Monday, April 30, 2012

Press Night on Tuesday at Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs' annual "Dress Rehearsal" will take place this Tuesday evening with four qualifiers under the lights at 6:50 PM.

Each season, the local media is invited to attend a session of qualifying races to generate interest in the live racing season.

Media access to racing personalities, press guides with the season's highlights listed and delicious hors d'oeuvres will compose Tuesday's menu.

Also on display is the brand new race paddock, located near the top of the stretch.

All horsemen shipping into Tioga should go directly to the stable gate and will be able to unload and park their rigs near the paddock.

Tioga live racing begins on Saturday, May 5 with an early post time of 5:00 PM.

On that day, the first three races will go, then live racing will be suspended until the conclusion of the Kentucky Derby (post time approx 6:25) and resume around 7:00.

Highlighting opening weekend are the New York Sire Stakes preps for 3YO's designed to give trainers a place to start their sophomore sire stakes hopefuls before the actual NYSS events begin the following week.

The first draw is on Wednesday, May 2 with the box closing at 9:00 AM.

The first condition sheet is available here and you may phone entries into the Racing Office at (607) 699-7688.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tioga Downs to offer New York Sire Stakes prep races

Tioga Downs will offer New York Sire Stake Prep races to all NYSS-eligible horses.

The unofficial "Preps" are for New York-bred 3-year-olds of each sex and gait.

These races are designed to insure the sire stakes horses a start against other sophomores heading into the first leg of the program.

The "Preps" require entrants to be NYSS-eligible and do not count toward the point total kept for the NYSS Finals.

The purse for each is $10,000 and there is a $110 starting fee.

Horses must show a clean line in 30 days meeting Tioga's qualifying standards.

The Prep races will take place over the first two weeks of live racing with the 3YO colt trotters and pacers racing on opening day, Saturday May 5th; the filly trotters on Sunday, May 6th and the filly pacers on the second week of racing going forward on Friday, May 11th.

Tioga kicks off its 61-day meet on Kentucky Derby day, Saturday May 5th, with a special post time of 5:00 PM.

The first draw takes place Wednesday, May 2nd, box closes at 9:00 AM.

For more information, please visit the Tioga Downs website at or call the Race Office at (607) 699-7688.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Live Racing Returns to Tioga Downs and Derby Fest 5

Tioga Downs Casino in Nichols will host Derby Fest 5 on Saturday, May 5th, celebrating the 138th Kentucky Derby live from Churchill Downs and the official kick-off of the 2012 Live Harness Racing Season.

This year, Tioga Downs has another reason to have a party, Cinco De Mayo.

On top of having Mint Juleps, there will be Margaritas, a Sombrero Hat contest, and our ever popular Kentucky Derby Hat Contest.

The exciting day of events, which drew over 12,000 patrons in 2011, begins with simulcast racing from Churchill Downs starting at 10:30 AM. Guests can watch and wager on all the races leading up to the 138th Run for the Roses (post time approximately 6:24 PM).

Tioga Downs live harness racing season kicks off with a special post-time of 5:00 PM and will break to air the Kentucky Derby at 6:24 PM.

Kentucky Derby Fest 5 will be bigger and better than ever with more excitement and entertainment, including seven live performances throughout the day including an authentic Mariachi Band at 4:30 PM, and more.

The Derby and Sombrero Hat Contests will be held on the track side apron at 3:00 PM with registration beginning at 2:00 PM. Wear your best Kentucky Derby or Sombrero hat for a chance to win a $500 race voucher.

Live harness racing will continue following the Kentucky Derby at approximately 7:00 PM and will end with a spectacular fireworks display.

Go to for further information and event times.

Tioga Downs kicks off first qualifiers of the 2012 race season

Tioga Downs held the first of three sets of qualifiers before the opening of the 2012 race season on Saturday, May 5, 2012 with a special post time of 5:00pm.

Only five qualifying events were held on Friday morning at Tioga Downs, but the fifth and final marked the return of the 2011 trotter of the year at Tioga Downs, Aruba Vacation.

Regular pilot, and Tioga Downs regular Fern Paquet Jr. was in the bike for a 2:00.2 front end easy victory for the now 5-year old son of Dream Vacation for trainer–owner Guy Howard.

Tioga Downs will hold qualifiers next Friday (April 27) once again at 11:00am, and then once more on Tuesday, May 1 during its annual "Press Night" with local media and dignitaries under the lights at 6:50pm.

For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at

Thursday, April 19, 2012

2012 Tioga Downs Summer Concert Series Unveiled

Tioga Downs Casino is proud to announce the return of the popular Summer Concert Series featuring five shows from some of music's biggest stars. Tickets to all shows are available for purchase at the Tioga Downs Gift Shop and online at Ticketmaster.

The series kicks off Friday, May 25 with rock n roll legends Foghat and The Outlaws. Foghat is best known for its 1975 hit, "Slow Ride." The Outlaws have always been known as one of the best live bands of their generation featuring a high-powered guitar driven brand of southern rock.

The Summer Concert Series continues on June 15 with Motown legends, The Commodores.

Then, as the area celebrates America's birthday, Tioga Downs celebrates with Grammy-award winning, America, on July 3.

Next up on the schedule on Friday, August 10 is the legendary country group, The Oak Ridge Boys.

The Summer Concert Series wraps up on Friday, August 31 with country music singer Randy Travis. A 6-time Grammy-award winner, Travis has produced 22 number one hits and is considered one of the most influential voices in the history of country music.

Full Schedule:
May 25 - Foghat and The Outlaws
June 15 - The Commodores
July 3 - America
August 10 - The Oak Ridge Boys
August 31 - Randy Travis

Be sure to follow Tioga Downs on Twitter for the latest news and information on the Summer Concert Series.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tioga's Friday Qualifiers Will Race From New Paddock

The first qualifying races of the season will be offered at Tioga Downs at 11AM on Friday, April 20.

Entries will be taken at (607) 699-7688 until the box closes at 10AM on Thursday.

The big news on the grounds is that the brand new paddock, built over the winter by Chenango Builders, will be making its debut on Friday morning.

"Having the paddock adjacent to the barns will make the process of racing several horses on one card much easier for trainers on the grounds and those shipping in," was Southern Tier Harness Horseman's Association (STHHA) President Guy Howard's assessment of the new location.

The new paddock is located just off the track at the top of the stretch.

It offers great convenience to horsemen, containing room for eight races and positioned next to the ship-in barn (barn M).

To access the paddock, enter the barn area via the stable gate and pull into the unloading area near barn M.

There is a new area designated for trailer parking after the unloading.

Jeff Gural spoke of the cooperation between the STHHA and Tioga: "When we asked the horsemen how we could improve the experience of racing at our track, the top response by a wide margin was to relocate the paddock. We made that a priority and with the help of the STHHA and the mild winter got it done in time for the 2012 season."

Paperwork necessary for entry to the Tioga barn area is listed here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 15 Deadline Looms for Tioga Late Closers

Nominations for the Tioga Downs 2012 Late Closing program are due this month.

Recognizing the the April 15 deadline falls on a Sunday, those with postmarks up to and including April 17 will be accepted.

The nomination form is available here.

Tioga's new race paddock is complete and will be available for use for the first qualifiers of the season scheduled for Friday, April 20.

The new paddock is located in the Tioga backstretch next to the ship-in barn and is much more user friendly than the old location.

Call Director of Racing Jason Bluhm at (607) 699-7688 with questions on the closers or racing here throughout the 2012 season, which begins on Saturday, May 5 with a special post time of 5:00 PM.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tioga Downs Casino Generates more than $108 Million for New York's Education

Tioga Downs Casino's Contribution Equivalent to 330 Teachers' Salaries

New York Lottery's Data for Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Reflects Extraordinary Revenue Generated By Tioga Downs Casino

Tioga Downs Casino generated more than $23,093,549 million for education during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, according to the recently released data by the Division of Lottery. As part of Tioga Downs Casino's ongoing support of New York's education, 37 percent of Tioga Downs Casino's net win is given to the Lottery to fund education.

"Once again we have seen steady growth with the monies going to education and local government. For that we thank our customers and the lottery for working with us to constantly improve our product which allows us to continue to grow and increase our support of education," states Jeff Gural, CEO and Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment.

