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Vernon Open To Mata Harry

Published: October 8, 2011 11:55 pm ET

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Favourite Mata Harry rewarded his backers with a 1:54 victory in Saturday night’s $10,000 Open-1 pacing feature at Vernon Downs.

With leading driver Jimmy Whittemore doing the urging in the evening’s ninth event, Mata Harry ($3.90) raced on the lead through splits of :26, :55.4 and 1:25.1 en route to a neck decision over the fast-closing Mackenzies Bliss.

Saturday’s score was the sixth at the 75-program meeting for the bay son of Armbro Operative-Down East Lady, one less that the current equine race-winning pacesetter Rosa Villa. It was the 37th lifetime triumph for the career-winner of $439,220, who is trained by Dennis Whittemore (Jimmy’s father) and owned by Elliot Misshula.

Driver Rick Plano continue his hot hand, piloting four first-place finishers during Saturday’s 10-race card and raising his win total for the weekend to 10. The talented 59-year-old horseman won with the pacers Dots Big Boy (1:53.4), Lucky Land (1:52.1), Bigtown Hero (1:51.1) and Most Happy Lavros (1:53.1) to obtain his second four-win outing of the meet and raising his current driving victory total at Vernon to 66, third to Whittemore’s pacesetting total of 92, and two behind Frank Milby’s second-place total of 68. He also advanced his training total to 42, seven behind the current conditioning leader Tracy Brainard with 15 programs remaining in the track’s 58th season.

(Vernon Downs)

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