BATAVIA, N.Y. --- It is the final week of racing at Batavia Downs starting on Wednesday but there is plenty of excitement and promotions the final three nights that should keep North America's oldest lighted harness track bustling. Wednesday night, there is a 12-race program scheduled beginning at 6:30 p.m. The clubhouse will feature a great special when you purchase an entree, buffet or Rail Bar item, you'll receive $10 back in free play on the VLT's in the new gaming area. Also, the entire card will also be broadcast live on Time-Warner Cable, Channel 98 in Rochester and surrounding areas. On Friday night, it is 'Customer Appreciation Night' with free sub quarters complements of the Lewiston Road Subway restaurant along with dessert, cake and coffee from BJ's in the grandstand area. There will also be a free Pick-6 contest worth $1000 beginning in the fourth race. Entries can be submitted at the Player's Club starting at 5 p.m. The Pick-6 is co-sponsored by Batavia Downs and the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association. The season concludes on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. While the clubhouse is almost sold out, Thurman Thomas' Bar 34-Rush and Fortuna's will be in full service mode for those seeking an alternative dining opportunity on track. Another free Pick-6 contest is on tap with a minimum payoff of $500. Should no one hit the Pick-6 on Friday night, Saturday's jackpot will be $1000. Should there be more than one winner, on either night, the payoff will be shared equally. There will be plenty of hardware handed out Saturday as well as the Upstate New York Harness Writer's Association presents its 'Night of Distinction' awards with several different category winners to be announced. The last three nights will also decide the top driver and trainer of 2013 at Batavia Downs. Provisional driver Shawn McDonough leads the way with 93 victories while Ray Fisher Jr. is second with 84. Should McDonough hold on to the lead, he'll be the first ever provisional driver to win a driving title in North America. John Mungillo has a six-win lead over JD Perrin for the top trainer honors. Mungillo has led since opening night and has a 63-57 advantage over Perrin going into the last three nights. Batavia Downs Inter-Track Wagering area will be open at the facility every day starting December 8th. Harness racing in Western New York switches over to Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday, January 8th for a 99-day meet. First post on opening night will be 5 p.m. For more information including information on the close week activities, race replays and the latest news, go to http://bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing. by Brian J. Mazurek, for Batavia Downs
Batavia, NY--The final matinee race card of the season will be held this Monday (Oct. 14) at Batavia Downs and the 12-race program will feature the "Christopher Columbus Pace" in which all drivers are of Italian heritage. It will go off as the sixth race on afternoon. The race, a $4,000 claiming event with a purse of $2,800, will feature a variety of drivers, but all of Italian descent. There will be two who haven't had a start this season to several with less than a handful of tries in 2013 and another which is an up-and-coming star 19-year-old with more than 500 starts under his belt. Former Western New York regulars Rich Mays and Chris Carrubba will be back in the bike for the first time in 2013 while 70-year-old Carmen Cappotelli, Denny Bucceri, Rock Vinci and Batavia Downs' leading trainer John Mungillo have less than 50 appearances between them this year. Mike Caprio leads the field in career victories and is regular reinsman in the weekly Open features driving the likes of trotter BZ Glide and pacer Fireyourguns. Rounding out the field will be Drew Monti, who is a 19-year-old rising star with 54 wins on the campaign in his first year in the sulky. Monti has more wins this season than the entire field put together. He picks up the catch-drive on Lima Jag and will line up in post 7. Mays will drive the 5-2 morning-line favorite Mattigician and score from the rail. 'We're happy to bring back the 'Christopher Columbus Pace'," Todd Haight, general manager of live racing, said. "It is one of the many longtime traditions here at the Downs. It should be a great afternoon of racing." The afternoon card, which begins at 1:15 p.m., will also feature $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, sodas and draft beer in the Paddock Room while in the clubhouse, buy a buffet for $9.95 and receive $10 in free play after earning a point on a VLT in the new gaming area. For more information including statistics, race replays, news and upcoming promotions, go to http://bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing. Brian Mazurek, for Batavia Downs
