Saturday, July 30, 2011
Joseph Appler's pacer Sri Panka used the inside route to post a 1:54.3 victory in Saturday night's $8,000 featured seventh race at Vernon Downs.
Sitting second for most of the week's Open-2 contest, Sri Panka ($8.50) found himself hemmed in behind the pace-setting Johnny Midnight and other rallying contenders heading down the stretch.
Driver Frank Davis, sitting in for trainer John Gagnon, Jr., had no choice but to try and maneuver his charge through tight quarters in the lower pylon path and, together, they managed to squirt through and post a 1-1/4 length victory over Johnny Midnight.
It marked the initial win in this class, the second victory at the meet, fourth first-place finish of the season and the 12th all-time for the 5-year-old son of The Panderosa-Road To Pandalay, who now sports career earnings of $134,726.
Leading provisional driver Truman Gale earned his 15th score at the meet after winning with the pacer Mr. Express (1:55), while leading driver Jimmy Whittemore finished first with the pacers Fox Valley Lee (1:54) and Forty Carrots (1:53.3) to secure his Downs leading 12th double of the 45-card campaign.
DOWNS DOINGS - Provisional pilot Brandon Loomis logged his second career victory after teaming the pacer Bettordays R Cumin to a 1:56.2 record and a $19.00 win payoff in Saturday's eighth event... The Downs will present live racing at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next week... Vernon has announced that, until further notice, all simulcasts on Sunday (afternoon and evening) will be conducted in the lower clubhouse at the track (not in the new simulcast center at the recently renovated Vernon Downs hotel)... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Mr. Avalanche stretched his winning streak to three and helped driver Chris Lems achieve a five-win outing with a 1:58.2 showing in Friday night's $10,000 featured ninth race at Vernon Downs.
Facing seven select rivals in the week's Open-1 trot, Mr. Avalanche ($19.60) was directed to the front from the number four post by Lems and the gritty gelding remained there throughout, defeating Mystic Splendor by more than two lengths over a track rated sloppy.
Friday's first-place finish was the third locally, the sixth this season and the 11th all-time for the steady-striding 5-year-old son of Striking Sahbra-Epoque Effe, who is trained by Paul Durante, Jr. and owned by Jeremy Godfrey.
The career winner of $43,787 was competing in Vernon's top trotting test for the first time.
Lems, third in dashes won at the Downs this season, raised his win count to 39 after also scoring with the freshman trotter Catman Dude (2:04.1) in the third race, the sophomore filly pacer Excited Ideal (1:58.1) in the sixth session, the veteran trotter Duke Of Wellington (1:59.4) in race seven and the 2-year-old pacing colt Fresh Dream (2:00.2) in the eighth event.
He tied Frank Milby as the only drivers to have won five races on a single Vernon program after 44 programs in 2011.
The Roman Lopez owned, trained and driven Mr. Web Page became the winningest trotter at the meet after snaring his fifth season's score with a 1:57.1 effort in Friday's second race.
Trainer Jim Graham (Excited Ideal and Fresh Dream) also garnered a pair of victories during Friday's 10-race card.
DOWNS DOINGS - Catman Dude's victory in Friday's third race made him the initial 2-year-old trotting colt to finish first in pari-mutual competition thus far this season at the Downs... Fresh Dream became the first 2-year-old pacing colt to capture a betting race at Vernon through July 29... Jennifer Ancone of Syracuse won the Miss Vernon competition at the track on Friday night... Saturday's 10-race card, which includes the week's top pacing attractions, will begin at 6:55... Vernon has announced that, until further notice, all simulcasts on Sunday (afternoon and evening) will be conducted in the lower clubhouse at the track (not in the new simulcast center at the recently renovated Vernon Downs hotel)... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
The veteran Won Night Stand was never headed during Thursday night's $6,000 featured 10th race at Vernon Downs.
Competing in the week's top test for female pacers, Won Night Stand ($10.00) hustled through splits of :27.3, :57.3 and 1:26 en route to a 1:54 triumph, her third of the season and 14th all-time.
Trainer Chris Lems drove the determined daughter of Village Jove-Wonmagical Night for the Parsimonious Racing Stable.
The productive mare currently sports lifetime earnings of $149,216.
Lems logged his eighth driving double at the Downs this season, scoring earlier in the evening with the pacer Fort Hamilton (1:55.3) for trainer/part-owner Jody Weidman and his pals, Brian Cross and Wayne Worden.
