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Friday, August 22, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Big race for little wiener dogs is this Sunday at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, weiner dog race

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

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 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 has won this annual event. But he is not entered in the race this year so his reign as champion is over. Gordon's retirement will be welcome news for the other doggies who will be storming down the home stretch because, with the favorite out of the race, the field is wide open for a new titleholder.

The first 70 dogs entered will receive a canine gift bag courtesy of Genesee Feeds of Batavia. But the dogs won’t be the only winners here; their human counterparts are in line for a nice payoff as well. Each “puprietor” will be eligible to receive some nice prizes if their pet pooch proves prolific.

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.

Besides the wiener dog races, other highlights of the Family Fun Day will include free pony rides from 2-4 p.m. (sponsored by Castilone Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep of Batavia), a bounce house and appearances by the ever popular Pringles the Clown, Mr. Scribbles and Jason the Juggler.

There will be $1 Sahlen’s hot dogs and $1 sodas available from noon until 4 at the concession on the track apron. Cotton Candy and Snow Cones will also be available for $1 all afternoon.

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Buen Camino sets Batavia Downs track record in NYSS action

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

Buen Camino and driver/trainer Trond Smedshammer

By Tim Bojarsky for Batavia Downs

Perfect weather and a lightning fast track provided record-breaking conditions for Buen Camino and trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and the pair did not disappoint. They were never headed in a $55,500 division of the New York Sire Stakes on Wednesday night (Aug. 20) at Batavia Downs and rewrote history.

In an uncharacteristic move, Smedshammer sent Buen Camino out of the gate and put him right on the point; something the 2-year-old had never done before. But it wasn't done by accident; his driver had a plan.

Smedshammer said after the race “It was time to put him on the front end. He was very good tonight.”

And perhaps very good was an understatement.

After cutting fractions of :29.3, :59.4 and 1:29.2, Buen Camino pulled away from the pack while motoring in a :28.3 final panel to post a lifetime mark of 1:58 flat, which was also a new track record at Batavia Downs for 2-year-old trotting geldings.

Post time favorite Gabe The Bear Dean (Ray Schnittker) got caught second over in a dull outer flow behind Andy Ray (Brent Holland) and followed that one to the top of the last turn before tipping three deep. But by that time it was too late as Buen Camino had opened up three and was cruising for the wire. Insomniac (Jason Bartlett) who skirted the pylons during the mile caught second and Mambo Blue Chip (Jeff Gregory) closed well to be third. The winner paid $22.40.

This was the second win in only four lifetime starts for Buen Camino (Cash Hall-Baby Bella) and it boosted his earnings to $64,722 for owner Wanda Polisseni of the Purple Haze Stable LLC.

After the race, Polisseni said “He’s been a nice horse since day one but he's had some bad trips along the way. Trond really likes him and we’re both very optimistic for next year.”

Tidquist and driver Mike Simons

In the other $54,500 division, Tidquist (Conway Hall-Appomattox Lady) captured his first lifetime win in a convincing wire-to-wire, 1:59.4 victory for driver Mike Simons.

Shooting quickly off the wings, Tidquist took a powerful four-length lead to the quarter pole where most of the field had trouble keeping up with him. After marking the first three stations in :30.1, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1, Royal Deceptor (Michael Mc Givern) who had been tracking him second, finally got close and pulled to challenge at the top of the lane. But Tidquist had another idea and turned on the speed to fly home in a sparkling :28.3 final quarter to win by a widening length and a quarter. Royal Deceptor hung on for second and Wings of Royalty (Chris Lems) was third. Overlooked by the bettors, the winner paid $27.60.

The win was the first in six lifetime starts for Tidquist and was responsible for the bulk of his $33,196 in earnings for owners Robert Brooks, Jana Bowen, John Buettner and Charlene Long. Tidquist is trained by Jeffrey Long.

There were also three divisions of the Excelsior Series that went for a total of $38,000.

Abir Hanover (Credit Winner-Are You Ready) captured the first $12,600 division in 2:01.2 for trainer Paul Kelley and driver Jason Bartlett and paid $4.60. Abir Hanover is owned by Paul Kelley, W.J. Donovan and Theodore Gewertz.

