It might have seemed to reinsman Anthony Napolitano that he had to drive all night before prevailing in an 8-1 upset photo finish decision in Pompano's $12,000 purse Open Handicap Pace. And that's exactly what he did. With an unlikely trip scenario, Napolitano teamed Drive All Night to a hard closing victory.
The tempo was hot and heavy in the early going of the feature event in South Florida when a rare and rather stiff breeze was coming from the east off of the Atlantic Ocean.
Deep Finesse, last week's feature event winner driven this night by Joe Pavia Jr., jetted to the front from the assigned outside post in the field of eight starters in 27.1 but yielded the lead to the second quarter move of Kommander Hawk and Bruce Ranger to a sizzling half of 54.1.
Going to the 1:22.2 three quarter mark against the wind, Deep Finesse pulled the pocket and was followed to the outside by Forty Carrots in rein to Wally Hennessey.
Lurking far back seventh for most of the mile was Drive All Night, who started three wide on the final turn and his furious late charge just caught Forty Carrots at the wire in 1:51.1. Rick's Sign was brought through stretch traffic by Fern Paquet Jr. to save the show position while Deep Finesse, one week removed from a 1:49.3 track record spin for older horses, had to settle for fourth.
It was the second upset win in 2012 from four starts for Drive All Night. The-U Drive Me Crazy 7 year old gelding is trained at Pompano by Christie Collins. The career winner of over $387,000 is owned by Joe Limongelli of Pittston, PA.
ARACACHE HANOVER QUALIFIES AT POMPANO
Millionaire pacer Aracache Hanover has resurfaced for 2012. After a winter holiday at the South Florida farm of Ontario based trainer Gregg McNair, the son of-Armbro Cachet turned in a comfortable 1:53.3 qualifying win at Pompano on Saturday morning, February 25 with Wally Hennessey in the bike.
The 2010 winner of the Confederation Cup campaigned last year against the continent's top Free For All company, and counted wins in the Kane Invitational at Batavia, the Winbak Farms Free For All at Delaware, and his 1:49.1 life's mark in a Franklin elimination at Chester Downs among his 2011 conquests.
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Drive All Night: