Weekend action on tap at Vernon

by Dustin Ross, for Vernon Downs

Vernon, NY — Vernon Downs will host 11-race cards this weekend on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28, both with a post time of 6:45 p.m. (EDT). Vernon was forced to cancel the scheduled Thursday race card due to the shortage of “race ready” horses, but hopes to fill next Thursday’s program.

Prime Interest will look to make it two in a row this Friday as the 5-year-old son of Self Possessed will leave from post position three in the featured $8,500 Open Handicap Trot.

Prime Interest made his seasonal debut a winning one last week for trainer Allan McCarty and driver Claude Huckabone, Jr. in 1:56.4. McCarty bought Prime Interest in April of 2005 off of the original owners, who gave $100,000 for the yearling at the Tattersalls Sale in Kentucky.

Clearly Possessed will look to stay on track with Jack Rice in the bike for Sam Rice. Also a 5-year-old son of Self Possessed, Clearly Possessed made a break behind the gate last week which left him distanced at the half-mile pole, however he ended up only getting beat 10 lengths when crossing the wire. Clearly Possessed posts three wins, one second, and one third in 12 starts in 2007 with earnings of $23,215.

Squaw’s Ebony Chip will make his 2007 debut on Saturday night at Vernon Downs with driver Brian Connor in the sulky. Brian will be handling the driving duties for his father Chuck Connor, Jr. The 5-year-old black gelding had 10 wins and made over $64,000 in earnings last year with a mark of 1:50.3 at The Meadowlands.

His competition will come from Chianaglia and Jimmy Whittemore, who took the scenic route of being parked the entire mile last time out before still finishing a strong second place.

Yankee Arnie, last week’s Open winner, will look to repeat by leaving from post position two with Christopher Lems. Yankee Arnie set a new lifetime mark last time out with a mile timed in 1:52.3.

The Vernon Downs races can be seen on the track’s Web site by visiting www.vernondowns.com.

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