by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media
Despite racing from well off the pace, No Monkeys Allowed ($4.00) emerged victorious, uncorking a standside rally through the stretch for a 1:55 win in Saturday (October 4) evening’s featured $6500 pace at Vernon Downs.
The seven-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding had no hand in the pacesetting duties, as longshots Dragon Fever (John MacDonald) and Avantage (Daniel Harvey) disputed the early pace. After Avantage was used to clear in a :57 half-mile over sloppy going, he immediately found pressure from the first-over Moonlight Ransom (Jimmy Whittemore) on the far turn. Meanwhile, Fern Paquet, Jr. commenced his rally with No Monkeys Allowed from the back of the pack, fanning four-wide off the far turn. The response was instant, and No Monkeys Allowed kicked to the lead with a sixteenth to go, subsequently drawing clear for a four-length victory. Moonlight Ransom held second, and Dragon Fever checked in third.
Edgar “Sparky” Clarke handles the training duties of 26-time winner No Monkeys Allowed for owner Robert Orr.
Paquet and Chris Lems each scored three driving wins on the evening’s 10-race card.
Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday, October 9. First post is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT.