Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Vernon Downs is gearing up for Drivers' Championship and State Fair Weekend

Vernon Downs is gearing up to host its first Drivers' Championship during State Fair weekend in Vernon, New York on Sunday, August 26th.

The Drivers' Championship, which has been a huge hit at Tioga Downs in past years, will be relocated to Vernon for 2012, along with the annual bobblehead giveaway featuring last year's champion, Jody Jamieson. 

As always, bobbleheads will be given away before the races and the drivers participating in the Championship will be on hand for an autograph session and driver meet and greet beginning at 11:45 am on the trackside apron.

If the deadline for the Drivers' Championship were today (which it is not, deadline is Monday, August 6th) the top seven money winning drivers would be: Tim Tetrick, Yannick Gingras, George Brennan, Ron Pierce, Brian Sears, David Miller, and Dave Palone.

Vernon Downs' leading driver (in earnings) is currently Jim Morrill Jr. and by the looks should finish as the leader in earnings come down to the deadline.

Vernon Downs is proud to invite all owners and horsemen participating at Vernon Downs during the State Fair weekend (August 24 – 26) to be part of their weekend celebration. Vernon will be putting on a carnival like atmosphere at the track all weekend long, holding owner barbeques and cocktail parties before the races, and hosting a free horsemen's golf outing.

The State Fair weekend kicks off on Friday, August 24 with the 2-year-old filly trotters and pacers with a post time of 6:55 pm. There will be an owners barbeque and cocktail reception at the Vernon Downs Founders Park at 5:00 pm before the races.

On Saturday, August 25th, Vernon Downs will be hosting a free golf outing for all horsemen and owners in the morning (planned tee time: 8:30 am). The tournament will be held at Rome Country Club and will be a four person captain and crew format tournament.

Another barbeque and cocktail reception will be held on Saturday evening at 5:00 pm leading up to the 6:55 pm post for the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers and trotters taking center stage in the State Fair races.

The weekend is capped off with the $700,000 (e) Zweig Trot for 3-year-old trotters, and the $50,000 Drivers' Championship on Sunday, August 26 with a 1:15 pm post time.

Hotel rooms are available at Vernon Downs for the State Fair celebration (August 24 – 26), and all reservations and golf sign ups can be directed to Jason M. Settlemoir, VP of Racing and Simulcast at 607.699.7588 or jsettlemoir@tiogadowns.com .

For more information on Vernon Downs please visit us online at www.vernondowns.com.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

High Speed Life powers home to post lifetime best win

High Speed Life came alive in the homestretch and turned a pocket-sitting trip into a career-fastest 1:51.4 victory in Saturday night's $10,500 featured Open pace at Vernon Downs.

Trainer Roman Lopez did the teaming in Saturday's ninth race, keeping High Speed Life ($14.60) in the desired two slot behind the pace-setting Forty Carrots until the final furlong, where she rallied to defeat the on-rushing Yankees In Six by a head.

Saturday's score was the fourth locally, the sixth this season and the 27th all-time for the energetic 6-year-old daughter of Lease On Life-Nano, who is shared in ownership by Lopez and Mitchell Frair. 

Saturday's swiftest score over a track dulled to "good" by rain was turned in by No Monkeys Allowed, who came from off the pace to equal his lifetime record with a 1:51.2 mile in the evening's $8,000 first event.  Brian Connor, who earned his first triple of the 44-program meet during the 11-race card, did the teaming for trainer Edgar Clarke and the Robert J. Orr/Garry J. Jonas ownership duo.  It marked the first Vernon victory, but the fifth season's tally for the bay battler, who now sports 13 career wins and earnings of more than $178,000.

Chris Lems also logged three first-place driving victories, plus a training triumph, during the program, while Lopez notched a pair of sulky scores and a training tally.

DOWNS DOINGS—Racing Secretary Scott Warren has instituted a five percent across-the-board purse increase for all "overnight" classes at the Downs…Leading driver Rick Plano (70 local scores in 2012) won the eighth event with Jeffrey Gillis's pacer Fish Tales and now needs just 17 more first-place finishes to reach 6,000 career victories…The Downs will present live racing Wednesday-Saturday next week starting at 6:55 p.m…The track will offer a new handicapping contest during its final four Wednesday programs of the season (Aug. 1, 8, 15 and 22)…The Downs will host a New York Sire Stakes sponsored contest for 2-year-old filly pacers on Wednesday night, Aug. 8… Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Isabella Gal displayed her speed and superiority with a 1:56.2 triumph in the fastest of eight divisions during Thursday night's $182,186 program for New York-bred 2-year-old trotting fillies at Vernon Downs.

Competing in the second division of Thursday's $118,286 regular New York Sire Stakes, Isabella Gal earned her second straight score with a career-best performance in the ninth race that was just 2/5ths-of-a-second off the Vernon record for this age, sex and gait.  Jim Morrill, Jr. did the steering for part-owner and trainer Jeffrey Long as the brown daughter of Rc Royalty-Tango Hall took over the lead from Single Sock after the half, timed in :57.3, and motored to a 3-3/4 length tally over the on-rushing Crazy Grigio.
The determined distaffer has accumulated two wins and a second, plus earnings of $26,146 for Long and his partners John Buettner, Robert and Lynn Brooks.

Thursday's other NYSS winners were Palm Beach Chic (Conway Hall-Back On Track), in 1:58 with part-owner Jeff Gregory driving for his partner William H. Richardson and trainer Linda Toscano, and Barn Babe (Cash Hall-My Baby's Momma), in 1:59.4 with John Cummings, Jr. at the controls for owner and trainer Steven Pratt.  

New Scent (1:59.4) and Pretty Crazy (1:59.4) tied for fastest mile honors in Thursday's $63,900 Excelsior Series segments.  New Scent (Malabar Man-Dior Kosmos) earned her maiden victory with Jimmy Whittemore driving for owner/trainer Joseph Flynn and Edward Flynn, while Pretty Crazy (Crazed-Pretty May Flowers) was securing her third tally in four tries with Morrill, Jr. teaming for trainer Brandon Simpson and his ownership partners Peggy Hood, Dirk Simpson and the Mystical Marker Farms.

Also finishing first in Thursday's Excelsior events were There Goes My Baby (Malabar Man-Hot Chili Girl) in 2:00.4 with Chris Lems driving for trainer George Ducharme, and owners Paul Fontaine and Alfred Ross; Dancing Louisa (Rc Royalty-Supreme Decision), in 2:01.1 with trainer Dan Daley teaming for Todd Van Alstyne and Margaret Waterbury, and Vixen (Conway Hall-Gracious Marla) with Stephane Bouchard steering for trainer David Jannone and owners Albert C & Michelle C. Crawford, and James A. Crawford, IV.

Elleofnxample kicked home from fourth at the head of the stretch to nip the mile-cutting Pay Tribute by a neck in Thursday's $10,500 first race, the week's Open for female pacers.  Todd Frocione drove for his dad, owner Lon Frocione, and trainer Tony Mondi as the fleet-footed 6-year-old mare equaled her 1:51.4 lifetime mark while recording her fourth season’s score and 18th lifetime victory.

DOWNS DOINGS—Barn Babe, competing in the rain and over a good track in race 11, now shows two wins and a pair of seconds in four career outings…Dancing Louisa has collected two wins and a second in three Excelsior starts…There Goes My Baby, New Scent, Palm Beach Chic and Vixen were each compiling their initial pari-mutuel victory…Vernon Racing Secretary Scott Warren has announced a five percent purse increase for all of Vernon’s overnight classes that will take effect immediately…Friday’s 10-race program 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.

My Buddy Hall Lee becomes winningest horse at Vernon Downs meet

Ritascape became the fastest 2-year-old pacing filly of the 43-program pari-mutual meeting, while the trotter My Buddy Hall Lee became the winningest local equine of 2012 during Friday night's 10-race program at Vernon Downs.

Making just her second official start, Ritascape displayed fast form during her come-from-behind 1:56.3 victory in Friday's third event, while My Buddy Hall Lee extended the meet's longest winning streak to five with his 1:57.1 triumph in the evening's sixth session.

With Jimmy Whittemore driving for trainer Homer Hochstetler, the favorite Ritascape ($3.20) rallied from third in the final quarter and closed from second in the stretch to satisfy her backers.  The time was 2/5ths-of-a-second slower than her qualifying win here on June 29.  The bay daughter of Artiscape-Rita J is shared in ownership by South Of The Tracks Racing, Inc., Connie and Homer Hochstetler.

The crowd's wagering choice My Buddy Hall Lee ($5.60) also came from behind to continue his winning skein and separate himself from nine other four-time winners at the meet.  Roman Lopez guided the 4-year-old son of Roadshow Hall-Exclusive Lee into contention with a three-wide move from seventh on the backstretch, and then rushed him home from third in the stretch to catch and nip the pace-setting Jam And Jelly by a head. 

My Buddy Hall Lee's tally was his fifth of the season and sixth all-time.  Leopold Sawyers conditions the gritty gelding for owner Brett Tessler.

The 3-year-old gelded pacer Head Of The Barn recorded the evening's fastest mile, a career-best 1:56 triumph in race nine.  Trainer Frank Milby did the teaming for owner Irwin Samelman as the son of Cambest-Head Of The House compiled his first career victory.

Lopez, driver Frank Davis and trainer Hochstetler each achieved two wins during the program.     

DOWNS DOINGS—Vernon's current colt mark for 2-year-old pacers is 1:57.2, set by Delaware Hanover (Milby driving) on June 23…Saturday's 11-race program, which includes the week's $10,500 Open pace, will begin at 6:55 p.m. and featured the track's annual T-shirt giveaway…The Downs will host a New York Sire Stakes sponsored contest for 2-year-old filly pacers on Wednesday night, Aug. 8… Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dreamanotherdream wins 4th race of 2012 Vernon Downs season

The favorite Dreamanotherdream became the ninth four-time winning equine of the season at Vernon Downs following his 1:55.3 victory in Wednesday night's $8,000 featured Winners Over trot.

Racing fifth at the half, reached in :57-flat, Dreamanotherdream ($3.50) got geared up around the final bend, took charge entering the payoff patch and sped off to a 7-1/2 length decision in the evening's eighth event.

It marked the fourth tally in the last five starts (all locally) for the speedy 6-year-old son of Dream Vacation-Another Choice, who is trained by Edgar Clarke and owned by Denis Goyette.  With Brian Connor doing the teaming, the 20-time career winner raised his lifetime earnings to $104,798.

Connor collected two wins during Wednesday's 10-race program, as did drivers Chris Lems, Jimmy Whittemore and trainer Dennis Whittemore.

Also becoming four-time winning Standardbreds for 2012 during the track's 41st program were the trotter She's All In (1:57) and pacer Cheap N Easy (1:53).  They joined with the meet's other four-time winners Oozie's Bad Boy, Miracle Freeluck, She Don't Know (all pacers), as well as trotters Yankee Manny, My Buddy Hall Lee and Whispur.  No equine has earned more than four first-time finishes at the Downs thus far this season.  

DOWNS DOINGS—The 3-year-old trotter Ike's Revenge recorded his initial pari-mutuel victory after a 2:01.1 outing in Wednesday's $3,000 third event…Lems and Whittemore are presently tied for second in two-win performances at the Downs with eight, three off the pace set by leading driver Rick Plano…Thursday night's 12-race Vernon program will begin at 6:55 p.m., and include three New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old filly trotters, as well as five flights of the Excelsior series for New York-breds of the same age, sex and gait…Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Forty Carrots shines in Saturday feature

The stalking pacer Forty Carrots rallied late to win Saturday night's $8,000 featured seventh race at Vernon Downs.

Luke Plano, doing the catch-driving for trainer Ray Van Dreason for the first time, guided Forty Carrots ($16.80) into the two slot behind the pace-setting Mystical Valentine early in Saturday's featured "Winners Over" contest.  The determined duo then drafted along until the final furlong, where the 5-year-old horse unleashed a strong closing kick that enabled him to defeat the mile cutter by a neck in a 1:52 mile.

Although Saturday's score was the first locally this season for the bay son of Riverboat King-Mathamonics, it marked his 10th victory of 2012 and his 24th all time.  The career earner of $267,599 is shared in ownership by Richard Clair and Lance Gordon.

The Plano family captured eight of Saturday's 11 races.  Father Rick collected six scores for the third time at the 40-program meeting, while son Luke landed in the winner's circle on two occasions. 

The elder Plano ended Vernon's four-night live racing schedule with 10 triumphs and currently leads Chris Lems by 16 victories in the track's 2012 driving derby.  He also snared five training tallies during the week to pull within six scores of defending champ Tracy Brainard.  

DOWNS DOINGS—One of Rick Plano's Saturday scores was for trainer Brainard, while two others were behind pacers owned by his wife, Maryann…Luke Plano's initial double at the meet came in races six (Rodeo Du Ruisseau) and seven…Provisional driver Brandon Loomis of Oneida secured his third win of the meet after teaming Heather Macmaster's 4-year-old pacer Renier De Vie to a 1:56.2 tally in race two…Richelle Reynolds was named Miss Vernon Downs for 2012 in a promotional contest during Saturday's program…The Downs will offer live racing at 6:55 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday next week…Vernon's pari-mutuel department will present afternoon and evening simulcasts at the track Wednesday-Sunday starting tomorrow (July 22), and continuing through Labor Day (Sept. 3).  Monday and Tuesday simulcasts will continue to take place in the hotel at Vernon Downs…Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Whispur wins for fourth time this season

The streaking trotter Whispur became the sixth four-time winning equine of the season at Vernon Downs following a 1:57 triumph in Friday night's $4,500 sixth event.

With Claude Huckabone, III handling the lines for trainer/owner Tracy Brainard, the favorite Whispur ($3.50) advanced from fifth at the quarter and seized the lead before the half, timed in :59.1.  The gritty gelding stayed in charge throughout the final four furlongs and won by more than two lengths.

It was the third tally in succession, fourth in the last five starts here, and seventh all-time for the 6-year-old son of Pegasus Spur-Ba Terrific Lindy, who increased his total prize money to $23,974.

Leading driver Rick Plano posted his meet-leading 11th driving double during Friday's 10-race program, including a 1:59.1 score with his wife's (Maryann) trotter Damian Carlos N in Friday's $5,100 seventh session. 

Driver Brian Connor also collected a pair of victories during the track's 39th program.

DOWNS DOINGS—Brainard, the track's defending training champ, is the current conditioning leader here with 39 first-place finishes…The meet's other four-time winning equines include the trotters Yankee Manny My Buddy Hall Lee, and pacers Oozie's Bad Boy, Miracle Freeluck and She Don't Know…Earning their initial pari-mutuel victories during Friday's program were the trotter AG Smart Alec (2:02), as well as the pacers Jeremy P Hanover (1:58.1) and Jokerman (1:57.1)… The 2012 Miss Vernon Downs pageant will be part of Saturday's 11-race program that 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.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Glam Cam comes through as favorite in Thursday feature

The hard-charging pacer Glam Cam didn't disappoint her backers in Thursday night's featured first race at Vernon Downs, posting a 1:52.3 victory.

Going off as the favorite in Thursday's $10,500 Open for laterally-gaited females, Glam Cam ($3.00) gathered momentum from fourth at the quarter before sweeping into the lead with fast and frisky move approaching the three-quarter mile mark. 

