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Scibbereen (John MacDonald) wins Anthony Farina Pacing Series Final at Vernon Downs on Saturday night (May 20). Scibbereen ($8.60) who is trained by Kyle Spagnola was fourth after three-quarters passing Nostrovia (Wade Tomaszewski)in the stretch to win in 1:55.4. American JJ (Michael Miller) would be placed first to capture the the Robert Keller series final when Pipe Dream Express (Jimmy Wittemore) caused interference in the stretch and was placed second. American JJ ($4.00) is also trained by Miller. Vernon Downs returns to live action on Friday (May 26) at 6:45pm For more information please go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs.      

Sassy Hanover trained and driven by Claude Huckabone Jr., would defeat seven other harness racing geldings to capture the other feature ($7,300). Golden Gun would charge right for the lead and hold the lead before tiring in the stretch. Sassy Honover the 6 year old gelding by Cam's Card Shark would forge to the front to hold off the late charging Pointsman (Todd Frocione) for the victory in 1:51.01 Sassy Hanover, who is owned by Dennis and Simone Noud paid $12.20 for the win. Pointsman (Todd Frocione) would take second and Dragon Fever (John MacDonald) finished third. The Filly Princess (Andy Gardner) would use a late move at the top of the stretch to steal the Fillies & Mares pace ($7,300). Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) would take the lead right out of the gate. Purple N Gold (John MacDonald) would follow the filly almost the entire way. At the top of the stretch The Filly Princess would make a late move from fourth. The 9 year-old mare by Bettor's Delight would be forced three wide after Purple N Gold came out of the pocket. The Filly Princess would nip Looney Dune just before the wire to win in 1:53.2. The Filly Princess ($46.60) is owned by Standardbred Ventures Inc. and trained by Gardner. Looney Dune settled for second and Purple N Gold was third. Vernon Downs will resume live racing on Friday (May 19) at 6:45. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs

Billie's Blue battled Daleys Maserati in the stretch to win in 1:56.4. Manssive (Leon Bailey) would get the lead after the first-quarter and lead going into stretch before going off-stride. The 3 year-old filly trained by George Ducharme would win from far outside to win the stretch duel. Billie Blue would pay $6.60 for the win with Daley's Maserati second and Sweetie Pie (Ben McNeil) getting third. Vernon Downs will resume racing tomorrow (Sunday) with a special Mothers Day performance. The mothers will get a free rose while supplies last. The 10 race card will start at 1:05. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs.

Harness racing featured pace proved to be exciting. Sassy Hanover (Cluade Huckabone Jr) would jump right out of the gate to take the early lead. Hitting the first quarter in 27.2. Then Truman Gale would guide JDS Brent N Sheree first over from third to lead at the half in 56.0. Pantheon Hanover (Chris Lems) found himself six lengths back with a half mile to go. After JDS Brent N Sheree led them to three-quarters in 123.3, Sassy Hanover would go first over at the top of the stretch. Lems then would take Pantheon Hanover three wide. The 5 year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding would wear them down in the stretch to take the main event. Sassy Hanover finished second with JDS Brent N Sheree Hanging on for third. Pantheon Hanover who is owned by Philip Hale and trainer David Dewhurst paid $6.90 for the win. Vernon Downs returns to racing on Friday (May 12) at 6:45 pm. For more information visit our website at www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs.

Chris Lems celebrates Cinco de Mayo with five wins at Vernon Downs. Lems started the harness racing season with a win right off the bat in race 1. He drove the favorite, Gimme The Cash past front running Pegasus Point (Truman Gale) at the top of the stretch. Gimme The Cash (2.30) pulled away to win by 4 lengths over Jersey Boy (Ben McNeil). Lems would then capture race 4 with It's A Miracle (4.60) in 1:55. He would win race 5 with New Leaf (6.00) going three wide in the stretch to win by two lengths in 1.58.3. The hot driver would win race 7 with My Lucky Word (3.80) in 1:55.1. Race 8 was the feature Fillies and Mares Pace, for a purse of $7,300. "Lemsy" would cap off Cinco de Mayo winning for a fifth time with Tempus Seelster (2.90). Of course he was wearing the number five. Purple N Gold (John MacDonald) would take the lead from post 4 hitting the first quarter in 26.4. Tempus Seelster would then surge to the lead after sitting third by passing both Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) and Purple N Gold. Tempus Seelster would never look back, capturing the main event in 1:52.1. The 4 year-old Big Jim mare is owned by the Holland Racing Stable and trained by Tony Dinges. Purple N Gold would hold on for second with Looney Dune capturing third. Vernon Downs will have a 10 race card tomorrow (May 6) during Derby Day. They will start at a special post time of 3:35. A lucky fan will get the chance to cast a $500 Derby Dream Bet. Derby Day would not be complete without the popular Derby Hat contest. The Miracle Mile will also host a Food Truck Rodeo. For more information please visit our website at www.vernondowns.com John Horne

