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Batavia, NY--- $110,000 is up for grabs in two divisions of New York Sire Stake action for freshman trotting colts and geldings on Wednesday night (Aug. 20) at Batavia Downs. The fourth race has seven horses going postward in the first division for $54,500 in purse money. Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art Of Deception) went wire to wire in his career debut at Buffalo Raceway in a sparkling time of 1:59.3, which set a new track record. That win at Buffalo makes him one of only two horses in the race to be victorious over a half-mile track. He then won at Tioga before finishing third at Yonkers. After being scratched sick on August 2, Driver Michael Mc Givern elected to race the colt from behind rather than on the point like had all year. Assuming he needed that start after his 17 day layoff, Royal Deceptor has a great chance to rebound here with his early speed from post five for trainer Cheryl Mc Givern. Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) has been spectacular on bigger tracks this year for trainer George Ducharme, but has had his challenges over the half-mile ovals. In his last four starts he has set two consecutive lifetime marks at Tioga Downs (1:57.4) and Vernon Downs (1:56) but in between has made breaks off the gate at Yonkers and Monticello Raceway. Regular driver Chris Lems will try to make him behave from the rail to get his third victory of the year. Pier Ho Exotic (Conway Hall-Rose Run Exotic) has had just the opposite history. He made breaks at Tioga and Vernon but has a win at Buffalo Raceway in 2:01, a second at Yonkers and a fifth at Monticello after being parked out most of the mile. Pier Ho Exotic is the other horse in the race to win over a half-mile track and John Cummings Jr. will once again be on board from post two for trainer Megan Wilson. The second $55,500 division is carded as race eight and has eight starters. It also features a battle between the top point's leaders for this sex and gait. Gabe The Bear Dean (Lucky Chucky-Madam Hooch) had a flawless performance last week at Monticello Raceway when he went gate to wire in 1:58.4. The four and three-quarter length victory was his fourth in six starts and boosted his earnings to $74,119 for the year. Trainer/driver Ray Schnittker will have to overcome post six in the full field of eight but has the gate speed to do it. Mambo Blue Chip (Lucky Chucky-Flirty Two) has been nearly flawless for trainer Linda Toscano his last four starts, winning three and finishing second by only half a length. Those victories helped bank his $68,169 for the year and leave him tied with Gabe The Bear Dean atop the NYSS leaderboard for 2-year-old trotting colts with 183 points. Mambo Blue Chip has Jeff Gregory aboard from the rail and that puts him in the perfect spot for his stalking style. Insomniac (Crazed-Catch Some Z's) has a win and two seconds since coming into the Paul Kelley stable on July 19 and that includes a 1:56.4 lifetime mark at Vernon Downs. In his other two starts he was narrowly defeated by today's favorites, Gabe The Bear Dean at Yonkers in 1:58.3 and Mambo Blue Chip at Monticello in 1:59.3. Jason Bartlett who has driven Insomniac for most of the year is aboard again, looking to avenge those defeats. There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series on the card with total purses amounting to $38,000. The most closely contested of those is the tenth race where Crashana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) is coming off back-to-back three length victories and is set to go against Lucky Budd (Lucky Chucky-Britt's Spirit) who also has back-to-back victories going into tonight. Both horses scored their wins on the same nights at the same tracks, but raced in different divisions. They also both sport 1:57.3 lifetime marks at Vernon Downs. Looking to play spoiler is Titanium (Conway Hall-Classic Yankee) who dropped into Excelsior action from the NYSS last week to collar his first win of the year at Monticello in 2:01.2, the same night Crashana and Lucky Budd raced and won. Facing these two for the first time and drawing inside them, Titanium will look to become the dominant trotter in this series tonight. Post time for the first race is 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Leading first-season trotting sire Lucky Chucky has been represented by the two highest ranked two-year-old colts in the rich New York Sire Stakes program this year. The leading pair are Gabe The Bear Dean ($74,119) and Mambo Blue Chip ($68,169), who both won NYSS divisions at Monticello Raceway on August 11. A few days earlier Lucky Chucky sired a further two NYSS winners in the two-year-old fillies Dancewithme Chuck and Luck Follows Me, who captured $32,700 races at Saratoga, while another Lucky Chucky filly, Nunkeri, won a $27,750 division of the NYSS at Batavia Downs on Sunday (August 17). The 2010 USA Trotter of the Year Lucky Chucky, whose first crop has earned more than $450,000 to date, can be accessed through Stallions Australasia representatives Daren and Gayle Garard and Greg Ryan. His service fee is $5,500 including GST in Australia and $5,000 plus GST in New Zealand. From Stallions Australasia

