Friday’s (Aug. 30) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
Little Santamonica upsets in Tioga feature
Nichols, NY --- Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron) posted a 10-1 upset victory in Friday night’s $16,000 Fillies and Mares Miracle Mile 1 at Tioga Downs.
|Fred Brown photo|
|Little Santamonica was a 1:52.2 winner in the Miracle Mile 1.|
Byron and Little Santamonica got away fourth in a field of six from post position one as Prairie Lee (Jim Meittinis) moved to the front by an opening quarter in :27.4. As the field went by the half-mile mark of the race in 56.2, Keith Kamann moved last week’s winner, Hot List, first over and battled Prairie Lee down the backside and the duo went by three-quarters in 1:23.3.
Around the final turn, Byron tipped Little Santamonica three wide off Kamann’s helmet and surged to the front in the stretch, holding off a late charge by Brownsville Bomber (Fern Paquet, Jr.) to win by a quarter-length in 1:52.2. The mile equaled the lifetime mark for the 5-year-old daughter of Little Steven–Tonianne N for Kelly Dawn Hope and trainer Jordan Hope.
Fern Paquet, Jr. and Aaron Byron each posted driving triples on the night’s nine-race card.
-- Dustin Ross
Defending driving dash and training champion Rick Plano guided the pacer Senor Grande to a 1:52.2 clocking in Friday night’s eighth race en route to his 101st victory of the 57-program meeting at Vernon Downs. Plano also finished first with the pacer Guitar’s Tiki Bars (1:55.2) and the trotter Hello I’m Johnny (1:58.2) while earning his meet-leading 10th driving triple of the season. He currently leads in driving victories (101) and training tallies with 40. Piloting the Saratoga invader Senor Grande for owner and trainer Brad Irvine, Plano kept the 3-year-old gelding on the lead throughout and secured a comfortable six length triumph. The time was a career-fastest win clocking for the slick-striding bay son of Art Major-World’s Sweetheart, who now sports a 3-2-2 summary line and purse earnings of $15,274 after 12 starts in this his first season of competition. Two-win performances were also turned in by drivers John MacDonald, Brian Connor and trainer Ronald MacDonald during Friday’s 11-race program.
Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Count Speed (Majestic Son) continued his hot summer on Friday night as he won the $19,260 Open Trot at Saratoga Casino and Raceway for the second time in the last three weeks. Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey, who had his biggest night of the season on Friday, piloted the 4-year-old trotter to the convincing win after getting parked through the opening quarter of :28. The gelding set a lifetime mark in the feature, stopping the timer in 1:55.2. Bound For Fame (Bruce Aldrich, Jr.), as consistent a trotter as we have had race in the Open at the Spa in years, continued his terrific season with another second place finish while last week’s Open winner Walltocousins (Joe Bongiorno) earned the show spot. Hennessey guided Count Speed to victory for his brother, trainer Dan Hennessey, and owner Paul O’Neil. The win was one of five on the night for the veteran reinsman.