Tioga Downs prepares for the upcoming racing season

By Amy Khuu

April 29, 2014 Updated Apr 30, 2014 at 5:52 AM EST

Nichols, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The ninth season of live harness racing at Tioga Downs begins this weekend.

On Tuesday, Tioga Downs Casino welcomed the media from all across the Southern Tier to preview the upcoming season.

Opening day officially begins at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Fans will receive a 2014 race day t-shirt and a schedule magnet while supplies last.

Opening day includes live entertainment, the Derby Hat judging contest, giveaways and a fireworks display following the night's final race. Action News' Dave Greber and Brandi Bailey will be judging the derby hat contest once again this year.

Fans can expect a very competitive race season this year, according to Jason Settlemoir, regional vice president of racing and simulcast.

"We've got a lot of great horses coming here, a lot of the great drivers." said Settlemoir, "When you get great horses, you get the great drivers, along with the great trainers.

"Some of the richest races in our sport will be contested right here at Tioga Downs. Such as the Roll With Joe, where we hope we get foiled again, who's the richest pacer of all time. He's got over six million dollars on his card," said Settlemoir.

While opening night on Saturday starts at 5 p.m., the rest of the schedule for Friday and Saturday starts at 6:15 p.m. For more information on race schedules click here.

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