Day At The Track

Top honors to Northern Companion

03:27 PM 09 May 2016 NZST
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Northern Companion, driven by Dave Ingraham, surviving a first over journey the final 7/16s of the mile, wore down the leader a 16th out and then held off a surging Heart Felt, handled by Walter Ross, Jr., to take top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's $8,500 Open Pace on Sunday night (May 8).

The official margin was a half-length in 1:52.3 with Sir Globalop Z Tam, teamed up with Andy Santeramo, third. Abreathofreshart finished fourth after a quarter move from fourth to the top with Thebestofjoel picking up the nickel in the compact quintet.

At the outset, Sir Globalop Z Tam was away alertly from post three, as was Heart Felt from post five forcing Northern Companion, sandwiched in between these two with post four, to take back to last.

At the :27.3 opener, Heart Felt had made the top with Sir Globalop Z Tam next and Thebestofjoel third with Abreathofreshart on the move from fourth and forging to the top 3/8s into the mile.

Shortly after the lively half in :55.1, Ingraham began his first over jaunt with Northern Companion, pacing his individual third panel in :27.2, to draw alongside the leading Abreathofreshart past the third station in 1:23.4 with Heart Felt widest of all and charging hard.

In the lane, Northern Companion gutted on by the leader and held off Heart Felt in a brave finish.

After the event, driver Ingraham said, "I was toying with the idea of leaving with him (Northern Companion) but that idea went down the drain when both horses around me were revved up and ready to go, so I had no choice but to take him back to last hoping for some lively numbers.

"Once we straightened away on the backside, I let him roll and he was brushing hard on his own for the next quarter.

"In the lane, we got by Wally (Hennessey with Abreathofreshart) but I was a little worried about the other Wally (Ross, Jr. with Heart Felt) who was charging hard. "He got there, though! He was brave tonight."

Trained by Howard Klohr for Dorothy Zarza, this eight year-old son of Cambest won for the third time this semester in 13 starts to send his 2016 bankroll to $21,634.

Lifetime, Northern Companion has won 47 times-38 of them at Pompano Park-with career bounty of $305,976.

As the even-money tote-board favorite, Northern Companion paid$4.20 to win.

The $7,500 Open 2 Pace went to Rockntouch, superbly handled by Mickey McNichol.

This four year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven, got a picture perfect drive from McNichol, stalking the favored Goldstar Raider, driven by Wally Hennessey, through panels of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:24.3 before tilting out turning for home and wearing down the leader with a :27.3 finale, stopping the timer in 1:52.2, a new lifetime mark.

The margin at the wire was a "head," with I'm A Gift (Donald Dupont) third, 4½ lengths away. Freeneasy Hanover and Mach It Paiden earned the minors in the field of five.

For the Odell Thompson trained Rockntouch, it was his fifth win of the year in 11 starts, good for seasonal bounty of $18,124 for Salvatore Promuto and the Fred Monteleone Stable. Lifetime, Rockntouch now has earnings of $64.010.

As third choice in the betting, Rockntouch returned $8.00 to win.

The Florida Amateur Driving Club, having recently sent their charitable contributions from their member-driver earnings over the $170,000 plateau, was in action on Sunday night and two veterans-one of the equine kind and the other a long-time horseman-teamed up to score a handy win in 1:58.3.

Gimme The Loot, an 11 year-old altered son of Credit Winner, was a gate-to-wire winner this night, clicking off panels of :28.3, :58.3 and 1:28.3 in route to a 1:58.3 score for veteran driver Leon Cable, who now has 423 lifetime wins, having driven his first winner back in 1979.

Gimme The Loot, owned and trained by Alessandro Spano, hit the board for the very first time in 2016, scoring the win measuring 1¾ lengths over Yakekty Hanover, handled by Fred Cohen, with Zeitgeist, driven by Dein Spriggs, third. Showing Off finished fourth in the sextet of trotters followed by Total Freedom.

In achieving Gimme The Loot's 26th career victory, driver Leon Cable said, "Heck, he hadn't been doing very well trying to come off the pace so, tonight, with the rail, I thought I'd try him on the engine.

"I know he has won several races before that way, so I had nothing to lose by trying to wake him up.

"He woke up alright!"

As the 9 to 5 second choice, Gimme The Loot returned $5.80 to win.

Racing continues on Tuesday night with mares in action in the featured Open Handicap Pace.

With five of the six entrants coming off victories in their last starts, the competitive field features the return of Goldstar Rockette, a winner in a lifetime best 1:52.2 in her most recent event. Kevin Wallis is expected to be in the bike for owner-trainer Lou Ginesi and is listed as the 9 to 5 morning line choice.

Pat Connor's Drea's Good Powow, a wire-to-wire winner in her last race in 1:52.4 will have driver Dave Ingraham in the bike for new trainer James Hysell and is 5 to 2 on the early line.

Post Time is 7:30 p.m.

by John Berry for Pompano Park

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