Barn Doll got off to a slow start but she finished first and fastest of four divisions of New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies on Sunday (Aug. 17) at Batavia Downs. After getting away a gapped fourth, Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) and driver Jeff Gregory watched as Jim Morrill Jr.'s Pig Hunt cut out speedy fractions of :29 and :59.3, while pulling just before that second station. After starting the outer flow, Barn Doll slowly advance towards the leader as they hit the three-quarters in 1:30 flat. Once being eased around the last turn, Gregory got the filly in gear and she simply out-motored the rest to win in an impressive 1:59.4. Summers Windsong (Ray Schnittker) who followed Pig Hunt the whole race was second and My Lucky Word (Mark MacDonald) closed outside to be third. The winner paid $4.70. This was the fifth win in seven starts for the Steve Pratt trained Barn Doll who has now earned $70,712 on the year for owners Steve and Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stable. She is the current point's leader in the NYSS standings for her gait and sex. Nunkeri (Lucky Chucky-Laverne Lavec) won the second fastest division, going wire-to-wire in 2:01. After leaving hard to grab the lead, Mark MacDonald then grabbed leather to perfectly rate the game trotter through fractions of :30.1, 1:01.1, 1:31.4 before flying home in a brisk :29.1 to register the win. Betcha (Dan Daley) was second and Northern Obsession (Ray Schnittker) was third. Nunkeri paid $3.50. Nunkeri is owned by Millstream Inc. and the Nunkeri Stable and is trained by Jonas Czernyson. This was her second win in five starts in 2014 and brings her bank up to $49,825. Kaliska (Credit Winner-Armbro Vivian) also won her division in 2:01 but had to do it amidst an overabundance of road trouble. At the start of the race, Duolectra (Mark MacDonald) made a break which allowed Kaliska to inherit a quick lead. That lead was subsequently challenged by Summer Scent (Dan Daley) to the quarter in :30.2. Once she cleared, Kaliska and Ray Schnittker followed close behind while watching Concentration (Chris Lems), Frou Frou (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Spell That (Sam Schillaci) make breaks at various points of the mile. Once pulled, Kaliska out-dueled Summer Scent to the wire to win by almost two lengths. Kaliska returned $15.00 to win. The victory was the second of the year for Kaliska and pushed her earnings to $44,957 for owners Tom Spatorico, the Pepin Stable, Farm Alber Horse Racing LLC and Ray Schnittker, who is also her trainer. In the fourth split, Zanna Blu (RC Royalty-Zann's Fan) proved dominant in what became a very short field very fast. With an early scratch and Miss B'ville J (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Hot Start (Mark MacDonald) making breaks before the eighth pole, Zanna Blu found herself with a commanding lead and only three contenders behind her. Driver Gates Brunet took her through fractions of :30.3, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1 with a five-length lead, before shutting her down with a line-drive to a length and three-quarter win in 2:01.1. She returned $6.90 to her backers. This was the third win in six starts for Zanna Blu and her owners Albert Crawford, Michelle Crawford and James Crawford. The winners share pushed the Gates Brunet trained filly's cash total to $47,176 for 2014. There were also two divisions of the Excelsior series on the card. Meshugana Miss (Crazed-Darling Marissa) who was driven by Mark MacDonald won the first $12,600 division in 2:00.4 for owner/trainer Janice Conner. Long Summer (Prayer I Am-Summer Ran) driven by Jeff Gregory won the second $12,700 split in 2:04.2 for owner Roy Dobbins and trainer Andrew Byler. And Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie) was driven by Mark MacDonald and won the last $12,700 session in 2:02.4 for owners Steve and Nancy Pratt. Barn Girl is trained by Howard Okusko. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. registered his 6,000 career driving victory in a non-betting Excelsior B race with Ron's Coren in 2:04.1. Along with the wins, Morrill has pocketed purses totaling $87,659,175 during his career and annually remains one of the highest UDR reinsmen in the sport. Drivers Jeff Gregory and Mark MacDonald both scored driving triples on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 20) with post time at 6:35. The card features two divisions of the $110,000 New York Sires Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Vernon, NY --- Jack B. Bailey, 81, Vernon Downs' all-time harness racing driving champion, died Aug. 16, 2014, after a long illness.    Vernon Downs has lost a talented, dynamic driver and a legendary horseman. It’s the end of an era for a Hall of Fame horseman who reigned supreme during the years 1959-1978 and ranked among the Standard bred sport’s leaders in races won, fast miles and money earnings. In addition to his Vernon success, Mr. Bailey who began his harness career at the Downs in 1955, captured his initial Vernon championship in 1959.  The North Carolina-native went on to win driving titles at Hollywood Park in California, Washington Park in Illinois and at New York’s Batavia Downs. He remains Vernon’s all-time driving champion with 16 titles (12 percentages and four dash-winning).  