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Batavia, NY---It was a pretty simple scenario in the Open pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 27). Arguably the two best horses in the race slugged it out head-to-head and one was left standing. That one was Fireyourguns. Even-money post time favorite What The Sheik (Jim Morrill Jr.) went right to the front to take the lead, a move he hasn't made since mid-August. He paced uncontested through pedestrian fractions of :28 and :57.3 before Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) fired it up on the outside after getting away last. By the three-quarters, Fireyourguns was staring What The Sheik in the eye when Caprio popped the plugs and asked the 5-year-old American Ideal gelding for more. The pair paced around the far turn in tandem-style and battled through mid-stretch before Fireyourguns got to the tiring What The Sheik and paced home to win by an easy length in 1:54.2. The winner paid $6.40. Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) who sat second the whole mile finished in the same spot and What The Sheik hung on for show. It was the eleventh win in 19 starts this year for Fireyourguns and boosted his 2014 earnings to $81,405 for owners Terrence McClory and Jennifer and Robert Lowe. The feature was one of the few races Jim Morrill Jr. didn't win Saturday as he scored a five-bagger on the night. He won with Unicorn Hanover ($12.00) and Santanna's Gal ($4.70) to take both halves of the early Double ($24.40) and then continued to tally with Auditorial ($5.00), Yosemite Cam ($2.50) and Whipmeintoshape ($5.60). Dave McNeight III and Jim McNeight also registered consecutive driving doubles. Racing resumes Tuesday night (Sept. 30) at Batavia Downs with post time set for 6:35. Just a reminder the races can be watched live locally and Time Warner cable channel 98 on both Tuesday and Wednesday nights. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---After getting hung out to dry last week, Armed Dangerously ($6.10) bounced back with the best effort of his career in winning the $9,000 trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 26). At the onset of the race, Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) made a laborious trip to the front after being parked out by Starlitestarbrite (Shawn McDonough) in :28.4. Then after taking his two-length lead past the half, Dartmouth Hall (John Cummings Jr.) initiated the outer flow and took Armed Dangerously (Jim Morrill Jr.) along with him. When the pair drew near Justgottogetthere before the three-quarter pole, Cummings elected to tuck Dartmouth Hall in behind the leader while Morrill urged Armed Dangerously to trot on. Morrill's decision ended the race because Armed Dangerously pulled away around the last turn and down the stretch to post a wrapped-up, three-length victory in 1:57.4. The winning time was a new lifetime mark. Justgottogetthere gallantly hung on for second and Force Nine (Ron Beback Jr.) closed to show. It was the seventh win in 21 starts this year for the 5-year-old Cash Hall horse and it drove his annual earnings up to $38,511 for owner Mike Torcello. Armed Dangerously is trained by Gerry Sarama. There were also two divisions of the CKG Billings amateur driver series on the docket. The first $4,500 division went to Windsong Destroyer ($16.40) driven by Richard Roach and the second $4,500 division went to Allpointsbulletin ($6.60) driven by Steve Oldford. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. piloted three winners on the night while Drew Monti registered a driving double. Morrill is currently the second ranked percentage driver in North America among all reinsmen starting at least 500 times this year. He is boasting a gaudy .403 UDR which is only .005 from the top spot. Racing resumes on Saturday night (Sept. 27) at Batavia Downs with a 6:35 scheduled post. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

 Batavia, NY---A small field of fleet pacing mares went postward Wednesday night (Sept. 24) in the $9,250 distaff Open at Batavia Downs and when the dust settled, Dirty Girty turned in a spotless performance. Off the wings, Infrontigo Hanover (Truman Gale) sped away, seating Taylor Rei (Ray Fisher Jr.) and She's A Maniac (Jim McNeight) who left as a pair. After pacing through fractions of :27.4 and :56.3, Mondatta (Mike Caprio) and Dirty Girty (Jack Flanigen) started the trek up the outside as the group went into the clubhouse turn. At that point, Infrontigo Hanover tried to run and hide, opening up a three length lead. But Flanigen tipped Dirty Girty three-wide around the sputtering Mondatta to keep pace with the leader. They continued to gobble up ground when they hit the three-quarters in 1:24.4, and eventually drew even with Infrontigo Hanover. Then through the lane, Flanigen just raised the lines and let Dirty Girty do it all by herself, pacing away to a two-length victory in 1:54. A fast-closing Bazooka Terror (Kevin Cummings) was second and Infrontigo Hanover hung on for third. It was the seventh win in 30 starts for Dirty Girty, raising her 2014 earnings to $46,325 for owner/trainer James Clouser Jr. The winner paid $10.80. Kevin Cummings, Shawn McDonough and Jim McNeight all scored driving doubles on the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 26) with post time set for 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Lightly regarded Burton Blue Chip and harness racing driver Lee Dahn took full advantage of the rail to position themselves for a perfect trip en route to victory in the Saturday night (Sept. 20) Open pace feature at Batavia Downs. Burton Blue Chip ($16.20) took the field to a peppy :27.3 first quarter before Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) gained the lead at that station after being parked-out from the start. With the 8 on top, the rest of the field then marched in post-position order until the clubhouse turn when an outer flow developed with Rock N Roll Legend (Kevin Cummings) and Big Unit (Mike Whelan). When the group passed the three-quarters in 1:25.4, it started to get crowded up front. Fireyourguns was still on the lead with Rock N Roll Legend outside and Big Unit tipped three-deep. But Burton Blue Chip was lying in wait behind the leader since the quarter. At the head of the stretch the rail opened up and rewarded the patient Burton Blue Chip with a straight line to the wire and a one-length triumph in 1:55.2. What The Sheik (Dave McNeight III) closed from last to be second and Cactus Jack (Shawn McDonough) was third.   It was the sixth win in 28 starts for the 5-year-old American Ideal gelding and boosted his 2014 earnings to $39,710. The 1:55.2 clocking tied his lifetime mark set earlier this year. Burton Blue Chip is owned by Lee and Larry Dahn and is trained by Lee Dahn. Driver Kevin Cummings registered another grand slam Saturday with Precise Accusation ($6.50), Freaky Flyer ($6.20), Most Happy Rider ($6.80) and Golden Star Spike ($5.00). Drivers Ron Beback Jr. and Mike Whelan also scored driving doubles. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Tuesday night at 6:35.  Tim Bojarski

Batavia, NY---After watching the proceedings from last for a half, noted closer BZ Glide swooped the field for the third time in the last four weeks to take the featured $9,500 Open trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 19). Even money post-time favorite Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) did what he does best and blasted to the front in :28 flat. But just as soon as he settled, Armed Dangerously (Jim Morrill Jr.) had pulled from fifth and was floating up the outside. As they passed the half in :57.1, Morrill's charge sputtered but the cavalry was right behind. Sack Full Of Gold (Michael Whelan) was rolling up the rim and Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) and BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) had tipped three-high and were barreling. Around the entire last turn, Lutetium, Justgottogetthere and BZ Glide were three deep from the rail out. But when they hit the head of the lane, BZ Glide became a man among boys and put away the competition under a hand-drive from Caprio. BZ Glide won by a length in 1:56.4 which was a seasonal mark for the Yankee Glide gelding and also matched his lifetime mark set last year. The winner returned $10.40. Justgottogetthere hung on for second and Serious George (Jack Flanigen) was third. It was the seventh win in 18 starts for BZ Glide and the victory topped off his 2014 bank at $52,105 for owner Mike Caprio. BZ Glide is trained by Alana Caprio. Driver Kevin Cummings scored another driving triple on the night while Jim Morrill Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. both tallied doubles. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept. 20) with a 6:35 post. Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Hopefully they looked at her face before the race because that's all they saw was tail once she set sail. Distaff pacing invader Mc Taylor (Ray Fisher Jr.) made quick and easy work of the local gals as she convincingly led from gate to wire in the mares Open pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 17). As soon as the gate drove away, Ray Fisher Jr. made a bee-line for the front and opened up a gapped three-length lead at the quarter. He then set a blistering pace that took the mare to the three-quarters pole in 1:24 flat, on the lead by ten lengths. At that point the rest of the field became mere spectators relegated to arguing for minor spoils. Mc Taylor cruised home to a shut-down seven-length victory in 1:53.2, which was only two-fifths of a second off the track record for aged pacing mares set by Xenia Hanover (1:53) in 2013. Sent off as the third betting choice, the 7-year-old Camluck mare returned $11.40 for the win. Dontch Remember (Shawn McDonough) finished second and Dirty Girty (Jim McNeight) was third.   This was the fifth win in 26 starts for Mc Taylor who is owned by Robert Main and trained by Jason Robinson. The winner's share of the purse boosted here lifetime earnings to an impressive $328,050. Drivers Ray Fisher Jr. and Ron Beback Jr. both scored driving triples on the card and Jack Flanigen chimed in with a double. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 19) with post time set for 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---After a perfect trip in a short field, Best Ears scored his second Open pace victory in the last three weeks, capturing the featured race in 1:54.4. Favored Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) took early command and led an unfettered life through a causal :57 half. With no other takers, driver Jack Flanigen pulled Best Ears and came first over to pressure the leader and that's when it got interesting. McNeight stepped up the pace with a :28.3 third panel to try and put some distance between his horse and the approaching conqueror but they couldn't stem the tide. Best Ears roared alongside and the two paced as a pair to the top of the lane. Halfway down the stretch, Best Ears got the advantage and took the lead and held off a late charging What The Sheik (Dave McNeight III) in the process. What The Sheik finished second and Western Alumni hung on for third. It was the seventh win in 31 starts for Best Ears and increased his 2014 earnings to $49,017 for owners Joseph Amico Jr. and Joseph Amico. The winner returned $5.90. Driver Shawn McDonough scored a driving triple on the night with Kevin Cummings and Jack Flanigen both bagging doubles. Racing resumes on Tuesday at Batavia Downs with post time set for 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---For the second straight week and three out of his last four, BZ Glide came from well off the lead via a furious stretch drive to capture the $9,500 top trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 12). Heavy post-time favorite Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) sprang off the gate, circled around co-leaver Sack Full Of Gold (Drew Monti) and made his way to the lead immediately after the third race started. He pulled the field along to a :59.4 half before coming under attack from Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) who was motoring up the outside. While the top two were slugging it out past the five-eighths, BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) was seven lengths off, sitting seventh on the rail before Caprio got his steer in gear. By the time the trotters hit the top of the lane, BZ Glide was on Justgottogetthere's back and in full flight tipping three-deep. As Lutetium was fading back to the pack, BZ Glide was circling the stagnant Justgottogetthere to take the lead, the race and the winner's share of the purse. The 5-year-old Yankee Glide gelding tripped the timer in 1:58 and paid $12.20 for the win. BZ Glide is owned by his driver, Mike Caprio and is trained by Alana Caprio. It was the sixth win in 17 starts and his effort increased his annual income to $47,355. Reinsmen Kevin Cummings and Shawn McDonough both scored driving hat tricks and Dave McNeight III posted a double. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Sept.13) with post time set for 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

In what has become a fairly regular event, a ship-in mare circled the locals in the top distaff race at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 10) night. It's A Miracle ($3.40) with Drew Monti aboard, proved to be the best mare on the grounds this week despite having to take the overland route in a pelting rain. As the starter released the girls for the seventh race feature, last week's winner She's A Maniac (Jim McNeight) flew to the front and led the field in post-position order behind her to the quarter in :28.1. Halfway through the turn, Monti pulled It's A Miracle and flushed Dontch Remember (Shawn McDonough) for live cover as they motored to the half in :57.4. The field got small as they were three in and three out at the three-quarters in 1:26.2 when Monti yanked the right line and tipped the 4-year-old Always A Virgin mare three-high. Around the last turn it was She's A Maniac at the pylons with Dontch Remember outside of her and It's A Miracle outside of her. When they straightened out, Kevin Cummings swung notorious closer Bazooka Terror four-deep around the pack and chased It's A Miracle all the way down the stretch. But their effort was to no avail as Monti basically line-drove his mare to the wire, victorious in 1:55.3. Bazooka Terror was second and Dontch Remember was third. This was the fifth win in 28 starts for It's A Miracle, boosting her annual earnings to $94,450 for owners Blindswitch Racing Stable, Santo Farina, David Sebolsky and Stanley Yaskowitz. It's A miracle is trained by Jose Godinez. The Monti/Godinez team also captured the co-featured mares Open II with Cooking The Books ($7.10) in a similar off-the-pace fashion, winning by two lengths in 1:55. Downs driving domineer Kevin Cummings scored another grand slam on Wednesday night, giving him 68 wins for the meet and 242 for the year. Cummings is the tenth leading UDR driver in North America with a .355 mark. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 12) with post time set for 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Betting Exchange and Berkley were on the outside looking in at the $1.8 million Night of Champions at Yonkers coming into tonight's final leg of the New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding division. But winning heals all and that's exactly what they both did to advance to the final next Saturday. In the first $54,500 contest, Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) scored his second win in a row to move from ninth to sixth overall in the standings and lock up a spot in the $225,000 final. Betting Exchange came off the wings for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and went right to the front to cut the mile. After briefly settling in fourth, Americanprimetime and Mark MacDonald pulled and came up to challenge the leader. That move found the colt getting parked through fractions of :27.3, :56 and 1:25.2 before packing it in around the last turn. From that point on Betting Exchange ran away and hid, winning the race by three lengths in 1:55.1. The winner paid $5.70. Play The Field (Kevin Cummings) was second and K Ryan Bluechip (Joe Pavia Jr.) was third. It was the second win in five starts for Betting Exchange and boosted his earnings to $66,125 for owners Howard Taylor, Susan Kajfasz and Tom Fanning, who also trains the horse. After the race Morrill said "I didn't really want to get into a speed duel but he felt real good tonight so I let him roll. After he fought off Americanprimetime he paced very strong to the wire." In the second $54,500 split, Berkley (Art Major-Monterey) caught his competitors and the betting public asleep as he upset both with a strong stretch-drive victory at 17-1. The win boosted him from tenth to seventh in the standings and also qualified him for the lucrative NYSS final. Mark MacDonald sent Bet You out like a rocket and paced strongly on the lead to an uncontested :58.1 half when Southwind Masimo and Mike Lachance came first-over to challenge. That encounter was short lived when the pack straightened out up the backside and Bet You shifted gears to hold the group at bay. To this point, Joe Pavia Jr. had Berkley sitting comfortably In The Pocket behind the leader, just waiting to take his best shot at the head of the lane. Bet You opened up a two length lead coming for home but the fresh-legged Berkley rolled off the pylons and right by the leader with a furious brush to pull the upset in 1:55.3. The winner returned $36.00. Bet You hung on to be second and Southwind Masimo was third. This was the first win in nine starts this year for Berkley and raised his bank to $58,620 for owners Randy Bendis, Reed Broadway and Thomas Pollack. Berkley is trained by Ed Hart. Pavia had a glowing review saying "I was really impressed how good Ed (trainer Hart) had him tonight. He was much improved and raced super. He got a real good trip and we took advantage of it." There were also three divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card, each going for $12,600. The first division was won by Heaven Rocks (Rock N Roll Heaven-Cheerful Outlook) who was driven by Brent Holland in 1:56.1 and returned $4.70. He is owned by Paymag Racing, Greg Gillis, Mystical Marker Farms LLC and Louis Willinger and trained by Erv Miller. The second leg was won by Soto (Rock N Roll Heaven-Incredible Beauty) who was driven by Mark MacDonald in 1:55.2 to pay $4.90. He is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine Inc. and Jim Fielding and is trained by Jimmy Takter. The final split was won by Mystical Pacer (Bettor's Delight-Take My Pulse) who was driven by Brent Holland in 1:56.4 and paid $6.10. He is owned by Mystical Marker Farms, Paymag Racing and Ron Michelon and is trained by Erv Miller. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. scored a driving grand slam while Mark MacDonald and Brent Holland both registered doubles on the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Tuesday evening with a 6:35 post time. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY---Sometimes victory is hard fought and other times it comes without effort. This week, BZ Glide cruised from second last to the winners circle in the $9,000 Open trot at Batavia Downs with nary a nudge from driver Mike Caprio. At the start of the race, Armed Dangerously (Shawn McDonough) made a break almost immediately as the rest of the field pulled away in post-position order. Dartmouth Hall (Kevin Cummings) then led the troops through a pedestrian :29.1 quarter and 1:00.1 half, where Caprio pulled BZ Glide just before that station. The 5-year-old son of Yankee Glide slowly and methodically gained ground on the leader without much urgency displayed from his driver. As the bunch hit the three-quarter pole in 1:29, BZ Glide had pulled even with Dartmouth Hall and then forged ahead from that point forward. Caprio hand-drove the gelding from there winning by a widening two-length margin in 1:58.2. The 1-2 favorite paid $3.00 to win. Sack Full of Gold (Jim McNeight) who had followed the winner second over was second and Serious George (Jack Flanigen) snuck up the rail to be third. This was the fifth win in 16 starts for BZ Glide and raised his yearly earnings to $42,605 for his owner Mike Caprio and trainer Alana Caprio. Reinsmen Ron Beback Jr., Jack Flanigen, Shawn McDonough, Jim McNeight and Drew Monti all scored driving doubles on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 5) and features the $109,000 New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Post time is 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---The last chance to see the best bred standardbreds in the Empire State race at Batavia Downs this year occurs on Saturday night (Sept. 6) when the New York Sire Stakes makes its last stop at the Genesee County oval for 2014. The 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings are featured as the stars of tomorrow and will compete for $109,000 in purses. The first $54,500 NYSS division goes as the fifth race and features seven pacers going postward. Americanprimetime (American Ideal-Prime Example A) is currently ranked second in points for the Night of Champions finals for his sex and gait and boasts a 1:52.4 lifetime mark at Tioga Downs this year. This Rick Dane Jr. trained colt likes to be on the front end and will get his chance here scoring from post three. He has made two breaks in his six starts but when he is on his game he's hard to beat. Brent Holland will sit behind Americanprimetime for the first time in this race. Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) beat Americanprimetime last week at Vernon Downs en route to taking his lifetime mark of 1:51.1. He has been lightly raced due to an injury in July and has only four starts this year. But he's made the most of the opportunities he has had and appears to be improving with every start. Betting Exchange needs points to move up in the standing in order to make the final and this will be his last chance to do it. Top NYSS reinsman Jim Morrill Jr. is aboard for trainer Tom Fanning. Azorean Art (Art Major-Dancin Barefoot) is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter and looks to be coming into this race sharp as a tack. Also coming off a lifetime mark of 1:52.3 at Vernon last week, Azorean Art overcame road trouble the entire race and still found a way to win. Driver Mark MacDonald drove him for the first time in that victory and is back in the sulky here. Azorean Art is currently fifth in the standings but could move up substantially with a win. The second $54,500 NYSS division goes as race nine and has the top horse in the series competing in it. Southwind Masimo (Bettor's Delight-Max's Leading Lady) is a perfect four-for-four this year and all in NYSS action. He has won both on the front and from behind, and on both small and large tracks. The Pat LaChance trained colt took his lifetime mark of 1:54 at Tioga Downs, but he actually paced faster last quarters in his two starts at Yonkers. However Southwind Masimo is coming into this race off a scratch at Vernon last week when he reported sick, so the colt has not raced in 18 days. Whether or not this will affect his performance remains to be seen, but having Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance on board will certainly help his cause. Cartoon Daddy (Art Major-Ask Alice) has four wins in seven starts this year and oddly enough, all four wins were on half-mile tracks. He has a sparkling lifetime mark of 1:53.4 at Yonkers Raceway which is considerably faster than any other horse in this race has paced over a half-mile track. He is currently third in points and could vault to number one with a victory. Cartoon Daddy hails from the powerful Ron Burke stable and will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Bet You (Bettor's Delight-Armbro Amoretto) has two wins and three seconds in six starts this year and the only time he finished off the board was due to an interference break. Also a Takter trainee, Bet You has displayed racing versatility on the track and seems to be brave on the front end. His mark is 1:55.1 at Yonkers but he paced considerably faster in a just-beaten mile at Tioga Downs in 1:52.4. Bet You is right behind Cartoon Daddy in the points standing and could also take the top spot with a win. Mark MacDonald gets his second straight ride behind him in here. There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series to be contested in races one, two and seven going for a total of $37,800. Post time for the first race is 6:35. One other highlight for the night is the return of popular and second leading driver Shawn McDonough who was injured in a spill at Batavia Downs during a race on Labor Day. Only three days removed from the incident, McDonough will be back in the sulky on Friday night and is slated to drive the full card on Saturday. McDonough said "I'm doing pretty good. My ankle is still sore but not too bad, and I have been taking it easy the last few days. But now I'm ready to come back." -- Tim Bojarski

Batavia, NY---After three-straight starts from post two in the $9,250 mares Open pace at Batavia Downs without a win, the fourth time was the charm for She's A Maniac on Wednesday (Sept. 3) as the 7-year-old bay went wire-to-wire for driver Jim McNeight. She's A Maniac circled Real Joy (Drew Monti) out of the gate and took a comfortable one and one-half length lead to the quarter in :27.4. With the rest of the field in post position order behind her, the outer flow started towards her at the half in :57.1. McNeight stepped up the pace to escape the pursuers with a :28.1 third panel as closer and mares Open winner for the last two weeks, Bazooka Terror, was being wound up by Kevin Cummings to take her best shot of the night. But fast and furious came up a bit short this week as the race-long leader completed the circuit in front with a 1:54.4 clocking. She's A Maniac returned $15.60 to her supporters. Bazooka Terror was second and favored Little Santamonica (Truman Gale) was third. This was the ninth win in 28 starts for She's A Maniac bringing her seasonal earnings up to $72,965 for owner North Creek Racing LLC and trainer Jerry Nugent Jr. Leading dash driver Kevin Cummings scored another grand slam on Wednesday night, finishing first with Lucky Style ($5.40), Peaceful Prince ($5.40), Fiftyonefifty ($4.40) and Helena's Hope ($9.10). Racing resumes Friday at Batavia Downs with a 6:35 post. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs      

Batavia, NY---What has been the tradition on Labor Day at Batavia Downs since 1979, a renewal of the annual driver's bike race took place on Monday (Sept. 1) with a full field of eight local reinsmen lining up to compete. Among the contestants were two-time winner Denny Bucceri and last year's winner Mickey Holliday. But it was newcomer Drew Monti who got the job done at the wire. 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. As the pack got away from the gate, the bunched group began to break apart and Holliday found himself in a familiar spot; in front. But Monti was gaining momentum from sixth on the far outside. As they approached the wire, Holliday had a two-length open lead but Monti was flying down the track. Just before the finish, Holliday appeared to lose his rhythm and slowed just enough for the now motoring Monti to fly by him to win the race by a head. After the race, the bikes were given away via random drawing to eight lucky fans from all who correctly selected Monti to win before the event. Also on Monday afternoon, driver Kevin Cummings had a hot hand, winning five races on the card. He piloted Cheshire Cat ($4.60), Tsunami Dream ($6.20), Union Man Hanover ($2.70), Mr. Casual ($6.70) and The Manipulator ($14.40) to the winners circle. Dave McNeight III was right behind him with a driving triple steering Jon Win ($4.40), Kisses N Kicks ($3.30) and Tip N Go ($3.90) to victory. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs    

Batavia, NY---It was bombs-away at Batavia Downs Sunday (Aug. 31) when the heavily favored Major Dancer came up just short at the wire as 40-1 Ken Doll J pulled the surprise in a $39,900 division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Off the gate Sweetnsinful (Jimmy Whittemore) took an uncontested lead around the turn and up the backside before the 1-2 Major Dancer (Jonathan Drury) rushed and took over the top as they hit the quarter in :27.1. After a pedestrian second split of :30.1, Table Talk (Jim Morrill Jr.) started the outer flow and Ken Doll J (Aaron Byron) followed in swift fashion. Feeling the heat, Drury stepped on the gas and tried to pull away to the three-quarters with a :28 flat third panel. But the strategy was ineffective as the chasing pair continued to make up ground through the turn and into the stretch. From that point on it was a real horse race with a tiring Major Dancer coming back to Table Talk, who was outside of her and Ken Doll J, who was three-wide. When they hit the wire, Ken Doll J just got up in the final stride to win in 1:54 and light up the board. The winner paid $83.00. Table Talk was second and Major Dancer hung on to be third. This was the second win of the year for Ken Doll J (Bettor's Delight-Normajeankillean) and also a seasonal mark. The victory brought her earnings up to $74,882 for owner Ken Jacobs. Ken Doll J is trained by Linda Toscano. After the race, Byron said "Everything just worked out. I got a great trip and I didn't really have to do much to half. The filly was real good down the lane." In the first $39,900 division, Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) was the beneficiary of a patient steer and came away with a three-quarter length victory as a result. Up Front Elizabeth (Mark MacDonald) flew off the wings and led the field through a quick and gapped :27 quarter in post-position order. The story remained the same to the half in :56.3 when Carlota Blue Chip (Jack Flanigen) pulled and tried to apply some heat. She was only able to get up to third on the outside before stalling with two other horses behind her at the three-quarters in 1:25. When the outer flow faded around the last turn it allowed the rail-riding Barefoot Beauty (Jimmy Whittemore) to come off the pylons and that in turn left a spot for Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) to shoot up inside. At the head of the stretch, the bearing-out Up Front Elizabeth was in the middle with Barefoot Beauty to her right and Just Add Vodka to her left. The three battled to the wire with Just Add Vodka getting the advantage at the end to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2. Barefoot Beauty was second and Up Front Elizabeth was third. It was the third win of the year for the Julie Miller trained filly that also happened to be a new lifetime mark. The victory boosted the seasonal earnings of Just Add Vodka (Art Major-Regal Wish) to $94,233 for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Steven Demeter, Herbert Burns III and Nahuel Agosti. Morrill praised both the horse and trainer saying "I can't believe how much better she was today. Julie did a great job getting her ready." In the second $39,200 split, Spreester (Jason Bartlett) made quick work of a short field and two breaking horses to register a five-length romp in the fastest of the three divisions. As the field went into the first turn, Delightful Dragon (Mark MacDonald) made an uncharacteristic break and watched as the rest of the field pulled away. Sky Artist (Kevin Cummings) was on the point but Medusa (Aaron Byron) was pushing the issue outside at the quarter in :26.4. But Medusa appeared to get foul-gaited and Byron took her back to the wood fourth. Then Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled from second to challenge but also made a break before the half in :56.1. So with two of the three favorite guilty of miscues, Spreester, who had been sitting second through it all, pulled past the five-eighths, circled and cleared the leader before they hit the three-quarter pole in 1:25.3. When she got back to the pylons, Bartlett popped the plugs and became a passenger as Spreester shifted gears and simply paced away from everybody. She hit the wire a five-length wrapped-up winner in 1:53.3. The winner paid $5.60 to her supporters. Delightful Dragon recovered from the early break to be second and Sky Artist hung on for third. This was the sixth win in 14 starts for Spreester (American Ideal-Rodeo Spree) and the Paul Zabielski trained filly topped off her bank at $134,680. Spreester is owned by Kimberly Zabielski. Bartlett commented "I really didn't want to sit in the two-hole but they kept blowing up around me. She just exploded down the lane." The results of today's NYSS contests were important in the point's standings leading into the Night of Champions finals. Spreester took over the top spot, Just Add Vodka moved from fifth to third and Ken Doll J vaulted herself from twelfth to seventh. There was also an Excelsior leg contested and was won by Expose who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. in 1:56.3. The winner paid $6.80. Expose is trained by Linda Toscano and is owned by Linwood Higgins, Stake Your Claim Stable, Brittany Farms and Val D'Or Farms. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. registered a four-win afternoon and Mark MacDonald scored a double. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Sept. 1) with a special Labor Day matinee card slated to start at 1:15. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---With an eighth of a mile to go, two lengths separated the seven horses that competed in Saturday night's (Aug. 30) $9,500 Open pace at Batavia Downs and the final result came down to the wire. But when they crossed the line, Best Ears used his head as the margin of victory in the night's feature race. When the man said go in the seventh race, Big Unit (Kevin Cummings) bolted from post two and took an immediate lead off the gate. Best Ears (Jack Flanigen) left from the four hole and was parked, but methodically worked his way towards the leader through a :27.3 first quarter. After not being able to take control at the point, Flanigen tucked Best Ears in second behind the hard-rolling leader before the pack hit the half in 55.3. Then Ready To Work (Jim McNeight) came barreling from behind to take his shot at the top. He led a dull outer flow to the three-quarters in 1:25 before actually drawing near the leader. As they started to bunch around the far turn, Burton Blue Chip (Lee Dahn) swung three-deep around Ready To Work and Best Ears was sitting cool In The Pocket behind Big Unit. But Big Unit fell victim to his own fast pace at the head of the lane and started to fade. When they headed down the stretch, Ready To Work took over the lead before Best Ears found the passing lane and shot through in time to win by a head in 1:55. The post time favorite returned $3.40. Ready To Work was second and Burton Blue Chip was third. It was the sixth win in 29 starts for Best Ears who now has a total of $42,017 earned for 2014. The 5-year-old Shark Gesture gelding is trained by Frank Mastrodonato for owners Joe Amico and Joe Amico Jr. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 31) at 1:15. The card features three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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