For those of you who don't normally play Vernon Downs or Tioga, here are two must watch days coming up on the next two Sundays, starting with Vernon Downs on the evening of August 25. The six highest earning drivers in the nation will be competing against local leading drivers Jimmy Marohn Jr. and Rick Plano plus a driver to be named tomorrow as a sponsor exemption tomorrow.
It should be interesting to watch and wager on these race as you will have drivers picking up mounts on horses they typically don't race so while the horse must be ready, the reinsmen are going to do their best to get their horses across the line first.
The press release follows:
FIELD SET FOR 7TH ANNUAL TIOGA/VERNON ALL-STAR DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
North America’s top drivers compete against leading local drivers for $25,000 first prize at Vernon Downs on Aug. 25 & Tioga Downs on Sept. 2
NICHOLS, NY – Harness racing’s version of the All-Star Game returns to Upstate New York when North America’s premier drivers compete in the 7th Annual Tioga/Vernon Drivers’ Championship.
The continent’s top six money-winning drivers have been confirmed to participate led by Tim Tetrick, whose mounts have earned more than $9.2 million in 2013. Tetrick has led North America in earnings for an unprecedented six straight years; however, he’s never finished first in the Drivers’ Championship in six appearances.
This year’s field will also include Hambletonian winning driver and Vernon native Brian Sears, two-time champion Yannick Gingras, defending champion Ron Pierce, David Miller and first-time participant Corey Callahan, who will also be honored with a bobblehead doll giveaway during the event.
Those six drivers will compete against leading Tioga Downs driver Jimmy Marohn, Jr. and leading Vernon Downs driver Rick Plano.
The final competitor in the nine-man field, the sponsor’s exemption, will be announced tomorrow.
The first round of the event takes place at Vernon Downs during a special Sunday night of racing on August 25 with a 6:45 p.m. first race post time. The leader after the Vernon round will receive $10,000. The drivers and their accumulated points will then head to Tioga Downs on a special Labor Day card, September 2, with a 1:30 p.m. post time. The overall winner of the event receives $25,000.
The Vernon Downs leg of the challenge shares a card with the $700,000 Zweig Memorial Trot featuring Hambletonian champion Royalty For Life racing on his home track. The Tioga Downs leg of the challenge shares a card with the $400,000 Cane Pace, opening leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. The Cane is expected to feature a long-awaited showdown between top-rated 3-year-olds Captaintreacherous and Vegas Vacation.
Beach Racing? In the respected horse magazine EQUS, there is some concern raised regarding the plans for Palio-style horse racing. If done right with proper training, it can be an entertaining sport, but if not, it could be a recipe for disaster. Governor Christie has yet to sign the legislation. You may read the article from EQUS here.