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Pompano Beach, FL...March 2, 2014...Angels Delight, given a brilliantly rated drive by Jason Dillander, took top honors in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap on Sunday night. The four year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, trained by Jim Mc Donald for owner Joe Pennacchio, pinned a wire-to-wire half length defeat on De Vins Girl, driven by Rick Plano, with the even money toteboard favorite, Arodasi, third, a length and a quarter away, in 1:52.4. Fiesta Camcun and Fashion Ruffles rounded out the quintette. Angels Delight showed her usual early speed from post four and Dillander had her on the lead a few steps out of the gate with De Vins Girl, leaving from the outside post, settling in the garden spot through an opener of :27.4. It was right then, with all parties content in their places, that Dillander rated Angels Delight and lolly-gagged through a :29.3 second panel, reaching the half in :57.2 with a comfortable length and a half lead. On the backside, Arodasi charged from fifth up to second during the official :28.2 quarter--hers being :27.2--but Angels Delight sprinted home in :27, holding off the late charging De Vins Girl with Arodasi next after pacing her final half mile in :54.2. In a post race interview, driver Dillander summed up the event with one single word, "Perfect!" Trainer Mc Donald had high praise for both the mare and the pilot saying, "She's been very solid her last nine starts..either first or second in all of them--and I felt confident that, if she could get a good rated trip, she's be tough. Jason did a magnificent job tonight. So, we'll split the kudos 50-50!" Angels Delight now has a 3-4-0 scorecard in her seven starts this year and $25,000 in bounty. She's banked $89,486 lifetime. As third choice in the betting, Angels Delight paid $7.40 to win. RANGER MOVES ON IN DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP Pompano Park's $20,000 Driver's Challenge continued on Sunday night with the first of three semi-finals and Bruce Ranger emerged victorious over Rick Plano on the strength of two wins, a second and a fifth in the four race competition. The final tally was 28 to 8. Ranger now moves to the March 15 finals and will face the winner of the Simon Allard-Kevin Wallis match-up on Monday and the winner of the Jason Dillander-Mickey McNichol pairing on March 10. The Monday festivities include an additional perk with a second straight carryover in Pompano Park's popular Pick 5 wager. Post time for tomorrow night's card is 7:05 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL - Sunday night (March 2) will begin the second round of action in Pompano Park's $20,000 Driver's Invitational Tournament, where the meet's two leading drivers, Bruce Ranger and Rick Plano, will go head to head to lock up the first spot in the March 15 finals. To recap opening round action see below: February 9th: Rick Plano defeated David Ingraham 21 - 14 February 10th: Bruce Ranger defeated John Macdonald 24 - 13 February 16th: Simon Allard defeated Joe Pavia 33 - 17 February 17th: Kevin Wallis defeated Ricky Macomber Jr. 35 - 12 February 23rd: Jason Dillander defeated Ed Hensley 31 - 26 February 24th: Mickey McNichol defeated Wally Hennessey 29 - 27 What was once a field of 12, has now been narrowed to six with the following matchups moving forward: Sunday, March 2nd - Rick Plano vs. Bruce Ranger Monday, March 3rd - Simon Allard vs. Kevin Wallis Monday, March 10th - Jason Dillander vs. Mickey McNichol The three winners will move on to compete in a 3-way showdown on Saturday March 15th, where the winning driver will receive $8,000, with $4,000 going to the second place finisher, and $2,000 to third place. Participating drivers compete in four races per night in head to head match-ups, with each driver selecting their mount first in two events and second in the other two. The last three standing will compete in a 6-race contest on Saturday March 15th, with each getting to choose their mounts first in two of the six events. Drivers receive points for a top five finish with 10 points for a win, 7 points for second, 5 points for third, 3 points for fourth, and 1 point for a fifth place finish. Sunday night (March 2) also features a $5,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 pool beginning in Race 5, and a 50-Cent Pick 5 carryover of $1,066 which kicks off in the first race. Live racing continues at Isle Casino Pompano Park every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evening with a first post of 7:05 p.m.   by Gabe Prewitt, for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...March 1, 2014...Maryann Plano's Premier, trained and driven by husband Rick Plano, pulled off a 19 to 1 shocker at Pompano Park on Saturday night, scoring a photo finish victory in the $10,000 Open Pace in 1:52.1.   The 6 to 5 tote-board favorite, Cruizin K C, driven by Mark O'Mara, was a neck back of the winner with the late charging Electric Lad and Jason Dillander teaming up for third at 37 to 1. McGreat finished fourth in the mile with Legal Dream, making his 2014 debut, fifth after a menacing move on the backside.   Premier, the seven year-old altered son of Artsplace, primarily known for his successes in gate-to-wire fashion, again used his blistering early speed to take command as the gate's wings folded but, this time around, got some cover after a :27.2 opener as McGreat, driven by Kevin Wallis, took command shortly after that initial quarter and took the field through subsequent panels of :54.4 and 1:22.4.   During that third quarter with McGreat on top by a length and a half, Premier was cozily biding his time in the garden with Legal Dream On The Attack on the outside and Who's Your Maddy making a double-bubble move briefly putting Cruizin K C in a blindswitch and Electric Lad hugging the pylons in fifth.   Turning for home, McGreat drifted out a bit allowing Premier the room he needed to rally with Cruizin K C widest of all and Electric Lad pinching on through the inside.   In a dramatic finish, Premier, though now surrounded by challengers, eked out the narrow decision for his third win in seven starts this year--his bankroll now at $20,990 this year and $147,633 lifetime. It was his 31st lifetime win in his 99th career start.   In a post race interview, driver Rick Plano said, "We got a great journey tonight, especially getting cover through some demanding fractions. He's a game one, alright. He tries every step of the mile. The only thing I am disappointed about is that I didn't bet $10 on him myself!"   Not many patrons did as Premier was the second longest shot on the board and returned $40.80 to win, keying a trifecta that paid $1,002.00 for a $2 investment.   With that result, Sunday night's Pick-5 begins with a carry-over, thus adding yet another dimension to the highly anticipated match between Bruce Ranger and Rick Plano in the second round of the $20,000 Championship Drivers Challenge.   by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...February 26, 2014...Jolene's Pinehonker, photoed out of a 1:54.2 lifetime mark one week ago, got that lifetime mark on Wednesday night in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Trot.   The five year-old gelded son of Pinetucky, trained and driven by Mark O'Mara for owner Lester Raber, wore down the pacesetting Andover America, handled by Bruce Ranger, in the final sixteenth of the mile to score by a half length in the aforementioned time of 1:54.2.   Photo King teamed up with Jason Dillander to finish third while My Revenuer rallied to finish fourth. Blushing Hanover, prominent early in the mile, picked up the nickel in the field of eight.   Jolene's Pinehonker was away in good order from post six and nestled into fourth around the first turn as Andover America took command early from the seven post and carved out panels of :27.4 and :57 as Blushing Hanover was content to enjoy a garden journey with Mymomsablizzard next.   Around turn two Jolene's Pinehonker was out and grinding from fourth, reaching second just a length away during a :28 second stanza reaching the third station in 1:25. Andover America and Jolene's Pinehonker put on a classic stretch duel with "Pinehonker" edging to the front in the final few strides for his 17th lifetime success and third this year. He's banked $337,245 in just 54 lifetime starts.   In a post race interview, driver Mark O'Mara said, "...he gave a good hint last week showing strength at both ends of the mile and, tonight, he showed courage in surviving that first over trip on the backside during that quick quarter and then digging in when it counted."   As second choice in the betting, Jolene's Pinehonker paid $6.40 to win.   by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park

PURE BARRE EKES OUT CLOSE DECISION AT POMPANO   Pompano Beach, FL...February 19, 2014...Tom Gonsalves' Pure Barre, handled by Mickey McNichol, eked out a photo finish decision over the late charging Jolene's Pinehonker, driven by Mark O'Mara, in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday night.   Photo King, teaming up with Jason Dillander, finished third in his first start in top Open company while Andover America finished fourth. Tug River Dylan picked up the nickel in the seven horse field. The time was 1:54.2 with a last half clocked in :56.2.   McNichol had Pure Barre, leaving from post six, on the engine from the get-go as Jolene's Pinehonker, starting just inside of Pure Barre flashed some uncharacteristic early early foot and battled for the first eighth mile before yielding.   With an opening panel in :28, McNichol, who has driven many of the sport's top trotters over his lengthy career, showed his rating skills by lolly-gagging through a :30 second panel, reaching the half in :58.   On the backside, Photo King brushed up from about four lengths out of it into a narrow lead during a brisk :28 third quarter and reached the third station in 1:26 but Pure Barre still had plenty of fight left and reclaimed the lead turning for home.   In the lane, with Pure Barre drifting out just a tad, Jolene's Pinehonker found a seam and began gnawing into Pure Barre's lead...but he ran out of racetrack and fell short by a head.   For Pure Barre, it was her second straight win in Open company--having won her last start on February 5th--to send her 2014 scorecard to 3-2-0 in five starts, sending her earnings this young season to $20,280. She's less than $1,000 away from $200,000 lifetime, her bounty now at $199,145.   In a post race interview, driver McNichol said, ..."she certainly is a game mare but, having said that, I was sure glad to see the wire. To tell you the truth, I was surprised that Mark's horse (Jolene's Pinehonker) left out of there. That really surprised me but, once I made the top with the mare, I was just hoping I could give her a little breather. So, it worked out well."   As the 9 to 5 public choice, Pure Barre paid $5.60 to win.   In the winner's over co-feature trot, Tom Petri's My Revenuer crushed his foes in a lifetime best effort--1:54.2--for Bruce Ranger.   As Lugar (Kevin Wallis), took the field through a :26.1 blazer, My Revenuer, the six year-old son of Revenue S, known for his prolonged brushing ability, was true to his followers as he came from nearly 10 lengths out of it early before beginning his forward journey towards the leader, reaching fourth halfway through the mile (:55.2) and continuing to grind forward, reaching Lugar's flank just short of the third station, timed in 1:25.   At the top of the lane, My Revenuer opened up a two length advantage and continued widening his lead to the wire, scoring by 4 1/2 lengths over Blushing Hanover (Mickey McNichol). The veteran warhorse Gale Warning (Jason Dillander) was third, squeaking past House Money for the show spot. Lugar held on for the minor award in the field of eight.   For My Revenuer, it was his second win of the year and sent his lifetime bounty just over the $100,000 plateau--$100,560 to be precise. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...February 16, 2014...Simon Allard built up a 20 to 7 halftime lead and went on to score an impressive 33 to 19 victory over Joe Pavia, Jr. in the third pairing of Pompano Park's $20,000 Championship Driving Series on Sunday night.   Allard, known as the "French Phenom" around the five-eighths oval, built an early 10-zip lead in the very first quarter of the event, scoring with Ted Berry's seven year-old Nearly Uncle in 1:56.4, equalling the gelding's lifetime mark set two seasons ago. It was not only "Uncle's" first win of the year, it was his first win since August, 24, 2012 covering 21 number of starts. Meanwhile, Pavia's choice, Suzelle Hanover finished eighth after a very brief bid on the backside and into the final turn.   The "Phenom" returned two races later in the second leg and won with the five year-old mare Quail in a lifetime best 1:54.2--her initial win of the year and first since October 24, 2012 covering 29 starts. Pavia did finish second in that event, making the halftime score the aforementioned 20 to 7. In that event, Quail took advantage of an anxious Stardom Seeker covering the opening quarter in :27, then yielding before searching for the lead once again halfway through the mile in :54.3. Quail then began trudging forward from sixth, made a "double-bubble" move heading into the far turn, and collared Pavia's charge at mid-stretch to earn the win for the Fishman Stables, who co-own along with Jay and Kim Sears.   In the third heat of competition, Allard scored another "touchdown" by steering Pat Connor's Fashion Ruffles to her first win of the year in 1:54.3, equalling her lifetime best first achieved last season. This six year-old is trained by Kelly Case. In that event, Pavia got a head start on Allard by sending the favored R U Ideal to the lead on the backside, opening up a five length advantage during a third panel of :27.2. That lead began to melt around the final turn as Fashion Ruffles kept gnawing away, collaring Pavia's charge soon after they turned for home. R U Ideal finished third (back of Machs Delicacy) and earned five points.   That was the clincher in the competition with one race to go.   In the finale, Allard's Kissmatt tried for the clean sweep by cutting panels of :28.3,:58.1 and 1:26.3 but Bruce Ranger, handling Go Go Patty Jo for Diane Hellen, used his picture perfect journey and went on the score a photo finish win over Pavia's choice, YS Goldstar, by a head in 1:55. Five Stars Queen was third in that event with Kissmitt winding up fourth.   Final Score: Allard 33-Pavia 19.   Allard will meet the winner of Monday night's match-up of Ricky Macomber, Jr. vs. Kevin Wallis.   The competition continues through mid-March with the winner earning $8,000 in the $20,000 Championship Series.   Post time for Monday's card remains at 7:05 p.m.   by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park        

