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Victor Post
  • Opening day at Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack

  • Soon the bell will sound, hooves will pound, and crowds will erupt with excitement as the 163-day live thoroughbred racing season leaps out of the gates at Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack.

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  • Soon the bell will sound, hooves will pound, and crowds will erupt with excitement as the 163-day live thoroughbred racing season leaps out of the gates at Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack.
    Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, the first 1,500 player extras members to check in at FLCRT will receive a free Finger Lakes tote bag. Gates will open at 11:30 a.m. and post time for the first of nine races will be 1:10 p.m.
    A special highlight on opening day will be a presentation by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association of accreditation to FLCRT officials between the first and second race. The  designation was awarded by the association’s Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility, which scored high points in areas such as post-race veterinary exams, steroid testing, jockey disability support, and aftercare and transition of retired racehorses.
    “The Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program is the top such program we have ever reviewed,” said Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.
    Finger Lakes is just the 20th track nationwide to receive the designation.
     “All of us are extremely proud to have received this designation,” said Chris Riegle, president and general manager of Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack. “I salute the many staff here who worked so hard to achieve this accreditation, and I’m particularly gratified that the Alliance was so impressed with the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program.”
    In addition, trainer Chris Englehart and jockey John Davila, Jr. will both receive awards on Saturday for winning their respective titles in 2010. Englehart finished last season with 131 victories to earn his eighth consecutive title, and tenth overall. John Davila, Jr. won the jockey title for the ninth consecutive year. With 157 wins, Davila secured his eleventh career Finger Lakes jockey title.
    Later in the evening Daily Racing Form publisher and columnist Steven Crist will be on hand for an informal discussion and a question and answer session on racing and handicapping. His appearance will be part of a special fundraising dinner to benefit the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program  between 6 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at the FLTAP’s Purple Haze Center or at Finger Lakes’ Extras Points Store.
    New this year will be live streaming video offered on the Finger Lakes website. Fans can watch races as they happen on live race days by accessing  www.fingerlakesracetrack.com.

    —Dave Mattice contributed to this report

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