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.