Tioga/Vernon nominations show increase
March 29, 2011
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With the March 15 payments taken and tallied, several of the marquee events scheduled for the 2011 Tioga and Vernon season have realized substantial increases.
The popular free-for-all early closers are up slightly and have again captured the best and most recognizable equine personalities harness racing has to offer. The anticipation of the excitement created by the enduring stars of the sport speaks directly to the importance of their continued participation on the racetrack.
In last season’s inaugural Bettor’s Delight Open Pace, Hypnotic Blue Chip, Won The West and Foiled Again chased the now retired Shark Gesture to the wire in an overall Tioga track record of 1:48.3. Those three will find some extremely talented opposition awaiting them in their quest to capture this year’s trophy.
Dreamfair Eternal is slated to defend her 2010 Artiscape tiara (resulting in a divisional standard of 1:49.4) against a deep representation of the finest older pacing mares in the game. Both of these important races, each with an estimated purse of $200,000, will go at Tioga on Sunday, June 12.
The Miss Versatility for trotting mares has a leg at each track and Buck I St Pat will attempt to recapture the crown that Autumn Escapade wrestled away in 2010. The diagonal divas will make another appearance at Vernon Downs on Sept. 2 for the newly christened $200,000E Muscle Hill. On that same evening, The Credit Winner Open Trot (also estimated at $200,000) will feature last year’s winner Lucky Jim defending his title against reigning Older Trotter of the Year Enough Talk and 2010 3YO Breeders Crown winner Break The Bank K, among a number of formidable foes.
The numbers for the 2011 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for New York sired sophomores are up substantially over last season. That group of races will reward the connections of the participants with well in excess of $1 million in purses over Memorial Day weekend.
The Kindergarten Trotting Classics launched Breeders Crown winner Manofmanymissions’ career last year and those races are up 30‐40 percent in nominations going into this season. The Red Mile will host two Kindergarten legs in September with the finals to be raced at Vernon in late October.
Tioga and Vernon are proud to host the prestigious Historic stakes for the first time in 2011. The 3YO Historic events will be raced at Tioga in late June/early July and the 2YO races will go over Vernon’s seven-eighths mile oval on Sept. 2.
The John F. Simpson Memorial stakes return to Tioga and Vernon in 2011 with the 3YO nominees up 74 percent over last year’s numbers.
The Tompkins‐Geers stakes have enjoyed a renaissance at Tioga since landing there in 2006 and will again offer a mid summer treat to the racing fans of Nichols, N.Y.
“It is very gratifying to see such an enthusiastic response to our stakes program. We wish to convey our appreciation to the faithful sponsors of these events; The Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund & New York Stallion Owners (EBC), Allerage Farms (Miss Versatility), Blue Chip Farm (Credit Winner & Bettor’s Delight), Brittany Farm (Artiscape), and the Muscle Hill Syndicate (Muscle Hill Mare Trot), and Hanover Shoe Farm's Jim Simpson (John F. Simpson Memorial)," said Tioga/Vernon Racing VP Jason Settlemoir. (Tioga/Vernon)