by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity
A field of six lined up for the $9,500 featured one-mile pace on Monday afternoon at Vernon Downs, but in the end, it was the story of just one horse, JK Panache. The five-year-old gelding powered to the front right away and never really had a challenge in a gate-to-wire victory in a time of 1:49.2. That time is just 2/5 of a second off the track record for Aged Geldings pacing one mile, held by Pontiac Luck and set in 2013. JK Panache was speedy right from the outset, setting come-and-get-me fractions of 26 seconds for the quarter, 53.2 for the half, and 1:20.4 for three-quarters. Firethorn settled in second after the start, but never made any headway on the leader throughout the race. However, he remained second all the way around the racetrack and backed up the exacta, which paid $24.60. The complete order of finish for the Monday feature race was JK Panache, Firethorn, You Bet Your Glass, Red Hot Yankee, Stonebridge Master, and Moonlight Ransom. JK Panache was driven to victory by Chris Lems. He is trained by part-owner David Dewhurst of Clinton, NY. The co-owner is Philip Hale of New Hartford, NY. JK Panache has been on a roll at Vernon Downs of late, with two wins and a second in his last three starts.
Truman Gale was the driving star on the Monday program at Vernon Downs, winning three races. He claimed both ends of the early Daily Double with Gentlemen Heir winning the opener and R Blue Moon Rising holding on through the stretch to win the second. The Truman Gale Daily Double ended up paying $26.00. Gale also scored a win in the fifth race, getting Lily's Hi Ho up in time for a victory despite being bottled up in traffic until the late stages of the race.
Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Thursday with a nine-race program. It will be the start of a four-day race weekend at Vernon Downs with racing through Sunday. Thursday post time is 6:45pm.