Day At The Track

Closing night feature to Golden Gun

12:30 PM 27 Sep 2020 NZDT
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Golden Gun, harness racing Leon Bailey, harness racing Kerin Warner, harness racing Jenny Lake, harness racing
Golden Gun captures the closing night feature at Vernon Downs
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Leon Bailey honored as Driver of the Year
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Kerin Warner honored as Trainer of the Year
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Connections of Jenny Lake honored as Horse of the Year for the second straight season
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Golden Gun (Jeff Sorenson) captures the $4,400 featured harness racing pace on closing night at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 26).

Golden Gun ($22.00) went straight to the front and led to the first quarter in :26.3. Chip Walther (Leon Bailey) followed second with Chatelroll (Truman Gale) in third. Golden Gun controlled the pace with a :29.0 second quarter hitting the half in :55.3. As they headed for three-quarters Golden Gun hung on to a slight lead getting there first in1:23.1.

As the made the turn for home they were three across the track as Golden Gun was joined by Chip Walther and Chatelroll. Golden Gun dug in as Chaptelroll backed off. It was down to two Golden Gun and Chip Walther battling in deep stretch. In the end Golden Gun was too tough winning in 1:51.1. Chip Walther was second but placed fifth for interference with Chatelroll as they headed to three-quarters. Late-charging Clouseau Hanover (Jennifer Lappe) was awarded second. Johnnysfirecracker (Chris Long) finished third.


Golden Gun is a 10-year-old gelding by Headmaster. He is owned by the Wiz Kids Stables and trained by Sorenson. It was his third win this season and 38th career victory.

Chris Long drove three winners on the card. Jennifer Lappe had a driving-training double on the night. Gary Levine trained two winners on his birthday.

Leon Bailey is top driver of 2020

Leon Bailey wins the Vernon Downs dash title with 47 victories at the Miracle Mile. He is now on a prestigious list that includes his grandfather Vernon Downs legend, Jack (The Ripper) Bailey. Jack won multiple titles during his reign at Vernon. Long time defending champion John MacDonald finished second in 2020 with 43 tallies. Howard Parker (30), Jimmy Whittemore (24), and Jennifer Lappe (16) round out the top five.

Kerin Warner takes training title

Kerin Warner led all trainers in 2020 with 19 wins. George Ducharme finished second with 17 tallies. Claude Huckabone III, Jennifer Lappe, and David Dewhurst tied for third with 16 wins each.

Jenny Lake earns 2020 horse of the year

Jenny Lake used eight wins in 12 starts at Vernon Downs this season to capture horse of the year honors. The trotter is a 4-year-old mare by RC Royalty. Her regular driver was Leon Bailey. She is trained by Paul Minckler for owners Ed Namiotka Jr. and Carol Namiotka.

Vernon Downs would like to thank all fans and horse people for a successful 2020 season even with all the obstacles thrown our way. We can't wait for the 2021 season.

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by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

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