Vernon Downs ready to kicks off season this Friday

12:37 PM 09 Apr 2014 NZST
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Vernon Downs Racing Casino & Entertainment
VERNON, NY--Twenty-five Standardbred horses took part in five non-betting races on Tuesday night (April 8) as Vernon Downs conducted its third qualifying session in preparation for its 61st season.

An enthusiastic crown turned out for the track's annual Media Night festivities and watched 17 trotters and eight pacers try to convince the judges of their abilities to compete in pari-mutuel races at the central New York harness track.

Ashton Seelster, owned by trainer/driver Gary Clark and his wife, Fay, turned in a brisk 1:58.4 performance over a "sloppy" 7/8ths-mile oval to earn fastest-mile-of-the-night honors. The bay 7-year-old horse is a son of Camluck and out of the Astreos-mare Angelina Seelster.

Vernon will begin its 2014 schedule with a 10-race program this Friday night (Apr. 11) that will include five trotting and a like number of pacing events. A $10,000 Miracle Mile-1 trot will serve as Friday's feature in race two. First post will be at 6:45 p.m.

Veteran announcer Jim Moran will end 52 seasons at the track after calling Friday's first race. It will mark his 50th year as the track's "race-caller."

DOWNS DOINGS--Vernon will complete its opening weekend with an 11-race card at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday (Apr. 12)...Former Vernon horseman Jeff Tallarino has been named Presiding Judge for the track's 90-card campaign...A final pre-season qualifying program is planned for Friday morning.

By Jim Moran, for Vernon Downs
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