Quantcast
Skip to main content
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 1:21 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.

Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 5:19 am

Sign-ups for weeny dog race under way at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs

Information from Batavia Downs:

Wiener dog races return to Batavia Downs on Aug. 24 and sign-ups for the big event started Friday.

If you are interested in racing your Dachshund, call event coordinator Arna Tygart at 585-343-3750, ext. 437. There is an 80-dog limit and an also-eligible list will be started should the need arise. The first 70 dogs entered will receive a canine gift bag courtesy of Genesee Feeds of Batavia.

Of all the promotions presented during the live harness racing meet at Batavia Downs each year, the Dachshund, or “wiener dog” races have become the most popular. Since 2005, thousands of fans have congregated at the fence in front of the grandstand to position themselves for the best view of the starters in each of the carded heats.

This year the wiener dog races will be held on Sunday, Aug. 24, during Family Fun Day at Batavia Downs. Sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia, a total of 10 heats will be contested with eight wiener dogs in each race. The first race will begin after the last live harness race of the day, which will be approximately 4:20 p.m.

For the last three years, a fleet-footed flyer named Gordon (who is owned by Lindsay Ryan-Radzwill of Lancaster, NY) has won this annual event. But his status for defending the crown in 2014 has come into question. The soon-to-be 7-year-old has had a few health issues recently and Radzwill isn't sure if she's going race him this year.

"Gordon just came up lame a few weeks ago. We took him to the vet and he checked out okay and he has been fine ever since. But at this point we're not sure what we're going to do. We may give him a year off; we'll have to see," Ryan-Radzwill said.

Gordon's misfortune could be welcome news for the other doggies who will be storming down the home stretch. With the favorite potentially out of the race, the field becomes ripe for an upset.

The dogs won’t be the only winners here either; each owner will be eligible to receive some nice prizes too if their pet pups prove to be speedy.

The owners of each heat winner (10 in all) will receive $25 in gaming free-play. And the winning, second- and third-place owner in the championship final will receive $100, $75 and $50 in gaming free-play, respectively, along with two complimentary clubhouse buffets each as well.

A 12-race card of afternoon harness racing is scheduled on Family Fun Day with the first post slated for 1:15 p.m. Admission and parking, as always, are free.

Batavia Downs, the oldest lighted harness track in America, will kick off its 68th season of racing next week -- Wednesday, July 23 -- with a new post time of 6:35 p.m.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm

NY Sire Stakes to be held in Genesee County for the first time tomorrow night at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in

Press release:

On Thursday, July 10, Batavia Downs will become the newest stop on the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) fair circuit when the Genesee County leg of that series convenes for the first time.

It's been a long and circuitious route for this to occur.

The Genesee County Agricultural Society has held an annual fair in Batavia, NY, since 1839. And from 1890 through 1946 they called the current site of Batavia Downs their home. The track was known as Exposition Park and every year harness racing was one of the most anticipated events on the fair schedule.

But in 1947 when Batavia Downs founder Pat Provenzano bought the property he had originally leased from the society to expand his growing pari-mutuel empire, the fair relocated to another site and fair racing in Genesee County ceased.

Since the inception of the New York Sire Stake in 1961, there has never been a fair date contest in Genesee County until now and the addition became a reality because of a natural disaster that occurred last year.

Todd Haight, Batavia Downs director/general manager of live racing said “Last year we held the Caledonia Fair races at Batavia Downs when their track in Livingston County was washed out by heavy rain. And it was a great success. We had a large crowd here and the racing was great. So we thought, why not host fair racing here every year?”

Haight contacted the NYSS and the Genesee County Agricultural Society and the groups came together with a plan. The result of that collaboration is the return of fair racing to the track they left  seven decades ago.

“We’re happy to be partnering with the Genesee County Fair folks on hosting the races and all the activities that go along with them. I see no reason why the fair races couldn’t become an annual event here at Batavia Downs,” Haight concluded.

Nick O'Geen, Genesee County Agricultural Society Board member said “This is a unique opportunity for the Genesee County Fair to partner with Batavia Downs to bring harness racing to back the fair.”

Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m.

In addition to the races, there will be events for the whole family on the track apron including carnival games, a bounce house, a juggler and a balloon artist. Also available will be a $3 lunch special for kids 12 and younger as well as $1 ice cream cones, snow cones and cotton candy. Fair events at Batavia Downs run from 11 until 4.

Batavia Downs will also be offering discounted advance sale tickets for other fair events and with the purchase of any ticket, will provide a $10 free-play voucher redeemable on their gaming floor.

Monday, June 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Wagering surged to record high for Belmont Stakes says WROTB

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, belmont stakes, horseracing, sports

Press release:

Representatives from Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) announced today that total wagering at WROTB on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes totaled $1,246,239. This beat WROTB’s previous record set in 2004 of $853,578. That year, Smarty Jones nearly completed the Triple Crown.

The 2014 handle number for WROTB is a 59-percent increase over 2013’s $786,062.10. Belmont handle nationwide was up 35 percent from last year. This new record comes on the heels of WROTB’s best day ever, which happened on Kentucky Derby Day, along with a record handle number on the Preakness Stakes. WROTB celebrated its 40th year of existence in May.

“It’s encouraging to see our corporation out pacing the national numbers," said WROTB CEO and President Michael Kane. “California Chrome’s story certainly inspired an excitement not seen since Big Brown had a shot in 2008.  Hopefully his story will generate more interest in the sport of horse racing.”

TV Ratings showed that Buffalo Ranked 8th nationally among viewership in major cities posting a 15.9 rating and a 36 share.

“The hope for a triple crown winner comes up every few years,“ said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing of Batavia Downs and WROTB. “This was the first real Triple Crown shot in the modern social media era. We saw not just sports fans, but nearly everyone talking about the Belmont Stakes in the days leading up.”

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 30 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Western OTB responds to Senecas suspending Henrietta casino effort

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Gambling, Western OTB

Press release:

In a letter to Monroe County Legislator Justin Wilcox, Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder Sr. announced that the Seneca Nation will no longer pursue the siting of a casino development project in Henrietta or Monroe County at this time. Subsequently, representatives of Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation expressed appreciation to the people of the region for voicing their opposition to the proposal.

In the letter to Wilcox, Snyder stated, “We will not engage in the demanding and complex process required to get a casino approved pursuant to the laws and regulations governing Indian gaming without the support of the local community and New York State.”

To date, 17 towns and 11 counties, as well as the 19-member Inter-County Association of Western New York, have taken formal action opposing the expansion of casino gaming in Henrietta and Monroe County. In addition, 15 members of the State Legislature from across Western and Central New York have publicly expresses their opposition to the proposed expansion of casino gaming in the region. Governor Andrew Cuomo has stated that public support is critical when weighing the decision to expand casino gaming in the state. 

“From businesses, church groups, civic organizations, and everyday people from across the region to state leaders and local municipalities, the opposition to a casino in Monroe County has been overwhelming,” said Michael P. Nolan, executive vice president/COO of WROTB. “Clearly the Seneca Nation has heard the will of the people and responded accordingly.”

While acknowledging the Seneca Nation’s cessation of its efforts to expand casino gaming in Monroe County at this time, Nolan understands that the Senecas could reinitiate their efforts at a later date.

“If in the future the Seneca Nation should move forward with a proposal to expand casino gaming in Monroe County, we will once again emphatically oppose such a plan,” Nolan said. “The people of Monroe County recognize the fact that a Seneca-owned casino would adversely impact the local community and give the Seneca Nation a competitive advantage that will be damaging to businesses, both large and small, across the region. That is something that the people of this community are unwilling to accept, and they resoundingly made that point.”

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia. WROTB owns and operates 29 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility. Since its inception, Western OTB has generated more than $215 million in operating and surcharge revenues to the taxpayers of those participating municipalities.

Monday, May 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Batavia Downs sets Derby Day record for wagers

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business

Press release:

Representatives from Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) announced today that total wagering at WROTB on Saturday’s Churchill Downs races including the Kentucky Derby topped out at $2,173,378. This beat WROTB’s previous record set in 2012 of $2,007,064. The 2014 number is an 8.8-percent increase over the 2013. Wagers placed at Batavia Downs Gaming totaled $26,000, an increase of 30 percent over last year. Wagering using BataviaBets.com, WROTB’s online Web site, was $97,387 -- a one-day record. Nationally, the handle on the Kentucky Derby was about even with last year. Seven winners across OTB’s branches hit the Superfecta for $7,691 each. One patron at Batavia Downs hit the $2 trifecta five times winning $17,500. Total handle taken in by WROTB on May 3rd was $2,529,197.90, a one-day record for the corporation, celebrating its 40th year of existence this month.

“We’re happy to see such robust numbers," stated WROTB CEO and President Michael Kane. “With national wagering flat, it’s great to see that people in Western New York made it a point to visit our gaming facility, branches and EZ Bets on Saturday to get in on the excitement that the Kentucky Derby brings to viewers. As a public benefit corporation, a percentage of money wagered goes back to the counties that own WROTB meaning higher Derby handle numbers benefit all residents of Western New York.”

TV Ratings showed that Buffalo Ranked 4th nationally among viewership in major cities posting a 16.9 rating and 32 share.

“It’s so exciting to see that interest in the Kentucky Derby is alive and well in Western New York,“ said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing of Batavia Downs and WROTB. “We’re all pulling for a triple-crown contender in California Chrome. All our Branches will be open at 10 a.m. on May 17th, the morning of the Preakness, and we’ll be having another party at Batavia Downs with specials which include food, Free Play and a complimentary Preakness wager like we had for the Derby. There will also be live tellers available.”

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 30 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility.

Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Photos: Derby Day at Batavia Downs

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs

There was a big crowd for the big race at Batavia Downs.

The Kentucky Derby was won by California Chrome.

This gentleman wanted me to take a picture of his "winning" ticket. I couldn't find him after the race, so I can't confirm that it was indeed a winner.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 11:36 am

WNY gaming and racing venues raked in $32.6 million for the state during first fiscal quarter

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs

Press release:

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. (WROTB), Hamburg Gaming and Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack today announced they have contributed $32.6 million during the first quarter of 2014 to the State of New York as part of their gaming revenue-sharing arrangement.

They also provided horsemen purses of $5.4 million during the same period.

WROTB owns and operates Batavia Downs Gaming in Batavia as well as OTB branches throughout Western New York.

The quarterly payment brings the total paid to the State by the three gaming entities to $1,061,374,354 since the venues opened about 10 years ago. Horsemen have received an additional $174,854,433 since the inception of the facilities.

Michael P. Nolan, executive vice president/COO of WROTB, noted that more than $215 million has been given to the 15 counties and two cities that own WROTB since its inception.

"The operations at Batavia, Hamburg and Finger Lakes have not only positively impacted the lives of thousands of families across our region through direct and indirect employment, they also provide a consistent and significant stream of revenue for 15 counties and two cities, helping to alleviate the tax burden for people across the region," said WROTC President Michael Kane. "Every person within the 15-county area that we encompass has a vested financial interest in the success of our operations."

Premium Drupal Themes