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Batavia's 2010 Meet Wrap

Published: December 8, 2010 12:18 pm ET

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Harness racing this year in Western New York came to an end when Batavia Downs wrapped up its 64th racing season on Saturday, December 4.

This year's summer-fall meet, which began on July 26, saw seven track records fall, defending champions for top driver and trainer honours, five high school students dashing for cash in the first-ever college scholarship race, a third-time winner in the annual Labour Day drivers bike race (which began in 1981) and a repeat winner in the Wiener Dog races.

On-track business increased 1.3 per cent over last year. Export handle declined 5.5 per cent from 2009.

“Overall, I was pleased with our season,” said Michael D. Kane, the track's vice president of live racing, who was recently elected to the U.S. Trotting Association (USTA) Board of Directors.

“Thanks to some great work by our marketing and racing departments, we were able to buck the national trend and get customers to the track to enjoy our product. Our export business conformed to the existing trends of horse racing across the board. And the weather didn’t cooperate on our final two weekends or we would have finished the year on a stronger note."

While Kenneth J (1:52) and Earl's (1:56.2) all-age track records survived another year, several other records did not.

On the pacing side, Artistry In Rhythm became the fastest aged mare ever at the track when she scored in 1:54 with driver Ken Holliday. Flipper J established a new mark of 1:54.4 for two-year-old colts and geldings with Jason Bartlett in the bike, while Joey the Czar with Jim Morrill, Jr. just missed Kenneth J’s record when he lowered the standard for three-year-old colts and geldings when he won in 1:52.1.

On the trotting side, reinsman Jeff Gregory sat behind new freshman track record holders Dejarmbro (two-year-old colt and geldings, 1:58.4) and the filly Dreamy Dawn, who won in 1:59.

Both three-year-old records were also broken.

Tuesdays with Mom became the fastest-ever filly at the track when she scored in 1:57.3 with Jack Flanigen in the bike. And that mark was tied later in the evening by Munis Blue Chip, who had Ray Schnittker at the controls. Whata Winner, with Hall of Famer Jim Doherty in tow, was just that when he established a new mark of 1:56.2 for colts and geldings.

Reinsman Kevin Cummings repeated as dash leading driver despite taking over a week off during August to take his family on a summer vacation. Sherri Holliday finished with a flourish to defend her trainers title.

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