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.