Friday, June 28, 2013

Fool Me Once breaks track record in the slop in NYSS

Fool Me Once (Scott Zeron) break the track record in NYSS action

The favorite Fool Me Once lived up to his top billing with a 1:50  track record performance in the fastest of three divisions of Thursday's $132,975 New York Sire Stakes feature for 3-year-old male pacers at Vernon Downs.

Rated perfectly throughout the ninth race in a persistent rain and over a sloppy track, Fool Me Once was sent to the front at the start by driver Scott Zeron and led through splits of :26 seconds, :55.1 and 1:23.4 en route to an impressive four-length victory, clipping one-fifth-of-a-second off the former Vernon standard for 3-year-old colt pacers, that had been set by Coral Snake on June 22 last season.

Thursday's brilliant performance resulted in the fifth win in seven season's starts by the bay son of Art Major-Fool That I Am and his ninth career tally.  Mark Austin conditions the lifetime earner of nearly $293,000 for the Mark Austin Stables, Inc. and Daniel W. Smith.

Thursday's other NYSS divisions were captured by Hail The Taxi (Art Major-Taxi Hanover) in 1:51 over a "good" track with Hall-of-Famer John Campbell doing the teaming for trainer Jim Campbell and the Fashion Farms, LLC, and Bettor Than You (Bettor's Delight-Mambo Hall) in 1:51.4 on a similarly rated surface with Jim Morrill, Jr. doing the steering for owner/trainer Tony O'Sullivan and his partners John D. Fielding and Jim H. Fielding. 

I'm The Real Major (Art Major-Real Girl) posted a 1:52 personal-best speed-mark to snare the swiftest Excelsior Series score for male sophomore side-wheelers, with Chris Lems steering for trainer Margaret Spagnola and owners Dave Spagnola and the Our Blue Streaks Stable.

Thursday's other Excelsior series splits were won by Stormy West in 1:52.1, Humility in 1:53.3, Just Bettor in 1:53.4 and Larussa STL in 1:54.

First-time Downs starter Blissfull Romance earned a 1:52.3, head decision over Bells Are Ringing in Thursday's 10th event, the week's $10,000 Open distaff pace, with Morrill, Jr. piloting for trainer Ron Burke, the Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi.

Nine-time current local winner Morrill managed his third triple of Vernon's 60th season, while the 28-program meeting's leading trainer and driver, Rick Plano, posted a pair of first-place finishes, as did John Mac Donald and Jason Bartlett.    

DOWNS DOINGS—The record performance by Fool Me Once is the seventh track standard that has been re-written or equaled to date during Vernon's 60th season…Vernon's current 1:49.3 mark for aged gelding pacers belongs to A Fool For Mark, who established the new standard on June 22…Friday's 12-race card will begin at 6:45 p.m., as will Saturday's 13-race program, which celebrates Vernon's 60th Anniversary season with a commemorative T-shirt promotion, an expense-paid trip to the Hambletonian Stake giveaway and a $500 betting voucher prize for some lucky fanA revised 2013 racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at