Day At The Track

Stars on show at Vernon Downs on Friday

09:38 AM 19 Aug 2015 NZST
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 Friday night at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs, Grand Circuit racing comes to town as the Free For All trotters and pacing mares invade the venerable Upstate New York oval.
The $200,000 Crawford Farms Open (race 9) fields ten top trotting horses with combined earnings of more than $10 million along with an international flair.
Quebec owned Ontario-bred star Flanagan's Memory is currently the hot horse in the division, having won his last two including the John Cashman Memorial at The Meadowlands.
Vernon favorite son Brian Sears was aboard for the Cashman win and will come in to drive the Kadabra horse for owner/trainer Rene Dion and partner Liette Flanagan.
American-bred 2015 Elitlopp winner Magic Tonight is making his second start since returning stateside for Swedish connections following what has to be considered a disappointing performance in the Cashman.
Quebec stalwart and 2014 TVG champ Intimidate was the winner of this race in 2013 and returns for the third time while still searching for his top form this season.
Obrigado and Market Share are a pair of talented Americans with the former emerging as a bona-fide star and the latter a Hambletonian champion closing out what has been a stellar $3.7 million winning career.
The top trotting mares are in for the $177,000 Muscle Hill (race 7) as Bee A Magician seeks revenge against D'One, the Swedish invader that tracked Queen Bee down in the final strides of the Fresh Yankee on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands.
Bee A Magician had seemed invincible within her division and was valiant in defeat, used hard early and pressured late before succumbing to D'One in the shadow of the wire.
Sears has this mount as well for Nifty Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and Dave McDuffee.
D'One was largely unknown to the local fans despite winning more than half her European starts and her royal pedigree.
Her sire Donato Hanover and dam Giant Diablo trotted to identical World Record 1:50.1 miles on the same epic afternoon at The Red Mile in 2007.
D'One was reserved off the demanding Fresh Yankee fractions by driver Orjan Kihlstrom and flashed brilliant late trot to dethrone the "Queen".
She races for trainer Roger Waldmann's Stall Kenny 23 of Sweden.
They'll both have to contend with 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry and defending Dan Patch divisional winner Classic Martine.
A deep and competitive field of ten pacing mares will meet in the $194,000 Artiscape (race 8).
The inimitable Anndrovette has taken on the mantle of division leader lately as she campaigns for yet another Dan Patch tiara to add to her unequalled collection of four.
The path to the winner's circle is fraught with peril as the competition is fierce led by her stablemate Venus Delight, last year's sophomore leader Color's A Virgin, Ontario terror Lady Shadow, queen of the Delaware valley Table Talk and the iron-tough Radar Contact.
Anndrovette is making her fifth appearance in the Artiscape and was the winner of the stake back in 2011.
A win this year would vault her past the $3.5 million earnings mark in her quest to eclipse the career record held by the great Eternal Camnation.
Tim Tetrick has been aboard for most of Anndrovette's career highlights and will be again on Friday for trainer Jeff Bamond, Jr and owners Bamond Racing and Joe Davino.
Supporting the above stakes will be several divisions of the New York Sires Stakes two-year-old filly pace. Entries for Friday's races may be viewed here.
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