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Vernon, NY -- Margaret and Amy Butler's J A T O ($3.80) seized control of the terms early and never looked back on his way to a third consecutive victory in Friday (September 23) evening's featured $10,500 Miracle Mile/Open Handicap Trot at Vernon Downs.   Chris Lems put the 4-year-old Conway Hall gelding in play from the outset, pushing clear of My Lucky Word (Fern Paquet, Jr.) and Gimme the Cash (Claude Huckabone, III) through a :28.3 first quarter before easing the tempo on the backstretch.   With five-sixteenths of the mile to go, 22-1 longshot Oh No Three O (Jeff Long) mounted a first-over challenge, working to within a length of J A T O at the completion of a :58.4 middle half but leveling off at head-stretch. J A T O maintained control comfortably while hand-driven through the straight, keeping Oh No Three O a length at bay for a 1:55.2 score.   Prairie Fortune (Mike Deters) showed mild staying power off second-over cover to save third on debut from Tioga.   Howard Okusko trains J A T O, who remains undefeated at Vernon Downs by way of his 31st career triumph.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 24) evening, with the first of 13 races due off at 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs Racing

Vernon, N.Y. -- Scott Woogen's K J's Caroline ($6.00) parried all comers in Thursday (September 22) night's $11,000 Mares Miracle Mile/Open Handicap Pace at Vernon Downs, and leading harness racing driver John MacDonald tallied another five wins on the evening's 10-race program.   K J's Caroline, debuting for trainer Paul Long on arrival from Tioga Downs, made her move to the fore on the clubhouse turn after settling close to a spritely early pace. Roman Lopez brushed the 6-year-old Roddy's Bags Again mare to the fore to clear Bettorhaveanother (Chris Lems) upon reaching the back of the course, subsequently bracing for heavy pressure from the first-over Yes You Can (Ben McNeil) on the far turn. After enduring a :27.2 third quarter, K J's Caroline edged away, driven out to fend off a late charge from Bettorhaveanother--who found clearance to vacate the pegs in the final eighth--by half a length in 1:51.2. Southern Girl (Fern Paquet, Jr.) mounted a belated rally to take third.   While a Vernon newcomer took top equine honors for the evening, the "Prime Minister" continued his reign at Vernon Downs with a five-win night. MacDonald paired up with The Filly Princess ($5.80, 1:52.2), I Saw Red ($5.40, 1:53.4), Cheyenne Patti ($9.00, 1:55), E R Rhonda ($3.70, 1:54.2), and Tempus Seelster ($3.50, 1:51.2).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (September 23) evening; post time is slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Owner-breeder Ina Madill's Andreios Kardia ($3.00) demonstrated great determination in the featured $10,000 Pacer of the Year Match Race on Saturday's (September 17) closing-night harness racing program at Tioga Downs, upending pacesetter Believe This Bob in a 1:50.1 mile.   The 5-year-old Badlands Hanover gelding was eager to go on from race's outset, offering pressure to Believe This Bob through a :26.3 first quarter before settling into a tight pocket through the middle half. Mike Simons and Believe This Bob relaxed the terms through a :55.2 half mile, but were forced to accelerate as Aaron Byron switched Andreios Kardia back to the two-path with five-sixteenths to go. The two dueled through a :27.1 third quarter, and Andreios Kardia would emerge victorious in the final 150 yards, edging away from the game pacesetter by half a length while driven.   Jeff Byron trains 15-time winner Andreios Kardia, whose third consecutive top-level victory earned him 2016 Tioga Downs Pacer of the Year honors.   Aaron Byron and Mike Merton led all drivers with four wins apiece on the 11-race card.   Additionally, Trotter of the Year honors were bestowed upon Prairie Fortune, campaigned by owner Laurie Poulin, owner-trainer Mike Deters, and regular driver Jim Meittinis. Deters was also crowned the seasonal training champion, while Ontario-based Scott Coulter maintained a clear margin over Mike Simons to capture top driving honors.   Horseplayers and horsemen alike are advised to visit for updates on the ongoing casino expansion, as well as on the 2017 harness racing season.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- New York-sired 3-year-olds were in the spotlight on Saturday (September 17) evening at Vernon Downs, as a quartet of $45,000 Excelsior Series finals and a quartet of $50,000 New York Sire Stakes consolation events headlined the 15-race harness racing card.   Helene Filion's Endeavor ($11.60, part of entry) sprung a mild upset in the $45,000 Excelsior final for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings (race 10), yielding and retaking at race's midpoint to overpower odds-on favorite Fresh Cut (Marcus Miller) before drawing clear to a 7-1/4 length over the mildly rallying Brigadoon (Matt Kakaley) and Acting Out (Fern Paquet, Jr.) in 1:49.3. John MacDonald drove the American Ideal gelding for trainer Pat Lachance. Fresh Cut faded to finish sixth following his early push forward to clear after a sizzling :25 first quarter.   In the Excelsior for trotting colts and geldings (race 9), Just For Today ($9.50) sustained steady first-over gains to wear down odds-on Credevie (Jim Morrill, Jr.) in deep stretch, posting a 1:54.2 win in rein to Matt Kakaley. Paul Kelley trains the Credit WInner colt for the Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, and the Hatfield Stables.   Wendy's Girl ($3.90) brushed from midfield on the first turn to seize command and edge clear in the straight to beat her distaff Excelsior (race 4) trotting foes by a widening four lengths, posting a 1:54.3 mile time to defeat the John Stark-trained pair of Hullaba Lulu (MacDonald) and LTs Sandie (Stark). Morrill drove Wendy's Girl, a daughter of Lucky Chucky, for trainer Tracy Brainard and owners Howard Taylor and Ed Gold   Ghost Runner ($2.90) was tops among Excelsior pacing fillies (race 8), controlling the pace and edging clear by 4-1/4 lengths to best stablemate Rolling Going Gone (Morrill) in 1:51.1. Erv Miller trains both fillies, and Marcus Miller was aboard the victorious daughter of Art Major for the partnership of Leaf, MacKenzie, Fielding, and Jackson.   In her $50,000 New York Sire Stakes consolation (race 5), 3-year-old trotting filly Zette Starlet ($57.00) posted a major upset via a pocket trip, collaring Sweet Ashley T in 1:54.4. Charlie Norris drove the Credit Winner filly for owner-trainer Cozette McAvoy.   Major Millie ($26.80, MacDonald) similarly upset in the 3-year-old filly pace (race 6), emerging late to best second-over Rock Me Baby by a length in 1:51.2 after clearing, yielding, and ending up shuffled into midfield through the far turn. Steve Elliott trains the Art Major filly for the S S G Stables.   Rock N Roll Heaven gelding JK Heaven Sent ($5.30, MacDonald) pounced from the pocket to take the Sire Stakes consolation for pacing colts and geldings (race 11), finding room in upper stretch and drawing clear of Nox Vegas Bluechip by three lengths in 1:50.3 for trainer Gilberto Garcia-Herrera and owners Michi Abday and Barbara and Donald Arnstine.   In the colt-and-gelding trot consolation (race 12), Royal Bachelor ($8.60) carried a first-over move off the far turn to reel in Thats a Bad Boy by a length in 1:55.1. Trainer Dan Daley drove the RC Royalty gelding for owners Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford, IV, and Michael White.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday (September 22) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nichols, N.Y. - Just over a month removed from her 5-1/2 length win in the Geers Stakes, harness racing owner Kenneth Jacobs's Planet Rock ($13.80) proved victorious again at Tioga Downs, sustaining first-over progress and parrying two late-charging 2-year-old pacing fillies in a $110,200 New York Sire Stakes event on Friday (September 16) evening. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Villa Hanover was forced to abort a leave attempt as Artrageous (Jim Morrill, Jr.) led a :26.2 stampede through the first quarter. John Campbell would put Planet Rock in play with a circuit to go, advancing first-over to the clubhouse turn while 3-10 favorite Tequila Monday (David Miller) slipstreamed live cover through middle splits of :57 and 1:24.3. Planet Rock would succeed in dueling down Artrageous off the far turn, but she wasn't home free upon cornering. Tequila Monday--who drifted to the four-path after fanning off cover--quickly righted the ship and charged boldly, as did Robin J (Mike Simons) after finding room to vacate the pocket. Still, Planet Rock ultimately prevailed, driven out to hold sway by a neck in 1:52.3. Tequila Monday and Robin J finished second and third respectively, while Roaring To Go (Brett Miller) stayed on for fourth. Linda Toscano trains Planet Rock, who earned her seventh career win in just eight starts. In the sub-featured $13,500 Open 1 Trot, Dragin the Wagon ($8.10) made every yard a winning one en route to a 1:53.3 triumph. The 6-year-old Angus Hall gelding sprinted to the fore to evade a host of leavers to the first turn, and held clear of a belated rally from Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis), who emerged off third-over cover to take second. Aaron Byron drove the 31-time winner for owner James Cantelon and trainer Jeff Byron. An 11-race Closing Night card awaits on Saturday (September 17); first post is slated for 6:30 p.m., with full coverage on the Tioga Downs Racing Network to commence at 6:05 p.m. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. - Margaret and Amy Butler's J A T O ($2.60) kept his perfect Vernon Downs harness racing record intact in the featured $9,900 Miracle Mile/Open Handicap Trot on Friday (September 16) evening, pressing into the far turn and edging clear in the straight to a decisive 1:54 triumph. The 4-year-old Big Apple Deli gelding came away last in the compact field of five, only commencing his rally upon reaching the backstretch after My Lucky Word (Fern Paquet, Jr.) seized command from Lucid Thoughts (John MacDonald) after a :27.1 first quarter. J A T O advanced first-over to within a length of My Lucky Word through a :57.1 half and proceeded to intensify the pressure on the far turn before edging clear at head-stretch. J A T O wore down My Lucky Word drew off to a two-length victory over pocket rival Lucid Thoughts, while Gimme the Cash (Claude Huckabone, III) stayed on for third off a live second-over journey. Chris Lems drove the 30-time winner for trainer Howard Okusko. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 17), with the first of 15 races due off at 6:45 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Empire Breeders Classic winner Fresh Cut lends a fair bit of star power to a stakes-laden 15-race harness racing program on Saturday (September 17) evening at Vernon Downs, as he has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite in his $45,000 Excelsior Series final for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, carded as the night's tenth event.   Leading up to his 17-1 upset in the $240,475 Classic at Tioga on August 28, the son of American Ideal enjoyed success on the Excelsior circuit, winning four of eight such events across the Empire State this summer. He looks for a third straight win and the eleventh of his career in Saturday night's event just twelve days after a 1:51.2 victory in a $59,100 New York Sire Stakes event at the Miracle Mile, and Marcus Miller will once again handle the driving duties for the Bay Pond Racing Stable and trainer Erv Miller.   In the $45,000 Excelsior final for 3-year-old pacing fillies, carded as race eight, 12-time winner Rolling Going Gone has been installed the 5-2 early choice after eight wins and a runner-up finish in nine Excelsior events on the year. Jim Morrill, Jr. will drive the capably versatile Roll With Joe filly for owner Ross Bonafield and trainer Erv Miller. Morrill will also take the lines of the other two Excelsior morning line favorites, teaming up with Tracy Brainard trainee Wendy's Girl in the 3-year-old distaff trot (race four) and Trond Smedshammer trainee Credevie in the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot (race nine).   In addition to the Excelsior Series finals, a quartet of $50,000 New York Sire Stakes consolation events are scheduled on the Saturday Vernon card. Post time is slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- After a narrow miss in last week's top-level distaff, the Kellogg Racing Stables, LLC's Bettorhaveanother ($5.20) controlled an easy pace and sprinted off to evade even-money harness racing favorite Jinxy's Delight in Thursday (September 15) evening's $9,900 Mares Miracle Mile/Open Pace at Vernon Downs.   