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Sir Prize Hall earned top money after a 1:58.2 victory in the $5,500 featured sixth race at Vernon Downs on Thursday night.


Leaving from post three, Sir Prize Hall raced as if he was the best and then proved it with a strong gate-to-wire victory during the initial Thursday program of the track’s 56th season. Owned by the Purple Haze Stables, the 4-year-old son of Conway Hall-Prize Chip scored by 1 1/4 lengths over the pocket-sitting Jack’s Reef and paid $6.40 to win. It was the first victory in three season's starts and eighth career triumph for the career winner of $102,446.


Sir Prize Hall’s tally was the third in a row and 12th at the meet for current leading Downs dash-winning reinsman Howard Okusko Jr., who also piloted the pacer Pacific Fellany (1:56.2) and trotter Walden (1:57.3) to first-place finishes during Thursday’s nine-race card. It marked the second triple at the Downs this season for the 10-time track driving champion.


The wins also enabled Jessica Okusko and Joe Sansone to record training doubles during the program. Jessica Okusko is the trainer of record for Pacific Fellany and Sir Prize Hall, while Sansone conditions Walden and the trotter L’Argent Hall, Thursday’s first race winner in 1:57.2.


Color Library, who paced on the front end throughout the $3,000 seventh session and posted a career-best 1:54.4 score for driver, trainer and part-owner John Stark Jr. and his fellow patrons, E. Carlyle and David Smith, posted Thursday’s fastest mile. The 3-year-old son of Art Major-Calista has captured both of his season’s starts, including a 2:00.4 performance at Saratoga on April 30. (Vernon Downs)