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Leading harness racing driver John MacDonald continued to be red hot as he drove four winners including Brookdale Bruiser in the $4,400 featured pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 29). In the feature, Wind Blast (Josh Kinney) charged to the front and led to the first quarter in :26.4. He continued to push the pace using a :28.1 second quarter to hit the half in :55.0. Brookdale Bruiser sat patiently in the pocket the whole trip as Wind Blast led to three-quarters in 1:22.4. As they made the turn for home Brookdale Bruiser popped out of the pocket and took control in the stretch. Sofer (Leon Bailey) came charging three-wide but Brookdale Bruiser dug in and won in 1:53.0. Sofer settled for second. Yamaka came charging late to finish third.   Brookdale Bruiser is a 6-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe. He is owned by the JP Stables and trained by Brandy Wine. It was his fifth win of 2020. He now has 25 career victories. John MacDonald leads all drivers with 37 wins. Howard Parker and Leon Bailey are tied for second with 30 trips to the winner's circle. Jimmy Whittemore (24) and Roman Lopez (12) round out the top five. The training title remains very tight. George Ducharme and Kerin Warner are tied for the top spot with 13 wins a piece. David Dewhurst, Claude Huckabone III, and Brandy Wine are all just one back with 12 victories each. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (September 4) starting at 3:00 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne for Vernon Downs

The red hot John MacDonald drives five winners and Jenny Lake (Leon Bailey) takes the $4,400 harness racing  featured trot at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 14). MacDonald drove his first winner in race two with Reckless Image ($4.60). He went back-to-back winning race four and five with Dream On A Roll ($7.40) and Lucky Sevens ($6.20). He got his fourth win of the night in race eight with longshot Fiona ($24.20). Win number five came in race nine with A Lister ($13.00). In the featured trot Jenny Lake ($5.00) went straight to the front but Aces And Eights (Dan Daley) took control just before hitting the first quarter in :26.2. He went first to the half in :55.4. Spoiler Alert (Howard Parker) was the first to make a move going first-over around the final turn. He would take the lead just after Ace And Eights hit three-quarters in 1:25.4. Jenny Lake made her move in the stretch. She would wear down the gritty Spoiler Alert to win in 1:54.1. Spoiler Alert settled for second money. Midnite Craze (Ivan Davies) was third.   Jenny Lake is a 4-year-old mare by RC Royalty. Paul Minckler trains for owners Ed Nimiotka Jr. and Carol Namiotka. It was her fifth win this season. She now has 13 career victories. Bailey drove two more winners on the night. His other victories came with The Band K ($6.50), and Warrawee Preferred ($4.20) Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (August 15) featuring three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for freshmen trotting fillies. The 15-race card starts at 3 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs  

Calvin B (Mitchell Cushing) takes the $4.400 harness racing featured pace and John MacDonald gets a grand slam at Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 8) In the feature Rock On Moe (Dan Daley) went to the front but Calvin B ($18.00) took the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :27.3. Twinsburg (Howard Parker) then took over heading for the backstretch and led to the half in :56.0. Calvin B made his move as Twinsburg hit three-quarters first in 1:24.0. Calvin B went to the front as they reached the stretch. Sgt Papa Daddy (John MacDonald) came three-wide in deep stretch but Calvin B was too strong and won in 1:52.0. Twinsburg held on to finish second with Sgt Papa Daddy claiming third best.   Calvin B is a 10-year-old gelding by Bettor's Delight. He is owned by Delores Smiel and trained by Jimmy Nickerson. It was his first win in 2020. He now has 45 lifetime victories. John MacDonald got his wins with Feelin Lucky ($16.40), Winery Hanover ($8.60), Notwithoutafight ($2.50) and Brookdale Bruiser ($5.70). Howard Parker leads all drivers with 26 wins. Jimmy Whittemore is second with 24 driving victories. John MacDonald finds himself in third place with 21 tallies. Leon Bailey (19) and Roman Lopez (12) round out the top five. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 14) at 3 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs  

John MacDonald drives four winners including Lucky Sport in the $3,600 featured pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday (July 25). In the feature Lucky Sport ($8.70) led to the first quarter in :26.0. Golden Brit (Howard Parker) would go to the front as they headed around the clubhouse turn. Lucky Sport would retake the lead and hit the half first in :54.4. Hit The Road Joe (Leon Bailey) came first-over and put on pressure but Lucky Sport still lea to three-quarters in 1:23.1. As they reached the stretch Lucky Sport got a clear lead and cruised to victory in 1:52.0. Justin Credible (Brett Crawford) came charging late to finish second. Lucksrealdeal (Roman Lopez) finished third.   Lucky Sport is a 5-year-old gelding by Sportswriter. He is trained by Jimmy Nickerson for owners Curren Racing LLC and Adam Michael. It was his first win this season. He now has nine career victories. Howard Parker leads all drivers with 24 wins. Jimmy Whittemore is just three behind with 21 victories. Leon Bailey is third with 16 trips to the winner's circle. John MacDonald is fourth with 11 wins. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Thursday (July 30) with a 10-race card starting at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs  

Only Passing Thru (Jimmy Whittemore) takes the $8,000 Billy Bailey Memorial featured harness racing trot at Vernon Downs on closing night (November 2) for the 2019 season. CR Blazin Beauty (John MacDonald) went to the front and led to the first quarter in :28.0. He was first to the half in :57.1 and to three-quarters in 1:25.4. Only Passing Thru ($6.80), who is owned by Diane Whittemore and trained by Marissa Chadborne, was third at three-quarters. As they went to the stretch CR Blazin Beauty continued to lead. Spoiler Alert (Leon Bailey) popped out of the pocket and took the lead in deep stretch. Only Passing Thru went three wide and charged late to nip second place finisher Spoiler alert in 1:55.2. CR Blazin Beauty settled for third. Only Passing Thru is a 5-year-old horse by Muscle Hill. It was his eighth win of the season. He now has 19 career victories. Marissa Chadbourne ties John MacDonald for training title. Chadbourne tied MacDonald with her win with Only Passing Thru. They each ended up with 50 wins. Jennifer Lappe was trainer-driver for three winners on the night. She finished third for training title with 38 wins. Homer Hochstetler was fourth with 35 victories. Claude Huckabone III was fifth best with 35 training wins. Leon Bailey drove four winners on closing night. His wins came with Painite ($5.30), Hands Off Frank ($5.60), Awesome Ace ($13.40) and with Mister Livan N ($11.20), who captured the "Turn Back The Clock" rewind race for pacers. Lucky Man (Lappe) captured the Gary Bryant Memorial Race paying $11.20. The "Turn Back The Clock" rewind trot went to She's Uncorked ($4.60). She was driven by John MacDonald. John MacDonald wins his fifth straight driving title with 121 tallies. Jimmy Whittemore finished in second with 91 victories. Howard Parker's 84 wins was good for third place. Leon Bailey was fourth with 52 trips to the winner's circle. Jennifer Lappe and Claude Huckabone III tied for fifth with 38 wins. Brookdale Bruiser was named the pacer of the meet. The 5-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe had 10 wins in 16 starts at the miracle mile. During the season he was owned by the JP Stables and trained by John MacDonald. Vernon Downs would like to thank the fans and horsemen for a great season. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs  

Kabu charges late to capture the $6,900 featured harness racing trot at Vernon Downs on Friday (November 1). Jenny Lake (Leon Bailey) took the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :29.1. She used a :30.2 second quarter to hit the half in :59.3. Gettin Serious (Roman Lopez) was the first to challenge. Jenny Lake maintained the lead as they hit three-quarters in 1:28.2. Kabu ($9.40), who is owned by the JP Stables and trained and driven by John MacDonald, was fifth after three-quarters. He looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he went by in deep stretch to win in 1:57.3. Jenny Lake had to settle for second. Getting Serious finished third. Kabu is an 8-year-old gelding by Valley Victor. It was his sixth win this season. He now has 39 career victories. Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) wins the $6,900 featured fillies and mares pace. Classic Can Dream (John MacDonald) went to the front and led to the first quarter in :28.0. She continued to lead to the half in :58.2. Ask Queenie (Leon Bailey) took a short lead and hit three-quarters in 1:26.2. She then went on a break. Classic Can Dream reclaimed the lead as they made the turn for home. Love Live Laugh ($7.40), who is owned by Diane Whittemore and trained by Marissa Chairborne, popped out of the pocket and blew on by to win in 1:55.1. Classic Can Dream had to settle for second money. Unusual Clarity (Josh Kinney) was third best. Love Live Laugh is a 9-year-old mare by Hi Ho Silverheel's. It was her eighth win this season. She now owns 43 wins in her career. Jimmy Whittemore drove four winners on the night. Two more were with trainer Marissa Chadbourne. Their other wins were with Pammy Jo ($12.80), and Blameitonthenight ($6.20). His other win came with trainer Kerin Warner with Pearlameri ($30.20). Warner trained three winners on the night herself. Her other wins came with Letsgetintotrouble ($7.70), and So It Goes Hanover ($26.20). With one night of racing left John MacDonald leads Marissa Chadbourne by just one win for the trainer's title. First Call was awarded top trotter of the meet. She had seven wins this season at Vernon Downs. The 4-year-old mare by Credit Winner is trained by Homer Hochstetler for owners Connie Hochstetler, Robert Buddig, and Allen Schwartz. Vernon Downs returns to live racing for closing night on Saturday (November 2). There will be a Vernon Downs tumbler giveaway (while supplies last) as well as a live bugler. They will also feature two "Turn Back the Clock" rewind races as well. The 13 race card starts at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

