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.