Tuesday, September 24, 2013

INCREASED BUSINESS ON MAJOR RACE DAYS AND 9 TRACK RECORDS HIGHLIGHT 2013 TIOGA DOWNS RACING SEASON



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.