Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Boss and The King Tributes Highlight November Concerts

Tribute concerts to Bruce Springsteen and Elvis are coming to Tioga Downs Casino in November.

The B Street Band, a tribute to Bruce Springsteen, rocks Tioga with two shows on Saturday, November 13.

The first concert is at 7pm, the second is at 9pm.

Tickets are on sale now by visiting the Tioga Downs Players Club or Ticketmaster outlets.

Two weeks later on November 27, the King is back when Peter Alden puts on his blue suede shoes in a tribute to Elvis Presley.

There are two shows at 7pm and 9pm.

Tickets are also on sale at the Tioga Downs Players Club and Ticketmaster outlets.

Tickets for each show are $15.

Check out our commercial for the two concerts.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tioga Downs Closing Night, Top 5 Races of the Year and Conway Hall Trot Highlight Season Finale of “Inside Harness Racing”

Yursa Hanover’s upset of champion Buck I St Pat in the Conway Hall Trot plus closing night festivities and the Top 5 Races of the Year highlight the season finale of the “Inside Harness Racing” television show. The 30-minute episode debuts on Time Warner Cable Sports throughout New York tonight at 6:00 PM and is also available online at the Tioga Downs YouTube site (

This week’s episode also includes an all-access look inside the starting gate and a feature on a Tioga Downs farrier. Plus, leading driver Jim Marohn, Junior flips the script and interviews Jason Settlemoir about his career in track management. Also, see as some of Upstate New York’s biggest stars are inducted into the Upstate New York Harness Racing Hall of fame as the inaugural class.

“Inside Harness Racing” debuted on June 23rd and aired each Wednesday at 6:00 PM throughout the live racing season. Every episode is archived on YouTube. “Inside Harness Racing” is hosted and produced by Justin Horowitz and features Jason Settlemoir and Wendy Ross as field reporters while Jim Rotundo handles videography and production.

Tioga Downs 2010 Year in Review

Tioga Downs wrapped up its 2010 racing season as the curtain fell on Saturday night (September 11) in front of a packed house of fans and horsemen.

Tioga made headlines earlier in the year when takeout rates were lowered to state minimums for the 2010 race meet.

As the final numbers came in, the results were promising.

Tioga Downs was up in live handle 4.1% over 2009, and was also up in export by 8.7% over the previous year at a time when growth in business is hard to come by.

“To be up in handle in both categories during this time in the economy and show over an eight-percent jump in export is really promising," said Jason Settlemoir, VP of Racing and Simulcast. "We have to thank HANA (Horseplayers Association of North America) for their support during our takeout rate initiative this year and everyone who supported it by betting on the Tioga product."

Tioga Downs also saw a total of 13 track records take new occupants during 2010, which also featured two world records on one day.

Manningly and Jeff Gregory set a world record for 4-year-old trotting stallions on a five-eighth’s mile track in 1:52.3, with Temple Of Doom and David Miller, only two races later, setting another world record for 3-year old trotting colts on a five-eighth’s mile track in 1:52.4.

The two overall track records got taken down this year.

Manningly’s 1:52.3 world record established a new overall track record on the trot, while Shark Gesture’s win in the inaugural Bettor’s Delight Open Pace in 1:48.3 destroyed the previous all age track record on the pace.

As always, the 2010 Drivers’ Championship was the highlight of the 2010 race season with the fourth edition of the event being captured by Hall of Famer Ron Pierce.

It was the fourth straight year that Pierce had been participating in the event and after last year’s loss in the final race to finish second, Pierce captured victory and the $25,000 first prize in 2010.

New to the 2010 race season was a year-long handicapping contest that was updated on the Tioga Downs website each week dubbed the “Pens vs. Microchip” in which a handicapping software system “Chatsworth Consortium" designed by Trackmaster faced off against a few human handicappers and the morning line.

When the contest came to a close the “Chatsworth Consortium,” which was offered for free all year long at Tioga, came out on top with an astonishing 16% ROI, followed by Bobby Z with 4% ROI, Mel with a -5% ROI, and rounding out was Ray’s Robot with a -9% ROI.

As in past years, Tioga Downs once again pushed promotions and giveaways to fuel attendance during the 58-day race meet.

Opening day was held on Kentucky Derby Day to create a full-day event for the Southern Tier fans, while closing night was in co-ordination with the 2010 Horseplay Car Giveaway and $20,000 Mystery Voucher Giveaway.

“We push towards on-track attendance and handle here at Tioga and try to drive our customers on track with promotions every day, and giveaways a few times a month," said Settlemoir. "Customers want to feel like they are ahead when they walk in the door, and when they can get into drawings and promotions everyday to win prizes it keeps them coming back and looking forward to their next visit.”

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tioga Downs Closes Out 2010 Race Season in Front of Packed House

Tioga Downs folded its gates for the final time in the 2010 race season on Saturday, September 11th in front of a crowd of 4,206 fans.

It was a night full of giveaways and promotions that included the 2009 Nissan Versa Horseplay Car Giveaway and fireworks following the races.

On tap for closing night were four divisions of NYSS for 3-year old colt and gelding trotters, and Blacktuxwhitesocks was dressed for the occasion as the prohibitive betting favorite in division number three.

Jeff Gregory was at the lines as usual and lowered the sophomore trotter’s lifetime mark with a front end effort in 1:55.1.

It was the eighth win in 13 seasonal starts for the Purple Haze Stable owned, Jessica Okusko trained New York trotting Sensation, and with the victory Blacktuxwhitesocks increased his seasonal bankroll to more than $180,000.

Also capturing victories in divisions of the New York Sire Stakes were: Kona – 1:58.2(Bruce Ranger), Aruba Vacation – 1:58 (Fern Paquet Jr.), and Wishing Stone – 1:56(Dewayne Minor).

It came down to the final race of the year, but Corey Braden held off the final weekend surge by Bruce Ranger to take home the 2010 driver of the year award with 72 victories on the season with Bruce Ranger finishing with 71.

Phil Fluet coasted home as the meet’s leading trainer with 30 tallies, while Andover America from the Bruce Ranger stable took home trotter of the year, and Sheer Brilliance from trainer Jeff Long captured pacer and horse of the year honors.

After the first race on the evening Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment and Jason Settlemior, VP of Racing and Simulcast, presented each of the families of Chloe Mulcahy and Aliesya Abrams with checks for more than $13,000 that was raised in the month of August during the Horseplay Car Giveaway.

These two girls are fighting life-threatening diseases and Tioga Downs, along with all of its fans and horsemen, have helped these two girls with money for treatments and medical bills.

All of us at Tioga Downs would like to thank the fans at Tioga Downs for their support during the 2010 race season, and also thank the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen’s Association, who without their support, none of this would be possible.

We hope to see everyone back at the races for the 2011 race season.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Charlie Daniels Wraps Up Summer Concert Series Thursday Night

The Tioga Downs Summer Concert Series wraps up Thursday night with the Charlie Daniels Band. Tickets start at $20 and are available at the Players Club and Ticketmaster outlets. Here's a preview of the concert from the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin:

There's no doubt that Charlie Daniels is an American patriot, and he's never been shy about expressing his love for God, country, family and flag.

When it came time to compile his latest album, though, the country-rock legend admits that even he didn't realize just how many true-blue American tunes he's released over his 52-year career.

"Patriotism to me is always in style, but now — especially now — we need a little shot in the arm," Daniels, 73, said last month from a stop in Oklahoma.

"Land That I Love," released in August on Blue Hat Records/E1 Entertainment, gathers 13 classics such as "Simple Man," "This Ain't No Rag, It's a Flag," "Still in Saigon" and "In America," and updates "(What This World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks" to take a shot (literally) at terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. The album's lone new track, "Iraq Blues," talks about a military man's plans once he gets home from his tour of duty. (On the list: Get some beers and spend some quality time with the wife.)

The multiplatinum-selling North Carolina native, best known for the Grammy-winning fiddle epic "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," now makes his home in Tennessee. Before his show tonight at Tioga Downs Casino in Nichols, he answered a few questions about his life, career and views on America in the 21st century.

QUESTION: Your song "In America" was originally written about Americans coming together during the Iran hostage crisis in 1980. Here we are, 30 years later, we're sharply divided again. Do you think we'll ever get together and find a way for everyone to get along?

ANSWER: It's hard. It seems like it takes something catastrophic to unite this country, and we have a short memory. 9/11 was definitely a wakeup call to everybody about our country and about how precious it is — about what can happen here and what did happen here. It never happened here before, and it showed we're a lot more vulnerable than we used to be.

So as we go along, we forget about those pictures of the planes crashing into the trade towers and all the things that went on that day. Our 24-hour news cycle, everything going on in this country and outside this country that involves us — the economy, this, that and the other thing. We tend to let our psyche wander around and we don't stay focused on things like that. ... We're able to get together, but you've got to just about hit us in the head to get everybody's attention at the same time.Q: A lot of people think of the Charlie Daniels Band as the essence of country music, but you've covered so many different styles over the years. Where do you think that eclectic spirit comes from?

A: I'll be 74 in October, so I've been around a long time. The era of radio that I came up in — I grew up in towns and rural areas where there would be maybe one radio station in your town. Maybe you wouldn't even have one in your area, but there'd be one in the next town you'd listen to. They were sparse, and there was no television, and they were very responsible for entertaining everybody.

The mandate of radio stations — it still is to this day — is supposed to be service to the community. Of course, it's a commercial venture and should be such — but these stations, since there were so few of them, they had to cater to everybody's taste. There were no formatted stations as we've come to understand the word nowadays. They played country, they played gospel music, they played whatever the popular music of the day was. Once in a while, some of the stations would play classical music. And when you're brought up in the South, you're always exposed to the blues.

