Export handle rose a staggering 53 percent, while all-sources handle increased by 14 percent. On-track, attendance was up one half of one percent while on-track handle decreased by five percent.
“We had more outlets taking our signal this year, but to be up over 50 percent says a lot about how well-received our product was,” Batavia Downs general manager Todd Haight said. “There’s no doubt our earlier post time was also a factor.”
There were plenty of memorable performances as six track records were rewritten: Hambletonian entrant Archangel, with Jim Morrill Jr. in the sulky, crushed the all-age trotting benchmark with a mile of 1:54.3. In also setting the sophomore trotting mark, Archangel shaved nearly two seconds off Earl’s record of 1:56.1.
Also on the trotting side, Cowgirl Hall (1:57.2) lowered the 3-year-old filly record and Escrow Bluechip (1:57.3) established a new mark for older mares.
Not to be upstaged, two pacers also entered the record book: Doctor Butch lowered the 2-year-old colt and gelding mark to 1:54.2 while Up Front Kellie Jo became the fastest older pacing mare when she sizzled the oval in 1:53.4.
Dan Noble, who missed a portion of the meet when driving in Ohio, finished second with 122 wins, while 2003’s leading driver, Jim McNeight, was third at 89.
Trainer Bobbi Jo Martin scored her first Downs training title, leading all conditioners with 49 victories and purse earnings of $234,365. David McNeight Jr. was second with 42 winners, one more than Jim Graham.
Career driving milestones were attained at Batavia by Jack Flanigen (4,000 victories) and Noble (3,000).
Pending New York State Racing and Wagering Board approval, the 67th season will commence on July 22, 2013.