Monday, September 14, 2009

Bet The Ranch tops at Vernon

Friday, September 11

Vernon, NY -- Bet The Ranch was on top of her game in winning Friday night’s (Sept. 11) $10,000 feature for female pacers in 1:53.3 at Vernon Downs.

Fresh from a 1:55 victory at Batavia Downs on Sept. 2, Bet The Ranch ($4.90) went right to the front at the start and then repelled all challenges en route to a head triumph over Newberry Winner in Friday’s 10th race, the week’s open contest.

Ruel (Dude) Goodblood, Jr. did the teaming for trainer Jessica Okusko as the 4-year-old mare made it five local tallies, nine season’s scores and 18 lifetime wins, while bumping her career earnings to $148,882. Edwin Gold and Conrad Zurich own the steady-striding daughter of Bettor’s Delight-Silksanddiamonds, who owns a 1:52.4 record.

The win was one of three during the rainy evening for Okusko, the meet’s top trainer, who sports 50 first-place finishes after 66 local programs. Her other scores came from the Purple Haze Stable’s trotter Designed To Dazzle (2:01.3) and the Morrisville College Foundation’s trotter Electronic Chip (1:58.4).

Chris Lems, who won with Designed To Dazzle and Electronic Chip, also finished first with the trotter L’argent Hall (1:59.2), who is owned by trainer Joe Sansone and Laurie Roberts. It marked the seventh triple at the meet for the 22-year-old reinsman, who trails only Jimmy Whittemore, 90-76, on Vernon’s dash-winning chart.

L’argent Hall, this season’s winningest trotter at the Downs, collected his second straight score and eighth local tally of 2009.

--Jim Moran