So I came up hearing a lot of different kinds of music, so I guess it was kind of natural that when the time came to create my own music, some of that would creep into my psyche.

Q: You're obviously known as a fiddle guy — as the commercial said earlier this year, "Does Charlie Daniels play a mean fiddle?" I hear that's a ringtone now.

A: Yeah, when my son calls me, my phone plays that. (laughs)

Q: That's pretty funny! So I'm guessing people can see some of your fiddle wizardry in action during the show.

A: Absolutely — the first couple of tunes I play are fiddle. You know something, you owe people those songs. You owe them the songs they've heard on the radio, the ones they are familiar with. That's what they come see you for. They don't know about your other stuff. I hate to go see a band and they do a medley of their hits, then spend the rest of the night trying to sell me their new album. I want to hear their new album, I want to hear about it, but I don't want to have to sit there and listen to all their new stuff. I came to see them because of something I heard someone play on the radio or something I saw them do on TV. I don't want to see the Rolling Stones and they don't do "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." I don't want to see Eric Clapton and he doesn't play "Layla." You owe people that — that's what they expect. Then, in between the familiar songs, you weave in your other stuff.

Q: I'm sure since your stroke earlier this year, a lot of people have asked you how your health is.

A: I'm fine. I really try to take good care of myself. It was a blood pressure situation that happened with me — I had had some high blood pressure, but I went on vacation January and February in Colorado and didn't keep as close a watch on it as I should have. I had the stroke and it was a wakeup call: "Take care of yourself, boy!" (laughs)

Q: So you've been doing music now for more than 50 years. What drives you to still go out and play?

A: Because I love what I do — I sincerely love what I do. If I didn't love what I do, I wouldn't do it another day. ... I'm excited about it — I love getting up and making people happy when I'm onstage.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

World Record Performance and Beauty Contest Highlight “Inside Harness Racing”

Temple of Doom’s world-record performance and Lucky Chucky’s win in the Zweig Memorial Trot highlight the newest episode of “Inside Harness Racing at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs.” The 30-minute episode debuts on Time Warner Cable Sports tonight at 6:00 PM and is also available online at the Tioga Downs YouTube site (

This week’s episode also features the Second Annual Miss Tioga Beauty Pageant held during live racing at Tioga Downs.

We’ll catch the replay of Jason Settlemoir’s performance in the “Battle of the Braintrusts” at Monticello Raceway and then watch his interview with “King of the Sire Stakes” Jim Morrill, Junior who lived up to his nickname by sweeping a trio of New York Sire Stakes this past weekend at Tioga Downs. Plus, Wendy Ross continues her tour of Allerage Farm and learns how yearlings are prepped for the upcoming sales.

“Inside Harness Racing” airs Wednesdays at 6:00 PM through September 15th. It’s hosted and produced by Justin Horowitz and features Jason Settlemoir and Wendy Ross as field reporters while Jim Rotundo handles videography and production.

Tioga Downs Raises $25,000 for Two Sick Children

Tioga Downs along with its fans, horsemen, and employees just finished up the charity for the month of August for the 2010 Horseplay Car Giveaway for Chloe Mulcahy and Aliesya Abrams, and with your help we have raised $6,480.

That number will be increased to $25,920 as Tioga Downs, Jeff Gural (Chairman of American Racing), and the Starlite Children’s Foundation from New York City are all going to match what was raised throughout the month.

Chloe Mulcahy was diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic disorder called AHUS (Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome) in January of 2010.

This causes proteins produced by the liver to break down her red blood cells and can lead to kidney failure, high blood pressure, and a number of other life threatening complications.

AHUS is most common in young children, yet less than 300 children are diagnosed in the United States each year and most don’t make it past the first year of diagnosis.

Aliesya Abrams was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma Cancer and on June 6, 2010 underwent brain surgery to remove a large stage four malignant tumor.

Treatment for Alieysa includes between eight and 12 months of extensive chemotherapy to ensure all cancerous cells have been removed, along with many in and out patient hospitalizations in the coming months.

“When you see young kids like this it truly breaks your heart and makes you realize how lucky you are to have kids and grandkids who are healthy," said Jeff Gural, Chairman and CEO of American Racing and Entertainment. "We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish for these two girls in the month of August and want to say thank you to everyone who participated."

The Mulcahy and the Abrams family were both in attendance on Sunday afternoon for the last day of the charity and personally thanked everyone in attendance for their donations.

Each family will receive just under $13,000 to help pay for things that insurance companies don’t cover including treatment expenses, medicines, and travel.

For everyone that helped raised money for the Mulcahy's and the Abrams, everyone at Tioga Downs thanks you for your support.