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Vernon, N.Y. -- After directly tracking a fast pace, Card Knock Life ($6.40) pounced from the pocket and kicked clear for a 4-1/2 length win in Saturday (October 17) night's harness racing featured $8,000 Open II Pace at Vernon Downs.   Trainer-driver Truman Gale situated the 5-year-old Western Ideal gelding in the pocket to track a rapid pace set by Sassy Hanover (John MacDonald). With the other four contenders well detached through sectionals of :26.3, :55.1, and 1:23, Card Knock Life was able to vault clear from the pocket with ease just upon straightening for home. As soon as he passed the tiring Sassy Hanover, he kicked away at will, staying well out of reach of No Monkeys Allowed (Greg Merton) and Shock N Rock (Justin Huckabone), both of whom rallied late to round out the top three positions.   Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell own Card Knock Life, whose 1:51.3 victory was his second consecutive local triumph in the Open ranks.   John MacDonald led all drivers with four wins on the 11-race program, teaming up with Western Legend ($6.40, 1:52.4), Tarport Andy ($4.30, 1:55), Flying Cowboy ($4.20, 1:52), and Feel the Heat ($7.60, 1:53.2).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with a nine-race program on Wednesday (October 21). Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell's Card Knock Life ($42.60) cleared his five rivals and never looked back in Saturday (October 3) evening's $8,000 Open II Pace at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs, sprinting off late for a 20-1 upset in the featured event.   Trainer-driver Truman Gale left aggressively with the 5-year-old Western Ideal gelding, clearing Sassy Hanover (Claude Huckabone, III) and Golden Gun (Tyler Freese) in the opening furlong.   Card Knock Life managed to rate a :56 first half mile before accelerating through the far turn, posting a :27.3 third sectional while edging clear of Sassy Hanover.   Meanwhile, Greg Merton commenced a first-over rally with odds-on favourite No Monkeys Allowed, slow to gain through the far turn but improving drastically upon turning for home.   Despite No Monkeys Allowed's late rally, Card Knock Life held clear by 1-3/4 lengths, driven to prevail in 1:51.1.   Fresh off his 3,000th career driving win, John MacDonald registered a grand slam on the evening's 11-race program. The Prince Edward Island native teamed up with Fox Valley Cadet ($4.10, 1:58.2), Shock N Rock ($2.60, 1:53.3), Tarport Andy ($5.30, 1:55), and HMS Firecracker ($14.00, 1:57.3).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with an eight-race program on Wednesday (October 7) evening. Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   James Witherite

Vernon, N.Y. -- Driver Truman Gale notched a grand slam on Saturday (September 5) evening's 10-race program at Vernon Downs, and the "New York Night Train" got rolling with a pacesetting victory in the featured $8,000 Open II Pace aboard Card Knock Life ($8.50).   Gale, who also trains the 5-year-old Western Ideal gelding, sent him right to the front, clearing his four rivals en route to a :27 first quarter before rating a :55.2 half. On the far turn, Gale and Card Knock Life accelerated, forcing pocket rival Cascata (Dustin Ingraham) to chase a :27.1 third quarter while 4-5 favourite Big City Jewel (Jimmy Whittemore) mounted an uncovered bid off the far turn. Despite late pursuit from Big City Jewel and Damon Blue Chip (John MacDonald), Card Knock Life had just enough to prevail, holding sway by a half length in 1:50.3.   Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell own Card Knock Life.   Gale also teamed up with Regal Glide ($3.10, 1:57.4) and Racintowardadream ($37.00, 1:56.2) before just prevailing with Drinksforthehouse ($19.40, 1:54.1) after an extended stretch battle with Count Speed (MacDonald) in a $7,000 upper-level conditioned trot.