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My Buddy Hall Lee takes fifth at Vernon

July 27, 2012
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Ritascape became the fastest 2-year-old pacing filly of the 43-program pari-mutual meeting, while the trotter My Buddy Hall Lee became the winningest local equine of 2012 during Friday night's 10-race program at Vernon Downs.
 
Making just her second official start, Ritascape displayed fast form during her come-from-behind 1:56.3 victory in Friday's third event, while My Buddy Hall Lee extended the meet's longest winning streak to five with his 1:57.1 triumph in the evening's sixth session.
 
With Jimmy Whittemore driving for trainer Homer Hochstetler, the favorite Ritascape ($3.20) rallied from third in the final quarter and closed from second in the stretch to satisfy her backers. The time was two-fifths of a second slower than her qualifying win here on June 29. The bay daughter of Artiscape-Rita J is shared in ownership by South Of The Tracks Racing, Inc., Connie and Homer Hochstetler.
 
The crowd's wagering choice My Buddy Hall Lee ($5.60) also came from behind to continue his winning skein and separate himself from nine other four-time winners at the meet. Roman Lopez guided the 4-year-old son of Roadshow Hall-Exclusive Lee into contention with a three-wide move from seventh on the backstretch, and then rushed him home from third in the stretch to catch and nip the pacesetting Jam And Jelly by a head.
 
My Buddy Hall Lee's tally was his fifth of the season and sixth all-time. Leopold Sawyers conditions the gritty gelding for owner Brett Tessler.
 
The 3-year-old gelded pacer Head Of The Barn recorded the evening's fastest mile, a career-best 1:56 triumph in race nine. Trainer Frank Milby did the teaming for owner Irwin Samelman as the son of Cambest-Head Of The House compiled his first career victory.
 
Lopez, driver Frank Davis and trainer Hochstetler each achieved two wins during the program. (Vernon Downs)
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