11/01/2014 8:33PM

Vernon: Maven wins $178K Muscle Hill; Gingras takes three

Maven won in her first career start for trainer Ron Burke.

Yannick Gingras showed up at Vernon Downs on Saturday night for a quartet of stakes races and went home with a hat trick, but Maven truly stole the show with her victory in the $178,000 Muscle Hill for older trotting mares.

The early pace was hot with Bee A Magician flying off the wings of the gate from post nine to clear the front in 26 3/5. She would immediately give way to the Maven, who was looped early but insistent on the top spot.

Gingras and Maven were able to back down the half with a 29 1/5 second quarter before Classic Martine began her attack. Those two hooked up approaching the 1:24 2/5 three quarter marker and continued their battled into the stretch while Bee A Magician bided her time. All three top mares had every opportunity late, but Maven simply refused to lose in her debut for trainer Ron Burke.

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Classic Martine was a gutsy second ahead of Bee A Magician in the 1:52 mile.

“She won a lot of races before I got her . . . I just have to make sure not to screw her up,” said Burke on the new addition to his stable. “We changed her shoes and we trained her a little harder; maybe that scared her a little bit.”

Maven ($5.10) won for only the third time in 11 starts this year for owner W J Donovan, thus prompting the barn change from lifelong trainer Jonas Czernyson to Burke. The career winner of $1,584,496 is entered in the Harrisburg sale as HIP 1682 on Saturday (11/8).

“She’s in the sale, so it is up to Mr. Donovan if he wants to put her in the sale or go to the Breeders Crown,” said Burke on the mare’s future.

Maven's final time set a new track record for older trotting mares.

Nothing is quite as nice as a perfect trip and Rocklamation took advantage in the $178,000 Artiscape for older mares.

Krispy Apple was fastest off the gate but gave way to stable mate Anndrovette by the 27-second opening quarter. Not happy with sitting third, Somwherovrarainbow rushed to the front well before the half in 54 3/5 and continued the quick credence with a 1:21 4/5 three-quarter clocking.

Shelliscape was hardly a nuisance while first-over but Rocklamation loomed boldly on her back. When driver Gingras said go in the stretch, the classy double-millionaire exploded through the stretch for an easy win in 1:50 2/5. Somwherovrarainbow held second ahead of Shelliscape.

“The trip worked out. They set up some good fractions up front and I got a nice second-over trip,” said Gingras.

Rocklamation ($7.30) picked up her fourth win in 16 starts this year for owners Our Horse Cents Stable, Stable 45, and the J&T Silva Stable. The Ron Burke trainee has now earned $437,052 in 2014, which ranks her third in her division behind Anndrovette at $490,352.

Two Kindergarten Classic Finals were also contested for 2-year-old trotters of both sexes. French Laundry took the $240,500 split for the colts and Lady Clarabella scored in the $251,100 filly divison.

French Laundry waited in third early before rushing to the front past the half in 57 1/5. The Jimmy Takter trainee cruised along on the lead and had no anxious moments in his 1:54 4/5 score over Boots N Chains and Airman Batten.

French Laundry ($5.90) has won six of nine starts good for $240,619 in his first year of racing for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Marvin Katz.

Lady Clarabella tucked fourth and worked out a perfect cover trip behind Allerage Star. The latter cleared the lead past three quarters in 1:25 4/5, but got a bit leg-weary in the final yards as Lady Clarabella and Sarcy gobbled her up.

Lady Clarabella (1:55 3/5) paid $7.10 to win in her fifth victory of the year. She has earned $157,550 in 2014 for owners Paul Kinnear and Dreamlands Farms. Randy Beeckman trains the winner.