Day At The Track

Whittemore hot at Vernon Downs opener

12:04 PM 18 Apr 2021 NZST
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Star Commander N, harness racing Lucky June Bug, harness racing
Star Commander N and driver Jimmy Whittmore
Fotowon Photo
Lucky June Bug and driver John MacDonald
Fotowon Photo

Harness racing driver Jimmy Whittemore had the hot hands Open Night at Vernon Downs, winning four races including the $6,000 featured pace with Star Commander N.

Star Commander N ($4.80) flew out of the gate and went to the front hitting the first quarter in :27.3 with Golden Gun (Jeff Sorenson) following in second. Star Commander used a 30.2 second quarter to hit the half in :58.0. Wind Blast (Justin Huckabone) came charging first-over from fourth and took over second as they went around the final turn.

Wind Blast tried to close in as they hit three-quarters in 1:25.1 but Star Commander N was too strong in the stretch and he won in 1:52.4. Win Blast had to settle for second money. Badix Hanover (Leon Bailey) finished third.



Star Commander is a 7-year-old horse by Art Major. Owned by Kristie Leigh Farm Inc., and trained by Marissa Chadbourne. He won for the first time this season and 13th time in his career.

Whittemore combined with Chadbourne for two more wins with Bold Fresh ($6.10) and Only Passing Thru ($5.00). Whittemore's fourth win came with Bruce's Magic ($4.90).

Lucky June Bug (John MacDonald) goes gate-to-wire to capture the $6000 featured trot.

Lucky June Bug ($6.30) grabbed the lead and put up all the early fractions (:28.2, :59.3, 1;29.0) as American JJ (Michael Miller) followed the whole way in the pocket.

Lucky June Bug put on the burners as they made the turn for home and held off a late charge by runner-up Haveitalltogether (Chris Long) to win in 1:57.1. American JJ had to settle for third.

Lucky June Bug is a 5-year-old gelding by Lucky Chucky. He is trained by Stanley Zombick Jr. for owners Myron Eckstein, William and Michael Pozefsky. It was his first win of 2021. He now has 16 career victories.

Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (April 23).

For more information go to

For full race results, click here.

by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

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