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Monday, July 28, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Tonight's Muckdogs game postponed due to weather

post by Billie Owens in batavia, muckdogs, sports

Tonight’s game between the Batavia Muckdogs and Williamsport Crosscutters has been postponed due wet and unsafe field conditions. This game will be made up as part of a double-header on Tuesday, July 29th. We will play two seven-inning games, with the first game starting at 5:05 p.m. Gates will open at 4 p.m. Any person with tickets to tonight’s game can exchange their tickets for any other regular season game, subject to availability.

Monday, July 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Track record smashed at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

All Bets Off with driver Matt Kakaley

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Three divisions of the New York Sire Stake for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings highlighted the Sunday afternoon card and it didn't take long for the youngsters to impress the crowd.
Prohibitive post-time favorite All Bets Off put on a clinic in winning the first division of the $116,900 sophomore stake and rewrote the record book in the process.

Leaving from post five, All Bets Off went right to the front and was never headed. In fact, for most of the mile no one could keep up with him. Driver Matt Kakaley set fractions of :27.3, :56.2 and 1:24.1 as he sped for the last turn. At that point All Bets Off found a new gear and pulled away to an unprompted eight-length victory in 1:51.2, which set a new track record for a 3-year-old colt and was only one-fifth shy of tying the all-age track record of 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in 2011.

All Bets Off, who returned $2.60 for the win, is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, the Panhellenic Stable and Rosemary Shelswell and is trained by Ron Burke. The win was his sixth of the year and raised his lifetime earnings to $497,842.

The second division looked like it might break the record just set. After settling in second off the gate,  3-5 favorite Winds Of Change (Jim Morrill Jr.) bolted from the hole and shot to the top with a 6 length advantage at the quarter in :26.4. He was in command at the half in 54.1 with a gapped 10 length lead but the pack started reeling him in at the three-quarters.

After the leader hit that post in 1:22.4, Forty Five Red (Matt Kakaley) who had come first-over caught the leader by the top of the turn, but Moliere Hanover (Jason Bartlett) was right on his back and it became a two horse race all the way down the stretch. After a hard fought duel, Moliere Hanover won a neck decision over Forty Five Red in 1:53.3.

The time was a new lifetime mark for Moliere Hanover who was overlooked by the betting public and returned $24.20.

Moliere Hanover is owned by Baymond Racing LLC and is trained by P.J. Fraley.

The final split was won by Big Boy Dreams (Jason Bartlett) who presented his best outing of the year. Leaving from post five, Big Boy Dreams immediately took the lead and was never headed. After getting to the three-quarters in 1:25, Bartlett stretched out in the bike and simply urged the colt along with a few taps down the lane where the others attempt to catch him became futile. The mile time of 1:52.4 was a seasonal mark for Big Boy Dreams who returned $3.60 as the favorite.

Big Boy Dreams is owned by Dominick Rosato and is trained by Tracy Brainard.

There were also two divisions of the $12,600 Excelsior A series on the undercard.

The first was won by Murder He Wrote, driven by Jim Morrill Jr. in a time of 1:55.2 for owner Camelot Stable and trainer Linda Toscano. Murder He Wrote returned $3.80.

The second division went to Archetto Hanover who was driven by Brent Holland in 1:54.2 for owner Paymaq Racing, Greg Gillis and Louis Willinger. Erv Miller trains Archetto Hanover who paid $7.60.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. continued his driving domination as he registered five wins and two seconds on the 12-race card. Morrill is by far the top driver in the New York Sire Stake series and on the year as a whole, sports a gaudy .406 UDR.

Racing resumes Wednesday evening (7-30) at Batavia Downs with a 6:35 post time.

Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm

GC assistant athletic director named Distinguished Person of the Year by WNY peers

post by Billie Owens in GCC, Milestones, sports

For the second year in a row, Genesee Community College Assistant to the Athletic Director Ron Spiotta has been named the Western New York Athletic Conference Distinguished Person of the Year Award recipient. The award is given to an individual who has outstanding accomplishments or has made significant contributions to a sport or athletics in general.

"Ron has been a great asset to the Genesee Athletic department for the last 28 years," said GCC Athletic Director Kristen Schuth. "He does a great job communicating with the community as well as his peers. This award is very well deserved for the second year in a row."

Spiotta has been with the College since 1981. He currently coordinates athletic eligibility, scheduling, charter traveling and assists the athletics director on day-to-day operations. In addition to his duties as a staff member, Spiotta was the head coach of the baseball program at Genesee from 1986-1999 and currently sits on the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee at the College.

Spiotta is a 1978 graduate of SUNY Brockport with a degree in Recreation and Leisure. He resides in Batavia with his wife, Deborah, and has two children, Lauren and Michael.

Genesee Community College athletics program endeavors to provide a quality and competitive intercollegiate athletics program consistent with the National Junior Collegiate Athletics Association (NJCAA) philosophy and the overall educational mission of Genesee Community College. Participation in collegiate athletics should be an extension of the total educational experience for the student athlete. The inherent philosophy emphasizes the athletic setting as a classroom used to teach character, commitment, work ethic, respect for differences, and the importance of sacrifice, teamwork, and cooperation.

Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Top trainers, big stakes at Batavia Downs on Sunday

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Press release:

The first of eight visits by the lucrative New York Sire Stakes takes place Sunday afternoon, July 27, at Batavia Downs and for the local fans it’s a chance to see some of the biggest names in harness racing.

Post time for the first race is 1:15.

The 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers will be on hand and that means some very exciting action.

There will be three legs of the NYSS and two of the Excelsior series and the entrants will be competing for combined purses in excess of $140,000.

The first division goes for $39,200 and looks to be the main event as it is loaded with talent and speed.

Perennial training leader Ron Burke will start 3-5 morning line favorite All Bets Off, who ships in with some impressive credentials. He won the $300,000 Art Rooney pace at Yonkers Raceway in May and after winning his elimination heat in 1:48.3, finished third in the $500,000 Hempt final at Pocono Downs behind McWicked last month. In that race, McWicked set a new world record for 3-year-old colts on a five-eighths mile track (1:47.3).

This will be the third start in the NYSS for All Bets Off this year who won at Vernon Downs in 1:50.2 and just 10 days ago finished second at Yonkers in 1:52.4 to Capital Account, who looks to be his toughest competition in today’s race. He has earnings of $291,575 already this year.

All Bets Off, who starts from post five and will be driven by Matt Kakaley, is part of an entry that includes stablemate Keystone Honor.

Capital Account has competed in some high-profile stakes already but without positive results. He drew post eight in both the $69,000 Somebeachsomewhere and $45,500 North America Cup elimination at Mohawk and finished well beaten in both. But even though he does not sport the gaudy numbers of the morning line favorite, he certainly has beaten him.

In his last start at Yonkers in NYSS action, Capital Account was pulled third over up the backside before tipping four-deep around the leader All Bets Off at the top of the stretch. He then outpaced the 1-5 favorite to the wire to win by a half-length. The 16-1 shot was overlooked last week but certainly won’t be in here.

Capital Account is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter and will start from post three for leading NYSS driver Jim Morrill Jr.

The second $39,200 division is headed by Canadian conditioner Cassie Coleman’s Twin B Tenacious. After getting 2014 off to an inauspicious start, Twin B Tenacious has now strung together four straight wins (the last a NYSS event at Yonkers) and registered a 1:50.3 lifetime mark at the Meadowlands in the process. Steve Smith, who has been at the helm for all four victories, will once again be in the bike and start from post four.

Forty Five Red, who is another entry from the powerful Burke stable, comes in off two consecutive wins at Yonkers Raceway which includes his seasonal mark of 1:52.3 in his last outing. Although he hasn’t missed a check all year, his most recent outings have probably been his best to date and indicate he will be a legitimate threat to the favorite.

The third division is worth $38,500 and looks to be a wide-open affair.

