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Plainville, MA --- The curtain fell on the 2019 live harness racing season at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 29) and Sailor Jerry had the honor of winning the last $14,000 pacing feature of the year. Leaving from post six, Nick Graffam sent Sailor Jerry right to the front and never looked back. After posting fairly even quarters of :28.1, :56.4 and 1:24.4, Sailor Jerry took a one-length lead into the stretch and bravely held off the fast closing Betterlatethnnever (Mitchell Cushing) and Beachchip Hanover (Kevin Switzer Jr.) to win by a neck in 1:53.1. It was the sixth win of the year for Sailor Jerry ($15.00) who is owned by Mike Graffam and Christopher Hamilton. Mike Graffam also does the training. Lindy Pearl (Bruce Ranger) took the getaway $12,000 top trot after gaining the lead past the half and cruising home to a 2-1/2 length win in 1:56. Owned by the Lindy Farms of Connecticut and trained by Domenico Cecere, Lindy Pearl ($5.20) captured her third straight win at Plainridge Park as a result of today's effort. There were several presentations made in the winner's circle on the final day of racing as well. Track announcer Lenny Calderone was honored by friends and track management as he completed his 20th year of calling races at Plainridge Park. Calderone has been a staple in the announcer's booth since the track opened in 1999 and has added excitement and color to every contest he has described from high above the grandstand. Later, the meet's top driver and trainer were also lauded. Mitchell Cushing was the meet's leading dash driver finishing the year with 170 wins, 33 ahead of second place Drew Campbell, after his three-bagger on Friday. Cushing also earned in excess of $1.22 million in purses and sported a .352 Universal Driver Rating (UDR). Jimmy Nickerson led all conditioners this year at The Ridge with 58 wins, over $450,000 in earnings and a UTR of .377. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Driver Drew Monti captured the 1,500th win of his harness racing career on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 21) at Plainridge Park when he guided the venerable trotter Hailstorm Volo to a gate to wire victory in the second race. For his career, Monti now has 1,501 wins, 1,346 seconds and 1,295 thirds out of 9,320 starts with a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .299 and as a result of his work, the horses he's driven have earned a total of $9,259,976 during his brief seven year career. This year Monti has 256 wins, a UDR of .303 and earnings of $2,149,908. However the bulk of those numbers came just during the last five months. Starting in July, Monti divided his driving time between Batavia Downs, Plainridge Park and The Red Mile and at one point was listed as one of the top four drivers for wins at all three tracks. He was the primary driver for Lindy Farms at Plainridge and became a sought-after catch driver there in the process. He also drove Lindy's horses in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes and most of their entries in the Kentucky Sire Stakes as well. As a result of the multi-track schedule he maintained since getting his first win at Plainridge on July 10, Monti has won 170 races and bankrolled $1,574,959 during that short span. Although he did have more wins in 2017 (294), this year's earnings is a milestone for Monti and the first time in his career that he eclipsed the $2 million mark. With the Plainridge meet down to four days and the Batavia meet down to nine, Monti plans to take up residency at the Meadowlands right after the holidays. Driver Bruce Ranger was in top form at Plainridge Park on Thursday and put on a driving clinic while winning the feature as well as four other races on the nine-race card, which included a natural hat trick in races four through six. In the $12,000 pace for upper-level condition horses, Ranger left with Opus Blue Chip from post eight, went right to the front and never looked back. After cutting quarters of :26.3, :56.2 and 1:24.1, Opus Blue Chip took a three-length lead into the stretch and made it last to the wire, defeating a fast closing Betterlatethnnever (Mitchell Cushing) in 1:53.2. For Opus Blue Chip ($14.20) it was the eighth win of the year and it pushed his earnings to $94,530 for owner Scott Dillon. Joe Nelson trains the winner. Prior to that Ranger won with Bet On Joe (1:55, $17.00), Chief Altawick (1:54, $4.20), Burkes Bandit (1:54.4, $5.80) and JJs Shark (1:54, $15.20). The five wins pushed him to 200 for the year which is the most driving tallies he has had since 2013. Ranger now has 9,159 wins and $37,379,248 in earnings during his distinguished career. Ranger is a member of both the Florida and New England Halls of Fame. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 22) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- A consistent rain and sloppy harness racing track were no deterrent for O So Easy who took an unconventional route to victory in the $20,000 Open Handicap trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 18). In a reversal of strategy, driver Bruce Ranger left with the usually slow-starting O So Easy and put her right on the point. The lone mare shook her tail at the eight boys in the field as she took them through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27.2, leading the whole way by 1-¼ lengths. She then rolled around the far turn and started to pull away in the stretch and ended up hitting the wire 3-¾ lengths in front in 1:57. It was the third win in the last five starts and the sixth win of the year for O So Easy ($2.80) who is owned by Greathorse of Massachusetts and trained by Domenico Cecere. The top pace of the day was a $14,000 conditioned event that saw Zinny Mach N (Ron Cushing) get away sixth before pulling at the half, tipping three-wide at three-quarters and then pull away to a dominant five-length win in 1:55. It was the fourth North American win for Zinny Mach N ($4.40) who is owned by Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs does the training. Drew Campbell was the top driver at The Ridge on Monday, winning three races on the card while Jim Hardy and Mitchell Cushing finished the day with two apiece. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 21) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- After a three-year layoff from harness racing, Whiskey Lindy made his first start back this August a winning one and has repeated that outcome every week since. He extended his streak to six on Friday (Nov. 1) after he won the $12,000 conditioned trotting feature at Plainridge Park. As he has done just about every week this year, Whiskey Lindy (Bruce Ranger) went right to the front and controlled his own destiny. Setting fractions of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:27.3 along the way, whiskey Lindy turned for home and pulled away to a 3-1/2 length margin of victory in 1:57.3. The undefeated Whiskey Lindy ($2.40) now boasts earnings of $35,000 this year for his owners Greathorse and trainer Domenico Cecere. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Nov. 4) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- After getting scorched in a :25.4 opening panel last week, Opus Blue Chip bounced back nicely with a gate to wire win in the $15,000 Open Handicap harness racing pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 24). Opus Blue Chip (Bruce Ranger) left sharply once again from post five this week in :26.3 and opened up a three-length advantage. But Ranger was able to wrangle him in for the second split as the short field of five motored past the stands to the half. But the breather was short lived as JK Will Power (Drew Campbell) pulled first-up and pushed the pace in the third quarter with a :27.2 clocking. JK Will Power and Sailor Jerry (Nick Graffam) continued to peruse and tried to keep up with Opus Blue Chip around the far turn as the rest of the field was out of play, but the leader opened up a 1-1/2 length lead heading into the stretch and looked strong doing it. Ranger kept working on Opus Blue Chip all the way to the wire and he maintained his lead and won by 3/4 of a length in 1:51.4. It was the seventh win of the year for Opus Blue Chip ($6.20) who is now 22 out of 27 in the money with $83,780 on the card for owner Scott Dillon. Joe Nelson trains the 5-year-old gelded son of American Ideal-Pedoozle. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Oct. 25) with post time at 2 p.m. Also take note that the finals of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sires Stakes will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 28) when eight divisions go for $100,000 each. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Scarborough, Maine - July 18, 2019 ... Bruce Ranger pieced together a remarkable performance on Thursday (7/18) as the veteran harnes racing driver and "comeback kid" won six consecutive races at Scarborough Downs while completely dominating the nine race mid-week card. The fans, apparently sensing an epic performance in the making, sent Ranger to the gate as the post time favorite in all nine of his appearances, but their faith in the state of Maine native pilot did not begin paying dividends until the Ranger rampage was set loose in the fourth, as he guided Smart Balance through a gate-to-wire victory march for trainer Nicole Hardy. The juggernaut continued with a 1:57.2 score behind a headstrong Shrinkwrap (the second training win of the day for Hardy); Tricia Star (the fifth consecutive win for the Aaron Hall trainee); Plus One (the fourth consecutive win for the Buddy Burke trainee); Pop A Top Pop (one of two wins on the card for trainer Eric Davis); and concluded with San Antony-O (the 63rd career victory for the 14-year-old veteran pacer). Ranger, who is in the midst of his first full season back at the races after coming out of retirement in October of 2018, passed the 9000 career win plateau just last month at Bangor Raceway and sits as the third leading state of Maine native in career wins, trailing only Billy Parker, Jr (11,311) and Walter Case, Jr (11,049). After his six-pack performance on Thursday, Ranger now resides in third place on the Scarborough Downs leader's board with 37 seasonal scores, just 2 wins back of Kevin Switzer, Jr who resides in second place and 14 wins shy of the perennial powerhouse, Drew Campbell, who leads the driving colony at the Downs with 51 top tallies. Live harness racing is featured three day a week at Scarborough Downs with 4:30 pm (EDT) twilight cards slated for Thursdays and Saturdays while the popular Sunday matinees go to post at 1:30 pm. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page.   By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

