by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity
Artic Byrd produced a very impressive victory in a speedy time of 1:50.2 in the $8,000 feature race at Vernon Downs on Thursday night. The win was the second straight for Artic Byrd, owned by Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell of Poland, New York. Artic Byrd had picked up a win on May 1 over a sloppy track, but the fast going on Thursday night also appealed to the roan mare. Trainer-Driver Truman Gale was very patient through the first three-quarters of a mile, sitting in behind the pace-setter, Elleofnxample. Elleofnxample set strong fractions in front, covering a quarter in 26.1, a half in 54.3, and three-quarters in 1:22.3. It appeared that Elleofnxample was going to go all the way to victory, but those fast fractions might have cost her in the stretch as she drifted away from the inside of the track into the two-path. This allowed Gale to send Artic Byrd right through on the inside and up in time for a victory by a length. The remainder of the finishers in the Thursday feature were Market Dynamics, Day To Ponder, and Steuben Ruthless in finishing order.
Three drivers shared top honors on the Thursday night program with two winners. Aaron Byron, John MacDonald, and Jimmy Whittemore all had two victories on the evening. Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs with a nine-race program on Friday night, May 9, at 7:15pm.