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Batavia, NY---Although overlooked by many and sent off at a hearty 9-1, Foiled Again brought his harness racing A-game to Genesee County and exhibited the heart that has earned him over $7.4 million in lifetime earnings to win the 14th annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 8). Off the gate, Scott Rocks (John Cummings Jr.) and Mel Mara (Jim Morrill Jr.) argued for the lead and registered a swift :26.4 quarter in the process before Mel Mara relented and tucked in second. With Scott Rocks now dictating the proceedings, the field stayed in single-file around the far turn before Polak A (Shawn Gray) pulled first-over at the three-eighths to start the outer flow. Polak A drew alongside Scott Rocks at the half, stalked him around the turn and then passed the tiring leader before crossing over at three-quarters in 1:22.4. At this point Foiled Again (Kevin Cummings) who had been tracking the race from fifth, tipped three-deep around Southwind Amazon (Shawn McDonough) and caught up to the leader by the top of the stretch. Then as they came down the lane, Foiled Again swelled up under mild urging from Cummings and paced right by Polak A to win by a length in 1:52.2. Polak A hung on for second and Mel Mara overcame road trouble to grab third. It was the third time Foiled Again has won the Kane Memorial, having also scored victories in the 2009 and 2013 editions and the second time Kevin Cummings has won it after taking the 2006 race with Michael Scores. "He went real well tonight" said Cummings. "He was a little lazy early but he did a good job tracking the field. He knows his business and I was confident at the three-quarters that he could win this. It was great to win the Kane tonight." It was the 90th career win for Foiled Again ($20.20) who now sits just $13,492 short of $7.5 million lifetime. The 12-year-old Ron Burke trainee is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and the JJK Stable. In the co-featured $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot, Serious George (Shawn Gray) got away fourth before pulling first-over at the half to pound out an arduous journey and overtake the front-running BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to win in a new lifetime mark of 1:57.2. Serious George ($23.00) is owned by James Palladino and trained by Rich Mays. Driver Shawn Gray was red hot on Saturday, winning five races on the card. He scored with Studio City ($3.90, 1:58.1), Surfer's Paradise ($8.60, 1:55.4), Serious George ($23.00, 1:57.2), Gallant Major ($5.40, 1:56.2) and Life's Lessons ($4.40, 1:56.1). Kevin Cummings and Jim Morrill Jr. both had driving hat tricks and trainers Ron Burke and Gerry Sarama each claimed three wins apiece. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday afternoon (Oct. 10) for the last matinee card of the season. The Columbus Day special gets underway at 1:15 p.m.   Tim Bojarski

Batavia, NY---Seven horses with a combined lifetime earnings of over $11 million comprise the harness racing field for the 14th annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace which will be contested at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 8). The Kane Memorial is dedicated to the former chairman of the board of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (which owns and operates Batavia Downs), Robert J. Kane. Kane worked on the board for 26 years and had the vision to see the value in purchasing the track in 1998, that had been shuttered for three years after having its license revoked. The facility has gone through a complete turnaround since then and WROTB has developed the property into the premier entertainment destination spot in Genesee County. The 2016 edition of the Kane (which goes as race seven) is also a homecoming of sorts for trainer Chris Oakes who is originally from nearby Akron, New York. He started his career at the Downs in the 1980's and conditions two horses in this year's Kane, with his stable star Luck Be Withyou installed as the 5-2 morning line choice. Luck Be Withyou has faced Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki many times this year and has always been formidable competition for those two dominant aged pacers. Luck Be Withyou took a lifetime mark of 1:47.4 at Pocono Downs on July 2 and has also been race-timed under 1:50 on seven other occasions this year. His best effort on a half-mile track was a 1:51.1 win at Saratoga Raceway in July, but he was race-timed in 1:50.3 at Harrington Raceway just two weeks ago. Leaving from post one, Luck Be Withyou will be driven by the Downs leading reignsman, Kevin Cummings. Mel Mara is the second choice at 7-2 and is one speedy pacer. On June 4 at the Meadowlands, he beat a very talented Open class field and equalled the all-time race record for an older pacing stallion on a mile track when he stopped the clock in 1:47. In his 21 starts this year, Mel Mara was race timed under 1:50 15 times and his best effort over a half-mile track was a 1:50.1 win at Harrington Raceway three starts ago. Jim Morrill Jr. takes the reigns for trainer Dylan Davis and starts from post three. Scott Rocks comes in sharp as a tack and knows this oval well. He just raced at Batavia Downs on September 24 and jogged in 1:52. He was a wrapped up winner with a lot left in the tank and he did it after being off for three weeks. He took a lifetime mark of 1:48 at Pocono Downs on May 28, but he also won in a phenomenal 1:49 clocking at Northfield Park on September 3. Leaving from post two, John Cummings Jr. will