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Prairie Fortune (Mike Deters) wins the harness racing featured Open Trot ($9,000) at Vernon Downs on Friday (June 22). Icanflylikeanangel (Roman Lopez) took them to a first quarter of :26.3. Foundonabeach (John MacDonald) then took the field to the half in :55.3. Barn Bella (Claude Huckabone Jr.) came first-over from fourth to take over before hitting three-quarters in 1:24.4. She looked like she had it wrapped up with a two-length lead in the stretch. Prairie Fortune ($10.60) was seventh after the half and sixth after three-quarters. Owned by Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, he flew by like he was shot out of a cannon to edge Barn Bella (Second) by a head to win in 1:53.2. Muscles Jared (Howard Okusko Jr.) finished third. Prairie Fortune is a 6-year-old gelding by Arapa Victory. It was his eight win of the season and fourth in a row. He now has 45 career victories. John MacDonald won four on the night. He got his wins with Alex The Great ($3.60), Hammer Time ($9.70), Quick Trot ($7.90), and Expo ($12.20). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (June 23) 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

The last time Atlanta competed in a parimutuel race, the 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven won the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) Final (238,6130) at Vernon Downs on May 28th. She not only won the race but set the overall track record with a time of 1:50.3. She returns to action on Sunday (June 24) at Tioga Downs in the second of three divisions in a leg of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS). All three divisions will race for a purse of ($40,600). Atlanta driven by Scott Zeron, is the overwhelming morning line favorite in the second division at 4-5. Trained by Rick Zeron for owners Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, and Bradley Grant, the filly is three for three in 2018. She has seven career victories. The main rivals in the second division is the entry of Ciao Dolce (Jason Bartlett) and Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt). They are both trained by Svanstedt and are the morning line second choice at 3-1. Ciao Dolce is a 3-year-old filly by Credit WInner. Owned by Kjell Anderson, she has won her last two races. Both victories were NYSS wins. Plunge Blue Chip is a 3-year-old filly by Muscle Mass. Owned by Svanstedt, Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., and Tomas Andersson, she is two for three in 2018. Her only loss this season was a second place finish against Atlanta in the EBC Final. She has won 11 times in 13 starts in her career. In the first division of the NYSS, Lucky Ava (Ake Svanstedt) is the morning line 2-1 favorite. Owned by Svanstedt (trainer), Little E LLC., and Van Camp Trotting, she is four for five as a sophomore. The 3-year-old filly by Lucky Chucky has captured three legs of the NYSS already this season. The second morning line choice is Tribute To Seven (Scott Zeron). Trained by Linda Toscano for owner Richard Gutnick, the 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven is two for six in 2018, including winning a leg of the NYSS. In the final division of the NYSS to be run on Sunday the morning line choice at 3-1 is Fury Road (Ake Svandstedt). Trained by Svanstedt for owner Knutson Trotting Inc., the 3-year-old filly by Muscle Mass has won two legs in the NYSS already this season. She has five wins and five seconds in her racing career. The second choice in the third division at 7-2 is the Chapter Seven filly, Repentance (Scott Zeron). She is owned by Diamond Creek Racing and trained by Linda Toscano. She is one for three in her sophomore season. She was fifth in the EBC Final. The 15 race card for Sunday (June 24) at Tioga Downs is set to start at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Dreams Beachboy (Gates Brunet) cruised to a win in the featured pace ($6000) at a special Fathers Day matinee at Vernon Downs (June 17).   Major Bucks (Claude Huckabone iii) led them to a first quarter of :27.4.   After that is was all Dreams Beachboy ($2.90). Taking the lead just before the half in :58.1 then cruised to three-quarters in 1:25.2 and won by six lengths in 1:52.2. Major Bucks held for second with Prince Pinang (Artie Dickie) getting the third spot.   Dreams Beachboy is a 6-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere. Owned by Crawford Farms racing and trained by Brunet, he won his first race of 2018. It was career win number 19 Truman Gale had three wins on the card. He won with Coopers Beach ($3.50), JDs Brent N Sheree ($3.00), and Card Knock Life ($40.20) . Jimmy Whittemore continues his strong season he leads all drivers in wins with 26 and Trainers in wins with 15. John MacDonald is second in both categories. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (June 22) at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Foundonabeach (John MacDonald) takes the Vernon Downs Open Trot ($9,000) on Saturday night (June 16). Foundonabeach ($3.80) darted to the front and controlled all the fractions (:29.0, :58.2, 1:26.3, 1:55.1). Owned by Karma Racing Inc. and trained by MacDonald, he had to hold off a late rush by second place finisher Pier Ho Exotic (Jimmy Whittemore). Sweet Ashley T (Homer Hochstetler) finished third. Foundoanabeach is a 7-year-old gelding by Equinox Bi. It was win number eight on the season and number 24 for his career. MacDonald also won on the night with Lucid Thoughts ($3.50). Claude Huckabone III and Jimmy Whittemore each had two wins on the night as well. Huckabone III reached the finish line with Winkys Gal $4.30 and Gimme the Cash ($6.10). Whittemore won with Golden Kronos ($5.80) and Bloodstockhalltab ($6.20). Vernon Downs returns to live racing with a special Father's Day Matinee (June 17) featuring 10 races with a post time at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Roll With Sparky (John MacDonald) wins the featured fillies and mares pace ($8,000) on Friday night (June 15) at Vernon Downs. Mydelight Bluechip (Ben McNeil) led the group into a first quarter of :27.3. Roll With Sparky ($6.80) who is owned by James Graham, Lee Winters with Paul Tandlmayer and trained by MacDonald, took over the lead just before the half and put up all the rest of the numbers (:56.2, 1:24.1, 1:52.2). Blameitonthenight (Jimmy Whittemore) came charging late in the stretch but had to settle for second. Delilah De Vie (Claude Huckabone Jr. was third. Roll With Sparky is a 4-year-old mare by Roll With Joe. It was her second win of the season and career victory number 12. MacDonald also won on the night with Drea's Good Powow ($6.20). Claude Huckabone III also had two wins on the night. He won with Heart Crusher ($6.80) and Marquesa Seelster ($5.60). Vernon Downs returns to live racing with a nine race card on Saturday (6-16) starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Jimmy Whittemore won four races on Friday night (June 8) and four again on Saturday night (June 9) at Vernon Downs. Golden Brit (Adam Capizano) wins the featured pace ($5,100 Sapient Hanover (John MacDonald) laid down all the early fractions ($26.2, :54.2, 1:22.2).   Golden Brit ($39.80) followed patiently in the pocket until zooming by in the stretch to win easily in a lifetime best time of 1:51.3. Sapient Hanover held for second Shell I Be Bad (Truman Gale) finished third.   Golden Brit is a 5-year-old gelding by American Ideal. Owned and trained by Mary Nelson, he won for the first time this season and secured win number 11 for his career. Whittemore won as trainer and driver with Serious Major ($4.70), The Royal Garden N ($7.70) and Skip Jive ($9.60). His fourth driving win came with Get Torqed ($6.00). He now leads all driver at Vernon Downs with 33 wins. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (June 15) with a post time of 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Frisky Joe (Truman Gale)Took the featured trot ($9,000) at Vernon Downs on Friday (June 8). Whittemore wins four. Sweet Ashley T (Homer Hochstetler) went to the front and carved all the early fractions (:27.4, :58.0, 1:27.0). Muscles Jared (Jimmy Whittemore) went first-over just before the first quarter. The two battled all the way down the backstretch and to the three-quarter pole. Muscles Jared finally took control at the top of the stretch. Frisky Joe ($27.60) was sixth after three-quarters and flew like he was shot out of a cannon and dueled second place finisher Foundonabeach (John MacDonald) in deep stretch to win in 1:56.1. Icanflylikeanangel (Roman Lopez) finished third. Frisky Joe is an 11-year-old gelding by Frisky Fighter. Owned by Morgan Carney and trained by Michael Miller, he won for the third time this season and the 36th time in his career. Jimmy Whittemore won four on the night. His wins were with Bloodstockshalltab ($4.20), Pier Ho Exotic ($6.00), Blameitonthenight ($4.30), and Pudge's Pastime ($12.80). Whittemore is the leading driver so far this season with 29 wins. Second is three time defending drivers champion, John MacDonald with 21 wins. Truman Gale finds himself in third place with 16 trips to the winner's circle. Vernon Downs returns to live racing with a 12 race card on Saturday (June 9), starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Redhot Romeo (Claude Huckabone III) wins the harness racing featured pace ($5,100) at Vernon Downs on Saturday (June 2). Sapient Hanover (John MacDonald) surged to the front and controlled all the early fractions (:26.4, :55.2, 1:24.1). Redhot Romeo ($3.90) sat patiently in third before making a move after the three quarter mark. Owned by Go Where The Money Is Stable and trained by Huckabone III, he flew down the stretch to win in 1:52.4. Danza (Raymond Vizzi) came up to get second place. Third money went to Golden Brit (Adam Capizzano). RedHot Romeo is a 4-year-old gelding by Shadow Play. He won for the fifth time in 2018. It was lifetime victory number six. Claude Huckabone III won three on the night. He would get his other wins with Sea Harrier ($5.90) and McDan ($9.90). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (June 8) with a post time of 6:10. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs.  

