NYSS Sophomore Trotters Shine At Vernon

Winning Alliance winning at Vernon Downs
Published: May 27, 2024 08:28 pm EDT

Vernon Downs hosted a Memorial Day matinee featuring New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for three-year-old trotters for both the fillies and the boys on Monday, May 27.

Undefeated in her sophomore season for Canadian connections, Winning Alliance (pictured above) made her first stateside start a winning one in a $79,589 division of the New York Sire Stakes for the fillies.

The Matt Bax-trained Winning Alliance and driver Todd Ratchford fired from the outside post six to the quarter in :27.4. She used a :30.1 second quarter breather to reach the half in :58 and raced to three-quarters in 1:26.2. As the field entered the stretch, last year's divisional champion Senorita Palema (Ake Svanstedt) popped the pocket and came charging at the leader, but Winning Alliance dug in and won in a lifetime best of 1:53. Senorita Palema had to settle for second, a half length behind. Race favourite Date Night Hanover (Dexter Dunn) came on late to finish third less than a length back.

Winning Alliance is a filly by Chapter Seven owned by the Bax Stable of Campbellville, Ont., and Glengate Farms of Erin, Ont. She is a perfect six-for-six in 2024 and now has seven career victories with earnings topping the $100,000 mark. She returned $9.90 as the 4-1 fourth choice on the toteboard.

R Melina and Tyler Buter won the other $81,096 division for fillies, keeping her own perfect sophomore record in tact with back-to-back NYSS scores.

Sister Mary Maude (Scott Zeron) took the early lead and led to the quarter in :27.3 before favourite R Melina took over heading for the backstretch. R Melina led to the half in :57.1 and to three-quarters in 1:26.2. As the fillies reached the stretch, Sister Mary Maude went all out after the leader, but R Melina had plenty in the tank and won in a lifetime best of 1:52.3 by two lengths. Sister Mary Maude got second money and Seven Year Itch (John MacDonald) finished third.

R Melina is a three-year-old filly by Chapter Seven trained by John Butenschoen and owned by Alabama Harness Associates and M&L of Delaware LLC. She is two-for-two in 2024 and now has nine career victories with $472,487 banked lifetime. She returned $2.80 to win.

Making his seasonal debut, Situationship and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt cruised to a victory in the $53,744 first division of the NYSS for colts and geldings.

After a :26.4 opening quarter, Situationship gave way to It Wasnt Me (Dexter Dunn), who came flying down the backstretch and got to the half first in :56.2 then three-quarters in 1:25.2. As the field made the turn for home, Situationship came roaring out of the pocket and flew down the stretch to win in a lifetime best of 1:52.1 by 5-1/2 lengths. It Wasnt Me had to settle for second and Thinker Monkey (Scott Zeron) finished third.

Situationship is a colt by Chapter Seven owned by Knutsson Trotting, Little E Llc and Tomas Andersson. His second career victory pushed his earnings to $163,900. He paid $4.80 to win as the second favourite.

Wild Ticket and Dexter Dunn won the $53,744 second division for colts and geldings in a driving rainstorm. 

Show Me (Andy Miller) led to the quarter in :28.2 before favourite Wild Ticket took command going down the backstretch and led to the half in :59.1 and three-quarters in 1:28.1. As the field reached the stretch, he just poured it on in the pouring rain, trotting out to a four-length victory in 1:55.4 over the track that was downgraded to 'good.' Nottingham (Marcus Miller) was second best and Victor Laszlo (Mark MacDonald) finished third.

Wild Ticket is a three-year-old colt by Chapter Seven. Marcus Melander trains the winner for owners AMG Stable Inc., Kenneth Kjellgren, Heights Stable and Mantorp Llc. The triumph was his first win this season from two starts and his third career victory, boosting his bankroll to $148,547. A $2 win ticket on Wild Ticket paid $2.60.

Dame Good Time and driver Scott Zeron set a track record for three-year-old geldings in the $53,744 final division despite the track conditions being further downgraded to sloppy.

Dame Good Time was first to the quarter in :26.3 and continued to lead to the half in a rated :56.1 while Devastate (Dexter Dunn) went first-up going down the backstretch. Devastate then took control and led to three-quarters in 1:23.3. As the field reached the stretch, Dame Good Time popped the pocket and surged back to the front en route to setting the track record for sophomore trotting geldings in 1:51.1. Sir Pinocchio (Jason Bartlett) was second best, finishing one length behind the winner, while Devastate settled for third. 

Dame Good Time completed a sweep of the stakes for sire Chapter Seven. The gelding, now two-for-three this year with a new lifetime mark, is trained by Travis Alexander for owner/breeder John Cummins. He is now has three career wins and earnings totalling $184,270. Sent off as the favourite, Dame Good Time paid $3.80 to win.

Live harness racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday, May 31 at 6:05 p.m.

(With files from Vernon Downs)

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