Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Buck I St Pat and San Pail lead Vernon features on Friday night

The $164,000 Muscle Hill Open Mare trot and its counterpart, the $218,000 Credit Winner open trot, lead a 9-race card set to go to the post at Vernon Downs on Friday, September 2nd at 6:55 pm.

San Pail, fresh off back to back victories in the Maple Leaf Trot and Nat Ray, has drawn post position number two against a field of eight set to go postward in race number eight.

Randy Waples, who regularly pilots San Pail, will once again be in the sulky to guide the winner of more than $2.3 million lifetime for trainer Rodney Hughes.

Some of his main threats in the field are Il Villaggio and Jody Jamieson, who recently won at Indiana Downs in 1:53.

Also, Lucky Jim will look to become a repeat winner of the event after setting the stakes record of 1:52 last year.

Lucky Jim has drawn post position number eight and will be handled for the very first time by Tim Tetrick for trainer Erv Miller.

In the Muscle Hill, Buck I St Pat has been dubbed the 5-2 morning line favorite coming off a two-length victory in a $100,000 Open trot at Chester Downs.

The 8-year-old daughter of Jailhouse Jessie – Name It Something has made in excess of $2.3 million lifetime and won the Muscle Hill event in 2009.

Her main competition will come to her inside, post two, Jersey As, who posted a mild upset on Hambletonian Day in the Matchmaker beating Buck I St Pat in 1:51.3.

Action Broadway will also look to knock off the queen of the trotting ranks leaving from post position number one.

Brian Sears will drive the Armbro Flight champion, who upset in Canada at odds of 27-1 for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr.

Defending Muscle Hill Champion, Yursa Hanover, will look to be the first repeat performer ever in the event and has drawn post eight with Hall of Famer, John Campbell, in the sulky.

Also on tap for Friday night at Vernon Downs will be the 2-year-old Historic Series races, the final of the 2011 Horseplay Car Giveaway, Mystery Voucher night, and fireworks following live racing.

Below are the fields for the Muscle Hill and Credit Winner:
Race 7
$164,000 Muscle Hill Open Mare Trot
1 1 Action-Broadway Brian Sears Virgil Morgan Jr.
2 2 Jersey AS Randy Waples Anette Lorentzon
3 3 Pembroke Heat Wave Paul Macdonell Mark Ford
4 4 Buck I St Pat Tim Tetrick Ron Burke
5 5 Autumn Escapade David Miller Jonas Czernyson
6 6 Ginger Tree Wanda Jim Morrill Jr. Doreen Dailey
7 7 Sea Raven Jody Jamieson Kay Gannon
8 8 Yursa Hanover John Campbell Jonas Czernyson

Race 8:
$218,000 Credit Winner Open Trot
1 4 All Cantab Jim Morrill Jr. Blair Burgess
1A 6 Il Villaggio Jody Jamieson Blair Burgess
2 1 Define The World Paul Macdonell John Bax
3 2 San Pail Randy Waples Rodney Hughes
4 3 Hot Shot Blue Chip Brian Sears Jonas Czernyson
5 5 Take My Picture David Miller Nikolas Drennan
6 7 Pembroke Prayer John Campbell Mark Ford
7 8 Lucky Jim Tim Tetrick Erv Miller

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Track Record Falls Not Once, but Twice on Saturday Night

The track record for 3-year-old pacing geldings was equaled and, later, bettered during Saturday night's $147,867 New York Sires Stake action at Vernon Downs.

In race seven, Mojo Terror tied the 1:50.4 standard for sophomore altered side-wheelers that had been set by Getting Personal in 1993, before Fantaddy improved it with his 1:50.2 performance three races later.

Mojo Terror had noted catch-driver Jim Morrill, Jr. at the controls when he came on late to earn a fresh win- mark and his second straight NYSS score.

It resulted in the 10th season's tally and the 11th lifetime victory for the black son of Western Terror-Winning Mojo, who is trained by Chris Oakes and owned by the Bulletproof Enterprises.

Before the ink had dried on that recording, Fantaddy rallied from third in the final furlong to trim two-fifths of a second off the former record with his ¾-length triumph in the event's final division.

Morrill, Jr. did the steering for trainer Tony O’Sullivan and Canadian owner John D. Fielding as the brown son of Bettor's Delight-Lifetime Member secured his seventh season's score and eighth lifetime tally.

Saturday's other divisional winner in this class was Dream Of New York, who eked out a neck victory in the fourth race, with Pat Lachance doing the teaming for trainer Bruce Saunders and the M&M Harness Racing stable.

The time was a new mark for the bay son of Art Major-Ms. Avondale, who has authored five wins in 2011 and six all time.

Lotto Winner's 1:58 performance in Saturday's third event proved the fastest divisional posting in a $49,400 NYSS-sponsored late-closing contest for 3-year-old filly trotters.

Sam Schillaci sat in for trainer John Stark, Jr. and owner Sam Schillaci, Jr. as the black daughter of Credit Winner-Duolotta extended her current winning streak to three, all in late-closing competition.

It marked her sixth lifetime victory.

Saturday's other filly flight winners were Dreamgirl Lindy (Credit Winner-Winter Dreams), in 1:58.1 with trainer Frank Antonacci driving for the Lindy Racing Stable; State Fair (Dream Vacation-Gracious Speed), in 1:58.3 with Joe Nassimos sulky-sitting for trainer Howard Okusko, Sr. and the Bay Pond Racing Stable; and In Your Room (CR Excalibur-Chris Image), in 1:59.1 with trainer Eric Mollor chauffeuring for the Classico Stables.

Mata Harry captured Saturday's $10,000 Open-1 pace in 1:51.4, with Chris Lems piloting for trainer Dennis Whittemore and owner Elliot Misshula, while the week's Open-2 pacing clash went to Pictonian Pride, in 1:51.3 with Jordan Stratton catch-driving for trainer Claude Huckabone, III and owner Michael Sorrentino, Jr.

Morrill, Jr. and Schillaci each chalked up two wins during Saturday's 12-race card, as did trainer Okusko, Sr.

DOWNS DOINGS - There will be no live racing at the Downs on Thursday (Sept. 1) due to a special 1:15 matinee program here on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 5)... Live racing will resume at 6:55 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (Sept. 2 and 3)... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kindergarten Classic Series Kicks Off Friday Night

Vic Smith emerged as the standout performer in Friday night's $60,000 opening round of this season's Kindergarten Classic series for 2-year-old trotters at Vernon Downs.

Competing in the $10,000 first race for male proponents of the diagonal gait, Vic Smith was urged to the front by Andy Miller and didn't look back en route to a convincing 1:56 triumph that proved to be the fastest mile by a freshman high-stepper through 56 local programs.

Friday's career-best tally was the fourth in succession for the undefeated bay son of Yankee Glide-PJ Naomi, who is trained by Julie Miller and owned by the Andy Miller and Baron Racing stables.

Lady Andi was the swiftest winner in the event's filly flight, rallying from third at the half and closing from second in the stretch to record a 1:59 maiden-breaking victory, with local driver Chris Lems doing the steering for veteran conditioner Larry Rathbone.

It was the fourth career start for the brown daughter of Andover Hall-Lady Lifter, who is shared in ownership by the M&L Stable of Delaware and the Little E LLC Stable.

Friday's other first-place finishers in the colt/gelding division were A Penny Earned, in 1:57.4 for driver Howard Okusko, Jr., trainer George Ducharme and his ownership partners Paul Fontaine, Nicola Oliva and Alfred Ross, and Gym Tan Laundry, in a maiden-breaking 2:00.1 performance with James Rattray doing the teaming for trainer Noel Daley and the Adam Victor & Son Stable.

