by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media
Tracking a pressured pace from the pocket, Asset Management ($7.60) found room up the pegs to strike the front just in time, scoring a narrow win in Thursday (October 16) evening's $7,300 featured upper-level distaff pace at Vernon Downs.
The six-year-old Western Hanover mare settled right behind pacesetter Spotlight On (John MacDonald), but found herself locked in with three-eighths to go as newcomer Ace of Pace (Chris Lems) began a first-over push through a :55.4 half mile. With racing room at a minimum after Spotlight On was nudged past three-quarters in 1:23.3, driver Fern Paquet, Jr. was force to find a seam up the inside off the turn with Asset Management. Asset Management responded as soon as room was available, taking a narrow lead in mid-stretch and holding off a late stand-side charge from Always Flash-n (Frank Davis). Spotlight On and Ace of Pace finished in a dead heat for third, just three-quarters of a length away from Asset Management's 1:52.4 victory.
Allie Berube trains Asset Management for J&M Racing.
While unable to convert in the feature with Ace of Pace, Chris Lems registered a driving grand slam on the evening. After a 9-3/4 length win with Paltrow Blue Chip ($6.40), he teamed up with Peanutbutternhoney ($15.40), Sweet Bettor ($10.20), and Kyler's Valentine ($5.70).
Live racing returns to Vernon Downs tomorrow evening, with a 13-race card headlined by the final preliminary round of the Kindergarten Classic trotting series. Post time is 6:45 p.m. EDT.