Monday, September 23, 2013

Check Me Out defeats males in Friday's Open Trot

Check Me Out with trainer/driver Ray Schnittker

The $1.8 million career-winning trotter Check Me Out made her appearance at Vernon Downs a notable one in Friday's $10,000 Open contest, finishing first in 1:54.

Co-owner, trainer and driver Ray Schnittker was in the sulky as the fan favorite idled in third to the quarter (timed in :27.2), accelerated to the lead at the half (:55.2) and then dominated from there, defeating She's All In, the nearest of her five foes by 1-1/4 lengths.

Friday's ninth-race tally was the second this season and the 27th all-time for the productive 4-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover-Illusion Bi, who is also registered to Steve Jones.  Check Me Out's dominating performance increased her official career earnings to $1,878,545.  She secured her 1:51.2 record at the Lexington "Red Mile" last year.

The Regina Dewhurst-owned trotter Ziegler Hanover used a quick-striding late rally to capture Friday's 11th race in 1:55, and become the winningest equine performer of the track's 60th anniversary season.  Chris Lems did the driving for former Downs conditioning champ Dave Dewhurst, as the 8-year-old horse rallied three-wide from fourth in the final quarter to defeat the Tioga Downs-shipper What About Brian by less than a length, chalking up his eighth local success of the 67-program campaign.  Having recorded five first-place finish in his last six starts, the steady-striding son of Andover Hall currently has an 8-7 edge over fellow trotter Ulay Boko and the pacer Hot Cowboy.

Three-time Downs' sulky champ Jimmy Whittemore attained his sixth driving triple of the meet on Friday and moved to within one victory (81-80) of Roman Lopez on the track's current dash-winning chart. 
Leading reinsman Rick Plano (122 wins) posted his 19th double of the meet and is tied with Chris Lems in that category with 19 each as of Sept. 20.  Driver Fern Paquet, Jr. also tallied twice during Friday's 12-race card. 

DOWNS DOINGS—Cary Grady's 3-year-old pacer Jude Hall (1:54),and the Melvin Robert Fuchs-owned 2-year-old sidewheeler Prince Ajani (1:57.4) each earned their initial pari-mutuel victories during Friday's program...Live racing continues with a 13-event agenda on Saturday, that offers a $10,000 Open pace in race two.  First post will be at 6:45 p.m…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