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First Call Wins From 'First Up'

Published: September 6, 2019 10:38 pm ET

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First Call and driver Homer Hochstetler triumphed in Friday’s $7,000 featured trot at Vernon Downs, and she did it the tough way.

American JJ (Michael Miller) went to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.2 and to the half in :57.3. First Call came first over just before the half. She battled American JJ shoulder to shoulder all the way around the final turn. First Call led by a head as they hit three-quarters in 1:26.2.

First Call, who is trained by Homer Hochstetler for owners Connie Hochstetler, Robert Buddig, and Allen Schwartz, continued to battle as they made the turn for home. Only Passing Thru (Jimmy Whittemore) found an opening on the inside as Winning Princess (Jennifer Lappe) came flying late on the outside. First call gutted it out and got the win in 1:55. Only Passing Thru finished second with Winning Princess getting third money.

First Call is a four-year-old mare by Credit winner. It was her sixth win this season. She now has 14 career victories. She paid $5.30 to win.

Hochstetler, Claude Huckabone, Jr., and Howard Parker each drove two winners on the night. Hochstetler got his other win with Bluffton ($6.30). Huckabone, Jr. won with All Heart I Am ($3.50), and Ideal Delight ($17.60). Parker had victories with The Fixer ($2.80), and Expo ($11.80).

Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday with a 13-race card starting at 6:10 p.m.

(Vernon Downs)

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