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Atlanta Sets Record; Milestone For MacDonald

Published: September 23, 2017 12:05 am ET

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A track record-setting performance by Atlanta in her division of the New York Sires Stakes during Friday’s card at Vernon Downs also proved to be a very special victory for driver Mark MacDonald.

The Canadian-born reinsman racked up the 6,000th victory of his career – a feat that puts him in with some elite company.

Fury Road (Chris Lems) led the two-year-old trotting fillies to the first quarter in :28.3, but Atlanta quickly claimed the top spot. The daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip was joined by the first-over by Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller) just before the three-quarter marker, and those two fillies would then have an epic battle all the way down the stretch.

Atlanta ($7.50) dug down deep to hold off the heavy pressure from Supergirl Riley en route to setting the track record of 1:54. It was the fifth career win for the filly. Supergirl Riley had to settle for second with Perfect Summer K (jimmy Whittemore) getting third.

MacDonald, a native of PEI, would later on add win 6,001 with Padua Hanover ($3.60).

Atlanta, who hangs her harness bag in the barn of trainer Rick Zeron, is owned by Rick Zeron Stables, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Brad Grant.

The $56,500 second division went to Plunge Blue Chip in 1:55. The daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato watched Big Checkmate (Donald Dupont) grab the early lead, but Plunge Blue Chip quickly swiped away the lead from that foe. Aka Svanstedt proceeded to chop out splits of :58 and 1:27.2 with his charge before using a :27.3 kicker to win over Lima Novelty and Big Checkmate.

Owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc, the Ake Svanstedt trained paid $2.10 to her backers for the win.

Chris Lems would win four on the night. He got victories with Give Angel Credit ($7.50), Sweet Thing ($2.10), Dreams Beach Boy ($3.30) and In The Clear ($5.10).

Vernon Downs returns to live action on Saturday with a 13-race card starting at 6:45 p.m.

(With files from Vernon Downs)

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