Veteran harness racing driver Dan Daley earned his 1,000th-career victory, while Hay Goodlooking achieved his initial local Open pacing triumph of the season during Saturday night's 12-race program at Vernon Downs.
Daley, who makes Vernon his summer home along with his wife, Ann-Mari and family, guided the 10-year-old trotter Bacon Hill Scott ($4.60) to a front-striding 1:57.1 triumph in Saturday’s fifth race to reach the prestigious plateau.
It was fitting that his 1000th win should come behind a representative of the diagonal gait, as the 53-year-old horseman is widely recognized throughout the Standardbred sport as a top trainer of square-gaiters.
Saturday’s score by Bacon Hill Scott was his second this year and 36th all-time. The solid son ofis owned by Jennifer Signor and trained by Jason Signor.
After four consecutive second-place finishes in top tier pacing competition here, Maryann Plano’s Hay Goodlooking ($9.20) finally gained a trip to the winner’s circle following the $9,500 featured ninth race. Rick Plano, the 20-program meeting’s second-leading driver and trainer, put the gritty 6-year-old gelding on the lead off the starting gate and kept him there past the half, reached in :55.3.
After being fronted by three-time local Open winner Diamond Stick Pin past the 5/8ths pole, the bay son of-Monique’s Legacy staged a furious comeback in the final furlong that enabled him to best Diamond Stick Pin by a half-length. The 1:51.1 clocking resulted in a fresh win-mark for the career-winner of $448,594, who secured his 30th lifetime victory.
It was one of three first-place finishes during the program for Plano, who ended the evening with 30 driving scores (four less than current leader Chris Lems) and 18 training tallies (nine off the mark achieved by training pace-setter Tracy Brainard).
Frank Davis also chalked up a pair of driving wins during the Saturday’s card.
DOWNS DOINGS—With Davis driving, the Lonny Hale owned and trained pacer Miracle Freeluck became the meet’s initial four-time winning equine following a 1:52.2 effort in Saturday’s seventh session that equaled his lifetime mark…
The 4-year-old trotting mare Tender Loving earned her maiden victory after a 1:59 showing in race three. Plano drove for owner/trainer Brainard…
The Downs will offer live racing at 6:55 p.m Thursday-Saturday next week...
Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com.
by Jim MORAN