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Of four New York Sire Stakes events held at Tioga Downs on Friday (July 18) evening, two-year-old sons of top trotting sire RC Royalty proved victorious in three of them.   The first division, carded as the $28,250 third race, saw Royal Lad (RC Royalty-Hostesswithmostess) kick cover off the far turn, rallying for a half-length win in 1:59.4 over Drinksforthehouse and Crazy Levi. Mike Simons drove Royal Lad in the 11-1 upset win for trainer Roman Lopez.   In the following race, Royal Deceptor (RC Royalty-Art of Deception) made an aggressive brush to the lead with a circuit to go, widening his lead through the final three-eighths of the mile en route to a 7-3/4 length win over a late rallying Elusive Action and the first-over Commentary. Royal Deceptor, an easy winner at Buffalo in his career debut, returned a scant $2.70 to win with his effortless 1:58.2 performance. Michael McGivern handled the driving duties for trainer Cheryl McGivern.   The sixth race, devoid of RC Royalty progeny, was the next Sire Stakes event on the evening, with Mambo Blue Chip (Lucky Chucky-Flirty Two) prevailing after a slingshot move on the far turn propelled him to the lead off the far turn. He held on for a narrow 1:57.2 victory, digging in to just stave off 3-2 favorite Habitat, who was mounting a massive late rally after an early break. Jeff Gregory drove the 9-1 Mambo Blue Chip for trainer Linda Toscano.   George Ducharme trainee Wings of Royalty (RC Royalty-Sparkling Cider) wrapped up the New York Sire Stakes portion of the program in the seventh race, edging clear for a three-length win in rein to Chris Lems. He held clear of Credit Creation and Azucar in a 1:57.4 mile, prevailing as the lukewarm 5-2 favorite.   Racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 19) evening, with a 13-race card set to kick off at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

I Do Hanover (Shark Gesture-I'm Married) withstood a stout challenge from favored Tell Us More to win the $8,000 featured Open II pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday night. Firethorn (John Macdonald) was the one who set a strong pace of 26.4 for the quarter, 57.4 for the half, and 1:24.3 for three-quarters. However, those fast fractions ended up costing the pacesetter in the stretch, as he faded out to finish last.   I Do Hanover was moved aggressively first-over by driver Truman Gale past the half-mile marker and ended up drawing on even terms with Firethorn as the field entered the stretch. Tell Us More (Roman Lopez) followed the solid cover from I Do Hanover and rolled into contention as the field moved through the stretch. I Do Hanover held on to first position all the way to the wire to win in 1:52.2, scoring a minor upset at 6-1 over the favorite, who had to settle for second. Moonlight Ransom (Jimmy Whittemore) had been third in the early stages and ended up getting shuffled back to fifth with all the action in the outer flow on the far turn. Moonlight Ransom was able to re-rally in the stretch and get up for third.   The complete order of finish was: I Do Hanover, Tell Us More, Moonlight Ransom, Some Or Lis, You Bet Your Glass, Unicorn Hanover, Gallic Warrior, and Firethorn. I Do Hanover is owned by Philip Hale and David Dewhurst of New York, with Dewhurst doubling as the trainer.   The win in the feature event made it a natural hat trick of wins for driver Truman Gale during the Saturday program. Gale won the fifth race with 8-1 shot, American Bull, in a time of 1:53.1, and followed with a score in the sixth driving Where U At to another upset win at 7-1. Gale also serves as the trainer of first two winners in the sequence of three.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Friday night with a 9-race program. First post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

House Money (Angus Hall-Emmamzaing) received an excellent drive from trainer-driver Roman Lopez to score a victory in the $9,000 feature race at Vernon Downs on Friday night.   House Money actually sat the pocket trip behind early leader War Hero (Frank Davis), who set fractions of 28 seconds for the quarter, 57.3 for the half, and 1:25.4 for three-quarters. House Money then commenced a rally at the inside and challenged War Hero in the stretch, going past and winning by two lengths in a time of 1:54.1   War Hero suffered a break deep in the stretch, so while he crossed the line fourth, he was disqualified for violating the breaking rule and placed sixth. Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore) sat fifth in the field of six during the early stages of the race and then moved nicely through the lane to get second. Pollux Blue Chip (Claude Huckabone III) finished third. The complete order of finish was: House Money, Evil Urges, Pollux Blue Chip, A Penny Earned, My Revenuer, and War Hero. House Money is owned by Mitchell Frair and Thomas and Kimberley Frarey of Sherrill, New York.   Jimmy Whittemore might have been the runner-up in the feature race, but he scored three victories on the evening as he continues to close in on 1,000 career victories. With the three wins on Friday night, Whittemore is currently at 997 lifetime wins.   He was in the sulky for Don't Miss A Tweet in the first race, Ilovemymommy in the second race, and Funny Photo in the seventh race. Whittemore has drives in nine of the ten races scheduled for the Saturday night program at Vernon Downs, so it is conceivable that he reached the milestone of 1,000 wins before the end of the weekend.   Live racing at Vernon Downs will resume on Saturday night at 6:45pm. The seventh race is the featured event, an Open II Pace with a purse of $8,000. by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

