Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lopez Posts First Driving Triple

Driver Roman Lopez used a 1:56 victory by Sundowner Bob in the $9,000 featured ninth race on Friday night to record his initial triple of the season at Vernon Downs.

Following victories behind Brian Earl Doolittle’s trotter Naughty Broadway (1:59.2) in the first race, and Don Brainard’s high-stepper Peaceful Prince (1:58) in the seventh session, Lopez guided Sundowner Bob to a front-striding, neck triumph over the on-rushing Gladiator Lindy in the week’s top Miracle Mile trotting contest.

The favorite paid $5.70 for finishing first.

The bold-going performance marked the third tally at the meet and 31st all-time for trainer Scott West’s 9-year-old son of Muscles Yankee-Pine Potion, who hiked his lifetime earnings to more than $394,300.

In Friday’s third test, catch-driver Rick Plano, doing the steering for trainer Dave Jannone, piloted Brenda Komers’ freshman Diamond Star to a 1:54.3 maiden-breaking victory that proved to be the fastest locally this season by a 2-year-old pacing gelding.

The time was just 2/5ths of a second off the track record for this class, shared by Three Card Monte (1998) and Four Starz Louie (2007).

Plano earned a driving double during Friday’s 11-race program, as did defending dash champ Jimmy Whittemore.

DOWNS DOINGS—Lopez also owns a driving double at the meet…Saturday’s 12-race offering includes two divisions of the C.K.G. Billings Series for amateur drivers of trotters (races one and three), as well as the week’s top Miracle Mile pacing contest (race six). First post will be at 6:55 p.m.