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Jesses Messenger Stays Undefeated

Published: May 16, 2010 12:06 am ET

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Whata Winner tied the season’s trotting standard, while Jesses Messenger remained undefeated after nine career starts in separate divisions of the $104,763 John F. Simpson Memorial Stake for three-year-old trotters at Vernon Downs on Saturday night.

Leaving from the second tier in the only colt division, Whata Winner waltzed home from third in the final furlong to capture the $53,575 fourth race (The Ayres) in 1:55, equaling Sharpshootennorris’ current standard for practitioner of the diagonal gait, set on April 23.

Trainer Jim Doherty drove for his ownership partners Thomas Dillon and Terrax, Inc. as the gelded son of Credit Winner-Whata Chippie earned his third victory in four season’s starts and lowered his lifetime speed-mark by 2-2/5ths seconds. The time also set a new track record for sophomore trotting geldings. Jacobs Winner established the previous best mark of 1:56.1 in 2007.

The highly regarded Jesses Messenger notched her season’s debut in the win column following a 1:55.4 performance in Saturday’s $25,844 first flight of The Elma. The smooth-striding daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Laser Messenger drew off from her six rivals in the third race and was well in hand at the finish. Mike Simons drove for trainer Kent Sherman and owner Daryl Sherman as the all-time winner of $134,639 earned a personal best speed badge.

The $25,344 second division of The Elma went to Impressive Kemp, who powered through the stretch to defeat the pacesetting Munis Blue Chip by a head in 1:57.4. Michael Vanderkemp did the steering for trainer Noel Daley as the quick-footed three-year-old daughter of Credit Winner-Emilie Cas El scored in her season’s debut and secured her second career victory for owner Jean Cloutier.

Eagle Real One wired five fast foes to win Saturday’s $9,100 sixth session, the week’s Class A Miracle Mile pace. Driver and trainer Ray Schnittker won in similar fashion during the $7,100 eighth event with the gritty pacer Tuffofthetoughest (1:52) to earn his initial double at the meet. The 1:52 clocking by Tuffofthetoughest was just 4/5ths-of-a-second off the Vernon all-time record for aged pacing horses, set by Goin To The Beach in 2002

Chris Lems and Josh Marks also recorded driving doubles during Saturday’s 11-race card.

(Vernon Downs)

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