Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dr Dreamy and Galimony capture Empire Breeder’s Classic Finals at Tioga Downs

Dr Dreamy and Brian Sears captured the $217,250 final of the Empire Breeders Classic on Sunday night at Tioga Downs.

Sears got away third as the field raced past the opening quarter in 27.4 with David Miller and Malicious moving to the front.

However, Sears let no dust settle and moved Dr Dreamy to the front with a second panel of 27.1, reaching the half in 55.

"I had to make my move and get my horse to the front because he couldn’t come first over," said Sears.

George Brennan sent Art Two D Two first over and applied pressure to the pacesetter as the field reached three quarters in 1:23.1.

The field turned for home and Dr Dreamy had put away Art Two D Two, however had to deal with a fresh threat from Malicious and Miller through the stretch.

Sears and Dr Dreamy proved to much for Malicious through the stretch and paced away to a length and a half victory in a new lifetime best of 1:51.

“I know that horse has a lot of heart and a lot of try in him so I was pretty confident, but that was a pretty good horse on my back so I was real proud of my horse tonight," Sears confidently explained. "He raced a great race.”

Malicious (David Miller) finished second, while Art Two D Two (George Brennan) hung on for third after a tough first over trip.

Dr Dreamy is a 3-year old son of Art Major-Candy Stripes, who is trained by George Teague Jr. for the partnership of Only Money, George Teague Jr., Theodore Gewertz, and Teague Racing Partnership.

3-Year-Old Filly Final

Galimony and David Miller took home the $202,200 Empire Breeders Classic Final for the fillies in a new lifetime best of 1:52.4.

Miller sent Galimony out of the gate from post position number two and sat the pocket trip behind Barks Like A Dog and George Brennan, who cut through fractions of 27 and 57.

Brennan headed Barks Like A Dog towards three quarters and stepped on the gas as Hula’s Z Tam and Pat LaChance applied steady first over pressure through a third quarter of 27.4.

Galimony watched the action from third and as the field reached the top of the stretch Miller sent the filly three wide and surged past to stop the tele-timer in 1:52.4.

"I was able to slip out around the last turn and the horse did the rest," said Miller in the winner's circle. "She felt like she was going to win heading into the stretch. When I tipped her three deep and pulled her earplugs, she shot."

Hula’s Z Tam, (Pat LaChance) despite a tough first over journey, hung on for second while Barks Like A Dog (George Brennan) was third.

Interestingly, Brennan drove Galimony in last week's elimination, but chose to drive Barks Like A Dog instead in the final.

“Very, very surprising," said trainer Linda Toscano of Brennan's decision. "I didn’t expect Georgie to pick off. He liked her in both starts that he raced her in and when he picked her off I was happy to be able to put David down."

Galimony is a 3-year old daughter of Artiscape-Ideal Gal and is owned by the Stake Your Claim Stable of Secaucus, New Jersey.

Impressive Char Captures Feature at Tioga Downs

Impressive Char and Greg Merton captured Saturday night’s $10,000 Class B Handicap Pace for fillies and mares at Tioga Downs.

Merton sent Impressive Char to the front from post position nine and never looked back pacing through fractions of 26.3, 56.2, 1:25.1, before stopping the tele-timer in 1:55.

It was the sixth win of the year for the 5-year old Jody’s Cam-Lake Hills Char mare for Orville Rursch of Illinois.

Kevin Johnson trains Impressive Char, who increased her seasonal earnings to more than $53,000.

Leading driver Corey Braden and Fern Paquet Jr. both posted driving doubles on the night’s 10-race card.

Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Sunday, May 30th with a special post time of 6:30 PM, which features the finals of the Empire Breeders Classic with purses of more than $400,000.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Malicious favored in $217,250 EBC Final

Malicious and David Miller have been given the nod as the 2-1 morning line favorites for the $217,250 Empire Breeders Classic Final for 3-year-old colt pacers on Sunday night at Tioga Downs. Post time is 6:30 p.m.

The son of Bettor's Delight-Silky won his initial sophomore start last Sunday in the EBC elimination in 1:51.3 for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. The connections of Malicious have selected post position number one for the final and will start just inside of the other division winner, Dr Dreamy. Brian Sears will do the piloting of Dr Dreamy for George Teague, Jr. The son of Art Major-Candy Stripes also won his division last week in 1:51.3.

Here's a look at Dr Dreamy's win in last weeks 2nd elimination.

Filly Pacers
Hula’s Z Tam and Patrick Lachance have been made the favorite for the $202,200 EBC final for 3-year-old filly pacers. Hula’s Z Tam won her division last week in 1:53.4 in her initial sophomore start, using a back half of :54.4 to win by 1-1/2 lengths.

Here's a look at Hula's Z Tam looking impressive in her elimination last week.

