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Tioga Closes Meet With Packed House


Published: September 12, 2010 1:45 am ET

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Tioga Downs folded its gates for the final time in the 2010 race season on Saturday, September 11 in front of a crowd of 4,206 fans.

It was a night full of giveaways and promotions that included the 2009 Nissan Versa Horseplay Car Giveaway and fireworks following the races.

On tap for closing night were four divisions of New York Sires Stakes for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters, and Blacktuxwhitesocks was dressed for the occasion as the prohibitive betting favourite in division number three. Jeff Gregory was at the lines as usual and lowered the sophomore trotter’s lifetime mark with a front end effort in 1:55.1.

It was the eighth win in 13 seasonal starts for the Purple Haze Stable-owned, Jessica Okusko-trained New York trotting sensation, and with the victory Blacktuxwhitesocks increased his seasonal bankroll to more than $180,000.

Also capturing victories in divisions of the New York Sire Stakes were Kona in 1:58.2 (Bruce Ranger), Aruba Vacation in 1:58 (Fern Paquet Jr.), and Wishing Stone in 1:56 (Dewayne Minor).

It came down to the final race of the year, but Corey Braden held off the final weekend surge by Bruce Ranger to take home the 2010 Driver of the Year award with 72 victories on the season with Bruce Ranger finishing with 71. Phil Fluet coasted home as the meet’s leading trainer with 30 tallies. Andover America from the Bruce Ranger stable took home Trotter of the Year, and Sheer Brilliance from trainer Jeff Long captured Pacer and Horse of the Year honours.

After the first race on the evening Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment and Jason Settlemior, VP of Racing and Simulcast, presented each of the families of Chloe Mulcahy and Aliesya Abrams with cheques for more than $13,000 that was raised in the month of August during the Horseplay Car Giveaway. These two girls are fighting life threatening diseases and Tioga Downs along with all of its fans and horsemen have helped the two girls with money for treatments and medical bills.

Tioga Downs would like to thank the fans for their support during the 2010 race season, and also thank the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen’s Association for their support. Tioga hopes to see everyone back at the races for the 2011 race season.

(With files from Tioga Downs)

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