Thursday, July 17, 2014

TIOGA DOWNS HOLDS WORLD CHICKEN SPIEDIE-EATING CHAMPIONSHIP

July 16, 2014

World Champion Joey Chestnut to Headline Event
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Tioga Downs Casino is excited to announce that the facility will be holding the first-ever World Chicken Spiedie-Eating Competition, featuring World Champion Joey Chestnut. The 10-minute, all-you-can-eat contest is presented by Lupo's and will take place on Saturday, July 26, at 7pm, trackside at Tioga Downs.

The chicken spiedie, which claims Endicott as its birthplace, is a sandwich comprised of grilled, marinated chicken cubes on a bun. The term "spiedie" comes from the Italian spiedo, meaning spit, or spiedini, referring to cubes of meat cooked on a skewer.

Sanctioned by Major League Eating, the contest will feature Major League Eaters from around the country. Many have just competed in the July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Championship in Coney Island, NY, which was won by Joey Chestnut for the eighth consecutive year.

"Introducing Joey Chestnut to the chicken spiedie is like giving a paintbrush to Picasso," said MLE Chairman George Shea. "We expect a monumental record that will fully honor the deep history of the chicken spiedie and its cultural significance in upstate New York."

In addition to World #1 ranked eater Joey "Jaws" Chestnut of San Jose, CA., a number of famous eaters will be present, including #10 Jeff "The Beastman" Butler of Cleveland, Ohio, #23 Ronnie "The Real American" Hartman of Ft. Stewart, Georgia, Marcos "The Monster" Owens, #16, "Buffalo" Jim Reeves, #21, Boston, NY, Eric "Badlands" Booker, #22, Selden, NY and #26 Crazy Legs Conti of New York City.


In addition to bragging rights, competitors will vie for a cash purse that totals $5,000. More information on Tioga Downs is available at www.tiogadowns.com.   For more details on chicken spiedies, visit www.spiedies.com. Information on Major League Eating can be found at www.ifoce.com.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

War Cry Hall holds sway in top Tioga trot


by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

After controlling the terms throughout, War Cry Hall ($3.80) gave everything he had in the final hundred yards to prevail in Sunday (July 6) afternoon's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 trot at Tioga Downs.

War Cry Hall holds sway late (Fred Brown photo)
The five-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall wasted no time achieving the lead, sprinting clear of Marion Mayflower (Aaron Byron) and maintaining a steady yet strong pace through a :56.3 half mile.  On the backstretch, In Your Room (Mike Simons) commenced a first-over rally, pushing War Cry Hall to his limit on the far turn.  Through the stretch, Howard Parker called upon War Cry Hall for every last ounce of energy, and the favorite did not disappoint, digging in to stave off not only the persistent In Your Room, but a belated stand-side charge from Stitch In Time (Tyler Buter), who rallied strongly to take second.

Jim Raymer trains War Cry Hall for the Harbor Racing Stable, LLC.

Live racing returns to Tioga on Monday (July 7), with the first of 11 races on the special weeknight card scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Table Talk tops in Tioga NYSS


by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

After not getting involved in the Fan Hanover until far too late, the Wiz Kids Stable's Table Talk ($4.60) returned to her winning ways in a $39,900 New York Sire Stakes event for three-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday (June 28) evening at Tioga Downs.

Table Talk just prevails in 1:52 (Fred Brown photo)
The Bart Dalious-trained daughter of Bettor's Delight was the fastest winner in three Sire Stakes divisions on the evening, yielding the lead to Spreester (Jim Morrill, Jr.) after controlling a reasonable--yet spritely--:27.4 first quarter mile.  After being boxed in by the first-over Scandalicious (Jeff Gregory) through a strong :55.4 middle half, Jim Marohn, Jr. was able to wedge wide with Table Talk on the approach to the home straight, battling with Spreester for the final 150 yards and prevailing by a scant quarter-length in 1:52.  Just Add Vodka (Aaron Byron) finished an even third off a ground-saving trip.

The second division saw Medusa ($13.60) escape a three-race losing streak, finding room at the pegs in the closing yards after being boxed in for three-eighths of a mile to just beat Sweetnsinful in 1:53.3.  Aaron Byron drove the Bettor's Delight filly to her sixth career win for trainer Paul Kelley.  Blush Hanover ($3.90) held sway in the final division, driven clear to hold off a pocket-sitting Bettor Chill Out in 1:53.3.  Jim Morrill, Jr. drove the daughter of Art Major to victory for trainer Linda Toscano.

Live racing continues at Tioga on Sunday (June 29), with a 13-race afternoon card due to begin at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Neighsay Hanover fends off all foes in Tioga trot


by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

After being pushed to a :26.4 first quarter, Neighsay Hanover ($6.40) dug in to hold off a barrage of late threats, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in Saturday (June 14) evening's $11,000 Miracle Mile 2 trot at Tioga Downs.

