Friday, September 23, 2011

Up Tempo from start to finish in soggy Friday Night feature


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.