Saturday, April 26, 2014

Stonebridge Master rallies in Vernon feature; Medusa remains undefeated


by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

After prevailing against similar company a fortnight ago and finishing a respectable second to Fireyourguns in last week's top pacing event, Kelly Hope's Stonebridge Master ($3.00) took top honors in Saturday (April 26) evening's $8,000 Miracle Mile 2 Pace at Vernon Downs, posting a 1:54.2 victory in going-away fashion over sloppy going.

Stonebridge Master pulls clear
for his second win of the meet
(Fotowon photo)
The eight-year-old Artsplace gelding raced patiently from off the pace, tracking live cover from Western Trademark (Fern Paquet, Jr.) before swinging three-wide in upper stretch.  At immediate asking from Aaron Byron, Stonebridge Master powered clear of his four rivals, winning by a widening 1-1/4 lengths over Western Trademark, while pacesetter Sheer Brilliance (Claude Huckabone, III) was worn down late, finishing third.
Medusa stays perfect with a 1:55.2
win (Fotowon photo)

Earlier in the card, a pair of $4,000 second round divisions of the Anthony Farina Pacing Series were contested, in which William Donovan's Medusa ($2.30) remained undefeated through three career races.  The three-year-old Bettor's Delight fully controlled a :58 half mile before pushing clear on the far turn, scoring a 1:55.2 win by a 6-1/2 length margin in rein to Chris Lems.  Joseph Meylan's Stony Brook ($3.30) prevailed in the other division, scoring a 5-length win in 1:56.1.

Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday, May 1, with the first of 10 races scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT.  The upcoming Thursday card marks a switch to a three-night weekly schedule at Vernon, as well as the beginning of the Showdown Handicapping Contest, worth $1,500 to the last contestant standing.  Visit showdown.vernondowns.com for further details.