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Panpero Firpo Upsets In Vernon Open

Published: May 3, 2015 12:58 am ET

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After mustering just minor shares in recent tries against top Saratoga company, Ontario-sired Panpero Firpo ($19.00) employed a change of tactics in Saturday night's $10,000 Open Pace at Vernon Downs, closing the pocket behind duelling leaders before pouncing in deep stretch for a 1:51.4 score.

The five-year-old No Pan Intended entire drafted behind an extended duel between JK Panache (Chris Lems) and Talking Blues (Frank Davis), sitting just off them through the first three-quarters of the mile while boxed in by a second-over Damon Blue Chip (John MacDonald), last week's Open winner. At the top of the stretch, with Talking Blues beginning to fade, Brett Crawford made his move with Panpero Firpo, taking over late and holding off Damon Blue Chip for a 1:51.4 triumph. JK Panache was a worn-down third after enduring steady pressure.

Trainer Jackie Rousse owns 16-time winner Panpero Firpo in partnership with Bill Reepmeyer.

Additionally, a pair of $4,000 second round divisions of the Anthony Farina Pacing Series were contested, with trainer Homer Hochstetler and driver John MacDonald teaming up on both winners. Hot Lemonade ($2.40) pushed clear and turned aside a stiff challenge from Flight Again (Truman Gale) for a 1:53.2 victory in the first division, while Speaking Out ($5.80) sustained an uncovered bid to take the second division in 1:55.1. The Anthony Farina Series Final is scheduled for Mother's Day (May 10) along with the Catherine Burton Trotting Series Final.

(With files from Vernon Downs)

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