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Better late than never for Vernon track record

July 16, 2012
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John W. O'Connor's 3-year-old trotter Brookroad Knight is the latest track record-holder at Vernon Downs. Listed as a colt in the Vernon program for last Wednesday $132,236 New York Sire Stakes contest at the central New York seven-eighths mile track, Brookroad Knight turned in a fast-closing 1:53.4 performance in the ninth race that, at the time, was thought to be three-fifths-of-a-second off the current track standard for his age, sex and gait, that had been established by Archangel back on June 8.
 
Jim Morrill Jr. did the steering for trainer Bruce Borden and owner O'Connor of Port Chester, as the oily-gaited son of Cr Excalibur-Questionable Lady advanced from fifth in the early going, and then closed from second at the head of the stretch to pass and defeat the favorite, Coraggioso, by 1 1/4 lengths. The impressive performance marked the quick-striding youngster's second NYSS victory in a row, his third tally of 2012 and eighth all time, raising his lifetime earnings to more than $134,000.
 
The next morning, O'Connor notified Vernon's racing department that Brookroad Knight had previously been gelded, and felt his altered equine should be entitled to the Vernon record for sophomore trotting geldings, which at the time was 1:54, having been set by Whatever It Takes the previous year.
 
Since then, O'Connor has provided proof of the alteration, and the track's current record chart now lists Brookroad Knight's sterling 1:53.4 mile as the fastest by a 3-year-old trotting gelding in the track's 59-year history.
 
The favorite Delano delivered his third straight NYSS score with a 1:55 performance in last Wednesday's seventh session, the other NYSS division. Trainer Ray Schnittker, who owns Delano along with Tom Vassiliou, Nicholas Tallarico and the Delano Stable, was at the controls as the son of Credit Winner-Kelly Hall took command in the first turn and remained in charge the rest of the way, holding off a late-charge by Trouble to earn a half-length score. (Vernon)
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