Search Results
1 to 16 of 983
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Horsemen are reminded that nominations for the spring/summer late closing series held at Tioga and Vernon Downs must be postmarked by Wednesday, April 1.   Vernon Downs offers a pair of spring series--one each for pacers and trotters--for non-winners of two pari-mutuel races or $20,000 (fillies are allowed one additional pari-mutuel win; winners of $50,000 are ineligible) through Tuesday, March 31. These series culminate in a pair of $10,000 added finals on Sunday, May 10.   Tioga Downs offers a quartet of summer series separated by gait and sex, all of which are for three-, four-, and five-year-olds which have not won five pari-mutuel races or $60,000 (winners of $100,000 are ineligible) through Tuesday, March 31. They end with $40,000 estimated finals held in the last two weeks of June.   Nomination blanks are available through the following links:   Vernon Downs: http://www.vernondowns.com/media/racing/lcad.pdf   Tioga Downs: http://www.tiogadowns.com/media/racing/lcad.pdf   by James Witherite

Jeff Gural is perhaps the most criticized individual in harness racing. The head of the Meadowlands, Tioga and Vernon is equally deserving and undeserving of the public ire.  Most will agree that Gural swooped in at the eleventh hour and saved the Meadowlands from disaster, but those same people have grown tired of hearing about it over and over. They applauded him a few years back and have since washed their hands and want to move on. Is that fair to Gural considering his efforts? Therein lies one of the public disagreements between the industry and the often outspoken head honcho.  Having just completed another impromptu sit-down with Gural, I came away once again seeing that he is equal parts sugar and salt. Joining a crowded club, he is not a perfect man, but at least on the surface desires to see the sport prosper. By Derick Giwner for DRF.com. To view the rest of this story click here.

The Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs race offices remind harness racing horsemen that nominations for their spring and summer late-closing series close Wednesday, April 1. Nomination blanks and complete details for the pair of late-closing events at Vernon Downs--the Anthony Farina pacing series and Catherine Burton trotting series ($10,000 added final for both)--are available here: http://www.vernondowns.com/media/racing/lcad.pdf Nomination blanks and complete details for the quartet of Tioga late-closers--the Morrisville College Sale and Williams Auto Group trotting series along with the Nichols True Value and M&J Oil & Lube pacing series ($40,000 estimated finals for all)--are available here: http://www.tiogadowns.com/media/racing/lcad.pdf Additionally, the 2015 Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs media guides are available on the tracks' respective websites. The links below lead to the media guides, which include racing and stakes schedules, stakes history, and statistics. Tioga media guide: http://www.tiogadowns.com/media/racing/Tioga-Media-Guide.pdf Vernon media guide: http://www.vernondowns.com/media/racing/Vernon-Media-Guide.pdf The 2015 live racing season at Vernon Downs kicks off Friday, April 17, while Tioga raises the curtain on Saturday, May 2.   by James Witherite, Tioga/Vernon Downs Racing Media

Horsemen are advised that initial payments for early-closing harness racing events at Tioga and Vernon Downs are due postmarked no later than Tuesday, March 17.   These payments are necessary to establish and/or maintain eligibility to the Empire Breeders Classic, Kindergarten Classic, Crawford Farms, Artiscape, Muscle Hill, Roll With Joe, and Miss Versatility events.   Checks should be made payable to Tioga Downs, and sent to Racing Office, c/o Tioga Downs, LLC, 2384 West River Road, Nichols, NY 13812.   For complete stakes information, follow this link: http://tiogadowns.com/media/racing/stakesad.pdf   by James Witherite

Nichols, NY -- Tioga Downs announces their 2015 late-closing program for three, four, and five-year-olds, and also advises harness racing horsemen that stall applications are now available online.   As in past seasons, the Morrisville College Sale Trot (for horses, colts, and geldings), Williams Auto Trot (fillies and mares), Nichols True Value Pace (horses, colts, and geldings), and M&J Oil & Lube Pace (fillies and mares) will feature entrants who have not won five pari-mutuel races or $60,000 through the end of March. Both trotting series will culminate in $40,000 (estimated) finals on Sunday, June 21, while the pacing series will wrap up with $40,000 (estimated) finals on Sunday, June 28.   The nomination fee is $400 per horse, and is made payable to Tioga Downs (2384 W. River Rd., Nichols NY 13812) no later than Wednesday, April 1. Please be advised the deadline for nomination is earlier than in past years.   Nomination forms, along with the 2015 stall application, are available at this link: http://www.tiogadowns.com/racing/horsemen.php   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs Racing Media  

East Rutherford, NJ - As the time to select the Grand Circuit engagements for your harness racing stakes hopefuls draws near, The Meadowlands presents several exciting new stakes and joins with Tioga & Vernon Downs in ensuring no one goes home empty handed when racing in the open stakes administered by the three Gural tracks. The 2015 conditions will provide 1% of the total purse be paid to all out of the money horses with the balance then paid out to first through fifth in standard fashion.   A redesigned web page will provide easy access to the information on stakes at all three tracks. The nomination forms may be filled out online and have been designed to address each particular group for age and gait, hopefully making the process less complicated and reducing the paperwork load.   The new stakes are to a large degree in response to horsemen's concerns.   To address the issue of racing four-year-olds against older foes, the Graduate Series has been resurrected, offering $1 million in purses spread over three legs and a $250,000G final for both trotters and pacers. The series kicks off with a $50,000e leg at Tioga on Memorial Day, May 25, then shifts to The Meadowlands for leg two at $75,000e and leg three at $100,000 in June. The $250,000G finals will also be raced at The Meadowlands with the pace on Friday, July 3 and the trot on Saturday, July 11.   Also being added for 2015 is a TVG Championship Final for pacing and trotting mares with a $200,000G purse. The format will mirror that of the successful TVG Finals, with points accumulated over a series of top races for the mares at various tracks over the season.   "These stakes have been added to address what the horsemen tell us," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "It seemed in 2014 that as the season went along, the four-year-olds gained strength and by the end were more than holding their own with the older horses. The Graduate will provide races against their own age for the first half of the year. The mares have been a competitive group the last few years and now they have another big race.   "The conditions for the all Early Closing stakes at the three tracks have language that permits trainers no more than two (aside from horses they have trained since the start of their racing career) entries in the finals this year. Coupled with all the horses that reach the finals will realize some return on the investment in the stake (the 1% mentioned above) I'm hoping to encourage more people to take a chance on our races."   The Meadowlands has also agreed to host the $1.5 million Freshman Fall Final Four (payments for those will be handled by the Hambletonian Society) when reopening in November of 2015 and offer the inaugural edition of two new races for three-year-old fillies to support them. The "Continentalvictory" and "Tarport Hap" named for two of the greatest mares ever, will offer a purse of $175,000e on November 21.   New for older trotting mares in 2015 will be the $175,000e "Fresh Yankee" remembering the rags to riches queen of a few generations ago. This one will be raced on Hambletonian Day, August 8.   The headliners are back with the $800,000e Meadowlands Pace leading a stellar stakes card on Saturday, July 18 and the $1,000,000 Hambletonian bringing the curtain down of the 2015 Championship Meet with the "Greatest Day in Harness Racing" on Saturday, August 8.   All of these races have a nominating deadline of February 15, 2015.   Tioga and Vernon Downs will continue their $2 million slate of stakes that include the $1 million Empire Breeders Classics for NY Sired 3YO, the Crawford Farms, Artiscape, Muscle Hill, Miss Versatility and Roll With Joe for older horses.   The new wrinkle for the upcoming season is the change in the purse for the Final of the Kindergarten Trotting Classics. In 2015 the money in the pool for those Finals shall be divided with 75% directed to the Final and 25% to a consolation. This should, off the 2014 numbers, result in a Final of approximately $175,000 with a Consolation in the $75,000 neighborhood, giving a better earning opportunity to those not quite making the big dance.   All of the Tioga & Vernon Downs races have a March 15 close of nominations.   Any questions on the stakes should be directed to the Racing Office at 201-842-5130.   Nick Salvi

Tioga Downs is in search of a track superintendent for the 2015 season.   Interested individuals are asked to contact Tioga Downs Director of Racing Jason Bluhm via email at jbluhm@tiogadowns.com or 607.372.1693.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Columbus, OH --- The New York State Gaming Facility Location Board announced Wednesday the selection of the one winning bid for a casino in each of three defined regions of the State:  Catskills/Hudson Valley (Region One, Zone Two), Capital (Region Two, Zone Two) and Eastern Southern Tier/Finger Lakes (Region Five, Zone Two). In the Catskills/Hudson Valley Region, The Montreign Resort Casino in Thompson, N.Y. whose developer Empire Resorts operates through a subsidiary, the nearby Monticello Casino & Raceway, was selected over eight other applicants. In the Eastern Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region, the Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre, N.Y. was selected over the other two applicants in the region, Tioga Downs Casino, Racing & Entertainment in Nichols, N.Y. and Traditions Resort & Casino in Union, N.Y. Along with The Montreign Resort Casino and Lago Resort & Casino, the Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady, N.Y.  from the Capital Region was the third entity that will be entitled to apply to the New York State Gaming Commission for a gaming facility license. To read the complete report, click here. From the USTA Media Department

