Located in the beautiful rolling hills of Central New York, Vernon Downs has a long and rich history of top-class harness racing dating back to the 1950s. The 7/8 mile track is widely regarded as the best surface in New York. The live racing season runs from April through November. Major highlights of the schedule include the $350,000 Zweig Memorial Trot for 3-year-olds and the $200,000 Credit Winner and Muscle Hill Trots for aged horses.
Royalty For Life wins Zweig Memorial, Marohn Takes Round 1 of Drivers' Championship
Royalty For Life with Brian Sears
hero Royalty For Life, along with Mistery Woman and driver Jim Marohn, Jr., all
shared the limelight during Sunday night's special 13-race card at Vernon
For Life, the recent Hambletonian winner who is stabled in trainer George
Ducharme's barn in the Vernon backstretch, came up big again by capturing
Sunday's $360,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial clash for 3-year-old male
trotters in 1:53.1.
Woman won the $150,000 Zweig Memorial filly trotting contest in 1:52.1, while
Marohn, Jr. earned top honors and $10,000 for completing the initial round of
this season's 7th-annual All-Star Driving Challenge by winning two
of the event's four Vernon races and compiling 27 points.
from the outside nine post in Sunday’s 10th race, Royalty For Life
went right to the front for former Vernon resident Brian Sears and cut soft fractions
of :27.1, :58, and 1:26 without any serious challenges from his eight top-shelf
competitors.Then, when Corky
came-a-callin' entering the final furlong, the powerful 3-year-old colt shifted
into another gear (like top-quality horses do) and spurted to a 1-1/2-length
marked the fifth victory in nine season's starts for the bay son of Rc
Royalty-Bourbon 'n Grits, who has earned $834,850 this season.The lion's share of the purse increased his
career winnings to more than $1.2 million for owners Alfred Ross, Raymond W. J.
Campbell, Jr. and Paul Fontaine.
Mistery Woman and David Miller
Woman started our cautiously for driver David Miller in Sunday's seventh
session, remaining in fifth-place to the half, timed in :55.3.The bay sophomore daughter of Donato Hanover-My
Dolly's Dream rallied on the outside from there, advancing to fourth entering
the last quarter and cranking out a :28-second final split to defeat entry-mate
Shared Past by one length.
career-best score improved the steady-striding filly's current summary line to
3-2-3 after nine trips to the track and hiked her career winnings to $329,200
after 15 lifetime starts for the Misty Miller, William J. Donovan, Millstream,
Inc. and Aldebaran ownership contingent.The Jonas Czernyson-conditioned youngster lowered her win-mark by
4/5ths-of-a-second in the gritty performance.
Jr., representing Tioga Downs as its current dash-winning leader and two-time
champion (2009 and 2012), earned a second-place finish (Steuben Lone Pine) and
two tallies (Bullet Speed and Mc Tiny's Hope) in Vernon's four championship
races and amassed a 10-point lead over Canadian reinsman Jody Jamieson entering
the final leg of the championship, which will take place at Tioga Downs on
Monday afternoon, Sept. 2.
other point-earners in the Vernon competition were Tim Tetrick with 18 points,
Sears with 17, Ron Pierce, last year’s winner in this contest, 10, Yannick
Gingras, six, Rick Plano, three, David Miller, two and Corey Callahan, one.
DHU won the Zweig consolation 3-year-old filly trot in 1:54.1 with Brett Miller
doing the teaming for trainer Del S. Miller and owner William J. Donovan, while
Lindy's Tru Grit got home first in the male consolation race, finishing in
1:54.4 with Tetrick teaming for trainer Frank Antonacci, the Lindy Racing
Stable and Robert A. Rudolph.
Outrageous Art produced a shocking 1:49.3 victory in Sunday's $10,000 12th
contest, the $10,000 Open pace.Part-owner Gingras did the teaming for trainer Ron Burke and his
ownership partners the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and Joseph Di
Scala, Jr. as the 6-year-old son of Artsplace-Righteous led from start to
finish, equaling his lifetime speed-mark and securing his 11th
season's score in 21 official trips to the racetrack.
DOWNS DOINGS—Jamieson won Sunday's first
three races, but only the third event earned him 10 points in the driving
duel…Sunday's other winner in the driving competition was Tetrick behind the
pacer Legacy N Diamonds (1:51.2) in the evening's ninth race…Tetrick, who has
been the Standardbred sport's money-winning leader for an unprecedented six
straight seasons, hasn't earned a title in this driving event through six
previously appearances…A 1:53.1 triumph by Hot Cowboy (Truman Gale steering in
race 13) was his sixth of the 55-program meeting, tying him with Ideally Magic
for most equine tallies on the lateral gait thru Aug. 25.The trotter Ulay Boko tops the current equine
win chart with seven first-place finishes…Live harness racing resumes
Thursday-Saturday this weekend, first post at 6:45 p.m.In addition, there will be a special 1:15
p.m. matinee program on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 2)…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 www.vernondowns.com.