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FORT WASHINGTON, MD - One hundred grand has never been spent as well at a harness racing track as it will Sunday night when the $100,000 Potomac Pace goes to the post at Rosecroft Raceway. Not only is 2018 Horse of the Year McWicked among the eight pacers entered, but so are American History and Dorsoduro Hanover, the one-two finishers in the last weekend's $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Six of the Potomac Pace entrants are racetrack millionaires. "This is our fourth Potomac Pace and this is no doubt the strongest field we've had," said Peter Hanley, Rosecroft's racing secretary. "It should be a great betting race, too." "The big dogs are coming to play," said Casie Coleman, trainer of McWicked the Potomac's 5-2 morning favorite. "This is a very tough race for $100,000." There will be an extra $10,000 at the finish line for any pacer who breaks the Rosecroft track record of 1:47 3/5 set by Keystone Velocity in the 2017 renewal of the Potomac Pace. American History will line up behind the mobile starting gate as the race's hottest horse. He rallied up in the inside part of the stretch to win the Breeders Crown Open Pace by two lengths over Dorsoduro Hanover, an earner of $1.1 million who also returns in the Potomac Pace. "He's matured as a four-year-old and he's going with these guys," said Tony Alagna, the trainer of American History, following the Breeders Crown. "He's so versatile. He can (win) on any size racetrack. He's a special animal. American History, a winner of 16 of career 42 starts and $1,037,656, will be handled by regular driver Joe Bongiorno. They'll start from the favorable No. 2 post and are 3-1 second choice on the morning line. McWicked, harness racing's amazing eight-year-old champion, was the 6-5 betting favorite in the Breeders Crown but raced evenly to finish fourth, beaten four lengths. "He raced big," said Coleman. "The track (surface) wasn't at its best and I had a bar shoe on him (left front). It's hard to switching shoes late in the game, so we went ahead and raced him in the bar shoe. He had trouble getting a hold of the track." McWicked enters the Potomac Pace with career earnings of $4.9 million, second only to Foiled Again ($7.6 million) on the all-time trot/pace list money list. Despite drawing the No. 7 post position, he's the race's 5-2 morning line favorite. The other three millionaires in the Potomac Pace are This Is The Plan ($1.4 million), Courtly Choice ($1.3 million) and Dealt A Winner ($1.2 million). This Is The Plan's 1:49 1/5 clocking in the Aug. 18 Prix d'Ete at Hippodrome Trois Rivieres is the fastest mile ever on a half-mile oval in Canada. Courtly Choice won this year's Canadian Derby at Woodbine Mohawk, and Dealt A Winner is back after finishing fourth in last year's Potomac Pace. The Potomac Pace is the ninth race on the 13-race program that gets underway at 7:15 p.m. and also includes the $25,000 Maryland Invitational. The race for Maryland owned, sired, bred or foaled in the state horses has attracted a field of nine. Romantic Interest, a six-time winner in 2019, is the 3-1 morning line favorite. by Bob Roberts, for Rosecroft Raceway

Pompano Beach, Florida...November 10, 2015...Drake, handled by veteran harness racing driver Bob Roberts, pulled off the major upset as Pompano Park hosted four lucrative F.S.B.O.A Stallion Stakes--three non-wagering events--on Tuesday night. Drake pinned the three length defeat on Owosso Flash (Mike Deters) with Caesar's Forum (Wally Hennessey) third. Stutz and Gold Star Roger completed that quintet. Prairie Sweetheart, Gleneagles and Gold Star Dynasty also annexed victories in their respective classes. Drake, a three year-old son of Six Of Diamonds, was seeking a maiden win after 19 career starts--13 of those this semester--and appeared in "over his head" in this $30,950 non-wagering event with both Owosso Flash and Caesar's Forum in the fray, the latter pair dominating this class for sophomore pacing colts and geldings thus far in the season. But a surprise was lurking in this event--a surprise timed in 1:54.1. Indeed, it was Caesar's Forum, with Wally Hennessey in the bike, using his inside post to perfection with Owosso Flash right behind through an opening quarter in a tepid :29.2. That's when the fireworks began in earnest with Owosso Flash leaving the cozy pocket to engage the leader in battle. A :26.2 second panel left