Drink The Wine and Pine Credit won divisions of Thursday night's $138,196 Historic Stakes for 2-year-old trotters, while driver Jim Morrill Jr. collected six victories during the 65th program of the year at Vernon Downs.
Chris Lems sat in for trainer R. "Nifty” Norman in a non-betting distaff Acorn Stakes event during the middle of Thursday's 12-race pari-mutuel program and piloted Drink The Wine to a career-fastest 1:57.3 victory . The front-striding, 2-1/2 length score over My America Bi marked the third tally in six starts for the bay daughter of Andover Hall-Naked Lyric, who has earned more than $65,800 for Canadian owners Melvin Hartman and RAW Equine Inc.
The freshman male Historic representatives of the diagonal gait competed in Thursday's E. H. Harriman Cup, seventh session on Vernon's betting card. Pine Credit, fresh from a 1:59.3 victory in a New York State Fair event here on Aug. 25, continued his winning ways with a lifetime-quickest 1:56.4 triumph. Lewayne Miller did the steering for trainer Erv Miller as the bay son of Credit Winner-Ms. Piggy Pine rallied overland from sixth at the half and closed from fifth in the final furlong to defeat the Morrill, Jr.-steered Sailer Eddie by three-quarters of a length. With a pair of first-place finishes in seven starts, the capable colt has returned $48,477 to owners Mary Jane Anderson, Harvey Eisman and the Ervin Miller Stable.
Morrill, Jr. won the second, fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and 12th events to chalk up six scores for the fourth time this season at the Downs. Only he and Tim Tetrick (once) have hit this high mark at Vernon in 2012.
Driver Lems and trainers Tracy Brainard and Jeff Johnson, Jr. each recorded a pair of first-place finishes during Thursday program.
DOWNS DOINGS—Leading driver Rick Plano posted his 101st tally behind the trotter Dream Ticket in Thursday's first event...Trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer steered the frosh trotting filly Vintage Oaks to her initial pari-mutuel victory and a 1:58.1 record in Thursday's 11th race… In addition to the $200,000 Credit Winner Open trot and the $191,000 Muscle Hill Open mare trot tomorrow night (Sept. 7), the Downs will also present a Historic Series contest (the Debutante Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers) during Friday's 10-race card, an exhibition race under saddle, and conclude its "End Of The Summer Showdown” by giving away a 2012 Toyota Yaris automobile. There will also be a concert (Beadle Brothers) in Founders Park starting at 4 p.m., plus a horse toy giveaway (beginning at 6 p.m.), a petting zoo, inflatable slide, carnival food, a magician, caricature drawing and more. First post will be at 6:55 p.m.…Additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at http://www.vernondowns.com/.(Vernon)