Monday, September 26, 2011
The pacer Memory King and trotter Classic Conway delivered track record performances during Saturday night's $237,915 New York Sire Stakes co-features at Vernon Downs.
Memory King lowered the track standard for 2-year-old pacing geldings to 1:53 with his victory in the first of three divisions of Saturday's $118,587 NYSS for first-year male performers on the lateral gait, while Classic Conway became the fastest 2-year-old trotting gelding in the track's 58-year history after his 1:57.2 effort in one of four flights of the evening's $119,328 NYSS contest for freshman male proponents of the diagonal gait.
In clipping 1/5th-of-a-second off the previous Vernon mark for his age, sex and gait (set by Townslight Hanover last season), Memory King benefited from a pocket trip from catch-driver Rick Plano to lower his previous win record and post his second score in succession.
Erv Miller trains the bay son of Riverboat King-Musical Memory for the Red Barn Stable.
Classic Conway also closed from the two-slot in the stretch to nip Coraggioso by a head.
Stephane Bouchard drove for trainer Dave Jannone as the bay son of Conway Hall-Classic Yankee collected his second win in a row for owners Albert C. and Michelle C. Crawford.
He bettered the previous 1:58.2 track mark, set by Well Budgeted in 2002.
Saturday's other divisional winners in the pacing contest were Steelhead Hanover (Bettor's Delight-Special Beauty), in 1:52.4 with Jim Morrill, Jr. teaming for trainer Joe Pavia, Jr. and the AGC Stable, Dijo Racing, Inc., Joseph Barbera and Steven Held, and Heston Blue Chip (American Ideal-Shot Togo Bluechip) in 1:52.4 with Morrill, Jr. steering for trainer Linda Toscano and owner Kenneth Jacobs.
Steelhead Hanover improved his summary line to 4-2-2 after nine starts, while Heston Blue Chip claimed his fourth win in succession and now sports eight victories and a second-place finish in nine outings.
The evening's other first-place finishers in the NYSS trotting tests were Delano (Credit Winner-Kelly Hall), in 1:56.3 with part-owner and trainer Ray Schnittker steering for his partners Gareth Dowse, Tom Vassiliou and Nicholas Tallarico; Royal Shyster (RC Royalty-Spin The Planet), in 1:57.2 with trainer Dan Daley doing the teaming for the Albert C. Crawford, Ann-Mari Daley, Richard Lombardo and Robert Pergament ownership contingent; and Archangel (Credit Winner-Michelle's Angel), in 1:58.2 with Morrill, Jr. piloting for trainer/co-owner Peter Arrigenna and his partners, Alan C. Hainsworth and Clare Semer.
Delano currently sports a 5-1-1 summary line after nine outings.
Royal Shyster has strung together six straight NYSS scores to improve his record to eight wins and a pair of second in 10 trips to the track, while Archangel made it two wins in succession and three in nine lifetime starts.
In non-NYSS action during Saturday's 12-race card, Mambo Italiano captured the week's $8,000 Open-2 pacing contest in a career-best 1:53 performance with Jeff Gregory driving for trainer Heidi Rohr and owner Marc J. Reynolds, while newcomer B N Bad won the $10,000 Open-1 pacing clash in 1:51.1 with Gregory sitting in for trainer Pavia, Jr. and the AGC Stables, Inc., Steven Held, Peter Shank and Paul Molter.
DOWNS DOINGS - The Downs will offer live racing at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next week with a NYSS late-closing contest for 2-year-old male trotters set for Thursday (Sept. 29)... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Up Tempo, second choice in the wagering, raced like he thought he was the best, and then proved it with a 1:56.4 score in Friday night's $10,000 featured ninth race at Vernon Downs.
Competing against four Open-1 foes on a track turned sloppy by persistent rain, Up Tempo ($9.40) went right to the front for driver Rick Plano and romped to a 1-3/4 length victory.
It marked the third current score and 26th lifetime tally for the 6-year-old son of Boy Band-A Virtue, who is trained by Jennifer Sansone and owned by John Brophy.
The sixth member of the select Open-1 field, Flex The Muscle, was a judges scratch.
Plano piloted a pair of first-place finishes during Friday's 12-race card, as did drivers Leon Bailey, Frank Milby and Chris Lems.
Friday's fastest mile (1:56.3) was registered by Brian Green's veteran trotter Yankee Manny, who made his Downs debut a winning one with trainer Frank Davis doing the driving in the $8,000 seventh session, the week's Open-2 contest.
DOWNS DOINGS - First time career winners during the track's 68th program were the trotters Chocolate Slide (1:59.2), Chocolate Cream (2:00.2), as well as the pacers Hover (1:58.3) and Golf Pro (1:59.3)... Saturday night's 12-race card includes four divisions of a New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, three flights of a NYSS contest for freshman male members of the lateral gait, as well as the week's Open-1 and Open-2 paces. First post 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 www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
New York Sire Stakes notables I'm The Answer, Surface Tension and Some Girls were among the divisional winners in Thursday night's $290,128 co-features for Empire State-breds at Vernon Downs.
I'm The Answer earned his eighth wins in 13 season's starts, while local favorite Surface Tension turned in the fastest mile during Thursday's $145,548 NYSS event for 3-year-old colt & gelding trotters, while Vernon-based Some Girls was the swiftest winner in the $144,580 NYSS contest for sophomore filly square-gaiters.
Competing over a "good" track in the first male trotting test, I'm The Answer front-ended his way to a 1:56.3 victory with trainer Trond Smedshammer doing the steering for Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables.
It resulted in the 10th career triumph for the brown son of Credit Winner-Southwind Flanders, who hiked his career winnings to $267,217.
Local teamster Dan Daley secured a double during the 12-race program after steering Surface Tension out of the pocket in the stretch and on to a career-best 1:54.4 score in the eighth event, giving his charge a 5-2-1 summary line after 14 current outings.
It marked the 10th lifetime victory for the brown son of Cash Hall-Hopeful Gigi, who is shared in ownership by Ann-Mari Daley (Dan's wife), Richard Lombardo and Albert C. Crawford.
The other winners in the male category were Wheels (Conway Hall-Quick Credit), in 1:55.3 for driver/trainer Ray Schnittker and his ownership partner, the Wheels Stable; and Bristle's Winner (Credit Winner-Bristle Hanover), in 1:56.2 with Jeff Gregory handling the lines for trainer Tony Alagna and owner John Carver.
Some Girls, shared in ownership by trainer Gates Brunet of Munnsville, along with Theodore Gewertz, Michael Rosenthal and Jean Brunet, collected her third score in succession and lowered her win mark to 1:56.4 with a fast-closing head victory for driver Jim Morrill, Jr. in the second filly flight.
The bay daughter of Conway Hall-Emotional Rescue has recorded an 8-2-1 summary chart in 15 current appearances, which has raised her lifetime win count to 16 and her all-time earnings to $431,483.
The other filly first-place finishers were Miss Sue V (Credit Winner-Sunday Yankee), in 1:57 with Brian Mattison driving for trainer Paul Kelley, the Kelley Racing Stable and William Weaver, III; Brooklyn (Conway Hall-Anna Karin's Girl), in 1:57.2 with Morrill, Jr. teaming for trainer Frank Antonacci and the Adam Victor & Son Stable; and Go Go Dancer (Credit Winner-Princess Gladiator), in 1:58.4 with Gregory sitting in for trainer Paul Kelley and the Jim Winske, Stephen Michaels, Rossie Smith and Kelley Racing Stable contingent.
Eagle Hilarious, trainer Claude Huckabone, III driving for owner Hugo Iodice, captured Thursday's $10,000 12th race, the week's Open for female pacers, with a front-striding 1:54.1 performance.
It marked the third local tally, fifth season's score and 27th lifetime win for the 7-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Cyclebred.
DOWNS DOINGS - Jezzy, who has recorded 19 wins and a pair of second-place finishes in 24 lifetime starts, was a judges scratch in Thursday's seventh race... Friday's 12-race card, which includes with week's $10,000 Open-1 trot, will begin 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.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Track record-holder Pacinello pulled off a comeback victory in Saturday night's $10,000 featured 10th race at Vernon Downs.
With Rick Plano as the pilot, Pacinello ($10.00) paced to the lead before the quarter, then got shuffled back into the pocket as the favorite, Riggins, took charge and led until the final furlong.
Pacinello, two lengths back entering the stretch drive, responded with a :26.3 final quarter to defeat the on-rushing Thanks For Stoppin' by two lengths in the week's Open-1 contest.
Riggins faded to third in the 1:51.2 mile.
Saturday's score was the second in succession, the seventh this season (fifth at the Downs) and 27th 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 $287,100 set a 1:50.2 Vernon standard for aged pacing horses back on July 23.
Plano finished up with three wins during Saturday's 12-race program, as did driver Fern Paquet, Jr.
Driver Claude Huckabone, III collected a pair of first-place finishes during the track's 66th racing card.
DOWNS DOINGS - Plano, who didn’t begin competing here until Vernon's 58th season was well underway, currently is fourth in driving victories with 42 and second in training tallies with 30... Maiden-breaking victories were produced during the evening by the 2-year-old trotting filly Painite (2:01.1, owned by trainer/driver Roman Lopez and his partners, Mitchell Frair and Michael Pozefsky, and Irwin Samelman's 2-year-old pacing colt Wild Shot Hanover (1:58)... The Downs will offer live racing at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next week. Thursday's program will feature New York Sire Stakes racing for 3-year-old filly trotter and 3-year-old male trotters... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Handsoffmycookie continued her near flawless form with a 1:54 victory in the fastest of four divisions during Friday night's $121,240 New York Sire Stakes feature for 2-year-old pacing fillies at Vernon Downs.
Competing as the favorite in the final NYSS flight (race 10), Handsoffmycookie ($2.20) was never headed en route to a solid score that improved her brief but brilliant career summary to six wins and a second-place finish in seven starts.
Tim Tetrick did the catch-driving for trainer Scott Di Domenico and the JFE Enterprises as the bay daughter of Art Major-Observe Me collected her fifth NYSS score and improved her lifetime winnings to more than $191,000.
She also posted a career-best 1:52.4 score in a Sweetheart series prelim at The Meadowlands on Aug. 12, but lost by a head in the Sweetheart final on Aug. 20.
Friday's other NYSS divisional winners were Major Look (Art Major-Band Of Emeralds), in 1:54.3 with Brandon Simpson driving for trainer Robert Riddle and owner Joseph Balkunas; Up Front Sharon (American Ideal-Jett Diamond), in 1:55 with Jim Morrill, Jr. teaming for trainer Mark Ford and his ownership partner C. Ed. Mullinax; and Bella Marta (Art Major-Noble Martha), in 1:56.1 with trainer Simpson steering for part-owner Vincent Costa, Jr. and the Dirk Simpson Stable.
The favorite Union Man Hanover ($2.80) was the fastest divisional winner in Friday's NYSS-sponsored $49,300 late-closing contest for 2-year-old male pacers.
Tetrick did the teaming for trainer Linda Toscano and owners Daniel J. Baer, the Bay's Stable and the Stake Your Claim Stable, as the bay son of Artiscape-Up Front Rose collected his second career tally and improved his speed mark to 1:55.4 with a front striding effort in the evening's third race.
The winner of more than $50,500 sports a 2-1-2 summary line after nine trips to the track.
Friday's other late-closing winners were Memory King (Riverboat King-Musical Memory), in 1:56.1 with Morrill, Jr. steering for trainer Erv Miller and the Red Barn Stable; Captain Art (Artiscape-Jenna's Boy), in 1:56.1 with Tetrick teaming for trainer Noel Daley and the Bay Pond Racing Stable; and Alex Shredder (Artiscape-Mama Nukes), in 1:56.3 with Morrill, Jr. sitting in for trainer Miller of the Ervin Miller Stable and his partner Harvey Eisman.
Newcomer In Focus forged a 1:54.2 tally in Friday's $10,000 Open-1 trotting test.
Marcus Johansson handled the reins for trainer Jimmy Takter as the career-winner of more than $950,500 earned his fourth current victory and 21st lifetime triumph.
The 6-year-old son of S J's Photo-Beverly Crusher is shared in ownership by Christina Takter, John D. and Jim H. Fielding.
Tetrick, North America's dash-winning leader, and Morrill, Jr. each finished Friday's 12-race card with three victories, while Simpson, local driver/trainer Dan Daley and trainer Miller each contributed a pair of first-place finishes.
DOWNS DOINGS - Memory King's time was just 3/5ths-of-a-second off the track's season's-best time for 2-year-old gelding pacers, while Handsoffmycookie's clocking was just 4/5ths-of-a-second off the track's 2011 speed standard for her age, sex and gait... The Downs will present another 12-race card on Saturday night (Sept. 16) that will begin at 6:55 p.m. and include the week's $10,000 Open-1 pace in race 10... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Harlem Rockturne continued her superiority in the female Open pacing class with a 1:53.3 victory in Thursday night's $10,000 featured ninth race at Vernon Downs.
Competing as the favorite from the seven post position, Harlem Rockturne ($4.80) sat patiently behind the pace-setter, newcomer Slomotion, and pocket-sitter, Eagle Hilarious, until the final quarter, and then was let loose by driver Jimmy Whittemore and she prevailed by more than two lengths.
Thursday's tally was the fifth in succession and fourth at the Downs, tying fellow side-wheeler Rosa Villa and the trotter Mr. Web Page for the longest local equine winning streaks after 64 programs.
It marked the eighth win this season and the ninth all-time for the steady-going 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Capericorn, who is owned and trained by Whittemore's father, Dennis.
The career-winner of more than $74,000 came within one-fifth of a second of her speed mark, earned here on Aug. 25.
Whittemore, the two-time defending driving champ and current leader with 87 first-place finishes, also won with the pacers Swift Escape (1:58.2) and Laugh Away (1:54.4) to chalk up his meet-leading seventh triple of the local campaign.
Drivers Frank Milby, Rick Plano, as well as trainers Dennis Whittemore and Mary Fisher picked up a pair of victories during Thursday's 12-race card.
DOWNS DOINGS - The 2-year-old trotting filly The Sorceress secured her maiden-breaking win after a 2:01.1 performance in Thursday's sixth event. Driver/trainer John Stark, Jr. shares ownership of the Muscles Yankee-Oh Oh It's Magic-offspring along with E. Carlyle Smith, David Smith and Jim Giannuzzi... The Downs will present a 12-race program tomorrow night (Sept. 16) that includes an Open-1 trot, four divisions of New York Sire Stakes 2-year-old filly pace and a like number of flights of a NYSS-sponsored late-closing contest for first-year colt & gelding pacers. First post 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 www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Vernon Downs celebrated its second track record performance of the weekend after the undefeated For A Dancer delivered a 1:56 performance in a division of Saturday's $121,591 New York Sires Stake that trimmed one-fifth of a second off the previous local standard for 2-year-old trotting fillies.
Competing in the final flight of the state sponsored event, that was inherited from Tioga Downs due to extreme weather and flooding conditions in the Southern Tier, For A Dancer took charge of the non-betting contest after a :27.4 opening quarter and remained in command to the finish, defeating Anandamide by more than three lengths.
The time was a fresh mark for the bay daughter of Conway Hall-Fluttering Wings, and it kept her season's summary line unblemished after seven starts.
Jeff Gregory did the teaming for trainer Joe Holloway and the Bluestone Farms.
Upside Hanover had authored the previous 1:56.1 frosh filly trotting record with Brian Sears driving on Sept. 2.
Saturday's other victorious fillies in the non-betting NYSS feature were Lima Playmate (Credit Winner-Pacific Legacy), in 1:58.4 for trainer/driver Ray Schnittker and his ownership partner, the Lima Playmate Stable; and Borrow And Spend (Credit Winner-Armbro Déjà vu), in 1:59.3 for trainer/driver Schnittker and his ownership partner, the Borrow & Spend Stable.
Saturday's NYSS success was the fifth win in a row and the eighth in 10 trips to the track for Lima Playmate, while Borrow And Spend secured her fourth score in 11 appearances.
In another non-betting race prior to the track's wagering card, Joe Bongiorno steered Bo Didley N to a fast-closing 2:01.3 victory in Vernon's $3,000 leg of the C.K.G. Billings Series for amateur drivers of trotters.
Scott Mongeon conditions the 9-year-old gelding for owner Barbara Bongiorno.
Driver Rick Plano recorded three first-place finishes during Vernon's 10-race parimutuel program, including a 1:51.4 triumph with Pacinello in the week's $10,000 Open-1 pace.
The current Downs record-holder (aged pacing horses) closed like a gate in the wind during the final furlong to collect his fourth win at the meet, sixth score in 2011 and 26th all-time.
The career-winner of more than $282,000 is owned by the D & E Racing contingent.
Driver Chris Lems also logged a pair of victories during the track's 63rd betting program.
DOWNS DOINGS - Autumn Escapade had established a 1:53.2 record for older trotting mares in Vernon's $25,000 leg of the Miss Versatility Series on Friday evening... Saturday's sixth race was dedicated to long-time track employee Tommy Saurez, who will be retiring at the conclusion of Vernon's 58th season... The Downs will offer live racing at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next weekend... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Autumn Escapade lowered the track record for older trotting mares to 1:53.2 with her gate-to-wire victory in Friday night's $25,000 leg of the Miss Versatility Series at Vernon Downs.
With David Miller doing the teaming for trainer Jonas Czernyson in Friday's eighth race, the third and final series preliminary round, the favorite Autumn Escapade ($3.80) flashed fast foot from the start, trotting through splits of :28 seconds, :57.2 and 1:26 en route to a three-quarter length triumph over the closing Action-Broadway.
Pembroke Heat Wave finished third.
In addition to improving on the former 1:54.3 Downs standard for aged mares on the diagonal gait (set by Buck I St. Pat in 2009), Autumn Escapade earned her third season's score—second in the series--and 24th lifetime victory.
The gritty performance by the brown daughter of Victory Sam-Winning Colors K raised her career bankroll to more than $715,600 for Miller and Misty Miller.
It also resulted in the third fastest trotting mile in the track's 58-year history.
Two races later, Miller piloted the Ray Schnittker-trained Flex The Muscle ($2.50) to a 1:54.3 triumph in Vernon's last event, just missing the track's 1:54 record for 4-year-old trotting horses (established by Winning Master in 2010).
Gaining the lead after the quarter, the bay son of Muscles Yankee-Alix Hall continued on to a solid score over Play Right in the week's $10,000 Open-1 contest.
It marked the fourth season's win and 17th lifetime victory for the career winner of more than $587,100, who is shared in ownership by Schnittker, Jerry Silva and the Arden Homestead Stable.
In addition to Miller, Claude Huckabone, III also collected a pair of first-place finishes during Friday's 10-race program.
DOWNS DOINGS - Previous Miss Versatility leg winners in 2011 included Autumn Escapade in 1:52.3 at Tioga Downs on June 19 and Action-Broadway in 1:52.3 at the Meadowlands on July 29. The series top point producers will compete in the Miss Versatility final at Delaware, Ohio later this month... Dennis Whittemore's Under The Stars tied fellow trotter Mr. Web Page at five for most wins by a diagonally-gated performer at the meet, following his 1:57.2 tally for leading driver Jimmy Whittemore in race two. The pacer Rosa Villa is tops in equine triumphs after 62 programs with seven... Sir Prize Hall, the ninth race winner in 1:58.2, was claimed for $8,000 by Lester Gelardi, Bobby Orr and Jerry Jacobs, making him the second-highest priced trotter claimed at the meet. The current trotting mark is $10,000 (paid for Malevich Hanover on June 3), while the pacing high is $14,000 (paid for McIdle on May 30)... Because of the cancellation of racing at Tioga Downs this weekend, due to emergency weather conditions in the Southern Tier, Vernon has inherited three divisions of a New York Sires Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters, which will be raced tomorrow evening as non-betting events starting at 5:30 p.m., prior to a non-betting leg of the C.K.G Billings Series for amateur drivers of trotters, and Saturday's 10-race pari-mutuel program... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Friday, September 9, 2011
The favorite Harlem Rockturne lived up to her advanced billing with a front-striding 1:53.2 triumph in Thursday night's $10,000 featured sixth race at Vernon Downs.
Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore did the steering and kept Harlem Rockturne ($2.80) on the bit through splits of ::27.1, :56.3 and 1:24.3 en route to a one length tally over the pocket-sitting By All Means in the week's Open test for female proponents of the lateral gait.
Thursday's clocking tied the personal-best performance by the 4-year-old mare, turned in during her previous appearance here on Aug. 26.
It marked the fourth score in succession (third at the Downs), seventh this season and eighth all-time for the bay daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Capericorn.
Trainer Dennis Whittemore (Jimmy's dad) owns the career winner of $69,375.
Whittemore went on to win the next two events (Canaco Star in 1:55.3 and Donna Party in 1:56), giving him 82 first-place finishes in 61 programs, and hiking his triple tally for the meet to six.
Driver Claude Huckabone, III also piloted a pair of winners during Thursday's nine-race card.
DOWNS DOINGS - Donna Party's fast-closing victory was a maiden-breaking performance for the 2-year-old daughter of Allamerican Native-Survive, who is trained by Dennis Whittemore and owned by Elliot Misshula and Richard Fielding... Friday night's 10-race program, which begins at 6:55 p.m., includes Vernon's $25,000 leg of this year's Miss Versatility Series, an Open event for mare representatives of the diagonal gait. A field of six formidable female will do battle in Friday's eighth event. The card also includes the week's $10,000 Open for local trotters in the evening's nightcap... Because of the cancellation of racing at Tioga Downs this weekend, due to emergency weather conditions in the Southern Tier, Vernon will inherit three divisions of a New York Sires Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters, which will be raced as non-betting events starting at 5:30 p.m., prior to a leg of the C.K.G Billings Series for amateur drivers of trotters and Saturday's nine-race pari-mutuel program... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Thanks For Stoppin shook loose late to secure his second season's score in Monday afternoon's $8,400 Open-II pace at Vernon Downs.
Leon Bailey did the catch-driving for trainer Bob Bloodgood as Thanks For Stoppin ($8.70) rallied from fifth in the early going and closed from fourth with approximately 300 yards of pay dirt remaining to post a 1-1/4 length victory over the pace-setting Handsome Harry in Vernon's seventh race feature.
The favorite, Shamderock, finished third.
The 1:53.2 clocking over a rain-soaked, "sloppy" course was the fastest of the day's 11 races, and gave Patricia Hogan's 6-year-old gelding his first local win after four appearances.
The fast-closing effort resulted in the 12th lifetime tally for the bay son of Real Artist-Pacific Wildfire, who increased his career bankroll to nearly $160,000.
Veteran Rick Plano, who recorded a driving triple here last Saturday, scored with the pacers Richie The Clown (1:57.2), Dragon's Breath (1:56.1) and The Grey Bullet (1:56.1), hiking his victory count to 32 after 60 programs and taking over fourth place on the track's dashes-won chart.
DOWNS DOINGS - With one-third of Vernon's 90-card campaign remaining, Jimmy Whittemore sets the pace in driving victories with 79, followed by newcomer Frank Milby with 55 and Chris Lems with 49... The Downs will also present live programs at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday this weekend... Friday night's feature will be Vernon's $150,000 (est.) leg of the Miss Versatility open mare trot... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
The veteran trotter Sir Prize Hall benefited from a pocket trip en route to a 1:57 victory in Saturday night's $5,500 featured 10th race at Vernon Downs.
Chris Lems did the steering for trainer Jessica Okusko as Sir Prize Hall ($9.70) drafted along behind the leader Paco In The Sky until the top of the stretch, and then rallied in pay dirt to record a head victory over the fast-closing Ivanhoe Diamant.
Brilliant Thunder finished third.
Saturday's score was the second in a row, fourth this season and 19th all-time for the 6-year-old son of Conway Hall-Prize Chip.
Conrad Zurich owns the career winner of more than $172,200, who achieved his 1:56.2 record here in 2009.
Veteran reinsman Rick Plano and former local provisional champ Leon Bailey each posted three wins during Saturday's 12-race card, while driver Frank Milby and trainer Dan Daley were each credited with a pair of first-place finishes.
Current leading provisional driver Truman Gale achieved his 17th score during the track's 59th program.