The Sunday card at Vernon Downs featured a wild six-horse photo finish in the fifth race. The photo ended up being won by Steuben Ruthless, sent off at 9-1 and driven by Rick Plano. R Blue Moon Rising was second and Team Edward finished third. There was a dead heat for the fourth position between the favorite, Market Force, and Willies Big Mac. Dragon's Breath finished off the photo in sixth. The win was the second straight for Steuben Ruthless at Vernon Downs. The final time was 1:54.2, credited to each of the horses in the photo. Steuben Ruthless is owned by David Fisher of Vernon, New York, and trained by Mary Fisher. The 1-4 favorite, Tell Us More (Tell All-Liberated Leah), scored a convincing win in the $8,000 feature race at Vernon Downs on Sunday afternoon. Tell Us More (Roman Lopez) moved into the lead entering the first turn and ended up leading at every quarter mile mark. The fractions were very solid, 27 seconds for the quarter, 56.2 for the half, 1:24.3 for three quarters, and a final time of 1:52. Gallic Warrior (Rick Plano) finished second after sitting third throughout the early stages. You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis) made a nice first-over move entering the final turn, but ended up getting caught outside through the stretch and had to settle for third. The complete order of finish was: Tell Us More, Gallic Warrior, You Bet Your Glass, Some Or Lis, Donna's Scape, Firethorn. Buckeye Baddler was a scratch (lame). Tell Us More is owned by Michael Casalino Jr. of Freehold, New Jersey and trained by Jordan Hope.   Driver Jimmy Whittemore continues to close in on milestone win 1,000. He had two winners on the Sunday program at Vernon Downs to increase his career win total to 993. Whittemore won the second race with Party With Artie and the sixth race with I Do Hanover.   Live racing resumes on Thursday night at Vernon Downs with a 9-race program. Post time will be 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity  

A Penny Earned (Conway Hall-Penny Dream) scored a win in the $10,000 featured trot on Saturday night at Vernon Downs. However, the harness racing gelding certainly did not have an easy time of it.   A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) sat just behind the leader, Mr. Web Page (Roman Lopez), through the opening quarter of 28.3. Just past the quarter mile mark, A Penny Earned rolled right past that leader and assumed control himself. He continued to lead through a half mile in 58.2 and three quarters in 1:27. Once the field made the stretch, though, there were plenty of challengers for A Penny Earned to hold off. My Revenuer (Truman Gale) had the benefit of a first-over trip up the backstretch, but was never able to surpass the leader in the stretch and had to settle for second. War Hero (Howard Okusko Jr.) followed the cover of My Revenuer to get up into contention, but the best he could do was a third place finish. A Penny Earned finished the mile in 1:55.1 for the win. He is owned by Alfred Ross, George Ducharme and Natalia Oliva of Massachusetts and Paul Fontaine of Rhode Island. George Ducharme is also the trainer of A Penny Earned, who earned his third win of the season at Vernon Downs.    The complete order of finish was: A Penny Earned, My Revenuer, War Hero, Mr. Web Page, Naughty Not Nice, Pollux Blue Chip, and Evil Urges.   Live racing will resume on Sunday at Vernon Downs with a special 11-race program. The featured event on Sunday is the $8,000 eighth race, with Tell Us More installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite. He comes to Vernon Downs after winning twice in seven starts at The Meadowlands since the beginning of May. Post time on Sunday afternoon is 1:15pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

