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Sophomore Pacing Colts Head To Vernon

Published: August 18, 2021 12:37 pm ET

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Vernon Downs will welcome the sophomore pacing colts and geldings competing in two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) on Friday (August 20).

King James Express (Jason Bartlett) is the 3-2 morning line favourite in the $55,000 first division of the NYSS. Mark Harder trains and co-owns the Art Major gelding, who has NYSS wins this season at Batavia and Saratoga. He has six lifetime wins and has earned nearly $300,000 in purses.

His top rival should be the Scott DiDomenico-trained Major Bean (Matt Kakaley). The gelding by Art Major has earned three of his four career wins in 2021 and has amassed nearly $100,000 in purses.

The $56,000 second division features a rematch between the Jennifer Bongiorno-trained Town Gossip (Billy Dobson) and the Jessica Okusko-trained Natameri (Matt Kakaley). Natameri nipped Town Gossip in a NYSS race at Yonkers last Friday.

Town Gossip is a gelding by American Ideal. He has four victories this season, including NYSS wins at Saratoga and Batavia, and six career wins with more than $266,000 earned.

Natameri also has four wins this season and six career victories, with more than $85,000 banked. The colt by American Ideal put in an impressive 1:50.2 mile earlier this season at Vernon Downs.

Southwind Peytr (Jason Bartlett) is the 3-1 third choice on the morning line for Harder, who trains and co-owns. The American Ideal colt finished a close third to the slightly favoured foes in their Yonkers matchup and remains eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup.

The 12-race card starts at 6:10 p.m.

(With files from Vernon Downs)

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