Friday, May 20, 2011

Blueridge Betty Pulls Off Upset in Thursday Night Feature

Blueridge Betty closed with a rush to win Thursday night's $10,000 featured ninth race at Vernon Downs.

With trainer Joe Nassimos at the controls for the Big Sky Ranch, Blueridge Betty ($28.00) idled in or near last place through approximately three quarters of Thursday's Open contest for female pacers.

Hemmed in fourth entering the stretch drive, the slick-striding 5-year-old mare exploited a late opening in the inside pylon path, zipped through (last quarter in :28.2 on a sloppy track) and came up with her second win at the meet, plus a fresh 1:53.4 record.

While defeating the favorite Semjac Legacy by a 1/2 length, the bay daughter of Modern Art-Miss Megan E raised her career summary to nine victories and earnings of nearly $74,000.

The pacer By All Means (Truman Gale driving for owner/trainer Robert C. Gale) and trotter Cello Hanover (Frank Milby teaming for trainer Tracy Brainard and owner Donald E. Brainard) became the third and fourth horses at the 13-night meet to become three-time winners with their Thursday tallies in 1:55.1 and 1:58.4, respectively.

Frank Davis and Fern Paquet, Jr. each posted driving doubles during Thursday's 12-race program.

DOWNS DOINGS - Truman Gale became the meet's initial four-time winning provisional reinsman following his first-place finish behind By All Means in Thursday's fifth contest... The meet's other three-time winning equines are the pacer P L Comestowin and trotter The Kentuckian... There will be no live racing at the Downs next Thursday (May 26) due to a Memorial Day matinee at 1:15 on May 30. Thursday programs will resume on June 2... Vernon will offer 12-race cards at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow (May 20) and Saturday (May 21). Saturday's slate includes the week's $10,000 Open pace and five elimination divisions for the $500,000 Empire Breeders Classic sophomore trot, which will conclude on Monday, May 30... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season and its casino can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.