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Batavia Downs Gaming is pleased to announce that Brittney Ohol will go to post as the new parade marshal for the upcoming harness racing summer-fall meet. Ohol grew up around harness racing while being raised by her grandparents (Mike and Brenda Ohol) who both competed on the western New York circuit for over 30 years. The 21-year-old Lockport (NY) High School graduate attended Medaille College for vet tech before deciding to return to harness racing as a full-time career. After getting her trainer's and qualifying driver's licenses, Ohol started her own stable and now owns and races three horses. Besides conventional competition, she has also been involved with racing under saddle (RUS) in New York State. Ohol started to learn the art of outriding from Wendy Ross at Tioga Downs in 2011 and has now worked with her on and off for over four years. In 2014, Ohol took the position full time at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland. But after the meet ended there, she returned home because it was too far away from family. When the job at Batavia Downs came available this year, the call went out to Brittney Ohol because she was a natural fit and the timing was right for her as well. "I love having the opportunity to take this position at Batavia Downs. It's close to my family and my home base where I know everybody so it makes it so much easier. I want to remain in the business as long as harness racing is around" said Ohol. "I have two good horses named Paco and Cody and they allow me to do my job as well as I can. I am really looking forward to the upcoming meet to get started." "Brittney Ohol has a harness racing pedigree and has been a part of the racing community here at the Downs since she was a child" said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. "Her abilities as a horsewoman combined with her passion for the sport makes her the perfect fit for this job and ensures high-quality assistance to all the horsemen who race here every night. We are very happy to have her on board." The 69th season of live harness racing at America's oldest lighted harness track begins on Monday, July 27 with a 6:35 post time. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Batavia, NY -- Horsemen should be advised that stall applications for the 69th season of live harness racing at Batavia Downs Gaming are now available at the track's website here or can be picked up in person at the second floor reception desk inside America's oldest lighted harness track. For the convenience of western New York horsemen who are currently racing at Buffalo Raceway, these applications are also available at the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association office located on the backstretch of that track. The 2015 Batavia Downs season features 70 race dates and includes eight matinee cards. The annual summer-fall meet commences on Monday, July 27 and concludes on Saturday, December 12. Live racing will be presented on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night basis except for Saturday October 31 (Breeders Cup day) when racing will be conducted at 1:15 p.m. Aside from that three-day rotation, five Sunday afternoon programs will be held beginning on August 2 and continuing through the end of the month. Monday racing includes opening night and holiday programs on Labor Day and Columbus Day. Tuesday racing begins September 15. The season begins with evening post times of 6:35 p.m. and matinee post times of 1:15 p.m. New this year, Tuesday post time moves to 4:30 p.m. while beginning on October 21 all evening programs for the remainder of the season go off at 6:15 p.m., with an anticipated extra race each night being carded. Stall applications can be mailed to the race office at 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY 14020, Attn: Joe Zambito or faxed to 585-343-2451. All stall requests must be received by July 10. The backstretch opens for tack on July 19. Horses may begin arriving in the barn area on July 21. For more information please contact Director/GM of Racing Todd Haight at 585-343-3750 ext. 322 Tim Bojarski

Akron, NY--- The official harness racing program from the 2015 Dan Patch Awards Banquet, which was held in Orlando, Florida on February 22, is now viewable online. The complete 144 page volume is available for download and contains an advertiser's index so you can find any ad in short order. The book also contains many pages of full color photography of all the award winners and honorees along with a plethora of factual information, both current and historical. Simply go to and click the link on the homepage. Tim Bojarski "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is try to do as much as you can in the time that you have."

Batavia, NY --- For the second year in a row, Batavia Downs will be conducting the Genesee County fair races, which feature the New York Sire Stakes fair series. This special day of harness racing is slated for July 16 with post time for the first race set at 1:15 p.m. The race secretary for this event is Donna Kerr and she can be reached via phone at 716-338-5387. The entry box closes July 13 at 10 a.m. but entries can be made in advance of that date. The 2015 live meet at the oldest lighted harness track in America kicks off on Monday, July 27 and will continue through Saturday, December 12. Questions concerning any event of the upcoming racing season should be directed to Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing, at 585-343-3750. Tim Bojarski

