Stonebridge Master rallies in Vernon feature

02:31 PM 27 Apr 2014 NZST
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Stonebridge Master, harness racing Medusa, harness racing
Stonebridge Master and Aaron Byron score a muddy victory
Photo by Fotowon
Medusa and driver Chris Lems
Photo by Fotowon
After prevailing against similar company a fortnight ago and finishing a respectable second to Fireyourguns in last week's top pacing event, Kelly Hope's Stonebridge Master ($3.00) took top honors in Saturday (April 26) evening's $8,000 Miracle Mile 2 Pace at Vernon Downs, posting a 1:54.2 victory in going-away fashion over sloppy going.
 
The eight-year-old Artsplace gelding raced patiently from off the pace, tracking live cover from Western Trademark (Fern Paquet, Jr.) before swinging three-wide in upper stretch. At immediate asking from Aaron Byron, Stonebridge Master powered clear of his four rivals, winning by a widening 1-1/4 lengths over Western Trademark, while pacesetter Sheer Brilliance (Claude Huckabone, III) was worn down late, finishing third.
 
Earlier in the card, a pair of $4,000 second round divisions of the Anthony Farina Pacing Series were contested, in which William Donovan's Medusa ($2.30) remained undefeated through three career races. The three-year-old Bettor's Delight fully controlled a :58 half mile before pushing clear on the far turn, scoring a 1:55.2 win by a 6-1/2 length margin in rein to Chris Lems. Joseph Meylan's Stony Brook ($3.30) prevailed in the other division, scoring a 5-length win in 1:56.1.
 
Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday, May 1, with the first of 10 races scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT. The upcoming Thursday card marks a switch to a three-night weekly schedule at Vernon, as well as the beginning of the Showdown Handicapping Contest, worth $1,500 to the last contestant standing. Visit showdown.vernondowns.com for further details.
 
by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs
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