this pair literally nostrils apart at the :55.4 half with Drake now a dozen lengths away followed by Stutz and Gold Star Roger. The feverish pace continued on the backside with the top pair battling tooth and nail through a :54.2 middle half, reaching the third station in 1:23.4. Literally 20 lengths out of it three-eighths out, Drake began to gnaw into the lead and, when the "plugs" came out around the final turn, Roberts literally spoke to his charge and he answered back with a devastating rally that left the field in his wake. After the event, driver Roberts related, "you know, last week I told Kim (trainer Sears) that Drake was really starting to find his stride and he might have been closer had it not been for some road trouble. "This time, I knew I was going to get away third and when they battled for so long, I thought I just might get to them this time. "I like to talk to my horses when I drive them and, when I popped the plugs, I said, 'ok, boy, time to show 'em what your made of!" Owned by Jay and Kim Sears, Drake more than doubled his lifetime earnings in his first 19 starts, now standing at $28,675. In the $29,950 Stallion Stake for the juvenile pacing fillies, Prairie Sweetheart, the splendid daughter of Royal Millennium owned by John Spindler, along with Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, kept her career unblemished--now five-for-five--with a lifetime best 1:54.2 performance with trainer Mike in the bike. Prairie Sweetheart sent her lifetime earnings to $27,764 after taking command from Caitlin's Romance at the :28.2 opener and then on to fractions of :57.3 and 1:25.4 before sprinting home in :28.3 to seal the deal. Caitlin's Romance, second to Prairie Sweetheart in the last trio of Sunshine State Stakes, was second again, this time for Rick Plano. Diamond Lily, handled by Mike Micallef, was third with Gold Star Mysti and Trottime Sparks also earning purse checks in the field of six. In the $29,250 Stallion Stake for two year-old pacing colts and geldings, Gleneagles, after a brief, early tussle with Conman's Dream, held on gamely with a :28 finale to score by a neck in 1:55.3 for Wally Hennessey over Conman's Dream and Jason Mac Dougall. R Chism finished third for Mike Micallef while ICU Diamond T finished fourth. Trottime Diamonds picked up the nickel in the sextet. Gleneagles, a son of Mysticism owned by the Pinhook Stable, earned his fourth straight win to send his juvenile earnings to $37,198. The $32,550 Stallion Stake for three year-old pacing fillies was held on the betting card and Gold Star Dynasty continued her dynasty over her class with a lifetime best performance 1:55 performance for driver Aaron Byron. Trained by Mike Deters for Oldford Farms, Jarold Hawks and Wrenn Racing, Gold Star Dynasty took command from Davita (Corey Braden) right at the opening marker in :28 and went on to post fractions of :57 and 1:26.1 before her :28.4 closer sealed the deal over Davita with Paxxie (Kevin Wallis) third. Gold Star Sonata finished fourth while stablemate Gold Star Charming finished fifth in the field of six. Gold Star Dynasty now has a 7-4-1-0 scorecard this year, good for $27,287. She's banked $70,324 lifetime in just 14 starts. She paid a 10% dividend ($2.20) to her multitude of backers. In the $10,000 Open Handicap for mares, Mach It A Par, deftly handled by owner Dan Clements, used a perfect garden journey to roll past the 2 to 5 favorite, Godiva Seelster (Wally Hennessey), a sixteenth out to win in 1:52.1, her margin 1 1/4 lengths at the wire. Classic Carpet (Kevin Wallis) finished third in her Pompano Park debut while Jets Are On and Winbak Heavenly picked up the final two awards in the field of seven. The winner, trained by Renaldo Morales III, was away alertly from her inside post as Winbak Heavenly and Godiva Seelster decided to play a bit of hard ball early with Godiva three wide for much of the opening panel (:27) before assuming control shortly thereafter. With a half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:24, Godiva cut the corner turning for home but simply couldn't fend off the pocket sitting Mach Me Not in deep stretch, although she did extend her streak of earning purse money to 71 starts encompassing her entire seasons as a three, four and, now, five year-old seasons. Mach It A Par, meanwhile, won for the 11th time this season, good for $75,847, by far her most successful season of campaigning. The five year-old daughter of Mach Three now has lifetime bounty of $112,749. As second choice in the betting, Mach It A Par paid $7.20 to win. Pompano Park now continues on a three night-a-week schedule (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) with post time 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...October 4, 2014...Prairie Jaguar, the author of the most 1:50 miles in Pompano Park history, returned home to his favorite track and crushed his foes with a startling 1:50.3 performance as Pompano Park opened its 2014-2015 season on Saturday night.   