Press Releases


101-day season begins; Overnight purses increased 15%

For Immediate Release
April 26, 2020

Steve Martin
Sr. Director, Marketing
Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack

FARMINGTON, N.Y. Thoroughbred racing returns this afternoon to Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack (FLGR), with a first race post time of 1:10 pm. Officials recently announced a 15% increase in overnight purses for the 2021 meet and the reinstituting of a full stakes schedule. The increase comes after gaming operations were permitted by New York State to resume a 20-hour business day after several months of reduced operating hours. The gaming facility at Finger Lakes, closed for nearly six months last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reopened in September, but operated with reduced hours of operation from November through early April.

Average daily purses are projected to increase approximately $18,000 per day as a result. ‘As our business continues returning to normal, we are pleased to put this purse increase in place to benefit our horsemen and women who have struggled like so many during this past year, while sustaining our racing program post-pandemic,’ said FLGR general manager Chris Riegle. Finger Lakes Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (FLHBPA) president Chris Vaccaro added ‘Coming off of a year with so much uncertainty and difficulty, this increase signals the start of a positive road forward for our membership as we work together to strengthen racing at Finger Lakes now and for the future.’

The 101-day season schedule will begin with no fans in attendance, just as the entire shortened 2020 season took place. A recent announcement by the state that fans will be able to return to racetracks in limited capacity numbers could spell changes to that policy in the near future, however. ‘We look forward to reviewing specific guidance from the state on reopening protocols with fans in attendance so that we can soon welcome back many of our loyal patrons who enjoy a day at the races,’ added Riegle.

While fans await to return to the races, they may view all of the action streaming online in several ways, including the FLGR YouTube channel, as well as where they can wager as well.

After opening today, Finger Lakes will resume racing on Monday, May 3 with three-day race weeks that run Monday through Wednesday until the week after Labor Day. Thursday will be added to the weekly schedule at that point until the conclusion of the meet on Wednesday, November 24. First race post time will be 1:10 p.m. daily through November 4. To accommodate the end of daylight saving time, post time will move to 12:15pm as of November 8.


The 2021 stakes schedule features 13 events headlined by the 50th running of the $150,000 New York Derby for top New York-bred 3-year-olds on July 19 and The New York Breeders’ Futurity on October 18 for New York-bred 2-year-olds with an estimated offering of $200,000. Precursors to the Futurity include the Lady Finger and Aspirant Stakes on September 27, both with estimated purses of $100,000. The stakes season begins with the $50,000 George W. Barker Stakes on June 21.

About Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack: In operation since 1962, the facility added gaming to its offerings in 2004. Nearly two million visit annually. Gaming Floor open 8am – 4am, daily. Those interested in stabling at Finger Lakes are encouraged to visit to learn more about the many amenities, incentives and advantages offered for horsemen and women.