Akron, NY — The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has announced the horses who will be honored for their performances at Batavia Downs during the 2022 racing season. These horses who have competed at the Downs all season, will each be honored with a trophy in the winner’s circle between races during “The Day of Distinction” that will be held on Saturday (Dec. 17). Post time for the first race is 3 p.m.
Pacer of the Meet: Stranger Things (Western Terror-Southwind Prairie) 18-8-3-2 – $71,300 – 1:53.2 at Batavia Downs
Owner: Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel and James Reuther
Trainer: Angelo Nappo
Stranger Things was the winningest horse of the meet and top money earner– regardless of age, gait or gender — amassing a total of eight victories and $71,300 in purses while facing Open class company each week. Overall in 2022, Stranger Things has had 31 starts with 12 wins, six seconds and two thirds with $103,945 in earnings and put an exclamation mark on his career year with a new lifetime mark of 1:53.2 at Batavia on Oct. 22.
Trotter of the Meet: C R Blazin Beauty (Crazed-Melrose Abbey) 18-6-2-2 – $51,880 – 1:57 at Batavia Downs
Owner: Marissa Russo
Trainer: David Russo
CR Blazin Beauty is another horse boasting a career year and who was also the winningest trotter of the meet, scoring six wins including four in the Open and this was no small task being a mare racing against the boys every week. The 8-year-old also scored a landmark win at Batavia on December 3 when she achieved the 50th victory of her career. For the year, CR Blazin Beauty has 37 starts with 10 wins, nine seconds and four thirds with $105,384 in the bank.
Mare of the Meet: Saulsbrook Olympia (Big Jim-Racino Star) 16-5-2-2 – $50,530 – 1:53.4 at Batavia Downs
Owner: William McNeil and Edward Gorc
Trainer: Jennifer Giuliani
For the first year competing as an aged mare, Saulsbrook Olympia excelled in her new classification. The 4-year-old took an impressive 1:50.3 lifetime mark at Woodbine Mohawk Park prior to arriving at Batavia. Since the start of the Batavia meet, Saulsbrook Olympia garnered five wins and the highest earnings by a pacing mare ($50,530) while facing the best resident and best ship-in talent from all over the state. Her overall numbers for 2022 show 33 starts, 10 wins, two seconds and six thirds with $85,226 in purses earned.
Please note that post time for Saturday was moved to 3 p.m. to avoid conflict with the flexed Buffalo Bills versus Miami Dolphins game later that night. The clubhouse will open their doors at 2:30 p.m. and will offer a prime rib and shrimp buffet that will be served from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Railbar will be open from 2:30 p.m. until the end of the last race, which will be approximately 7 p.m., however it will not remain open for the Bills game.
There may be an early Christmas present for some lucky player at Batavia Saturday. A Jackpot Super Hi-5 pentafecta carryover that has been growing for weeks has reached $10,733.58 and with the meet ending, a mandatory payout will happen Saturday. So Batavia Downs has guaranteed the pool at $15,000 through the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program for that pentafecta wager in race 13.
Free program pages are available on the USTA website for that race under the “Handicapping” tab or by clicking here and free full past performance race programs for the entire card can be downloaded by visiting the track’s website at bataviadownsgaming.com and clicking the “Live Racing” tab. If you can’t attend the races live, you can still watch all the action on the Batavia Downs YouTube channel.