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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kahoku ($7.60) and driver Drew Monti teamed up for the first time in their respectively harness racing careers and after watching the results of the $10,000 Class A trot at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night (May 24), it might be a combination that stays together for awhile.   Blasting off the gate from the inside, Kahoku led all the way and beat the favored Empire Earl N by 3-1/4 lengths in a seasonal best 1:58.1. It was the third consecutive win for Kahoku.   "I've watched this horse race probably a hundred times but never drove him," Monti said after the victory.   As far as his strategy getting behind Kahoku the first time, Monti stated, "He's a little hot tempered so I figured if I could keep him calm starting from the rail and going through the first turn, we'd be good."   And good they were.   Leaving from the inside, Kahoku, who now has 219 career starts with 46 victories, had no issues in gaining the lead off the starting gate and putting up splits of :29.0, :59.1 and 1:28.4. Down the stretch, Monti enjoyed the spring weather as Kahoku romped to the easy decision. Empire Earl N (Ray Fisher Jr.) was second and Well Connected Kid (David McNeight III) took third place.   "Once we got midway down the backstretch going to the three-quarters, I knew we had it,' Monti said. "He has been getting better the past few weeks."   The 11-year-old gelded Kahoku (S J's Caviar-Tags Gal) is owned by Colleen Girdlestone and trained by Patrick Galbraith. It was his fourth win in 12 starts this season and moved his earnings to $18,655 in 2019 and $310,452 lifetime.   Billy Davis Jr. and Monti completed the card with a pair of victories.   Racing will continue on Saturday night at 6 p.m. with a 13-race program set.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Kaitlyn Rae broke into the win column for the first time this season as she was able to register a half length victory over Sentimental Lady in Buffalo Raceway's featured $8,400 Class B harness racing event for the distaff pacers. She covered the mile in 1:57.1 over the fast track.   After posting 14 victories and putting over $83,000 in the bank in 2018, it's been a tough go for Kaitlyn Rae to reach the winner's circle this year. She notch four second place finishes and a third in 13 tries during the drought but finally got that elusive first win on Wednesday night (May 15).   Cruising along in fourth place as Good Lookin Woman (Jim Morrill Jr.) put up fractions of :29.0, :59,1 and 1:27.4, Kaitlyn Rae (Ray Fisher Jr.) was first over and slowly cut into the lead.   Down the lane, Kaitlyn Rae ($3.30) was able to wear down the pace-setting Good Lookin Woman and hold back the late rushes of Sentimental Lady (Drew Monti) and Carrickmannon N (Kevin Cummings) who were second and third respectively.   Owned and trained by Riley Asher-Stalbaum, Kaitlyn Rae (Cheyenne Rei-I C U Lookin) is a 10-year-old mare that has now won $17,705 this season and $422,494 lifetime. It was also her 63rd career win.   Shawn McDonough completed the night with a driving/training double while Fisher Jr. collected two wins in the bike. Marc Shuttleworth had a pair of training victories.   Racing will continue on Friday night with an eight race card slated for 5 p.m. There's a $752 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race. There will be a 10-race program on Saturday with a special 7:15 p.m. post time in order to accommodate the running of the Preakness Stakes.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, entries, results, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek for Buffalo Raceway

Prairie Panther (Tyler Buter) wins the featured harness racing Open Handicap Pace ($12,000) at Tioga Downs on Sunday (May 12). Sir Pugsley (Drew Monti) went to the front and led to the first quarter in :26.3. Prairie Panther ($4.00)then took control as they went by the stands for the first time. He led the group to a half of :55.0 and three-quarters in 1:22.4. Owned by Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, he found another gear in the stretch to win by four lengths in 1:52.1. Americanprimetime (Greg Merton) came on late to finish second. Bettor's Edge (Howard Parker) was third best. Prairie Panther is a 5-year-old gelding by Royal Millennium. It was his fifth win in eight starts this season. He now has 26 career victories. Tyler Buter won three on the day. His other wins came with New World Order A ($6.30) and A Bettor Hat ($2.90). Drew Monti teamed up with trainer Joe Skowyra to win a pair on the day. They got their wins with Weekend Atnannies ($5.50) and The Spy ($10.40) Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (May 17) at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- A pair of $100,000 harness racing earners from 2018 locked horns in Buffalo Raceway's featured $11,500 Open II Pace on Saturday night (Feb. 9) and the two did not disappoint in the main event tussle.   With both Lucky McTrucky and Shady City hitting six figures last season, the betting public figured it was going to be a two horse race. They were right.   It was Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) however who proved to be the best on the frigid night, topping rival Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) by a half length in a impressive 1:56.0 over the fast track. Dark Horse (Ray Fisher Jr.) was third.   Scoring from the rail, Shady City registered rather soft fractions of :29.1 and :58.2 to the half, parking Lucan Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) along the way.   With the cover starting to fad heading to the three-quarter marker, Monti got Lucky McTrucky ($4.80) into gear and stared Shady City into the eye turning for home. It seemed like Shady City might hang tough but he just couldn't keep up as Lucky McTrucky used a :27.1 final panel to secure the decision.   Lucky McTrucky (McArdle-Truculent Lady) is a 10-year-old gelding that has won twice this season in six attempts, earning $19,900. Owned by Tessa Roland and conditioned by JD Perrin, the victory pushed his career earnings to $519,287.   In the $10,500 co-featured Class A-AA Handicap Pace, Beachy Dream ($9.20) made it two straight at Buffalo Raceway with a come from behind 3/4-length score over the pace-setting Southwind Torque in 1:56.2.   After sitting in third until the top of the lane, Beachy Dream went three-wide down the stretch and zoomed past Southwind Torque (Davis Jr.) who had posted solid splits of :284, :57.4 and 1:27.0.   Owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, it was the second win in three tries in 2019 for 8-year-old gelded Beachy Dream (If I Can Dream-Beachy Girl). The victory upped his seasonal winnings to $11,500 and $191,640 lifetime.   Gray finished the evening with four driving victories while Monti added three and Stalbaum two. James Clouser Jr. had three training wins with Sarama and Perrin doubling.   Racing will continue on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

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

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

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 --- Who has 63 lifetime wins, 14 of which were taken this year and is currently the fourth winningest mare in North America? That would be Kaitlyn Rae, who bested the top female pacers in western New York once again on Wednesday evening (Nov. 21) after she won the $10,400 Open Handicap pace for fillies and mares at Batavia Downs. Out-stepping Hey Kobe (Ray Fisher Jr.) to the front, Kaitlyn Rae (Drew Monti) took a comfortable lead to the half in :59.1 and three-quarters in 1:29 through 20-degree temperatures and a biting wind. Coming off the far turn, she opened up a two-length advantage and looked to be home free. Sportsmuffler (Billy Davis Jr.) who was last at the half, made a second-over move off cover and was barreling down the lane full of pace. Kaitlyn Rae needed the wire with Sportsmuffler gaining quickly and it came just in time as Kaitlyn Rae hung on by a head in the photo and won in 1:58.2. Kaitlyn Rae ($7.50) is flush this year, earning $75,421 for her owner/trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. She is also currently tied with her well-known win machine stablemate Quicksilvercandy A for wins in 2018. In the $8,800 fillies and mares Open II, Mean Pauline (Shawn McDonough) followed A Crafty Lady (Drew Monti) for seven-eighths of the mile before pulling and brushing past the pace-setter to win her fourth race of the year, timed in 1:57.3. Harry Wortzman owns Mean Pauline ($9.40) who is trained by her driver McDonough. The two hottest drivers currently competing at Batavia Downs are Denny Bucceri and Billy Davis Jr. Over the last five cards of racing Bucceri has won 13 races, including two Grand Slam performances, the second of which was on Wednesday. Bucceri rewarded his backers with scores by Donegal Jim (1:58.4, $3.70), Ciro (2:02, $36.20), Ugly Betty (1:59.4, $6.00) and Wallflower (2:00.1, $4.30). Billy Davis Jr. also won 13 races during that span and not to be outdone by Bucceri, had a driving Hat Trick on the card Wednesday. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Nov. 23) with post time at a special early time of 4:45 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Undoubtedly the most exciting race of the year occurred at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 17) when Lucky McTrucky parked out all comers before driving home a winner in the $11,000 Open Handicap harness racing pacing feature. I'm So Handsome (Kevin Cummings), Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) and Iyq Yqr (Denny Bucceri) left the gate together and paced three-deep around the clubhouse turn and up the backstretch until I'm So Handsome relented, letting Lucky McTrucky and Iyq Yqr continue to argue at the quarter in :26.4. And argue they did. Lucky McTrucky refused to let Iyq Yqr take the front and Iyq Yqr refused to take a seat behind Lucky McTrucky so the pair paced in unison to the half in :55.1. The fanatical feud continued around the third turn before Iyq Yqr said nighty-night, but there was still no rest for the weary. Go Collect N (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled from fourth and drew alongside Lucky McTrucky past the five-eighths and a new battle ensued. Monti and Davis rocked and knocked, high-lined and bounced from the three-quarters all the way to the wire with inches between them left to right and front to back and it took a photo to call the winner. The winner was Lucky McTrucky who closed the deal by a head in 1:54.3 while the sold out clubhouse roared in appreciation. It was the 12th win of the year and 54th of his career for Lucky McTrucky ($4.90) who now boasts $85,815 in earnings this year. The uber-game 9-year-old gelded son of McArdle is owned by Tessa Roland and is trained by JD Perrin, The $9,900 Open II pace was won by Upfront Countryboy (Billy Davis Jr.) who sat third to the quarter before pulling to take the lead by the half and then pulled away by four lengths in the lane to win in 1:54.3. It was the 13th win of the year for Upfront Countryboy ($6.30) who is trained by James Clouser Jr. for owner William Emmons. Drew Monti the top teamster on Saturday scoring a Grand Slam on the card. Besides the big win with Lucky McTrucky, Monti also had pictures taken with Hardts Or Bettor (1:55.2, $10.80), Foreign Officer (1:56.2, $4.80) and Linkjack Hanover (1:56.4, $7.40). All four of Monti's wins were trainees of JD Perrin that are owned by Tessa Roland. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 21) at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY --- After earning minor spoils in her three most recent outings, Kaitlyn Rae returned to her winning ways in the $9,500 fillies and mares Open Handicap harness racing pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Nov. 14). Kaitlyn Rae (Drew Monti) left with little opposition from Hey Kobe (Kevin Cummings) who was content to sit the pocket trip for the duration. Seeing no one coming, Monti tapped the brakes and strolled to the half in :59. That forced Susie's Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) to pull first over for a bid that would fall short by the three-quarters. Heading into the final turn, Cummings tipped Hey Kobe to try and make a run. But after barely getting within a length, Kaitlyn Rae responded to a high-line and a couple taps of the shaft to pace away and win by a length in 1:56.1. It was the 61st career win and 13th victory of 2018 for Kaitlyn Rae ($6.30) who has now earned $71,021 for owner/trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum. In the $8,800 distaff Open II, Tymal Luckynpink (Brad Jackson) doubled her pleasure by winning her second straight outing in gate to wire fashion in 1:57.3. The Ken and John Mc Keever-owned 7-year-old Camluck mare scored her seventh win of the year under the tutelage of trainer Brad Jackson. Drew Monti had the driving hat trick on Wednesday to lead all other reinsmen on the card. Besides the already mentioned Kaitlyn Rae, Monti also won with Scarlet n silk (1:59.1, $8.80) and Honey Booboolina (1:57, $8.10). With those three wins, Monti pulls into a first place tie with Kevin Cummings (who had two wins on Wednesday) for the dash driving title. Both drivers currently have 93 tallies this meet. There was no winner in the early Pick-5 on Wednesday and as a result, there is a $1,036 carry over and a guaranteed $3,000 pool for the early Pick-5 on Friday. This will be a part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program and free program pages will be made available on the USTA site courtesy of Trackmaster starting on Thursday under the "Handicapping" tab. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Nov. 16) with post time for the first race set at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- After some early maneuvering, Lucky McTrucky got a perfect trip en route to winning the $10,500 Open Handicap pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 3). Cool Like Fire (Billy Davis Jr.) took the early lead but soon yielded it to Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) past the eighth pole. Then just before the quarter, Davis pulled Cool Like Fire and retook the lead once again. From there positions remained unchanged for the next half mile. After passing the three-quarters in 1:27, Cool Like Fire was in a very good spot and looked fresh legged on the point. But Monti, who had gotten the perfect trip, pulled Lucky McTrucky coming out of the final turn and pushed him hard towards the stretch drive. As they headed down the lane the horses were stride for stride in a good match race with Lucky McTrucky getting the advantage before the wire and won by a neck in 1:56.1. It was the 11th win of the year and 53rd victory of his career for Lucky McTrucky ($6.00) who has won $79,765 in 2018 for owner Tessa Roland. JD Perrin trains the winner. In the $9,900 Open II co-feature, Dark Horse (Ray FIsher Jr.) got away at the back of the pack and watched as Bahama Bay (Denny Bucceri) and Hardts Or Bettor (Drew Monti) battled hard on the front end past the half. Fisher tipped Dark Horse four-wide up the backstretch, took the lead in the final turn and pulled away to win by two in 1:56. It was the fifth win of the year for Dark Horse ($4.70) who is owned by VHF Racing and trained by Sabrina Cleavenger. Ray Fisher Jr. led all drivers on Saturday scoring three wins on the night. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 7) with post time for the first race at 5 p.m. By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- When the going got tough, Machin Marley got going and won the $9,000 Open Handicap pace for fillies and mares at Batavia Downs on Wednesday evening (Sept. 26). Machin Marley (Drew Monti) hit the pylons last while Little Joke (Billy Davis Jr.) fired off the wings to take the early lead. But Little Joke would soon submit to a takeover coup by Sportsmuffler (John Cummings Jr.) who came hard midway up the backstretch. The field stayed in single file past the half in a tepid :30 second quarter before Kaitlyn Rae (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled first over at the five-eighths. The top two tangled to the three-quarters in 1:26.1 with neither getting an advantage. Then in the turn, Badlands Delight (Kevin Cummings) tipped three-deep and Machin Marley went four-wide from last and had almost five lengths to make up. With the whole field racing literally side-by-side in the lane, Machin Marley flew down the center of the track and collared them all at the wire to win in 1:55.2. It was the sixth win in 30 starts this year for Machin Marley ($15.20) who now has earned $39,381 for owners Thatsideofthefence and John Mungillo, who also does the training. In the $8,000 Open II pace for fillies and mares, Aritzia Hanover (Billy Davis Jr.) got away mid-pack before pulling first-over to out-muscle Rockin Kasbah (Kevin Cummings) through the second lap and win by a length in 1:57.1. Aritzia Hanover ($4.40) is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Pine Hill Racing. Maria Rice trains the winner. Drew Monti and Billy Davis Jr. both had driving triples on Wednesday. Monti is the current dash driving leader for the meet with 64 wins. Davis is third with 48 wins behind Kevin Cummings who sits in second with 60. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 28) with post time set for 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- It was another big Saturday night (Sept. 22) for driver Drew Monti as he captured six wins on the card, including four straight from races two through five, to vault himself back into the lead for the dash driving title at Batavia Downs. Monti got his picture taken with Glory Jean (1:57.1, $7.20), Foreign Officer (1:54.4, $5.50), Four Diamonds (1:55.4, $5.80), Hands Off Frank (1:54, $6.80), Hardts Or Bettor (1:55.4, $2.90) and Barry's Shelby (1:55, $8.40). The six wins now give him 61 for the meet, one more than Kevin Cummings (60) who also had a driving double on Saturday. Four of Monti's wins (Foreign Officer, Four Diamonds, Hands Off Frank and Hardts Or Bettor) were behind horses trained by JD Perrin. And much like Monti, Perrin pushed himself into the dash win training lead now with 26 victories after Saturday, four ahead of James Clouser Jr. who has 22. Clouser and Perrin are the top two Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) trainers among all those in North America with less than 500 starts this year. Clouser has a UTR of .472 and Perrin is right behind him with a .417. The feature race on the card was an $8,500 Open III pace that was won by Barry Hanover (Shawn McDonough). Barry Hanover got away second behind Southwind Torque (John Cummings Jr.) who led the race until the three-quarters when McDonough pulled, took the lead and paced away to an impressive three-length victory in a new lifetime mark of 1:53. Barry Hanover ($4.40) is owned by John Sixt and trained by Judy Blaun. Racing Under Saddle (RUS) New York had an exhibition race on Saturday with a purse of $3,000 that proved to be one of the best on the card to watch. Rider Sietski Dijkhof from the Netherlands was making her first North American RUS start and this girl came to play. Dijkhof rode No Recess from post five in the field of six and got away second behind last year's Batavia RUS winner, Funny Photo (Sophie Engerran) and sat there until the half in 1:01.4. There Dijkhof pulled No Recess and went right after Funny Photo. The two horses trotted side by side, stride for stride up the backside and into the far turn when Funny Photo got a half-length advantage. But when they spun into the stretch, Dijkhof asked for more from No Recess and he responded by passing Funny Photo to win by a length in 2:02.1. The time was a new lifetime RUS mark for No Recess and a new RUS track record at Batavia Downs, replacing the 2:03.4 mark set by Admirable Hanover in 2016. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 26) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Finding himself hopelessly boxed in approaching the stretch, Focus Power somehow shook loose and out-paced everyone to the wire to win the $10,500 Open Pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 8). China Dream (John Cummings Jr.) took the lead by the quarter and backed the half off to :57 flat as no one challenged the position. But last week's Open winner Validus Deo (Kevin Cummings) started to advance on the outside in front of the stands with Heaven Rocks (Ray Fisher Jr.) following him. This left Focus Power locked in on the pylons fifth, with nowhere to make a move. China Dream threw in a swift :27.4 third panel which stifled the advance by the outside horses. Cummings Jr. had let China Dream out another notch around the last turn and had a solid two length advantage at the top of the stretch. Still fifth on the pins, Focus Power found a lane to move forward as Validus Deo drifted out and then Monti went to work. Under a solid right-hand drive Focus Power was a blur with pace, making up the five lengths he was behind to win by a neck in 1:53.3. Focus Power ($7.20) got his third win in his last six starts and fifth overall of the year for owner Jim Caradori, who has now benefitted the amount of $41,541 from his gelding's efforts. Darrin Monti conditions the winner. In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, Whosurpapa (Billy Davis Jr.) rebuffed and early challenge from Mr. Euroman N (John Cummings Jr.), another try from him at the three-quarters and then a late push from the pocket-sitting Barry Hanover (Shawn Mcdonough) to go gate to wire never headed in 1:54.1. Whosurpapa ($11.80) got his 10th win of the year and padded his bank to $59,318 for owner William Emmons and trainer James Clouser Jr. Billy Davis Jr. got his second consecutive driving hat trick on Saturday, besting all reinsmen for wins on the night. Davis currently sits third in the dash driver standings with 35 wins behind the leading Kevin Cummings (47) and Drew Monti (46). Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday afternoon (Sept. 10) with a post time of 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The 39th annual Batavia Downs Labor Day driver's bicycle race took place on Monday (Sept. 3) with a full field of eight local reinsmen lining up to compete. And with three previous race winners in the 2018 field, a first time victor emerged from the pack. The starting car picked up the field at the top of the far turn and let them go at the head of the stretch for the one-eighth mile dash. Billy Davis Jr. took a quick early lead but he was soon joined by Drew Monti and Denny Bucceri who flanked him inside and out. Then halfway down the stretch Brad Jackson, who was hindered by post eight, was cruising in the middle of the stretch and got by everyone to win by two lengths. Jackson celebrated the win with a "flying leg" pose as he crossed the wire. After the race, the bikes were given away via random drawing to eight lucky fans who correctly selected Jackson to win before the event. Also on Monday afternoon, drivers Billy Davis Jr. and Kevin Cummings had the hot hands during the live card of racing, winning four and three races respectively. Davis piloted Bad Glamour Girl ($6.10), Dark Horse ($4.00), Peter Pumpkineater ($15.00) and Cashco ($5.40) while Cummings steered Dwntwnskeeterbrown ($28.40), Montezuma Bluechip ($3.70) and Our Last Photo ($7.20). Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 5) with the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings in the house. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- In four starts in the top trot class this year at the oldest lighted harness racing track in America, Icanflylikeanangel has not been worse than second. That trend continued on Friday night (Aug. 31) when he won the $10,000 Open Handicap trot at Batavia Downs. Empire Earl N (Billy Davis Jr.) left hurriedly to grab the lead immediately off the gate. The remainder of the field hit the pylons behind him allowing a tepid first quarter split of :29.2 to occur. But things changed quickly as Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) pulled first up at the three-eighths bringing Icanflylikeanangel (Drew Monti) in tow. Southern Palms drew even with Empire Earl N in the third turn and the two trotters tangled to the three-quarters just whiskers apart. That battle continued around the final bend but Icanflylikeanangel, who had been shadowing the leaders, was loaded with trot and tipped three-deep and head-long into the fray. With three horses now strung across the track, Monti asked for more from Icanflylikeanangel and more is what he got. Icanflylikeanangel dug in and gained the advantage by mid-stretch, winning by a neck in 1:58.1. Icanflylikeanangel ($2.70) registered his sixth win of the season and bulked his bank to $58,795 for owner Joseph Hess. D. Benny Eggers conditions the winner. In the $8,000 Open II, Bold Dresser (Shawn McDonough) pulled off an instant replay of his win last week, going gate to wire cutting fractions of :28.4, :59.2 and 1:28.1 before trotting away down the lane under no duress in 1:58.2. It was the fourth win of the year for Bold Dresser ($5.50) who is owned by Harry Wortzman. His driver McDonough also does the training. Drew Monti had the hot hand driving Friday, winning four races on the card. Besides taking the feature with Icanflylikeanangel, Monti also won with Gimme The Pacifics (1:57, $2.80), Golden Kronos (1:59.3, $3.20) and Barn Sis (1:58, $3.50). Monti now with 38 wins for the meet, is only one win behind Kevin Cummings (39) for first place in the dash driving competition. There was no winner in the early Pick-5 wager on Friday night so there is a carry over pool of $496 for tomorrow. As a result, Batavia Downs is offering a guaranteed pool of $1,500 for the early Pick-5 on Saturday (Sept. 1) when live racing resumes at 6 p.m. The early Pick-5 runs from race one to race five. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

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