Vernon Downs opens its 64th season on Friday evening (May 5) with a nine-race harness racing card. Five fillies and mares will compete in the featured eighth race for a purse of $7300. Tempus Seelster, a 4-year-old mare, has been installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite. Trained by Tony Dinges, the Big Jim mare set a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 at Vernon Downs last season. Chris Lems will hold the reins of the nine-time winner from post position five. The veteran 7-year-old Purple N Gold (post position four) is the 5-2 morning line second choice. Trained and driven by John MacDonald, the Hot Pans mare has won 24 races and earned over $150,000 in her career. Rounding out the field are American Dancer ([Truman Gale], post 1), Bad Night Mare ([Matthew Adamczyk], post 2) and Looney Dune ([Ben McNeil], post 3). The first leg of the Robert E. Keller trotting series will serve as the Opening Night sub-feature, carded as race [2]. The 6-5 morning line favorite is 3-year-old filly Anja. Trained by David Dewhurst and driven by Chris Lems, the Credit Winner filly is looking for her third win in her last four starts. She won her last start at Saratoga, setting a lifetime mark of 1:59. Her main competition comes from the three-horse entry of trainer Michael Miller. The trio of Railroad Lane, Fred Mertz, and American JJ have been installed as the 5-2 second choice. Post time for Opening Night is 6:45. Calendars and T-shirts will be given out, and fireworks will follow the evening's last race. For more information, please visit our website at www.vernondowns.com. By John Horne for Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. - April 29, 2017 - Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, announced today that he has decided to open the 2017 harness  racing season next Friday, May 5, 2017, following a productive meeting in Albany on Wednesday. New York State Senator Joseph Griffo, representing the 47th District, New York State Senator John Bonacic, Chair of the Senate Racing Gaming and Wagering Committee, New York State Assemblyman J Gary Pretlow, Chair of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee, and Beth Garvey, top counsel to the Senate Republicans, were among the top political officials in attendance for Wednesday's meeting in Albany. In addition, Mr. Gural met on Thursday with Jamie Rubin on the Governor's staff who also seemed to understand the issues and the importance to the community of keeping Vernon Downs open. Two weeks ago, Jeff Gural announced that Vernon Downs would be delaying the opening day of racing amid significant financial losses due to the added competition from Yellow Brick Road, Lago and Rivers. Final preparations were underway at Vernon Downs to open the 64th season of live harness racing, which was set for Friday, April 21. However, increased competition from the addition of these three casinos with table games has taken revenue away from the property and caused Vernon to be losing on average about $150,000 per month since November. Jeff Gural indicated that tax relief requested from New York State, is necessary and would still allow Vernon to continue to employ approximately 300 local workers, preserve horse racing jobs and still allow approximately ten million dollars to go to education. "We were extremely disappointed to postpone the opening day of racing at Vernon Downs, however we feel very optimistic that necessary tax relief will come our way. Recognizing the hardship placed on the horsemen, Mr. Gural has decided to begin the season next Friday, May 5, 2017. I would like to thank Senator Griffo, Senator Bonacic, Assemblyman Pretlow and Ms. Garvey for their productive discussion at Wednesday's meeting in Albany. Since reopening Vernon as a racino in 2006, we have given close to $150 million to the State for education, yet Vernon Downs has the highest tax rate of its competitors. We look forward to getting this rectified expeditiously which is why we decided to open the new racing season next week which we know will benefit the region as well as the State of New York. The racino is hopeful that local officials will continue to weigh in and convince the State legislature to act quickly to help save the hundreds of jobs currently at risk at Vernon Downs. The horsemen also agree to support legislation that would lower the tax rate that would enable Vernon to have a solid long term future. Final preparations are underway at Vernon Downs to open the 64th season of live harness racing on Friday, May 5th. Other highlights of opening night include a race date t-shirt and wall calendar giveaway while supplies last plus a spectacular fireworks display following the evening's final race. Join us Saturday May 6th to watch and wager the Kentucky Derby. Derby post time is scheduled for 6:46 p.m. Live racing will take place with a doubleheader with post times at 2:35pm and 7:05pm, the Derby hat contest and our Food Truck Rodeo Festival from 2pm-8pm on the apron. On the track, Vernon Downs will host live racing Thursday thru Saturday with a few Sunday and usual holiday Monday matinee races planned. Several top-class stakes races including the Empire Breeders Classic, Zweig Memorial and Kindergarten Classic round out the 2017 racing calendar. In addition to its video lottery terminals, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY and Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 1,000 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com. Primary Media Contact: Ursula Maunder, Vernon Downs, (315) 829-3400 ext. 3293 or umaunder@vernondowns.com Secondary Media Contact: Justin Horowitz, Vernon Downs, (607) 372-1171, jhorowitz@tiogadowns.com

