Wagering, purse records set in '17 at Batavia
December 20, 2017
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The 2017 Batavia Downs summer-fall meet that ended on Saturday, Dec. 16, left track management feeling good after setting records for total betting and purse money paid out during the year.
The track's export signal drew an increased handle of 15.9 percent over 2016 and total betting was up 8.1 percent (over $600,000) with 17 less races than last year. That produced $8.2 million wagered on the live harness racing product which was the most ever handled at Batavia Downs during a meet since Western Regional OTB purchased and reopened the track in 2002.
The Downs also set a record handle in their Pick-5 wager when the pool reached $25,312 as a result of being part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
Total purses paid out including New York Sires Stakes were $6,072,800, the first time ever the track distributed in excess of $6 million in purse money.
The 2017 meet was also the first time Batavia Downs adopted a new 5 p.m. post time on Wednesdays and that seemed to contribute to the better numbers witnessed from the off-track outlets as handle was up 25 percent from the export signal mid-week. It was also a big reason the track eclipsed the $8 million mark in total handle.
A quality product on the track drove those numbers along with a closely contested driver's race that saw three reinsmen with a shot at the title all year.
When the dust had cleared, Larry Stalbaum won his first ever Batavia Downs driving title with 134 wins. Second was Ray Fisher Jr. with 124 and just one back in third was Drew Monti with 123.
On the conditioner side, Kim Asher also won her first Batavia Downs training title in a romp with 94 wins, 52 ahead of JD Perrin who was second with 42. Maria Rice was third with 40 victories.
Post one won 201 out of the 808 races run followed by post four with 135 and post three with 123.
Favorites won 45 percent of the time during the course of the meet.
"When the lights went down for the last time this year and we looked at the numbers, we were very happy with the results we saw" said Todd Haight, director/general manager of live racing at Batavia Downs. "We had great action on the track with competitive, bettable races and the money wagered through the windows shows our customers felt the same way."
Upon approval of the New York State Gaming Commission, live racing will resume at Batavia Downs on Monday, July 23, 2018. (Batavia Downs)