Vernon, NY — Vernon Downs hosted two New York Sire Stakes events for sophomore pacing colts and geldings on Thursday (July 9), with Splash Brother and Groovy Joe taking their respective divisions.
Splash Brother and Tyler Buter cruised to victory in the $56,000 first division.
Save Me A Dance (Jason Bartlett) went to the front before yielding to Reagan Blue Chip (Brian Sears) in a :26 first quarter. Reagan Blue Chip hit the half in :55, after which Splash Brother made his move from fourth and took over as they headed to the final turn, getting some separation after hitting three-quarters in 1:22.2.
Turning for home, Splash Brother turned on the jets and set a new track record for 3-year-old geldings of 1:49. Save Me A Dance found an opening on the inside to get second; favorite JK Last Chance (Wally Hennessey) rallied to get third.
Splash Brother, a gelding by So Surreal, is owned by trainer Ray Scnittker along with Nolamaura Racing, Steven Arnold and Tammy Flannery. It was his third win this season.
Groovy Joe and Matt Kakaley proved much the best in the $57,000 second division.
Genius Man (Marcus Miller) got the first call, but Groovy Joe worked his way to the front from his outside post to take over before the first turn. He hit the first quarter in a sizzling :25.3 and continued on to put up a :53.4 half. As they headed around the final turn, the big favorite Blank Stare (Scott Zeron) made his move first-over, but Groovy Joe remained first at three-quarters in 1:21.4.
As they reached the stretch, Groovy Joe found another gear and hit the line in a lifetime best of 1:48.4. Blank Stare settled for second, with Genius Man holding on for third money.
Groovy Joe, a colt by Roll With Joe, is owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Ozzie MacKay, Hoofbid Racing and trainer Blake MacIntosh. It was his first win in four starts this season, and the eighth of his career.
Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (July 10) with a 12-race card starting at 4 p.m. There will also be racing on Saturday (July 11) featuring New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies. The starting time for the 15-race card is 1:10 p.m.
For more information, go to www.vernondowns.com.