Sunday, August 26, 2012

Night 2 of the State Fair Races at Vernon Downs

Sir Cary's Z Tam and Royalty For Life recorded the season's fastest miles by freshmen on the pace and trot, respectively, while Jim Morrill, Jr., again, tied the 2012 single program mark of six driving victories during Saturday night's $153,800 State Fair racing program for New York-breds at Vernon Downs.

Royalty For Life wins in a career-best 1:55.4 in the State Fair
Driven by Mike Lachance, Sir Cary's Z Tam converted a pocket trip into a career-best 1:53 clocking in Saturday's second session.  While out-striding the favorite Thirty Two Red to the finish by a neck, the brown son of Bettor's Delight-Yankee Celebration collected his second win in six starts and increased his earnings to $58,581 for owner/trainer Pat Lachance, Ira Rosenblum and the M&M Harness Racing Stable.   

Morrill, Jr. did the steering behind Royalty For Life in Saturday's opener, as the front-striding favorite forged a career-best 1:55.4 record, chalked up his fifth victory in eight outings and hiked his winnings to more than $90,600.  George Ducharme conditions the bay son of Rc Royalty-Bourbon 'n Grits for Alfred Ross, Raymond W.J. Campbell, Jr. and Paul Fontaine.

Morrill, Jr., who captured five races in State Fair competition here the previous evening, went on to win the fifth, seventh, 10th, 11th and 12th events on Saturday's 12-race card, giving him 51 first-place finishes in limited appearances at the Downs this year.  The talented 47-year-old teamster is currently tied at six with Tim Tetrick for most wins on a single Vernon card through 60 programs, but he has now done it three times to one for his only competitor.  Both reinsmen will compete in Sunday afternoon's $25,000 leg of Vernon's 6th-annual driving championship at the central New York 7/8ths-mile track.

Saturday's other first-place finishers in the $64,100 State Fair competition for 2-year-olds male pacers were Bet The Moon (Bettor's Delight-Sun N Moon) in 1:53.3, Doctor Butch (Art Major-Classical Yankee) in 1:53.4, Stirling Brigade (Art Major-Belle Reve) in 1:54.1 and Americasgottalent (American Ideal-Sunduel A) in 1:55.3.

Scores in Saturday's $89,700 freshman colt/gelding trot were also recorded by Tirade Hanover (Crazed-Teagarden Hanover) in 1:57.2, Prove Up (Plesac-Perennial) in 1:58.1, Bet The Moon (Bettor's Delight-Sun N Moon) in 1:58.1, Twisted Pretzel (Crazed-Pretzel Hanover) in 1:58.1, Jacks To Open (Conway Hall-Jodi's Jayme) in 1:58.2, Rage (Conway Hall-Chianti) in 1:59.2 and Pine Credit (Credit Winner-Ms Piggy Pine) in 1:59.3.

Driver Jeff Gregory as well as trainers Ron Burke, Linda Toscano and Paul Kelley were all two-time winners during Saturday's program.   

DOWNS DOINGS—Earning their initial pari-mutuel victories on Saturday were the trotters Pine Credit, Rage, Jacks To Open and pacer Bet The Moon…Vernon will conclude State Fair weekend with its initial $25,000 leg of the 6th-annual Driving Championship at 1:15 tomorrow afternoon.  Dave Palone is the early points-leader after the event's first round that was held at The Meadowlands racetrack in New Jersey on Aug. 17.  Sunday's 13-race card will also include colt and filly flights of the $700,000 (est.) Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial 3-year-old trot, a Jody Jamieson bobblehead doll giveaway and free commemorative T-shirts…The Downs also has a matinee program planned for 1:15 p.m. on Labor Day (Sept. 3)… Next Wednesday (Aug. 29), Vernon will host a concert by "The Boss," Bruce Springsteen and his E-Street band at the track.  It's a leg of the noted singer's current Wrecking Ball Tour…Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.