Saturday, June 22, 2013

Camels & Ostriches Invade Vernon Downs

The Camels pose in the Vernon Downs winner's circle

Vernon Downs held its first edition of the camel and ostrich races Friday night. More than 5,400 turned out to watch after Races 4 & 8. The crowd that turned out also enjoyed the harness racing.

"You could hear the crowd cheering the whole stretch while driving. It was great," said driver Howard Okusko Jr.
The camels & ostriches of Hedrick's Promotions, Inc. will venture to The Meadowlands Saturday evening followed by Tioga Downs Sunday afternoon.

On the racing front, Alarming Quick (Joe Nassimos) pulled the upset in the $6,200 feature Friday evening for mare trotters. Sitting fourth throughout the race, Alarming Quick stormed home late to win in a lifetime best 1:54:1 and returned $19.80 for a $2 ticket.  Alarming Quick is owned by Nicholas Angarano and Shawn Ross.

Veteran campaigner Four One One became a new member of the $400,000 club Friday night with his win. 

The 11-year-old Sealed N Delivered gelding notched his 26th career win. Howie Okusko Jr. drove for owner Robert Siemski.

Rick Plano led the way driving with a hat trick while Jimmy Whittemore and Chris Lems both had driving doubles.

Alarming Quick takes the Friday horse feature
Earlier in the day the freshmen took to the track once again as 10 baby races were conducted.  On the trotting side trainer George Ducharme won five of the six events. They included How Bout Cash (Chris Lems – 2:01:2), Margie (Howie Okusko Jr. – 1:59:4), Avalicious (Chris Lems – 2:00:2), Izzy Jokin (Chris Lems – 2:00), & My Friend Charlie (Chris Lems – 2:00:1). The non Ducharme trained Royal Max (J. Stark Jr. – 2:00:1) won the other trotting baby race.

For the pacers Big Boy Dreams (Brian Connor) was the fastest of the day winning in 1:55:2 after sitting the two hole throughout the mile. Other two year old pacing winners included Newyorkstateofmind (Rick Plano – 1:57:1), Savhorserideacowboy (Gates Brunet – 1:57:3), & Cundalini (Brett Crawford – 1:56:1).

Vernon Downs continues live racing Saturday (June 22) featuring the New York Sire Stakes & New York Excelsior Series for three-year-old fillies. Two divisions make up the Sire Stakes each carrying a purse of $66,487. Summertime Lea (Jim Morrill Jr.) & Social Scene (Jonathan Drury) were both victorious their last start at Tioga in New York Sire Stakes action. Give Me An Amen (Jeff Gregory) comes in off a win in the Historic at Tioga.

First post for the 13 race card Saturday (June 22) is 6:45 pm. For more information visit