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.