With veteran trainer Chuck Connor, Jr. at the controls, the 6-year-old daughter of Camotion-Cr Charisma opened up a six-length advantage entering the final furlong, and then coasted to a two-length triumph.  It marked the second Vernon victory this season, the fourth in 2012 and her 14th all-time tally.  Robert J. Lovett owns the career winner of $90,878, who came within three ticks of the timer of her lifetime speed mark.

It was one of two tallies during Thursday's nine-race program for Connor, Jr., who has earned three wins in five local appearances this season.  The 57-year-old horseman currently ranks third on Vernon's all-time list for "two-minute" driving miles with 822.

Driver Rick Plano also piloted a pair of first-place finishers during the track's 38th program, raising his meet leading total to 62.   

DOWNS DOINGS—Plano leads in two-win programs at the Downs this year with 10…The Homer Hochstetler trained and driven 2-year-old colt trotter Semper Fit notched his second pari-mutuel victory in succession with a bold striding 1:58 performance in Thursday's sixth session…Wilbur Hammond, Jr.'s 3-year-old colt trotter Rockway earned his first career victory with a neck decision over Sweet Sally in the evening's fifth race…The Downs will hold its annual Diamond Dig promotion as part of Friday's 10-race program that will get underway at 6:55 p.m…Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Manningly breaks through with Open Trot win

Following a pair of second-place finishes and a third in three prior performances here this season, Manningly managed to secure his first Open trot tally in Wednesday night's feature at Vernon Downs.

Leaving from post three against five formidable rivals in Wednesday's $10,500 sixth race, Manningly ($5.90) rallied to the lead from third at the quarter and, once in charge, continued on to a 1-3/4 length tally over newcomer Man About Town. 

Chris Lems earned his seventh double at the 37-program meeting as the 6-year-old son of Yankee Glide-Balanced Action collected his third season's score and 16th lifetime victory.  Veteran Larry Rathbone conditions the career winner of more than $281,300 for the M&L Of Delaware, LLC stable.

Wednesday's $8,000 ninth race, a "Winners Over" trot went to Photosmart in a career-best 1:55.4 performance.  Owner/trainer Angus Mac Donald drove the 6-year-old gelding to his second current win and 15th lifetime triumph.

Driver Rick Plano prevailed in two of Wednesday's 10 races and increased his meet leading win total to 60.

DOWNS DOINGS—Plano leads in driving doubles at the meet with nine…The veteran pacing mare She Don't Know increased her current victory streak to three and became the meet's fifth four-time winning equine (third on the lateral gait) after a 1:54.3 showing in Wednesday's second session… Brookroad Knight's 1:53.4 track record performance (3-year-old trotting geldings) on July 11 marks the eighth track standard that has been altered at the Downs thus far this season, fourth on the diagonal gait…Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oriental Carpet Rolls to feature win; Plano wins 5

Oriental Carpet rolled to a career-fastest 1:52 featured race win, while leading driver Rick Plano piled up five first-place credits during Saturday night's 11-race program at Vernon Downs.

The fourth wagering choice in Saturday's $8,000 "Winners Over" contest, Oriental Carpet ($22.60) tucked in behind the pace-setting favorite Mach My Word going to the quarter, and remained in the garden spot until the final stages of the sixth race before rallying to record a neck triumph over the frisky mile-cutter.

Howard Okusko, Jr., who was injured earlier in the season, returned to the sulky for his wife, trainer Jessica Okusko, and patiently guided the 4-year-old son of Artiscape-Silksndiamonds to his second local win this year, third tally of 2012 and seventh lifetime score.  The career-winner of $43,627 is shared in ownership by Conrad Zurich, Edwin Gold and Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables.

Plano produced victories in the third (Fast Heat in 1:56), fifth (Where's Waldo in 1:53), seventh (Fish Tales in 1:53.2), ninth (Oozie's Bad Boy in 1:52.1) and 11th (Winbak Way in 1:55.1) events to bump his win total for the 36-program meet to 58, 10 more than runner-up Chris Lems.

Two of Plano's first-place finishes (Where's Waldo and Fish Tales) were behind pacers conditioned by the meet's top trainer and defending champ, Tracy Brainard, who hiked her victory total for the meet to 37.

The 60-year-old horseman also collected a training tally during the evening (Oozie's Bad Boy), and currently trails only Brainard by eight wins on Vernon's conditioning chart.    

DOWNS DOINGS—Only Tim Tetrick and Jim Morrill, Jr., with six wins each, have recorded more victories on a single Vernon card to date in 2012, the former on May 19 and the latter on May 25 and again on June 1…Through July 14, the pacers Oozie's Bad Boy, Miracle Freeluck, and trotters Yankee Manny and My Buddy Hall Lee are tied for the lead in equine victories at the meet with four each…The Downs will begin another week of Wednesday-Saturday live racing at 6:55 p.m. on July 18…Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Skyway Major posts career-best mile on Friday

Skyway Major earned a 1:54.1 career-best record and posted his fourth victory of the season in Friday night's sixth race at Vernon Downs.

Making his first official appearance over Vernon's 7/8ths-mile oval, Skyway Major ($9.20) launched an overland rally from fourth at the quarter that placed him in the lead turning for home.  He drew off for a 4-1/2 length victory over the betting favorite Circus Dreamer.

Roman Lopez did the driving for trainer Sam Serianni as the slick-striding 4-year-old pacing son of Art Major-Allamerican Mona posted his seventh lifetime victory.  Donald Friedman and James Bernstein own the career-winner of more than $28,500.

Leading driver Rick Plano chalked up two victories during Friday's 11-race card, as did Greg Merton and Claude Huckabone, III.

DOWNS DOINGS—Raymond J, another talented son of Art Major, improved his sophomore record to 3-3-1 after seven starts with a 1:54.3 victory for driver Plano, trainer Bob Bloodgood and owner Ken Jacobs in Friday's fifth event…The trotter Majestic Splash (2:02.3) and pacer Artemax (1:55.4) each produced their initial career victories during Friday's program...Vernon will conclude its "Back To The Track" weekend promotion with Saturday night's 11-race card, that includes a handicapping contest in which some lucky fan will win a trip to the Little Brown Jug, the Standardbred sport's premier event for 3-year-old pacers.  First post will be at 6:55 p.m.…Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Friday, July 13, 2012

She Don't Know Posts Fastest Mile on Thursday night

She Don’t Know earned fastest-mile-of-the-program honors on Thursday night at Vernon Downs.

Competing in the $5,000 eighth event, She Don't Know ($8.10) rallied on the outside from third in the early going, and then came on rapidly in the final–sixteenth to earn a nose triumph over the favorite, Moon Lake.

She Don't Know (far side) posts the fastest mile on Thursday
She Don't Know has certainly figured out where the finish line is, having earned two win in a row, three at the 34-card Vernon meeting and nine this season.  Frank Milby drove for trainer Richard Robertson, Jr. and owner Bill Reepmeyer as the 8-year-old daughter of Space Shuttle-Dandy's Dream secured her 37th lifetime victory and raised her all-time earnings to $134,783.

Donna Party posted a 1:55.4 score in Thursday's fifth race that stretched her current winning streak to three, tying fellow pacers Cheap N Easy, Oozie's Bad Boy and Lightning Prince for top honors in that category for representative of the lateral gait.  Jimmy Whittemore did the steering for his father, trainer Dennis Whittemore, and owners Elliot Misshula and Richard Fielding.

The precocious freshman homebred trotting colt Semper Fit (American Native-Colors Of The Wind) was impressive during a front striding, comfortable 1:57.4 triumph in Thursday's sixth session that resulted in his initial career trip to the winner's circle.  Trainer Homer Hochstetler drove for owners Connie Hochstetler (the talented youngster's breeder) and Robert Buddig. 

Defending driving champ Jimmy Whittemore delivered two tallies during Thursday's 10-race program as did driver Roman Lopez.  

DOWNS DOINGSThe trotter My Buddy Hall Lee logged his fourth win in a row here on July 4…The Downs will present an 11-race card at 6:55 p.m. tomorrow as it kicks off its "Back To The Track" promotional weekend with a hat giveaway...Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Delano and Brookroad Knight capture NYSS events on Wednesday night

Delano and Brookroad Knight continued their winning ways during Wednesday night's $132,236 New York Sires Stakes feature for 3-year-old male trotters at Vernon Downs.

The crowd's choice Delano ($3.30) delivered his third straight NYSS score with a 1:55 performance in Wednesday's seventh session, while Brookroad Knight ($15.40) upset the favorite Coraggioso with a career-best 1:53.4 effort in the ninth race.

Delano holds off Trouble to win in 1:55
Trainer Ray Schnittker, who owns Delano along with Tom Vassiliou, Nicholas Tallarico and the Delano Stable, was at the controls as the son of Credit Winner-Kelly Hall took command in the first turn and remained in charge the rest of the way, holding off a late-charge by Trouble to earn a half-length score.  Mado Dream was another half-length back in third.

The quick-striding mile, which was one tick of the timer off Delano's record, was the brown colt's fourth score in six season's starts.  It lifted his lifetime winnings to more than $344,100.

Brookroad Knight's fast-closing achievement was his second NYSS score in succession and second of the Vernon campaign.  Jim Morrill, Jr. did the steering for trainer Bruce Borden and owner John W. O’Connor as the oily-gaited son of Cr Excalibur-Questionable Lady advanced from fifth in the early going, and then closed from second at the head of the stretch to pass and defeat Coraggioso by 1-1/4 lengths.  The victory, his third this season and eighth all time, raised his lifetime earnings to more than $134,000.

Brookroad Knight delivers a career-best performance
Abundanceofcredit and Barnegat Lane shared speediest mile honors in Wednesday's $51,200 Excelsior Series contest for NY-bred sophomore colt and gelding trotters. 

Abundanceofcredit (Credit Winner-Melissa Hall) earned his initial season's score and second career win with a career-best 1:57.1 showing in Wednesday's second race, while Barnegat Lane also logged his first win of 2012 and second lifetime score with a 1:57.1 personal-best mile in the third event. 

Wednesday's other Excelsior Series victors were Cash Value (Cash Hall-Minnesota Chelsea) in 1:58.1 and Southwind Strobe (Equinox Bi-Soxeelady) in 1:58.2.

