Friday, June 10, 2011

Hidden Touch Has the Right Touch in Thursday's Feature


Hidden Touch earned her initial Vernon Downs victory, and the lion's share of a $10,000 purse, in Thursday night's main event at the central New York harness track.

John Cummings, Jr. did the steering for trainer Megan Wilson in the week's Open feature for female pacers as Hidden Touch ($19.80) drafted along behind the pace-setting She's Everything until the stretch drive, and then got up in a photo to nip the mile-cutter by a head in 1:54.

It was the fifth score this season and the 35th all-time for the productive 8-year-old bay, who is owned by Claude Bourgeois.

The tight tally increased the Cambest-mare's career winnings to more than $411,000.

The streaking side-wheeler Rosa Villa stretched her victory skein to four, longest at the 22-program meeting, and became the season's first five-time local winner after a 1:54.2 performance for driver Frank Davis, trainer Dee Johnson and the Donald Stockwell/Steven Guido partnership in Thursday's second session.

It marked the 20th lifetime tally for the 8-year-old daughter of The Panderosa, who was claimed after the race for $4,800 by Brian Green of Leicester, Mass.

Rick Plano, who recently arrived with his stable from California, earned his first two victories at the Downs in 2011, scoring with the trotter It's A Diamond (1:59.3) and pacer Albagold (1:57.2).

Truman Gale took the lead in provisional driving victories at the meet after piloting the Robert C. Gale-owned- and-trained pacer By All Means to a 1:54.1 triumph in Thursday's 10th contest.

The 22-year-old reinsman currently leads Michael Miller, 6-5, in "P" tallies.

DOWNS DOINGS - The claim of Rosa Villa was the 11th of the year at the Downs... Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore won for the 38th time at the meet after a 1:57.3 effort behind top trainer Tracy Brainard's (33 victories) aged trotter Justice Wyoming in the seventh session... Friday's 10-race card will feature the week's Open Trot in the evening's final event. First post is at 7:05 p.m... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season and its casino can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.