Batavia Downs Sets Another New Record Handle

Stonebridge Hypnos
Published: January 22, 2024 08:43 pm EST

The track was fast for the Monday afternoon (Jan. 22) card at Batavia Downs, and so was the pace at which money flowed through the windows from all outlets as the track handled $509,180, setting a new all-time one-day betting record on live racing at the track and marking the first time ever that the Downs handled in excess of one-half million dollars while under the ownership of Western Regional Off Track Betting. 

This is the third time this meet – that has only raced four days so far – that the track has set a new standard for handle. The high water mark on Monday came in the fifth race where $69,298 was bet on that single event. 

Don Hoover, Director of Live Racing at Batavia Downs, said, “This is definitely historic for the track, something that has never been done before. And it speaks volumes for the competitive racing our horses and their connections put on the track every race day. Our customers recognize that and want to bet on it and we are grateful to be in this situation. It’s a total team effort to make these races a success and everyone associated with the track shares in this achievement.”

Monday also marked the beginning of the Western New York Trackmaster Series for pacers, an event that was responsible for setting betting marks during the 2023 winter meet. These races were once again very exciting on Monday but had two drivers win nine of the 15 carded events. 

Jim Morrill Jr. won five races during the afternoon, four of which were from his regular connections, trainer Sam Smith and owner Mike Torcello. Morrill scored with Road Map (1:57, $2.50), Mister J R (1:57.3, $2.60), Stonebridge Hypnos (1:59, $2.40) and Authentic Hanover (1:59.1, $9). His fifth win was behind Mississippi Rabbit (1:58, $3.20), who is owned by William MacMillan and trained by Joe Skowyra. 

Brett Beckwith was right behind Morrill in the win column as he registered a grand slam. He won with Surfers Paradise (1:58.2, $8.60), Weekend Atnannies (1:58.1, $3.90) and Thatmomentinlife (1:57.3, $7.80), who were all trained by Mark McDonough, and also with Long Train Runnin (1:57, $2.70), who was trained by Jim Clouser Jr. 

When live harness racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 3 p.m., there will be a $532 carryover in the Jackpot Super Hi-5 in the 15th race. Batavia will also host the first round of the Western New York Trackmaster Series for trotters on Thursday. 

(Batavia Downs; Photo of Stonebridge Hypnos and Morrill Jr. winning on Jan. 22)

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