He established a Vernon season’s high standard of 205 victories in 1977, which still stands. He was a member of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame and the Upstate New York Chapter of the U. S. Harness Writers’ Association Hall of Fame, as well as a multiple nominee to the sport's Hall of Fame in Goshen. His favorite horse was the pacer Bye Bye Max, who stood at stud at the Bailey Farm in Vernon following his outstanding racing career. He also stood the successful pacer J J’s Biltmore at the farm. Although racetrack injuries shortened Mr. Bailey’s brilliant career, he still managed to record 3,323 driving victories (currently ranked 205 on the sport’s all-time list).  He retired from active competition in the early 1990s. Mr. Bailey is survived by his wife, Madeline; sons, Jim (Tammi), Bill (Ann), Jeffrey (Amy), daughter, Jaclyn; grandchildren, Sheena, Nicole, Sarah, Jack, Phoenix, Leon, Ian, Jamie, Jim, one sister, Nancy Myers and several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Jack was predeceased by one son Jack L. and one daughter Deborah. Calling hours will be in Vernon at Malecki’s Funeral Home, 23 Front Street on Monday (Aug. 18) from 5-8 p.m., with burial on Tuesday (Aug. 19) at 11:30 a.m. in the area’s Maple Grove Cemetery. Jim Moran

Batavia, NY - After being parked three-deep through the first turn and never seeing the rail until hitting the quarter in :27.2, Fireyourguns led the rest of the field on a tour of the property as he was never headed en route to capturing the featured Open pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 16). Leaving from post seven in a full field of eight, driver Mike Caprio shot Fireyourguns off the gate and circled Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) and Best Ears (Jack Flanigen) who also rushed for the front. Those two seated by the eighth pole and Fireyourguns continued to overtake the early leader Art Two D Two (Don Rothfuss) to take command. After hitting the half in :55.3 and the three-quarters in 1:24, Best Ears popped out of third to try and challenge the leader, but after a valiant effort through the stretch the attempt came up short. Fireyourguns hung on for a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.1. Best Ears was second and a very fast-closing Rock N Roll Legend (Drew Monti) rallied from seventh to catch third. The victory was the tenth of the year for Fireyourguns and it brought his annual income up to $76,020 for owners Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terrance McClory, who also trains the horse. Batavia Downs held their first free handicapping contest Saturday that offered those who entered a chance to win their share of $1,500 in prize money. 225 people competed and after all the points were tallied, Nick Stranges of Lockport, NY won first place and $700. The other four winners were: second place ($400) William Smith of Corfu, NY, third place ($250) Fred Gundell of Pavilion, NY, fourth place ($100) Linda Marfione Churchville, NY and fifth place ($50) Larry Hughson Jr.-Albion, NY. Batavia Downs would like to congratulations to all the winners and thank all who participated. The next free handicapping challenge is on Saturday, September 20. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY - The stars of tomorrow will be on display Sunday (Aug. 17) in four divisions of the $110,000 New York Sire Stake 2-year-old filly trot at Batavia Downs. The first $27,250 NYSS division is programed as race two. Concentration (Conway Hall-Super Starlet) has five NYSS starts to date with two wins and two seconds. Her only miss was at Buffalo when she made a break off the gate from post eight and never got involved. Concentration's seasonal mark is 1:58.2 at Vernon Downs and she is currently second in points on the leader board for this series. She draws post three in here for driver Chris Lems and trainer George Ducharme. Summer Scent (Malabar Man-Summer Hit) is coming off her fastest race time of the year but was also unable to take advantage of a pocket trip to get a victory like she did the week before. She is a very capable trotter over the small track and her 2:00.3 victory at Yonkers is evidence of that. Summer Scent hasn't missed a check in sire stake action and that has put $31,464 in her bank. Driver Dan Daley can use his fillies closing ability to track what looks to be some fast early fractions. Frou Frou (Conway Hall-Nowerland Hana) has four lifetime starts and all four were in NYSS action. After winning the first at Vernon Downs in 1:58.1, she finished a fast closing second in her last two. The Tony Alagna trained trotter has gone off the prohibitive favorite in all of her starts and will look to return to that early winning form in this latest attempt for leading NYSS driver Jim Morrill Jr. Race four is the second division and they will vie for $27,750. Betcha (Cash Hall-Sienna) has been showing good form for trainer/driver Dan Daley all year. She has two wins and a second in five NYSS efforts with a lifetime mark of 1:59.4 at Tioga Downs. Her good work has put $41,393 on her card as well. She is third overall in points and has proven she can win both in front and from behind and can handle any size track. She once again draws an inside post (2) and looks to be a solid contender. Nunkeri (Lucky Chucky-Lavern Lavec) won her first lifetime start in NYSS action at Tioga Downs in 1:59.4 and subsequently has three consecutive second place finishes for her efforts. But two of those were in this series and she came up short to the top two points' leaders respectively in