by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media
A Penny Earned a pillar-to-post winner in Vernon feature
Vernon, N.Y. -- In a scratch-reduced field of five, A Penny Earned ($7.40) seized command early and never looked back, staving off a late challenge from pocket rival Waiting On a Woman for a 1:54.2 score in Saturday (July 11) evening's $10,000 Open Trot at Vernon Downs.
Chris Lems sent the 6-year-old Conway Hall gelding immediately to the lead, clearing his four rivals through a :27.3 first quarter before rating a comfortable :58.2 middle half. At the top of the stretch, Waiting On a Woman (Claude Huckabone, III) attacked from the pocket, but A Penny Earned responded immediately, holding sway for a half-length victory. War Hero (Jimmy Whittemore) rallied from last to take third.
Trainer George Ducharme co-owns A Penny Earned with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.
Lems, who was honored before the card with the distribution of replicas of his black and silver colors to fans on course, earned five wins on the evening's 11-race card.
Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Sunday (July 12) afternoon, with first post slated for 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.