Jimmy Torano Tops $10,000 Welcome Stake at Vermont Summer Festival
Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL, was first and third in the $10,000 Vineyard Vines Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Thursday, July 13, during the second week of competition at the six-week Vermont Summer Festival, running through August 13 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Ireland’s Alan Wade, the course designer at the 2017 World Cup Final in Omaha, NE, is building the tracks during week two of the Vermont Summer Festival. Twenty-three horses challenged his first-round course with nine advancing to the jump-off. Torano piloted two mounts in the class and broke the timers double clear in 34.98 seconds for the win riding Diamant des Biez, owned by Johan Lenssens. He earned the third-place ribbon riding Dutch Lady, owned by Evergate Stables, LLC, with a clear jump-off time of 38.27 seconds.
After winning the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix during week one, Matthew Metell of Wellington, FL, piloted Donchalant to a double-clear effort in 35.55 seconds to finish second in Thursday’s Welcome Stake. Morgan Ward of Milford, NJ, was fourth after a clear jump-off round in 38.21 seconds riding Diacord, while Michael Zuckerman of Huntington, NY, and Cesar Franck stopped the jump-off clock at 39.71 seconds to round out the top five.
“This is a new horse for me; I just took over the ride in April,” said Torano of Diamant des Biez, an eight-year-old Belgian-bred gelding by Ugano sitte. “Johan sent me the horse and we have been very successful together ever since. He is only eight, so I have just been trying to bring him along, but he has a lot of jump and is very brave.”
Diamant des Biez was campaigned as a young horse by Belgian Olympian Gregory Wathelet before showing under the direction of Mexico’s Enrique Gonzalez during the 2017 winter season in Florida. “Hopefully I have a future with him,” said Torano, 52, who will pilot the gelding in the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, presented by The Equinox Resort, on Saturday, July 15. “I don’t know him that well, but so far he has been great. He has jumped a lot of clear rounds and I think he is capable of jumping some big classes by next year.
Of Wade’s course, Torano noted, “Alan always does a great job. Unfortunately, we have had a lot of rain over the last several weeks, but I have to say the footing held up well. He didn’t go overly big, but he did a nice job. You could leave out strides where you wanted in the jump-off and were able to take some nice inside turns.”
Torano returns to the Vermont Summer Festival each summer with his wife and amateur rider, Danielle, as well as his ten-year-old daughter, Natalia, and seven-year-old son, JJ. “We have a house here, come as a family, and love the area,” said Torano. “We asked the kids this week where their favorite place to be was. We gave them options of our farm in Pennsylvania, Lake Placid, or Vermont and they both agreed that they like Vermont the best.”
In addition to his share of the prize money and a commemorative scrim from Mona’s Monograms, Torano was presented with a $1,000 gift card to the Vineyard Vines outlet store in Manchester, VT, from Molly Healy, representing the Vineyard Vines outlet.