Day At The Track

Bluehourpower ekes out close win

05:01 AM 05 Jan 2016 NZDT
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Bluehourpower, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., eked out a narrow win in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Pace
Skip Smith Photo

Pompano Beach, FL...January 4, 2016...Bluehourpower, with Ricky Macomber, Jr. in the bike, overcame a very difficult first over journey to score an extremely close victory in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night at the rain soaked South Florida harness racing oval.

The now five year-old gelded son of Sand Shooter stopped the tele-timer in 1:51.2 with the official margin of victory being a nose--and a very slender one at that-over Arthur Blue Chip, teamed up with Wally Hennessey.

Lyons Johnny, with MIke Micallef handling the lines, finished third, 5 1/2 lengths away and a whisker better than Bandolito, Cadillac Phil picked up the final award in the very talented million dollar field.

The "official" timer had Bluehourpower and Arthur Blue Chip 1/100th of a second apart at the wire.

At the outset, the four "outside" horses all went searching for the lead with Bandolito (post six) sweeping up fastest of all and overtaking Cadillac Phil (post five) in the early stages with Arthur Blue Chip finding his best stride early and going up from the outside post eight to get into the fray and Bluehourpower settling into fourth through an opening panel in :26.4.

Shortly thereafter, Arthur Blue Chip forged to the front and took the field half way home in :56 with Bandolito in the cozy pocket, Cadillac Phil next and Bluehourpower fourth but beginning his jaunt forward going first up.

The pace intensified on the backside with Arthur Blue Chip opening up a notch or two during his :27.2 third panel and Bluehourpower denting the leader's margin with a :26.3 blast of his own and moving along side Arthur Blue Chip at the third station in 1:23.2.

In the lane, it was a classic battle right down to the last long stride with the photo showing Bluehourpower a "whisker winner."

In a post race interview, driver Ricky Macomber related, "my horse is relentless. He keeps grinding and grinding and grinding until he runs out of racetrack. At the wire, Wally and I looked at each other and we kind of hiked out shoulders and said to each other, 'I don't know, do you?'

"Both horses raced very well and very gamely."

Trained by Jamie Macomber for owner Wilbur Eash, Bluehourpower kicked off his new season with his 20th lifetime win--his share of the purse sending his lifetime bounty to $517,131. As third choice in the betting, Bluehourpower paid $8.80 to win.

In the $11,000 claiming pace for $30,000 claimers, Johnny Grippa, catch-driven by Dave Ingraham, scored a near wire-to-wire win in 1:51.4 over the rain soaked Pompano oval, clocking panels of :26.1, :55.1 and 1:23.2 along the route to pin a defeat measuring 1 3/4 lengths over Teranadawn (Kevin Wallis), enjoying a garden journey throughout but unable to dent the winner in the lane. Mr. Massino (Wally Hennessey) finished third while King Royalty and Dont Tell Rusty picked up the minors in the sextet.

This eight year-old altered son of Cam's Card Shark, trained by Jacques Dupont for McTrade Enterprises, continued to pay dividends to his new owners (he was claimed one month ago for $20,000) in scoring his 44th lifetime victory to send his career bounty to $208,765.

Off at 5 to 1, Johnny Grippa rewarded his faithful with a $12.60 mutuel.

Race Secretary Greg DeFrank also carded an "Over-The-Hill Gang" Trot featuring a field of 10 year-olds and up with these seven warriors having,, collectively, over 1,200 lifetime starts and close to $2,000,000 in lifetime bounty.

On the wire, there was a four horse blanket finish with Mandabra (Dan Clements) sweeping up late to score by 3/4 of-a-length over Celtic Merchant (Brad Kramer). Savethelstdancforme (Ed Hensley) finished third over Rush N Supreme while Smokin Debra picked up the nickel.

Finally, Danger Hi Joltage (Wally Hennessey) scored his third straight win for the Harmon Racing Stable and trainer Rob Harmon, stopping the clock in 1:52.4 over the "good" track while Dorothy Zarza's Northern Companion, scored his 45th lifetime victory by winning a conditioned optional claiming event in 1:53.

Dave Ingraham drove the winner for trainer Howard Klohr.

Racing continues on Monday night with a Super Hi-5 carryover of $5,454.98.

Post time is 7:30 p.m.

by John Berry for Pompano Park

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