each start. Like Betcha, Nunkeri is a handy horse and can race from any spot in the field. Mark MacDonald, who sat behind her in her lone victory and who had a big day at Batavia on August 1, will be in the bike for trainer Jonas Czernyson this week. Dancewithme Chuck (Lucky Chucky-Vail) and Counsellor AS (Conway Hall-Cordele AS) are both coming off NYSS victories last week at Saratoga Raceway and will be looking to further develop that success. The third leg goes for $27,250 and is carded as race six. Miss B'Ville (RC Royalty-South Jersey Angel) is a bit of an enigma, but a formidable force none the less. She trotted the best race of her life in NYSS action last week at Saratoga, winning wire-to-wire in 1:59.2 from the rail. The start before that, she made a break at Yonkers leaving from the same post. She also has a score at Buffalo Raceway in July and those victories bulked her earnings to $31,749 this year. The formidable training/driving team of Tracy Brainard and Jim Morrill Jr. will bring Miss B'Ville to the gate looking to notch win number three. Hot Start (Lucky Chucky-Mallelujah) raced against world record holder Mission Brief at the Meadowlands in an elimination of the Merrie Annabelle stake on July 25. That race went in 1:53.2 and Hot Start was obviously not ready for that kind of speed at this point of her career. However she did trot in 1:57 herself in that race and knocked over a second off her previous start over the same track. In her only half mile track encounter, Hot Start made a break in the first turn at Saratoga as she seemed to over-trot herself. How she handles the half at Batavia this week remains to be seen. The trainer/driver team of Czernyson and MacDonald send Hot Start to post. The fourth and final NYSS split goes for $27,750 and is listed as the eighth race. The prohibitive morning line favorite at 8-5 is Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) and she was given that designation for good reason. She had strung four straight wins before last week, with her best effort a 1:59.1 victory at Yonkers. She is the top point getter in the sire stakes this year for her sex and gait for trainer Steve Pratt. Last week she made an uncharacteristic break in the first turn at Saratoga as the heavy 1-9 favorite and that took her completely out of contention. This week she draws the rail and driver Jeff Gregory will look to make amends for the only start she didn't hit the board all year. Pig Hunt (Conway Hall-Chippewa Street) has been red hot lately, scoring back-to-back round trip victories for trainer Janice Conner. Her 1:59.4 seasonal mark was also at Yonkers and her $45,981 earned is second best in this field. Although she drew post seven and lost Brennan for this start, there will be no lack of talent behind her in the bike as she picks up Jim Morrill Jr. There are also three divisions of the Excelsior Series worth a total of $38,000 on the twelve race card that features a trot in every event. Post time for Sunday's races is 1:15. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- 19-year-old reinsman Drew Monti moved into third place in the driver standings at Batavia Downs when he notched a driving five-bagger on Friday night. "Driving Drew" now has 15 wins during the first 14 dates of the annual summer-fall. He is now one win behind Shawn McDonough for second place. This was the second time in his young career that Monti had won five races in a single card. The five wins also put him over the 100 win mark in 2014. The beat goes on for Batavia dash leading driver Kevin Cummings. Cummings, who was also the top pilot at Buffalo Raceway this year, drove home four more winners on Friday night. He upped his total for the season to 30 wins, averaging over 2 wins per race card at the Downs. His UDRS is over .400. Live racing resumes on Saturday night (Aug-16) with a post time of 6:35 p.m. Saturday night features a pick-6 carryover pool of over $1500 and a free handicapping contest. Sign-up to enter the contest begins at 5:00 p.m. at Players Club. The top prize is $700. Batavia Downs Media Relations

The weather was far from perfect for the Batavia Downs leg of the New York Sire Stake 3-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday (Aug. 13) as premature autumnal conditions presented cold temperatures, rain and a track rated as "good". But the tough got going and in one race, a major upset was the result. In the first $59,100 NYSS division, Avalicious (RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers) was sent off as the even-money favorite and proved her backers correct as she made a big move at the half and cruised home victorious. Off the gate, L Dees Scripture (Chris Lems) left for the lead and quickly faced a strong challenge from Oh Sweet Penelope (Dan Daley) up the backside. But just before the quarter that challenger made a break so Lems then guided L Dees Scripture unabated to the half in 1:01. At that point Avalicious was out and rolling from fourth with Jim Morrill Jr. at the lines to push the issue before swooping by the leader to take command at the three-quarters in 1:30.3. Once they cleared, Morrill gave the filly her head and she trotted away in easy fashion to win in 2:00.4. Beauty Of Gray (Jim Meittinis) shook loose for second and Lindys Crazy Dolly (Jeff Gregory) who was aired out hung on for third. Avalicious paid $4.30 to win for owners Michelle