Tioga Downs will commence their 12th harness racing season on Saturday, May 6th at 5pm in front of thousands of fans combining opening day with the Kentucky Derby. Opening day will feature giveaways, a $1,000 Derby Dream bet, Derby hat contest, Fireworks and much more. Tioga will race 59 days throughout the summer mixing in exciting overnight action with Grand Circuit stakes.
2016 top trainer Mike Deters and driving champion Scott Coulter return to defend their titles. Deters’s title was his 3rd Tioga Downs training title, including 2 of the last 3 years. His 34 wins beat out Tony Dinges by just 3 wins. Coulter, who won the driving title in his first full season at Tioga, will once again tangle with 2015’s top pilot Mike Simons who was just 5 wins short of Coulter’s 68 wins last season.
The track from Nichols, NY will once again be home for some of the sports top stakes races. On Sunday, June 11th a leg of the Graduate series returns as 4yo pacers and trotters will compete for a purse of $75,000e. Sunday, July 2nd features the $125,000e Tompkins-Geers 3yo Pace. In August, things really heat up with stake-laden Sunday’s. Beginning on August 13th, NY’s finest 3yo pacers do battle in the $50,000e Empire Breeders Classic Eliminations. The following week on the 20th, the $500,000e Finals are held alongside the popular $175,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace, the $40,000e Miss Versatility featuring Open mare trotters and the $200,000e Tompkins-Geers 2yo’s. Finally the last Sunday of the month brings two new events to Tioga, formally held at Vernon Downs, the $175,000e Crawford Farms Open Trot and the $175,000e Joie De Vie Open Mare Trot. Paired with the new Tioga events, the $175,000e Artiscape Open Mare Pace and the $200,000e Reynolds 2yo’s make for an exciting last day of Grand Circuit racing at Tioga.
The 12th season at Tioga Downs will also feature new post times. Friday and Saturday nights will begin at 6:50pm while Sundays and holidays will begin at 1:00pm with the exception of Sunday May 28th which will start at 6:50pm.
For more information, please visit our website at www.tiogadowns.com.