Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) wins the featured fillies and mares pace ($4,500) at Vernon Downs on Thursday (Aug. 2).
Dangerousprecedent (Claude Huckabone III) put up all the early fractions (:27.4, :56.3, 1:25)..
Love Live Laugh ($11..20) was fourth just before three-quarters. Owned by Diane Whittemore and trained by Jimmy Whittemore, she went three wide in the stretch and wrestled the lead away from Dangerousprecedent to win in 1:53.0. Heart Crusher (Josh Kinney) came flying late to finish second. Dangerousprecedent held on to get the third spot.
Love Live Laugh is an 8-year-old mare by Hi Ho Silverheel's. It was her sixth win this season and the 33rd win of her career. Whittemore also drove Parkhill Horton ($6.00) to a victory. Whittemore leads all Vernon drivers with 63 wins so far this season.
Jay Hochstetler and Leon Bailey each had driving doubles as well. Hochstetler's wins came with Video Chic ($4.60) and Son Of Liberty ($7.90). Bailey picked up victories with Ms Casey Mac ($16.60) and Southwind Vixen ($3.50).
There will be no live racing at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 3). Live racing returns on Saturday (August 4) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m.
At Hawthorne Thursday night, trainer Nicole Agosti recorded her first career victory.
The 26-year-old Agosti sent out Red Red Redneck for owners David and Adam Brooks to an upset victory in race one as driver Kyle Wilfong was able to squeeze through along the inside late for the score.
The win came in Agosti's sixth career start: she had previously sent out starters at Hoosier Park, along with Red Red Redneck debuting for her last week at Hawthorne. Coming from a racing background, Agosti’s parents worked with Standardbreds from the time Nicole was very young. The family transitioned to Thoroughbreds for a 10-year stretch starting when Nicole was 5 years old before moving back to the Standardbred industry.
The Buffalo, N.Y. native is known for her hard-working nature as she has worked tirelessly for the Brett Wilfong stable since 2012. At that time she met driver Kyle Wilfong and the two have been together since.
Red Red Redneck came to Agosti from trainer David Brooks. She stated, "I’ve been fortunate to help David on and off over the course of the last year. David wanted to try something different with Red Red Redneck and sent him to me with the hopes that a change of scenery would turn things around for him. Sometimes horses get complacent when they’ve been in the same spot and routine for a while. Red Red Redneck responded really well tonight and showed a lot of heart."
Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago’s Hometown Track, continues the summer harness season through Sept. 24. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from Oct. 5 through Dec. 29. For more information, visit www.hawthorneracecourse.com or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700. (Vernon/Hawthorne)