|Royalty For Life scored for the fifth time this year when he won the Zweig Memorial on Sunday|
Leaving from the outside number nine post in Sunday’s 10th race, Royalty For Life went right to the front for former Vernon resident Brian Sears and cut soft fractions of :27.1, :58, and 1:26 without any serious challenges from his eight top-shelf competitors. Then, when Corky came-a-callin’ entering the final furlong, the powerful 3-year-old colt shifted into another gear -- as top-quality horses do -- and spurted to a 1-1/2-length triumph.
It marked the fifth victory in nine season’s starts for the bay son of RCC Royalty--Bourbon ‘N Grits, who has earned $834,850 this season. The lion’s share of the purse increased his career winnings to more than $1.2 million for owners Alfred Ross, Raymond W. J. Campbell Jr. and Paul Fontaine.
|Vernon Downs photos|
|Mistery Woman made a mid-mile move on the way to winning the filly division of the Zweig Memorial|
Mistery Woman started cautiously for driver David Miller in Sunday’s seventh session, remaining in fifth place to the half, timed in :55.3. The bay sophomore daughter of Donato Hanover--My Dolly’s Dream rallied on the outside from there, advancing to fourth entering the last quarter and cranking out a :28 final split to defeat entrymate Shared Past by one length.
Sunday’s career-best score improved the steady-striding filly’s current summary line to 3-2-3 after nine trips to the track and hiked her career winnings to $329,200 after 15 lifetime starts for the Misty Miller, William J. Donovan, Millstream Inc. and Aldebaran. The Jonas Czernyson-conditioned youngster lowered her win mark by four-fifths seconds in the gritty performance.
Marohn, representing Tioga Downs as its current dashwinning leader and two-time champion (2009 and 2012), earned a second place finish (Steuben Lone Pine) and two tallies (Bullet Speed and Mc Tiny’s Hope) in Vernon’s four championship races and amassed a 10 point lead over Canadian reinsman Jody Jamieson entering the final leg of the championship, which will take place at Tioga Downs on Monday afternoon, Sept. 2.
The other point-earners in the Vernon competition were Tim Tetrick, with 18 points; Sears , 17; Ron Pierce, last year’s winner in this contest, 10; Yannick Gingras, six; Rick Plano, three; David Miller, two and Corey Callahan, one.
Thistle DHU won the Zweig 3-year-old filly trot consolation in 1:54.1 with Brett Miller doing the teaming for trainer Del S. Miller and owner William J. Donovan, while Lindy’s Tru Grit got home first in the male consolation, finishing in 1:54.4 with Tetrick teaming for trainer Frank Antonacci, the Lindy Racing Stable and Robert A. Rudolph.
A newcomer, Outrageous Art, produced a shocking, 1:49.3 victory in Sunday’s $10,000 12th contest, the $10,000 Open pace. Part owner Yannick Gingras did the teaming for trainer Ron Burke and his ownership partners the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Joseph Di Scala Jr. as the 6-year-old son of Artsplace--Righteous led from start to finish, equaling his lifetime speed mark and securing his 11th season’s score in 21 official trips to the racetrack.
Downs Doings: Jamieson won Sunday’s first three races, but only the third event earned him 10 points in the driving duel. Sunday’s other winner in the driving completion was Tetrick, behind the pacer Legacy N Diamonds (1:51.2) in the evening’s ninth race. Tetrick, who has been the Standardbred sport’s moneywinning leader for an unprecedented six straight seasons, hasn’t earned a title in this driving event through six previously appearances. A 1:53.1 triumph by Hot Cowboy (Truman Gale steering in race 13) was his sixth of the 55-program meeting, tying him with Ideally Magic for most equine tallies on the lateral gait thru Aug. 25. The trotter Ulay Boko tops the current equine win chart with seven first place finishes. Live harness racing will resume this coming Thursday through Saturday this weekend at 6:45 p.m., ET. In addition, there will be a special, 1:15 p.m. matinee program on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2.