Arrigenna named Batavia track superintendent
May 24, 2016
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Peter Arrigenna, a longtime horseman who also serves as a trustee of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and a director of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State, has been named the new track superintendent at Batavia Downs.
Arrigenna will replace Ralph Horton, who has retired after working at the Downs for 14 years.
Besides running a successful stable that produced 2012 Yonkers Trot champion Archangel 1:50 ($1,140,972), Arrigenna also runs his own construction company. And it's the combined experience from both fields that has provided him the insight and knowledge to design, construct and maintain very fast race tracks.
Arrigenna has built many farm tracks from scratch, but he also resurfaced Buffalo Raceway in 2014 to the rave reviews of the horsemen and was hired this year as a consultant at Harrah's Philadelphia.
Although the meet doesn't begin for another two months, Arrigenna's duties will start immediately as his first order of business will be to rebuild the track.
"We will be leveling and filling the existing track to the grade indicated from a survey done in 2009. It will entail filling the ditches where it washed out, banking the turns better and putting it back to the original grade," said Arrigenna. "Once that is complete, we will be putting a new surface on top of that which should make it much better for the horses competing there."
This will be the first time the track at Batavia has been resurfaced since 2010 and the $125,000 project will see the turns banked up to eight percent and more than 5,000 tons of new material (a mixture of washed screenings and washed crushed stone) added to the surface.
The project is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 6, and be completed by Friday, July 1, well in advance of opening night of live racing, which is Monday, July 25.
"I look forward to starting at Batavia because it's close to home and it's a project I like to do," said Arrigenna.
Todd Haight, the director/general manager of live racing at the Downs, has high praise for Arrigenna's abilities.
"We're thrilled to have Peter as our track superintendent," said Haight. "He knows what it takes to make a race track fair, but also safe, because he is a horseman as well as a contractor. His knowledge and experience will serve him well in his new position.
"I would also like to thank Ralph Horton for his many years of service to the track and wish him the best in his retirement." (Batavia Downs)