Saturday, September 10, 2011

Track Record for Autumn Escapade in Miss Versatility

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, and on Facebook.