The highest earning horse to date at the 2010-2011 harness racing meet at The Isle Casino-Racing Pompano Park and a Hall Of Fame inducted driver got little respect by the wagering public in the top class event on Saturday night. Then JJ's Gazette and driver Doug Brown went out and won at a generous price.
"You can't ask for a better drive than that" said trainer and co-owner David Mogan. "JJ's Gazette is absolutely loving life so far in Florida" he added of the Whiteland Fella-Almahurst Gazette eight year old gelding that now has three wins and a second for $21,000 banked since the meet began on October 16.
In the early stages of the $12,000 purse contest, Omaha Survivor with Wally Hennessey fired to the front in :27.2 only to surrender to the quarter pole move of the pocket sitter Dragon's Blood in rein to Mike Micallef. After the half flashed up in :56.1, Omaha Survivor sacrificed the coveted pocket spot and picking up that cover was JJ's Gazette to the last turn in 1:23.3. In the stretch, Brown showed JJ's Gazette open road and he knew what to do as he forged by for the win in 1:52.3. The other ownership share of the winner is held by Ken Freeman of Coconut Creek, FL. Dragon's Blood gamely stayed for the place prize and Omaha Survivor held his ground for third.
For driver Doug Brown, it was the second upset of the meet in a top class event. A week ago he used the same second over tactics to win with pacing mare Samantha Q at 20-1 before this triumph at 6-1.
"Really it couldn't have worked out any better" Brown said in a live trackside TV interview after the race. "To me it looked like Wally horse's (Omaha Survivor) was a bit rank and bearing out. When he came out of the pocket after the half it was just great because they'd mixed it up with big fractions in the first and third quarters. I'm really enjoying the situation here for my first full season of racing in South Florida with everyone being so helpful and professional" the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame inductee added.
Return of Rick Schaut
Long serving Pompano horseman Rick Schaut has returned from his northern home base in Indiana and he's made his presence felt quickly.
On the Saturday night undercard in a $5,500 purse conditioned pace, the Rick Schaut trained and driven Mai Tai Guy was served up first over and persevered for a strong runner-up finish to Hero, driven by Bruce Ranger. Trotter Rustico Dance Hall went a long way on the lead for Schaut on Friday night before finishing fifth. Mai Tai Guy took his life's mark of 1:51 last Fall when repeatedly defeating the top class company in South Florida.
In the coming week, a new incentive is added to wagering profile with a $2,500 guarantee in the Pick-4 pool on Wednesday evenings. Post time is 7:05 p.m. EST each Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing. Tuesday cards are added to the schedule from December through March.
by Frank SALIVE