Day At The Track

First Of Itskind scores 10 to 1 upset

11:59 PM 27 Feb 2017 NZDT
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First Of Itskind
First Of Itskind, driven by Tom Jackson, pulled off a 10 to 1 upset in Pompano Park's feature on Sunday night.
Skip Smith Photo
Pompano Beach, FL...February 26, 2017...First Of Itskind, giving a strong hint last week by closing fastest of all in the Open Pace, used a backstretch blitz from fifth into the lead on Sunday night (February 26) and went on to post a 10 to 1 harness racing upset in the $12,000 Open 1 Handicap, stopping the timer in 1:51.2.

Handled by Tom Jackson, the six year-old gelded son of Western Terror pinned a 1½ defeat on Uncmprmising Z Tam (Mike Simons) with Sing For Me George (Kevin Wallis), making his 2017 debut, third, 5¾ lengths away.

The 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Drachan Hanover, prominent early, finished fourth while Rockntouch picked up the minor award in the field scratched down to six.

At the outset, Rocky's Z Tam, leaving from the outside, zipped up early to take the lead and sizzled an opening panel of :26.1 before reaching the half in :55.3.

That is when First Of Itskind began his brush from fifth and, by the time they reached the third station in 1:24, he poked his head in front and then widened his margin thereafter, sprinting home in :27.2 to seal the deal.

After the race, driver Tom Jackson briefly said, "This horse was very good last week and just needed some more racetrack at the end.

"Tonight, I thought I would give him the opportunity by starting him a bit earlier.

"In other words, I asked and he answered. That was quite a brush and he probably paced his last half under :55."

He did! In fact, he paced his third quarter in :27.2 and came home in that identical time, too.

Trained by Jason Robinson for owner Robert Main, First Of Itskind pushed his 2017 scorecard to 2-1-2 in six starts, good for $16,140. He's banked $182,941 career-wise to go along with his Pocono Downs mark of 1:49.4.

First Of Itskind paid $23.80 to his faithful.

The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to Fritzie Pic Up Man, handled by Kevin Wallis.

This six year-old altered son of Always A Virgin left the gate with alacrity and took command an eighth into the mile and then went on to post fractions of :26.1, :54.4 and 1:23.2 before a :28.1 sprint home sealed the issue over the fast closing Pointsman, driven by Rick Plano.

Heart Felt finished third after a backside brush left him a half-length back of the leader around the final bend while Whogoesfirst was fourth. Cadillac Phil managed to pick up the nickel in the classy sextet.

Trained by Richard Lareau for the JP Houle Stables, Fritzie Pic Up Man won for the second time this semester in eight starts, sending his 2017 bankroll to $19,700.

As the 3 to 2 favorite, Fritzie Pic Up Man paid $5.00 to his multitude of backers.

Catching up on the other weekend action, the Florida Amateur Driving Club continued their generosity in assisting worthy goodwill and charitable causes with yet another contribution to Bit-By-Bit, the organization that promotes independence for at-risk youth, persons with special needs and disabled veterans.

Two F.A.D.C. events were held on Saturday night and both proved to be milestones for the winning drivers, Ron Cusimano and Troy Basista.

Cusimano scored with the 14 to 1 outsider Garlandsandpearls in 1:59.1 and, in doing so, won his first race since last century--his last win coming on April 9, 1999 with Strong Vincent at Pompano Park.

Cusimano, who has seen very limited action in the sulky since then--only 11 starts coming into the weekend--proved he hasn't lost the winning touch by leaving, yielding and sitting chilly before easing out turning for home and edging by at the wire for his 236th career win.

Basista earned his first win in exactly five years by guiding Without Me As ($15.80) to a 1:57.4 win in the Super Hi-5 finale.

Troy's last win was with Cracker Justine at Pompano Park as a member of the Florida Amateur Driving Club.

His weekend success was his eighth career win.

Racing continues on Monday night with the headliner being the $12,000 Open Trot.

Prairie Fortune returns to the racing wars after a very sharp qualifying win in 1:54.3.

Trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Fortune will have the driving services of John MacDonald and is listed as the 2 to 1 favorite on the morning line.

Explosive Muscles, Massacaia, Boli, Sooo Handsome, Diamond Dagger and Swan Handicap complete the talented field.

Monday's card features a Pick-6 carryover, as well as a $10,000 Guaranteed Pool on the Pick-4, contested on races six through nine.

Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.

by John Berry for Pompano Park

 

 

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