Thursday, May 24, 2018

Memorial Day weekend to feature live racing Vernon Downs


Racing on Monday May 28 to honor all those that have put their lives on the line for the country

Vernon, N.Y. – May 24, 2018 – As we enter the Memorial Day weekend, it is a time to remember and honor all those, past and present, that have fought for the United States and put their lives on the line daily to protect our freedom.  Vernon Downs Owner Jeff Gural has long honored military veterans as well as active duty military and will be once again hosting a celebration of our military heroes on Monday, May 28, with live harness racing, giveaways and entertainment. 

With a post time of 1:05 p.m., Vernon Downs will kick off its Memorial Day celebration with live harness racing including a live bugler that will be calling horses to post.  Guests will be treated to the New York Sire Stakes 3-Year-Old Colt Pace as well as the Empire Breeders Classic Trot Finals. There will be an American flag baseball hat giveaway (while supplies last) for all guests that visit the raceway as well.  Promotions include a free handicapping contest where contestants could win up to a $250 wagering voucher.

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 years of age and older are permitted to wager on racing and take place in special promotions.

In addition to its video lottery terminals, 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 1,000 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

MacDonald’s quest for four straight titles at Vernon starts Friday


Thursday, April 19, 2018 - by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Vernon, NY --- John MacDonald has won three straight driving championships at Vernon Downs. He will begin his quest for four in a row as Vernon Downs opens for live racing on Friday (April 20) starting at 6:10 p.m.

MacDonald won 185 races last season. His main competition the last three years came from Chris Lems, who was runner-up all three years. Lems will be on hand opening day but will only be here part time this season.

Also returning is another former track champion, Jimmy Whittemore, who was third with 82 wins a year ago. Truman Gale (54) and Leon Bailey (30) round out the top five from last year.

MacDonald will also go for his third straight training title. He trained 57 winners in 2017. Andy Gardner returns to take another crack at the training title. He was just six wins behind MacDonald last season.

Opening day features free t-shirts and schedule magnets while they last. Fireworks will follow the 11-race card.

For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.

Vernon Downs to start live racing on Friday


Vernon, NY --- Vernon Downs is set to begin its 65th year of racing on Friday (April 20) with a new post time of 6:10 p.m.

Opening night will feature a t-shirt and schedule magnet giveaway, plus the popular “That’s My Driver” promotion. Five entries will be randomly selected following race two. All will have a chance to win up to $140. At the conclusion of the evening’s racing will be a large fireworks display.

Highlights for the season include “Derby Day” featuring the live showing of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday (May 5) with a special post time of 4:30 p.m. Memorial Day (May 28) features the Empire Classic finals for both 3-year-old filly trotters and 3-year-old trotting colts. Each final is racing for a purse of $250,000 (est.) with a post time of 1:05 p.m. The Zweig Memorial races will take place on Friday (Aug. 17) featuring the 3-year-old colt trot ($370,000 est.) and 3-year-old filly trot ($150,000 est.).

The Million Dollar Ball Drop will take place on Saturday (Aug. 18). The Horseplay Car Giveaway featuring a 2017 Ford Fiesta will be on Saturday (Sept. 1). 

John MacDonald will attempt to defend the driving and training titles he won in 2017. MacDonald was top driver in 2017 with 185 wins on the season and top trainer with 57 wins on the year. He was also the owner and trainer of Oh My Joepa, who won Horse of the Year honors with nine wins.

The 11-race card for Friday will feature leg one of the Robert E. Keller Trotting Series. A live bugler will be on hand for the festivities as well.

For more information go to www.vernondowms.com.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Vernon Downs Announces Highlights of Racing Season at Media Night


2018 season packed with racing promotions, entertainment

Vernon, N.Y. – April 17, 2018 – Local leaders and media partners gathered at the Gold Cup Buffet at Vernon Downs Tuesday for an exciting and informational peek into the upcoming racing season.

The event, which was complete with tours, photo opportunities, and interviews, detailed highlights of the 2018 racing season, including:

Kentucky Derby Day will be held at Vernon Downs on Saturday, May 5th. Post time for racing is 4:30 p.m. Registration will begin for our fun Derby hat contest at 4 p.m., and food trucks will be on hand from 4 to 8 p.m. The day’s featured promotion is a $500 Derby Dream Bet.

This Memorial Day, fans can look forward to the Empire Breeders Classic Finals for the 3 year old Trotters, and an estimated $250,000 in purses. There will also be an American Flag baseball hat giveaway. Post time is 1:05 p.m.

There will be more than just racing to take in on Wednesday, July 4th.  Post time is 6:10 p.m Guests will be able to catch a glimpse of a spectacular fireworks display and a fun-filled night of quality racing.

On Friday, July 27th, it’s all about good music and a great cause at Vernon Downs! Wynonna and The Big Noise will perform a special benefit concert to benefit the Food Bank of Central New York. Wynonna will give the crowd at Vernon Downs an unforgettable experience delivering hits from her debut album with her new band, The Big Noise. All ticket sales will be donated to the organization and in addition, Vernon Downs owner Jeff Gural has generously pledged to match all ticket proceeds. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the concert kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Zweig Stakes Day Highlights will take place on Friday, August 17th. This exciting racing event will feature 3-year-old trotters and an estimated $630,000 in purses. There will also be a long sleeve shirt giveaway. Post time is 6:10 p.m.

Our highly anticipated Million Dollar Ball Drop will take place on Saturday, August 18th. Post time is 6:10 p.m. The bal will drop during live racing. Fans have a chance to win up to $1,000,000.

There will be another major prize up for grabs during the Horseplay Car Giveaway on September 1st. Post time is 6:10 p.m. Make a $1 donation and receive a rubber horse for your chance to toss, and enter to win a 2017 Ford Fiesta!

We appreciate the continued support of our media partners, patrons and dignitaries, and look forward to another great racing season at Vernon Downs!

In addition to its video lottery terminals, 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 1,000 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Vernon Downs Announces Details of Two Can’t-Miss Events


Details of New Years Eve Festivities and Upcoming ‘Ultimate Aldean’ Concert Announced

Vernon, N.Y. – December 26, 2017 – Racing may be over for the season, but the fun is still in full swing at Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel!

Ring in the New Year at Vernon Downs on Sunday, December 31st! With a balloon drop, free party favors while supplies last, and a complimentary champagne toast for patrons aged 21 and older, the 2018 New Years Eve bash is sure to be a night you won’t forget. Guests will enjoy live entertainment by local favorite Grit N Grace. Indulge in a dinner buffet and late night breakfast at Champions, or hit Mr. G’s Food & Spirits for a New Year’s Eve Dinner and New Year’s Day Breakfast Buffet.

Ultimate Aldean will rock Vernon Downs on at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 20. Ultimate Aldean is the #1 Jason Aldean Tribute Artist in the country. Greg West, a gifted musician with a striking resemblance to country sensation Jason Aldean, began his musical career with guitar lessons at age 14. In the last several years, he’s taken his talents national, performing his Aldean shows at casinos, cruises, fairs, clubs and festivals around the country. Tickets are currently on sale at the Vernon Downs Players Club or Ticketmaster.com for $15, and will be available on the day of the show for $20.

In addition to its video lottery terminals, 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 1,000 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Calling All Brides: Vernon Downs to Host Annual Bridal Show


Local Vendors Featured, Giveaways Offered at Bridal Show March 4th

Vernon, N.Y. – February 23, 2017 – Are you a bride to be, seeking inspiration for your dream wedding day? Look no further than Vernon Downs 2018 Bridal Show, where you may just find your ideal wedding venue and the perfect wedding vendors, all in one place!

The annual bridal show will be held from 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 4 in the elegant ballroom at Vernon Downs, an ideal location for any wedding. Brides will experience a state of the art catering facility and a scenic setting that overlooks the racetrack and is known for its beautiful sunsets. The ballroom boasts a spacious 6,750 square feet, while the roof top terrace is 6,146 square feet, making Vernon Downs a superb choice to accommodate ceremonies and receptions of all sizes in one convenient location.

The bridal show will showcase the best wedding vendors Central New York has to offer. From appetizers and desserts to live entertainment to photography, brides will have a chance to see, hear and taste firsthand all these wonderful vendors have to offer. Sponsors for this year’s bridal show include decorating sponsor, Bella’s Events and DJ sponsor, Kenny the Promo Guy. Other vendors include AJ’s Photography, LaBella Flowers, Lu La Roe, Lip Sense, Whitesboro Body Fit, Village Florals, Majestic DJ Service and many more.

Brides in attendance will have a chance to win big! There will be multiple giveaways, including the Something New and for You Vendor Giveaway and the Dig for the Diamond Contest, sponsored by Lennon’s W.B. Wilcox Jewelers. The winner of that contest will take home a $1,000 gift certificate from Lennon’s.

Brides are encouraged to bring guests with them to see and sample these vendors. Whether it’s your fiancĂ©, your mother or future mother-in-law or your maid of honor, please feel free to bring anyone who will be an important part of planning the big day! Please click here to register online.

In addition to its video lottery terminals, 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 1,000 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit www.vernondowns.com.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tioga Downs seeks experienced casino personnel to aid in expansion

Sister property to host job fair next week

Nichols, N.Y. - August 18, 2016 - As expansion efforts continue at Tioga Downs, the entertainment complex is seeking experienced casino personnel to join to its growing team. Sister property Vernon Downs will host a job fair Monday, August 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. inside its events center.

Hiring managers need to fill a variety of full and part-time positions, all of which offer a competitive benefits package. Executives at Tioga Downs hope to be awarded a Class III casino license soon and are encouraging anyone with experience as a dealer, casino supervisor, surveillance operator, host, slot technician or other gaming operations to submit an application and/or attend the casino's job fair.

"As we look to the future, Tioga Downs simply needs more experienced people on its already outstanding staff in order to maintain the level of quality that our guests have come to expect," said owner Jeff Gural. "In order to attract the best talent, we offer highly competitive compensation to our employees."

Those benefits include a full range of insurance options, including heath, dental, vision and life, plus 401 K plans and paid time off work.

Just last week, Tioga Downs unveiled the first finished new gaming section of the major renovation underway at the entertainment complex. More than 250 video lottery terminals have been moved into the new gaming area for guests to enjoy. Major renovations to expand the Tioga Downs Casino will make way for table games that a Class III license would allow the facility to offer.

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 www.tiogadowns.com.