Two divisions of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) two-year-old trotting colts and geldings vying for $107,000 in purse money highlighted the Sunday afternoon (August 27) card at Batavia Downs and a live crowd of 3,500 was on hand to watch the proceedings.
In the first $53,500 division, Tito (Andy Miller) left from post one and took an undisputed lead right off the gate. After going a moderate 1:01.3 to the half, the heavily favoured My Lindy Winner (Jim Morrill Jr.) came first-up and delivered some moderate pressure to the front-runner. But Tito was up to the task and buzzed home in a quick :56.4 back-half to win easily by two-lengths in 1:58.2.
It was the first career win for Tito (7.20) and thus the time was a new lifetime mark. The time was also only one-fifth of a second off the track record for two-year-old trotting colts.
Tito, who is by Muscle Mass out of Stonebridge Encore (Angus Hall), is owned by Anthony Lombardi, George Golemes and Louis Willinger and is trained by Erv Miller. He was bred by Angie Stiller of Arva, Ont.
In the second $53,500 split, Clive Bigsby (Chris Lems) used the exact same game plan. After taking the lead from post one, Lems backed off the fractions to 1:01.2 while three horses broke behind him. He continued to grab leather up the backside with no challengers in sight and gave Clive Bigsby his head for the last quarter where he trotted home in :28.4 to an easy three-length win in 1:59.1.
The win puts him in a first-place tie in points (200) with Fourth Dimension as the top horses in the NYSS division. Fourth Dimension did not enter this week’s NYSS race.
Clive Bigsby ($3.10) now has five wins in seven starts this year and an impressive bankroll of $93,562. The progeny of Muscle Mass out of Northern Flare (Angus Hall) is owned by the Winters Racing Stable and George Ducharme, who also trains the gelding. He was bred by Karen Carroll of Shedden, Ont.
There were also two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior series on the card.
The first group was bested by Dewey Hava Winner (Deweycheatumnhowe-Kosher Winner), who scored a half-length decision in 2:00.4 for trainer/driver Ray Schnittker. Dewey Hava Winner ($4.10) is owned by Eric Taddeo.
The second set went to If Not Why Not (Muscle Mass-Amazing Grace) after a good late brush off a pocket-trip in 2:01.1 for Phil Fluet. If Not Why Not ($10) is owned by Michael Polansky and is trained by Dave Spagnola.
First-Time Starter Ruby Wins Wiener Dog Race
Ruby, a three-year-old dachshund making her first lifetime start, defeated nine other wiener dogs on Sunday en route to winning the 2017 Batavia Downs Dachshund Dash sponsored by Genesee Feeds of Batavia.
History has shown that a dog racing for the first time normally doesn’t perform as well as dogs that have raced in previous years. But that wasn’t the case on Sunday when Ruby, who is owned by Patrick Gorman of Buffalo, New York, served notice with an electrifying heat victory believed to be the fastest win ever at Batavia.
In the final, she took the lead soon after the start and cruised to victory.
“She stays fit by swimming,” said her owner Gorman. “She loves to fetch so that’s why we entered her.”
For her efforts, her owner takes home $135 in Batavia Downs Gaming Free Play and two clubhouse buffets.
Maximus finished second for owner Carrie Marseglia while Martin was third for owner Christine Baker.
Former champion Rudy got the biggest roar of the crowd. Now a 14-year-old, the legendary Dachshund, who was unbeatable in 2005 and 2006, made the final but was unplaced.
“It was a remarkable afternoon,” said Director of Marketing Ryan Hasenauer. “Every year Family Fun day gets bigger and better and we look forward to doing it all again next year.”
With New York Sire Stakes, Family Fun Day and the wiener dog races, local racing fans and families came out in force on a perfect summer afternoon. Track officials estimated the live crowd to be 3,500.
(With files from Batavia Downs)