Saturday, August 3, 2013

Palm Beach Chic and Long Island Tea star in New York Sire Stakes

The New York-bred sophomore trotting stalwarts Palm Beach Chic and Long Island Tea each stopped the timer at 1:54.4 while winning their respective divisions of Friday night's $131,774 NY Sire Stakes feature at Vernon Downs.

Palm Beach Chic wins with Jeff Gregory
Former Vernon regular Jeff Gregory did the teaming behind Palm Beach Chic in Friday's fifth race.  The Linda Toscano-trained daughter of Conway Hall-Back On Track advanced from fourth in the far turn and closed from third in the stretch to earn a career-best win clocking by defeating the on-rushing Fifth Shades by one length.

It marked the third season's score (second at the Downs) and fifth lifetime tally for the career-winner of more than $121,200, who is owned by Jeff Gregory, Inc. and William H. Richardson.

Saratoga regular Brian Mattison did the steering for trainer Paul Kelley in race seven as Long Island Tea (Credit Winner-Strong Tea) made every step a winning one en route to a decisive score and a career-fastest showing.  It was the sixth victory in 10 all-time starts (all in 2013) for the lifetime winner of $61,796, who is owned by the Kelley Racing Stable and Steve Stewart.

Long Island Tea with Brian Mattison
Maggie O (Equinox Bi-Gramola's Image) produced a 1:56.3 lifetime-fastest victory in race 10 that proved to be the fastest divisional score in Friday's $63,000 Excelsior Series contest for 3-year-old distaff practitioners of the diagonal gait.  Jim Morrill, Jr. piloted the lifetime winner of $55,473 for trainer Randall Ring and owner Timothy W. O'Brien.

Friday's other Excelsior Series splits were won by Kinda Crazy Lindy (Crazed-Possessed By Lindy) in 1:57, Makes Me Crazy (Crazed-Croupier Lady) in 1:57, Suzie's Little Vic (Sand Vic-Somethingsosimple) in 1:57.4, and Blush And Crush (Conway Hall-Blushing Jo Anna) in 1:58.1.

Gregory also teamed Client Nine to a 1:53.3 victory in Friday's $10,000 sixth race, the week's Open trot, while Sheer Brilliance became a two-time winner at the meet after a sizzling 1:50.3 triumph for driver Sean Bier in the $10,000 eighth event, the week's Open pace.

Maryann Plano's veteran trotter Ulay Boko uncorked a front-striding 1:55.1 triumph for leading driver/trainer Rick Plano in Friday's 11th event that resulted in the 11-year-old horse becoming the winningest equine performer after 44 programs with six first-place finishes.

Gregory amassed four victories during Friday's 13-race program, while Plano picked a pair of training tallies.

DOWNS DOINGS—Ulay Boko now leads three fellow trotters and a trio of pacers by one win credit…Thanks to a driving assist from his son, Luke, Rick Plano has already produced five conditioning credits during the current weekend with one program remaining …The Downs will offer simulcast wagering on tomorrow's entire Hambletonian program from The Meadowlands starting at 11:50 a.m…Saturday night's live 12-race Vernon program will begin at 6:45…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