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Vernon Downs Announces Highlights of Racing Season


2019 season packed with racing promotions and entertainment


Vernon, N.Y. – April 16, 2019 – Local leaders and media partners gathered at the Gold Cup Buffet at Vernon Downs Tuesday for an exciting and informational peek into the upcoming racing season.


The event, which was complete with tours, photo opportunities, and interviews, detailed highlights of the 2019 racing season, including:

Kentucky Derby Day will be held at Vernon Downs on Saturday, May 4. Post time for racing is 4:30 p.m. Registration will begin for our fun derby hat contest at 4 p.m., and food trucks will be on hand from 4 to 8 p.m. The day’s featured promotion is a $1,000 Derby Dream Bet, which will be awarded to two winners at $500 each.


This Memorial Day, fans can look forward to the Empire Breeders Classic Finals for the 3-year-old Trotters, and an estimated $250,000 in purses. There will also be an umbrella giveaway for all guests that day while supplies last. Post time is 1:05 p.m.


There will be more than just racing to take in on Thursday, July 4.  Post time is 6:10 p.m. Guests will be able to catch a glimpse of a spectacular fireworks display and a fun-filled night of quality racing.

On Friday, August 9th, it’s all about good music and a great cause at Vernon Downs! Crystal Gayle and Lee Greenwood will perform a special benefit concert to benefit the Food Bank of Central New York. All ticket sales will be donated to the organization and in addition, Vernon Downs owner Jeff Gural has generously pledged to match all ticket proceeds. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the concert kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person.

The Zweig Stakes Day Highlights will take place on Saturday, August 17. This exciting racing event will feature 3-year-old trotters and an estimated $630,000 in purses. There will also be a hat giveaway. Post time is 6:10 p.m.


Our highly anticipated Million Dollar Ball Drop will also take place on Saturday, August 17. Post time is 6:10 p.m. The ball will drop during live racing. Fans have a chance to win up to $1,000,000.

There will be another major prize up for grabs during the Horseplay Car Giveaway on Saturday, August 31st. Post time is 6:10 p.m. Make a $1 donation and receive a rubber horse for your chance to toss and enter to win a 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback!  This season there will be three winners per horseplay promotion.


We appreciate the continued support of our media partners, patrons and dignitaries, and look forward to another great season at Vernon Downs!


In addition to its video lottery terminals, Vernon Downs offers live harness racing, concerts and other entertainment. Jeff Gural owns Vernon Downs in Vernon, N.Y. and Tioga Downs in Nichols, N.Y.  In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 1,000 family-sustaining jobs. For more information on Vernon Downs, please visit




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