Additional filly scores were posted by She's All In, in a maiden-breaking 2:00 effort with Miller sitting in for trainer Rick Plano and owner Richard C. Plano, and Sandra Volo, in a fast-closing 2:01.2 effort for owner, trainer and driver Jan Johnson.

The Howard Stable's 5-year-old trotter Grey Ice delivered his second straight score in Friday's $10,000 10th event, the week's Open-1 contest.

Jimmy Whittemore drove for trainer Guy Howard as the grey gelding collected his fourth season's score and 11th lifetime win.

Miller, Lems, Okusko, Jr. and Whittemore all logged twin tallies during Friday's 12-race card.

DOWNS DOINGS - The Kindergarten series will continue with a pair of legs at Kentucky's Red Mile before returning to Vernon for a fourth leg and the championship finals... Gym Tan Laundry became the fastest 2-year-old trotting gelding of the season locally after his 200.1 score in Friday's $10,000 eighth event... Other impressive 2-year-old winners during Friday's program were the trotting colt Muscolo, in a career-best 1:57.4 for driver and trainer Ray Schnittker, and the pacing filly Canamerica, with trainer and part-owner John Stark, Jr. doing the steering... Saturday's 12-race program, which includes a pair of New York Sires events (three divisions of a 3-year-old colt/gelding pace and four flights of a late-closing contest for 3-year-old filly trotter), plus the week's Open-1 pace, will begin at 6:55 p.m... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Glorious Winner Goes Fastest in Late Closer Series

Glorious Winner recorded the fastest mile, while Small Bills and Cash Poor continued their recent success in divisions of Thursday night's $49,400 New York Sires Stakes-sponsored late-closing contest for 3-year-old male trotters at Vernon Downs.

With LeWayne Miller steering for trainer Erv Miller in Thursday's $12,300 sixth race, Glorious Winner rallied from fifth in the early going and closed from second in the homestretch to secure his seventh season's score (fourth against late-closing opponents) and a 1:57 lifetime mark, that cut a full second off his previous win record.

The bay son of Credit Winner-Fox Valley Flan is owned by his breeders, the Tanah Merah Farms.

Small Bills collected his third straight late-closing victory and fourth this season when Stephane Bouchard directed the bay son of Cash Hall-Mini Shuttle to a lifetime-best 1:57.2 triumph in Thursday's $12,400 eighth event.

Dave Jannone conditions the four-time career winner for owners Michelle C. and Albert C. Crawford.

Trainer John Stark, Jr. picked up a driving double during Thursday's 10-race program after steering Cash Poor to his second win in succession, and a 1:58 speed-mark in the $12,300 ninth race.

It marked the second season's score and eighth lifetime win for the bay son of Cash Hall-Meadow Gal, who is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables.

Miller was also in the sulky, catch-driving for trainer and part-owner Kimberly Burris, as Mystical Mikel prevailed with a 1:59 effort in the evening's $12,400 fourth event.

It was the second late-closing win locally, third tally this season and fourth all-time for the bay son of Conway Hall-Fancy Crown, who is also shared in ownership by Joseph Budney.

Harlem Rockturne recorded her third win in a row with a 1:53.2 career-best showing in Thursday's $10,000 fifth race, the week's Open test for female pacers.

Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore drove for his dad, trainer and owner Dennis Whittemore, as the 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Capericorn chalked up her second straight win in this top "overnight" class, sixth in 2011 and seventh all-time.

The veteran pacing mare Rosa Ville became the meet's winningest equine following a 1:55.4 score for driver and trainer Frank Davis in Thursday's 10th event.

It was the seventh local score this season and the 22nd lifetime triumph for the chestnut daughter of The Panderosa-Retrieve Almahurst, who is owned by Brian Green.

DOWNS DOINGS - Stark's other tally was with his sister's (Laurie) trained pacer Fortune Fantasy in Thursday's third event... Friday's 12-race card, that begins at 6:55 p.m., features six $10,000 divisions in the opening round of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old trotters (three for males and a like number for females), plus this week's $10,000 Open-1 trot... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vernon Downs releases new Mr. G's Restaurant commercial

Vernon Downs has added a new dimension to its property with Mr. G's Restaurant at Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel.

