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Tioga Downs Stall Applications and Stake Payments are due on March 15th Stall applications and stake payments for the 2018 Racing Season at Tioga Downs are due Thursday, March 15th. This includes payments for all the major races at Tioga. The 3 year old Empire Breeders Classic sustaining payment; the 2 year old Empire Breeders Classic payment to make your NY bred foal eligible to the 2019 race; and the first of two payments to our Older Horses and Mare events, the Crawford Farms Open Trot, the Joie De Vie Open Mare Trot, the Artiscape Open Mare Pace and the Roll With Joe Open Horse Pace. Applications and nomination forms are available on the Tioga Racing page, use the following link for access: Downs will begin its 2018 Race Meet on Saturday, May 5th. Please call the Race Office with any questions, 607-7688. John Horne for Tioga Downs.              

Jason Settlemoir (Regional VP, Racing and Simulcast) announced that Garrett Madison has been named Regional Racing Marketing Manager for Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. Madison, a graduate of Owego Free Academy, started with the company as a Mutual Teller in 2011. He eventually became the Regional Racing Operations Manager, a position he held for the last four years. The Apalachin native will be responsible for all marketing of racing, including creating all of the advertising with different kinds of media. He will also be responsible for all racing promotions done at both tracks, among many other duties. Settlemoir said, "It has been a pleasure watching Garrett grow with the company in every position he has held. We feel his hard work and dedication will help him thrive in his new position." Jason Bluhm (Sr Regional Director of Racing Tioga Downs & Vernon Downs) also praised Madison. "Garrett is a great worker, I've put a lot on his plate these past few years and he's handled everything brilliantly. It's a well-deserved promotion." Said Bluhm. Madison, who recently purchased a new home with his partner, Erinn Gahring, in Campville, NY, said "I grew up racing Motocross. When I got the chance to work in the Harness Racing Industry, it seemed like a natural fit." " I love the competitive nature and the hard work that goes into it." Madison said that Jason Bluhm and Jason Settlemoir have taught him so much about the sport of harness racing. "They (Bluhm and Settlemoir) are so passionate about the sport." "All that rubs off, it has helped to make me fall in love with harness racing." "I can't thank them enough." Madison added "I love going to work every day with all the great people at both Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. I look forward to the challenge of my new job and can't wait to get started." Madison's main office will remain at Tioga Downs but he will commute to both locations throughout the year. John Horne for Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs

Jeff Gural doesn’t just own Tioga Downs Casino Resort. He’s the chief executive greeter. His uniform: blue jeans, orange Crocs and an open-neck, collared dress shirt with rolled-up sleeves. Gural, 75, a blunt, affable Nassau County native with an edge sharpened from five decades in high-stakes New York real estate development, is a fixture at his resort-casino in Nichols, midway between Elmira and Binghamton. He and his lenders recently plowed $160 million into converting the property from a racino to a true “destination resort” 30 miles south of the Finger Lakes. Now, he asks visitors what would keep them coming back for harness racing, eight eateries and bars, 32 poker tables, 950 slot machines, a 161-room hotel, golf and other attractions. Gural wonders how Tioga can boost gaming revenue, which recently fell 25 percent short of the casino’s $100 million year-one projection. Come Feb. 8, Empire Resorts’ executives will face a similarly daunting competitive challenge as they open Resorts World Catskills in a crowded, cutthroat Northeast gaming market. The $920 million, 1.6-million-square-foot, five-star casino and entertainment complex has an optimistic $277 million year-one gross gaming revenue projection. But that number is realistic if the project dazzles and draws heavily from the New York City area, said Clyde Barrow, a gaming expert at Pyramid Associates of Westport, Mass. With 2,157 slot machines and 150 table games on a 100,000-square-foot gaming floor, the Town of Thompson property will be New York’s 25th commercial or Indian gaming licensee. Resorts World Catskills, which will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, joins a lineup of venues featuring horse racing, casino gaming, video lottery terminals and off-track betting. It will be New York’s 10th casino, including six Indian locations. Shortly after Resorts World Catskills debuts, the Oneida Nation will open the 11th, Point Place, in Madison County near Syracuse. Twenty-five years ago, scant gambling competition existed in the Northeast, until the Oneida opened Turning Stone in Verona five years after the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allowed federally recognized tribes to open gaming venues. Today, the list of luxurious casino-resorts and gaming options continues