Bob N Tony (Dan Daley) charges late to win the featured trot ($7000) at Vernon Downs on Friday (June 1). Golden Kronos (Jimmy Whittemore) laid down all the early fractions (:28.0, :58.0, 1:26.4). Bob N Tony ($28.40), who is owned by Jennifer Signor and trained by Jason Signor, flew by in the stretch to win in 1:55.4. Foundonabeach (John MacDonald) finished second with Sweet Ashley T (Homer Hochstetler) getting the third spot. Bob N Tony is a 10-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall. It was the fifth win for him this season and his 29th career victory. Daley had two more wins on the night. He also won with L Dees Courageous ($2.20) and Babylon's Bridge ($2.80). All Charged Up (John MacDonald) wins the co-feature fillies and mares pace ($7,000). All Charged Up ($2.60) put down all the fractions (:27.2, :56.4, 1:24.2, 1:52.3) to win in gate-to-wire fashion. Mydelight Bluechip (Ben McNeil) fired late to finish second. Marquessa Seelster (Claude Huckabone III) was third. All Charged Up is a 7-year-old mare by Ponder. Owned by J P Stables and trained by MacDonald, she picked up her seventh win of the season. It was the 39th time in her career she visited the winner's circle. MacDonald also had wins with Drea's Good Powow ($2.70) and Rockin Desire ($4.00). Vernon Downs returns to live racing with a 13 race card on Saturday (June 2) at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne, for Vernon Downs.  

Atlanta (Scott Zeron) dominates 3-year-old trotting fillies in the Empires Breeders Classic (EBC) Final (238,613) at Vernon Downs on a spectacular Memorial Day matinee. She not only set the mark for sophomore trotting fillies. Her time of 1:50.3 is the fastest mile ever by a trotter at the Miracle Mile. More records fell on this day as well. After Seven Karats (Yannick Gingras) led going into the first quarter that went in :26.4, Atlanta ($2.60) blew by to take over. Owned by H A Taylor, B J Grant, and trainer Rick Zeron, the sophomore filly would cruise into a second quarter of :53.3. She would start to pull away heading for the final turn. Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) would pull first-over from third and try to chase her down. Atlanta led them to three-quarters in 1:24.0. As she made the turn for home she kept getting faster and faster. She would cruise home in a last quarter of :26.3 and set the overall track record in 1:50.3 beating out the old record set by Intimidate in 2013 (1;51.0) . Plunge Blue Chip would be four lengths back and finish second. Super Girl Riley (Marcus Miller) finished third. Atlanta is a three-year-old filly by Chapter Seven / Hemi Blue Chip. She is now three for three in 2018 and seven for twelve lifetime. Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt) narrowly holds off late charge by Southwind Chrome (Scott Zeron), to win the EBC Final ($223,673) for sophomore trotting colts. Six Pack ($2.90) would take over the lead from Clive Bigsby (Andrew McCarthy) just before hitting the first quarter mark in :26.2. Helpisontheway (Tim Tetrick) would go first-over and pressure Six Pack all the way down the back stretch. Six Pack who is owned by Little E LLC., Stall Kalmer, and trainer Svanstedt , hit the halfway mark in :54.0. He would shrug off Helpisontheway and hit three-quarters in 1:22.2. Six Pack would slip away and looked to be an easy winner, but Southwind Chrome (Scott Zeron) would gobble up ground with every stride in deep stretch, but fell just short and settled for second . Clive Bigsby finished third. Six Pack who is a 3-year-old colt by Muscle Mass / Pleasing Lady, tied the track record for sophomore trotting colts set earlier in the day by The Veteran (Scott Zeron), winning in 1:51.2. It is the third time in the winner's circle in three starts this season and it was career win number seven. The Veteran (Scott Zeron) won the EBC Consolation for trotting colts. Owned by W. Donovan, S. Michaels, J. Winske, and trainer George Ducharme, The Veteran ($4.90) went gate-to-wire to win in 1:51.2. Don (David Miller) was second best with Ronnie Goldstein (Kim Crawford) getting third money. The Veteran is a 3-year-old colt by Muscle Mass. It was his first win of the season and it was his third career victory. His time of 1:51.2 set the record that was later tied by Six Pack. Lucky Ava (Ake Svanstedt) flew late down the stretch to beat her entry mate Fury Road (Andrew McCarthy) to win the EBC Consolation for sophomore trotting fillies. Owned by Little E LLC., Van Camp Trotting Corp and trainer Svanstedt, Lucky Ava ($3.40) ran down Fury Road to win in 1:53.4. Mooshka Stride (Tim Tetrick) finished third. The Miracle Mile also welcomed three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old colt pacers. Courtly Choice (David Miller) took the first division of NYSS ($40,600) with a track record time of 1:48.4. Rockapelo (Tim Tetrick) had a slight lead hitting the first quarter in :26.3. Courtly Choice ($4.10) went off stride right after the start but quickly recovered to lead just after the first quarter. He put down all the rest of the fractions (:55.1, 122.3, 1:48.4). Hitman Hill (Brett Miller) finished second with Real Surreal (Scott Zeron) getting third. Courtly Choice is owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Touch Stone Farms, and trainer Blake Macintosh. The 3-year-old colt is by Art Major. He is now two for two as a sophomore and has won four races overall. The second division of the NYSS ($40,600) went to American History (Yannick Gingras).   American History ($3.00) took over before the half and cruised home to win in 1:49.1. Rock Lights (Scott Zeron) was second best with Heavenly Sound (Andrew McCarthy) finishing third.   American History is a 3-year-old colt by American Ideal. He is owned by Brittany Farms LLC., Marvin Katz and American History Racing while trained by Tony Alana. It was his first win this season and it is career victory number four.   My Delight (Marcus Miller) charged late to win the final division of the NYSS ($40,600).   My Delight ($30.80) passed second place finisher Lyons Steel (Corey Callahan) to win in 1:49.4. Ostra Hanover (Jim Taggart Jr.) was third best.   My Delight is a 3-year-old colt by Betterthancheddar. Owned by Bay Pond Racing and trained by Homer Hochstetler, he won second time this season and the fourth time in his career.   Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (June 1) with a post time of 6:10.   For more information go to www.vernondowns.com   by John Horne, for Vernon Downs                

Defending three time Vernon Downs driver's champion John MacDonald, won five races on Saturday night (May 26). Redhot Romeo (Claude Huckabone III) captured the featured pace ($5,100). Redhot Romeo ($3.40) went to the front and never looked back. Owned and trained by Melissa Beckwith, he put up all the fractions (:26.4, :55.3, 1:24.0, 1:52.1). Danza (Raymond Vizzi) finished second and Stubble Trouble (Leon Bailey) took third. Redhot Romeo is a 4-year-old gelding by Shadow Play. He won for the fourth time this season and the fifth time for his career. The winning time of 1:52.1 is a lifetime best. MacDonald picked up his five wins with Southeaster ($2.20), Ben N Crosby ($2.30), Lucid Thoughts ($3.20), Weapon To Win ($4.40), and Fire On The Water ($29.00). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Memorial Day (May 28) featuring the $500,000 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) trotting finals at Vernon Downs. One field features sophomore fillies and the other one features sophomore colts. The supporting card includes consolations for both EBC finals and a $120,000 New York Sire Stakes races, divided into three divisions, it's the first battle of the year for the state bred 3-year-old colt pacers. Post time for the 13 race card is 1:05 p.m. For more information go to www,vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Vernon, NY - A sampling of top Hambletonian prospects will lead the charge to Monday's $500,000 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) trotting finals at Vernon Downs as part of the Memorial Day matinee card beginning at 1:05 pm. The imposing Muscle Mass colt Six Pack (PP#2) equaled Market Share's track record of 1:52.1 in last week's elimination race and needed every bit of that strong effort to get past Helpisontheway by just a half-length on the wire for the win. He's won both of his seasonal starts at Vernon and heads into the $223,673 final (race 8) in top form for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt who owns the colt in partnership with Jeff Gural's Little E, LLC, Stall Kalmar and Lars Berg. Trainer Linda Toscano sends out a pair of leading contenders, both sired by her 2012 Horse of the Year Chapter Seven. The aforementioned Helpisontheway (PP#3 Tim Tetrick) did much of the work before succumbing very late to Six Pack. He's owned by the trainer (as Camelot Stables) and The Bay's Stable. Local owner Ken Jacobs will watch his colt Seven Iron (PP #4 David Miller) who won the second EBC elimination. He's a rock solid trotter who gives an honest effort every time he puts his nose on the gate, was a Grand Circuit winner at The Red Mile and second in the Kindergarten final last season. The route to the $238,613 EBC filly final (race 9) winners circle appears to go through Atlanta, not the city but Rick Zeron's wicked fast Chapter Seven filly. She absolutely cruised to victory in 1:53.1, fastest of three elimination divisions for driver Scott Zeron and appeared to have plenty left. Atlanta will leave from post 4 as she carries the hopes of HA Taylor, Holland Racing and Brad Grant who own her in partnership with trainer Rick Zeron. Svanstedt manages the other two elim winners in Natalie Hanover and Plunge Blue Chip (Svanstedt) who start from the inside most posts respectively on Monday. Plunge Blue Chip was the state's top freshman filly trotter last season and also won the Grand Circuit stake Goldsmith Maid final, earning more than $400,000 at two for the trainer and his partners Blue Chip Bloodstock and Tomas Andersson. Natalie Hanover (Mark MacDonald) took a lifetime mark with her 1:54.1 score last week and seeks her biggest payday for Van Camp Trotting Corp, Anders Olsson, Lars Berg and Bjorn Nasstrom. The supporting card includes consolations for both EBC finals and a $120,000 New York Sires stake divided into three divisions, it's the first battle of the year for the state bred 3-year-old colt pacers. Vernon and the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative have joined to offer a $3,000 guaranteed pool on a Pick 4 wager on races 6-9 that includes both EBC finals. Free program pages for the races included in the wager will be available on the web. From the press box at Vernon Downs    

Icanflylikeanangel (Roman Lopez) was victorious in the featured trot ($7000) at Vernon Downs on Friday night (May 25). Icanflylikeanangel ($4.20) forged to the front and went gate-to-wire putting up all the fractions (:27.1, :56.4, 1:25.3, 1:54.4). Owned by Joseph Hess and trained by Benny Eggers, he fought off a late charge by Cantad Kid (Claude Huckabone Jr.). Cantad Kid settled for second with Bob N Tony (Truman Gale) getting third money. Icanflylikeanangel is a 4-year-old gelding by Archangel. It was his second win of the season and he secured career victory number seven. All Charged Up (John MacDonald) wins the fillies and mares co-feature ($7,000). Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) put up all the early numbers (:26.4, :56.1, 1:24.3). All Charged Up ($2.50) went first over just before three-quarters. Owned by J P Stables and trained by MacDonald, she blew right by at the top of the stretch and won in 1:52.1. Mydelight Bluechip (Ben McNeil) finished second best and Tiger Boudoir got third. All Charged Up is a 7-year-old mare by Ponder. She picked up her sixth win of 2018. It was the 38th win of her career. John MacDonald also won with Rockin Desire ($8.00) and Hammer Time ($2.90). Vernon Downs returns to live action with a 12 race card on Saturday (May 26) starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs    

Shell I Be Bad (Truman Gale) wins exciting Vernon Downs featured pace ($5,100) on Saturday night (May 19). Golden Brit (Adam Capizzano) fired out of the gate and led the way to all the early fractions (:27.2, :56.4, 1:25.2). Danza (Raymond Vizzi) followed in the pocket all the way to the stretch. He looked prime to win but Shell I Be Bad ($23.40) had other thoughts. Shell I Be Bad, who is owned and trained by Gale as well, found himself in fifth place after three-quarters. He went four wide in mid-stretch to swoop by and get the win in 1:54.0. Danza held on for second with Bosshoss Hanover (Jimmy Whittemore) getting third money. Shell I Be Bad is 5-year-old gelding by Big Bad John. It was his first win of 2018 and career victory number six. Gale added two more wins on the night with Ulysses Bi ($5.50) and Card Knock Life ($4.90). Vernon Downs returns to live action on Friday (May 25) with a post time of 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs

Vernon Downs ran eliminations for the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for sophomore trotters on Friday night (May 18). Three divisions for harness racing 3-year-old fillies and two divisions for 3-year-old colts. The top three fillies in each elimination and the top four colts (and one fifth place finisher) will compete in the EBC Finals on Memorial day (May 28). Each class will race for an estimated $250,000 purse. All elimination races were for a purse of $12,500. Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt) won the first division for sophomore trotting colts. Ronnie Goldstein (Kim Crawford) took the lead into the first quarter (:26.1). Six Pack ($3.00) took over right after the quarter. However Helpisontheway (Tim Tetrick) brushed on by to take the half in :56.2 and led to the three-quarter mark in 1:26.1. Six Pack, by Muscle Mass, who is owned by Little E LLC., Stall Kalmar, Lars Berg, and trainer Svanstedt, sat patiently in the pocket then wore down Helpisontheway to tie the track record for 3-year-old trotting colts in 1:52.1. He tied the mark first set by Market Share in 2012. Helpisontheway held on for second. Classichap (Trond Smedshammer) finished third with Southwind Chrome (Scott Zeron) getting fourth place. All four qualified for the EBC Finals on Memorial Day. Seven Iron (Tim Tetrick) uses one last lunge to win the second division for 3-year-old trotting colts. Tito (Andrew McCarthy) took the early lead, hitting the first quarter in 27.2. Voss Volo (Corey Callahan) then took over and led to the half in :56.3. On The Ropes (Ake Svanstedt) then made his bid and had a slight lead after hitting three-quarters in 1:26.0. Seven Iron ($6.40), who is owned by Kenneth Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano, found himself fifth after three-quarters. Tetrick would send him three-wide in deep stretch just getting by to win in a lifetime best mark of 1:54.2. On The Ropes narrowly took the runner-up spot. Voss Volo managed to finish third with Clive Bigsby (Scott Zeron) getting the fourth position. All four would qualify for the EBC Final. They will be joined by fifth place finisher Purpose Blue Chip (Dan Daley) to round out the nine qualifiers. Seven Iron is a 3-year-old colt by Chapter Seven. It was his first win of 2018 and his third career victory. Atlanta (Scott Zeron) coasts to easy win in the the EBC first division for 3-year-old fillies. White Cheetah (Marcus Miller) led the group to the first quarter mark in 27.0. The lead was short lived as Atlanta ($2.20), who is owned by Howard Taylor, Bradley Grant and trainer Rick Zeron, blew right by and never looked back. She would control all the rest of the fractions (:56.2, 1:26.1, 1:53.1). Golden Muscle (Drew Monti) charged late to finish in second with Tribute To Seven (Tim Tetrick) getting the third spot. All three fillies qualified for the EBC Final. Atlanta is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. She is two for two in her sophomore season. She would nail down her sixth career victory. Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) goes gate-to-wire to capture the second division for sophomore fillies. Plunge Blue Chip ($3.00), who is owned by trainer, Svanstedt, Blue Chip Bloodstock inc., and Tomas Anderson, charged out for the lead and controlled all the fractions (:27.4, :57.2, 1:26.0, 1:54.0). Her stablemate Ciao Dolce (Andy Miller) followed the whole way to finish second. Repentance (Tim Tetrick) finished third. All three will be in the EBC Final. Plunge Blue Chip is a 3-year-old filly by Muscle Mass. It was her second win of the season and she now has won 11 of her 12 career starts. The third division for 3-year-old fillies went to Natalie Hanover (Ake Svanstedt). Seven Karats (Tim Tetrick) took the lead and put up all the early fractions (:27.1, :57.1, 1:26.2). Natalie Hanover ($9.30), who is owned by Van Camp Trotting Corporation, Anders Olsson, and Borje Nasstrom while trained by Svanstedt, followed in the pocket all the way to thr three-quarter mark. The two fillies would battle all the way down the stretch. Natalie Hanover was just too strong and got the victory. Seven Karats held for second. Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller) came up late to finish third. All three qualified to complete the field of nine for the EBC Final.   Natalie Hanover is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. She picked up her first win of the season and her third career victory with a lifetime best time of 1:54.1.   A big day for Ake Svanstedt with three wins and one second in the elimination races. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday night (May 19) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. John Horne for Vernon Downs      

Vernon, NY - On Friday night, Vernon Downs will host five $12,500 elimination races for the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) the first major event of the season for harness racing 3-year-old trotting fillies and colts as races five through nine.   The box was overflowing with entries for the filly division with twenty-six declared for the eliminations resulting in three divisions with the top three on the official order of finish returning for the $265,000 final.   The most accomplished of the lot include Plunge Blue Chip who dominated the class at two, last season's surprise New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) final winner Lucky Ava and the fleet Atlanta who trotted to a 1:52 win in her first start of the new season at The Meadowlands last week.   Plunge Blue Chip and Lucky Ava both hail from the barn of Ake Svanstedt who has no fewer than five fillies in the elims and will drive both on Friday.   The only blemish on Plunge Blue Chip's freshman season was a shocking out of the money finish in the NYSS final where her barn mate Lucky Ava picked up the mantle and scored what is by far her biggest win. Svanstedt owns a piece of each, partnered with Blue Chip Bloodstock and Tomas Andersson on "Plunge" and Little E, LLC and Van Camp Trotting Corp sharing the title on Lucky Ava.   Atlanta captured everyone's attention with her stunning 1:52 win against a field that included older horses and a legitimate Hambletonian contending colt in a Meadowlands overnight last week. She zoomed by the field with a withering stretch burst to claim the win with Scott Zeron driving for his father Rick who trains her. Holland Racing Stable, HA Taylor and Brad Grant own Atlanta in partnership with the trainer.   Svanstedt also has one of the top contenders among the nineteen colts in last year's NYSS final winner Six Pack. A winner five times in nine lifetime outings, Six Pack is the fastest of the colts by virtue of his 1:53.1 win in a NYSS event at Vernon just a week ago. Svanstedt own him in partnership with Little E, Stall Kalmar and Lars Berg.   The second division of colts is a very competitive, balanced field that includes the winner of last year's Kindergarten final, Tito. Driver Andy McCarthy will have to chart a winning course from an outside post eight for the Erv Miller trainee who was third in his seasonal debut last week. Anthony Lombardi, George Golemes and Louis Willinger are Tito's owners.   From the pair of colt divisions, the top four and one of the fifth place finishers drawn by lot will advance to the $248,000 final. Both of the rich finals will be part of the Labor Day matinee card on Monday, May 28.   The EBC eliminations will be carried live on The Meadowlands broadcast, spaced between the Meadowlands races.   Races 6-9 will comprise the Pick 4 with a $2,500 guaranteed pool in concert with the USTA Strategic Wagering initiative. Program pages will available on the web.   First race post time is 6:10 with the EBC races slated to begin at 7:30.   Nick Salvi

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