Red Star Hottie, Morrill, Jr. teaming for trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and the Burke Racing Stable, turned in a bold-going 1:51.4 mile to captured Wednesday's $10,500 sixth session, the week's Open test for female pacers.

Morrill, Jr. earned his third triple of the 33-card local meeting, while former Downs regular Jeff Gregory notched a pair of first-place finishes during Wednesday's 11-race program.

DOWNS DOINGS—Brookroad Knight's time missed Archangel's track record for 3-year-old colt trotters by three-fifths-of-a-second…The victory by Southwind Strobe marked his first career trip to the winner's circle…Vernon will present a 10-race card at 6:55 on Thursday night, as the "Change Your Luck/Dollar Night" promotion returns…The Downs will continue to offer 6:55 p.m. Wednesday programs to its live racing schedule for the remainder of July and August...Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


New York Sire Stakes featured on this week’s “Inside Harness Racing”

VERNON, NY – Tirade Hanover, a 2-year-old trotting colt from the first crop of Crazed, stamped himself as one to watch with an impressive win last week in the opening leg of the New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs in 1:57.

Tirade Hanover, trained by Tyler Raymer, is featured on this week's episode of "Inside Harness Racing." The program airs today (Wednesday) at 6:00 PM and again at 10:30 PM on Time Warner Cable Sports throughout Upstate New York. The show can also be seen each week on HPI TV in Canada. Viewers can also watch every episode online at the Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/tiogadowns).

Tirade Hanover cost just $10,000 as a yearling at Harrisburg, but has shown a high level of professionalism from day one.

"I think probably the biggest strength he has is he's good mannered," says veteran driver Howard Parker. "He’s got a good turn of foot."

With recent temperatures reaching the 90s and even the low 100s in some areas, Wendy Ross explores how trainers keep their horses cool and competitive in the summer heat.

Plus, leading amateur driver David Yarock discusses the new GSY Amateur Driving Series, which made a stop at Tioga Downs over the weekend.

Here's the full episode of this week's "Inside Harness Racing"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vernon to host two divisions of NYSS for 3-year-old colt trotters

Vernon Downs will kick off its first Wednesday racing card on July 11, and will feature two divisions of New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters.

15 sophomore trotters dropped in for Wednesday's event, and it looks as if the two toughest drew separate divisions.

Delano winning a NYSS event at Tioga Downs earlier this year
Ray Schnittker's, Delano, drew post position number five in the first division going for $66,718.

The 3-year-old son of Credit Winner – Kelly Hall is coming in off of back-to-back wins in NYSS capturing legs at Buffalo and Yonkers Raceway. The colt has won all three NYSS events he has participated in this year with earnings of more than $115,000. Schnittker and Delano have been given the nod as the 5-2 morning line favorite in race number seven.

In the second division, 2-1 morning line favorite Coraggioso, opted not to go to the Yonkers Trot this past weekend and will look for his fifth win of the season on Wednesday evening.

The 3-year-old son of Conway Hall – Electra Hanover was second to Archangel in the EBC Final at Vernon Downs on June 1st. Trainer-driver, Phil Fluet, will once again do the driving on Coraggioso for the partnership of Spadaro and Durkin from post position number two.
Coraggioso is a Hambletonian hopeful for Phil Fluet

Vernon Downs kicks off its four days of live racing on Wednesday, July 11 with a post time of 6:55 pm. 

Vernon Downs will continue with a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday race schedule through the weekend of August 25th.

For more information on Vernon Downs please visit us online at www.vernondowns.com.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mach My Word Wins Second Straight in Saturday Feature

Mach My Word and Stettin Hanover were winners in co-featured paces at Vernon Downs on Saturday night, July 7.

With Frank Davis catch-driving both first-place finishers, Mach My Word ($7.40) earned his second win in succession and third tally of 2012 with a 1:52 performance in Saturday's $6,500 seventh event, while Stettin Hanover ($5.00) followed suit with a 1:53.2 effort in the $6,500 ninth event, that also hiked his current win count to three.

Mach My Word came overland from fifth at the half to finish first by 2-1/2 lengths for trainer Scott West, who owns the 4-year-old son of Mach Three along with Tracy Brainard.  It was the bay gelding's sixth lifetime tally.

The veteran Stettin Hanover also rallied from off the pace and closed from fourth in the final quarter to win by a half-length over Western Wild King.  Former Vernon training champion Lonny Hale conditions the bay son of Artiscape for the Hale Storm Stable.

The victories enabled both Davis and Hale to obtain doubles during Saturday's 12-race card.  Driver Joe Nassimos also won twice during the track's 32nd program.

Provisional driver Gary Minckler earned his first pari-mutuel victory after piloting the pacer Inconvenient Truth to a snappy 1:54.2 score in Saturday's $3,300 10th event.  The 35-year-old teamster did the steering for trainer Tony Mondi and owner Lon Frocione as the 6-year-old son of Power Of Art secured his initial win of the season and 13th  lifetime tally.  

