Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Whittemore and Plano combine for 7 wins on Friday's 10-race card

Drivers Jimmy Whittemore and Rick Plano enjoyed hot outings during a rather chilly Friday at Vernon Downs, winning seven of the evening's 10 races.

Whittemore, a three-time Vernon driving kingpin, captured four races for the fourth time during the track's 60th anniversary season.  One of his first-place finishes was behind Bettor In Jeans, who delivered his first pari-mutuel victory with a hard-fought 1:56.2 photo-finish decision (over the gritty Stoney'sstorminway) in Friday's ninth race, that established him as the fastest 2-year-old pacing gelding at the 64-program meeting.  The determined youngster's success gives the bay son of Bettor's Delight-Heatherjeankilllean a 1-1-2 summary line after six lifetime starts.  Vernon veteran Keith Cluff conditions the promising prospect for the Morrisville College Foundation.

Plano, the track's driving and training leader for the second straight season, piloted three winners during the evening, including a 1:55 career-best tally behind the 5-year-old trotting mare Here Comes Annie in Friday's seventh session.  Owner Andy Gardner trains the bay daughter of Here Comes Herbie-Anne Pancroft, who became a two-time winner at the meet.

Plano also directed the 2-year-old pacing filly Aritzia Hanover to a 1:57.4 "maiden" victory in Friday's second race for trainer Sam Serianni, and the Ed Namiotka, Jr., Ken Jacobs, and Slo-Downs Stable ownership group.

DOWNS DOINGS—Through Sept. 13, Plano leads in driving wins with 115 and training tallies with 44…Owner/trainer (along with his wife Diane) Ron Harp has driven four winners in the past three programs at the Downs, including the trotter Crazy Over You in Friday's third race…The Downs will present a 13-race card starting at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday night (Sept. 14)…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.