by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity
Oh My Joepa (Rocknroll Hanover-Nittany Lion) made a move on the far turn of the $6,500 feature at Vernon Downs on Saturday night and rode that move all the way to the Winner's Circle. A Fool For Mark (Dustin Ingraham) took the lead at the outset and carried the field through the first quarter in 26.2 seconds and the half in 54.4. After setting a fast pace, A Fool For Mark was passed by You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis), who took control once the field was past the half-mile and led to the three-quarter mark in 1:23. Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) made the aggressive first-over move to challenge the leader on the far turn, taking over once the field made the turn for home. Cabbie's Delight (Jimmy Whittemore) followed the live cover from the eventual winner, but could never get past Oh My Joepa, who posted a time of 1:51.1 for the mile. Cabbie's Delight had to settle for second and A Fool For Mark came on once again to get up for third.
The complete order of finish was: Oh My Joepa, Cabbie's Delight, A Fool For Mark, You Bet Your Glass, Redneck Outlaw, Dutch Richman, and Firethorn. Oh My Joepa is owned and trained by Michael Deters of Coconut Creek, Florida.
The driving star of the night at Vernon Downs was Jimmy Whittemore, who posted a natural hat trick of winners in the middle of the 11-race program. Whittemore went gate-to-wire in the fourth race with favored Moonlight Ransom (Artiscape-Windsun Caprice). He then followed with an excellent drive to bring Team Edward (Bettor's Delight-Tarport Julie) up the inside in the stretch to win the fifth race. Whittemore wrapped up the threesome with a win in the sixth race driving Market Force (Rocknroll Hanover-Endless Dreams).
Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with a 9-race program. Post time will be 6:45pm.