Day At The Track

Northern Companion takes Pompano Open

02:29 PM 23 May 2016 NZST
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Northern Companion
Northern Companion, driven by Dave Ingraham, took top honors in Pompano Park's Open Handicap Pace
Skip Smith Photo

Northern Companion, handled by harness racing driver Dave Ingraham, took top honors in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (May 22), scoring a photo finish victory over Rockntouch (Mickey McNichol) and Here Comes William (Donald Dupont) in 1:51.4.

The eight year-old gelded son of Cambest, trained by Howard Klohr for owner Dorothy Zarza, brushed up first over on the backside to engage the leading Here Comes William around the final turn, edged by turning for home and then held off the furious late bid of Rockntouch to score by a head.

Here Comes William was a half-length off the winner while Abreathofreshart and Goldstar Raider had to be content with the minors this night.

The victory by Northern Companion was all the more impressive because Here Comes William was able to put up "soft" fractions of :27.4 and :56.4 while Northern Companion was forced to join the fray through an officially timed third quarter of :27.4 with his individual effort being right around :27.

A :27.1 finale by Northern Companion sealed the deal with his individual effort showed he paced his final half in :54.1 and last three-quarters in 1:22.4.

After the event, driver Dave Ingraham related with a question, "Want to know the definition of a racehorse? Northern Companion is that definition.

"He just tries so hard every time he races. He likes to brush and he's tough as nails when it counts.

"He went a huge mile tonight, but that's nothing new for him!"

In winning for the 48th time career-wise, Northern Companion won for the 39th time at Pompano Park.

His 4-1-2 scorecard this semester in 15 starts brings his earnings to $27,109. Lifetime, he's banked $311,451.

As the slight favorite at 3 to 2, Northern Companion paid $5.00 to his multitude of faithful.

The Florida Amateur Driving Club was represented in two events on Sunday night with PC's Wildcard, the popular winner in the opener for Joe Pennacchio while Yakekty Hanover took the nightcap for Fred Cohen.

PC's Wildcard, a seven year-old altered son of Sand Chaser, got picture perfect rating from Pennacchio, holding off the late surging Magic Cheque (Leon Cable) by a half-length in 1:59. Thekeptman (Fred Cohen) was third, 3¼ lengths away while Columbia Lion and Engagedatlexington completed the order of finish in the quintet.

Pennacchio sent PC's Wildcard right to the front from his coveted post five and carded panels of :29.1 and 1:00.3 before stepping up the tempo on the backside thwarting any serious bids past the third station in 1:30.

Off those panels, PC's Wildcard had plenty left and closed the mile with a :29 finale.

Trained by Mike Sweeney for owner Jeff Lemmer, PC's Wildcard won for only the second time this year-26th time career-wise-to send his yearly bankroll to an "aces and eights" $11,188.

Lifetime, the gelding has $97,157.

As the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, PC's Wildcard paid $3.40 to win.

Pennacchio, by the way, now has 153 amateur driving wins.

Yakekty Hanover, handled this night by trainer Fred Cohen for owner Brian Calvert, was forced to achieve his victory from the outside six post in his event, taking on Showing Off (John Campagnuolo, post 5) through a lively opener of :28.2 before assuming control right at that opening marker.

From there, the five year-old daughter of Andover Hall carded fractions of :57.3 and 1:27.3 in route to a final time of 1:58.2, a seasonal best, over Showing Off with Zeitgeist (Dein Spriggs) third. Sky Crest and Total Freedom finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the sextet.

Yakekty Hanover won for the second time this year in eight starts with the win sending his career bounty over the $50,000 mark--$52,148 to be precise.

The winner paid $5.60 as the second choice and gave driver Fred Cohen his 184th career driving win.

Also of note on the Sunday night card, the 10 year-old warrior A Fool For Mark, driven by Dave Ingraham for owner Dustin Ingraham, scored his 50th career win.

The gelded son of Western Ideal toughed out a game first-over win in 1:53.4 to reach the milestone in his 246th lifetime start.

A Fool For Mark, who sports a mark of 1:49.3 over the Vernon Downs oval, has banked $212,419.

As the 4 to 1 third choice, A Fool For Mark paid $10.00 to win.

Racing resumes Tuesday night with first post set at 7:30 p.m.

John Berry for Pompano Park

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