Monday, October 24, 2011

Harlem Rockturne is Vernon Downs pacing queen


Harlem Rockturne regained her title as Queen of the Pacing Hill at Vernon Downs following a 1:54.1 victory in Thursday night's $10,000 featured 10th event.

Leading dash-winner Jimmy Whittemore did the teaming for his father, trainer/owner Dennis Whittemore, as Harlem Rockturne ($4.60) raced aggressively throughout the mile contest, closing from second in the stretch to defeat the favorite, All About Kisses, by nearly two lengths.

Thursday's tally was the sixth in the last eight outings for Harlem Rockturne and her fourth in the track's female Open pace.

The 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Capericorn has collected five of her nine season's scores over Vernon's 7/8ths-mile oval, raising her career total to 10.

She's now a lifetime winner of more than $82,000.

Canouan's 1:58 triumph in Thursday's $5,500 first race was his sixth of the season locally; tying him with DL Cruiser for most trotting tallies after 79 of this year's scheduled 90 programs.

Frank Milby drove for owner/trainer Laurie Stark and her partner, Thomas Eichas.

The pacer Rosa Villa currently leads in equine wins at the meet with seven.

Rick Plano picked up four driving victories on Thursday, raising his win total for the meet to 71, two shy of Milby's second-place total.

Chris Lems logged three driving and two training wins during Thursday's 12-race card.

DOWNS DOINGS - Two-time defending champ Whittemore leads in driving victories with 96... Gus and Alan Johnston's freshman pacing colt Moonlight Ranson earned his first trip to the winner's circle after a 1:57.2 mile with Plano piloting for trainer Ray Van Dreason in Thursday's third event... Friday's 11-race card includes five divisions (three for fillies) in the $50,000 fourth preliminary round of the Kindergarten Classic Series for 2-year-old trotters, plus the week's $10,000 Open contest for square-gaiters. First post will be at 6:55 p.m... The Downs will continue with a Thursday-Saturday night schedule for the remainder of this month, before to switching to a Friday-Saturday slate during the first three weekends in November, ending its 58th campaign on Nov. 19. First post each night will be at 6:55... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.