Day At The Track

Its Payday Friday Scores on Wednesday

05:04 PM 22 Jan 2015 NZDT
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Its Payday Friday The Florida Amateur Driver's Club M C Felix, handled by Aaron Byron, took the
Its Payday Friday paid dividends to his followers two days early by scoring a decisive victory for Dan Clements
Skip Smith Photo
The Florida Amateur Driver's Club paid tribute to the Christian Harness Horseman's Association with a contribution to their worthy cause. Chaplain Lee Alphen of the CHHA was on hand to accept the donation
Skip Smith Photo
M C Felix, handled by Aaron Byron, took the "Open 2" Trot
Skip Smith Photo
Pompano Beach, FL...January 21, 2015...Its Payday Friday completely justified the public's confidence of sending the five year-old off at a dime-to-a-dollar in the betting by scoring a resounding 4 1/4 length victory in Pompano Park's $12,500 harness racing Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday night.
 
The altered son of Kadabra, trained by Renaldo Morales III for owner-driver Dan Clements, took command just a stride or two prior to the :27.2 opener and then wired panels of :57 and 1:26 before sprinting home in :28 to equal his lifetime mark of 1:54.
 
Dukester and Rick Plano teamed up for plane honors while Buddy Hally, with Stephen Byron handling the lines, finished third, five lengths away.
 
The very early leader, Adenium, finished fourth while Highland Yankee finished fifth in the quintet.
 
In a post-race interview, driver Dan Clements gave a lot of credit to the track crew saying, "This racetrack was absolutely perfect tonight--not too hard...not too deep...just perfect. Kudos to them! As far as the trip went, well, as you can see here in the winner's circle, the earplugs are still in so I don't know how much more he would have gone had I pulled them. He was really awesome tonight!"
 
Its Payday Friday is on quite a roll having six wins and five seconds in 11 starts since arriving at Pompano Park in late October.
 
This victory pushed his lifetime bounty just shy of $200,000--$198,888 to be exact.
 
The companion $11,000 Open Trot went to M C Felix, a recent claim by owner Neal Oksenberg. Trained and driven by Aaron Byron, M C Felix took command at the quarter and wired his foes the rest of the way, stopping the timer in 1:55 for his 36th lifetime success. This nine year-old son of A J's Tycoon now has $348,229 on his card.
 
The second leg of the Sea Eagle Late Closing Event for claiming pacers went post-ward in two divisions--Sea Eagle the winner of the very first race contest at Pompano Park on February 4, 1964--with Deep Finesse and First Impression staking a claim to the final scheduled for January 28.
 
Deep Finesse, a nine year-old son of Western Paradise, came from well off the pace negotiating his final three-quarters in 1:24.2 to score the victory measuring 1 3/4 lengths for driver Jason Dillander. Terrorizer, with Ed Hensley in the bike, was second while Four Starz Kyle finished third for Rick Plano. Elkhorn Damian and Tumblin' Dice, the early pacesetter, also picked up minor awards, fourth and fifth, respectively.
 
Trained by Pete Pellegrino for the Baron Racing Stable, Deep Finesse won for the 33rd time in his career--the hard hitting claimer now at $231,835 in career bounty.
 
As second choice on the board at 9 to 5, Deep Finesse paid $5.60 to win.
 
First Impression, driven by Aaron Byron, made his 200th lifetime start a memorable one with a sharp 1:53.1 win in the second division of the Sea Eagle Late Closer, taking the lead right at the opening marker of :27.3 and carding fractions of :56 and 1:25 before a sprint home in :28.1 sealed the deal measuring a comfortable 1 1/4 lengths over Tivolii Hanover, handled by Jason Dillander. Who Dey finished third for Mickey McNichol while Unrecognized Saint finished fourth. Memory In Motion picked up the final award in the field of six--three 10 year-olds and three 11 year-olds!
 
Owned by the Three Gees Stable and trained by Gary McDonald, First Impression won for the 39th time in his career, sending his lifetime bankroll to $352,288.
 
As the 8 to 5 tote-board favorite, First Impression paid $5.40 to his faithful.
 
Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 again had multiple winners on Wednesday night setting up a record carryover exceeding $60,000 for Saturday night's program.
 
Finally, The Florida Amateur Driving Club boosted their charitable donations past the $135,000 mark with a contribution to the Christian Harness Horseman's Association. The CHHA, with more than 1,000 members world-wide, was represented by Chaplain Lee Alphen. A large group of horsemen and women, including Dan Clements, Bruce Ranger, Diane Hellen and young Tom Wine, Mike Hardy, Pete Pellegrino, Jason Dillander and Allen Saul, were in the winner's circle to make the presentation.
 
by John Berry for Pompano Park
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