Vernon, N.Y. - April 13, 2017 - Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, announced today that he will be delaying the opening day of harness racing at Vernon Downs amid significant financial losses due to the added competition from Yellow Brick Road, Lago and Rivers. Final preparations are currently underway at Vernon Downs to open the 64th season of live harness racing, which was set for Friday, April 21. However, increased competition from the addition of these three casinos with table games has taken revenue away from the property and caused Vernon to be losing on average about $150,000 per month since November. "It is extremely unfortunate but we have no other choice than to postpone the opening day of racing at Vernon Downs. The property loses money on racing so opening racing now only makes a bad situation worse. We have requested tax relief from New York State and in meetings with the Governor's office it seemed they understood the problem and were prepared to act. Unfortunately, the legislature did not give it the priority it deserved. A tax break for Vernon Downs would not cost the taxpayers any money as taxes from gaming revenue lost from Vernon are currently being generated at our four main competitors in the region. Worse yet, including the horsemen, Vernon has the highest tax rate of its competitors. Lowering the tax rate is a way that New York can ensure that properties like Vernon Downs that do not have table games can remain competitive and continue to be an asset within the community. Since reopening Vernon as a racino in 2006 we have given almost $150 million to the State for education. My hope is that New York State will step to the plate to save the three hundred jobs of those that Vernon Downs currently employs in addition to all the jobs and benefits related to racing," commented Jeff Gural. Vernon Downs has confirmed that the property will open racing once it becomes clear that relief from the State of New York is going to be granted. The racino is hopeful that locally elected officials will weigh in and convince the legislature to act quickly to help save the hundreds of jobs currently at risk. In addition to its video lottery terminals, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY and Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 1,000 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com. Primary Media Contact: Ursula Maunder, Vernon Downs, (315) 829-3400 ext. 3293 or umaunder@vernondowns.com Secondary Media Contact: Justin Horowitz, Vernon Downs, (607) 372-1171, jhorowitz@tiogadowns.com

Four veterinarians (including one veterinarian requested by Mr. Gural) have examined the outstanding stallion prospect Betting Line and have deemed him unfit to race in 2017 due to a severe injury incurred on the eve of the 2016 Breeders Crown eliminations. As such, Mr. Gural will allow the offspring of Betting Line to compete at his racetracks. Limited bookings and shares remain in this outstanding son of Bettor's Delight. Please call Hanover Shoe Farms (717) 637-8931 for more information. From Hanover Shoe Farms

Nichols, N.Y. - Officials at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have unveiled a new-look stakes schedule for the 2017 harness racing season, with top horses converging on upstate New York to compete for over $3.7 million in purses. Top veteran Standardbreds and 3-year-old New York-sired pacers take center stage on a pair of blockbuster Sundays at Tioga Downs. The August 20 card features the $175,000 (est.) Roll With Joe for open pacers and both $250,000 (est.) Empire Breeders Classics for three-year-old pacers. One week later (August 27), distaff pacers contest the $175,000 (est.) Artiscape as a co-featured event with the $175,000 (est.) Crawford Farms Trot and the $175,000 (est.) Joie de Vie (formerly the Muscle Hill) Mares Trot, both of which move to the Southern Tier from Vernon Downs. "We have an amazing stakes lineup on back-to-back Sundays in August," said Jason Bluhm, Director of Racing at Tioga Downs. "I think our fans will enjoy seeing all the sport's top stars--all the top horses, drivers and trainers--converge on Tioga for what should be some phenomenal racing." Other stakes highlights at Tioga include a Graduate Series preliminary for 4-year-olds on the pace and on the trot, the Geers Stakes for 2- and 3-year-old pacers, the Arthur Tompkins Memorial for 2-year-old trotters, the W. N. Reynolds Stakes for 2-year-olds, and a Miss Versatility preliminary for distaff trotters. At Vernon Downs, the marquee event remains the Harry M. Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, but it has been moved from its late July position to two weeks after the Hambletonian, where it will now take place on Friday, August 18. The main event for top colts and geldings carries a $370,000 (est.) purse, while top fillies vie for $150,000 (est.). "We thought it was the perfect opportunity to move into this spot when Pocono decided not to race the Colonial in 2017," remarked Vernon Downs Director of Racing Scott Warren. "We are hopeful we'll be able to attract the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks winners." New York-sired 3-year-old trotters will compete in the $250,000 (est.) Empire Breeders Classics on Sunday, June 18, and the sport's finest 2-year-olds will compete for an estimated $600,000 as the Kindergarten Classic finals return to the Miracle Mile on Friday, November 3. Full 2017 schedules will be available in mid-winter, pending approval by the New York State Gaming Commission. Further stakes information is available at https://www.tiogadowns.com/racing/horsemen/. by James Witherite, Tioga and Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Scott Woogen and Brenda Messenger's Lauxmont Capri ($10.20) pounced from the pocket to capture Saturday (November 5) evening's featured $7,900 Miracle Mile pacing event at Vernon Downs, and John MacDonald sewed up top harness racing trainer and driver honors for the 2016 season, which came to an end with a 12-race card.   The 6-year-old Red River Hanover gelding drafted behind 9-5 favorite Skip Jive (Jay Randall) through splits of :25.4, :54.2, and 1:23.1 before making his move just before cornering for home. Once Mike Merton moved Lauxmont Capri off the pegs, he pressed immediately and collared Skip Jive at the eighth pole, accelerating away and repelling a late bid from Modern Gesture (Truman Gale) to prevail by a length in 1:51.4. Skip Jive faded to third.   Gary Messenger trains 20-time winner Lauxmont Capri.   John MacDonald's 197 driving wins and 54 training wins through the season earned him top honors in both categories. MacDonald finished the meet 48 wins clear of the second-best driver Chris Lems and five clear of training runner-up Andy Gardner.   In the annual "Turn Back the Clock Rewind Race", contested clockwise over seven-eighths of a mile, Avogadro Hanover ($8.20) slid up the pegs after tracking a contested pace, reaching the lead in the last sixteenth of a mile and completing the single circuit in 1:40.3, a neck better than Ton of Luck (Merton) and the collared pacesetter Bring Them Home (Justin Huckabone).   The 2017 season at Vernon Downs is slated to begin in April; fans and horsemen alike are advised to consult www.vernondowns.com through the winter for updates.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. - William Ballard's Gimme the Cash ($3.40) held off all comers in Friday (November 4) evening's harness racing  featured $6,700 trotting event at Vernon Downs, living up to odds-on billing. The 5-year-old Cash Hall mare sprinted to the fore early, clearing Count Speed (John MacDonald) with ease before controlling the terms through :27.1, :56.3, and 1:25.2 sectionals. Upon reaching head-stretch, Gimme the Cash responded to pressure from Count Speed up the pegs, but was also faced with a threat from the late-emerging My Lucky Word (Truman Gale) in the last yards. Ultimately, Gimme the Cash prevailed by a nose over My Lucky Word in 1:54.3, while Count Speed was a gamely chasing third. Angus MacDonald trains Gimme the Cash, who took her 13th career win and her third in four tries. For driver Chris Lems, the featured win kicked off a hat trick on the 13-race card only to be outdone by John MacDonald, who led all drivers with four victories on the night. Saturday (November 5) evening's closing night program features the annual "Turn Back the Clock Rewind Race", conducted clockwise at seven-eighths of a mile, as the eighth of 12 dashes carded. Horsemen and bettors alike should note a special 6:00 p.m. post time for the closing night card, with fireworks to follow. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. - Harness racing drivers Truman Gale and Fern Paquet, Jr. each captured three of Saturday (October 29) evening's 12 races at Vernon Downs. The 27-year-old Gale began his hat trick in the second race, a $3,900 second-level Miracle Mile event, with Card Knock Life ($8.90, 1:52.2), trained by his wife Jocelyn. Team "Night Train" would team up again in the fifth, a $3,600 maiden event, with Springhouse Mojo ($5.20, 1:56.1), who drew off to a convincing 11-1/4 length victory after making all the pace. Gale concluded his driving triple with Dave Dewhurst trainee Pantheon Hanover ($9.50, 1:54.1), who recovered from a break to circle the seventh-race field and just prevail in the $4,300 third-level pacing event from third-over. Paquet, a winner of over 2,800 races in his career, teamed up with trainer Joe Skowyra to take the $3,100 sixth event with Rockavellian ($6.70, 1:54.2) before holding sway in the $3,300 first-level distaff ninth race for a narrow front-end win with Paul Minckler trainee Table Games ($6.00, 1:55.3). Paquet concluded his hat trick in the $3,500 first-level eleventh, pulling the pocket and vaulting forward with Jordan Hope trainee Ultra Shok N ($4.80, 1:53.4). The evening's featured event, a $6,700 pace, saw Damon Blue Chip ($11.60) rally off cover and edge away to a 1:53.4 score for trainer-driver John MacDonald. The J P Stables own the 7-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding. Closing weekend at Vernon Downs kicks off Friday (November 4) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. - The W. Springtime Racing Stable and Shannon Brott's Skip Jive ($9.70) made every yard a winning one in a sparkling 6-1/4 length victory in Friday (October 28) evening's harness racing featured $7,900 Miracle Mile Pace at Vernon Downs. The 3-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding achieved the early lead from his midpack draw, sprinting off from Cheyenne Raider (Truman Gale) and controlling the pace through splits of :26.4, :55.1, and 1:22.3. Skip Jive edged away upon turning for home, leaving Cheyenne Reider well in his wake at the completion of his 1:51.3 mile. Modern Gesture (Chris Lems) emerged late to take the runner-up spot off a clear stalking trip, defeating the tiring Cheyenne Reider by 1-1/2 lengths. Odds-on favorite Super Soph (Brett Derue) only managed fourth place off an even effort. Fern Paquet, Jr. drove Skip Jive for trainer Dave Spagnola. Leading driver John MacDonald proved victorious in half of the evening's 12 races, teaming up with Azucar ($5.30, 1:57.3), Triple Charm ($5.30, 1:55.4), Jinxy's Delight ($3.60, 1:53.3), Some Major Beach ($3.60, 1:53.4), Well Excuuuse Me ($3.10, 1:54.2), and Ittakestwobaby ($7.80, 1:56). A 12-race card is on tap for Saturday (October 29) evening at Vernon Downs; post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. – Homer Hochstetler and Robert Buddig’s Sweet Thing ($9.10) made every yard a winning one in Friday (October 21) evening’s featured $11,000 Miracle Mile/Open Handicap Trot at Vernon Downs, evading local harness racing standout and odds-on favorite J A T O by 4-1/4 lengths to hand him a second straight Miracle Mile defeat. Fern Paquet, Jr. wasted no time putting the 4-year-old Chocolatier mare in play, sprinting to the fore and forcing Pop I (Harry Landy) into the pocket through a :27.2 first quarter mile before rating a :56.3 half. While Sweet Thing used a :27.3 sectional through the far turn to amass four lengths of clearance on the field, J A T O (Chris Lems) had sustained first-over gains to take second from the weakening and subsequently breaking Pop I. Despite J A T O’s best efforts to chase Sweet Thing, the pacesetter held clear while driven to a 1:53.3 victory. J A T O held second by half a length over Its Payday Friday (Ronnie Morales), who split foes at head-stretch to escape traffic and stay on up the pegs. For Sweet Thing, the featured win was the 11th of her career and her third in four starts since returning to the Miracle Mile from Saratoga. Paquet’s featured win accounted for half of a driving double, a feat equalled by Truman Gale in the night’s late double. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (October 22) evening; post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. - Ellen McNeil's Looney Dune ($4.10) proved simply dominant at even money in Thursday (October 20) evening's featured $6,100 distaff pace at Vernon Downs, controlling the pace en route to an eight-length harness racing win. The 8-year-old Bettor's Delight mare sprinted clear from her outside post 5 with ease, leading pocket rival Love You Bye (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through early sectionals of :26.2 and :55. With five-sixteenths of the mile to go, Ben McNeil encouraged Looney Dune to accelerate away, and she responded by mounting an eight-length lead while driven out to a 1:51.2 triumph. Tiger Boudoir (Truman Gale) wedged through up the pegs to claim the runner-up spot, while Jinxy's Delight (John MacDonald) rallied off stalled cover to take third, another length back. John McNeil, III trains Looney Dune, whose sixth seasonal win increased her career tally to 39. For Ben McNeil, the win capped a driving double on the nine-race card. Chris Lems, John MacDonald, and Fern Paquet, Jr. also accounted for two wins apiece. Live racing returns to the Miracle Mile with a 10-race card on Friday (October 21) evening; post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

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