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Pompano Beach, FL...November 21, 2014...Panocchio, Doc Dorleans and Prairie Jaguar renew their spirited rivalry along with four other worthy opponents as Pompano Park hosts Hippomania II on Saturday night. The card is further complimented with five separate stakes events in the Melvyn Aylor Memorial, honoring the memory of the Florida breeder, trainer, owner and highly respected veterinarian who tragically lost his life due to an unfortunate accident back in 2009. Panocchio looks to solidify his supremacy in the Hippomania II event on the strength of four straight victories in the class--the last a lifetime best 1:50 performance. Bruce Ranger is expected back in the bike back of this grand four year-old son of No Pan Intended. About the big event, Ranger said, "He (Panocchio) is such a handy horse to drive--two fingers does it. I've sent him (to the front) the past few times because it's difficult to spot competition of this caliber seven or eight lengths at the start and expect to win. We'll see what kind of opportunities present themselves when the gate springs on Saturday." Duc Dorleans, one of four performers in the field with sub-1:50 marks, gave futile chase in his last effort, pacing his final half in :54.1 to finish second for Donald Dupont. Trainer-driver Dupont recently said, "'Duc' does have some gate speed but he is probably best known for his closing kick. He's paced a final quarter under :26 on a bigger track. It's a tough decision on whether to leave or not, especially with a horse like Prairie Jaguar starting with a post inside of ours." Speaking of Prairie Jaguar, this Florida bred son of Spy Hard is the only horse in Pompano Park history to record five victories in 1:50 or faster--his mark being 1:49 on two occasions. Veteran driver Peter Wrenn is expected to be in the sulky for the journey on Saturday evening. Northern Companion, Rage N Ryan, Audrey's Dream and Freeneasy Hanover round out the septet scheduled to go to the post in race nine on the 11 race pari-mutuel card. The Melvyn Aylor Memorial events feature some of Florida's finest two year-olds and carry a total of $63,500 in purses. Of particular interest are two budding rivalries, the first for the two year-old pacing colts and geldings and the second showcasing the juvenile pacing fillies. The event for the boys pits Owosso Flash, thus far the leader of the class, against Gold Star Kevin and Caesar's Forum. Owosso Flash is undefeated in three starts at Pompano Park and, in an amazing performance in his last start, took an "unscheduled right turn" early spotting the field some 15 lengths before being "righted" by driver Mike Deters being sent on to score a decisive win in 1:58.1. Gold Star Roger gave chase in that event and finished a game second while Caesar's Forum, third in his last two outings to "Flash," looks to be rounding into top form as the FSBOA stakes season reaches a peak. The filly event features Gold Star Dynasty and Paxxie locking hooves for the sixth time this stakes season. Both of these fillies have not been worse than second in their respective careers covering five starts with "Dynasty" holding a three to two edge in wins. That event kicks off the pari-mutuel card and is scheduled as the first half of the early daily double. Also enhancing the betting card is the introduction of the Super Hi 5, as well as carryovers in both the Pick-5 and Pick-4 pools. The Super Hi 5 requires the selection of the first five official finishers in order and features the unique aspect that there must be a single winner to take the entire pool. If two or more persons are successful in selecting the "Hi-5," there would be a 50% pool distribution shared by those persons with the remainder of the pool carried over to the next program or programs until a single winner emerges. Director of Racing Brett Revington is excited about the new wager saying "Our guests are always looking for new, exciting and potentially lucrative opportunities. After all, the casino is continually freshened up the floor with new, exciting gaming devices and racing needs to take a page from that and freshen up the wagering opportunities to make them appealing to our patrons. "We are hoping that this produces more interest in our product line and what we have to offer here at Pompano Park. "The carryovers in both our Pick-5 and Pick-4 events should also bolster interest in the Saturday card, especially the Pick-4 with that friendly 12% takeout." Post time remains at 7:30 for the pari-mutuel program on Saturday night with four of the Aylor Memorial Stakes raced as non-wagering events beginning at 6:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...November 15, 2014...In a "barber-pole 5-4-3-2-1" finish with the betting public spot on with their wagers, Panocchio, 1 to 2 on the board, won Saturday night's highly anticipated Hippomania Pace in 1:50 for Bruce Ranger.   