Saturday, May 4, 2013

Coraggioso Returns a Winner



NYSS Champion Coraggioso wins in his 2013 debut
Reigning New York Sires Stakes champion Coraggioso was fast and fit in his season's debut on Friday night, capturing the $10,000 Vernon Downs featured eighth race and setting a track record for 4-year-old trotting horses.

Trainer Gates Brunet was at the controls in the week's Open test as favored Coraggioso, winner of the NYSS 2012 title test for 3-year-old colt trotters, got cover early in Friday's mile contest.  The quick-striding son of Conway Hall-Electra Hanover rallied from third in the final quarter (authoring a :28.3 final fraction) to defeat the front-striding A Penny Earned by a head in a career-best 1:53.4, lowering the track's former standard for his class (set by Winning Mister in 2010) by one tick of the timer, and establishing a season's fastest trotting mark at the central New York 7/8ths-mile oval.

Friday's fantastic performance earned the career-winner of more than $511,400 his 12th lifetime victory for owners Joseph Spadaro and Tom J. Durkin, the famed announcer for the New York Racing Association.

Friday's fastest mile was a 1:52.3 victory by the pacer Windows Online, who became a two-time winner at the seven-night meet with a bold-going effort in the evening's seventh session.  It was one of three tallies during the 12-race program for defending driving champ and current leader Rick Plano.  He also finished first with Ulay Boko (1:55.2) in the sixth session and To Tell The Truth (1:53) in race 10.  His wife, Maryann, owns the latter two Standardbreds.

Driver John MacDonald was also a multiple winner during Friday's format, posting a pair of first-place finishes.

DOWNS DOINGS—Vernon will offer simulcast wagering on Saturday's Kentucky Derby, which is slated to start at 6:24 p.m….The Downs will begin its live racing at 5:10 p.m., offering three events before the famed "Run For The Roses," and 10 additional races after it…The $15,200 Anthony J. Farina Memorial Pacing Series final (race nine) and the $14,600 Catherine Burton Memorial Trotting Series championship clash (race seven) will serve as Saturday co-features...Thursday night racing (first post 6:45) will return to the Downs 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 www.vernondowns.com.