Akron, NY--- Fan voting for the harness racing Railbird Recognition Awards concluded this past New Year's Eve and each categorical winner was realized in different ways; one in a photo and one by a landslide. Verlin Yoder, who drove Natural Herbie to an upset victory in the International Trot at Yonkers, was voted as the Horseperson of the Year for 2015. That decision came with the closest margin ever in the five-year history of this award; one vote. On the other end of the spectrum, Sebastian K was the landslide winner of Racing Moment of the Year for setting the new world record trotting mark of 1:49 at Pocono Downs on June 28, 2014. He took 34% of the ballots which more than doubled his nearest competitor for support. Yoder is a 42-year-old horseman from Indiana who has posted very respectable numbers during his training and driving career, but not quite near the top reinsman on the Grand Circuit. However that didn't dissuade him from taking on the big-boys and carrying out one of the best David and Goliath stories in racing this year. After a stellar spring and early summer campaign at Hoosier Park, Natural Herbie was entered in the Vincennes Stake on Hambletonian Day in August. Yoder sent "Herbie" to the front and after getting parked to the quarter, was never headed the rest of the way. In September he won the Sam Noble Memorial Trot at Scioto Downs, after being parked-out virtually the whole mile. Then after two Indiana Sire-Stake victories, the pair stepped into the eye of the storm. Natural Herbie was entered in the $250,000 International Trot at Yonkers against a field that many felt was far his superior. But in the end the consensus was wrong and the pride of the Kokomo steered his charge to victory over the likes of Sebastian K, Commander Crowe and Bee A Magician to score an incredible win and complete what could only be described as a Cinderella season. Sebastian K shipped in from Europe early in 2014 and immediately caught the eye of the racing faithful when he won three consecutive starts in 1:50 and change at the Meadowlands. But it was the fourth start at Pocono Downs that will forever be remembered. That night in the $100,000 Sun Invitational, driver Aka Svanstedt sent Sebastian K off the wings of the gate and straight into the record books. After easily getting the lead and pulling away to a seven-length romp, Sebastian K put the exclamation mark on that race by tripping the timer in 1:49 to set the new standard that all trotters will be measured against for the foreseeable future. Sebastian K went on to win a total of eight races in 2014 and earned $663,853 in purses in North America. But he will always be remembered for the overpowering way he made history. The Railbird Recognition Awards are a joint venture between the United States Harness Writers Association and the United States Trotting Association and is the only fan voted award in the industry. Verlin Yoder and the connections of Sebastian K will receive their awards, along with the Dan Patch Horse of the Year and additional human award trophies, on Sunday (February 22) in Orlando, Fla. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are now available and can be reserved via telephone or e-mail by contacting Judy Davis-Wilson at 302.359.3630 or e-mail or Steve Wolf at 954.654.3757 or e-mail Substantial savings on hotel rooms can be attained for this event, which is being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld. A special rate of $115 can be reserved by calling 407.352.1100 before Jan. 25, 2015, and mentioning code: Dan Patch or by clicking this link. The deadline for the Dan Patch Awards journal is Monday (Jan. 26). To advertise in the souvenir journal, please contact Chris Tully by calling 845.807.7538 or e-mail All of this information and applicable advertising forms can be accessed via internet link   Tim Bojarski Hoof Beats Magazine Columnist

Akron, NY---The Railbird Recognition voting for Racing Moment of the Year will conclude tonight (Wednesday, Dec. 31) at midnight, so this is your last opportunity to cast your ballot to express your opinion as to your choice for the most memorable racing moment of 2014. Voting takes place on the USTA homepage. With voting for the Horseperson of the Year having already concluded on Dec. 19, both categories will have now been completed. The results of the fan voting will be announced on Thursday (Jan. 8) and both awards will be presented to their respective winners during the Dan Patch Awards Banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday (Feb. 22). The Railbird Recognition Awards were created for the fans to have a way to express their opinions about who they think are the best the sport has to offer and are the only fan driven award in the industry. The voting is run by the United States Harness Writers Association in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association. By Tim Bojarski for USHWA

