Sunday, July 17, 2011

A High Five for Milby on Back to the Track Weekend


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.