Day At The Track

Jack Vernon breaks track record at Tioga Downs

07:50 PM 17 Aug 2015 NZST
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Jack Vernon - Broke the track record for two year old trotters at Tioga Downs In the Arsenal (Brian Sears) holds sway in his EBC elimination Divine Caroline (David Miller) opens at will from a pocket trip in her EBC elimination.  Habitat (Yannick Gingras) bounces back in the Tompkins Memorial
Jack Vernon - Broke the track record for two year old trotters at Tioga Downs
In the Arsenal (Brian Sears) holds sway in his EBC elimination
Divine Caroline (David Miller) opens at will from a pocket trip in her EBC elimination.
Habitat (Yannick Gingras) bounces back in the Tompkins Memorial
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Sixteen stakes events comprised Sunday (August 16) afternoon's harness racing card at Tioga Downs, and while In the Arsenal ($3.50) and Divine Caroline ($6.90) punched their tickets for next week's Empire Breeders Classic finals by way of sub-1:50 miles, it was 2-year-old trotter Jack Vernon ($3.40) who stole the show with a 1:53.3 effort in his Arthur Tompkins Memorial division.
 
Jack Vernon, a freshman son of Muscle Hill and Vernon Blue Chip, drafted behind Staying Focused (Andy Miller) through the intermediate stages of the $18,788 stakes split, edging off the pegs midway on the backstretch to avoid being locked in by the then-uncovered Heightend Scrutiny (David Miller).
 
As soon as Corey Callahan pulled the pocket with Jack Vernon, the pair accelerated to the lead, drawing off from Staying Focused through a :57 final half.
 
Jack Vernon amassed an 8-3/4 length lead in the end, soundly defeating Treasure Keys K (Charlie Norris) and Staying Focused in a track record 1:53.3.
 
Randy Beeckman trains Jack Vernon for Miller's Stable, Inc.
 
Other notable Tompkins Memorial winners on the afternoon were 3-year-old Conway Hall colt Habitat ($2.30, Yannick Gingras), who pulled clear at will for a decisive 1:53 triumph in a lone $58,662 division, and 3-year-old Donato Hanover filly I'm So Fancy ($4.00, Gingras), a 1:54.1 pillar-to-post winner in her $33,832 event.
 
Sixteen New York-sired 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings contested two $12,500 eliminations for the Empire Breeders Classic, and Brian Sears swept both splits. In addition to his 1:49.3 win with Kelvin Harrison trainee In the Arsenal, he sustained a first-over trip with the Casie Coleman-trained Arque Hanover ($7.50) to just stave off Americanprimetime (Jason Bartlett) in 1:50.
 
The connections of In the Arsenal selected post 2 for next week's final, while the connections of Arque Hanover selected post 1. They will be joined by Artistic Major, A Bettor Hat, Rockin in Heaven, Americanprimetime, National Seelster, and Betting Exchange. Completing the field will be fifth-place finisher Sicily, who was drawn in by lot. Oneisalonelynumber--the other fifth-place finisher--is the lone also-eligible.
 
Of the 21 New York-sired 3-year-old pacing fillies split into three $12,500 Classic eliminations, Moremercy Bluechip ($7.20, Andy Miller) and Band of Angels ($2.50, Gingras) controlled the terms for at least the closing circuit of their victories, while Divine Caroline ($6.90, David Miller) pushed clear off a pocket trip in the final quarter-mile of her 1:49.4 triumph.
 
For next week's distaff final, Band of Angels will start from post 3, Divine Caroline from post 2, and Moremercy Bluechip from post 4, as selected by their connections. The trio of elimination winners will be joined by Devil Child, She's Heavenly, Rock Me Gently, Hipnumberone, Mosquito Blue Chip, and Beyonces Rockn. Heart Major and Single Me have been drawn as the two also-eligibles.
 
Live racing returns to Tioga on Monday (August 17) evening, with the first of 12 races due off at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.
 
James Witherite
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