Sunday, April 21, 2013

Thirty Two Red posts lifetime mark, Farina Pacing Series Underway

Rick Plano, who became the first driver to win four races on a Vernon Downs program this season, guided Rock Man to the fastest divisional victory in Saturday night's new Anthony J. Farina Memorial Pacing Series.

After initial first-leg Farina Series scores by Eternal Terror (1:56.1, with trainer Roman Lopez driving for the Tanah Merah Farms) and Red Rock (1:54.2, with trainer and part-owner Ray Schnittker steering for his partner Dr. John Egloff) in Saturday's second and fifth races, respectfully, Plano went out and hustled Rock Man to a 1:53.4 triumph in the eighth event for trainer Howard Okusko, Sr. and owner Linda Manzi of Oneida.

Rock Man's time in the final Farina mile was a career-best effort for the 4-year-old son of Art Major-Gone Dancing, and only his second ever trip to the winner's circle. 

Plano, who is tied with Roman Lopez at nine for most Vernon victories after four current racing nights, also finished first with the pacers Ideally Magic (1:56.1), Iza Believer (1:54.1) and Where's Waldo (1:55.3).  He is the track's defending driving and training champion.
Thirty Two Red (far) posts a lifetime best 1:53.3 win on Saturday night

Schnittker secured a double during the program by teaming the pacer Thirty-Two Red to a 1:53.3 lifetime best victory in the sixth race that proved to be the fastest of 13 Saturday scores.  The quick-footed 3-year-old son of Bettor's Delight-Sakura Hanover is shared in ownership by trainer Schnittker, Theodore Gewertz, Steve Arnold, Mal and Janet Burroughs.

Other multiple winners during Saturday's slate were Lopez and driver Chris Lems, each with three tallies.   

DOWNS DOINGS—The Lopez trained and driven Shaolin Master, winner of race 10 in 1:57.4, became the first two-time winning pacer at the fledgling meet…Following Lopez and Plano atop Vernon's driver standings after four programs is Chris Lems with seven scores…The pacer Sweet Bettor, owned by the Triple C Stable, secured her "maiden" victory after Lems teamed the 4-year-old mare to a 1:59.1 success in Saturday's 12th event…The Downs will continue Friday and Saturday evening racing only (first post 6:45) through May 4.  Thursday nights will be added starting May 9…Vernon's 90-card campaign continues through November 2…A complete racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at