DOWNS DOINGS - The freshman pacing colt No Foreign Xchange (Allamerican Ingot-Allamerican Fancy) earned his first career victory after Brian Connor steered him to a 1:56 decision in the evening's eighth event for trainer Janice Connor (Brian's mom) and owner John Stronka... Vernon will present an 11-race program at 1:15 p.m. on Monday (Labor Day), Sept. 5... The Downs will also offer live racing at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday nights next weekend... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Track record performances were produced by San Pail and Upside Hanover during Friday night's $691,300 End Of The Summer Showdown program at Vernon Downs.
San Pail, the top-ranked trotter in North America, extended his winning streak to three with a 1:51.1 victory in Friday's $218,000 Credit Winner Open trot, while Upside Hanover earned her second career victory and a 1:56.1 record in a division of the $72,600 Acorn (Historic Series) Stake for 2-year-old trotting fillies.
Following Action-Broadway's 1:54.2 triumph in the evening's $164,000 Muscle Hill aged mare trot, San Pail rallied from fifth in the early going and closed from third in the final furlong to defeat the fast-striding Lucky Jim by a neck in Friday's eighth event.
The tight tally improved his season's summary to 10 wins and a pair of second-place finishes in 12 starts, and it trimmed 1/5th-of-a-second off the former track standard for aged trotting geldings, which, ironically, was established by Lucky Jim last year.
Randy Waples drove San Pail for co-owner/trainer Rodney Hughes and his partner Glenn Van Camp as the 7-year-old son of San Pellegrino-Village Beauty collected his 45th career win credit and increased his lifetime earnings to more than $2,465,600.
Action-Broadway's victory gave former Downs three-time driving champion Brian Sears four wins during Friday's nine-race card.
The fast-closing, head triumph marked the 10th this season and the 19th overall for the 4-year-old daughter of Broadway Hall-Photo With Molly, who is conditioned by Virgil Morgan, Jr., and owned by Kenneth Sommer.
The win over the pace-setting Autumn Escapade increased her career bankroll to $743,310.
With Sears steering for trainer Robert Krivelin and the Hero Stables, Upside Hanover (Muscles Yankee-Up Front Laura) headed, and then passed the front-striding Aldebaran Malibu in the final quarter and cut 3/5ths-of-a-second off the former track standard for frosh female proponents of the diagonal gait, which had been established by Seducedbychocolate in 2010.
Local trainer Gates Brunet urged Cowgirl Hall (Cash Hall-Centerfold Hall) on to a front-ending 1:57 score in the second Acorn Stake division for owners Theodore Gewertz, Michael Rosenthal, Jean Brunet and Debora Brunet (Gate's wife).
Friday's other Historic Series winners included Mcerlean (Mcardle-Igottwowordsforyou), in 1:53 in the Goshen Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, with Tim Tetrick teaming for trainer John Berger and owners Barbara Berger and John Siena; American Gangster (Andover Hall-Four Starz Lindy), in 1:55.3 in the E. H. Harriman Cup for freshman male trotters, with Sears sitting in for trainer Chris Oakes and owners Vincent J. Tudisco, Matt V. Tudisco and the Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises; and Blackjack Princess (Cam's Card Shark-Happy Doris), in 1:54.2 in the Debutante Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers, with Sears steering for trainer Mark Ford and owner Robert O. Di Nozzi.
Versado captured the week's $10,000 Open pace in 1:51, with Tetrick driving for trainer Ron Burke and owners Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and the Burke Racing Stables, while the $10,000 Open trot went to A Crown For Lindy, in 1:56 with Tetrick teaming for trainer Frank Antonacci and the Lindy Racing Stable.
Tetrick ended the evening with three driving victories.
DOWNS DOINGS - American Gangster's time was just 1/5th-of-a-second off the track record for 2-year-old trotting colts... Versado's clocking was just 2/5ths-of-a-second off the track mark for 4-year-old pacing geldings... Action-Broadway's 1:54.2 triumph bettered the track standard for aged trotting mares, but fell 1-and- 2/5ths-seconds shy of the Vernon mark for 4-year-old trotting mares, set by Southwind Wasabi in 2010... A Crown For Lindy's 1:56 tally was just 4/5ths-of-a-second off the Downs record for aged trotting horses, currently shared by Fight Cheer (2009) and John Paul's Legacy (2010)... Rich Hilts won the 2011 Toyota Corolla automobile in Friday's Horse Play Car Giveaway promotion... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.