Quantcast
Skip to main content
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."

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 12:36 am

Buffet & Free Play: A Community Celebration

post by Robert Brown in Batavia Downs, Buffet, celebration, community, GCLP

The Genesee County Libertarian Party sponsored Buffet & Free Play: A Community Celebration will be held at Batavia Downs Gaming, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY.

Admission to the celebration is by advance ticket purchase only.  Tickets are limited so purchase yours soon!

Complete details are available at:

www.gclpny.org/buffetfreeplay

Event Date and Time

May 31, 2014 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Monday, March 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Casino developer threatens Western OTB with suit for filing request for investigation

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

Via WBTA:

Tensions are rising over a proposed Seneca Casino in Henrietta.

The law firm for Rochester developer David Flaum -- who’s working with the Senecas to explore a Las Vegas-style casino in Henrietta -- has written a letter to Western Regional Off-Track Betting threatening legal action.

It’s over the complaint filed by WROTB to the state ethics board over alleged illegal lobbying activities. The complaint seeks exploration of potential violations of the state’s lobbying law between the Seneca Gaming Corporation/Seneca Nation and Flaum. Batavia Downs CEO Michael Nolan told WBTA at the time of the filing that “evidence exists to support the conclusion that Mr. Flaum and Flaum Rochester have been acting as unregistered lobbyists and have accepted a contingent-based employment from the Nation.

Also some evidence exists to support that the Nation and the Seneca Gaming Corporation are considered lobbying clients of Mr. Flaum and Flaum Rochester and have failed to submit required semiannual reports.”

The developer’s attorney called the complaint “fabricated” and that if it wasn’t dropped, they would sue OTB.

OTB officials say it’s well within their right to seek an opinion from the ethics panel.

“We just submitted the complaint to JCOPE, which is a state commission that’s tasked with interpreting if a contract of this type falls within the ethics law,” OTB President and CEO Michael Kane said. “That’s all we’ve done.”

Multiple municipalities and politicians have voiced their opposition to the casino, saying it would have negative effects on Batavia Downs and the area.

The Senecas purchased 32 acres of land in the Town of Henrietta earlier this month.

Monday, March 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Genesee County Chamber announces opposition to Seneca casino in Henrietta

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, business, chamber of commerce

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has joined the growing opposition to the expansion of casino gaming in Western New York.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors has unanimously passed a resolution opposing any new proposed casino in New York west of Route 14 and specifically the location of a new tax-free, Las Vegas-style casino in Monroe County owned and operated by the Seneca Nation.

The addition of another casino located in Western New York would over-saturate the regional gaming marketplace and would have negative impact on Batavia Downs Gaming and its operations. Batavia Downs Gaming is located in Genesee County and has shown to be an outstanding partner in the community and is directly and indirectly responsible for thousands of jobs in our region.

An additional casino in such proximity to Batavia Downs will greatly jeopardize the livelihoods of those thousands of individuals who rely on the continued operation and success of Batavia Downs Gaming. Not only would Batavia Downs Gaming be affected, but the addition of a full Las Vegas-style casino has shown to have a negative impact on surrounding restaurant, hotel and other hospitality businesses as well.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has asked fellow business organizations in the region to join in opposition to expanding gaming in Monroe County and all other locations in New York west of Route 14.

Premium Drupal Themes