Vernon Downs and its ad agency designed a catchy commercial to integrate horse racing and the grand opening of the restaurant that can be seen below.

The voiceover was done by Jason M. Settlemoir, VP of Racing for Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pacinello Survives Stretch Duel to Win Saturday Feature

The favorite Pacinello won out in a head-to-head stretch duel with third wagering choice, Mata Harry, before posting a neck victory in Saturday night's $10,000 featured ninth race at Vernon Downs.

Luke Plano, who completed a driving double with the 1:52.1 triumph, sat in for his father, trainer Rick Plano, as Pacinello ($5.60) raced overland from fifth in the early going, and closed from third in the stretch to out-stride the pocket-setting Mata Harry in a :26.4 final quarter.

The mile-cutter, Mystical Valentine, ended up third in the week's Open-1 pace.

Saturday's first-place finish was the third at the meet, fifth this season and 25th all-time for the 5-year-old son of Little Steven-Princess Kiara, who is owned by the D&E Racing Stable.

The career-winner of more than $274,000 also provided trainer Plano with a pair of first-place finishes during the 12-race program.

Fastest-mile-of-the-night honors went to Maryann Plano's 5-year-old pacer Hay Goodlooking, who front-ended his way to a 1:52 victory with Luke steering for his dad in Saturday's $8,000 fifth event, the weekend's Open-2 contest.

DOWNS DOINGS - Rick Plano also produced a catch-driving win during the card, guiding the trotter Enlightened to a 1:58.4 score in the evening's sixth event for trainer John Minckler and owner Greg Robinson... Provisional drivers Truman Gale (Big Al's Delight), Brandon Loomis (Bunk) and Leslie Hale (P L Eclipse) all recorded first-place finishes during the track's 54th program of 2011... The freshman trotting colt Paper Backed Lindy (Chocolatier-A Girl Named Sugar) captured his career debut in 1:59.4 with Domenico Cecere teaming for trainer Frank Antonacci, the Lindy Racing and the Fred Monteleone stables in Saturday's third event... Vernon will present live racing Thursday-Saturday next week, with first post each evening at 6:55... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

For A Dancer Remains Undefeated with New York Sire Stakes Win

For A Dancer remained undefeated through five career starts and tied Lima Playmate at 1:57 for fastest mile-of-the-season honors in her class locally during Friday night's $119,043 New York Sire Stakes feature for 2-year-old trotting fillies at Vernon Downs.

With Steve Smith steering for trainer Joe Holloway and the Bluestone Farms in Friday's sixth division, For A Dancer (Conway Hall-Fluttering Wings) wired her seven rivals to record her fourth straight stakes score (three in NYSS events and one in the Reynolds contest at Pocono Downs).

The 1:57 performance tied her personal-best clocking, equaled Lima Playmate's winning time, which occurred one race earlier, and came within one-fifth-of-a-second of the all-time Vernon standard for her age, sex and gait, set by Seducedbychocolate on Sept. 24 last year.

Lima Playmate (Credit Winner-Pacific Legacy) led throughout her mile, before winning impressively and trimming two-fifths-of-a-second off the previous local season's clocking for this class, set by Win Missy B last Friday.

Trainer Ray Schnittker, who is an ownership partner of the talented distaffer along with the Lima Playmate Stable, helped the black daughter of Credit Winner-Pacific Legacy improve her lifetime summary to six stakes scores (five in NYSS action and one in the Tompkins-Geers test at Tioga Downs) and a third-place finish in eight appearances.

Friday's other NYSS divisional winners included The Heart Lives On (RC Royalty-Cunning Vixen), in 1:57.4 for driver Jim Morrill, Jr., trainer Octavia Rappoport and owner Carolyn Meinwald; Borrow And Spend (Credit Winner-Armbro Déjà Vu), in 1:58.3 for trainer/driver and co-owner Schnittker and the Borrow & Spend Stable; Adreamcomestrue As (Conway Hall-Yankee Jeanie), in 1:58.4 for driver Marcus Johansson, trainer Anette Lorentzon and the ACL Stuteri Ab group; Montana Skies (Conway Hall-Montana Maple), in 1:58.4 for Morrill, Jr., trainer Trond Smedshammer, Robert Feldman and the American Viking Racing Stable; and Getinonthesecret (Conway Hall-Missy's Mission) in 1:59 for trainer/driver Dan Daley, his wife, Ann-Mari, Richard Lombardo and Murray Ferguson, Jr.

White Jade recorded the swiftest divisional tally in Friday's $37,200 NYSS-sponsored late-closing contest for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Morrill, Jr. did the teaming as the speedy daughter of American Ideal-Aries Conquest chopped three-and-one-fifth-seconds off her previous win-mark and came within four-fifths-of-a-second of the Vernon standard for this set, which was set by See You At Peelers on July 9.

Erv Miller conditions the five-time current winner for the Tanah Merah Farms.

Friday's other late-closing victories were recorded by Western Kerry (Western Terror-Kerry Kate), in 1:53.4 with Stephane Bouchard steering for trainer Ray Van Dreason, and owners Jim Kennedy, Jim Kennedy, Jr. and Dave Towne; and Arlington Ave (Riverboat King-Ph Factor), in 1:54.4 with Kim Crawford piloting for trainer Maureen Salino, and the De Ca Sa Stables, William Salmeri, Arthur Lucarelli and George Berkner ownership contingent.

DOWNS DOINGS - Ten of Friday's 12 winners earned personal best records, while For A Dancer equaled her career win-mark... The performances by Adreamcomestrue As and Getinonthesecret were maiden-breaking victories... Saturday's 12-race card, which includes Open-1 and Open-2 challenges, begins at 6:55 p.m... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Harlem Rockturne Takes Thursday feature for Whittemores

The favorite Harlem Rockturne won her Vernon Downs debut after a career-best 1:53.3 performance in Thursday night's $7,000 featured sixth race.

Competing in a driving rain against six select female pacers, Harlem Rockturne ($5.10) led through splits of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:24.4 en route to a 2-3/4 length triumph over Blueridge Betty.

Thursday's strong showing came on the heels of a 1:56 victory at Tioga Downs on Aug. 13.

It was the fifth season's score and sixth lifetime tally for the 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Capericorn, who bumped her career bankroll to $59,375.

Jimmy Whittemore did the teaming for his dad, owner and trainer Dennis Whittemore.

Whittemore, Vernon's dash-winning leader for the third straight season, earned a double during Thursday's 10-race program; as did his father (Dennis) and driver Brian Connor.

Thursday's third event saw the Winbak Farm's well-bred youngster Winbak Shake post a personal best 1:55.3 victory, with trainer John Stark, Jr. driving.

The fast-closing effort made the homebred son of Dream Away-Shake Rattle Run the fastest 2-year-old pacing gelding after 52 racing programs here in 2011.

DOWNS DOINGS - The altered freshman pacer Rock Man had established the previous 1:56.2 mark for his age, sex and gait here on July 1... New York Sires Stakes racing returns to the Downs tomorrow evening, with seven divisions for 2-year-old filly trotters and three flights of a late-closing contest for 3-year-old filly pacers. Friday's 12-race card begins at 6:55 p.m... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

2-Year-Old Fillies on Night 2 of New York State Fair Races

New York's future Standardbred stars were on display at Vernon Downs again on Friday night, competing in State Fair match-ups for 2-year-old filly trotters and freshmen female pacers that totaled $192,926 in prize money.

Win Missy B opened Friday's 12-race program with a front-striding 1:57.2 victory that proved to be the fastest mile of the season locally by a first-year filly trotter.

Trainer Charlie Norris did the teaming for owner Robert J. Key as the homebred bay daughter of Conway Hall-Winning Missbrenda earned her second win in five starts.

Brownsville Bomber delivered a fast-closing 1:53.1 triumph in Friday's third race that stands as Vernon's quickest mile by a 2-year-old filly pacer after 50 programs.

Fern Paquet, Jr. drove for trainer Edward Hart as the bay daughter of American Ideal-Cantor's Daughter secured a fresh speed mark and her second victory in five starts.

Joseph Betro, Ian Behar and the Kristie Leigh Farm share ownership of the speedy distaffer, who also won a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes in 1:54.3 at Tioga Downs on July 15.
Friday's other divisional winners in the $90,330 NY State Fair female trot were Montana Skies (Conway Hall-Montana Maple) in a 1:59 maiden-breaking performance with Jason Bartlett catch-driving for trainer Trond Smedshammer and owners Robert Feldman and the American Viking Racing Stable; Zanna Royal (RC Royalty-Zann's Fan) in 1:59.1 for trainer/driver Dan Daley and the Albert C. and Michelle C. Crawford, Ann-Mari Daley (Dan's wife) and Richard Lombardo ownership contingent; Lima Playmate (Credit Winner-Pacific Legacy) in 1:59.1 with trainer/part-owner Ray Schnittker driving for his client, the Lima Playmate Stable; Barbara Goldstein (Conway Hall-Amaris Hanover) in a life's best 1:59.1 with conditioner Kim Crawford doing the chauffeuring for owner Steven Goldstein, and Starglow Hall (Conway Hall-Smilin Matty) in 2:01.4 with Bartlett sitting in for trainer Chris Ryder and his ownership partners Max Wernick, Terry and Clarence Devos.

Divisional winners in the $102,596 NY State Fair filly pace also included JK Cracklin Rosie (American Ideal-J K On Broadway) in a career-best 1:54.4 with Bartlett steering for trainer Linda Toscano and the 3-Brothers Stable; Ryder Blue Chip (Art Major-Casino Miss) in 1:55.3 with Marcus Johansson sitting in for trainer Tony Alagna and the Louis Willinger, Aaron Waxman, Mystical Marker Farms and the Odds On Racing Stable ownership group; and Centralia Hanover (Art Major-Calgary Hanover) in a life's best 1:55.4 with Steve Smith sitting in for trainer Mark Harder and owners Rick Phillips and the W Springtime Racing Stable.

The Howard Stable's Grey Ice posted a personal best 1:55.2 clocking while winning Friday's $10,000 Open-1 trot with Paquet, Jr. doing the sulky-sitting for trainer Guy Howard.

DOWNS DOINGS - Centralia Hanover now sports four straight scores in NY Sires Stakes races, while Barbara Goldstein has collected three consecutive NYSS tallies... Lima Playmate, who has forged five wins in seven starts, also captured a flight of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes at Tioga in mid-July, earning her 1:58 record in the process... Saturday's 11-race program, which includes the week's $10,000 Open-1 pace in event seven, will kick off at 6:55 p.m. and conclude "Corntastic Weekend" at the Downs... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lawgiver Hanover and Royal Shyster Shine on Opening Night of State Fair Races

New York Sires Stakes standouts Royal Shyster and Lawgiver Hanover produced the fastest divisional scores during Thursday night's $171,820 New York State Fair racing program at Vernon Downs.

Royal Shyster ($2.40) recorded a career-best 1:58.1 victory in the fourth division of Thursday's $83,688 NYSS-sponsored contest for 2-year-old colt/gelding trotters, while Lawgiver Hanover ($11.60) equaled his 1:53 record with a feisty first-place finish in the third flight of an $88,132 battle among New York-bred freshman male pacers.

With trainer Dan Daley driving for owners Ann-Mari Daley (Dan’s wife), Albert C. Crawford, Richard Lombardo and Robert Pergament, Royal Shyster powered to a convincing tally in Thursday's eighth event that improved his fledgling record to four wins and two second-place finishes in six career starts.

