Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10 Races of 2011


With the final days of 2011 winding down, our racing experts weighed in on the best races of the 2011 racing season. Let's count down our top 10.

#10 Coaching Club Trotting Oaks - June 25th
The Historic Series made its Tioga Downs debut this summer and special filly helped make it a memorable weekend. Jezzy was nearly perfect as a 2-year-old and came back in 2011 as a 3-year-old breathing fire again. Jezzy dominated her competition causing track announcer Darin Zoccali to proclaim her America's top trotting filly. Jezzy finished the year with 10 wins and earnings of $543,652.


#9 Tompkins Geers Grand Circuit Stakes - July 14th
Jezzy had been the Tioga Downs track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies until July's Tompkins-Geers. That's when a lightly raced filly lived up to her name and announced her arrival to harness racing stardom. Check Me Out smashed the track record by nearly two full seconds, trotting in 1:56 for trainer Ray Schnittker. Check Me Out earned the Dan Patch Award as divisional champion while winning 16 of 18 and earning more than $900,000.


#8 New York Sire Stakes - September 3rd
Turns out, Ray Schnittker knows a thing or two about young trotters. He makes his third straight appearance on this countdown; this time, with his 2-year-old trotting colt Delano. Speed was on full display when the New York Sire Stakes came to town in early September. Royal Shyster was the early clubhouse leader with a track record performance in Race 6, but his mark was short lived. Two races later, Schnittker struck with an eye-popping performance by Delano, racing the mile in 1:55.2.

#7 World Driving Championship - August 1st
August saw the first ever appearance by the World Driving Championship at Tioga Downs and the Kiwi sensation, Dexter Dunn, stole the show with his last-to-first burst with longshot Charismatic in the second leg of the series. Dunn and his fellow foreign drivers brought a whole new style of driving to the States that created some of the most exciting racing of the season. Dunn won the Tioga round of the World Driving Championship. Jody Jamieson won the overall championship and followed that up by winning the Tioga Downs Drivers Challenge later in August.

#6 Tompkins Geers Grand Circuit Stakes - July 17th
When the weather got hot, so did the racing surface at Tioga. July's Tompkins Geers Grand Circuit Stakes showed off some major horsepower. Flipper J had just set the track record at Goshen a week before he showed up at Tioga. Tim Tetrick left hard off the starting gate and never slowed down, pacing to a sub-1:50 mile and the track record for 3-year-old colt pacers.

#5 Empire Breeders Classic Final - May 29th
Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been home to the Empire Breeders Classic. This year's was truly a classic with favorites Feel Like a Fool and Fashion Delight needing every inch of the mile to decide a winner. In the end, Fashion Delight and David Miller held off Feel Like a Fool in another EBC thriller.


#4 Miss Versatility - June 19th
Father's Day saw the return of the Miss Versatility and even though it was June on the calendar, it felt more like autumn, thanks to the sensational trotting mare Autumn Escapade. She equaled the fastest trotting mile in Tioga Downs history. Autumn Escapade and driver George Brennan stopped the teletimer in 1:52.3, tying the all ages track record set by Manningly and setting the track record for an aged mare.


#3 Artiscape Open Mare Pace - June 12th
The Artiscape has become a major fixture on the racing calendar for the aged pacing mares. Last year's event was won by world champion Dreamfair Eternal. She could only manage fourth this year behind this year's Dan Patch champion Anndrovette, who sped away to a 1:49.4 win, the fastest mile ever for a 4-year-old pacing mare at Tioga Downs. Anndrovette added a Breeders' Crown win to her resume en route to banking nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.


#2 Empire Breeders Classic Final - May 29th
No horse captured the spotlight this year more than filly sensation See You at Peelers. She graced the pages of Sports Illustrated, the New York Times and USA Today thanks to her 22-race winning streak. Perhaps her most brilliant performance came in May's Empire Breeders Classic when Peelers raced her way into the world record books, with this eye popping 1:49 and 2 win.


#1 Bettor's Delight Open Pace - June 12th
It takes a lot to top that performance but this one will be talked about for years to come. With perhaps the deepest field ever assembled featuring no fewer than six millionaires, the 2nd edition of the Bettor's Delight was our race of the year. The sport's fastest horses went all-out with a gutsy son of Bettor's Delight refusing to be beaten in a world record mile. Bettor Sweet put his name into history with a 1:48.1 win in the Bettor's Delight and it's the Tioga Downs top race of 2011.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

American Racing and Entertainment CEO, Jeff Gural, presents checks totaling over $100,000 to local charities



Tioga Downs Casino held a press conference this past Sunday, and CEO Jeff Gural presented checks to local organizations and charities.

Gural presented the Southern Tier Veteran's Support Group with a check for $65,011 to Al Eaton from this summer's Wynonna Judd concert where all ticket proceeds were donated to the Veterans.

Rod Ballengee and Dot Richters were on hand to receive their checks for the Salvation Army and Community Care Network from the proceeds of the Sha Na Na concert and County Fair Buffet donations from customers aiding to the flood relief.

Salvation Army received a check for $14,195 while Community Care Network was presented with $10,000.

Finally, two personal $5,000 donations from Jeff Gural were made to CHOW (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse) and Marine Corp League.

The $5,000 donation to the Marine Corp League will be used to purchase gifts for kids 11–13 years of age in the local area who were affected by the September flood.

In addition to the $5,000, gifts were also donated to the Marine Corp League which amounted to over $10,000.

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 www.tiogadowns.com (1-888-WIN-TIOGA).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tioga Downs employees help raise $25,000 for Tioga United Way



Employees at Tioga Downs Casino are doing their part to help the community this holiday season.

The staff raised $10,294 for the Tioga United Way, smashing the $9,000 fund raising goal set.

In addition to the employees' donations, American Racing and Entertainment, the parent company of Tioga Downs, is matching the amount and ARE chairman Jeffrey Gural is making a $5,000 contribution, bringing the total donation to $25,588.

"It's wonderful to see the corporate benevolence that exists in some places and this contribution is a tribute to that benevolence," said Tioga United Way Executive Director Brian Eldridge. "I can't tell you how much we appreciate that. It's just neat the way Tioga Downs looks at the community. It goes from the top to the bottom. When the employees see the chairman at Tioga Downs giving the way he gives, it's a perfect example of shadowing the leader."

"This is a great accomplishment during these tough economic times and, as always, I am proud of to be part of this team," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Tioga Downs Regional Vice President of Racing and Simulcast. Settlemoir also serves as the United Way's annual campaign chairman.

"Anything we can do to help," said Jeffrey Gural, chairman of American Racing and Entertainment. "It's been a challenging year for many people around our area and I'm very proud of our employees for stepping up to the plate during the holiday season."

The vision at the United Way is: As the recognized Tioga County leader in developing and nurturing the capacity of our community to care for people, we will provide for our community's changing needs through donors, volunteers, staff and service providers, working together as the heart of a compassionate system.

For more information on Tioga Downs, visit their website at www.tiogadowns.com

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tioga Downs Casino honors staff who aided in flood clean up relief


Tioga Downs Casino is proud of its maintenance department who tirelessly worked around the town of Nichols weeks after severe flooding impacted the local area.

