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MacDonald, Whittemore Tie For Driving Title

Published: November 4, 2018 12:45 am ET

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John MacDonald tied Jimmy Whittemore for first in driving wins on closing night at Vernon Downs Saturday, Nov. 3.

MacDonald drove Machmemackie to a win in the “Turn Back the Clock” rewind pace. It was enough to tie him with Whittemore for first with 115 wins each. Truman Gale finished third with 58 victories while Claude Huckabone Jr finished fourth with 56 tallies. Leon Bailey used 50 wins to finish fifth on the list.

A field of seven went one lap around the seven-eighths mile track going clockwise. Machmemackie led the group to the first quarter in :27.4. Great Soul went first over around the first turn. As they reached the back stretch, Feelin Lucky went three wide and took a short lead hitting the half in :57.3.

Machmemackie, who is owned by J P Stables and trained by MacDonald, reclaimed the lead before hitting three-quarters in 1:26.0. Second-place finisher The Royal Garden N made a late charge but Machmemackie was too strong and won the seven-eighths mile race in 1:40.2. Giacodelight finished third.

Machmemackie is a seven-year-old gelding by Mach Three. It was his third win this year and his 20th lifetime victory. He paid $3.30 to win.

Golden Gun, driven by Josh Kinney, won the $7,500 featured pace going wire to wire in 1:53.2.

Pacing splits of :27, :56.1 and 1:24.1 on the lead, Golden Gun collected his fourth-straight feature victory at Vernon Downs. Heaven Rocks took second with Ponyta Boy third.

Golden Gun is an eight-year-old gelding by Headmaster. Owned by The Wiz Kids Stable and trained by Jeff Sorenson, he picked up his seventh win this season and career victory No. 31. He paid $5.50 to win.

Lucky Man captured the “War Horse” Pace, restricted to 10-year-olds and up.

Cascata took the lead just before hitting the first quarter in :28.0 and kept the lead at the half mile mark in :58.3. Lucky Man, who is owned by Patrick Laiso and trainer-driver Jennifer Lappe, used a first-over brush to take the lead before hitting three-quarters in 1:28.0.

When they hit the stretch the only battle left was for second place as Lucky Man won easily in 1:58.3. Dark Prince finished second with Mayflowermoonshine getting third.

Lucky Man is a 13-year-old gelding by Camluck. It was his fifth win this season and his 58th win career. He paid $4.20 to win.

Upto A Dream, driven by Josh Kinney, won the “Turn Back the Clock” rewind trot.

Upto A Dream charged to the front and put up all the fractions, hitting the first quarter in :28.3, the half in :58.2, three-quarters in 1:28.3 and finishing the seven-eighths mile in 1:43.4. Funny Photo finished second. Fox Valley Photog was third.

Upto A Dream is a six-year-old gelding by Impel Hanover. Owned by Todd Santoro and trained by Gary Gibson, he picked up his fourth win of the year. He now has 16 victories career and paid $8.60 to win.

John MacDonald captured the training title for the third-straight year. “J-Mac” trained 65 winners, besting Jimmy Whittemore in second with 37 wins. Homer Hochstetler (34), Truman Gale (30), and Robert Gale (27) rounded out the top five.

Kabu was Vernon Downs' horse of the year. Owned by the J P Stables and trained by John MacDonald, he won eight of his 18 starts at Vernon Downs this season.

The staff at Vernon Downs thanks all the fans and horse people for a great 2018 season.

(With files from Vernon Downs)

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