Lucky Pablo (Lucky Chuck-Classical Princess) won the second $12,700 split, also in 2:01.2 for trainer/driver John Stark Jr. and paid $24. Lucky Pablo is owned by Edmund Smith, Crawford Farms LLC, James Giannuzzi and David Smith.

And in the third session, Crazshana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) won the $12,700 contest in 2:00.2 for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and paid $3.50. Crazshana is owned by the Purple Haze Stable LLC.

The Purple Haze Stable sent out three winners on the evening and drivers Trond Smedshammer and Mark MacDonald both had driving triples.

Racing resumes on Friday (Aug. 22) at Batavia Downs with a 12 race card that has a 6:35 post time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Batavia Downs hosts NYSS 2-year-old trotting colts Wednesday

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

On Wednesday night (Aug. 20) at Batavia Downs $110,000 is up for grabs in two divisions of New York Sire Stake action for freshman trotting colts and geldings.

The fourth race has seven horses going postward in the first division for $54,500 in purse money.

Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art Of Deception) went wire to wire in his career debut at Buffalo Raceway in a sparkling time of 1:59.3, which set a new track record. That win at Buffalo makes him one of only two horses in the race to be victorious over a half-mile track. He then won at Tioga before finishing third at Yonkers. After being scratched sick on Aug. 2, driver Michael Mc Givern elected to race the colt from behind rather than on the point like had all year. Assuming he needed that start after his 17 day layoff, Royal Deceptor has a great chance to rebound here with his early speed from post five for trainer Cheryl Mc Givern.

Wings Of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) has been spectacular on bigger tracks this year for trainer George Ducharme, but has had his challenges over the half-mile ovals. In his last four starts he has set two consecutive lifetime marks at Tioga Downs (1:57.4) and Vernon Downs (1:56) but in between has made breaks off the gate at Yonkers and Monticello Raceway. Regular driver Chris Lems will try to make him behave from the rail to get his third victory of the year.

Pier Ho Exotic (Conway Hall-Rose Run Exotic) has had just the opposite history. He made breaks at Tioga and Vernon but has a win at Buffalo Raceway in 2:01, a second at Yonkers and a fifth at Monticello after being parked out most of the mile. Pier Ho Exotic is the other horse in the race to win over a half-mile track and John Cummings Jr. will once again be on board from post two for trainer Megan Wilson.

The second $55,500 division is carded as race eight and has eight starters. It also features a battle between the top point’s leaders for this sex and gait.

Gabe The Bear Dean (Lucky Chucky-Madam Hooch) had a flawless performance last week at Monticello Raceway when he went gate to wire in 1:58.4. The four and three-quarter length victory was his fourth in six starts and boosted his earnings to $74,119 for the year. Trainer/driver Ray Schnittker will have to overcome post six in the full field of eight but has the gate speed to do it.

Mambo Blue Chip (Lucky Chucky-Flirty Two) has been nearly flawless for trainer Linda Toscano his last four starts, winning three and finishing second by only half a length. Those victories helped bank his $68,169 for the year and leave him tied with Gabe The Bear Dean atop the NYSS leaderboard for 2-year-old trotting colts with 183 points. Mambo Blue Chip has Jeff Gregory aboard from the rail and that puts him in the perfect spot for his stalking style.

Insomniac (Crazed-Catch Some Z’s) has a win and two seconds since coming into the Paul Kelley stable on July 19 and that includes a 1:56.4 lifetime mark at Vernon Downs. In his other two starts he was narrowly defeated by today’s favorites, Gabe The Bear Dean at Yonkers in 1:58.3 and Mambo Blue Chip at Monticello in 1:59.3. Jason Bartlett who has driven Insomniac for most of the year is aboard again, looking to avenge those defeats.

There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series on the card with total purses amounting to $38,000.

The most closely contested of those is the tenth race where Crashana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) is coming off back-to-back three length victories and is set to go against Lucky Budd (Lucky Chucky-Britt’s Spirit) who also has back-to-back victories going into tonight. Both horses scored their wins on the same nights at the same tracks, but raced in different divisions. They also both sport 1:57.3 lifetime marks at Vernon Downs.

