Day At The Track

Closing Night at Vernon Downs

12:18 PM 03 Nov 2019 NZDT
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John MacDonald, harness racing Harness racing Only Passing Thru, harness racing
Leading driver John MacDonald
Fotowon photo
Leading trainers Marissa Chadbourne and John MacDonald ended in a tie
Fotowon photo
Only Passing Thru (#3) on the ouside beats Spoiler alert to the wire
Fotowon photo

Only Passing Thru (Jimmy Whittemore) takes the $8,000 Billy Bailey Memorial featured harness racing trot at Vernon Downs on closing night (November 2) for the 2019 season.

CR Blazin Beauty (John MacDonald) went to the front and led to the first quarter in :28.0. He was first to the half in :57.1 and to three-quarters in 1:25.4.

Only Passing Thru ($6.80), who is owned by Diane Whittemore and trained by Marissa Chadborne, was third at three-quarters.

As they went to the stretch CR Blazin Beauty continued to lead. Spoiler Alert (Leon Bailey) popped out of the pocket and took the lead in deep stretch. Only Passing Thru went three wide and charged late to nip second place finisher Spoiler alert in 1:55.2. CR Blazin Beauty settled for third.

Only Passing Thru is a 5-year-old horse by Muscle Hill. It was his eighth win of the season. He now has 19 career victories.

Marissa Chadbourne ties John MacDonald for training title.

Chadbourne tied MacDonald with her win with Only Passing Thru. They each ended up with 50 wins. Jennifer Lappe was trainer-driver for three winners on the night. She finished third for training title with 38 wins. Homer Hochstetler was fourth with 35 victories. Claude Huckabone III was fifth best with 35 training wins.

Leon Bailey drove four winners on closing night. His wins came with Painite ($5.30), Hands Off Frank ($5.60), Awesome Ace ($13.40) and with Mister Livan N ($11.20), who captured the "Turn Back The Clock" rewind race for pacers.

Lucky Man (Lappe) captured the Gary Bryant Memorial Race paying $11.20. The "Turn Back The Clock" rewind trot went to She's Uncorked ($4.60). She was driven by John MacDonald.

John MacDonald wins his fifth straight driving title with 121 tallies. Jimmy Whittemore finished in second with 91 victories. Howard Parker's 84 wins was good for third place. Leon Bailey was fourth with 52 trips to the winner's circle. Jennifer Lappe and Claude Huckabone III tied for fifth with 38 wins.

Brookdale Bruiser was named the pacer of the meet. The 5-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe had 10 wins in 16 starts at the miracle mile. During the season he was owned by the JP Stables and trained by John MacDonald.

Vernon Downs would like to thank the fans and horsemen for a great season.

For more information go to

by John Horne, for Vernon Downs


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