The 16-person crew worked from September 11th through the end of October to help local residents clean up what the September 7th flood had left behind.

The crew members were the first responders on West River Road who helped clear debris and mud from the roadway to make it passable, and then, began assisting by picking up all of the garbage residents had left on the side of the road and had it removed.

"All the thanks go to the 16-person crew who were out there day in and day out helping our local community try to get back to some kind of normal life after what Mother Nature left behind," said Facilities Director Jeff Morrow. "I was just the co-coordinator for the most part in the project, the crew deserves all of the credit and we are all very proud and thankful of everything they have done."

The maintenance department staff is pictured and is as follows: (Bottom row left to right) Randy White, Joe Baldwin, Mike Moon, Jeff Morrow, Randy Clapper. (Top row left to right) Kevin Price, John Sill, Zach Short, Ron Blake, Kyle Sitzer, Mike Beavers, Chris Berwald, Wayne Leonard, Archie Haner (Not pictured – Valoree Anderson and Tom Brink)

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 www.tiogadowns.com (1-888-WIN-TIOGA).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tioga Downs Casino to Offer Free Valet Parking and $5.00 Buffet to Veterans on Veterans' Day


Tioga Downs Casino will offer free valet parking and a $5.00 buffet to its Veterans on Friday, November 11th (Veterans' Day) as a sign of our appreciation for all that our military personnel do.

Veterans are asked to show their military ID to the valet staff when they pull to the front of the Casino on Friday, November 11th and also to the cashier at the buffet to receive their $5.00 buffet.

"We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all of our veterans, both young and old, and this is our way of showing our appreciation to these brave men and women," 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 www.tiogadowns.com (1-888-WIN-TIOGA).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gural, Luchento, McNamara honored with USHWA President's Awards


Courtesy of the United States Harness Writers Association:

Harrisburg, PA - Jeff Gural, Tom Luchento, and Leo McNamara, the three lead forces fighting for the longterm surviving and thriving of the sport's premier track, the Meadowlands, have been selected by U.S. Harness Writers Association president Jason Settlemoir for President's Awards, to be given at the Dan Patch Awards banquet on Sunday (Feb. 12) at the DoubleTree Orlando by Hilton Hotel at SeaWorld.

Gural, a New York real estate developer and longtime Standardbred owner and breeder, was already the owner of two New York tracks, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, when he became the point man in gathering the necessary capital to acquire and revamp the Meadowlands.

Luchento, a former trainer/driver, is the president of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, and McNamara, who has run many successful breeding operations, is SBOANJ's executive administrator.

The horsemen's group is working with Gural and his partners to bring about the vision of a new and reinvigorated Meadowlands, including the construction of a new grandstand.

Settlemoir, also vice president of racing and simulcasting at Tioga and Vernon, said, "I don't know of three individuals more worthy of this small token of appreciation than Jeffrey Gural, Tommy Luchento, and Leo McNamara, for their work in saving our 'flagship' track, the Meadowlands, which was on the brink of closure. All three have played key roles in moving the state-operated racetrack into private hands.

"Gural contacted Luchento about the future of the Meadowlands and was told that the Governor's Office was preparing a statement saying that the Meadowlands would be closing," Settlemoir explained. "Jeff, Tom, and Leo quickly arranged a meeting with Governor (Christie), and soon following the meeting Jeff signed a letter of intent with the Governor to lease the Meadowlands from the state.

"Jeff, Tommy, and Leo have since worked countless hours, and endured many sleepless nights, as they continue to try to figure out the puzzle that has been laid before them," Settlemoir continued. "What happens next is anyone's guess, but there is no doubt that these gentlemen went far beyond the call of duty in giving this much hope to continued racing at the Meadowlands, and for that and many more reasons, these President's Awards go to Jeff, Tommy, and Leo, along with great thanks for what you have done - and what you are going to continue to do."

For reservations at the DoubleTree, call (800) 327-0363 and use the code "C-DPA"; for banquet tickets, contact Steve Wolf at (954) 654-3757; to take a congratulatory ad in the Dinner Journal, inquire to Kim Rinker at (708) 557-2790.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jeff Gural Named Person of the Year by Harness Horsemen's International


Courtesy of Kimberly Rinker for Harness Horsemen's International:

Chicago, IL - Jeff Gural, Tom Luchento, Jerry Connors and Sam McKee are being honored by Harness Horsemen International with a quartet of prestigious awards for 2011.

Gural has been named the recipient of the Dominic Frinzi Person of the Year Award, while Luchento and Connors are being honored with the HHI Appreciation Awards, and McKee with the Clyde Hirt Media Award.

Besides owning and operating Vernon and Tioga Downs in upstate New York, Gural took on his most ambitious project in 2011 -- buying and saving Meadowlands Racetrack, which was scheduled for closure by the State of New Jersey, owners of that facility since it opened in 1976.

Gural, 69, of New York, N.Y., has been "zealously dedicated to improving the Standardbred racing industry," said HHI member Sal DiMario. "Jeff’s efforts in saving the Meadowlands best illustrate what this award stands for."

Luchento, 65, of Freehold, N.J., is a former driver-trainer and the current president of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey.

"Tommy's efforts to save the Meadowlands were unrivaled and it was his dedication that led to Jeff Gural getting involved in this project," DiMario noted. "If not for Tommy's determination, a deal involving Jeff may have never materialized. Together these two men worked against astronomical odds to get this accomplished."

Connors, 55, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., is the Harness Racing Commission administrator of the PA Sire Stakes and Breeding Program and has served as the United States Harness Writer's Association secretary for over a decade.

"Jerry is an outstanding individual and long-time harness racing aficionado that serves Pennsylvania at the racetracks, breeding farms and fairs," said Kim Hankins of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association. "He has worked at many tracks over the years and has also worked tirelessly as an officer of USHWA."

McKee, 49, of Blairstown, N.J., has been the "voice of The Meadowlands" for the past 12 seasons, serving as The Big M's full-time, on-track announcer, and is also the East Rutherford facility's Director of TV Operations (since 2003) and Director of Simulcasting (since 2007).

"I feel so fortunate to be involved at the top level of the sport," McKee noted. "It's beyond my wildest dreams."

All four men will be feted at the HHI annual awards banquet on Saturday (Dec. 3) at the Embassy Suites Resort and Spa, Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jeff Gural is 2012 Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame honoree


Courtesy of Tom White, publicity director for the Little Brown Jug:

Delaware, OH - Jeff Gural, chairman of Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs and the managing member of the LLC which has leased the Meadowlands, has been elected the 28th Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame honoree.

"This is a big honor for me," said Gural. "To be honest, my favorite two days of the year are when I come to Delaware for the Jugette and Little Brown Jug. Honestly, it is very depressing when the Jug is over because I will have to live another 363 days before the next one. I always say to myself, I hope I make it another year. I look forward to a lot of fun - and I like the junk food, too."

Gural grew up on Long Island near Roosevelt Raceway.

"In those days harness racing was very popular and when I was in high school, I started going to Roosevelt and Yonkers with my friends."

Gural also owns and manages two Standardbred farms, one in Stanfordville, N.Y., and the other in Litchfield, Pa.

Mr. Gural has been an owner and breeder of horses for more than 35 years.

In 2011, he had 35 mares and 25 yearlings.

In 1990, Gural co-owned Jugette champion Lady Genius along with Robert Bencal, Douglas Cass and David Stolz.

"David and I grew up together and after he moved to Columbus, Ohio, we get together for the Jug. We have a great time."

Stolz' company designs and prints the cover of the Dalaware race programs.

Gural has also raced horses in the Old Oaken Bucket and the Buckette, the 3-year-old stakes for trotting colts and fillies.

"I haven't raced in the Jug because most of my horses are trotters."

The 2012 Wall of Fame honoree also sponsors the Miss Versatility mare trot final each year during the Delaware Grand Circuit.

Gural was elected to the Little Brown Jug Society board of directors in 2010.

Gural has also received the 2006 Proximity Award from the U.S. Trotting Association, the 2004 Lee Anne Pooler Unsung Hero Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association, the 2006 Stanley Bergstein Messenger Award from Harness Tracks of America, and the 2006 Frederick L. Van Lennep Award from the Hambletonian Society.

Gural is also the chairman of Newmark Knight Frank, a full service commercial and industrial real estate management firm.

Gural and his wife Paula, who live in Manhattan, have three children and six grandchildren.

"You know what makes Delaware and the Little Brown Jug so great is the large crowd, the county fair atmosphere which is a throw back to the old days, and heat racing. Heat racing is the most exciting racing there is."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tioga Downs Casino will present over $67,000 in checks to Southern Tier Veterans Support Group and Vestal Elks Lodge; Jeff Gural extends $5 Buffet off


Tioga Downs Casino announced today that it will continue to run the $5.00 buffet during the week for the residents of Bradford County, Broome County, Susquehanna County, and Tioga County who were hit hard by the September flood.

All other guests of Tioga Downs Casino will be able to receive a $10.00 buffet with $5.00 of that being donated to local charities to aid the local flood victims.

The offer will run Monday through Friday, from Tuesday, October 11 through Friday, October 28.

"Our neighbors are still cleaning up from the devastating September flood and I feel it's necessary to continue the $5.00 County Fair Buffet offer," said Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, Jeffrey Gural. "We had a great response from non-county customers who paid $10 for a buffet which raised over $6,600 the last 2 weeks of September."

Chairman, Jeff Gural will be holding a press conference Saturday, October 15th at 3:00pm to present $65,011 to the Southern Tier Veteran's Support Group and $2,500 to Vestal Elks Lodge that sends care packages to troops overseas.

Mr. Gural donated $5 for every $10 Wynonna ticket sold and with additional outside donations we hope our veterans and military can be assisted.

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 www.tiogadowns.com (1-888-WIN-TIOGA)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chairman of ARE Jeff Gural buys out partner for sole ownership


American Racing and Entertainment announced today that Chairman and CEO, Jeff Gural's entity, Southern Tier LLC, has gained sole ownership of the company after buying out his partners at Plainfield Investment.

Gural's company now controls sole ownership of American Racing and Entertainment, which owns and operates two upstate New York Casinos, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs.

The Board of Directors for American Racing and Entertainment is Jeff Gural, Chairman and CEO, Tom Osiecki, President and COO, and board members Scott Freeman VP and General Manager of Vernon Downs, Jason Settlemoir VP of Racing, Simulcast, and Sales, Annie Allman and Ron Johnson.

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 www.tiogadowns.com or by phone (1-888-WIN-TIOGA).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tioga Downs and Jeff Gural aid in flood relief recovery in local area


Due to severe flooding in the Southern Tier, the final three race nights of the 2011 race season at Tioga Downs had to be canceled.

Over the 10 days that followed, both Tioga Downs employees and Jeff Gural came to the aid of local agencies trying to help families affected by the disaster.

Jeff Gural (Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment) personally donated $75,000 to aid in the relief while the Tioga Downs horsemen's group, the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association, donated $25,000.

This past Saturday night, Tioga Downs hosted its Sha Na Na concert and all ticket proceeds were donated to local agencies to aid the flood relief victims in the local area.

The days after the water receded and families were able to get into their homes near the racetrack to begin cleaning up what was left behind, employees of Tioga Downs delivered food and water during the afternoon hours.

For the past 10 days, the maintenance and track facility staff has been working hours on end to help the families near Tioga Downs with their clean up.

Tioga Downs has directed these families to leave all of their items which need to be thrown away, anything from couches to dryers, on the curb of the road and the maintenance staff will be by with a dump truck and front end loader to haul it away for them at no charge.

"The flooding in our area has been devastating and we have agreed to continue aiding in the clean up of our area until our neighbors are back on their feet," said Jason M. Settlemoir, VP of Racing and Simulcast.

Tioga Downs also reached out to its suppliers and bought supplies for the local Fire House which has been set up as a relief area in Nichols.

Some of the supplies donated by Tioga Downs's suppliers and itself have been 20 cases of breathing masks, gloves, paper towels, Clorox, bathroom tissue, mops and numerous other items.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Award winners crowned for the 2011 race season at Tioga Downs


Although the Tioga Downs race season was cut three days short due to the devastating flooding in the local area, awards for trotter of the year, pacer of the year, driver of the year, and trainer of the year are still being issued.

Hometown favorite, Aruba Vacation, took home 2011 Trotter of the year honors for trainer–owner Guy Howard, who is also the President of the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association.

Aruba Vacation posted three wins, three seconds, and two thirds in 11 starts at Tioga in 2011 and also established a new track record for 4-year-old gelding trotters in 1:55.1.

Fern Paquet Jr. teamed up for the Howard Stables on most occasions throughout 2011.

Taking home the honors for pacer of the year was Leanback Coco for trainer–owner Ken Anderson.

The Cambest mare used six wins, two seconds, and three thirds in 16 starts at Tioga to push her past $100,000 in earnings for the fifth straight year.

Phil Fluet was the main pilot behind Leanback Coco at Tioga Downs in 2011.
Tioga Downs' driver of the year went to newcomer, Ed Hensley, who accrued 65 wins and a Universal Driver Rating of .299 in more than 400 starts.

Ed Hensley competed as the Tioga Downs representative in the Meadowlands-Tioga Downs Drivers' Championship this year and finished in seventh place.

Another newcomer to Tioga Downs in 2011 also took home the trainer's title, as Erv Miller posted 35 wins in 129 seasonal starts with a UDR of .393.

Trotter of the year and Pacer of the year will each receive a $500 bonus check from Tioga Downs and the STHHA, while driver and trainer of the year will each receive $1,000.

The STHHA has donated $25,000, and which Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, Jeff Gural, will personally match dollar for dollar to aid in the relief of the local flood victims.

Tioga Downs will also donate all of the proceeds from ticket sales to this Saturday's (September 17) Sha Na Na concert to the flood relief in the local area.

"We appreciate the generosity of our horsemen's association here at Tioga Downs and that of our Chairman Jeff Gural during this trying time for our local area," said Jason M. Settlemoir, VP of Racing and Simulcast. "We are working with the charities to ensure that all of these funds stay locally and go directly to the families who desperately need them."

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Update on Tioga Downs and Flooding


Today is Sunday, Sept 11th.

The casino is not open today and will remain closed until power is restored.

All office staff, supervisors, managers, directors and vice presidents should report to work on Monday, only if able.

Any associate that needs to pick up last weeks paycheck can do so on Monday between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm at the Casino cage.

Please check the tioga downs website for more information.

In addition, all employees will be paid for last week. Checks will be distributed on Thursday.

Please check Tioga Downs website for updated information and contact information for Red Cross and FEMA.

Also, Route 17 has been re-opened and Exit 62 (River Rd) is now open as well.

Friday, September 9, 2011

An Important Message to Tioga Downs Employees


Tioga Downs Casino is currently closed and is running on generator power due to no power throughout Nichols, NY.

All roads leading to Tioga Downs are also closed.

Although there is no apparent damage to the facility, only outside property damage, we are making decisions day by day on what we need to do.

At this time we are planning to make paychecks available on Monday at TIOGA DOWNS ONLY if there is access to the property.

We will keep employees informed on a daily basis.

Please check back on our website and our Facebook page for these updates.

It is very important that everyone remain safe at this time and we welcome any questions you may have.

Please send us these questions to our Facebook page and we thank you for your cooperation.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tioga Downs Cancels Thursday, Friday and Saturday - Cane Pace to Pocono Downs/NYSS To Vernon Downs


Due to the extreme conditions resulting from record flooding and impassable roads, live racing has been canceled at Tioga Downs for Thursday, Friday & Saturday of this week.

As a result of those cancellations, some stake races have been moved to other venues.

The Cane Pace and Shady Daisy will be moved to Pocono Downs intact and will be raced on Saturday, September 10 as they have been drawn.

The two divisions of the Shady Daisy will be raced before the card at 5:00 and 5:15PM.

The Cane Pace will be raced as the 13th race on the Pocono Saturday night card.

There will be a detention barn for the Cane Pace only of six (6) hours prior to post time for the race, which works out to be no later than 3:45PM on Saturday.

No detention for the Shady Daisy.

Questions on the detention barn should be addressed to the Pocono Race Office at (570) 831-2127.

The New York Sire Stakes for two-year-old filly trotters (3 divisions) will be raced at Vernon Downs on Saturday, September 10th.

Those races will be raced 5:30 - 5:40 - 5:50 PM.

Questions should be directed to the Vernon Race Office at (315) 829-6825.

All overnight races scheduled for those days have been cancelled.

The management at Tioga Downs wishes to convey our heartfelt thanks to Pocono Downs and the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association for coming to the aid of these classic events and allowing us to avoid the cancellation of the races.

Thank you to all horsemen who have been inconvenienced by these changes; they are unavoidable.

Residents of the Southern Tier area are experiencing a tremendous hardship with the flooding and subsequent evacuations.

Racing under these conditions has become literally impossible with resources directed to people in need.

Tioga Downs Thursday Racing Card Cancelled


Tioga Downs has canceled the races for Thursday, September 8 due to the extreme weather conditions and resulting flooded roads in the area.

Information as to whether the NY Late Closers scheduled for tonight will be canceled or rescheduled will come from the NY Agricultural Society when that decision is made.

The Friday detention barn scheduled for those horses racing in the Cane Pace on Saturday has been canceled.

Please continue to monitor the industry websites for updated information on the status of live racing for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

See You At Peelers disqualified at Tioga Downs on Sunday night



See You At Peelers was reunited with Jim Morrill, Jr. on Sunday night at Tioga Downs in NYSS action, but the beginning of a new streak will have to wait for another day.

See You At Peelers finished first after pressing to the front through a half mile (55.3) of being parked on the outside, but down the stretch, See You At Peelers bared in causing interference with New Album and was placed second.

New Album (Jason Bartlett) inherited the victory in 1:52.3 for her eighth win of the year for trainer Mark Kesmodel and returned $14.20 for the win.

"Something seems to be bothering her, but she loves to race here at Tioga and we are happy that so many of the fans support her and follow her," said Jimmy Takter following See You At Peelers' second consecutive defeat.

Fantaddy (Jim Morrill Jr.) posted the fastest time in the three divisions for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers in 1:52.

Morrill sat off the pace as Mojo Terror (Mark Macdonald) and Feel Like A Fool (Jason Bartlett) tortured each other through fractions of 26.4 and 55.1 before Morrill unleashed Fantaddy to grab control of the field by three quarters in 1:22.4.

Down the stretch Morrill was in total control and had Fantaddy shut down on their way to an open length win in 1:52.

Other division winners for 3-year-old filly pacers included: Ms Malicious – Jason Bartlett: 1:52.1 and Miss Annie J – Jim Morrill Jr. 1:53.2.

Other splits for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers included: Sir Ziggy's Z Tam – Pat Lachance 1:51.3 and Overnight Delight – Jason Bartlett 1:52.4.

Jason Bartlett posted five wins on the night's 13-race card, while Jim Morrill Jr. notched three.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Track records fall on Saturday night at Tioga Downs in NYSS action


The track record coming into Saturday night at Tioga Downs was held by A Penny Earned for 2-year-old colt trotters of 1:57.4.

When the night was over, the record had been lowered twice and by more than two full seconds.

In the third of four divisions of New York Sire Stakes, Royal Shyster (Dan Daley) cut right down the pike and put up fractions of 28.2, 57.3, and 1:27.4 before easing away from the field to victory in a track record time of 1:57.1.

It was the sixth win in eight starts for the 2-year-old son of RC Royalty – Spin The Planet for trainer Dan Daley.

However, that track record will go down as one of the shortest in the track's history because the following race driver Ray Schnittker was on a mission.

Delano and Schnittker left aggressively from post position number six as the 9-2 third choice and made their own fate through 27.4, 56.4 and 1:25.1.

Around the final turn, the 2-5 betting favorite A Penny Earned went off stride along with the pocket sitting Coraggioso and that left Delano all alone on the front.

Coming to the wire it wasn't a matter of if, but by how many, and how fast those were the only unanswered questions.

Delano, the 2-year-old son of Credit Winner – Kelly Hall crossed the wire in a new track record time of 1:55.2.

"He's got a lot of talent and he's so big when he is on a half he jams himself up so the bigger track really helps him," said winning driver/trainer Ray Schnittker. "He was going about what he can go there, but I think he can be a Hambo horse for next year so we will see what happens the rest of this year."

Capturing the other two divisions of NYSS were Armed Dangerously (Cash Hall – Drive You Wild) Jim Morrill Jr. 1:58.3, and Classic Conway (Conway Hall – Classic Yankee) Stephane Bouchard 1:58.1.

Stephane Bouchard and Jim Morrill Jr. each posted driving triples on the night's 12-race card, while Corey Braden and Ray Schnittker recorded doubles.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Sunday, September 4th at 6:50 pm and will feature See You At Peelers in NYSS action.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hello Great Mate in Tioga Friday night feature


Hello Great Mate and Lewayne Miller posted a mild upset victory in Friday night's feature condition event.

Leaving from post position number four, Miller settled in early and made a quarter pole move in 27.3.

Hello Great Mate then led the field through fractions of 57.2 and 1:25.1 before Miller stepped on the gas to cruise to victory in a new seasonal mark of 1:53.2.

It was the fourth win of the year for the 4-year-old daughter of Allamerican Ingot – Cheery Hello, who is owned by Kentuckiana Racing Stable and is trained by Erv Miller.

Stash The Cash (Fern Paquet Jr.) used a two-hole trip to finish second, while Shesa Bragn Dragon (Brandon Simpson) finished third despite a tough first over journey.

Jimmy Marohn Jr. posted a driving triple on the night's 12-race card while Brandon Simpson and Corey Braden each recorded doubles.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Saturday, September 3rd at 6:50 pm.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cane Pace draws nine at Tioga Downs


Wednesday morning, the Tioga Downs Race Office accepted entries for the 57th Annual Cane pace and nine 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers were entered.

As a result, no eliminations will be necessary and all nine will move straight to the $342,875 final on Saturday, September 10th at Tioga Downs.

Meadowlands Pace winner, Roll With Joe, leads the nine sophomore pacers and drew post position number eight for trainer Ed Hart and Ron Pierce.

In his last out, the 3-year-old son of Cam’s Card Shark – Classic Wish won the $500,000 Battle of Brandywine at Chester Downs over Alsace Hanover in 1:49.2.

Ed Hart trains the winner of more than $1.2 million already in 2011 and will look for his fifth win in nine seasonal outings.

Also joining him for the final will be the fastest 3-year-old pacer in 2011, Shadyshark Hanover, who captured the Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1:47.4 on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands.

Since reuniting with last year's pilot, Jim Morrill Jr., Shadyshark Hanover has been no worse that fourth in three starts after a bit of a rocky start to the year.

All horses for the 57th Annual Cane Pace must be in detention by 8:00 pm on Friday, September 9th, and scratch time for the Cane will be by Thursday, September 8th at 10:00 am.

Below is the field in post position order:
57th Annual Cane Pace
Saturday, September 10th
PP HORSE DRIVER TRAINER
1 Powerful Mist Andy Miller Wayne Givens
2 Townslight Hanover Stephane Bouchard Aaron Lambert
3 Avenue Hanover Daniel Dube Mark Silva
4 Eighteen TBA Ian Moore
5 Shadyshark Hanover Jim Morrill Jr. Erv Miller
6 Rollwithitharry Jim Morrill Jr. Jimmy Takter
7 Betterthancheddar George Brennan Casie Coleman
8 Roll With Joe Ron Pierce Ed Hart
9 High Noon Mark Macdonald Jimmy Takter

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Jamieson never relinquishes lead on way to his first Tioga Downs Drivers' Championship


Canada's superstar, Jody Jamieson, came into the second and final leg of the Drivers' Championship with a three-point lead after the first leg held at The Meadowlands.

He had no plans of ever relinquishing that lead and stormed out of the gate again in race number one, winning with Split Ticket, to increase his margin on his way to being crowned 2011 Drivers' Champion.

Jamieson also scored a victory in the third leg with Aboycalledsu N to add another 10 points on to his widening margin.

However, the final nail in the coffin came in race number six in the fourth division when Jamieson finished second with Smooth Power, collecting seven points and sending all other drivers' hopes of winning up in a blaze.

For the win, Jamieson collected $25,000, a commemorative ring from Bow River Jewelry, and an Evolution Race Bike from Evolution Racing.

Yannick Gingras collected 10 points in the fourth division of the Drivers' Championship, winning with 42-1 upset winner Mystical Con, which helped him secure second place good for $5,000.

Ron Pierce came into the final division of the Drivers' Championship in seventh place, but rallied late to get a win with Arockin Hanover and leap frog over the field into third and secure $4,000.

George Brennan and Brian Sears finished in a tie for fourth, Tim Tetrick was sixth, Ed Hensley and David Miller all square in seventh, while Andy Miller was ninth.

In the Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters, Broad Bahn rebounded off of his loss in the Colonial to take home a division of the Zweig in 1:55.3.

Brennan gained control of the field and cut through fractions of 27.3, 58, and 1:26.1 before going away from the field with ease to win for the fifth time in 10 seasonal starts.

The 3-year-old son of Broadway Hall – Madonarail added the Zweig Memorial to his growing collection of triumphs for trainer Noel Daley, and became the first trotter in 15 years to win the Hambletonian and Zweig in the same season.

"He was good tonight," said winning driver George Brennan. "We were lucky to get to the half in 58 tonight and he was okay. He wasn't Hambletonian good, but we got lucky with a good spot and he got the job done tonight."

In the other division for 3-year-old colt trotters, Charlie De Vie and David Miller made a quarter pole move the winning one and never looked back en route to a 1:53.2 triumph over Bambino Hall.

The 3-year-old son of Yankee Glide – Knickers Hanover made it his second consecutive victory and seventh of the year in 11 starts for trainer Chris Ryder.

In the Zweig Memorial Trot for the ladies, Beatgoesonhanover used a pocket trip to guide her to victory past the heavily favored Jezzy in 1:55.3.

It was the fifth win in nine seasonal starts for the 3-year-old daughter of Andover Hall – Beat The Wheel for driver David Miller, and trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman.

In the second division of the Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotting fillies, Pantholops followed the favorite Some Girls around the track through fractions of 28.3, 59.1, and 1:28.1 before gearing up for the stretch drive.

Down the stretch Pantholops was urged on by driver Andy Miller before nipping Some Girls at the wire in 1:56.4.

Jonas Czernyson trains the 3-year-old daughter of Andover Hall – Klipspringer, who posted victory for the second time in 10 career starts.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Aruba Vacation lowers track record in Tioga Saturday night feature


Hometown favorite, Aruba Vacation, and Fern Paquet Jr. captured Saturday night's $18,000 open trot at Tioga Downs, and posted a new track record for 4-year-old gelding trotters.

Leaving from post position number six, Paquet and "Aruba" quickly took control of the field through fractions of 28 and 58.1.

Down the backside and headed towards three quarters, the race favorite Winning Fireworks (Phil Fluet) posted a first over bid but couldn't even reach the wheel of the pacesetter.

As the field struck the three quarter mark of the race in 1:26.1, the only threat to Aruba Vacation was the 55-1 pocket sitting Howd That Feel and Jason Mac Dougall.

Down the stretch Howd That Feel tipped to the outside but wasn't much of a threat as Aruba Vacation cruised to victory in 1:55.1 stamping his name into the Tioga Downs record books.

Guy Howard trains the 4-year-old homebred son of Dream Vacation – Dixie Hit, who scored for the fifth time in 21 starts this season and with the win increased his seasonal bankroll to $68,000.

Howd The Feel (Jason Mac Dougall) finished second, while Whybabywhy (Jim Meittinis) used a rail ride to finish third.

Due to concerns about the weather and traveling conditions along the East Coast, Tioga Downs has postponed the Sunday, August 28 race card in its entirety to Monday, August 29th with a post time of 6:30PM.

The card will be moved intact, the Zweig Memorial Stakes and the Drivers' Championship will be contested as planned on Monday.

"We recognize and appreciate the commitment and support of our horsemen and it is out of concern for their welfare and that of their horses that we make this postponement. Travel conditions especially with horse trailers in high winds will be challenging at best and the safety of our horsemen and their horses is our chief concern," said Jeffrey R. Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Freedom Crossing takes Tioga Downs Friday night feature


In the Friday night $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace, Freedom Crossing and Mike Micallef turned a pocket trip into a victory for trainer Kevin Efimetz.

Leaving from post position number five, Freedom Crossing left strongly to take control of the field past an opening panel of 27.2.

The heavy favorite McFlirty and Ed Hensley quickly surged to the front from third and led the field of six through fractions of 56 and 1:24.3.

Around the final turn, Micallef pulled Freedom Crossing out of the pocket and surged by the leader in the lane to win in 1:53.

It was the sixth win in 16 starts for the 4-year-old daughter of Artiscape – Bunker To Bunker, who with the victory increased her seasonal earnings to more than $60,000.

McFlirty (Ed Hensley) hung on for second, while Penny Pincher (Corey Braden) turned a rail ride into a third place finish.

Jimmy Marohn Jr. posted a driving triple on the evening's 12-race card, while Phil Fluet and Mike Micallef each recorded doubles.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Saturday, August 27th at 6:50 pm.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Drivers select charities for earnings on Drivers' Championship races


The nine drivers competing in the six Drivers' Championship races on Sunday afternoon (August 28) at Tioga Downs have all selected a charity and agreed to donate their 5% earnings on those races to those charities.

David Miller, Ed Hensley, Tim Tetrick, and Yannick Gingras have all selected the Standardbred Retirement Foundation as their 2011 charity.

Brian Sears will be competing for the August Horseplay Charity of the month at Tioga Downs, STAT (Southern Tier Alternative Therapies), who works with special needs children through alternative therapies, including animal assisted therapies.

Jody Jamieson, who is leading at the halfway point, will be donating his earnings to Luke’s Troops, which supports Canadian troops fighting for freedom and once back home takes the troops to NHL games.

George Brennan has selected Wounded Warrior Project as his 2011 Drivers' Championship charity.

The Wounded Warrior Project provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and the transition to civilian life.

Ron Pierce will once again be driving for his charity, Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, in Cambridge, MD.

The Blackwater Wildlife Refuge helps protect land in Maryland for swamp land and animals that call this place their home.

As in years past, Tioga Downs Casino and Jeff Gural will personally match dollar-for-dollar all the money that is raised for charity with the drivers' earnings.

Six races have been put together for the final leg of the 2011 Drivers' Championship at Tioga Downs to kick off on Sunday, August 28th at 1:30 pm.

Also featured on Sunday at Tioga Downs is the $420,000e Zweig Memorial Trot for 3-year-old trotters.

Hambletonian winner Broad Bahn leads a group of 15 colts in two divisions of the Zweig, while Hambletonian Oaks winner Bold And Fresh, and New York superstar, Jezzy, will eye up another battle in one of two divisions for the fillies.

The annual driver meet-and-greet will begin on the trackside apron at Noon along with the Tim Tetrick Bobblehead giveaway (while supplies last).

Tioga Downs and the USTA have joined forces on Sunday to offer a $5,000 guaranteed pick four pool on the final four races of the afternoon (10 through 13).

Going into the final leg of the Drivers' Championship, Jody Jamieson holds a three-point lead over Yannick Gingras and Brian Sears, who sit tied for second with 20 points.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Friday, August 26th at 6:50 pm.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

$5,000 Pick Four Guaranteed Pool set for Sunday at Tioga Downs


This Sunday (August 28th) will be a featured day for Tioga Downs with the $50,000 Fifth Annual Drivers' Championship along with the Zweig Memorial Trot beginning at 1:30 pm.

Also, adding to the excitement for Sunday afternoon, is a $5,000 Guaranteed Pick Four Pool that will be on the final four races of the afternoon's card.

As part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program, Tioga Downs has teamed up with the USTA to offer the customers of Tioga Downs a chance at the guaranteed $5,000 pool.

The guarantee will only apply if someone successfully selects four of four in the pick four wager.

The day at Tioga Downs will kick off at 12:00 noon with a driver meet-and-greet with all nine drivers competing in the Drivers' Championship along with a Tim Tetrick Bobblehead giveaway on the trackside apron.

Going into the final leg of the Drivers' Championship, Jody Jamieson holds a three-point lead over Yannick Gingras and Brian Sears, who sit tied for second with 20 points.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Friday, August 26th at 6:50 pm.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

"Inside Harness Racing" Debuts New Technology



"Inside Harness Racing" puts viewers in the driver's seat.

We debut new technology that gives racing fans the chance to look through the eyes of a driver.

We strapped a GoPro® HD Hero Camera on driver Fern Paquet, Jr.'s helmet and sulky during morning training.

See what it's like on this week's episode of "Inside Harness Racing."

Viewers can see all the action tonight (Wednesday) at 6:00 PM on Time Warner Cable Sports throughout Upstate New York.

Viewers are encouraged to check their local listings for the channel in their area.

Canadian viewers can also watch "Inside Harness Racing" on HPItv during their morning programming.

Fans outside the viewing areas can watch the show and all previous episodes on the Tioga Downs YouTube Channel.

For the first time in its five-year history, the Tioga Downs Drivers' Championship included a first round held over the weekend at The Meadowlands.

We look back at Jody Jamieson's victory and look ahead to Sunday's $25,000 final round.

Plus, after a year away from the races recovering from an injury, Canadian pacer OK Commander continues his triumphant return to the track at Tioga Downs for trainer Gregg McNair.

"Inside Harness Racing" is a 30-minute, fast-paced look into the harness racing scene at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs.

The program is hosted and produced by Justin Horowitz with production and videography by Jim Rotundo.

For more information on Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, visit their websites at www.tiogadowns.com and www.vernondowns.com.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

2-year-old filly pacers in NYSS highlight Tioga Sunday card


Five divisions of New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers highlighted the Sunday afternoon card at Tioga Downs.

In the third division of the day, Jason Bartlett steered JK Fine Art to her fourth victory of the year for trainer Linda Toscano.

Bartlett grabbed control of the mile through an opening quarter in a speed 26.2.

JK Fine Art continued to lead the field of eight fillies through fractions of 56.1 and 1:24.4 before heavy pressure was put down on her.

Table Games and Brandon Simpson pulled out of the two hole rounding the final turn and looked as though the duo were going to go by, however JK Fine Art was tough as nails on the lead hanging on to win in 1:54.4.

Arm In Arm (Howard Parker) got up for second, while Weekend Getaway (Phil Fluet) closed quickly for third.

The 2-year-old daughter of Art Major – Presidential Lady is owned by the 3 Brothers Stable of New York, and William Jacobwoitz of New Jersey.