The Florida bred six year-old son of Spy Hard, driven by 25 year-old Aaron Byron, brushed to the front from his outside six post around the first turn, demoralized the competition with a :26 opener and went on to score a win measuring 4 1/4 lengths over Northern Companion (Mike Micallef). Cartoonist (Bruce Ranger) finished third with T's Electric, Damon Blue Chip and I Do Hanover completing the sextet.   It was the ninth win in 27 starts for "Jaguar," pushing his 2014 bounty to $80,405 and $137,627 lifetime.   In a post race interview, driver Aaron Byron said, "This was the first time I have ever driven this horse and Mr. Deters told me that he likes to 'rock and roll' early. After that quick opening quarter, I tried to rate him a little but he just grabbed on the further I got into the mile. After that :54.1 half, he really told me he wanted to go, so that 3/4 time of (1):21.3 was not too much of a surprise. I just let him coast on home after that!"   Pompano's kickoff also featured eight different class for Sunshine State Stakes eligibles.   The most notable performers in those events were Showing Off, Goldstar Kenny P, Owosso Flash, Livy M, Markie, Paxxie, Railee Workable and Limelight.   Showing Off kept his perfect record in tact in 2014--now three-for-three--with a sharp 2:01.4 win for Bob Roberts, who was in the bike for trainer Kim Sears and owners Jay Sears along with Richard and Sandra Dunmire.   Livy M, owned and trained by James Martin, was a photo finish winner over Brandy in a nip and tuck battle all the way down Pompano's stretch, the margin a slender nose for Tom Sells.   Goldstar Kenny P, who chased both Warlock and Tough Issue home in seven tries last year, rose to the top of the three year-old class with a very smartly rated with Mickey McNichol in the bike. Owned and trained by Tom Audley, "Kenny" wired his two competitors, sealing the deal with a last half in :59.1 in a 2:00.2 performance.   After the event, driver McNichol said, "The colt has a mark of (1):57 but we got away with a little something this time around, so I took a hold as long as there were no imminent threats. He was solid tonight."   Owosso Flash, also owned by Poulin and Deters, looked awesome in gaining his first lifetime win. "Flash," a two year-old by Royal Millennium, made a quarter move to the front and was never threatened thereafter, stopping the clock in 1:58.3.   Last year's two year old filly champion in the trotting division, Markie, looks like she means business in repeating as champion this year, too. The daughter of Proud Bushy, trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay, crushed her foes again wirth a 2:01 win measuring 13 3/4 lengths. She's now three-for-three this year.   The two year-old Six Of Diamonds filly, Paxxie, was next in the spotlight and she wore down a stubborn Gold Star Dynasty with a :28.1 finale in a lifetime best 1:59.1. Bruce Ranger was in the bike for owners Warren and Joan Harp.   Railee Workable then extended his winning streak to two with a gate to wire win in 2:04--:29.3 for Mickey McNichol. This son of Basil is trained by Louis Ginesi for Fred Morosini and Ken Fritz.   Finally, Limelight, owned by Beauty in the Bridle Racing Stable, picked up her Third Straight win in Sunshine State Stakes action with a very sharp win in 1:56.1. Tom Sells was in the bike for trainer Rosie Huff.   Other "Open" winners on the card were Hurricane Howard (Sells) and Bold Willie (Bryce Fenn).   Hurricane Howard won the Open "2" for by lolly-gagging to a :58.1 and then sealing the issue with a final four furlongs in :55.4. This seven year-old Florida bred son of Mannart Howard is owned by Lawrence Barnett along with trainer Mike Deters.   And while the "fireworks" at the track were in the form of flashes of lightning, The Open "3" provided some pari-mutuel fireworks as Bold Willie lit up the tote-board with a $93.00 mutuel in the finale, keying a dime superfecta payoff of $1,022.78.   Racing resumes Wednesday night with a new 7:30 post time remaining in effect.     by John Berry, for the Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...October 3, 2014...Pompano Park begins its second half century of racing on Saturday night, October 4, with eight Sunshine State Stakes events and three Open events highlighting the action. The top Open event features Prairie Jaguar, the only horse to record five wins in 1:50 or faster on Pompano's five-eighths mile oval, including two wins in 1:49. Owned by Laurie Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, the six year-old altered son of Spy Hard has banked over $75,000 this season and will have the driving services of newcomer Aaron Byron. Byron, 25, comes into the action with 1,330 lifetime wins--165 of those so far this year. "Jaguar" has been installed as the 8 to 5 morning line favorite and is coupled with T's Electric, fresh off of a 1:52.4 win at Tioga downs featuring his last half in :54.3. Tom Sells will handle T's Electric. Also in the field is Northern Companion, trained by Howard Klohr for owner Dorothy Zarza. "Buddy," as he is known around the barn, has amassed 36 lifetime wins and $223,272 in lifetime bounty, including a mark of 1:50.3 recorded at Pompano last season. Freshened up after a two month vacation, Northern Companion comes into the action off of a handy qualifying win in 1:56.1. Mike Micallef will take this six year-old to Pompano Park's Hummer Starting Gate. Damon Blue Chip, I Do Hanover and Cartoonist complete the talented field. The Sunshine State Stakes covers Florida bred two and three year-olds, all of which are seeking a coveted spot on the FSBOA's $400,000 (est.) Super Night in late November, The pari-mutuel portion of the 13 race program kicks off with the class of three year-old trotting fillies. Jay Sears' Markie, last year's two year-old champion, has been dominant this far in her sophomore class, scoring victories in her only two starts this year--both measuring 20 or more lengths--with her last win in a lifetime best 2:00.1. Bob Roberts will be in the bike for trainer Kim Sears. Markie has been labeled the 4 to 5 morning line favorite in her event. Beauty in the Bridle Stable's Limelight will tangle with eight others in her division for three year-old pacing fillies. The talented daughter of Cracking Light comes to Pompano Park off of a pair of dominant wins in Sunshine State Stakes action at Sunshine Meadows. Tom Sells will handle the filly's lines for trainer Rosie Huff. In the two year-old events for trotting colts and geldings, Railee Workable and Victory Park have been locking horns with each scoring a win against the other at the recently concluded two session affair at Sunshine Meadows. Joining the fray this time around is first time starter Prairie Fortune, coming off a very sharp qualifying event at Tioga Downs, where he was, literally, nosed out in 2:02. Railee Workable, a son of Basil, is trained by Lou Ginesi for owners Ken Fritz and Fred Morosini and will have Mickey McNichol in the bike. Victory Park is owned by the consortium of Turcotte, Howard, Roccasano and Ruggles and will have Bruce Ranger in the sulky for trainer Mel Turcotte. Two year-old pacing fillies will also take the spotlight on opening night with Paxxie and Gold Star Dynasty renewing their rivalry. Paxxie, the sharp looking Six Of Diamonds lass owned by trainer Warren Harp along with Joan Harp, beat Gold Star Dynasty by a neck the first time around at Sunshine Meadows in stakes action with Warren in the bike. The next week, "Dynasty," also a Six Of Diamond filly, owned by trainer Tom Audley, turned the tables on Paxxie, scoring the neck decision over her main rival in a lifetime best 2:01.1 for Walter Ross, Jr. Paxxie is listed at 8 to 5 while Gold Star Dynasty is tabbed at 9 to 5 on the morning line. Amante Standardbreds' Caesar's Forum, trained by Marc Aubin, appears to have the upper hand in his division for juvenile pacing colts and geldings. The talented son of Six Of Diamonds is, thus far, sports a perfect two-for-two scorecard to go along with a lifetime best 2:00.3--:58.3 performance at Sunshine Meadows. Bruce Ranger will take Caesar's Jackpot post-ward in his Sunshine Stakes event. Pompano will offer the popular .20 cent superfecta on all races with the highly anticipated Super Hi-5 expected to be added to the racing programs in the very near future. Post time for the pari-mutuel program is 7:30 while four non-betting Sunshine State Stakes events get underway at 6:15 p.m. by John Berry, for the Isle Pompano Park

