50th Zweig Memorial on Independence Day at Vernon

Vernon, NY —┬áThe Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial, a Grand Circuit trotting stake “Open to the World,” will celebrate its 50th anniversary with top fields of 3-year-old colts and fillies competing for more than $500,000 in purses on the Independence Day holiday evening (July 4) at Vernon Downs.

The $300,000 “Main Event” (race nine) is led by T C I, a top contender for the Aug. 3 Hambletonian, who is unbeaten as a sophomore after a 2-year-old season where he set a new earnings standard for trotting colts with $1,238,870 delivered to the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Hatfield Stables, Knox Services and Weaver Bruscemi. Hall of Fame driver David Miller will be in to steer the son of Cantab Hall for Hall of Fame trainer Ron Burke.

It won’t be an easy assignment for T C I, as he’ll face multiple Grand Circuit stakes winner Sir Pinocchio (Jason Bartlett) who just last Friday added the Yonkers Trot crown to the Dexter Cup he won in May, resulting in 2024 earnings of nearly $300,000 while being first or second in all seven of his seasonal starts for owner/breeder Carolyn Atherton and trainer Ed Hart.

The $128,000 Zweig filly trot (race eight) boasts the winner of last year’s Breeders Crown in Warrawee Michelle who will be making her first start of the year for Ake Svanstedt who is driving the filly he owns in partnership with Santandrea Inc. and Young Guns.

She’ll face the current “Queen of the NYSS” in R Melina (Tyler Buter/John Butenschoen), the winner of last year’s NYSS final in Senorita Palema (Tim Tetrick/Svanstedt), KYSS final winner Date Night Hanover (Dexter Dunn/Marcus Melander) and 2023 Kindergarten Classic final champion Sambuca Hanover (David Miller/Nifty Norman).

There will be consolation races for both events and a pair of New York Sires Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts along with the usual complement of Excelsior supporting stakes.

Entries for the card are available at this link.

First post on Thursday will be 6:05 p.m. and much is planned along with the great card of races to entertain the holiday crowd. The evening will end with a volley of post-racing fireworks to celebrate America’s Independence.

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