Sunday, August 8, 2010

Longshots Rule During Saturday Night Sire Stakes


Jo Pa’s Fod was the only favorite to finish first in Saturday night’s $151,664 New York Sires Stake feature for 3-year-old male pacers at Vernon Downs.

With Jim Morrill, Jr. driving for trainer Jim Campbell and the Emposimato Stables in Saturday’s initial NYSS contest (race five), Jo Pa’s Fod rallied from fourth at the half to reach the front by the three-quarter mark, and then had to tough out a nose decision over the pocket-sitting Jimmy Hanover in 1:52.1.

The gritty performance marked the second NYSS score and third this season for the bay son of Art Major-Athena Blue Chip, who has secured five wins, a 1:51.2 record and $144,201 in 20 lifetime starts.

Saturday’s unexpected NYSS winners were Joey The Czar (in 1:51.3 for driver Jimmy Whittemore, trainer Bruce Saunders and owner Kevin Gee); Erichs Best (in 1:53.2 for driver Fern Paquet, Jr., trainer Jamie Paquet and owner Erich Boehm); and Flexjet (in 1:54.4 for driver Brian Allen, trainer Chet Poole, Jr., who is also an owner along with Norman Kelapire, Deborah Chase and Winbak Farm).

Joey The Czar turned a draft-along trip into a ¾-length victory and a personal best record. It was the sixth season’s score and eighth lifetime victory for the bay son of Art Major-Razmataz Hanover.

Erichs Best, a bay son of Pro Bono Best-T C’s Ruler, closed from seventh in a :27.1 final quarter to produce a one-length tally, his fifth lifetime triumph (all this year), as well as a fresh win-mark.

Flexjet advanced from eighth (last) at the half and hustled home from sixth in the final quarter to record a 1-1/2-length verdict. It was the third current victory and eighth career success for the brown son of Village Jove-No Sweets Please.

Diamond Stick Pin (Howard Okusko, Jr. steering for trainer Jessica Okusko (his wife) and the Conrad Zurich, Edwin Gold and Purple Haze Stables ownership contingent, captured the week’s $11,000 Miracle Mile pace in 1:52.4.

DOWNS DOINGS—Living It Up’s 1:51.3 victory in Saturday’s first race was just 2/5ths-of-a-second off the Vernon record for aged pacing horses…Driver and trainer Rick Plano won three of Saturday’s 12 races, while Josh Marks and Brian Allen each chalked up driving doubles…The Downs will offer live racing at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next week.