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