Saturday, September 29, 2012
Late Bloomer Series debuts at Vernon Downs
A Penny Earned used a powerful closing kick to finish first in Friday's $8,500 Junior Open trot at Vernon Downs, while Celebrity Obsesion chalked up the fastest flight in the night's $42,000 leg of the track's new Late Bloomer Series for three and 4-year-old trotters.
A Penny Earned drew off in the stretch (final quarter in :28.3) to record a solid six-length score in Friday's $8,500 eighth event, stopping the timer in 1:55 over a track labeled sloppy to record a personal best win-mark.
Chris Lems held the lines as the 3-year-old son of Conway Hall-Penny Dream delivered his second season's victory and seventh all-time tally, while bumping his career earnings to more than $189,100 for trainer George Ducharme and his ownership partners Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine and Nicola Oliva.
With Vernon's leading driver Rick Plano doing the teaming, Celebrity Obsesion turned a pocket trip into a 1:56.1 triumph in Friday's $6,000 first race, earning a 1:56.1 record, his second season's score and fourth lifetime victory for trainer Susanne Strandqvist and owner Sam Stathis.
Friday's other Late Bloomer Series winners were Liborio in 1:58.1, Zanna Royal in 1:58.3, Mrs. D in 1:58.4, Miss Eva Cash in 1:59.2, Helios in 2:00.1 and Painite in 2:00.2.
Driver Dan Daley captured the final three events of Friday's 13-race program to record his initial driving triple at the 75-program meeting, while Chris Lems also piloted three winners for the 10th time at the meet.