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Harness racing returns to Vernon Downs for first event of 2020 on Wednesday

A 12-race card without spectators will open up the season for the racetrack.

Posted: Jun 10, 2020 12:09 AM

VERNON, N.Y. - For the first time in 2020, harness horse racing will take place competitively at Vernon Downs Casino Hotel, Wednesday.

To kick off the season, the first event will contain a 12-race card and spectators will not be allowed in the stands due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The races will be simulcast online.

"I'm excited for the horsemen up there because I know that they are really hurting," said Vernon Downs Casino Hotel owner Jeff Gural, in a Zoom video interview with NEWSChannel 2. "They have been feeding and taking care of the horses for months without any income. For me personally, I am happy for them. We probably lose money [for the event], but I know that they are really suffering up there and I'm happy to be able to help the horsemen up there."

For the month of June, races at Vernon Downs will be on Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning at 4 p.m. before shifting toward the normal weekend races in the month of July.

In 2020, the "Miracle Mile" will host Zweig Memorial races for three-year old trotters, Empire Breeders Classic races for three-year old trotting colts and trotting fillies. The track will also see several legs of the New York Sire Stakes this season as well.

For more information on the race schedule, betting options and simulcasting, click here.

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