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'Panache' Repeats; MacDonald Wins Five

Published: April 30, 2016 11:22 pm ET

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JK Panache sustained a first-over bid to wear down the odds-on Fireyourguns in Saturday evening's featured $8,500 Open Handicap Pace at Vernon Downs, while driver John MacDonald captured five of the evening's 13 races.

In the Open Pace, 1-5 favourite Fireyourguns (Claude Huckabone, III) was stretched out by All Stienam (John MacDonald) through a :25.3 first quarter while Chris Lems waited from well off the pace with JK Panache. On the backstretch, JK Panache commenced a gradual first-over bid, working to within a length of the lead through a :55.4 middle half.

Lems remarked, "At the head of the stretch, I was real confident when he (JK Panache) swelled up alongside Fireyourguns, especially after the fractions they went." After dueling briefly in mid-stretch, JK Panache struck the front and drew off to a length victory in 1:49.2.

"I had to chase him, but once he got a head in front, it was all him," Lems concluded. "He's a real good horse."

Fireyourguns was a game second, while Titus Seelster (Jimmy Whittemore) negotiated traffic to save a best-of-the-rest third.

Trainer Dave Dewhurst co-owns JK Panache, now a 38-time winner, with Philip Hale.

In the second round of the Anthony Farina late-closing series for pacers, JDs Brent N Sheree ($2.10, 1:53.4) completed a sweep of the preliminary legs, posting a 4-1/4 length win in his division in rein to trainer-driver Truman Gale. No Shame Blue Chip ($2.70, 1:52.3) controlled the terms in the other division, edging clear under Brian Connor for a 2-3/4 length win after holding Long Legs Linguine (Fern Paquet, Jr.) at bay.

Defending Miracle Mile driving champion John MacDonald led all drivers with five wins on the night, victorious with Stirling Electra ($2.90, 1:55.1), Fox Valley Cadet ($12.40, 1:52.3), Damon Blue Chip ($8.10, 1:52), Little Man Cam ($28.340, 1:53), and Van Gundy Hanover ($10.20, 1:54.1).

The 50¢ Pick 5 was not hit, resulting in a $405.29 carryover to Friday's card. Post time on Friday (May 6) evening is slated for 6:45 p.m.

(Vernon Downs)

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