Looking to play spoiler is Titanium (Conway Hall-Classic Yankee) who dropped into Excelsior action from the NYSS last week to collar his first win of the year at Monticello in 2:01.2, the same night Crashana and Lucky Budd raced and won. Facing these two for the first time and drawing inside them, Titanium will look to become the dominant trotter in this series tonight.

Post time for the first race is 6:35.

Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Barn Doll leads quartet of frosh fillies in NYSS at Batavia Downs

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

(Barn Doll)

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Barn Doll got off to a slow start but she finished first and fastest of four divisions of New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies on Sunday (Aug. 17) at Batavia Downs.

After getting away a gapped fourth, Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) and driver Jeff Gregory watched as Jim Morrill Jr.’s Pig Hunt cut out speedy fractions of :29 and :59.3, while pulling just before that second station. After starting the outer flow, Barn Doll slowly advance towards the leader as they hit the three-quarters in 1:30 flat. Once being eased around the last turn, Gregory got the filly in gear and she simply out-motored the rest to win in an impressive 1:59.4. Summers Windsong (Ray Schnittker) who followed Pig Hunt the whole race was second and My Lucky Word (Mark MacDonald) closed outside to be third. The winner paid $4.70.

This was the fifth win in seven starts for the Steve Pratt trained Barn Doll who has now earned $70,712 on the year for owners Steve and Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stable. She is the current point’s leader in the NYSS standings for her gait and sex.

(Nunkeri)

Nunkeri (Lucky Chucky-Laverne Lavec) won the second fastest division, going wire-to-wire in 2:01. After leaving hard to grab the lead, Mark MacDonald then grabbed leather to perfectly rate the game trotter through fractions of :30.1, 1:01.1, 1:31.4 before flying home in a brisk :29.1 to register the win. Betcha (Dan Daley) was second and Northern Obsession (Ray Schnittker) was third. Nunkeri paid $3.50.

Nunkeri is owned by Millstream, Inc., and the Nunkeri Stable and is trained by Jonas Czernyson. This was her second win in five starts in 2014 and brings her bank up to $49,825.

(Kaliska)

Kaliska (Credit Winner-Armbro Vivian) also won her division in 2:01 but had to do it amidst an overabundance of road trouble. At the start of the race, Duolectra (Mark MacDonald) made a break which allowed Kaliska to inherit a quick lead. That lead was subsequently challenged by Summer Scent (Dan Daley) to the quarter in :30.2. Once she cleared, Kaliska and Ray Schnittker followed close behind while watching Concentration (Chris Lems), Frou Frou (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Spell That (Sam Schillaci) make breaks at various points of the mile. Once pulled, Kaliska out-dueled Summer Scent to the wire to win by almost two lengths. Kaliska returned $15 to win.

The victory was the second of the year for Kaliska and pushed her earnings to $44,957 for owners Tom Spatorico, the Pepin Stable, Farm Alber Horse Racing LLC and Ray Schnittker, who is also her trainer.

(Zanna Blu)

In the fourth split, Zanna Blu (RC Royalty-Zann’s Fan) proved dominant in what became a very short field very fast. With an early scratch and Miss B’ville J (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Hot Start (Mark MacDonald) making breaks before the eighth pole, Zanna Blu found herself with a commanding lead and only three contenders behind her. Driver Gates Brunet took her through fractions of :30.3, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1 with a five-length lead, before shutting her down with a line-drive to a length and three-quarter win in 2:01.1. She returned $6.90 to her backers.

This was the third win in six starts for Zanna Blu and her owners Albert Crawford, Michelle Crawford and James Crawford. The winners share pushed the Gates Brunet trained filly’s cash total to $47,176 for 2014.

