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Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 10:10 am

Muckdogs downed by Yankees 4-2

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

The Yankees are in town, and that helps. So does post-game fireworks. Either way, 1,500 baseball fans came out to Dwyer Stadium on Friday.

Alas, the Muckdogs lost, 4-2.

Sadly, that's been the trend for the hometown team recently. Batavia has lost seven of its last eight games. All low-scoring affairs.

At 24-30, the Miami Marlins affiliate is fourth in the Pinckney Division, trailing first place State College (now the Cardinals affiliate) by nine games.

Last night's game completed a three-game series with Staten Island, which gave local New York fans a chance to see some of the Yankees prospects, including 18-year-old catcher Luis Torrens. The Venezuelan was signed as a free agent by the Yankees at age 16, when he was considered one of the top two international prospects.

He's hitting .304 on the season, but Batavia pitching kept his bat silent in this series. His only hit came last night.

For the Muckdogs, second baseman Mason Davis continues to impress. He's hitting .329, fourth best in the league, and had two more hits Friday. 

John Norwood also had a two-hit game. Norwood is riding high after signing with the Marlins six days ago as a free agent. Norwood hit one of the few home runs in this year's College World Series, and the dinger propelled Vanderbilt to its first national championship in baseball. Norwood, who decided to forego his senior season to turn pro, is off to a hot start in three games, with four hits in 10 at bats.

Catcher Christopher Hoo, a 27th round draft pick out of Cal-Poly, also had two hits.

The losing pitcher was Scott Squier, a 16th-round draft pick in his first professional season. He gave up three earned runs in four innings. This was his second start. He's 1-2 in nine appearances with a 3.00 ERA.

New York Mets fans can come out to Dwyer Stadium the next three days to check out Mets prospects while the Brooklyn Cyclones are in town. Tonight's game will include post-game fireworks. Game time is 7 p.m. On the mound for the Mets tonight is Marcos Molina, a top-10 prospect who is 5-1 with a 1.27 ERA.

Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Photos: GLOW Corporate Cup 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, 5K, GLOW Corporate Cup, sports

Chip O'Hara, from Auburn and representing First Niagara Bank, dusted the field in the GLOW Corporate Cup 5K race at Centennial Park today. O'Hara ran the race in 15.58.

About 700 runners and walkers entered the event.

Monday, August 4, 2014 at 12:15 pm

BZ Glide is best in Batavia Open

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

After Saturday night's cancellation due to poor weather conditions, the horses went back to work Sunday only to be greeted by more rain and a track rated “good." But that didn't keep BZ Glide from going worst to first in the Open trotting feature on Aug. 3.

As soon as the gate pulled away from the six-horse field, I’m The Cash Man (Drew Monti) crossed over from post two and had the lead before they hit the turn. The remainder of the field followed in drawn order until just before the half when Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) pulled first over from third to challenge the leader.

By the time the group passed the half in 59.4 and headed to the three-quarters, a full outer flow had developed when Serious George (Jack Flanigen) and 1-2 betting favorite BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) came out to join the fray. At the top of the final turn, Serious George tipped three-deep and BZ Glide fanned four-wide as they motored toward the payoff. It was at that point that BZ Glide appeared to have a gas pedal as he easily sped away from the pack to win by a widening two-length margin. The betting choice paid $3.10 for the win.

The victory timed in 1:59.1 was the third of the year for BZ Glide and brought his seasonal earnings up to $32,120. The 5-year-old gelded son of Yankee Glide-Bloomer Zoomer is both owned and trained by his driver, Mike Caprio.

Driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. had four winners on the card and that effort put him in a tie with Aaron Merriman for the North American dash-winning driver title with 453 victories each. Wrenn won with Bailey’s Magic ($5.90), Launching Tonight ($13.00), Ol’ Man River ($7.50) and Four Starz Credit ($3.00).

Live racing resumes on Wednesday evening at Batavia Downs with a 6:35 post time. Also please remember that all Back to the Track activities originally scheduled for Aug. 2 have been moved to next Saturday (Aug. 9) do to the weather-related cancellation.

Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

WNY Boys of Summer League accepting team registrations for Fall Travel Baseball

post by Billie Owens in announcements, baseball, sports

Press release:

Fall Travel Baseball: WNY Boys of Summer League is accepting team registrations for our fall travel baseball season for full teams only -- ages 11  thru 16 (based on 2015 playing age).

Teams will play 10 games in September and early October.

For more information or to register see www.wnyboysofsummer.com <http://www.wnyboysofsummer.com>  or contact New Era Park at 716-681-3001.

Deadline is Aug. 15th.

Friday, August 1, 2014 at 11:24 am

Gural Hanover featured on NYSS card at Batavia Downs

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

When the 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters go postward Friday (8-1) to chase their cut of the $116,000 up for grabs in the two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes, the track record for this category is in danger of falling and its demise could come at the hooves of Gural Hanover.

Since arriving at the Ron Burke Stable, Gural Hanover has been almost perfect; stringing four consecutive victories most recently. Included in those wins were an all-age track record of 1:56.1 at Buffalo Raceway and an all-age track record of 1:55.2 at Monticello Raceway. This week he is singularly focused on Batavia Downs.

The track handicapper has installed the gelded son of Crazed as the 1-5 choice and due to the short field of five there will be win and exacta betting only. And 1-5 might be a windfall for bettors considering Gural Hanover is the NYSS point leader of his class and he has leading NYSS driver Jim Morrill Jr. navigating once again.

With his front-running style, current form and penchant for half-mile tracks, Gural Hanover definitely has the ability to erase the 1:54.3 mark set by Archangel in 2012.

Whereas this division looks to have an overwhelming favorite, the first division has the makings of a real solid horse race.

Flyhawk El Durado, Cash Me Out and Zoey De Vie are as even a group of trotters that could be put together in a race. All three have beaten each other at some point this year and the group looks resigned to banging heads for the remainder of the season.

Flyhawk El Durado (Conway Hall-El Paso Girl) was the NYSS 2-year-old trotting colt champion in 2013. He was six out of nine last year and finished his campaign in strong fashion. Since starting back this year for trainer Mark Ford, he faced some stiff Grand Circuit competition early finishing third behind 2014 Hambletonian starter Trixton in the Simpson Stake at the Meadowlands in May. In this series so far he has two wins, a second and two thirds and is coming off the best last outing (a 1:55.3 win at Yonkers Raceway) of anyone in this race.

With the exception of an early season break at Saratoga, the Cheryl Mc Givern trained Cash Me Out (Cash Hall-China Victory) has been no worse than second all year posting four wins and five seconds in 10 starts. He is the second richest starter in this field with $130,575 on the card for this year and just finished second to Gural Hanover last week. Michael Mc Givern is at the helm once again.

Zoey De Vie (Conway Hall-Paul’s Wink) made his stake debut this year in the Excelsior series victory before stepping up to the top level in June. Since then he has a win and three seconds in four NYSS starts. Last week he sat on the back of Flyhawk El Durado the entire mile at Yonkers but couldn’t get by him in the lane. However the trainer/driver duo of Heidi Rohr and Jim Morrill Jr. will look to avenge that defeat in this leg tonight.

The talented trotting trio of Cash Me Out (4-5), Flyhawk El Durado (3-1) and Zoey De Vie (8-5) is currently ranked second, third and fourth respectively on the NYSS leader board.

The undercard features two divisions of the $25,500 Excelsior Series A and two divisions of the $13,400 Excelsior Series B series races.

Post time for the 12-race card is 6:35 p.m.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 11:57 pm

Photos: Batavia Bulldawgs tuning up for another football season

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, batavia bulldawgs, football, sports, youth sports

As we move into August, football is in the air. The Batavia Bulldawgs started practices this week with sessions in the late afternoon at Kibbe Park. The first league games are Aug. 16, with Batavia hosting Attica at Lions Park.

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.

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