Stay Up Late has been made the morning line favorite but has yet to win in stake action at three. He has gone off the favorite in his last three starts but his sole victory this year came in an overnight event at Yonkers Raceway on July 8 in 1:53.3. He gets Jim Morrill Jr. up for the first time this year and starts from post four.

Neat draws the rail for trainer Erv Miller and is coming in off three very impressive starts. After just getting beat in 1:53.4 in a NYSS race at Buffalo on June 27, Neat finished second in an overnight at Pocono Downs in 1:50.1 over a sloppy track the following week. He was then back in Sire Stake action at Yonkers his last start where he got away sixth and chased a :56 flat last half parked out to finish third in 1:52.3.

Neat is rated at 5-2 for driver Brent Holland.

3-1 third choice Sir Sam’s Z Tam has the fastest seasonal mark and the most money earned of any other horse in this race, but also has the only NYSS victory this year. After hitting the board four consecutive times, he found himself parked out in a fast last half at Yonkers before finishing fifth.

Sam’s Z Tam will start from post three for trainer/driver the Pat Lachance.

The undercard features two divisions of the Excelsior series and they are slated to go as race seven and 10.

The first split goes for $12,600 and has two horses that have dominated the class; Cabbie’s Delight and Murder He Wrote.

8-5 favorite Cabbie’s Delight has not been worse than second in six Excelsior starts. In fact he is the point’s leader to date in the series. He won four straight out of the gate before finishing two close seconds in his most recent starts.

Trainer Sam Serianni has Jason Bartlett in the bike this week as he looks to get back in the winner’s circle.

9-5 co-favorite Murder He Wrote has won his last two starts, including a NYSS event at Buffalo Raceway where he blew up the tote board at 45-1. The roan gelding drew immediate respect after that when he went off the prohibitive favorite the following week at Yonkers where he won wire to wire in 1:54.1.

Jim Morrill Jr. will drive Murder He Wrote and starts from post five for conditioner Linda Toscano.

The final $12,600 Excelsior contest is headlined by 2-1 choice Believeinthespirit. After having negligible success in four straight NYSS races, trainer Ed Lohmeyer reclassified his charge to the Excelsior and the change has proven fruitful. Believeinthespirit has won his last two starts in convincing fashion and looks to continue the streak from post two.

5-2 second choice Archetto Hanover is the second highest point getter in the Excelsior series behind Cabbie’s Delight and has three wins and two seconds to show for his efforts. Trainer Erv Miller has Brent Holland up for this trip and will depart from post five.

For more racing information or to watch race replays as soon as they are declared official, logon to www.bataviadonwsgaming.com <http://www.bataviadonwsgaming.com/> .  Or if you would like to bet online and watch live streaming coverage of the races as they occur, logon to www.bataviabets.com <http://www.bataviabets.com/>  and open an account.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 8:35 am

Live harness racing returns to Batavia Downs in new season

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Press release:

An enthusiastic crowd lined the fence to welcome back live harness racing at the oldest lighted harness track in North America and their zeal was rewarded with a great slate of exciting contests on a warm summer night.

The feature race was the $9,500 Mares Open Pace where newcomer Bazooka Terror established her status the first start out of the box as she soundly defeated her competition in 1:55.4.

Bazooka Terror is owned by her trainer, Leonard Segall of Clearwater, Fla. This was her sixth win of the year and it pushed her bankroll to $43,904 for 2014. She returned $6.20 for the win.

In the co-featured $7,500 Open Mares Trot, Love Me Do took a huge step in class and thought nothing of it as she cruised to a five-length victory in a seasonal best time of 1:59.

Love Me Do was claimed last week for $8,000 after winning that race from post seven in 2:00.1. Apparently liking what he bought, trainer Alex Giuliani wasted no time in promoting her to the top level for her sex and gait this week and the move paid off.

Love Me Do left and tucked third as 3-2 favorite Fiorentina (John Cummings Jr.) took the front and began to cut the mile. After a 29 second quarter and 59 second half, Love Me Do tipped at the five-eighths and took the lead past the three-quarters in 1:28.4. When she got the lead she got away from the pack and scored an easy five-length victory, her sixth of the year.

