Monday, October 15, 2012

Plano wins six including feature with Pacinello

Leading driver and trainer Rick Plano, plus the pacer Pacinello, were standout performers during Saturday night's 13-race program at Vernon Downs.

Plano, who completed the three-night weekend with 10 first-place finishes—six of them during Saturday's program, piloted the favorite Pacinello ($5.00) to a front-striding 1:50.4 victory in Saturday's $11,000 fifth race feature.

Facing six select rivals in the week's Open for proponents of the lateral gait, Pacinello provided splits of :26.1, :55.1, and 1:23.2 on a cold and damp central New York evening before defeating the fast-closing Restless Yankee by one length.

The bold-going tally marked the fourth win locally in 2012 for the quick-footed 6-year-old son of Little Steven-Princess Kiara, his fifth this season and his 32nd all-time.  The lifetime winner of $335,735 is owned by the D&E Racing, Inc. contingent.

Plano went on to secure five additions scores during Saturday's slate, including a 1:52.3 victory with his wife's (Maryann) pacer Hay Goodlooking in the program's sixth session, the $6,000 "winner's over" pace.

Plano also won with the pacers Dutchtreat Hanover (1:53.2), Special Strides (1:52), Split Ticket (1:55) and Jazz Band (1:51.4) to tie noted reinsmen Tim Tetrick and Jim Morrill, Jr. at six for most wins on a single program at the seven-month meet.

Plano also finished in a dead-heat for win with the pacer Nuke's Flash in Saturday's fourth race, but was found guilty of a Eurorail violation (getting a sulky wheel inside of a pylon in the final turn) and placed to second by the judges in a 1:54.1 mile that went to the Brian Connor-steered Sody's Tufftrifecta…

With eight programs remaining in the track's 59th season, the 60-year-old Frankfort-native tops all drivers with 142 first-place finishes, and all trainers with 74 tallies.  He is the current leader in driving doubles (17), triples (15), four-win cards (five) and tied with Morrill, Jr. at two in five-victory performances.  He's also tops in "2:00" drives with 141.

Connor collected his fourth driving triple of the meet on Saturday, while driver Tyler Freese chalked up a pair of first-place finishes during the track's 82nd program. 

DOWNS DOINGS—The sophomore trotting colt Red Falkor forged his first pari-mutuel victory (1:57.4) in Saturday's first race…The Downs will continue its Thursday-Saturday live racing schedule next weekend, with first post time at 6:55 p.m… The track's 59th season continues through Nov. 3…Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at