Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Media Night and Final Preseason Qualifiers at Vernon Downs

The trotters BJ's Superman (2:02), Centerfold Lady (2:01.4), Delcrest Grace (2:01.2), as well as pacers Shortest Distance (1:57.1) and Paltrow Blue Chip (1:58.1) were qualifying winners during Tuesday's annual Media Night program at Vernon Downs.

Roman Lopez (Centerfold Lady for trainer Sam Serianni and Delcrest Grace for conditioner Maria Rice) won two of Tuesday's practice events as the central New York harness track continued to prepare for its 59th pari-mutual season this Friday night (April 27).

Master of Ceremonies Jason Settlemoir, vice-president of racing and simulcasting for Vernon Downs and its sister track, Tioga Downs (which opens at 6:50 on Saturday night, May 5), welcomed the enthusiastic crowd and provided information pertaining to this year's 90-card campaign, which is scheduled to continue through Nov. 3.

"We’re looking forward to having the seventh season under current management showcase the best Standardbred horses and horsemen during the upcoming campaign, especially on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 26 when Vernon will host the $700,000 (est.) Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotters and a $50,000 Driver's Championship (that previously has been held at Tioga Downs)," Settlemoir said.

Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, excited the audience when he announced that Vernon would be the site of two major concerts in 2012, with the chart-topping group "America" set to perform on Thursday night, July 5, and "The Boss," Bruce Springsteen, to conduct a leg of his current "Wrecking Ball" tour on Wednesday evening, Aug. 29.

Both events will benefit the Food Bank of Central New York.

"I recognize that many people in this community continue to struggle during these difficult times, and I thought this was the best way for myself and our company to express our thanks to everyone for the support we have received here over the past six years," Gural stated.  

DOWNS DOINGS—The Downs has slated 10 races starting at 6:55 this Friday night…Vernon will conduct its next qualifying session at 11 o'clock on Friday morning… Friday night's promotional activities include a T-shirt and magnet schedule giveaway, plus a fireworks show following the last live race…Additional facts regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at Added information and concert tickets can be obtained at the track's ticket office, or at all Ticketmaster locations.