Vernon Downs to start live racing on Saturday

Vernon, NY — Vernon Downs is set to begin its 68th year of racing on Saturday (April 17).

Vernon Downs will feature the Empire Breeders Classic with separate races for both 3-year-old filly trotters and 3-year-old trotting colts on Friday (June 18). Vernon Downs is also proud to once again play host to the Zweig Memorial races featuring the 3-year-old Open Trot and the 3-year-old Filly Trot on Saturday (Aug. 28). On Saturday (Sept. 11) Vernon will present the New York State Excelsior Finals for 2- and 3-year-old filly and colt trotters and pacers.

In 2020 Leon Bailey was the top driver here. He will get to tangle with former driving champions John MacDonald and Jimmy Whittemore. These three and other great drivers should make it exciting as they all vie for the 2021 title.

Kerin Warner took top trainer honors at the Miracle Mile in 2020. Former training champion Marissa Chadbourne returns along with other top contenders like Claude Huckabone III and newcomer Brandi Wine.

Live racing will be continuing through closing night (Nov. 6). Post time will be 6:10 p.m. every night with the exception of Derby Day (May 1) which will start at 4:30 p.m.

The Miracle Mile will also offer four new awards for 2021. We will honor our top driver of the week with the Winning Wheels driver of the week. The best trainer of the week will also be recognized as the Black Stallion trainer of the week. We will also have an award for grooms. It is called the Bourbon Express groom of the week. We have also added a monthly award called the Golden Gro longshot of the month. This will go to the horse with the largest $2 payoff of the month.

On opening day there will be no spectators. However, starting on Friday (April 23), Vernon Downs will permit spectators. More details next week.

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