Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Penny Earned headlines Vernon opening night

Thursday, April 16, 2015 - by James Witherite, Vernon Downs Racing Media
Vernon, NY---Trotters and distaffers headline Friday (April 17) evening's Opening Night program at Vernon Downs, with 21-time winner A Penny Earned making his return to the Miracle Mile in the featured $10,000 Open Trot.
The six-year-old Conway Hall gelding proved victorious in 7 of 26 races last year, staying close to trainer George Ducharme's central New York home base throughout. He took a seasonal mark of 1:53.3 while earning just over $60,000, and he's reunited with his regular driver from last season, defending Vernon Downs driving champion Chris Lems.
Lems has nine drives on the ten-race card, with three of them for last season's top trainer David Dewhurst. The pair will look to establish themselves atop their respective leader boards with Kyler's Valentine (race 1, 7-2 morning line), Ziegler Hanover (race 2, 5-2 ML), and Pounce K (race 6, 6-1 ML).

Fans are encouraged to arrive well before first post time of 6:45 p.m. EDT, as racing calendar magnets and T-shirts will be distributed starting one hour before the first race (while supplies last). Arriving fans can also meet their favorite drivers prior to the races, and all are welcome to remain for the post-racing fireworks display.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Vernon Downs readies for 2015 opener

Monday, April 13, 2015 - by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

Vernon, NY --- Vernon Downs opens the curtain on their 2015 live harness racing season later this week, as Friday (April 17) marks the first of 90 programs over the critically acclaimed seven-eighths-mile stonedust track.

"We're excited to kick off another season of harness racing at the home of the Miracle Mile," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing at Vernon Downs. "It's been a long winter, but we're ready for the upcoming meet, featuring world-class stakes races, the New York Sire Stakes, and a slew of fun promotions for our loyal fans."

Fans will be welcomed back to the home of the Miracle Mile with race date magnets and T-shirts given away at the main entrance beginning at 5:45 p.m. (while supplies last). Fans will also be able to meet their favorite Vernon Downs drivers before the races. During the races, six lucky fans will be selected to win a $50 wager on the house, and after the last race, all are invited to enjoy a spectacular fireworks display.

The first Horseplay Car Giveaway finalist will be chosen on opening night as well (weather permitting), as the popular season-long contest returns with a Volkswagen Jetta on the line. Fans can earn entries every live race night through Sept. 7, when one lucky winner will drive away with the new car.

Later in the season, Vernon Downs will again host the trotting divisions of the Empire Breeders Classic (June 21), along with a number of top trotting and distaff events.

Stakes action continues with the Zweig Memorial Trot (for 3-year-olds) slated for July 26, while the Aug. 21 card boasts a trio of top events -- the Crawford Farms Trot, the Muscle Hill Mares Trot, and the Artiscape Open Mare Pace.

As the weather cools down, Vernon Downs will once again host the New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series finals on Sept. 19, the Simpson Stakes for 2-year-olds on Oct. 16, and the Kindergarten Classic trotting finals on Oct. 31.

As last year’s major open stakes were won by Dan Patch champions Father Patrick, Shake It Cerry, Sebastian K, and Rocklamation, the Miracle Mile is sure to once again host a number of present and future world champions throughout the year.

Additionally, Vernon Downs will play host to a full complement of New York Sire Stakes preliminary events for 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters.


Post time for the opening night program is slated for 6:45 p.m. (EDT). Racing will take place on Friday and Saturday evenings through closing night, Nov. 21, with Sunday afternoon cards added from mid-May through the end of August and Wednesday evening cards added in September and October. For a complete schedule, visit www.vernondowns.com/racing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: Harness racing season kicks off in two weeks at Vernon Downs

Primary Contact: Stephen Donnelly, Dynamic Innovation Group, (719) 337-8238 or stephen@dynamicinnovation.net

Secondary Contact: Ursula Maunder, Vernon Downs, (315) 560-4856 or umaunder@vernondowns.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Harness racing season kicks off in two weeks at Vernon Downs
Media invited for special preview night with live racing

Vernon, N.Y. – April 7, 2015 – Vernon Downs is preparing to usher in spring with the start of live harness racing scheduled to begin in about two weeks. The 62nd season of live harness racing begins April 17th with a post time of 6:45 pm. Guests will receive the traditional race date T-shirt and schedule magnet (free while supplies last). A spectacular fireworks show will commence after the last race, 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 held in the hour before post. Guests can also sign up to win a $50 free roll, and six winners receive $50 to wager entirely on a designated race and keep any winnings.

“After a long, cold winter, we can’t think of a better way to ring in spring than to join in the activities surrounding the start to live racing,” said Scott Freeman, Sr. Vice President & General Manager. “And that’s just the beginning—the fun and excitement continues all season long with creative promotions, contests and events.”

The second big event of the 2015 season is Kentucky Derby Day on May 2. Guests can spend the day at Vernon Downs and celebrate southern style while watching and betting on the Derby. Those who wish to dawn lavish hats can enter a special contest, and everyone who attends can enter to win $1,000 Derby Dream Bet. Live harness racing follows that evening.

Later in the season, the popular Camel and Ostrich racing return on June 13, typically drawing one of the largest crowds of the year! Two special promotions, the Horseplay Car Giveaway and Million Dollar Ball Drop, continue all season long. Vernon Downs will also host several top-class stakes races throughout the season, including the Crawford Farms Trot, Zweig Memorial and the Artiscape Pace.

Media Night: Members of the media are invited to a special preview of the 2015 season at Vernon Downs on Tuesday, April 14th beginning at 6 pm. Members of track management and horsemen will be available for interviews, and additional information on the facility and the upcoming season will be highlighted. The media will also have a chance to see live qualifying races beginning at 6:45 pm that evening. Photography and videography is welcomed and encouraged.

In addition to live harness racing, Vernon Downs offers video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic roulette. A variety of eateries are also part of the entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY, and Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY. Gural is in the process of preparing a new proposal to apply for the state’s final full gaming license. Once awarded, Tioga Downs will expand its facility and workforce to accommodate live casino gaming. 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, December 23, 2014

VERNON DOWNS TOPS OFF NEW PARKING GARAGE

Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel topped off their facility's new parking garage on Thursday, December 11, 2014. The "topping off" represents an old Scandinavian tradition where builders ceremonially place the final beam in the main frame of the structure.  There is still remaining work on the parking garage, but the project is on budget and on schedule to be completed this April.

The construction of the $7.2 million parking garage will offer patrons a total of 222 available parking spaces as well as a covered walkway that links the racetrack to the casino.


Opened in 2006, Vernon Downs Casino Hotel and Racetrack occupies a 34,000 square foot gaming facility featuring over 750 video gaming machines, restaurants, lounges and arcades in addition to live racing and simulcasting. The property also offers an all-suites hotel, banquet space, roof top terrace and employs approximately 350 people.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Plate Night- How to Make an Awesome Pork Rib Eye Meal with Shrimp and More [VIDEO]

Watch this episode of Plate Night with Bill Keeler for great recipe ideas for fall and winter and get ready to be inspired to visit Mr. G’s to taste the great food.

Read More: How to Make Pork Rib Eye with Mr. G's - Plate Night {VIDEO] | http://wibx950.com/plate-night-how-to-make-an-awesome-pork-rib-eye-meal/?trackback=tsmclip



Monday, May 5, 2014

Country Music Sensations Jerrod Niemann/Love and Theft To Play Benefit Concert at Vernon Downs Thursday, July 3rd!

Owner sets donation goal of $100,000 to benefit the Food Bank of CNY

Vernon Downs Casino Hotel and Racetrack is excited to announce that country music sensations Jerrod Niemann and Love and Theft will be appearing live in concert
on Thursday, July 3rd outside and under the stars at Vernon Downs. Tickets for the 8:00pm show are available for $15 at the Vernon Downs Casino Players Club and all Ticketmaster locations.

Jerrod Niemann has produced Billboard chart-toppers “Drink To That All Night” and “Lover, Lover” while Love and Theft is best known for their number 1 hit “Angel Eyes” and “Runaway.”

As a way of giving back to the community, all proceeds from the ticket sales for the concert will be donated to the Food Bank of Central New York. In addition, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment Jeff Gural stated that he will personally donate $10.00 for every ticket sold for the concert, making the total donated amount $25 per ticket. Mr. Gural will also give 50 cents for every $1 donated to the Food Bank on the day of the show. Mr. Gural and Vernon Downs have a goal of raising a total of $100,000 through their combined efforts.

“Making ends meet continues to be a struggle for people in our community during these difficult times and I think this is the best way for myself and our company to express our thanks to everyone for the support we have received over the years,” Mr. Gural stated. Last year’s “Gretchen Wilson” concert raised nearly $68,000 for the Food Bank, through ticket sales,
Mr. Gural’s $10.00 match and donations.

Vernon Downs Casino Hotel and Racetrack employs over 350 people and is open year-round with video gaming machines, simulcast horse racing, restaurants, sports bar, hotel and event center.

Vernon Downs is located close to Routes 5 and 31 in Vernon, NY.


Contact Info: Ursula Maunder
Senior Director of Marketing
315.560.4856

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Medusa stays perfect in Farina final at Vernon


by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

In similar fashion to her first three victories, William Donovan's Medusa ($2.70) brushed to the fore on the backstretch and pulled clear en route to a 1:51.2 victory in the $13,300 Anthony Farina Pacing Series final on Saturday (May 3) evening at Vernon Downs.

Medusa - still undefeated (Fotowon photo)
The three-year-old Bettor's Delight filly came away in fourth as Stony Brook (John MacDonald) set the initial pace, blazing through a :26.2 first quarter before yielding to Medusa on the backstretch.  Medusa would not be caught, opening up at the top of the stretch and holding clear of Stony Brook for a three-length victory in rein to Chris Lems.  Team Edward (Truman Gale) stayed on to be third off a ground-saving trip.

The Paul Kelley-trained Medusa remains undefeated after the victory.

The $14,100 Catherine Burton Trotting Series final went to Gewertz, Brunet, and Brunet's Wild and Crazy Guy ($2.40, Truman Gale).  Part of a six-horse entry, Wild and Crazy Guy snuck through up the pegs off a pocket trip for a half-length win over the three-wide Keystone Trevor (Rick Plano) in 1:55.4, with Driving Miss Crazy (Gaetan Brunet) holding third after enduring a first-over trip.

Racing resumes at Vernon on Thursday evening, with the first of ten races heading to the gate at 6:45 p.m. EDT.