There were also two divisions of the Excelsior series on the card. Meshugana Miss (Crazed-Darling Marissa) who was driven by Mark MacDonald won the first $12,600 division in 2:00.4 for owner/trainer Janice Conner. Long Summer (Prayer I Am-Summer Ran) driven by Jeff Gregory won the second $12,700 split in 2:04.2 for owner Roy Dobbins and trainer Andrew Byler. And Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie) was driven by Mark MacDonald and won the last $12,700 session in 2:02.4 for owners Steve and Nancy Pratt. Barn Girl is trained by Howard Okusko.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. registered his 6,000 career driving victory in a non-betting Excelsior B race with Ron’s Coren in 2:04.1. Along with the wins, Morrill has pocketed purses totaling $87,659,175 during his career and annually remains one of the highest UDR reinsmen in the sport.

Drivers Jeff Gregory and Mark MacDonald both scored driving triples on the card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 20) with post time at 6:35. The card features two divisions of the $110,000 New York Sires Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings.

Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Fireyourguns goes ballistic in Batavia Downs feature

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

After being parked three-deep through the first turn and never seeing the rail until hitting the quarter in :27.2, Fireyourguns led the rest of the field on a tour of the property as he was never headed en route to capturing  the featured Open pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 16).

Leaving from post seven in a full field of eight, driver Mike Caprio shot Fireyourguns off the gate and circled Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) and Best Ears (Jack Flanigen) who also rushed for the front. Those two seated by the eighth pole and Fireyourguns continued to overtake the early leader Art Two D Two (Don Rothfuss) to take command.

After hitting the half in :55.3 and the three-quarters in 1:24, Best Ears popped out of third to try and challenge the leader, but after a valiant effort through the stretch the attempt came up short. Fireyourguns hung on for a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.1. Best Ears was second and a very fast-closing Rock N Roll Legend (Drew Monti) rallied from seventh to catch third.

The victory was the tenth of the year for Fireyourguns and it brought his annual income up to $76,020 for owners Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terrance McClory, who also trains the horse.

Batavia Downs held their first free handicapping contest Saturday that offered those who entered a chance to win their share of $1,500 in prize money. A total of 225 people competed and after all the points were tallied, Nick Stranges, of Lockport, won first place and $700. The other four winners were: second place ($400) William Smith, of Corfu, third place ($250) Fred Gundell, of Pavilion, fourth place ($100), Linda Marfione, of Churchville, and fifth place ($50) Larry Hughson Jr., of Albion.

Batavia Downs would like to congratulations to all the winners and thank all who participated. The next free handicapping challenge is on Saturday, Sept. 20.

Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Avalicious, Driving Miss Crazy victorious in NYSS at Batavia Downs

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

Written by Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

The weather was far from perfect for the Batavia Downs leg of the New York Sire Stake 3-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday (Aug. 13) as premature autumnal conditions presented cold temperatures, rain and a track rated as “good.” But the tough got going and in one race, a major upset was the result.

In the first $59,100 NYSS division, Avalicious (RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers) was sent off as the even-money favorite and proved her backers correct as she made a big move at the half and cruised home victorious.

Off the gate, L Dees Scripture (Chris Lems) left for the lead and quickly faced a strong challenge from Oh Sweet Penelope (Dan Daley) up the backside. But just before the quarter that challenger made a break so Lems then guided L Dees Scripture unabated to the half in 1:01.

At that point Avalicious was out and rolling from fourth with Jim Morrill Jr. at the lines to push the issue before swooping by the leader to take command at the three-quarters in 1:30.3. Once they cleared, Morrill gave the filly her head and she trotted away in easy fashion to win in 2:00.4.

Beauty Of Gray (Jim Meittinis) shook loose for second and Lindys Crazy Dolly (Jeff Gregory) who was aired out hung on for third.

Avalicious paid $4.30 to win for owners Michelle Crawford, Albert Crawford and Patricia Crawford.

This was her fourth win in 11 starts this year and it pushed her earnings to $148,640 for trainer Ron Burke.

The second $59,100 split saw a major upset occur when 1-9 favorite Market Rally made a break attempting to take an early lead.

When the car pulled away to start the race, Driving Miss Crazy (Gates Brunet) and Gammy’s Girl (Jim Meittinis) both left and got away 1-2 as they straightened out up the backstretch. Market Rally (Jim Morrill Jr.) had tucked fourth off the wings to let the field settle, but then was pulled and started rolling past the eighth pole.

As they passed the quarter in :30 flat, Market Rally got ahead of the front runner to take the lead. But just as soon as she crossed over she made a break and ended up last, spotting the new leader about 10 lengths. That leader (Driving Miss Crazy) tended to her task, carrying the field to the half in 1:01.1 and the three-quarters in 1:30.4.

After a dull outer-flow offered no challenge through the middle fractions, Annie’s List (Tyler Buter) managed to overtake second and a still last Market Rally then tipped three-high around fading horses to start making up ground. As they straightened out for the stretch drive, Brunet was working Driving Miss Crazy to stay alert on the lead, Buter was urging Annie’s List to catch her and Morrill was working Market Rally to make up lost ground. After a good stretch drive, the trio hit the wire a length apart from each other with Driving Miss Crazy victorious in 2:00.4.

In a tight photo for place, Market Rally did in fact rally for second and Annie’s List was third.

In the shadow of the overwhelming favorite, Driving Miss Crazy was let go at 10-1 and paid $22.60 to those who supported her.

This was the sixth win in 13 starts for Driving Miss Crazy (Crazed-Schare Hall) who has now earned $124,017 in 2014 for trainer Gates Brunet and owners Theodore Gewertz, Y Jean Brunet and Deborah Brunet.

There were also two divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card and chalk bettors were in heaven as favorites dominated both races.

Right after the $12,600 first division started, Little Baby Peanut (Jeff Gregory) and Twist Of Faith (Tyler Buter) both made breaks as the group motored into the first turn. That left Classic Belisima (Gates Brunet) on a loose lead with Do You Believe (Jim Morrill Jr.) getting the trip as the group went single-file to the quarter in :30.4 and the half in 1:02.2.

Past the five-eighths Morrill pulled the pocket sitter and drew even with Classic Belisima and the two went stride for stride around the entire last turn. When they straightened out, Do You Believe proved to be the better horse as she pulled away to a two-length victory in 2:01.4.

Classic Belisima hung on for second and Ginny And Tonic (Ray Fisher Jr.) got up for third.

Do You Believe paid $2.30 as the heavy favorite for owners Brian Doolittle and Leigh Raymer, who also trains the filly.

In the second $12,700 division, Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) turned in the fastest time of any of the stake races during the night, be they NYSS or Excelsior, in a dominating performance for trainer Tracy Brainard.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. eased Dreamsteeler out of the gate and took his time getting to the front. But once they got there the filly was brave and Morrill had his hands full rating the mile. However he did a perfect job as they scooted through even fractions of :30, 1:00 and 1:30. Down the lane, Morrill sat chilly as Dreamsteeler just jogged home in 1.59.4.

How Bout Cash (Chris Lems) and Slice Slice Baby (Tyler Buter) completed the top three finishers in that order.

Dreamsteeler went off 1-9 and paid $2.20 to win. It was her sixth win in seven starts and brought the 2014 Excelsior points leading filly's coffers up to $34,950.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. brought home four winners on the night and Gates Brunet and Tyler Buter both piloted doubles.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Aug. 15) with a 6:35 post.

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.

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.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Batavia Downs security guard performs CPR on patron, saving a life

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

A Batavia Downs patron is alive today because of the training and calm professionalism of a security guard who started CPR and helped administer defibrillation.

Cory Lapp is only 21, but he's already been a volunteer EMT with the Attica Fire Department for three years (he joined the department at age 16). His medical training came in handy while working security at the casino when he checked on a report of a patron who was down and unresponsive.

"There were a couple of people standing around, so I peaked over and realized he wasn't moving at all," Lapp said.

Lapp immediately started CPR and summoned a partner, Officer Bob Humphrey, to retrieve the defibrillator.

Together, they used the machine on the patient and the man revived and was later transported to the hospital.

The name of the patient has not been released.

As an EMT, Lapp has been called on to perform CPR before, but he said it still feels pretty good to save a life.

"It feels good to know that when he was in my hands, he was alive," Lapp said. "It's a good feeling. It's kind of hard to describe it."

As Lapp walked with a reporter through the facility, coworkers congratulated him.

"Good job, Cory," they said as he walked by.

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.

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