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Friday, July 11, 2014


by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

Artic Byrd (Art Major-Tundra Bird) rallied past the heavily favored De Vin Girl to score a win in the $8,000 feature race at Vernon Downs on Thursday night. De Vin Girl (Rick Plano) was sent off at 1-9 by the bettors and led throughout the first three-quarters of a mile, setting solid fractions of 26.4 for the quarter, 55.1 for the half, and 1:23.4 for three-quarters. However, Artic Byrd (Truman Gale) managed to stay right with De Vin Girl during the early part of the race and was in prime position to overtake the leader as the field entered the stretch. Artic Byrd produced a sustained drive through the stretch and made the lead with an eighth of a mile remaining, eventually winning in a final time of 1:52. Artic Byrd now has a two-race win streak at Vernon Downs. She is owned by Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell of Poland, New York. Truman Gale doubles as the trainer. The complete order of finish was: Artic Byrd, De Vins Girl, Upfront Secret, Always Flash-n, and Asset Management.

Artic Byrd winning at Vernon Downs on July 10, 2014.  Photo credit Fotowon

The win in the feature race was part of an excellent start to the program for driver Truman Gale. He won the first race with Campanile Hanover in gate-to-wire fashion in 1:52.4 and followed that with the win in the feature. Gale then completed the hat trick with favored Blue Skies Craze in the third race, winning in 2:00.1. Jimmy Whittemore also picked up a win on Thursday night with That's My Dream in the sixth race to continue his march to 1,000 lifetime victories. Whittemore currently has 994 wins for his career.

Live racing will continue at Vernon Downs on Friday night with a 9-race program. The eighth race is the $9,000 feature race, an Open I Trot. The 5-2 morning line favorite is A Penny Earned, who is trying to earn his fourth win of the season at Vernon Downs and his second in a row after winning on July 5. Post time is 6:45pm.