The 2011-2012 South Florida live harness racing campaign which began last September 21 at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park is now complete. The meet's final program on Saturday, July 28 delivered a full measure of excitement with the spectacle of a rare match race and a very significant driver milestone going into the record books.
In the $7,500 purse match race offering 70% to the winner, the South Florida track's winningest driver in history, Bruce Ranger, showcased his enormous skill by taking Neptune Blue Chip out to post five on the slanted gate approaching the start against post one starter Northern Companion in rein to Robert Hoffman. As the gate accelerated away Neptune Blue Chip gained a slight advantage but that was all that was needed to set up shop on the lead through fractions of 28, 58.4, and 1:27.2. With his charge's ear plugs deployed in the late stages, Neptune Blue Chip had a 26.3 closing quarter in reserve to hold off Northern Companion when the wire arrived in 1:54.
Jim McDonald conditions Neptune Blue Chip, a 4 year old gelding byfrom the mare Ms Pro Steinam, for Ciro Gentile of Boca Raton and Twenty Four Carrot Stable of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. As the seven week hiatus arrives at Pompano, Neptune Blue Chip is a winner of 8 races from 27 starts this year for earnings of almost $43,000.
Tom Sells, highly regarded in the Pompano driving colony for his special skills with trotters and young horses, reached a career milestone of 2,500 lifetime winning drives on the July 28 program. The 66 year old reinsman hailing from Ohio and now making home in South Florida brought in three year old colt trotter Trents Ringer in a non-wagering event in the Florida Breeders Series and conditioned pacer T's Electric to reach the milestone. Among the standouts Sells has campaigned in his career are 1988 standout 3 year old trotter, American-National 3 year old colt trot winner Prayer I Am, and millionaire older trotter Helluva Hush.
The 2011-2012 campaign in South Florida saw three track record categories rewritten. The 3 year old pacing filly Bombilla Hanover (1:51.4), 3 year old pacing colt Keemosabe (1:51), and older trotting mare Mymomsablizzard (1:54.1) all earned their place as the fastest of their age and gait in the track record chart in the South Florida plant's history dating to 1964.
Following the usual late Summer hiatus, live harness racing resumes on Wednesday, September 19, at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. The full racing schedule, statistics, and much more is available in the 'racing' tab at www.theislepompanopark.com