The Vernon Downs 2019 live racing season comes to a close on Saturday (November 2). The 13 race card features two "Turn Back The Clock" rewind races. The two traditional closing night races will feature one race with pacers and one race with trotters. They will race the length of the track (seven-eighths mile) going clockwise. Also on this night will be a Vernon Downs tumbler giveaway (while supplies last) as well as a live bugler. The top trainer and top driver of 2019 will be honored on closing night. Last season John MacDonald and Jimmy Whittemore ended in a flat footed tie for the dashing title. MacDonald has already wrapped up the title for this year. It is the fifth straight year he has won outright or tied for the title. The 2019 training title is still undecided. MacDonald leads Marissa Chadbourne by three going into Friday night (November 1). Chadbourne will be sending seven to the starting gate on Friday and three more on Saturday. So she still has a chance to walk away with the title. Vernon Down will announce their top trotter and pacer of the meet during closing weekend. The last weekend of live racing for 2019 at the miracle mile starts with a 13 race card on Friday (November 1) at 6:10 p.m. The closing night card (November 2) begins at 6:10 as well. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Sometimes Said (John MacDonald) takes the $6,000 featured harness racing pace on Saturday (October 26). Sometimes Said ($5.40) went right to the front and flew to the first quarter in :25.4. He used a :29.1 second quarter to hit the half in :55.0. As they hit three-quarters in 1:23.0 his lead was three lengths. Sometimes Said, who is owned by Ken Weckstein and trained by Gary Messenger, found even another gear as the reached the stretch. Second place finisher Bay Rum (Howard Parker) made a late bid but never got close as Sometimes Said won in 1:52.0. Tempster Hanover (Justin Huckabone) was third best. Sometimes Said is an 8-year-old gelding by Well Said. It was his seventh win this season. He now has 22 career victories. John MacDonald drove three winners on the night. He now leads all drivers with 116 wins. Howard Parker and Jimmy Whittemore are tied for second with 85 victories. Leon Bailey is forth with 46 tallies. Claude Huckabone Jr and Claude Huckabone III are tied for fifth with 37 wins each. The trainers title is still undecided. John MacDonald leads with 49 training wins. Marissa Chadbourne is just three behind with 46 trips to the winner's circle. Homer Hochtetler and Jennifer Lappe are tied for third with 35 wins a piece. Claude Huckabone III is fifth with 32 training victories. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (November 1) and Saturday (November 2). It will be closing weekend at the Miracle Mile for the 2019 season. Post time for both nights is 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs    