Crawford, Albert Crawford and Patricia Crawford. This was her fourth win in 11 starts this year and it pushed her earnings to $148,640 for trainer Ron Burke. The second $59,100 split saw a major upset occur when 1-9 favorite Market Rally made a break attempting to take an early lead. When the car pulled away to start the race, Driving Miss Crazy (Gates Brunet) and Gammy's Girl (Jim Meittinis) both left and got away 1-2 as they straightened out up the backstretch. Market Rally (Jim Morrill Jr.) had tucked fourth off the wings to let the field settle, but then was pulled and started rolling past the eighth pole. As they passed the quarter in :30 flat, Market Rally got ahead of the front runner to take the lead. But just as soon as she crossed over she made a break and ended up last, spotting the new leader about 10 lengths. That leader (Driving Miss Crazy) tended to her task, carrying the field to the half in 1:01.1 and the three-quarters in 1:30.4. After a dull outer-flow offered no challenge through the middle fractions, Annie's List (Tyler Buter) managed to overtake second and a still last Market Rally then tipped three-high around fading horses to start making up ground. As they straightened out for the stretch drive, Brunet was working Driving Miss Crazy to stay alert on the lead, Buter was urging Annie's List to catch her and Morrill was working Market Rally to make up lost ground. After a good stretch drive, the trio hit the wire a length apart from each other with Driving Miss Crazy victorious in 2:00.4. In a tight photo for place, Market Rally did in fact rally for second and Annie's List was third. In the shadow of the overwhelming favorite, Driving Miss Crazy was let go at 10-1 and paid $22.60 to those who supported her. This was the sixth win in 13 starts for Driving Miss Crazy (Crazed-Schare Hall) who has now earned $124,017 in 2014 for trainer Gates Brunet and owners Theodore Gewertz, Y Jean Brunet and Deborah Brunet. There were also two divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card and chalk bettors were in heaven as favorites dominated both races. Right after the $12,600 first division started, Little Baby Peanut (Jeff Gregory) and Twist Of Faith (Tyler Buter) both made breaks as the group motored into the first turn. That left Classic Belisima (Gates Brunet) on a loose lead with Do You Believe (Jim Morrill Jr.) getting the trip as the group went single-file to the quarter in :30.4 and the half in 1:02.2. Past the five-eighths Morrill pulled the pocket sitter and drew even with Classic Belisima and the two went stride for stride around the entire last turn. When they straightened out, Do You Believe proved to be the better horse as she pulled away to a two-length victory in 2:01.4. Classic Belisima hung on for second and Ginny And Tonic (Ray Fisher Jr.) got up for third. Do You Believe paid $2.30 as the heavy favorite for owners Brian Doolittle and Leigh Raymer, who also trains the filly. In the second $12,700 division, Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) turned in the fastest time of any of the stake races during the night, be they NYSS or Excelsior, in a dominating performance for trainer Tracy Brainard. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. eased Dreamsteeler out of the gate and took his time getting to the front. But once they got there the filly was brave and Morrill had his hands full rating the mile. However he did a perfect job as they scooted through even fractions of :30, 1:00 and 1:30. Down the lane, Morrill sat chilly as Dreamsteeler just jogged home in 1.59.4. How Bout Cash (Chris Lems) and Slice Slice Baby (Tyler Buter) completed the top three finishers in that order. Dreamsteeler went off 1-9 and paid $2.20 to win. It was her sixth win in seven starts and brought the 2014 Excelsior points leading filly's coffers up to $34,950. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. brought home four winners on the night and Gates Brunet and Tyler Buter both piloted doubles. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 15) with a 6:35 pm post. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The $118,200 New York Sire Stake for 3-year-old trotting fillies invades Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 13) and features the top series performer of the year so far for her sex and gait. Market Rally (Cash Hall-Supreme Dish) enters the night riding a five race winning streak, all in NYSS competition. Her dominance of this group is reflected in the combined 21 length total margin of victory over the course of those races. To date, Market Rally is currently the top point-getter in her division of the NYSS, doubling her nearest competitor. She has won purses amounting to $218,025 and has taken a lifetime mark of 1:54.4 at Tioga Downs for trainer Ron Burke. That $218,025 purse total ranks her fourth in North America for purses won by 3-year-old trotting fillies and eighth for earnings by 3-year-old trotters of either sex. In her last two starts at Yonkers and Saratoga Raceway, Market Rally's win times were 1:56.4 and 1:55.4 respectively. The Batavia Downs track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies is 1:57.2 set by Cowgirl Hall in 2012 and then equalled by Bouncing Bax in 2013. So the track record has a very good chance of being reset on Wednesday night. Market Rally will be driven by leading NYSS reinsman Jim Morrill Jr. and