Other division winners on the day included: JK Cracklin Rosie: Jason Bartlett – 1:54.3 (American Ideal – J K On Broadway), Double Major: Brandon Simpson – 1:54.2 (Art Major – Mommy Robin Q), Bella Marta: Brandon Simpson – 1:55.4 (Art Major – Noble Martha), and Park Lane Paige: Ed Hensley – 1:54 (Art Major – Impagain Hanover).

Brandon Simpson posted a driving grand slam on the afternoon's 13-race card while Jason Bartlett, Jordan Stratton, and Ed Hensley each posted driving doubles.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Friday, August 26th at 6:50 pm.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Paquet wins six on Saturday night at Tioga


Fern Paquet Jr. celebrated his wife's birthday on Saturday night by posting six wins on the night's 12-race card at Tioga Downs.

Paquet started off the night in the first race, winning with long shot Shady Chip returning $47.00 to win.

Paquet then went on to win races three, six, seven, eight, and 12, and just missed in the $18,000 feature with favorite Aruba Vacation in race number nine.

In the $18,000 featured Open Trot, Mach Ten made his second start at Tioga Downs with driver Phil Fluet and loomed in the back of the field as P L Conjure cut through fractions of 28, 58.1, and 1:26.1.

Around the final turn race favorite Aruba Vacation pulled the pocket to take control of the field down the stretch, but Fluet was flying three wide to get the narrow victory in a new lifetime best of 1:55.2.

Michelle Gramza trains the 5-year-old son of International Chip – Meadowbranch Mary for Dianne Mahiques of Angola, NY.

The win was the eighth of the year for Mach Ten, and with the victory increased his seasonal earnings to more than $58,000.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Sunday, August 21st at 1:30 pm and will feature five divisions of New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Leanback Coco again in Tioga Friday night feature


Friday night got back to usual after last week's Wynonna Judd concert at Tioga Downs, and things didn't change as Leanback Coco once again proved toughest in the $18,000 Fillies and Mare Open handicap pace.

Phil Fluet used the usual tactic of backing the mare off the gate and settled in fourth past the quarter in 27.3.

On the front end Mike Micallef and Freedom Crossing used their move and blistered on the front end through a half in 55.4.

Down the backside it looked as though Coco was in trouble as she was locked in on the rail past three quarters in 1:24, but around the final turn Fluet found room and fanned four wide.

Down the stretch it looked like Hello Great Mate might post the upset, but Leanback Coco was right on her back and got by Hello Great Mate and Fern Paquet Jr. stopping the timer in 1:54.

The win was the fourth in the last six starts for Leanback Coco, who has posted six Open wins at Tioga Downs in 2011.

Phil Fluet and Chuck Connor Jr. both posted driving doubles on the night's 10-race card.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Saturday, August 20th at 6:50 pm.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Tioga Downs announces new paddock plans for 2012


Tioga Downs management and the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association have been in negotiations and have plans to build a new paddock on the backstretch side of the racetrack for the 2012 race season.

The new paddock will be in the current location of the race office and commission building and will hold eight to nine races and will also be home to a new commission and race office.

The location of the current paddock will be the new home for the Tioga Downs Hotel, once the paddock is relocated.

The plans are to break ground later in 2011 and have the paddock up and ready to go by the 2012 race season.

"We feel that with the addition of the new paddock located on the backstretch side of the racetrack, that Tioga Downs will be an even bigger destination for horsemen located throughout the East Coast," said Guy Howard, President of the STHHA.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Friday, August 19th at 6:50 pm.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Leg of the Tioga Downs-Meadowlands Drivers' Championship set for Saturday night at the Big M


Four races have been slated to make up the opening leg of the 5th Annual Drivers' Championship to begin on Saturday, August 20th on closing night at The Meadowlands.

The Championship will kick off in race number two at the Big M featuring Yannick Gingras, David Miller, Ron Pierce, George Brennan, Ed Hensley, Tim Tetrick, Andy Miller, Brian Sears, and Jody Jamieson.

All nine drivers will compete for points to gain the upper edge on the competition looking towards the second leg which will take place on Sunday, August 28th at Tioga Downs.

The leading driver in points after The Meadowlands leg will take home $10,000 and be in the best spot to land another $25,000 in Nichols, New York.

Saturday night at The Meadowlands, races two, five, eight, and ten will be Drivers' Championship races that the nine drivers will compete in to earn points.

The point system is as follows: 1st place–10 points, 2nd place–7 points, 3rd place–5 points, 4th place–3 points and 5th place–1 point.

When the Championship heads to Tioga, purses for the races used for the events have been bumped up 20% for Sunday, August 28th.

Plus, trainer bonus checks will be paid out in races used for the Championship for horses finishing sixth through ninth, each will be paid $100.

Entries for the Drivers' Championship races are due in to the Tioga race office by Thursday, August 25th at 9:00 am and can be called in to 607.699.7688.

Condition sheets can be found online at www.tiogadowns.com

Also featured on Sunday, August 28th at Tioga Downs is the $420,000e Zweig Memorial Trot for 3-year-old trotters.

Last year Temple Of Doom and Lucky Chucky took home the two divisions for male trotters, while Up Front Juansteen and Impressive Kemp took home divisions for filly trotters.

Post time for the Sunday, August 28th race card at Tioga Downs is set for 1:30 pm.

Tioga Downs would like to thank its sponsors for the 2011 Drivers' Championship: Accumark, Allerage Farms, All Event's Engraving, Big Dee's Tack and Vet Supplies, Binghamton Senators, Bow River Jewelry, Community Press, Coon and Son's, Climans Green Liang Architects, Delaware County Fair, Dig Safely, Elmira Jackals, Evolution Racing LLC, Ferris Tractor, Figisbig.com, Harness Racing Hall of Fame, Horsemen & Fair World Magazine, Hub International, Jim Riegle Colors, Larson Design Group, Lexington Select Yearling Sale, LV Harkness, Mainesource, Maitland Trifecta, Nathan's Hot Dogs, Northwood Bloodstock, Oakdale Mall, Ontrack, Roberts Communication Network, STHHA, Tioga State Bank, Winbak Farms, and Youth Beats.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Tioga's Top Driver Hensley Heads to Drivers' Championship



See You at Peelers's quest for her 22nd straight win has to wait one more week.

A torrential downpour and sloppy track prevented the undefeated filly from continuing her streak at Tioga Downs over the weekend.

"Inside Harness Racing" has an exclusive interview with Peelers's driver, Marcus Johansson, who discusses the decision to scratch her and how the unexpected layoff could affect her performance moving forward.

Catch the interview on this week's episode of "Inside Harness Racing."

Viewers can see all the action tonight (Wednesday) at 6:00 PM on Time Warner Cable Sports throughout Upstate New York.

Viewers are encouraged to check their local listings for the channel in their area.

Canadian viewers can also watch "Inside Harness Racing" on HPItv during their morning programming.

Fans outside the viewing areas can watch the show and all previous episodes on the Tioga Downs YouTube Channel.

Top driver Jason Bartlett also returned to Tioga Downs over the weekend.

He sits down in the "Settlemoir Spotlight" and discusses his recovery from a July 4th car accident that put him on the sidelines for six weeks.

