Saturday, June 4, 2011

Russ N Us Sneaks Through on the Inside to Capture Trotting Feature


The Saratoga ship-in Russ N Us finished like a whirlwind to capture Friday night's $10,000 featured 10th race at Vernon Downs.

Saving ground along the inside in fourth while How'd That Feel and, later the favorite, Scorpion Moon, took turns cutting out the mile, Russ N Us ($16.60) exploited a gap in the pylon path entering the homestretch and closed like a gate in the wind to defeat the on-coming Unshakeable by 3-1/2 lengths in the week's Open-1 trotting contest.

The 1:54.4 performance stands as one of the fastest of Vernon's 20-card campaign, and it serves as a career-best win-mark for the 5-year-old son of Like A Prayer-Pine For, who is owned by the Scheigert Racing Stable.

Claude Huckabone, III did the teaming for trainer Melissa Beckwith as the veteran bay gelding chalked up his sixth season's score, 21st lifetime win and increased his career earnings to more than $142,000.

Huckabone, III also won with the trotters Fash Bash Girl and Caviar's Promise to record his initial "hat trick" at the meet.

Also recording twin tallies during Friday's 12-card were drivers Roman Lopez (who scored with the trotters Mr. Web Page and In The Stretch in the early double), Jimmy Whittemore, Brian Connor, as well as trainers Ann Yurenka and Laurie Stark.

Dennis Whittemore's aged gelding Saver secured a solid 1:57.1 score in Friday's $8,000 seventh session, the week's Open-2 trotting contest.

DOWNS DOINGS - Vernon will present a 12-race program at 7:05 on Saturday night that includes the week's $10,000 Open-1 pace in race 10... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season and its casino can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.