Day At The Track

First Call wins Vernon Downs feature

10:23 AM 07 Sep 2019 NZST
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First Call, harness racing
First Call (#5) and driver Homer Hochstetler beat a wall of horses to the wire
Fotowon photo

First Call (Homer Hochstetler) wins the $7,000 harness racing featured trot at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 7).

American JJ (Michael Miller) went to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.2 and to the half in :57.3. First Call ($5.30) came first over just before the half. She battled American JJ shoulder to shoulder all the way around the final turn. First Call led by a head as they hit three-quarters in 1:26.2.

First Call, who is trained by Homer Hochstetler for owners Connie Hochstetler, Robert Buddig, and Allen Schwartz, continued to battle as they made the turn for home.

Only Passing Thru (Jimmy Whittemore) found an opening on the inside as Winning Princess (Jennifer Lappe) came flying late on the outside. First call gutted it out and got the win in 1:55.0. Only Passing Thru finished second with Winning Princess getting third money.

First Call is a 4-year-old mare by Credit Winner. It was her sixth win this season. She now has 14 career victories.

Hochstetler, Claude Huckabone Jr., and Howard Parker each drove two winners on the night. Hochstetler got his other win with Bluffton ($6.30). Huckabone Jr. won with All Heart I Am ($3.50), and Ideal Delight ($17.60). Parker had victories with The Fixer ($2.80), and Expo ($11.80).

Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 8) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m.

For more information go to

by John Horne, for Vernon Downs




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