The seven-year-oldgelding stayed true to his past strategy, clearing and setting a strong tempo, posting a :26.4 first quarter before facing pressure on the far turn from a first-over Mc Tiny's Hope ( ). Lutetium responded strongly, digging in through the stretch to stave off Mc Tiny's Hope by 1-1/2 lengths in a dazzling 1:52.4 victory in rein to . Mc Tiny's Hope held second, with the pocket-sitting Grey Ice (Fern Paquet, Jr.) staying on for third.
trains the 24-time winner for owner Colleen Girdlestone.
Byron swept the evening's featured events, scoring an 8-1 upset win with Rocks N Bagels in the $8000 Miracle Mile 2 distaff pacers. in first-over fashion, beating a re-rallying Artic Byrd () and the mid-race pacesetting Asset Management (Fern Paquet, Jr.) in a lifetime best 1:53.
The Opening Night card paid tribute to longtime racecaller Jim Moran, who retired after calling the first race of the 2014 season. After the first race, Moran was recognized in the winner's enclosure by staff, management, horsemen, and local dignitaries.
“We thank Jim for his many years of service to harness racing at Vernon Downs,” said Jason Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing at Vernon Downs. “We wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”
by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs