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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 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, Vernon Downs racing media

Strong attendance and handle numbers marked the return of racing to Vernon Downs last weekend, doing well to set the stage for the 2014 meet.

On-track attendance was up both nights from Opening Weekend 2013, while live handle was up nearly 5% per race from last year's figures.  Additionally, the simulcast market showed up in earnest, with export handle figures showing a 25% per-race increase and a 14.1% overall increase this year from the first weekend of 2013.

“We were very happy with the numbers for opening weekend all across the board but especially the response to the 50 cent minimum for trifecta tickets," said director of racing Scott Warren.  "Even with the lower minimum we showed nearly a 30% per race increase compared to opening weekend last year.”

Horseplayers can feel confident in their wagers with the help of the new "Handicapping Resources" page on the Vernon Downs website, featuring detailed race analysis and trip notes at http://www.vernondowns.com/racing/handicapping.php.

After a strong opening weekend, Vernon Downs hosts two late closing series starting this weekend.  Trotters contest the Catherine Burton series starting on this evening (Fri., April 18), while pacers square off in the Anthony Farina series on Saturday (April 19).  Both series culminate with $10,000 added finals on Saturday, May 3.
Tonight's card also features a free on-track handicapping contest, where fans can vie for a $500 top prize.

Post time for both the Friday and Saturday cards this weekend at Vernon Downs is slated for 6:45 p.m. EDT.

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

Coming off three consecutive wins in the Open ranks at Buffalo, Lutetium ($5.30) proved a gutsy 1:52.4 winner, taking a lifetime mark in the featured $10,000 Miracle Mile 1 Trot at Vernon Downs on Opening Night, April 11.

Lutetium scores in 1:52.4. (Fotowon photo)
The seven-year-old Credit Winner gelding stayed true to his past strategy, clearing and setting a strong tempo, posting a :26.4 first quarter before facing pressure on the far turn from a first-over Mc Tiny’s Hope (John MacDonald).  Lutetium responded strongly, digging in through the stretch to stave off Mc Tiny’s Hope by 1-1/2 lengths in a dazzling 1:52.4 victory in rein to Aaron Byron.  Mc Tiny’s Hope held second, with the pocket-sitting Grey Ice (Fern Paquet, Jr.) staying on for third.

Mark Laidlaw trains the 24-time winner for owner Colleen Girdlestone.

Byron swept the evening’s featured events, scoring an 8-1 upset win with Rocks N Bagels in the $8000 Miracle Mile 2 distaff pacers.  in first-over fashion, beating a re-rallying Artic Byrd (Truman Gale) and the mid-race pacesetting Asset Management (Fern Paquet, Jr.) in a lifetime best 1:53.


Jim Moran is recognized after his 50-year career as
the "Voice of Vernon Downs". (Fotowon photo)
 The Opening Night card paid tribute to longtime racecaller Jim Moran, who retired after calling the first race of the 2014 season.  “We thank Jim for his many years of service to harness racing at Vernon Downs,” said Jason Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing at Vernon Downs.  “We wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”

After the first race, Moran was recognized in the winner’s enclosure by staff, management, horsemen, and local dignitaries.

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

Punters will have an easier time aiming for a big score in trifecta, Pick 3, and Pick 4 wagers this season at Vernon Downs, as the base wager in all three pools has been reduced to 50¢.

“Although our export handle has increased 63% over the past three years, we still look for avenues to increase revenue,” commented Vernon director of racing Scott Warren.  “We have received a lot of feedback from our regular fans that attend the races live asking for the 50 cent Trifecta back. After discussion in the offseason, we took it a step further by changing the Pick 3 & Pick 4 wagers as well to hopefully grow the pools in these exotic wagers and give fans more bang for their buck.”

In addition to the lower base wagers, handicappers will have a wealth of information at their fingertips at http://www.vernondowns.com/racing/handicapping.php, with content-driven race analysis and trip notes made available for every race through the 90-program meet.  For new fans, the How to Bet section of the Vernon Downs website explains how to read and interpret the program, along with some basic wagering strategies.  Follow http://www.vernondowns.com/racing/racing-college.php for more.

Opening night (Friday, April 11) post time is 6:45 p.m., and fans will receive a Race Date T-Shirt and Schedule Magnet (while supplies last).  Longtime racecaller Jim Moran, who will enter retirement after calling the first race of the season, will also be honored throughout the evening.  After the races, a spectacular fireworks display will grace the skies above Central New York’s rolling hills.

Then Saturday, Vernon Downs wants to help its fans pay off their taxes. With the April 15 Tax Deadline right around the corner, fans will have a chance to enter a contest to win up to $500 towards their tax bill.


Twenty-five Standardbred horses took part in five non-betting races on Tuesday night (April 8) as Vernon Downs conducted its third qualifying session in preparation for its 61st season.

An enthusiastic crown turned out for the track’s annual Media Night festivities and watched 17 trotters and eight pacers try to convince the judges of their abilities to compete in pari-mutuel races at the central New York harness track.

Ashton Seelster, owned by trainer/driver Gary Clark and his wife, Fay, turned in a brisk 1:58.4 performance over a “sloppy” 7/8ths-mile oval to earn fastest-mile-of-the-night honors.  The bay 7-year-old horse is a son of Camluck and out of the Astreos-mare Angelina Seelster.   

Vernon will begin its 2014 schedule with a 10-race program this Friday night (Apr. 11) that will include five trotting and a like number of pacing events.  A $10,000 Miracle Mile-1 trot will serve as Friday’s feature in race two.  First post will be at 6:45 p.m.

Veteran announcer Jim Moran will end 52 seasons at the track after calling Friday’s first race.  It will mark his 50th year as the track’s “race-caller.”

DOWNS DOINGS—Vernon will complete its opening weekend with an 11-race card at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday (Apr. 12)…Former Vernon horseman Jeff Tallarino has been named Presiding Judge for the track’s  90-card campaign…A final pre-season qualifying program is planned for Friday morning.


by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media



In 1962, a young man named Jim Moran ventured from his home in Springfield, Massachusetts to central New York at the suggestion of his uncle Bud Hebert. Hebert, the Vernon Downs racecaller, would see his nephew assume the Clerk of Course position for that first season there. Moran then took on the role of assistant race secretary the subsequent season, and in 1964 would become the full-time announcer.



Fifty years and 73,000 races later, Jim Moran will call his last race this Friday (April 11), as Vernon Downs opens for the 2014 season.



In a half-century atop the Vernon Downs grandstand, Moran has seen some of the greatest horses, trainers, and drivers in the history of American harness racing through his binoculars.  “We got to see Bret Hanover, who was probably my all-time favorite horse,” Moran reminisced.  “I didn’t get to call Bret Hanover as a two-year-old, but the following year (1965) I did get to call his race.  We drew 14,000 people, which was the biggest racing crowd ever at Vernon.  He won the race, continued his winning ways, and came back as a four-year-old.  He also had a world record time trial at Vernon.”



Fourteen years later, another young pacer graced the Vernon backstretch, and eventually proved himself as one of the few worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Bret Hanover.  His name was Niatross.  Moran continued about seeing Niatross develop as a two-year-old:  “Then Niatross came along, and Clint Galbraith developed him on the Vernon backstretch.  I crossed the paddock one night, saw Clint after Niatross had won a couple baby races, and said ‘That’s kind of a nice colt you’ve got there,’ and he said ‘Jim, he’s gonna be something special.’  Sure enough, he became Horse of the Year two times.”



Moran has seen many developments in harness racing through his time documenting the sport, namely in terms of safety and speed.  “By taking out the hub rail and putting the plastic wheel discs on the racebikes, the sport became a lot safer, and in turn, faster through improvement of the breed and equipment,” Moran explained.  “In the first season at Vernon Downs there were only four 2:00 miles.  Last year, 1,100 of the races were 2:00 miles, including two of the fastest miles ever here.”



In addition to calling a “Who’s Who” of harness racing athletes, both human and equine, Moran has been feted for his efforts as a harness racing publicist and historian on numerous occasions.  He received the North America Harness Publicists Association’s Golden Pen Award in 1990, was elected to the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, and was inducted into the Communicators’ Corner of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2009.



While Moran looks forward to more time with his wife of 49 years Suzanne, their three children, and three grandchildren, he has every plan on capping his career at Vernon on a very high note.  “There are things I’m going to miss about the sport, I’m sure, and as far as calling the last race goes, I hope I can still do the job like I used to.  I’ve told people in recent years that I may not be as good as I once was, but I can be good once as I ever was, and hopefully I’ll be as good once on Opening Night.”

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

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.

Moran to retire after 50 years at Vernon, Chamberlain to succeed
by James Witherite, Vernon Downs Racing Media

Vernon, NY – Vernon Downs has named Michael Chamberlain their lead racecaller, as legendary announcer Jim Moran will retire after a half century in the broadcast box.

Announcer Emeritus Moran, a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame’s Communicators’ Corner, will call his final race at Vernon Downs to kick off the Opening Night program on Friday, April 11.  The evening, capping a 50-year legacy of Moran's describing the races at Vernon, will be a celebration of what Moran brought to the Central New York track, with a poster giveaway, tributes, and a meet-and-greet throughout the card. 

Moran’s successor, Michael Chamberlain, is a 43-year-old New Jersey native who has established himself well as a sports broadcaster—in horse racing and otherwise—since earning a degree in broadcasting from Arizona State University in 1994. After a stint as the color commentator for the IHL Phoenix Roadrunners, Chamberlain served as the track announcer at Sam Houston Race Park for twelve years before assuming a similar role at Turf Paradise in Phoenix in 2009.  He has also called races at Lincoln Race Course in Nebraska and Fair Meadows in Oklahoma.

"I am incredibly excited to be coming to Vernon Downs,” said Chamberlain, who will assume the microphone in early May after Turf Paradise concludes their season.  “Succeeding a legend like Jim Moran will be difficult, but it will be an honor for me to follow in his footsteps.”

With Chamberlain maintaining his winter base in the Valley of the Sun and returning to Turf Paradise for their fall opening, Tioga racecaller James Witherite and Vernon director of racing Scott Warren will describe the beginning and end of the Vernon meet in his stead.  While he may be new to calling harness racing, Chamberlain has long been a fan of the trotters and pacers, and looks forward to bellowing his signature “They Are Off!” sendoff at the central New York oval.

“Coming to Vernon will bring me back to my eastern roots,” continued Chamberlain.  “As a Northern New Jersey native, I have always enjoyed harness racing and look forward to being part of it from now on."

Post time for the first of 90 cards at Vernon Downs is slated for 6:45 p.m. (Eastern time).

2013 season is third straight seasonal increase

For the third consecutive season, Vernon Downs experienced a double-digit increase in export handle, the amount of money wagered at off-track locations on races at Vernon Downs. For the 2013 season, which concluded November 9, export handle was up 17 percent. In the past three seasons, the export handle has increased a total of 63 percent.

"Posting a third straight handle increase reaffirms that the horseplayers across North America are in favor of full competitive fields and a strong stakes program," said Scott Warren, Director of Racing.  "We worked very hard this year to expand the reach of our simulcast signal into new markets like California, and this season showed that the effort of our entire staff continues to pay off."

Export handle increased 175 percent on Empire Breeders Classic day in June, 110 percent on Credit Winner/Muscle Hill night in September and 26 percent on Drivers' Championship/Zweig Memorial night in August.

"A tremendous amount of credit needs to go to Scott Warren who continues to put together full, competitive fields that drive our handle in the positive direction," said Jason Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing. "A big thank you also goes to the horsemen and fans that supported Vernon Downs racing in 2013."

On the track, more history was made during the track's 60th anniversary of racing.

Vernon Downs based Royalty For Life captured the $1.5 million Hambletonian in August; harness racing's most prestigious race held at the Meadowlands. Royalty For Life then came back to his home track and won Vernon's Zweig Memorial over a field of star-studded 3-year-old trotters.

Canadian trotter Intimidate broke the all-time Vernon Downs track record with his thrilling win in the Credit Winner Open Trot in September in a final time of 1:51.

In June, the largest on-track crowd of the season, nearly 6,000, witnessed the first ever camel and ostrich races in Vernon Downs history.

Rick Plano finished the season as the track's runaway leading driver and trainer. The 62-year-old Central New York native achieved the feat for the second straight year.
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 60thAnniversary season at Vernon Downs.
 
Truman Gale did the teaming for trainer Jason Robinson in Saturday's 10thevent, 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.
Little Santamonica and Chris Lems
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—DriverBrian 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 60thAnniversary Season coffee mug giveaway, while supplies last, during the night and a spectacular fireworks display following the evening's 13thand final race.


Extended by a weekend as a result of the dates lost to the EHV quarantine in May, the 2013 live racing season at Vernon Downs comes to a close with the upcoming Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9 cards.

Racing Secretary Scott Warren has listed the year's final open pace and trot to go on Saturday night, which also features a coffee mug giveaway and the customary fireworks show to close out the season.

Post time on Friday will be the standard 6:45pm with Saturday's races beginning at 6:00pm.

Check the Vernon website for further details.

Arockin Hanover and Truman Gale

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 37thlifetime 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 60thanniversary 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 www.vernondowns.com.

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
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.

Bakersfield
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.
Economy Terror and Stephane Bouchard
The favorite Economy Terror instilled dread into her six female pacing opponents before carving out a 1:51.3 Open victory on Halloween night (Thursday, Oct. 31) at Vernon Downs.

Leaving from the assigned outside post position in Thursday's featured ninth event, the Pocono Downs ship-in Economy Terror, competing over a rain-soaked, sloppy track, was sent to the front by driver Stephane Bouchard as the starting gate pulled away and she was never seriously threatened en route to a 4-1/2-length tally.

The bold-going triumph was the third this season and the 16th overall for the 4-year-old daughter of Western Terror-Mattatonic, who earned a 1:49 speed-badge at Pocono last season.  Chris Oakes conditions the career winner of more than $1,570,700 for Pennsylvania owners Chuck Pompey, Howard A. Taylor and Edwin J. Gold.

Bouchard also finished first with the Robert Siemski-owned pacer Winbak Your Kash (1:53.1) in Thursday's $9,600 eighth event to earn his first driving double of the 84-program meeting.  Drivers Chuck Connor, Jr. and Claude Huckabone, III also delivered two tallies during the 12-race card.

DOWNS DOINGS—Vernon will present a 12-race program at 6:45 p.m. on Friday that will include five divisions of an $88,844 John Simpson Memorial stake for 2-year-olds of both sexes on the trotting and pacing gaits…In addition, there will be a $12,000 Open trot in race nine…The Downs will also offer simulcast wagering on the 2013 Breeders Cup thoroughbred championship races on both Friday (first post 2:15 p.m.) and Saturday (1:15 p.m.) afternoons…Only four live racing dates remain during the track's 60th anniversary season that continues through Nov. 9…First post times on Saturday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 9 will be 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.
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