Vernon, NY — Vernon Downs played host to a July 4th spectacular on Saturday, featuring three Empire Breeders Classic races for sophomore trotters. Also on hand was two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for freshman pacing fillies. These five races combined for more than half a million dollars in purse money.
Hypnotic AM (Brian Sears) captured the $207,250 EBC for 3-year-old trotting fillies.
A wild start saw No Mas Drama (Joe Bongiorno) lead to the first quarter in :27.2. Love A Good Story (Andy Miller) took the top spot right after the first quarter but that was short lived as Hypnotic AM ($3.60) took control as they went to the top of the backstretch. Southwind Fern (Jim Morrill Jr.) was parked outside first over and put on slight pressure as Hypnotic AM hit the half first in :56.1. The field was two by two following Hypnotic AM as they charged around the final turn, hitting three-quarters in 1:25.4.
Hypnotic AM led as they made the turn for home. Love A Good Story was trapped in the box and finally got free as they reached the stretch but Hypnotic AM was too strong and won in 1:53.4. Love A Good Story settled for second. No Mas Drama got free in the stretch as well and finished third.
Hypnotic AM is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven-Daydream Am S. Owned by Courant Inc. and trained by Marcus Melander, she is now two for two in 2020 with nine wins in 11 lifetime starts.
Hobbs (Jason Bartlett) went three-wide to gain an upset victory in the $97,750 first division of the EBC for sophomore trotting colts and geldings.
Hobbs ($17.20) went straight to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.2. Barn Holden (Jim Morrill Jr.) took over as they went around the clubhouse turn with Hobbs settling for the pocket. Barn Holden hit the half first in :56.3. Take The Credit (Ake Svanstedt) was the first to make a move on the backstretch, going first-over from fourth. The two battled all the way around the final turn with Take The Credit leading to three-quarters in 1:24.3.
Hobbs came out of the pocket and came at them three-wide as they reached the stretch. As they headed to deep stretch Take The Credit muscled his way to the front, but Hobbs wore him down and went by just before the wire, hitting a lifetime best mile of 1:53.3. Take The Credit had to settle for second money with Barn Holden hanging on for third.
Hobbs is a 3-year-old gelding by Credit Winner-Cruella De Ville. Owned by Runthetable Stables and trained by Jim Campbell, he won for the first time this season and the second time in his career.
Third Shift (Ake Svanstedt) dominated the $97,750 second division of the EBC for 3-year-old colts and geldings.
Berkery J (Scott Zeron) and Chaptiama (Trond Smedshammer) battled for the early lead with Chaptiama taking over just before hitting the first quarter in :27.2. Chaptiama led to the half in :57.1 with Berkery J in the pocket and Third Shift ($2.90) sitting patiently in third. As they headed to three-quarters Ballcapsnbluejeans (Corey Callahan) came first up and flushed out Third Shift.
Chaptiama still led as they hit three-quarters in 1:25.3. Third Shift moved into second and went a little wide as they made the turn for home. Berkery J tried to split the leaders but went off-stride. Third Shift had another gear and forged to the front and won by 5-1/4 lengths in a lifetime best of 1:52.4. Ballcapsnbluejeans came up to finish second with Sir Cromwell (Jason Bartlett) being placed third.
Third Shift is a 3-year-old colt by Chapter Seven. Owned by trainer Svanstedt and Melby Gard Inc., he is two for two in 2020 with five career wins.
Easy To Please (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Test Of Faith (Jim Marohn Jr.) each took divisions of the NYSS for freshman pacing fillies.
Easy To Please (Roll With Joe-Lorrie Please) won the $53,100 first division. She would take over just before the half and never looked back to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.2. She is owned by trainer Michael Hall, Our Three Sons Stable, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. She is now two for two in her young career. She paid $2.60 for the win.
Test Of Faith (Art Major-Cannae Cammie) went wire-to-wire to capture the $53,100 second division. Trained by Brett Pelling for owners Melvin Segal and Kentuckiana Racing Stable, she won in 1:52.2 in her first career start, paying $11.00 for the win.
Vernon Downs returns to live racing Thursday (July 9) with a 13-race card starting at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.