Sunday, May 8, 2011

He's Gorgeous Shatters Track Record in Saturday Night Feature

In an eye-popping performance, He's Gorgeous powered to 1:50 track record for 4-year-old pacing horses while winning the $10,000 featured ninth race on Saturday night at Vernon Downs.

Competing against four select rivals in the week's Open-1 contest, He's Gorgeous battled with Sheer Brilliance to the quarter, reached in :26.3, then took command and led through additional splits of :54.4 and 1:22.2 en route to a decisive score over Mystical Valentine.

Sheer Brilliance finished third.

Jack Rice drove for trainer Tracy Brainard and owner Ken Jacobs as the quick-striding bay son of Art Major-So Ravishing recorded his first local victory, second this season and 19th all-time.

The career winner of nearly $700,000 improved his win record by 1.4 seconds and trimmed two-fifths of a second off the Vernon record for his class.

The previous mark was established by Riggins in 2009 and tied by Bay Of Sharks in May of last year.

Howard Okusko, Jr. won with trotters Sweetie's Secret (2:02.1), Tip The Tide (1:59), Catch The Dream (1:59.2) and pacer Rick's Crossroads (1:53.4) to join Rice and Jimmy Whittemore as the only drivers to earn four wins on a single program after nine racing nights.

DOWNS DOINGS - He's Gorgeous's mile is the fastest of the season locally and just one tick of the timer off the quickest mile ever at the Downs... Whittemore won three races during Saturday's 12-race program to increase his leading victory total for the meet to 21. The two-time defending Downs champ picked up 10 wins during the three-night weekend... Defending titleist Brainard leads in training tallies with 22... Rice, Brainard, driver Chris Lems plus trainers Lonny Hale and Jessica Okusko were each credited with two tallies during the track's ninth program... The Downs will offer live racing at 7:05 p.m. Thursday through Saturday next week... Additional information regarding the track’s 2011 season and its casino can be obtained at, and on Facebook.