Monday, November 28, 2011

Vernon concludes season with upswing in handle

Vernon Downs recently concluded its 58th season of live racing with impressive increases in wagering handle, bucking nationwide trends.

Live on-track handle increased 4% over 2010 while export handle went up a staggering 35%.

"We're very pleased with the successful 2011 meet and would like to thank our customers and horsemen for their support throughout the year," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing and Simulcast. "Our substantial increase in live and export handle shows the continued growth of a quality racing product that has been well-received both on track and throughout North American simulcast facilities and advanced deposit wagering platforms."

Racing Secretary Scott Warren was instrumental in putting together full, competitive races throughout the 90-day season, his first at the Central New York oval.

An all-time track record performance by San Pail in the $218,000 Credit Winner Open Trot topped the list of impressive stakes performances during the meet.

The 7-year-old, likely Horse of the Year, posted a 1:51.1 win over former champion Lucky Jim for co-owner/trainer Rodney Hughes and partner Glenn Van Camp.

Other stakes highlights of the season included a track record win by See You At Peelers, her 19th straight win during her much celebrated 22-race winning streak.

Kenneth Sommer's Action-Broadway won the meet's premier mare trot, the Muscle Hill, in 1:54.2.

Gym Tan Laundry broke the track record for 2-year-old gelding trotters with his 1:55.3 score in the $200,500 Kindergarten Classic for the Adam Victor & Son Stable and Lady Andi took the $182,500 filly division in 1:57.3 for trainer Larry Rathbone.

Racing returns to Vernon Downs in April 2012, pending regulatory approval.
For more information on Vernon Downs, visit their website at

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011 Racing Season Final Driver and Trainer Standings

Driver Standings:
1. Jimmy Whittemore 108 wins
2. Rick Plano 81 wins
3. Frank Milby 78 wins
4. Chris Lems 67 wins
5. Claude Huckabone, III 43 wins
6. Howard Okusko, Jr 38 wins
6. Roman Lopez 38 wins
8. Frank Davis 35 wins
9. Jack Rice 32 wins
10. Brian Connor 31 wins
10. Leon Bailey 31 wins

Trainer Standings:
1. Tracy Brainard 56 wins
2. Rick Plano 49 wins
3. Jessica Okusko 35 wins
4. Dave Dewhurst 33 wins
5. Roman Lopez 29 wins
6. Dennis Whittemore 28 wins
7. Dan Daley 25 wins

Vernon Downs Closes out the 2011 Racing Season

The fleet-footed pacer Western Tsunami wired five feisty foes in 1:51.3 to capture the $10,000 featured eighth event as Vernon Downs closed out its 58th live harness racing season on Saturday night (Nov. 19).

With Brandon Simpson sulky-sitting for trainer Tracy Brainard in the 90-card meeting's final Open contest, Western Tsunami ($7.00) sped through splits of :26.2, :55.2 and 1:23.4 en route to a three-quarter length decision over Restless Yankee.

Saturday's score was the first at the Downs this year, the fourth in 2011 and 39th all-time for the 8-year-old son of Western Hanover-Ron's Girl, who is shared in ownership by Brainard and her partner Andrew Herzog.

The win pushed the gritty gelding's lifetime earnings to more than $307,800.

Former provisional driving champion Leon Bailey earned three victories during Saturday's card, while drivers Simpson, Brian Connor and trainer Brainard were each credited with a pair of first-place finishes.

During Saturday's 10-race card, former track driving champions John Stark, Jr. and the late Gary Gibson were inducted into the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association's Hall of Fame for 2011.
Jason Settlemoir, vice-president of racing and simulcasting for both Vernon and its sister track, Tioga Downs, and a 2011 UNYC Hall of Fame inductee himself, presented championship checks to the meet's leading driver, Jimmy Whittemore (108 wins), and trainer, Brainard (56 victories).

Also recognized during the program was Track Superintendent Tony Rossi, whose well-manicured seven-eighths-mile oval yielded 1,079 miles in 2:00 for faster during the April 15 to Nov. 19 campaign, including the fastest trotting mile in the track's history, a 1:51.1 effort by San Pail on Sept. 2.

The Vernon all-time 1:49.4 pacing standard was equaled for the third time in 2011 by Go Go Solano on Nov. 12.

A total of 15 track records were set or equaled during the seven-month meeting.

