Saturday, June 11, 2011

Vacation Day Fights Off Challengers to Take Friday Night Feature


Feeling the hot breath of several Open-1 challengers at the head of the stretch, Vacation Day slipped into a faster gear and drew off to a 1:55.4 trotting triumph in Friday night's $10,000 featured 10th event at Vernon Downs.

After carving out fractions of :26.4, :56.4 and 1:27.1, Vacation Day ($12.80) was pressured by as many as four contending rivals entering the final furlong.

With Fern Paquet, Jr. steering for trainer Jamie Paquet, the gritty 5-year-old gelding didn’t panic.

Instead, he picked up the pace and spurted to a 1-1/2 length score over the second wagering choice, Unshakeable.

The favorite Scorpion Moon finished two lengths back in third.

Friday's first-place finish is the second locally this season, the third of the year and the 11th all-time for the son of Dream Vacation-Shutter Hanover.

Trainer Paquet and the In Front Racing stable own the lifetime winner of $120,602.

The final clocking was just 2/5ths-of-a-second off of his career-best win mark.

Dan Daley won with the trotters Mc Tiny's Hope (a 1:58.4 maiden victory) and RC Serpent (1:56.2) to claim his second double of the 23-card campaign.

DOWNS DOINGS - Provisional pilot Chris McCracken earned his initial win at the meet after guiding the trotter Crestwood Patriot to a career-fastest 1:57.3 tally in Friday's sixth session... Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore (39 wins) and top trainer Tracy Brainard (34) each collected a first-place finish during Friday's 10-race program... Vernon will simulcast the Belmont Stakes card, including the final leg of Thoroughbred racing's "Triple Crown" at approximately 6:30 tomorrow afternoon... The track's live 10-race program will follow 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.