Thursday, January 6, 2011

Scott Warren joins Vernon Downs Race Office

Vernon Downs is proud to announce that Scott Warren will be joining the race team as Race Secretary for the 2011 race season.

Warren comes to Vernon Downs after serving more than 15 years at Rosecroft Raceway, in which he played many different roles.

Since 1995, Warren has held numerous titles including Assistant Race Secretary, Clerk of Course, Program Director, Simuclast Director, Announcer, and Race Secretary.

Prior to joining Rosecroft Raceway in 1995, Warren served as Assistant Race Secretary and Announcer at Ocean Downs.

"I have heard nothing but positive things about the way management treats their horsemen and employees at Tioga and Vernon, and I would like to thank Jason Settlemoir for the opportunity," said Warren. "After looking at the 2011 stakes schedule I wish opening day was tomorrow night at Vernon because it looks like 2011 will be an exciting year of racing."

Warren currently lives in Harrington, Delaware, is an active member of the United State Harness Writer's Association, and is an owner in the standardbred business.

"Scott brings depth and knowledge to our racing office at Vernon and we are happy to have him joining us for 2011," said Jason M. Settlemoir, VP of Racing and Simulcast. "Not only can he run the day-to-day operations of a race office but he can fill in at many other locations around our racetracks if ever needed."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Vernon Downs 2010 Handle Figures

Vernon Downs rounded out 2010 with almost an identical posting of their on track handle from 2009, however the export number for the 2010 race season was down 9.5% over 2009.

On the import side at Vernon Downs however, 2010 showed almost a 2% increase from 2009 and was the highest import number in the past five years since American Racing and Entertainment took over Vernon Downs.

However, the VGM revenue at Vernon Downs posted a strong year and with all the numbers in has increased from 2009 by more than 10%.

“While obviously the significant increases in our VGM revenue will result in more money for purses next year, the fact that our racing revenues were also stable or slightly better than 2009 is encouraging as well,” said Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment.

Tioga Downs showed increases in both live and export handle during its 2010 race meet, live handle was up for the year by nearly 4%, while the export numbers jumped by more than an 8% increase.

The import numbers at Tioga stayed about the same compared to 2009 despite Tioga closing its simulcast operations on Monday and Tuesdays since November.

Tioga Downs also showed strong gains in VGM revenue as 2010 was up over 2009 by 7%.

For more information on Tioga Downs or Vernon Downs please visit us online at or

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Longtime Vernon Downs Horseman Manzi Passes Away

Noted Vernon Downs horseman Rocco Frank Manzi, 59, passed away peacefully at his home in Oneida on Thursday (Dec. 30, 2010) with his family and friends at his side.

Born on April 4, 1951 in Syracuse, Rocco was the first of Frank J. and Jennie (Alba) Manzi’s eight children.

He went on to become president and chief executive officer of Syracuse’s Yellow Cab taxi and Century Transportation companies.

In addition to his primary occupation, Manzi was also a successful Standardbred owner (a total of 81 horses since 1984) and trainer (with total earnings of more than $678,000 from 1992-2004), based at Vernon Downs.

A longtime member of the Harness Horse Association of Central New York, and the United States Trotting Association, Rocco continued to own harness horses after retiring from the training ranks.

Some of his more prominent horses included Sea Special, Kings and Queens, The Best, Proud American, Delightful Dancer and Touch Of The Past, among others.

In addition to his racehorse involvement, Manzi enjoyed spending time with his beloved grandchildren Dennis, Sierra and Lauren, especially at the family’s summer camp.

Predeceased by his parents, Rocco is survived by his wife of 37 years, Ermilinda (Mussi) of Oneida, and his son Patrick (Jamie) Manzi.

He also leaves behind his siblings Frank J. (Diane) Manzi II, Floreen (Andrew) Pollastro, Anne (Ricky) Reagan, Robert Manzi, David Manzi, Paul Manzi and Laurie (Manzi) Keeling, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to call at the Malecki Funeral Home Inc., 464 Sherrill Rd., Sherrill on Tuesday (Jan. 4) from 3-8 p.m.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday (Jan. 5) at 10:30 a.m. in the funeral home.

Entombment will be in Our Lady-Peace Cemetery, 8668 Oswego Road, Baldwinsville, NY, 13027.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to Hospice of Central New York.