A breezy 1:56.1 victory by Rosa Villa in Thursday's fourth event was the 8-year-old pacer's sixth at the meet, tying her with fellow side-wheelers Johnny Midnight, Pro Bono Frank and By All Means for most equine tallies after 43 programs.
Trainer Frank Davis drove for owner Brian Green.
Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore (68 triumphs) and Luke Plano also produced a pair of first-place finishes during Thursday's 10-race card.
DOWNS DOINGS - Leading provisional pilot Truman Gale recorded his 14th victory at the meet after a 1:56.1 score behind the pacer Torrid Pace that he owns with Jocelyn Lavigne... Tomorrow evening, the Miss Vernon competition will be conducted at the track, plus a "Diamond Dig" promotion... Friday's 10-race card will begin at 6:55 p.m... Vernon has announced that, until further notice, all simulcasts on Sunday (afternoon and evening) will be conducted in the lower clubhouse at the track (not in the new simulcast center in the recently renovated Vernon Downs hotel)... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Vernon Downs Casino held its Fifth Anniversary Pat Benatar concert on June 30th in Vernon, New York, with all ticket sale proceeds benefiting the Food Bank of Central New York.
This past Thursday at the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting for the new Vernon Downs expansion, Jeff Gural presented the Food Bank of Central New York with a check for $58,246.13 from those proceeds, of which, $19,415.38 was Mr. Gural’s personal donation to the food bank.
Vernon Downs Casino, you must be 18 years old to play video gaming machines, please play responsibly.
For more information please contact us at 877-88-VERNON or online at www.vernondowns.com.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
The oily-gaited Pacinello produced a track record, while Fred's Dream extended his winning streak to five in one of five late-closing divisions for New York-bred 3-year-old male trotters at Vernon Downs on Saturday night.
Competing in Saturday's $10,000 ninth race, the week's Open-1 contest, Pacinello ($19.20) took advantage of fast early fractions (a half in :55.2), rallied to the lead from third on the backstretch and rolled to a solid 1:50.2 score, that set a new Vernon standard for aged pacing horses.
The previous 1:51.1 mark was set by Going To The Beach in 2002, and equaled by Diamond Stick Pin in this same event two weeks ago.
It was one of three tallies on Saturday's 10-race card for driver Luke Plano, who did the teaming for his dad, trainer Rick Plano, and the D&E Racing Stable.
The time equaled the 5-year-old horse's lifetime mark, set last season at The Meadowlands.
Saturday's score by the brown son of Little Steven-Princess Kiara was the second locally this season, the fourth on the current campaign and 24th all-time.
He's currently a career winner of more than $268,600.
Plano's other winners came behind his dad's-trained pacers Shamderock (1:52) in the second session and Hay Goodlooking (1:51.2) in the seventh event.
Fred's Dream kept his winning streak alive and lowered his speed mark to 1:57.3 in second flight of Saturday's $61,700 New York Sires Stakes-sponsored test.
The Bill Bailey-steered favorite sat in the pocket for most of the mile, then closed in the final furlong for a two-length tally, his second late-closing triumph during the month.
Ann Yurenka conditions the son of Giant Hit-Minute Rice for Mary K. Apker.
Saturday's other late-closing winners were Mystical Mikel (Conway Hall-Fancy Crown), in 1:57.4, with Lewayne Miller driving for trainer/part-owner Kimberly Burris and Joseph Budney; House On Fire (Conway Hall-Housethatruthbuilt), in 1:58.4 with trainer Ray Schnittker steering for his ownership partner, the House On Fire Stable; Ridethewind Chrys (Cash Hall-Malhana Glorious Winner Copperhead), in 1:57.3, with Frank Milby teaming for owner and trainer Jeffrey Rose), and (Credit Winner-Fox Valley Flan), with Miller again in the sulky, this time for trainer Erv Miller and the Tanah Merah Farms.
DOWNS DOINGS - The tally by Ridethewind Chrys was his maiden-breaking victory... Like Fred's Dream, Glorious Winner is also a five-time victor in 2011... The track's next NYSS event is slated for Thursday, Aug. 11... Vernon will present live harness racing at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next week... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
The veteran trotter Unshakeable capped off an overland journey with a career-best 1:55.3 victory in Friday night's $10,000 featured sixth race at Vernon Downs.
With 10-time track driving champion Howard Okusko, Jr. doing the teaming for his wife, trainer Jessica Okusko, Unshakeable ($6.30) trotted in the outside rally route from fourth in the early going and closed from third in the final furlong to win by a head over Skad’s Winner, with Double A Gloria just a half-length back in third.
The come-from-behind score was the second at the meet, third this season and 17th all-time for the 6-year-old bay son of Andover Hall-Sister Sammy, who raised his career bankroll to nearly $175,000.
Driver Okusko owns the gritty gelding along with Conrad Zurich and Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables.
Okusko concluded his evening with a 1:57.2 tally behind the trotter Mystic Splendor (owned by trainer Okusko and Kenneth Finnerty) in Friday's $6,000 ninth event, giving him three doubles after 41 current Vernon programs.
DOWNS DOINGS - A 1:56 maiden-breaking victory by Sweet Fancy Moses (Roman Lopez steering for trainer Leopold Sawyers and owner John W. Hart) in race three, tied a similar qualifying clocking by another 2-year-old pacing filly, Sha Delight, as the fastest miles by a freshman performer thus far this season at the Downs... Provisional driver Chris McCracken earned his third tally at the meet after a 1:59.3 mile behind William McCracken's trotter Crestwood Katch Me in Friday's fourth event... Saturday's 10-race slate, which begins at 6:55 p.m., includes five divisions of a $61,700 New York Sire Stakes late-closing contest for 3-year-old male trotters, plus the weekend's $10,000 Open-1 pacing contest... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Frank Milby put on a driving clinic at Vernon Downs on Saturday evening, visiting the track's winner's circle five times in 10 races, including a featured pace win with Pro Bono Frank.
Milby, a newcomer to the track this season, increased his win total after 39 programs to 41, second only to two-time defending champion and current leader Jimmy Whittemore (65 tallies).
Steering Pro Bono Frank ($23.40) for trainer Patrick Galbraith and owner Nikki Kosciolek, Milby kept the gritty 7-year-old gelding in seventh place through most of the $8,000 seventh session.
Together, they rallied to fifth at the top the stretch, and then powered home in a :28-second final quarter to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.4.
Pro Bono Frank's career-fastest performance marked his second win in succession, and sixth at the meet, tying him with fellow side-wheeler Johnny Midnight for most equine tallies at the track thus far this season.
The brown son of Pro Bono Best-Frankie Kash now sports 12 lifetime victories and earnings of more than $43,000.
Milby's other first-place finishers included Fox Valley Lee in the fifth race, Bettor's Curse in the sixth session, What It Means in the ninth event and Hero's Cavalcade in Saturday's night-cap.
Rick Plano, with three tallies, and Frank Davis, with a pair of first-place finishes, were also multiple winners during the final night of "Back to the Track" weekend at the Downs.
DOWNS DOINGS - Milby is the first driver to win more than four races on a single program at the Downs thus far this season... Robin Rouse earned top handicapper honors on Saturday night and won a trip to the Little Brown Jug, harness racing's premier event for 3-year-old pacers... Winners in Saturday's exhibition races for members of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation at Vernon were Claudia McDaniel, driving Royal Attire, Brooke Hopsicker, steering Jandi Tuff As Sky, and Olivia Marshall, teaming CD's Miss M. Eleven youngsters competed in this year's HHYF's summer camp at the Downs... Vernon will present live harness racing at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next week... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Friday, July 15, 2011
The favorite Vacation Day overcame a parked-out journey to record a 1:55.4 victory in Friday night's $10,000 featured eighth event at Vernon Downs.
Leaving from post five in a field of six, Vacation Day ($3.60) took the overland route from fourth at the quarter, closed from third in the stretch and overcame the pace-setting Scorpion Moon by a head in the week's Open-1 trotting contest.
The hard-fought score was the third locally this season, the fourth on the campaign and the 12th all-time for the 5-year-old son of Dream Vacation-Shutter Hanover, who is closing in on $130,000 in lifetime earnings.
Rick Plano did the steering for trainer Jamie Paquet, who owns the black gelding along with the In Front Racing stable.
The winner missed his career win mark by two-ticks of the timer.
Five of Friday's first-place finishers became two-time winners at the 38-program meeting, while seven earned fresh speed marks.
DOWNS DOINGS - Vernon's "Back to the Track" weekend continues with Saturday's 10-race program, which contains a beach towel giveaway (while supplies last), and a handicap contest, in which the winner will earn a trip to the Little Brown Jug stakes race for 3-year-old pacer in the fall at Delaware, Ohio... Saturday's line-up, which will include three non-betting, exhibition pony races for representatives of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation's summer camp at the Downs, will begin at 6:20 p.m... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
The pacing mare By All Means put together a late rally to capture Thursday night's $6,000 featured third race at Vernon Downs.
Truman Gale, the track's top provisional driver this season, picked up his 12th local victory as he guided By All Means ($10.20) from fifth at the half, and fourth entering the homestretch, on to a hard-driving 1:54.2 triumph in the week's top test for female side-wheelers.
It marked the fifth local win, sixth season's score and seventh lifetime tally for the determined brown daughter of Western Ideal-Get By, who is owned and trained by Robert C. Gale.
The Adam Capizzano trained and driven pacer Grampa Gus earned fastest-mile-of-the-night honors with a 1:54.1 performance for owners Joe Marcoe and Kyle Storie in Thursday's $3,000 ninth event.
Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore, and Chris Lems, currently third on the dash-won chart, each posted two victories during Thursday's 10-race card.
DOWNS DOINGS - Chuck Connor, Jr., who secured a 1:54.2 triumph behind the pacer La Dreamin' Delight in Thursday's second session, is the third-leading driver of "two-minute" winners in the track's 58-year history with 809. Howard Okusko, Jr. leads in this category with 1,134. Trainer Janice Connor (Chuck's wife) owns La Dreamin' Delight along with Michelle C. and Albert C. Crawford... The Downs will begin it's "Back to the Track" weekend promotion at 6:55 p.m. tomorrow. Among the promotional activities will be a national Pick-4 wager... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
The Standardbred sport's top-rated equine See You At Peelers remained unbeaten with a track record performance in a division of Saturday night's $145,208 New York Sires Stakes feature at Vernon Downs.
One race after Mystical Gypsy had tied the previous 1:51.2 track mark for 3-year-old filly pacers in Saturday's eighth event, See You At Peelers ($2.10), the U. S. Trotting Association's Horse of the Month for June, toured Vernon's 7/8ths-mile oval in 1:51.1, establishing a new speed standard for her age, sex and gait here and keeping her career record unblemished after 19 starts.
Marcus Johansson drove for trainer Jimmy Takter as the brilliant daughter of Bettor's Delight-West Side Glory took charge after a :26.2 opening quarter and zipped through additional splits of :55.2 and 1:23.4 en route to a 2-3/4 length victory, her sixth of the season.
The career-winner of more than $1.2 million is shared in ownership by Christina Takter (Jimmy's wife), along with John D. and Jim H. Fielding.
In addition to Mystical Gypsy's (Bettor's Delight-Under Your Spell) speedy score for the Mystical Marker Farms, Mary Jane Anderson and Shim Racing contingent, Saturday's other NYSS divisions were won by Miss Annie J (Bettor’s Delight-Musical Dreamer), in 1:53.1 for owner Ken Jacobs, and Tea Party Princess (Art Major-Hannah Banana), in 1:52 for owner Brad Gray.
The 5-year-old Diamond Stick Pin produced a front-striding 1:51.1 victory in Saturday's $10,000 sixth session, the week's Open-1 test, that tied the track's record for aged pacing horses, established by Going To The Beach in 2002.
Andrew McCarthy, Stephane Bouchard and Greg Merton each collected a pair of victories during Saturday's 10-race program.
DOWNS DOINGS - Paula's Best had authored the previous 1:52.2 Vernon mark for sophomore pacing fillies in 2007... McCarthy steered Miss Annie J to victory for trainer Linda Toscano, and Tea Party Princess to her win for Ron Burke... Merton drove Mystical Gypsy to her first-place finish for trainer Erv Miller... With Ray Schnittker in the sulky, Tuffofthetoughest turned in a 1:52.2 tally in Saturday's $8,000 seventh session, the week's Open-2 contest... The Downs will offer live racing at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next week... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Skad's Winner lived up to his name with a career-best 1:55.3 performance in Friday night's $8,000 featured ninth race at Vernon Downs.
Competing against six skilled trotting rivals in the week's Open-2 contest, Skad's Winner ($6.70) waltzed to the front as the starting gate pulled away and danced through intervals of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:26 en route to a 1-1/4 length triumph over the favorite, Unshakeable.
With Bill Bailey driving for trainer Ann Yurenka and owner Mary K. Apker, the 6-year-old son of Broadway Hall-Angela Lane logged his second score at the meet and 14th overall, while raising his career earnings to $229,655.
The speedy showing trimmed 2/5ths-of-a-second off of his previous win mark.
Sha Delight, the fastest freshman performer at the Downs thus far this season on the strength of a 1:56 qualifying win on June 25, delivered a 1:56.3 victory in Friday's $3,000 fifth event.
With Brian Mattison doing the teaming for trainer Paul Kelley and Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables, the brown daughter of Bettor's Delight-Shady Babie wired seven pacing rivals on her way to a 3-1/2 length triumph in her first pari-mutuel venture.
Veteran horseman Roman Lopez steered three different trotters into Vernon's winner's circle on Friday, including Mr. Web Page, who collected his fourth straight score in the $4,300 seventh session.
Lopez owns the steady-striding 3-year-old colt, who tied Justice Wyoming for most trotting tallies after 35 programs, and drew even with the pacer Rosa Villa for the longest winning streak at the meet.
Driver Rick Plano, as well as owner/trainer Don Brainard and Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables were all credited with two tallies during Friday's 10-race card.
DOWNS DOINGS - Saturday's 10-race card, which includes Open-1 and Open-2 races, will feature four divisions of a $145,208 New York Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly pacers. The event's headliner is the Standardbred sport's top-ranked performer at present, the undefeated See You At Peelers, who will be trying for her 19th straight career score in the evening's ninth event. First post is at 6:55 p.m... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Fox Valley Sage turned a textbook trip into a 1:52.2 victory during Thursday night's $10,000 featured sixth race at Vernon Downs.
Starting from the outside in the week's Open contest for female pacers, Fox Valley Sage ($6.40) stayed in the runner-up position behind the pace-setting newcomer Golden Ace until the final turn, then swooped to the lead and drew off for a 3/4-length triumph.
Trainer Ralph Andersen did the steering for owner Stephen J. Farrell, Jr. as the 7-year-old daughter of Richess Hanover-Pink Cadillac collected her second Open score in succession, third win at the meet, fourth in 2011 and 25th all-time.
While coming within two-fifths of a second of her lifetime mark, the bay battler increased her career earnings to more than $271,000.
In Thursday's $3,000 third race, the season's second pari-mutuel test for 2-year-old pacers here, Ocean Mist rallied from seventh (last) in the early going and closed from fourth in the final furlong to earn a 1:58.1 maiden-breaking victory.
Truman Gale, the track's top provisional driver, owns and trains the gelded son of Artiscape-Spring Mist, who finished second to last week's frosh winner, Rock Man (1:56.2).
Gale grabbed his initial double at the 34-program meeting, and 11th season's score here, after guiding the 4-year-old pacing mare Emma's Lily to a 1:55.1 career-best tally in Thursday's fifth event.
Robert C. Gales trains the bay daughter of Artiscape-Sweet Rosa Belle for Stephanie and Brian Cassell.
DOWNS DOINGS - Friday's 10-race card, which includes the weekend's top trotting test in event nine, will begin at 6:55 p.m... The top-ranked Standardbred See You At Peelers (unbeaten in 18 career starts) will headline a field of prime 3-year-old filly pacers in this Saturday's New York Sires Stakes feature at the Downs... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
The undefeated sophomore pacing filly, See You At Peelers, headlines 30 fillies set to go postward in four divisions of New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs on Saturday night.
Coming off of an impressive three-length victory in the $613,020 Fan Hanover at Mohawk Racetrack, Peelers will be reunited with Marcus Johansson, who drove her to a world record victory (1:49.3) at Tioga Downs in the Empire Breeders' Classic Final.
See You At Peelers has caught national attention this year after going 13-for-13 last year as a freshman, and she still holds a perfect score card currently, five-for-five in 2011, with career earnings of more than $1.2 million.
See You At Peelers and Marcus Johansson will go back to work in the ninth race (9:35 pm approx) on the 10-race card Saturday night in a field of eight.
Win, exacta, trifecta, and daily double wagering are all that stand for the ninth event which is the fourth and final division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies.
The seven pacing fillies with the un-luck of the draw and the uphill battle of facing "Peelers" in alphabetical order are: Arlington Ave, Busybeingfabulous, City Delight, JK Soundofmusic, Lisjune Ann, Sight To See, and Whats New Pussycat.
Vernon Downs kicks off its weekend of live racing action on Thursday, July 7th at 6:55 pm.
For more information please visit us online at www.vernondowns.com.
Spender Hanover served up an afternoon-fastest 1:53.1 victory in Monday's $8,000 featured ninth race at Vernon Downs.
