Day At The Track

Panocchio three-peats at Pompano

04:32 PM 16 Jan 2017 NZDT
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Wally Hennessey Panocchio
Wally Hennessey was honored at Pompano Park as the leading driver during the 2015-2016 season. Joe Frasure, Gabe Prewitt and Joe Pennacchio made the presentation.
Skip Smith Photo
Panocchio, driven by Wally Hennessey, scored a three-peat win at Pompano Park on Sunday night.
Skip Smith Photo

Pompano Beach, FL...January 15, 2017...For the ninth time in 10 tries since his return to harness racing at Pompano Park, Panocchio won the top pace on Sunday night (January 15)--the $12,000 Open Handicap Pace.

The seven year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, handled again by Wally Hennessey and assigned the outside post in his quintet, zoomed out of the gate into the lead before yielding to Drachan Hanover (John MacDonald) at the opener in :26.3.

A stride of two later, Panocchio brushed up to regain the top spot and carded subsequent panels of :55.1 and 1:24.1 before a :28 finale sealed the deal by 1 ¾ lengths over the late charging Bluehourpower (Corey Braden). Legal Spike (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) finished another neck back in third while Fritzie Pic Up Man garnered fourth money. Drachan Hanover picked up the nickel.

After the event, Hennessey, once again, had high praise for Panocchio saying, "Jim (trainer Mattison) and his wife, Vicki, keep this horse in such great condition week after week. It's just amazing that he can keep sharp for this extended period of time...just amazing.

"He just does what he has to do to win. Being 'handicapped' with the outside post when it's the five post actually helps this horse as he is ready to go when the gate springs.

"He got to the top easily enough and, when MacDonald came at me, I thought it best to let him go and retake, hoping that I wouldn't get in a war with him since his horse missed last week.

"When we got to the half in a reasonable (:55.1), we didn't really have any threats on the backside, although I did give him one tap to keep him interested.

When we hit the third quarter in 1:24.1, I was confident he could get home."

In keeping his 2017 record unblemished--now 3-for-3--Panocchio sent his seasonal bounty to $18,000 and $415,368 career-wise with 51 wins, including the track record at Pompano in 1:48.3 for Emile Johnson, Jr., who co-owns with trainer Jim Mattison.

Off at a dime-to-a-dollar in the betting, Panocchio paid $2.20 to win.

The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to Mystic Desire, handled by Aaron Byron, stopped the clock in 1:50.4 to score his initial win of the year in just two starts.

The classy nine year-old son of Real Desire used that coveted five post to push the Hummer Starting Gate out of the way at the start and scorched panels of :26.1, :53.2 and 1:22 before stepping home in :28.4 to seal the issue over the late charging Respectable Dream (Rick Plano) with First Of Itskind (Tom Jackson) a stout closing third after trailing throughout the first five-eighths of the journey. The Optimist finished fourth while Duc Dorleans picked up the minor award in the field of six.

Trained by Don Campbell for owner Tony Maione, Mystic Desire won for the 39th time in his stories career with his earnings vaulting to $843,851.

As the 6 to 5 favorite on the tote-board, Mystic Desire paid $4.60 to win.

Also, Wally Hennessey was honored as the leading driver during the 2015-2016 season. Hennessey claimed the title with 224 driving wins during the 126 night racing season. Hennessey also leads this year's driving colony at Pompano Park with 122 wins over the first 52 nights of the 2016-2017 season.

Racing continues on Monday night with My Revenuer seeking his fourth straight win in the popular "Over-The-Hill Gang" Trot. The nine year-old gelded son of Revenue S will have Brad Kramer in the bike for owner-trainer Tom Petri. The million dollar quintet of eight year-olds and up are responsible 150 lifetime wins.

The Monday card also features a Pick-6 carryover of $1,113 and a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 Pool.

Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.

by John Berry for Pompano Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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