Gural hoping to open Tioga, Vernon by end of May
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In light of the recent announcement that the New York regions containing both Tioga and Vernon Downs will be among the first to make a gradual return to business, Jeff Gural is working toward opening those tracks for live racing, hopefully by the end of May.
Negotiations with the horsemen's organizations regarding details on just how to accomplish that in a fashion that would give racing the best chance to be conducted safely are underway.
"Although it's not in my best business interests to open for racing before the casinos get back going as originally planned, being a horseman I sympathize with the guys that race with us and the situation they have found themselves in through no fault of their own," said Jeff Gural, owner/operator of Tioga and Vernon Downs.
"Another key issue is the status of the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) program. There are a lot of unknowns about the other tracks, when they will be able to open and what the landscape will look like when they do. I understand that Buffalo has chosen not to host NYSS races, so if we're able to get open we'll include that leg with those raced at Tioga and Vernon and get the program started.
"The picture should become much clearer over the next few days. We are busy working out the details of what will be expected of us to race and just how we'll get that done. Horsemen will need to be involved and diligent in policing themselves because we can not afford a single mistake."
Further details will be announced as they become known. (Tioga/Vernon)