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Holme Fora Cuddle wins Friday feature at Vernon

August 29, 2008

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Holme Fora Cuddle began her reign as queen of the pacing ranks with a 1:54.3 victory in Friday night’s $9,000 featured eighth event at Vernon Downs.

Trainer Rick Plano, a Frankfort-native who began his driving career here back in the late 1970s, did the teaming as Holme Fora Cuddle rallied from sixth at the half to become a serious contender at the top of the stretch.  The 6-year-old New Zealand-bred continued to race aggressively in a :27.3 final quarter and won by a head over another on-rusher, Miss Robin’s Magic, in the week’s top Miracle Mile test for female sidewheelers.

The determined effort marked the second local score in as many starts for the quick-footed mare, who earned her 1:52.4 record in California last year.  Her Vernon victory last Friday was in 1:53.  Christopher Schick owns the career winner of $46,437.

Friday’s tally was the second of the week, seventh at the meet and 4,990th overall for Plano, who has achieved notable success at Ohio’s Northfield Park and, more recently, on the California circuit.

Red-hot driver Josh Marks picked up three more tallies (Choo Choo Chick, Giveittoemstraight and Artachebythenumber) during Friday’s nine-race program to take over the meet’s dash-winning lead from Jimmy Whittemore, 67-65.  Having missed 27 programs at the start of Vernon’s 55th season, the 25-year-old reinsman has amassed his win total in just 33 programs.  He’s tops in triples at the Downs this season with nine.

Artachebythenumber’s 1:56.2 tally was his seventh at Vernon this season, tying him with fellow pacers Basilio Blue Chip, Western Tsunami and the trotter Hanger Pride N for most local equine tallies thus far in 2008.

Drivers Chuck Connor, Jr. (Pose For Me and Chattanooga) and Jack Rice (Worldly Possession and Jolly Scott) each chalked up a pair of victories during the program. (Vernon Downs)

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