With Mother Nature cooperating and no rain for the second straight week, the Sunshine Stakes for Florida sired Standardbreds went off without a hitch Saturday at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village in Delray Beach, Florida. There were eight stakes races for two and and three-year-old trotters and pacers with purses totaling more than $25,000. The race are sponsored by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association. The track was rated good with a one-second allowance because of rain during the early morning hours. The thriller of the day happened in the $3,500 seven race pace for three-year-old fillies as Limelight stole the spotlight for driver Tom Sells with a 1:57.1 victory. That mile was the fastest of the two days of fair racing. Heather and driver Bob Roberts were caught three-wide to the opening quarter mile in :28.3 as Lightlight also had to go on the outside when Voluminous (Bruce Ranger) made a break. Heather then led the field to the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:27. It was then that Sells came after the lead with Limelight and they tore aware from the rest of the field to win by four open lengths. It was the fourth win this year for the Cracking Light daughter, who trained by Rosie Huff for the Beauty Bridle Racing Stable of South Amboy, NJ. Markie made it an impressive two for two in 2014 with her second straight win in the $3,300 three-year-old filly trot. Driven by Bob Roberts, Markie was parked to the early lead and just like last week, she pulled away from everyone and went on to win by 23 lengths in 2:00.1. It was the daughter of Proud Bushy’s fifth straight win for Kim and Jay Sears of Osteen, FL, who also bred the filly. Other winners on the program were Railee Workable (Mickey McNichol) in the $3,450 2yo colt trot in 2:03.3; Livy M (Tom Sells) captured the $3,150 2yo filly trot in 2:07.3 and Gold Star Dynasty (Walter Ross, Jr.) took the $3,200 2yo filly pace in 2:01.1. The $2,500 pace for 2yo colts was captured by Caesar’s Forum (Bruce Ranger) in 2:00.3; the $2,900 3yo colt trot was won by Showing Off (Bob Roberts) in 2:01 and the second fastest mile on the card saw Gold Star Kenny P (Mickey McNichol) win the $2,800 3yo colt pace in 1:59.3. The Sunshine Stakes now move on to the third leg at the Isle Pompano Park on their opening night, Saturday, October 4. From Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village

The second leg of the Florida Sunshine Stakes with more than $25,000 in purses, will take place Saturday at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village in Delray Beach. There is free admission and parking. First race post time is 11:00 am for the eight race program for Florida-sired two and three-year-old trotters and pacers. There is one division for each gait and gender. The series is hosted by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association to spotlight the top Florida-sired Standardbreds. Victory Park, who won his maiden start last week, drew the rail in the first race for two-year-old colt trotters. He will once again be driven by Bruce Ranger. The first race had a full field of nine colts going behind the Hummer starting gate. Markie, who is on a four-race winning streak for trainer Kim Sears, heads the fifth race trot for three-year-old fillies and drew post five. The daughter of Proud Bushy romped last week at Sunshine Meadows, winning by 20 open lengths in 2:02.1, which was the fastest mile on the race program. She will again be driven by Bob Roberts, who had a driving triple last week. There will be vendors and food trucks at the event. The Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village is located on the west side of 441/SR 7 between Atlantic Avenue and Clint Moore Road. For more information call 561-281-7659. From Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Center

