Rallying off cover as the pacesetters ruthlessly wore each other down, Donn Lewandrowski and Gail Farrell's Artic Byrd ($10.00) passed every other mare in the race en route to a 1:53 victory over sloppy going in Thursday (May 1) evening's $8,000 Fillies and Mares Miracle Mile 2-3 Handicap Pace at Vernon Downs.
The six-year-oldmare settled at the rear of the field initially before advancing two-wide on the backstretch to join the front flight prior to a :55 half mile. On the far turn, trainer-driver moved third-over with Artic Byrd, while pacesetting favorite Market Dynamics ( ) faced stiff pressure from the first-over Got the Munchies ( ) approaching head-stretch. Aided by live cover from Elleofnxample (Todd Frocione), Artic Byrd launched a four-wide stretch bid, pulling clear at will for a 1-3/4 length victory. Elleofnxample stayed on for second, while the pocket-sitting Steuben Ruthless (Fern Paquet, Jr.) squeezed through at the pegs to save third.
Earlier in the program, Ben McNeil scored his first pari-mutuel driving win aboard Want More ($5.30), edging out Sudden Desire in 1:55.4 in a conditioned event for distaff pacers.
Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (May 2) evening, with the first of nine races slated for 6:45 p.m. EDT.
by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs