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 www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.