|Northern Companion takes the Saturday feature|
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Northern Companion Wins the Open Pace, Truman Gale wins 4
The pacer Northern Companion and driver Truman Gale were each prominent performers during Saturday night's 60th Anniversary celebration program at Vernon Downs.
Northern Companion charged home from third in a :27.3 final quarter to defeat track record-holder JK Panache in Saturday's $10,000 featured Open pace, while Gale, a former provisional driving champion at the track, captured four of the evening's 13 races.
Competing over a rain-soaked "sloppy" track in Saturday's 10th contest, Northern Companion laid back in fourth while JK Panache carved fractions of :26.3, :55.1 and 1:23.3. With trainer Robert Hoffman doing the steering, the 5-year-old son of Cambest-Smoke It Out began his closing kick near the three-quarter mark before drawing off in the final stages of the mile to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.2. It marked the third local score, the eighth season's tally and the 28th lifetime win for the career-earner of $147,452, who is owned by Dorothy Zarza.
Gale started the program with wins in the Early Double behind Tobell and Hot Cowboy. He added victories with Ringo Hanover in race four and No More Drama in race 11 to join Rick Plano, Roman Lopez and Jimmy Whittemore as the only drivers to have posted four or more wins during a single Vernon card through 30 programs.
Lopez logged three wins during the evening, while Hoffman hustled up a pair of first-place finishes, as did trainer Jocelyn Lavigne.
Trainer Lopez guided the Tanah Merah Farm's Glorious Winner to a 1:55.2 triumph in Saturday's $8,000 Open-2 trot.