Day At The Track

Jolene's Pinehonker wins in Pompano Open

01:22 AM 21 Mar 2014 NZDT
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Jolene's Pinehonker, harness racing
Jolene's Pinehonker win Open Trot at Pompano
Photo by Dee Leftwich
Pompano Beach, FL...March 19, 2014...Jolene's Pinehonker, using a somewhat uncharacteristic racing strategy, took top honors in Wednesday night's $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at Pompano Park in 1:55.1.
The five-year-old son of Pinetucky, driven by trainer Mark O'Mara for owner Lester Raber, has been known for his rousing stretch rallies, especially in his winning performances, but, on this night, he was on the bit from the get-go, taking the lead right at the initial marker timed in :28.3 before yielding to arch-rival Pure Barre, handled by Mickey McNichol, who took the field half way through the mile in :57.2. Midway on the backside, "Pinehonker" brushed right back to the front and led the rest of the way, reaching the third station in 1:26.2 and then holding off Pure Barre with a :28.4 finale--his margin a half length on the line.
Photo King, with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the bike, was third, followed by Mr. Joe Sixpack and Thekeptman, who picked up the nickel. Last week's winner, My Revenuer, made a miscue at the beginning and finished sixth in the sextet.
For Jolene's Pinehonker, it was his fourth win in 10 starts this year, good for $31,100 in bounty so far this young season. He's banked $345,945 lifetime.
In a post race interview, driver Mark O'Mara said, "He's such a handy horse and you can do anything you want with him...leave...not just doesn't matter to him. He still seems to have something in reserve when it counts. I thought that, in this short of a field, that the mare (Pure Barre) would leave and get a cheap half again with no chance to make up ground on her...she's such a tough mare on the front. So, we kind of turned the tables on her game tonight."
As second choice in the betting at 9 to 5--Purse Barre was 9 to 5, too, but with a few more dollars on her nose--Jolene's Pinehonker paid $5.80 to win.
by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park
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