Racing Roundup: Plano, Pacinello star at Vernon Downs.
Vernon, NY --- Leading driver and trainer Rick Plano and the pacer Pacinello were standout performers during Saturday night’s 13-race program at Vernon Downs.
Plano, who completed the three-night weekend with 10 first-place finishes -- six of them during Saturday’s program -- piloted the favorite, Pacinello ($5.00), to a front-striding, 1:50.4 victory in Saturday’s $11,000 fifth race feature.
Facing six select rivals in the week’s Open for proponents of the lateral gait, Pacinello provided splits of :26.1, :55.1 and 1:23.2 on a cold and damp central New York evening before defeating the fast-closing Restless Yankee by one length.
The bold-going tally marked the fourth win locally in 2012 for the quick-footed 6-year-old son of Little Steven--Princess Kiara, his fifth this season and his 32nd all-time. The lifetime winner of $335,735 is owned by D&E Racing, Inc.
Plano went on to secure five additional scores during Saturday’s slate, including a 1:52.3 victory with his wife’s (Maryann) pacer Hay Goodlooking in the program’s sixth session, the $6,000 winners-over pace.
Plano also won with the pacers Dutchtreat Hanover (1:53.2), Special Strides (1:52), Split Ticket (1:55) and Jazz Band (1:51.4) to tie noted reinsmen Tim Tetrick and Jim Morrill, Jr. at six for most wins on a single program at the seven month old meet.
Plano also finished in a dead heat for win with the pacer Nuke’s Flash in Saturday’s fourth race, but was found guilty of a Eurorail violation (getting a sulky wheel inside of a pylon in the final turn) and was placed to second by the judges in a 1:54.1 mile that went to the Brian Connor-steered Sody’s Tufftrifecta.
With eight programs remaining in the track’s 59th season, the 60-year-old Frankfort, N.Y. native tops all drivers with 142 first place finishes, and all trainers with 74 tallies. He is the current leader in driving doubles (17), triples (15), four-win cards (five) and is tied with Morrill at two in five-victory performances. He’s also tops in 2:00 drives with 141.
Connor collected his fourth driving triple of the meet on Saturday, while driver Tyler Freese chalked up a pair of first place finishes during the track’s 82nd program.
Veteran driver Eddie Davis, Jr. “drove the Daily Double,” winning with Fairway To Play and then with I’m So Happy to record a $30.40 early Double. Davis then returned to the winner’s circle with Yarborough Hanover after an easy, wire-to-wire score in the sixth race. Davis has been red-hot at Rosecroft, having won eight of 25 starts for a 32 percent win rate. His Universal Rating is .436 after the first month. John Wagner had a driving double, winning with Whitesand Hoolligan on a wire-to-wire mission in the third race, and won with Weapons Against in the fifth race. Wagner, currently second to leading driver Frank Milby in wins, recorded victory number 12 at the meet in only 48 drives. He’s winning at a 25 percent clip and has a .428 Universal Rating. Leading driver Frank Milby also reined a winner, his in the 11th race with Jukebox Money for win numbe 17 and has the lead in both wins and money won with $41,764, so far. Racing will return on Tuesday night at 7:25 p.m., eastern with an 11-race card.
Screenplay pulled off the upset in Saturday night’s Open pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Kim Crawford trained and driven pacer recorded his first local feature score by out-closing his rivals on the inside in the $21,000 Open. Dismissed at odds of 28-1, Screenplay (Bettor’s Delight) sat patiently as the first half went in a sizzling :55.4. As the favorites tired late Screenplay shined in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:53.1, a lifetime mark for the 5-year-old pacer. Master Of Desire (Billy Dobson) toughed out a first-over journey to finish second, while Cash Cab (Wally Hennessey) held on for third. Live racing will continue on Sunday afternoon at 12:45 p.m., eastern