Day At The Track

Tioga Downs set to open on Saturday

03:59 AM 03 May 2019 NZST
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Mike Merton, harness racing
Mike Merton, the 2018 top driver with 82 wins, returns to defend his title
Fred Brown Photo

Tioga Downs will open the 2019 season on Saturday (May 4) with a nine race harness racing card and a special post time of 5:30 p.m.

Mike Merton, the 2018 top driver with 82 wins, returns to defend his title. Jim Taggart Jr. was second in 2018 with 62 trips to the winner's circle.

Aaron Byron was third best a season ago with 59 wins. Jim Meittinis was fourth with 56 victories. Mike Simons was fifth in the standings with 47 wins.

Gary Messenger was top dog in the trainer standings. He won 40 times a year ago. Mike Deters was second with 35 tallies. Patty Harmon (26),

Joe Skowyra (25), and Gaston Lareau (19) round out the top five.

Tioga Downs will begin their 14th season on Saturday with "Derby Day". The celebration will include a Derby Hat contest, t-shirt and magnet giveaways as well as a live bugler.

The day will also include a chance for two contestants to get a $500 dream bet. They will be able to bet $500 to win on any horse in the 2019 Kentucky Derby. They will get to keep any winnings.

The evening will end with a large fireworks display.

For more information go to

John Horne for Tioga Downs

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