by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media
JK Panache equals all-age Vernon pacing record
Vernon, N.Y. -- After reeling off three straight sub-:27 quarters, JK Panache ($5.20) not only had amassed a comfortable margin over his four rivals, but he tied Fireyourguns's 1:47.3 all-age pacing record at Vernon Downs in Sunday (July 19) afternoon's $10,000 Open Pace.
Assigned the outside post in a field of five, JK Panache and driver Frank Davis vaulted clear of his four rivals through a sensible enough :26.3 initial quarter, subsequently using an eye-popping :53.2 middle half to bottom out the field. After reaching three-quarters in 1:20, the leaders of the second flight began to tire, and 3-5 favorite Burkentine Hanover (Fern Paquet, Jr.) kicked cover to rally late. He only could get to within 7-3/4 lengths of JK Panache, whose front-end 1:47.3 mile was simply too much for his competition. That'll Be the Rei (Greg Merton) stayed on for third after a mild bid in upper stretch, while Ideal Fashion (Jimmy Whittemore) and Fiftyshadesdarker (John MacDonald) tailed off after giving futile chase through the middle stages of the race.
Trainer David Dewhurst co-owns JK Panache with Philip Hale.
Greg Merton led all drivers with four wins on the 11-race card.
Live racing returns to Vernon on Friday (July 24) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.