Brookdale Bruiser (John MacDonald) wins the $7,000 featured harness racing pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday (October 19). Brookdale Bruiser ($6.70) went to the front and hit the first quarter in :26.1. He slowed down the second quarter hitting the half in :56.1. The gelding led to three-quarters in 1:25.2. Sometimes Said (Leon Bailey) followed all the way to three-quarters. He came out of the pocket and went after Brookdale Bruiser. Brookdale Bruiser, who is owned by the J P Stables and trained by MacDonald, had plenty left in the tank as they made the turn for home. He would win easily in 1:52.3. Sometimes Said had to settle for second. Golden Brit (Howard Parker) would receive third money. Brookdale Bruiser is a 5-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe. It was his 11th win this season. He now owns 19 career victories. Jimmy Whittemore drove four winners on the evening. He got his wins with Nanuet ($18.80), Grave Dancer ($13.00), The Royal Garden N ($23.80), and American Sweet Pea ($6.10). John MacDonald drove three winners. He got his other victories with Lady Rapidash ($16.00), and Fridaynightflight ($12.60). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (10-25) starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Skip Jive (Jimmy Whittemore) and Brookdale Bruiser (John MacDonald) each won $6000 co-features for pacers on Saturday (October 5) at Vernon Downs. Skip Jive ($13.80) charges late to win the first of the twin features. Sometimes Said (John MacDonald) went to the front and put up all the early numbers (:25.3, :54.2, :123.0). Skip Jive, who is owned by Diane Whittemore and trained by Marissa Chadbourne, was fourth after three-quarters. He went to the front as they reached the stretch and held off a late charge by second place finisher Jet Rock (Josh Kinney) to win in a seasonal best of 1:51.3. Sometimes Said held on for third. Skip Jive is a 6-year-old gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven. It was his fourth win in 2019. He now has 20 career victories. Brookdale Bruiser ($13.80) captures the second of the two features. Brookdale Bruiser hit the first quarter in :27.0. Daliocity (Jeff Sorenson) went along side as they went around the first turn. The two were noses apart as they hit the half in :56.4. Brookdale Bruiser shook lose and led by a length as he hit three-quarters in 1:25.4. Brookdale Bruiser, who is owned by the J P Stables and trained by MacDonald, turned for home with the lead. He dug in and held off second place finisher Poisonous (Jimmy Whittemore) to win in 1:52.4. Sweet Deisel (Joe Nassimos) finished third. Brookdale Bruiser is a 5-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe. It was his ninth win this season. He now has 17 career victories. John MacDonald drove four winners on the night. He got his other wins with JNM Express ($6.30), Quickcallblue Chip ($10.40), and Lunar Stride ($9.90). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (October 11) at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Hammer Time (John MacDonald) wins the $7,000 featured harness racing trot on Saturday (September 14). First Call (Homer Hochstetler) flew out of the gate and went right to the lead. She led to the first quarter in :28.0 and controlled to the half in :57.1. She still easily led the race hitting three-quarters in 1:25.3. Hammer Time ($8.00), who is trained by Harry Landy and owned by Glat Kosher Racing, was third as they made the turn for home. Hammer Time and First Call fought all the way down the stretch. Hammer Time wore her out in the end winning in a lifetime best of 1:54.0. First Call had to settle for second with Only Passing Thru (Jimmy Whittemore) getting third money. Hammer Time is a 5-year-old horse by Muscle Hill. It was his third win this season. He now has 10 career victories. John MacDonald drove four winners on the night and leads all drivers with 90 wins. His other wins came with Hennessey ($12.00), Lady Rapidash ($6.90), and Kitty Hoyne ($2.20). Danny Gill gets training wins number 1500 and 1501. Gill picked up his 1500th training victory with Awesum Ace ($24.00), who won in a lifetime best of 1:53.1. The 5-year-old gelding by United Ace is owned by Adam Friedland and was piloted by Leon Bailey. Gill won 1501 with All About Rusty (Howard Parker). Vernon Downs returns to live racing with a special Sunday (September 15) 11 race card. They will feature the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolations for all eight classifications. There will also be a long sleeve t-shirt giveaway while supplies last. Post time is 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

John MacDonald drove his 4000th career harness racing winner at Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 24). John MacDonald from Pompano Beach, FL, came into Saturday night needing just one victory to reach 4000 driving wins for his career. He didn't waste anytime as he drove Temple Door ($3.00) to victory in the first race of the evening. Temple Door is owned and trained by MacDonald. He did stop there he won three more on the night. His other wins came with Heavens Storm ($4.30), Brookdale Bruiser ($4.70), and Sapient Hanover ($7.70). Bettor's Edge (Jennifer Lappe) wins the $9,000 featured pace. Bettor's Edge ($2.90) charged right to the front and led to the first quarter in :25.3. He kept the fast pace going as he used a :27.4 second quarter to hit the half in :53.2. Dreams Beachboy (Gates Brunet) followed in the pocket and watched as Bettor's Edge led to three-quarters in 1:21.0. Bettor's Edge, who is owned by trainer Lappe with Robert Santagata, withstood the late charge of second place finisher Dreams Beachboy to win in a seasonal best of 1:50.0. Golden Gun (Claude Huckabone Jr. finished third. Bettor's Edge is a 10-year-old gelding by Bettor's Delight. It was his third win this season and his 46th career victory. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 30) starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs      

Taco Tuesday (Leon Bailey) takes the Vernon Downs featured harness racing trot ($7,000) on Friday (May 31). Taco Tuesday ($6.40) battled Shivered (John MacDonald) for the lead. He would take over as he hit the first quarter in (:29.4). He continued to lead hitting the half in 1:00 and controlling to three-quarters in 1:28.3. Taco Tuesday, who is owned by Vincent Laurenzo and trained by Don Hoover, shook off Shivered as they reached the stretch. He then had to hold off the late charge of second place finisher Only Passing Thru (Jimmy Whittemore) to win in 1:56.3. Winning Princess (Jennifer Lappe) was third best. Taco Tuesday is a 6-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall. He won for the fourth time in 2019. He now has 22 career victories. Claude Huckabone Jr., Jennifer Lappe, Howard Parker, and Claude Huckabone III each had driving doubles on the night. Huckabone Jr. had his wins with All Heart I Am ($16.00) and Little Liza Jane ($9.40). Lappe finished first with Jokes Jet ($9.00) and Flamingo Pete ($35.40). Parker had his victories with Fox Valley Photog ($25.00) and Rosiemunn ($5.30). Huckabone III reached the winner's circle with Private Performanc ($3.40) and Some Royalty ($8.20). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (June 1) with a 13 race card that starts at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.   John Horne for Vernon Downs.

