Vernon, NY — Courant Inc. and the SRF Stable’s Gimpanzee ($2.10) extended his unblemished career tally to 10 wins in as many starts with a facile 1:54 win in his seasonal debut, the $215,200 Empire Breeders Classic for 3-year-old New York-sired trotting colts and geldings on Monday (May 27) at Vernon Downs.
The overwhelming favorite was out-sprinted through the initial furlong by Cavill Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.), and was then relegated to third after Mr Vicktor (Tyler Buter) cleared to control the terms at the conclusion of a :28 first quarter. Mr Vicktor was able to rate a :57.3 half before Brian Sears angled Gimpanzee first-over upon exiting the backstretch.
The Chapter Seven colt accelerated at once and pressed into Mr Vicktor with five-sixteenths to go, forcing a :27.3 third sectional before sticking his nose in front an eighth from home. Gimpanzee widened his lead under absolutely no urging from Sears, drawing away by 3-1/4 lengths at the winning post while well in hand. Mr Vicktor held second, and Travel Winner (Trevor Henry) emerged late for third.
Marcus Melander trains the undefeated Gimpanzee, who capped his 2-year-old campaign with victory in the $600,000 Breeders Crown at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
In the $209,500 Classic for sophomore trotting fillies, Quincy Blue Chip ($3.40) stalked live cover through the far turn before vaulting clear in mid-stretch for a 1:55 victory, the seventh of her career.
Jim Morrill Jr. was content to settle the daughter of Chapter Seven in midfield early while Sweet Chapter (Matt Kakaley) and Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer) duelled through a :27.3 first quarter. Winndevie worked clear with five-eighths to go and slowed the tempo to a :56.3 half as With Out A Doubt (Buter) advanced from fourth to head the outer tier.
As With Out A Doubt applied intensifying pressure on Winndevie through the far turn, Quincy Blue Chip worked to within striking range before angling three-wide upon cornering for home. Winndevie managed to parry the challenge of With Out A Doubt, but Quincy Blue Chip surged to the fore in the final 150 yards, going on to win by a widening 2-1/2 lengths.
Sensibility (Scott Zeron) rallied down the grandstand side to narrowly claim second at 23-1 over Sweet Chapter, who shook free from traffic to save third.
Gareth Dowse trains Quincy Blue Chip, a Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. homebred.
St Somewhere, Zero Tolerance win New York Sire Stakes splits
by John Horne, for Vernon Downs
St Somewhere (Matt Kakaley) and Zero Tolerance (David Miller) won their respective legs of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Both divisions raced for a purse of $58,700.
In the first division, St Somewhere ($10.00) came charging late to nip the late rush of second-place finisher Meghan Lynn (Joe Bongiorno) to win in 1:52.1. JK American Beauty (Scott Zeron) was third best.
St Somewhere is a 3-year-old filly by American Ideal trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing, P Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. It was her second seasonal win and the seventh of her career.
In the second division, Zero Tolerance ($2.10) went flying in the stretch to overtake second-place finisher DD Delicious (Kakaley) to win in 1:51.3. So Awesome (Sears) picked up third money.
Zero Tolerance, a daughter of Heston Blue Chip, is trained by Joe Holloway for Val D’Or Farms and Theodore Gewertz. It was her second win this season the ninth of her career.
David Miller had three other driving wins on the card, teaming up with Sports Column ($2.70), Gussy’s Realdeal ($22.60), and Fool Me Again ($5.80).
Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (May 31), with a 13-race card starting at 6:10 p.m.