Spy Booth, Darlene Hanover Win Zweigs

Sophomore trotter Spy Booth picked a great time to deliver his connections a maiden-breaking victory, capturing the $325,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial on Saturday (Aug. 28) at Vernon Downs.

The complexion of the race changed early when 4-5 favourite Dancinginthedark M made a break early in the mile. Ambassador Hanover was first to front the field through fractions of :27 and :56.3. Balenciaga took a shot at the leader just past the half and took a narrow lead through the 1:24.1 third station but couldn't clear as Ambassador Hanover fought back around the far turn.

Dexter Dunn had Spy Booth poised second over behind Balenciaga, who eventually cleared Ambassador Hanover at the top of the stretch. Spy Booth responded to the clear path shown to him by Dunn and trotted home in :28 to stop the clock in 1:52.3. Take All Comers closed well for second but was placed fifth for interference with Goodashim around the far turn. Thus, Balenciaga was third placed second and Zenith Stride finished fourth but was placed third.

Spy Booth (Muscle Hill - Amour Heiress) picked up his first lifetime win in the Zweig for trainer Nancy Takter and owners Robert Leblanc of Texas and John Fielding, David Anderson and Marvin Katz of Ontario. In 12 lifetime starts, Spy Booth sports earnings of $435,582.

Darlene Hanover won the $140,000 Zweig Memorial Filly Trot.

Contested Hanover, Splash Blue Chip and Iteration all left for the lead and were three across the track as they headed for the first turn. Iteration wrestled the lead away and led to the first quarter in :27.1. Iteration used a :30.3 second quarter to hit the half in :57.4. Darlene Hanover made her move first-over going around the far turn. Iteration still led to three-quarters in 1:26.4.

As they reached the stretch, Darlene Hanover blew right by and breezed home to win easily in 1:53.4. Aunt Irene came closing late to finish second. Contested Hanover was third.

Darlene Hanover is a filly by Chapter Seven. She is owned by Yankeeland partners and trained by Brett Bittle. It was her third win of the season and seventh victory. Todd McCarthy drove the $4.40 winner.

Longshot Bare My Soul surprised in the $51,300 first division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for two-year-old trotting fillies.

Gertrude jumped to the lead and controlled all the early fractions (:27.1, :57.3, 1:27.1) as Bare My Soul ($67.50) followed in the pocket.

As they reached the stretched Bare My Soul slipped through the inside as Valentina Blu came three-wide with late trot. Bare My Soul dug in and won in 1:54.4. Valentina Blu had to settle for second. Gertrude held for third.

Bare My Soul is a filly by Chapter Seven-Celebrity Angel. She is trained by Linda Toscano for owners Richard Gutnick, Tom Pontone, Joe Lozito Jr., and Enviro Stables. It was her first career victory.

Joviality S charged home late to take the $50,400 second division.

Cash Infusion went to the lead and hit the first quarter first in :27.3. She led to the half in :57.4 and to three-quarters in 1:27.

As they reached the stretch Joviality S made her move and got by second-place finisher Cash Infusion in deep stretch to win in 1:54.3. Shes A Scorcher was third.

Joviality S is a two-year-old filly by Chapter Seven-Pasithea Face S. She is owned by Courant Inc. and trained by Marcus Melander. It was her fourth win in five starts. Brian Sears drove the $2.10 winner.

On the Zweig understand, David Miller drove the Ron Burke-trained Cattlewash to a track record for four-year-old horses in 1:49 in the $10,000 Open-Preferred Pace.

Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (Sept. 3). Post time is 6:10 p.m. (EDT).

(with files from Vernon Downs)

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