Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pair of Track Records fall during New York Sire Stakes

Coral Snake and Bettor's Edge each re-set a track record for 3-year-old male pacers during Friday night's $208,800 New York Sire Stakes racing at Vernon Downs.
Coral Snake lowers the track record for 3yo colt pacers

Coral Snake reduced the Vernon standard for 3-year-old colt pacers to 1:50.1 with his fast-closing, career best win in Friday's third and final division of a $132,000 regular NYSS test for his age, sex and gait.  The previous 1:50.3 track standard had been established by Ove Vay in 1996.

Bettor's Edge trimmed 1/5th-of-a-second off the former Vernon record for sophomore pacing geldings with his 1:50.1showing in the first $44,000 NYSS flight.  The former mark for this class had been set by Fantaddy last year.

With George Brennan driving for trainer Casie Coleman and the West Wins Stable, the favorite Coral Snake ($2.90) rallied from fourth in the early going and closed from third in a :26.4 final quarter to slither under the finish wire a length ahead of the front-striding Escape The News in Friday's 11th event.  The brown son of Bettor's Delight-Southwind Coral remains undefeated after four lifetime starts (all this season) and increased his all-time winnings to $87,409.

Bettor's Edge sets new track record
With Jason Bartlett steering for trainer Linda Toscano, the crowd's choice, Bettor's Edge ($3.80), also rallied from off the pace in Friday's sixth session, defeating the determined closer Bet On The Law by a head.  The time was a personal best for the bay son of Bettor's Delight-Spring Wind, who now sports three wins and earnings of more than $112,800 after 16 career outings for his breeders, the Brittany Farms and Val D'Or Farms.

The other NYSS divisional winner was Ideal Romance (Brennan teaming for trainer Coleman) in Friday's ninth event.  The 1:51.1 mile resulted in a win record and the third lifetime tally for the career-producer of $47,865.  The bay son of American Ideal-Dial Romance is shared in ownership by the West Wins Stable and Mac T. Nichol.  

First-place finishers in Friday's $76,800 Excelsior Series competition for NY-bred sophomore male members of the lateral gait were Screen The Call (1:52.2), Sir Melo's Z Tam (1:53), The Green Knight (1:53.2), Sir Howie's Z Tam (1:53.2), Bettoriffic (1:54.2) and Mr. Erv (1:54.3).   

Bartlett, who posted three wins during Friday's 13-race card, piloted newcomer Transcending to a blistering 1:49.4 victory in the week's $10,500 Open pace (race seven), while Flex The Muscle finished first for trainer, driver and part-owner Ray Schnittker in the evening's $10,500 Open trot (race four), scoring in 1:53.4.

Transcending's time resulted in the second-fastest local mile of 2012, while Flex The Muscle's performance was just 1/5th-of-a-second off the Vernon standard for aged trotting horses, set by Speed Bomb on June 8.

Jim Morrill, Jr. also finished the night with three victories, giving the 54-year-old reinsman 20 tallies in four trips to the Downs this season.

In addition to Brennan and trainer Coleman, driver/trainer Pat Lachance and conditioner Erv Miller also chalked up a pair of victories during the track's 25th program   

DOWNS DOINGS—Nine of Friday's first-place finishers earned fresh win records…Saturday's 13-race program, which includes a Hambletonian trip giveaway promotion, begins at 6:55 p.m....Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at