The four year-old son of No Pan Intended, trained by Jim Mattison, who co-owns with Emile Johnson, Jr. led at every pole in pinning a 1 1/2 length decision over now arch-rival Duc Dorleans (2 to 1 in the betting), with Donald Dupont in the sulky.   Prairie Jaguar (6 to 1) finished third in the mile for Aaron Byron with Northern Companion (18 to 1) next and Mr Dennis (21 to 1) picking up the nickel in the sterling quintet, just as the betting public predicted at the mutuel windows.   At the outset, Panocchio, who was expected to be tested leaving the gate from his outside post, actually took command rather easily and "kind of" dampened the enthusiasm of his foes with a :26.3 opener with Prairie Jaguar settling into the garden spot with Mr Dennis third and Northern Companion fourth leaving Duc Dorleans at the back of the select field.   Heading into turn two, Duc Dorleans was out and driving but Panocchio was able to get a :28.4 beather under his girth, reaching the half in :55.2--tepid for the group.   On the backside with Duc Dorleans now into full throttle, Ranger stepped on the pedal as well and the "Duc's" individual backside panel of :26.1 could do no better than reach Panocchio's saddle pad with the three quarters clipped in 1:22.1.   In the lane, Panocchio actually edged clear from his main rival and stopped the clock in 1:50.   In a post race interview, Ranger said, "the Mattison's--Jim and Vicki--have kept this athlete--and he is an athlete in every sense of the word--in tip-top form and he beat some very formidable foes tonight...and in a new lifetime mark, too. I think that first quarter 'kind of' was the key because he did get the lead rather easily. It was quite a mile for him."   Panocchio not only has won four straight, he has won seven of his last eight outings to push his seasonal earnings to $118,570 on the strength of 15 wins in 26 starts this year. He's banked $167,445 lifetime with 23 wins in 51 starts.   Panocchio paid $3.00 to win.   Also on Saturday night, the C. K. G. Billings Amateur event was held over the south Florida five-eighths mile oval and Sand Wyndham, driven by Anthony Verruso reported home a 3 1/4 length winner over Master Begonia, with John Campagnuolo in the sulky.   Collect Call overcame the outside nine post with a heady drive by Mike Mitchell to finish third while the luke-warm favorite, Railee Kwik and Joe Pennacchio teamed up to finish fourth. Miriam Toland's Fleetwood Hall closed from last halfway through the mile to pick up the final award in the field of nine.   Sand Wyndham, a nine year-old son of Pegasus Spur owned by Yves Deschambault along with trainer Marc Major, dawdled in sixth early on but was out and driving around the second bend and swept to the lead during the third panel and widened his margin through the stretch.   After the event, a jubilant Verruso said, "Marc (trainer Major) said that this horse gave a good hint of things to come in his last race and that he should be competitive. He was more than competitive tonight--and in a formidable field, too."   Sand Wyndham came into the action as the richest performer in the field--$509,519--in 193 starts complimented with 33 wins and a 1:53.2 mark.   Trainer Marc Major said, "He (Sand Wyndham) might not be the same horse he was at his peak but, when he's classified right, he is very competitive. Anthony did a great job driving him tonight."   Amateur driver Verruso now has 53 lifetime victories--five this year in 35 starts.   Pompano Park's Pick-5 wager went unscathed for the second consecutive night and a healthy carry-over of $2,500 may prove to be a catalyst for Monday night's racing program.   Post time Monday is 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park                      

Pompano Beach, FL...November 13, 2014...There are dozens of "manias" that are part of society with Beatlemania and Wrestlemania among them. Then there is "hippomania," a passion for horses. On Saturday night, Pompano Park will host the "Hippomania" Pace, one of the most highly anticipated matchups in Pompano Park history. The field features a quintet of the best pacers ever to set foot on Pompano Park's five-eighths mile oval--in alphabetical order, Duc Orleans, Mr Dennis, Northern Companion, Panocchio and Prairie Jaguar. Four of the five are seeking repeat victories while the "other," Prairie Jaguar, comes off a second place effort but is the only horse in Pompano history to record five winning efforts in 1:50 or faster. "It should be a 'barn-burner,'" said Mike Deters, trainer of Prairie Jaguar. "Here you have five exceptionally talented horses, each capable of threatening our track record under ideal circumstances. It's an honor to be included in this group." Indeed. Duc Orleans, the author of 16 lifetime victories, two of which have been clocked in 1:49.2, has been known to pace a final quarter under :26 seconds. Trained and driven by Donald Dupont for owner Gestion Levesque, the "Duc" grinded out a final half in :54.4 to pin a defeat on Prairie Jaguar in last week's encounter to push his lifetime bankroll close to $400,000. The soft-spoken Dupont humbly said, "He sure has come a long way from his first win up in Quebec--2:05." Prairie Jaguar, of course, is having a banner year, having earned over $90,000 for owners Laurie Poulin and Mike Deters. This Florida bred son of Spy Hard has three sub-1:50 wins--the fastest being 1:49, accomplished on two occasions here at Pompano Park. Trainer Deters has enlisted Aaron Byron to take the lines back of the "Jaguar," seeking his 11th win of the year. Panocchio, owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with trainer Jim Mattison, is on a roll, having won the last two Open events in which he has competed at Pompano Park. The four year-old son of Panocchio has won six of his last seven starts and has seasonal earnings of $113,570 to go along with 14 wins this year. Not only does he have a 1:50.4 mark here at Pompano, Panocchio also has a splendid 1:51.3 mark over the half mile oval at Saratoga. Bruce Ranger will be back in the bike back of Panocchio and said, "this is one of the handiest horses I have ever driven...two fingers, he's that handy and he's very sharp right now." Dorothy Zarza's Northern Companion looks to have "home field advantage" in the select field. Trained by Howard Klohr, "Buddy," as he is known around the barn, has won 29 of his 37 career successes at Pompano Park. With a mark of 1:50.3, Northern Companion is well known for his explosive brushes and is capable of picking up the pieces off of an anticipated hot early pace. Dave Ingraham will be in the bike back of Northern Companion. The "unknown" quantity in the field is Mr Dennis, owned by the J L Benson Stables and trained by Joe Sanzeri. Having been competitive in recent Open events here at Pompano, this five year-old son of Dragon Again utilized a class dip in his last outing and, after taking command past a blazing :26.1 opener, went on to carve out amazing panels of :53.2 and 1:21.1 to score an open lengths win for Mike Micallef in a lifetime best 1:50.4. Mr Dennis has the rail in the Hippomania pace and could very well dictate the pace. The Hippomania pace gets an excellent Saturday evening card started as the first race on the program. Also on tap is the C. K. G. Billings event for amateur drivers. Billings, a wealthy industrialist and noted horseman, invested much of his time and fortune promoting the standardbred horse and its amateur participants. One of the great horses he owned was Lou Dillon, the first trotter ever to cover a mile in 2:00, that being in 1903. The Billings series was founded in 1981 and serves as a platform for amateur drivers to showcase the sport of harness racing at participating tracks throughout North America. Pompano Park's Saturday program is further enhanced by a Pick-5 carryover (covering races 2 through 6) and a Pick-4 with a patron friendly 12% takeout encompassing races 5 through 8.) Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...November 1, 2014...Panocchio, again superbly handled by Bruce Ranger, eked out a narrow 1:51.1 decision over Canadian invader Duc Dorleans at Pompano Park on Saturday night. The four year-old son of No Pan Intended, owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with trainer Jim Mattison, led at every pole in chilly 60 degree temperatures and withstood the furious late surge of the "Duc," who also got a splendid journey from Donald Dupont--the official margin being a neck. Raji's Blue Line, with Mike Micallef in the bike, was third 2 3/4 lengths away while Northern Companion finished fourth. Hurricane Howard picked up the final award in the field of eight with Cartoonist, the highly regarded Prairie Jaguar seventh and Next Flight In completing the field. Beginning from the outside eight post, Panocchio again left sharply but, this this around, had to loop around both Prairie Jaguar and Duc Dorleans before assuming the lead around turn one and taking the field to the opening panel in:26.3. At this juncture, Duc Dorleans, who began the fray one post inside Prairie Jaguar, had secured the second spot, keeping "Jaguar" outside, a situation he was forced to endure the entire way. Through a half in :54.4 and three quarters in 1:23, Panocchio continued to enjoy a lead slightly more than a length with Duc Dorleans continuing in the garden spot and Raji's Blue Line next. Turning for home, Duc Dorleans left the cozy pocket and engaged Panocchio in a duel to the wire--a duel he lost in the photo finish. In a post race interview, driver Ranger said, "...with a talented field like this, I had no choice but to send Panocchio and try and secure the lead. If I don't, then I could find myself eight lengths out of it...and it's difficult to make up that much ground in a talented field such as this. He raced awesome again....very handy...and very game. Jim (trainer Mattison) and Vicki (Jim's wife) take