Chris Lems sprinted to the fore with the 4-year-old Bettor's Delight mare, assuming command from Jinxy's Delight (John MacDonald) straight away through a sensible :28 first quarter. Bettorhaveanother would rate a :29.1 second-quarter breather before bracing for and parrying the first-over challenge of Asset Management (Fern Paquet, Jr.) on the far turn. Bettorhaveanother accelerated upon cornering for home, opening up to a 2-1/2 length mid-stretch lead, and holding sway by a length in 1:53 while driven out to the winning post. Jinxy's Delight stayed on well for the runner-up spot, while Southwind Trini (Claude Huckabone, III) posted belated gains to take third.   Jackie Rousse trains Bettorhaveanother, now a 13-time winner.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (September 16) evening, with first post slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Friday (September 16) evening's harness racing program at Tioga Downs will feature a probable preview of the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old pacing fillies, as eight precocious distaffers will square off in a lone $110,200 Sire Stakes event as the centerpiece of a 15-race card.   Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey's Tequila Monday will look to remain undefeated after a pair of dominant wins at Harrah's Philadelphia and an 8-3/4 length domination in her lone Sire Stakes effort at Yonkers last week. David Miller retains the driving duties on the daughter of American Ideal and Margarita Monday, and the pair will start from post 7 for trainer Chris Oakes as the 3-1 morning line second choice.   Among the seven fillies looking to hand Tequila Monday her first career defeat are six-time winners Planet Rock and Robin J, both from the Linda Toscano stable. Planet Rock, the 5-2 morning line favorite from post 6, began her career with six straight wins, including a 1:53.1 victory in her Geers Stakes division at Tioga on August 12. John Campbell assumes the lines on the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Villa Hanover.   Planet Rock's stablemate Robin J was a no-match second to Tequila Monday at Yonkers last week, but won six of seven prior events including, like Planet Rock, a Geers Stakes division over the local oval. Mike Simons is slated to drive the daughter of Roll With Joe and Mommy Robin Q from post 3 as the 4-1 third choice.   In addition to top New York-sired 2-year-old pacing fillies, Tioga Downs will play host to the Maine-Endwell (NY) Little League baseball team, as they will be honored at the races for their Little League World Series title in a special ceremony following the evening's third race. Post time for the penultimate card of the 2016 season is 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- With the eleventh season of harness racing at Tioga Downs coming to a wrap, Laurie Poulin and Mike Deters's Prairie Fortune captured Trotter of the Year honors by way of sustained dominance over the Open ranks through the summer. However, with Mary Ann Larrimore's Believe This Bob and Ina Madill's Andreios Kardia virtually inseparable in terms of top pacing honors, they will settle their score in dramatic fashion: a closing-night (Saturday, September 17) match race.   "It's been a great summer," remarked Jason Bluhm, Director of Racing at Tioga Downs. "With these two pacers each winning seven races this season and going back and forth at each other in the Opens, we thought, 'What better way to determine Pacer of the Year than with a match race?'"   The two combined for 14 wins on the season, and they have exchanged top billing in Open 1 events through the last five occurrences of the event, with Andreios Kardia having won three and Believe This Bob two. Andreios Kardia, the slim 3-5 morning line favorite by virtue of his 1:49.3 triumph last week, will start from post 2 for trainer Jeff Byron with usual driver Aaron Byron. Believe This Bob, while the dominant force through the summer with more sustained success at the Open 1 level, last won on August 27, staving off Andreios Kardia by a scant nose in 1:50.4. Usual driver Mike Simons will be at the lines for trainer Joe Skowyra.   In addition to the race for Tioga Pacer of the Year, Simons remains in the battle for top driving honors on the meet. His 62 wins thus far keep him within three of leading driver Scott Coulter with 26 races remaining in the season. In the trainer standings, Deters has started to edge away, leading Skowyra 34 to 30 while closing weekend looms.   Both the Friday (September 16) and Saturday (September 17) cards are set to commence at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, with full coverage on the Tioga Downs Racing Network to begin at 6:05 p.m. on both nights.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. - Eugene Landy's Let's Foal Around ($17.80) earned his second win in as many starts for harness racing trainer-driver Harry Landy, pushing to the fore in the last 70 yards of Saturday (September 10) evening's $9,100 top-level Miracle Mile pacing event at Vernon Downs. The 5-year-old Admirals Galley gelding tracked a hot early pace, ceding early command to odds-on favorite Major War (Truman Gale) through a blistering :25.2 first quarter while All Stienam (John MacDonald) tracked from the pocket. Let's Foal Around enjoyed a clear stalking journey through middle splits of :55 and 1:22.3 before edging off the pegs on approach to the top of the stretch. Let's Foal Around made steady gains the length of the stretch under strong encouragement, sustaining his progress while carried three-wide by pocket rival All Stienam en route to a 1:50.2 score. In the end, Let's Foal Around earned his 16th career win by a length over All Stienam, while Major War was a worn-down third. Live racing returns to the Miracle Mile on Thursday (September 15) evening, with the first of nine races due off at 6:45 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Nichols, N.Y. - Fresh off his dominant 1:49.4 win in last week's Open, Andreios Kardia ($6.30) made the most of a pocket trip to exact revenge on Believe This Bob in Saturday (September 10) evening's harness racing $13,500 Open 1 Pace at Tioga Downs. Aaron Byron used Andreios Kardia aggressively from race's outset, working to push clear of Believe This Bob (Mike Simons) through a :26 first-quarter duel, only to yield control to Believe This Bob with a circuit to go. The 5-year-old Badlands Hanover gelding found himself boxed through a :55.3 middle half, as Believe This Bob was forced to contend with the first-over JK Panache (Scott Coulter) up the far side. Andreios Kardia would find clearance off the far turn, vaulting out of the pocket as JK Panache faded and collaring Believe This Bob by half a length in a lifetime best 1:49.3. F Twenty Two (Corey Braden) saved ground throughout, passing tiring foes in upper stretch to take third. Jeffrey Byron trains 14-time winner Andreios Kardia for owner-breeder Ina Madill. In a $5,000 C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series event, Celebrity Stimulus and owner-driver David Glasser made every yard a winning one, repelling pressure from Dr Cal (Bob Hechkoff) and outlasting a three-wide charge from M T Ur Pockets (Hannah Miller) for a 1:58 triumph. Homer Hochstetler trains the 6-year-old Cantab Hall gelding. Two programs remain on the 2016 season at Tioga Downs. Live racing will take place on Friday (September 16) and Saturday (September 17) of next week, with first post at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on both nights. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. - Scott Woogen's K J's Caroline ($9.80) took full advantage of a pocket trip in Friday (September 9) evening's co-featured harness racing $13,500 Mares Open 1 Pace at Tioga Downs, only reaching the lead in the last 15 yards of a 1:51.2 mile. The 6-year-old Roddy's Bags Again mare was involved from race's outset as she customarily does, repelling Northern Beauty (Mike Simons) on approach to the first turn before yielding control to Yes You Can (Aaron Byron) after a :26.3 first quarter. K J's Caroline enjoyed a clear pocket ride through middle sectionals of :55.1 and 1:22.4. Jim Taggart, Jr. angled K J's Caroline out of the pocket just above the eighth pole--but another threat would emerge deeper out in the form of Northern Beauty, who hooked three-wide off the turn once able to shake free. K J's Caroline gained the upper hand in the nick of time, just collaring runner-up Yes You Can by a neck and likewise staving off third-place finisher Northern Beauty in a three-way stretch battle. Gary Messenger trains K J's Caroline, now a 28-time winner. Brandos Muscle Man elevated to first in featured trot In the $13,500 Open Handicap Trot, 17-1 outsider Brandos Muscle Man ($37.40) was elevated to first after his stretch bid from the pocket was interrupted by pacesetter Dragin the Wagon (Byron), who bore out off the far turn and clipped Brandos Muscle Man amid their stretch duel. Mike Merton drove the 8-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding to his 30th career win in 1:53.3, albeit by default. Dragin the Wagon was relegated to second for his upper-stretch foul, while Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) could only muster enough momentum to capture third from off the pace. Rick Dane, Jr. trains Brandos Muscle Man for the Rock and Roll Stable, Inc. and Monica Banca. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (September 10) evening, with the first of 13 pari-mutuel events due off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Vernon, N.Y. - J A T O ($3.70) picked up right where he left off in his return to Vernon Downs, earning his seventh harness racing victory in as many career starts over the Miracle Mile in Friday (September 9) evening's featured $9,900 Miracle Mile/Open Trot. Chris Lems sent the 4-year-old Big Apple Deli gelding right to the front, clearing Lucid Thoughts (John MacDonald) with ease through a :27.4 first quarter before immediately pulling the tempo back. J A T O's stiffest challenge came on the far turn in the form when Pop I (Jay Randall) charged from last to press a :28 third quarter, but J A T O had no trouble parrying that challenge en route to a 1:54 victory over fast going. Lucid Thoughts, 2-1/4 lengths in arrears, saved second from the pocket, while Gimme the Cash (Claude Huckabone, III) made late gains to take third. Howard Okusko trains 29-time winner J A T O for Margaret and Amy Butler. In the sub-featured $7,900 Miracle Mile trotting event, My Lucky Word ($7.20) proved victorious, controlling all the terms and edging clear for a 1:54.2 triumph over Walk the Floor (Angus MacDonald) and Twice Too Nice (John MacDonald). Fern Paquet, Jr. drove the 4-year-old Lucky Chucky mare for owner Philip Hale and trainer Dave Dewhurst. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 10) evening, with the first of 13 races due off at 6:45 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Vernon Downs has instituted a roughly 20 per cent purse increase over the last two weeks, according to director of harness racing Scott Warren.   "Due to fewer races being carded and a purse account surplus, we want to reward the horsemen who have been here the whole meet and supported our program week in and week out," said Warren.   Open events have been bumped up from $9,000 to $11,000, while first-level purses have increased from $2,500 to $3,100. Similar increases have been made across the entire condition sheet as well.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Vernon, N.Y. -- Jinxy's Delight ($9.50) made all the pace in Thursday (September 8) evening's featured $9,100 top-level Miracle Mile distaff pacing event at Vernon Downs, capping a driving grand slam for John MacDonald on the evening's nine-race harness racing card.   MacDonald, who also owns and trains the 7-year-old Bettor's Delight mare, wasted no time achieving the lead, clearing Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) before reaching the first turn through a :27.4 first quarter. Jinxy's Delight would face no threats to speak of through the middle half, only facing mild first-over pressure from Pancakes (Truman Gale) off the far turn before edging clear. While Jinxy's Delight had no trouble parrying the challenge of Pancakes, she was fully extended in deep stretch to stave off the late bids of Asset Management (Fern Paquet, Jr.) and Bettorhaveanother (Chris Lems) by a scant nose in 1:53.1.   MacDonald also accounted for three odds-on winners on the evening, prevailing with his own trainee Hailey Hanover ($2.40, 1:54.3) as well as Andy Gardner trainee Always Flash-n ($3.30, 1:53.2) and Heidi Rohr trainee Racsan Cyndee ($2.60, 1:55.2).   Byron Pineda's Shortest Distance ($19.00) scored her 93rd career victory in the sub-featured $6,100 distaff pace, pouncing from the pocket for a 1:52.3 score with Fern Paquet, Jr. aboard. Rita Polese trains the 11-year-old Park Place mare.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (September 9) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

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