The pacer Hay Goodlooking was the winningest equine of 2011 locally with eight wins, while DL Cruiser and Enlightened tied as the top race-winning trotters with seven scores each.

"We had a very good race meeting this year at the Downs," said Settlemoir during the program. "I'd like to thank all of our customers and the horsemen who support us and the great sport of harness racing year after year in central New York. We look forward to another live meeting starting in mid-April next year, pending regulatory approval."

DOWNS DOINGS - Settlemoir also wished the track's fans and horsemen a happy and healthy holiday season... Truman Gale emerged as Vernon's top provisional driver for 2011 with 20 triumphs... All of the track's simulcasting during the off-season (afternoons and evenings) will be conducted in Vernon's hotel simulcasting center... A fireworks display was conducted after the evening's 10th race... Additional information regarding the track, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mr. Avalanche Scoots by favored Scorpion Moon; Lems Wins 4

Mr. Avalanche brushed by the favorite Scorpion Moon in late stretch to win Friday night's $10,000 featured ninth race at Vernon Downs.

With Chris Lems handling the lines for trainer Paul Drante, Jr., Mr. Avalanche ($10.80) drafted along in the pocket behind the mile-cutting, crowd choice Scorpion Moon until the final furlong, and then scurried to the front to win the week's Open trot by a neck in 1:57.

Friday's first-place finish was the fourth at the Downs this season, the seventh in 2011 and the 12th all-time for the 5-year-old son of Striking Sahbra-Epoque Effe.

Jeremy Godfrey owns the career-winner of $65,274.

The win was one of four during Friday's 12-race card for Lems, currently fourth on the meet's driving chart with 67 tallies.

The 24-year-old reinsman captured the Early Double with the pacer On That Note and trotter Brilliant Thunder, and then won the fourth event with the trotter Rhythmic Moves before earning his initial four-bagger of Vernon's current campaign.

DL Cruiser (1:59.1) and Enlightened (1:59) each tied at seven for most trotting victories at the meet after finishing first in the evening's eighth and 12th races, respectfully.

The eight-time winning pacer Hay Goodlooking is tops in equine scores with one program remaining in the track's 58th season.

DOWNS DOINGS - Provisional drivers Truman Gale, Josh Kinney and Michael Miller posted their 20th, eighth and sixth wins, respectively, during Friday's program... The Downs will conclude its 2011 live-racing season with tomorrow night's 10- race card that includes the week's $10,000 Open pace in race eight. First post will be at 6:55 p.m. Former Downs driving champions John Stark, Jr. and the late Gary Gibson will be inducted into the Upstate New York Chapter of the U. S. Harness Writers Association's Hall of Fame during Saturday's program. The harness track's 90-card campaign will end with a fireworks display following the evening's last race... Additional information regarding the track, its casino and newly-renovated hotel can be obtained at, and on Facebook.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vernon Downs gears up for closing weekend

Vernon Downs is set to kick off its final weekend of live racing action this weekend beginning on Friday night with a 12-race card at 6:55 pm.

The 90-day race meet then concludes on Saturday night with 10 races beginning at 6:55 pm, followed by a fireworks display immediately following live racing.

"We have had a very good race meet this year at Vernon Downs and would like to thank all of our customers who support us year after year in the Vernon area," said Jason M. Settlemoir, VP of Racing and Simulcast. "We look forward to another great race season in 2012, and would like to wish all of our customers and horsemen a happy and healthy holiday season."

Saturday night's 10-race card will feature a six horse $10,000 Open pace led by Up Front Tim T from the Mark Ford Stable.

Coming off of two recent starts in the $75,000 claiming ranks, Up Front Tim T sports a record of six wins in 28 seasonal outings good for earnings of more than $106,000.

Vernon Downs leading reinsman, Jimmy Whittemore, will do the driving from post position number one.

For more information on Vernon Downs please visit us online at

Monday, November 14, 2011

Go Go Solano Ties All Ages Track Record

Go Go Solano tied the all-time track pacing standard at Vernon Downs with a blistering 1:49.4 performance on a clear, but chilly Saturday evening (Nov. 12).

A 1:51 winner here at age three, Go Go Solano was assigned the outside eight post by racing secretary Scott Warren for Saturday's $10,000 Open contest.