Pompano Beach, FL...February 15, 2014...In a five horse photo, Northern Companion, again handled by Dave Ingraham for trainer Howard Klohr and owner Dorothy Zarza, gutted out top honors in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night. The six year-old son of Cambest showed remarkable gameness and resiliency, refusing to give up when he appeared beaten in mid-stretch, and scored in 1:52, his winning margin officially a neck over the late surging Who's Your Maddy (John Macdonald). Freeneasy Hanover (Wally Hennessey), stablemate of "Maddy," finished third just a half length away, edging past pacesetting Hillybilly in the final stride. Cruizin K C picked up the nickel in the six horse field. It was Hillybilly who rocketed out of the gate into the lead just past the first eighth pole but, midway around the turn with positions now established, driver Bruce Ranger grabbed a hold of his charge and rated him through an opener of :27.3 with Freeneasy Hanover, Who's Your Maddy and Northern Companion next, about 4 1/2 lengths off the lead. Sensing the very moderate pace, Ingraham began his grind forward with one lap to go and was third, two lengths off Hillybilly through a soft opening half in :57. On the backside, things really started heating up and, by the final turn, were sizzling as Northern Companion was put through a supreme test during a third panel in :26.4--his one tick faster. Turning for home, Hillybilly kicked clear again with Freeneasy now taking up the chase with Northern Companion now two lengths away and drifting out a bit and Who's Your Maddy flying between horses. But, when it counted, Northern Companion refused to be denied in the photo finish victory. In a post race interview, driver Dave Ingraham said, "...this was not easy! To grind forward through a quarter like that is amazing and, yes, I thought we were beaten in mid-stretch but this horse really has that rare quality about him that, when he gets some racetrack in front of him, he wants to gobble it up! He just never quits!" "Buddy's" win (he's called Buddy around the stable), was his third this year and 35th lifetime, sending his lifetime bounty to $208,082--$21,250 this young season in seven starts. As the 1 to 2 public choice, Northern Compani paid $3.00 to win. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...February 12, 2014...Mc Trade Enterprises' Andover America, driven by Bruce Ranger, reached yet another milestone in his illustrious career by winning Pompano Park's Open Handicap Trot and, in doing so, vaulted his lifetime earnings over the $750,000 bar.   The now nine year-old altered son of Andover Hall used the rail to perfection, tussling briefly with House Money, Mymomsablizzard and She's AllIn leaving the gate before yielding and then making a quarter move (:27.3) to the top and carding subsequent panels of :56.3 and 1:24.1 en route to a handy win measuring three lengths in 1:54.1.   Dutchess Seelster, handled by George Napolitano, Jr., gave chase on the backside from fifth and reached second around the final turn but could improve no further to again finish as the bridesmaid while Jolene's Pinehonker, last early on, trotted his final three-quarters in 1:24.4 for Mark O'Mara to garner third, edging out Tug River Dylan and House Money--the latter two picking up the minor awards in the field of seven.   For Andover America, it was his 52nd lifetime success--second this year in six starts--to send his career earnings to $752,740.   As the 1 to 2 choice on the toteboard, Andover America paid $3.00 to win.   The co-featured Open 2 Trot went to Photo King, handled by Jason Dillander for owner-trainer Luca Derrico.   The seven year-old gelded son of S J's Photo, stepping up in company for the Third Straight week, swept up widest of all in the stretch to pin a one length defeat on My Revenuer (Bruce Ranger) with Lugar (Kevin Wallis) third after rallying late in the mile. Thekeptman, who took command shortly after the opening panel, finished fourth while Blushing Hanover, the early leader, picked up the nickel in the octet of trotters.   Photo King's win--his third this year and 20th lifetime--sent his career earnings to $246,811.   Third choice in the public's eye at 7 to 2, Photo King paid $9.60 to win.   by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL – Bruce Ranger, Pompano Park’s all time winningest harness racing driver had little trouble defeating John MacDonald in the opening round of the $20,000 Driver's Invitational Challenge Monday. The series, similar to that of March Madness in basketball, pits two drivers every Sunday and Monday against each other in four select races. The drivers get to choose the horses they drive alternately in the four competition races. On Sunday night, Rick Plano defeated David Ingraham and now Plano and Ranger will go head and head on Sunday, March 2. Ranger started off with second place finish to MacDonald’s fourth place in the third race. The second division (4th race) saw Ranger finish off the board while MacDonald was fourth again. But then in the seventh race third division Ranger began to pull away with a decisive five and one-quarter length triumph with Credit Balance as MacDonald tried to keep it close finishing second. But in the ninth race final division, Ranger sealed the victory with a second place finish as MacDonald finished off the board. Final tally was Ranger 24 points and MacDonald 13 points. The next match-ups take place this Sunday with Joe Pavia, Jr. taking on Simon Allard and next Monday Ricky Macomber, Jr. takes on Kevin Wallis. The $20,000 Driver's Invitational 'March Madness' style tournament continues on Sunday and Monday nights until mid-March. The overall winner of the competition will receive $8,000 and each drive will earn some bucks depending where they finish overall. By Steve Wolf, for

