by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity
Rocks N Bagels extended her winning streak at Vernon Downs to three on Thursday night with a victory in the $9,500 feature race. She won with a well-timed drive from Aaron Byron, who guided the mare to the outside of the heavy favorite, Let's Go Higher, in the stretch and prevailed in a very close photo finish. The final time for the mile was 1:51.4. Let's Go Higher assumed the lead following a fast first quarter mile of 26 seconds flat. She then set the pace through a half-mile of 55.1 and three-quarters in 1:25.1. Rocks N Bagels settled in fifth in the field of six before attacking aggressively entering the final turn. It still took Rocks N Bagels the length of the stretch to finally get up for the victory by a scant nose. The complete order of finish for the feature race was Rocks N Bagels, Let's Go Higher, Love You Bye, Market Dynamics, Artic Byrd, and Elleofnxample. Rocks N Bagels is owned by Kelly Dawn Hope of Vernon, NY and trained by Jordan Hope.
The driving star of Thursday night at Vernon Downs was Truman Gale, who recorded three victories on the 11-race program. He recorded victories in the 2nd race with Campanile Hanover, the 5th race with Aritzia Hanover, and the 7th race with Upfront Secret. Upfront Secret's win came in a $6,000 Open Pace for Fillies & Mares in a sparkling time of 1:51.1