Monday, October 21, 2013

Sheer Brilliance goes back-to-back in the Open Pace

Sheer Brilliance wins the Open Pace again

The fleet-footed pacer Sheer Brilliance displayed his superiority for the second straight week while winning Saturday night's $12,000 Open contest at Vernon Downs.

Following up on a 1:50.2 victory in this top-flight class here last Saturday, the favorite Sheer Brilliance was steered to the front at the star of the seventh race by catch-driver Claude Huckabone, III and he remained there through intervals of :26.3, :53.4 and 1:22 over a rain-soaked "good" track.  He defeated the second wagering choice, JK Panache, by a head in a 1:50.4 performance.

Saturday's score was the ninth this season and the 43rd all-time for the 6-year-old bay son of Blissful Hall-High Roller Ash, who has earned $503,365 during his productive career.  The gritty gelding is owned by trainer Jeffrey Long and J. Paul Long.

In Saturday's 11th event, Bushwacker turned in a bold-striding 1:53.3, front-ending triumph for Jimmy Whittemore that resulted in his first career victory.  The eye-opening performance became the fastest mile by a 2-year-old pacing gelding at the 80-program meeting, and it was just 3/5ths-of-a-second off the track's record for this category that was established by Memory King in 2011.  Chris Ryder conditions the bay son of Rocknroll Hanover-Dolphins Can Talk, who is owned by the Henderson Farms.

Huckabone, III delivered three tallies during Saturday's 13-race card as did Whittemore.  Driver Chris Lems chalked up his meet-leading 21st driving double of the local campaign.

DOWNS DOINGS—Whittemore, a three-time Vernon driving champion, increased his win output at the meet to 95 and gained a three-win lead over Roman Lopez in their battle for second place on the current race-winning chart…Trainer Dave Dewhurst picked up a 1:55.2 win from the pacer Dick N Ben in race nine and currently has a 34-32 advantage over Lopez in the chase for second-place in the 2013 conditioning category…The Chris Ryder-trained trotter Well Built also earned his initial pari-mutuel triumph after a 1:56.2 mile in Saturday's third race…The Downs will offer live racing at 6:45 p.m. Thursday-Saturday next week…On Friday (Oct. 25) Vernon will host the season's $400,000 (est.) championship finals of the Kindergarten Classic…Only eight 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