Barks Like A Dog, from the Ray Schnittker stable, was the second division winner with Schnittker in the sulky. This week Schnittker has turned the lines over to Meadowlands leading driver George Brennan and the duo will start from post position four.

Below are the fields for the EBC finals:

$202,200 Empire Breeders Classic Final-3-year-old filly pacers
1-1-Shaky Hanover-Jason Bartlett-Josh Green
2-2-Galimony-David Miller-Linda Toscano
3-3-Hula’s Z Tam-Patrick Lachance-Patrick Lachance
4-4-Barks Like A Dog-George Brennan-Ray Schnittker
5-5-Lady Major-Brian Sears-Sam Serianni
6-6-Love And Honor-D.R. Ackerman-D.R. Ackerman
7-7-Tia Maria Hanover-Jimmy Marohn Jr.-Tim Lanpher
8-8-Ladybones-John Campbell-Bruce Saunders
9-9-Rough Sketch-Jim Morrill Jr.-Ed Lohmeyer

$217,250 Empire Breeders Classic Final-3-year-old colt pacers
1-3-TGIF-Jim Morrill Jr.-Phil Fluet
1A-4-Major Work Of Art-Phil Fluet-Phil Fluet
2-1-Malicious-David Miller-Dr. Ian Moore
3-2-Dr Dreamy-Brian Sears-George Teague Jr.
4-5-Flexjet-Dan Cappello Jr.-Chet Poole Jr.
5-6-Jo Pa’s Fod-John Campbell-Jim Campbell
6-7-S N P Bluechip-Matt Kakaley-James Dean
7-8-Art Two D Two-George Brennan-Joe Pavia Jr.
8-9-OK Commander-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair

Friday, May 28, 2010

Empire Breeders Classic Finals for Trotters Set for Monday at Vernon Downs

Vernon Downs will host the rich finals of the 2010 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) as part of a Memorial Day matinee card with a post time of 1:15 PM.

Colts and Geldings Division
The $235,900 EBC Final for sophomore trotting colts is led by Ray Schnittker’s entry of Big Stick Lindy and Shaq Is Back.

Those two were last week’s elimination winners, with Big Stick Lindy scoring the faster 1:55.4 victory and Shaq benefitting from the disqualification of Whata Winner to be placed first in 1:57.1.

A full field of nine competes in this, the sixth race on the day.

The Schnittker entry is favored on the morning line at 5-2. Schnittker will also drive Shaq is Back while Tim Tetrick comes in to drive Big Stick Lindy.

Whata Winner (Jim Doherty) is second choice at 7-2 with Stimulus (Daniel Dube) the third choice at 9-2.

Filly Division
The EBC fillies will chase a $234,900 prize and Impressive Kemp has emerged as a clear cut favorite in this test.

She has won both of her seasonal starts right here at Vernon and has yet to flare a nostril in the process.

Ron Pierce will drive for trainer Noel Daley.

Southwind Samurai is the other elim winner and leads the competition as the 5-2 morning line favorite. Pat Berry drives for trainer Bjorn Noren.

The Monday card is a strong one with five divisions of the Miracle Mile class pacers supporting the stakes.

High School Seniors to Race at Tioga Downs for Scholarships

Tioga Downs, the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen’s Association, and the Harness Horse Breeders’ of NYS are joining together to host a scholarship race for high school seniors.

Tioga Downs, the STHHA, and the Harness Horse Breeders’ of NYS are working with the following five local area high schools (Athens Area High School, Owego Free Academy, Sayre High School, Tioga Central High School, and Waverly High School).

Hannah Alford from Athens Area High School will be teamed up with trainer-driver Phil Fluet.

Mary Goodspeed of Tioga Central High School will be teamed with Tioga Downs leading driver Corey Braden.

Kaley Goodrich of Owego Free Academy will be with trainer Edgar Clarke.

Katherin Cybulak from Sayre High School will learn from Tioga Downs reigning co-trainer of the year Mike Deters.

Martha Vandewall from Waverly High School will join trainer Tim Lanpher.

Students will be required to meet with their trainer-driver at Tioga Downs on three occasions (May 29th, June 5th, and June 12th from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 pm) before the race takes place to ensure safety and understanding of the basics of horse racing. The students will ride in a double seated jog cart with their professional driver-trainer.

The race will take place on Sunday, June 13th at Tioga Downs before live harness racing begins, which features the $200,000 Bettor’s Delight Open Pace.

Scholarships for the event will be given out in the order of finish of the race, 1st place: $3,000, 2nd place: $2,000, 3rd place: $1,200, 4th place: $800, and 5th place: $500.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Are You Feeling Lucky?

Sometimes it's just your day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2010 was that day for Angel Cruz of Corning, NY.

Mr. Cruz can now go on a cruise... or two after winning $12,214.54 playing a one-cent Hot Shots video gaming machine.

No word on what he's going to do with the money.

What would you do if you hit a nice, juicy five-figure jackpot?

Blue Oyster Cult Ready to Rock the Downs

Blue Oyster Cult is set to open the Tioga Downs Summer Concert Series Friday night, May 28. The show starts at 8:00 PM and tickets start at just $10 at the Tioga Downs Gift Shop and Ticketmaster outlets. Here's a preview of the show from the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin:

Pardon the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame directors for occasional bouts of myopia.

Case in point: An American band that's frequently cited as a major influence on hard rock/metal and which has won over crowds and critics for 40 years with an über-rich catalog. But remember, even Black Sabbath was slighted until 2006, so Blue Öyster Cult's Eric Bloom knows the band is between rock and a harder place. Besides, an anthropologist told him so.

Rising from Long Island in the dawn of metal, BÖC's unique melodic stylings amid on-your-feet-or-on-your-knees riffage has sown chart-busting, star-crossed lovers ("Don't Fear The Reaper"), stratospheric dreamscapes ("Stairway to the Stars," "Astronomy"), diz-busters and brutal reality tales ("The Last Days of May"). Add umlauts and hooked crosses and it's no wonder the early days brought comparisons to Sabbath. But singer/songwriter/group rock Bloom begs to differ.

"I don't think of us as a metal band," Bloom said last week. "I think there's some material that might qualify, but we never really thought of ourselves as a really heavy band. Certainly, '(Don't Fear The) Reaper,' which is our biggest hit, is far from being a metal tune. Neither is 'Burning For You.' I've always thought of us more in the genre of hard rock rather than heavy metal.

"I think the lyrical content lent itself early on maybe to that genre, writing about dark subject matter, monster movies, science fiction, the comic book genre. But we were never that leaden."

Fueling that early metal vibe were amp-maxed delicacies such as "Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll," "7 Screaming Diz-Busters" and "Dominance and Submission."

But then Bloom started prowling the stage, signature Gibson SG in tow, with an eye to mass effect, rolling out enduring gems such as "Reaper," "Summer Of Love" and, of course, that iconic lizard.

Then along came that anthropologist and Alice Cooper to put BÖC in its place.

"I saw some documentary about an anthropologist who tried to track the history of metal," Bloom said. "And it interviewed Alice Cooper and all the grandfathers of the movement. And it did mention us in a chart they had. We were sort of under an offshoot of the metal movement, in the hard rock category — which I thought was pretty much right on."

And though the years have brought new Cult members to the fold, BÖC remains a tight, time-tested, pedigreed crew. Laying down their classic sound with Bloom and perennially under- appreciated guitarist Buck Dharma are Richie Castellano on guitar and keys, drummer Jules Radino and Rudy Sarzo on bass. That would be the same Sarzo from Ozzie, Quiet Riot and Whitesnake.

And Bloom's reaching into BÖC's deep song pockets on this latest tour, changing up the set list on a regular basis. Some of the songs are giving him an extra charge to perform these days.

"'Black Blade' (off 1980's 'Cultosaurus Erectus' and co-written with award- winning fantasy and sci-fi author Michael Moorcock) is a lot of fun for me," Bloom said. "I was a big fan of his and I wrote him a fanboy letter, and he got back in touch with me saying he was a fan of ours. So that worked out nicely; and we've been friends for many years.

"But I also really love singing 'Summer Of Love,' 'Cities On Flame' ... you know, it's interesting to me the phenomenon of the digital universe. 'Cities On Flame' is on our first album, and the recognition factor is high because it was either on Rock Band or Guitar Hero. The recognition from the younger audience is great because they know it from the video game."

And BÖC is fired up to put it all out there through 100 shows this year.

"A hundred gigs is plenty for me," Bloom said. "The travel blows ... airports are not the place to be these days. But I just try to enjoy the busy times, and enjoy the quiet times. I think Bobby (Rondinelli, former drummer) hit it when he said, 'I would play for free, but you gotta pay for my travel.'"

Bloom's travels have made him well-acquainted with Binghamton, stretching back to his Hobart College days. And former bandmates Albert and Joe Bouchard attended Clarkson College and Ithaca College, respectively.

"I've done many miles on Route 81 and Route 17," Bloom said. "Binghamton is very familiar for me; many road trips between New York City and Geneva ... going through Binghamton, taking the cutoff at Whitney Point."

With BÖC on the road, though, there are no imminent studio trips for a new album.

"But you never know," Bloom said. "Everyone's always working on material ... For the time being, we'll just keep it on the road."

While new output could grease Hall of Fame prospects, something else has to happen first.

