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Bro (Rock N Roll Heaven) endured some difficult trips in the two legs of the Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Homer Hochstetler-trained pacer drew the rail in Saturday's $35,200 Series Final and the three year old's journey wound up being a bit smoother. Driver Jay Randall powered Bro out to the early lead in the Final, getting the sophomore to the top in a 28.1 first quarter. After pacing the half in 57 seconds, Bro was confronted by the race's favorite and series star Mister Miami (Claude Huckabone III) who had the daunting task of trying to reel-in his major danger via the first-over journey. The trip proved too difficult for the odds-on favorite Mister Miami as Bro dispatched him around the final turn. Pocket sitter SB Angelindisguise (Mark Beckwith) took his shot in the passing lane as two-leg winner Sweet Deisel (Dan Daley) shook loose in the stretch. Sweet Deisel came on to be second while SB Angelindisguise had to settle for third. For Bro, it was the second victory in a $35,000+ race in the last six weeks as the three year old scored in the New York Sire Stakes Consolation Final contested at Vernon Downs last month. Bro, who paid $6.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $31 and $123, respectively, is owned by Jay Hochstetler and the Finkelburg Racing Stable. Randall's win behind Bro was one of three on the night for the veteran reinsman. Bro adds his name to the list of previous winners of the Kamal Pace which consists of Twin B Spy, Bell I No, Stirling Electra, Carolina Beach and Kiwi Tintin N. The $17,500 Consolation of the Kamal Memorial Pace contested on Saturday went to The Great Buzz N (Auckland Reactor) as the Paul Zabielski trainee went coast-to-coast in 1:54.4. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee starting at 12 Noon. There is a $1,134 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five beginning in race one. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

First Call (Homer Hochstetler) wins the $7,000 featured trot at Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 21). First Call ($5.50) took the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :27.4. She would lead to the half in :57.1. Rose Run Sydney (John MacDonald) went first over and put on the pressure. First Call lead was down to a half length at the three-quarter pole. First Call, who is Trained by Homer Hochstetler for owners Robert Buddig, Allen Schwartz, and Connie Hochstetler, shook loose as they made the turn for home. Simple Kaos (Jimmy Whittemore) made a late charge but had to settle for second as First Call won easily in 1:54.3. Spoiler Alert (Leon Bailey) got third money. First Call is a 4-year-old mare by Credit Winner. It was her seventh win this season. She now has 15 career victories. John MacDonald and Dylan Huckabone-Miller each had driving doubles on the night. MacDonald teamed up with trainer Jessica Okusko to win with Jackie's Express ($2.20), and Hennessey ($4.20). Huckabone-Miller teamed up with trainer Claude Huckabone III to get victories with Nubble Light ($7.70), and Private Performanc ($5.10). Both pacers were owned by Go Where The Money Is Stable. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 21) with a post time of 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Bluffton (Homer Hochstetler) scored a harness racing victory in the $6,000 featured trot at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 13). Bold Fresh (Jimmy Whittemore) went to the lead and led to the first quarter in :27.2. Bluffton ($6.50) took over the lead as they reached the backstretch putting Bold Fresh to the pocket seat. Bluffton led to the half in :57.2 and to three-quarters in 1:27.0. Bluffton, who is trained by Homer Hochstetler for owners Connie Hochstetler, Robert Buddig, and Allen Schwartz, led as they made the turn for home. He would hold off a late charge by second place finisher Multitaskr Hanover (Jennifer Lappe) to win in 1:56.0, Spoiler Alert (Howard Parker) finished third. Bluffton is a 4-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass. It was his fourth win this season and 10th career victory. Aces And Eights (Dan Daley) captures $5,000 trot. Pittstop Emerald (Claude Huckabone III) fired out of the gate and led to the quarter in :27.0 and to the half in :57.2. Aces And Eights ($18.40) went first-over from third and flew right by to take control hitting three-quarters first in 1:25.3. Aces And Eights, who is owned by Jeffrey Epstein and trained by Daley, turned for home and cruised to a victory in 1:54.2. Simple Kaos (Jimmy Whittemore) finished second with Sailer Eddie (Jennifer Lappe) getting third best. Aces And Eights is a 5-year-old gelding by RC Royalty. It was his third win this season. He now owns nine career victories. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 14) with an 11 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

First Call (Homer Hochstetler) wins the $7,000 harness racing featured trot at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 7). American JJ (Michael Miller) went to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.2 and to the half in :57.3. First Call ($5.30) came first over just before the half. She battled American JJ shoulder to shoulder all the way around the final turn. First Call led by a head as they hit three-quarters in 1:26.2. First Call, who is trained by Homer Hochstetler for owners Connie Hochstetler, Robert Buddig, and Allen Schwartz, continued to battle as they made the turn for home. Only Passing Thru (Jimmy Whittemore) found an opening on the inside as Winning Princess (Jennifer Lappe) came flying late on the outside. First call gutted it out and got the win in 1:55.0. Only Passing Thru finished second with Winning Princess getting third money. First Call is a 4-year-old mare by Credit Winner. It was her sixth win this season. She now has 14 career victories. Hochstetler, Claude Huckabone Jr., and Howard Parker each drove two winners on the night. Hochstetler got his other win with Bluffton ($6.30). Huckabone Jr. won with All Heart I Am ($3.50), and Ideal Delight ($17.60). Parker had victories with The Fixer ($2.80), and Expo ($11.80). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 8) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs      

First Call (Homer Hochstetler) takes the $7,000 featured trot at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 2). Alex The Great (John MacDonald) went to the lead and controlled all the early fractions (:26.4, :57.0, 1:26.3). First Call ($7.10), who is trained by Homer Hochstetler for owners Robert Buddig, Connie Hochstetler, and Allen Schwartz, went first over just before the three-quarter mark. Only Passing Thru (Jimmy Whittemore) found an opening by the pylons but First Call was not to be denied and she won in 1:55.3. Only Passing Thru finished second. Bill's Man (John Butenschoen) came on late to finish third. First Call is a 4-year-old mare by Credit Winner. She won for the fourth time this season and now owns 12 career victories. John MacDonald drove four winners on the night. He combined with trainer Jody Weidman for wins with Mr French ($42.20), and East To Cincy ($5.30). His other two wins came with Expo ($4.60), and Gimme The Cash ($14.60). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (August 3) with a 10 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne, for for Vernon Downs

Sunday's matinee program featured the Jim Derue Memorial Trotting Series harnes racing final at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The $38,200 Final was contested by eight trotters who earned points while competing in the two legs of the series on the previous two Sunday afternoons. With no horse winning both legs of the series, the Final appeared wide open. In fact, the race's favorite Missus Mia Wallace (Credit Winner) was in by draw as she was one of several trotters who were tied in points heading into the Final. Bruce Aldrich Jr. piloted Missus Mia Wallace to a leg two victory for trainer Homer Hochstetler and the three year old filly was the 2-5 betting favorite on Sunday as she looked to score in the Final. Cruising out to an easy lead, Missus Mia Wallace coasted through a first half in 59 seconds and remained relatively unopposed until the top of the stretch. The pocket-sitting Notmeitsyou (Phil Fluet) was the runner-up in both legs of the series leading into Sunday's Final and popped the two-hole with authority while trying to reel in the leader. Missus Mia Wallace, though, would not be denied as she prevailed in 1:58.4 on a chilly autumn afternoon in Saratoga. Notmeitsyou wound up second-best for the fourth consecutive start while leg two winner Minne Cheatum (Jimmy Devaux) had to settle for the show spot. Missus Mia Wallace becomes the sixth winner of the Jim Derue Memorial Trotting Series which began back in 2013, joining the list of previous winners that consists of Jelectric, The Lindy Treaty, Showmeyourguns, Aberforth and Dressed To Impress. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time of 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway 

