Thursday, June 14, 2012

Harlem Rockturne Upsets Thursday Night Feature

While Chris Lems and Rick Plano were competing in a determined driving duel during the evening, defending champ Jimmy Whittemore steered Harlem Rockturne to a 1:53.2 triumph in Thursday night's $9,500 featured sixth race at Vernon Downs.

Whittemore, a three-time dash-winning titleist at the Downs, got away third with the sixth-wagering choice, Harlem Rockturne ($18.60), in the week's Open for female pacers and the determined duo remained there until the stretch drive where they flashed to the front and finished first by one length.

Harlem Rockturne wins Thursday's F&M Open Pace
In securing her second score at the 21-program meeting, the 5-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Capericorn equaled her career win-mark, chalked up her 12 lifetime victory and raised her all-time earnings to more than $103,200.  Whittemore's father, Dennis, owns and trains the speedy distaffer.

Plano, currently second in both driving and training tallies at the meet, captured the first (Damian Carlos N), Fourth (Misdori) and eighth (Sweet Fancy Moses) events, while Lems countered with first-place finishes behind Witch Trials in the second, Here Comes Doodles in the fifth and Dream State in the seventh session.

At program's end, Lems maintained a four win lead (37-33) over Plano in the reinsmen's report, while Whittemore  ranked third with 22 triumphs.

Also enjoying multiple wins during Thursday's 11-race card were trainers Plano (two), Dave Dewhurst (two), Lonny Hale (two), and owner Regina Dewhurst (two).   

DOWNS DOINGS—As the result of his win behind the Hale-trained pacer Canaco Star in Thursday's 11th event, Josh Kinney presently sits atop the provisional driver standings with three scores…Provisional driver Gary D. Gibson earned his initial win credit at the meet with a first-place finish behind the Joe Armstrong co-owned (with Anthony Aiello) and trained trotter Billy's Crystal in Thursday's third event.  It was the 3-year-old filly's maiden victory…Friday's 11-race line-up, which includes the week's $9,500 Open trot in race nine, will get started at 6:55 p.m...Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at