Friday, September 20, 2013

Don't Blame Her ships in to win Thursday's Fillies and Mares Open Pace

Don't Blame Her wins the Thursday feature

The productive pacing mare Don't Blame Her unleashed a strong stretch kick to win her Vernon Downs debut in 1:52 during Thursday night's $10,000 featured eighth event.

Saratoga regular Joe Bongiorno did the teaming for trainer Brad Irvine in Thursday's Open for female proponents of the lateral gait as Don't Blame Her rallied from fourth at the half and closed from second in a :27.2 final quarter to defeat the on-rushing Xenia Hanover by a head.

Thursday's tally was the fourth this season and the 55th all-time for the 10-year-old daughter of Village Connection-Never My Fault, a career-winner of nearly $776,000 that is owned by Robert F. and Barbara Bongiorno.

Leading driver Rick Plano continued his productive ways during Thursday's 11-race card.  The 61-year-old horseman collected three first-place finishes that bumped his total at the 66-program meet to 120.  One of his scores was a 1:58.2 mile behind the 2-year-old pacing filly Purty Hanover in the fourth race that became her "maiden" victory.  The Donato Hanover-offspring now sports a 1-1-1 performance line after four pari-mutuel starts for trainer David Mcginnis and owners Cully Mcginnis and Alan Hyatt. 

DOWNS DOINGS—Roman Lopez, Plano's main rival in this year's dash-winning derby, earned his 80th victory after teaming the Joseph Duh-owned-and-trained pacer Another Judy to a 1:55 score in Thursday's 10th event…Live racing continues with 12 races on Friday, including a $10,000 Open trot in race nine, and a 13-event program on Saturday, that offers a $10,000 Open pace in race two.  First post each night 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