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.