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Batavia Downs, Batavia

Categories: Tourist Spots, Arenas & Stadiums
Inspirock Rating:
2.4/5 based on 110+ reviews on the web
Batavia Downs is a harness racing track and casino in Batavia, New York. It is located in Genesee County between Buffalo and Rochester just off of the New York State Thruway, the I-90. It opened on September 20, 1940, and is the oldest lighted harness racetrack in the United States. The track is exactly 1/2 mile long.HistoryIn 1939, William "Lefty" Goldberg and others chose Batavia, halfway between Buffalo and Rochester, for par-mutuel wagering on horse races. Harold Wishman, William Zimmer, Arthur Martin and Frederick Strohm were stockholders in the Monroe-Genesee Breeders Association, a predecessor to the Genesee-Monroe Racing Association, which rented the Genesee County Fairgrounds for racing.1940sIn 1940, Batavia Downs opened pari-mutuel racing at 8:20 PM on September 20, 1940. Crowds of more than 2,500 attended and $10,411 was wagered on the first card.In 1941, Batavia Downs opened to an estimated crowd of about $4,000 and a handle of $20,231. Track lighting was improved.The season was cancelled in 1942 and 1943 because of war travel restrictions. In 1944, Pat E. Provenzano borrowed money and bought out stockholder William Weisman, a New York City attorney, for $15,000. Provenzano was elected president of the Genesee Monroe Racing Association. In 1947, Provenzano purchased the racetrack property for $150,000 after the Genesee County Agricultural Society's fair association went bankrupt. Proximity set the then-track record of 2:04. In 1948 she broke her own time record with a time of 1:59 3/5.
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  • Though small, this casino has a lot to offer, including the many super employees there! Everyone I met was friendly and made me feel like we already knew each other. I used my $5 free play (for first ...  read more »
  • Want a fun inexpensive night out...go to the races! bought a program for $2 and pick your favorite. Took my mom and her friend and they did not bet....we placed some little $2.00 bets...12 races later...  read more »
  • We decided to make a short visit and check out the casino in Batavia. It is not huge but has some interesting and fun machines. This is a very clean and new looking casino. The staff was very courteou...  read more »
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