With Greg Merton doing the teaming for trainer Jordan Rubin in race eight, the favorite Go Go Solano ($3.40) battled with Mystical Valentine for the lead past a :27-second opening quarter, took command going to the half (timed in :55.2), drew off past the third split in 1:22.4, and then tossed in a :27-second closing kicker to win by 7-3/4 lengths.

The sizzling showing tied Vernon's 58-year-old pacing standard that was set by My Little Dragon in 2008 and equaled by Stonebridge Wish in 2010.

In addition to dropping his personal best time by 1-1/5 seconds, the fast paced mile tied the track's aged pacing standard that Stonebridge Wish established on June 5th of last year.

It also marked the 16th track record performance of the season at the central New York 7/8ths-mile oval.

In addition to being his first Vernon score of 2011, it was the fifth season's victory and 14th lifetime win for the 5-year-old son of Bettor's Delight-Real Excitement, who is owned by Richard Lombardo and Howard Taylor.

The rapid-striding gelding increased his career earnings to $609,605.

Go Go Solano's effort was one of four first-place finishes during Saturday's 11-race card for driver Merton, who also captured the seventh race with the pacer You Bet Your Glass, the ninth event with the pacer One More Day and the final contest with the pacer Spartacus Jim.

Driver Roman Lopez and trainer Arnie Marks were also credited with doubles during the track's 88th program.

DOWNS DOINGS - Provisional driver Chris McCracken earned his fourth win at the meet following a gate-to-wire effort behind Bill McCracken's trotter Crestwood Katch Me in race six... Only two more live racing programs remain in Vernon's 58th season... The Downs will offer live racing again next Friday and Saturday, ending its 90-card campaign on Nov. 19 with a spectacular fireworks display. First post each evening 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.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Scorpion Moon battles snow to win for 79th time

The veteran trotter Scorpion Moon earned his 79th career victory with a 2:00 triumph in Friday night's $8,000 featured eighth race at Vernon Downs.

Claude Huckabone, III did the teaming for trainer Tracy Brainard as the favorite Scorpion Moon ($5.30) rallied from last at the half to fifth at the ¾-mile marker.

Competing over a track rated "good" due to persistent snow and rain, the 10-year-old gelding closed from second in the stretch to catch and pass the pace-setting fourth wagering choice, Unshakeable, by one length at the finish.

Friday's tight tally was the third this season (all at the Downs) for the son of Armbro Scorpion-Angie's Nugget, who is shared in ownership by Brainard and Andrew Herzog.

The gritty bay battler is currently a career winner of more than $867,500.

Two-time defending driving champion Jimmy Whittemore delivered his ninth triple of the 87-program meeting, while top trainer Brainard, along with owner Herzog, scored twice during Friday's 10-race card.

Huckabone, III and Joe Nassimos also posted twin driving victories.

DOWNS DOINGS - With three programs remaining in the track's 58th season, Whittemore has 107 driving victories, while Brainard, seeking her second conditioning crown in a row and third overall, has 54 first-place credits... Top provision driver Truman Gale hiked his win total at the meet to 19 after a score behind Greg Robinson's trotter Enlightened in Friday's second race. The victory tied the 9-year-old gelding with Canouan and DL Cruiser at six for most local trotting tallies thus far in 2011... Tomorrow night's 11-race line-up, which includes the week's $10,000 Open pace in race eight, will begin at 6:55 p.m... Vernon will offer live racing on Friday and Saturday next weekend, ending its 90-card 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.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Stark and Gibson to Upstate NY Hall Representing Vernon Downs

The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association is proud to announce that John Stark, Jr. and the late Gary Gibson will be inducted to their Upstate New York Harness Racing Hall of Fame representing Vernon Downs.

John Stark, Jr. comes from a harness racing family. His late father, John, and sisters Cindy, Laurie and Jodi have all had successful careers in the sport. He started working in the barn when he was only 4 years old and began his driving career in 1977 when he was 18. Stark was synonymous with Vernon Downs through the mid-1980s. He was the top provisional driver in both 1977 and 1978. He later won both the dash-winning (124) and percentage (.350) driving titles in 1985. He added dash titles in 1986 (158), 1987 (127) and 1988 (188), as well as additional percentage championships in 1987 (.307), 1988 (.358), 1997 (.472), 2001 (.471) and 2003 (.449). He was also the track’s top trainer for wins in 1987 (64) and 1988 (76), and percentage in 1987 (.362) and 1988 (.365).

Stark raced at several tracks after leaving Vernon in 1989 and was equally successful wherever he went. He captured a dash title at Muskegon and both dash and earnings titles at Fairmount Park and Saratoga Raceway.

Stark achieved his greatest success in the sport training and driving the remarkable pacing filly Bunny Lake. At two, the daughter of Precious Bunny was flawless in NYSS action, capturing four legs and then going wire-to-wire in 1:58.3 in the $150,000 final.

In her 3-year-old campaign Bunny Lake scored 18 consecutive victories and earned $1,146,219, the most money (at the time) ever banked by a pacing female in a single season. Stark drove her to victories in the $150,000 New York Sire Stakes Final and the $812,292 Breeders Crown Final. Bunny Lake was selected as the 2001 Horse of the Year, as well as Pacer of the Year and 3-year-old filly pacer of the year.

Bunny Lake retired with 47 career wins and $2,843,476 in purse money. Her lifetime mark was 1:49.

Other top horses over the years for Stark include Total Composure, Commanche N, Battle Front, Teeth Of The Dog, Getting Personal, Adadot, Mimz, Hamilton White and Algiers Hall.

To date, John Stark, Jr. has amassed 4,088 driving wins and $20,961,807 in purse money, as well as 1,328 training wins and $15,675,191 in purse money. He is the consummate horseman and is still going strong.

Gary Gibson followed his uncle, Avery, into the Standardbred sport. After working for both the Fred Haslip Stable and the Webster Farms training facilities in western New York, Gibson began his driving career on the Buffalo Raceway/Batavia Downs circuit. Following success at those half-mile tracks, the young trainer/driver made a seamless transition to Vernon Downs’ chute-attached three-quarter-mile oval in the early 1970s with the stated goal of becoming a Grand Circuit reinsman.

Developing into one of Vernon’s most sought after catch-drivers, Gibson went on to capture four race-winning titles at the Downs (1979-1981 and 1997). He also ranks among the central New York track’s all-time leaders in total victories and 2:00 driving credits. In 1991, his best year statistically, “Gibby’s” black, gold and green colors visited the winner’s circle 125 times and he earned $396,469 in purses.

Gibson achieved both his Grand Circuit goal and his ambition to drive in harness racing’s top trotting race, the Hambletonian, when he piloted JD’s Tryst in the second division of the 1982 edition. He also achieved notoriety and success in the New York Sires Stakes program.

Gibson’s quiet personality translated well to his driving style. He had a natural ability to sit patiently with a trotter, but he was equally adept with pacers. Respected and well-liked by his fellow horsemen, Gibson’s motto was “You’re only as good as your last drive.” He was noted for his pleasant, easy-going personality, quick wit and his unique laugh.

Some of the many recognizable horses that Gibson drove include Honest Hobby Horse, Romy The Governor, Midnight Occasion, White Rock Fella, JJ’s Apollo and Rapunzel’s Star.

During his career, he amassed 2,999 wins and $7,279,567 in purse money.

Gary Gibson died Oct. 6, 2006, at the Veteran’s Hospital in Syracuse following a courageous battle with cancer. He was 62.

The ceremony for John Stark, Jr. and the family of Gary Gibson will be held trackside at Vernon Downs on Saturday (Nov. 19).

You can view pictures and biographies of all 21 inductees of the Upstate New York Harness Racing Hall of Fame by clicking this link.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Rewind Races" Highlight Saturday Night card

Mystical Valentine delivered a strong stretch kick to capture Saturday night's $10,000 Open pace, while the trotter Famous Image and pacer Noble Wabbit each established Vernon Downs records for going 7/8ths-of-a-mile - the wrong way around the track.

With Leon Bailey steering for trainer Dave Dewhurst, Mystical Valentine ($16.60) idled in second early in the ninth race, got shuffled back to third around the final turn, and then unleashed a spirited speed-spurt in the final furlong to post a 1:53.1 victory over the favorite, Restless Yankee.

The 5-year-old gelding's three-quarter-length tally was his second in succession, sixth at the meet, eighth this season and 21st all-time.

Philip K. Hale owns the bay son of Dream Work-Sneakheravalentine, who increased his career bankroll to more than $319,200.

In conjunction with daylight savings ending, Racing Secretary Scott Warren carded both a trot and a pace to be raced once around Vernon's 7/8ths mile oval in the opposite direction from harness racing's counter-clockwise standard.

The fifth and sixth events on Saturday's 12-race card were dubbed the "Turn Back The Clock Rewind Races."

Famous Image, owned, trained and driven by Michael Eaton, collected his fourth win in a row after a 1:47 effort in the $5,000 fifth race, while Noble Wabbit, owned, trained and driven by Brian Connor, snared his second score in succession with a 1:42.3 tally in the $5,000 sixth event.

The record-setting performances marked the 15th time that new standards have been authored during the track's 58th season.

Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore earned his eighth triple in 86 programs, while Dan Daley, who carded a "hat-trick" here on Friday night, secured a pair of Saturday scores.

DOWNS DOINGS - Only four more live programs remain during the track's 58th campaign. Vernon will offer a Friday and Saturday schedule only for the final two weekends of its 90-card campaign, ending live racing 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.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Yankee Manny Wins Friday Night feature for Davis

Yankee Manny survived an overland journey to snare a 1:57.2 triumph in Friday night's $8,000 featured ninth race at Vernon Downs.

Facing seven formidable foes, Yankee Manny ($7.80) moved up steadily from fifth at the quarter to third at the half and second entering the stretch, building up a two-length lead in the process.

The Dan Daley-driven Hallin Cash escaped from traffic in the final eighth and unleashed a strong stretch brush, but came up a half-length short of the winner at the finish.

The favorite, Scorpion Moon, finished third.

The win was the fourth at the meet, eighth this season and 19th all-time for Yankee Manny, a 5-year-old son of Yankee Glide-Yankee Minuet, who is owned by Brian P. Green.

He's now a career-earner of $98,902.

Yankee Manny's determined effort provided trainer/driver Frank Davis with his eighth two-win sulky-sitting outing at the 85-program meeting.

He had won the previous race with the pacer Pounne De Luxe (1:55.3).

Daley, who captured the evening's first two events with the trotters Spin Spanky Spin (1:59.1) and Double D Fine (1:59.3, added another first-place finish with the trotter Tap Tap Dance in the fourth event to secure his first triple of the track's 58th season.

DOWNS DOINGS - First-time Vernon starter Ryan Lems won Friday's third race with the pacer Bam's Hottie, who paid $115.50 for finishing first. Lems is the cousin of Downs regular Chris Lems... Only five more live programs remain during the track's 58th campaign... Saturday's 12-race line-up includes a pair of 7/8ths-mile races going clockwise around the track, plus the week's $10,000 Open pace in race nine... Vernon has switched to a Friday and Saturday schedule only for the final three weekends of its 90-card campaign, ending live racing 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.

Vernon Downs Turns Back the Clock and the Races

With the upcoming daylight savings upon us this weekend, Vernon Downs race secretary, Scott Warren, has decided to shake things up and for the first time in the track's 58-year history, two races on Saturday night will be raced in the opposite direction.

Dubbed the "Turn back the clock" rewind race, eight trotters and eight pacers will race at a distance of 7/8th's of a mile in the opposite direction as they normally go.

The rewind races have been carded as race number five for the trotters and race number six for the pacers, each for a purse of $5,000.

"We had a great response from our horsemen at Vernon for these two events, and are looking forward to giving our fans something a little different to come see this weekend at Vernon Downs," said race secretary Scott Warren.

Vernon Downs has switched to its November schedule of two race days a week, and kicks off its two-day race weekend on Friday, November 4th with a post time of 6:55 pm.

Closing night of the 2011 race season at Vernon Downs is on Saturday, November 19th and will be capped off with a fireworks display following live racing.

For more information on Vernon Downs please visit us online at

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hay Goodlooking Becomes winningest horse at Vernon Downs

Maryann Plano's Hay Goodlooking became the winningest equine performer after 84 season's offerings at Vernon Downs following his 1:53.1 score in Saturday night's $10,000 featured Open pace.

Facing six select rivals in race nine, the favored Hay Goodlooking ($4.60) went right to the front for driver/trainer Rick Plano and cut fractions of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:24.3 before earning a neck triumph over the fast-closing newcomer El Ringer.