"Before BÖC, there was Alice Cooper," Bloom said, recalling an incident in which a death metal musician in Norway once asked Alice for his autograph — for his mum. "And the fact that he's not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a crime. I don't think we'd deserve to be there till he's there. We learned a lot from him."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Empire Breeders Classic Eliminations Race Replays

More than $500,000 is up for grabs Sunday night at Tioga Downs in the finals of the Empire Breeders Classic for 3-year-old pacers. Check out the race replays of the four eliminations held this past Sunday May 23 under perfect conditions.

Colts and Geldings


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Big Bucks and Fireworks Memorial Day Weekend

Celebrate Memorial Day weekend at Tioga Downs including a special Sunday night race card featuring the finals of the $500,000 Empire Breeders Classic for 3-year-old pacers. A fireworks spectacular follows racing on Sunday.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Last Chance to Apply for Harness Racing Scholarship

The application deadline for the 2010 Dewey Degree Scholarship is May 31, so you have one week left to get your paperwork in.

The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association is looking for eligible high school seniors (or returning college students) from families of licensed owners, trainers, or drivers who participate full or part time in harness racing.

They can now log on to and print out an application form that could bring them $1,500 closer to completing their college education.

Through the generosity of Ray Schnittker and Jeff Gural, UNY-USHWA is offering the scholarship named for the world class trotter, Deweycheatumnhowe.

The "Dewey Degree" is an annual fellowship given to an eligible student who meets the criteria and is chosen by our Chapter Officers and an impartial third party judge.

It is a $1,500 one time, non-renewable assistance award.

The applicant must be entering college for the first time this fall or already in a college, university, or trade school and be enrolled as a full time student (12 credit hours minimum).

Applicants' parent(s), grandparent(s), and/or legal guardian(s) must be a licensed horseman or horsewoman during the year prior to application (in this case, 2009).

Only one relative need be licensed to be eligible.

Applicant must be at least a high school senior at time of application.

Anyone living in the U.S. or Canada is eligible.

You are required to submit a typewritten essay discussing your background in harness racing, your work experience in harness racing, what you think could be done to better harness racing in the future, and how you see yourself as part of it.

The essay should be around 1,000 words.

You will also need to submit proof of your relatives' licensing and a minimum of two letters of reference -- one from a horse person and one from a teacher in your current school.

All documents must be received no later than May 31, 2010.

The recipient will be announced shortly thereafter and the scholarship will be presented in the winner's circle at Tioga Downs this summer.

We request the winner to be present for that presentation.

For more information and an application form, please visit

Sunday, May 23, 2010

5% Purse Increase Announced at Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs is pleased to announce that next week’s condition sheet will reflect a 5% purse increase across the board due to an increase in Casino play.

The top class at Tioga Downs is currently $14,000 and will go up to $15,000 next week and throughout the summer.

Tioga Downs races a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday race schedule with Friday and Saturdays at 6:50 pm and Sundays at 1:30 pm.

Tioga will race on Sunday May 30th with a special post time of 6:30 pm featuring the Empire Breeders Classic Finals.

Tioga will also race a special card on Memorial Day May 31st at 1:30 pm.

For more information on the race schedule at Tioga Downs or to view the condition sheet for next week, please visit our website at

Empire Breeder’s Classic Eliminations Contested at Tioga Downs

Hula’s Z Tam, Barks Like A Dog, Malicious, and Dr Dreamy all captured eliminations of the Empire Breeder’s Classic on Sunday afternoon at Tioga Downs.

Colt Pacers 1st Division
Malicious (David Miller) took home the first $12,500 division for 3-year old colt pacers in a quick 1:51.3.

He cut through fractions of 26.3, 57.2, and 1:24.1 before sprinting home in 27.2 to hold off Jo Pa’s Fod (John Campbell).

Malicious was making his first start of his sophomore season.

Windfall Blue Chip (Brian Sears) tried a first over grind battling through the stretch, but tired and finished third.

He’s Gorgeous and I’m Gorgeous both made breaks and were unable to get back into contention to make the final.

Ok Commander (Doug McNair) finished fourth and also qualified for next Sunday’s $217,250 final.

Colt Pacers 2nd Division
In the second division for pacing colts, Dr Dreamy (Brian Sears) throttled to the front out of post position one and never slowed the pace through fractions of 27.2, 55.3, and 1:23.1 before fighting off Major Work Of Art (Phil Fluet) in the stretch to win in 1:51.3.

Art Two D Two (Joe Pavia Jr.) used a two hole trip to finish third and qualify for next week’s final, while S N P Bluechip (Doug McNair) finished fourth and will also start in next Sunday’s finale.

The two fifth place finishers Flexjet and TGIF were drawn to see who would join the eight horses in next week’s final, and Flexjet came out of the draw in the race, with TGIF being labeled AE1.

Filly Pacers 1st Division
2009 New York Sire Stakes Champion Hula’s Z Tam (Pat Lachance) got away last in the first division for 3-year old pacing fillies, but used a second over trip to capture her first start of the year in 1:53.4.

