Saturday, May 28, 2011
Unshakeable Takes Saturday Night Featured Trot
The talented trotter Unshakeable didn’t panic while under pressure in the stretch and, instead, held on to record a 1:56.3 victory in Saturday night's $10,000 featured seventh race at Vernon Downs.
With 10-time track driving champion Howard Okusko, Jr. doing the teaming for his wife, Jessica, the track's 2009 training titleist, Unshakeable ($6.60) gained the lead before the half (timed in :57.3) and remained in command by a length entering the final furlong.
In spite of pressure from two closing rivals in the final strides, Unshakeable just kept digging until he had secured a neck triumph over Spin Spanky Spin in the week's Open-1 contest.
It marked the second season's score and 16th lifetime win for the 6-year-old son of Andover Hall-Sister Sammy, who is shared in ownership by driver Okusko, Conrad Zurich and the Purple Haze Stables.
While boosting the bay gelding's career earnings to more than $161,000, the Okuskos completed a double during Saturday's 10-race program, having won earlier in the card with the trotter Mystic Splendor, owned by trainer Okusko and Kenneth Finnerty, in 1:56.2.
Multiple victories were also recorded by drivers Jimmy Whittemore and Michael Miller.
DOWNS DOINGS - Whittemore tops all drivers at the 17-night meeting with 32 first-place finishes, while Miller is currently the leading provisional reinsman with five tallies... Former Vernon driving kingpins John Stark, Jr. (Savannah Montana in 1:59.3) and Brian Allen (Artemus Major in 1:56.3) revisited the track's winner's circle during the program after shipping over from Saratoga Raceway... Vernon will present a 12-race card at 1:15 p.m. on Monday (May 30) that includes the championship finals in the $521,700 Empire Breeders Classic for 3-year-old trotters, a male contest in race six and a filly flight in race nine...Thursday night programs will resume at 7:05 on June 2... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season and its casino can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.