Pompano Beach, FL - The $20,000 Driver's Invitational Challenge got underway on Sunday night (Feb 9) at Pompano Park, with Rick Plano defeating David Ingraham in the opening round matchup. Although it was Ingraham who edged past Plano at the wire in the first of four 'Challenge' races to take an early 10 - 7 lead in the points standings, he was unable to parlay the early momentum over the last three events, only managing to pickup 4 additional points from that point forward with fourth, fifth, and sixth place finishes. Plano followed up his second place finish in the first 'Challenge' race, by finishing second in the two races that followed, before finishing sixth in the fourth and final event. After the dust had settled, Plano garnered 21 points to Ingraham's 14. Points are awarded as follows: 1st - 10 points 2nd - 7 points 3rd - 5 points 4th - 3 points 5th - 1 point Rick Plano, who currently sits second in the South Florida driver standings with 73 wins on the season, becomes the first driver to advance to the 2nd round. He will take on the winner of the John Macdonald/Bruce Ranger matchup which takes place in races 3, 4, 7, and 9 on the Monday night card. The $20,000 Driver's Invitational 'March Madness' style tournament continues on Sunday and Monday nights until mid-March. Berry Honored in Winner's Circle Ceremony Members of the Florida Amateur Driving Club were on hand Sunday night to honor Pompano Park's own John Berry, for his tremendous promotion of all of the charitable work done by the Florida Amateur Driving Club. Berry was presented with a plaque trackside, surrounded by the group of Amateur Drivers whom he regularly promotes for their activities and achievements both on and off the track. In addition to the plaque for their appreciation, the Florida Amateur Driving Club also opted to give a $1,000 donation to the charity of John Berry's choice, the Aime Choquette Benevolent Fund. As part of the Florida Chapter of U.S. Harness Writers Association, the fund is setup to provide help to those who have suffered a severe tragedy. Berry remarked 'he was elated' to be recognized by the Club, but quickly pointed out that they were the true heros, donating over $125,000 to various charities over the last several years. Berry, who has worn many different hats throughout his Hall of Fame career, currently fills various roles at Pompano including trackside reporter, author of 'Berry Pickins' handicapping analysis, publicity, and back-up announcer, just to name a few. Pick 4 Returns Over $13,100 for a Dollar Sunday night saw a trio of solid prices to begin the Pick 4 sequence, which left only one live ticket remaining heading into the decisive eighth race which was on the 2-5 favorite, Up Tempo. Up Tempo (Rick Plano) made a break at the start, causing him to get away last in the field of 9. Despite trailing by over 10 lengths still past the half mile marker, the heavy favorite came all the way back to score a decisive 3 ¾ length win. One lucky fan took down the entire Pick 4 pool which returned $13,100.10 for the $1 combination. The 50-Cent Pick 5 went unsolved on Sunday night, creating a carryover of over $1,700 into the Monday night card. Live racing continues at the Isle Casino at Pompano Park every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evening with a first post of 7:05 p.m. by Gabe Prewitt, for Isle Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL – The Isle Pompano Park starts a unique driver’s competition tonight called the “$20,000 Championship Driver’s Challenge.” Over the course of the next month the “Challenge” pits two drivers against each other in four select races on the evening program. Sunday’s opening round features David Ingraham going against Rick Plano. They are competing in races 4 through 7. Pointed are awarded based on where they each finish in the race. 10 points for a win; 7 for second place; 5 for third; 3 for fourth and 1 point for fifth. No points are awarded if they finish sixth or further back. Driver pairings include Ingraham vs Plano (tonight) and tomorrow (Monday) night it is Bruce Ranger against John MacDonald.  The series continues until the final two drivers go head and head on Saturday, March 15. The competing drivers are allowed to select any horse of their choosing in the assigned races each night, alternating who gets to choose first in each assigned race. The overall winner of the competition receives $8,000 with second place winning $4,000, third place $2,000, fourth through sixth place $1,000 and seventh through twelfth place each getting $500. There will be interviews with the competing drivers before and after each night’s competition. By Steve Wolf for