There were three $9,000 trotting events on the matinee card at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Thursday afternoon. The co-features were for New York sired trotters and Missus Mia Wallace (Credit Winner) was the fastest of the winners. Trainer Homer Hochstetler has done very well with his group of young trotters when they've come to town this season as the conditioner is training at close to a .500 UDRS average at Saratoga this year. On Thursday, the veteran added a pair of wins to his total as young trotter If I Must prevailed early in the card and Missus Mia Wallace completed his training double with a wire-to-wire romp in the one of the co-features. Bruce Aldrich Jr, who piloted both of Hochstetler's Thursday winners, moved Missus Mia Wallace out to the early lead and the sophomore filly never looked back. After not facing an anxious moment in the race's first half, Missus Mia Wallace continued to travel unopposed before completing the win in 1:57.4, her third victory on the campaign. The other co-features were won by Youcouldbethatgirl (Credit Winner) and Pain In The Mass (Muscle Mass). Youcouldbethatgirl prevailed in her first start out of the Gary Levine stable with Billy Dobson in the sulky. The three year old filly stopped the timer in 1:59.1 in her front-running score. Pain In The Mass (Muscle Mass) drew the rail on Thursday coming off a victory in the NY Sire Stakes Excelsior B. Driver Mickey Mc Givern cut the mile with Pain In The Mass and the young filly held strong in the stretch before scoring in 1:58.2 in what was her third victory in 2018. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

First Call (Homer Hochstetler) easily wins the the Vernon Downs featured trot ($5,500) on Thursday (July 26). It's Chocolate Time (Jimmy Whittemore) went to the lead and led to a first quarter in :28.1. First Call ($6.20) who is trained by Hochstetler for owners Robert Buddig, Allen Schwartz, and Connie Hochstetler, went first over from third and blew right by and controlled all the rest of the fractions (:57.4, 1:26.1, 1:55.0). Its Chocolate Time finished second with Deaks Sweetie Pie (Adam Capizzano) getting third money. First Call is a 3-year-old filly by credit winner. She won for the fourth time this season and the fifth time in her career. Pinky The Intern (Leon Cable) Is victorious in the Vernon Amateur Driver Club race ($3,500). Famous C (Vladimir Melnichenko) put up all the early fractions (:27.3, :57.2, 1:28.2) Pinky The Intern ($3.70) followed in the pocket all the way until just after three-quarters. Owned by Anthony Chiniara and trained by Cable, she popped out of the pocket and flew right by to win in 1:58.1. Son of Liberty (Homer Hochstetler) was a distant second with Little Big Rigs (Tony Ciuffeltelli) finishing third. Pinky The Intern is a 6-year-old mare by Pilgrims Taj. It was her second straight win and her 14th career victory. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (July 28) with an 11 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. There is no live racing on Friday due to Wynonna and the Big Noise concert. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs  

Sweet Ashley T and harness racing driver Homer Hochstetler win the Vernon Downs Featured trot ($9,000) on Saturday night (October 28). Sweet Ashley T (Conway Hall) would put up all the fractions :28.3, :57.3, 1:26.1, 1:55.1. Owned by South Of The Tracks Racing Inc. and trainer Hochstetler, the 4 year-old mare would hold off a late spurt by runner-up Painite (Truman Gale) and third place finisher Lucid Thoughts (John MacDonald). Sweet Ashley T ($8.70) would get her fifth win of the year and nail down her 10th career victory. Arsenic (Chris Lems) would win the $7,500 pace. Cam's Lucky Sam (Leon Baily) would battle Golden Gun (Bret Crawford) all the way through three-quarters. Arsenic (Bettor's Delight), who is owned by Scott Dillion and trained by Heidi Rohr, would take advantage of the speed dual and fly right by to win by a length in 1:51.2. Cam's Lucky Sam would take second while Golden Gun would settle for third. Arsenic ($8.90) won for the fourth time this season. The 4 year-old gelding would get career win number 11. Jimmy Whittemore would win three on the night. He would get his victories with Western Toro ($3.10), Ameriman ($8.40) and Bosshoss Hanover ($3.00). Vernon Downs will close out live racing for the 2017 season this coming weekend. Post time for Friday (November 3) is 6:45 p.m. Saturday (November 4) is closing night and will have a special post time of 6:00 p.m.. Free long sleeve t-shirt giveaway on closing night while the supply lasts. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs

Sweet Ashley T (Jimmy Whittemore) captured the harness racing featured trot ($9,000) at Vernon Downs on Friday night (October 20, 2017). Pop I (Chris Lems) would carve out all the early fractions, :28.2, :58.1, 1:27.1. Sweet Ashley T (Conway Hall), who is owned by South Of The Tracks Racing Inc. And trainer Homer Hochstetler, would sit the pocket all the way to the stretch. She would slip by on the inside to win in 1:55.4. Pop I settled for second with Jersey Boy (Ben McNeil) nailing down the third spot. Sweet Ashley T ($15.80) won for the fourth time this season and the ninth time in her career. Whittemore added two more wins on the night . His other wins were with McKenzies Star ($2.90) and Pier Ho Exotic ($2.10). John MacDonald keeps on rolling he would add four more victories on the night. He won with Stirling Accord ($47.80), Steuben Magic Ride ($3.90), Major Master Piece ($2.10), and Master Of Puppets ($6.90). Michael Miller piloted big longshot American JJ (RC Royalty) to a win by charging late down the stretch in 1:55.3. The 4 year-old horse would pay $90.00 for the win. Vernon Downs returns to live action with a 10 race card on Saturday (October 21) starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs      

.Sweet Thing (Fern Paquet Jr.) drives late to capture the Tioga Downs Open Handicap Trot ($10,000), on Saturday night (August 5). After the big favorite Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) went off stride right after the start, Dragin The Wagon would take the early lead and control all the early fractions, :28.1, :57.1, 125:2. Winding Hill (Jimmy Whittemore) would make the first move breathing down the neck of Dragin the Wagon (Angus Hall), as they battled down the stretch. Sweet Thing (Chocolatier), who is owned by Robert Budding and trainer Homer Hochstetler, would somehow squeeze through to the two leaders to win in 1:54.2. Dragin The Wagon would hold on for second with Winding Hill (Here Comes Herbie) settling for third. Sweet Thing would win for the third fourth time this season and the 15th time in her career. Leading Driver, Mike SImons and leading trainer Mike Deters would each add two wins to their total. Simons who now has 61 wins on the season won with Ifya Start Me up ($6.60) and Vraka Hanover ($32.40). Deters now has 23 wins on the season. He teamed up with driver Jim Meittinis for victories with Prairie Cowgirl ($6.90) and Katch Kanna ($13.60). Tioga Downs returns to action Sunday afternoon (August 6) with a 10 race card starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs  