Shaky Hanover (Jason Bartlett) cut out fractions of 28.2, 58, and 1:25.2 before tiring in the stretch to finish third, while Galimony (George Brennan) finished second.

Love And Honor (DR Ackerman) paced late through the stretch to finish fourth and also qualified for next Sunday evening's $202,200 final.

Filly Pacers 2nd Division
In the second division for 3-year old pacing fillies, Barks Like A Dog (Ray Schnittker) made the front and lulled the field to sleep through fractions of 27.4 and 57.4 before pacing a third quarter in 27.1 to separate themselves from the field and win in 1:53.1.

Rough Sketch (Jim Morrill Jr.) finished second, Tia Maria Hanover (Jim Marohn Jr.) finished third, and Ladybones (Brian Sears) finished fourth, all qualifying for next Sunday’s $202,200 final.

Lady Major and Max’s Leading Lady both finished fifth in their respective divisions and were drawn to see who would get the final spot in the EBC final.

Lady Major drew in with Max’s Leading Lady AE1.

Race Notes
Brett Miller and Ray Schnittker posted driving doubles on the afternoon’s 13-race card.

Schnittker won with Homerun Hitter in the Morrisville College Sale Trot in 1:55.1.

Homerun Hitter is a full brother to Strong Yankee.

Tioga Downs continues live racing Saturday May 29th with a post time of 6:50 pm.

There will also be two special race cards Sunday May 30th at 6:30 pm and Monday May 31st (Memorial Day) at 1:30 pm.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

All Spirit Matches Track Record in Friday Night Feature

All Spirit and Jimmy Marohn Jr. equaled the Tioga Downs track record for 4-year old pacing mares on Friday night, matching the mark set by Tug River Princess (Eric Goodell) in the Artiscape final in 2009.

All Spirit won the $14,000 featured handicap for fillies and mares in the record-equaling time of 1:52.1.

Marohn backed All Spirit off the gate to settle in sixth as Bet The Ranch cut out fractions of 26.4 and 55.2 before Ubetterthink Think (Mike Micallef) tried a first-over challenge reaching the three-quarters in 1:23.3.

Marohn tipped All Spirit three-wide off cover around the last turn and paced head-and-head with Ubetterthink Think in the stretch to win by a nose in 1:52.1.

Tim Lanpher trains the 4-year old daughter of Bettor’s Delight-Spirit Of Ivy for Larry Lanpher of Winter Park, Fla.

All Spirit won for the second time in three seasonal starts and increased her career earnings to more than $206,000.

Her time of 1:52.1 was her lifetime-best mile.

Jimmy Marohn Jr. posted a driving triple on the night’s 10-race card.

Fern Paquet Jr. had a driving double.

Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Saturday, May 22, with a post time of 6:50 p.m.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Empire Breeders Classic Eliminations Set for Sunday

A total of 13 3-year-old pacing colts and 11 3-year-old pacing fillies dropped their names into the entry box and will go postward for the eliminations of the Empire Breeders Classic Sunday afternoon at Tioga Downs.

Woodrow Wilson champion Windfall Blue Chip (Brian Sears) faces off against New York Sire Stakes champion He’s Gorgeous (George Brennan), Malicious (David Miller), and American-National champion OK Commander (Doug McNair).

Windfall Blue Chip and He’s Gorgeous both have made one start this year.

Malicious will be making his sophomore debut after running in two qualifying events in Canada.

In the filly divisions, New York Sire Stakes champion Hula’s Z Tam (Patrick Lachance) and runner-up Shaky Hanover (Jason Bartlett) headline a five-horse field in the first of the two elimination races for the girls.

Shaky Hanover is coming off a second place finish to Dancinwiththestarz in the Simpson Stakes last weekend at Tioga Downs while Hula’s Z Tam will be making her sophomore debut.

Below are the fields for the Empire Breeders Classic eliminations.

$12,500 3-Year-Old Filly Pace-First Race
1-Lady Major-Brian Sears-Sam Serianni
2-Love And Honor-D.R. Ackerman-D.R. Ackerman
3-Hula’s Z Tam-Patrick Lachance-Patrick Lachance
4-Galimony-George Brennan-Linda Toscano
5-Shaky Hanover-Jason Bartlett-Josh Green

$12,500 3-Year-Old Filly Pace-Third Race
1-Ladybones-Brian Sears-Bruce Saunders
2-Rough Sketch-Jim Morrill Jr.-Ed Lohmeyer
3-Barks Like A Dog-Ray Schnittker-Ray Schnittker
4-Max’s Leading Lady-Jason Bartlett-Robert Horowitz
5-Tia Maria Hanover-Jim Marohn Jr.-Tim Lanpher
6-Truly A Treasure-George Brennan-Linda Toscano

$12,500 3-Year-Old Colt Pace-Fifth Race
1-2-Windfall Blue Chip-Brian Sears-George Teague Jr.
1A-7-I’m Gorgeous-Jim Morrill Jr.-George Teague Jr.
2-1-Jo Pa’s Fod-John Campbell-Jim Campbell
3-3-He’s Gorgeous-George Brennan-Linda Toscano
4-4-Malicious-David Miller-Ian Moore
5-5-OK Commander-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair
6-6-TGIF-Phil Fluet-Phil Fluet

$12,500 3-Year-Old Colt Pace-Sixth Race
1-Dr Dreamy-Brian Sears-George Teague Jr.
2-Art Two D Two-Joe Pavia Jr.-Joe Pavia Jr.
3-Major Work Of Art-Phil Fluet-Phil Fluet
4-Freddy Day Hanover-Jim Morrill Jr.-Taylor Gower
5-S N P Bluechip-Doug McNair-James Dean
6-Flexjet-Dan Cappello Jr.-Chet Poole Jr.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Win a New Car for a Dollar

Tioga Downs is giving away a brand new Nissan Versa... and you can win it for a buck!

Every race night through September 11, 2010, buy a rubber horse for $1.

Successfully throw it into the moving Nissan Versa and you are qualified for the grand prize drawing to be held after the 8th race on September 11.

All proceeds for the HorsePlay contest go to charity.

Dancinwiththestarz Shines Brightest in Simpson Memorial

Dancinwiththestarz continued her dominance in the first $30,143 division of the John Simpson, Sr. Memorial Stakes pace on Sunday afternoon at Tioga Downs.

Jim Morrill, Jr. did the steering for trainer John Stark, Jr., and sent the 3-year-old filly pacer to the front past the stands and the fans for the first time.

Morrill then controlled the race through fractions of :56.1 and 1:24.1 before pacing away from the field to win in a lifetime best of 1:51.4, which was just a fifth of a second off the track record set by Paula’s Best (George Brennan) in 2007.

It was the 11th career lifetime victory in 14 career starts for Dancinwiththestarz, who is owned by W Springtime Racing Stable of Johnstown, N.Y. and Shannon Brott of Gloversville, N.Y., who also owned the legendary pacing filly Bunny Lake.

Shaky Hanover (Jason Bartlett) used a first-over grind to nail down the place spot, while Rosie’s Pride (Bruce Ranger) finished third.

In the second division, Feeling You continued her winning ways by posting her seventh win of the year in eight starts for trainer George Berkner.

Morrill put the 3-year-old daughter of Cambest--Ripreza Hanover on the engine and never looked back pacing through fractions of :28.1, :56.1 and 1:24.3 before asking the filly to pace through the stretch, winning in 1:52.3.

Alan Kirschenbaum of Burbank, Cal. bred and owns Feeling You, who with the victory increased her earnings to more than $67,000.

Galimony (George Brennan) used a two hole trip to take second, while Tia Maria Hanover (Jim Marohn, Jr.) paced home late through the stretch to finish third.

In the lone $42,277 division of the Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts, Eagle Jolt and Jason Bartlett earned their way to the front and never relinquished the lead on their way to a win in 1:53.

It was the fourth win of the year for the 3-year old son of Village Jolt--Jazzy Jam, who is owned by Frank Dettore Horse Racing of Ohio and is trained by Mark Ford.

Golden Time (Marcus Johansson) came first-over against Eagle Jolt and held on for second, while Oakmont (Jim Marohn, Jr.) paced home late for third.

Sheer Brilliance (Corey Braden) captured the $14,000 Class A Handicap pace after finishing second the past two weeks in a season’s best of 1:51.2.

He’s Gorgeous (George Brennan) was making his first season’s start preparing for next weekend’s Empire Breeders Classic Eliminations, but tired after going first-over against Sheer Brilliance down the backside through a :27.4 third quarter and finished fourth.

Jim Morrill, Jr. posted a grand slam on the afternoon’s 13-race card, while Corey Braden, Greg Merton and Andy Santeramo each posted driving doubles.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

All Spirit Captures $14,000 Fillies and Mares Class A Handicap Pace

Nichols, NY - All Spirit and Howard Parker captured the $14,000 Fillies and Mares harness racing Class A Handicap pace on Saturday night at Tioga Downs.

Howard "Pacin" Parker shuffled All Spirit second over into contention behind I'm Not Gonna Lie (Greg Merton) who went first over against pacesetter Ubetterthink Think (Mike Micallef).

As the field reached the three quarter pole in 1:24.4, Parker sent All Spirit three wide around I'm Not Gonna Lie and dueled with Ubetterthink Think in the lane to capture her first victory of the year in 1:53.2.

Tim Lanpher trains the 4-year old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Spirit Of Ivy for Larry Lanpher of Winter Park, Fl.

With the victory All Spirit increased her career bankroll to more than $209,000 in only her twenty fourth career start.

Ubetterthink Think (Mike Micallef) hung on for second, while Co Ed Desire (Jim Taggart Jr) got up for third.

Howard Parker posted a driving triple on the night's twelve race card, while Bruce Ranger and Kevin Hough each collected two driving victories.

Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Sunday, May 16th at 1:30 pm featuring two division of the Simpson Stakes for 3-year old pacing fillies and one division for 3-year old pacing colts.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us on our website at

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Key Definitely Fits

Keith Andrews of Vestal, NY drove off in a brand new Scion XD Saturday night at Tioga Downs! Keith was one of 10 finalists given a key by one of our drivers. Keith's key was the only one that successfully started the automobile. Special thanks to Williams Scion in Sayre, PA for donating the car.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Simpson events set for Sunday at Tioga Downs

Two divisions of the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies and one division for 3-year-old pacing colts will take center stage at Tioga Downs on Sunday, May 16, with a post time of 1:30 p.m.

Chris Gooden photo
Dancinwiththestarz opened up her 3-year-old campaign with a 1:53 score in a PASS race at The Meadows.

Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Dancinwiththestarz leads the first field of six pacing fillies in her second start of her sophomore campaign. Her first start came last week in a division of the Sire Stakes at The Meadows with Brian Sears shipping in to do the driving for trainer John Stark, Jr. The daughter of Four Starzzzz Shark-So Western cut the mile en route to a 1:53 victory for the Springtime Racing Stable and Shannon Brott. Stark has called on the driving skills of Jim Morrill, Jr. for Sunday afternoon at Tioga Downs.

Feeling You leads the second Simpson division from post position one for trainer George Berkner. The daughter of Cambest-Ripreza Hanover recently won the Wilkes Barre Late Closing Final at Pocono Downs in a lifetime best equaling 1:51.2. Morrill has handled the driving for the past three starts for owner-breeder Alan Kirschenbaum and has been listed once again on Sunday afternoon.

In the lone $42,227 division for pacing colts, Mark Ford sends out a pair of pacers in Eagle Jolt and Park Lane Midnight. Eagle Jolt looks to lead a field of eight. In eight starts in 2010 he has posted three wins, three seconds and a third for earnings of more than $27,000. Three starts back in late April, Eagle Jolt finished second to Berry’s Creek champion Rock N Roll Heaven in a 3-year-old open at the Meadowlands, timed in 1:51.1. Frank Dettore Horse Racing LLC owns Eagle Jolt and has listed Jason Bartlett for the driving assignment on Sunday afternoon.

Also racing on Sunday is New York Sire Stakes champion He’s Gorgeous, who is making his 2010 debut after winning nine of 11 races in 2009 with a mark of 1:52 at Vernon Downs. The son of Art Major-So Ravishing is owned by Kenneth Jacobs and is trained by Linda Toscano. George Brennan has been listed to drive He’s Gorgeous on Sunday afternoon at Tioga Downs in the Class A Handicap Pace as he prepares for next weekend's Empire Breeders Classic eliminations at Tioga Downs.

Tioga Downs begins its weekend of live racing action on Saturday night with 12 races beginning at 6:50 p.m., followed by a 13 race card on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Can Super Saver Repeat in the Preakness?

Kentucky Derby champion Super Saver headlines the field for Saturday's Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Beaten Derby favorite Lookin At Lucky is among the challengers who hope to derail Super Saver's bid to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

Come out to Tioga Downs for our Preakness Party. Watch and wager on the big race at 6:05 PM.

Our 12 live races begin at 6:50 PM. The AC/DC tribute Live Wire hits the Tioga Downs stage at 9:30 PM for a FREE concert. Enter to win a brand-new Scion automobile and win up to $1,200 in Free Play as part of our Shake, Rattle & Roll.

As always, visit us on Facebook and Twitter for more info.

Hey Kids! It's Your Turn

Vernon Downs plans Harness Racing Youth League camp

VERNON — And down the stretch they come.

For a few days in July at Vernon Downs, there will be some younger drivers on the harness racing track.

The annual Harness Racing Youth League camp, which will take place Tuesday through Saturday, July 6 to 10, is being organized by the Harness Horse Youth Foundation.

The camp will give participants ages 12 to 14 an up-close and personal look at harness racing and caring for horses.

“The original purpose was to create more of an interest in harness racing, but I enjoy watching the kids develop confidence through the week,” Westfield, Ind.-based Harness Horse Youth Foundation Executive Director Ellen Taylor said. “There is no substitute for kids and horses.”

The five-day, four-night camp costs $150 and an application and essay must be submitted. No experience with harness racing or horses is required. The registration fee covers all lodging and meals for the camp.

