by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity
The New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies highlighted a 13-race program on Thursday night at Vernon Downs with four separate divisions being the focus of the night.
The $27,750 first division (Race 5) went to Frou Frou (Conway Hall-Nowerland Hana) in 1:58.1. Frou Frou (Brett Miller) followed live cover from Northern Obsession (Ray Schnittker) and just blasted on by in the stretch to win going away. Northern Obsession ended up third after getting passed by My Lucky Word (Corey Callahan), who enjoyed the third-over trip, and ended up wearing down her rival for the second spot. Frou Frou is owned by Leigh Raymer of Magnolia, Delaware, James A. Crawford IV of Manilus, New York, and Crawford Partners LLC of Syracuse, New York. Leigh Raymer is also the trainer of Frou Frou.
The $27,750 second division (Race 7) was a gate-to-wire victory for Concentration (Conway Hall-Super Starlet). Concentration (Chris Lems) took control as soon as the gate opened and never looked back, staying in front all the way to win in 1:58.2. Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory) had the first-over trip up the backstretch and ended up finishing second, with Lock Down Lindy (Scott Zeron) finishing third. Concentration is owned by Raymond W.J. Campbell Jr. of Belchertown, Massachusetts and trained by George Ducharme. She had won two 2-year-old qualifiers at Vernon Downs earlier in June before this first pari-mutuel score.
The $27,750 third division (Race 9) was won by Zanna Blu (Rc Royalty-Zann's Fan) after she set the early pace of 29.1 for the quarter and 1:00.3 for the half. Zanna Blu (Gates Brunet) was then passed on the backstretch after a strong charge from Spell That (John Stark Jr.), who led into the stretch. Zanna Blu re-rallied to pass Spell That for the victory in the late stages of the race in 1:59.1. Up Chuckie (Rick Zeron) finished third. Zanna Blu is owned by Crawford Partners LLC of Syracuse, New York and James A. Crawford of Manilus, New York. Driver Gates Brunet doubles as the trainer.
The $27,250 fourth division (Race 11) might have provided the most exciting finish of the night with Hot Start (Lucky Chucky-Mallelujah) getting the win in 1:59.1. Hot Start (Corey Callahan) appeared hopelessly bottled up at the pylons in the stretch, but managed to work free in the last eighth of a mile and get up in time for the victory over Photo Message (Robert Shepherd) and the longtime leader, Cherry Crown Jewel (Dan Daley). Photo Message, in fact, also got past Cherry Crown Jewel in the shadow of the wire after being parked outside at the top of the stretch. Hot Start is owned by Green Acquisition Corporation of Canfield, Ohio and trained by Jonas Czernyson.