great care of him and you can tell he's a very happy racehorse." For Panocchio, it was his 14th victory of the season--22nd lifetime--and sent his career bounty to $162,445--$113,570 this season. In other Pompano Park happenings on Saturday night, a whole host of horsemen and women gathered in the winner's circle after the second race to honor the 100th birthday of Aime Choquette. Choquette, the legendary trainer for Delvin Miller for many decades, was not in South Florida for the festivities but, rather, took in the proceedings from his residence in Ontario, Canada. A blanket commerating Choquette;s bithday was presented to the winning horse. The banket was sponsored by the Florida Amateur Drivers Club. Also, the Florida Chapter of U.S.H.W.A. presented their monthly caretaker of the month award to Ron Young, caretaker of Tug River Dylan, who took a new trotting mark of 1:53.3 during the final days of Pompano Park's meet last May. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...October 31, 2014...The newly formed rivalry between Prairie Jaguar and Panocchio continues at Pompano Park on Saturday night but a new entity in from Canada, Duc Dorleans, looks to spoil that confrontation. Last week, Panocchio, deftly handled by Bruce Ranger, put a slight dent in Prairie Jaguar's crown by scoring a 1:50.4 decision over that one to send his 2014 bounty to $113,570 for owners Emile Johnson, Jr. and trainer Jim Mattison. "Yeah," said Mattison, "he's gone from being hot headed and ornery to a very smart racehorse. I have to give my wife, Vicki, credit for that. She's the one with the magic touch. "He's had a good campaign--but tough--but he seemed to come out of last week's mile very well." Panocchio has been assigned the outside post in this week's octet and, once again, will have Bruce Ranger in the sulky and is the narrow 9 to 5 favorite in the morning line. Prairie Jaguar, the author of five winning miles in 1:50 or faster at Pompano Park, usually has lightning gate speed but, last week, he was hard pressed to make the top through a :27 opener and, after carving panels of :54.3 and 1:22.3, grudgingly succumbed to Panocchio's pocket sitting journey. This six-year-old Florida bred, owned by Laurie Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, is the 2 to 1 second choice and seeks his 11th win of the year--seven of those in South Florida. About the new rivalry, trainer Deters said, "Believe me, it's an honor to be second to a horse of Panocchio's caliber. Even on a half miler, that horse can grind and grind and grind until he gets the job done. It will be interesting!" The "new kid on the block" this week is Duc Dorleans, coming in to the action as the richest performer in the field--$385,356--along with a 1:49.2 mark of his own. Owned by the Levesque Stable, Duc Dorleans is very well known for his striking speed at the end of his miles. Trainer-driver Donald Dupont said, "Yes, this horse has been known to pace last quarters in :25 and a piece. Of course, that was on a larger track (Mohawk) so I am hoping the pace will be fast enough so he can pick up the pieces in the stretch. Of course, there are five others looking to do the same including Northern Companion, Cartoonist and Raji's Blue Line. Northern Companion is no stranger to the Pompano Park winner's circle, having won 28 of his 36 lifetime successes here in South Florida--the fastest in 1:50.3. Owned by Dorothy Zarza, "Buddy," as he's known around the barn, is trained by Howard Klohr and will have Dave Ingraham in the bike. Cartoonist, owned by the S S G Stables and trained by Jim McDonald, won the Open two starts ago in a lifetime best performance--1:51.3--and will have Wally Hennessey handling the lines. Raji's Blue Line steps up to the "big time" after circling his competition with a final 3/4s in 1:24 to score in Pompano Park's Open 2 last week in 1:53.2. His mark, though, is 1:51. Trainer Mike Micallef will be in the bike on Saturday. Hurricane Howard, partnered in the wagering with Prairie Jaguar, and Next Flight In complete the classy field. Also noteworthy is that TVG will carry Pompano Park on their widely viewed network beginning Monday, November 3 and continue on Mondays during the month. It is expected that coverage will expand during the peak of the Pompano racing season. The "guaranteed" $5,000 Pick-4 will be featured on Mondays and Wednesdays during the month of November, this offered in partnership with the USTA Strategic Partnership Program. That particular wager is also enhanced by a "fan friendly" 12% takeout, among the lowest in the entire industry. Pompano post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...October 29, 2014...Andover America, the ultra-game warrior owned by Mc Trade Enterprises, kept his record unblemished at Pompano Park for the new season by scoring his Third Straight win in the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday night. The nine year-old altered son of