Thursday, August 21, 2014


Get out your ten-gallon hats and your best cowboy duds! Tioga Downs Casino is excited to announce that they will be holding a weekend-long "Texas Trick Riders" event on August 29th and 30th, featuring extreme trick riding, roping, country vendors and more! Admission to this family-friendly event is free, and the performances will take place during live racing.

Starring throughout the weekend is Texas-based "Austin Anderson and the Texas Trick Riders". Third generation entertainer Austin Anderson brings a lifetime of knowledge to his craft. Austin started his career at the age of four, working with his parents in Anderson's Wild West Entertainment and themed equine shows. Austin created "The Texas Trick Riders" in 2004 and has toured the US and Canada. A movie stuntman, horseman and entertainer, Austin draws from his vast experience to train horses and people.

In addition, patrons are invited to enjoy a special $10 country BBQ buffet, located in the trackside tent. Featuring such favorites as BBQ pulled pork, chicken spiedies, baked beans and potato salad, the buffet is available Friday and Saturday nights from 5pm to 8pm.

Capping off the Western-themed weekend is a performance by Grammy-nominated country artist Trace Adkins on August 31st, sponsored by Tioga State Bank. Famous for such hits as "You’re Gonna Miss This", "Ladies Love Country Boys", and "Just Fishin'", this show is not to be missed! Tickets begin at $25 and are available from the Tioga Downs Gift Shop and

For more information regarding this event, please go to or visit us on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pickler Concert Proceeds Reach Record Goal! Tioga Downs and Jeff Gural To Donate over $100,000 to the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group!

Tioga Downs is proud to announce that ticket sales for the August 8th Kellie Pickler concert at Tioga Downs raised a total of $55,800, the entirety of which will be donated to the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group.

Tickets for the show were available for $15. In addition, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment Jeff Gural personally matched the amount for every ticket sold for the concert. So, each ticket garnered a donation of $30 for the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group for a total donation by Tioga Downs of $111,600 - beating last year’s contribution by over $30,000.

For the past several years, Tioga Downs and Mr. Gural have given back to our Veterans with proceeds from a summer concert. Concert ticket sales have increased year over year with acts like Wynonna, the Oak Ridge Boys and last year’s Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan concert, allowing Tioga Downs to increase their donations annually.

Mr. Gural stated, "This is an important way in which we are able to express our appreciation for those men and women who have so heroically served and protected us. We are pleased that this year’s concert surpassed all expectation and we thank all those in attendance for helping us do so."

Tioga Downs Casino is open year-round with video gaming machines, simulcast horse racing, restaurants, a sports bar and special entertainment events. It is located along the north side of NY Route 17/ I-86, two miles west of exit 62 in Nichols, NY.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tioga Downs Casino Offers $5 Buffet to Veterans and Active Military Tuesdays in August

Tioga Downs Casino will offer a special $5 buffet to Veterans and Active Military on Tuesdays in August, to thank those that have served our country. Veterans are invited to attend the County Fair Buffet for Lunch or Dinner and show their military ID and Players Club Card to the cashier starting Tuesday, August 12th to receive the $5 special price.

"It is an honor to be able to show support to all of our Veterans and Military. We owe them a tremendous amount of gratitude", said Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, Jeff Gural.

Tioga Downs Casino is open year-round with video gaming machines, simulcast horse racing, restaurants, a sports bar and special entertainment events. It is located along the north side of NY Route 17/ I-86, two miles west of exit 62 in Nichols, NY. You must be 18 years old to play video gaming machines, please play responsibly. For more information please contact us online at (1-888-WIN-TIOGA).

Monday, July 28, 2014


July 23, 2014

All Proceeds To Be Donated to the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group.

Tioga Downs Casino is proud to welcome country singer and American Idol alum Kellie Pickler to their stage on Friday, August 8th at 8pm, sponsored by Bully Hill Vineyards. Featuring such popular songs as “Red High Heels”, “I Wonder” and “Best Days of Your Life”, Kellie is an exciting addition to Tioga Downs’ annual Summer Concert Series! Tickets for the show are $15.

As a way of giving back to those who have so heroically served and protected us, all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group. In addition, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment Jeff Gural will personally match the amount of every ticket sold, making the final donation $30 per ticket. “Once again, I look forward to our annual concert where all the ticket sales go to help our veterans here in the Southern Tier”, stated Mr. Gural.

Last year’s benefit concert for the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group, which featured Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan, was a resounding success, raising over $80,000. Tioga Downs hopes to top last year’s amount with a goal of raising $100,000, if not more.

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and the Tioga Downs Gift Shop. This is an outdoor event. No refunds or exchanges due to weather related cancellations.

For more information, please go to or visit us on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tioga Downs Celebrates NYS Education Department Certification of SUNY Broome Community College’s Associate Degree Program in Casino Management

July 23, 2014  

Jeff Gural &Tioga Downs supported creation of this degree program from early idea through application for certification, Tioga Downs Executives to teach courses
New York State’s Education Department recently announced the certification of a new degree program in Casino Management to be offered at SUNY Broome Community College.
A Southern Tier facility - under careful rules and regulations put forth by legislation twice passed, the voters of New York State through referendum, the New York State Gaming Commission, and the New York Gaming Facility Location Board – is eligible to receive a full casino license. Tioga Downs is an applicant for that license.
“New York State has made responsible economic development and job creation its highest priority, and the return of gaming dollars being spent out-of-state is an important aspect of the Southern Tier’s growth,” said Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural. “SUNY Broome’s Casino Management program is an integral part of this effort – one the entire Tioga Downs family was very pleased to support.”
Tioga Downs Executives helped develop the SUNY program, participating in meetings over a two-year period, reviewing and adding to the curriculum, and aiding in course selection. Security, culinary, casino operations, marketing, equine, and HR departments all participated. Tioga Downs Executives will also be teaching courses.
The expansion of Tioga Downs to a full casino facility would require the education and training of new employees to manage table games and operations. New hospitality positions – in hotel, resort, restaurant, and spa facilities - would also be generated under the full gaming application submitted.
Tom Osiecki, Chief Operating Officer of Tioga Downs, stressed the importance of “pre-training and education” in staffing expanded operations: “While every casino and resort has their own programs for new employees, those coming to us with a degree in relevant management certainly will have a leg up. Tioga Downs’ application for a full casino license stresses how quickly it can be operational, with expanded contributions to our state and local economy. Making that happen depends on the education our employees receive.”
“SUNY Broome has been a pleasure to work with,” Jeff Gural concluded. “I was impressed by their enthusiasm, and commitment to preparing students for the opportunities provided by this exciting new economic development initiative.”
Tioga Downs Casino, Nichols, New York. You must be 18 years old to play video gaming machines. Please play responsibly. For more information, please contact us online at (1-888-WIN-TIOGA). 

Thursday, July 17, 2014


July 16, 2014

World Champion Joey Chestnut to Headline Event

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   For more details on chicken spiedies, visit Information on Major League Eating can be found at

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.