Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summertime Lea goes fastest in New York Sire Stakes

On Wednesday, the 49th program of 2012 at Vernon Downs, Summertime Lea (1:52.2) captured the fastest of three divisions in a $116,605 New York Sire Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers; Jetta Blue Chip collected a career-fastest 1:53.3 victory in the quickest of five flights of a $64,100 NYSS-sponsored Excelsior Series segment for state-bred frosh filly members of the lateral gait; successful 11-year-old trotter Scorpion Moon earned his 87th career triumph and posted  a lifetime-best win mark that lowered his own season's fastest clocking for representatives of the diagonal gait at the central New York track to 1:52.3, Jim Morrill, Jr., one of the Standardbred sport's top reinsmen, won five of the evening's 12 pari-mutuel races, and leading driver Rick Plano posted his 5,990 career sulky score.
Morrill, Jr. did the teaming for trainer Ron Burke in Wednesday's $39,335 seventh session as the favorite Summertime Lea led from start to finish while securing her fourth first-place finish (plus a second) in five official performances, bumping her bankroll up to $80,921 and lowering her win-record to 1:52.2, which is just four-fifths-of-a-second off the track record for this class (set by See You At Peelers in 2010).  The swift-footed and steady-going bay daughter of Lislea-Donna Summer is shared in ownership by Earl Smith, Frank Baldachino Weaver Bruscemi and the Burke Racing Stable.

Wednesday's other NYSS divisional winners were Ritascape (Artiscape-Rita J) in 1:52.4 for driver Jimmy Whittemore, listed trainer Larry Rathbone and owners Connie and Homer Hochstetler and the South Of The Tracks Racing stable, and Park N Orchard (Art Major-Allamerican Meadow) in 1:53.3 for driver Brian Sears, trainer/owner George Zitone and his partner Jay Platt.

Morrill was also in the sulky in Wednesday's $12,800 fourth event as Jetta Blue Chip (American Ideal-JK Good Vibrations) collected her initial pari-mutuel victory for trainer Abe Stoltzfus and owner Ernest Hartman. 

Wednesday's other Excelsior Series scores were registered to Ballineen (Art Major-Lislea Phia) in 1:54.1 for Morrill, Jr., trainer Stoltzfus and owner Hartman;  R U Ideal (Amerian Ideal-Ru In The Game) in 1:54.3 for driver/owner Pat Lachance and trainer Richard Ringler; Minor Wisdom (American Ideal-Bettor Wisdom) in 1:54.4 for driver Mark MacDonald, trainer Chuck Connor, Jr. and the W Springtime Racing Stable, and Sir Lehigh Z Tam (Art Major-Moss Blue Chip) in 1:56 for driver/owner Lachance, the Z Tam Stables, Ira Rosenblum and trainer Ringler.

While logging three of his eight season's scores at the Downs, Scorpion Moon has dropped the meet's fastest trotting miles from 1:54 (May 18) and 1:53 (June 1) to 1:52.3.  The career-winner of $920,836 is currently owned by trainer Tracy Brainard and Andrew Herzog.

Plano, who now needs just 10 tallies to reach the prestigious 6,000 win plateau, scored with Richard C. Plano's trotter She's All In in race three.  The 3-year-old filly became a five-time winner at the meet.

DOWNS DOINGS—Morrill, Jr. has recorded six wins at the Downs twice this season and owns 32 first-place finishes in limited appearances at the meet…Nine of the night's victors earned win marks…The first-place finishes by Jetta Blue Chip and Ballineen were maiden victories…Leading trainer Brainard also harnessed a pair of Wednesday wins…Thursday's 11-race program, which includes an $11,000 Open contest for female pacers, will begin at 6:55 p.m. and mark the start of Corntastic Weekend at the track…Vernon will host a New York Sire Stakes-sponsored race for 3-year-old filly trotters this Saturday evening, Aug. 11… Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.