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Defending harness racing driving dash champion Wally Hennessy, once again put on a show at Tioga Downs on Friday (July 10) with six wins including a victory with Prairie Cougar in the $8,000 fillies & mares open handicap. Persistant Bettor (Bruce Aldrich) was the first to lead in the feature. Prairie Cougar ($6.60) forged to the front before hitting the first quarter in :27.2. She would use us a :29.3 second quarter to hit the half first in :57.0. Charging Moa N (Mike Merton) came first-over down the back stretch and actually took a slight lead to three-quarters in 1:23.4. Prairie Cougar battled back and reclaimed the lead to win in a lifetime best of 1:51.4. Charging Moa N had to settle for second. Gold Star Mysti (Corey Braden) finished third.   Prairie Cougar is a 4-year-old mare by Royal Millennium. Owned by Laurie Poulin, Barbara Jensen, and trainer Mike Deters, she won for the third time this season. She now has 10 career victories. Hennessey's other wins came with Odds On Cheddar ($3.60), Ey Cowboy ($21.80), Big Bill Breeze ($3.00), Money Earned ($4.70), and Mister Marvalous ($5.10). NYSS action on Sunday Tioga Down welcomes two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for sophomore pacing fillies on Sunday (July 12). In the $59,000 first division Rapunzel Blue Chip (Jason Bartlett) looks to be the one to beat.  Trained by Tom Fanning, she is looking for her first win as a 3-year-old.  The filly by American Ideal has three career victories. Hen Party (Andrew McCarthy) and Alleyesonme As (Jim Morrill Jr.) should be the chief rivals.  Hen Party (Roll With Joe) is trained by Tony Alagna.  She has one win this season and four career wins with earnings of almost $200,000.  Alleyesonme As (Heston Blue Chip) was second in a NYSS race at Yonkers in her only start this season.  Trained by Annette Lorentzon, she has six wins in eight career starts. So Rude (Joe Bongiorno) and Eye Popping (Marcus Miller) look to be the top contenders in the $59,000 second division.  Both are coming off NYSS wins at Yonkers.  Jennifer Bongiorno trains So Rude (So Surreal).  She has four career wins and has $135,000 in the bank.   Eye Popping (So Surreal) was winless as a freshman.  Trained by Scott DiDomenico she has won her last two races. The 11 race card starts at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs 

Tymal Tullo (Mike Merton) goes three-wide to win the $7,000 featured harness racing trot at Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 5). Joey Pro (Bruce Aldrich) went to the front and hit the first quarter in :27.2.  He put up a :29.2 second quarter and hit the half in :56.4 as Tymal Tullo ($64.00) sat following in second.  Uncle Hanover (Kyle DiBenedetto) was the first to make a move going first-over on the backstretch.  Joey Pro hit three-quarters first in 1:25.4 but the race was on. As they came down the stretch Uncle Hanover took a short lead.  Tymal Tullo slid out of the pocket and came at them three-wide.  He would blow right on by to win in 1:56.1.  Uncle Hanover held for second.  Bjanthony (Drew Monti) fired late to finish third. Tymal Tullo is a 4-year-old horse by Kadabra.  He is owned and trained by Tony Dinges.  It was his third win this season.  He now has six career victories. Merton drove three more winners on the day.  His other wins came with Whip N Neigh Neigh ($2.90), Barrys Shelby ($7.10), and Too Much Duncan ($5.50). Jins Shark (Jim Taggart Jr.) captures the $6,500 featured pace. Fritzie Pic Up Man (Mike Merton) charges to the front and hits the first quarter in :27.0.  JM's Delight (Greg Merton) took control as they came by the stands for the first time.  He was first to the half in :55.4.  Red Dirt Rocknroll (Renaldo Morales III) came first-over and put on the pressure all the way down the backstretch.  JM's Delight held the lead after three-quarters in 1:23.4. As they made the turn for home Jins Shark (13.20) came flying down the stretch and flew right on by to win in a seasonal best of 1:52.2.  King Corona (Jim Meittinnis) came charging late to finish second.  Harry Terror (Wally Hennessey) finished third. Jins Shark is a 9-year-old gelding by Four Starzz Shark.  He is owned by Joel Warner and trained by Mike Deters.  It was his fourth win in 2020.  He now has 39 career wins. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (July 10) at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs

Nichols, NY - Horsemen should be advised that Tioga Downs will feature live harness racing through the month of July on Friday & Saturday at 4:00 PM and Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM.   Starting with next week's racing, horses must be qualified for overnight races as per the NYGC standards of a good line in 30 days race to race.   Tioga qualifiers are on Tuesday at 11:00AM, enter by 10:00AM on Monday. Electronic entry is preferred.   From Tioga Downs

Kerford Road A (Mike Merton) swooped late to capture the $8,000 open pace at Tioga Downs on Tuesday (June 30). The open pace had plenty of harness racing action. Jins Shark (Jim Taggart jr) grabbed the early lead and led to a first quarter of :27.0. Harry Terror (Wally Hennessey) took a short lead right after the quarter. With a circuit to go Mister Daytona N (Mike Simons) became the next pacer to lead. He was first to the half in :55.2. Mac Andover (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) took over on the back stretch and led to three-quarters in 1:22.4. Kerford Road A ($4.20) was fifth after three-quarters and fourth as they reached the stretch. The 6-year-old gelding by Somebeachsowewhere came flying down the stretch like a rocket and blew right on by to win going away in 1:52.1. Mister Daytona N finished second. Harry Terror came up to take third.   The Australian bred Kerford Road A made his US debut a winning one. He is trained by Rob Harmon for owners Harmon Racing Stable, Winners Circle Racing, and John Campagnuolo. He now has 14 career victories. Red Hot Mike Merton won four more on the night. His other wins came with Barrys Shelby, Catcha Lefty A, Fritzie Pic Up Man, and Too Much Duncan. It's A Herbie smoked the field in $8,000 open trot. My Lindy Winner (Mike Merton) flew out of the gate and went right to the lead but went off-stride. Karets (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) took command and led to the first quarter in :28.0. It's A Herbie ($2.90) was parked as they headed for the stands and forged ahead with a lap to go. He used a :28.3 second quarter to hit the half in :56.3. He contiuned to be well in control as he hit three-quarters in 1:24.4. As he made the turn for home he made it a one horse race breezing to a lifetime best of 1:52.2. The only thing in doubt was for minor spoils. Beguin Dugotier F (Coredy Braden) came up to take second money. Uncle Hanover (Kyle DiBennedetto) finished third.   It's A Herbie is a 4-year-old gelding by Here Comes Herbie. He is owned and trained by Yoder. The gelding won for the second time this season. He now has 12 career victoies in 24 lifetime starts. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (July4) with a 4 p.m. start time. They will race on Sunday (July 5) starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will switch to weekend harness racing starting on Saturday, July 4 with a 4:00PM post. Live racing will continue on Sunday, July 5, post time 1:00PM.   For the rest of July, Tioga will follow a Friday & Saturday at 4:00PM and Sunday at 1:00PM live racing schedule.   The beautiful Tioga Downs hotel is now open on Friday & Saturday nights with PJ Clarks restaurant serving both inside and on the deck outside which provides a great view of the live action. COVID-19 protocol is practiced in both locations.   by Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs    

Shecouldbegood N ((Mike Merton) out dueled Gold Star Mysti (Cory Braden) to capture the $8,000 Fillies & Mares Open Handicap Pace at Tioga Downs on Monday (June 29). Persistent Bettor (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) went to the front and led to a first quarter of :27.0. Gold Star Mysti went first-up and took the lead as they went by the stands for the first time. She took them to the half in :56.0. Shecouldbegood N ($7.40) made her move down the back stretch and the duel began. The two mare went side by side by side as Gold Star Mysti hit three-quarters in 1:24.0. As they made they turn for home the two mares were followed by the big favorite Prairie Cougar (Wally Hennessey) who tried to find an opening between them. Gold Star Mysti and Shecouldbegood N continued to go stride for stride all the way down the stretch. Shecouldbegood N gave one last lunge to win in 1:53.2. Gold Star Mysti had to settle for second. Prairie Cougar finished third.   Shecouldbegood N is a 7-year-old mare by Well Said. She is trained by Rob Harmon for owners Harmon Racing Stable, Lawrence Kittenplan, William VanWie, and Bianchi Services. Mike Merton drove two more winners on the day. His other wins came with Standing Respect ($6.60), and Post Time Terror ($9.40). Live racing returns on Tuesday (June 30) with a 13 race card starting at 4 p.m. There is no racing on Friday (July 3). Tioga Downs will race (pending regulatory approval) on Saturday (July 4) at 4:00PM and Sunday (July 5) at 1:00PM. The schedule will then follow a Friday & Saturday at 4:00PM and Sunday at 1:00PM for the balance of the month of July. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com<http://www.tiogadowns.com>.   by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

Tioga Downs played host to three harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for sophomore pacing colts & geldings at Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 28). Major Betts (Dexter Dunn) rockets past Splash Brother (Tyler Buter) to take the $38,233 first division. Major Betts ($10.20) jumped out of the gate and went to the front and led to a first quarter in :26.1.  The big favorite Splash Brother went first-over from third and took over the lead with a circuit to go.  He led to the half in :53.0 with Major Betts following in the pocket.  As they made the move down the backstretch it was Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) to make the first move going first-over from third.  He couldn’t make any traction and actually fell back as Splash Brother hit three-quarters first in 1:21.0. As they made the turn for home it was evident that it was going to be a two-horse race.  Major Betts popped out of the pocket as they reached the stretch and blew right on but to win in 1:49.4.  Splash Brother had to settle for second money.  Groovy Joe held on to finish third. Major Betts is a 3-year-old colt by Art Major.  He is owned by Joe Jannuzzelli, Deena Frost, and trainer Mark Harder.  It was a win in his first start of 2020.  He now has five career victories. Blank Stare (Corey Callahan) holds firm to win the $38,233 second division. Genius Man (Jason Bartlett) went straight to the lead but Blank Stare ($3.50) would go by him just after Genius man hit the first quarter in :27.0.  Blank Stare led to the half in :55.3.  Reagan Blue Chip (Brian Sears) went first-up and put on the pressure and actually held the lead briefly before Blank Stare reclaimed the front hitting three-quarters in 1:22.3. Blank Stare and Reagan Blue Chip battled all the way down the stretch but in the end Blank Stare was too strong and won in a lifetime best of 1:50.1.  Regan Blue Chip was second with Genius Man claiming third. Blank Stare is a 3-year-old gelding by Bolt The Duer.  He is trained by John Butenschoen for owners Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, James Crawford IV, and In Over My Head Stable.  It was his second win this season and he now owns five career wins. JK Last Chance captures the $38,934 third division. Cigars And Port (Wally Hennessey) took control early and led to the first quarter in :26.2 and to the half in :55.0.  Save Me A Dance (Jason Bartlett) came first over and took charge just after Cigars And Port hit three-quarters in 1:22.3. JK Last Chance ($14.80) was sixth at the half and found himself second-over fourth after three-quarters.  He went along side Save Me A Dance as they made the turn for home.  JK Last chance skipped away in deep stretch to win easily in a life time best of 1:50.4.  Save Me A Dance was second best.  Ideal Perception finished third. JK Last Chance is a 3-year-old gelding by So Surreal and is owned and trained by Jim McDonald.  He did not race as a 2-year-old.  The gelding is two for two as a sophomore. Wally Hennessey drove five winner on the night.  Along with sire stakes winner JK Last Chance he finished first with Mr Dunnigans ($2.20), Cashallic ($2.60), Queen Me Again ($11.60), and Steuben Warlock ($8.80). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Monday (June 29) with a 13-race card stating at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com<http://www.tiogadowns.com/>   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Tioga Downs will welcome three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing pacing colts and geldings on Sunday (June 28). In the $38,233 first division the horse to beat is the Ray Schnittker trained Splash Brother (Tyler Buter). The 3-year-old gelding by So Surreal is two for two this season after being winless as a freshman. He put in an eye popping 1:48.2 mile his last time out at the Meadowlands. His main rivals will be Major Betts (Dextor Dunn) and Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley). Major Betts (Art Major), who is trained by Mark Harder, will make his 2020 debut on Sunday. He has four wins and has earned over $130,000. Blake Macintosh trains Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe). The 3-year-colt is winless in two starts as a sophomore after seven wins and 10 starts as a freshman. He has earned over $230,000 in his career. The top choice in the $38,233 second division is the John Buteschoen trained Blank Stare (Corey Callahan). The Roll With Joe gelding has four career victories and has amassed over $50,000 in earnings. He is one for one in 2020 with an easy win at Pocono Downs. Always On The Hunt (Mark MacDonald is one for one in 2020 and should be a top rival after earning a win at Tioga Downs last Sunday. The 3-year-old colt by American Ideal is trained by Ray Scnittker and has two lifetime wins. Reagan Blue Chip (Brian Sears) should a top contender. The 3-year-old gelding by American Ideal did not race as a feshman but is one for three with two seconds in 2020. He is trained by Casie Coleman Herlichy. Freedom Warrior (Dexter Dunn) has five career wins and earnings of nearly $150,000). The gelding is trained by Kevin Lare. The top contenders in the $38,934 third division appears to be JK Last Chance (Wally Hennessey), Ideal Perception (Brian Sears), Cigars And Ports (Mark MacDonald) American Rebel (Tyler Buter),and Save Me A Dance (Jason Bartlett). This appears to be the most competitive of the three divisions. JK Last Chance (So Surreal) had an impressive win at Tioga Downs last Sunday in his first career start. Jim McDonald trains the gelding. Ideal Perception (American Ideal) is trained by Casie Coleman Herlichy. He is winless in 2020 but had four wins as a freshman. He has earned over $60,000 in his career. Cigars And Ports (So Surreal) is the top money earner in this group with over $190,000 in the bank. Trained by Ray Schniitker, he won the NYSS final as a freshman. The colt has three career victories. American Rebel (American Ideal) is trained by Rob Harmon. The colt had five wins as a freshman including a lifetime mark of 1:53.2 at Tioga Downs. He owns five wins and earnings of over $140,000. Save Me A Dance (Heston Blue Chip) is coming off an impressive win in his 3-year-old debut at the Meadowlands. He has four career wins and has earned over $110,000 in his career. The colt is trained by Andrew Harris. The 13-race card on Sunday (June 28) starts at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

It’s A Herbie (Verlin Yoder) went from first to last in the final eighth of a mile to capture the $8,000 Open Handicap trot at Tioga Downs on Tuesday (June 23). Prairie Fortune (Jim Taggert Jr.) went to the front and led to a first quarter of :27.2.  Joey Pro (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) followed Prairie Fortune to the half in :56.3 and to three-quarters in 1:24.4. It’s A Herbie ($4.60) was still last as they went around the paddock turn.  Joey Pro popped out the pocket and made the first move as they reached the stretch.  He was joined by a late charging My Lindy Winner (Mike Merton) as they went three across the track.  It’s A Herbie looked like he had wings as he went four wide  in the stretch and used a last quarter of :27.3 to get a lifetime best mark of 1:53.3 to win easily.  Joey Pro had to settle for second.  My Lindy Winner finished third. It’s A Herbie is a 4-year-old gelding by Here Comes Herbie.  Owned and trained by Yoder, he got his first win of 2020.  He now has 11 career victories. Dustin Ingraham trained three winners on the card.  He won with Canale Hanover ($6.30), Thundercrest ($10.80), and A Fool For Mark ($3.60). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Monday (June 28) starting at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com<http://www.tiogadowns.com/>   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Mike Merton drives five harness racing winners including the $6,700 featured fillies & mares pace with Shecouldbegood N at Tioga Downs on Monday (June 22). Prairie Westerngal (Corey Braden) led to a first quarter in :26.4. Persistent Bettor (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) took over the lead as they went by the stands for the first time and led to the half in :56.2. Shecouldbegood N ($5.40) went first-over as they raced down the backstretch and she took over as they hit three-quarters in 1:24.0. As they made their way down the stretch and Northern Dali (Wally Hennessey) went to outside and Persistent Bettor snuck in the inside as they went three across the track. In the end Shecouldbegood N was strongest of them all and won in a lifetime best of 1:53.1. Northern Dali had to settle for second best. Persistent Bettor finished third. Shecouldbegood N is 7-year-old mare by Well Said. She is trained by Rob Harmon for owners Harmon Racing Stable, Bianchi Services, Lawrence Kittenplan, and William VanWie. It was her third win this season and her 16th career victory. Shecouldbegood N Merton's other wins came with Keystone Steam ($3.20), Post Time Terror ($3.50), Goldstar Rockette ($4.90), and Marvalous Jet ($4.00). Tioga Downs returns to live racing with a 13-race card on Tuesday (June 23). For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne

Backstreet Shadow (Tim Tetrick) goes gate to wire to win the $164,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace (sponsored by Blue Chip Farms) at Tioga Downs during a great harness racing stakes day on Sunday (June 21). Backstreet Shadow ($10,00) went right to the front and took them to a first quarter of :26.2. He used a :28.0 second quarter to hit the half in :54.2. Non Better A (Andrew McCarthy) came first-over and put pressure on Backstreet Shadow all the way down the backstretch. Backstreet Shadow hit three-quarters first in 1:21.1. As they hit the stretch Backstreet Shadow found another gear and made it look easy to win in 1:49.0. None Better A held on for second. The next big story of the race was the big favorite Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn). The 4-year-old had traffic problems from the start. He would break free with the fastest last quarter of the group (:27.1) but it was too little too late as he had to settle for third. Backstreet Shadow is a 5-year-old horse by Shadow Play. Ron Burke trains for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr, JT-Silva Purnell & Libby. It was his fifth win this season and 22nd career victory. Backstreet Shadow Workin Ona Mystery flies late to steal the $50,000 first division during first leg of The Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers. Aflame Hanover (Corey Callahan) led to the first quarter in :26.1. Century Farroh (Wally Hennessey) went out of the pocket and took the lead as they went by the stands for the first time. Century Farroh led them to the half in :54.3. Warrawee Ubeaut (Yannick Gingras) went first up and pressured Century Farroh all the way down the backstretch. Century Farroh still led as they hit three-quarters in 1:21.3. Workin Ona Mystery ($6.50) was sixth as they hit three quarters. He then made a four wide move and just nipped second place finisher, Century Farroh at the wire to win in 1:50.1 Aflame Hanover was third best. Workin Ona Mystery is a 4-year-old horse by Captaintreacherous He is trained by Brian Brown for owners Diamond Creek Racing, Stambaugh Leeman Stable, Alan Keith, and Wingfield Brothers LLC. It was his first win of 2020. He now has 10 career victories. Workin Ona Mystery Hurrikane Emperor (Mark MacDonald) hangs on to win $50,000 second division of the Graduate Series. Hurrikane Emperor worked his way to take the lead before hitting the first quarter in :26.4 and was first to the half in :54.3. He used a :26.2 third quarter to be there first in 1:21.0. As they made the turn for home Captain Victorious (Yannick Gingras) popped out the pocket and charged after Hurrikane Emperor all the way down the stretch. Hurrikane Emperor, who is a 4-year-old horse by Hurrikane Kingcole, held firm to win in a lifetime best of 1:48.1. Captain Victorious settled for second best. Black Hole (Tim Tetrick) came up to finish third. Hurrikane Emperor won for second time this season. He now owns 12 career wins. Hurrikane Emperor Dancin Lou (Brian Sears) cruises to win in $50,000 third division of the Graduate Series. Wild WIld Western (Mike WIlder) went to the lead