Daily activities will expose the campers to the ins and outs of the sport, including grooming, harnessing, hitching and driving the horses.

“They love to be able to clean the hooves from the get-go,” Taylor said. “The kids are surprised that they are able to do it.”

Registration will be at 8:30 a.m. July 6 in the lobby of Vernon Downs’ hotel. The camp will end with races July 10.

For more information or for an application, call the Harness Horse Youth Foundation at 317-867-5877 or visit the organization’s website at

Camp information also is available by contacting Jason Settlemoir, regional vice president of racing and simulcast for Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs, via e-mail at

Courtesy: Utica Observer-Dispatch

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tioga Downs to Be Featured on Sirius XM This Summer

SIRIUS XM Radio announced today that it will offer live coverage of some of harness racing’s biggest events on a new horse racing series set to debut Saturday, May 29.

Saturday Night at the Races will air for 11 consecutive weeks and will offer listeners nationwide wire-to-wire coverage of some of the biggest races of the summer including the Meadowlands Pace, the North America Cup, the Yonkers Trot, the Art Rooney, the Maple Leaf Trot, the Dan Patch and the James Lynch Memorial.

The series will kick off Saturday, May 29 (10:00 p.m. EDT on SIRIUS channel 126 and XM channel 243) and will feature races from the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., Hoosier Park in Anderson, Ind., and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Please visit for a schedule of races, including post times and venues.

Acclaimed track announcer Dave Johnson and journalist Bill Finley, who also host SIRIUS XM’s award-winning Down The Stretch program, will host Saturday Night at the Races. Johnson is best known as the “Voice of the Kentucky Derby,” a title he earned after calling the race for 24 years. An expert in both thoroughbred and harness racing, Johnson has called thousands of harness races throughout a career that spans four decades. His signature phrase -- “And down the stretch they come!” -- is instantly recognized throughout the sport. Finley has covered harness racing for more than two decades and currently writes for the New York Times and Johnson’s and Finley’s work on SIRIUS XM has been honored with an Eclipse Award, one of the highest honors in thoroughbred racing.

“Saturday Night at the Races will give SIRIUS and XM listeners from coast to coast access to the best, richest and most important harness races held this summer,” said Johnson. “These upcoming 11 weeks feature dozens of big events and give us the chance to showcase harness racing at its very best.”

The broadcasts were made possible by a collective industry effort in which seven entities came forward as sponsors. They are Brittany Farms, Hanover Shoe Farms, the Indiana Standardbred Breed Development Fund, Peretti Farms, Tioga and Vernon Downs, Woodbine Entertainment Group and Yonkers Raceway.

Stan Bergstein, the executive vice president of Harness Tracks of America and one of the most prominent names in the sport, will be a regular contributor to the series, offering insight into the history of the races and tracks. Peter Kleinhans, who owns and trains harness horses and has also worked as a track announcer, will be the analyst.

Courtesy: Sirius XM Radio

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cactus Creek Breaks Track Record

Cactus Creek had his running shoes on in the 4th race on May 2, 2010 at Tioga Downs. The 7-year-old gelding broke the track record for aged runners by pacing 1:50 flat with Jordan Stratton driving.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Upstate New York Hall of Fame announced

In an effort to immortalize the many great trainers, drivers and racing visionaries that have contributed to the success and longevity of the four major harness racing tracks in Upstate New York, the UNY Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has announced the formation of a permanent, physical hall where each year's selected class will be enshrined.

The Hall of Fame will be housed at Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY. There will also be a Hall of Fame page on our website where bios and pictures will be available. Best of all, you can have a say on who gets inducted!

Every year beginning with 2010, there will be three people inducted from each of the four tracks. Two will be living and one will be deceased. Anyone who has ever participated in the sport at any time at Vernon Downs, Batavia Downs, Buffalo Raceway, or Tioga Downs will be considered eligible for enshrinement.

Candidates for the Hall will be nominated in two ways; the members of UNY-USHWA will name two people and racing fans from all four tracks will vote for one more. Voting by the fans will take place online through a link at The link is located at the top of our homepage.

There will be a total of twelve individuals enshrined each year, three from each of the four tracks. These twelve people will be honored during two separate induction ceremonies. First, the inductees will be feted at the home track for which they were selected. Then, all twelve will be officially inducted at a dinner honoring them at Vernon Downs to be held in conjunction with the USTA District 7 meetings.

Finally, everyone voting for their favorites for the hall will be entered into a random drawing for 2 tickets to attend the dinner and enshrinement ceremony at Vernon Downs later this year.

Voting deadline for each track is as follows:

Buffalo Raceway-June 30

Tioga Downs-July 30

Batavia Downs-August 30

Vernon Downs-August 30

For more information and the voting link, log onto