once again team Scott Rocks, who is the other entrant for trainer Chris Oakes. Southwind Amazon is fast on any surface. He took a lifetime mark of 1:49.2 at Pompano Park on March 13, but was also race timed in 1:49.2 at Northfield Park in a second place finish to Scott Rocks on September 3. He has also won in 1:50.3 at Northfield and 1:50.4 at Saratoga Raceway. Southwind Amazon is having a career year with 11 wins and $109,599 earned and looks to add to those numbers in this event. Shawn Mcdonough gets the nod from trainer Paul Holzman and will depart from post five. The entire field is as follows: 1 Luck Be Withyou - Kevin Cummings 5-2 2 Scott Rocks - John Cummings Jr. 5-1 3 Mel Mara - Jim Morrill Jr. 7-2 4 Polak A - Shawn Gray 4-1 5 Southwind Amazon - Shawn McDonough 9-2 6 Foiled Again - Jack Flanigen 8-1 7 Rockin In Heaven - Drew Monti 6-1 The current all-time pacing track record at Batavia Downs is 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in 2011 when he won the Kane Memorial that year. In recent weeks, the track at Batavia Downs has been lightning fast and with favorable weather forecast, this field has the ability to demolish that standard. There is also an outstanding undercard on Saturday night's 11-race schedule and it includes the $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot, to go as race five. Local favorite BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) is the 5-2 pick to hit against Yonkers Raceway invaders Lady's Dude (Kevin Cummings, 3-1) and Auspicious Hanover (John Cummings Jr., 4-1). Post time for the first race is 6:15 p.m. Tim Bojarski

The marquee event at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 3) was the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace. But harness racing history and outstanding performances in other races combined to provided a show that those in attendance won't soon forget. In the main event, Atta Boy Dan led at every post en route to a three-length victory in the 13th annual Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace. Off the gate, Atta Boy Dan (Jim Morrill Jr.) rebuffed early challenges from Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) and Doctor Butch (Jim Marohn Jr.) and seated them both past the eighth pole. Then after the field followed in single file to a :27.4 quarter, Morrill backed off the half to :56.3 and took full control of the race. Royal Heart (Drew Monti) started an outer flow into the clubhouse turn and had Aslan (Sean McDonough) in tow, but no one got closer than two-lengths before they hit the head of the stretch. From there, Fireyourguns pulled the pocket for one last shot but Atta Boy Dan, pacing his last quarter in :27.4, was just too good and pulled away to an easy win in 1:52.1. Fireyourguns hung on to be second and Aslan came up to be third. "I had a smooth journey to the half and as soon as I called on him, he was on cruise right to the wire. That was a good horse (Fireyourguns) sitting on my back and I was a little worried about him, but mine felt pretty good too. I wish I could have a Burke horse off the rail every year in this race" said winning driver Jim Morrill Jr. It was the sixteenth victory of the year for Atta Boy Dan ($2.30) and the winner's share boosted his earning to $222,757 in 2015 for owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Atta Boy Dan was just part of the story for Jim Morrill Jr. on Saturday night as he won seven races out of the 11 he had on the card. Combine those with a second and third he also had and Morrill posted an amazing .717 UDR for the evening. The all-time pacing track record of 1:51.1 was not broken in the race; however trotting history was made instead. Lutetium got back to his front-running comfort zone and destroyed the field in the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot. In a late driver change, John Cummings Jr. was tapped to steer Lutetium and wasted no time earning his keep. When prohibitive betting favorite, Tall Cotton made a break in the first turn, Cummings rushed Lutetium away and opened up a gap of as much as 15 lengths between himself and the rest of the field through fractions of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:25.1 before scooting home to a six-length victory in 1:55.2. The winning time broke the existing track record of 1:56 for aged trotting geldings that was co-held by Lutetium and Second Hand News, both who set that mark in 2014. "They said he hasn't been leaving well lately, so I scored him down fast. Once he got the front in the race; the more I grabbed him, the more he went on. I was a passenger" said Cummings Jr. It was the ninth win of the year for Lutetium and it pushed his bank account to $68,886 for owner Colleen Girdlestone and trainer Mark Laidlaw. Overlooked at 10-1, Lutetium returned $22.60. This was just one of three wins for John Cummings Jr., who scored the hat trick on the night. There were also two, $50,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolation events on the card for 2-year-old colts and geldings and also fillies. The boy's division was won by Southern Palms (RC Royalty-Pacific Elegance) in 1:59.2. The post-time favorite went wire to wire and won by four-lengths. It was the first career win for Southern Palms ($4.40) who is trained by Erv Miller for owners Ronald Michelon and Anthony Lombardi. After the race, winning driver Jim Marohn Jr. said "Erv (Miller) tipped me off that he was a handful tonight; and he was!" The distaff leg went to Royal Surprise (RC Royalty-Miss Conway), also in 1:59.2. After getting away fourth, the