The eight-year-old Muscles Yankee entire dueled with Wisenheimer (Mike Merton) on the first turn, sprinting clear through a torrid early tempo before rating a :56.2 half mile.  On the backstretch, Neighsay Hanover had to deal with Wisenheimer again, facing pressure again to a 1:25.1 three-quarter split.  With Wisenheimer starting to fade, Cathy's Princess (Jim Meittinis) gearing up three-wide and I Love New York (Bruce Clarke) readying for a stand-side rally, Ray Schnittker implored Neighsay Hanover for all he had in the stretch, getting a bit of separation off the turn.  He turned in a 1:55.2 victory, holding off a late inside rally from Oh No Three O (Jeffrey Long).  I Love New York, carried wide off the corner by a breaking Cathy's Princess, rallied for third past the pocket-sitting A Lister.

Schittker, the winning trainer-driver, co-owns Neighsay Hanover with Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo, and Fam Alber Horse Racing.

A pair of first-round divisions of the M&J Oil and Lube late-closing series for distaff pacers were contested earlier in the card, with Godiva Seelster (Fern Paquet, Jr., 1:53.4) and Jets Are On (Corey Braden, 1:54.1) victorious in their respective events.

Live racing resumes tomorrow (Sunday, June 15) at Tioga, with the first of 13 races on a Father's Day program slated for 1:30 p.m. EDT.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Rock N Load proves gutsy in Tioga distaff


by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Embroiled in an intense duel with Little Santamonica for the final three-eighths of a mile, Edward and James Hall's Rock N Load ($9.70) pushed clear in the last hundred yards to win Friday (June 13) evening's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 distaff pace at Tioga Downs by a widening 1-1/2 lengths.

Rock N Load prevailed in a gutsy effort (Fred Brown photo)
John Cummings, Jr. settled in midpack with the six-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, drafting well behind the :56.2 half mile rated by 9-5 favorite Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron) before commencing her first-over salvo.  On the backstretch, the two locked together, accelerating together through a :27.1 third quarter.  With Rock N Load a length in front on the entry to the far turn and the pocket-sitting Inittowinafortune (Jim Meittinis) working her way three-wide for a late bid, Little Santamonica dug back in for a brief lead off the turn, but was ultimately worn down, giving way in deep stretch.  Rock N Load held sway from the late-closing Inittowinafortune, prevailing in 1:51.3.  Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) stayed on late to finish third.

Rock N Load, now a 27-time winner, is trained by Daniel Gill.

Earlier on the card, two second-round divisions of the Morrisville College late-closing series for trotters were contested, with Cal Chips Brother (1:54.3, Corey Braden) and You Rock My World (1:55.2, Brandon Simpson) both scoring repeat wins in their respective races.

Racing resumes at Tioga on Saturday (June 14) evening, with the first of 12 races due to begin at 6:15 p.m. EDT.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I Love New York loves Tioga


by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

After showing an explosive late kick to prevail in last week's sub-featured trot at Tioga Downs, I Love New York ($34.80) prevailed with a more extended bid in Saturday (June 7) evening's featured $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 event, sweeping past a pair of dueling pacesetters en route to a 1:55 victory.

I Love New York proves a 16-1 upset winner
(Fred Brown photo)
The six-year-old Broadway Hall entire tracked from midfield as 2-1 favorite Lutetium (Greg Merton) rated a :56 half mile.  On the backstretch, Cold Certified (Aaron Byron) engaged Lutetium in an extended duel, while trainer-driver Bruce Clarke positioned I Love New York second-over on the approach to the far turn, fanning three-wide after a 1:24.4 three-quarter split.  With the leading pair dueling into defeat, I Love New York swept to the fore, driven to hold sway from a deeper-closing In Your Room (Mike Simons) and the five-wide Bouncing Bax (Howard Parker), prevailing by three-quarters of a length.

Clarke co-owns I Love New York with John Coffey and Patricia Waldeck.

Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 8), with a 13-race afternoon card slated for a 1:30 p.m. (EDT) start.

Rock N Load ends Little Santamonica's win streak at Tioga


by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Edward and James Hall's Rock N Load ($12.00) controlled the pace throughout in Friday (June 6) evening's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 Handicap distaff pace at Tioga Downs, turning aside a first-over challenge from 3-5 favorite Little Santamonica en route to a 1:52.4 victory.

Rock N Load scores in pillar-to-post fashion
(Fred Brown photo)
The six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare achieved the lead easily, clearing Miss Annie J (Jason Bartlett) through a :28.1 first quarter and controlling the terms through a rated :57 half.  On the backstretch, Aaron Byron moved Little Santamonica first-over, but her attempt at a sixth consecutive win was rebuffed by Rock N Load on the entry to the far turn.  With the favorite fading, Rock N Load was left to stave off a late rally from Passion R Virginie (Jim Marohn, Jr.), digging in to prevail by 1-1/2 lengths.  Miss Annie J stayed on for third off the pocket trip.

