Monday, June 13, 2016

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

Special guest racers to entertain Father's Day crowds

Vernon, N.Y. - June 12, 2016 - The annual favorite camel and ostrich races are returning to Vernon Downs this year. One of the more popular racing events of the season, more than 5,000 people come out each year to witness these unlikely racers when they take to the track. This year, the furry and feathered friends will entertain audiences on Father's Day, Sunday June 19 as part of a special night of racing with a post time of 6:45 pm.

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.

Also on the schedule for Father's Day racing are the $500,000 finals of the Empire Breeders' Classic for New York's premier three-year-old trotters. Dads can also enter to win a Massey Ferguson riding lawnmower, courtesy of Clinton Tractor.

Guests of all ages are invited to enjoy these special events, as well as all harness races during the Vernon Downs season. Only guests 18 and older are permitted to wager and take place in special promotions.

In addition to its video gaming machines, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY and Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY.  In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Holiday weekend offers three days of racing at Vernon Downs

Special Memorial Day promotions planned

Vernon, N.Y. - May 25, 2016 - Harness racing fans looking for something to do this holiday weekend need to look no farther than Vernon Downs. Three days of racing are planned along with special promotions to celebrate the traditional start of summer.

Memorial Day Weekend racing begins Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28 with a post time of 6:45 pm both evenings. A special promotion Saturday gives the first 500 fans over age 18 a chance to scratch and win up to a $250 first prize. Plus, New York's premiere three-year-old filly trotters compete in the New York Sire Stakes.

Monday afternoon racing is scheduled for Memorial Day beginning at 1:25 pm. Fans arriving early will receive a red, white and blue themed Vernon Downs baseball hat with program purchase, while supplies last.

Live local harness racing continues throughout the season at Vernon Downs primarily Thursday thru Saturday with a few Sunday and holiday Monday races planned. Nearly 100 additional races, including the June 11 Belmont Stakes, are streamed each week in the state of the art simulcast room. Three large screens bring the action from the most popular tracks across the country to Vernon Downs. Individual carrels and private tables also feature LCD TV's.

In addition to its video gaming machines, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY and Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Racing fans to watch, wager on Preakness at Vernon Downs

Simulcast of Nyquist pursuit of second jewel planned for May 21

Vernon, N.Y. - May 17, 2016 - Central New York harness racing fans who won't want to miss Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist's pursuit of the second jewel of the Triple Crown will have to travel no further than Vernon Downs to watch the 141st Preakness on May 21. Live racing at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore begins at 10:30 am, and the Preakness post time is set for 6:45 pm.

Nyquist is already gaining attention not only for his 2016 Kentucky Derby victory but also for winning the 2015 Breeders' Cup Juvenile. This makes him only the second horse to complete the Juvenile-Derby double. His team sets their sights now on the next leg of a hopeful Triple Crown victory. If successful Saturday, Nyquist will advance to the Belmont Stakes June 11 and attempt to sweep the series.

Live local racing following the Preakness features the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotters and a handicapping contest which carries a $250 first prize. There is no charge to participate. This season, Vernon Downs will host live racing primarily Thursday through Saturday with a few Sunday and usual holiday Monday races planned. Several top-class stakes races make up the 2016 racing calendar.

In addition to its video gaming machines, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY and Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY.  In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spectacular fireworks among highlights of harness racing kickoff this month

Vernon Downs opens season April 22

Vernon, N.Y. – April 19, 2016 – Final preparations are underway at Vernon Downs to open the 63rd season of live harness racing on Friday, April 22. Racing is set to begin that evening with a post time of 6:45 pm. Fans will receive the traditional race date T-shirt and schedule magnet (free while supplies last). All are welcome to stay after the last race for a fireworks show worth waiting for, beginning at approximately 10 pm.

Other highlights of opening night include the chance to get to know Vernon Downs drivers through a special meet and greet beginning at 6 pm. As part of a 60 second wagering spree, three lucky winners will be able to place as many $2 bets as they can manage in one minute with Vernon Downs paying the wagers and the contestant keeping any winnings!

The second big event of the 2016 season is Kentucky Derby Day on May 7. Guests can spend the day at Vernon Downs and celebrate southern style while watching and betting on the Derby. Everyone 18 and older who attends can enter to win the $1,000 Derby Dream Bet. Live harness racing follows that evening. Other highlights of the 2016 season include two ongoing special promotions, the Horseplay Car Giveaway and Million Dollar Ball Drop.

On the track, Vernon Downs will host live racing primarily Thursday thru Saturday with a few Sunday and usual holiday Monday races planned. Several top-class stakes races including the Crawford Farms Trot, Zweig Memorial and the Muscle Hill Trot round out the 2016 racing calendar.

A special benefit concert* on August 12 will feature musical sensation, Grand Funk Railroad.
This American rock band first rose to fame in the 1970s with hits such as "We're an American Band," "Time Machine" and "Walk Like a Man." Rain or shine, the summer concert will take place at 8 pm outside and under the stars at the track Grandstand. Tickets are selling for $15 at all Ticketmaster outlets and Vernon Downs Players Club. All proceeds will benefit The Food Bank of Central New York. Plus, Chairman of American Racing & Entertainment, Jeff Gural will personally donate an additional $15 for each ticket sold. Help us reach our goal of $100,000!

In addition to its video gaming machines, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY and Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY.  In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com.

*Proceeds from the August 12 Grand Funk Railroad concert to benefit The Food Bank of Central New York.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Vernon Downs to hold open interviews at upcoming job fair

Racino hiring for positions in food and beverage

Vernon, N.Y. - March 25, 2016 - Vernon Downs is looking to add to its food and beverage staff at its special "Recipe for Success" job fair next week. The racino is hoping to fill a variety of full time, part time and seasonal positions through the event Wednesday, March 30 and Thursday, March 31 from 10am - 4pm both days at the hotel convention center.

Everyone who visits the job fair will have an opportunity to interview for a position with the chance of being hired on the spot.

Included among the open positions are bartender, sous chef and a variety of other kitchen functions. For a complete list of open positions in food and beverage and across the property, visit www.vernondowns.com/careers. Those interested may also apply online to work at Vernon.

The seasonal positions will remain filled throughout harness racing, which officially opens Friday, April 17 with a post time of 6:45 pm and runs through late fall. Opening Night includes the traditional race date T-shirt and schedule magnet giveaway and a spectacular fireworks show following the night’s last race.

In addition to its video gaming machines, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY and Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY.  In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Vernon Downs invites engaged couples to 'high stakes' bridal show

Wedding bands up for grabs in 'Dig for a Diamond' contest 

Vernon, N.Y. - February 17, 2016 - Couples with plans to tie the knot won't want to miss the upcoming bridal show at the Vernon Downs Event Center, set for Sunday, March 6 from 12 pm until 3 pm. Brides and grooms-to-be can save time by getting inspiration and meeting photographers, DJs, cake bakers and more all under one roof in a single afternoon.

"We are bringing together the best wedding vendors in Central New York to showcase what they have to offer in one convenient location," said Vernon Downs owner Jeff Gural. "Whether couples are just getting started planning their big day or need to solidify a few details, we know planning a wedding can be a huge undertaking. We are offering this bridal show to the community to make it a little bit easier and more enjoyable."

Guests can get an up close glimpse at wedding wear while models walk around the show in the latest fashions. Don't want wedding guests to have to choose between another glass of wine and dessert? Sample Mercer Dairy's wine ice cream, the ultimate indulgence.

All are welcome to attend the bridal show. There is no admission charge, but guests are asked to register online in advance at www.vernondowns.com. Those attending can register to win vendor prizes, including the highly anticipated set of wedding bands from Weisser's Jewelers. Brides-to-be can participate in a "Dig for the Diamond" contest and sift through an actual sandbox in search of the diamond.

The bridal show is being hosted by Kenny the Promo Guy, and decorations are being provided by Exclusively Yours Wedding Warehouse.

In addition to its video gaming machines, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY and Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY.  In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Vernon Downs to host qualifiers for harness racing championship

Two upcoming opportunities offer entries into main event

Vernon, N.Y. - February 5, 2016 - Vernon Downs will send two lucky contestants to the largest harness handicapping event of its kind, the $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Competition. Qualifying tournaments at Vernon Downs are set for February 20 and March 19, with one seat to the finals up for grabs at each event. Contestants can enter either tournament for a $60 entry
fee. The format of the tournaments requires contestants to make ten $2 win and place wagers on ten designated contest races. Contestants keep any winnings. The grand prize winner will also receive two nights of hotel accommodations and a $100 travel credit to the WHHC Final.

The winner of each contest will earn a spot in the WHHC Final to be held April 30 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Contestants there will vie for $50,000 in prizes (payouts to the top ten) and the coveted title of "harness handicapper of the year."

"The World Harness Handicapping Championship is a big event that people look forward to every year," said Vernon Downs owner Jeff Gural. "We are so pleased to be able to offer two highly sought after opportunities at our Tioga and Vernon properties to earn a spot to participate."

Qualifying events are also being held at Tioga Downs, the Meadowlands and numerous other racetracks and online sites.

In addition to its video gaming machines, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY and Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY.  In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com.