An overall increase in handle (total money wagered) and seven track record performances marked a successful 2014 season at Tioga Downs, which concluded on Saturday, September 13.   Overall handle on the 61-day meet was considerably improved in comparison to the 2013 season, with all-sources handle showing a 5.4% increase. This increase was largely due to a more involved simulcast audience, whose handle was 13.4% higher than in the previous season.   "We thank our customers and horsemen for their support of our 2014 racing season," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing at Tioga Downs. "We are proud of the great competitive racing on our 5/8 mile track, and that it continues to be well received across the North American harness racing audience."   With respect to the record books, four-year-old distaff trotter Charmed Life and driver Jody Jamieson established a new overall record for trotters on New York State's only 5/8-mile track, winning their Miss Versatility preliminary in 1:52.2 as part of the Cane Pace undercard on Monday, September 1.   Trotting geldings Datsyuk (three-year-old, Charlie Norris), Obrigado (four-year-old, Aaron Byron), and Traverse Seelster (older, Brandon Simpson) also turned in track-record performances through the season, scoring in 1:53.1, 1:52.3, and 1:52.4 respectively. Two-year-old trotting filly Jolene Jolene (David Miller) equalled You Want Me's mark of 1:55.2 as well, completing the quintet of record established on the trotting side of the ledger.   Additionally, a pair of pacers entered the Tioga record books, with Sweet Lou's 1:48.3 triumph in the Roll With Joe on Sunday, June 1 (Ron Pierce aboard) equalling Shark Gesture's past mark for older pacing entires. Mosquito Blue Chip (Jim Morrill, Jr.) set a new record outright for two-year-old pacing fillies, proving victorious in 1:52.1.   Jim Marohn, Jr. claimed his third consecutive driving title with 91 wins on the meet, 13 more than runner-up Aaron Byron. Top training honors went to Mike Deters, who took his second training title and first outright with 33 wins. Normand Fluet and Gail Wrubel finished in a dead heat for second with 20 wins apiece.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Tirade Hanover and Tyber Tyke proved victorious in Saturday (September 13) evening's co-featured $15,000 Open events at Tioga Downs, headlining an eleven-race closing night card.   Tirade Hanover ($16.60) sustained a sweeping three-wide bid on the far turn for a 1:54.3 victory in the $15,000 Open Trot, staving off a resurgent Oh No Three O. The four-year-old Crazed gelding was well off dueling leaders In Your Room (Mike Simons) and Oh No Three O (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through a :55.3 initial half mile, sweeping three-wide past a stalled Spice It Up Lindy (Tom Jackson) en route to the far turn. Tirade Hanover continued on to the lead 100 yards from the winning post, maintaining his momentum to just hold off Oh No Three O, who split rivals in a late rally from the pocket. B L Class Act (Aaron Byron) gained late down the grandstand side to take third.   Tyler Raymer drove Tirade Hanover to his fifteenth career win. Trainer Leigh Raymer shares ownership with Stephen Moss, Harold Solomon, and Helane Solomon.   Hoosier invader Tyber Tyke ($4.90) kicked clear late in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace after sustaining a barrage of pressure, emerging from a four-way battle to control a :55.1 initial half mile. The five-year-old Panspacificflight gelding then repelled a stout first-over challenge from Golden Gun (John Cummings, Jr.) before drawing clear to a 6-1/4 length victory in 1:50.3.   Bettorsluckystreak (Jim Taggart, Jr.) took second narrowly after shaking free in the final yards, while Dreamlands Art (Mike Simons) finished a tiring third after stalking from the pocket.   Fern Paquet, Jr. handled the driving duties aboard Tyber Tyke for trainer Daniel Gill. John McGill and Brian Carsey co-own the 19-time winner.   Tioga Downs honored driving champion Jim Marohn, Jr. and training champion Mike Deters during the evening's festivities, along with acknowledgements of Trotter of the Year I Love New York (trained and driven by Bruce Clarke through the meet) and Pacer of the Year Fireyourguns (driven by Aaron Byron for trainer Terence McClory).   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Two-year-old pacers took center stage at Tioga Downs on Friday (September 12) evening, contesting their divisions of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial Stake on the penultimate program of the 2014 harness racing season.   And while Hall of Terror (Marcus Miller, $3.50) turned in a mightily impressive :54.4 final half mile in his victory, top honors went to Dealt a Winner ($3.90), who set a new track record for two-year-old pacing geldings.   The son of Cam's Card Shark was well off the pace early in the tenth race, moving second-over behind Shooby Said (Jim Marohn, Jr.) after Gallic Beach (Tim Tetrick) brushed from midpack to the fore in a sensible :56.4 half mile. On the backstretch, David Miller angled Dealt a Winner three-wide, pushing past Shooby Said into a joint lead with Gallic Beach on the far turn. The two dueled through the stretch, with Dealt a Winner taking over outright in the final sixteenth and drawing clear for a one-length win. Sicily (Corey Callahan) tracked live three-wide cover on the backstretch, staying on for third.   Dealt a Winner's 1:52.3 victory took a second off the prior track record for two-year-old pacing geldings. Ed Hart handles the training duties for owner Jeffrey Snyder.   McArdles Lightning (Scott Zeron, 1:53.3) and Dragon Eddy (Mike Simons, 1:53.3) were the other two winners in the Reynolds divisions for two-year-old colts and geldings.   Corey Callahan teamed up with two freshman fillies for Reynolds wins as part of a Friday driving hat trick, holding sway with Divine Caroline (1:53.1) and kicking clear with Bettor B Steppin (1:53.3) in their stakes splits. Deli Beach (John Campbell, 1:55) was the other triumphant filly in the evening's stakes races.   The closing night (Saturday, September 13) program at Tioga features an 11-race card, with post time scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite

The Meadowlands is pleased to announce the addition of a new wager to its wagering menu. It is a Super High-Five Jackpot that will be offered with a $.20 cent minimum on the last race of each racing program. The wager will offer an industry low takeout rate of eight-percent (8%) and the pool will be seeded with $10,000 on its first night being offered, Friday November 14th. "The W.E.G. circuit implemented this wager this past year and it has had Great Success," said Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccali. "The jackpot wager has really caught-on throughout North America and we will take it a step further by implementing an industry low takeout rate of just eight-percent." "We are a supporter of the low takeout movement that is currently taking place," Zoccali added. "But it needs industry-wide support to be successful. We are optimistic that this wager will prove extremely successful and will pave the way to lower takeout wagers in the future." The Meadowlands will also give back more each night. "Our carryover will be 25-percent each day as opposed to the standard 45 to 50-percent this wager typically carries," said Zoccali. "We believe that the low takeout combined with paying out a larger portion of the pool each night will create more handle and larger payouts on a nightly basis. Additionally, the pool will be seeded with $10,000 initially which further reduces actual takeout." Meadowlands General Manager and C.E.O. Jason Settelmoir explains that the 8% takeout figure has significant meaning. "Having worked at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs since 2006, I have become well versed on the 'casino' aspect of gaming. The average takeout rate of slot machines or V.L.T.'s throughout the country is 8% and while horse racing is a more intellectual game, the result is the same, more churn and more money in our customers pockets." Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural touched on the success the wager has had at Woodbine and Mohawk. "On the two nights they have had mandatory payouts, there was around $2 Million bet. Given that The Meadowlands is the highest handling standardbred signal, tied into an 8% takeout rate, with a mandatory payout on Hambletonian Day, assuming the bet carries over throughout the meet, I am certain it will be the biggest pool in harness racing history." The Super High-Five is pending regulatory approval and is scheduled to begin on Friday November 14, 2014. Details on the wager are as follows: Jackpot Super High-Five Details $.20 Cent minimum wager Offered on the last race, each race night Low takeout rate of eight-percent (8%) Individual must select the first five (5) finishers in one race in the exact order of finish. Jackpot Super High-Five Payout: Single Winning ticket The entire Jackpot High-5 net pool, plus any previous carryover pool will be paid when there is one and only one winning ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order. Multiple Winning Tickets In the event there are multiple tickets sold that correctly select the first five finishers in exact order, 75% of the net daily Jackpot High-5 pool will be distributed to the holders of tickets with the first five finishers in exact order, and 25% of the net daily Jackpot High-5 pool will be carried over to the next scheduled Jackpot High-5 event and added to any existing carryover pool. No Winning Tickets In the event there is no ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order, the entire High-5 net pool, plus any previous carryover, will be carried in to the next scheduled Jackpot High-5 event. There is no consolation payout in the Jackpot High-5. Pool-Seeding There will be $10,000 added into the pool on the first day of the wager, by The Meadowlands, which will be Friday November 14, 2014. Mandatory Payout The entire Jackput High-5 net pool must be paid out on Hambletonian Day, August 8, 2015. The pool can carryover from one calendar year to the next. From the Meadowlands Publicity Office  

An eleven-race card boasting co-featured $15,000 Open events for trotters and pacers will close the 2014 season at Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 13) evening.   "We thank the horsemen and the customers alike for supporting harness racing at Tioga Downs," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing at Tioga Downs. "The horsemen presented full and competitive fields consistently throughout the season along with a strong stakes schedule, and we thank them for helping present an attractive wagering product to our loyal customers."   To kickstart their bankrolls for the closing night program, guests can bring postcards mailed to them in exchange for a mystery betting voucher. Postcards can be redeemed for mystery vouchers from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in the east grandstand near the main stage.   Additionally, guests can register at the promotions table starting at 5:15 p.m. to win one of three iPads, one of two 40-inch flat-screen televisions, or a Club Car golf cart, all to be given away throughout the evening.   Once again, the closing night giveaways will be highlighted by Horseplay Car Giveaway, sponsored by Williams Auto Group. After the evening's fourth race, one final entrant will be chosen for a $100 betting voucher and entry into the drawing for a 2014 Ford Fiesta, joining the entrants determined through the nightly mini-foam-horse toss. As in years past, the winner will be determined through a reverse draw, spread out from the sixth race to the close of the evening. The entrant whose name remains in the barrel until the absolute end will win the car, while all contestants eliminated by their prior draws will receive a $25 betting voucher each.   Following the last race of the meet and a special on-track performance from outrider Wendy Ross, a fireworks display will take place to close out the 2014 season.   As is customary, post time is 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

After two successful trial years of winter training, Tioga Downs will expand winter training for the upcoming winter. "The track was great both winters, thanks to the track crew and trainer Jeff Sorenson", said Guy Howard, longtime Southern Tier horseman and president of the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association. The winter training season will begin on November 1, 2014, continuing through March 31, 2015. Trainers will have full access to the track and the exercise wheel for $150 per stall. For more information, contact Guy Howard at 607.765.7168. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Carried three-wide through the far turn, Bettorsluckystreak ($26.80) sustained his late bid en route to a 1:51.4 upset victory in Sunday (September 7) afternoon's featured pace at Tioga Downs.   The $10,000 upper-level conditioned event drew a field of eight, with newcomer Johnny Grippa (Jim Meittinis) handling the pacesetting duties throughout, establishing a solid tempo through a :55 half mile.   With Cashendash Hanover (Brandon Simpson) fading from the pocket and Hasty Western (Aaron Byron) sliding first-over with three-eighths to go, Greg Merton moved the four-year-old son of Bettor's Delight out to track cover en route to the far turn.   While Hasty Western continued two-wide despite the pocket opening up approaching the far turn, Merton moved Bettorsluckystreak three-wide past three-quarters in 1:22.4. The two sustained their rally, passing Hasty Western at the top of the stretch and pulling clear of Johnny Grippa in the final 70 yards to prevail by a length.   Prairie Jaguar, the 8-5 favorite, failed to sustain an extended uncovered bid, staying even to finish fifth.   James Clouser, Jr. trains Bettorsluckystreak for Kenneth Weckstein, Richard Rubin, and Gary Messenger.   Mike Simons and Tyler Buter led all drivers with three wins each on the 13-race card.   The 2014 live racing season concludes at Tioga Downs this upcoming weekend, with Friday (September 12) and Saturday (September 13) cards both scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Eleven-year-old veteran Spice It Up Lindy ($7.50) turned in a most gritty effort in Saturday (September 6) evening's $15,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs, reaching for the line to hold off Walked Into Heaven for a 1:54.2 score.   Jim Meittinis brushed to the fore with the SJ's Caviar gelding after Walked Into Heaven (John Cummings, Jr.) established a solid early tempo through a :27.4 first quarter. With Walked Into Heaven in the pocket, SJ's Caviar relaxed the pace through a :57.4 middle half, accelerating some on the backstretch when Stitch in Time (Brandon Simpson) commenced a first-over rally.   While Stitch in Time would sustain his bid through the stretch, Walked Into Heaven posed the toughest threat, squeezing through at the pegs for a late rally. Spice It Up Lindy dug in to prevail by a long neck, holding sway for a 1:54.2 win. Walked Into Heaven and Stitch in Time completed the top three, while 3-2 favorite Crazy About Pat (Shawn Gray) failed to sustain a three-wide bid off the far turn, finishing sixth.   Santo Zuzolo owns and trains Spice It Up Lindy.   Jim Marohn, Jr. led all drivers with three wins on the card, teaming up with Sand Wyndham ($3.50, 1:58.3), Stir Me Up ($4.70, 1:55.0), and Ashcroft ($4.10, 1:57.1).   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (September 7) afternoon. The first of 13 races is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. EDT post time.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

1 to 16 of 983
1 2 3 4 5 Next »