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Opening Night Feature To Stirling Cadet

Published: April 22, 2016 11:50 pm ET

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After a quick pace did him in the week prior at Saratoga Raceway, Stirling Cadet ($4.90) found a change in venue and the cut back to a mile welcome, as he turned in a dominating 1:53.2 effort in Friday (April 22) evening's featured $9,000 Open Trot on Vernon Downs' inaugural program of 2016.

Jimmy Whittemore wasted no time with the five-year-old Conway Hall gelding, seizing command from Pocket Trip (Fern Paquet Jr.) through a :28.1 initial quarter. After a :56.3 middle half, Stirling Cadet edged clear of his five rivals while in hand, amassing six and a half lengths of separation before he reached the winning post. Pocket Trip held sway for second, while A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) made a mild bid off the far turn to capture third.

Jackie Rousse trains 22-time winner Stirling Cadet for the Kellogg Racing Stables, LLC and Janie Martin.

The featured win capped a treble for Whittemore on the 12-race card. Chris Lems also recorded three driving wins on the evening. Angus MacDonald led all trainers with two wins.

Total betting turnover on the Opening Night card -- both on-track and off-track -- rose significantly compared to the first program of 2015. As no one had all five winners in the inaugural Pick 5, Saturday's Pick 5 (starting in race nine) will sport a $413 carryover.

(Vernon Downs)

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