Friday, March 12, 2010

Payments for Tioga & Vernon Stakes Due March 15

Published: March 11, 2010 10:25 am ET

Tioga and Vernon Downs will offer over $4 million in stakes over the course of the 2010 racing season, and the time has come to secure eligibility for those lucrative races.

The $1 million Empire Breeders Classic for New York-sired three-year-olds will kick off the season for statebreds on Memorial Day weekend, offering $250,000 (est.) finals for all divisions. Due by March 15 are the three-year-old sustaining, two-year-old nomination, and stallion nomination payments.

The Kindergarten Classic has been restructured to race freshmen trotters only in 2010, and the added money has been increased, raising the final for both colts and fillies to $120,000 (est.). The series will offer five legs, beginning at the Meadowlands Racetrack in late July and continuing at Vernon through the September 24 finals. A $500 nominating payment is due on March 15 with another $500 due April 15 to sustain.

The Bettors Delight 'Bred in New York to take on the World,' an open pace, has been added to the existing set of races for the older stars of the sport. In fact, all of the stakes offered for older open types -- the Credit Winner, Conway Hall and Artiscape -- have been enriched with more added dollars to raise the purses for each to $200,000 (est.) in 2010. These races require a $2,000 March 15 nomination and a $2,000 April 15 sustaining payment.

The popular Miss Versatility mare trot will return on July 30 with the first leg at the Meadowlands, and will travel to Tioga and Vernon before the $120,000 (est.) final at the Delaware Ohio County Fairgrounds. Payments are $1,500, due in both March and April.

The Rags to Riches series for claiming horses has been discontinued.

Complete information on the aforementioned races is available at the Tioga website.

Vernon Downs will also host the 2010 edition of the two-year-old John Simpson Memorial Stakes. Those races have been scheduled in early October as a prelude for freshman trotters and pacers on their way to Kentucky. Eligibility requires a March 15 payment and the conditions do provide for supplemental nominations. The Tompkins-Geers stakes will race at Tioga Downs in mid July, two-year-old payments for those races are also due in March.

The Hambletonian Society handles the payments for the Simpson and Tompkins-Geers.