Day At The Track

Duc Dorleans & Red Hot Yankee take features

05:26 AM 08 Feb 2015 NZDT
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Duc Dorleans, driven by Donald Dupont, took top honors Red Hot Yankee, handled by Kevin Wallis
Duc Dorleans, driven by Donald Dupont, took top honors
Skip Smith Photo
Red Hot Yankee, handled by Kevin Wallis
Skip Smith Photo
Pompano Beach, FL...Saturday, February 7, 2015...Speed was the keynote at Pompano Park on a harness racing Saturday night as Duc Dorleans captured the $13,000 Open Handicap Pace in 1:50.4 and Red Hot Yankee took top honors in the $17,500 final of the Murdock Hanover Late Closer in 1:51.2.
 
Duc Dorleans, driven by Donald Dupont for owner Gestion Levesque 2005, Inc., led every step of his journey clocking panels of :27, :56.1 and 1:24.1 before sprinting home in :26.3 to seal a victory measuring almost three lengths over Fancyfreeshark (Bruce Ranger) and Lyons Johnny (George Napolitano, Jr.), the latter two finishing in a dead-heat for place honors.
 
Don't Tell Rusty, rallied from far back to finish fourth while Cadillac Phil picked up the nickel in the septet.
 
In a post race interview, driver Donald Dupont said, "My horse has great speed out of the gate and, since we had an inside post (2), it was easy for him to get the lead. When nobody challenged me during the straightaway, my horse was nice and relaxed getting away with a 'soft' half...for him, anyhow (:56.1). From there, I was very confident he could carry his speed all the way home and his final quarter (:26.3) proved that tonight. He's a very good horse!"
 
For this five year-old son of Shanghai Phil, it was his second win in five starts this year--19th lifetime in 63 starts--and sent his lifetime bounty to $418,056.
 
Second choice on the tote-board, Duc Dorleans paid $7.80 to his faithful.
 
Red Hot Yankee's win was a hit more dramatic as he held on for dear life at the end of his gate-to-wire 1:51.2 effort for Kevin Wallis to hold off stablemate Officernagentleman (George Napolitano, Jr.) to score by a scant head.
 
Fearless Chip (Bruce Ranger), prominent all the way in the garden spot, finished third three parts of a length away with the late surging Bold Wille fourth. A Fool For Mark picked up the minors in the field of nine.
 
Red Hot Yankee, an 11 year-old son of Artsplace, carded sizzling fractions of :27, :54.3 and 1:22.3 along the way.
 
After the race, driver Kevin Wallis said, "he's a warrior, alright. Those first three-quarters were pretty stiff but that's the way he likes it. He dug in late...but I was very happy the wire came when it did!"
 
Making his first start off of a claim by owners Melvin Fink and Clifford Grundy, Red Hot Yankee was making his 150th lifetime start and first start in the Paul Holzman Stable.
 
The victory, Red Hot Yankee's 19th lifetime, sent his career bounty past the $250,000 mark--$250,599 to be exact. He paid $3.60 as the betting favorite.
 
The $20,000-$25,000 Claiming Handicap Pace carrying a purse of $11,000, went, in an upset, to Raji's Blue Line in 1:51.1.
 
This seven year-old son of Artiscape, owned by Lew and Kathy Whitaker along with William Schnopf, was given a gutsy drive by Mike Micallef, making a bold move from dead last and over 10 lengths away at the opener, to the lead shortly after the half, and going on from there to score a win measuring just short of two lengths.
 
Always In The Money (Peter Wrenn) was second while Premier (Rick Plano) finished third. Canadian Touch and No Monkeys Allowed also picked up checks in the octet.
 
Making his 100th lifetime start, Raji's Blue Line won for the 19th time, sending his career bankroll to $185,700.
 
Finally, the Super Hi-5 again had multiple consolation winners and the carryover for Sunday's card now exceeds $100,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m.
 
John Berry
 
 
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