Friday, October 29, 2010

Photo Finish in Thursday Vernon Downs Feature

Keep It Fair used a head bob in the final stride to earn a slim victory in Thursday night’s $12,000 featured 10th race at Vernon Downs.

Sixth (and last) at the ¾-mile mark, Keep It Fair ($22.40) staged a late rally in the homestretch that eventually gained her a head victory over All Spirit in the week’s top Miracle Mile contest for female pacers.

Diva Delight, last week’s winner in this class, finished third.

Thursday’s 1:53.1 career-best performance resulted in the fifth season’s score and the eight lifetime win for the bay daughter of Art Major-Direct Service, who increased her lifetime earnings to $111,325.

Driver Jimmy Whittemore owns the 4-year-old mare, while his father, Dennis, does the conditioning.

Whittemore, the track’s defending driving champ, collected three tallies during Thursday’s 12-race card to increase his win total to 114 after 82 programs.

Ray Fisher, Jr. also posted a driving triple, while two-time local provisional champ Chris Lems logged a driving double.

Claude Huckabone, III secured his 1,992nd career victory after steering the Dee Johnson-trained pacer Rosa Villa, owned by Donald Stockwell and Steven Guido, to a 1:55.2 tally in Thursday’s seventh race.

DOWNS DOINGS—The 2-year-old filly pacer Skylark Hanover improved her summary line to 2-1-2 after eight starts following a career-best 1:53.4 triumph in Thursday’s second race. Whittemore drove for trainer Richard Mathurin, Jr. and the Ram Racing Stables…Top trainer Tracy Brainard raised her win total to 63 after the pacer Town Gigolo, which she owns along with Andrew Herzog, won the sixth race with Jack Rice doing the steering…Friday’s 12-race card, which includes the week’s top Miracle Mile trotting events, will begin at 6:55 p.m.