Three of his scores have come in NYSS action, while the other was a first-place finish in the Tompkins-Geers Stake at Tioga Downs on July 14.

The son of RC Royalty-Spin The Planet is now a winner of $54,437.

With Jim Morrill, Jr. teaming for trainer Mark Harder, Lawgiver Hanover, a son of Art Major-Lauren Order, hustled to a front-ending, ¾-length triumph in Thursday's ninth race that advanced his record to three wins and a second in four outings for owners Rick Phillips, Deena Rachel Frost and the W Springtime Racing Stable.

In addition to a pair of NYSS scores, the career-winner of nearly $36,000 secured his record in the Tompkins-Geers Stake at Tioga on July 17.

Thursday's other NYSF divisional winners in the trotting test were Credicity, in 1:59.2 for Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables; Coraggioso, in 1:59.4 for owners Joe Spadaro and Tom J. Durkin, and Archangel, in 1:59.4 for trainer/part-owner Peter Arrigenna and his partners Clare Semer and Alan Hainsworth.

Thursday's NYSF triumphs on the pace were by Forever Just, in 1:54.2, lifting his record to four wins (one in the Geers and three in NYSS action) and a second in five official appearances for Fred Wallace and the Stake Your Claim Stable; Raymond J, in 1:54.4 for local owner Ken Jacobs, and Glass Prince, in 1:55.1 for the Stake Your Claim Stable, improving his 2011 chart to three NYSS tallies, a second-place finish and a third in five starts.

Driver Tim Tetrick tallied four times during Thursday's 12-race card, Linda Toscano earned three training credits, while Morrill posted a driving double.

Newcomer Sold Out (part-owner and trainer Pat Lachance teaming for the Z Tam Stables), captured the week's $10,000 Open for female pacers with a life's best 1:54.3 performance in race seven.

DOWNS DOINGS - Seven of Thursday's winners earned win marks; while two others equaled their career-best clockings... Friday's 12-race card includes six divisional New York State Fair match-ups for 2-year-old filly trotters and four for first-year female pacers. First post will be at 6:55 p.m... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Track Records Fall in Vernon Downs "Dashtonian" and "Vernontonian" Features

Odd-distance track record performances by Lightning Prince and Ivanhoe Diamant, plus an Open pace victory by Forty Carrots were highlights of Saturday night's 10-race card at Vernon Downs.

Competing on a "good" track in the first half-mile dash (The Dashtonian) in the track's 58-year history, Lightning Prince ($17.00) paced to the front at the start and never looked back en route to a :55.1 triumph in the fourth race.

Frank Davis did the teaming for trainer Jennifer Sansone and owner James Topper as the 6-year-old son of Western Hanover-Cami Whitestocking earned his second win of the meet and 12th lifetime tally, while raising his lifetime earnings to more than $50,000.

One race later, Ivanhoe Diamant ($3.30) trimmed one-fifth of a second off the previous Vernon standard for trotters tackling the mile-and-three-eighths distance (The Vernontonian) with a front-striding 2:44.2 score.

Claude Huckabone, III drove for owner and trainer Tracy Brainard as the 7-year-old son of Prakas-Mon Amie Mic posted his second local tally, fourth season's score and 18th lifetime win.

The gritty gelding now sports career earnings of more than $175,000.

Forty Carrots ($9.90) collected his second straight victory and came within three-fifths-of-a-second of his all-time speed mark with a 1:52.4 score in Saturday night's $8,000 seventh session.

Luke Plano drove for trainer Ray Van Dreason as the 4-yeaar-old son of Riverboat King-Mathamomics rallied three wide from sixth in the early going and, later, closed from third in the stretch to win by 1-1/2 lengths.

It was the fourth current tally and 12th career win by the purse-earner of $191,271, who is shared in ownership by Richard C. Clair and Lance S. Gordon.

Drivers Davis, Luke Plano and trainer Brainard each visited the track's winner's circle twice during the track's 48th program of 2011.

DOWNS DOINGS - Huckabone, III was also the driver of Master's Cook, who established the previous 2:44.3 Vernon standard for the 1-3/8ths mile trot back on May 21 of this year... Driver Brian Connor collected four wins during the three-night weekend, including a double on Thursday. Saturday's score was with his pacer Noble Wabbit in 1:55.3... Next week's Thursday-Saturday night schedule has been deemed a "Corntastic Weekend" at the track, with New York Sires Stakes-sponsored State Fair races for freshman male pacer and trotters on Aug. 11 and 2-year-old filly pacers and trotters on Aug. 12. First post time each evening will be at 6:55 p.m... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

H and M's Hit Lights Up the Toteboard in Friday Night Feature

The Saratoga shipper H And M's Hit displayed the most lick in the lane while winning Friday night's $10,000 featured ninth race at Vernon Downs with a career-best 1:55.3 clocking.

With trainer Claude Huckabone, III driving for owner Michael Sorentino, Jr. in the week's Open-1 trotting contest, H And M's Hit ($59.50) idled in fourth as Mr. Avalanche took the field of eight to the quarter in :27.4.

The favorite Grey Ice took over from there, leading at the half in :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.4.

Still fourth entering the payoff patch, H And M's Hit out-hoofed three contenders to the finish, defeating Mr. Avalanche by 2-1/4 lengths.

Friday's first-place showing was the first this season, but eighth all-time for the 5-year-old son of Giant Hit-Our Little Girl, who increased his career bankroll to more than $81,000, and chopped two seconds off his previous win-mark.

Friday's 10-race card also produced the meet's fastest pari-mutuel victories by a 2-year-old filly trotter, a 1:59.3 maiden victory by Vixy (Frank Milby driving for trainer Deedra Johnson and the Pine Hill Stable) in the third race), and 2-year-old colt pacer, a 1:55.1 speed-mark showing by Ideal Affair (Chris Lems teaming for owner and trainer Jim Graham) in the fourth event.

Lems, the meet's third-leading dash-winner, earned his ninth driving double during the track's 47th program.

DOWNS DOINGS - Driver Brian Connor and trainer Laurie Stark, who teamed up for two wins last night, visited the winner's circle again on Friday after Robert McNeight's pacer Fortune Fantasy captured the second race in a career-best time of 1:55.4... Saturday's 10-race card, which includes the week's top pace (race seven), a half-mile pacing dash (event four) and a mile-and-three-eighths trot (fifth contest), will start at 6:55 p.m... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Friday, August 5, 2011

No Joke About Eagle Hilarious in Thursday Night Feature

The favorite Eagle Hilarious went from last to first before winning Thursday night's $10,000 featured first race at Vernon Downs in 1:53.

Leaving from the outside sixth spot against five quick-footed rivals in the week's feature for female pacers, Eagle Hilarious ($5.20) advanced patiently from last at the quarter.

The 7-year-old mare was fifth entering the stretch and then closed rapidly from fourth in the final sixteenth (final split in :27.1) to defeat the mile-cutting By All Means by a neck.

Thursday's tight tally was the second at the meet, fourth this season and 26th all-time for the bay daughter of Dragon Again-Cyclebred, who trained and driven by Claude Huckabone, III and owned by Hugo Iodice.

She advanced her lifetime earnings to nearly $300,000.

Brian Connor, catch-driving for trainer Laurie Stark and the Ultra Stable, won with the trotter DL Cruiser (in a career-best 1:58) and pacer Real Jenna (1:56.2) to record his fourth double at the 46-program meeting.

DOWNS DOINGS — Ellen Mc Neil's sophomore filly pacer Looney Dune extended her winning streak to three with a 1:55.2 performance in Thursday's seventh session. Luke Plano drove for trainer John Mc Neil, III... Friday's 10-race card, which features the week's $10,000 Open trot in race nine, will begin at 6:55 p.m... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.