Andover Hall stopped the timer in 1:56.3 for Bruce Ranger, eking out a narrow win from the late charging Its Payday Friday, driven by Dan Clements--the winning margin a neck. Gale Warning, with Mike Micallef handling the lines, finished third while Majestic Won was next with Naughty Not Nice earning the final award in the sextet. Andover America, who had shown nothing but "1's" on his past performance lines in his first two wins, tried to repeat that strategy this night by blasting out of the gate and taking the field to the opener in :28.3. Right at that first station, driver Mike Micallef sent his own warrior, Gale Warning, on the prowl and took over the lead three-eighths into the mile and got over to the half in :57.1 and continued to lead the way past the 3/4s in 1:26.3. Turning for home, Ranger yanked on the right line, engaged Gale Warning in a duel, gamely outfought that one and then held off the furious late surge of Its Payday Friday to score in the photo finish. The latter, incidentally, made a bobble leaving and spotted the field up to 10 lengths before regaining his composure while almost pulling off the upset. In a post race interview, Ranger said, "Andover (America) is just a wonderful racehorse...a dream racehorse. Yes, he might be a step or two slower than his peak days a couple of years ago, but he sure knows how to win." When asked about whether he was worried about the late rally of Its Payday Friday, Ranger admitted, "I never saw him. When he made that jump at the start, I thought, 'well, that's one less than I have to worry about.' Let's just say the wire came at the right time. The victory sent Andover America's lifetime earnings to $780,890. At 1 to 5 on the tote-board, the winner paid $2.60 to his loyal followers. Racing continues on Saturday night with a key matchup featuring Panocchio and Prairie Jaguar. Duc Dorleans looks to spoil the party for the highly regarded aforementioned, coming into the action with the richest scorecard in the field--$385,356 to go along with a mark of 1:49.2. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...October 25, 2014...The New York harness racing invader Panocchio upset the highly vaunted Prairie Jaguar on Saturday night in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open pace. The winner, no stranger to South Florida's five-eighths mile oval, got the picture perfect handling from Bruce Ranger to pin a defeat measuring 1 1/4 lengths on Prairie Jaguar, driven by Aaron Byron. Fancyfreeshark and Mike Micallef teamed up for show honors while Cartoonist finished fourth with Northern Companion picking up the nickel. Owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with trainer Jim Mattison, Panocchio won for the 21st time in just 48 lifetime starts, sending his career bounty to $157,445--$108,570 this year on the strength of 13 wins in 24 starts. Though starting from the outside eight post, Panocchio actually blasted out of the gate ahead of Prairie Jaguar, vaulting to the lead in the first couple of strides and taking the field to the opening panel in :27. Prairie Jaguar, usually on the bit from the get-go, was a bit tardy this time around and only took command after the opener and rocketed over to the half in :54.3 and continued on the engine through three-quarters in 1:22.3. Just short of that third station, Panocchio left the cozy pocket and began his attack, puting his head in front turning for home and sealing the seal with a :28 finale. In a post race interview, driver Bruce Ranger had high praise for this four year-old son of No Pan Intended, as well as both Jim and Vicki Mattison. "You can drive this horse with two fingers...he's that handy. It wasn't always that way, though, At first, he could be very headstrong and up tight and tough to handle. Jim (trainer Mattison) has done just a remarkable job with him and Vicki's--that's Jim's wife--tender loving care has paid off in spades." The large crowd on hand at Pompano Park actually made Panocchio the slight favorite--6 to 5 on the board--and he returned $4.60 to his faithful. John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL...October 18, 2014...Cartoonist upset the applecart in Pompano Park's top Open Pace on Saturday night while the Mike Deters Stable grabbed the spotlight in three of the four $12,000 finals of the Sunshine State Stakes for Florida breds.   Cartoonist, the slick four year-old son of Modern Art, trained by Jim McDonald for the S S G Stables, got a picture perfect drive from Bruce Ranger to score in 1:51.3, a lifetime best clocking.   Garnering his 11th career win--all at Pompano Park--Cartoonist left alertly before snuggling in back of the highly regarded Fancyfreeshark, driven by Mike Micallef, as the latter clicked off panels of :27.2, :56 and 1:24.   