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
|Well Built wins the Simpson Stakes|
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.