Sunday, July 14, 2013

E L Rocket blasts off in New York Sire Stakes


E L Rocket wins the fastest NYSS division

E L Rocket continued his winning ways by cranking out the fastest of three divisional miles in Saturday night's $131,375 New York Sire Stakes feature for 3-year-old male trotters at Vernon Downs.

With the track's top driver and trainer Rick Plano sitting in for conditioner Ron Burke, E L Rocket took control of the seventh race before the quarter and remained in command entering the stretch, where accelerated to a  convincing one-length victory in 1:53.1.

The career-best clocking enabled the roan son of Credit Winner-Courtney Hall to stretch his current win skein to four and post his fifth score in nine current starts.  It was the sixth lifetime tally for the career-winner of more than $101,100, who is shared in ownership by the Burke Racing Stable, the M1 Stable, Howard Taylor and Phillip Collura, all of Pennsylvania.

Saturday's other NYSS successes were recorded by Crazy About Pat, a 1:54 winner for driver Cat Manzi, trainer Noel Daley and the Patricia Stable in race five, and Jacks To Open, a 1:55.2 victor for Plano, trainer Ron Burke and the Our Horse Cents Stable in event 10.

Manzi started Saturday's $64,300 NYSS-sponsored Excelsior Series action off with a 1:56 win behind Viper Blue Chip in the first race, and then closed it out with a 1:56.2 tally behind Ashes Cash in the 12th contest.

In between were first-place finishes by Robin Would (1:56.1 in race three), Brookroaddonnie (1:57 in race nine), and Prove It (1:56.2 in race 11).

Special Strides (Plano) captured the week's $8,000 Open-2 pace in 1:50.4, which equaled the 6-year-old gelding's lifetime speed mark.

Plano posted four victories on a Vernon program for a meet-leading fourth time, Manzi earned a triple, former track regular Jeff Gregory a double, while current Downs driver Brian Connor collected a pair of first-place finishes during the 13-race card. 
   
DOWNS DOINGS—E L Rocket's clocking was just 1/5th of a second off the fastest trotting mile of Vernon's 36-program campaign… Saturday's fastest mile was a career-best 1:50.2 effort by the pacer Moonlight Ransom in the fourth event, with Jimmy Whittemore doing the teaming for trainer Ray Van Dreason and owners Gus and Alan Johnston…Ashes Cash made it three wins in his last four outings after his strong showing for trainer Brad Irvine and owner Vito Cucci in race 12…The Downs will offer live harness racing at 6:45 Thursday through Saturday