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Schoolkids, If I Can Dream Triumph

Published: May 30, 2009 11:57 pm ET

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Defending driving champion Josh Marks rang up four scores at Vernon Downs on Saturday night, including a 1:52.3 victory in the Open-1 handicap pace with the well-regarded sophomore side-wheeler Schoolkids.

Leaving from the outside nine post in Saturday’s $9,450 seventh race, Schoolkids advanced gradually from seventh at the quarter to third entering the homestretch, and then drew off in the lane to win by 1-1/2 lengths. As the crowd-betting favourite, he paid $2.80, $3.10 and $2.40 across the board.

It marked the first tally in two current outings for Schoolkids, who established a 1:51 Downs record for two-year-old pacing colts in 2008. The Tracy Brainard-trained, Bulletproof Enterprises-owned pacer now sports earnings of $217,430.

Marks, Brainard and the Bulletproof Enterprises were also the recipients of a 1:51.3 victory from the sophomore pacing colt If I Can Dream in Saturday’s sixth session, which represents the fastest mile over Vernon’s slick 7/8ths-mile oval after 18 programs. The nearly eight-length triumph by the career-winner of $245,720 was his second score in three season’s starts.

Both Schoolkids and If I Can Dream remain eligible to the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup on June 27.

Marks’s other first-place finishes came behind the pacers Stettin Hanover (1:52.4) and Civil Yankee (1:53.1), also conditioned by Brainard and owned by the Bulletproof Enterprises.

Chris Lems completed a double during Saturday’s 12-race program after teaming Won Night Stand to a lifetime best 1:52.3 triumph in the $9,000 ninth race, the week’s top test for female pacers. The fast-closing tally was the second in three current appearances for the four-year-old mare, who is trained by Ray Van Dreason and owned by the Parsimonious Racing Stable.

Jimmy Whittemore, the second-leading dash-winning driver at the meet, also chalked up three wins during the evening.

(With files from Vernon Downs)

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