by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity
Driver Chris Lems, who will be representing Vernon Downs in the Drivers' Championship Race For The Cup on Friday, August 29 at Vernon, was the driving star of the Saturday night program with four victories. Lems' first two winners were favorites in the wagering, Tarport Andy in the opener and King Of Kings in the third. He then scored back-to-back winners later in the evening with a front-running score from Credit To Elgin in the ninth and a strong closing drive in the tenth with High Mileage.
The $6,500 feature race on Saturday night was won by Oh My Joepa (Rocknroll Hanover-Nittany Lion), who has now won two of the last three starts at Vernon Downs. Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) sat toward the tail end of the field through the first quarter of a mile before making a strong first-over move to the front. From there, he led the rest of the way, building up a four-length lead as the horses made the top of the stretch. Western Tsunami (Roman Lopez) closed strongly in the stretch to get second and Market Force (Jimmy Whittemore) also finished well to end up third. You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis) had gone off-stride at the start and still managed to finish fourth. A Fool For Mark crossed the finish line fifth, but was disqualified for interference with multiple horses at the three-quarter mile mark and placed last. The fractions were 26.4 for the quarter, 55.4 for the half, 1:22.4 for three-quarters, and a final time of 1:51.
The complete order of finish was: Oh My Joepa, Western Tsunami, Market Force, You Bet Your Glass, Fearless Chip, Martial Bliss, and A Fool For Mark.
Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with a 10-race program. Post time is 6:45pm.