Sunday, November 21, 2010

2010 Racing Season Concludes

Touch Of The Past saved the best for last on closing night to prevail in 1:51.2 during Saturday’s $13,200 featured ninth race at Vernon Downs.

Competing in the final Miracle Mile-1 pace of Vernon’s 57th season, Touch Of The Past advanced from fourth at the half to second at the top of the stretch, and then closed with a flurry to defeat the on-rushing Four One One by a head in a career-best time of 1:51.2.

Joe Nassimos did the teaming for veteran trainer Howard Okusko, Sr. as the 4-year-old son of Village Jove-My Place earned his second win in succession, seventh at the 90-card meeting and 16th all-time.

Rocco Manzi and Paul Tandlmayer own the career-winner of nearly $75,000.

Nassimos and driver Claude Huckabone, III each recorded three wins during Saturday’s 10-race program, while trainer Adam Wahl posted two tallies.

"I would like to thank the racing fans, employees and horsemen of Vernon Downs for making the 2010 racing season a success,” said Jason Settlemoir, the track’s regional vice-president for racing and simulcasting. “Vernon Downs continues to strive to bring top quality harness racing action to its fans in Central New York, and this year alone we set thirteen track records at the home of the Miracle Mile. We are already looking forward to the 2011 racing season in the spring with hope and optimism."

The pacer Stonebridge Wish recorded the season’s fastest mile, a 1:49.4 performance on June 5 that tied the fastest mile in Vernon’s history, while Lucky Jim established a 1:52 all-time track trotting standard on Sept. 17.

The pacer Saranac Hanover was the track’s winningest equine with 10 first-place finishes, while Fox Valley Majesty topped all trotters with eight scores.

Jimmy Whittemore successfully defended his dash-winning driving title, while Tracy Brainard was the season’s leading trainer.

Leon Bailey led all provisional reinsman for the second straight season.

DOWNS DOINGS—Vernon’s 57th season covered 90 programs from April 16 through November 20…The pacing mare My Little Dragon set Vernon’s 1:49.4 all-time speed standard in 2008.