Friday, June 7, 2013

Lopez Triples in the Slop on Thursday Night

High Speed Life takes Thursday's sloppy feature

Roman Lopez delivered his meet-leading sixth driving triple of the 2013 season at Vernon Downs on Thursday night, including a feature race triumph with the productive pacer High Speed Life.

Competing in the $6,200 eighth event over a rain-soaked, sloppy track, Lopez, currently second in races won and training tallies at the 18-program meet, hustled High Speed Life to the early lead and then was content to sit in second as Table Games took over and led the field to the three-quarter mark in 1:25.1.  Lopez then eased his steady-striding 7-year-old mare out of the pocket in the stretch and, together, they rallied for a three-quarter length triumph in 1:54.2.

Thursday's tally was the second this season, both locally, and the 32nd all-time for the bay daughter of Lease On Life-Nano, who has amassed a bankroll of $520,905 after 128 career starts.

Lopez also finished first with William G. Fisher's trotter Canadian Overall (1:59.2) and Whitney Bell Goodblood's trotter Zagaro (2:00.3) during Thursday's 11-race program.

Driver Jimmy Whittemore also collected three wins during the initial Thursday program of Vernon's 60th season, while Truman Gale earned a pair of sulky scores, Neal Russo two training tallies and owner Cassie Russo victories with the pacers Ex Dream (1:58.1) and Bells Are Ringing (1:54.2).

DOWNS DOINGS—Cassie Russo shares ownership of Bells Are Ringing with Andrew Gannon…Canadian Overall earned his first pari-mutuel score in Thursday's third race…As a result of their local Thursday tallies, Kyler's Valentine and Lis Rain are currently tied at three for most consecutive wins on the pacing gait.  The trotter Hold On Tightly is the present leader in this category with five straight scores...Live racing will continue at 6:45 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings...Vernon will offer simulcast wagering on the Belmont Stakes program this Saturday…The 2013 Empire Breeders Classic championship races for 3-year-old male and female trotters will be contested at the Downs on Sunday (June 9)…A revised racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at