Located in the beautiful rolling hills of Central New York, Vernon Downs has a long and rich history of top-class harness racing dating back to the 1950s. The 7/8 mile track is widely regarded as the best surface in New York. The live racing season runs from April through November. Major highlights of the schedule include the $350,000 Zweig Memorial Trot for 3-year-olds and the $200,000 Credit Winner and Muscle Hill Trots for aged horses.
Goddess and Southwind Spirit win Kindergarten Classic Finals
and Southwind Spirit each earned champion status as the result of their
first-place finishes in Friday night's $433,500 finals of the 2013 Kindergarten
Classic Series for 2-year-old trotters at Vernon Downs.
gained a 1:56.3, front-striding victory in Friday's eighth event, the $206,000
Kindergarten title test for 2-year-old
filly trotters, while Southwind Spirit continued his superb season with a bold-striding
1:55 tally in the ninth event, a $217,500 freshman final for male members of
the diagonal gait.
John Campbell and Goddess
a $110,000 yearling purchase by the Kelly Racing Stable, Joe Sbrocco and
William Weaver, III, went to the starting gate as the third wagering choice and
was sharp from the start on a rain-soaked track.With Hall of Fame reinsman John Campbell
doing the steering for trainer Paul Kelley, Goddess powered through splits of
:28.1, :57.2 and 1:26 to defeat second-favorite Yoga by 1-1/4 lengths.It was the fourth season's score for the bay
daughter of Donato Hanover-Macaria Hanover, who has also compiled a second and
two thirds, plus earnings of $155,825 after 11 lifetime starts.
Vernon's 7/8ths-mile oval was downgraded to good for the ninth event, the
crowd's choice Southwind Spirit shrugged off the damp conditions by carving out
splits of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:25.1 to thwart third-choice Outburst by 1-3/4
lengths.Yannick Gingras did the teaming
for trainer Ron Burke as the bay son of Muscle Hill-Spice On Ice improved his
summary line to 6-3-1 after 12 official trips to the track.The $105,000 yearling purchase has returned
$310,925 on his investment to the Weaver Bruscemi, LLC, Burke Racing Stable and
Stable 45 ownership contingent.
Southwind Spirit and Yannick Gingras
second session, a $10,000 Kindergarten Classic consolation clash,
Starsaboveallerage also used front-striding tactics to vanquish the favored
Skates N Plates by a nose in a 1:57.1 performance.It was the third win, coupled with a trio of
thirds-place showings, in nine starts for the bay son of Angus Hall-Starry
Eyed, who has banked nearly $30,000 in 2013 for Jeff Gural's Little E LLC
stable.David Miller did the teaming for
local trainer Jessica Okusko.
$12,000 Open trot was won by Grey Ice, with Dan Daley doing the piloting for
trainer Guy Howard in race 10.The
strong-striding 7-year-old gelding followed the pace-setting Mr. Web Page
throughout the mile contest, before leaving the pocket in the stretch and
spurting to a nose triumph over the mile cutter.The tight tally was the third locally, the
seventh this season and the 23rd all-time for the gray son of the
Icepan Cometh-The E Street Pan, who bumped her lifetime winnings to nearly
$197,300 for the Howard Stables.
were treated to triples by drivers Campbell, (David) Miller and trainer (Paul)
Kelley, as well as a two-win effort by Gingras during Friday's 12-race
DOWNS DOINGS—Kelly's other victories came
from trotters The Triple Lindy (1:54.4) in race four and Panamanian Hanover
(1:57.2) in event 11.Campbell drove all
of Kelley's first-place finishers… Owner/trainer Tony Schambach's 7-year-old
trotting mare Edit Away earned her first career victory after a 1:57.2 performance
for driver Claude Huckabone, III in Friday's third event…Saturday's 13-race
program, which starts at 6:45 p.m., includes a $12,000 Open pace in race
two…Only six live racing dates remain during the track's 60th
anniversary season that continues through Nov. 9…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 www.vernondowns.com.