Pompano Beach, FL...February 8, 2014...Northern Companion earned his 34th lifetime victory on Saturday night by scoring a sharp 1:51 victory for Dave Ingraham in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Pace.   The six year-old son of Cambest, trained by Howard Klohr for owner Dorothy Zarza, wore down the game Lyons Johnny, handled by Wally Hennessey, to score by a length and a half. Hillybilly and Bruce Ranger teamed up to finish third while Eastend Eddie, last in the field for the first half mile, rallied to finish fourth. Who's Your Maddy picked up the nickel in the seven horse field.   Lyon's Johnny out-dueled Electric Lad in the early stages and took the field to the first station in :27.2 with Northern Companion nestled into third and remaining in that position through the opening half in :55.3. On the backside, three-eighths out, Northern Companion left his comfortable surroundings and began gnawing in on Lyons Johnny's lead, cutting it in half turning for home and collaring that one in mid-stretch before drawing clear late.   In a post race interview, driver Ingraham said, "...he had a nice trip but, to tell you the truth, i was concerned a bit when we weren't gaining that much around the turn. Lyons Johnny can't be taken lightly. He gave "Jaguar" (Prairie Jaguar) a good tussle the week before and I wasn't sure we were going to get there but Northern Companion just has that attitude that he wants to win. He's got that winning attitude! It's a great quality in a racehorse--a winning attitude. The draw helped us this week, too, because we were a lot closer from the two post than the previous week from the six."   Northern Companion's scorecard now reads 2-2-1 in six starts and the victory pushed his lifetime earnings over the $200,000 mark--$203,082 to be exact.   As the even money favorite on the tote board, Northern Companion paid $4.00 to win.   The Open 2 Pace went to Freeneasy Hanover, who dug in late for driver Bruce Ranger to hold off Legends Luck and Wally Hennessey by a head in 1:52.2. Avantage (Dave Ingraham) finished third, four lengths away, with McGreat and Restless Yankee garnering the final awards in the octet.   The six year-old son of Western Ideal, trained by Jim McDonald for Ciro Gentile and Twenty Four Carrot Racing, went right to the front and carded an opening panel of :27.1 in thwarting any ideas of an early challenge. After a breather that brought Freeneasy to the half in :56, Ranger throttled his charge a bit on the backside and a :27.3 third quarter brought the pair to the third station in 1:23.3 as Legends Luck left the coziness of the pocket to challenge turning for home.   In deep stretch, the pair raced side-by-side with Freeneasy prevailing in the photo for his second straight success of the year in six starts. He's banked $156,765 lifetime--$10,250 of that so far this young season.   Stepping up from a "non-winners" class, Freeneasy Hanover was the public's fifth choice in the win pool and paid $14.40.   In the $20-$25,000 claiming handicap, Ahead Of the Curve was given a picture perfect drive by George Napolitano, Jr. and captured that event in 1:52 over the late charging Rick's Sign, handled by Simon Allard. The winning margin was 2 3/4 lengths with Red Hot Yankee third after posting red hot fractions of :26.1, :53.3 and 1:22 with Ahead Ofthe Curve right on that one's tail the entire way, only leaving the pocket turning for home and scoring easily from there.   Masters Champion and Mach Wheel also earned minor awards in the field of six.   Trained by Pete Pellegrino for the Baron Racing Stable, Ahead Ofthe Curve, an eight year-old son of Real Desire, won for the 27th time during his career and pushed his lifetime bounty closer to $300,000--now at $298,149.   He paid $3.60 to win as the public choice.   Finally, Fox Valley Griffin, driven by Rick Plano, lit up the tote-board, by scoring at victory in a claiming event in 1:53.1 at odds of 52 to 1.   The six year-old, trained by Richard Macomber for wife Carol and Emilinda Manzi, paid $107.00 to win, keying two dime superfecta payoffs (there was a dead-heat for second) of $945.83 and $756.68.   The big upset also set up a Pick-4 carry-over of over $3,000 going into Sunday's racing program.   Sunday also is the kickoff of Pompano's $20,000 Championship Driver's Challenge, which gets underway with a round one pairing of Dave Ingraham and Rick Plano.   by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park          

