Friday night's program at Vernon Downs includes three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies, as well as eliminations for the Empire Breeders' Classic for 3-year-old colts and 3-year-old fillies. The stars will also be in the bikes on Friday night with the likes of Tim Tetrick, David Miller, Jim Morrill Jr., Matt Kakaley, and many others coming into Vernon to drive on the 12-race program.
Precocious Beauty makes her official return to the races for 2014 on Friday night after participating in qualifiers at Pompano Park in April and Mohawk Racetrack in May. The imposing filly is owned by James Avritt Sr., trained by Gregg McNair and will be driven by Douglas McNair on Friday night.
Precocious Beauty is hoping to recapture her 2013 form, which saw her win divisional honors for 2-year-old female pacers. She was a winner in seven of 11 starts last year, including a victory in the She's A Great Lady, earning purses of $446,692. Precocious Beauty has been installed at 5-2 on the morning line in Friday's seventh race division of Sires Stakes, but she appears to have plenty of competition coming her way from Blush Hanover, to be driven by Tetrick. Blush Hanover has three wins in four career starts, two at Harrah's Philadelphia and has also scored a win and a second in two tries at the Meadowlands.
In the other two New York Sires Stakes divisions to be run on Friday night, morning-line favoritism goes to the horses on the rail. The 5-2 favorite in Race 8 is Sweetnsinful, driven by Jimmy Whittemore. Sweetnsinful is owned by Connie and Homer Hochstetler and James Michels. Homer Hochstetler doubles as the trainer of Sweetnsinful. She was the winner of the Madison at Hoosier Park last October and paced a qualifier at Vernon Downs on May 16 in 1:58.2. The favorite in Race 9 is Medusa, also listed at 5-2. Medusa is owned W.J. Donovan, trained by Paul Kelley and will be driven by Chris Lems, who was at the controls for all four impressive wins the filly has registered this season at Vernon Downs.
The Empire Breeders' Classic eliminations also are on the docket for Friday night at Vernon Downs. There are two eliminations for each division.
The 7-5 morning-line favorite for the first division of 3-year-old colt trotters is Lukas Hall, runner-up in the Simpson at the Meadowlands on May 9 and runner-up in a New York Sires Stakes race at Tioga Downs on May 23. Lukas Hall is owned by former New York Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet and Little E LLC (Jeff Gural). The second division is led by 9-5 choice, Expressive Action, winner of a New York Sires Stakes race on May 23 at Tioga Downs. Expressive Action is owned by John Grasso Stable Inc. Grasso is also the trainer, while the driver on Friday night is Mike Simons.
The 3-year-old fillies also have two eliminations on Friday. A winner of a New York Sires Stakes race at Vernon Downs on May 17, Lady With Credit, has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the first division. Lady With Credit earned her first career win with that Sires Stakes score in 1:55.1. She is owned by White Birch Farm and trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer. The second division also features a New York Sires Stakes winner from this season at Vernon Downs. Glowngold is 6-5 on the morning line off of a 2 1/4-length win in 1:56.1 on May 17. Glowngold is owned by the Andy Miller Stable, Stephen Demeter, Blue Chip Bloodstock and Highland Green Farms.
The finals for the Empire Breeders' Classic races will be run as part of a special Sunday night program on June 8, which will also include the New York Sires Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers.
The 12-race program will kick off at Vernon Downs on Friday night with a first post time of 6:45 p.m. (Vernon Downs)