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Cindy Michelle Charges To Open Victory

Published: September 3, 2021 10:41 pm ET

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Cindy Michelle ($23.60), driven by John Stark Jr., charged late to win the featured $6,000 Open 2 Trot at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 3).

Jenny Lake (Steeven Genois) took control just before hitting the first quarter in :27.1. She used a :29 second quarter to hit the half in :56.1 and continued to lead to three-quarters in 1:25.3.

As the field made the turn for home, Spoiler Alert popped out of the pocket and challenged for the lead. Cindy Michelle turned on the jets and came flying three-wide down the lane.

Spoiler Alert took a short lead in deep stretch but Cindy Michelle just kept coming and slipped by to win in a lifetime-best clocking of 1:54.3. Spoiler Alert was second and Jenny Lake had to settle for third.

Cindy Michelle is a three-year-old filly by E L Titan. She is trained by Stark Jr. for owners Peter Barbato and Sam Bova Racing LLC. Unraced as a two-year-old , she now has seven career victories from 18 starts.

Leon Bailey drover two winners on the card and leads all drivers with 95 wins. Justin Huckabone had a hat trick and is second on the list with 55 victories. Jimmy Whittemore and Chris Long are tied for third with 31 trips to the winner’s circle each. John MacDonald (21) rounds out the top five.

Jeff Sorenson leads all trainers with 27 wins. Jessica Okusko has 21 victories. Bruce Lauer is third with 17 wins. Kerin Waner trained two winners on the card and is fourth with 17 wins. George Ducharme and Justin Huckabone are tied for fifth with 16 tallies each.

Vernon Downs hosts live racing on Saturday with a 10-race card. Post time is 6:10 p.m.

(With files from Vernon Downs)

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