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 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

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

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

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

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