to grow throughout the Northeast, as every state except Vermont now has gambling options. Pennsylvania alone has 12 casinos. Two new casinos are planned in Atlantic City, N.J., even after market saturation led five of the city’s casinos to close from 2014 to 2016. And several new and expanded casino-resorts are planned over the next two years, including the bar-raising $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor due next year. “There’s no question the market is saturated,” said Moody’s analyst Keith Foley of casinos in upstate New York. “Market saturation is like a game of musical chairs. At some point, there will be no place left for more gaming.” Statewide, New York falls far below the saturation levels for areas of the country considered full, such as the Tunica-Lula area of Mississippi and the St. Louis market, according to statistical modeling that Barrow performed for the Times Herald-Record. Barrow’s analysis also found that New York officials awarding gaming licenses in 2015 and 2016 misplaced the first four non-Indian casinos in cash-strapped, customer-short upstate areas with limited demand and spending power when they could have allowed one or two easily profitable projects in or near New York City. “What we’re doing isn’t easy,” said Ryan Eller, president and CEO of Empire Resorts, which is building Resorts World Catskills. “If you’re closer (to New York City), you can hit that same revenue number with less investment and less risk. This isn’t a layup. It’s a heck of a lot of investment and risk.” Resorts World Catskills’ operators hope to capture gamers of all ages with gaming and amenities they say are on par with Las Vegas and Macau. The project features an 18-story, 332-suite luxury hotel; a 2,000-seat event center for fights, conferences and concerts; and more than 10 bars and restaurants like an Italian steakhouse by celebrity chef Scott Conant. Subsequent plans include a mid-market boutique hotel, along with 15,000 square feet of additional retail, food and beverage space, due in the fourth quarter of this year. Nearby, the $150 million-plus Kartrite indoor, family water park and hotel is being developed by Pennsylvania’s Camelback Resort co-owners Ken Ellis and Arthur Berry III. It’s due by spring 2019. And golfers will tee off at Resorts World Catskills’ revamped golf course by mid-2019. Odds of success Resorts World Catskills’ leaders say their “comprehensive integrated resort” model will succeed because of the property’s quality and proximity within two hours of New York City. But given the glut of upstate gaming, the casino’s gross gaming revenues will be the real gauge of its success. To be healthy in year one, the casino must earn a daily average of at least $228 to $246 for each of its 2,157 slot machines and a minimum of $1,517 to $1,770 per table game, according to the Record’s calculations based on the project’s state license application data and consultations with gaming industry experts. In year three, after full build out, Resorts World Catskills expects its gross gaming revenues to grow to $301.6 million – meaning average daily earnings of $249 to $268 per slot machine and $1,652 to $1,928 per table game, based on the casino’s current number of slot machines and table games. To put those totals in perspective, the giant northeast Connecticut casino Mohegan Sun averaged $411 per slot machine each day in fiscal year 2006-07, when it had little competition, according to data collected by Connecticut. Around the same time, when Atlantic City’s casinos were still dominant, most averaged daily per table earnings between $2,200 and $3,000, Barrow said. New York’s three new casinos have fallen far short of those standards, as well as their own projections. Through the end of December, Tioga Downs averaged just $170 per machine per day, according to the New York State Gaming Commission. Del Lago Resort and Casino, in Waterloo between Rochester and Syracuse, earned $150, and Schenectady’s Rivers Casino Resort took in $209. Table-game revenue was even worse for Tioga Downs and Del Lago. Between April and December 2017, Tioga Downs averaged $873 per table game daily, del Lago, $1,346 and Rivers, $2,041. Signs of market cannibalization are appearing, too, according to a new casino saturation report by Moody’s, which predicted “Resorts World will be entering a very tough gaming market” in upstate New York. Although Del Lago and Rivers have expanded the overall gaming revenue market, they’ve also taken big chunks of revenue from nearby competitors like Finger Lakes Gaming and Vernon Downs, Moody’s found. Barrow’s analysis also showed competing upstate casinos’ gaming revenues have been cannibalized. “It’s a good thing that we didn’t have the right projections, because probably all three of the casinos wouldn’t have been built if we had the accurate information,” Gural said. “I think (the consultants) were using formulas that didn’t fully take into account the saturation factor.” Moody’s Foley recently downgraded debt for Del Lago to a rating of Caa2 or “very weak creditworthiness,” with a “negative” outlook for future ratings. It is on track to earn $150 million in gross gaming revenue instead of the $250 million Moody’s expected. Foley and the other experts interviewed for this article aren’t yet questioning if New York’s new casinos will survive, but they say it remains to be seen if they will gross enough gaming revenues to thrive. “From what states is (Resorts World Catskills) going to be taking people from?” asked Father Richard McGowan, a Boston College management professor specializing in gaming. “Let’s face it, no one will be coming from New Jersey or New England to go there. ... Good luck.” Politics over profits Resorts World Catskills’ leaders will rely on the New York City metropolitan area to supply most of its customer base. They’re also betting the casino will attract “whales” or big-time gamblers, particularly from the Far East, via its upmarket amenities. In line with industry standards, Resorts World Catskills expects to give away seven in 10 luxury hotel rooms to high rollers. The casino also is targeting Asian gamers in general with a gaming area designed for them. If Resorts World Catskills underperforms, it’ll be because of politics, gaming industry experts said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo sold a 2013 referendum to amend New York’s Constitution to permit more gaming as a way to bring jobs and investment to economically disadvantaged upstate areas. “These (new casinos) have been extremely successful from an economic development standpoint, creating all of the jobs promised,” said Gural, who added that he’s not ungrateful for his Tioga Downs license. “The real losers are the owners of the casinos who are not making the profit” they anticipated. Kevin Law, who chaired the state board that selected the upstate casino sites, was not available for an interview. “New York went into this regional resort-casino market long after that trend had been exhausted in this country,” Barrow said. “Globally, the trend is big mega-casinos in major cities. They should have just put a big one in New York City to be better positioned to compete against other forms of entertainment and to attract customers who don’t want drive 90 miles.” Building casinos in urban centers helps entice gamers of all ages, unlike the upstate New York market, where casinos are cannibalizing each other’s older customers, said S&P Global Ratings analyst Timothy Little. “Millennials tend to move toward larger population and urban centers, away from some of the more rural parts of the state where New York’s casinos are,” said Little, who co-authored a recent report on Northeast casino saturation. “It’s unclear to what extent these (New York gaming) facilities will draw consumers living in other states and abroad.” Sullivan County’s soon-to-open casino, located on 1,700 acres of the former Concord Resort property, is $600 million less expensive and twice as far from New York City as a failed 2014 Tuxedo bid would have been. Like Resorts World Catskills, the Tuxedo application came from Malaysian-Chinese casino magnate K.T. Lim. He also financially rescued Resorts World Catskills’ parent, Monticello Raceway owner Empire Resorts, from a potential bankruptcy in 2009 after it lost $38.4 million in 2007 and 2008, according to public filings. And he’s kept it afloat since. Lim is a key part of the family trust that owns Kien Huat Realty, an investment company that is the majority shareholder in Empire Resorts and Genting Berhad. The latter is part of the Genting Group, a $37 billion Malaysian gaming, biotech and palm oil conglomerate. Under a branding agreement with Genting, Sullivan County’s casino is using Genting’s “Resorts World” name, though it’s technically not a Genting casino. Colossal casino competition Although a 2014 Tuxedo casino proposal faced controversy for its potential effects on Sterling Forest, gaming experts said a site closer to New York City would’ve been assured success. Eller agreed. Resorts World Catskills “would be a hell of a lot easier if we were closer to our core market,” of New York City, said Eller, 42, who led the Tuxedo project’s application before taking Empire Resorts’ helm last year. A former Marine major, a Harvard MBA, and a 12-year gaming industry veteran, Eller is overseeing a 1,400-employee Resorts World Catskills entertainment complex that will eventually grow to 2,200 workers and $1.2 billion. That’ll occur by the end of 2019, when the $150 million-plus, 600-employee Kartrite Hotel & Indoor Waterpark opens. Regardless of location, for new casino properties like Resorts World Catskills to succeed, they must diversify well beyond gaming, said David G. Schwartz, the director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. “Once you could just put out quarter slot machines, but that’s not enough,” Schwartz said. “So, now they have to put much more emphasis on dining and entertainment options.” That’s exactly what Connecticut’s Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have done. Foxwoods’ Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council, and Mario Kontomerkos, CEO of Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, said they’ve had to expand their amenities to remain competitive over the past decade. As the Northeast has grown more competitive, each casino has taken giant revenue hits since fiscal 2006-07, when Mohegan Sun raked in $916.4 million in slots revenue and Foxwoods brought home $805.5 million. By 2016-17, those totals had fallen to $602.3 million and $457.5 million, respectively, according to state of Connecticut data. Las Vegas model The two tribes pioneered the Las Vegas model in the Northeast. With funding from K.T. Lim’s father, Lim Goh Tong, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe heavily built up Foxwoods in Ledyard, Conn., in 1992 and ’93. Nearby, the Mohegan Tribe developed Mohegan Sun in Uncasville three years later. Northeast competitors have mushroomed ever since to emulate the Connecticut casinos’ success. To remain relevant, Connecticut’s casinos have morphed into cities unto themselves. With 9 million square feet, Foxwoods is larger than the Pentagon, and just 340,000 square feet is reserved for gaming. The rest goes toward dining, lodging, retail and recreational options. Mohegan Sun’s similar-size gaming floor is complemented by two luxury hotel towers totaling 1,563 rooms, a 10,000-seat arena, 275,000 square feet of meeting and function space and more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges. Foxwoods has “put over $3 billion in the ground over 25 years, and it’s probably closer to $5 billion adjusted for inflation,” Butler said. “We know the (Lim) family well, and Resorts World Catskills will be a great property,” he added. “They’re brilliant operators, and the partnership with the (Kartrite) indoor water park is a great idea. But our market has shifted (to New England), so we’re not too concerned with what you’re doing in the Catskills.” Given how different Northeast casinos are, it’s simplistic to ask whether the casino market is saturated, said Jeremy Kleiman, a veteran New Jersey gaming lawyer. Foxwoods’ and Mohegan Sun’s leaders agreed. They say they’re in an elite class competing for whales. Or as Mohegan Sun’s Kontomerkos put it, “Walmarts compete against Walmarts and Nordstroms compete against Nordstroms.” At Resorts World Catskills, Eller too aspires to create a “destination resort casino” full of amenities, as opposed to the convenience gaming offered by racinos like Resorts World Casino New York City at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. Yet even without table games, that Queens property – owned by K.T. Lim under his Genting Berhad umbrella – could compete with Resorts World Catskills. Resorts World Casino New York City averages a strong $404 in revenue per day for each slot machine, and Lim is currently expanding the New York City complex by $400 million, adding a hotel, restaurants, retail and more slots. To help Resorts World Catskills succeed, Roberta Byron-Lockwood, president and CEO of the Sullivan Catskills tourism bureau, plans to aggressively market the property as “a full-fledged, full-service, four-season, multi-attraction destination casino, appealing not only to New York and other states, but also to international visitors, and those from the Pacific Rim.” Marc Baez, president and CEO of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, touted the same marketing approach. He said Resorts World Catskills will thrive by building on the Catskills’ history of resorts, while capitalizing on local assets like Bethel Woods, the planned Town of Goshen Legoland and the future Yo1 Lifestyle Wellness Resort in Monticello. “We’ll pretty much have something to do for everybody,” Baez said. Eller is the first to admit his won’t be the biggest, highest-earning casino in the Northeast. But he said it has “the right investment and strategy as an integrated resort and the right revenue estimates” to create new gaming receipts beyond merely cannibalizing existing regional totals. Like Gural, who owns Tioga Downs, Eller said Resorts World Catskills’ success will be “built on relationships, and that has nothing to do with the distance,” because high-rollers have the means to travel most anywhere. But there is at least one key difference between the two casino leaders. Eller is more likely to greet whales in a power suit than orange Crocs and jeans. “Are people from the New York metro area going to drive 90 to 100 miles to go play table games” at Resorts World Catskills? Eller asked. “The reality is they already do, they go to Atlantic City. They go to Connecticut. They go to Vegas.” “We’re built on a Las Vegas casino model where there’s entertainment all the time,” Eller added. “You should feel like you’re stepping into a casino in Las Vegas.” By Daniel Axelrod  Reprinted with permission of The Times Herald-Record

NICHOLS, N.Y. - What started as gaming machines and harness racing and then a full-fledge casino, Tioga Downs has completed its journey to become a resort destination. A ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony was held Friday for the new hotel at Tioga Downs, making it the Tioga Downs Casino and Resort. The six-story 161-room hotel includes a full-service AgeLess Spa, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, two rooftop decks, an events center with banquet and reception that can accommodate 400 people. In addition, the hotel has a PJ Clarke's Restaurant serving burgers in a speakeasy-style atmosphere. Owner Jeff Gural says he wants people near and far to enjoy all the amenities the new hotel has to offer. "It's beautiful.  Hopefully we'll be able to accomplish our goal to make it a resort for people from outside the are who are visiting Corning Glass, Watkins Glen or the wineries.  Now, they have a beautiful resort to stay at," said Gural. Gural thanked the community along with the many legislators and lawmakers in attendance for supporting his endeavor, especially when Del Lago was chosen as the Southern Tier casino location. The conference center will hold its first event tomorrow with a fundraiser for the United Way. Reprinted with permission of The Binghamton News  

Closing night for the 2017 harness racing season was highlighted by the New York Sire Stakes for sophomore pacing colts and geldings at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 16). In the first division ($61,300) Henry Hill (Marcus Miller) would rundown the favorite Outkast Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the stretch for the victory. Ideal Wheel (Jim Taggart Jr.) would charge out to the lead and bring them to a first quarter in :26.1. Outkast Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven) would then make his move taking over just before the half and control the half at :54.2 and three-quarters in 1:22.0. Henry Hill (Roll With Joe) would go first over and take over at the top of the stretch. Owned by Tom Hill and trained by Tony Alagna, the 3 year-old would battle Outkast Blue Chip (second) all the way down the stretch to win by a head in a lifetime best of 1:50.1. Outrajus Blue Chip (Jim Meittinis) would finish third. Henry Hill ($6.80), who didn't race as a 2 year-old, won for the third time in four starts. In the second division ($62,400), Cultural Paradise (Jim Morrill Jr.) would pop out of the pocket to get the victory in the stretch. Pointomygranson (Jim Marohn Jr.) laid down all the early fractions :27.1, :56.0, 1:23.1. Cultural Paradise (Americal Ideal) was content to ride in the pocket all the way to the stretch. Owned by Bradley Grant and trained by Larry Remmen, the 3 year-old surged to the front and just got by Pointomygranson (second) to win in a lifetime best of 1:51.3. Third place went to Serious Major (Jim Taggart Jr.) Cutural Paradise ($5.60), got win number six on the season and notched career victory number nine. Mike Deters was the top trainer for 2017. Mike Simons was the top driver this season. Pacer of the year was Andreios Kardia. Top trotter was Prairie Fortune. Fireworks followed the live racing. Tioga Downs wants to thank all the horsemen and fans for a great 2017 season. For more information go to John Horne      

Dynamic Edge (Mike Simons) captured the harness racing featured Open Handicap Trot ($12,000) at Tioga Downs on Friday night (September 15). Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) would lay down all the early fractions, :27.3, :57.0, 1:25.1. Dynamic Edge (Muscle Mass) who is owned and trained by Mark Ford, would go first-over and take the lead at the top of the stretch and hold off the late rush of Picture This (Tom Jackson) to win in a lifetime best of 1:54.2. Picture This would have to settle for second with Theraputic (Mike Merton) finishing third. Dynamic Edge ($18.60) would notch his sixth win of the season and 11th career victory. Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron) would win the fillies and mares feature ($10,000). Little Santamonica (Little Steven) would go gate-to-wire hitting all the fractions :26.4, :56.1, 1:24.1, 1:52.1. Owned by Courtney Crawford and trained by Jordan Hope the 9 year-old mare would win for the 13th time this season and the 58th time in her career. Truth And Liberty (Austin Siegelman) would come on late to finish second. K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart) would settle for third. Tioga Downs returns to live action with closing night on Saturday (September 16). The 11 race card which features NYSS sophomore pacing colts and geldings with a post time of 6:50 p.m. Firework follows the live racing For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs will end its 2017 campaign on Saturday night (September 16) featuring two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing sophomore pacing colts and geldings . The first division ($61,300) will feature morning-line favorite, Outkast Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.), who is at 5-2. Owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock and trained by G Buzzy Sholty, Outkast Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven) has won two legs of the NYSS. He first won at Buffalo and then he captured a leg his last time out at Yonkers. The second morning-line choice at 7-2 is Music Is Art (Jim Marohn Jr.). The 3 year-old colt by Art Major is owned by Peter Blood with Rick Perks and trained by Mike Deters. He has three wins in 13 starts this season. The most impressive race was his third place finish in The Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs on August 20th. In the second division ($62,400), the morning-line favorite is Cultural Paradise (Jim Morrill Jr.) at 5-2. Owned by Bradley Grant and trained by Larry Remmen. Cultural Paradise (American Ideal) has hit the board in all 12 starts this season. He has finished first five times (all at Yonkers), with five seconds and two thirds. Pointomygranson (Jim Marohn Jr.) is the top rival at 3-1. The 3 year-old American Ideal gelding has won legs of the NYSS in his last two starts. Owned by Gold Standard Equine LLC and trained by Chris Ryder. he won the legs at Monticello and Yonkers. The post time for the 11 race card at Tioga Downs is 6:50. Fireworks follows the live racing. For more information please go to John Horne for Tioga Downs