Turning for home, Cartoonist left the cozy pocket, took command a few strides into the lane and held off the tenacious late surge of Northern Companion and driver Dan Clements to score by a neck. Fancyfreeshark did finish third. Freeneasy Hanover finished fourth while T's Electric, pacing the fastest panel of the group but unable to pass a horse in the lane, picked up the nickel.   Cartoonist won for the sixth time this year and his share of the $9,500 purse pushed his career bounty to 76,230--$49,300 of that this season.   In a post race interview, Ranger said that, "he raced super tonight. Of course, it helped that that other monster (Prairie Jaguar) wasn't in there...but let's just say that Cartoonist was a 'willing participant' this time around."   As third choice in the betting, Cartoonist paid $19.40 to win.   While the Deters Stable was disappointed that Prairie Jaguar was on the sidelines this night, their "grief" soon turned to "glee."   Four $12,000 Sunshine State Stakes Finals were also held on the card with the Mike Deters Stable annexing three of these events with Tough Issue, Owosso Flash and Prairie Fortune and Geronimo Fame capturing the other.   The first Deters Stable success was with Tough Issue, owned by the Verderame Stable along with Brenda Komers, in the first of three non-wagering affairs.   This altered three year-old son of Tough Sir had been chasing Gold Star Kenny P home in the first three Sunshine State Stakes preps but the tables were turned this time around with Bruce Ranger in the bike.   Tough Issue led at every pole, carving put panels of :27.2, :57.4 and 1:27.3 before sprinting home in :28.2 to see the five length win over Gold Star Kenny P (Mickey McNichol) with Warlock and Bob Roberts teaming up for third in the trio.   Tough Issue, last year's Super Night Champion, earned just his second win of the year in 16 starts to send his yearly bounty to $17,506 and a shade over $73,000 lifetime.   Deters, himself, was in the bike for the winning wire-to-wire score in 1:58 with Owosso Flash, a juvenile son of Royal Millennium.   Owned by Laurie Lee Poulin along with Deters, Owosso Flash lolly-gagged over to the half in 1:01.1 and vaulted home in :56.4 to score an oh-so-easy win measuring 3 1/4 lengths over Gold Star Roger (Walter Ross, Jr.) and Drake (Bob Roberts). Dustin and Stutz also picked up awards in the sextet.   The still "green" two year-old was making only his third lifetime start and stopped the timer in a lifetime best effort.   Deters third win was on the betting card with Prairie Fortune, also owned by Poulin and Deters.   With Mike, once again, in the bike, this two year-old daughter of Arapa Victory made a huge brush beginning just short of the opening quarter and rolled up to take the lead half way through the mile before striding home confidently in front by 3 1/4 lengths in a lifetime best performance of 1:59-:29.   She's now one-for-two lifetime.   In a post race interview, Deters said, "She's got speed and it might have been my fault that she made that miscue in her last start. This time, I decided I'd let her settle down a bit and give her a chance to do things on her own terms."   Railee Workable, the favorite with Mickey McNichol in the bike, was second while RJ's Iron Man, handled by Bob Williams, Jr., was next. Victory Park finished fourth while Harrison, though "distanced, " earned the final award in the field of nine.   Prairie Fortune, second choice on the board, paid $7.00 to win.   The other division--off the card--went to Amante Stables' Geronimo Fame, driven by Bruce Ranger. This "Famously" bred colt--yes, he is by "Famously," wire his other three foes with panels of :28.4, :59.4 and 1:29.1 before turning on the after-burners and romping home in :28.4 to pin a four length 1:58 defeat on last year's Super Night champion, Showing Off (Bob Roberts). Midnight Michael (Rob Hoffman) finished third while Gator On Patrol finished fourth and last.   The win--Geronimo Fame's ninth lifetime--sent his earnings to $56,323.   With the remaining Monday's in October moved to the April, 2015 calendar, racing continues next Wednesday with a 7:30 p.m. post time.   by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, Florida.....Andover America sent his lifetime earnings to $775,890 on the strength of his 55th lifetime victory on Wednesday night at Pompano Park while Brandy, Gold Star Dynasty, Markie and Limelight were crowned the champions in their respective finals of the FSBOA Sunshine State Stakes. Andover America, the nine year-old son of Andover Hall, driven by Bruce Ranger, took the $10,000 Open trot and led every step of his mile, stopping the timer in 1:57 after lolly-gagging to an opening half mile in :59. Trained by Stewart Nemiro for Mc Trade Enterprises, Andover America pinned a defeat measuring three-parts-of-a-length on another veteran warrior, Gale Warning, handled by Mike Micallef. Glittering Muscles and Bryce Fenn teamed up for show honors while Whispur and Tug River Dylan picked up the final two awards in the sextet. In a post race interview, driver Bruce Ranger said, "When Adenium went up in the air leaving, I thought it best to try and put my horse on the lead to stay out of trouble and control the pace...if possible. When I was able to rate him to that :59 half, I really felt confortable that a horse of his caliber could take it the rest of the way. He was sprinting pretty strongly the rest of the way and he proved he can still go a final quarter in :28 and change when the conditions are as they were tonight." The win was Andover America's fifth of the year in a relatively light campaign encompassing just 14 starts. He's banked $35,650 this year. In the first of four $12,000 finals of the FSBOA Sunshine State Stakes held--the first two of which were non-betting affairs--Brandy, driven by Dan Clements, scored a win in the two year-old filly trot with a gate to wire win in 2:04.4-:29.4, holding Livy M, handled by Tom Sells, safe by a length after a stretch long duel. Zendaya, driven by Bob Roberts, finished third with Diamond White fourth in the quartet. Owned by Jay Sears along with trainer Kim Sears, Brandy now sports a 2-2-0 scorecard in four starts and $9,896 in earnings. This division is turning out to be quite a rivalry as Livy M also sports a 2-2-0 record in her four starts with each pinning two defeats on the other. The second non-betting event--this for juvenile pacing fillies--went to Gold Star Dynasty, in tow for Walter Ross, Jr. This daughter of Six Of Diamonds, owned and trained by Tom Audley, used a tenacious :27.3 finale to collar pace-setting Paxxie and Bruce Ranger, in the final stride, the official margin a head. Davita and Bob Roberts rallied to be third with Arties Diamond Girl fourth and Prairie Princess picking up the "nickel." The mile was clocked in 1:59.3--a new lifetime mark--and pushed the filly's earnings to $9,262 in just four starts. The first of two Sunshine State Stakes on the card went to Jay Sears' Markie--but not before some heart throbs thrown in with her hoof beats. The daughter of Proud Bushy, handled by Bob Roberts for trainer Kim Sears, went up in the air at the start as the 1 to 20 favorite and spotted the field nearly 20 lengths...but, once settled down, she circled her field to take the lead into turn two and went on to score a 3 3/4 length win over Trotting JC Poss, driven by Tom Sells, in 2:02.1. After the race, trainer Kim Sears said, "What can I tell you...she's a BRAT!!! She's fast, yes, but she's got a mind of her own. My heart is still beating a thousand beats a minute after that!" Markie, last year's two year-old champion in her class, remains undefeated in four starts this year. She's banked $69,050 lifetime--$11,350 this year with the big Florida stakes season ahead. Finally, in the three year-old final for sophomore pacing fillies, Limelight, handled by Tom Sells for trainer Rosie Huff, overcame the nine post and her eight opponents to score a one length victory in 1:55.4. Taking the lead three-eighths into the mile, Limelight cut panels of :57 and 1:26.3, scoring her tenacious victory over Marion (Mike Micallef), J D Eleven Bells (Aaron Byron) and the late charging Voluminous. The victory was worth $6,000 to the Beauty in the Bridle Racing Stable, sending her bounty to $26,895 this year, and $2.40 to those who risked $2 on the Cracking Light filly's nose. Racing continues on Saturday night with additional Sunshine State Stakes Finals. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...October 8, 2014...Two brilliant, but aging, veteran trotters--Andover America and Gale Warning--proved their merit on Wednesday night by taking their respective "Open" events at Pompano Park.   In the $10,000 top open event, Andover America, now nine, earned his 54th lifetime victory with a splendid 1:57.2 win for driver Bruce Ranger, easily scoring a win measuring 3 1/4 lengths over Illusionsndreams, handled by Mickey McNichol. Adenium, with Aaron Byron in the bike, finished third after a brush from fourth to second on the backside and then out-brushed in the lane. Tug River Dylan finished fourth with Lugar, on top early before making a miscue just short of the opening panel, picking up the last check in the quintette.   After the :28.3 opening quarter, Ranger put his charge on "cruise control," wiring three straight subsequent panels of :29.3 to seal the deal.   In a post race interview, Ranger said, "Yes, he's got a bit of age on him now...and, yes, he might be a step or two slower, but he sure knows how to get the job done. He's just a grand campaigner. I would have rather had the garden journey back of Lugar but, when he jumped, I kind of inherited the lead and it worked out nicely."   Trained by Stewart Nemiro for McTrade Enterprises, Andover America now banked $770,890 during his illustrious career. Sent off at 3 to 5 on the tote-board, Andover America paid $3.40 to win.   The grand warrior Gale Warning, now 11, was driven by Mike Micallef and wore down the pacesetting Whisper, driven by Frank Davis, around the final turn to score a 3 3/4 length victory in 1:56.4. Glittering Muscles (Bryce Fenn) finished third while Kascara Rosa was fourth under the line.   