Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sheer Brilliance wins Saturday's Open Pace

Sheer Brilliance (near) and Claude Huckabone, III

Sheer Brilliance displayed his radiance with a bold-striding 1:51.2 victory in Saturday night's $10,000 featured Open pace at Vernon Downs.

Competing for the second time at Vernon since shipping in from Tioga Downs, Sheer Brilliance left from the assigned outside post position in Saturday's second session and, after a brief battle for the early lead with Moonlight Ransom, took charge of the mile contest.  Despite broken equipment, the gritty gelding continued on to a close decision over his early challenger.

It was the third tally in the last four starts for the productive 8-year-old, his seventh season's score and 41st lifetime win.  The aggressive bay son of Blissful Hall-High Roller Ash raised his career earnings to more than $492,000.  Claude Huckabee, III did the teaming for co-owner and trainer Jeffrey Long and his partner, J. Paul Long.

Saturday's fastest mile was a 1:51.1 performance by No Monkeys Allowed, who scrambled home from sixth in the final quarter to snare his second win in succession for owners Robert J. Orr and Gary J. Jonas in the $8,000 seventh race.  John MacDonald, who earned a double with the first-place finish, did the steering for trainer Edgar Clarke, who also recorded two victories during Saturday's 13-race program, as did owners Orr and Jonas.

Leading driver (130 wins) and trainer (51 tallies) Rick Plano picked up his meet-leading 15th triple during the track's 71st program, while Roman Lopez also logged three wins and Fern Paquet, Jr. two.

DOWNS DOINGS—Paquet recorded eight wins during the three-night weekend, and Plano seven …One of Plano's wins was behind Lon Frocione's promising 2-year-old trotting filly Fashionableapple, who secured her "maiden" victory with a 1:57.4 showing in Saturday's ninth race.  Veteran Tony Mondi trains the bay daughter of Big Apple Deli-Fashionablefilly…The MacDonald, Clarke, Orr, Jonas contingent's other triumph came from the pacer Yankees In Six, who chalked up his second straight score with a 1:52 tally in Saturday's $6,000 fifth event...Vernon will offer live racing Thursday-Saturday next week,  with first post at 6:45 p.m.…A revised 2013, 88-program racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at