Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Export Handle nearly flat, Live Handle declines due to cold, rainy start to season

NICHOLS, NYA pair of world records were set and nine track records were matched or broken, highlighting the recently concluded live racing season at Tioga Downs.

All-sources handle on the track’s signature race days was up, including the fourth-highest single day handle in the track’s eight-season history set on Roll With Joe & Artiscape Day in June. Live handle was also up nearly 10 percent on Cane Pace Day in September.

For the season, export handle, which includes wagers on Tioga Downs races from off-track locations nationwide, was down 1 percent. Live handle, which includes only wagers on Tioga Downs races made on-track, was down 12 percent thanks to an unusually cold and rainy early part of the season.

“Obviously we’re disappointed any time our handle is down, but we’re a sport that’s played outdoors and unfortunately you can’t do anything about Mother Nature,” said Jason Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing and Simulcast. “However, I am very encouraged by our strong business on our signature race days that we have worked very hard to promote to both our on-track guests and also to the fans and bettors around North America.”

Among the highlights of the 61-day meet were record-setting wins by a “who’s who” of the sport’s top horses. World champion Pet Rock equaled the fastest time ever at Tioga Downs with his 1:48.1 win in June’s Roll With Joe Open Pace while recent Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation proved his dominance in New York with a world-record setting 1:48.3 victory in August’s Empire Breeders Classic.

Pacer of the Year Eastend Eddie with Keith Kamann
For the second year in a row, Tioga Downs played host to the Cane Pace, opening leg of Pacing’s Triple Crown. The sport’s biggest star, Captaintreacherous, brought an enthusiastic Labor Day crowd to its feet by narrowly holding off longshot Word Power. With a total purse of $360,211, the Cane Pace was the richest single race ever conducted at Tioga Downs.

Jim Marohn, Jr. captured his second straight driving title with 76 wins while also becoming the first locally based driver to win the Tioga/Vernon All-Star Drivers Championship against the premier drivers in the sport. Jamie Paquet became the first female to win the Tioga Downs training title with 24 wins. On the equine side, Eastend Eddie and Aruba Vacation both repeated as pacer and trotter of the year, respectively.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Reynolds Stakes and Eastend Eddie highlight close of Tioga Downs’ season

Eastend Eddie wins again to close out 2013
Tioga Downs' 2013 racing season came to a finish on Saturday night (September 14) with 2-year-old pacers in the Reynolds Stakes, and yet another open pace victory by 2013 pacer of the year at Tioga Downs, Eastend Eddie.

Two divisions of 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers in the Reynolds Stakes were captured by Stratos Hanover – Andy Miller (1:54.1) for trainer Joe Holloway, and Beat The Drum – Jim Meittinis (1:53.3) for Staffan Lind.

The fillies also drew two divisions in the Reynolds, and were taken by: Ali Blue – Jimmy Takter (1:53.4) also trained by Jimmy Takter, and Instant Respect – Jimmy Takter (1:54.1) to complete the Takter sweep of the Reynolds filly pace.

In the $16,000 open handicap pace, Eastend Eddie continued his dominating ways and even did it against free for all pacer, Hurrikane Kingcole, who was shipped in to Tioga Downs for closing night by trainer John Mc Dermott. Driver Matt Kakaley settled Eastend Eddie in fifth as Aaron Byron hustled Hurrikane Kingcole to the front, but was unable to clear until past the opening quarter in 26.4. From there Byron tried to rate the 4-year-old son of Cam's Card Shark on the front getting by the half mile mark in 54.2. Down the backside Eastend Eddie was underway from the back of the pack by Kakaley and by three quarters in 1:22.1, Kingcole was under attack on the front end as Andy Miller had pulled the pocket with Panesthetic.

Around the final turn it was apparent that Hurrikane Kingcole had enough and Eastend Eddie was charging three wide eating up ground with every stride. In deep stretch Eastend Eddie had put the field away once again to win by two lengths in 1:51.2.

It was the tenth win of the season, nine of which have come at Tioga Downs for Eastend Eddie who was named the 2013 pacer of the year at Tioga Downs making it two years in a row for the Ron Burke trainee.

The 2013 year end awards were given out on Saturday night at Tioga Downs wrapping up its eighth racing season and the 2013 driver of the year was: Jimmy Marohn Jr (76 wins) for the second consecutive year, trainer of the year: Jamie Paquet (24 wins), trotter of the year: Aruba Vacation, and pacer of the year: Eastend Eddie (2ndconsecutive year).

Tioga Downs would like to thank all of its fans and horsemen for their support in making 2013 another successful year of harness racing in Nichols, NY.  For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com .

Friday, September 13, 2013

For You Almostfree takes home Friday night Tioga feature

For You Almostfree and Aaron Byron
For You Almostfree and Aaron Byron took home the featured $16,000 open trot on Friday night at Tioga Downs.

Leaving from post position number three in a field of eight, Byron got For You Almostfree away sixth as Neighsay Hanover (Jim Meittinis) took the field by the opening quarter in 27.1. As the field went by the three eighth's mile mark of the race, Howard Parker brushed Cold Certified to the front but paid a steep price for the move as they got to the half mile in 55.1. Down the backside, Speculation (Mike Merton) moved first over with For You Almostfree following second over cover. The field passed the three quarter station in 1:24.1 as Cold Certified was feeling the effects of the opening half and was beginning to fade. Byron tipped For You Almostfree three wide around the last turn and he responded opening up with ease to win by more than four lengths in 1:54.1. In Your Room (Mike Simons) trotted home late to be second, while longshot Surface Tension (Fern Paquet Jr.) finished third.

John McDermott trains the 5-year-old son of Glidemaster – Pizza Dolce who won for the seventh time in 27 seasonal outings, good for earnings of more than $113,000.

Corey Braden, Rod Allen, and Mike Simons each posted driving doubles on the night's 10-race card.

Tioga Downs wraps up its 2013 racing season on Saturday, September 14th with a post time of 6:50pm, featuring two divisions of the Reynolds Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers and two divisions for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Tioga Downs will also have the finale of the 2013 Horseplay Car Giveaway, fireworks following live racing, and many giveaways during the racing program.

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

Fiesta Camcun captures Tioga Downs’ Thursday night feature

Fiesta Camcun eats up the sloppy track
Fiesta Camcun and Corey Braden captured Thursday night's $16,000 fillies and mares miracle mile 1 handicap at Tioga Downs.

Leaving from post position number four in a field of eight, Fiesta Camcun got to the opening quarter in 27.4 and the half mile mark in 57.1. As the field headed towards three quarters, Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron) applied heavy first over pressure and those two raced stride for stride through a third panel in 26.3, reaching three quarters in 1:23.4. Around the final turn, Braden and Fiesta Camcun had repelled the challenge of Little Santamonica, but the backfield was in motion. In deep stretch Braden continued to work on Fiesta Camcun and the iron tough mare held strong through the stretch to win by half a length in 1:52.4 over a track listed as sloppy. Southwind Trini (Mike Simons) raced well from off the pace to finish second, while Arodasi (Jason Beattie) closed from seventh at the top of the stretch to finish third.

Paul Bernardo trains the 7-year-old daughter of Camotion – Perfect Catch who won for the 8th time in 32 seasonal starts good for earnings of more than $57,000.

Aaron Byron posted a driving triple on the night's 11-race card, while Mike Simons, Corey Braden, and Fern Paquet Jr. each recorded doubles.

Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Friday, September 13 with a post time of 6:50pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com .

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Car giveaway, laptop computer giveaway and fireworks highlight Saturday's Closing Night

Come to the races and drive home in a new car. That’s the opportunity for area harness racing fans this Saturday night as Tioga Downs celebrates the closing night of its 2013 live racing season.

The first of 10 live races begins at 6:50 p.m.

Fans will have an opportunity to earn the final entry into the season-long Horseplay Car Giveaway following the third race of the evening. Then all 56 finalists will be placed into a barrel and a backwards draw will be conducted. Names will be drawn one-by-one until only one name remains. That person will be the winner of the Scion iQ automobile courtesy of the Williams Auto Group in Sayre.

There will also be drawings to win a laptop computer and gift cards to MaineSource Food & Party Warehouse.

Following the last race of the season, a spectacular fireworks display will light up the skies over Tioga County.

On the track, some of the country's premier two-year-olds will race for more than $144,000 in prize money in the Reynolds Stakes, hosted by Tioga Downs for the first time.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Modest Prince and Tirade Hanover capture NYSS at Tioga Downs

Modest Prince goes by Crazy About Pat
Tioga Downs held two divisions of NYSS for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters and five divisions of Excelsior Stakes on Sunday afternoon.

In the first $66,043 division of the NYSS, Modest Prince and Mike Simons got away second as Crazy About Pat (Jim Meittinis) cut through fractions 27.4, 56.1, and 1:25.2. Around the final turn, Crazy About Pat was still in command and in the stretch Simons tipped Modest Prince to the outside and got up to win in a new lifetime best of 1:54.4 by a length and a quarter. The 3-year-old son of Rc Royalty – In To Me is owned by Richard Gutnick and is trained by Linda Toscano. Crazy About Pat (Jim Meittinis) hung on for second, while Rolls Blue Chip (Aaron Byron) was third.

Tirade Hanover leads all the way
In the second $66,043 NYSS division, Jim Morrill Jr. opted to take Tirade Hanover from post position number eight over EL Rocket (Jim Marohn Jr.) post six. When the field hit the quarter pole in 27.3, Morrill was on top with Tirade Hanover while Marohn settled in second with El Rocket. Morrill then cut through fractions of 57.4 and 1:27 before asking Tirade Hanover for trot in the final quarter mile of the race. Down the stretch Marohn tipped El Rocket to the outside, but was unable to get by Tirade Hanover and those two finished first and second a quarter length apart at the wire in 1:55. The win was the fourth in nine seasonal starts for the 3-year-old son of Crazed – Teagarden Hanover for trainer Tyler Raymer.

Tioga Downs also held five divisions of NYSS Excelsior Stakes which were won by: Jelectric – Jim Marohn Jr. (1:58.2), Bromance Hanover – Mike Simons (1:56.4), Prove Up – Marcus Johansson (1:56.3), Golden Tate – Mike Simons (1:56.3), and Brookroaddonnie – Mike Simons (1:56.1).

Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Thursday, September 12 with a post time of 6:50pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com .

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Speculation captures Tioga Downs’ open handicap trot

Speculation and driver Jim Meittinis captured Saturday night's $16,000 open handicap trot at Tioga Downs, one of four wins on the card for Jim Meittinis.

Leaving from post position number four after the field was scratched down to five, Meittinis got away last as Waiting On A Woman (Jim Marohn Jr.) took the field to the quarter in 27.2. Marohn and Waiting On A Woman continued to lead the field by the half mile mark in 55.3 as Fox Valley Smarty (Corey Braden) was parked out in second. Down the backside, Waiting On A Woman was still in command as Meittinis got underway from last and moved Speculation into second over position behind Fox Valley Smarty as the field reached three quarters in 1:23.3. Just past the three quarter mile mark of the race, Waiting On A Woman made a break on the lead leaving Gaelic And Garlic (Fern Paquet Jr.) in control of the race with Speculation making a three wide move around the final turn. In the stretch, Gaelic And Garlic was clinging to a short lead, but a closing Speculation would not be denied and got up to win by a nose in 1:55.1.

The win was the fourth of the year for the 7-year-old son of Pistols N Spurs – Mathers Cunchita, who is trained by Robert Bath. With the win, Speculation increased his seasonal earnings to more than $78,000 for owner Cozette Mcavoy of Pennsylvania.

Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Sunday, September 8 with a post time of 1:30pm, featuring two divisions of NYSS for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com .