In 2011-2012, revenue generated by Tioga Downs Casino for education was equivalent to the annual salaries of approximately 330 teachers. With education budgets consistently tightening, this revenue will allow for students throughout New York State to continue to earn a high-quality public education. Since opening in 2006, Tioga Downs Casino has generated more than $108,263,587 in education funding for New York.

In addition to these financial contributions to the Lottery, Tioga Downs Casino also contributes to the state and supports the local community. In the same fiscal year (2011-2012), Tioga Downs Casino has contributed $2,146,643 in aid to struggling local governments.

The full Lottery report is available at

Rob Fitzpatrick appointed CFO of American Racing and Entertainment and New Meadowlands Racetrack

American Racing and Entertainment, LLC and New Meadowlands Racetrack announced today the promotion of Rob Fitzpatrick to Chief Financial Officer of American Racing and Entertainment and New Meadowlands Racetrack.

Fitzpatrick joined American Racing and Entertainment last May as the Vice President of Finance and has played a vital role in Chairman Jeff Gural's acquisition of the New Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

"I have had the opportunity over the past year to work with Rob closely, and am glad we have been able to create this position where he can oversee the finances at these three properties," said Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment LLC, and New Meadowlands Racetrack, Jeff Gural.

Fitzpatrick brings 20 years of experience to American Racing and Entertainment and New Meadowlands.

He has led finance departments in major casino companies on a property and multi- property basis for more than 10 years.

Most recently, Fitzpatrick was Vice President of Finance for the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, PA, where he opened the $800 million dollar property and helped lead the transition to table games.

Prior to opening and leading the Rivers finance functions, Rob was Senior Director of Finance for the Isle of Capri Pompano Park Harness Racing and Casino operations where he oversaw the development of a $180 million dollar casino and restaurant complex expansion plan.

He also spent four years as Senior Director of Finance when he helped open the Isle of Capri Casino Bahamas property in Freeport, Bahamas.

Fitzpatrick's experience also includes leading the finance functions for Isle of Capri Lady Luck in Las Vegas, NV.

He has also served as an assistant controller for Boyd's Sam's Town and Senior Internal Auditor for Boyd Gaming Corporation in Las Vegas, NV.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tioga & Vernon Stakes Show Increases

The nominations for Tioga & Vernon Downs stakes are in and the numbers are up virtually across the board.

Topping the charts is the Miss Versatility (mare trot), benefiting from a restructuring of the series.

Increasing the number of preliminary legs to four, raising the purse for each from $25k to $40k and staging two at Mohawk Racetrack has resulted in a gain of 80% (from 21 to 38) for mares paid in.

The Muscle Hill (mare trot) and Artiscape (mare pace) both show gains while the Bettors Delight and Credit Winner (open events) are each down a couple.

The Kindergarten Trotting Classic continues to attract huge numbers with 169 colts and 166 fillies making the first payment, an increase of 8% over last year.

The 2012 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for 3YO New York breds held even while 2YO nominations to the 2013 EBC increased by 7%.

Complete lists of eligibles complete with pedigree for all 2 & 3YO events are posted on the Tioga & Vernon websites at

Live racing is now less than a month away at Vernon (April 27) and Tioga begins a week later on May 5.

There remains limited availability for stabling at Tioga for the summer meet.

Call Jason Bluhm at (607) 699-7688 with inquiries.

Joanna Yaeger named Rockokie champion

Joanna Yaeger of Horseheads, NY was announced as the winner of the 2012 Rockokie Star Contest at Tioga Downs Casino on Friday night. Yaeger received the most votes of the field of 12 finalists for her powerful rendition of "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston. Yaeger wins $5,000 for first place.

Here's video of the big announcement with the final results after the video.

1st Place: Joanna Yaeger
2nd Place: Bobby Neira
3rd Place: Katy Collins
4th Place: Angel Acosta
5th Place: Hailey Wiggins
6th-12th Place: Amanda Hungerford, Shawn Delahanty, Matt Smith, Ashley Lux, Dean Wheeler, Tory Daral, Marissa Hromek