Located in the heart of Central New York's rolling hills and overlooking historic Vernon Downs Racetrack, Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel is your home-away-from-home for a uniquely fun and exciting getaway! There's something for everyone - from an indoor pool for relaxing and great food at our family-friendly restaurants, to conference rooms, banquet facilities and harness race track... it's all here at Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel!
Track Records Fall in both Empire Breeders Classic Finals
The superiority of New York-bred 3-year-old trotters For A Dancer and Archangel
was again apparent on Friday night at Vernon Downs by virtue of the fact that
each was a track record-breaking winner in this season's $472,750 Empire
Breeders Classic divisional events.
For A Dancer remained undefeated
in four season's starts (two at Vernon) with a career-best 1:54 effort in the
$239,500 EBC filly flight, while Archangel lowered his win-mark for the second
straight week with a sizzling 1:53.1 triumph in the $233,250 EBC colt clash.
For A Dancer wins the EBC Filly Final
Former Downs regular Jeff Gregory
was again behind the favorite For A Dancer ($3.40) in Friday's sixth session as
the bay daughter of Conway Hall-Fluttering Wings followed Borrow And Spend off
the starting gate, took the lead before the half, reached in :57.4, and
continued on to a two-length tally over the closing Fortunista. It was the 12th score (coupled
with a second and a third-place finish) in 15 lifetime starts for the
career-winner of $436,879, who is trained by Joe Holloway and owned by the
Bluestone Farms. She trimmed one-fifth
of a second off the former 1:54.1 Vernon standard for her class, which was set
by George Steinbrenner's Personal Banner in the 1996 Breeders Crown final.
Archangel lowers his own track record in EBC Final
Archangel ($3.10), who has
collected three of his four straight victories over Vernon's 7/8ths-mile oval,
improved his current record to four wins and a second-place finish in five
starts with a lifetime-fastest 1:53.1 showing in race nine. The black son of Credit Winner-Michelle's
Angel was eased off the gate in fourth place by driver Jim Morrill, Jr., took
the lead with a sweeping overland move in the second quarter, and, when
challenged by the pocket-sitting Coraggioso in the final furlong, accelerated to
a 1-3/4 length triumph. The time
clipped3/5ths-of-a-second off the previous Downs standard that Archangel has
posted with an elimination tally here on June 1. The career winner of $288,701 now sports
seven scores in 18 lifetime outings for part-owner/trainer Peter Arrigenna and
his partners, Alan C. Hainsworth and Clare M. Semer.
Friday's $9,500 seventh race, the
week's Open trot, was captured by newcomer Speed Bomb, who earned a fresh
win-mark and established a Vernon record for aged trotting horses with his
eye-popping 1:53.3 gate-to-wire victory.
Jason Bartlett drove for trainer Ron Burke, the Burke Racing Stable,
Weaver Bruscemi, the JJK Stable and Phillip Collura as the speedy 9-year-old bay
son of Master Lavec-Mighty J C recorded his 41st lifetime score
(third this term) and increased his all-time winnings to $821,428.
The previous 1:55.1 local speed
standard for older trotting horses was set by Fight Cheer in 1999 and equaled by
John Paul's Legacy in 2010.
Driver Rick Plano won four of
Friday's 12 races and chalked up three training tallies, while Gregory and
Morrill, Jr. each piloted a pair of first-place finishers.
DOWNS DOINGS—Morrill, Jr. has visited
Vernon on four occasions this year and has chalked up 17 victories…The Downs
will simulcast all of tomorrow afternoon's races from Belmont Park, including
the 144th running of the Belmont Stake at approximately 6:35
p.m…Saturday's live 12-race Vernon card, featuring the week's $9,500 Open pace,
will begin at 6:55 p.m...Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its
casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.