Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Spender Hanover Lights Up Fourth of July

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, and on Facebook.