Day At The Track

Hollywood Sign A earns Marquee Headline

06:59 AM 20 Mar 2018 NZDT
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Hollywood Sign A
Hollywood Sign A earned the marquee headline scoring in 1:51.2
Skip Smith Photo

Hollywood Sign A, given a very heady drive by Matt Krueger, earned the marquee headline at Pompano Park on Sunday night, hitting the wire in 1:51.2 in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace.

Leading from first long stride to that long final one, the nine year-old Aussie bred Life Sign gelding held off the courageous effort by Dee's Rocketman, handled by Andy Santeramo, to score by three-parts-of-a-length.

The Onlyest One, with John MacDonald in his sulky, finished third after a garden journey. Drachan Hanover finished fourth while Kotare Yael picked up the nickel in the talented sextet.

With the advantageous five post position, Hollywood Sign A pushed the wings out of his way at the start and zipped through an opening panel of :26.4 with The Onlyest One next and Drachan Hanover third. Meanwhile, Dee's Rocketman had no choice but to let the chips fall where they may while the war was going on up front.

But, there was no war during the second quarter as Krueger guided his charge through that next panel in :30.2, reaching the half in :57.1.

Thinking of thwarting any challenges on the backside, Krueger sent Hollywood Sign A on his second :26.4 binge, reaching the third station in 1:24. While this was going on, Santeramo had Dee's Rocketman in high gear, as well, as Dee's Rocketman went on a :26 binge of his own and just a tad more than a length away around the final bend.

In the lane, these two duked it out through a :27.2 finale with Hollywood Sign A not giving a single inch during the drive home.

After the race, driver Matt Krueger lamented, "Hollywood (Sign A) has raced well every start here and tonight was no exception. As you saw, he can fly off the wings and that second quarter was a big help with nobody making a move on him. I gave him a tap on the backside (backstretch) and he went into another gear. It's tough to gain on a :54.1 final half but Andy's (Santeramo) horse (Dee's Rocketman) must've come his last half in :53 and a piece, so the post positions made a big difference here."

For Hollywood Sign A, it was his second win in 10 starts this semester, good for $28,485 so far this young season. Lifetime, he's banked $228,193 for Krueger, who owns and trains the winner, as well.

Off as the fourth choice in this evenly matched field, Hollywood Sign A paid $10.40.

In the $13,200 Open II Pace, American Hustle, with Bryce Fenn in the bike, scored a sharp win in 1:51.2--his margin also a bit less than a length over Annihilator, driven by Wally Hennessey. The latter chased the eventual winner after yielding at the :27 opener but couldn't quite get to him through subsequent panels of :55.4 and 1:23.1.

Pointsman, handled by Rick Plano, was next, followed by Rebellious and Fritzie Pic Up Man.

American Hustle now has a 2-2-0 scorecard in six starts for owner-trainer Bryan Lawrence with earnings now at $19,275 in 2018. He paid $5.40 to win.

Also of note, when Andy Santeramo piloted Team Captain to a photo finish win in Sunday's fifth race in 1:52.3, it triggered a 50 cent Pick-5 payoff of $10,156.55 to the one lucky player who had the correct 1-2-1-1-5 combo.

This followed a fourth race 20 cent pentafecta payoff of $7,611.42 after Ron Cusimano guided Extracurricular to a handy win in Florida Amateur Driving Club competition.

Monday's program features the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares featuring Ubettorbeturlife (2-1) and All Charged Up (8-5) and Galarina (9-2), among others. The $18,000 Pop-Up Final is also carded as the nine race and features Surge Seelster (7-5) and Arsenal (7-2) in the marathon 1 1/4 mile distance.

In the "better for the bettor" department, the Super Hi-5 carryover of $34,554.82 is featured in the 10th race finale.

by John Berry for Pompano Park


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