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Sky High, Tip The Tide win at Vernon

September 05, 2009
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The young trotters Sky High and Tip The Tide turned in tiptop performances during Friday night’s (Sept. 4) 10-race program at Vernon Downs.
 
Sky High, a 2-year-old filly owned by Calvin Lasher, earned her “maiden” victory after a 1:58.3 effort in Friday’s second session, while Tip The Tide, who holds the distinction of having the most consecutive tallies by a diagonally-gaited equine at the meet (four), equaled her win record with a 1:56.2 showing for Wanda Polisseni’s Purple Haze Stables in the featured sixth event.
 
Chris Lems, the second-leading dash-winning driver after 63 local programs, did the steering for trainer Gary Gibson as the bay daughter of Muscles Yankee-She’s The Limit raced on the lead throughout her contest and drew off in the stretch to win by nine lengths. The crowd favorite paid $3.00 to win and gave Gibson, son of the late Vernon fan favorite horseman of the same name (Gary Gibson), his first training credit in his initial start as a Standardbred conditioner.
 
Sky High’s time was just one tick of the timer off the meet’s fastest mile by a frosh distaff high-stepper, which was established by Nicole on July 10…The 1:58.1 track record for 2-year-old filly trotters was set by Armbro Prowess in 1996
 
Lems also did the catch-driving for Jessica Okusko, the meet’s top race-winning trainer, keeping Tip The Tide ($14.80) in the pocket until the stretch drive and then urging the bay son of Conway Hall-Olympics on to a two-length score, his sixth at the meet and seventh all-time.
 
Lems, who won the last three races during Thursday night’s card, posted another triple, his sixth of the season and trails only Jimmy Whittemore, 86-74, in the meet’s dash-winning derby.
 
Last season’s dash king Josh Marks also posted a hat trick during the program, his seventh of the meet, while Whittemore, Okusko and defending training champ Tracy Brainard each chalked up a pair of first-place finishes during the card. (Vernon Downs)
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