Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chief Karen makes a winning local debut

Newcomer Chief Karen made her Vernon Downs debut a winning one, while leading driver Rick Plano continued piling up the victories on Thursday night.

Shipping in from Yonkers Raceway, the favorite Chief Karen ($4.10) defeated six select rivals in Thursday's $11,000 featured ninth race, the week's Open pace, while Plano posted four first-place finishes during the 12-race program.

Driver Billy Dobson and trainer Heidi Rohr completed a two-win night after Chief Karen rallied from sixth place in the final turn, and then flashed through a final quarter in :28-second to secure a 1-3/4 length decision over Bay Girl (Plano piloting).

Thursday's impressive 1:52.1 performance resulted in the sixth season's score and 24th lifetime tally for the 6-year-old daughter of Camluck-In Your Dreams, who is shared in ownership by Adam T. Michael and the Curran Racing stable.  The strong showing equaled her lifetime mark and hiked her career winnings to $350,770.

The Dobson-Rohr combination also clicked with the latter's pacer Mysticole Maggie (1:54) in Thursday's $6,000 seventh event.

Plano picked up four wins during a single Vernon program for the sixth time at the 83-program meeting.  After finishing in front during the fifth (R U For Me), sixth (Western Slammer), eighth (Milliondollardesign) and 12th events (Chocolate Cookie), the 60-year-old reinsman raised his current Downs victory total to 146. 

DOWNS DOINGS—Plano currently leads the local meeting in driving doubles with 17, triples with 15 as well as four-win outings….The central New York-native presently enjoys a 75-71 edge over defending champ Tracy Brainard in this season's training showdown… The Brainard owned and conditioned 2-year-old Our Ella earned her initial pari-mutuel victory following a 1:57.2 pacing performance for driver Jonathan Roberts in Thursday's second race…Friday night's 12-race card, which includes four $10,000 divisions in the fifth and final preliminary leg of this season's Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old trotters, will begin at 6:55…Seven programs remain in the track's 59th season, that continues through Nov. 3…Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at