by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity
Baby Boy Grin (Grinfromeartoear-Orillia Babe) held off the challengers in the $10,000 Open I Trot feature at Vernon Downs on Friday night. Driver Stephane Bouchard made an aggressive move as the field left the first turn and moved to the backstretch with Baby Boy Grin, taking a lead he would never relinquish.
That isn't to say it was a walk in the park for Baby Boy Grin. Evil Urges (Jimmy Whittemore) had been racing in mid-pack during the early stages of the race and came charging after the leader in the stretch, just missing by a neck. Pollux Blue Chip (Claude Huckabone III) had been caught four-wide coming off the final turn, but still rallied well enough to finish third.
Baby Boy Grin was able to hold off all the closers in a finish that resembled a cavalry charge and prevail in a final time of 1:53.2. He is owned by Geoffrey and Mary Howles of Saratoga Springs, New York. Geoffrey Howles doubles as the trainer.
The complete order of finish was: Baby Boy Grin, Evil Urges, Pollux Blue Chip, A Penny Earned, War Hero, Lucid Thoughts, Cash Poor, and MC Tiny's Hope.
Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Saturday night with a 13-race program. The feature event is a $10,000 Open I Pace, carded as the eighth race. The 2-1 morning-line favorite is JK Panache, whose last victory came the last time he raced at Vernon Downs on August 2nd. Post time is 6:45pm.