Vernon Hosts Simpson Memorial Stakes

Surface Tension, The Evictor, Native Daughter and Quiet Hero were all divisional winners in the John F. Simpson Memorial stakes races at Vernon Downs on Friday night, Oct. 8.

Surface Tension ($2.20) continued his brilliant campaign with a front-striding, 1:58 career-best victory in the opening division of Friday’s $30,894 Super Bowl two-year-old colt/gelding trot. The 4-1/4-length decision over The Lindy Reserve improved the brown colt’s summary line to 5-1-3 and earnings to nearly $130,000 after 11 starts. Trainer Dan Daley drove the son of Cash Hall-Hopeful Gigi for his wife, Ann-Mari Daley, and her partners Richard Lombardo and Albert C. Crawford.

The Evictor ($11.40) also used front-ending strategy to dominate the second flight of The Super Bowl division and secure his first victory with a 1:56 mile. Brandon Simpson did the steering for trainer John Butenschoen and owners William Wiswell and Jean Goehlen as the bay son of Valley Victor-Expressive Chip won by more than 14 lengths and raised his bankroll to more than $35,000.

The Evictor’s 1:56 clocking was just three-fifths of a second off Vernon’s record for freshman colt trotters (set by Manofmanymissions back on Sept. 24).

Native Daughter ($12.20), competing as a second-tier trailer from the 10 post in the $30,594 Razzle Hanover two-year-old filly pace, advanced from sixth in the early going to gain the lead entering the stretch drive, and then delivered a five length victory in a personal best time of 1:53.3. It was the second score in five starts for the bay daughter of Allamerican Native-Sparkling Hanover, who lifted her winnings to $25,667. Defending dash champ Jimmy Whittemore, who posted four wins during Friday’s 10-race card, did the teaming for trainer Mark Capone and owners Michael Butler and Samir Tawil.

Native Daughter’s same driver, trainer and owner contingent returned to Vernon’s winner’s circle after Quiet Hero ($5.90) hustled to a lifetime fastest 1:54.1 triumph in Friday’s $28,794 Bret Hanover contest for two-year-old male pacers. It marked the first win in six starts for the bay son of Western Ideal-Neverhaveneverwill, who raised his earnings to $25,667.

With Hall of Fame horseman Ray Schnittker doing the driving for the Givemethecredit Stable, the sophomore trotting colt Shaq Is Back turned a pocket trip into a 1:55.4 triumph in Friday’s $10,000 ninth event, the week’s top Miracle Mile contest for representatives of the diagonal gait. It was the fourth season’s score and ninth all-time win for the bay son of Credit Winner-Vivica Hall, who has accumulated more than $436,000 during his productive career.

Schnittker chalked up a driving and training double during the track’s 74th program, as did driver Claude Huckabone, III, who raised his career win count to 1,979.

(Vernon Downs)