Tuesday, April 30, 2013

TIOGA DOWNS AND VERNON DOWNS STAKES SEE INCREASES IN NOMINATIONS



A Who's Who of Harness Racing's Elite Expected to Compete in 2013

Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs report increases in the number of horses made eligible to most of its stakes races after the April 15 sustaining payments.

Vernon's premier aged trotting stakes, the Credit Winner Open Trot and the Muscle Hill Aged Mare Trot, saw slight increases with 33 and 29 nominations respectively.

The Credit Winner eligibles are highlighted by defending champion Hot Shot Blue Chip plus a host of top four-year-olds including Hambletonian winner Market Share, Breeders' Crown winner Intimidate, and the Jimmy Takter-trained duo of Guccio and Little Brown Fox.

The Credit Winner and Muscle Hill will each be raced on September 6 at Vernon Downs.

Tioga's top aged pacing events, the Roll With Joe (formerly the Bettor's Delight) and the Artiscape saw numbers nearly equal to last year with 28 males in the Roll With Joe and 19 mares in the Artiscape.

The Roll With Joe features all of the aged pacing divisions superstars entering 2013 including Foiled Again, Golden Receiver and Bettor Sweet, plus an all-star cast of four-year-olds led by Sweet Lou, Heston Blue Chip, Bolt The Duer and Pet Rock.

The Roll With Joe and Artiscape kick off Tioga's open stakes season on Sunday, June 9.

"We're very pleased with the horsemen's continued support of our stakes program,” said Jason Bluhm, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs Regional Director of Racing. "I think I speak for all of the fans when I say I'm really looking forward to seeing how the group of four-year-olds stacks up against the aged horses."

"The past two Horses of the Year, San Pail and Chapter Seven, have each raced in the Credit Winner and we're hoping to once again showcase the sport's premier trotters to our fans and horseplayers again,” said Scott Warren, Vernon Downs Director of Racing.

The Kindergarten Classic for two-year-old trotters saw a six percent increase in nominations with more than 340 colts and fillies paid into the event. The list of eligibles includes 39 freshmen from the much anticipated first crop of world champion Muscle Hill. The Kindergarten Classic begins August 2 at the Meadowlands with the $200,000e final on October 25 at Vernon Downs.