Tuesday, April 7, 2015

PRESS 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.