Saturday, April 26, 2014

Paquet sweeps Vernon features; Brunet trotters shine in Burton


by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

Driver Fern Paquet, Jr. swept the evening's pair of $8,000 Miracle Mile feature events at Vernon Downs on Friday (April 25) evening, rallying to circle the field with Asset Management ($19.60) in the Fillies and Mares Miracle Mile 2-3 Pace, and prevailing in the nick of time aboard Jaipur ($8.20) in the Miracle Mile 2 Trot.

Asset Management pulls clear late in the $8,000 Miracle
Mile 2-3 Pace for fillies and mares. (Fotowon photo)
In a change of tactics from the last two weeks, Asset Management dropped to last, biding her time well off a pressured pace before mounting a three-wide rally at the top of the stretch.  The six-year-old Western Hanover mare gobbled up ground willingly, eclipsing the pace-setting Market Dynamics (Rick Plano) in deep stretch, pulling clear for a 2-3/4 length win in 1:52.3, capped by a torrid :26.2 final quarter.  Artic Byrd (Truman Gale) was a narrow third, flattening off a first-over bid.

Jaipur took a similar path to victory in the trotting feature, making a massive three-wide push in the final quarter mile, passing horses steadily en route to a slim triumph over the pacesetting House Money (Roman Lopez) for a 1:54.4 victory.  Painite (Truman Gale) rallied late to save third after breaking at race's outset.

A trio of divisions of the Catherine Burton trotting series were contested, with Wild and Crazy Guy (1:56.1) and Driving Miss Crazy (1:56.2) giving Gaetan Brunet a training and driving double on the evening.  Indira Blue Chip (1:57.1) prevailed in the non-wagering division for trainer-driver Ray Schnittker.

Live racing returns on Saturday evening with a 6:45 p.m. first post, and Thursdays are added to the schedule on May 1, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. on Thursday evenings as well.