When they hit the top of the lane Il Mago was digging in and determined to win, but Before I Die wrote his own ending by a head; winning in 1:58.2. It was the second top class victory this year at Batavia Downs for Before I Die ($8.70) and his owners Caren and Jamie Dubay, the latter who also trains the winner. Then in the $8,500 Open I Handicap for for pacing fillies and mares, HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) led the field to the half in :27.4 but when Bucceri tapped the brakes in a :30.1 second panel, Morrill pulled Tellawoman and took control by the five-eight’s pole. As soon as he did, Bucceri came right back out with HP Sissy and rode alongside the leader with Yankee Secret (Dave McNeight III) now traveling three deep. Heading into the stretch HP Sissy faded and Carly Girl (Drew Monti) was trying to get out between her and Tellawoman while Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) was also now flying down the stretch. When they hit the wire four horses were only a length apart in very close quarters and after an objection and two inquiries (none of which were allowed) Tellawoman won in 1:57, only 1/2 length ahead of Lady Dudette and HP Sissy who dead-heated for second. It was the second win in the last three starts for Tellawoman ($7.10) and owner Rose Campbell. Russell Bratt trains the winner. Jim Morrill Jr. and Drew Monti topped all drivers with three winners each on the night while trainers Sabrina Shaw, Kevin Cummings and Gerry Sarama tied for top conditioning honors with two apiece. With no winner in the Pick-5 wager on Wednesday there is a $2,152 carry-over pool that will move to Saturday (Oct.24) and it has been announced that there will be a guaranteed pool of $5,000 for the Pick-5 wager that day. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages will be available courtesy of Trackmaster on the Batavia Downs and USTA websites. The Pick-5 wager begins in race one and runs through race five. It is a 50-cent base wager and if all five winners aren’t selected, any carryover pool will be moved to the Pick-5 wager on the following Wednesday (Oct. 28) program. Post time for the first race Saturday is 5 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Although it was a short field after the scratch of Mr. Euroman, Cultural Paradise was grossly overlooked and ended up putting regret in the wallets of those who ignored him after he handily won the $8,500 Open I Handicap harness racing pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 17). As Stratosphere (Drew Monti) and Manceiver (Denny Bucceri) traded leads going to the half, Cultural Paradise (Kyle Cummings) stayed third on the pylons, chasing the pace. Positions remained unchanged in the abbreviated five-horse group by the half and to the three-quarters where Cultural Paradise tipped out and started to move towards the front. Halfway through the last turn, Cultural Paradise cleared Manceiver and opened up by 1-3/4 lengths down the lane and hit the light first in 1:54.1 at 19-1. For Cultural Paradise ($36.00) it was the fifth win of the year, all taken in his last seven starts. Don Rothfuss trains for owner Howard Ouriel. In the $7,500 Open II pace, Beachy Dream (Jim Morrill Jr.) followed PC's Expresso (Dave McNeight III) for 7/8th's of a mile before pulling the pocket at the top of the stretch and out-sprinting him to the line for a one-length victory in 1:55. The ultra-consistent Beachy Dream ($2.60) is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama. Shawn McDonough had a busy combined night, winning two races as a driver and three races as a trainer. Individually, Kyle Cummings had a driving hat trick with Jim Morrill Jr. scoring two wins and trainer Jim Clouser Jr. had two wins as well. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 21) at 5 p.m. when there will be a guaranteed $3,000 Pick-5 pool in race one. As part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program there will be free program pages for races one through five available early next week at the Batavia Downs and USTA websites. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The top class for both pacing mares and trotters were featured on the Wednesday (Oct. 14) card of racing at Batavia Downs and the public’s choice came through in both harness racing events. In the $8,500 Open I Handicap distaff pace, HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) got away fifth while Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) paced on the lead through five-eighths of the mile. That is where HP Sissy came calling first-up on the rim, drawing close to the leader at the three-quarters. Protect Blue Chip and HP Sissy then strode neck-and-neck around the far turn and into the stretch where HP Sissy started to inch away, clear and then hold off a late closing Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) to win in 1:55. HP Sissy ($5.40) scored her sixth win of the year for owner Finocchario’s Dream Stable and trainer Mike Ohol.   Then in the $8,500 Open I Handicap trot, CR Blazin Beauty (Ray Fisher Jr.) took a similar path to victory, getting away third behind Majestic Kat (Billy Davis Jr.) before tipping at the half and trotting unhurriedly outside the leader for the next three-eighths of a mile. At the head of the lane, CR Blazing Beauty just switched gears and sped away to a two-length advantage by mid-stretch and then just jogged home a winner in 1:57.2, which was a new seasonal mark. CR Blazin Beauty ($6.30) is owned by Marissa Russo and is trained by David Russo. Drivers Dave McNeight III and Drew Monti both scored Hat Tricks on Wednesday while trainer Rose Russo did so as well on the conditioning side. Triple Sticks and Drivin’ Drew are the two hottest drivers at the Downs over the last five days, winning 14 and 13 races respectively. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 17) at 5 p.m.    By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- After just missing the win in this same race just last week, Black Is Back got the job done on Saturday night (Oct. 10) in the $8,500 Open harness racing pacing feature at Batavia Downs. Taking full advantage of the pylon position start, Black Is Back (Dave McNeight III) grabbed the lead by the quarter and took the field to the half in :57.3. By that time Stratosphere (Drew Monti) was rolling up the rim and moving towards the front. Black Is Back and Stratosphere battled up the backside, around the far turn and into the lane where Black Is Back put away the challenge and then held off a late charge by Mr. Euroman (BIlly Davis Jr.) to win by ¼ length in 1:54.3. It was the fourth win of the Batavia meet and sixth win overall this year for Black Is Back ($3.30) who is owned by Curtis Edhholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. trains the winner. In the $7,500 Open II pace, Manciever (Drew Monti) pulled first-over at the 3/8th's and took the lead from Santana Beach (Billy Davis Jr.) by the half and then kicked away to a 4-¾ length win in 1:54.1. Owned by Jeffrey Savidge and trained by Jennifer Giuliani, Manciever ($5.00) took a new seasonal mark in his third win of the year. Drew Monti had the hot hand in the sulky on Saturday winning five races on the card. He won with the aforementioned Manciever, Machlicious (1:54, $3.60), The Lunch Pail (1:55.2, $2.10), Thedoginthefight (1:57.4, $3.70) and Gallant Major (1:57.3, $7.20). Trainer Don Rothfuss led all conditioners with two wins on the night. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 14) and it was announced that there will be a guaranteed $3,000 pool in the Pick-5 wager that day. It will be part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program and as such, there will be free program pages for the first five races on Wednesday available on the Batavia Downs website and the USTA website starting on Monday. Post time for the first race will be 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- A pair of $8,500 Open events topped the harness racing card at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 7) and connoisseurs of the longshot were very happy with the outcome of both events. In the Open I Handicap pace for fillies and mares, Lady Dudette took the overland route to victory in a short but select field. HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) grabbed the lead and paced uncontested to the half in :57.1. Past the five-eighths, Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) pulled first-over from fifth and motored up towards the leader. The two mares were closely engaged by the three-quarters and around the last turn with neither giving way. At the top of the stretch Cummings asked for more and Lady Dudette came through. She paced away from HP Sissy and held off a late charging Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) to win by 3/4's of a length in 1:56.3. It was the seventh win of the year for Lady Dudette ($12.00) and her owner, driver Kyle Cummings. Tammy Cummings trains the winner. Then in the Open I trot, the tough-as-nails Il Mago looked his old self in a gate to wire win producing his second fastest clocking of the year. Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) took early control and put the field to bed. After clipping quarters of :28.3 and :57.3, Il Mago opened up a three length lead trotting up the backside and extended it to five by the time he hit the top of the lane. From there he got home by 3/4's of a length over a fast closing Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) and won in 1:56.4. It was the 51st lifetime win for Il Mago ($26.40) and it pushed his lifetime bankroll to a very impressive $880,638. The classy 11-year-old son of Kadabra-Northern Style is owned by Mike Torcello and is trained by Gerry Sarama. Jim Morrill Jr. pulled off a not often seen feat at Batavia Wednesday when he won four consecutive races. Starting in race seven, he won with Southern Palms (1:59, $7.10), Il Mago, Tellawoman (1.56, $5.60) and Sentimental Lady (1:57.1, $7.00). Races seven to 10 just happened to be the Pick-4 wager and the all-Morrill Pick-4 returned $930.00. Besides Morrill's four wins, Dave McNeight III had three wins while Billy Davis Jr. and Shawn McDonough each had two. McDonough also led all trainers on Wednesday with three wins while Russell Bratt, Rich Mays and Gerry Sarama all won two each. Sarama's pair brought his lifetime training win total up to 996, now just four shy of the 1,000 win plateau. There were no winners in the Pick-5 on Wednesday so the $1,462 carry-over pool will move to Saturday (Oct. 10) and Batavia Downs will be offering a $4,000 guaranteed pool through the USTA's Strategic Wagering program for that wager. Free program pages will be available for the first five races on Saturday at both the Batavia Downs and USTA websites starting on Thursday (Oct. 8). Post time for live racing on Saturday is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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