Sunday, May 20, 2012

He's Gorgeous breaks all-time Vernon Downs track record

Eye-popping track record performances by He's Gorgeous and Major Look highlighted Saturday night's lively 13-race program at Vernon Downs.

He's Gorgeous breaks all-time Vernon Downs track record
Following up on his 1:50 effort here last week, He's Gorgeous ($3.30) lowered the track's 59-year speed standard by one-and-one-fifth seconds with his 1:48.3 victory in Saturday's $9,500 Open pace.  Tim Tetrick did the driving for trainer Tracy Brainard and local owner Kenneth Jacobs as the swift-striding 5-year-old son of Art Major-So Ravishing cut fractions of :25.4, :53.2, and 1:21 en route to a 1-1/4 length triumph over two-time current Open winner Diamond Stick Pin.  The spectacular showing in Saturday's 10th race by the former New York Sire Stakes standout raised his career earnings to $748,294.

After Romantic Moment had lowered the Vernon all-time record for 3-year-old pacing fillies to 1:51 in the opening division of Saturday's $134,564 NYSS feature for this age, sex and gait, Major Look ($31.80) won the second division in 1:50-flat.  Jeff Gregory did the teaming for trainer Robert Riddle in race six as the quick-footed daughter of Art Major-Band Of Emeralds began her sophomore campaign in sensational fashion, defeating the favored American Jewel by 2-1/4 lengths. 

Major Look is shared in ownership by New Yorkers Joseph Balkunas and Mark Giordano.

Major Look upsets heavily favored American Jewel in track record time
JK Fine Art captured Saturday's third top shelf NYSS segment in 1:52.4, before Jamie Sue and Brownsville Bomber finished in a 1:53.1 dead-heat for win in the final flight.

Six divisions of the new Excelsior Series for NY-bred sophomore pacing fillies were also raced for purses totaling $76,900 on Saturday's card with top prize money going to Major Crush (1:53), Hepburn Blue Chip (1:53.3), Pansphobic (1:53.2), Table Games (1:53.1), Paltrow Blue Chip (1:54.2) and Winbak Speed (1:54.4).

Tetrick put on a driving clinic with six scores, while driver Jim Morrill, Jr. and trainer Linda Toscano each visited the winner's enclosure on three occasions.  Brainard, the track's leading trainer after 11 programs, harnessed a pair of first-place finishers.   

DOWNS DOINGS—Vernon's previous 1:49.4 all-time speed standard had been shared by the pacers My Little Dragon (2008), Stonebridge Wish (2010) and Go Go Solano (2011)…See You At Peelers owned the former 1:51.1 record for 3-year-old pacing fillies when Saturday's program began…The Toscano-trained JK Fine Art, who defeated the favorite Handsoffmycookie by a neck in race eight, now sports a 6-3-1 summary line after 10 trips to the racetrack…There will be no live racing at the Downs next Thursday night (May 24) due to a special Memorial Day matinee offering at 1:15 on May 28.  Live racing will resume at 6:55 p.m. on Friday (May 25)…Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at

Here's a video replay of the track record performance by He's Gorgeous: