Sunday, September 8, 2013

Manningly and Oh My Joepa take Saturday co-features

The trotter Manningly and pacer Oh My Joepa were co-feature race winners, while leading driver and trainer Rick Plano continued his victorious ways during Saturday night's 13-race program at Vernon Downs.

With Howard Okusko, Jr. doing the steering for his wife, trainer Jessica Okusko, in Saturday's $8,000 seventh session, the favorite Manningly advanced from fourth in a :28.4 final quarter to earn a half-length tally in 1:54.2.  The fast-closing effort resulted in the third current score and 20th lifetime triumph for the 7-year-old son of Yankee Glide-Balanced Action, who is owned by the M&L Of Delaware, LLC contingent.

In the $8,000 eighth event, Oh My Joepa bullied his way through splits of :26.1, :53.4 and 1:21.4 to upset the crowd's choice, Vroom Hanover, in a 1:51 performance, that produced his sixth season's score and 11th lifetime victory.  Claude Huckabone, Jr. drove for trainer Michael Deters and owner Paul Parenteau.

Plano picked up three driving victories and a pair of conditioning credits during the card to hike his top teaming count to 112 and his leading training total to 44 after 62 current local programs.  The 61-year-old reinsman produced seven driving wins and four training tallies during the three night weekend.

Driver, owner (with his wife, Diane) and trainer Ron Harp finished first with the trotters Crazy Over You (2:00) and Victoria Hall (1:59.3) to secure his first driving double of the track's 60th anniversary season.

DOWNS DOINGS—Plano, the track's defending dash and conditioning champ, also recorded three second-place finishes and a third during the evening…The 3-year-old filly Crazy Over You, owned by the Harps and Michael James Ball, obtained her "maiden" win in Saturday's third race…The Downs will offer live racing at 6:45 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next weekend, with the Sept. 12 slate featuring a New York Sires Stake for 2-year-old trotting fillies…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