Vernon, NY --- Coral Snake and Bettor’s Edge each set a track record for 3-year-old male pacers during Friday night’s $208,800 New York Sires Stakes at Vernon Downs.
Coral Snake reduced the Vernon standard for 3-year-old colt pacers to 1:50.1 with his fast-closing, career-best win in Friday’s third and final division of a $132,000 New York Sire Stakes test for his age, sex and gait. The previous 1:50.3 track standard had been established by Oye Vay, in 1996.
Bettor’s Edge trimmed one-fifth of a second off the former Vernon record for sophomore pacing geldings with his 1:50.1 showing in the first $44,000 New York Sire Stakes flight. The former mark for this class had been set by Fantaddy, last year.
With George Brennan driving for trainerCasie Coleman and the West Wins Stable, the favored Coral Snake ($2.90) rallied from fourth in the early going and closed from third in a :26.4 final quarter to slither under the finish wire one length ahead of the front-striding Escape The News in Friday’s 11th event.
The brown son of Bettor’s Delight--Southwind Coral remained undefeated after four lifetime starts -- all this season -- and increased his all-time winnings to $87,409.
With Jason Bartlett steering for trainerLinda Toscano, the crowd’s choice, Bettor’s Edge ($3.80), also rallied from off the pace in Friday’s sixth session, defeating the determined closer Bet On The Law by a head.
The time was a personal best for the bay son of Bettor’s Delight--Spring Wind, who now sports three wins and earnings of more than $112,800 after 16 career outings for his breeders, the Brittany Farms and Val d’Or Farms.
The other New York Sire Stakes division winner was Ideal Romance, with George Brennan teaming for trainer Casie Coleman in Friday’s ninth event. The 1:51.1 mile resulted in a win record and the third lifetime tally for the career producer of $47,865. The bay son of American Ideal--Dial Romance is shared in ownership by the West Wins Stable and Mac T. Nichol.
First place finishers in Friday’s $76,800 Excelsior Series for New York-bred sophomore male members of the lateral gait were Screen The Call (1:52.2), Sir Melo’s Z Tam (1:53), The Green Knight (1:53.2), Sir Howie’s Z Tam (1:53.2), Bettoriffic (1:54.2) and Mr Erv (1:54.3).
Bartlett, who posted three wins during Friday’s 13-race card, piloted the newcomer Transcending to a blistering 1:49.4 victory in the week’s $10,500 Open pace, while Flex The Muscle finished first for trainer, driver and part owner Ray Schnittker in the evening’s $10,500 Open trot, scoring in 1:53.4.
Transcending’s time resulted in the second-fastest local mile of 2012, while Flex The Muscle’s performance was just one-fifth of a second off the Vernon standard for older trotting horses, set by Speed Bomb on June 8.
Jim Morrill, Jr. also finished the night with three victories, giving the 54-year-old reinsman 20 tallies in four trips to the Downs this season. In addition to Brennan and trainer Coleman, driver-trainer Pat Lachance and conditioner Erv Miller also chalked up a pair of victories during the track’s 25th program of the year.