Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel News

Kyle Swift wins first career drive at Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY — Batavia Downs hosted the New York Sire Stake County Fair series on Thursday (July 15) and the program that is designed to help develop young horsemen and women bore fruit in front of a robust gallery of fans in attendance.

Kyle Swift made his first ever driving start a winning one when he steered the 2-year-old pacing filly Pink Delight (Huntsville-Gentlemens Delight) to a perfectly rated wire to wire win in the third race of the afternoon. Swift cut fractions of :31.2 and 1:05.1 in the short field of five before letting his filly loose to pace a back half of 1:00.1 with a :29.2 final panel to win by two lengths.

“She got a little rammy behind the gate so I let her leave out of there. Once she got on the front she was fine,” said Swift. “Going to the half she got a little lazy but when the horse behind me pulled, she grabbed the bit and it was game over from there.”

The 16-year-old Swift, who will be starting his Junior year at Akron (NY) Central High School in the fall, said that the pandemic last year that forced schooling from home was advantageous to his development as a driver and trainer.

“Because I was home, I was able to be in the barn working everyday and worked with this filly in particular. I got along better with her than anyone else and she started to really come along. Right now I am training five and look forward to them all racing well.”

Swift comes from a background firmly established in harness racing as the son of driver Ray Fisher Jr. and trainer Ryan Swift. Fisher has 4,621 driving wins and over $20 million in earnings during his career while Swift accounts for 415 wins and $2.5 million as a conditioner over the past decade. The abilities of mom and dad have certainly influenced Swift, who is looking to make a career of the sport.

There were 13 races contested during the day and the fastest pace went to the 3-year-old gelding Garrett’s Drama (Art Major-Real Drama) who went in 1:59.4 for owner/driver Jimmy Whittemore and trainer Marissa Chadbourne.

On the trotting side, trainer Steve Pratt’s 3-year-old filly Barn Baby (RC Royalty-Barn Babe) toured the facility in 2:00.4 to score an easy win with Kyle Cummings in the bike. Pratt co-owns the winner with Nancy Pratt, the Purple Haze Stables and Out In The Country Stable.

Whittemore, Cummings and Kevin Cummings all had two driving wins Thursday.

The NYSS County Fair series will reconvene on Monday (July 19) in Chautauqua County in Dunkirk, New York. Post time is slated for 2 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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