and led to a first quarter in a smoking :25.4. The lead was short lived as Brassy Hanover (Scott Zeron) took command. Dancin Lou ($3.40) came first over from fourth and took over with one lap to go. He took them to a half in :53.3. Brassy Hanover went first-over and put pressure all the way to three-quarter pole. Dancin Lou hit three-quarters in 1:21.1. He opened up in the stretch to get an easy win in equaling his lifetime best of 1:48.3. Covered Bridge (Yannick Gingras) fired late to finish second. Brassy Hanover held for third. Dancin Lou is a 4-year-old horse by Sweet Lou. He is owned by David Kryway and 1362313 Ontario LTD with trainer Tahnee Camilleri. It was his second win this season and 14th career victory. Dancin Lou New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) returned for its first races of 2020 with two divisions for 3-year-old trotting fillies Love A Good Story (Andy Miller) breezes to an easy win in the $55,000 first division of the NYSS for sophomore fillies. Love A Good Story ($2.50) went straight to the front and never look back putting up all the fractions (:28.2, :57.3, 1:25.1, 1:53.00. No Mas Drama (Joe Bongiormo) tried to run her down but had to settle for second best. Without A Warning (Scott Zeron) got third money. Love A Good Story is a 3-year-old by Chapter Seven. She is trained by Julie MilLer for Owners Pinske Stable, Kentuckiana Racing Stable, and Daniel Plouffe. It was a win in her first start as a 3-year-old. She has eight career wins. Love A Good Story Hypnotic Am (Brian Sears) wins in her 3-year-old debut to take the second division of the NYSS. Sorprese (Dan Daley) led the field of five to a first quarter in :28.4. Hypnotic AM ($2.30), who won the NYSS final in 2019, took control as they went by the stands for the first time. He hit the half in :58.0. Reba Blue Chip (Verlin Yoder) made a move from fourth and challenged for the lead but Hypnotic AM led to three-quarters in 1:26.0. Hypnotic Am, who is owned by Courant Inc. and trained by Marcus Melander, shook loose in the stretch to win easily in 1:54.2. Reba Blue Chip held for second. Munster (Andrew McCarthy) finished third. Hypnotic Am is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. It was her eighth career victory in 10 starts. Hypnotic Am Tioga Downs had another great handle of $388,049. Live racing returns on Monday (June 22) with a 12-race card starting at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. John Horne for Tioga Downs

Nichols, NY - As the coronavirus pandemic continues to adversely affect the lives of community members, Tioga Downs & Vernon Downs have been active in their respective districts by putting food on the table for local families in need.    Over the past few weeks Tioga & Vernon employees have delivered and helped to serve over 1,500 free meals to families in need at the following locations:  Oliver’s Pub & Grill, 1548 Golden Mile Road, Towanda, PA. Owego Kitchen, 13 Lake St., Owego, NY. The Kettle, 7756 Route 5, Seneca Turnpike, Clinton, NY. Coming up on June 22 & 23 another 500 chicken dinners will be served compliments of Tioga Downs at Curly’s Chicken House, 2100 Lake Rd. in Elmira, NY. and the Vernon Downs contingent will be offering up a big Chicken BBQ at the Vernon Center and Volunteer Fire Department on June 27.  This service to community has been a priority for both casinos throughout their existence and will continue to be, so long as there is a need for help.  ABOUT TIOGA DOWNS CASINO RESORT: Tioga Downs, which opened in 2006, and expanded to Tioga Downs Casino Resort in December 2016, offers live harness racing, casino gaming, sports betting, dining, golf, indoor and outdoor live entertainment, and more. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs as well as Vernon Downs in Vernon, New York. Since opening the new resort in December 2016, Tioga Downs has expanded its gaming offerings to include over 890 slot machines, 28 table games, a 6-table poker room, and a FanDuelSportsbook. The Tioga Downs Casino Resort Hotel spans six stories and boasts 160 rooms, an events center, a full-service AgeLess SPA, an indoor saltwater pool and Jacuzzi hot tub, an arcade, and a fitness room, as well as many other exciting amenities in season such as, an outdoor saltwater pool and Jacuzzi complete with Cabanas and a private Cabana bar (for hotel guests), an outdoor waterslide and plunge pool, and the 18-hole Tioga Golf Course located just minutes down the road. The resort also offers a wide variety of food outlets including their famous County Fair Buffet, Virgil’s Real BBQ, and P.J. Clarke’s, among others. Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 1,000 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs Casino Resort, please visit www.tiogadowns.com  

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will host a huge harness racing Grand Circuit stakes card on the evening of Sunday, July 21 with first post of 4:00PM.   Headlining a 13 race program with total purses of $490,500 is the $164,000 Roll With Joe Open Pacing Stakes (RWJ). The ten horses entered for the RWJ have combined career earnings of more than $10,000,000.   In something of a surprise move with the first leg of the Graduate Series on the same card, Chris Ryder has entered last season's Dan Patch Award winning sophomore pacing colt Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn) into the RWJ where he'll face older rivals in his first seasonal start. Ryder shares ownership of the son of Bettor's Delight with Art & Leah Zubrod's Fair Island Farm and the Bettors Wish Partners.   Leading the competition is a powerful four-pronged Ron Burke entry of This Is The Plan (Y. Gingras) Backstreet Shadow (T. Tetrick) Filibuster Hanover (TBA) and Dorsoduro Hanover (M. Kakaley). Last year's aged Breeders Crown winner American History (J. Bongiorno) will begin from post 10 in the second tier for trainer Tony Alagna.    The opening leg of the Graduate Series for pacers drew 26 entries and gets underway with three $50,000 divisions carded as races 4, 6 & 9.   That fourth race is a doozy with double Dan Patch winning filly Warrawee Ubeaut (Gingras) taking on male rivals in her first foray as a 4-year-old mare. She's had a pair of good qualifiers to prepare and will start from post three for trainer Burke who owns the Sweet Lou lass with Phil Collura, J&T Silva, Purnell & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi.   2019 Little Brown Jug winner Southwind Ozzi (B. Sears) makes his seasonal bow in race six. Trainer Bill Mac Kenzie brings the Somebeachsomewhere horse into the Graduate with a single qualifier some three weeks ago and has drawn post seven. Vincent Ali, Jr and Alma Iafelice own Southwind Ozzi.   Dancin Lou (Dexter Dunn) comes in hot to the 10th race off his imposing 1:50 win in the Meadowlands open last Saturday. Trainer Tahnee Camilleri brought him back fit and has "Louie" sharp for his first stakes go of the year. A friendly post 3 draw can only help his chances.    The New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) program gets underway with a pair of $55,000 divisions of the sophomore filly trot on the card. Though small in size at five fillies each in the two divisions (races 5 & 10) the quality is certainly present.   Last year's NYSS champ for the division, Hypnotic AM (Sears) signaled her readiness with a scalding, in hand 1:51.1 qualifying win at The Meadowlands. Trainer Marcus Melander returns to New York's Southern Tier where he and Sears swept the trotting Graduate legs just a week ago. Melander and owner Anders Strom as Courant, Inc have found a pretty good spot to launch her 2020 campaign.   Three NYSS Excelsior A divisions and a pair of Excelsior B's round out the exciting and very bettable twilight card at Tioga on Sunday.   Nick Salvi

Compelling and harness racing driver Verlin Yoder takes the $8,000 Open Handicap Trot at Tioga Downs on Monday (June 15). BJ Lorado (Jim Meittinnis) went straight to the front followed by Beguin Dugoutier F (Fern Paquet Jr.). BJ Lorado controlled all the early fractions (:28.0, :56.4, 1:25.0). Compelling ($2.20), who is owned and trained by Yoder, sat back in third as they entered the final turn. She came first over as they made the turn for home. Beguin Dugoutier F squeezed in-between horses and they were three across the track in mid-stretch. Compelling was too strong and finished first in 1:53.4. Beguin Dugoutier F came through to get second. BJ Lorado had to settle for third. Compelling is a 6-year-old mare by Swan For All. It was her second win this season and 15th career victory. Wally Hennessey drove three winners and Jim McDonald trained three victories on the day. They combined for wins with Caviart Reagan ($4.00), and You Said It ($7.90). Hennessey also finished first with A Fool For Mark ($18.40). McDonald's other win came with Boinganator ($4.40). Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 21) with a post time of 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. John Horne for Tioga Downs

Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) takes the $50,000 first harness racing division in the opening leg of the Graduate Series at Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 14). Gimpanzee ($2.40) easily jumped out to the lead from his outside post. Chin Chin Hall (Dexter Dunn) would latch on from the pocket. Gimpanzee cruised to a first quarter of :26.4 and continued to lead as they hit the half in :55.1. He used a :27.4 quarter going up the backside to hit three-quarters in 1:23.0. Gimpanzee, who is trained by Marcus Melander for owners Courant Inc., and R.F. Stable, just breezed down the stretch to win in 1:51.2. Chin Chin Hall gave a valiant effort but had to settle for second best. Reign Of Honor (David Miller) finished third. Gimpanzee is a 4-year-old horse by Chapter Seven. He is now one for one in 2020. He now has 18 career victories. He was just a fifth of a second off his lifetime best mile. Gimpanzee Grand Swan (Brian Sears) holds on to win the $50,000 second division of the Graduate Series as Sears and trainer Melander sweep both divisions. Pure Chance (Aaron Merriman) got to the front first but Grand Swan ($3.70) went first over to get to the quarter first in in :27.3. Grand Swan led to the half in :56.4 and to three-quarters in 1:25.0. Grand Swan, who is trained by Marcus Melander for owners Never 2 Late Stable, Grand Swan Racing, Bruce Soulsby, and Alan Weisenberg, led the way as they made the turn for home. Second place finisher, Pure Chance pulled out of the pocket and dueled with Grand Swan all the way down the stretch. Grand Swan had just enough to win in a career best time of 1:53.0. Explosivebreakaway (Tom Jackson) was third. Grand Swan is a 4-year-old mare by Swan For All. It was a win in her first start of 2020. She now has 19 career victories. Grand Swan Tyler Buter drove five winners on the night. He combined with trainer Rob Harmon for wins with Conman Crown ($4.90), Clarion Hall ($3.50), and Shecouldbegood N ($2.80). His other victories came with Thundra ($4.70), and Prairie Cougar($7.50) for trainer Mike Deters. Tioga Downs once again had a strong handle of $365,113. Live racing returns on Monday (June 15) with 13-race card starting at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will host the first harness racing Grand Circuit stakes of the 2020 season when the first trotting leg of the Graduate Series comes to town on Sunday evening.   Thirteen declarations split into two $50,000 divisions carded as races 11 and 12 on the fifteen race extravaganza.   Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) will face five rivals as he makes the Graduate his first start of hie 4-year-old campaign for trainer Marcus Melander and Swedish owners Courant, Inc. and SRF Stable. The son of Chapter Seven closed out his sophomore season powerfully with wins in the Yonkers Trot, NYSS Final and Breeders Crown to vault past $1 million in 2019 earnings.   The second split will feature trotting "Girl Power" as top mares Grand Swan and Pure Chance invade to the Empire State with powerful mid-west resumes.   Melander and Sears team up again to send out Grand Swan, who cashed in for over $400,000 by dominating the Indiana program last year for owners Never Too Late Stable, Grand Swan Racing, Soulsby and Weisenberg.   Pure Chance (Aaron Merriman) parlayed multiple wins in the Ohio Sires Stakes program with a few Grand Circuit scores into nearly a quarter million dollars in earnings for trainer Chris Beaver who shares ownership with Steven Zeehandelar.   Tioga will host the first leg of the Graduate Series for pacers on a card that includes the $175,000e Roll With Joe Open Pace and the opening leg of the 2020 New York Sires Stake for 3-year-old trotting fillies.   The Graduate Series moves to The Meadowlands for leg #2 for the trotters on June 27, leg #2 for pacers on July 4 and both $250,000 finals on July 11 at The Meadowlands on Meadowlands Pace elimination night.   The ive racing schedule at Tioga throughout the month of June is Sunday and Monday with a 4:00PM post time.   Nick Salvi    

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