Vernon, NY (WIBX) - Vernon Downs is set to kick off its 59th season of harness track racing this coming Friday. Veteran race caller and Harness Racing Hall of Famer, Jim Moran says the management team has not only worked hard to bring quality racing to the Downs, but also has turned the casino operation at Vernon Downs into a first class entertainment center. "The racing has improved, we have nights where it is very much like grand curcuit again" said Moran, adding "I'm proud to be part of it for my 50th year".  

Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment Jeff Gural, says this season they're going to try and recreate the excitement of the Zweig Memorial Trot, which use to be held at the New York State Fair Grounds. "It will be about a $400,000 race and that whole weekend there will be stakes races" said Gural, adding  "we're hoping that all the people that race horses in New York will come up to Vernon for that and spend a couple days here". Gural says this special race will happen August 26th, just days before the Bruce Springsteen concert, which will also be held at the Downs. 

Between Vernon Downs and its sister track, Tioga Downs, there will be 90 racing days, the end of the season is Saturday, November 3rd.