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Simpson Stakes take center stage at Vernon

Saturday, October 15, 2011  By: Jim Moran

Simpson Stakes take center stage at Vernon

Vernon, NY --- Classic Conway, Quit Smoking Now, Cowgirl Hall, Exercise To Go and Autumn Escapade all performed with distinction during a rainy, blustery Friday evening (Oct. 14) at Vernon Downs.

Classic Conway and Quit Smoking Now were each divisional winners in Friday’s $63,734 John Simpson, Sr. Memorial Stake for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, while Cowgirl Hall and Exercise To Go each captured filly trotting flights.

Classic Conway (Conway Hall-Classic Yankee), Vernon’s season’s speed leader for 2-year-old trotting geldings on the basis of a 1:57.2 track record triumph back on Sept. 24, became a two-time winner at the meeting with a fast-closing 1:58.4 mile in the first segment of the $31,024 Simpson for male proponents of the diagonal gait. Stephane Bouchard did the steering for trainer Janice Connor and area owners Albert C. and Michelle C. Crawford.

Quit Smoking Now (Donato Hanover-Smokeslikeachimney) nailed down his third current victory (first locally) and snapped New York Sire Stakes champion Royal Shyster’s seven-straight winning streak with a determined 1:57.1 achievement in the second colt/gelding clash. David Miller drove for noted trainer Casie Coleman and the Norman Smiley, Gerald Smiley, Theresa Gentry Silva and TLP Stable ownership contingent.

Competing for purse money only (due to a scratch of entrymate Silica), Cowgirl Hall (Cash Hall-Centerfold Hall) closed from fifth in a :28 final quarter to defeat the favorite, Maven, in 1:57.2 in the second session of the $32,710 Simpson for female high-steppers. Former three-time Downs driving kingpin Brian Sears did the sulky-sitting for trainer Gates Brunet and the Deborah Brunet, Theodore Gewertz, Michael Rosenthal and Jean Brunet ownership group. It was the second local tally and fourth season’s score for the present winner of more than $52,800.

Exercise To Go (Muscles Yankee-Lhasa Lhasa Lhasa) came from off the pace and earned her first career victory with a 2:01.2 outing in the other division, with David Miller sitting in for trainer Jonas Czernyson and owner Thomas Dillon.

Autumn Escapade, one of the sport’s top older mare trotters, earned her second local score with a 1:55.2 effort in Friday’s $10,000 Open Trot. The brilliant 6-year-old daughter of Victory Sam-Winning Colors K followed up a 1:53.2 victory in Vernon’s $25,000 leg of the Miss Versatility series on Sept. 9 with a 1:54.4 score in the barn-storming event’s $90,000 championship clash at Delaware on Sept. 22. David Miller did the teaming for trainer Jonas Czernyson as the current career winner of $778,652 secured her 26th all-time tally for David and Misty Miller with a front-striding, 1:55.2 outing over a “sloppy” track in Friday’s 10th event.

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