Thursday, July 4, 2013

Artic Byrd wins Independence Day feature

Artic Byrd wins the Fourth of July feature

Artic Byrd continued her high-flying ways with a 1:52.1 come-from-behind victory in the featured event during Thursday's special July 4th -matinee program at Vernon Downs.

Competing in the 10th race, the week's $8,000 Open-2 contest for female pacers, the energetic Artic Byrd idled in fourth place as Abbey Road Hanover hustled to a :56-second half.  The 5-year-old roan mare rallied from fifth in the final quarter and flew home from third in the stretch to equal her lifetime speed-mark with a ¾-length score over the mile-cutter.  The favorite Little Santamonica finished third.

It was the fourth tally in 13 season's starts and the 12th lifetime score for the much-improved daughter of Art Major-Tundra Byrd, who is shared in ownership by Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell.

Artic Byrd's fast-closing (:27.4 final quarter) triumph was the third of the afternoon for driver Truman Gale and the second for trainer Jocelyn Lavigne, who was enjoying her birthday.

Chris Lems also logged a driving triple during Thursday's 11-race card, while John MacDonald captured two of the program's first three races, and trainer Edgar Clarke was credited with first-place finishes in events three and eight.  

DOWNS DOINGS—Thursday's fastest mile was a career-best 1:52 clocking by Dennis Goyette's veteran pacing mare Lover's Delight (MacDonald driving for conditioner Clarke) in the day's third event…The GLY Stable's sophomore pacer Hickory Again and Blush And Crush, a 3-year-old trotter shared by Theodore Gewertz, Jean Brunet and Deborah Brunet, each earned their initial pari-mutuel victories during the track's 31st program of 2013…Friday's "Back To The Track Weekend" 10-race program will commence at 6:45 p.m. and include a T-shirt giveaway, many other promotions and a Fireworks spectacular show at the end of live racingA revised 2013 racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at