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Moran honored, Lutetium resilient in Vernon opener
Friday, April 11, 2014 - by James Witherite, Vernon Downs racing media

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Vernon, NY---Coming off three consecutive wins in the Open ranks at Buffalo, Lutetium ($5.30) proved a gutsy 1:52.4 winner, taking a lifetime mark in the featured $10,000 Miracle Mile 1 Trot at Vernon Downs on Opening Night (April 11).
 
Fotowon Photos
Lutetium won the opening night Miracle Mile 1 Trot at Dover Downs in 1:52.4.

 
The 7-year-old Credit Winner gelding stayed true to his past strategy, clearing and setting a strong tempo, posting a 26.4 first quarter before facing pressure on the far turn from a first-over Mc Tiny’s Hope (John MacDonald). Lutetium responded strongly, digging in through the stretch to stave off Mc Tiny’s Hope by 1-1/2 lengths in a dazzling 1:52.4 victory in rein to Aaron Byron. Mc Tiny’s Hope held second, with the pocket-sitting Grey Ice (Fern Paquet Jr.) staying on for third.
 
Mark Laidlaw trains the 24-time winner for owner Colleen Girdlestone.
 
Byron swept the evening’s featured events, scoring an 8-1 upset win with Rocks N Bagels in the $8,000 Miracle Mile 2 for distaff pacers. in first-over fashion, beating a re-rallying Artic Byrd (Truman Gale) and the mid-race pacesetting Asset Management (Fern Paquet Jr.) in a lifetime-best 1:53.
 
Jim Moran was recognized in the winner's enclosure after his 50-year racecalling career at Vernon Downs.  

 
The Opening Night card paid tribute to longtime racecaller Jim Moran, who retired after calling the first race of the 2014 season.  After the first race, Moran was recognized in the winner’s enclosure by staff, management, horsemen, and local dignitaries.

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