Paprike Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr) and Hitman Hill (Brett Miller) would each get impressive New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) victories for harness racing freshman colts and gelding pacers at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 9). Paprike Blue Chip (Roll With Joe - Bliss N Vinegar) would set a track record for 2 year-old geldings in the first division of NYSS ($56,500). Rock Lights (Jim Devaux) would carve out all the early fractions :26.4, :54.4, 1:22.4. Paprike Blue Chip ($3.40) would go from fourth at three-quarters to first by two lengths at the top of the stretch. Owned by Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, Crawford Farms Racing, and VIP Internet Racing Stable, the John Buetenshoen trained 2 year-old gelding would fly in the stretch to set the Tioga Downs track record in 1:50.0. Silver Arrow would charge up late to finish second. Keystone Tenacious (Mickey McNichol) finished third. For Paprike Blue Chip it was his fourth win in nine starts including three legs of the NYSS. Undefeated Hitman Hill (American Ideal - Fox Valley Shaker) would take the second division of the NYSS ($55,500). Casual Cool (Mike Simons) would lead them all to the first quarter in :26.2. Hitman Hill would grab the lead as the went by the stands for the first time. Jersey Jim (Jim Devaux) would challenge and go by just before hitting the half in :54.3 and would lead going to three-quarters in 1:23.1. Hitman Hill ($2.20) who is owned by Tom Hill with Northfork Racing Stable and trained by Chris Oakes, then jumped out of the pocket and took the lead at the top of the stretch but he wasn't home free yet. Casual Cool, Topville Olympian (Jim Morrill Jr.), and My Delight (Fern Paquet Jr.) all came charging at him. Hit Man Hill dug down deep and hung on for his fifth straight including four straight legs of the NYSS. He covered the mile in 1:52.1. Topville Olympian finished second with Casual cool taking third. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 15) for their last weekend of the season. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs

Dragin The Wagon captured the harness racing featured trot ($10,000) at Tioga Downs on Friday (September 8). Wisenheimer (Mike SImons) called the shots early, :27.2, :55.4, 1:24.3. Dragin The Wagon (Angus Hall) followed in the pocket until mid stretch. Owned by James, Michael, and David Cantelon, while trained by Jeff Byron, the 7 year-old gelding found himself trapped on the inside. Aaron Byron was able to squeeze by an opening at the cones in mid-stretch. Dragon The Wagin ($4.90) surged to the front to win in 1;54.2 Caulfied (Mike Merton) would charge late and fall just short to settle for second. Picture This (Tom Jackson) finished third. Dragin The Wagon won for the fifth time this season and secured his 36th lifetime victory, Leading driver, Mike Simons won three on the night to get 70 on the season. He won with Ifya Start Me Up ($5.40), Ameliosi ($4.80), and Rockin Show ($14.60). Jim Taggart Jr. won three as well on the night. He won with K J's Caroline ($3.50), Gwally ($6.20), and Justsingalong ($26.20). Tioga Downs returns to live action on Saturday (September 9) with a 14 race card with New York Sire Stakes action, featuring Freshman Pacing Colts and Geldings. It is also Apple Fest at the track with free apple pie slices and apple cider. Post time is 6:50p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs

Hitman Hill (Brett Miller) puts his unbeaten record on the line while racing in one of two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing 2 year-old pacing colts & geldings on Saturday (September 9) at Tioga Downs. In the first division, the morning-line favorite is Paprike Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) at 5-2. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Harmony Oaks Racing Stables, and VIP Internet Stable, while trained by John Butenschoen. The 2 year-old colt by Roll With Joe - Bliss N Vinegar, has captured two legs of the NYSS, with victories at Yonkers ($53,00) and Saratoga ($42,025). The second morning-line choice is Springsteen (Rock N Roll Heaven - American Charm) at 3-1. Owned, trained, and driven by Chris Ryder, the 2 year-old is looking for his first win. He had an impressive second place finish in the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace final at Yonkers Raceway in July. Hitman Hill (American Ideal - Fox Valley Shaker) is the morning line favorite for the second division at 5-2. After winning his first victory in an Excelsior A Series race, the 2 year-old gelding, who is owned by Tom Hill with Northfork Racing Stable and trained by Chris Oakes, has captured three legs of the NYSS. First at Vernon Downs ($37,266), then Yonkers Raceway ($53,500) and his last race at Batavia Downs ($52,500). The freshman is four for four in his young career. Jersey Jim (Jim Devaux) is the second choice at 7-2. Owned by Robert and Gail Sanders while trained by Perry Simser. The 2 year-old gelding by Artiscape - Jersey Pearl, has won two legs of the NYSS. He got his wins at Saratoga ($42,025) and Batavia Downs ($52,500). Casual Cool (Mike Simons) is the third choice at 4-1. The 2 year-old Colt by American Ideal - Sight To See is owned by Kenneth Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano. He has won four legs of the NYSS so far. He has victories at Buffalo ($35,860), Monticello ($27,750), Vernon Downs ($37,266), and Yonkers ($53,500) Also on Saturday (September 9) is Apple Fest at Tioga Downs. Free apple pie and cider during racing. Post time for the 14 race card is 6:50 p.m. For more information go to John Horne

Obvious Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) and Roaring To Go (Brett Miller) each captured a leg of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing sophomore pacing fillies at Tioga Downs Monday afternoon (September 4). Obvious Blue Chip (Roll With Joe) would win the first division of the NYSS ($60,200). Tequilla Monday (Brett Miller) would control all the early fractions :27.1, :55.0, 1:22.1. Obvious Blue Chip ($4.40), who won the Empire Breeders Classic two weeks ago, came out of the pocket at the top of the stretch and blew by to win in 1:50.2. Tequilla Monday (American Ideal) would hang on for second, Artrageous (Mark MacDonald) finished third. Obvious Blue Chip, who is owned by NFG Racing Stable with Stephen Klunowski and trained by Mark Steacy, would win for the fifth time this year. Roaring To Go (Art Major) would take the second division of the NYSS ($61,300). Clear Idea (Mark MacDonald) laid down all the early fractions :27.3, :56.3, 1:24.1. Roaring To Go ($6.80) would follow in the pocket the whole way. Planet Rock (Jason Bartlett) would come up first over to battle for the lead at the top of the stretch. Roaring To Go, who is owned by Frank Chick and trained by Kevin Lare, would come out of the pocket and go three wide charging to the front to win for the ninth time in her career, getting the mile in 1:51.4. Planet Rock (Rock N Roll Heaven) would finish second. Clear Idea (American Ideal) had to settle for third. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (September 8) at 6:50 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs has just two weeks remaining until the close of the 2017 season and with only Friday and Saturday night harness racing scheduled, Tioga will now double draw for each race weekend on Tuesday mornings. The first such double draw will take place this Tuesday, September 5th. The box will close at 9am. For more information visit our website at . Jason Bluhm Sr Regional Director of Racing Tioga Downs & Vernon Downs

Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) charges late to win the Open II Trot Handicap ($10,000), at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 2). Winemaster Hanover (Mike Simons), would grab the lead and control all the early fractions :27.3, :57.0, 1:25.1. Zoraze (Fern Paquet Jr.) would take the lead in mid stretch but Praire Fortune (Arapa Victory) would go three wide and fly by to get the victory in 1:54.2. Zoraze would hang on for second with BJ Anthony (Mickey McNichol) would get the third spot. Prairie Fortune ($3.80), who is owned by Laurie Puolin and trainer Mike Deters, would win for the seventh time this year and earned career win number 34. Jim Taggart Jr. would pick up three driving wins on the night. First win was with Cool Breeze De Vie $3.90. Second victory came with J Black ($19.80) and the third win was with One Tough Nut ($5.20). There is no racing on Sunday (September 3) because of the Golden Boys concert. Live action returns on Monday (September 4) for a special Labor Day matinee beginning at 1 p.m. The 12 race card will be highlighted by two division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3 year-old pacing fillies. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs  

Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron) would capture the Fillies and Mares Open II ($9,000). on Friday (September 1) at Tioga Downs. Little Santamonica ($6.20) would charge out of the gate to take the lead but All Charged Up (Tom Jackson) would take over before the first quarter. Little Santamonica (Little Steven) re-took the lead as they went by the stands for the first time and the 9 year-old mare, who is owned Courtney Crawford and trained by Jordon Hope, never looked back and won in 1:52.3. Finishing second was K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) and Mcace Of Arts (Mike Merton) got third. Mike Merton would win twice on the night. First with Rockin Desire ($30.40) and then with Empty Gesture ($15.40). Tioga Downs returns to live action on Saturday (September 2) with a 10 race card starting at 6:50 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs

The Labor day harness racing matinee at Tioga Downs will feature two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for sophomore pacing fillies. Both races look to be very entertaining. The first division will feature Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) winner Obvious Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) and EBC elimination winner Tequilla Monday (Brett Miller). Obvious Blue Chip (Roll With Joe) who is owned by NLG Racing Stable with Stephen Klunowski and trained by Mark Steacy, is the morning line second choice at 3-1. The 3 year-old filly sat fourth for most of the race before charging late to win the EBC two weeks ago. She has four wins on the season so far, including a NYSS win at Buffalo in June. Tequilla Monday (American Ideal) was favored to win the EBC after her convincing win in the eliminations. She would control the pace and led all the way through three-quarters. Owned by Northfork Racing Stable with Chuck Pompey and trained by Chris Oakes, she would fade in the stretch and finished eighth. She is the morning line favorite at 5-2. She has six wins this season, including a leg of the NYSS at Yonkers in July. In the second Division the morning line favorite is Clear Idea (Mark McDonald), at 2-1. The 3 year-old filly by American Ideal, finished second in the EBC finals. She had won seven in a row including 6 NYSS races and the EBC eliminations. Owned by Hutt Racing Stable and trainer Blake Macintosh, she has won nine of her 16 starts this season. Roaring To Go (Brett Miller) will be the toughest challenger. She almost go to Clear Idea in the EBC eliminations, losing by a neck. She finished fourth in the EBC final. Owned by Frank Chick and trained by Kevin Lare, she won a leg of the NYSS at Yonkers in July. Roaring To Go (Art Major) is the morning line second choice at 5-2. The 12 race card is a special Labor day matinee, starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs                

Emoticon Hanover (Daniel Dube) wins the Joie De Vie ($150,000) and sets the world record for harness racing 4 year-old mares for any size track in 1:50.2, at Tioga Downs on a magnificent matinee (August 27). Emotican Hanover (Kadabra), would lay down all the fractions :26.0, :55.1, 1:22.4, 1:50.2. Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras) would try to take the lead before the first quarter but she had to settle for the pocket trip. She would follow the whole way. The Favorite Pasithea Face S would make her bid first over on the back stretch heading for the turn but she just didn't have it today. Last week she set the track record (1:50.4) but ended up fourth best today. Emoticon Hanover ($14.40) was pressured a little bit by Hannelore Hanover (Swan For All), in the stretch but she found another gear to get the easy win. Hannelore Hanover barely hung on for second as Caprice Hill (Brian Sears) came charging late to finish third. Emoticon Hanover, who is owned by Determination and trained by Luc Blais, won for the second time this season. The 4 year-old mare has 13 life time wins but none faster than the world record of 1:50.2. Resolve (Ake Svanstedt) glides to easy win in the Crawford Farms Open Trot ($170,000). Crazy Wow (Yannick Gingras) would set all the early fractions, :27.0, :56.1, 1:23.2. Resolve (Muscle Hill) would make his move first over at the top of the back stretch. By the three-quarter mark the 6 year-old who is owned by Hans Enggren and trained by Svanstedt, would pull almost even before taking over at the top of stretch and firing home in 1:51.4. Cufflink Hanover (Corey Callahan) would ride the pocket for the whole trip coming up to finish second. Flanagan Memory (Brian Sears) would fire late to finish third. Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) would coming flying late to finish fourth in the field of 10. Resolve ($4.00) won for the fourth time this season. The 6 year-old would win for the 18th time is his career and set the track record at Tioga Downs for an aged horse in 1:51.4. Pure Country (Mark MacDonald) wins the Artiscape Open Mares pace ($158,000). Pure Country (Somebeachsomewhere) would go gate-to wire to capture the Artiscape. She would put up all the fractions :26.4, :55.1, 1:22.1, 1:50.1. Owned by Diamond Creek Racing and trained by Jimmy Takter, Pure Country ($8.60) would get win number two on the season. The four year-old mare now has 22 career wins. Frost Damage Blues (Corey Callahan) would come up to get second and the favorite, Nike Franco N (Tim Tetrick) finished third. Here are the winners of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial races. In The Judge Moore (first division) race for freshman trotting colts and geldings It was Keystone Apache (David Miller) to get the win for a purse of $40,450. I'm Trigger Happy (Corey Callahan) won The Lorraine ($45,330) for 2 year-old filly pacers Farsetti Hanover (Marcus Miller) took the second division of The Judge Moore Closing Statement (David Miller), was victorious in the first division of The Tar Heel ($33,250) for freshman pacing colts & geldings Bill's Lady (Tim Tetrick) won the The Meda ($64,700) for freshman filly trotters. She would equal the track record for freshman filly trotters with a mile of 1:55.1. Karpathian Kid (David Miller)would take the second division of The Tar Heel ($33,250). John Horne for Tioga Downs

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