Monday, October 15, 2012

Helios remains undefeated with win in Late Bloomer Series Final

The capable colt Helios remained undefeated in his young career following Friday night's 1:57.2 triumph in the $24,200 Late Bloomer Series final for three and 4-year-old trotters at Vernon Downs. 

Making just his fourth career start, Helios ($4.40) followed Celebrity Obsesion and Zanna Royal off the starting gate, and remained in third to the half in :57.2.  The sophomore son of Muscles Yankee-Enjoy The Sun advanced to second in the far turn, and then turned it on in the stretch, drawing away to win by two lengths.

Following preliminary series scores here in 2:00.1 and 1:56.1, respectively, Friday's title tally was the fourth overall for the career-winner of $20,400, who is owned by the Little E, LLC contingent.

Driver Chris Lems went on to complete Friday's 12-race card with four first-place finishes, while trainer Jessica Okusko was recording her third tally of the evening.

Leading Downs driver Rick Plano picked up two victories and a training credit during the program, while Jonathan Roberts recorded his second driving double of Vernon's 81-program meeting.

Roberts was at the controls in Friday's first race, the week's $11,000 Open trot, and steered the favorite Scorpion Moon ($2.70) to a front-striding 1:56.1 triumph for co-owner/trainer Tracy Brainard and her partner, Andrew Herzog.  It marked the sixth local score, 11th season's win and 90th all-time victory for the gritty 11-year-old gelding, who has banked nearly $948,000 during his industrious career.

DOWNS DOINGS—The first win by Helios was a bold-going 2:01.2 outing at Saratoga on Aug. 28…Provisional pilot Josh Kinney secured his fifth win at the meet with a 1:56.4 trip behind the Okusko-conditioned trotter Mystic Splendor in Friday's eighth event…Michael Miller leads in "P" victories at the meet with six…Saturday night's 13-race card, that includes the weekend's $11,000 Open pace in race five, will begin at 6:55 p.m…There are just nine more live programs remaining during 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