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Gelding Records Toppled At Vernon

Published: September 25, 2011 12:47 am ET

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Pacer Memory King and trotter Classic Conway delivered track record performances during Saturday night’s $237,915 New York Sires Stakes co-features at Vernon Downs.

Memory King lowered the track standard for two-year-old pacing geldings to 1:53 with his victory in the first of three divisions of Saturday’s $118,587 NYSS for first-year male performers on the lateral gait, while Classic Conway became the fastest two-year-old trotting gelding in the track’s 58-year history after his 1:57.2 effort in one of four flights of the evening’s $119,328 NYSS contest for freshman male proponents of the diagonal gait.

In clipping one-fifth of a second off the previous Vernon mark for his age, sex and gait (set by Townslight Hanover last season), Memory King benefited from a pocket trip from catch-driver Rick Plano to lower his previous win record and post his second score in succession. Erv Miller trains the bay son of Riverboat King-Musical Memory for the Red Barn Stable.

Classic Conway also closed from the two-slot in the stretch to nip Coraggioso by a head. Stephane Bouchard drove for trainer Dave Jannone as the bay son of Conway Hall-Classic Yankee collected his second win in a row for owners Albert C. and Michelle C. Crawford. He bettered the previous 1:58.2 track mark, set by Well Budgeted in 2002.

Saturday’s other divisional winners in the pacing contest were Steelhead Hanover (Bettors Delight-Special Beauty) in 1:52.4 with Jim Morrill Jr. teaming for trainer Joe Pavia Jr. and the AGC Stable, Dijo Racing Inc., Joseph Barbera and Steven Held; and Heston Blue Chip (American Ideal-Shot Togo Bluechip) in 1:52.4 with Morrill Jr. steering for trainer Linda Toscano and owner Kenneth Jacobs.

Steelhead Hanover improved his summary line to 4-2-2 after nine starts, while Heston Blue Chip claimed his fourth win in succession and now sports eight victories and a second-place finish in nine outings.

The evening’s other first-place finishers in the NYSS trotting tests were Delano (Credit Winner-Kelly Hall) in 1:56.3 with part-owner and trainer Ray Schnittker steering for his partners Gareth Dowse, Tom Vassiliou and Nicholas Tallarico; Royal Shyster (RC Royalty-Spin The Planet) in 1:57.2 with trainer Dan Daley doing the teaming for the Albert C. Crawford, Ann-Mari Daley, Richard Lombardo and Robert Pergament ownership contingent; and Archangel (Credit Winner-Michelles Angel) in 1:58.2 with Morrill Jr. piloting for trainer/co-owner Peter Arrigenna and his partners, Alan C. Hainsworth and Clare Semer.

Delano currently sports a 5-1-1 summary line after nine outings. Royal Shyster has strung together six straight NYSS scores to improve his record to eight wins and a pair of second in 10 trips to the track, while Archangel made it two wins in succession and three in nine lifetime starts.

In non-NYSS action during Saturday’s 12-race card, Mambo Italiano captured the week’s $8,000 Open-2 pacing contest in a career-best 1:53 performance with Jeff Gregory driving for trainer Heidi Rohr and owner Marc J. Reynolds, while newcomer B N Bad won the $10,000 Open-1 pacing clash in 1:51.1 with Gregory sitting in for trainer Pavia, Jr. and the AGC Stables Inc., Steven Held, Peter Shank and Paul Molter.

(Vernon Downs)

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