Monday, December 29, 2014

Fireworks to Ring in 2015 at Tioga Downs Casino!

As part of the final week of Winterfest activities, Tioga Downs Casino presents
a Live Fireworks Display at midnight on New Years Eve, December 31st!

The Winterfest spectacular Light and Sound show will run before hand from 8pm until midnight with a special countdown starting at 11:46pm and digital ball drop.  Horse-drawn wagon and tractor rides will also continue through midnight.

Ken Williams, of W&W Nursery and lead designer of the Light and Sound shows notes, "There will be a special New Year's Eve mix which includes melodies from a dozen or so songs. The music is synced with the lights building suspense to the ball drop countdown and culminating with a beautiful fireworks display."

The New Year's Eve Party will feature Virgil Cain performing live on the indoor Tioga Stage from 9pm until 1am. (Must be 18 years of age or older to attend the party.)

The Fireworks Display is free to the public and will be a unique way to
ring in the New Year!

Winterfest concludes on Friday & Saturday, January 2nd & 3rd. Tioga Downs takes pride in hiring locally and hosting events like Winterfest for the community that supports them.

For more information on Winterfest and a complete schedule of events, visit

Bandera Family Christmas Dinner Tradition Continues

Bandera Family Christmas Dinner Tradition Continues

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Stories about Traditions supporting Tioga Downs

Press & Sun-Bulletin
Tier pleads for another casino look

Times Union
Southern Tier casino bidders want fourth license

Requesting a 'rebid' for Southern Tier casino

Traditions endorses Tioga Downs in efforts to secure casino license

Traditions Endorses Tioga Downs in Re-bid for Southern Tier Casino

Time Warner
Two Southern Tier Casinos Join Forces to Push for 4th Casino License

Owego Pennysaver
Traditions and Tioga Downs unite to boost the economy; Traditions dismisses casino build plans

Charlotte Observer
Losing casino bidders team up, seek 4th NY casino
Southern Tier Officials Call on New York To Award 4th Casino License

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tioga Downs Casino donates over $3,000 to continue Bandera Family Christmas Dinner event

Tioga Downs Casino has generously donated $3,300 towards the Bandera Family Christmas Dinner. This Christmas marks the 25th Anniversary of the event.

Thanks to the donation from Tioga Downs, the dinner is able to serve up to 4,000 free dinners on Christmas Day. Without the donation they would only be able to serve 1,500 dinners. The dinners are served from 12pm - 3pm at the Binghamton Post 80 American Legion.

President of Tioga Downs Casino, Tom Osiecki presented the check for $3,300 to Bill Bandera at Tioga Downs Casino on Friday afternoon. Tioga Downs is always proud to contribute back to the community that supports them.

(Pictured in order from left to right, Cory Williams, Bill Bandera, Peter Boigeol, Tom Osiecki.)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tioga Downs opens 'Winterfest'

Tioga Downs officially opened their Winterfest Celebration Friday night.

The casino is using a mix of old time traditions and new technology to help get people in the holiday spirit. The celebration features a light show with the latest and greatest technology.

"There are approximately 36,000 lights here. We have the one tree that is over three stories tall, and there is over 3,700 lighting channels on it,” said Ken Williams, designer and creator of the light show.

Each light bulb is capable of doing more than 16 million colors, which makes the show exactly what Tioga Downs hoped it would be.

"Our owner Mr. Gural has wanted to do something for the winter time and holiday events. He wanted to create memories from far away and right here in our backyard," said Linn Redder, vice-president of marketing at Tioga Downs.

Winterfest also has activities that will get you out of your seat and on the move. One of the fan favorites at Winterfest so far is taking a ride around the track. You can either be pulled by tractor or by horse. The light show can be seen from wherever you are on the track.

Every aspect of Winterfest has a holiday feel, that is bringing families together.

"It was a great time. It is nice that Tioga Downs is doing things for families these days. It is a nice way to celebrate the holidays with your family," said Janelle St. Clair.

Before Friday night was over, Williams was already thinking about ways to improve Winterfest.

"We are already developing ideas for next year to improve,” he added. “This is something that has never been done in the Southern Tier."

Winterfest will be open through Jan. 3 and there is no cost to attend.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tioga Downs casino license would boost entire region

The preparation and submission of applications for the Southern Tier's full casino gaming license has, at the risk of understatement, been big news.

Tioga Downs, my facility, is one of the applicants for this important economic development responsibility. I believe our application is a good one, and that Tioga Downs is uniquely positioned to responsibly meet the letter and intent of the legislation and referendum that created this process. But that is not why I am writing.

It is being said, in several media outlets and public statements and in letters to newspapers, that in the event Tioga Downs is granted this license, Binghamton will not benefit. This is simply not true.

If Tioga Downs is granted a full casino gaming license, we will hire in Binghamton. More importantly, these positions will be available a few months after we get the license, and not sometime in late 2016 or 2017. This is not a zero-sum game situation. It is a regional development effort with regional benefits to be gained for all of our Southern Tier neighbors. Professional and objective workforce studies, economic forecasts, and plain common sense all require Tioga Downs hiring in Binghamton and throughout Broome County. Suggesting otherwise is misleading.

Tioga Downs has been a good neighbor — for the entire region, not just in Tioga County and not just recently. We support the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and Southern Tier Veterans, along with other nonprofits that service the entire region. Our sponsorship kept the Binghamton Air Show going, and we plan to sponsor Spiedie Fest if we get the license. Tioga Downs has also committed to establishing a charitable foundation to allocate not less than $500,000 annually throughout the Southern Tier.

As many people know, my mother was raised in Binghamton, and the only reason I initially came up to look at Tioga Downs was because of that connection. I thought then, and am now convinced, that my mother and her friends from the area would smile seeing me put so much effort into our Southern Tier communities.

Tioga Downs, a good neighbor long before there was talk about the application process we're likely close to the end of, has always hired from throughout the region, and has always appreciated the support we have received from the residents of Binghamton and Broome County.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Media Reminder

Friday, October 31st at 1pm

Tioga Downs' will be unveiling their newly constructed 3 1/2-story parking garage. The garage will be open to the media
starting at 1pm and then to the public immediately following
a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Chairman and CEO of American Racing and
Entertainment Jeffrey Gural will be present.

The media is invited to meet in the Winner's Circle Lounge.
We Hope to See You There!

Please RSVP to:

Mary Roper, Rosanne Sall Advertising      

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tioga Downs' Parking Garage Opens to the Public

Promises Made – Promises Kept...
Tioga Downs' Parking Garage Opens to the Public
Construction started last November

After months of on-schedule construction, the parking garage at Tioga Downs Casino will open to the public on October 31, 2014. A 1pm ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held, when the garage will open to the public. The first 100 visitors to park in the new garage will receive an entry for a chance to win 1 of 3 $500 cash drawings, which will be held after 3pm.

The new garage provides 275 additional parking spaces, and easy access to the casino.

Jeff Gural, CEO & Chairman of American Racing & Entertainment - owner of Tioga Downs, promised a multi-phase expansion project which was unveiled last spring.

Starting with the groundbreaking last November, work continued through the bitter winter months. The foundation was completed in April, the assembly of the garage walls and floors began in early May, and the final beam was hoisted into place during a signing ceremony on September 19th.

According to Gural, "Construction of the garage brought hundreds of jobs to the Southern Tier. Not using a precast system kept these workers employed longer. The project also proves that Tioga Downs is the full gaming license candidate that would be quickest to market with a sustainable and appropriate plan. For this important regional economic development effort, approved by the voters in a referendum, Tioga Downs is the responsible pick. "

The completion of the parking garage marks the end of Phase One of Tioga Downs' Expansion Project. The next phases include an onsite hotel and expanded gaming floor.

Tioga Downs Casino is located along the north side of NY Route 17/ I-86,
two miles west of exit 62 in Nichols, NY.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

See You at The River Road Expo, a Comic and Pop Culture Convention Hosted at Tioga Downs Casino

The River Road Expo, a comic and pop culture convention, will be held at Tioga Downs Casino on Sunday, November 2nd, from 11 am to 5 pm.

Fans can meet both professional and self-published writers and artists including;

Dave Bullock, is an Emmy Award nominated director of the Warner Brothers animated film Justice League: The New Frontier. Mr. Bullock has also directed episodes of The Spectacular Spider-Man and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. His artwork was recently in the comic mini-series Batman: Black and White.

Brandon T. Snider keeps busy as both an actor and an author. He has appeared in Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer and Law and Order: SVU. He is the author of the best-selling book: The Dark Knight Manual. He also has written stories for Regular Show, a comic book series produced by Boom! Studios.

Alex Sanchez’s artwork can be seen in DC’s Katana series. He also illustrated two issues of Marvel’s Elektra.

Additional published creators; Mike Raicht, Tom Peyer, Mike Garland and Ethan Young will also be at the Expo.

All ages are welcome to this fun, free admission event.

Tioga Downs Casino is located along the north side of NY Route 17/ I-86,
two miles west of exit 62 in Nichols, NY.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tioga Downs Casino and Binghamton Harley Owners' Group (HOG) raise funds through Christmas for Kids Ride

On Sunday, August 24th, over 100 participants and sponsors worked to raise $2,900 in this year's John "Wah" Oleski Christmas for Kids Ride.

Tioga Downs Casino Owner Jeff Gural has generously offered to match the amount raised for the event. The casino also provided the riders and participants with complimentary meals and free play coupons for their hard work and dedication.

Tioga Downs Casino has been a big supporter of the ride's mission for many years. The Binghamton Harley Davidson® Motorcycle group has raised over $120,000 to purchase toys for the program over the last 25 years. The ride's name was recently changed in remembrance of the event organizer, John "Wah" Oleski, who lost his courageous battle with lymphoma last year.

The Christmas for Kids Ride departs from the Southern Tier Harley Davidson® dealership and cruises to Tioga Downs Casino along with a police escort.
Hundreds of children throughout the southern tier will receive new toys due to the collaborative efforts of Tioga Downs Casino and the Southern Tier Harley Davidson® group.

Tioga Downs Casino is located along the north side of NY Route 17/ I-86, two miles west of exit 62 in Nichols, NY.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tioga Downs Puts Final Beam in Place for New Parking Garage

Local dignitaries, Tioga Downs’ personnel and members of the media ceremoniously signed the final steel beam for the new parking garage before it was lifted into place during a press conference at Tioga Downs this morning.

Construction on the 3-story, 275-space garage began last fall as fulfillment of a promise made by Jeff Gural, CEO & Chairman of American Racing & Entertainment (the parent company of Tioga Downs,) to start construction on the ramp if voters passed Proposition 1 in the November 5th election allowing the New York State Legislature to authorize and regulate up to seven casinos in New York. The building process began soon after that proposition was approved.

Construction of the parking garage, which will connect to the casino, is Phase One of Tioga Downs’ expansion plans and is expected to be completed next month.

Tioga Downs Casino is located along the north side of NY Route 17/ I-86,

two miles west of exit 62 in Nichols, NY. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Final Beam to be put in place for New Parking Garage

Tioga Downs Casino will hold a press conference and ceremony this Friday, September 19 at 11am as they prepare for the last steel beam to be put into place for their new Parking Garage.

Local dignitaries and Tioga Downs personnel will sign the final steel beam before it is lifted into place. Media representatives who are present will also be invited to sign the beam. The ceremony will take place outside on the Winner’s Circle Lounge patio.

Construction on the 3-story parking complex, which is Phase One of Tioga Downs’ expansion project, began last November and is expected to be completed next month.

Tioga Downs Casino is located along the north side of NY Route 17/ I-86,

two miles west of exit 62 in Nichols, NY. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Get out your ten-gallon hats and your best cowboy duds! Tioga Downs Casino is excited to announce that they will be holding a weekend-long "Texas Trick Riders" event on August 29th and 30th, featuring extreme trick riding, roping, country vendors and more! Admission to this family-friendly event is free, and the performances will take place during live racing.

Starring throughout the weekend is Texas-based "Austin Anderson and the Texas Trick Riders". Third generation entertainer Austin Anderson brings a lifetime of knowledge to his craft. Austin started his career at the age of four, working with his parents in Anderson's Wild West Entertainment and themed equine shows. Austin created "The Texas Trick Riders" in 2004 and has toured the US and Canada. A movie stuntman, horseman and entertainer, Austin draws from his vast experience to train horses and people.

In addition, patrons are invited to enjoy a special $10 country BBQ buffet, located in the trackside tent. Featuring such favorites as BBQ pulled pork, chicken spiedies, baked beans and potato salad, the buffet is available Friday and Saturday nights from 5pm to 8pm.

Capping off the Western-themed weekend is a performance by Grammy-nominated country artist Trace Adkins on August 31st, sponsored by Tioga State Bank. Famous for such hits as "You’re Gonna Miss This", "Ladies Love Country Boys", and "Just Fishin'", this show is not to be missed! Tickets begin at $25 and are available from the Tioga Downs Gift Shop and

For more information regarding this event, please go to or visit us on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pickler Concert Proceeds Reach Record Goal! Tioga Downs and Jeff Gural To Donate over $100,000 to the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group!

Tioga Downs is proud to announce that ticket sales for the August 8th Kellie Pickler concert at Tioga Downs raised a total of $55,800, the entirety of which will be donated to the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group.

Tickets for the show were available for $15. In addition, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment Jeff Gural personally matched the amount for every ticket sold for the concert. So, each ticket garnered a donation of $30 for the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group for a total donation by Tioga Downs of $111,600 - beating last year’s contribution by over $30,000.

For the past several years, Tioga Downs and Mr. Gural have given back to our Veterans with proceeds from a summer concert. Concert ticket sales have increased year over year with acts like Wynonna, the Oak Ridge Boys and last year’s Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan concert, allowing Tioga Downs to increase their donations annually.

Mr. Gural stated, "This is an important way in which we are able to express our appreciation for those men and women who have so heroically served and protected us. We are pleased that this year’s concert surpassed all expectation and we thank all those in attendance for helping us do so."

Tioga Downs Casino is open year-round with video gaming machines, simulcast horse racing, restaurants, a sports bar and special entertainment events. It is located along the north side of NY Route 17/ I-86, two miles west of exit 62 in Nichols, NY.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tioga Downs Casino Offers $5 Buffet to Veterans and Active Military Tuesdays in August

Tioga Downs Casino will offer a special $5 buffet to Veterans and Active Military on Tuesdays in August, to thank those that have served our country. Veterans are invited to attend the County Fair Buffet for Lunch or Dinner and show their military ID and Players Club Card to the cashier starting Tuesday, August 12th to receive the $5 special price.

"It is an honor to be able to show support to all of our Veterans and Military. We owe them a tremendous amount of gratitude", said Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, Jeff Gural.

Tioga Downs Casino is open year-round with video gaming machines, simulcast horse racing, restaurants, a sports bar and special entertainment events. It is located along the north side of NY Route 17/ I-86, two miles west of exit 62 in Nichols, NY. You must be 18 years old to play video gaming machines, please play responsibly. For more information please contact us online at (1-888-WIN-TIOGA).

Monday, July 28, 2014


July 23, 2014

All Proceeds To Be Donated to the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group.

Tioga Downs Casino is proud to welcome country singer and American Idol alum Kellie Pickler to their stage on Friday, August 8th at 8pm, sponsored by Bully Hill Vineyards. Featuring such popular songs as “Red High Heels”, “I Wonder” and “Best Days of Your Life”, Kellie is an exciting addition to Tioga Downs’ annual Summer Concert Series! Tickets for the show are $15.

As a way of giving back to those who have so heroically served and protected us, all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group. In addition, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment Jeff Gural will personally match the amount of every ticket sold, making the final donation $30 per ticket. “Once again, I look forward to our annual concert where all the ticket sales go to help our veterans here in the Southern Tier”, stated Mr. Gural.

Last year’s benefit concert for the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group, which featured Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan, was a resounding success, raising over $80,000. Tioga Downs hopes to top last year’s amount with a goal of raising $100,000, if not more.

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and the Tioga Downs Gift Shop. This is an outdoor event. No refunds or exchanges due to weather related cancellations.

For more information, please go to or visit us on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tioga Downs Celebrates NYS Education Department Certification of SUNY Broome Community College’s Associate Degree Program in Casino Management

July 23, 2014  

Jeff Gural &Tioga Downs supported creation of this degree program from early idea through application for certification, Tioga Downs Executives to teach courses
New York State’s Education Department recently announced the certification of a new degree program in Casino Management to be offered at SUNY Broome Community College.
A Southern Tier facility - under careful rules and regulations put forth by legislation twice passed, the voters of New York State through referendum, the New York State Gaming Commission, and the New York Gaming Facility Location Board – is eligible to receive a full casino license. Tioga Downs is an applicant for that license.
“New York State has made responsible economic development and job creation its highest priority, and the return of gaming dollars being spent out-of-state is an important aspect of the Southern Tier’s growth,” said Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural. “SUNY Broome’s Casino Management program is an integral part of this effort – one the entire Tioga Downs family was very pleased to support.”
Tioga Downs Executives helped develop the SUNY program, participating in meetings over a two-year period, reviewing and adding to the curriculum, and aiding in course selection. Security, culinary, casino operations, marketing, equine, and HR departments all participated. Tioga Downs Executives will also be teaching courses.
The expansion of Tioga Downs to a full casino facility would require the education and training of new employees to manage table games and operations. New hospitality positions – in hotel, resort, restaurant, and spa facilities - would also be generated under the full gaming application submitted.
Tom Osiecki, Chief Operating Officer of Tioga Downs, stressed the importance of “pre-training and education” in staffing expanded operations: “While every casino and resort has their own programs for new employees, those coming to us with a degree in relevant management certainly will have a leg up. Tioga Downs’ application for a full casino license stresses how quickly it can be operational, with expanded contributions to our state and local economy. Making that happen depends on the education our employees receive.”
“SUNY Broome has been a pleasure to work with,” Jeff Gural concluded. “I was impressed by their enthusiasm, and commitment to preparing students for the opportunities provided by this exciting new economic development initiative.”
Tioga Downs Casino, Nichols, New York. You must be 18 years old to play video gaming machines. Please play responsibly. For more information, please contact us online at (1-888-WIN-TIOGA). 

Thursday, July 17, 2014


July 16, 2014

World Champion Joey Chestnut to Headline Event

Tioga Downs Casino is excited to announce that the facility will be holding the first-ever World Chicken Spiedie-Eating Competition, featuring World Champion Joey Chestnut. The 10-minute, all-you-can-eat contest is presented by Lupo's and will take place on Saturday, July 26, at 7pm, trackside at Tioga Downs.

The chicken spiedie, which claims Endicott as its birthplace, is a sandwich comprised of grilled, marinated chicken cubes on a bun. The term "spiedie" comes from the Italian spiedo, meaning spit, or spiedini, referring to cubes of meat cooked on a skewer.

Sanctioned by Major League Eating, the contest will feature Major League Eaters from around the country. Many have just competed in the July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Championship in Coney Island, NY, which was won by Joey Chestnut for the eighth consecutive year.

"Introducing Joey Chestnut to the chicken spiedie is like giving a paintbrush to Picasso," said MLE Chairman George Shea. "We expect a monumental record that will fully honor the deep history of the chicken spiedie and its cultural significance in upstate New York."

In addition to World #1 ranked eater Joey "Jaws" Chestnut of San Jose, CA., a number of famous eaters will be present, including #10 Jeff "The Beastman" Butler of Cleveland, Ohio, #23 Ronnie "The Real American" Hartman of Ft. Stewart, Georgia, Marcos "The Monster" Owens, #16, "Buffalo" Jim Reeves, #21, Boston, NY, Eric "Badlands" Booker, #22, Selden, NY and #26 Crazy Legs Conti of New York City.

In addition to bragging rights, competitors will vie for a cash purse that totals $5,000. More information on Tioga Downs is available at   For more details on chicken spiedies, visit Information on Major League Eating can be found at

Sunday, July 6, 2014

War Cry Hall holds sway in top Tioga trot

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

After controlling the terms throughout, War Cry Hall ($3.80) gave everything he had in the final hundred yards to prevail in Sunday (July 6) afternoon's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 trot at Tioga Downs.

War Cry Hall holds sway late (Fred Brown photo)
The five-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall wasted no time achieving the lead, sprinting clear of Marion Mayflower (Aaron Byron) and maintaining a steady yet strong pace through a :56.3 half mile.  On the backstretch, In Your Room (Mike Simons) commenced a first-over rally, pushing War Cry Hall to his limit on the far turn.  Through the stretch, Howard Parker called upon War Cry Hall for every last ounce of energy, and the favorite did not disappoint, digging in to stave off not only the persistent In Your Room, but a belated stand-side charge from Stitch In Time (Tyler Buter), who rallied strongly to take second.

Jim Raymer trains War Cry Hall for the Harbor Racing Stable, LLC.

Live racing returns to Tioga on Monday (July 7), with the first of 11 races on the special weeknight card scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Table Talk tops in Tioga NYSS

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

After not getting involved in the Fan Hanover until far too late, the Wiz Kids Stable's Table Talk ($4.60) returned to her winning ways in a $39,900 New York Sire Stakes event for three-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday (June 28) evening at Tioga Downs.

Table Talk just prevails in 1:52 (Fred Brown photo)
The Bart Dalious-trained daughter of Bettor's Delight was the fastest winner in three Sire Stakes divisions on the evening, yielding the lead to Spreester (Jim Morrill, Jr.) after controlling a reasonable--yet spritely--:27.4 first quarter mile.  After being boxed in by the first-over Scandalicious (Jeff Gregory) through a strong :55.4 middle half, Jim Marohn, Jr. was able to wedge wide with Table Talk on the approach to the home straight, battling with Spreester for the final 150 yards and prevailing by a scant quarter-length in 1:52.  Just Add Vodka (Aaron Byron) finished an even third off a ground-saving trip.

The second division saw Medusa ($13.60) escape a three-race losing streak, finding room at the pegs in the closing yards after being boxed in for three-eighths of a mile to just beat Sweetnsinful in 1:53.3.  Aaron Byron drove the Bettor's Delight filly to her sixth career win for trainer Paul Kelley.  Blush Hanover ($3.90) held sway in the final division, driven clear to hold off a pocket-sitting Bettor Chill Out in 1:53.3.  Jim Morrill, Jr. drove the daughter of Art Major to victory for trainer Linda Toscano.

Live racing continues at Tioga on Sunday (June 29), with a 13-race afternoon card due to begin at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Neighsay Hanover fends off all foes in Tioga trot

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

After being pushed to a :26.4 first quarter, Neighsay Hanover ($6.40) dug in to hold off a barrage of late threats, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in Saturday (June 14) evening's $11,000 Miracle Mile 2 trot at Tioga Downs.

The eight-year-old Muscles Yankee entire dueled with Wisenheimer (Mike Merton) on the first turn, sprinting clear through a torrid early tempo before rating a :56.2 half mile.  On the backstretch, Neighsay Hanover had to deal with Wisenheimer again, facing pressure again to a 1:25.1 three-quarter split.  With Wisenheimer starting to fade, Cathy's Princess (Jim Meittinis) gearing up three-wide and I Love New York (Bruce Clarke) readying for a stand-side rally, Ray Schnittker implored Neighsay Hanover for all he had in the stretch, getting a bit of separation off the turn.  He turned in a 1:55.2 victory, holding off a late inside rally from Oh No Three O (Jeffrey Long).  I Love New York, carried wide off the corner by a breaking Cathy's Princess, rallied for third past the pocket-sitting A Lister.

Schittker, the winning trainer-driver, co-owns Neighsay Hanover with Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo, and Fam Alber Horse Racing.

A pair of first-round divisions of the M&J Oil and Lube late-closing series for distaff pacers were contested earlier in the card, with Godiva Seelster (Fern Paquet, Jr., 1:53.4) and Jets Are On (Corey Braden, 1:54.1) victorious in their respective events.

Live racing resumes tomorrow (Sunday, June 15) at Tioga, with the first of 13 races on a Father's Day program slated for 1:30 p.m. EDT.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Rock N Load proves gutsy in Tioga distaff

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Embroiled in an intense duel with Little Santamonica for the final three-eighths of a mile, Edward and James Hall's Rock N Load ($9.70) pushed clear in the last hundred yards to win Friday (June 13) evening's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 distaff pace at Tioga Downs by a widening 1-1/2 lengths.

Rock N Load prevailed in a gutsy effort (Fred Brown photo)
John Cummings, Jr. settled in midpack with the six-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, drafting well behind the :56.2 half mile rated by 9-5 favorite Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron) before commencing her first-over salvo.  On the backstretch, the two locked together, accelerating together through a :27.1 third quarter.  With Rock N Load a length in front on the entry to the far turn and the pocket-sitting Inittowinafortune (Jim Meittinis) working her way three-wide for a late bid, Little Santamonica dug back in for a brief lead off the turn, but was ultimately worn down, giving way in deep stretch.  Rock N Load held sway from the late-closing Inittowinafortune, prevailing in 1:51.3.  Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) stayed on late to finish third.

Rock N Load, now a 27-time winner, is trained by Daniel Gill.

Earlier on the card, two second-round divisions of the Morrisville College late-closing series for trotters were contested, with Cal Chips Brother (1:54.3, Corey Braden) and You Rock My World (1:55.2, Brandon Simpson) both scoring repeat wins in their respective races.

Racing resumes at Tioga on Saturday (June 14) evening, with the first of 12 races due to begin at 6:15 p.m. EDT.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I Love New York loves Tioga

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

After showing an explosive late kick to prevail in last week's sub-featured trot at Tioga Downs, I Love New York ($34.80) prevailed with a more extended bid in Saturday (June 7) evening's featured $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 event, sweeping past a pair of dueling pacesetters en route to a 1:55 victory.

I Love New York proves a 16-1 upset winner
(Fred Brown photo)
The six-year-old Broadway Hall entire tracked from midfield as 2-1 favorite Lutetium (Greg Merton) rated a :56 half mile.  On the backstretch, Cold Certified (Aaron Byron) engaged Lutetium in an extended duel, while trainer-driver Bruce Clarke positioned I Love New York second-over on the approach to the far turn, fanning three-wide after a 1:24.4 three-quarter split.  With the leading pair dueling into defeat, I Love New York swept to the fore, driven to hold sway from a deeper-closing In Your Room (Mike Simons) and the five-wide Bouncing Bax (Howard Parker), prevailing by three-quarters of a length.

Clarke co-owns I Love New York with John Coffey and Patricia Waldeck.

Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 8), with a 13-race afternoon card slated for a 1:30 p.m. (EDT) start.

Rock N Load ends Little Santamonica's win streak at Tioga

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Edward and James Hall's Rock N Load ($12.00) controlled the pace throughout in Friday (June 6) evening's $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 Handicap distaff pace at Tioga Downs, turning aside a first-over challenge from 3-5 favorite Little Santamonica en route to a 1:52.4 victory.

Rock N Load scores in pillar-to-post fashion
(Fred Brown photo)
The six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare achieved the lead easily, clearing Miss Annie J (Jason Bartlett) through a :28.1 first quarter and controlling the terms through a rated :57 half.  On the backstretch, Aaron Byron moved Little Santamonica first-over, but her attempt at a sixth consecutive win was rebuffed by Rock N Load on the entry to the far turn.  With the favorite fading, Rock N Load was left to stave off a late rally from Passion R Virginie (Jim Marohn, Jr.), digging in to prevail by 1-1/2 lengths.  Miss Annie J stayed on for third off the pocket trip.

John Cummings, Jr. drove Rock N Load for trainer Daniel Gill.

Four $12,500 first-round divisions of the Morrisville College late-closing series were also on the card, with Cal Chips Brother (1:54.3, Corey Braden) fastest of the four winners.  Stitch in Time (1:56, Tyler Buter), Spaced Out (1:56.3, Mike Simons), and You Rock My World (1:56.2, Jason Bartlett) prevailed in their respective divisions, as well.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sweet Lou could not be caught in Roll With Joe

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Utilizing a powerful push clear in the far turn, Sweet Lou ($2.60) could not be caught in the $160,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace at Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 1) afternoon, turning in an impressive 1:48.3 victory.

Sweet Lou takes the $160,000 Roll With Joe
in 1:48.3 (Fred Brown photo)
The five-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser floated forward to track Bolt the Duer (Mark MacDonald) in the early stages, brushing to the fore after a :26.2 first quarter and keeping the pace solid en route to a :53.4 half mile.  On the backstretch, Ron Pierce pushed clear with Sweet Lou, putting four lengths on the field in a :26.3 third quarter.  Approaching the final 200 yards, it seemed the pace may have too taxing, as Sweet Lou was all-out through the stretch and Heston Blue Chip (Tim Tetrick) found room to chase after being locked in.  Sweet Lou dug in late, staving off Heston Blue Chip to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths.  Bolt the Duer stayed on to be third, while Word Power (Jim Morrill, Jr.) sustained a wide bid off a third-over trip to take fourth.

Ron Burke trains Sweet Lou for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura.

El Bloombito was fastest in three
NYSS divisions (Fred Brown photo)
The undercard saw three-year-old pacing colts and geldings contest a trio of $41,300 New York Sire Stakes divisions, with El Bloombito (1:50.2) turning in a spectacular four-length win in rein to Tim Tetrick.  Linda Toscano trains the American Ideal colt for the Stake Your Claim Stable, the Camelot Stable, and Fred Wallace.

Sir Sam's Z Tam (1:52.1, Patrick Lachance) and Twin B Speedo (1:53.0, Mark MacDonald) captured the other divisions.

Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Monday (June 2) evening, with the first of 13 races scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Antigua Hanover a gutsy winner in Tioga distaff feature

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Faced with a host of challengers in the final 300 yards, Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter's Antigua Hanover ($8.20) had just enough left in reserve, digging in to stave off three late-charging rivals en route to a 1:53.3 score in Friday (May 31) evening's $11,000 Miracle Mile 2 pace for fillies and mares at Tioga Downs.

Antigua Hanover digs in to prevail (Fred Brown photo)
The four-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was beaten to the first turn by Canaco Star (Mike Merton), but brushed to the fore immediately upon Canaco Star's clearing at the apex of the first turn.  After setting sensible early splits of :28.2 and :56.3, Antigua Hanover turned aside a first-over challenge from If I Didnt Care (Rick Dane), edging clear to the top of the stretch.

After dismissing If I Didnt Care's challenge on the approach to the far turn, Antigua Hanover withstood late charges from eventual runner-up Bazooka Terror (Aaron Byron) and third-place finisher Dirty Girty (Greg Merton), digging in late to prevail by a diminishing three-quarters-length margin.

Brandon Simpson handled the driving duties aboard Antigua Hanover for trainer Amber Buter.

Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 1) afternoon, with the Roll With Joe Pace headlining the card.  Non-wagering events begin at 12:45 p.m. EDT, with the first of 13 pari-mutuel races scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Eastend Eddie triumphs in Tioga return

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

The Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi's Eastend Eddie ($9.10) made his return to Tioga Downs a winning one, pulling clear after making a three-wide push off the final turn en route to a 1:52.2 victory in Monday (May 26) afternoon's $14,000 Open I Pace.

Eastend Eddie prevails in going-away fashion
(Fred Brown photo)
The six-year-old Million Dollar Cam gelding floated into midfield, stalking a pressured pace disputed by Prairie Jaguar, Fireyourguns, and Electrofire.  With Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) pushing clear to a :27 first quarter and Electrofire (John Cummings, Jr.) moving first-over to maintain a pressured pace after a :55.2 half mile, Dan Rawlings moved Eastend Eddie second-over to track live cover to the far turn, subsequently swinging three-wide on the far turn.  Eastend Eddie responded instantly to Rawlings's move, pushing to the lead in the final 150 yards and drawing clear for a handy victory.  Fireyourguns (Aaron Byron) split rivals late after being boxed in to save second, while Electrofire was an out-kicked third.

Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Saturday, May 31, with first post at 6:15 p.m. EDT.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tioga Downs to Host Networking Event for Minority & Women Owned Businesses

Tioga Downs today announced that they will be hosting a networking event for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses (MWBEs) who are interested in working on its upcoming casino expansion project.

“This is an important and exciting project, responsibly undertaken, that will provide a major economic boost to the Southern Tier,” said Tom Osiecki, President and COO of American Racing and Entertainment, LLC.  “We want to make sure the entire community, especially MWBE firms, benefit from Tioga Downs’ growing commitment to our region.”

The Tioga Downs proposed construction project includes a new 60,000 sq. ft. amenities building with conference space, an indoor and outdoor banquet facility, a new restaurant, outdoor pool and a six-story 140-bed hotel room.  Also included is a 20,000 sq. ft. casino and restaurant expansion, and improvements throughout the facility.

What:              M/WBE Networking Event
When:            Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:00 am
Lunch will be served
Where:           Tioga Downs
2384 W River Road
Nichols, NY 13812

RSVP:  By Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 to Stephanie Pennington, Compliance Manager MWBE/EEO, LPCiminelli,
P: 716.855.1200

“This is a great opportunity for MWBEs to meet and partner with prospective prime bidders to get work on the project,” said Stephanie Pennington, Compliance Manager for LPCiminelli, the Construction Manager at Tioga Downs.  “MWBEs should bring businesses cards, references and other materials to help market themselves.”

Tioga Downs' up-down past looks to soar in the future

In 2003, Long Islander Jeff Gural -- a self-proclaimed "racing guy" -- decided to buy a race track.
"Somebody mentioned Tioga Downs, I had no idea where it was," Gural recalled. "But they mentioned it was near Binghamton. I said, 'Oh I'll take a ride up,' because my mother was from Binghamton. She passed away quite a while ago. And I thought boy, my mother would really get a kick out of it.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Electrofire upsets in Tioga feature

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Stalking a late battle on the far turn, Electrofire sustained a three-wide push off the corner en route to a 16-1 upset win in Sunday (May 18) afternoon's $14,000 Open Handicap pace at Tioga Downs.

Electrofire (#1) ends the win streak of Fireyourguns (#9)
(Fred Brown photo)
The seven-year-old Electric Stena entire was no part of the early pace, letting Firethorn (John MacDonald) handle the initial pacesetting duties.  While Fireyourguns (Aaron Byron) pressed the pace on the backstretch Electrofire followed from second-over before making the winning move.  On the far turn, Rick Plano angled three-wide, sustaining a late push to narrowly prevail in 1:51.3.  Fireyourguns, who saw a five-race win streak come to an end, was a game second, while Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) held third off a pocket trip.

Trainer Jennifer Lappe co-owns Electrofire with the Hero Stables.

Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday evening, May 23, with first post at 6:15 p.m. EDT.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Four in a row for Splitsville in top Tioga trot

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

After stalking moderate early fractions, Splitsville ($3.70) made his move to the fore on the backstretch, driven clear late to prevail in Saturday (May 17) evening's $14,000 Open Handicap trot at Tioga Downs.

Splitsville strikes again (Fred Brown photo)
It was the fourth consecutive win for the five-year-old Hard Rock N Roll gelding, who launched a first-over bid as pacesetter Brookroad Knight (Corey Braden) rated a :58 half-mile with Wisenheimer (Mike Merton) stalking from the pocket.  Driver Jim Marohn, Jr. forced a quickening tempo on the backstretch, striking the lead with Splitsville through three-quarters in 1:25.3, wearing down Brookroad Knight, and holding off a three-wide bid form Wisenheimer for a 1:54.2 victory.

Splitsville, who scored his 21st career win, is trained by Rob Harmon for the Harmon Racing Stable.

Marohn scored a driving hat trick on the night, also victorious with Jolly Lester (1:55.0) and Fox Valley Legend (1:57.0), but was kept at bay for the top spot in the seasonal driving standings by Aaron Byron, whose victory with Sundowner Bob (2:00.0) kept him with a scant 13-12 lead early in the meet.

Racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Sunday (May 18) afternoon, with the first of 11 races scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Little Santamonica anchors Byron hat trick at Tioga

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Little Santamonica stands tall in the Miracle Mile 1
distaff pace (Fred Brown photo)
Newcomer Little Santamonica's ($3.50) 1:52.0 victory in the featured $14,000 Miracle Mile 1 distaff pace was the highlight of a driving hat trick for Aaron Byron, who propelled himself to the top of the Tioga Downs leaderboard with a three-win night on Friday (May 16).

With Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) calling the early shots, Byron brushed to the fore with Little Santamonica through a sensible :28.2 first quarter.  The six-year-old Little Steven mare never looked back from there, accelerating clear on the far turn and being driven to hold a 2-1/4 length margin over Southwind Trini at the winning post.  Sinspirational (Mike Simons) stayed on in traffic to finish an even third.

Jordan Hope trains Little Santamonica for owner Kelly Hope.

Byron also scored driving wins with Paystobea Meangirl (1:58.3) and Crazyboutdadrummer (1:56.0) on the evening's 10-race card.

Racing resumes at Tioga on Saturday, May 17, with the first of 11 races scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Fireyourguns extends streak to five

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

Fresh off a front-end win in last week's featured event, Fireyourguns made the winning move on the far turn to prevail in going-away fashion in Sunday (May 11) afternoon's $14,000 Open I Pace at Tioga Downs.

Fireyourguns scores his fifth straight
win (Fred Brown photo)
The five-year-old American Ideal gelding was parked on the first turn before settling just behind the pace-setting pair of Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) and Steelhead Hanover (Joe Pavia, Jr.).  With Prairie Jaguar clicking off a :54.4 half-mile and a subsequent 1:22.3 three-quarters split, Aaron Byron angled Fireyourguns out, taking second on the far turn and continuing right on to take the lead off the corner, pulling clear through the stretch for a 1:51.4 score.  Prairie Jaguar held second, while Real Flight (Brandon Simpson) made a mild belated rally to take third.  Odds-on favorite Steelhead Hanover was devoid of late kick after tracking the fast initial pace, fading to fourth.

Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.

The $11,000 Open II pace saw Western Trademark rally three-wide off the last turn for a 1:54.1 victory in rein to Sean Bier.

Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (May 16) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Splitsville strikes again in Tioga feature; Marohn wins three

by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media

After making a strong push to the fore on the backstretch, the Harmon Racing Stable's Splitsville ($8.20) held clear in the final quarter mile, prevailing in the $14,000 Open I trot on Saturday (May 10) evening at Tioga Downs after last week's triumph.

Splitsville powered clear in the $14,000
Open I Trot (Fred Brown photo)
The five-year-old Hard Rock N Roll gelding sat well off pacesetter Lutetium (Greg Merton) through initial splits of :27.2 and :56.2 before being angled wide by Jim Marohn, Jr. on the backstretch.  Splitsville pushed to the front upon immediate asking, opening up a clear margin on the field as Lutetium gave way without any fight at all.  Sixteen Mikes (Mike Simons) tracked Splitsville's cover into second, a position he would hold albeit 2-1/2 lengths in arrears at the wining post, while Grey Ice (Jim Meittinis) made a late bid to take third behind Splitsville's 1:54.4 mile.

The sub-featured $11,000 Open II trot saw Brookroad Knight (Corey Braden) make a first-over push on the backstretch, battling with Dough Dough (Mike Simons) on the far turn en route to a half-length 1:54.2 win.

Marohn, the leading driver at Tioga in 2013, scored a trio of wins on the 11-race card, driving Consumer Rate and J R Jazz to victory in addition to his feature win.

Live racing returns to Tioga on Sunday (May 11), with the first of 11 races on Mother's Day scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT.