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

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.

Friday, May 2, 2014

House Money scores in Vernon feature

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

A select field of five contested the $8,000 featured event on the Friday (May 2) program at Vernon Downs, and despite having things largely his own way, Pennsylvania shipper and odds-on favorite Sand Top Gun was just collared by House Money ($6.80) in the last strides of the Miracle Mile 2 trot.

House Money (foreground) prevails
in Miracle Mile 2 trot (Fotowon photo)
Trainer/driver Roman Lopez tracked from the pocket through sensible fractions, keeping House Money just behind the pacesetting Sand Top Gun (Tyler Raymer) throughout the first seven-eighths of a mile.  Locked in by the first-over Ilovemymommy (Chris Lems), House Money resorted to wedging through at the pegs--and he found room in the last sixteenth.  The five-year-old Angus Hall gelding emerged with the lead in deep stretch, scoring in 1:55.0 by 3/4 length.  Sand Top Gun held second, while Mc Tiny's Hope (Ben McNeil) saved ground for third.

Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday, with a 10-race card featuring the finals of the Catherine Burton Trotting Series and Anthony Farina Pacing Series kicking off at 5:10 p.m.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Artic Byrd prevails in Vernon feature; McNeil scores first PM driving win

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

Rallying off cover as the pacesetters ruthlessly wore each other down, Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell's Artic Byrd ($10.00) passed every other mare in the race en route to a 1:53 victory over sloppy going in Thursday (May 1) evening's $8,000 Fillies and Mares Miracle Mile 2-3 Handicap Pace at Vernon Downs.

Artic Byrd circles the field in
pacing feature (Fotowon photo)
 The six-year-old Art Major mare settled at the rear of the field initially before advancing two-wide on the backstretch to join the front flight prior to a :55 half mile.  On the far turn, trainer-driver Truman Gale moved third-over with Artic Byrd, while pacesetting favorite Market Dynamics (Rick Plano) faced stiff pressure from the first-over Got the Munchies (John MacDonald) approaching head-stretch.  Aided by live cover from Elleofnxample (Todd Frocione), Artic Byrd launched a four-wide stretch bid, pulling clear at will for a 1-3/4 length victory.  Elleofnxample stayed on for second, while the pocket-sitting Steuben Ruthless (Fern Paquet, Jr.) squeezed through at the pegs to save third.
Ben McNeil scores his first driving
victory (Fotowon photo)

Earlier in the program, Ben McNeil scored his first pari-mutuel driving win aboard Want More ($5.30), edging out Sudden Desire in 1:55.4 in a conditioned event for distaff pacers.

Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (May 2) evening, with the first of nine races slated for 6:45 p.m. EDT.