Harness racing driver Bruce Ranger made a triumphant return to the winner’s circle with a victory in one of the eight $25,000 Florida Sunshine Stakes held at the Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village in Delray Beach, Florida Saturday morning. It was back on May 12 in the third race at the Isle Pompano Park, Ranger was involved in a three-horse accident and was catapulted from his race bike and landed on his bank, fracturing several vertebrae in his spine. Ranger, 55, is the all-time winningest driver in the history of the Isle Pompano Park with 8,733 career wins. With no surgery, Ranger had been wearing a brace since the accident and took it off just last week after four months of healing and therapy. “I jogged my first horse since the accident this week at Pompano Park,” Ranger said, “And it felt good enough to give me the incentive to try a just a couple of races today. My friend Mel Turcotte had a heart attack two weeks ago and I wanted to help him out and drive his two horses.” In the fourth race $3,300 division of the Sunshine Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and gelding, Ranger was aboard Ron Turcotte’s Victory Park in his maiden debut and the son of Arapa Victory was able to lead from start to finish for Ranger, winning by three-quarters of a length in 2:05.2 over the one mile oval. “It felt really good to sit in a race bike again,” Ranger admitted, “But we will see how I feel come tomorrow morning. This was a great first mile and Mel’s looks to have a nice colt. He was smooth going and has a nice gait. Two drives for me was just fine today. I think I will be ready to try a few more next week here.” Ranger said he was waiting to jog horses until his new safety vest with added back protection had arrived. Victory Park is co-owned by Barbara Turcotte, Vickie Howard, Pete Roccasano and Ron Ruggles. The fastest mile on the program was registered by Markie and driver Bob Roberts in the fifth race $3,400 three-year-old filly trot. They sped away from the field right at the start, leading by as many as ten lengths by the half mile and went on to win by 20 open lengths in 2:02.1. It was the first start of the year for the daughter of Proud Bushy, who was bred and is owned by Kim and Jay Sears of Osteen and trained by Kim Sears. Trotting JC Poss (Tom Sells) was second with Gold Star Ginger (Walter Ross, Jr.) third. It was one of three winners on the day for Bob Roberts. Other divisional winners were Paxxie (Warren Harp) in 2:05 in the $2,950 2yo filly pace; Caesar’s Forum (Marc Aubin) in 2:03.4 in the $2,800 2yo colt pace; Brandy (Bob Roberts) in 2:09.3 in the $2,950 2yo filly trot; Showing Off (Bob Roberts) in the $2,900 3yo colt trot, Limelight (Tom Sells) in the $3,500 3yo filly pace and Gold Star Kenny P (Mickey McNichol) in the $3,000 3yo colt pace in 2:03.3. “Considering all the rain we had Friday and again early this morning,” Ranger said, “The track crew at Sunshine Meadows did an outstanding job. Their racing surface was in super shape for today. I got to meet both the track super Brandon Mills and his assistant Scott Miller and told what a great job they did in preparing this place for the races.” There were also two “celebrity” races in double-seater jogging carts held during the program. In the closest finish of any race on the day, Florida State Senator Maria Sachs barely beat Senator Joseph Abruzzo by a slim nose in the first event. The second race saw professional Mazda car race driver, Tristan Nunez, age 18, defeat his mother/manager Diane Nunez by three opens lengths. “What an exciting race that was,” Senator Sachs said, “I have been riding horses all my life but this was something new and exhilarating, especially coming to the finish and beating Joe. This was a victory for all women!” “I started out driving go-carts,” said professional car race driver Tristan Nunez,” and then two years ago when I was 16, I was hired by Mazda to drive for them even before I got my regular driver’s license, but this was something totally different and a great experience. These horses has such raw power and strength and speed. I really liked it and want to do it again.” The $25,000 second leg of the Sunshine Stakes will take place next Saturday, September 20 at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Center in Delray starting at 11:00 am with free admission and parking. The Sunshine Stakes are sponsored by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association. From Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Center

Pompano Beach, FL…Oct. 28, 2013…Prairie Sunrise and Geronimo Fame won their respective $10,000 divisions of the Sunshine State Stakes Finals for juvenile trotters at Pompano Park on Monday while Fiesta Camcun took top honors in the feature for the mares. In a non-wagering event for the colts and geldings, Amante Standardbreds Geronimo Fame, handled by Bruce Ranger, captured top honors in his field of five, grinding his way to the top in deep stretch to score by three parts of a length over Gator On Patrol (Tom Sells) in 2:04.3. Swamp Gator (Bob Roberts) finished third while Midnight Michael and Showing Off completed the rundown. THe winner, a son of Famously trained by Stewart Nemiro, was away in good order and found a spot in third as Gator On Patrol opened up a sizable lead through panels of :32 and 1:04.1. Midway on Pompano's backstretch, that lead began to melt as Ranger tipped his colt out and began grinding slowly forward. Around turn three, Geronimo Fame was just a length and a half away, pulled along side the leader at the sixteenth pole and drew clear from there. After the race, Ranger said, "This colt does have a high turn of speed but he has to be handled a bit gingerly because he can lose his composure if he's driven too aggressively early. Tonight, I just floated him out of there, found a good spot and let him grind himself into contention on the backside. He's still learning, but he can certainly trot a good final quarter." It was the colt's second lifetime win--second straight--in only six lifetime starts. In the companion event for the fillies, Prairie Sunrise, owned by Laurie Poulin, Fred Morosini, Ken Fritz and trainer Mike Deters, pulled off an 18 to 1 shocker with Tom Sells in the bike, knocking off seven full seconds off of her previous best in scoring a 2:02 win measuring 3 3/4 lengths over Markie (Jay Sears) and favored Trotting JC Poss (Andy Santeramo), among others. This daughter of Arapa Victory used a huge rally in the lane to get her second lifetime win and light up the tote-board with a $39.00 win mutuel at the same time. Her victory also caused a second straight carry-over in Pompano Park's new 50 cent Pick 5 wager. Gapped in fifth half way through the mile, Prairie Sunrise began to roll forward three-eighths out, went to the extreme outside turning for home and exploded by Markie in mid-stretch. "She does have tons of speed," driver Tom Sells said, "but she's a bit fractious--hard to handle--but she does have a lot of talent…if she can mind her manners. This was a very big effort for her." Blame Bushy and Famous Halle got the final awards in the field of nine. In the $10,000 feature for the mares, Fiesta Camcun overcame her outside post to score a decisive win for Stephane Lareau in 1:53.3, pinning a 2 1/4 length defeat on the 7 to 5 favorite Gold Star Glitter (Kevin Wallis). Up Front Lady Gray (Rick Plano) was third in the mile followed by Diamond Amber. Bombilla Hanover, putting a lengthy challenge from turn two through turn three, got the nickel. Fiesta Camcun, a seven year-old daughter of Camotion trained by Paul Bernardo for owner Diane Hellen, took the lead immediately from her outside post and carded an opening panel of :27.2 before stubbornly giving way to Gold Star Glitter. The latter carded subsequent fractions soy :55 and 1:24 with Bombilla lurking boldly at that point and Fiesta Camcun simply waiting for a bit of racing room. Turning for home, Bombilla Hanover drifted out just a tad and Fiesta Camcun found the room, left her cozy pocked and marched on by mid-stretch for the hand score, her 11th of the year, to push her seasonal bounty to $72,352. Driver Lareau, in a post race interview, said, "This mare is very handy and can leave like gangbusters. I was hoping to get some cover after using her early and when Kevin's (driver Wallis) mare made that move to the top, it set up a garden trip. The half was pretty hot (:55) and I thought I was in a very good spot. We had a similar trip a couple of weeks ago. This one worked out perfect!" As third choice in the betting, Fiesta Camcun paid $10.20 to win. Bruce Ranger had three wins on the card--two on the betting card--while Tom Sells and Kevin Wallis, the latter celebrating his birthday, had two wins apiece. by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...Sept. 28, 2013...Tashia, the splendid three year-old Six Of Diamonds filly, extended her winning streak to six on Saturday as the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association hosted the first fall stakes program at Pompano Park. The non-wagering matinee featured two and three year olds in an 11 race extravaganza over the fast five-eighths mile oval under the 86 degree warmth of the fall Florida sunshine. Tashia, handled by Stephane Lareau for owners Jay and Kim Sears, went a brave first up journey to collar the feisty filly Seven Arias, driven by Bruce Ranger, in the final strides of the mile timed in 1:56.1. I Spy A Gator, with Bob Roberts in the bike, was third followed by Tamala and Goldstar Rockette--the latter two switched in the official order of finish when all was said and done. Tashia, winless last year as a two year-old, has now won nine times in 2013, good for $27,000 and change this year and just three dollars short of $40,000 lifetime. The free-legged filly was away fourth as Seven Arias opened the festivities with a :29.2 quarter before dittoing that time during the second panel, reaching the half in :58.4. On the backside, Tashia began to roll and, during a hot third quarter officially times in :28, pulled on even terms with Seven Arias. In the lane, these two fillies battled right sown to the line with Tashia eking by in the final stride or two. The other division for the sophomore pacing fillies went to Hollie Proesel’s Full Of Moxie, driven by Bruce Ranger for trainer Brian Pelling. The Full Of Fun filly went right to the front, was beautifully rated through fractions of :29.4 and :59.3, repelled a serious bid from Dandee Diamond (Walter Ross, Jr.) to score by a half length in 1:58.1 for her maiden win in but four lifetime starts. The latter, incidentally, made a miscue at the start falling several lengths away and raced a courageous journey thereafter in a very game effort. Track Girl was third, followed by One Fine Diamond and I.C.U. Misty. There was an upset of sorts in the Sunshine Stakes for three year-old pacing colts and geldings as Quincy, yet another offspring of Six Of Diamonds, upset his stablemate Hillybilly with driver Bruce Ranger. Both are trained by veteran Marc Aubin. Quincy, owned by the Marc Aubin Stable, assumed control right from the get-go before yielding to Hillybilly through an opening quarter in :28.1. The latter cut sensible fractions of :57.3 and 1:27 (his record is 1:52.1) but Quincy used a :27.2 final to easily go by late to score by a length and a quarter for his 10th win of the year. Wingull and Mickey McNichol teamed up for third with Goldstar Thumper and Jose Lightning getting the final awards in the field of seven. In sophomore trotting action, the fillies were led home by last year’s champion, Tyree’s Treasure, who was an easy winner in a new lifetime best of 2:01.4 for driver Bruce Ranger. The “Famously” bred filly (she IS by Famously) led every step of the mile, sealing the deal with a final panel of :29.3. Mark Friedman trains the filly for the Polo Stables and Hollie Proesel. Joe Pennacchio’s Railee Kwik, a son of Basil, pulled off an upset in the trotting division, going a brave first over journey in taking the measure of another son of Basil, Tim T, handled by Tom Sells, in a lifetime best effort of 1:58.2. Rex finished third in that mile. Proud Expression and Worthy Crown also picked up checks. In the juvenile divisions, Blame Bushy (Mickey McNichol) and Markie (Jay Sears) won in their respective trotting divisions for the fillies while Showing Off gave Jay Sears a driving double with a 2:07 effort. Two slender noses decided the two divisions for the two year-old pacing fillies. In the first, the Six Of Diamonds filly Sandalonia, handled by Mickey McNichol, first, got by the stubborn J D Eleven Bells at mid-stretch and, then, held off the furious late surge of ICU CharlieT to win by a nostril in 2:00.1 for owner Heddy Nelson and trainer Sandy Hollon, who earned her 50th lifetime training success. In the second division, Amante Standardbreds LA Regina, a daughter of N Aboriginal, snuck through along the pylons to score a nose decision over Marion (Sean McAleese) in 2:01.1. It was her maiden success in just two lifetime starts. Heather was a neck away from the winner’s circle in third. Finally, in the two year-old pacing division for the colts and geldings, Tough Issue, an altered son of Tough Sir., led gate to wire in 1:59.3--:28.3 for Tom Sells. Trained by Mike Deters, Tough Issue is owned by Brenda Komers along with the Verderame Stable. John Berry  

Pompano Beach, FL...June 19, 2013...Two 'Gators'--one a trotter and one a pacer--grabbed top harness racing honors in their respective feature events at Pompano Park on Wednesday night.

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