Akron, NY---The Railbird Recognition voting for Horseperson of the Year will conclude Friday (Dec. 19) at midnight. The polls will then be reloaded and switched to take your input on the Racing Moment of the Year. The Railbird Awards were created for the fans to have a way to express their opinions about who they think are the best the sport has to offer and are the only fan driven award in the industry. The voting is run by the United States Harness Writers Association in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association and the actual voting is conducted on the USTA website. Voting for Horseperson of the Year ran from Monday (Dec. 8) and will end on Friday (Dec. 19) at midnight, while the balloting for the best Racing Moment of the Year will begin on Saturday (Dec. 20) and conclude on Wednesday (Dec. 31) at midnight. A list of nominees for each award has been compiled by members of USHWA, based on what they believe were the most impactful people and moments in the sport during 2014. Those have been placed on the ballots where the fans can then make their selections from. Fans can only vote once per category. The winners will be announced on Thursday (Jan. 8) and will be presented with their awards during the Dan Patch Awards Banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday (Feb. 22). By Tim Bojarski for USHWA

Batavia, NY---The live racing season at Batavia Downs ended on Saturday (Dec. 6) in front of a completely sold out clubhouse and robust grandstand crowd. This was more the rule than the exception this year at the oldest lighted harness track in North America and was due to a great live product on the track and one of the most aggressive slates of promotions ever presented in western New York. On the racing side, Kevin Cummings was a runaway winner of the dash driving title registering 163 wins, $718,148 in purses and a UDR of .385. Cummings 163 wins was the second highest win total ever recorded for a meet at Batavia Downs behind Jim Morrill Jr.'s 177 victories set back in 2006. Drew Monti finished second with 83 wins and Shawn McDonough was third with 76 victories. Jim Morrill Jr. led all drivers in UDR with a phenomenal .479, hitting the board 123 times in 192 starts. He amassed $485,172 in winnings along the way. Morrill also posted a six-win night on Oct. 24 while along with Kevin Cummings and Drew Monti, also had multiple five-win nights throughout the meet. Trainer J.D. Perrin led all local conditioners with 48 wins, $221,599 in purses and a UTR of .353, which was also the highest UTR of all trainers with at least 100 starts at the meet. Local legend Gerry Sarama was second with 41 tallies and Alex Giuliani finished the meet very strong to be third with 39 first place finishes. The horses provided great races to watch and wager on all year and produced some memorable moments that included five new track records. The first of three track records that occurred in New York Sire Stake action happened on Jul. 28 when All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) lowered the standard for 3-year-old pacing colts when he scored an eight length victory in 1:51.2. That time was only one-fifth of a second shy of the all-time track record set by Aracache Hanover in 2011. Then on Aug. 20, Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer) set a new mark for 2-year-old trotting geldings when he toured the facility in 1:58 flat in an unchallenged romp. The final was registered on Aug. 27 when Sassa Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) rewrote the 2-year-old filly pacer mark with a 1:54.2 victory in a more than convincing style. In the aged horse category, Lutetium (Jul. 27) and Second Hand News (Aug. 10) both broke the mark for older gelding trotters when they each stopped the timer in 1:56 in their respective races. The $50,000 Robert J. Kane Pace, Batavia Downs signature stake, was held on Oct. 18 and it provided one of the most exciting finishes of the year. After current track record holder Aracache Hanover (Kevin Cummings) went to the front and tried to best his own mark, eventual winner Bolt The Duer and local driving favorite John Cummings Jr. saved ground at the rail to the top of the stretch when he came up the inside in a four-horse scramble down the lane to win in 1:53.4. BZ Glide was named Trotter of the Meet, Fireyourguns was named Pacer of the Meet and Bazooka Terror was named the Pacing Mare of the Meet. Inclement weather hindered the proceedings five times this year at the Downs when everything from wind to rain to snow caused one cancellation in August and four in November. That was the largest number of cancelled racing dates in one year in the history of the track. At the windows, the Downs held their own and saw a slight increase in handle. The on-track was virtually unchanged from last year, actually ending up $7 a night. And after back to back years of significant growth in the export handle, this year saw an increase of 6%. The total handle was up 1.1%. Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing said "The meet had its ups and downs but for the most part the season went well. We regretted the five cancellations but circumstances dictated they were necessary and we did end up recouping some of those dates." "We will go back to drawing board now to look at what worked and what could be improved and try to please the fans with new promotions. Next year we will be adding some more afternoon programs including Halloween, which is also Breeder's Cup day. And we are also evaluating our post times and may make some adjustments there as well." Haight concluded "I would like to thank all our horsemen for all their hard work and effort and our fans who came out in solid numbers all year. " Pending approval from the New York State Gaming Commission, Batavia Downs will resume live racing on July 27 and will run through December 12. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---With the horses that finished 1-2 in last week's top pace going off co-favorites, newcomer No Real Surprise (who won the Open II last week in a faster mile) was overlooked. But when he came away with the victory in the $11,000 Open pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 6), it was no real surprise to his connections. The gate released a cavalry charge as Just Frank (Rock C. Vinci) parked out Union Man Hanover (Kevin Cummings) and Youwillwishyouhad (John Cummings Jr.) who was bound and determined to take the front. As the three-pack hit the quarter in :27.1, Cummings Jr. got his way and drifted down to the pylons to lead the field. However no sooner did that occur that the eventual winner, No Real Surprise (Shawn McDonough), came first over and refused to give Youwillwishyouhad a breather. When the pair drew even at the three-quarters in 1:26.2, they paced in tandem from there in what simply became a match race. With whips and lines raised, Cummings Jr. and McDonough's charges went stride for stride around the far turn and halfway down the stretch. At that point No Real Surprise got a slight advantage that he held to the wire, winning by a half length in 1:58. Youwillwishyouhad gallantly hung on for second and What The Sheik (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) was much the best of the rest. It was the eleventh win in 31 starts for No Real Surprise ($12.80) who was a recent acquisition from Yonkers Raceway for owners Vogel and Wags Nags Stable. The winner's share of the purse raised his 2014 earnings to $69,509. No Real Surprise is trainer by Ron Van Wagoner. Driver John Cummings Jr. had the hot hand winning three races on the night with Drew Monti and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. both registered driving doubles. With the conclusion of Saturday night's card, the Batavia Downs summer-fall meet came to a close. Live racing will resume at the track on July 14, 2015, pending date approval from the New York Gaming Commission. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---After taking the top mares trot just seven days ago, Fiorentina came right back and forced her hand again while winning the $9,000 Batavia Downs harness racing feature on Friday night (Dec. 5). At the start of the race as Fiorentina (Kevin Cummings) was going to the front, Iza Bella (Shawn McDonough) made a break and scattered the field. So when Fiorentina hit the quarter in :28.4, the five horses behind her were spread out 12 lengths apart. As the race progressed with Fiorentina calling the shots, the group tightened up behind her and by the three-quarter pole, the five were double-decked and within three lengths of each other. But they were arguing for minor spoils as Fiorentina was trotting with desire and was not about to be denied. The 5-year-old Angus Hall mare won in 1:59.3 by two and one-half lengths. Dayplanner (Dave McNeight III) was second and Iza Bella recovered from her break to finish third. It was the seventh win in 22 starts this year for Fiorentina ($5.30) and it raised her earnings total to $49,380 for owners Frank Lamacchia and Guy Polillo. John Mungillo trains the winner. Drivers Kevin Cummings, Drew Monti and Dave McNeight III all scored driving doubles on the night. The 2014 Batavia Downs meet has come down to its final 24 races and the action begins on Saturday (Dec. 6) at 12:15 when the first half of a closing day double-header kicks off. The nightcap begins at 6:35 and both cards feature 12 races. The Pick-6 carryover in $9,034 and it will be paid out tomorrow.   Tim Bojarski

 Batavia, NY --- The curtain comes down on another racing season at Batavia Downs Saturday night (Dec. 6), but the three remaining cards truly offer something for everyone. Friday night (Dec. 5) features the biggest Pick-6 carryover of the season, $6,640, and there is also a free $1,000 Pick-6 contest that night as well. In order to be eligible for the contest you must sign-up at the Players Club before 5:00 when the contest begins. The contest Pick-6 begins on race four; the wagering Pick-6 begins on race seven. Also on Friday night, it's Customer Appreciation Night. $1 racing programs begin at 5:00 at the program stand and Subway sampler subs along with cake and coffee will be served in the enclosed Grandstand after the fourth race. Patrons dining in the Clubhouse will receive $10 back in gaming free-play when purchasing the prime rib, shrimp and crab leg buffet. A reservation is reccomended as we are expecting to sell out. Then Saturday afternoon features another 12 race program with Post time set at 12:15. Saturday afternoon features an amazing clubhouse buffet deal; when you purchase the buffet for $10.95, you get $10 back in gaming free play after earning one point on the gaming floor. That's lunch for less than a buck and free money for the gaming floor. This offer is available from noon until 3 only. Saturday evening is closing night and features our popular Quinella match play promotion, the final $1,000 Pick-6 contest ($500 if won on Friday night) in which players only have to pick the most winners to win. And it's also the Upstate New York Chapter of USHWA's annual Night of Distinction where awards will be distributed to both human and equine performance leaders throughout the evening. Post time is 6:35. The Paddock room will remain open for simulcast wagering from 11:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday. "I think we're going out with a bang," Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing said. "With all the activities going on, I'm confident we will draw nice crowds to end the meet. I would also like to thanks everyone for their support this racing season." By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Akron, NY---The United States Harness Writers Association, in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association, are looking for fans of harness racing to express their opinions by voting for their favorite horseperson and racing moment of the year in the sixth annual Railbird Recognition Awards. The Railbird Awards were created so the fans could have a voice to express their opinions about who they think are the best the sport has to offer and are the only fan driven award in the industry. The actual voting will be conducted on the USTA homepage as in the past, but this year the Harness Racing Fan Zone will also play a big part in the promotion. Voting for "Horseperson of the Year" will run from Monday, Dec. 8 through Friday, Dec. 19, while the balloting for the best "Racing Moment of the Year" will begin on Saturday, Dec. 20 and conclude on Wednesday, Dec. 31 at midnight. Fans may only vote once per category. A list of nominees for each award has been compiled by members of USHWA, based on what they believe were the most impactful people and moments in the sport during 2014. Those have been placed on the ballots where the fans can then make their selections from. You can only vote for one choice in each category. The winners will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 8, and those winners will be presented with their awards during the Dan Patch Awards Banquet in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, February 22, 2015. By Tim Bojarski, for USHWA

With the final three cards of racing being held Friday (Dec. 5) and Saturday (Dec. 6), the top horsemen of the meet have been named by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. Kevin Cummings was named the driver of the meet, J.D. Perrin was the trainer of the meet and Mike Caprio was awarded as the Comeback Driver of the Year. Kevin Cummings has simply owned the 2014 Batavia meet. He currently has 158 wins (almost twice as many as his nearest competitor), $693,013 in purses earned and a UDR of .390 for the session. Cummings is having a career year overall for wins (329), earnings ($1.53M) and UDR (.362), his highest for any year he had at least 500 starts. That UDR also places him eleventh in North America among all drivers. Cummings has finished in the money 54% of the time all year. J.D. Perrin has followed up a career year with an almost mirror image. He currently has 43 conditioning wins for the Batavia meet and that puts him on top of his peers by four. His horses have winnings in excess of $200,000 and those performances have also earned Perrin a UTR of .346. His 12 month body of work has yielded 120 victories, $550,188 earned and a UTR of .362. Like Cummings, his horses have also finished in the money 54% of the time all year. Mike Caprio has bounced back in a big way on the local scene in 2014 as he had his best year at the lines since 2006. The 35 year veteran's totals for starts (157), wins (23) and earnings ($144,000) were his best in eight years after racing on a part-time basis during that time. For his career, Caprio has won 1,885 races and over $4 million in purses. This year he had the distinction of being the regular driver of both Batavia Downs Trotter of the Year (BZ Glide) and Pacer of the Year (Fireyourguns). Kevin Cummings, J.D. Perrin and Mike Caprio will receive their awards in the Purple Haze winner's circle on Saturday night (Dec. 6) during UNY-USHWA's Night of Distinction. By Tim Bojarski, for UNY-USHWA

Batavia, NY---As the 2014 racing season winds to a close at Batavia Downs, the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association would like to recognize the top equine athletes who competed there this year. BZ Glide was named Trotter of the Meet, Fireyourguns was the Pacer of the Meet and Bazooka Terror was named the Outstanding Distaff Performer of either gait. BZ Glide (1:56.4H $116,957) was dominant in the Open trot class this year, winning seven times at the top level. In his 14 starts at the meet he earned $40,582 and tied his lifetime mark of 1:56.4. BZ Glide likes to come from behind and he plied his trademark move in every victory this year, providing local fans with many exciting finishes. The 5-year-old son of Yankee Glide-Bloomer Zoomer is owned by Mike Caprio who also drove him in every start. Caprio's wife Alana trains BZ Glide. Fireyourguns (1:48.0S $220,121)garnered the most Open pace victories and sported a gaudy win percentage in the process. In only eight Batavia starts, Fireyourguns won five times (.625) with a best win time of 1:53.1 in those starts. Mike Caprio also drove Fireyourguns in each one of his local efforts for trainer Terrence McClory, who owns the 5-year-old son of American Ideal-Villa Hanover with Jennifer and Robert Lowe. Fireyourguns was also named Pacer of the Meet at Batavia Downs in 2013. Bazooka Terror (1:52.1F $147,007)lived up to her name this year, terrorizing the local pacing mares on the track since she arrived. She hit the board 13 times out of 16 starts with five wins, six seconds and two thirds, amassing $40,582 in purses all in the Open mare's class. She had a best local clocking of 1:53.4 and was teamed each week by her regular driver, the Downs leader Kevin Cummings, for owner Leonard Segall. During the meet, the 5-year-old daughter of Western Terror-Lucky Liz was trained by both Leonard Segall and James Clouser Jr. The connections of all three horses will receive their awards in the winner's circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 6) during the UNY-USHWA Night of Distinction. By Tim Bojarski, for UNY-USHWA

