by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Media
Ilovemymommy (Inquirer-Alpine Goal) got back to the Winner's Circle at Vernon Downs on Friday night in the $8,000 feature race after being unable to pick up a victory thus far in June. The win on Friday ends a three-race losing streak for the mare. Ilovemymommy (Jimmy Whittemore) settled in third after Canadian Sunset (Roman Lopez) forged to the front at the start and set the pace through the opening quarter of 26.4.
Ilovemymommy then moved to the outside as the field entered the backstretch and made an aggressive move to the front, taking control of the race and never relinquishing it. She remained in front through a half mile of 56.4 and three quarters in 1:26. Painite (Frank Davis) made a valiant try first-over entering the far turn, but didn't threaten the leader and was passed late in the stretch by Long Island Tea (Chris Lems) for second.
The complete order of finish was: Ilovemymommy, Long Island Tea, Painite, Alarming Quick, MC Tiny's Hope, Stell R Time, and Canadian Justice. The final time for the mile was 1:54.2. Ilovemymommy is owned by Karen Smith of Brushton, New York and trained by Andy Gardner.
The win in the feature by driver Jimmy Whittemore was one of two victories on the night for him. Whittemore is now just nine victories away from 1,000 in his career.
Live racing at Vernon Downs resumes on Saturday night with an 11-race program. The second race is the feature with a purse of $7,200. The 9-5 morning-live favorite in the field of six is I Do Hanover, who has won his last two starts in June at Vernon Downs. Post time for the Saturday program is 6:45pm.