Friday, September 9, 2011

Harlem Rockturne Wins Again for Team Whittemore

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, and on Facebook.