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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Oh No . . . Three in a row!

by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

Charlene Long's Oh No Three O ($4.30) withstood a strong challenge from A Penny Earned, extending his winning streak to three with a 1:54.1 triumph in Friday (October 10) evening's $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at Vernon Downs.

Assigned the outside post in a field of seven, Howard Okusko, Jr. sent the seven-year-old Ken Warkentin gelding right to the front, pushing clear of Helios (Claude Huckabone, III) and Aruba Vacation (Aaron Byron) to establish an uncontested lead through a rated :56.4 half mile.  On the approach to the far turn, Oh No Three O saw his lead slip to a half-length, as A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) commenced a stout first-over challenge.  The two were heads apart past three-quarters in 1:24.3, but Oh No Three O would not be denied a third straight win, edging clear to a 1-1/2 length win.  Helios chased at the pegs to hold second off his pocket trip, while A Penny Earned flattened to third.

Paul Long trains Oh No Three O, and the featured win was one of three driving scores for Okusko.  Fern Paquet, Jr. also tallied a driving hat trick on the evening's 11-race card.

Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (October 11) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT.