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Damon Blue Chip Dazzles At Vernon

Published: July 4, 2016 8:33 pm ET

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The return to two turns suited Damon Blue Chip well on Independence Day, as the seven-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding took advantage of a pocket trip to capture Monday's featured $8,000 Miracle Mile/Open Handicap Pace at Vernon Downs in going-away fashion.

Damon Blue Chip ($14.80) was prominent from race's outset, out-sprinted only by Pantheon Hanover (Chris Lems) through a :26.2 first quarter. Despite Pantheon Hanover's best attempts to sprint off at head-stretch after middle splits of :54.1 and 1:22.1, trainer-driver John MacDonald and Damon Blue Chip kept up their pursuit before pulling the pocket at the eighth pole. Damon Blue Chip sped by to a two-length lead in the end, capturing his second Vernon win in as many local starts in 1:49.3. Memory Game (Jimmy Whittemore) rallied up the pegs to take second from a fading Pantheon Hanover, while Modern Gesture (Truman Gale) stayed on to save third.

The J P Stables of Ontario own Damon Blue Chip, now a 33-time winner. For Damon Blue Chip, the 1:49.3 mile was good for a lifetime mark, and for MacDonald, the driving win was the foundation for a hat trick on the day. Chris Lems shared top billing among drivers, also winning three of the afternoon's 12 races.

No one hit the 50ยข Pick 5, resulting in a $261.58 carryover to Thursday (July 7) evening's card. Post time for the first of 10 races at the Miracle Mile is scheduled for 6:45 p.m.

(Vernon Downs)

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