Sunday, August 4, 2013

Some Or Lis wins "Dashtonian," Dipietrantonio wins "Vernontonian" on Saturday

Oh My Joepa

The pacer Oh My Joepa was in mid-season form as he rallied for a 1:52.1 score in Saturday night's $7,000 featured seventh race at Vernon Downs.

With Luke Plano doing the driving for trainer Michael Deters, Oh My Joepa advanced from fifth in the early going, using the outside rally route to reach second entering the final quarter.  The gritty 5-year-old gelding then accelerated in the final furlong to gain a 1-3/4 tally over the closest of his eight rivals.

Saturday's success was the fourth this season (second locally) and ninth all-time for the bay son of Rocknroll Hanover-Nittany Lion, who raised his career winnings to nearly $44,000 for owner Paul Parenteau.

The Plano driving duo (Luke and father Rick) won five of Saturday's 12 races, with leading reinsman Rick Plano posting four first-place finishes for the fifth time in 45 programs.

To celebrate the 88th Hambletonian Stake raced earlier in the day at The New Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey (won by the Vernon-based sophomore trotter Royalty For Life from the George Ducharme stable), the Downs carded the "Dashtonian" in race two, a ½-mile pacing test, that was won in a track-record time of :53.2 seconds by the quick-footed Some Or Lis, with Joe Nassimos steering for owner and trainer Richard Dow.

Two races later, the "Vernontonian" was conducted on the trot at the 1-3/8-mile-distance, and the winner was Dipietrantonio in 2:45, which was 3/5ths-of-a-second off the track standard for this gait and distance, set by Ivanhoe Diamant in 2011.  Rick Plano did the piloting for trainer Rick Papa and the Joe Faraldo and Peter Venaglia ownership duo.

Truman Gale and Jimmy Whittemore earned a pair of victories during Saturday's slate, as did trainers Robert C. Gale and Deters. 

DOWNS DOINGS— The time set by Some Or Lis in Saturday's ½-mile dash was 4/5ths-of-a-second faster than the previous mark, set by Potala Prince in 2012…Vernon reached the half-way mark in its planned 90-card campaign with Saturday's card… At the half-way point of Vernon's 60th Anniversary Season, Rick Plano leads in driving victories with 88 and training tallies with 34…The Downs will start next week's Thursday-Saturday live racing slate with a rich New York Sire Stakes feature for 2-year-old male trotter on Aug. 8…First post is at 6:45 p.m…Vernon's annual "Corntastic Weekend" will be conducted on all three nights next week…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