Day At The Track

Vernon Downs feature to American JJ

10:10 AM 19 Sep 2020 NZST
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American JJ, harness racing
American JJ and trainer-driver Michael Miller
Fotowon photo

American JJ (Michael Miller) captures the $4,400 featured harness racing trot at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 18).

Spoiler Alert (McGwire Sowers) went right to the front and led to the first quarter in :28.3. Warrawee Preferred (Leon Bailey) came first-up from third and took control as they reached the top of the backstretch. Spoiler Alert made a break and American JJ ($11.80) inherited the pocket as Warrawee Preferred led to the half in :58.0. He would continue to lead as they hit three-quarters in 1:26.3.

As they made the turn for home American JJ popped out of the pocket and battled for the lead. American JJ took the lead as they reached mid-stretch and rolled to victory holding off a late charge by second place finisher Volare (Dylan-Huckabone Miller) in 1:56.4. Pound Sterling (Brett Crawford) finished third.


American JJ is a 7-year-old gelding by Jailhouse Jesse. Owned by Lewis and Lisa Miller and also trained by Michael Miller. It was his sixth win of the season and 23rd career victory.

Leon Bailey had a driving double while Dan Daley had a training-driving double. Bailey got his wins with Umberto ($2.20) and Some Royalty ($9.00). Daley won with Torre Pines ($2.40) and Lady Jeter ($3.20).

With his two wins Leon Bailey is tied with John MacDonald as top driver with 43 trips to the winner's circle. Howard Parker (30), Jimmy Whittemore (24), Brett Crawford (13), and Jennifer Lappe (13) round out the top five.

The trainers title remains wide open with only three racing dates left in the season. Kerin Warner and George Ducharme are tied for first with 17 tallies each. Claude Huckabone III is third with 15 victories. David Dewhurst and Brandy Wine are tied for fourth with 14 wins each.

Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 19) starting at 3:00 p.m.

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by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

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