Lems Wins Five Opening Night Races

Chris Lems celebrated Cinco de Mayo with five driving wins during Vernon Downs' Opening Night, including the top distaff class with Ontario-owned Tempus Seelster.

Lems started the season with a win right off the bat in race one. He drove the favourite, Gimme The Cash, past front-stepping Pegasus Point (Truman Gale) at the top of the stretch. Gimme The Cash ($2.30) trotted away to win by four lengths in 1:55.2 ahead of Jersey Boy (Ben McNeil) for trainer Angus MacDonald.

Lems then captured race four with the Jordan Hope-trained pacer Its A Miracle ($4.60) in 1:55 and race five with pacer New Leaf ($6), who went three-wide in the stretch to win by two lengths in 1:58.3 for the Homer Hochstetler stable. The hot harness driver also won race seven with the David Dewhurst-trained trotter My Lucky Word ($3.80) in 1:55.1.

Race eight was the featured fillies and mares pace, with a purse of $7,300. "Lemsy" capped off Cinco de Mayo winning for a fifth time with Tempus Seelster ($2.90). Of course he was wearing the number five. Purple N Gold (John MacDonald) took the lead from post four, hitting the first quarter in :26.4. Tempus Seelster then surged to the lead after sitting third by passing both Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) and Purple N Gold. She never looked back from there, capturing the main event in 1:52.1 over the "good" track. The four-year-old Big Jim mare is owned by the Holland Racing Stable of Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont., and trained by Tony Dinges. Purple N Gold held on for second with Looney Dune third.

Vernon Downs will host a 10-race card tomorrow (May 6) during Derby Day, starting at a special post time of 3:35 p.m. A lucky fan will get the chance to cast a $500 Derby Dream Bet. Derby Day would not be complete without the popular Derby Hat Contest. The Miracle Mile will also host a Food Truck Rodeo.

(With files from Vernon Downs)

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