Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel News

Batavia hits new handle heights as longshots rule Monday

Batavia, NY — For the fourth time in only six days of live racing in 2024, Batavia Downs set a new one day, all-source record handle while under the ownership of Western Regional Off Track Betting on Monday (Jan. 29). Bettors pushed $515,078 through the windows to top the short-lived old record of $509,180 which was set only one week ago.

The handle reflects that Batavia’s loyal wagering patrons turned out in force again to bet the second round of the Western New York Trackmaster Series that had evenly matched fields and yielded outcomes many didn’t anticipate, with price horses giving chalk bettors agita while sending speculators home with a jovial disposition.

The top class, $9,000 Trackmaster 79 division produced two large payouts after come-from-behind efforts were put in by both.

First, Dogfight (Kevin Cummings) got away sixth at 25-1 and remained there to the half that was cut by Remember The Beach (Jim Morrill Jr.). At that station, Cummings pulled Dogfight third-over with cover and then swung three-deep into the last turn. At the top of the stretch, Lana’s Desire (Dave McNeight III) took the lead from Remember The Beach, but Dogfight quickly supplanted Lana’s Desire in deep stretch to win by 1-¼ lengths in 1:57.1.

It was the first win of the year for Dogfight ($52.00) who is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Sam Smith.

Then later, I’ll Take The Bet (Drew Monti) also got away sixth as Sleeping Single (Jim McNeight Jr.) and Carrythetorchman (Dave McNeight III) traded blows and leads from the half to the top of the stretch. It was there that Monti steered I’ll Take The Bet into the passing lane, found clear road and bolted to the line to win by a neck in 1:57.4.

Similarly, it was the first win of the year as well for I’ll Take The Bet ($38.80) and owner Justina Ohol. Mike Ohol conditions the winner.

Other upsets on the card included Rockn’ With T (1:59.1, $49.90), Always A Fiji (2:00.1, $31.40), Odds On Cheddar (1:58.1, $25.00) and Jimmy CR (1:59.1, $18.40).

Nine of the night’s participating horsemen scored doubles during the proceedings. Drivers Brett Beckwith, Drew Monti, Jim Morrill Jr., Kevin Cummings and Kyle Cummings joined trainers Sam Smith, Jim Rothfuss, Shawn McDonough and Chris Petrelli in claiming two wins each on Monday.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Thursday (Feb. 1) at 3 p.m. and will feature the second round of the Western New York Trackmaster Series for trotters along with a $15,000 Open I for both gaits.

Free full past performance programs for every live card of racing at Batavia can always be downloaded at the Downs’ website ( under the “Live Racing” tab and all the racing action can be viewed as it happens for free at the Batavia Downs Live Facebook page.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

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