Ilovemymommy (Inquirer-Alpine Goal) got back to the Winner's Circle at Vernon Downs on Friday night in the $8,000 feature race after being unable to pick up a victory thus far in June.   The win on Friday ends a three-race losing streak for the mare. Ilovemymommy (Jimmy Whittemore) settled in third after Canadian Sunset (Roman Lopez) forged to the front at the start and set the pace through the opening quarter of 26.4. Ilovemymommy then moved to the outside as the field entered the backstretch and made an aggressive move to the front, taking control of the race and never relinquishing it. She remained in front through a half mile of 56.4 and three quarters in 1:26.   Painite (Frank Davis) made a valiant try first-over entering the far turn, but didn't threaten the leader and was passed late in the stretch by Long Island Tea (Chris Lems) for second.   The complete order of finish was: Ilovemymommy, Long Island Tea, Painite, Alarming Quick, MC Tiny's Hope, Stell R Time, and Canadian Justice. The final time for the mile was 1:54.2. Ilovemymommy is owned by Karen Smith of Brushton, New York and trained by Andy Gardner.   The win in the feature by driver Jimmy Whittemore was one of two victories on the night for him. Whittemore is now just nine victories away from 1,000 in his career.   Live racing at Vernon Downs resumes on Saturday night with an 11-race program. The second race is the feature with a purse of $7,200. The 9-5 morning-live favorite in the field of six is I Do Hanover, who has won his last two starts in June at Vernon Downs. Post time for the Saturday program is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

Mr. Web Page (Muscles Yankee-India Hall) scored his second win in three starts in the month of June at Vernon Downs in the $10,000 Friday feature race.   Both of Mr. Web Page's wins have come at the Open I trotting level and both have come with trainer-driver Roman Lopez in the bike. Lopez sent Mr. Web Page right to the front at the start but had to sit the pocket trip after War Hero (Howard Okusko Jr.) rolled up to take the lead before the field made it to the backstretch.   War Hero then proceeded to dictate matters until the field made it to the stretch. At this point, he drifted away from the inside, which allowed Mr. Web Page plenty of space to rally up for a victory by a head in 1:54.4.   A Penny Earned (Chris Lems), who was sent off as the favorite in the race, followed Mr. Web Page up the inside to claim third place from Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore). Evil Urges actually attacked to the outside of War Hero after the half-mile mark, but his effort stalled and he had to settle for fourth.   The complete order of finish for the Friday feature was: Mr. Web Page, War Hero, A Penny Earned, Evil Urges, Pollux Blue Chip, My Revenuer, Naughty Not Nice. The fractions were 28.2 for the quarter, 58 seconds for the half and 1:26.1 for three-quarters. Mr. Web Page is owned by Helping Hands Stables of Woodburn, Indiana.   By Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs  

Mr. Web Page (Roman Lopez) scored a surprise victory in the $9,500 Friday feature race at Vernon Downs, posting a win as the longest shot on the board at 15-1 in the field of six, paying $32.80.   Mr. Web Page actually sat the pocket trip behind the more-fancied Tirade Hanover (Tyler Raymer) for the majority of the mile. Tirade Hanover led through the early fractions of 27.2 for the quarter, 57 seconds for the half, and 1:25.3 for three-quarters, but he came up empty in the lane and faded to finish last of the six.   Once the field straightened away for home, Mr. Web Page ranged up on the outside of the fading leader and stormed to the front, holding off a late charge from My Revenuer (Rick Plano) and the race favorite, Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore).   My Revenuer, in fact, went from last at the top of the stretch to be second behind the longshot winner and complete the exacta, which paid $119.50. Mr. Web Page is owned by Helping Hands Stables of Woodburn, Indiana and is trained by the driver, Roman Lopez.   The complete order of finish for the Friday feature was Mr. Web Page, My Revenuer, Evil Urges, A Penny Earned, War Hero, and Tirade Hanover. The final time was 1:54.1   Even at 15-1, Mr. Web Page was not the biggest-priced winner of the evening at Vernon Downs. That honor went to the winner of the 7th Race, Pollux Blue Chip, who rallied from last in the field of nine at the three-quarter mile mark to pass everyone in the stretch and win for owner-trainer-driver Claude Huckabone III of Utica, New York. Pollux Blue Chip was 29-1 and paid $60.50 for his victory. His winning time was 1:55.1.   Saturday will feature a special early post time at Vernon Downs. The 10-race program will begin at 6pm, with special giveaways of $2 WIN tickets on California Chrome and posters of the Thoroughbred Triple Crown aspirant starting at 5pm, while supplies last. by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

Trainer Nancy Johansson might keep an eye on the racing in Canada on Saturday night, but her primary focus will be on her own horse at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Johansson's Western Vintage, one of the most highly regarded 3-year-old male pacers in North America, is the 3-5 morning line favorite in his division's $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship at the Big M. Sire Stakes crowns also will be handed out to 3-year-old female pacers, female trotters, and male trotters. If all goes well for Western Vintage, after the sire stakes final he will head to Canada's Mohawk Racetrack for the North America Cup eliminations June 7. The C$1 million North America Cup final is June 14. The final Canadian prep races for the North America Cup, three divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, also are Saturday night. The first division will go to the gate approximately 30 minutes after Western Vintage's race at the Meadowlands. "We'll be watching, but really the most important thing is that my horse does his work," said Johansson, who trains Western Vintage for owners Perry Soderberg and Marvin Katz. "I think I have the best one, so I just need to worry about him and let the others worry about themselves. I can only control what happens with my horse anyway, I can't control anything with the others." A son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare Major Harmony, Western Vintage was purchased by Soderberg for $7,000 as a yearling at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale. Last season, he won five of eight races and earned $316,838. His victories included the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile. He finished second in the $648,850 Metro Pace at Mohawk. Western Vintage started his 2014 season by winning the opening round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes on May 17. He sat out last weekend's second round, which was won by Doo Wop Hanover. "So far I can't complain about anything with him," Johansson said. "He's sound and happy and doing his work well. We're where we want to be with him at this point." In the New Jersey Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old male trotters, Trixton is the 3-5 favorite thanks to winning the Simpson Memorial in a season-best 1:51.2 and exploding in the stretch to win the first sire stakes leg by 4-3/4 lengths with a :26.2 last quarter-mile over a sloppy track. Trixton is trained by Jimmy Takter, who is Johansson's father. Takter also has the 8-5 favorite in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old filly pacers, Gettingreadytoroll. And he has the 5-2 second choice in the sire stakes final for 3-year-old filly trotters, Moonlight In Miami. Julie Miller-trained Cee Bee Yes is the 2-1 choice. 2nd Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Colts & Geldings Pace 1-Doo Wop Hanover [Rocknroll Hanover], John Campbell, Steve Elliott, 8-5 2-Dancin Hill [Rocknroll Hanover], Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 9-2 3-Western Vintage [Western Ideal], Yannick Gingras, Nancy Johansson, 3-5 4-Rock Out [Rocknroll Hanover], Matt Kakaley, Steve Elliott, 15-1 5-Beat The Drum [Tell All], Brett Miller, Staffan Lind, 20-1 3rd Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Colts & Geldings Trot 1-Well Built [Muscle Hill], Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 15-1 2-Skates N Plates [Revenue], Trond Smedshammer, Trond Smedshammer, 20-1 3-Trixton [Muscle Hill], Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 3-5 4-Martiniwithmuscle [Muscle Hill], Yannick Gingras, Joseph King, 12-1 5-Speak The Truth [Muscle Hill], Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 5-1 6-Resolve [Muscle Hill], Matt Kakaley, Roman Lopez, 20-1 7-Sumatra [Muscles Yankee], Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1 8-Odds On Amethyst [Muscle Hill], Howard Parker, Chris Ryder, 9-2 9-King City [Muscle Hill], Mike Lachance, Jonas Czernyson, 30-1 10-Lightning Force [Muscle Hill], John Campbell, Randy Beeckman, 20-1 4th Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Fillies Trot 1-My Inspiration [Chocolatier], Trond Smedshammer, Trond Smedshammer, 6-1 2-Mistresswithmuscle [Muscle Hill], Matt Kakaley, Nifty Norman, 30-1 3-Ravine [Muscle Hill], Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart, 30-1 4-Yoga [Muscles Yankee], Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 4-1 5-Moonlight In Miami [Muscles Yankee], John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 5-2 6-Heaven's Door [Muscle Hill], Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 9-2 7-Scream And Shout [Muscles Yankee], Tim Tetrick, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 8-Cee Bee Yes [Muscles Yankee], Marcus Miller, Julie Miller, 2-1 5th Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Fillies Pace 1-Blixtra [Rocknroll Hanover], Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 20-1 2-Atasallrite Hanover [Rocknroll Hanover], Brett Miller, Ron Burke, 8-1 3-Sayitall BB [Tell All], Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 4-1 4-Highland Rockstar [Rocknroll Hanover], Mike Lachance, Buzzy Sholty, 20-1 5-Ideal Helen [Western Ideal], Marcus Miller, Erv Miller, 30-1 6-Fanticipation [Rocknroll Hanover], John Campbell, Michael Forte, 15-1 7-Act Now [Western Ideal], Tim Tetrick, Nikolas Drennan, 9-5 8-Rockingham Park [Rocknroll Hanover], Howard Parker, Ron Coyne Jr., 12-1 9-Fiyonce [Rocknroll Hanover], Joe Bongiorno, Ron Burke, 20-1 10-Gettingreadytoroll [Rocknroll Hanover], Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 8-5 by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

A select field of five contested the $8,000 featured harness racing event on the Friday (May 2) program at Vernon Downs, and despite having things largely his own way, Pennsylvania shipper and odds-on favorite Sand Top Gun was just collared by House Money ($6.80) in the last strides of the Miracle Mile 2 trot.   Trainer/driver Roman Lopez tracked from the pocket through sensible fractions, keeping House Money just behind the pacesetting Sand Top Gun (Tyler Raymer) throughout the first seven-eighths of a mile.   Locked in by the first-over Ilovemymommy (Chris Lems), House Money resorted to wedging through at the pegs--and he found room in the last sixteenth.   The five-year-old Angus Hall gelding emerged with the lead in deep stretch, scoring in 1:55.0 by 3/4 length. Sand Top Gun held second, while Mc Tiny's Hope (Ben McNeil) saved ground for third.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday, with a 10-race card featuring the finals of the Catherine Burton Trotting Series and Anthony Farina Pacing Series kicking off at 5:10 p.m.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs    

Driver Fern Paquet, Jr. swept the evening's pair of $8,000 Miracle Mile feature events at Vernon Downs on Friday (April 25) evening, rallying to circle the field with Asset Management ($19.60) in the Fillies and Mares Miracle Mile 2-3 Pace, and prevailing in the nick of time aboard Jaipur ($8.20) in the Miracle Mile 2 Trot.   In a change of tactics from the last two weeks, Asset Management dropped to last, biding her time well off a pressured pace before mounting a three-wide rally at the top of the stretch. The six-year-old Western Hanover mare gobbled up ground willingly, eclipsing the pace-setting Market Dynamics (Rick Plano) in deep stretch, pulling clear for a 2-3/4 length win in 1:52.3, capped by a torrid :26.2 final quarter. Artic Byrd (Truman Gale) was a narrow third, flattening off a first-over bid.   Jaipur took a similar path to victory in the trotting feature, making a massive three-wide push in the final quarter mile, passing horses steadily en route to a slim triumph over the pacesetting House Money (Roman Lopez) for a 1:54.4 victory. Painite (Truman Gale) rallied late to save third after breaking at race's outset.   A trio of divisions of the Catherine Burton trotting series were contested, with Wild and Crazy Guy (1:56.1) and Driving Miss Crazy (1:56.2) giving Gaetan Brunet a training and driving double on the evening. Indira Blue Chip (1:57.1) prevailed in the non-wagering division for trainer-driver Ray Schnittker.   Live racing returns on Saturday evening with a 6:45 p.m. first post, and Thursdays are added to the schedule on May 1, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. on Thursday evenings as well.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

Tracking from the pocket before unleashing a lethal stretch kick, Kelly Hope's Rocks N Bagels ($5.10) proved a dominant 1:50.4 winner in Friday (April 18) night's $8,000 Miracle Mile 2 harness racing event for distaff pacers at Vernon Downs.   The six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare drafted behind the pacesetting Asset Management (Fern Paquet, Jr.) before angling out in upper stretch, drawing clear for an 8-1/2 length win over a late-gaining Got the Munchies (John Macdonald). Rocks N Bagels turned in a :26.2 final quarter as part of a :53.4 last half in rein to Aaron Byron for trainer Jordan Hope.   The featured trotting event of the evening was an $8,000 Miracle Mile 2 event as well, with Jerry Clark's Jaipur ($4.30) kicking cover for a neck win over House Money (Roman Lopez) in 1:53.4 for driver Fern Paquet, Jr. and trainer Jamie Paquet.   The Catherine Burton trotting series kicked off as well with four $4,000 first-round divisions. Ray Schnittker trainees Indira Blue Chip (1:56.1) and Corsair Hall (1:57.2) prevailed in their splits, while Driving Miss Crazy (1:55.4) and Keystone Sadie (1:57.1) also proved victorious.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with a thirteen-race Saturday card, and first post slated for 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

Mr Web Page (Muscles Yankee) returned to the winner’s circle on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Coming into the $16,050 Open, Mr Web Page had gone two for three at the Spa, with a pair of fast closing victories to his credit. Trained by Roman Lopez, Mr Web Page has been piloted by Stephane Bouchard in all of his local tries and on Friday night got the best trip that he’s gotten since coming to town. Riding the coattails of leader Easy Strength (Jim Devaux) from the get-go, Mr Web Page reeled in that rival with relative ease in the stretch before drawing away to win in 1:57.3 over a track labeled “good.” The race’s 7-5 favorite, Mr Web Page won for the fifth time in just fourteen starts on the season. Longshot Cash Poor (Austin Siegelman) closed well for second while Easy Strength, last week’s Open winner, had to settle for third. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. by MIke Sardella for Saratoga Raceway  

Mr Web Page (Muscles Yankee) went from last to first to secure a win in the local Open for the second time in as many tries at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Roman Lopez-trained five year old won his local debut two weeks ago and was back in town following a second place finish at Vernon Downs in his previous race. Stephane Bouchard sat patiently in last with Mr Web Page while the fractions were fast in the early going. Moving three wide around the final turn, Mr Web Page swooped the group and drew away late to win in 1:58.3 to move his record in $15,000 Spa Opens to two-for-two. Lightly raced in 2013, Mr Web Page has now finished first or second in seven of his last eight starts. Slugfest (Phil Fluet) was the Open’s runner up for the second consecutive Friday night while Victom AS (Harry Landy) closed for third. Mr Web Page returned a solid $9.60 to win. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by MIke Sardella for Saratoga Raceway  

VERNON, NY—Well Built, Skates N Plates, JK Molly, Bikini So Teeny and Bakersfield were all divisional winners in Friday night’s $88,844 John Simpson Memorial stakes for 2-year-olds at Vernon Downs. The favorite Well Built captured the $14,396 opening division of the Simpson stake for male members of the trotting persuasion with a strong-striding 1:59.3 victory in Friday’s first race. Jim Meittinis did the steering for trainer Chris Ryder as the bay colt rallied from third at the quarter into the top spot before the half, and then remained in charge en route to a 1-1/4 length score over the second-choice, Resolve. It was the second win, coupled with a trio of second-place finishes in nine starts for the strong son of Muscle Hill-Working Girl, who has earned nearly $36,900 this season for co-owner Ryder and his partner Robert Mondillo. In the $14,396 second division of the freshman colt and gelding trot, race three, Skates N Plates front-ended his way to a 1:56.3 score over the crowd’s choice, Starsaboveallerage, who finished a half-length back in second. It was the first career triumph for the bay son of Revenue S-Pleasure Skate, who now spots a 1-2-1 summary line and earnings of $26,233 in 13 outings for owner Robert J. Key. Chris Lems did the teaming for trainer Paul Reid. JK Molly, who owns the fastest mile by a 2-year-old pacing filly here in 2013 on the strength of a 1:52.1 performance back on Sept. 6, secured her second Vernon victory and improved her performance line to 5-1-2 after 10 trips to the track following a 1:54 score in Friday’s $26,766 fifth contest. The tomboy filly advanced from second into the lead early in the mile and continued on to a front-ending 1:54 tally over the favorite, Ideal Helen. Roman Lopez did the piloting for trainer Ron Burke as the daughter of Art Major-Heather’s Western raised here career winnings to $128,766 for the 3 Brothers Stables. Fourth choice in the wagering, Bikini So Teeny turned in a career-best 1:56.4 showing in race seven, the $27,366 filly trot. Trainer Charlie Norris was at the controls as the daughter of Yankee Glide-Momsgotitgoinon gained the upper hoof going to the half and continued on to record a head triumph over the second-choice, Ruby. The favorite, Annie’s List, ended up third. It marked the maiden victory for the bay filly, who also displays a pair of second-place finishes, a third and winnings of $29,149 after 11 starts for owners Carrie Norris, Neal Goldman and Harold “Bud” Coughlin. In the $27,591 2-year-old male pace, race 10, the crowd’s pick, Bakersfield, raced like he was the best, and then proved it with a gate-to-wire 1:54 victory. Andy Miller did the honors for trainer Jimmy Takter as the quick-striding son of American Ideal-Ride The Skies dominated through splits of :28.4, :58.2 and 1:26.4 en route to a 1-1/4 length tally over second choice Beat The Drum. It was the third tally, coupled with a second and two third in 11 tries for the career-winner of more than $51,100, who is shared in ownership by the Brittany Farms, Joe Sbrocco and John Fodera. In Friday’s $12,000 ninth race, the week’s Open trot, newcomer Picture This rallied from third entering the stretch drive and came on in a :28.4 final quarter to defeat The Triple Lindy by a neck. The fast-closing finish resulted in the fifth season’s score and the sixth lifetime win for the career-winner of more than $305,700, who is owned by Leonard Buckner. The win behind Picture This gave trainer and driver Norris a triple during Friday’s 12-race program. Chris Lems logged his meet-leading 23rd double of Vernon’s 85-card campaign, while two win performances were also registered by Roman Lopez, and trainer/driver Claude Huckabone, III. DOWNS DOINGS The Regina Dewhurst-owned trotter Ziegler Hanover recorded his meet-leading 10th victory after a 1:57.2 outing in Friday’s sixth session. Lems drove for trainer Dave Dewhurst, who is currently second on the season’s conditioning chart with 35 tallies… The winningest pacer at the meet is Hot Cowboy with seven scores… The Downs will offer simulcast wagering on the remaining 2013 Breeders Cup thoroughbred championship races on Saturday afternoon (1:15 p.m. post time)… Saturday night’s 13-race live program, which features a $12,000 Open pace in the seventh event, will get underway with a special 6 p.m. post time… Only three live racing dates remain during the track’s 60th anniversary season that continues through Nov. 9… Vernon’s program for Friday, Nov. 8 will start at 6:45 p.m., but the card for Saturday, Nov. 9 will begin at 6 p.m…. A revised 2013, 88-program racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com. Jim Moran  

The John F. Simpson Memorial stakes, a Grand Circuit event for two year old pacers and trotters makes a stop at Vernon Downs on the evening of Friday, November 1. The freshman trotting colts start the show in races one and three dubbed the "Super Bowl", with a pair of five horse fields each for a purse of $13,271. Trainer Chris Ryder has a Muscle Hill contender in each division and has an ownership position in both. Well Built has had a consistent if unspectacular campaign and broke maiden in a Vernon overnight event just last week. Jim Meittinis is listed to drive the colt on Friday evening for Ryder and partner Robert Mondillo. Muscle On In is the more accomplished of Ryder's pair, having won the Harold Dancer Memorial and NJ Futurity at Freehold this fall. He has earned more than $60,000 for the partnership of Ryder and Mondillo along with Max Wernick. Chris will drive this one from post four in the abbreviated field. Trotting fillies go for $25,716 in race seven, named for the grand dame Davidia Hanover where Ruby looks like the one to beat. She is an Explosive Matter filly trained by Erv Miller for Patrick Quaid and James Bafia who comes to the Simpson off a solid fourth in the Breeders Crown final. Meittinis catches the drive on her from the advantageous post two. The "Bret Hanover" (race ten) is comprised of six pacing colts and geldings racing for $25,341. Beat The Drum is a Tell All colt who's won a few stakes this summer, including the Tompkins-Geers at Tioga Downs and took a 1:53- record winning a NJSS leg at The Meadowlands. He's made just shy of $90,000 for trainer Staffan Lind who owns him in partnership with Bender Sweden, Inc.  Jim Meittinis has the drive on this morning line choice as well. The filly pace, christened the "Razzle Hanover", boasts a competitive field of six with JK Molly and Ideal Helen the most accomplished. JK Molly was a factor all summer in the NYSS program, earning over $115,000 and took a fast 1:52.1 mark right here at Vernon in early September for owners the 3 Brothers Stable. Ron Burke trains and Roman Lopez has the drive on the Art Major lass. Ideal Helen has had a successful season in the Garden State with seven wins and nearly $120,000 earned for owner/breeder D. R. Van Witzenberg. She counts the Review Stakes, NJ Futurity and Babic Filly Stake among her conquests while in the care of Erv Miller. Chris Lems will plot her course from the outside. Post time is 6:45pm at Vernon on Friday. The season is winding down with just one more weekend of live racing to go. Visit the Vernon website for further information. by Nick Salvi for Vernon Downs

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