Vernon, N.Y. – Homer Hochstetler and Robert Buddig’s Sweet Thing ($9.10) made every yard a winning one in Friday (October 21) evening’s featured $11,000 Miracle Mile/Open Handicap Trot at Vernon Downs, evading local harness racing standout and odds-on favorite J A T O by 4-1/4 lengths to hand him a second straight Miracle Mile defeat. Fern Paquet, Jr. wasted no time putting the 4-year-old Chocolatier mare in play, sprinting to the fore and forcing Pop I (Harry Landy) into the pocket through a :27.2 first quarter mile before rating a :56.3 half. While Sweet Thing used a :27.3 sectional through the far turn to amass four lengths of clearance on the field, J A T O (Chris Lems) had sustained first-over gains to take second from the weakening and subsequently breaking Pop I. Despite J A T O’s best efforts to chase Sweet Thing, the pacesetter held clear while driven to a 1:53.3 victory. J A T O held second by half a length over Its Payday Friday (Ronnie Morales), who split foes at head-stretch to escape traffic and stay on up the pegs. For Sweet Thing, the featured win was the 11th of her career and her third in four starts since returning to the Miracle Mile from Saratoga. Paquet’s featured win accounted for half of a driving double, a feat equalled by Truman Gale in the night’s late double. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (October 22) evening; post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. - Heavy pressure into a blistering :25.4 first quarter could not deter Sweet Thing ($7.00), as she fought to hold her ground on the first turn and subsequently edged away to a 3-3/4 length win in Friday (September 30) evening's harness racing featured $7,900 top-level distaff trot at Vernon Downs. Sweet Thing and driver Fern Paquet, Jr. meant business from race's outset, refusing to yield to even-money favorite My Lucky Word (Chris Lems) through a cut-throat duel into the first turn. The 4-year-old Chocolatier mare worked to protect inside position despite being headed out the straight, in fact forcing My Lucky Word into the pocket upon reaching the back of the course and controlling middle sectionals of :55 and 1:24.4. A new challenger emerged coming off the far turn, as Mc Tiny's Hope (Ben McNeil) gained without cover to take second from the fading My Lucky Word. Despite the presence of a fresh rival, Sweet Thing steadily drew away, posting a 1:53.3 victory over Mc Tiny's Hope, while the late-rallying Painite (Truman Gale) took third as the 19-1 longest shot in the race. Trainer Homer Hochstetler owns 9-time winner Sweet Thing in partnership with Robert Buddig. In the sub-featured $6,700 trotting event, Walk the Floor ($6.80) circled from third-over to prevail, fanning to the grandstand side off the far turn and collaring the first-over Pegasus Point in the final yards of a 1:55.3 mile. Trainer Angus MacDonald drove the 5-year-old Crazed gelding to his second consecutive win. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with an 11-race card on Saturday (October 1) evening; post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Availed a clear pocket trip by Chris Lems, Connie Hochstetler's Southern Girl ($3.40) prevailed as the odds-on harness racing favorite in Thursday (August 25) evening's $7,500 top-level Miracle Mile distaff pace at Vernon Downs.   With the withdrawal of Jinxy's Delight leaving a field of four, Southern Girl had no trouble securing the pocket behind early pacesetter Keene Olivia (Truman Gale), drafting comfortably through early sectionals of :27.3 and :56.2. Lems angled the 4-year-old Sportsmaster mare off the pegs with just over a quarter mile to go to avoid being boxed in by Asset Management (Fern Paquet, Jr.), and the pair made their move to the fore just after Keene Olivia completed the first three-quarters of the mile in 1:24. At the eighth pole, Southern Girl had overtaken the fading Keene Olivia, and the now 12-time winner had enough left to hold Asset Management a half length at bay in 1:51.4. Always Flash-n (Andy Gardner) was an even third, while Keene Olivia faded to finish last of the quartet.   For Southern Girl, a Homer Hochstetler trainee, the win was her third in five starts.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (August 26) evening, with first post at 6:45 p.m. Eastern. The 12-race card features the $193,000 Crawford Farms and $170,000 Muscle Hill trotting events, along with a pair of New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Employing a tracking trip through much of the mile, Connie Hochstetler's Southern Girl ($12.20) reached late to nose out even-money favorite All Charged Up in Thursday (August 4) evening's harness racing  featured $8,000 Mares Open Pace at Vernon Downs.   Jimmy Whittemore floated forward with the 4-year-old Sportsmaster mare to take third in the initial stages, drafting behind Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) and Super Soph (Chris Lems) through early splits of :26.2 and :55.3. On the far turn, Southern Girl found herself locked in, as All Charged Up (John MacDonald) commenced a first-over rally on approach to the quarter pole. Whittemore worked Southern Girl second-over upon cornering, and the pair ultimately swung three-wide as All Charged Up took command at the eighth pole. Southern Girl dueled strongly off cover to prevail by a hard-fought nose in 1:51. Looney Dune, the early pacesetter, was a worn-down third.   Homer Hochstetler trains Southern Girl, now an 11-time winner.   The evening's sub-featured $5,500 Miracle Mile pace for distaffers saw Embassy Seelster ($2.70) control all the terms and edge clear to a two-length victory over Jinxy's Delight in 1:51.2. Fern Paquet, Jr. drove the 6-year-old Modern Art mare for trainer Allie Berube.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (August 5) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Connie Hochstetler's Southern Girl ($5.90) battled resolutely to capture Thursday (July 28) evening's $5,500 featured Miracle Mile event for harness racing distaff pacers at Vernon Downs, digging deep once headed off the far turn en route to a 1:51.4 victory.   Fern Paquet, Jr. cleared to the lead with the 4-year-old Sportsmaster mare in the opening stages, out-sprinting Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore) through a :27.2 first quarter before relaxing the pace just a bit up the backstretch. Southern Girl was forced to accelerate on the far turn by the first-over The Filly Princess (Truman Gale)--the two dueled through a :27.1 third quarter with The Filly Princess working a head in front on approach to the home straight. Southern Girl responded in kind, forcefully repelling The Filly Princess in upper stretch and holding clear of a stand-side push from Jinxy's Delight (John MacDonald) by 1-1/2 lengths. The Filly Princess faded to third.   Homer Hochstetler trains Southern Girl, who scored her fifth win on the season and the tenth of her career.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (July 29) evening, with the first of nine races due off at 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

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