Sunday, May 22, 2011

Two Track Records Fall on Saturday Night at Vernon Downs

Sophomore trotting standouts Jezzy and Dejarmbro lived up to their advanced billing, while I’m The Answer and Master’s Cook turned in track record performances during Saturday night's 12-race program at Vernon Downs.

Jezzy captured the first of two elimination divisions for 3-year-old trotting fillies in the Empire Breeders Classic with a career best 1:56.1 mile, while last season's New York Sires Stakes champion Dejarmbro lowered his speed mark to 1:54.4 while winning one of three divisions of the EBC for sophomore colt and gelding high steppers.

Driven to victory by trainer Ray Schnittker, a part owner of the Credit Winner filly along with Jeff Gural, Jerry Silva and Theodore Gewertz, Jezzy turned a pocket trip into a solid score, her second in a row this season and 12th in 13 lifetime starts.

Dejarmbro, a son of Credit Winner owned by Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables, rallied from fourth at the quarter and closed from second in the homestretch to post his season's debut in the win column.Trainer Trond Smedshammer did the teaming as the capable colt improved to nine first-place finishes in 12 lifetime outings.

I'm The Answer, also owned by the Purple Haze Stables, lowered the Vernon record for 3-year-old trotting geldings to 1:54.3 with his victory in the first EBC male division, while Master's Cook set a fresh Downs mile-and-three-eighths standard for trotters with his 2:44.3 showing in the evening's first event.

Saturday's other filly elimination flight went to Four Damsals in 1:56.1.

Also qualifying for the $250,000 EBC distaff final, to be raced at the Downs at 1:15 on Memorial Day afternoon were Imageofasweetday, Miss Sue V, Temper Of Will, Some Girls, Em El Cash, Leah's Ex and Epona Blue Chip.

The final EBC segment for male square-gaiters was won by Evil Urges in 1:56.

Completing the field for the $250,000 colt and gelding final on May 30 will be Surface Tension, Keenan, Whatever It Takes, All In Tad, Wheels and Whitewater Rapids.

Philip Hale's Mystical Valentine won Saturday's $10,000 Open-1 pace in 1:52.

The meet's leading reinsman, Jimmy Whittemore, chalked up three wins during the evening, while Smedshammer, Jeff Gregory and Jack Rice earned driving doubles.

Trainers Tracy Brainard and George Ducharme also harnessed a pair of first-place finishers during the track's 15th program of 2011.

DOWNS DOINGS - In a drawing by lot conducted during the program, Epona Blue Chip got the nod over the other fifth-place finisher, Pretty As My Mom, to become the final eligible for the Memorial Day filly championship field. Pretty As My Mom will serve as the race's first also-eligible... I’m The Answer clipped two-fifths-of-a-second off the former track mark for 3-year-old geldings, that was set by Whata Winner in May of 2010... Vernon's previous 1-3/8ths-mile standard for trotters was 2:49.4, established by Chautauqua Jam (Whittemore driving) in June of 2009... There will be no live racing at the Downs this Thursday (May 26) due to the 1:15 Memorial Day matinee program on May 30. Thursday programs will resume on June 2... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season and its casino can be obtained at, and on Facebook.