The time of 1:59 was a seasonal mark for Love Me Do and the winners share raised the annual earnings to $31,397. She paid $10.20 to win.

Love Me Do is owned by Mark Jakubik of West Seneca.

Reinsman Kevin Cummings carried his hot hand over from the recently concluded Buffalo meet winning four times on opening night while 2013 Batavia leading dash driver Shawn Mcdonough notched a triple.

Batavia Downs returns live this Friday night (July 25) with 12 races on the card. For more racing information, a list of racing promotions, or to watch race replays as soon as they are declared official, log on to www.bataviadonwsgaming.com. Or if you would like to bet online and watch live streaming coverage of the races as they occur, log on to www.bataviabets.com and open an account.

Monday, July 21, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Photos: 38th annual ARC tournament at Stafford Country Club

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee ARC, golf, sports, Stafford Country Club

The Genesee ARC today held its 38th annual golf tournament at Stafford Country Club, which also included tournaments in bocce ball and tennis.

Above, Steve Pies watches a put just barely slide by the cup during his tournament round.

Ken Barrett hitting a tee shot.

Ray Shirtz playing tennis.

Krysia Mager, Lisa Dechau, Bob Bennett and Marth Bailey, the champion bocce ball team.

Representatives from Alpina yogurt at the bocce ball tournament. Alpina was a silver-tier sponsor this year.

Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Photos: Harlem Globetrotters at Darien Lake

While at Darien Lake for the Gus Macker Tournament, I found out three members of the Harlem Globe Trotters were inside the park putting on a show. I got just the tail end.

Herschend Family Entertainment, owners of Darien Lake Theme Park, also own the Harlem Globetrotters.

Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Photos: Gus Macker Tournament at Darien Lake

For years, the Gus Macker Tournament has been played in Buffalo. This year, for the first time, it was played at Darien Lake Theme Park. The tournament was spread over Saturday and Sunday (some Saturday games were delayed to Sunday because of rain). I showed up in time for a portion of two games and the final championship game of the day (among various divisions). The team in the light gray tops won 20-6.

To purchase prints, click here.

Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 9:07 am

After a lifetime of success with Le Roy football, Andrew Paladino says its time to retire

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, Le Roy, sports

After 30 years of coaching Le Roy High School football, Andrew Paladino is retiring at the end of the 2014 season.

Paladino was defensive coordinator under Head Coach Brian Moran for 25 years. This season will also be Moran's last, and he and Moran always said they would retire together.

"Also, it's time to go," Paladino said during a party in his honor at the shop of Bill Fox. "We've got three former players on staff now. We're leaving them in good hands. Brian Herdlein is a very capable coach. He'll do fine."

Paladino's Le Roy football career started as a player with junior varsity in 1970. In his junior year, as the only junior on the team, he was the starting center and made the All County Team. The following year he slimmed down and started at full back and line backer and was named to the All Rochester Team, the All State First Team, and was named a Prep All American.

Rather than go to college, Paladino decided to get married, take a job and stay in Le Roy.

His coaching career started a couple of years later when he became a youth football coach (as a kid he couldn't play youth football, he said, because he was too fat).

During the Moran/Paladino years, the Oatkan Knights won a state championship (1995) and more than a dozen sectional titles. 

At the party Saturday was Paladino's high school coach, Don Santini, who joined Paladino for a cigar. Paladino said, "This is the man who started it all right here."

Photo: Santini, Paladino and Ron Plummer.

Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Tonight's Muckdogs game postponed

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, muckdogs, sports

Press release:

Tonight’s game between the Batavia Muckdogs and Connecticut Tigers has been postponed due to rain. This game will be made up as part of a double header on Sunday, July 20th. We will play two seven-inning games, with the first game starting at 1:05 p.m. Gates will open at noon. Any person with tickets to tonight’s game can exchange their tickets for any other regular season game, subject to availability.

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