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Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Penny Earned yields, strikes late at Vernon

Vernon, N.Y. -- A pocket trip off intensifying pace pressure suited A Penny Earned ($4.70) well on Saturday (June 18) night, as he struck the front late to just prevail in the featured $8,500 Miracle Mile/Open Trot at Vernon Downs.

Chris Lems achieved the early lead with the 7-year-old Conway Hall gelding, but yielded the pacesetting duties to Winding Hill (Jimmy Whittemore) just after a :27.3 initial quarter. After a :57 half, A Penny Earned found himself boxed on the far turn as Walk the Floor (Angus MacDonald) pressed a :28.2 third-quarter from first-over and 5-4 favorite Lucid Thoughts (John MacDonald) slid out to follow that live cover.

After cornering, Lems found a seam up the pegs with A Penny Earned, rallying into the lead with 70 yards to go, ultimately collaring Winding Hill for a 1:54.1 triumph. Lucid Thoughts chased off cover to just take third from the leveled-off Walk the Floor.

Trainer George Ducharme co-owns A Penny Earned with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.

Dan Daley and Truman Gale led all drivers with two wins each on the 11-race card.

A special Sunday (June 19) night card completes the racing week at Vernon Downs, with the Empire Breeders Classic trotting finals sharing top billing on the 10-race card. Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.