has been installed as the track handicapper's prohibitive morning-line favorite at 1-5. Annies List (Conway Hall-Lasting Forever) is the second highest money-earner in this race ($126,273) but has a penchant for finishing second (6 out of 9 starts). She likes to race from off the pace and has solid final quarter speed. Starting in this short field and having Market Rally to give her live cover in an outer flow, Annies List is a definite threat for trainer Amber Buter and driver Tyler Buter. Driving Miss Crazy (Crazed-Schare Hall) has been racing sharp of late for trainer-driver Gates Brunet. She won at Saratoga in 1:57.2 two starts back and tried to out-foot Market Rally last week as she cut the mile at Yonkers. A similar pattern looks to be taking shape here and her success seems dependenton how fast the fractions go. The first $59,100 division is a wide open affair that has 8-5 Avalicious co-favored with 9-5 Beauty Of Gray. Avalicious (RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers) won an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic and finished second in the $217,725 final at Vernon Downs in June. Since that start the filly has encountered some breaking issues in two of her last five starts. Road trouble in her last two further cost her success. Beauty Of Gray (Conway Hall-Armbro Sparkle) has raced well but has not been able to get across first at all in 2014. She has four seconds on her card in her last five outings and has earned just under $100,000 for the year. Jim Meittinis has driven Beauty Of Gray in every start this year and will try to garner her first win of the season for trainer Tommy Anderson. Trainer Julie Miller has a stable entry in the race and that two-for-one offering has been made a 2-1 morning selection. L Dees Scripture (Credit Winner-Graceful Way) and Maud Blue Chip (Credit Winner-Queen Of The Moor) will start from posts one and five respectively and have some of the faster race times on their card in recent outings. L Dees Scripture has only one win this year and that was over a sloppy track at Yonkers on July 14. She has faced Market Rally in four of her last five starts and is getting some definite post relief this week as well and that may be all she needs to score win number two. Maud Blue Chip made her first start for the Miller Stable just three starts ago and has finished third on all three occasions. However she was raced timed faster in each start and should be in a decent stalking position at the end of the mile. There are also two divisions of the Excelsior A Series on the card going for a total of $25,300. In the first division Leigh Raymer's Do You Believe (Crazed-Believe Hanover) has been made the 8-5 morning line choice and in the second split, 8-5 early favorite Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) brings her three race winning streak to town for trainer Tracy Brainard. Both horses will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Racing fans unable to attend the races Wednesday night can watch the entire NYSS filled program on Time Warner Cable channel 98, in Rochester and the surrounding counties. Post time for the 12 race card is 6:35. By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs  

In a Cinderella story of sorts, 12-year-old Second Hand News who last raced for the bottom claiming tag at Yonkers Raceway, comes back to the harness racing after a month layoff for a new barn and wins the Open trot in a seasonal mark of 1:56 at Batavia Downs. Vogel and Wags Nags Stable and Kent Conshafter claimed Second Hand News for $12,500 on July 7 at Yonkers Raceway and proceeded to give the horse some time off. Trainer Ron Van Wagoner qualified him on July 30 at Batavia, winning easily in 2:00 by 14 lengths. But Van Wagoner must have seen something in the gelding that prompted him to avoid going back into the claiming ranks and he dropped him right into the Open; a decision that was justified this afternoon. Hot-handed driving leader Kevin Cummings wasted no time and little energy prompting Second Hand News to the front and proceeded to lead the race from gate to wire. Going uncontested the whole way, the pair threw dust on the trailing seven who ineffectively tried to keep up with the leader. After fractions timed in :27.4, :58 and 1:27.2, the pack that was trying to catch up became scattered and lost ground behind the motoring winner who peeled away in a :28.2 last quarter. Cummings became a mere passenger heading home as Second Hand News won by four and three-quarters lengths in 1:56 flat. The winner paid $7.20. Studio City (Dave McNeight III) was second and Typical New Yorker (Ray Fisher Jr.) was third. This was the sixth win in 16 starts for Second Hand News in 2014 and brought his seasonal earnings to $38,330. Kevin Cummings continued his driving domination at the Downs winning five races on the afternoon. He scored with Delta Dawson ($3.70), Dartmouth Hall ($4.10), Second Hand News ($7.20), Sack Full of Gold ($3.50) and Turbo Angel ($6.60). Jim McNeight also had a driving triple. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 13) when the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old filly division comes to town racing for $118,200 in purse money. Post time is 6:35.   Tim Bojarski

Batavia, NY - While most harness racing fans had their eye on 3-5 favorite Fireyourguns who shipped in off three Open wins in four weeks at Tioga Downs, they overlooked Big Unit who three starts ago paced one of the fastest miles in western New York this year (1:53.2). When they hit the wire tonight, Big Unit was the better man. Flying off the gate from post one, Big Unit (Kevin Cummings) took the group to the quarter in :27.2, seating everyone in the process. But right after they hit that pole, Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) immediately pulled from fifth and paced into the turn to make up lost ground. The pedestrian :29.2 second split made it easy for Caprio and his charge to draw near the leader, but as they hit the three-quarters in 1:25 flat, the closest they would get was a length away. At the top of the lane, Cummings popped the plugs on Big Unit and the 5-year-old Armbro Deuce gelding hunkered down to stave off the late challenge from all comers to win by a half-length in 1:54.1. Pocket-sitting Rock N Roll Legend (Dave McNeight III) was second and a courageous Fireyourguns hung on for third. The winner paid $8.90. This was the sixth win in 24 starts this year for Big Unit, bringing his 2014 earnings to $35,630 for owner Elizabeth Fair of Ancaster, Ontario. Jack Flanigen, Drew Monti, Kevin Cummings, Ron Beback Jr. and Shawn McDonough all scored driving doubles on the night. Racing resumes Sunday (Aug. 10) at Batavia Downs at 1:15 p.m. Next week Wednesday (Aug. 13) the New York Sire Stakes are back in town with two divisions of 3-year-old trotting fillies who will be vying for their share of $105,000 in purses. Tim Bojarski

Batavia, NY --- Batavia Downs will host its second Back to the Track night in seven days this Saturday (Aug. 9) after having been forced to cancel live racing last week. This is possibly the first time it has happened in the history of this United States Trotting Association (USTA) promotion. The original date of August 2 featured Harness Racing Bingo along with drawings for Back to the Track t-shirts and driver bobbleheads. A great crowd turned out to enjoy an evening at the races and the trackside drawings were about to start when Mother Nature had other ideas. Flood warnings we're posted throughout Upstate New York that day and America's oldest lighted track was unable to avoid the fray. A heavy down pour ensued that included lightening and it basically washed the racetrack away making the surface impossible to race over. After a half hour delay the decision was made to end the proceedings. Batavia Downs was looking forward to participating in the USTA's national promotion but the decision to pull the plug was an easy one. "We would never put our horsemen or equine athletes at risk in unsafe conditions" Todd Haight, Director/GM of Live racing said. "It was the first time we had to cancel a program once it got underway since 2002. Hopefully it will be another 12 years until we have to do so again." So because of the cancellation, Back to the Track will take place for the second time in a week. Customers that swipe their Players Club cards beginning at 5:00 p.m. at Players Club will receive a new Harness Racing Bingo card and be automatically entered into the drawings that take place after the third race. Patrons holding a bingo card from August 2 must pick up a new card; August 2 cards will not be eligible to win prizes. Harness Racing Bingo prizes include $100 wagering vouchers to the first five customers that get full card bingo and $10 gaming free play vouchers to the first 25 that get single bingo. If you have a racing form from last Saturday please bring it with you and exchange it for this week's program free of charge. Just stop by the program stand to make the switch. Also beginning at 5 p.m., Sahlen's hot dogs and sodas will be just 50-cents as part of the tracks annual old fashion night celebration. With great weather in the forecast, it's sure to be the busiest night of the season. For more information please visitwww.bataviadownsgaming.com. Tim Bojarski

On Sunday, August 10, Batavia Downs and Sunshine Horses will celebrate the careers and initiate the retirement of three outstanding equine athletes as they move on to a new vocation after harness racing. Arm and a Leg, Perfect Man and Golden Terror have all been solid campaigners at Batavia Downs over the years and although their racing days are over, they still have a lot to offer. These horses demonstrated their talent, drive, and character on the track and left a lasting impression on the Standardbred racing industry in this area. Arm and a Leg (Nobleland Sam-Kelly's Hat Trick) had 52 wins in 234 lifetime starts and earned $320,791.He had a lifetime mark of 1:54 and was owned by Mark Jakubik of West Seneca, New York. Perfect Man (Malabar Man-Perfectly Swift) scored 22 wins in 160 attempts and earned $225,460 for his efforts. His best clocking was 1:57 for owner Howard Ouriel of Webster, New York. Golden Terror (Western Terror-Bell Ami's Love) had 21 win out of 99 starts and contributed $158,405 to the account of his owners, Team Italia Racing Stable of Buffalo, New York. With all three horses now ready for their second career, theywill be in the Winner's Circleone more time with their former owners. And Golden Terror and Perfect Man will meet their new forever families there as well. Each horse will be presented with a commemorative cooler symbolizing their transition from their careers on the track to their new homes. The track will also remember many Western New York horses such as Michael Scores, Tuesdays with Mom and Hitwiththeladies. The day will also feature a visit from Sunshine mini mascot Zack and a silent auction in the paddock room featuring many beautiful items including a recliner, a 50 inch flat screen TV, an autographed Syracuse basketball poster and Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly autographed football helmet and football. First race post time is 1:15. Sunshine Horses would like to thank Howard Ouriel, Cathy Barzycki, Todd Haight, and Wanda Polisseni for their generous contributions to this event. Sunshine Horses is a non-profit re-homing and rescue facility for horses located in upstate and central New York. It was founded by Kate Starr in 2003 and has found homes for more than 150 horses to date. Their mission is to find a "forever home" where the horses can be taken care of for the rest of their lives. For more information on the organization and to find out how you can help, logon to www.sunshinehorses.org. Tim Bojarski

For the second week in a row, the Jordan Hope trained Little Santamonica shipped in for the mares Open handicap at Batavia Downs and once again took the winners share of the $9,500 purse for harness racing owner Kelly Hope. After firing right to the front from post five for reinsmen Truman Gale, the 6-year-old daughter of Little Steven opened up a two-length advantage and maintained that margin through quarters of :28.3, :58.1, 1:26 before stopping the clock at 1:54.2. She returned $4.10 for the win as the solid public choice. This was the tenth win 21 attempts for Little Santamonica this year and it brought her earnings up to $97,725 for the season. Asset Management (Fern Paquet) who shipped in from Tioga Downs was second and Bazooka Terror (Kevin Cummings) was third. Drivers Shawn McDonough and Ron Beback Jr. both scored driving triples on the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs this Friday (Aug. 8) with a 6:35 post time. Tim Bojarski

After last night's cancellation due to poor weather conditions, the horses went back to work today only to be greeted by more rain and a track rated "good". But that didn't keep BZ Glide from going worst to first in the Open trotting feature on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 3). As soon as the gate pulled away from the six-horse field, I'm The Cash Man (Drew Monti) crossed over from post two and had the lead before they hit the turn. The remainder of the field followed in drawn order until just before the half when Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) pulled first over from third to challenge the leader. By the time the group passed the half in 59.4 and headed to the three-quarters, a full outer flow had developed when Serious George (Jack Flanigen) and 1-2 betting favorite BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) came out to join the fray. At the top of the final turn, Serious George tipped three-deep and BZ Glide fanned four-wide as they motored towards the payoff. It was at that point that BZ Glide appeared to have a gas pedal as he easily sped away from the pack to win by a widening two-length margin. The betting choice paid $3.10 for the win. The victory timed in 1:59.1 was the third of the year for BZ Glide and brought his seasonal earnings up to $32,120. The 5-year-old gelded son of Yankee Glide-Bloomer Zoomer is both owned and trained by his driver, Mike Caprio. Driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. had four winners on the card and that effort put him in a tie with Aaron Merriman for the North American dash-winning driver title with 453 victories each. Wrenn won with Bailey's Magic ($5.90), Launching Tonight ($13.00), Ol' Man River ($7.50) and Four Starz Credit ($3.00). Live racing resumes on Wednesday evening at Batavia Downs with a 6:35 post time. Also please remember that all Back to the Track activities originally scheduled for last night (Aug. 2) have been moved to next Saturday (Aug. 9) do to the weather related cancellation. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Just before the start of the second race, a major wind-driven rainstorm rolled into Genesee County and inundated the area. By the time that race was completed, the track had gone from fast to sloppy and continued to degrade from there. As a result, unsafe track conditions developed and the management of Batavia Downs decided to cancel the remainder of the 12 race card, sighting concern for the safety of the horses and horsemen. Todd Haight, Batavia Downs Director/Manager of live racing said "The track had washed out from the deluge of rain and became unsafe to race on so we had to do what was best for the horses when it became evident that conditions were not going to improve. It was unfortunate because we had a very large crowd on hand for Back to the Track night but it was the right thing to do." All Back to the Track activities originally planned for tonight has been rescheduled for next Saturday (Aug. 9) and will be combined with the Old Fashion Night promotion that was already assigned to that date. Patrons are also reminded to bring back their racing programs from tonight (Aug. 2) anytime for a free replacement the next time you come to the track. Live racing resumes tomorrow, Sunday (Aug. 3) at Batavia Downs with a 1:15 post. Tim Bojarski

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