Monday, June 13, 2016

They're Back! Camel and Ostrich racing returns to Tioga Downs

Special guest racers kick off Father's Day weekend events

Nichols, N.Y. - June 12, 2016 - Back by popular demand, camel and ostrich races are returning to Tioga Downs this year. The unlikely racers will take to the track June 17 and kick off a full Father's Day weekend of promotions and special events for dads and guests of all ages. Post time for the Friday night of racing is 6:30 pm.

It has been three years since the furry and feathered friends have stopped at Tioga Downs, but they have historically drawn large crowds. As in the past, there is no wagering on camel and ostrich races, which will take place between regularly scheduled harness racing that evening. One race will feature four camels competing to cross the finish line first, and three ostriches will vie for a separate title in their own race. The camels and ostriches that will participate in the exhibition come from Hedrick's Animal Farm in Kansas and travel all over the country performing at racetracks, fairs and other events.

The weekend of racing continues on Father's Day, Sunday, June 19 with a post time of 1:30 pm when the sport's fastest pacers come to town for the $180,000 Roll with Joe Open Pace. Fans will receive a collector's edition rocks glass (while supplies last). Dads can also celebrate their special day by entering two major contests. Top prizes up for grabs include a Massey Ferguson riding lawnmower courtesy of Clinton Tractor and a NY Yankees VIP trip, including a pair of tickets to a game and chauffeured transportation to and from Yankee Stadium.

This year marks the tenth anniversary celebration for Tioga Downs. The entertainment complex offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic table games. A variety of eateries are also part of the racino. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs was recently recommended by the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board for a full gaming license. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit