Saturday, July 23, 2011

Unshakeable unbeatable on Friday Night


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.