County Fair harness racing rolls into Batavia Downs Thursday
Batavia, NY — Batavia Downs is proud to host the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) County Fair Series on Thursday (July 15) starting at 12:30 p.m. The program that is facilitated by the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund features stops at tracks in 21 different counties throughout the state and culminates with finals for the top point-getters at Historic Track in Goshen on Sunday (Sept. 5).
“County Fair racing is where our young horses and many young horsemen and women get their start and can learn in a fun environment,” said Kelly Young, Executive Director of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. “We are so excited to add Genesee County racing at Batavia Downs to the schedule this year and provide another outstanding venue for New York-bred horses to compete on the County Fair circuit.”
“County Fair is about more than ribbons and awards. Its about the experience and the people you share those experiences with. County fair is embracing the life skills and memories created while being part of the fair. Most importantly its about being a role model, giving back, and making the best better,” added Amanda Gallo, President of the Genesee Agricultural Society.
“It’s been a pleasure working with the Genesee County Fair Society and the New York Sire Stakes to make this happen,” said Todd Haight, Director and General Manager of live racing at Batavia Downs. “These races are not only beneficial for our local racing community, but also horseman and women throughout New York State.”
There will be 13 races on Thursday — eight trots and five paces — and all are non-betting events. Admission and parking are free at the track and race gates will open at noon with the track apron available for fans. Also, free full past performance programs are available for download at www.bataviadownsgaming.com. Everyone is encouraged to come out to the Downs and root on all the aspiring 2- and 3-year-olds.
The Claude Huckabone III stable, who has 10 horses entered, leads the way for number of starters on the card. Local trainers competing include Doug Ackley, Ryan Swift, John Mungillo, Judy Blaun, Jim Graham, Tammy Cummings, Gerry Sarama, Robert Wittcop, Kirk Desmond and one of the perennial NYSS leading conditioners, Steve Pratt.
Many of the horses racing on this card have already started in other levels of the state sponsored series this year including the NYSS, Excel A and Excel B levels, so the racing promises to be very competitive.
Three of the four County Fair 2-year-old champions from 2020 will be in action on Thursday as 3-year-olds and include trotting filly Flexible Credit (Credit Winner-Back On Track), trotting colt Ready For Workout (Whataworkout-Oven Ready) and pacing gelding Brave Element (Bolt The Duer-Necessary Element).
The 72 entrants will compete for total purses of $30,250 and points, as they each try to make their way to the finals this fall.
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs