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A trio of Truman Gale trainees sparkled in Saturday (Apr. 5) morning's qualifying session at Vernon Downs, with Ocean Mist turning in a dominant 1:56.2 effort.   The five-year-old Artiscape gelding registered a 19-length win in the morning's second qualifier, pulling well clear of pocket-sitting Newyrorkstateofmind in a sparkling :27.3 third quarter with Gale in tow before maintaining a wide margin on the rest of the field through a stretch headwind. Gale trainee Painite (2:00) turned in the fastest trotting mile in the eight-race session, with Artic Byrd (1:58.2) rounding out the "New York Night Train"'s dynamite trio.   Of 43 horses to face starter Mark Phillips in the morning's session, 36 met qualifying standards. Opening Night for the 2014 Vernon Downs season is slated for Friday, April 11, with first post at 6:45 p.m.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

On Presidents Day, with well over two feet of fresh snow on the ground, much of it piled along the inside and outside of the racetrack, Monticello Raceway was still able to present its "Not Quite Presidential" Pace despite the fact that three horses were late scratches. "That we lost three horses to scratches was something we didn't figure on," said Eric Warner the tracks director of racing. "When you have drivers coming in from out of town there is always a possibility of losing someone along the way especially when the weather is bad, but losing three horses in the race was something we didn't figure on." And perhaps it was because of the short field that Howard "Zachary" Taylor altered his driving strategy and sent his charge, Red Carpet Tonight, to the front and together they made every pole a winning one en route to a 2:04 triumph over Space Chalet, driven by Don "Herbert" Hoover and She's A Screamer with Peter Gerry aboard. "I left with her (Red Carpet Tonight) because I watched replays and she threw her head when she was grabbed into. Therefore decided to roll her out of the gate so that I didn't have to grab her and that we had a short field seemed like the right time to put her on the front-end," Taylor said after being contacted in the paddock after the race. When the wings of the mobile gate folded Taylor sent Red Carpet Tonight to the lead and opened-up a three- length lead as they passed the first quarter in :29.1, From there, Taylor and Red Carpet Tonight had open lengths on the field at every other stanza and at the top of the lane they were five lengths in front. "We had a good lead as we headed for home and although my mare was tiring she held off a late charge by Don Hoover's pacer to win," Taylor added. Owned by Leonard Segall and trained by Steve Moore, Red Carpet Tonight paid. $10.80for win. Because it was the Presidents Day Holiday the" Not Quite Presidential" Pace was carded and mainly relegated to drivers with U.S. Presidential names although Peter Gerry became eligible since his five -times removed Great Grandfather Elbridge Thomas Gerry was a U.S. Vice President under the fourth President of the United States, James Madison. Others who participated in the five-horse race were Dennis "George" Washington, who finished fourth and "Harry" Truman Gale was fifth. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway  

Who can win Monticello Raceway's "Not-Quite Presidential" Pace on Presidents Day, Feb. 17? The race appears to be so wide open that even John Flynn, the tracks longtime morning line odds-maker, pondered over the decision as to who he should make the favorite. "It may be a field of lesser caliber pacers but wow, I had a hard time deciding who should be the early line favorite," Flynn said. "The more I looked over the field (of horses) the more I thought it could be anyone's race (to win)." After constantly reviewing the eight -horse field Flynn's eyes finally centered on Red Carpet Tonight and Space Chalet, and when he made his final decision the former got posted as the favorite at odds of 5-2 while the latter was second choice at 3-1. Top Philadelphia lawyer and prominent horse owner, Howard "Zachary" Taylor, will make the trek up from the city of Brotherly Love to drive the favorite while Saratoga Raceway's racing secretary, Don "Herbert" Hoover will handle the driving chores behind Space Chalet. Although the aforementioned are considered the favorites in the race anyone of the other six other pacers have an equally good chance at visiting the winners circle according to Flynn. Even the number eight horse, Act of Heaven, driven by Dennis "George" Washington, was rated 7-2 on the morning line by Flynn. "This should be a great betting race because there are no clear-cut favorites," Flynn added. Even the Mighty M's director of racing Eric Warner concurs with Flynn, who is also the tracks program director. "This is one of the most evenly-matched field of horses we've had in quite some time," Warner said. "It should be a good battle and with no standouts in the race the horse that gets the best trip will probably be the winner." Other drivers in the event include: "Harry" Truman Gale, J. Scott "Zachary" Taylor, George "James K." Polk, Jr., Cedric "George" Washington and Peter Gerry. For the record, the drivers competing in the "Not-Quite Presidential" Pace have the same names as U.S. Presidents, save one, Peter Gerry. Nevertheless his family line fits the race conditions since his grandfather-four or five generations removed-Elbridge Thomas Gerry, not only was a signer of the Declaration of Independence but he was also the fifth vice president of the United States serving in the second term of President James Madison. The Not Quite Presidential" Pace is slated as race number nine on the Presidents Day,(Feb. 17) 10-race program. First post will be at 12:25PM with 3:45PM the approximate post time for the featured event. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway  

It was no easy task but Monticello Raceway has put together a field of drivers whose names are Presidential and that race, dubbed the "Not-Quite" Presidential Pace, will presented on Presidents Day, Monday February 17. "We've searched hard to find drivers with presidential surnames and had to reach way down but we did fairly well, "noted Eric Warner, the track's director of racing "We could come up with six drivers with presidential surnames who consented to participate but in order to get an eight horse field together we used Truman Gale, whose first name Is certainly presidential, and then reached out for Peter Gerry, who said he'd be glad to drive in the race, if he was needed." Although Gerry is not a presidential name, it is however, a vice presidential name. Elbridge Thomas Gerry, Peter's grandfather five or six generations removed, was selected as Vice President under James Madison . He was also one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Joining Truman Gale and Peter Gerry in the Presidents Day race will be Scott Taylor, Don Hoover, Cedric Washington, George Polk, Jr., Howard Taylor, and Dennis Washington. Also asked to be in the race were Tom Jackson and Allan Johnson but both had a conflict on February 17. The "Not-Quite Presidential" Pace is slated as race number nine on the Monday (Feb. 17) 10-race card. First post will be at 12:25 PM It should be noted that driving assignments as well as post positions were drawn by lot. 1. NF Wind Chimes (Truman Gale) 2. Fancy Creek Iris (Scott Taylor) 3. Space Chalet (Don Hoover) 4. She;'s A Screamer (Peter Gerry) 5. Bouncy Three (George Polk, Jr.) 6. Red Carpet Tonight (Howard Taylor) 7. Little Carmen (Cedric Washington) 8. Act Of Heaven (Dennis Washington) by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway         -    

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Cedarridgetag has been well traveled to say the least since November, making stops at Vernon Downs, Saratoga Raceway, Harrah's Philadelphia, Monticello Raceway and the Meadowlands.   This week's stop on his 'East Coast' tour was wind-swept Buffalo Raceway and it was well worth the trip as Cedarridgetag ($40.00) stunned the field in the $10,500 Open Trot Friday night (Jan. 24) with a 3-3/4 length victory over R A's Shakenbake in 2:01.3.   Studio City (Kevin Cummings) had set the tempo in the race with panels of 29.3, 1:00, and 1:31.3 but it was Cedarridgetag and driver Truman Gale who tipped three-wide past the three-quarter pole and blew past the pace-setter, cruising to the comfortable win down the stretch. A 30-second last quarter over the good track solidified Cedarridgetag's seventh career win.   R A's Shakenbake (Ron Beback Jr.) broke stride going down the backstretch the final time and looked out of it but he but managed to get back on gait and impressively closed to take the place position. Heavily-favored Southwind Warsaw also broke but couldn't recover in time to be a factor late.   Cedarridgetag (Tagliabue-T W Linda) is a 6-year-old gelding owned and trained by Scott West and Katie Currie. It was his second win in as many starts on the season and moved Cedarridgetag's 2014 earnings to $8,350.   Racing will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night at 6:40 p.m. with a 12-race card scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, results, race replays and promotions, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

The temperature at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday, January 8 barely rose above 13-degrees(F) but it certainly was more conducive to winter racing than the previous day when it never got above 2-degrees(F). Wagering that day was good and after racing fans were greeted by chalk in the first 11 races ,led by three winners driven by Bruce Aldrich, Jr., it was bombs away in the final two events on the afternoon card. Low payoffs -save a $10.20 mutuel in race eight-prevailed early to the delight of the chalk players but when Austin Siegelman snuck up the passing lane to score a ahead victory in the 12th race with Samsawinner, hunch bettors were rewarded with a $46.20 mutuel. But that payoff paled after the results of the 13th race were posted. When the judges declared that And We Danced got up for a triumph in the final strides, the 53-1 shot driven by Jason Ryan, the faithful pocketed $108.50 for every two dollar ticket they held. In their contest Siegelman left quickly from the seven hole with Samsawinner and found cover down along the inside but not until they approached the quarter which was trotted in :29.2. From there Siegelman hugged the pylons trotting along in third position. When they reached the top of the stretch and the passing lane opened the 21 year old reinsman aimed Samsawinner for the shortest route to the wire and they trotted by the leader Cashabunch ( Bruce Aldrich, Jr.) and then held off late rallies from Painite (Truman Gale) and Get Chipped (Jimmy Taggart, Jr) to prevail by a head in 2:01.3. It was the first victory of the season and 33rd overall for the 8-year-old Victory Sam gelding whose owned by Woody Hoblitzell and trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr. Ryan's victory with And We Danced resulted with an overland trip from the half. Ryan moved the 5-year-old I Am A Fool gelding second over behind the parked Off Lika Promdress (Austin Siegelman) as the timer flashed :58.4 but luck was in Ryan's corner as Off Lika Prombress carried him all the way to the top of the lane. As they headed for home And We Danced paced by his cover and then held late charging AllAmerican Master (Greg Merton) at bay for a 2:01.2 victory. Owned by Richard Policastro and trained by Anthony Regina, And We Danced returned $108.50, $27.00 and $9.20 across the board and coupled with Allamerican Master , second choice at 2-1, the 5-1 exacta paid $541.00. At days end Mighty M bettors, both on and off track, wagered a total of $700,111 on the Wednesday card. by John Manzi for Monticello Raceway  

Four-year-old pacer Ok Ebury stole the spotlight on Sunday evening at Rideau Carleton Raceway winning the featured $6,400 Winners Over Handicap Pace in front-stepping fashion for driver Stephane Pouliot and owner/trainer Luc Loyer. Leaving from post two, Ok Ebury retook the lead over favourite D Gs Woodstock (Denis St. Pierre) past the :27.1 first quarter mark. Once in control, he raced by the half in :57.3 and three-quarters in 1:26.1 with Draconian (Gord Brown) looming first over before that rival eventually faded to seventh in the stretch. Ok Ebury then held off the closing Woodrock Nation (Kyle Forgie) for the three-quarter length victory in 1:56 flat over the 'good' surface. Keyed Entry (Truman Gale) came from last to show, one length behind. Ok Ebury returned $15.40 for the mild 6-1 upset. The win was the Modern Art ridgling's third this year and eighth all-time, pushing his bankroll to $109,398. In other racing action, sophomore pacing gelding Brother John kept his Rideau record perfect for owner/trainer Gary McDonald. Driven by Gord Brown, the son of Stonebridge Regal earned his sixth win in a row since shipping to the Ottawa oval in November. His Sunday score was his second fastest, clocked in 1:57.2. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Rideau Carleton Raceway Reprinted with permission by www; 

It has been often been alleged that good things come for those who wait and that was precisely the strategy that Aaron Byron used to win the sixth edition of the Maple Leaf Mile at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday, December 20. Byron guided Integrity to a 1:58.3 come-from-behind victory in the event strictly for drivers of Canadian heritage, which was the eighth and final preliminary leg of the tracks Heritage Drivers Series. “They were charging right from the start going good fractions for these caliber horses so all I did was wait and when they started to come back to me I moved my horse and we passed the tired leaders and went on to an easy victory,” Bryon said. “And it was only fitting that a full-fledged Canadian won the race, aye!” When the gate sprung Truman Gale sent 28-1 shot Best of Times to the lead and they showed the way relatively unchallenged thru fractions of :28.4 and :58 before Jacque Primeau moved Lexus Artist out and began to grind forward. Still strong as they headed up the backside Best of Times had two lengths on the field but as they approached the three quarters Byron was out and moving with Integrity who was fourth along the pylons in the early going. When Best of Times tripped the three quarter timer in 1:28 his lead was quickly diminishing as Integrity was gaining with every stride. When they circled the final turn Byron’s pacer took command and they paced away to open lengths and then coasted to an easy three- length triumph. Indy’s Z Tam finished second for Keith Haase and Lexus Artist took home the show dough. The winner, owned by Mark and Phyllis Liebowitz, scored his third seasonal triumph and paid $3.90 for win. Although it was the only drive that Canadian-born Byron had on the Wednesday card he was glad to participate in the race.”Hey, I had to drive two hours to just race in the Maple Leaf (Mile) but I had to represent Canada,” he chimed. Now, Byron will join the winners of the seven other ethnic preliminary events and represent the Canadians in the All-America Cup, the series finale, set for Thursday, December 19. by John Manzi for Monticello Raceway  

Although it took longer than anticipated to present the eight legs of the Mighty M’s Heritage Drivers Series-2013, the sixth edition of the Maple Leaf Mile will go to post Wednesday afternoon, November 20. The eighth and final preliminary leg of Monticello Raceway’s event for drivers of different ethnicities will feature those of Canadian extraction and the winner of the Maple Leaf Mile will be eligible to participate in the series finale-the All-America Cup- on Wednesday, December 18. Last year the Maple Leaf Mile was a trot won by Jimmy Devaux and the Canadian-owned Gate Keeper in a time of 2:02.4. This year the race is for pacers. However, as luck would have it, Devaux has drawn the early line favorite in the Wednesday contest. He’ll handle Jack and Rose Deluca’s, JB’s ATM (5-2), from post two. The Godeffroy, NY resident is a former Monticello Raceway driving champion and has reined 358 winners this year which ranks him 21st on the North American leaderboard. Thus far in his career Devaux has recorded 3409 career driving victories. But it won’t be a cakewalk for Devaux. Mighty M newcomers, Aaron Byron and Jason Ryan will be formidable foes. The former will guide  Mark and Phyllis Liebowitz’s Integrity (9-2)  from post three while the latter will be up behind Most Happy Stables’ Whata Rock (5-1) and leave from the five-hole. Other drivers of Canadian heritage who’ll be in the race include: Peter Lutman III, Keith Haase, Truman Gale, Jacques Primeau and Mike Doherty. Ronnie Wrenn Jr., the leading driver in North America, who was heralded to be among the drivers in the event, called on Monday and said he won’t not be able to participate. The Maple Leaf Mile will be the seventh race on the 13-race card on Wednesday (November 20). First race post will be at 12:25pm with the approximate time of the Maple Leaf Mile at 2:05pm. by John Manzi for Monticello Raceway            

VERNON, NY—Just as he did in last week’s top test for representatives of the lateral gait, the favorite Arockin’ Hanover saved the best for last and secured a 1:51.2 victory in the final $12,000 Open pace of the 60th Anniversary season at Vernon Downs. Truman Gale did the teaming for trainer Jason Robinson in Saturday’s 10th event, as a Arockin’ Hanover laid back in fifth place as the speedy JK Panache paced the solid seven-horse field through splits of :26.1, :55.1 and 1:24.1 through three quarters of the mile.  Taking the overland route from fifth place on the backstretch, Arockin’ Hanover rallied to get the lead at the top of the stretch and then accelerated away from his six speedy foes to defeat Western Tsunami by nearly three lengths. Saturday’s come-from-behind score marked the third win in succession (second at the Downs) , the ninth this season and the 21st all time for the 5-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover-Artaffection, who has rustled up more than $100,200 in 33 starts for owner Robert D. Main.  His career bankroll currently stands at $383,133. John MacDonald delivered four driving victories during Saturday’s 13-race card, while chauffeur Claude Huckabone, III posted a driving triple, and trainer John Mc Neil, III a double. Rick Plano repeated as the winningest driver (130 scores) and trainer (51 tallies) during the 88-program meeting.  Gary Clark emerged as the leading provisional pilot. The trotter Ziegler Hanover was the meet’s winningest equine with 10 triumphs, while the pacer Hot Cowboy led his gait with seven scores. Thirteen track records (seven on the diagonal gait and six on the pace) were re-set or tied during the meet, which began on April 12.  The season’s swiftest pacing mile was a 1:49 performance by Pontiac Luck on Aug. 31, while a brilliant 1:51 effort by Intimidate in the season’s Credit Winner Open on Sept. 6 was the fastest trotting mile in the track’s history. by Jim Moran for Vernon Downs  

VERNON - Little Santamonica posted a gate-to-wire victory in the final $12,000 fillies and mares Open pace on Friday night at Vernon Downs. Chris Lems did the teaming for trainer Jordan Hope as Little Santamonica led through splits of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.3 en route to a 1:52.4 decision over Bijou Theater in Friday's second session. It was the first local score, but the seventh season's tally for the 5-year-old daughter of Little Steven-Tonianne, who is owned by Kelly Dawn Hope of Vernon. The brave-hearted brown mare now sports 17 career victories and earnings of more than $108,500. Lems, the local campaign's second-leading reinsman after 87 programs, earned four first-place finishes during Friday's 11-race card to reach the 100-win plateau. Driver Truman Gale also visited Vernon's Blue Chip Farms winner's circle four times during the program, while driver Adam Capizzano and trainer Robert C. Gale each recorded two victories. DOWNS DOINGS Driver Brian Mattison was unseated when the pacer Prince Pendant fell during Friday's ninth contest and reportedly suffered a hand injury.The 3-year-old pacer Steuben Huckleberi notched his first pari-mutuel win after Capizzano steered him to a 1:58 triumph in Friday's 10th event.The Downs will conclude its 2013 campaign with a special 6 p.m. first post on Saturday (Nov. 9). There will be a 60th Anniversary Season coffee mug giveaway, while supplies last, during the night and a spectacular fireworks display following the evening's 13th and final race. Jim Moran  

VERNON, NY—Newcomer Arockin Hanover captured the $12,000 Open pace; Noble Wabbit lowered his odd-distance record for 7/8ths-of-a-mile in the “Turn Back The Clock Rewind Race,” while drivers John Macdonald and Truman Gale each recorded four victories during Saturday night’s 13-race program at Vernon Downs. The Saratoga-shipper Arockin Hanover went off as the second choice in Saturday’s featured seventh session. As the favorite Sheer Brilliance cut fast fractions of :26.3, :55 and 1:22.4, Arockin Hanover drafted along back in fourth place. Entering the homestretch, Arockin Hanover revved up and closed like a gate in the wind to not only overtake the pace-setter, but draw off to an eye-popping 3-3/4-length tally in 1:51. The fast-closing finish by the speedy 5-year-old gelding resulted in his second win in succession, eighth this season and 20th all time. Gale did the driving for trainer Jason Robinson as the bay son of Rocknroll Hanover-Artaffection raised his career bankroll to more than $377,100 for owner Robert D. Main. Entering Saturday’s $4,500 fourth event as the Vernon record-holder for a 7/8ths-mile clockwise pace off a 1:42.3 effort in 2011, Noble Wabbit rallied overland from fifth in the early going, advanced to third entering the stretch and then powered home to defeat the pocket-sitting Prince Polaris by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:39. It was the first win in 2013 for the 10-year-old bay gelding, but his 37th lifetime score. MacDonald did the teaming for trainer George Ducharme and owner Heather Reese as the productive son of Precious Bunny-Noble Lady Avalon increased his lifetime earnings to $154,487. Gale, for the second time during the 86-card Downs campaign, collected four wins on a single program, while it marked the first occasion for MacDonald, a newcomer to the track this season. Dave Dewhurst, the meet’s second-leading trainer with 37 tallies, also harnessed two first-place finishers during the rainy evening. DOWNS DOINGS Gary P. Clark, the track’s leading provisional pilot at present, recorded his fourth local score after a 1:54.4 trip behind the pacer New York Kitty (owned by he and Fay Clark) in Saturday’s second session… The Kenneth Daniels-owned sophomore trotter Southwind Tule chalked up his first pari-mutuel victory following a 2:02.1 performance for trainer and driver Claude Huckabone, III in Saturday’s $3,400 third event… Only two live racing dates remain during the track’s 88-card campaign 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., and include a coffee mug giveaway, while supplies last, and a spectacular fireworks display to conclude the track’s 60th anniversary season…. 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 Jim Moran  

They thunder down the stretch, a sea of grey and white…a ghostly apparition of horses! It’s time again for the Grey Ghost and Poltergeist Pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs!   The renowned record-breaking track will play host to all grey** or roan horses on Wednesday, October 30th, otherwise known as “Mischief Night”.   Entries for the race include morning line favorite Gotta Love Him, trained by Cindy Weitoish and driven by Matt Kakaley, at odds of 3-1; last year’s Grey Ghost winner Lilywhites, ready to defend her win, and driven by Mike Kimelman for trainer Sara Kimelman, at odds of 7-2 as the second favorite; Next at odds of 4-1 is the Joe Pavia Jr.-trained Express Jet, coming off a second place finish at Pocono on October 24th and driven by Ron Pierce.   Also entered are Saratoga shipper Six Gun, trained by Brad Irvine and driven by Joe Bongiorno at 9-2; the Robert Lounsbury-trained Working Stiffs at 10-1, who finished in the money in her last four starts at Monticello Raceway; Artic Byrd, shipping in from Yonkers, and trained and driven by Truman Gale, at odds of 12-1; odds of 5-1 on McThird Dimension, trained by Blake Macintosh and driven by Simon Allard; and Hillcrest Bigdaddy, driven by Aaron Byron and trained by Scott Osterhout at 8-1. The race is the third on the card with approximate Post Time of 7:06 p.m.   Children of Pocono horsemen will be on hand to present the winning trophy in a specially decorated Winner’s Circle.   This year, while Outrider Terry Scott recuperates from recent injuries, his brother Gary will take his place as the Headless Horseman, leading the ghostly greys down the stretch.   **According to the U.S. Trotting Association, the governing body of harness racing, less than five percent of all harness horses are grey in color. The most famous was the former world champion trotter and Hambletonian winner, Greyhound. Jennifer Starr Racing Marketing Manager Racing Operations  

VERNON, NY—Restless Yankee was a 1:50.4 upset winner in Saturday night’s $12,000 Open pacing feature at Vernon Downs. The favorite, track record-holder JK Panache, took the early lead in Saturday’s second session, while second choice Sheer Brilliance, winner in the last two Open events here, settled into the pocket. Driver and trainer Chris Lems kept Restless Yankee in fourth place past the three quarters in 1:22.4. As the top choices wore each other down entering the stretch charge, Restless Yankee came on in a :27.1 final panel to secure the score, defeating runner-up Western Tsunami by a head. It marked the third local tally, seventh season’s score and the 47th lifetime victory for the 6-year-old son of Relentless Yankee-Towner’s Love Dove, who is owned by Robert J. and Ryan J. Lems. The gritty gelding is currently a career winner of nearly $242,000. Lems also finished first with the Ryan J. Lems-owned pacer Ding Dong Boy (1:53.2) in Saturday’s fourth event to record his meet-leading 22nd driving double. Two-win performances were also turned in by Roman Lopez, Truman Gale and Claude Huckabone, III. DOWNS DOINGS Provisional pilot James Clouser, Jr. earned his initial Vernon victory behind TM Valley Storm (1:56.4) in Saturday’s 11th event. The sophomore gelding is owned by Leonard Segall… Vernon will offer live racing Thursday-Saturday next week. First post on Thursday and Friday will be 6:45 p.m., while Saturday’s start will be at 6 p.m… The Downs will also offer simulcast wagering on the 2013 Breeders Cup championship thoroughbred competition on both Friday and Saturday afternoons… Only five live racing dates remain during the track’s 60th anniversary season that continues through Nov. 9… 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 Jim Moran  

VERNON, NY—Ocean’s Motion obtained her first win of the season with an impressive 1:55.1 performance in Thursday night’s $12,000 Open feature for female pacers at Vernon Downs. Competing for only the 12th time this season, Ocean’s Motion had veteran Chuck Connor, Jr. at the controls as she left from the outside five post position in Thursday’s 11th event. Racing over a rain-soaked, sloppy track, the 6-year-old mare took her time building up speed. She rallied from fifth at the quarter to fourth at the half, shot to the front around the final bend and then showed her heels to the small but select field in the stretch, winning by an eased up 4-1/4 lengths. The stout effort resulted in the 22nd lifetime victory for the daughter of Camotion-Cr Charisma, who raised her career bankroll to more than $335,700. Janice Connor (Chuck’s wife) conditions the bay battler for owner Robert J. Lovett. Fans witnessed the second dead-heat for win at Vernon’s 81-program meeting after the pacers Rocha’s Hanover and Sunshine Patriot tied at the top following a 1:54.2 mile in Thursday’s seventh session. The win by Rocha’s Hanover was her second at the meet for trainer Robert C. Gale and owners Scott Hay and Scott Miller. Driver Truman Gale earned three wins during Thursday’s 12-race card. Sunshine Patriot’s score was also her second of the season at the Downs. Joe Bongiorno did the teaming for trainer Brad Irvine and owners Kim and Jordan Myers. Bongiorno also won with the pacer Inittowinafortune (1:52.3 in the ninth event) to secure his first driving double at the Downs this season. Robert C. Gale collected his second win of the evening after Truman Gale won the eighth race with Upfrontandpersonal (1:56.4) for owner Ross Bonafield. DOWNS DOINGS Truman Gale’s other win was behind the Judy Lanpher-trained pacer Sinspirational (1:53.1) in Thursday’s third race. Lanpher owns the 5-year-old mare along with her daughter, Connie, and Larry T. Lanpher…. Tomorrow night; Vernon will host the $433,500 championship finals of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-old trotters. Friday’s 12-race program will begin at 6:45 p.m.… Only seven live racing dates remain during the track’s 60th anniversary season that continues through Nov. 9… 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 Jim Moran

VERNON, NY—Track record-holder JK Panache turned in a brilliant performance while posting a sizzling 1:49.4 win-clocking in Saturday night’s $10,000 featured second race at Vernon Downs. Former Vernon provisional driving champ Truman Gale did the teaming in Saturday’s second race as JK Panache blazed through mile-cutting splits of :25.2, :54-flat and 1:22.3 en route to a neck triumph over No Monkeys Allowed. It marked the sixth local win, the eighth season’s score and the 16th lifetime victory for the speedy son of Art Major-Paris Hanover, who is shared in ownership by former Vernon multiple training champ Dave Dewhurst and Philip K. Hale. It was the fourth time the career-winner of $158,386 has beaten the 1:50 speed-barrier this season, including a 1:49.1 track record performance for 4-year-old pacing geldings here on June 22. “He’s not a very big horse, but he’s got a huge heart,” explained trainer Dewhurst after the race. “I’ve had several chances to sell him, but my kids love him. They call him 'licky', because he likes to lick their faces when they’re around him. He’s just a nice, fast little horse.” Dewhurst earned his 31st conditioning credit after JK Panache’s win, and is presently tied with Roman Lopez, for second place on the 74-program meeting’s training chart. John Macdonald, a former driving champ at Canada’s Rideau Carlton Raceway, recorded three wins during Saturday’s 11-race program, while reinsmen Jimmy Whittemore, Chris Lems and trainer Ronald MacDonald each registered a pair of first-place finishes during the evening. DOWNS DOINGS Whittemore’s win behind the Wayne Hughes-trained pacer Speedy Valentine in race 11 was his 88th of the Vernon season, tying him with Lopez for second place on the track’s 2013 driving list… The double by Lems is his 20th of the meeting, one more than Rick Plano, the present Vernon leader in races won (130) and training tallies (51), who recently shipped his stable to Florida’s Pompano Park for that track’s fall, winter and early-spring campaign… Fans attending Saturday’s card saw full-brothers Four One One and The Grey Bullet (each by Sealed N Delivered and out of Jammin Jenna) not only compete against each other in the third race, but both earning purse checks. The 11-year-old grey gelding Four One One, owned by Utica’s Robert Siemski, won the contest in 1:55, while his 8-year-old kid brother finished fourth for owner and trainer Hughes… The Downs will offer live racing Thursday-Saturday next week, with first post at 6:45 p.m… Only 14 racing dates remain during the track’s 60th anniversary season that continues through Nov. 9… 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 Jim Moran

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