Vernon Downs announced today two major changes that will affect the remainder of the 2008 race meet. First and foremost, an increase in purses of 15-20 percent across the board. Secondly, Vernon announced the resurrection of the Miracle Mile classification system. Both changes will take effect the first week of July.
The purse increase will affect all classes and is in direct correlation with an increase in slot revenue. Vernon has shown about a 28 percent increase in slot revenue thru the end of May compared to the same time period in 2007.
This translates into the Vernon purse account earning roughly $268,000 more in 2008 than it did in 2007 thru the end of May.
The Miracle Mile system was used in the past at Vernon Downs and was very successful. The system allows the Race Secretary (Shane Hoehn) to group the upper condition horses together by ability instead of earnings.
"Every track in the State of New York races with a different purse structure," said Jason Bluhm, Director of Racing for Tioga & Vernon.
"It makes it difficult to classify horses simply by money earnings in your last five starts. By using the Miracle Mile, Shane will be able to group the horses into 4 different classes of horses each week.
"The top group of horses entered in each week will be placed together in the Miracle Mile I, and the second group in the Miracle Mile II, and so on and so on.
The idea will be to make competitive fields, reduce the number of winning favorites, and try to spread the wealth to everyone that races at Vernon. I believe Shane has more than enough ability to make this work."
Not all horses will race in the Miracle Mile. Regular conditioned races such as the non winners of 1 or 2 pari-mutuels and some of the claiming classes will remain.
Vernon also will be racing a 4 day a week schedule in the month of July starting in the second week. Vernon will race Tuesday July 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th along with their normal Thursday, Friday, Saturday racing.
Post Time on Tuesday in July is 6 pm.
For more information, please visit us at www.vernondowns.com or call 877-888-3766.
Jason M. Settlemoir