filly tipped three-deep at three-quarters and pulled away to a two-length win. It was also the first career win for Royal Surprise ($6.50) who is trained by Dan Daley for owners Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford, Richard Lombardo and Michael White. "She was good the whole mile and when I asked her, she just trotted away. She was good tonight" said winning driver Jim Morrill Jr. There was a huge crowd on hand Saturday night and the fans both in the stands and watching remotely, were putting some money through the windows. The total handle was up 15% this year, versus Kane night of 2014. The Paddock Room and enclosed grandstand were very crowded and the clubhouse was sold out once again. There were so many people in line to receive their free Kane Pace t-shirt, it took over two races to distribute the goods. Racing will reconvene at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 7) for a 12-race program that will commence at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Batavia, NY--- Possibly the finest overall field of Open pacers to ever set hoof on the Batavia Downs racing surface will come together for the 13th annual Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace on Saturday night (Oct. 3). The harness racing card will offer $220,950 in total purses, the second highest amount in the history of the track behind September 9, 1988; the night that featured the only Breeders Crown to ever be contested at the Downs. ($321,656 in total purses) A newly-crowned world record holder, two millionaires and one of the grittiest top-end pacers in the north-east lead an all-star field to post in pursuit of the $50,000 purse and possible new all-time track record. Installed as the morning line 5-2 choice is Atta Boy Dan (Western Terror-Dropitlikeitshot) who is from the powerful Ron Burke Stable. This 6-year-old gelding has three Open wins at three different tracks in his last four starts. His mark of 1:49.1 was taken at the Meadows on July 8 and was only one of six, sub-1:50 mile wins he registered this year. He has 15 wins in 2015 and is 24 out of 27 in the money. Leaving from post one, Jim Morrill Jr. will be driving Atta Boy Dan for the first time since June 15, 2013, when he guided him to victory in 1:50.1 at Pocono Downs. New world record holder, Royal Heart (Royal Art-BJ's Sunrise), is the second choice at 3-1 and lines up next to the favorite in post two. Royal Heart made history last week at Saratoga Raceway when he toured that facility in 1:50 flat, which was a new lifetime mark for the 4-year-old gelding and also made him the fastest 4-year-old pacing gelding ever over a half mile track. He comes into this event razor sharp, looking to register his tenth win of the year. Trainer Jose Godinez has given Drew Monti the driving duties and looks to benefit from some pretty stiff front-end speed. Doctor Butch (Art Major-Classical Yankee) enters this race on the heels of finishing two-lengths behind Mach It So and Foiled Again (who won the Kane Memorial twice) in 1:51.1 in the $150,000 Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway. This 5-year-old horse has seven, sub-1:50 wins this year including three timed in 1:48.1 (his lifetime mark), 1:48.2 and 1:48.4. He also paced in 1:48.2 twice while finishing third. All the 1:48 miles were at the Meadowlands. In all, Doctor Butch has 9 wins and purses totaling $214,165 for the year. Lifetime he has won just over $1 million in purses. Trainer Linda Toscano has Jim Marohn Jr. in the bike and they will leave from post five listed at 7-2. The second millionaire in the race is Luck Be With You (Western Ideal-Trim Hanover) and he comes into this race on a bit of a roll. Luck Be With You has faced the toughest Open pacers all year and the highlight of the campaign was definitely his victory in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace at Pocono Downs on July 4, when he went coast to coast in 1:49 beating the heavily favored State Treasurer. In August, he was shipped to Canada to compete at Mohawk Raceway and raced in the tough Preferred company there. But after several disappointing starts was shipped back to the States, where he has caught fire once again. He has since won back to back starts at Pocono Downs in 1:49.1 and 1:50.2. Trainer Chris Oakes brings Luck Be With You in with much momentum and has Batavia Downs driving leader, Kevin Cummings, at the lines. Cummings and the seven-time winner will leave from post eight, preliminarily rated at 5-1. The entire field is as follows: 1 Atta Boy Dan - Jim Morrill Jr. 5-2 2 Royal Heart - Drew Monti 3-1 3 Aslan Shawn - McDonough 8-1 4 Fireyourguns - Mike Caprio 7-1 5 Doctor Butch - Jim Marohn Jr. 7-2 6 Frankies Dragon - Ronnie Wrenn Jr. 10-1 7 Cobble Beach - John Cummings Jr. 15-1 8 Luck Be With You - Kevin Cummings 5-1 The current all-time pacing track record at Batavia Downs is 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in 2011, which was taken when he won the Kane Memorial Pace that year. There is also an outstanding undercard on Saturday night's 12-race schedule. The $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot has Ron Burke's Tall Cotton shipping in from the Meadows to take on local favorites BZ Glide and Lutetium. And two $50,000 divisions of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolation races for 2-year-old trotters will feature eight fillies and eight colts and geldings going postward. Post time for the first race is 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

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