While turning in the fastest mile during Saturday's chilly 10-race card, Hay Goodlooking secured his second win in a row and eighth at the meeting, giving him a one-win edge over fellow side-wheeler Rosa Villa.

It marked the ninth win in 2011 and the 25th all-time for the 5-year-old son of Art Major-Monique's Legacy, who bumped his career bankroll to more than $405,300.

The win was one of three during the evening for Plano, who finished his Vernon stay with 81 first-place driving wins and 49th training tallies, both figures good enough for second place on the meet's driving and conditioning charts, respectively.

He will be shipping his superb stable to Florida's Pompano Park early next week.

Maryann Plano's pacer Dot's Bigboy also finished first during the program, giving her an owner double, while leading driver Jimmy Whittemore and trainer/driver Roman Lopez also delivered a pair of victories.

DOWNS DOINGS - Whittemore raised his win total to 101 following catch-driving scores behind the pacers Major's Centerfold and Spartacus Jim... Canouan and DL Cruiser are tops in trotting tallies at the meet with six scores each... There were three dead-heat finishes during the evening, two for second place... The Vernon based 2-year-old colt trotter Royal Shyster finished fifth in his class with trainer Dan Daley driving during Saturday night's Breeders Crown competition at Canada's Woodbine Racetrack... Only six more live programs remain during the track's 58th season... Vernon will switch to a Friday and Saturday schedule only for the final three weekends of its 90-card campaign, ending live racing 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.

Gym Tan Laundry and Lady Andi are Kindergarten Classic champions

Gym Tan Laundry and Lady Andi earned champion status as a result of their respective divisional victories in Friday night's $383,000 Kindergarten Classic Series finals for 2-year-old trotters at Vernon Downs.

Gym Tan Laundry ($5.40) lowered his personal record and the track's standard for freshman geldings on the diagonal gait to 1:55.3 with his bold-striding score in Friday's $200,500 fifth race, while Lady Andi ($4.90) dropped her win-mark to 1:57.3 with a splendid performance over eight female rivals in the $182,500 seventh session.

Brian Sears, who drove both title-winning trotters, also finished first with the trotter Unshakeable in race nine to earn his second driving triple at the 83-program meeting.

Gym Tan Laundry, who had lowered the Vernon record for frosh high-stepping geldings to 1:57.1 with his preliminary round tally here on Oct. 21, rallied overland from fourth in the early going to gain control of the male division in the final turn, and continued on to a two-length triumph over the crowd favorite Vic Smith, part of a Julie Miller-trained entry that included Southwind Austin, who finished third.

Friday's first-place finish gives the consistent son of Yankee Glide-Fresh Face a 4-2-1 summary line and earnings of $146,917 after seven career outings for the Adam Victor & Son Stable.

The favorite Lady Andi got away third in her flight, advanced to second at the half (reached in :58.3), took the lead nearing the three-quarter mark and raced on to a 1-3/4-length victory over the third choice, Can't Have My Moni.

All In The Muscles finished third, with the second betting choice, Maven, finishing fourth.

Lady Andi, whose previous win occurred here earlier in the season, improved her season's current performance line to 2-2-4 and bankroll to $139,988 after 11 appearances for the M&L Stable of Delaware, Inc. and the Little E LLC Stable of New York City.

Larry Rathbone trains the brown daughter of Andover Hall-Lady Lifter.

The Ray Schnittker-trained-and-driven Winning Fireworks converted a pocket-sitting trip into a 1:56 triumph in Friday's $10,000 eighth event, the week's Open trot.

The brown son of Credit Winner-Fireworks Hanover closed quickly in the stretch to defeat the Julie Miller-trained favorite, The Chancellor, by 1-1/2 lengths.

It marked the fifth current victory (first at the Downs) and ninth lifetime tally for the career-winner of more than $282,400, who is also owned by the Adam Victor & Son Stable.

DOWNS DOINGS - Noted driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jessica Okusko each chalked up a pair of wins during Friday's 10-race card... Only seven more live programs currently remain in the track's 58th season... Saturday night's 10-race program, which includes the week's $10,000 Open pace in race nine, will get underway at 6:55 p.m... Saturday's program book will not only include the Vernon races, but also the Breeders Crown championship card, which will be simulcasted into the Downs from Canada's Woodbine Racetrack... Vernon has now switched to a Friday-Saturday weekly schedule only, 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.