Batavia, NY---Robert J. Kane was the chairman of the board of Western Regional Off Track Betting (WROTB) for 26 years, but he was also a huge fan of harness racing. When a longtime local racetrack went out of business in Batavia, it looked like an economic blow to many horsemen as well as the community it resided in. But Kane didn't see a failed busoness, he saw an opportunity for a rebirth. After Batavia Downs became insolvent in the late 1990's, New York State pulled their racing license from its former owners and the one time giant of the sport was relegated to an abandoned relic of the past. In 1998, Kane saw the opportunity for WROTB to keep harness racing alive in Western New York and convinced his group to purchase the shuttered track. But reopening it was going to take a lot more than just writing the check. WROTB is a public benefit corporation and the state had never granted a pari-mutual license to such an owner before. In order to have legislation changed to facilitate getting this done, Kane worked diligently for four years to obtain a racing license from New York State in order to reopen the track in 2002. When video gaming machines were legalized and came online at race tracks throughout New York State, purse accounts swelled and more racing opportunities were presented through additional race dates and Batavia Downs was a big part of that renaissance. And since that time, a sport that was once on shaky ground in this area has now been solidly anchored at this track. Had Kane not pushed to rebuild the track and position it for the future, Batavia Downs would now more than likely be a parking lot for the shopping corridor that borders it to the north. In a sad twist of fate, Robert J. Kane died two weeks before the first live race was scheduled to be held at the newly opened track in 2002, so he never got to see the fruits of his labor. But in the years since, the improvement of the live racing product and the multiple expansions of the gaming floor turned what was once was an empty building into the preeminent attraction in all of Genesee County. That has secured harness racing in this area for the foreseeable future and that is due to the vision of Robert J. Kane. This award will be presented posthumously in the winner's circle at Batavia Downs during Upstate New York USHWA's night of Distinction on Saturday, December 6. By Tim Bojarski, for Upstate New York USHWA

Batavia, NY---Jami Chatt is a fourth generation horsewoman and the granddaughter of longtime western New York driving favorite Fred Haslip. She has been around the WNY racing colony all her life and is currently one of two outriders who ply their trade at Batavia Downs. She is there on race nights to help the horses on the track, but when one horseman was seriously injured last November she took her assistance to a another level. When Anthony Coletta went down in a wreck at Harrah's Philadelphia in 2013, the burden of his medical bills became onerous in a time when his family needed to concentrate on his recovery. Many horsemen across North America held fundraisers and made donations to help offset those costs and without hesitation, Chatt became one such champion of the cause. Chatt started the "Stay Strong Anthony Coletta Fund Drive" which ran for several weeks. She made contact with all local owners and horsemen both in person and via social media to solicit as many contributions as she could. She sold wrist bands, held silent auctions, got donations of purse percentages from drivers and trainers as well as donations from Batavia Downs staff and fans in the stands through collections at the track. When the appeal was completed, Chatt had collected a total of $12,835, all of which was donated directly to Anthony Coletta. Her efforts left a lasting impression on the Coletta family as well as everyone involved in the sport in western New York. It was for her selfless determination to make someone else's misfortune just a little bit easier to deal with that Jamie Chatt has been named the 2014 Unsung Hero at Batavia Downs. Jamie Chatt will be honored in the winner's circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday, December 6, during the Upstate New York USHWA Night of Distinction. By Tim Bojarski, for Upstate NY USHWA

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