DOWNS DOINGS—Hale's other Saturday score came from the Leonard Hale-owned pacer Filthy Rich in race five…The 3-year-old trotter This Is It (2:00.3) and sophomore pacer Myartbelongstodaddy (1:56) each obtained their initial pari-mutuel victories on Saturday night…Through July 7, Rick Plano held a 51-48 advantage over Chris Lems in Vernon's driver standings, while defending champ Tracy Brainard led Plano 34-28 on the training side of the ledger…Beginning July 11, Vernon will add Wednesday nights (first post 6:55) to its live racing schedule for the remainder of July and August...Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tirade Hanover, Creditora Fastest in NYSS Debuts

Tirade Hanover and Creditora became the fastest 2-year-old trotting gelding and colt, respectively, during Friday night's $183,044 New York Sires Stakes-sponsored program at Vernon Downs.

Tirade Hanover ($6.30) remained undefeated after two freshman outings and lowered his speed badge to 1:57 with a bold going effort in the quickest of four NYSS divisions, which totaled $118,544, while Creditora ($11.40) claimed the 31-program meet's fastest frosh colt trotting mark with a 1:57.2 come-from-behind effort in the final NYSS clash.
Tirade Hanover wins in 1:57 with Howard Parker

Howard Parker piloted the favorite Tirade Hanover in the seventh session, challenging for the lead from the start, taking command before the half, and then striding boldly to a two-length tally.  The time clipped a full second off the brown gelding's former speed mark, earned in an overnight event at Pocono Downs on June 26.  Tyler Raymer conditions the son of Crazed-Teagarden Hanover for owners Leigh Nichol, Stephen Moss, Harold and Helane Solomon.   

Two races later, Creditora advanced from fourth in the early going, challenged the pace-setting Explosive Action (Parker) entering the homestretch, and then drew off in the final furlong to win by a convincing
4-1/4 lengths.  Trainer Trond Smedshammer did the teaming for Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables as the brown son of Credit Winner-New Royalty chalked up his season's pari-mutuel debut in the victory column.  He had previously won a pair of qualifying events.

Creditora wins his debut with Trond Smedshammer
Friday's other NYSS segment winners were Stirling Bullet (2:00.2) and Flyhawk Blacknight (1:59.2).

Portfolio, a bay son of Sand Vic-Winbak Top driven by Stephane Bouchard for trainer Lee Dahn, an owner along with Larry Dahn and Arlene Dahn, led throughout the 10th contest and posted a 1:58 mile in the speediest of five flights in Friday's $64,500 Excelsior Series for NY-bred freshman male members of the diagonal gait.

The other Excelsior Series victors were Columbia Lion (1:58.3), Bizzaro Lindy (2:00.3), Ruth-Like (2:01) and Ashe's Cash (2:02.1).

Jim Morrill, Jr. and Bouchard each recorded driving doubles, while Rick Plano earned a pair of training credits during Friday's 12-race program.  

DOWNS DOINGS—All 12 of Friday's first-place finishers forged fresh lifetime speed marks…Morrill, Jr. has posted 22 wins in limited appearances at the track this season…The Downs will offer a 12-race card starting at 6:55 tomorrow night (July 7) to closed out its Independence Week activities…Beginning July 11, Vernon will add Wednesday nights (first post 6:55) to its live racing schedule for the remainder of July and August...Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Vernon to host five divisions of NYSS for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters Friday night

The 2-year-old stakes season officially begins at Vernon Downs on Friday night, when the sophomore New York bred trotting colts travel to Vernon, New York.

Four divisions of New York Sire Stakes and five divisions of the Excelsior Series will highlight a 12-race program that kicks off at 6:55 pm.

While hope and promise is still at an all-time high for the youngsters with most making their pari-mutuel debuts, there are a few that seem to stick out above the rest.

In the third division of the NYSS, Tyler Raymer will harness up morning line favorite Tirade Hanover (Howard Parker) from post position eight.

The 2-year-old son of Crazed – Teagarden Hanover has put a qualifier and a baby race into his win column already this year.

Tirade Hanover has trotted sub 59 miles in both events with final quarters in the 28 second range.

Howard Parker will make the trip to Vernon Downs to once again sit behind the promising young son of Crazed for the ownership group of Nichol, Moss, and Solomon.

In the fourth division, Howard Parker has landed on another morning line favorite, this time for trainer John Grasso with Explosive Action.

The 2-year-old son of Conway Hall – Yetta's Angel is coming off of a 1:58.3 win in a qualifier at The Meadowlands where he has qualified on four occasions.

The duo will leave from post position number five in the ninth race going for $29,336.  

Vernon Downs kicks off its weekend of live racing on Friday, July 6th with a post time of 6:55 pm, for more information on Vernon Downs please visit us online at www.vernondowns.com.

Yankee Manny wins again

Brian Green's Yankee Manny became the initial four-time winning trotter of the season at Vernon Downs following his career-best 1:53 victory in the featured attraction during Wednesday afternoon's special Independence Day matinee program.

With trainer Frank Davis at the controls in Wednesday's $10,500 Open contest, the favorite Yankee Manny ($4.80) drafted along in third for most of the sixth race, and then accelerated through the pylon path in the final sixteenth to defeat the fast-closing Spring Goal by a nose.  The pace-setting Manningly was a length back in third.
Wednesday's determined effort tied Yankee Manny with the pacer Miracle Freeluck as the 30-program meet's only four time winning equines through that point in the day.  The Brett Tessler-owned trotter My Buddy Hall Lee then followed suit in the afternoon's eighth event, while extending his current winning streak to a meet-longest four straight.

Yankee Manny's triumph marked his sixth season's score and his 25th lifetime win.  The 6-year-old son of Yankee Glide-Yankee Minuet now sports career earnings of nearly $143,500.

Drivers Rick Plano, Brian Connor and Frank Milby each registered a pair of first-place finishes during Wednesday's 11-race card. 

At day's end, Plano enjoyed a 49-46 advantage over Chris Lems in Vernon's current dash-winning derby.

DOWNS DOINGS—Miracle Freeluck became the meet's initial four-time winner on June 9…The trotter Ultimate Control became the meet's highest priced claim after Danny Nikac plucked him away from the Plano barn for $15,000 in Wednesday's ninth race…There will be no live racing at the Downs tomorrow night (July 5) due to a concert by "America" at the track…Thursday's simulcasts will take place at the Vernon Downs hotel…Live racing will resume at 6:55 p.m. on Friday, July 6 and continue on Saturday, July 7…Starting July 11, Vernon will add Wednesday nights (first post 6:55) to its live racing schedule for the remainder of July and August...Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

High Speed Life caps big night for Lopez

Roman Lopez capped off a successful evening with a bold 1:53.1 victory behind High Speed Life in Tuesday's $10,500 Open contest for female pacers at Vernon Downs.

Having already notched a double behind the pacer Southwest (race one) and trotter Centerfold Lady (event five) earlier in the special pre-Independence Day program, Lopez directed High Speed Life ($6.00) to a two-length score in Tuesday's sixth session.

The hard-charging bay daughter of Lease On Life-Nano followed the favorite Aries Angel to the quarter, took charge on the backstretch, and then held off a late rally by Harlem Rockturne to record her third local victory, fifth win of 2012 and 26th lifetime score.  The 52-year-old horseman shares the career-winner of nearly $458,500 with his ownership partner Mitchell A. Frair.

Lopez logged his second driving triple of the 29-year-old meeting and a training double.

In addition to Lopez and Frair, Tuesday's other multiple winners were driver Rick Plano and trainer Tracy Brainard, each with a pair of first-place finishes during the nine-race program.

DOWNS DOINGS—Plano's double gave him a 47-46 edge over Chris Lems in this season's local driving derby, and tied him at six with Lems, Jimmy Whittemore, and Frank Davis for top honors in the meet's two-win category…Lems had won earlier in the program with the Dave Dewhurst-conditioned pacer Fire Fox (1:55)…Centerfold Lady's 2:01.1 effort resulted in the 3-year-old filly's maiden victory… Vernon will offer a 1:15 July 4 matinee program tomorrow…There will be no live racing at the Downs on Thursday (July 5) due to a concert by "America" at the track…Live racing will resume at 6:55 p.m. on Friday, July 6 and continue on Saturday, July 7…Starting July 11, Vernon will add Wednesday nights (first post 6:55) to its live racing schedule in both July and August...Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Yankees In Six Scores Speedy Saturday win

Relative newcomer Yankees In Six came within 3/5ths-of-a-second of the track record for 4-year-old pacing geldings with his career-best 1:51.1 triumph in Saturday night's $8,000 featured sixth race at Vernon Downs.

Brian Connor sat in for trainer Edgar Clarke as Yankees In Six ($14.20), making just his second appearance over Vernon's 7/8ths-mile oval, started out in sixth place at the quarter, rallied to fifth at the half, then took command in the far turn before holding off the late-charging Oozie's Bad Boy by a neck at the finish of the "Winners Over" pace.
Following a third-place finish here last week, Yankees In Six secured his fourth current victory and his 10th lifetime tally.  Robert J. Orr and Gary J. Jonas own the black son of Panspacificflight-Law And Order, who raised his career earnings to nearly $170,000.

Trainer Clark and the Orr/Jonas contingent also got a win from the veteran pacer Placeitonluckydan (Frank Milby driving) in the Saturday's $4,000 ninth event.

Driver Rick Plano earned three victories for the second straight evening, and raised his win total for the 28-program meeting to 45, tying him with Chris Lems for the season's dash-winning driving leadership.  It was the 60-year-old horseman's sixth "hat trick" at the meet.

Defending dash champ Jimmy Whittemore visited Vernon's winner's circle twice during the evening's 10-race program and tied both Lems and Frank Davis at six for the lead in driving doubles at the meet.  

DOWNS DOINGS—River Shark established the 1:50.3 Vernon record for 4-year-old pacing geldings in 2010…The Downs will present a special Tuesday card (first post 6:55 p.m.) on July 3, followed by the track's annual Independence Day fireworks spectacular…Vernon will also offer a 1:15 matinee program on Wednesday, July 4…There will be no live racing on Thursday, July 5 due to a concert by "America" at the track…Live racing will resume at 6:55 p.m. on Friday, July 6 and continue on Saturday, July 7…Starting July 11, Vernon will add Wednesday nights (first post 6:55) to its live racing schedule in both July and August...Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.