Day At The Track

Racing and Rick Plano return to Pompano

01:46 AM 01 Nov 2011 NZDT
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Special Sweetheart and Greg Merton
Special Sweetheart and Greg Merton - hang on to beat Nillabomb and Stephane Bardier in 1:52.3.
Photo courtesy: Skip Smith/Lap Time Photo

Another prolonged deluge of rain cleared just in time for the resumption of live harness racing on Monday evening, October 31 at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. Two recent cards, including last Saturday, were cancelled as South Florida was under a weekend long flash flood advisory.

The feature event on the final card of October was the $12,000 purse Mares Open Handicap Pace as Special Sweetheart took matters upon herself to earn a 1:52.3 victory. After Princessofdarkness vaulted to the front in :26 seconds, Special Sweetheart was on the move for driver Greg Merton with five eighths of the mile to go.

The middle panels were battled out in :55 and 1:23, with Special Sweetheart edging away in the stretch and holding off a last rush by Nillabomb in rein to Stephane Bardier at the wire.

I'm Just Special, part of the favored entry, finished third. It was less than two years ago that Special Sweetheart established a track record in November of 2009 in the three year old filly pace category, and the daughter of Western Ideal-Ladys Special Girl trained by Peter Pellegrino for the 4 For 3 Stable of Bronxville, NY is now a 22-time career winner of $814,429.


59 year old horseman Rick Plano marked his return to the South Florida scene with three drives on the Monday evening program. His first shipment of six horses arrived last week from California and New York, and he'll make his first training start of the meet on the Wednesday evening, November 2 program.

Plano arrives back in Florida after many years at the top of the standings at Cal-Expo and a 2011 campaign in New York and Pennsylvania. In the bike, he has over 5,800 wins for almost $23 million purses and on the training side he's harnessed up over 3,200 recorded winners for earnings of almost $15 million.


After last weekend's Breeders Crown from Woodbine attracted a near capacity crowd to the track and Isle Casino, another premium simulcasting event has been arranged for the coming weekend. Under an agreement secured with Calder Racecourse, that track's full cards and the Breeders Cup cards will be presented in their entirety this Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5, in the simulcasting area of The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. The Daily Racing Form will be available while supplies last, with Friday post time at 12:30 p.m. EST and on Saturday at noon.

One of the Pompano's biggest annual cards, the 2011 Super Night for the Florida Standardbred Breeders And Owners Association (FSBOA) is set for next Saturday, November 5. Estimated purses of $400,000 will be on the line for the state-bred two and three year old trotters and pacers.

Post time is 7:05 p.m. EST every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Tuesday racing returns on November 22 when the four nights per week schedule takes effect through March of 2012 at The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing. The full season schedule, free race night streaming and replays are available in the racing tab at


Special Sweetheart's win:

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