Facing seven solid rivals in the week's Open-2 pace, Spender Hanover ($34.20) was hustled to the front by driver Joe Nassimos and sliced through splits of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:24.1 en route to a half-length victory over the pocket-sitting Four One One.
Beating the day's previous speed standard by one tick of the timer (set by Mojo Hall in race tree), the Howard Okusko, Sr.-conditioned 5-year-old gelding collected his initial Vernon win, his fourth season's score and 17th career tally.
Howard Ouriel owns the bay son of Cam's Card Shark-Special Beauty.
Drivers Jimmy Whittemore, Rick Plano and Frank Milby each chalked up twin tallies during the holiday matinee's 10-race card.
DOWNS DOINGS - The Downs will offer live racing at 6:55 Thursday-Saturday nights this weekend... The top-ranked Standardbred See You At Peelers (unbeaten in 18 career starts) will headline a field of prime 3-year-old filly pacers for this Saturday's New York Sires Stakes feature at the Downs... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Lewis Miller's Franklin M Hanover recorded the fastest mile during Saturday night's 10-race program at Vernon Downs.
With Claude Huckabone, Jr. doing the steering for trainer Wes Miller, Franklin M Hanover ($19.40) rallied from sixth in the early going and closed from fourth in the homestretch to defeat the on-coming Mystic Splendor by a head in Saturday's $6,000 first race trot.
The 1:56 clocking equaled the 6-year-old gelding's lifetime mark and enabled the son of SJ's Caviar-Fanciulla to become a two-time winner at the meet.
Wild Goose Lodge ($9.20) missed the fastest mile mark by one-tick of the timer in the $6,000 co-featured 10th event.
Frank Davis drove for trainer/part-owner Jaclyn Bailey as the 9-year-old son of SJ's Photo-Mystress Hanover turned a pocket trip into a head victory over the pace-setting Paco In The Sky.
It marked the third season's score and 19th lifetime tally for career winner of $98,176, who is shared in ownership by Woody Hoblitzell.
Driver Roman Lopez scored with the trotter Play Right and pacer Dick N Ben during Vernon's 32nd program to record his third double of the track's 58th campaign.
DOWNS DOINGS - Vernon will present a 10-race program on Monday (July 4) that will begin at 1:15 p.m... The Downs swill also offer live racing at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next weekend... The top-ranked Standardbred See You At Peelers (unbeaten in 18 career starts) headlines a field of 3-year-old filly pacers for next Saturday's New York Sires Stakes feature at the Downs... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
The pacers Pickmeamerigold, Rock Man, as well as drivers Jimmy Whittemore and Howard Okusko, Jr. all bathed in the limelight during Friday night's harness program at Vernon Downs.
Pickmeamerigold posted a front-striding, 1:55 victory in Friday's $6,000 featured ninth race, the week's top test for female side-wheelers.
Whittemore did the teaming for trainer Joe Cordisco and owner Holly Cordisco as the 5-year-old daughter of American Gigolo-Whip City Gal garnered her second score of the season and 13th all-time.
Rock Man, a promising son of Art Major-Gone Dancing owned by Linda Manzi and trained by Howard Okusko, Sr., motored to a 1:56.2 "maiden" victory for chauffeur Howard Okusko, Jr. in Friday's $3,000 third event, the first pari-mutuel contest for 2-year-old Standardbreds at the Downs this season.
Two-time defending champ and current leader Whittemore also won with the pacers Townie Guy, Dandy Do Right and Kissing Camels to record his fifth four-win performance in 31 current local programs.
Okusko, a 10-time Vernon driving champion, also finished first with the trotter Tip The Tide and pacer I'madeadhead to chalk up his second triple of the 2011 campaign at the Downs.
Former training champ Jessica Okusko also visited Vernon's winner's circle twice during the 10-event card.
DOWNS DOINGS - While posting 58 victories, Whittemore has collected eight driving doubles, five triples, as well as the five four-baggers during Vernon's 58th season... No driver has won more than four races on a single local program thus far this year... In addition to Rock Man, the sophomore trotting colt Splendid Cash (Chris Lems driving for trainer Fletcher Davis and owner Carol Davis), also earned his initial pari-mutuel win on Friday night... In addition to Saturday's 10-race program, which starts at 6:55 p.m., the Downs will present its third fireworks spectacular of the season following the conclusion of live racing... A 1:15 matinee program is planned for Monday, July 4... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.