Day At The Track

Looney Dune prevails in distaff feature

03:24 PM 08 Oct 2015 NZDT
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Claude Huckabone III
Claude Huckabone III
Vernon, N.Y. -- Ellen McNeil's Looney Dune ($3.80) made all the pace in Wednesday (October 7) evening's featured $7,000 top-level conditioned pace for harness racing mares at Vernon Downs, turning aside a mid-race challenge from Table Games before holding off the late-charging Asset Management.
 
Ben McNeil used his inside post to protect the early lead with the 7-year-old Bettor's Delight mare, pocketing Express Jet (John MacDonald) through a :26.3 initial quarter mile before responding to a stout first-over challenge from Table Games (Frank Davis) through the middle half. As Looney Dune dug in through a :27.4 third quarter, the third-over Asset Management (Fern Paquet, Jr.) launched her bid from off cover, charging stoutly through the stretch. Despite 18-1 shot Asset Management's rally, Looney Dune had plenty left to hold by half a length, prevailing in 1:52.1. Kardashian (Truman Gale) emerged from traffic to just take third, while 9-5 second choice Pancakes (Chris Lems) only managed a fourth-place effort from her second-over trip after she was caught in a blind switch a quarter mile from home.
 
John McNeil, III trains Looney Dune.
 
Claude Huckabone, III led all drivers on the card with three wins, teaming up with Turn Em On ($21.00, 1:55.3), Act of Valor ($6.80, 1:58.2), and Day to Ponder ($15.80, 1:53.4).
 
Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (October 9) evening, with the first of 10 races due off at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.
 
by James Witherite, Vernon Downs
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