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 www.vernondowns.com, and on Facebook.