Poisonous (Jimmy Whittemore) and Western Toro (John MacDonald) each scored victories in the pacing co-features at Vernon Downs on Saturday (May 25). Both raced for a purse of $5,000. In the first harness racing feature Golden Brit (Leon Bailey) controlled the early fractions (:28.1, :58.0, 1:26.1). Poisonous ($5.70), who is owned by Whittemore and trained by Marissa Chadborne, was third after three-quarters. He went charging down the stretch to blow by and win in a seasonal best 1:53.2. E Z Noah (Terry Di Cicco) came up to finish second. Golden Brit Held on for third. Poisonous is a 7-year-old horse by Art Major. It was his second win this season. He now has 18 career Victories. In the second feature Winds Of Change (Josh Kinney) led to a first quarter of :26.3 and to the half in :55.4. Western Toro ($4.20), who is owned and trained by MacDonald, popped out of the pocket just after the halfway mark. He cruised to three-quarters in 1:24.2 and won easily in 1:52.2. Banacek (Adam Capizano) was second best with Winds Of Change holding on for third money. Western Toro                                 -Fotowon photo Western Toro is a 10-year-old gelding by Western Ideal. He won for the second time this season and the 25th time in his career. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs with a special 14 race Memorial day matinee starting a 1:05 p.m. The feature races will be the Empire Breeders Classic finals for sophomore trotting fillies ($209,500) and 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings ($215,200). There is an umbrella giveaway while supplies last as well as a live buglar For more information go to www.vernondowns.com   John Horne for Vernon Downs.

Bay Rum (John MacDonald) wins the featured harness racing pace ($6,000) at Vernon Downs on Saturday (May 18). Electrofire (Jennifer Lappe) charged to the front and put up all the early numbers (:27.1, :57.2, 1:26.1). Bay Rum ($5.40) , who is owned by Glasser Racing LLC. and trained by Homer Hochstetler, sat in the pocket until he reached the stretch. He would go right by to win in a seasonal best time of 1:53.2. Electrofire hung on for second with Skip Jive (Jimmy Whittemore) earning third place money. Bay Rum is a 6-year-old gelding by Real Desire. It was his fourth win this season. He has 15 career victories. John MacDonald had four wins on the card. His other wins came with Haulin Oats ($7.10), Leviathan ($7.30), and Western Toro ($4.80). Claude Huckabone III trained and drove three winners on the night. His wins came with Gaius Crastinus ($5.80), Passa-Grille Beach ($35.60), and Redhot Romeo ($12.20). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (May 24) with a post time of 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com   John Horne for Vernon Downs

Vernon Downs welcomes NYSS for sophomore trotting colts on Friday. Two harness racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings will race at Vernon Downs on Friday (May 10). In the first division ($58,700), JNR Express (John MacDonald) is the 3-1 morning line favorite. He is Trained by Jessica Okusko for owners James DeArmond and Russell Young. The colt by Conway Hall won the NYSS consolation final as a freshman. He is two for two in 2019. Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart) and Chapter Fashion (Mike Simons) are both at 7-2 morning line odds. Both raced in the NYSS freshman final a season ago. Chip Chip Conway (Conway Hall) is owned by Kenneth Weckstein and trainer Gary Messenger. The gelding is one for one this season with three career victories. Chapter Fashion (Chapter Seven) is owned by Fashion Farms LLC and trained by Jim Campbell. He is a gelding with three career victories. He also is one for one this season. In the second division ($58,700) the morning line favorite at 2-1 is Skyway Kon Man (Trond Smedshammer). Winless in six career starts, the gelding by Conway Hall had an impressive third place finish in his last start at Freehold Raceway for the Dexter Cup Final ($118,950). He is owned by the Purple Haze Stables LLC and trained by Smedshammer. The second morning line choice at 3-1 is Mr Vicktor (Tyler Buter). He is trained by G. Buzzy Sholty for owners Joeseph Lee, Diamond Pride LLC, and Sholty Racing LLC. The colt by RC Royalty is three for four in his career including a perfect two for two start this season The nine race card on Friday starts at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernon Downs.com   John Horne for Vernon Downs

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