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Nichols, NY -- While defending harness racing driving champion Jim Marohn, Jr. has been competing in the Southern Tier on a more limited schedule this season compared to years past due to increased opportunity and success at the Meadowlands, the 33-year-old reinsman has pounced on every opportunity possible to remain competitive at Tioga Downs. Monday (May 18) evening's 11-race card was no exception, as he captured seven of the dashes and finished second on one occasion.   After a second-place effort with Gold Deuce in the $5,000 claiming opener, "The Mighty Mite Part Two" reeled off five consecutive wins, teaming with Nine Innings ($4.80, 1:54), Oh My Joepa ($7.70, 1:53.1), Prairie Jaguar ($3.40, 1:53.1), Oakmont ($3.00, 1:54), and Rage N Ryan ($6.30, 1:53.1). He would return to sweep the late double, although his win with Hurricane Breeze ($6.70, 1:56.1) in a non-winners of two pace would have to be shared with the late-rallying At the Rail (Mike Simons) in a dead heat. Marohn closed out his seven-win evening aboard Twin B Flirt ($6.40, 1:54.1) in a first-level conditioned pace.   In total, Marohn teamed up with trainer Tony Dinges for three victories, while Mike Deters trainees added two other triumphs.   The $14,000 Open Pace--one of two races in which Marohn did not participate--went to Dragon Fever ($15.80), who prevailed after fanning three-wide off a tracking trip. The 5-year-old Dragon Again gelding just collared Glass Prince (Rick Dane) and Road Untraveled (Mike Simons) in the final yards for a 1:54.2 score under Jim Taggart, Jr. Odds-on favorite BJ's Rameau (Marcus Miller) was left far detached from the others after his right hopple snapped shortly after the start of the race.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (May 22) evening. Post time is 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, NY -- After his two-year-old season culminated in a second-place finish in the Breeders Crown, In the Arsenal ($2.60) made good on his odds-on promise in one of four New York Sire Stakes events ($110,000 added total purse) for harness racing three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Sunday (May 17) afternoon at Tioga Downs.   The son of American Ideal and Ladyotra (On the Road Again) settled well off the early pace, retreating to fourth after he was caught wide on the first turn behind eventual pacesetter Gold Coast Muscle (Mike Simons). In the Arsenal would stalk comfortably from midfield as Soto (Brett Miller) made a push to the fore after a :26.1 first quarter mile, advancing in the breeze to press the pace on the backstretch. While able to make gradual gains on his own, he found another gear just before the far turn upon immediate asking from Brian Sears, making up two lengths on Soto through a :27.1 third quarter. In the Arsenal continued his pursuit in earnest, dueling with and just collaring Soto in the final yards, prevailing by a scant neck in 1:50. Oneisalonelynumber (David Miller) stayed on to finish third after following the winner's cover.   Kelvin Harrison trains seven-time winner In the Arsenal for owner-breeder White Birch Farm and the In the Arsenal Racing partnership.   For Sears, the victory was one of three on the card, also teaming up with Time Out I'm Tired ($25.00, 1:52.4) and JK Allnitelong ($8.80, 1:51.4) in a pair of Excelsior events on the undercard.   Art Major sired two of the other three New York Sire Stakes winners on the afternoon's program, with Yannick Gingras driving Sicily ($9.70, 1:51.1) and Cartoon Daddy ($4.30, 1:51.4) to victory in their respective divisions. National Seelster ($5.80, 1:51.4)--who gave futile chase to Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $58,000 Gilmour at the Meadowlands in March--captured the fourth division, with Andy Miller piloting the Bettor's Delight colt.   A special Monday evening card is up next at Tioga Downs, with the first of 11 races on May 18 due off at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

A little racing luck and a strong closing kick propelled Brenda Messenger and Scott Woogen's I'm Fabulous ($12.40) past odds-on favorite Detroit Rapper to take Saturday (May 16) evening's $14,000 harness racing Open Trot at Tioga Downs.   Kyle DiBenedetto put the ten-year-old Andover Hall mare into play immediately, securing the pocket behind B L Class Act (John Cummings, Jr.) before Detroit Rapper (Jim Meittinis) brushed from third to take charge after a :27.4 initial quarter. Relegated now to third, I'm Fabulous saved ground through the race's middle stages, closing the pocket behind Detroit Rapper on the approach to the far turn as B L Class Act angled second-over behind Its Payday Friday (Dan Clements). While Detroit Rapper was able to turn aside the stout first-over challenge from Its Payday Friday after being pushed to a 1:25.4 three-quarter sectional, I'm Fabulous kept the pocket closed to reclaim second from her tiring outside rivals. Once clear, she moved off the pegs, collaring the softened I'm Fabulous in the final yards to prevail by a half length in 1:55.1. Oh No Three O (Jeffrey Long) saved ground throughout, advancing up the pegs late to take third.   Gary Messenger trains I'm Fabulous, who has proven victorious in both her Tioga efforts this season in addition to 36 other triumphs through her career.   Driver Tom Jackson recorded a hat trick on the evening's 11-race program, partnering with Kerin Warner trainees Moon Lake ($5.60, 1:57.4) and Stormunn ($7.20, 1:55.2) as well as Shawn Simons trainee Ashcroft ($3.40, 1:58.4).   Sunday (May 17) afternoon's card features a quartet of New York Sire Stakes events for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, with an assortment of Excelsior races comprising the undercard. Post time is 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

After edging clear of her eight rivals in a :27.4 third quarter, Brixton Medical's Shaqline ($5.30) narrowly held off a valiant stand-side charge from Barn Doll to take her $41,300 New York Sire Stakes event at  the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs on Friday (May 15) evening. The fastest of twenty-seven three-year-old trotting fillies split into three divisions, Shaqline protected the early lead from a host of other leavers, including Nunkeri (Jim Meittinis), Northern Obsession (John Cummings, Jr.), and Miss B'ville J (Mike Simons). After establishing the lead through a :28 first quarter, the Credit Winner-Vivica Hall mare managed to keep the first-over Northern Obsession at bay enough to catch a :30.2 second-quarter breather before accelerating clear on the backstretch. While widening her margin to 3-1/2 lengths on the far turn, Jeff Gregory angled Barn Doll three-wide off the cover of a stalled Northern Obsession, charging after Shaqline upon cornering. Despite that late threat, Jim Morrill, Jr. was able to encourage Shaqline to hold sway, prevailing in 1:55.1 by the scantest of margins. Frou Frou (Mark MacDonald) sustained her third-over rally to narrowly take third over Northern Obsession.   Jimmy Takter trains Shaqline, whose career bankroll eclipses the $145,000 mark with her fourth career win.   In earlier New York Sire Stakes action, Magic City ($22.40) rallied from off cover to just defeat 3-5 favorite Allerage Belle in a 1:56.2 score. Co-owner and trainer Jeff Gregory handled the driving duties aboard the Conway Hall-Beach Magic filly. Lindy Land ($20.40) earned a pillar-to-post 1:56.3 victory in rein to Mark MacDonald, holding clear of a chasing Zanna Blu for the entirety of the journey. Frank Antonacci trains the daughter of Crazed-Nana's Best.   Live racing continues at Tioga Downs on Saturday evening (May 16), with post time at 6:15 p.m. The New York Sire Stakes picks up on Sunday afternoon (May 17), with three-year-old pacing colts and geldings headlining the ten-race card. Top pacer In The Arsenal, a six-time winner at two, has been installed the 3-5 morning line favorite in Sunday's fifth race, a $31,050 Sire Stakes division. Brian Sears is slated to drive the Kelvin Harrison trainee.   The week concludes with a special Monday evening (May 18), with post time at 6:15 p.m.   James Witherite

Headed briefly by Unlocked in upper stretch, Fireyourguns ($3.80) battled valiantly to a 1:50.4 triumph in Sunday (May 10) afternoon's $14,000 Open Pace  at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs. Aaron Byron initially settled in the pocket with the six-year-old American Ideal gelding, but an eager Fireyourguns vacated the pocket and cleared to the lead immediately after Unlocked reeled off a :26.2 first quarter. Fireyourguns would then control the pace through a solid :55.1 middle half before facing a late challenge from Unlocked on the far turn. While Unlocked took a brief lead in upper stretch, Fireyourguns would not be denied, battling back to stick a neck in front in the final yards. Unlocked was a game second, while Damon Blue Chip (Tyler Buter) closed belatedly up the pegs to take third.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyour guns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe. The win was the second on the year in as many starts for Fireyourguns.   Jim Marohn, Jr. and Jim Taggart, Jr. shared top driving honors on the 12-race card, recording three wins apiece.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m.   James Witherite

Nichols, NY -- Just a week off his 1:52.1 track record outing, Bourbon Bay ($3.10) delivered yet another scintillating harness racing performance, bottoming out his six rivals with a 1:52.2 triumph in Saturday (May 9) evening's featured $14,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs.   The four-year-old Sand Vic gelding wasted no time, establishing the early lead sharply and setting a torrid pace--one he would sustain for much of the mile. After cutting a pair of identical :27.2 quarter-miles, John Cummings, Jr. called upon Bourbon Bay to accelerate up the backstretch, opening up seven lengths on Detroit Rapper (Jim Meittinis) through three-quarter split of 1:21.3. While the :26.4 third quarter proved more taxing on his six pursuers, Bourbon Bay eventually tired in mid-stretch, trotting home in a :30.4 final quarter while still 7-3/4 lengths clear of his nearest rival. Wisenheimer (Tom Jackson) rallied wide of tiring foes in the final stages to take second, while Detroit Rapper tired to third after chasing throughout.   Bourbon Bay is under lease to his driver, while Megan Wilson handles the training duties of the 15-time winner.   Cummings scored a driving triple on the night, prevailing as well with Island Charm ($19.20, 1:59.3) and Hold On Tightly ($15.80, 1:56.4). Dan Clements recorded a hat trick as well, victorious aboard Typical Newyorker ($11.20, 1:58.4), Oho Diamond ($2.70, 1:58.1), and Write That Down ($5.80, 1:55.1).   A Penny Earned caps Lems grand slam at Vernon   Vernon, NY -- Driver Chris Lems had the hot hand at Vernon Downs on Saturday (May 9) evening, with a victory from A Penny Earned ($3.50) in the evening's $10,000 Open Trot headlining his driving grand slam.   After earning decisive open-length victories earlier in the evening with odds-on favorites High Rise ($2.40, 1:57.4), Silver Fox J ($3.80, 1:54.1), and Sweet Thing ($3.30, 1:55.3), Lems secured the pocket with A Penny Earned in the featured finale, drafting behind Lutetium (Jimmy Whittemore) through a sensibly measured pace of :27.4, :57.4, and 1:26.2. In mid-stretch, Lems vacated the pocket with A Penny Earned, pouncing in the final yards to prevail by a length in 1:54.1 over Lutetium. War Hero (Howard Okusko, Jr.) tracked the top pair throughout, staying on to hold third.   Trainer George Ducharme co-owns A Penny Earned with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.   Live racing returns to both Tioga and Vernon Downs tomorrow (Sunday, May 10), with afternoon cards at both locations. Vernon kicks off their 10-race Mother's Day program at 1:15 p.m., while the first of 12 races at Tioga is slated for a 1:30 p.m. departure.   by James Witherite, Tioga/Vernon Downs  

Nichols, NY -- Fresh off a pair of second-place finishes at Pocono, Road Untraveled ($3.20) made a strong early push to the fore and never looked back en route to a 1:50.1 victory in one of two co-featured $8,800 upper-level conditioned harness racing pacing events on Sunday (May 3) afternoon at Tioga Downs.   Driver Mike Simons pushed to the lead with seven-year-old Grinfromeartoear of in the initial stages, but couldn't back down the pace after clearing Hurricane Howard (Jim Marohn, Jr.) in a :26.4 initial quarter due to strong pressure from the first-over American Island (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :54.2 first half. On the backstretch, Road Untraveled turned aside American Island's threat, subsequently sprinting clear of his pocket rival Hurricane Howard to prevail by 3-3/4 lengths in a decisive 1:50.1. Hurricane Howard held second, while Artistic Major (Aaron Byron) was urged to stay even late, holding third off a tracking trip.   Mike Simons's son Shawn handles the training duties of the 16-time winner, while the elder Simons shares ownership of Road Untraveled with Christopher Giaccio.   While Road Untraveled kicked clear after setting the pace, Cobble Beach ($6.00) rallied off cover before a slingshot move to a 5-3/4 length win in the other co-featured event. The five-year-old Artiscape gelding drafted behind the cover of Oh My Joepa (Corey Braden) on the backstretch, pushing to the fore when John Cummings, Jr. moved him three-wide on the far turn. Cobble Beach drew clear at will through the stretch, soundly defeating Oh My Joepa and Dreamlands Art (Simons) in 1:52.3.   James Clouser, Jr. owns and trains the 11-time winner.   Marohn wins five in Tioga return   After Mike Simons won five races on Opening Night, perennial leading driver Jim Marohn, Jr. returned to Tioga for the Sunday afternoon card, registering five wins of his own on the 11-race program. In addition to a 1:51.4 win with Prairie Jaguar ($7.00) in a third-level conditioned event, he was victorious aboard Stonebridge Tonic ($5.10, 1:52.1), Affluenza ($4.10, 1:51.4), Terrys Star Dragon ($7.70, 1:53.1), and Brandons Escape ($13.20, 1:53.3). Simons scored a Sunday driving double, as did John Cummings, Jr. and Brandon Simpson.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (May 8) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs    