John Cummings, Jr. drove Rock N Load for trainer Daniel Gill.

Four $12,500 first-round divisions of the Morrisville College late-closing series were also on the card, with Cal Chips Brother (1:54.3, Corey Braden) fastest of the four winners.  Stitch in Time (1:56, Tyler Buter), Spaced Out (1:56.3, Mike Simons), and You Rock My World (1:56.2, Jason Bartlett) prevailed in their respective divisions, as well.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sweet Lou could not be caught in Roll With Joe


by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media


Utilizing a powerful push clear in the far turn, Sweet Lou ($2.60) could not be caught in the $160,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace at Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 1) afternoon, turning in an impressive 1:48.3 victory.

Sweet Lou takes the $160,000 Roll With Joe
in 1:48.3 (Fred Brown photo)
The five-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser floated forward to track Bolt the Duer (Mark MacDonald) in the early stages, brushing to the fore after a :26.2 first quarter and keeping the pace solid en route to a :53.4 half mile.  On the backstretch, Ron Pierce pushed clear with Sweet Lou, putting four lengths on the field in a :26.3 third quarter.  Approaching the final 200 yards, it seemed the pace may have too taxing, as Sweet Lou was all-out through the stretch and Heston Blue Chip (Tim Tetrick) found room to chase after being locked in.  Sweet Lou dug in late, staving off Heston Blue Chip to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths.  Bolt the Duer stayed on to be third, while Word Power (Jim Morrill, Jr.) sustained a wide bid off a third-over trip to take fourth.

Ron Burke trains Sweet Lou for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura.

El Bloombito was fastest in three
NYSS divisions (Fred Brown photo)
The undercard saw three-year-old pacing colts and geldings contest a trio of $41,300 New York Sire Stakes divisions, with El Bloombito (1:50.2) turning in a spectacular four-length win in rein to Tim Tetrick.  Linda Toscano trains the American Ideal colt for the Stake Your Claim Stable, the Camelot Stable, and Fred Wallace.

Sir Sam's Z Tam (1:52.1, Patrick Lachance) and Twin B Speedo (1:53.0, Mark MacDonald) captured the other divisions.

Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Monday (June 2) evening, with the first of 13 races scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Antigua Hanover a gutsy winner in Tioga distaff feature


by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Faced with a host of challengers in the final 300 yards, Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter's Antigua Hanover ($8.20) had just enough left in reserve, digging in to stave off three late-charging rivals en route to a 1:53.3 score in Friday (May 31) evening's $11,000 Miracle Mile 2 pace for fillies and mares at Tioga Downs.

Antigua Hanover digs in to prevail (Fred Brown photo)
The four-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was beaten to the first turn by Canaco Star (Mike Merton), but brushed to the fore immediately upon Canaco Star's clearing at the apex of the first turn.  After setting sensible early splits of :28.2 and :56.3, Antigua Hanover turned aside a first-over challenge from If I Didnt Care (Rick Dane), edging clear to the top of the stretch.

After dismissing If I Didnt Care's challenge on the approach to the far turn, Antigua Hanover withstood late charges from eventual runner-up Bazooka Terror (Aaron Byron) and third-place finisher Dirty Girty (Greg Merton), digging in late to prevail by a diminishing three-quarters-length margin.

Brandon Simpson handled the driving duties aboard Antigua Hanover for trainer Amber Buter.

Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 1) afternoon, with the Roll With Joe Pace headlining the card.  Non-wagering events begin at 12:45 p.m. EDT, with the first of 13 pari-mutuel races scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Eastend Eddie triumphs in Tioga return


by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

The Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi's Eastend Eddie ($9.10) made his return to Tioga Downs a winning one, pulling clear after making a three-wide push off the final turn en route to a 1:52.2 victory in Monday (May 26) afternoon's $14,000 Open I Pace.

Eastend Eddie prevails in going-away fashion
(Fred Brown photo)
The six-year-old Million Dollar Cam gelding floated into midfield, stalking a pressured pace disputed by Prairie Jaguar, Fireyourguns, and Electrofire.  With Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) pushing clear to a :27 first quarter and Electrofire (John Cummings, Jr.) moving first-over to maintain a pressured pace after a :55.2 half mile, Dan Rawlings moved Eastend Eddie second-over to track live cover to the far turn, subsequently swinging three-wide on the far turn.  Eastend Eddie responded instantly to Rawlings's move, pushing to the lead in the final 150 yards and drawing clear for a handy victory.  Fireyourguns (Aaron Byron) split rivals late after being boxed in to save second, while Electrofire was an out-kicked third.

Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Saturday, May 31, with first post at 6:15 p.m. EDT.