Wildflower In 91-1 Kindergarten Upset

Published: October 31, 2015 10:58 pm EDT

In addition to the annual Turn Back the Clock races and the Four One One for grey pacers, Vernon Downs hosted the finals of the Kindergarten Classic Series -- worth a combined $366,000 -- on Saturday (October 31) evening.

The $191,500 Kindergarten final for two-year-old colts and geldings saw eventual winner Dog Gone Lucky ($4.80) vault clear from his post nine dispatch, controlling a :57.2 half-mile before yielding briefly to a rapidly-advancing Celebrity Express (John Campbell) before exiting the back straight. As Celebrity Express started to struggle upon exiting the far turn, Corey Callahan edged off the pegs with Dog Gone Lucky, pressing to the lead just past the 1:25.3 three-quarter mark. Dog Gone Lucky, narrowly in front on his own accord, inherited two lengths clearance over the others when Celebrity Express broke stride off the far turn. The son of Lucky Chucky and Ebbtide Hall held that lead intact over a late-rallying Waitlifter K (David Miller) and Mavens Way (Åke Svanstedt), prevailing in 1:54.2.

Chuck Sylvester trains Dog Gone Lucky for owners Amy Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley.

In the $174,500 Kindergarten final for two-year-old fillies, the complexion of the race changed when both halves of the Jimmy Takter-trained 1-10 entry -- Haughty and Hollywood Hill -- broke stride on approach to the far turn. An extended duel between Sweet Ashley T (Homer Hochstetler) and Radiant Beam (David Miller), joined at the quarter pole by Lookin Sharp (Callahan), ultimately dissolved as 91-1 outsider Wildflower ($185.50) split foes in the final sixteenth to just prevail in 1:55.4.

Trainer/driver Åke Svanstedt shares ownership of the maiden-breaking daughter of Muscle Hill and Lightning Flower with Douglas Sipple, along with Mal and Janet Burroughs.

Earlier in the program, Artic Byrd ($22.40) took advantage of a ground-saving trip to take the Four One One for grey pacers, taking over late in 1:54.2 under trainer/driver Truman Gale.

The pair of Turn Back The Clock races, contested clockwise at seven furlongs, went to trotter Mystical Con ($29.40, Claude Huckabone III, 1:43.1) and pacer Sucrose Hanover ($17.40, Chris Lems, 1:39.3).

(With files from Vernon Downs)