Saturday, August 10, 2013

"He's like having my own personal ATM"

Aruba Vacation racks up another win
Trainer Guy Howard refers to his veteran trotter Aruba Vacation as his "money machine," and the steady-going gelding proved his worth once again with a solid 1:54 score in Friday night's $10,000 Open feature at Vernon Downs.
Competing as the wagering favorite in Friday's second session, Aruba Vacation went right to the top from the word "go" and proceeded to defeat the nearest of five formidable rivals by nearly two lengths, earning his second score in succession, his eighth win of 2013 (second at the Downs) and the 30th victory of his productive career.  The 6-year-old son of Dream Vacation-Dixie Hit has banked more than $85,000 after 22 season's starts for the Howard Stables, raising his all-time winnings to $509,282.  "He's like having my own personal ATM," Howard joked.
Aruba Vacation's driver, Dan Daley delivered a "triple" during Friday's 12-race program, finishing first with the promising 2-year-old colt trotter Odds On Amethyst (1:57.3) in the first race for the Odds On Racing Stable, and the 5-year-old pacer A Major Haze (1:54) in the ninth event.
The Tanah Merah Farm's trotter Glorious Winner secured his sixth score of Vernon's 47-program meeting with a 1:55.1 victory for driver/trainer Roman Lopez in Friday's $8,000 eighth event, and tied fellow diagonally-gaited rival Ulay Boko for most tallies by an equine performer through Aug. 9.
Drivers Howard Okusko, Jr, Chris Lems and owner Arthur S. Conte collected two victories during Friday's program.
DOWNS DOINGS—In addition to Odds On Amethyst, the 2-year-old filly pacer Lady Jake (1:56) and 3-year-old pacer A And J's Freebie (1:56.2) also posted their initial pari-mutual victories during Friday's card...Trying for his second score in succession and his seventh of the meet in race seven, Ulay Boko finished fourth...The Downs will conclude its "Corntastic Weekend" with a corn-eating contest during Saturday night's 13-race program, that will begin at 6:45.  There will also be a horse-themed coloring book giveaway for youngsters, while supplies last, during Saturday's slate, which features a $10,000 Open pace in race nine...A 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