Vernon, NY --- Vernon Downs hosted eight Excelsior A finals for purses of $45,000 each on Wednesday night (Oct. 18). Jim Morrill Jr. would capture the first three races.
Checkered Past (Morrill) would charge late to win the first Excelsior race for freshman pacing fillies. After several lead changes Checkered Past (American Ideal-Character Flaw) would make a third-over move going into the stretch. Owned by All Star Racing Inc. and trained by Peter Foley, she would blow by them all to win in a lifetime best time of 1:53.2. The 2-year-old filly would get her fourth career victory, paying $11.20 for the win. Act Like A Diva (Marcus Miller) finished second and Credit List settled for third.
The final for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings went to Troller (Morrill). If Not Why Not (John MacDonald) led them through the first half, but Troller (Muscle Mass-Pearls Last Chance) would then go first over and take the lead right before three-quarters. Owned and trained by Paul Kelley, the colt held off the late drive by second place finisher Yuge (Charlie Norris) for the win. Credit List (Andy Miller) finished third. Troller ($7.20) got career victory number three with a lifetime best of 1:55.2.
Rootin Tootin (Morrill) was tough as nails in winning the freshman colt and gelding final. Rootin Tootin (Roll With Joe-Wild Retreat) took charge right after the first quarter. Manverick (John MacDonald) went alongside at the half and the two battled all the way through the stretch. Rootin Tootin ($10.40), who is owned by Stuart McIntosh and trainer Blake Macintosh, dug down deep and gutted out the win in a lifetime best of 1:51.2. Rockapello (Jason Bartlett) came on late to finish second with Manverick settling for third best.
Pittstop Emerald (Chris Lems) went gate-to-wire to win the freshman filly trot final. Pittstop Emerald (RC Royalty-Nowerland Kristen) fired out of the gate and put up all the fractions, :27.4, :58.2, 1:27.1, 1:57. Owned and trained by Robert Gale, she held off the late charge of Minne Cheatum (Jason Bartlett), who finished second and Miss Muscle (John Stark Jr.) got third. Pittstop Emerald ($18.20) won for the fifth time in nine starts with a lifetime best of 1:57.
Roll With Sparky (John MacDonald) rolled to a sophomore pacing fillies Excelsior victory. Roll With Sparky (Roll With Joe) took the lead just before the half-mile mark and never looked back to win in 1:51.2. Owned by Paul Tandimayer and trainer Jim Graham, she paid $3.00 for her 10th win of the year. Robin J (Jason Bartlett) was second best with Roll Baby Roll (Marcus Miller) settling for third.
Golden Kronos (Jason Bartlett) nipped big favorite Big Man Ev (Andy Miller) during the final for trotting 3-year-old colts and geldings. Golden Kronos (Chapter Seven) took the lead before the first quarter but Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven) took over before the half and led all the way to deep stretch. Golden Kronos ($16.60), owned by Myron Ekstein with Michael and William Pozefsky while trained by Stanley Zombick Jr., popped out of the pocket to just nip Big Man Ev). Winneress (Morrill) was third. Golden Kronos got season and career victory number eight in a lifetime best of 1:54.4.
Geez Joe (Marcus Miller) captured the final for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Geez Joe (Roll With Joe) took over just before the half and won easily over second place finisher Sir Pugsley (Dan Dube) in 1:51.2. Joe Joe Joe (John MacDonald) finished third. Geez Joe ($4.80), owned by the Bay Pond Racing Stable and trained by Erv Miller, got his eighth win of the season and career.
The sophomore trotting fillies finals went to Prairie Diamonds (John MacDonald). Prairie Diamonds (Diamond Goal) looked like she was shot out of a cannon in the stretch, going from fifth to first to win in a lifetime best 1:55. Mighty Surf (Morrill) was second with Chapter Review (Jim DeVaux) finishing third. Prairie Diamonds ($7.90) is owned by Fred Morosini, Laurie Poulin, Fritz Racing and trainer Mike Deters. She picked up her seventh win of the season and eighth win of her career.
Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday (Oct. 19) with an eight-race card starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.