Day At The Track

Three-year-olds compete for $500,000 Sunday

01:37 PM 06 Jun 2013 NZST
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Vernon Downs
Vernon Downs

New York's finest three year old trotters will compete for nearly $500,000 in the harness racing Empire Breeders Classic finals at Vernon Downs on Sunday evening.

The filly final, for a purse of $237,600, goes as race six on the card. Returning elimination winners Perfect Alliance and Wygant Lady, both daughters of the prolific sire Credit Winner, will begin from posts three and four respectively, chosen by their connections as a perk for their elimination wins.

Perfect Alliance led at every call in last week's race, lowering her record to 1:55.2 in the process for driver Yannick Gingras. Gingras returns the mount for Sunday's race to Ron Pierce, who was listed last week but unable to drive due to a racing accident the night before at The Meadowlands.

Perfect Alliance races for four now, as principal owner Jeff Gural (Little E, LLC) has taken on Jason Settlemoir, Dave Stolz and Art Geiger as partners in the filly since her win last week. Bob Bencal is the trainer.

Wygant Lady has won half of her eight starts this year for trainer Taylor Gower who shares ownership of the filly with her breeder, Alan Stull. She reduced her speed record considerably in last week's race, seizing the win with a furious late rally to score in 1:56.2 for Cat Manzi. Cat is back aboard for the final.

The colts will race for $259,900 in their final and it is a deep, competitive group.

Tirade Hanover scored in the faster elimination win, turning a perfect Vic Kirby drive into a 1:53.1 lifetime best in his first start of the season. He'll begin from post three, chosen for him by trainer Tyler Raymer and owners Leigh Raymer, Stephen Moss, Harold and Helane Solomon. The Crazed gelding edged past the $200,000 mark in career earnings with last week's win, his eighth in a dozen starts.

Jurgen Hanover, lightly raced at two, has been at it for awhile this season boasting a perfect six for six record as a sophomore. After sweeping the Weiss series at Pocono, Jurgen set all the fractions in his EBC elimination to win in 1:54.1 and will start just outside his main rival for driver David Miller. Donna Marshall trains the Credit Winner colt for Norm and Gerald Smiley and the TLP Stable.

Post time on Sunday is 6:45pm and the supporting card includes nine divisions of New York Excelsior races for sophomore trotting fillies and colts

by Nick SALVI

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