Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Penny Earned posts lifetime mark in Labor Day feature win

A Penny Earned scores with Jimmy Whittemore

A Penny Earned posted a career-fastest 1:53.1 Open trot victory; Hot Cowboy became the winningest pacer at the 59-program meeting, and Jimmy Whittemore chalked up four driving tallies during Monday's special 10-race matinee program at Vernon Downs.

With multiple Downs race-winning champ Whittemore handling the lines in Monday's $10,000 eighth event,
A Penny Earned idled in fifth place to the half, timed in :56 seconds, then scooted three-wide around the final bend and flashed home in a :28.1 final quarter to secure an impressive seven-length triumph.  

Improving his win-mark by one tick of the timer, the 4-year-old bay son of Conway Hal-Penny Dream collected his fourth current victory and 12th lifetime tally, while hiking his career purse earnings to more than $242,000 for trainer George Ducharme, an owner along with New Englanders Nicola Oliva, Alfred Ross and Paul Fontaine.

Whittemore also finished first with the first-time race-winning trotter Don't Miss A Tweet (1:58.2), the diagonally-gaited Leah's Ex (1:55) and pacer Katelyn's Scott (1:52) to register his third four-win outing of the track's 60th anniversary season.

Hot Cowboy, a consistent 6-year-old campaigner owned and trained by Truman Gale, roared home in a :27.4 last quarter to win Monday's fifth event in 1:52.3.  The solid score was his seventh at the meeting and made him the winningest pacer of 2013 here to date.  It also tied him with the trotter Ulay Boko for most equine triumphs through Sept. 2.

Second-leading reinsman and conditioner Roman Lopez logged a pair of first-place driving finishes during the bright, sunny afternoon, while Truman Gale gained a pair of training tallies. 

DOWNS DOINGS—A Penny Earned is a stablemate of the standout trotter Royalty For Life in the Downs-based Ducharme stable…The 2-year-old filly trotter Don't Miss A Tweet is trained by veteran Homer Hochstetler and owned by Connie J. Hochstetler and Robert Buddig…The Downs will offer live racing at 6:45 p.m. Thursday-Saturday this weekend…On Friday, Sept. 6, Vernon will present its premier events for older representatives of the diagonal gait, the $200,000 Credit Winner Open Trot and the $200,000 Muscle Hill Mare Trot…Friday's slate will also include a rich New York Sires Stakes contest for 2-year-old filly pacers.…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.