Day At The Track

2YO sets trot track record again at Vernon Downs

02:02 AM 08 Sep 2013 NZST
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Nuncio, harness racing
Nuncio rewrote the Vernon Downs track record again
Lisa Photo

VERNON, NY—Nuncio re-did the track record for 2-year-old trotting colts, while Goddess became the fastest 2-year-old trotting filly of 2013 at Vernon Downs in divisions of Thursday night’s $144,600 W. N. Reynolds Memorial Stake for fledgling representatives of the diagonal gait.

Competing in the second division of Thursday’s $78,600 W. N. Reynolds Memorial (“The Judge Moore”) for freshmen male square-gaiters, Nuncio rallied from fourth at the half to earn a 1:54.3 victory in the ninth race, lowering the previous standard for his class, set by Lukas Hall on Aug. 8, by two ticks of the timer.

Trainer Jim Oscarsson was in the sulky as the fast-closing son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle secured his third win, to go with a pair of second-place finishes, after five season’s starts.  The lifetime-fastest mile increased the bay colt’s career earnings to more than $108,900.

Thursday’s other division of The Judge Moore was won by Exodus Hanover in 1:55.2, with Canadian Rick Zeron doing the steering for trainer Steve Elliott, an owner along with the Old Block Stable, Kenneth Klein and the Estate of Angelo Frassetto.  The front-striding career-fastest mile by the bay son of Andover Hall-Exotic Destination improved the colt’s record to six wins and a third in eight outings and his earnings to $128,455.

Chris Lems did the teaming for trainer Paul Kelley in the fifth event, second division of Thursday’s $66,000 Reynolds (“The Meda”) clash for first-year female high-steppers, as Goddess used a speed spurt in the final strides to pass the pace-setting Keepsake Hanover and win by one-quarter-of-a-length in 1:56.2, eclipsing the previous 2013 mark of Thoughtfilly by 1-and-1/5th seconds.   It was the second score, to go with a third-place finish, in four starts for the winner of $22,700, who is shared in ownership by Joe Sbrocco, William B. Weaver, III and the Kelley Racing Stable.

The other “Meda” 2-year-old filly flight went to Chivaree Hanover who carved out a career-best 1:58.2 mile with Rick Plano piloting for trainer and owner R. Gregg McNair.  The bay daughter of Muscle Hill-Celebrity Nike currently sports a 2-1-1 summary line and winnings in excess of $44,000 after five official trips to the racetrack.

The Truman Gale-guided pacer Artic Byrd produced the evening’s fastest mile, a 1:53 showing in Thursday’s $7,000 10th event for owners Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell.

Plano, Vernon’s top driver and trainer for the second straight season, picked up three sulky scores and two conditioning credits during Thursday’s 12-race card, while Gale also earned a “hat-trick,” and Lems a driving double.

DOWNS DOINGS—After 60 current programs, Plano tops the track’s standings with 108 driving wins and 42 training credits…Lems, presently third on the race-winning list, leads Plano in driving doubles at the meet, 18-17…Tomorrow night (Sept. 6) marks the “End of the Sumer Showdown” program at Vernon, with the track presenting its premier events for older representatives of the diagonal gait, the $200,000 Credit Winner Open Trot and the $200,000 Muscle Hill Mare Trot…Friday’s slate, which starts at 6:45 p.m., will also include a rich New York Sires Stakes contest for 2-year-old filly pacers., a car giveaway, and a fireworks show following the 12-race…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

by Jim Moran

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