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Monday (September 7) afternoon, with post time at 1:15 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Trotters and distaff pacers shared the spotlight at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 22) evening, and both $7,000 upper-level co-featured events saw decisive winners. The distaff pacing feature went to Pancakes ($3.00), a Heidi Rohr trainee who brushed to the lead after The Filly Princess (Frank Davis) clicked off a :27.4 initial quarter. After sweeping to the fore from third, the 4-year-old Sand Shooter mare drew clear of her five rivals, opening up a four-length lead through three-quarters in 1:23.1. Pancakes held clear to the end of her 1:51.4 triumph, maintaining 3-1/4 lengths clearance over a mild late rally from runner-up Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore). Truman Gale drove Pancakes for owner Dolores Smiel. While an odds-on favourite prevailed in the distaff feature, Fleetwood Hall ($21.40) scored a minor upset in the trotting feature, commencing his bid from worse than midfield once 3-5 favourite Verdi broke stride on the first turn. Roman Lopez moved the 5-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding off the pegs with well over a half mile to go, sustaining a bold first-over bid through the far turn before pushing clear of pacesetter Ulster (Brian Russo) after passing three-quarters in 1:26. Once he passed Ulster, Fleetwood Hall opened up in the final yards, ultimately putting 4-3/4 lengths on Ulster for a 1:54.4 score. Painite (Truman Gale) sustained a mild bid to take third. Deedra Johnson trains Fleetwood Hall for the M T Stables. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (August 23) afternoon. Post time is 1:15 p.m. Eastern. James Witherite

Three-year-old trotting filly Bee the Queen ($4.10) reigned supreme at the Miracle Mile on Saturday (August 15) night, holding off a late charge from Ulster for a 1:55.1 triumph in the featured $7,000 upper-level conditioned trot at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs.   Chris Lems secured the pocket early with the daughter of Donato Hanover, yielding to Ulster (Fern Paquet, Jr.) in the early stages before brushing after a :28.1 first quarter.   Bee the Queen enjoyed a 30.1 second-quarter breather before she faced mild first-over pressure on the far turn from DC Flashback (Jimmy Whittemore).   After she was nudged along to the three-quarter point in 1:26.4, Bee the Queen shook free of her seven rivals in upper stretch--at least for a moment.   Ulster, finding room to vacate the pocket, charged late at the longtime pacesetter, as did Tioga invader Verdi (John MacDonald) from out of midfield.   Both late threats would come up short, as Bee the Queen prevailed by a head.   George Ducharme trains Bee the Queen for Alfred Ross.   Truman Gale--who earned his 500th career driving win at the Norwich, N.Y. fair on Tuesday (his tally stands at 506 presently)--notched a driving double on the evening's 11-race program, as did Frank Davis.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (August 16) afternoon, with first post at 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Vernon, N.Y. -- Sustaining a first-over bid through the far turn, Card Knock Life ($9.50) was able to just prevail over even-money harness racing favourite Big City Jewel in Sunday (August 9) afternoon's $8000 Open II Pace at Vernon Downs.   Trainer-driver Truman Gale settled in midfield with the 5-year-old Western Ideal gelding, drafting well behind a :54.4 half set by Big City Jewel (Chris Lems) before commencing his bid on the far turn. Card Knock Life forced a :27.4 third quarter, but was momentarily rebuffed in upper stretch by Big City Jewel. After dueling through mid-stretch, Card Knock Life was able to just wear down his main adversary, prevailing by a half-length in 1:51. Wild Shot Hanover (Fern Paquet, Jr.) rallied stoutly to save third after he was shuffled to last on the far turn.   Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell own Card Knock Life.   Chris Lems led all drivers, tallying three wins on the nine-race card.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (August 14) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- After she was shuffled to last on the far turn, Asset Management ($7.00) mounted a three-wide rally off the far turn, mowing down all seven of her harness racing rivals in Friday (August 7) evening's $7000 upper-level conditioned distaff pace at Vernon Downs.   The 7-year-old Western Hanover mare settled well off the pace early on, racing just worse than midfield as Anty Entity (Claude Huckabone, III) sprinted clear from the far outside to set a :27.2 first quarter before yielding to Aritzia Hanover (Truman Gale) on approach to the backstretch. As Aritzia Hanover backed the pace down through a :57 middle half, Asset Management was locked in by outer flow headed by 2-1 favourite Express Jet (John MacDonald), ultimately shuffled to last on the far turn. Fern Paquet, Jr. angled Asset Management off the pegs just before Aritzia Hanover reached three-quarters in 1:24.2, mounting a strong rally off the far turn. She would continue to overtake all of her rivals in a :27 charge home, prevailing in 1:52.3 by a scant neck over Express Jet and Aritzia Hanover.   Allie Berube trains Asset Management for J & M Racing.   Truman Gale led all drivers on the evening with three wins, prevailing with his own trainees Royal Holiday ($4.60, 2:01.1) and Crazy Over You ($11.00, 1:59.1) in addition to Gary Bryant trainee Ninepointnine ($5.00, 1:57).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with a nine-race card on Saturday (August 8) evening. First post is 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Sustaining a first-over bid through the far turn, Wings of Royalty ($2.40) wore down the pacesetting Count Speed for a 1:54.3 triumph in the $8000 Open II Trot at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 1) evening.   Count Speed (John MacDonald) crossed and cleared from the extreme outside to dictate the terms, rating a :56.4 half mile before facing the first-over Wings of Royalty on the far turn.   The two dueled through a :28.1 third quarter, continuing their battle off the corner while leaving the pocket-sitting A Lister (Fern Paquet, Jr.) five lengths in arrears.   Wings of Royalty ultimately prevailed by three-quarters of a length, wearing down Count Speed in the final yards.   Fleetwood Hall (Roman Lopez) charged off cover to take third, just missing by a length.   George Ducharme trains Wings of Royalty for owner-breeder Raymond Campbell, Jr.   Truman Gale led all drivers with four wins on the 11-race program.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (August 2) afternoon, with the first of 10 races scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

After working clear early to control the pace, JK Panache ($4.90) held off a stern challenge from Burkentine Hanover to prevail in Sunday (July 12) afternoon's $10,000 Open Pace at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs.   Truman Gale sprinted to the fore with the 6-year-old Art Major gelding, clearing A Fool For Mark (Dustin Ingraham) through a :26.3 first quarter before rating a :28.4 second-quarter breather.   On the far turn, JK Panache sprinted clear through a :27 third quarter, amassing a three-length lead before 4-5 favorite Burkentine Hanover (Fern Paquet, Jr.) commenced his rally from the back of the pack.   While the pocket-sitting A Fool For Mark struggled to keep up, Burkentine Hanover cut steadily into JK Panache's lead in deep stretch, ultimately missing by just three quarters of a length.   JK Panache, a 1:50.2 winner, is owned by Philip Hale in partnership with trainer Dave Dewhurst.   John MacDonald and Fern Paquet, Jr. led all drivers with three wins apiece on the 11-race card, while Williams Hernandez teamed up with trainer Salvador Wenceslao for a pair of victories.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (July 17) evening, with first post slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

After saving ground well behind a contested pace, UF Bettors Hanover ($6.10) found a seam in the final 70 yards, surging to the fore late in Sunday (June 7) afternoon's featured $7000 upper-level conditioned pace at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs.   Jimmy Whittemore took the 5-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding off the pace initially, rating well off dueling leaders Walks of Life (Claude Huckabone, III) and Lilys Real Boy (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through a :54.3 initial half mile.   While continuing just worse than midfield the entire way around, UF Bettors Hanover found himself hard pressed for racing room on the final turn, when A Fool For Mark (Dustin Ingraham) circled three-wide off a stalled Lilys Real Boy and Card Knock Life (Truman Gale) followed that live three-wide cover to head-stretch.   Blocked at the pegs in upper stretch, UF Bettors Hanover had no shortage of pace, only able to use it in deep stretch when he found room to hook three-wide. His sudden turn of foot propelled him to a half-length win, beating Walks of Life in 1:51.4.   A Fool For Mark sustained his three-wide bid to hold third.   Trainer Scott West shares ownership of UF Bettors Hanover with Katie Currie.   Truman Gale led all drivers on the card with a grand slam, prevailing with Stettin Hanover ($20.20, 1:53.3), Flight Again ($4.70, 1:52.4), Tundra ($35.80, 1:52.1), and Vintage Fenom ($11.60, 1:54.1).   Racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (June 12) evening, with first post at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Vernon, N.Y. -- Making his much-anticipated return from a retirement which ultimately resembled a winter layoff, double millionaire Golden Receiver ($4.70) proved triumphant over his four harness racing rivals in Sunday (May 31) afternoon's featured $10,000 Open Pace at Vernon Downs. Before the race, trainer Allie Berube expressed nothing but optimism: "We're excited for Golden Receiver's return, and he is very excited to be back on the racetrack. He's feeling very fresh, and we hope for a successful season." That optimism was fulfilled in the 10-year-old Village Jove gelding's return, as Fern Paquet, Jr. sent him straight to the front from post 4 to control a :26.4 first quarter mile while tracked by A Fool For Mark (Dustin Ingraham). After rating a :30.1 second quarter breather, Golden Receiver faced a stern first-over challenge from Damon Blue Chip (John MacDonald), who forced a :27.4 third quarter while closing to within a neck. The challenge wasn't too tough for Golden Receiver, who kicked clear off the turn, holding clear of the late-charging JK Panache (Chris Lems) by two lengths in his 1:52.3 score over good going. Damon Blue Chip faded to third, while A Fool For Mark and UF Bettors Hanover (Justin Huckabone) rounded out the field of five. Berube continued to tell how Golden Receiver's return campaign would carry a nobler cause: "His proceeds will be donated to amazing causes thanks to his generous owners, the Our Horse Cents Stables and Nina Simmonds (Golden Receiver, LLC). Golden Receiver has a tremendous fan club, and we're certain he will not disappoint." If today's effort was any indication, Golden Receiver still has the ability to do a lot of good--both on and off the racetrack. While Golden Receiver was the equine star at the Miracle Mile today, four drivers each tallied two wins on the 11-race card. Adam Capizzano, Truman Gale, John MacDonald, and Jimmy Whittemore all recorded doubles on the afternoon program. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (June 5) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- After tracking prohibitive favorite Sweet Thing for all but the final two hundred yards, Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell's Painite ($13.00) scored a minor harness racing upset in Saturday (May 30) evening's $8000 Mares Open II Trot at Vernon Downs.   The 6-year-old Plesac mare secured the pocket behind Sweet Thing (Chris Lems) from race's outset, tracking a sensible :56.1 first half mile before ceding second to the first-over McKenzie's Star (Fern Paquet, Jr.). Painite stalked a :28.4 third-quarter duel, ultimately making her move in mid-stretch after McKenzie's Star tired from her two-wide press. Painite pounced late on the softened Sweet Thing, edging clear by 1-1/2 lengths in a 1:55 score. McKenzie's Star faded to third, and Leah's Ex (Jimmy Whittemore) rounded out the scratch-reduced field of four.   Trainer Truman Gale handled the driving duties aboard Painite.   The evening's final three races--including a $10,000 Open Trot--were abandoned due to the Central New York weather taking a sudden turn for the worse after the seventh race was completed. Live racing returns on Sunday (May 31) afternoon, with post time slated for 1:15 p.m.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Jacob Baumeister, a 24-year-old provisional reinsman, was released from the United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia late Wednesday night (Nov. 5) after being involved in a racing accident at Batavia Downs. Baumeister, driving 99-1 shot Vital Speed, appeared to hit the wheel of early leader, 53-1 Call Her Quick, with Jack Flanigen at the controls, as the field of winners of one but not more than three pacers were heading to the three-quarters. Call Her Quick got rough gaited and went off stride. Baumeister and Vital Speed were directly behind and couldn’t avoid the breaker and went down Baumeister was catapulted from the race bike. Also involved in the accident was Justrollwithit and driver Truman Gale. They appeared to hook the wheel of the sulky of Vital Speed. Gale, a Vernon Downs regular, was also catapulted from the sulky. Jacob Baumeister, the son of longtime Western New York trainer/driver Mike Baumeister and grandson of Ronald, who also raced at Batavia and Buffalo Raceway, suffered a concussion and facial lacerations. Gale walked off under his own power. Vital Speed suffered minor abrasions and walked back to the paddock while Justrollwithit, who ran loose after unseating Gale, was apprehended by paddock personnel with no apparent injuries. “We were definitely lucky that involved parties will be okay,” Todd Haight, Director/GM of live racing, said. “That was a very nasty spill. "Jake is the nicest young man you’re ever going to meet and we all wish him a speedy recovery.” he said. by Todd Haight, for Batativa Downs

 Batavia, NY---A small field of fleet pacing mares went postward Wednesday night (Sept. 24) in the $9,250 distaff Open at Batavia Downs and when the dust settled, Dirty Girty turned in a spotless performance. Off the wings, Infrontigo Hanover (Truman Gale) sped away, seating Taylor Rei (Ray Fisher Jr.) and She's A Maniac (Jim McNeight) who left as a pair. After pacing through fractions of :27.4 and :56.3, Mondatta (Mike Caprio) and Dirty Girty (Jack Flanigen) started the trek up the outside as the group went into the clubhouse turn. At that point, Infrontigo Hanover tried to run and hide, opening up a three length lead. But Flanigen tipped Dirty Girty three-wide around the sputtering Mondatta to keep pace with the leader. They continued to gobble up ground when they hit the three-quarters in 1:24.4, and eventually drew even with Infrontigo Hanover. Then through the lane, Flanigen just raised the lines and let Dirty Girty do it all by herself, pacing away to a two-length victory in 1:54. A fast-closing Bazooka Terror (Kevin Cummings) was second and Infrontigo Hanover hung on for third. It was the seventh win in 30 starts for Dirty Girty, raising her 2014 earnings to $46,325 for owner/trainer James Clouser Jr. The winner paid $10.80. Kevin Cummings, Shawn McDonough and Jim McNeight all scored driving doubles on the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Sept. 26) with post time set for 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Oh My Joepa (Rocknroll Hanover-Nittany Lion) returned to the Vernon Downs Winner's Circle after the $6,500 feature harness racing event on Saturday night. He had won two straight before finishing third last Saturday night.   Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) sat in mid-pack throughout the early stages while You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis) set the pace through a quarter of 27.3 seconds and a half-mile in 56.3 seconds. Oh My Joepa was able to catch some live cover from Western Tsunami (Roman Lopez) as the field moved on to the final turn. In fact, Western Tsunami took the lead as they paced past three-quarters in 1:25.   That lead lasted into the stretch, but then Oh My Joepa rallied past on the outside and strode away to win handily in 1:53.1. Martial Bliss (Joe Nassimos), who had been sent aggressively at the start before settling into a pocket trip behind You Bet Your Glass, closed smartly to finish second. Melvyn (Truman Gale) trailed early on, but was another sharp closer at the end and finished third.   The complete order of finish was: Oh My Joepa, Martial Bliss, Melvyn, Western Tsunami, The Green Knight, Dragon Fever, Cabbie's Delight, and You Bet Your Glass.   Oh My Joepa is owned and trained by Michael Deters of Coconut Creek, Florida.   Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with a 12-race program. First post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

JK Panache (Art Major-Paris Hanover) hadn't won a race since his last try at Vernon Downs on August 2. He returned to the Winner's Circle in emphatic fashion in the $10,000 feature race on Saturday night, pulling away in the stretch to win in 1:50.2.   JK Panache (Chris Lems) sat in mid-pack early on as T's Electric (Claude Huckabone III) set fast fractions with a 25.4 quarter and a 53.4 half. JK Panache had to move three-wide to get a clear shot at the leader as the field passed the half-mile mark.   He had plenty of momentum by the time he made the far turn and had taken the lead, going past three-quarters in 1:21.1. Moonlight Ransom (John Macdonald) sat third through the early part of the race and had been in between horses when JK Panache went three-wide. It was at this point that he also moved forwardly.   While he couldn't keep up with JK Panache, Moonlight Ransom did finish second while Cactus Jack (Truman Gale) came on for third.   The complete order of finish was: JK Panache, Moonlight Ransom, Cactus Jack, Hot Shot Lawyer, Sailing Cruise, Six Gun, and T's Electric.   JK Panache is owned by Philip Hale of New Hartford, New York and David Dewhurst of Clinton, New York. David Dewhurst is also the trainer.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs with an 11-race program on Thursday night. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

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