Monday, October 3, 2011

Plano Wins 5


Rick Plano put on a driving clinic at Vernon Downs on Saturday, winning five of the evening's 12 races, including the fastest mile during the card with his wife's pacer, Bigtown Hero.

After scoring with Devil's Bargain, CJ's On Target, Hay Goodlooking, and Brilliant Thunder, Plano piloted Bigtown Hero to a convincing 1:53.2 triumph over a rain-soaked, "good" track in Saturday's 10th event.

The 59-year-old horseman urged Maryann Plano's 3-year-old gelding into the lead after the opening quarter and the bay son of American Ideal-Art Account kept charging until he had racked up a solid 15-length victory.

As the favorite, he paid $3.30 for the win, his second at the meet and fourth in nine career outings.

Plano's five wins tied him with Frank Milby and Chris Lems as the only reinsmen to have reached that plateau after 72 current programs.

The win also enabled him to tie Lems at 56 victories for third place on the meet's dash-winning chart.

Lems logged a pair of first-place finishes (with the pacers he trains and drives, Gentlemen Heir and Mackenzie's Bliss) during Saturday's program to keep pace with the surging Plano, who recorded eight victories during the three-night weekend.

DOWNS DOINGS - Plano is currently second in training tallies at the meet with 35, 12 off the pace being set by defending conditioning champ Tracy Brainard... Plano, an area native, didn't arrive from his former home base in California until well after Vernon's 58th campaign was underway... Provisional driver Josh Kinney earned his fifth win at the meet behind the pacer Hobby Art Benka in Saturday's 11th event... The Downs will offer live racing at 6:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next week... Additional information regarding the track's 2011 season, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.