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N.Y. Sophomores In Vernon Spotlight

Published: September 18, 2016 12:27 am ET

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New York-sired three-year-olds were in the spotlight on Saturday (September 17) evening at Vernon Downs, as a quartet of $45,000 Excelsior Series finals and a quartet of $50,000 New York Sire Stakes consolation events headlined the 15-race card.

Helene Filion's Endeavor ($11.60, part of entry) sprung a mild upset in the $45,000 Excelsior final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings (race 10), yielding and retaking at race's midpoint to overpower odds-on favourite Fresh Cut (Marcus Miller) before drawing clear to a 7-1/4 length win over the mildly rallying Brigadoon (Matt Kakaley) and Acting Out (Fern Paquet Jr.) in 1:49.3. John MacDonald drove the American Ideal gelding for trainer Pat Lachance. Fresh Cut faded to finish sixth following his early push forward to clear after a sizzling :25 first quarter.

In the Excelsior for trotting colts and geldings (race nine), Just For Today ($9.50) sustained steady first-over gains to wear down odds-on Credevie (Jim Morrill Jr.) in deep stretch, posting a 1:54.2 win in rein to Matt Kakaley. Paul Kelley trains the Credit Winner colt for the Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, and the Hatfield Stables.

Wendys Girl ($3.90) brushed from midfield on the first turn to seize command and edge clear in the straight to beat her distaff Excelsior (race four) trotting foes by a widening four lengths, posting a 1:54.3 mile time to defeat the John Stark-trained pair of Hullaba Lulu (MacDonald) and LTs Sandie (Stark). Morrill drove Wendys Girl, a daughter of Lucky Chucky, for trainer Tracy Brainard and owners Howard Taylor and Ed Gold

Ghost Runner ($2.90) was tops among Excelsior pacing fillies (race eight), controlling the pace and edging clear by 4-1/4 lengths to best stablemate Rolling Going Gone (Morrill) in 1:51.1. Erv Miller trains both fillies, and Marcus Miller was aboard the victorious daughter of Art Major for the partnership of Dr. Scott Leaf, Deborah Mackenzie, Gerald Fielding, and Tom Jackson.

In her $50,000 New York Sire Stakes consolation (race five), three-year-old trotting filly Zette Starlet ($57.00) posted a major upset via a pocket trip, collaring Sweet Ashley T in 1:54.4. Charlie Norris drove the Credit Winner filly for owner/trainer Cozette McAvoy.

Major Millie ($26.80, MacDonald) similarly upset in the three-year-old filly pace (race six), emerging late to best second-over Rock Me Baby by a length in 1:51.2 after clearing, yielding, and ending up shuffled into midfield through the far turn. Steve Elliott trains the Art Major filly for the S S G Stables.

Rock N Roll Heaven gelding JK Heaven Sent ($5.30, MacDonald) pounced from the pocket to take the Sire Stakes consolation for pacing colts and geldings (race 11), finding room in upper stretch and drawing clear of Nox Vegas Bluechip by three lengths in 1:50.3 for trainer Gilberto Garcia-Herrera and owners Michi Abday and Barbara and Donald Arnstine.

In the colt and gelding trot consolation (race 12), Royal Bachelor ($8.60) carried a first-over move off the far turn to reel in Thats A Bad Boy by a length in 1:55.1. Trainer Dan Daley drove the RC Royalty gelding for owners Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford, IV, and Michael White.

Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday (September 22) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.

(Vernon Downs)

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