Friday, July 8, 2011

Fox Valley Sage Doubles Up in Open Feature


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.