BATAVIA, N.Y. --- Beechwood Wayne turned the tables on Fireyourguns and won the featured $8,500 Open Pace on Saturday night (Oct. 12) at Batavia Downs. Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio), usually a closer, changed tactics and went to the front end from the seven hole. He set the fractions of 27.3, 57.0 and 1:25.3 as OK Braveheart and Beechwood Wayne drafted behind in second and third place respectively. Midway down the stretch, Beechwood Wayne gave the front-running Fireyourguns a taste of his own medicine and rallied in the passing lane for the length victory in 1:54.3 over a track labeled fast. OK Braveheart (Ken Holliday) held on for third. Despite being at the top of his game, Beechwood Wayne (Western Terror-Sanskrit Hanover) was overlooked by the betting public and returned $16.40 for the victory. It was his third victory in a row and ninth of the season, pushing his season earnings to $58,656 and $156,401 lifetime. Beechwood Wayne is owned by Mark Jakubik and trained by J.D. Perrin. The final matinee card of the season takes place this Monday (Columbus Day) when a 12-race program gets underway at 1:15 p.m. The 'Christopher Columbus Pace' returns and will go off as the sixth race. All drivers in the event are of Italian descent. There will also be $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, sodas and draft beer in the Paddock Room while in the clubhouse, purchase a buffet for $9.95 you'll receive $10 in free play after earning one point on the VLT machines in the new gaming floor. Brian Mazurek for Batavia Downs
BATAVIA, N.Y. --- Puff Mommy didn't find an issue in stepping up in class and registered a half-length victory over You're Too Funny in the featured $7,400 Open I-II Pace for fillies and mares Wednesday night at Batavia Downs. Puff Mommy ($8.00) had competed in the $15,000 optional claimers for the filly and mares the past two weeks where she had a win and second place finish so she was ready to face better. Real Joy (Ron Beback Jr.) sprinted to the lead and set the fractions of 28.1, 58.3 and 1:26.4. You're Too Funny, who was first over, managed to drop in second at the three-quarter mark, putting Puff Mommy first over around the final turn. In the lane, Batavia Downs' leading driver Shawn McDonough and Puff Mommy effortlessly rolled past the leaders to take the victory in 1:55.4 over the fast track. You're Too Funny (Kevin Cummings) dropped into the passing lane and finished second while Real Joy took the show spot. It was the eighth win in 32 starts this year for Puff Mommy (Cambest-Ten Pound Puff), a 6-year-old mare owned by Empowered Racing and trained by Carl Smith. The win moved her seasonal earnings to $47,808 and $231,160 lifetime. The racing action resumes on Friday night with a 12-race program set to get underway at 6:30 p.m. It kicks off a big weekend of harness racing as Saturday night will feature Foiled Again, harness racing's top pacing money winner, who will battle in the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace. by Brian Mazurek, for Batavia Downs
BATAVIA, N.Y. -- BZ Glide used a lifetime best time of 1:57.2 to register a narrow head victory over the heavily-favored Ziegfeld in the $8,500 Open Trot at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon. It capped off a great weekend for driver Mike Caprio as he swept both the Open Pace with Fireyourguns on Saturday night and the Open Trot with BZ Glide on Sunday afternoon. Rocky Boy (Jacques Beaudoin) went to the top and set some snappy fractions of 28.0, 57.4 and 1:26.2 over the fast track. But as the field of seven turned for home, Rocky Boy called it a day and dropped anchor. BZ Glide, overlooked by the betting public at 9-1, sat the pocket and tipped inside while Ziegfeld went to the outside in the charge to the finish line. BZ Glide ($21.20) under Caprio's encouragement, managed to stick a head in front in the shadow of the wire while Ziegfeld (Ray Fisher Jr.) had to settle for the place spot in a very game effort. Sam Can (Shawn McDonough) got up late for third. The victory was the third in 14 starts this season for BZ Glide and increased his earnings to $24,086 in 2013 and $34,815 lifetime for owner Mike Caprio. Alana Caprio trained the four-year-old. Batavia Downs' leading driver Greg Merton and Kevin Cummings each had two wins on the card. Racing will resume on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. with the New York State County Fair Finals set with all eight divisions going for $10,000. There will also be a $3,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 starting in the third race. The entire 13-race card will be telecast live on Time Warner Cable, Channel 98 in Rochester and surrounding areas. For the latest news, race replays, upcoming promotions and statistics, go to http://bataviadownscasino.com/live-racing. by Brian Mazurek
The guaranteed $3,000 Pick-4 wager returns to Batavia Downs this Wednesday night (Aug. 7) and will continue each Wednesday in August. The track has teamed up with the United States Trotting Association and the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association to guarantee the $3,000 Pick-4 pool. The Pick-4, rapidly becoming a popular bet, begins in the third race on the card. Program pages for that sequence will be available free through the USTA website, www.ustrotting.com . Bettors must select the winners of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth races and may bet in 50 cent increments. "We are pleased to be back in the USTA's Strategic Wagering Program," said Batavia Downs General Manager of Live Racing Todd Haight. "I'd like to thank USTA director Chris Schick for helping us get back in the program." With the card being shown on Time-Warner Cable Channel 98 in Rochester and surrounding areas, along with various simulcast locations, it's hoped that the pool will easily exceed the minimum $3,000 mark. Any ontrack patrons that wager a minimum of $10 (at the same time) on the Pick-4 will receive $10 back in gaming free play. The 11-race card at Batavia Downs gets underway at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Wednesday. For more information, including promotions, news and statistics, go to www.bataviadownscasino.com/live-racing. by Brian Mazurek
BATAVIA, N.Y. -- Mythical Hall showed plenty of heart down the stretch and held off upset-minded Keyodee Star by a nose Friday night to capture the $8,500 Open Trot at Batavia Downs in 1:58. Driven by Ron Beback Jr., the heavily-favored Mythical Hall ($2.90) in typical fashion, set the fractions of 28.0, 57.4, 1:27.2 and used a 30.3 final panel to seal the victory. Keyodee Star (Jack Rice), sent off at 24-1, was first over at the half and slowly but methodically cut into front-runner's lead. But Mythical Hall wasn't going to be denied and managed to keep a nose in front at the wire. It was Mythical Hall's third win in his last four starts in the Open. Hour Lavec (David McNeight III) skimmed the pylons was a distant third. Owned by Mark Jakubik and trained by J.D. Perrin, Mythical Hall now has eight wins in 24 starts in 2013 and $67,442 in earnings. The five-year-old gelding's career bankroll are now over $330,000. The racing resumes on Saturday night when a strong 13-race card is presented with a 6:30 p.m. post. The feature is the sixth race, the $8,500 Open Pace, with OK Braveheart installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite. Shawn McDonough will be aboard OK Braveheart, last week's Open winner at Buffalo Raceway in 1:55.4 and will score from the rail. It's also a busy promotional night at the nation's oldest lighted harness track. It is 'Welcome Back Night' with $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, draft beers and sodas, free racing programs and a 'Welcome Back' booklet which includes free wagers and food coupons throughout the season. It's also another round of 'Horse For Horse' with Elizabeth. Fans wishing to view replays of the races can do so at http://bataviadownscasino.com by simply clicking on the 'Live Racing' tab, then on the date and race number. You can also get the latest news, results and promotions there as well. by Brian J. Mazurek, for Batavia Downs
One of the biggest events on the promotional calendar at Batavia Downs every season is the Wiener Dog Races and 2013 will be no exception as the dachshunds take to the track during this year's Family Fun Day at the races, scheduled for Sunday, August 25th.
America's oldest lighted harness racing track, Batavia Downs Casino, concluded its 66th year of racing on Saturday night (Dec.8).
The long shots were the hot shots in the harness racing co-features at Batavia Downs Friday night (Dec. 7)
Le Reina Road took advantage of a patient drive by harness racing driver Dave McNeight III and registered a neck victory over Golden Terror in the featured $7400 Open II-III Pace at Batavia Downs Saturday night (Dec. 1).
Cole Hard Cash needed every inch of the Batavia Downs historic half-mile track Saturday night (Nov. 23) to come from behind and beat Shu Fu by a nose in the harness racing featured $8,000 Open II Pace.
It was Ladies' Night Friday (Nov. 23) in the featured $8,200 Open I-II Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs as the lone harness racing mare in the field of seven, Starbux Eden, beat the boys by 1-1/4 lengths in 2:00.4.
Taking advantage of a perfect trip from the rail, Looks R Deceiving used the passing lane down the stretch and captured the $27,000 harness racing finals of the Henry Tojj Claiming Pacing Series in 1:58.0 at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 17).
Under The Stars and harness racing driver/trainer Jim McNeight were first under the wire in the featured $8,500 Open I-II Trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 16).
Evil Eva and Batavia Downs' leading harness racing driver Shawn Gray waited patiently for the front-end speed duel to end and when it did, the pair was there to pounce on the opportunity and win the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Batavia Downs Wednesday night (Nov. 14).