Sunday, October 16, 2011

NY Champion Heston Blue Chip Stars in Simpson Stakes

Heston Blue Chip, Forever Just, Blackjack Princess and Up Front Sharon were each divisional winners in Saturday's $62,534 John Simpson, Sr. Memorial Stake for 2-year-old pacers, while Tim Tetrick teamed five first-place finishers during a raw and rainy fall evening at Vernon Downs.

The Linda Toscano trainees Heston Blue Chip (1:54.4) and Forever Just (1:55) won segments of the $31,924 Simpson contest for male members of the lateral gait, while the Mark Ford conditioned youngsters Blackjack Princess (1:55.4) and Up Front Sharon (1:55.4) posted their victories in the event's $30,610 filly flights.

Heston Blue Chip (American Ideal-Shot Togo Bluechip), the track's season's speed leader for freshman colt side-wheelers on the basis of his 1:52.4 New York Sires Stakes score here on Sept. 24, extended his winning streak to six with a bold-going effort over a "sloppy" track in the 10th of 12 pari-mutual races.

The solid score, which provided Tetrick with his fifth win, improved the gifted colt's summery line to 10 wins and a second-place finish in 11 starts for local owner Ken Jacobs.

The career-winner of more than $273,900 is the 2011 NYSS champion for his class as the result of a 1:53.3 victory in his previous start at Saratoga on Oct. 1.

Forever Just (Bettor's Delight-Forever Cam) improved his summary line to 7-4-1 following 12 official trips to the track after Tetrick steered him to a fast-closing 1:55 triumph in Saturday's fifth event.

Fred Wallace and the Stake Your Claim Stable hold the registration papers on the capable colt, who now sports a $188,689 bankroll.

Tetrick was also at the controls behind Blackjack Princess (Cam's Card Shark-Happy Doris) in the sixth event as the frisky filly converted a draft-along trip into a tight tally over Arodasi.

It marked her fourth official win in succession and gave the bay side-wheeler a 5-4-2 performance line after 12 appearances.

Robert O. Di Nozzi owns the career winner of $102,750.

Up Front Sharon (American Ideal-Jeff Diamond) earned her front-ending, 4-3/4 length tally in a non-betting contest between the second and third pari-mutuel races.

Jim Morrill, Jr. did the sulky-sitting for owner-trainer Ford and his partner, C. Ed Mulinax, as the steady-going filly advanced her record to 3-3-1 and winnings to more than $78,000 after eight starts.

Tetrick also finished first with the pacer Dot's Bigboy (1:56.3) and Open pace winner Diamond Stick pin (1:54) to tie Frank Milby, Chris Lems and Rick Plano for most Vernon victories on a single season's program after 78 racing cards.

Ford ended the evening with three training tallies, while Toscano, drivers Morrill, Jr., Milby and Brian Sears were each two-time Saturday winners.

DOWNS DOINGS - There are now just 12 programs remaining during Vernon's 58th season... 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, and on Facebook.