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Bafia also a Winner off the Race Track (07/07/13)

Posted Sunday July 7, 2013

                                                   By Mike Paradise

  Jim Bafia, a co-owner of last season’s Illinois freshman trotting filly champion Trot Fudge Sundae, was in the Balmoral Park’s winner’s circle last weekend but this time without his prize trotter.

  Instead Bafia, his wife Becky, a counselor at Joliet Central High School, and their two grade school children Melanie and Adam, were with friends and other family members to honor four Illinois high school students who were the recipients of three college scholarships donated by the Bafia family.

  Receiving a king-size version of the $1,500 check from Minooka High School was Jordan Robare. Two students from Joliet High School, Ashley Baker and Andrew Kochel, each received $1,000 checks. The $1,500 Nina Coleada Scholarship went to Emily Banigan of Hinckley-Big Rock High School where Jim Bafia was a 1987 graduate.

  “I’ve been very successful racing Trot Fudge Sundae and I think it’s important to give back to the sport, so my wife and I sponsored three scholarships, named after my trotting filly and Nina Colada ($147,129), the first yearling that I purchased in 2009 who has raced respectable in Illinois.”

  “Even if I lose money racing my horses this season I will still provide college scholarships again next year to deserving local high school students,” Bafia said. “I think it’s important to generate positive publicity for our sport so people well know how our industry really is.”

  Bafia, who shares ownership of Trot Fudge Sundae with his two commodity trading partners Chicago Gene White and Sam Daddano of Grant Park, Illinois, has been a horse racing fan “for a long-time.”

  “I was a thoroughbred player for a number of years,” said Bafia.” I wanted to get into the horse racing business and it made more sense financially to buy harness horses. They’re stronger. They race much more often, some once a week. Also I knew some people into harness racing business.

  “It’s been a lot of fun enjoying a good horse like Trot Fudge Sundae with friends. It’s been great for the whole family. The kids like coming to the racetrack with us to watch our filly race. They know they made end up in the winner’s circle.”

  This year Bafia has done a lot more this year than just watch is filly race.

  “I’ve been down in Springfield with our trainer Dirk Simpson and he’s let me jog horses for couple of months and it was a lot of fun.  I recently came back from the USTA driving school in Goshen, New York and that was the whole package.

  “We did a little bit of everything. We cleaned stalls, washed the horses when they came back off the track we put their equipment on when they went out on it. We were able to do some jogging and driving as well.

  “We also attended seminars every day and they were held inside of National Hall of Fame Museum and that was very interesting. One night we even had a tour of Blue Chip Farms.

  “I learned a lot. It was definitely worth attending. And I was also able to go with some friends to The Meadowlands on a Saturday night and the place was packed. I had a good time there, as well.”

  Jim Bafia has shown he’s a winning Standardbred owner both on and off the race track.

  To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here


  Jim and Becky Bafia are surrounded by friends and family of the four south suburban students who received college scholarships donated by the Illinois harness racing couple.

                                                                                             R.E.B. Photo

  County Fair Report    


 Saturday Afternoon July 6 Results

FIRST: MWIRA, 2-Year-Old Filly Pace, Purse $3,274:

Horse (Driver)                                               Time (Track Fast

Fox Valley Shriver (Freddie Patton Jr.)                2:01.2

Trainer: Freddie Patton Jr. Owner: Willie Scott.

SECOND: MWIRA, 2-Year-Old Colt Pace, 1st Div, Purse $1,948:

Tower Power (Freddie Patton Jr.)                         2:05.2

Trainer: Freddie Patton Jr. Owner: Marvin Kendrick.

THIRD: MWIRA, 2-Year-Old Colt Pace, 2nd Div, Purse $1,948:

Splended Party (Derrick Flowers)                         2:06.1

Trainer: Derrick Flowers. Owner: Derrick Flowers.

FOURTH: MWIRA, 3-Year-Old Filly Trot, Purse $3,173:

Sherry’s Band (Freddie Patton Jr.)                       2:07.1

Trainer: Freddie Patton Jr. Owner: Freddie Patton Sr.

FIFTH: MWIRA, 3-Year-Old Colt Trot, Purse $3,541:

Riet’s Kid (Paul Cavett)                                          2:04.3

Trainer: Gene Williams. Owners: Frank and Joseph Marsaglia and Gene Williams.

SIXTH: MWIRA, 2-Year-Old Filly Trot, Purse $3,497:

Dancinginthebreeze (Dave Fagan)                     2:11.4

Trainer:Dave Fagan.  Owners: Clifford and David Johns.

SEVENTH: MWIRA, 2-Year-Old Colt Trot, Purse $3,207:

Battleshoe Crown (Buddy Simpson)                    2:10.3

Trainer: Buddy Simpson. Owners: Buddy and Clay Simpson.

EIGHTH: MWIRA, 3-Year-Old Filly Pace, Purse $3,229:

Queen Beatrice (Darla Martin)                              2:04.3

Trainer: David Lohman. Owners: Fred and David Lohman,

NINTH: MWIRA, 3-Year-Old Colt Pace, Purse $3,207:

Rita Mae Brush (Mike Cox)                                    2:02/2

Trainer: Dirk Simpson/ Owner: Dr. Patrick Graham.

TENTH: Non-Winners of $1,000 Pace, Purse $750:

Confess Nothing (Mike Rogers)                           2:07.1

Trainer: Robert Walker. Owners: Robert and Hart Walker.

ELEVENTH: Non-Winners of $1,000 Pace, Purse $750:

In A Heartbeat (Ronnie Gillespie)                         2:05.1

Trainer: Ronnie Gillespie. Owners: Dennis Jennings and Gail and Robert Sanders.

TWELFTH: Free For All Pace, Purse $1,000:

Spill The Beans (Dillon Cox)                                 2:04.1

Trainer: Mike Cox. Owner: Mike Cox.


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