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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

Latham, NY---With the onset of a New Year comes a new administration group for the organization that represents the many Standardbred Breeders in the Empire State. The Harness Horse Breeders of New York State (HHBNYS) has announced that Noelle Duspiva was elected the new president, Ken Jacobs the new vice-president and Jean Brown the new secretary by a vote of the Board of Directors. Anne Zweig was re-elected as treasurer. Noelle Duspiva has been the farm manager at Winbak Farm in Walden, NY since 2010. After graduating from Morrisville College with a Bachelor's degree in Equine Science and Management, Ms. Duspiva started her career at Winbak as an intern before being promoted to assistant farm manager in 2004. Ms. Duspiva is an excellent horsewoman who enjoys horseback riding and who has also competed in the racing-under-saddle series (RUS) in 2011. Noelle Duspiva had been serving as secretary. Ken Jacobs is the founder and owner of KJ Electric which is headquartered in Syracuse, NY. He has been a Standardbred owner and breeder in New York State since 1985. His horse's performances have always been a factor both in the New York Sire Stakes and on the Grand Circuit. A short list of his top performers include Lizbet Kash, Kenneth J, He's Gorgeous and Heston Blue Chip, who is standing his first season in New York next year. Ken Jacobs had previously served as a board member. Jean Brown has been employed by Blue Chip Farms, LLC in Wallkill, NY since 2000 and made the VP and General Manager at Blue Chip Farms in 2014. A lifelong devotee of the sport, Ms. Brown lived on Castleton Farm as a child before her family moved to New York so her father, Hall of Famer Bill Brown, could take the position of head trainer of Blue Chip Farm. Ms. Brown is a current member of the Zweig Committee. Jean Brown had previously served as a board member. Here is the complete list of Board members for 2015: Executive Committee Noelle Duspiva, President Ken Jacobs, Vice President Jean Brown, Secretary Anne Zweig, Treasurer Board of Directors Peter Arrigenna Robert Brooks Wanda Polisseni Jeff Gural Dan Henry David Kane Larry Sautter, DVM Erin Shantel Anne Zweig (Honorary Director) Harness Horse Breeders of New York State 12 Avis Drive, Suite 1 Latham, New York 12110 Tel: 518-785-5858 Fax: 518-785-5848 info@hhbnys.com By Tim Bojarski, for HHBNYS

Batavia, NY---After a late scratch contracted an already short field, Youwillwishyouhad went from worst to first to capture the $11,000 Open pace feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov.29). What The Sheik (Dave McNeight III) left from the pylons and parked American Bull (Kevin Cummings) past the eighth pole before he eventually cleared on the backstretch. McNeight then immediately completed the give-and-go as he retook by the quarter. At the half, Southwind Whiski (Drew Monti) pulled to advance and had Youwillwishyouhad (John Cummings Jr.) drafting behind him in the outer flow. As the tight group passed the three-quarters and headed into the last turn, Cummings Jr. pulled Youwillwishyouhad three-deep and circled the leading pair down the lane to win in 1:57.2. What The Sheik was second and Southwind Whiski hung on for third. It was the fifth win in the last six starts at Batavia Downs for Youwillwishyouhad ($10.80) and his eleventh victory overall for the year. The 3-year-old Artiscape gelding has pocketed $52,562 for 2014 for owner Leonard Segall. Youwillwishyouhad is trained by James Clouser Jr. There was an accident in the eleventh race of the evening card that involved three horses at the back of the pack. Vital Speed (Ray Fisher Jr.) got away fifth and was gapping the field bad at the three eighths pole when he made a break and went down, causing Box You In (Shawn McDonough) and Corwhiny (Truman Gale) to pile-up behind him and dump their drivers. Vital Speed was gathered up on the infield by his driver and the loose horse was caught by outrider Ashley Holliday. Drivers Ray Fisher and Truman Gale came away unscathed but Sean McDonough suffered an ankle injury and was treated and released by the ambulance crew on-site. The horses Box You In and Corwhiny both suffered abrasions but were expected to be alright. Vital Speed had a serious shoulder injury and possible nerve damage and is under a veterinarian's care. Kevin Cummings, Sean McDonough, John Cummings Jr. and Jim McNeight all scored driving doubles Saturday night. During the Saturday afternoon card, Kevin Cummings had four wins, Drew Monti had three and John Cummings Jr. had two. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Dec. 3) with post time at 6:35. There is a large Pick-6 carry over pool of $5,100 available that night with a mandatory payout on the final night of racing (Dec. 6) if no one wins it by then. There are only three cards of racing remaining in the 2014 season. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY-- An abbreviated field of five turned into a two horse race in Batavia Downs $11,000 Open trot on Friday night (Nov. 28) and for the fifth time of the harness racing meet, Lutetium prevailed. Driver Kevin Cummings utilized a very unconventional strategy with the front-running Lutetium, letting Second Hand News (Shawn McDonough) cut the mile and then taking a two-hole trip. Second Hand News proceeded to dictate the pace with fractions of :28.2, 1:00 and 1:29.4 through the cold night air while Lutetium followed snug in second and the rest of the field watched from behind. At the top of the stretch Cummings pulled the pocket and Lutetium brought game while methodically running down the race-long leader to the wire, eventually winning by a head in 1:59. Second Hand News was second and Absolutely Certain (Ron Beback Jr.) finished third. The victory was number 16 overall for the year for Lutetium ($5.30) and pushed his earnings to $90,190 for owner Colleen Girdlestone. The 7-year-old Credit Winner gelding is trained by Mark Laidlaw. Drivers Kevin Cummings and Dave McNeight III had outstanding nights in the bike as they both won four races on the card. Ron Beback Jr. also registered a driving double. Lofty superfecta payoffs continued in race 12 at Batavia as the 4-5-6-7 combination returned $7,647. Live racing resumes on Saturday (Nov. 29) at Batavia Downs with the first of two double header cards being presented on the last two Saturdays of the meet. Post times are set for 12:15 and 6:35. Tim Bojarski

Stephen A. Flanigen Jr., 75, longtime owner, trainer and driver in western New York, died on November 19, 2014 of natural causes. Steve Flanigen got his start in harness racing after getting interested in the sport through his uncle (Charles Flanigen). He got his license in 1962 at the age of 23 and cut his teeth at the track while working full time on the railroad. After racing one or two of his own horses and picking up a catch drive every now and then, Mr. Flanigen's public stable took off in the early 1980's. Through sharp claims and private purchases, he put together a powerful string of race horses that filled the top classes at both Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway for many years. Dorado Drummond, Citronnelle, Rascal Lew J, Danny Fo, Hurry Murray and Avon Sandy are just a few of the horses that pushed Mr. Flanigen to the top of the trainer and driver standings in western New York from 1982 to 1986. He also campaigned successfully at Vernon Downs, the Meadows, Lake Shore Meadows and Rosecroft Raceway during that time. Steve Flanigen drove his last race in 1992 and turned the lines over to his son, Jack, while he continued to train full time. During his career he drove 256 winners that earned $624,552.00 in purse money. As a conditioner, Mr. Flanigen sent another 456 winners to post that brought home $844,515.00 in proceeds. Steve Flanigen was one of the most-liked horsemen on the local circuit and was always happy to help out his fellow horsemen. Whereas he was quite adept at racing pacers, he was particularly skilled at hanging up a trotter and his successes with students of that gait was a trademark throughout his career. When not in the paddock, Mr. Flanigen enjoyed playing cards and bowling and was quite accomplished at both. Mr. Flanigen was the beloved husband of Mary (Murphy); devoted father of Jack (Diane), David (Rachelle) and Shannon (Craig) Whylly; loving grandfather of five; dear brother of Florence, Lallah (John) Cummings and the late Edwin, Sally and Mary; son of the late Stephen and Emma (Lore) Flanigen; brother-In-Law of Jack Murphy. Friends may call Tuesday (Nov. 25) from 2-4 and 7-9 PM at the James W. Cannan Funeral Home (Southtowns Chapel), 3155 Orchard Park Rd. The funeral will be held on Wednesday (Nov. 26) at 9:30 at Our Mother of Good Council Church,3688 South Park Ave, Blasdell, NY. By Tim Bojarski, president, UNY USHWA

Batavia, NY---The New York State Gaming Commission approved two Saturday afternoon cards of racing that were applied for by Batavia Downs to make up for the cancellation of last Friday (Nov. 21) and Saturday (Nov. 22) night's races due to the adverse weather conditions that plagued western New York last week. With much of the area buried in up to eight feet of snow, The Downs was forced to cancel three nights of live racing. So in an effort to allow the local horsemen to compete for those scheduled purses heading into the winter break, the track asked the state to allow them to run two double-headers on the last two Saturdays of the meet. With that permission granted, November 29 and December 6 will now have two complete cards of racing with post times set at 12:15 and 6:35. A special dining deal has been added for the fans attending the Saturday matinees cards. If you purchase the lunch buffet in the clubhouse for $10.95, you will get $10 back in free play for the gaming floor. So you get lunch for less than a buck! (Must earn one point to redeem this offer) This special is good only for the November 29 and December 6 Saturday afternoon cards of racing. For the horsemen, in addition to the extra race dates, a 20% across-the-board purse increase will also go into effect immediately for the last six racing dates. With the new racing opportunities in place, please note the new draw schedule. The Friday and Saturday afternoon cards will be drawn on Tuesday. The Saturday night cards will be drawn on Wednesday. And the final Wednesday of the meet will be drawn on Friday, as always. The box will close at 9 a.m. If you have any questions please contact Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6161. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

As a direct result of the relentless snowstorms that has crippled most of western New York, Batavia Downs has announced that it will forgo live racing for the remainder of the week. The programs that were originally scheduled for Friday (Nov. 21) and Saturday (Nov. 22) have been cancelled. The decision was made jointly this morning by Batavia Downs management and the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association (WNYHHA) and both parties agreed it was the only thing to do. Bruce Tubin, president of the WNYHHA said "In view of the devastating storm that has kept our horses from their daily exercise routine, our trainers from leaving their homes, and our blacksmiths and veterinarians from attending to our horses, I have mutually agreed with Batavia Downs management to cancel our Friday and Saturday race cards. There was physically no way for us to properly prepare our horses to race this weekend." Todd Haight, Director/GM of live racing at Batavia Downs added "It would have been impossible for the equine athletes to compete at the highest level when most haven't been able to leave the barn for days. The decision to cancel this early takes the pressure off all parties involved. Our main goal now is get the barn area cleared of snow and the racetrack in the best possible condition for next Wednesday. We regret having to cancel but it was the right thing to do to make sure we didn't experience any injuries on or off the track." Further concerns sighted were about horsemen who ship in from areas that have been devastated by the snow and the changing conditions forecast over the next two days taking the weather from cold and snowy to a rapid meltdown and flooding by the weekend. In light of these cancellations, pending approval from the New York State Gaming Commission, there will be two double-headers carded on the last two Saturdays of the meet. November 29 and December 6 will now offer two complete cards of racing at 12:15 and 6:35. Live racing at the Downs is scheduled to resume on Wednesday, November 26. That leaves eight cards of live racing over six days. Please note the new draw schedule. The Friday and Saturday afternoon cards will be drawn on Tuesday. The Saturday night cards will be drawn on Wednesday. And the final two Wednesday's will be drawn on Friday, as always. The box will close at 9 a.m. If you have any questions please contact Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6161. Haight also noted that starting Wednesday, November 26, the purses will increase by 20% in an effort to help the horsemen through the cancellations and as they come to the five week winter break at the end of this meet. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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