Pompano Beach, FL...February 1, 2014...This harness racing journalist had to make a decision after Prairie Jaguar won for the seventh consecutive time at Pompano Park--simply "cut and paste" the same article written in his last start two weeks ago or write something new. Of course, the answer is obvious. Prairie Jaguar, the incredible Florida bred six year-old son of Spy Hard, did it again--winning, this time, in 1:49.2--for his fourth winning mile in 1:50 or faster at Pompano Park, the most ever by any standardbred in this track's history stretching now a half century. Driven again by Jason Dillander for trainer Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Jaguar led virtually every step of the mile, first, outbrushing Lyons Johnny, handled by Wally Hennessey, through a scalding opening quarter of :26 and, then, clocking fractions of :53.3 and 1;22.1 along the way to report home with a two length margin over Lyons Johnny with Hillybilly (Bruce Ranger) third after having raced in that position the entire route. Northern Companion, last early, rallied to finish fourth while McGreat picked up the final award in the field of seven--the final horse across the line timed in 1:50.4. In a post race interview, driver Dillander said, "...this horse amazes me every time he races. He was off a couple of weeks so I wasn't sure he'd be as tight, but he was just awesome tonight. I admit I was a little bit worried because he was so relaxed up the backstretch but when Wally's horse (Lyons Johnny) came to me around the final turn, he pinned his ears back and was all business from there. What did he come home in? :27 and a piece? (:27.1.) For Prairie Jaguar, this seven race winning streak has pushed his lifetime bounty to $72,222 in 69 lifetime starts--$30,000 of that in his past seven races covering less than two months. Trainer Deters summed it up perfectly when he said, "...he sure has come a long way since his first start as a two year-old way back in 2010 when he paced his mile in (2):15 and a piece...and that's without making a break!" He sure has. by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...January 26, 2014...Angels Delight, handled by Jason Dillander, took top honors in the Mares Open at Pompano Park on Sunday night but had to survive a bad step or two turning for home, an onslaught at the end of the mile and a judges inquiry before the "official" sign was posted.   The four year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, trained by Jim Mc Donald for owner Joe Pennacchio, earned her initial victory of the year in 1:53.1, winning by a neck over the late surging Excelerated Speed (Wally Hennessey) with De Vins Girl (Rick Plano) also in the win photo.   Express Jet, prominent early on, finished fourth, a length away while Southwind Trini was just a nose back of Express Jet in picking up the final award in the field of seven.   At the outset, Express Jet showed her usual early speed from post six but Angels Delight, leaving from post three, battled early and stuffed Express Jet In The Pocket through an opening panel in :27.3. Dillander then grabbed a hold of his mare and rated her through a second quarter of :29.2, reaching the half in :57.   On the backside, three-eighths out, the pace began to quicken as Southwind Trini brushed up from fifth to reach second, just a length away, with the 3/4s timed in 1:25.4. At the top of the lane, Angels Delight took a couple of bad steps but quickly regained her composure, sprinting home in :27.2 to earn the close decision.   In a post race interview, Dillander said, "...yeah, she took a couple of bad steps--I don't know why--but she's a pro and got right back on track and was very strong to the wire. She needed it, too, because those other two (Excelerated Speed and De Vins Girl) were really flying."   Indeed she did. Excelerated Speed paced her final quarter in :26.3 and just did miss the winner's circle by, what the charts showed, a "nk."   As the even money tote-board favorite, Angels Delight paid $4.20 to win to her $2 backers and half of the $10,000 purse to the connections of Angels Delight, sending her lifetime bankroll to $74,486--$10,000 of that this year in three starts.   The $8,000 co-feature for the mares went to Bombilla Hanover, scoring her 23rd lifetime victory to send her career earnings to $171,393.   The six year-old daughter of The Panderosa, co-owned by trainer Peter Blood along with Rick Berks and Lew Whitaker, was driven by Bruce Ranger, who sent the mare on a speed binge from fifth just short of the :27.2 quarter and into the lead, clocking subsequent panels of :55.2 and 1:24.2 before romping home in :28.2 for the one length score over Diamond Amber (Simon Allard) with Head First (Ed Hensley) third. Asset Management and Darlington Stripe also picked up awards in the field of nine.   by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park        

