Saturday, August 31, 2013

Plano posts 10th driving triple of the season on Friday night

Senor Grande was 1 of 3 wins for Rick Plano

Defending dash and training champion Rick Plano guided the pacer Senor Grande to a 1:52.2 clocking in Friday night's eight race en route to his 101st victory of the 57-program meeting at Vernon Downs.

Plano also finished first with the pacer Guitar's Tiki Bars (1:55.2) and the trotter Hello I’m Johnny (1:58.2) while earning his meet-leading 10th driving triple of the season.  He currently leads in driving victories (101) and training tallies with 40.

Piloting the Saratoga invader Senor Grande for owner and trainer Brad Irvine, Plano kept the 3-year-old gelding on the lead throughout and secured a comfortable six-length triumph.  The time was a career-fastest win clocking for the slick-striding bay son of Art Major-World's Sweetheart, who now sports a 3-2-2 summary line and purse-earnings of $15,274 after 12 starts in this his first season of competition. 

Two-win performances were also turned in by drivers John MacDonald, Brian Connor and trainer Ronald MacDonald during Friday's 11-race program.   

DOWNS DOINGS—John MacDonald steered the 3-year-old pacer Briolette Hanover to a 1:56 "maiden" victory in Friday's fourth race.  Ron MacDonald is the spritely filly's trainer and owner…Roman Lopez teamed the 2-year-old filly pacer Perfect Play to a lifetime-best 1:56.4 triumph in Friday's 10th event, that was just 2 & 1/5th seconds off the fastest mile at the 2013 meeting by a frosh distaffer on the lateral gait…The Downs will present a 10-race program on Saturday night (Aug. 31) that will include three divisions of a $107,925 New York Sires Stake for 2-year-old male pacers, along with three segments of a $37,900 Excelsior Series contest for representatives of the same age, sex and gait, plus a $10,000 Open pace.  First post will be at 6:45 p.m…There will also be a special 10-race matinee program on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 2) starting at 1:15 p.m.…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