by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity
Crediama and Expressive Action were the big winners in the Finals of the Empire Breeders' Classic at Vernon Downs on Sunday night. The $217,725 Final for 3-year-old Fillies boiled down to a battle between the winners of the two Eliminations on May 30. Crediama (Tim Tetrick) actually sat in mid-pack behind the pacesetting Avalicious (Yannick Gingras) through the early fractions of 27.2 for the quarter and 57 seconds for the half. Tetrick then guided Crediama into the outer flow entering the far turn and sat behind the live cover provided by Glowngold. Once the field entered the stretch, Crediama got into the clear in the three-path and stormed past Avalicious in the lane to win the Final in 1:54.1. Crediama is owned by Purple Haze Stables LLC of Fairport, New York and trained by Trond Smedshammer. The complete order of finish for the Fillies final was Crediama, Avalicious, Annie's List, Beauty Of Gray, Glowngold, Slice Slice Baby, Winning Pursuit, Cutup Hanover, and Driving Miss Crazy.
In the $215,125 Final for 3-year-old Colts, Expressive Action (Mike Simons) scored an impressive win in 1:54.1. The early stages of the race featured multiple lead changes between Expressive Action, Cash For Gold, and Cashamatic. Once Expressive Action wrested control of the race from his rivals on the backstretch, however, he was never really threatened again. This race featured multiple horses going off-stride, including Karets, one of the Elimination winners, who broke early and was never a factor, finishing eighth. Cash For Gold went off-stride in the final eighth of a mile and ended up being disqualified from sixth to seventh for interfering with Cashamatic. Expressive Action is owned by John Grasso Stable Inc. of Hawthorne, New York. John Grasso is the trainer. The complete order of finish for the Colts final was Expressive Action, Wild And Crazy Guy, Hallanet, Daley Lovin, Rocky De Vie, Cashamatic, Cash For Gold, Karets, Crazzycrazzy.
There were also three division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts. The first of these was won by Jeneral Patton (Tim Tetrick), who set a track record for 3-year-old colts at Vernon Downs, finishing in a time of 1:49.4. This time eclipsed the old track record of 1:50, set by Fool Me Once. Jeneral Patton is owned by Kenneth Jacobs of Baldwinsville, New York and trained by Linda Toscano. Tetrick and Toscano also teamed up on the winner of the second division of the New York Sire Stakes with El Bloombito, who paced the mile in 1:51. El Bloombito is owned by Stake Your Claim Stable of Seacaucus, New Jersey, Camelot Stable Inc. of Freehold, New Jersey, and Fred Wallace of New York, New York. The third division went to the heavily-favored All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) in 1:50.2. All Bets Off is owned by Burke Racing Stable of Pennsylvania, F. Baldachino of New Jersey, Panhellenic Stable Corporation of New York, and R. Shelswell of Ontario. The trainer is Ron Burke.
The night also featured the fastest mile ever paced at Vernon Downs in its 61-year history. The track record of 1:48.3 had been held by He's Gorgeous and was set in 2012. The third race of the night was an Open pace and Fireyourguns (Jim Morrill Jr.) not only set the new record, he topped it by 3/5 of a second, covering the mile in 1:48. It was a dazzling performance by the 8-year-old gelding with fractions of 25.3 for the quarter, 52.4 for the half, and an eye-popping 1:19.3 for three-quarters. Fireyourguns is owned by Terrence McClory of Franklinville, New York and Jennifer and Robert Lowe of Portville, New York. McClory also is the trainer of the new record-setter.
Live racing will return to Vernon Downs on Thursday night with a 9-race program. Post time on Thursday night is 6:45pm.