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 www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.