Monday, September 5, 2011

Thanks For Stoppin Takes Labor Day Feature

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, and on Facebook.