Three separate divisions of the New York Sire Stakes produced plenty of fireworks at Vernon Downs on Saturday night. The biggest performance was a new track record for 2-year-old trotters of 1:54 for Crazy Wow in the third and final division with a purse of $36,566. Crazy Wow (Crazed-No Pan No Gain) went right to the front at the outset and cruised through fractions of 27.2 for a quarter and 58.1 for the half. Crazy Wow (Dan Rawlings) was actually headed by Eskimo Joe (Ray Schnittker) as the field approached the final turn, but quickly dispatched that challenge to retake the lead through three-quarters in 1:25.3. Crazy Wow stormed home to win by nine impressive lengths in that track record final time of 1:54. Drinksforthehouse (Chris Lems) finished second after Pier Ho Exotic (John Cummings Jr.) broke stride in the stretch. Eskimo Joe had to settle for the third spot. Crazy Wow is owned by Joseph Hess of New Milford, New Jersey and trained by Dan O'Mara. The 1:54 final time eclipses the previous mark of 1:54.3 by Nuncio, set in 2013. Nuncio very nearly made his own headlines on Saturday since he ended up as the runner-up in the 2014 Hambletonian Final at The Meadowlands.
The $37,266 first division was a story of survival for Insomniac (Crazed-Catch Some Zs). Insomniac (Mark Macdonald) took the lead immediately from the outside post position and led through a quarter of 28.4, a half of 59.1, and three-quarters in 1:29. The less than even-money favorite, Mambo Blue Chip (Jeff Gregory), attacked the longtime leader in the stretch, but could never get by Insomniac, who had plenty left in the tank after those conservative early fractions. Commentary (Mike Simons) rolled up strongly in the final strides to finish third at 32-1. Insomniac is owned by Paul Kelley of Gansevoort, New York and William Weaver III of Freehold, New Jersey. Paul Kelley is also the trainer.
Wings of Royalty (Rc Royalty-Sparkling Cider) was the winner of the $37,266 second division. Wings Of Royalty (Chris Lems) made a strong close through the stretch while three-wide to pass the pacesetting pair of Gabe The Bear Dean (Ray Schnittker) and Credit Creation (Jim Morrill Jr.) for a victory in 1:56. Credit Creation had taken the lead from the start and led most of the way around the racetrack, only being passed by Gabe The Bear Dean for just a quick moment before reassuming the advantage. His early fractions of 28.1 for the quarter, 58.3 for the half, and 1:27.4 for three-quarters were solid enough. Gabe The Bear Dean did get past Credit Creation for the second placing in the stretch, forcing Credit Creation to settle for third. Wings Of Royalty is owned by Raymond W.J. Campbell of Belchertown, Massachusetts and trained by George Ducharme.
Live racing will return to Vernon Downs with a 14-race program on Thursday night when the 2-year-old pacing fillies take their turn at center stage in the New York Sire Stakes. Post time for the Thursday program is 6:45pm.
Sophie Norton wins HHYF race on Hambletonian Day
Sophie Norton of New Hartford, NY won the Harness Horse Youth Foundation race Saturday at Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ.
One kid was selected from Vernon Downs, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, and Harrington Raceway to represent each track on Saturday. Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce was the co-pilot in the two seat jog cart with Sophie Norton. It was second consecutive year that the representative from Vernon Downs won the HHYF race at The Meadowlands.
This year the HHYF was at Vernon Downs July 14-18. The five day camp gave youngsters hands on experience with horses, opportunity to work with local horsemen at Vernon, and the thrill of a lifetime competing in an actual race.
Harness Horse Association of Central New York sponsors each kid that participates in the camp. For more information about HHYF and having your kid participate in the 2015 camp visit www.hhyf.org
by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity