Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Vernon Downs to start live racing on Friday (April 19)
Vernon Downs is set to begin their 66th year of racing on Friday (April 19) with a post time of 6:10 pm.
Opening night will feature a t-shirt and schedule magnet giveaway as well as a live bugler. Also the popular “That’s My Driver” promotion. Five entries will be randomly selected following Race 2. All will have a chance to win up to $140. At the conclusion of the evening’s racing will be a large fireworks display.
Highlights for the season include “Derby Day” featuring the live showing of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday (May 4) with a special post time of 4:30 pm. Memorial Day (May 27) features The Empire Classic Finals for both 3-year-old filly trotters and 3-year-old trotting colts. Each Final is racing for a purse of $250,000 est. with a post time of 1:05 pm. The Zweig Memorial races will take place on Friday (August 17) featuring the Zweig 3-year-old Colt Trot ($370,000 est.) and 3-year-old Fillies Trot ($150,000 est.).
In 2018 John MacDonald and Jimmy Whittemore landied in a flat footed tie for top driver. The two battled back and forth all year before ending with 115 wins each.
MacDonald was once again top trainer at the Miracle Mile with 65 wins. He trained the 2018 horse of the year Kabu. Owned by the J P Stables, Kabu (Valley Victor), won eight of his 18 starts at Vernon Downs in 2018.
Vernon Downs is happy to welcome new race caller Rich Mattei. The 11 race card for Friday will feature Leg one of the Robert E. Keller Trotting Series. Post time is 6:10 p.m.
For more information go to www.vernondowns.com
Photos by Fotowon