I Do Hanover (Shark Gesture-I'm Married) romped to a three-length victory in the $8,000 featured pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday night (June 14).
Driven by Chris Lems, I Do Hanover sat third in the early stages of the 9th race before tipping out and charging up to take the lead just before the half mile mark. From there, the issue was effectively settled as I Do Hanover built a large lead before the field reached the top of the stretch and won impressively in a time of 1:51.4. The overall split times for the race were :26.2 for the quarter, :55 for the half, and 1:22.4 for three quarters.
Some Or Lis (Claude Huckabone III) angled off the pylons in the stretch to get racing room and split horses late to get up for second. Some Or Lis was the longest shot in the six-horse field at 10-1 and completed the $30 exacta with the favorite. I Do Hanover is owned by Philip Hale of New Hartford, New York and David Dewhurst of Clinton, New York. Dewhurst is also the horse's trainer. The complete order of finish for the feature was: I Do Hanover, Some Or Lis, Whitemountainpower, Stormin Rustler, Dragon Fever, and Oozie's Bad Boy.
Vernon Downs also hosted a CKG Billings Amateur Trot on Saturday night. The third race was won by I'm Fabulous, driven by part-owner Scott Woogen, in a time of 1:57.4. I'm Fabulous had to rally past Celtic Merchant (Stephen Oldford), who had maintained the lead throughout the mile until getting passed in the shadow of the wire. I'm Fabulous has now won two of her last three starts, including a Miracle Mile 5 score at Tioga Downs on June 1. She is owned by Scott Woogen of Mechanicsville, Virginia and Brenda Messenger of Monticello, New York. The trainer is Gary Messenger.
After being pushed to a :26.4 first quarter, Neighsay Hanover ($6.40) dug in to hold off a barrage of late threats, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in Saturday (June 14) evening's $11,000 Miracle Mile 2 trot at Tioga Downs Saturday night.
The eight-year-old Muscles Yankee entire dueled with Wisenheimer (Mike Merton) on the first turn, sprinting clear through a torrid early tempo before rating a :56.2 half mile. On the backstretch, Neighsay Hanover had to deal with Wisenheimer again, facing pressure again to a 1:25.1 three-quarter split. With Wisenheimer starting to fade, Cathy's Princess (Jim Meittinis) gearing up three-wide and I Love New York (Bruce Clarke) readying for a stand-side rally, Ray Schnittker implored Neighsay Hanover for all he had in the stretch, getting a bit of separation off the turn. He turned in a 1:55.2 victory, holding off a late inside rally from Oh No Three O (Jeffrey Long). I Love New York, carried wide off the corner by a breaking Cathy's Princess, rallied for third past the pocket-sitting A Lister.
Schittker, the winning trainer-driver, co-owns Neighsay Hanover with Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo, and Fam Alber Horse Racing.
A pair of first-round divisions of the M&J Oil and Lube late-closing series for distaff pacers were contested earlier in the card, with Godiva Seelster (Fern Paquet, Jr., 1:53.4) and Jets Are On (Corey Braden, 1:54.1) victorious in their respective events.
Live racing resumes tomorrow (Sunday, June 15) at Tioga, with the first of 13 races on a Father's Day program slated for 1:30 p.m. EDT. (Vernon & Tioga)