Pompano Beach, FL...January 22, 2014...Andover America, driven by Bruce Ranger, reached back for the guts and class that has propelled him to lifetime earnings approaching $750,000 to earn a narrow victory in 1:54.4 in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday night.   The win, the 51st in the nine year-old's illustrious career, measured by the photo finish camera to be a "head," came at the expense of the mare Pure Barre (Mickey McNichol) with the favorite, Jolene's Pinehonker (Jason Dillander) a fast closing third, just a half length away. She's All in finished fourth while HP Forte finished fifth in the sextet after making a quarter move to the top that continued to the final turn.   There were several lead changes throughout the contest as Andover America left sharply as the gate opened, only to yield to Pure Barre midway around turn one. With an opening panel in :27.3, driver Mark O'Mara sent HP Forte to the top and clocked a half in :56.2.   On the backside just short of the final turn, Pure Barre left the coziness of the pocket, took command at the third station (1:25.3) and had a clear lead turning for home. At mid-stretch, Andover America stuck his head in front, Pure Barre remained stubborn on the inside with Jolene's Pinehonker closing with ferocity on the far outside.   On the wire, up went the photo sign showing the altered son of Andover Hall to be the winner.   The win was worth $10.20 to Andover America's faithful and $5,000 to owner Mc Trade Enterprises, sending the trotter's lifetime earnings to $747,740.   After the race, driver Bruce Ranger said, "he (Andover America) reached back for some of that class that has gotten him to this point in his career. Last week, they got by him--narrowly. This time, he held on--narrowly. He's gone so many tough miles in his career that you never know if he's 100% on his game or only 98%. He gave 100% tonight...and that's why he's such a great horse."   Ranger also took the Open "2" with Robert Weinstein's Mymomsablizzard, making her 2014 debut and scoring by a neck over the fast closing House Money (Wally Hennessey) by a neck in 1:55.4. I Love New York (Dave Ingraham) was a very fast closing third. Favored Stonebridge Idol finished fourth after sawing off panels of :27.1, :56 and 1:25 while Undercover Bro picked up the nickel in the seven horse affair.   For the Allan Johnson trained daughter of CR Excalibur, it was her 41 career victory sending her lifetime bounty to $461,396.   by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park        

Pompano Beach, FL...January 15, 2014...Jolene's Pinehonker, driven by Jason Dillander, used a ferocious stretch rally to score a repeat victory in pompano Park's $10,000 Open Trot on Wednesday night.   The five year-old gelded son of Pinetucky, trained by Mark O'Mara for owner Lester Raber, appeared hopelessly out of contention for the top spot turning for home but unleashed an eye-opening sprint in the final eighth (:13) to nail pacesetting Andover America (Bruce Ranger) near the wire to score by a half length in 1:55.   HP Forte, driven by Mark O'Mara, stablemate of the winner but uncoupled in the betting due to separate ownership, finished a fast closing third, three parts of a length away while Blomkvist, prominent in the garden spot through panels of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:25.3, finished fourth. She's All In was fifth and earned the final award in the field of eight.   Driver Jason Dillander, in a post race interview, said, ""Never in a million years did I think I was going to catch Bruce's horse (Andover America) turning for home. I really thought that the cover I was following wasn't drafting me close enough but, when I gave my trotter racetrack, he absolutely exploded with trot. It was pretty unbelievable, that close of his was!"   For Jolene's Pinehonker, it was his second win of the year in three starts and 16th success lifetime in only 49 starts sending his career bounty to $327,345. She paid $3.00 to win.   Also sharing the spotlight on Wednesday were Dutchess Seelster, Keystone Thomas and Gale Warning.   Dutchess Seelster, trained by Don Glowacki for owner John Campagnuolo, was driven by Wally Hennessey in the $8,500 Open 2 Trot and the eight year-old mare responded with a gate to wire win in 1:54.4, highlighted by a final panel in :27.4.   The "Dutchess" now has banked $256,388, primarily on the strength of her 26 lifetime wins. It was her initial success of the new season in three starts.   Keystone Thomas, driven by Joe Pavia, Jr., used similar gate-to-wire tactics to score a handy one length win in a conditioned event for the consortium of Peter and Wai Shank, the AGC Stables and the Joe Pavia, Jr. Stable.   The win, Keystone Thomas' 42nd lifetime, vaulted his lifetime earnings just under $400,000.   Finally, the aging warhorse Gale Warning, now 11, won for the 60th time during his illustrious career.   The son of Strong Gale used a :27.2 blitz on the backstretch to take command around the final turn and went on to score a victory measuring 1 3/4 lengths for driver Ed Hensley in 1:57.1.   Gale Warning is trained by Rod Lorenzo, who co-owns with Ciro Gentile.   by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park        

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