Batavia, NY --- Harness racing fans who skimmed through their programs Tuesday night (Sept. 24) at Batavia Downs probably looked twice to see a couple of names of popular drivers in the program that they haven't seen in a while.
Ken Holliday and Jack Flanigen both returned to the sulky Tuesday night and will continue to drive as the meet wears on.
Holliday has suffered various injuries in his driving career and thus retired after his last drive at Buffalo Raceway on Jan. 12, 2012. Eventually he would become an associate judge at Pompano Park. But the fire to compete was obviously still there and he was back in the bike behind Charlie Beans in the tenth race Tuesday, but finished a distant eighth.
The 50-year-old Holliday has 5,092 lifetime victories and nearly $21 million in earnings.
Flanigen was involved in a horrific spill at Buffalo Raceway on July 12 and has just recovered from his injuries and is back in the sulky. The 47-year-old Flanigen also has impressive statistics, winning 4,088 races and nearly $12 million in purses. He drove in three races on Tuesday night. He's scheduled to drive three Wednesday night and twice on Friday as he slowly returns to the track.
The 'watch' continues as well for John Cummings, Jr. as he is three victories away from reaching the 2,000-win plateau in his career.
Besides welcoming some familiar faces to the track, fans with be greeted with some nice pools to wager on Wednesday night (Sept. 25).
The guaranteed $3,000 Pick-4 kicks off in the third race while a carryover of $2,947 awaits patrons in the Pick-5 sequence which starts in the seventh race. The guaranteed Pick-4 is part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program and is also sponsored by Batavia Downs and the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association. Free program pages for the sequence are available at the USTA website.
The 12-race program Wednesday kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with the entire card broadcast on Time-Warner Cable, Channel 98 in Rochester and surrounding areas.
For more information, promotions, race schedule, results and news, go to bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing.