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.
Spreester and Barefoot Beauty speed stars of night 1 of State Fair Stakes
2-year-old filly pacers Spreester (American Ideal) and Barefoot Beauty (Art
Major) each delivered career-best 1:54.3 clockings in Friday night's $76,100
New York State Fair competition at Vernon Downs, while in a non-Excelsior
series event, the 2-year-old colt pacer Jet Airway (Jereme's Jet) became the
fastest freshman performer of the 53-program meeting with a 1:53.1 performance
in race seven.
Barefoot Beauty and Ron Waples
victories by Spreester and Barefoot Beauty came in divisions of Friday's
$37,900 Excelsior series for NY-breds, and tied another frosh filly
high-stepper, Misty Major, for fastest mile honors by a representative of their
age, sex and gait through Aug. 23.
score, her fifth in seven career outings, came in Friday's fourth event with
Frank Coppola, Jr. doing the driving for trainer Paul Zabielski and owner
Kimberley Zabielski, while Barefoot Beauty's second season's triumph came two
races later, with Ron Waples doing the steering for trainer Gregg McNair and
owner James Avritt, Sr.
Spreester and driver Frank Coppola, Jr.
other 2-year-old filly pacing winner was Sweet Brown (Bettor's Delight), who
earned a 1:55.1 "maiden" victory with Jim Morrill, Jr. doing the teaming for
trainer Amber Buter and owner Tyler L. Buter in race five.
Way produced his second win in five starts with Charlie Norris at the controls
for trainer Erv Miller, the Ervin
Miller Stable, Tangle Massey, Paul Sunderhaus and Larry Agle.
swiftest first-place finisher in Friday's $38,200 Excelsior series action for
2-year-old trotting fillies was Thoughtfilly (Conway Hall), with Morrill, Jr.
driving in the first race.It was the
second score in five starts for quick-stepping bay, who is trained by Brandon
Simpson and owned by the Mystical Marker Farms, Peggy Hood, Dirk Simpson Stable
and the Simpson Racing Stable.
other trotting division winners were Absinthe (Crazed) in 1:59.4 in race nine,
and Lindy's Crazy Dolly (Crazed) in 2:00 in event 10, each a first-time starter
trained by Frank Antonacci for the Lindy Farms of CT and the Lindy Racing
Lems, who teamed both Absinthe and Lindy's Crazy Dolly, earned his 15th
driving double of the Vernon campaign, while Antonacci earned a pair of
conditioning credits, and Morrill, Jr. two driving wins.
DOWNS DOINGS—In addition to Sweet Brown,
Absinthe and Lindy's Crazy Dolly, other equine athletes earning their initial
pari-mutuel victories during Friday's 12-race program were the freshman trotter
Justin On Broadway (Broadway Hall) in 1:59.4, and the 3-year-old pacer Battle
Gun (Dragon Again) in 1:55.1…The Downs will continue with State Fair racing for
New York-bred freshmen tomorrow (Aug. 24), with male trotters and pacers
displaying their talents in seven Excelsior series divisions during a 13-race
program, that will begin at 6:45 p.m…A special program on Sunday, Aug. 25 will
feature the first round of this season's 7th-Annual All-Star
Drivers' Championship, as well as the $700,000 (est.) Dr. Harry M. Zweig
Memorial for 3-year-old trotters.There
will also be a Corey Callahan bobblehead doll giveaway,free drivers' championship T-shirts (both
items dispensed while supplies last), as well as an iPad and Laptop computer
giveaway…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.