Day At The Track

Record 20 cent Super Hi-5 payoff of $146,288

06:59 PM 16 Feb 2015 NZDT
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Trot Fudge Sundae, with Dave Ingraham in the bike Northern Inferno, driven by Kevin Wallis
Trot Fudge Sundae, with Dave Ingraham in the bike
Skip Smith Photo
Northern Inferno, driven by Kevin Wallis
Skip Smith Photo
Pompano Beach, FL...February 15, 2015...The big news at Pompano Park on Sunday night came in the very last race when Blended Whiskey, driven by George Napolitano, Jr., won that finale, keying a record 20 cent Super Hi-5 payoff of $146,288.30 to one very lucky but, as yet, unidentified bettor.
 
Blended Whiskey, 3 to 1 on the board, was followed by the 40 to 1 chance One Bad Shot (Dave Ingraham) with Orator, 35 to 1, (Travis Cullen) third. Fox Valley Arctic, 9 to 1 (Bruce Ranger) finished fourth with the lukewarm 3 to 1 favorite, Ring Leda (Jason Dillander) fifth--the winning combination being 2-1-10-4-5.
 
The payoff is a record covering the half century history at Pompano Park.
 
Now, on to the feature events...
 
Trot Fudge Sundae, driven by Dave Ingraham, scored a narrow victory in Pompano Park's $13,200 Open Trot for Mares on Sunday night.
 
The five year-old daughter of American Native, trained by Rick Sronce for owners James Bafia and Eugene White. held off the furious late surge of Jailhouse Jessica, handled by Bruce Ranger, to score by a quickly diminishing neck in 1:56.
 
Blushing Hanover, with Mickey McNichol handling her lines, finished third after cutting panels of :27.1; :57.1 and 1:25.3. McTiny's Hope finished fourth and M T Ur Pockets rallied from last half way through the mile to finish fifth.
 
Ingraham's charge was away third through the opening stages of the mile and pull first over just short of the half, grinding forward the rest of the journey before taking command shortly after straightening away for the wire and then hold off Jailhouse Jessica, five lengths back at the third station, in the photo.
 
In a post race interview, driver Dave Ingraham said, "you know, I had a choice to make at the half--go first up or sit in. I decided to give it a go because I didn't want to get bottled up with no place to go...after all, these are very good trotters in here and they can be out and driving in a heartbeat and leave you with no room to roam. She's a rugged mare who like to win and can swallow a lot of air! It worked out just right!
 
For Trot Fudge Sundae, it was her first success of the year in six starts--24th win lifetime--and sent her career earnings to $366,342 in 70 lifetime starts.
 
Fifth choice in the betting, Trot Fudge Sundae paid $15.80 on this "Sundae Night!"
 
Pompano Park also hosted the second leg of "The Battleground" Late Closer for claiming trotters and Northern Inferno snuck on through along the pylons in the final stages to score a photo finish win for Kevin Wallis in 1:57.3 at odds of 28 to 1--the longest proposition in the field of six.
 
This nine year-old son of Angus Hall pinned the upset--measured at a head--on Overwhat (18 to 1), with Joe Sanzeri in the bike with Sand Wyndham and Joe Pavia, Jr. teaming up for third, just a length away.
 
The 3 to 5 favorite, Thirtyeightspecial, finished fourth after cutting panels of :27.4, :58 and 1:26.3 JL Rockin Jake picked up the nickel in the sextet.
 
Northern Inferno, fifth for the opening three quarters of the mile, never left the inside and snuck through as they started to gang up on the leader turning for home.
 
Trained by Sandy Hollon for owner Heddy Nelson, Northern Inferno won for the third time in six tries this year. He's won 33 times during his career spanning 139 starts, good for $185,338.
 
Paying $59.80 to win, Northern Inferno keyed an exacta payoff of $567.00 in the six horse field.
 
Also driver Dennis Whittemore, who rarely makes an appearance in the sulky these days, won his first race since July 31, 2007 and first extended pari-mutuel race since May 14, 2006 when he guided his own P L Humanity to victory in a conditioned trotting event on Sunday night.
 
Whittemore sent this four year-old son of Striking Sahbra to the front from his outside eight post at the :28.2 opener and led the rest of the journey, clocking panels of :59.1 and 1:28.2 en route to a 1:59.1 win over the 1 to 5 favoritee Pointe Of Inquiry (Wayne Henry), who closed with ferocity after a miscue at the start. Witty's Winner was third in that mile.
 
As the 5 to 1 second choice in the betting, P l Humanity paid $12.40 to win.
 
In the $8,500 pace for $15,000 claimers, the 11 year-old warrior St. Pete Star won for the 53rd time in his illustrious career by coming off the pace for George Napolitano, Jr. to score a hard earned victory in 1:52 over Machinist (Joe Pavia, Jr.) with Red Hot Yankee (Kevin Wallis) third.
 
Trained by Paul Holzman for owner Melvin Fink, St Pete Star is now three-for-six this young season, good for $17.094. He's banked $610,184 lifetime and paid $7.40 to his faithful followers.
 
Racing resumes Monday night with pacing mares in the spotlight in an Open Handicap event. Post time is 7:30 p.m.
 
John Berry
 
 
 
 
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