Day At The Track

Skip To My Lou roars in Pompano Open

02:52 AM 03 Mar 2021 NZDT
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Skip To My Lou, harness racing
Skip To My Lou, with Joe Chindano, Jr. in his bike, roared in like March in Pompano Park Monday feature
Dee Leftwich photo

Pompano Beach, FL...March 2, 2021...There is an old weather folklore that says "March comes in like a lion..." and, as the month of March roared in at Pompano Park on the first day, it was the tiny "mighty-mite" Skip To My Lou who came in like a lion to take top honors in the $11,000 Open Handicap Pace.

The five year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou got picture perfect handling from 21 year-old Joe Chindano, Jr. to score a two length win in 1:51 for his fifth harness racing win of the young 2021 campaign in seven starts.

Rebellious (Wally Hennessey) was second after cutting much of the mile while Alluneedisfaith N (Mike Simons) was another neck back in third.

Seeing Eye Single and Funknwaffles picked up the final two awards in the classy, two million dollar field.

As the wings folded, Skip To My Lou, usually content to work from off the pace, changed strategy this night and push the gate out of his way to take the field through an opening panel in a hot :26.3 with Rebellious on the prowl and taking over once they straightened away the first time. Rebellious then carded subsequent panels of :55.4 and 1:23.3 and turned for home with a length advantage which began to melt as Skip To My Lou left the cozy pocket and began gnawing away, taking charge mid-way through the stretch and on to the win.

 

In a post-race interview, young Chindano said, "What can I say? He brought his suit and tie and lunch box to work and was ready to go to work tonight. He raced awesome. He's just a tiny mighty-mite--maybe 14 hands--that has a lion hearted motor."

The win pushed his lifetime earnings to $141,531--$29,450 of that this season, which exceeds his entire bankroll from last season.

Off as the favorite at 3 to 2, Skip To My Lou paid $5.00 to his multitude of faithful.

The $9,500 Open II-III Handicap went to Prairie Panther and driver Wally Hennessey, holding off the warrior Southwind Amazon (David Miller) by a scant nose in 1:51.2 with Lets Roll (Mike Simons) third. Loud Splash and Windemere Ryan were next in the classy septet.

In that event, there was a ferocious war early as the three horses with the outside posts all left seeking the lead with Unlikeanyother (post 5), Southwind Amazon (post 6) and Prairie Panther (post 7) all on the engine with Unlikeanyother reaching the opening station in :26.4 with Southwind Amazon outside and Prairie Panther three wide through the entire first panel before reaching the top after that hot first panel with Southwind Amazon now enjoying the coziness of the pocket.

After a :55.2 half, Unlikeanyother was on the move again from third and denting an official third quarter of :27.3. As that one's bid began to falter, Prairie Panther opened up a 1 1/2 length lead turning for home as Southwind Amazon found a seam and began gnawing away in a memorable photo finish.

But the photo showed Prairie Panther with his nostril in front for his first success of the year in six starts.

 

This seven year-old son of Royel Millennium now has 42 career wins for breeder and co-owner Laurie Poulin who, in turn, co-owns with trainer Mike Deters. That is the second milestone for Prairie Panther in his last two starts--this one vaulting his earnings over the $400,000 plateau ($402,980) after his 100th career start in his last start.

As the second choice at 7 to 5, Prairie Panther paid $4.80 to win.

Other notable performances on Monday were achieved by drivers Rick Plano, David Miller and Wally Hennessey. Plano had a "hat trick" on the program, scoring with McMach ($9.20) in a conditioned pace in 1:50.3, Rockin Machine ($19.00) in a $20,000-$30,000 claiming event in1:52.1 and Bell I No ($14.60) in an Open III Pace in 1:52.1.

Hennessey had a double, as well, with the aforementioned Prairie Panther and American Arrow ($3.20).

Finally, Grand Galup Semalu lit up the tote-board with a $147.40 mutuel for Ken Holliday in the Super Hi-5 finale as the longest shot in the race, coming from last in the 10 horse field during the final quarter to score in 1:53.1. That keyed the 20 cent payoff in that event to $2,151.40.

That Super Hi-5 event now sports a carryover jackpot of $15,281.75 when racing continues on Tuesday night at Pompano Park.

Tuesday's program also features a $20,000 guaranteed pool in the track's Pick-4.

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

For full race results, click here.

by John Berry, for Pompano Park

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