Nichols, NY -- Enjoying a solid form spree in early-year stakes events on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit, Bourbon Bay ($7.30) shipped south to Tioga Downs as one of six entrants in the Opening Day (May 2) harness racing feature, leaving the other five in his wake en route to a 1:52.1 score in the $14,000 Open Trot.   The four-year-old Sand Vic gelding allowed Deacons Valley to clear the front early, powering to the fore after a :27.1 first quarter and not looking back. After clearing the lead and continuing through a :55.3 half, lessee-driver John Cummings Jr. opened up on the field with Bourbon Bay, amassing a three-length lead through a :27.1 third quarter and holding that margin through the far turn. While 3-5 favorite Twin B Spike Man (Mike Simons) mounted a rally off the far turn, he could only gain into second, 1-3/4 lengths in arrears of Bourbon Bay's 1:52.1 track record performance. Deacons Valley faded to third after chasing from the pocket.   Megan Wilson handles the training duties of Bourbon Bay, who cored his 14th career win in 30 starts. The 5/8-mile track, rated "fast" for the Opening Day 10-race card, was truly fast, with seven winners equaling or improving upon their lifetime marks. While Mike Simons couldn't prevail with Twin B Spike Man in the featured event, he registered five wins on the program, scoring with My Muscleman ($6.00, 1:55), Lightning Paige ($3.90, 1:54), Twain Drive ($3.50, 1:57.2), Crazy Eyes ($5.50, 1:56.2), and J R Jazz ($9.30, 1:57.1).   Panpero Firpo upsets in Vernon feature; MacDonald and Hochstetler sweep Farina splits   Vernon, NY -- After mustering just minor shares in recent tries against top Saratoga company, Panpero Firpo ($19.00) employed a change of tactics in tonight's $10,000 Open Pace at Vernon Downs, closing the pocket behind dueling leaders before pouncing in deep stretch for a 1:51.4 score.   The five-year-old No Pan Intended entire drafted behind an extended duel between JK Panache (Chris Lems) and Talking Blues (Frank Davis), sitting just off them through the first three-quarters of the mile while boxed in by a second-over Damon Blue Chip (John MacDonald), last week's Open winner. At the top of the stretch, with Talking Blues beginning to fade, Brett Crawford made his move with Panpero Firpo, taking over late and holding off Damon Blue Chip for a 1:51.4 triumph. JK Panache was a worn-down third after enduring steady pressure.   Trainer Jackie Rousse owns 16-time winner Panpero Firpo in partnership with Bill Reepmeyer.   Additionally, a pair of $4,000 second-round divisions of the Anthony Farina pacing series were contested, with trainer Homer Hochstetler and driver John MacDonald teaming up on both winners. Hot Lemonade ($2.40) pushed clear and turned aside a stiff challenge from Flight Again (Truman Gale) for a 1:53.2 victory in the first division, while Speaking Out ($5.80) sustained an uncovered bid to take the second division in 1:55.1. The Anthony Farina series final is scheduled for Mother's Day (May 10) along with the Catherine Burton trotting series final.   Live racing returns at Tioga Downs on Sunday (May 3) afternoon, with a 1:30 p.m. first post, while Vernon Downs resumes racing action on Friday (May 8) evening at 6:45 p.m.   by James Witherite, Tioga/Vernon Downs

Nichols, NY -- Kentucky Derby Day festivities surround this Saturday's (May 2) ten-race Opening Night harness racing card at Tioga Downs, with an eleven-race card on Sunday afternoon slated to complete opening weekend. Tioga Downs kicks off their tenth season of harness racing with their traditional Derby Day opening program, with a special 5:00 p.m. first post. In addition to mint juleps, a Derby hat contest, and fireworks, fans can enjoy live music and a wide variety of food through the afternoon, along with a chance to win a $1,000 wager on one horse in the Derby. The on-track action starts strong with a $14,000 Open Trot, as six accomplished trotters take to the Southern Tier racetrack in the first dash of the new meet. Twin B Spike Man (2-1 morning line) drew post 4 in the featured opener, with co-owner Mike Simons handling the driving duties aboard the eight-year-old gelding. The 23-time winner has performed well in upper-level events at Pocono Downs and the Meadowlands, having taken a mark of 1:51.1 last year. He'll be joined by the likes of Bourbon Bay (8-5 morning line favorite, John Cummings, Jr.), who proved successful in recent months against stakes company in Toronto as well as at Pocono, 28-time winner and local standout Grey Ice (12-1, Fern Paquet, Jr.), and Picture This (5-1, Jim Taggart, Jr.), a 9-time winner with over $350,000 in purse earnings. The evening's second and third races are part of the Meadowlands/Tioga Pick 4, along with the first two live races at the Meadowlands. Punters can play the Pick 4--which carries a 50¢ minimum--by betting the first race from the Meadowlands. Following the third race, Tioga Downs will have a break in the action for the Kentucky Derby, completing their live card immediately following. The last race will be followed by an impressive fireworks display, which all are welcome to enjoy. One lucky fan in attendance will be chosen to win a $1,000 bet on any one horse of their choosing in the Derby, and all fans will be able to receive Tioga Downs T-shirts and race date magnets (while supplies last) at the promotions table on the tarmac. Sunday (May 3) afternoon's eleven-race card kicks off at 1:30 p.m., headlined by a pair of $8,800 upper-level conditioned paces, each drawing a field of seven. The co-featured first race is marked by the return of top-level standout Oh My Joepa (Corey Braden) from Pompano, and he'll be joined by Tioga newcomer St Lads Lotto (Aaron Byron), who was previously a top contender at Cal-Expo. The fourth race sees Artistic Major (Aaron Byron) make his return to the races after winning six of eight races as a two-year-old, including the $45,000 New York Excelsior Final. He'll face Tioga mainstays Hurricane Howard (Jim Marohn, Jr.) and Electrofire (Dan Clements), among others. For more information on racing at Tioga Downs, visit www.tiogadowns.com/racing.   Tioga, Vernon announce Excelsior preps   Horsemen are advised that Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs are both offering races exclusive to New York Excelsior-eligible three-year-olds on their coming condition sheet. The prep races will be available to three-year-old fillies at both Tioga and Vernon, with trotters scheduled for Friday evening (May 8) and pacers for Saturday evening (May 9). Tioga Downs will host three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Sunday afternoon (May 10). Vernon events will carry a $4,000 purse, and Tioga events will carry a $6,000 purse. For complete details, refer to the condition sheets via the following links:   Tioga: www.tiogadowns.com/racing/horsemen Vernon: www.vernondowns.com/racing/horsemen by James Witherite

Nichols, NY -- Horsemen are advised that Tioga Downs is conducting a double draw for its opening weekend of harness racing. Entries for both the Saturday, May 2 (post time 5:00 p.m.) and Sunday, May 3 (post time 1:30 p.m.) cards are due to the Tioga Downs race office no later than 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29. Saturday's conditions (1 through 24), marked with an "a" on the condition sheet, are for pacing fillies and mares along with trotters, while Sunday's conditions (25 through 40), marked with a "b", are for pacers and lower-level trotters. Horsemen should also note that short-term money condition races are now based on earnings over a horse's last four starts. For a complete condition sheet, along with race office contact information, visit the following link: http://tiogadowns.com/media/racing/condsheet.pdf   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, NY -- Final preparations are in place for the 2015 live harness racing season at Tioga Downs, as the Southern Tier racetrack is due to commence its tenth Standardbred meet this Saturday, May 2. Entries for the first weekend's races are due from horsemen on Wednesday, April 29.   "We're looking forward to another great year at Tioga Downs," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing at Tioga Downs. "We're grateful for the great product our horsemen continue to put on the track and for our loyal fans, both on- and off-track. We're excited to welcome everyone back as we bring harness racing to the Southern Tier for our tenth season."   The traditional Kentucky Derby Day opener features a special 5:00 p.m. post time, with a T-shirt and schedule magnet giveaway on the tarmac leading up to the races. Fans can also take part in a Derby hat contest ($300 top prize), and can enter a drawing to win a $1,000 wager on one horse in the Kentucky Derby.   The Williams Auto Group once again sponsors the season-long Horseplay Car Giveaway, where fans can earn entries all season for the chance to drive home in a new 2015 Toyota Corolla on closing night, Saturday, September 12.   Top pacers headline a blockbuster August 23 program, with the Roll With Joe (free-for-all) and Empire Breeders Classic (New York-sired three-year-olds) sharing top billing. Tioga also hosts the Tompkins-Geers stakes, with divisions for two- and three-year-olds of each gait and sex scheduled for the two Sundays prior. The Tioga Downs stakes schedule also includes a preliminary division of the Graduate series for four-year-olds, along with preliminary legs of the Kindergarten Classic for two-year-old trotters and the Miss Versatility for trotting mares. A full complement of New York Sire Stakes events also takes place throughout the 61-day meet.   While opening night carries a special 5:00 p.m. first post, Friday and Saturday evening programs (barring the occasional exception) throughout the season will commence at 6:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon racing action kicks off at 1:30 p.m. For a complete schedule, visit tiogadowns.com/racing.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

EAST RUTHERFORD (April 21, 2015) - The Meadowlands will begin it's live harness racing program on Saturday, May 2nd with a special post time of 5:30 P.M. In addition to the 12 live races contested at The Meadowlands on May 2nd, The Meadowlands will simulcast two races from Tioga Downs that will be offered as part of The Meadowlands live card through separate pool wagering, producing a 14-race program. The two races simulcast from Tioga will be races two (2) and four (4) on The Meadowlands program. The block of the first four races at The Meadowlands (two live and two from Tioga) will comprise a pick four with a low 15-percent takeout rate and a 50-cent minimum wager. Each race in the sequence will be run just 10 minutes apart, adding to the excitement of the wager which has been named the "Forty Minute Pick Four." The first four races on The Meadowlands program will take place from 5:30 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. Then, there will be a break in the live racing program for the running of the Kentucky Derby. Live racing will resume at 6:55 P.M. with the running of the fifth (5th) race, which will begin the $.50 cent Pick 5. The $.50 cent Early Pick 4 will begin in the seventh (7th) race at approximately 7:43 P.M. and the $.50 Cent Late Pick 4 will begin in the 11th race, approximately 9:12 P.M. The two Jackpot Super Hi-5 wagers will be offered on the 10th and last race on the program (anticipated to be race 14). The full wagering format for the Saturday, May 2nd program is as follows: The full wagering format for the Saturday, May 2nd program is as follows: Race Post Time Wagering 1 5:30 $.50 Cent Pick 4 (15% Takeout), Daily Double 2 – Simulcast from Tioga 5:40 $.10 Cent Superfecta 3 5:50 Daily Double, $.10 Cent Superfecta 4 – Simulcast from Tioga 6:00 $.10 Cent Superfecta 5 6:55 $.50 Cent Pick 5 ($30,000 Guaranteed), Daily Double 6 7:16 $1 Pick 3, $.10 Cent Superfecta 7 7:38 $.50 Cent Early Pick 4 ($25,000 Guaranteed) 8 8:00 $1 Pick 3, $.10 Cent Superfecta 9 8:21 $1 Pick 3, $.10 Cent Superfecta 10 8:45 $1 Pick 3, $.10 Cent Superfecta, $.20 Cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 11 9:07 $.50 Cent Late Pick 4 ($50,000 Guaranteed) 12 9:28 $1 Pick 3, $.10 Cent Superfecta 13 9:50 Daily Double, $.10 Cent Superfecta 14 10:11 $.10 Cent Superfecta, $.20 Cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 Win-Place-Show-Exacta-Trifecta Offered on All Races. Darin Zoccali Director of Racing Operations Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment | 1 Racetrack Drive | East Rutherford, NJ 07073            

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

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