With Restless Yankee and MacKenzie's Bliss tussling early, Kelly Hope's Stonebridge Master ($5.10) had a fast pace to close into, looping the field in the final quarter mile for a 1:51.2 triumph in the featured $8,000 Miracle Mile 2 Pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday (April 12) evening.by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs
The eight-year-oldgelding was in no hurry early on, sitting well off a pressured :26.4 first quarter, and even having a 12-length deficit at race's midpoint, where JK Panache ( ) pushed past Restless Yankee ( ) to force a :55.2 half mile. Midway around the far turn,
angled Stonebridge Master off the pegs, and the Jordan Hope trainee's response was instant. Moving three-wide at the top of the stretch, Stonebridge Master gobbled up ground at will, taking over the lead in upper stretch, drawing clear to win by 3-1/4 lengths, and posting a solid :26.3 last quarter en route. Unicorn Hanover ( ) closed from far back to take second, while Moonlight Ransom ( ) rallied from last to finish third.