by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media
Vernon, N.Y. -- Fresh off her decisive triumph in the $248,275 Empire Breeders Classic, 3-year-old trotting filly Barn Doll ($3.50) rose to the occasion of her first effort against older company, rallying to the lead late in Sunday (July 5) afternoon's $10,000 Open Trot at Vernon Downs.
Jimmy Whittemore settled the daughter of Conway Hall well off the pace in the early stages, as Mikey Hanover (Claude Huckabone, III) rolled through early sectionals of :27.3, :55.4, and 1:23. After pushing Mikey Hanover through a :27.1 third quarter, Barn Doll worked closer on the outside, taking charge in mid-stretch and drawing clear of Mikey Hanover by 1-1/4 lengths for a 1:53.1 score. Lucid Thoughts (John MacDonald) was elevated to second off a tracking trip as runner-up Mikey Hanover slipped inside the pegs for a moment while exiting the far turn, relegated to third as a result.
Trainer Steven Pratt co-owns Barn Doll with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stables, LLC.
The win was one of four on the card for Whittemore, who captured the sub-featured $8000 Mares Open Trot as well with Barn Girl, edging clear of Painite for a 1:56.3 victory. Steven and Nancy Pratt also co-own Barn Girl, sharing ownership with the Out in the Country Stable, while Howard Okusko manages the 3-year-old Cash Hall filly's conditioning.
Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with a special Monday (July 6) evening card, with first post at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.