Saturday, August 24, 2013

Spreester and Barefoot Beauty speed stars of night 1 of State Fair Stakes



 The 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
The 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.

Spreester's 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.
Friday's 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.

Jet Air 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.

The 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.

Friday's 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 Stable, respectively.

Chris 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.