VERNON — The steady-striding trotter My Buddy Hall Lee extended the season’s longest winning streak at Vernon Downs, while the gritty Brilliant Thunder edged out a narrow victory in Friday night’s featured ninth event.
Competing in the evening’s $5,300 seventh race, the favorite My Buddy Hall Lee, who was steered by Roman Lopez, rallied to the lead in the final turn, and then held off Cedarridgetag in the stretch drive to earn a head decision in a time of 1:55.4. Tied at five with fellow trotter Yankee Manny for most equine tallies after 46 Vernon programs, My Buddy Hall Lee became the meet’s initial six-time winner, while extending his current win-skein to six.
It was the seventh lifetime victory for the 4-year-old, who increased his career earnings to more than $20,600 for owner Brett Tessler.
With Frank Milby steering for trainer Barry Dodge and owner Tony Lioto in Friday’s $5,400 ninth contest, Brilliant Thunder pulled out behind the front-striding Damian Carlos N entering the final furlong, and then out-hustled the fast-closing B Cor Terry to the finish to earn a nose triumph in a career-best 1:56 effort. It was the second season’s score and 25th lifetime tally.
Milby managed a pair of first-place finishes during Friday’s 10-race card, as did driver Claude Huckabone III.
Driver Rick Plano posted his 5,988th career driving victory with the trotter Tobell in Friday’s fifth race.
An 11-race card featuring the weekly open pace is scheduled tonight starting at 6:55.
Live racing is scheduled in August at the track on Wednesdays-Saturdays.