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Tioga's opening draws a large crowd
Saturday, May 5, 2012 - by Dustin Ross, for Tioga Downs

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Nichols, NY --- Tioga Downs kicked off its 2012 race season on Saturday evening in front of more than 11,700 patrons in the Southern Tier. Live racing began at 5:00 p.m., eastern this year to capture more fans for live racing by drawing off of the early Kentucky Derby crowd during the day, and the results were a huge success.

Fred Brown
A crowd estimated at nearly 12,000 welcomed the trotters and pacers back to Tioga Downs on Saturday
“Today at Tioga was probably the largest crowd in years at a harness track in New York State,” chairman of American Racing and Entertainment Jeff Gural said during the opening day festivities.

Highlighting the 10-race card at Tioga were three New York-bred prep races, raced in preparation for New York Sire Stakes, just around the corner. Two divisions for 3-year-old colt trotters led the way, but Coraggioso stole the show by posting a powerful, front-end performance, in 1:55.3. The mile demolished his previous lifetime best by nearly three full seconds, and sent the message throughout New York that the homebred son of Credit Winner--Electra Hall, for Joe Spadaro and Tom Durkin, is ready for action. Phil Fluet trains and drives Coraggioso who sports a record of five wins, two seconds, and a third in 10 lifetime starts.

Flyhawk Jester (Howard Parker) took home the other division for sophomore trotters, in 1:56.2, while Lewayne Miller and My Boogie Shoes scored in the lone division for 3-year old pacers, in 1:53.4.

“All of us at Tioga Downs would like to thank the community for showing their continued support to harness racing in the southern tier by once again flocking to opening day for racing, and look forward to another great year at Tioga Downs” Jason M. Settlemoir, vice president of racing and simulcast, said.

Tioga Downs will continue live racing action on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., for more information abpit Tioga Downs visit

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