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.
Lightning Force sets new track record in Kindergarten Classic leg
Force, Cee Bee Yes, Trixton and Yoga were all divisional winners in Friday
night’s fifth and final preliminary leg of the $40,000 Kindergarten Classic
barnstorming series for 2-year-old trotters at Vernon Downs.
Lightning Force and John Campbell
Force set a Vernon record for 2-year-old trotting geldings with his 1:55
victory in the first male contest, Cee Bee Yes produced the fastest mile by a
frosh filly high-stepper at the meet with her 1:55 performance in race 11,
while Trixton and Yoga, both representatives of the Jimmy Takter stable, earned
first-place finishes in 1:54.4 and 1:55.3, respectively.
Fame driver John Campbell guided Lightning Force to his first career win and a
1:55 record in Friday’s fourth race.The
quick-striding son of Muscle Hill-Lightning Flower rallied from fifth in the
early going to third at the half.The
bay battler kept on rolling until he gained the lead in the final turn and
continued on to a one-length score over the favorite, Odds On Amethyst.It marked the eighth career start for the
winner of $34,085, who is conditioned by Randy Beeckman and owned by the
Miller’s Stable, Inc.
crowd’s choice Cee Bee Yes improved her season’s summary line to 4-3-1 after 10
starts with a front-striding 1:55 mile, which missed the track record by just
two ticks of the timer, but went down as the fastest showing by a
representative of her age, sex and gait at the 79-program meeting.Andy Miller drove for trainer Julie Miller,
as the bay daughter of Muscles Yankee-Enbeecee gained a fresh win-mark and
hiked her winnings to $173,785.
Cee Bee Yes and Andy Miller
completed a driving double for Takter with his strong-striding, ¾-length tally
over second choice Outburst and top pick Sumatra in Friday’s sixth
session.The 1:54.4 life’s-best
clocking, which missed the Vernon record for freshman colt trotters (Nuncio in
1:54.3 earlier in the meet) by one tick of the timer, led to the fourth win in
seven trips to the track for the bay son of Muscle Hill-Emilie Cas El, who has
earned $53,687 for owners Christina Takter and Brixton Medical AB.
crowd’s choice Yoga turned a pocket-sitting trip from Takter into a 1:55.3
victory in Friday’s second session.The
neck triumph over the pace-setting Bikini So Teeny gave the brown daughter of
Muscles Yankee-Sugarcane Yankee her fifth win in seven starts.The steady-going filly has returned $37,750
to owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding thus far this year.
$12,000 Open trot was won by newcomer Bound For Fame, the wagering choice, who
rallied in the final furlong to nip Walltocousins by a head in a 1:53.4
ninth-race effort.David Miller, sitting
in for trainer David Duspiva, earned his fourth win of the evening as he
steered the speedy 6-year-old son of S J’s Photo-Bewitching Karen to a new
win-mark, his eighth season score and 18th lifetime victory.The fast-closing effort pushed the gritty
gelding’s career earnings past the $301,000 plateau for owners Mark Allen Goldberg
and the Rags To Riches Stable of Pennsylvania.
Andy Miller posted twin tallies during the program, as did trainers Deedra
Johnson and R. Nifty Norman.
DOINGS—Chris Lems, who collected three wins during
Friday’s 12-race card, took a 33-32 lead over Roman Lopez in the battle for
second place on this year’s training chart…Saturday night’s 13-race program,
which includes a $12,000 Open pace in race seven, will begin at 6:45 p.m…Vernon
will also offer simulcast wagering on tomorrow night’s $6 million Breeders
Crown championship program from Pennsylvania’s Pocono Downs starting at 5
p.m…The Downs will play host to this season’s $400,000 (est.) championship
finals of the Kindergarten Classic next Friday (Oct. 25)…Only nine 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.