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Vernon Downs is a harness horse racing track, racino and entertainment facility located in the town of Vernon in central New York. The 7/8 mile track is widely regarded as the best surface in New York. The live racing season runs from April through November. Major highlights of the schedule include the $350,000 Zweig Memorial Trot for 3-year-olds and the $200,000 Credit Winner and Muscle Hill Trots for aged horses.
Opened July 1, 1953 in the beautiful rolling hills of Central New York, Vernon Downs offers a long running history of fast paced Harness Racing. From April to November the track features some of the finest races in the area. In 2009, Vernon Downs was the home of The Night of Champions bringing in over 2,000 people to enjoy the greatest names in racing.
The track hosts live and simulcast harness racing, video gaming, & rock music concerts. Besides having been the original home of the annual K-Rockathon concert, it has been host to many large venue acts such as Phish. It has a 173 suite hotel and fine dining restaurant. The Casino at Vernon Downs now features 767 gaming machines.
In 2003, after allegations of fraud, a group of Vernon Downs shareholders filed a lawsuit seeking to gain control of the track from Las Vegas investor Shawn Scott. The New York State Racing and Wagering Board withheld the track's 2004 license after Scott and the track president were determined by regulators to be unfit to operate the facility.
The track went bankrupt in August of 2004 and didn't reopen until August, 2006 under the current owners, American Racing and Entertainment LLC.
On February 11, 2008, the casino closed down after the New York State Assembly's Racing and Wagering Committee failed to pass a bill that would allow Vernon Downs and other racinos in New York pay less in taxes to the state. Legislation was quickly passed and ownership reopened the casino three days later.
In 2013, the New York Gaming Commission made the decision to suspend live racing after a confirmed case of equine herpes was discovered at the track.
It may not have the classy and sophisticated atmosphere of the Belmont or Saratoga Race Track but Vernon Downs certainly doesn't lack anything. An entertaining place for the whole family, this harness raceway combines harness racing and betting with the video gaming and restaurants. Dining options include the Trackside Deli, the Miracle Mile Restaurant & Bar and Lucky's Restaurant & Bar on most days of the week. On race days the track features the Gold Cup Buffet.
April - November
6:45pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Win, Place, Show: 18%
Daily Double & Exacta: 20%
All other exotics: 25%
Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel
4229 Stuhlman Road
Vernon, NY 13476