While Gale Warning win was never in doubt once they turned for home, the judges detected a pylon violation by Whispur and that one was set back to fifth before the result was made official.   After the race, Micallef said, "This is just an amazing trotter. He seems to be very good after a short layoff and we got a great journey tonight. I had thought about making a quarter move but the leader looked like he was a bit headstrong so I ducked back In The Pocket and waited as long as I could. My horse "told" me when he wanted to go...and go he did!" Gale Warning, owned by trainer Rod Lorenzo along with restauranteur Ciro Gentile, won for the 63rd time during his sterling career, now showing earnings of $644,447. Gale Warning paid $10.40 to win.   Finally, in the top open event for fillies and mares, Winbak Heavenly, driven by Tom Sells, used a :27.3 final sprint to collar pacesetting Mach Me Not (Bruce Ranger) by a neck at the end of a 1:54 mile. Keystone Christa finished third for Bryce Fenn with Mamajons Bluegrass fourth and MIss Sparta picking up the nickel.   Winbak Heavenly, a four year-old daughter of American Ideal trained by Mike Deters for owner Barbara Jensen, was fourth early as Keystone Christa took the field to the opening quarter in :28 before the favorite Mach Me Not took over and posted panels of :57.1 and 1:25.4.   Out with 5/16ths remaining, Winbak Heavenly used her brilliant rally to score in the final few yards. Second choice in the betting, Winbak Heavenly paid $4.40 to win.   Racing resumes Saturday night at Pompano Park with a 7:30 post time.Prairie Jaguar and Northern Companion will, once again, duel for supremacy in the feature.   by John Berry, for Isle 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

The Isle Pompano Park drew its first card of the new season Wednesday and came up with ten races to kick off the start of its 51st season of harness racing on Saturday. And with the start of the meet there will be plenty of familiar faces along with some new folks and the return of some popular trainers and drivers from the past. Bruce Ranger, the tracks all-time winningest driver (8,734 career, over 6,000 at Pompano) said he is more than ready to get back to racing despite still recovering from a broken back in an accident at the track last spring. “I have been taking it very slowly,” Ranger said Saturday at the qualifying races. “And it is working out. The first day I drove I was hurting the next morning but now after working some in the mornings and driving at the Sunshine Meadows fairs the last two weeks, I am pretty much ready to go.” The 126-day meet starts out with just two nights a week (Saturday and Wednesday) and then picks up Mondays later in the season, then Tuesdays and in the height of the snowbird season this winter, adds Sundays to the mix and will go five nights a week. The meet goes through the end of June and first race post time has been pushed up to 7:30 pm. Brett Revington, the new Director of Racing, said, "During our peak season, we expect to offer an average of $75,000 in purses per night, including a stretch of four weeks from mid-January to mid-February where we race five nights per week.” Revington said that starting opening night we will see some familiar and new faces at Pompano Park. “Dan Clements has come back,” Revington said, “And he will be driving opening night along with newcomer Aaron Byron and Bryce Fenn has returned too. We also will have trainers Chris Oakes, Sheldon Rose and Marcel Barrieau. Other new faces will be Jason Robinson, Mike Murphy, Mike Micallef and Gary Hayes from Indiana. We will have a great mix of drivers and trainers here.” There is a new agreement with TVG to showcase the Pompano races, a raise in purses to an estimated $75,000 a night, $8.2 million total and some new wagering options too. There will be a Superfecta in every race with a new $.20 cent minimum, the Pick 4 pool will have only a 12% takeout and for the first time, Pompano will offer the “hot topic” wager in racing, a “Hi-5” on the final race of the night on each program. "We look forward to our upcoming season with a renewed enthusiasm based on our new wagering options, invigorating promotions and a bulging stall application list featuring new stables and a waiting list,” Revington said. “It should be the most competitive season we have ever had!" The action gets underway right on opening night with the third leg of the Sunshine Stakes for two and three-year-old trotters and pacers. In the $10,000 Open Pace feature, the fastest horse in the history of Pompano Park, Prairie Jaguar, takes on one of the winningest horses, Northern Companion, in the fourth race. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

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

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