Plus, leading Tioga Downs driver Ed Hensley is headed to the Meadowlands this weekend for the first round of the Drivers' Championship.

"Inside Harness Racing" caught up with him as he prepares to represent the home team against the sport's biggest stars on the sport's biggest stage.

"Inside Harness Racing" is a 30-minute, fast-paced look into the harness racing scene at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs.

The program is hosted and produced by Justin Horowitz with production and videography by Jim Rotundo.

For more information on Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, visit their websites at www.tiogadowns.com and www.vernondowns.com.

Settlemoir and Huston to Upstate New York Hall


The two newest members of the Upstate New York USHWA Harness Racing Hall of Fame representing Tioga Downs are Jason Settlemoir and Roger Huston.

After the votes were cast, the chapter members were in total agreement and the honorees will receive their "Empire Pinnacle Crystal" awards in the winner's circle at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 28).

Jason Settlemoir's entire life has been devoted to harness racing.

He was 13 years old when he announced his first race at the Hartford Independent Fair in Licking County, Ohio.

He later did the same at numerous other county fairs in Ohio as well as the West Virginia State Fair.

His ability to describe the action eventually found him as a backup announcer at Scioto Downs and Northfield Park.

He got his first full time management position as Assistant to the Assistant General Manager (Jerry Kalb) at Scioto Downs in 1996, but he was soon promoted to Simulcast Program Manager.

Shortly after that he took on several more jobs there including Track Announcer, Simulcast Director, and Assistant Race Secretary.

In 2005 he was hired by the USTA as Director of Advertising.

But his tenure there was brief because he was offered the opportunity to be a part of a racing renaissance in New York State.

Jeff Gural brought Settlemoir on board to help bring one racetrack back from the brink of extinction and oversee the rebirth of another track that had been shuttered for 28 years.

While expending endless hours of work building a staff, planning promotions and growing simulcast outlets, Settlemoir was an integral part of keeping Vernon Downs alive and guiding Gural's new track, Tioga Downs, to be one of the finest racing facilities in New York.

Currently, Jason Settlemoir is Vice President of Racing and Simulcast for American Racing and Entertainment (Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs).

He is also Simulcast Director for the Little Brown Jug, Vice President of Harness Tracks of America, a Director for the United States Trotting Association District 8 and President of the U.S. Harness Writers Association.

Settlemoir is also active in the sport as a Standardbred owner.

He was awarded the 2006 U.S. Harness Writers Association's Lew Barasch Breakthrough Award for his work in opening up Tioga Downs and making sure Vernon Downs survived.

Settlemoir attended The Ohio State University and resides in Athens, Pa., with his wife, Lori, and their sons, Jeffrey and Travis.

There he is involved in the local community, serving on the Board of Directors for the United Way in Tioga County and chairing their annual fundraising campaign.

He is also on the Board of Directors for the Southern Tier American Red Cross and sits on the Board of Directors for the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce.

Roger Huston is a unique individual. His life exudes harness racing and he incorporates the sport in whatever he does.

He is first and foremost an ambassador to the sport who carries the message where ever he can every day.

In an era where everyone is looking for ways to promote the future of the sport, Huston has been doing just that for over half a century.

One could easily mention his 51 years of announcing 156,000 races at 126 different tracks in 17 states and seven countries or the fact that his voice has been synonymous with the tradition laden Little Brown Jug stake for 44 years.

But that would be too obvious and miss the point of what he really brings to the table.

Huston has done many charity events and fundraisers for various organizations in and out of the sport.

He MC's the New Vocation Horse Adoption auction event during Jug week and has since its inception.

He has called pig races, frog races, and even a race between the two inclines that go up the side of Mount Washington in Pittsburgh for various worthy causes like the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

And since he is arguably the most recognizable voice in harness racing, each one of these outings is like a billboard advertising the sport to people in all walks of life.

Through his career, charitable activities, and personal life, Roger Huston has introduced untold numbers of new fans to harness racing over the years and his efforts should be an inspiration to everyone in the sport who wishes to see it remain a viable industry for years to come.

Roger Huston has been calling races at Tioga Downs since they opened in 2006 and has been integral to its success with his high energy descriptions and recognizable style.

Sand Savage takes Monday Tioga feature


Sand Savage came into the Tioga Downs featured event on Monday evening after four straight starts without earning a check.

That slump ended as Greg Merton put Sand Savage on the front end and cut through fractions of 27.2 and 56.1 before leading the field towards three quarters.

At the three quarter pole, Sand Savage was well in command as Red Star Paylater (Ed Hensley) sitting in the pocket made a break and scattered the field behind him.

That paved the way for Sand Savage to have a walk across finish at the wire in 1:53.2.

Sisyphus (Phil Fluet) avoided the breaking horses to finish second, while Stormin Rustler (Corey Braden) was fanned out wide, but finished third.

Scott Blackler trains the 4-year-old son of Allamerican Native–Sheer Hose for Paganelli, Lightning 5 Racing, Daddario, and Maclean.

The win was the seventh of the year for Sand Savage, who with the victory increased his seasonal bankroll to more than $67,000.

Phil Fluet posted a driving grand slam on the evening's 13-race card, while Lewayne Miller, Jimmy Marohn Jr., and Greg Merton each recorded doubles.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Friday, August 19th at 6:50 pm.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New York State Fair Stakes highlight Tioga Saturday night card


The New York State Fair rolled into Tioga Downs on Saturday night for a two-day stay and featured five divisions, two for 3-year-old colt pacers and three for 3-year-old colt trotters.

In the second division for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers, a new track record was marked up by Art Z and Brandon Simpson.

Leaving hard from post position number six, Art Z tripped the quarter pole timer in 26.3.

As the field headed by the three-eighth's pole, Flipper J and Jason Bartlett took control of the lead and cut through a half in 55.2.

Down the backside headed towards three quarters it was a two horse breakaway as Bartlett throttled the third quarter in 27 trying to shake Art Z, but he was painted to his helmet in two.

Down the stretch there was no doubt about the winner as Art Z and Brandon Simpson eased by the leader to stop the tele-timer in 1:50.4, establishing a new track mark for 3-year-old gelding pacers.

The previous mark had been held by Frankyluvsmeatbals of 1:51.1.

Art Z is trained by Jordan Rubin for Richard Lombardo of Solon, OH, and with the win increased his seasonal earnings to more than $114,000.

In the first $57,603 division for sophomore pacers, American Rage used a first over brush to take control of the lead and never relinquish it en route to a 1:52.1 victory, establishing a new lifetime mark with Ed Hensley.

The most impressive victory in the three divisions of the State Fair Stakes for 3-year-old trotters was put up by Keenan in the second division and extended his win streak to six.

Leaving from post position number seven, Jeff Gregory landed on the point and never looked back trotting home in 1:55.1 to win with ease.

In the other divisions, Bristles Winner (Jeff Gregory) posted a narrow victory in 1:55.4, while Tober (Jason Bartlett) posted an open length win in 1:56.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Sunday, August 14th at 1:30 pm and will feature the undefeated sophomore pacing sensation, See You At Peelers, in race number eight.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com.