BANGOR, MAINE (WABI) - A huge night for harness racing driver Bruce Ranger. He got his 9000th career win tonight at Bangor Raceway.... Watch the video below.   By Eric Gullickson    Reprinted with permission of www.wabi.tv  

Hightstown, NJ — Bruce Ranger, who returned to harness racing in October following a three-year absence, will see a lot of new — and younger — faces when he participates in the third annual $25,000 North America Drivers Championship at Miami Valley Raceway. The 59-year-old Ranger is the elder statesman of the event, which features 30 drivers in a three-day competition that begins Sunday. Nineteen of the 30 drivers are age 40 or younger, including 2018 Driver of the Year Aaron Merriman and North America Drivers Championship defending champion Trace Tetrick. The others in that group are Simon Allard, Joe Bongiorno, Billy Davis Jr., Dexter Dunn, J. Bradley Harris, Travis Henry, Bob McClure, Frank Milby, Drew Monti, Anthony Napolitano, Jeff Nisonger, Dan Noble, Chris Page, Jeremy Smith, Tyler Smith, Josh Sutton, and Jimmy Whittemore. Ranger, who drove nearly exclusively at Pompano Park in the five years prior to his now-abandoned retirement, is unfamiliar with many of them. “A lot of them, it will be all new to me,” Ranger said, adding with a laugh, “I think I’d have a better chance racing with their fathers probably. “I’m excited. It will be fun. Something different, for sure.” Ranger has won 8,959 races in his career, which began in his native Maine in 1978. He enjoyed success in New England and the Delaware Valley before becoming the all-time leading driver at Pompano Park. He is in the Florida and New England halls of fame. In 2015, Ranger decided it was time to retire from racing as the result of the wear-and-tear on his body. He returned to Maine with no thoughts of driving ever again. But last summer Ranger began driving the starting gate on the state’s fair circuit and soon found the competitive juices starting to flow. “Nobody was more surprised than me,” Ranger said about his return to the sulky. “After about three weeks at the fairs, I started to get the itch to race again. It definitely wasn’t in my plans. It was really something. I can’t say it hasn’t been fun. It gets the adrenaline going again.” Ranger has won 43 of 179 races since his return. His participation in the competition at Miami Valley will be his first action of 2019. For the event, each driver has four randomly drawn horses and post positions on each of the first two programs. Following Monday afternoon’s results the top 10 in points will advance to Tuesday’s championship round and race head-to-head starting with a clean scoring slate over eight races on the card. Thirty points are awarded to the winner of each contest race with 20-14-11-9-7-5-3-1 points earned for second through ninth place finishes. Although Ranger is unfamiliar personally with many of the drivers, he respects them and what they’ve accomplished. “These guys work hard,” Ranger said. “Look at Aaron Merriman. He drives well over 4,000 times a year. I don’t even know how that’s possible. He’s got to be tough.” Ranger plans to remain in New England to race, although he would consider driving in Ohio this winter if he could get opportunities. “Florida was real good to me, but I’ve earned my wings,” Ranger said. “I just wasn’t happy there anymore. It just wasn’t working for me. I enjoy the cooler weather and the seasons. I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I got back north. I do some outdoors stuff, some biking and skiing. I grew up doing that. “I’m not sure how it’s going to go. There’s a lot of racing in Ohio. I’m going to see how it feels this weekend. If it looks like I can get work maybe I’ll stay and race for a bit. It’s pretty quiet in New England at this time of year. We’ll see what happens. It’s going to be fun. I was out of the loop for a while. At this point in time, I’m rested and not all banged up and burned out. It’s exciting to go.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Coral Springs, FL – Harness racing driver Bruce Ranger was once the King of the Pompano Park track in south Florida and before that was the top driver in Maine for years. During his illustrious career he competed in nearly 50,000 races with 8,916 wins and purses won at $36,453,179. Then on June 27, 2015 after he finished fourth in the last race with Master Of Puppets at Pompano Park, Bruce Ranger walked away from harness racing. “I was beat back then,” Ranger explained. “Too many accidents, too many mornings jogging or training 15 to 20 horses, then driving in ten or more races at night. My back especially was so sore that I knew it was time to stop.” Ranger returned to his home state of Maine and began rehabilitation, living in Lewiston. He rested up, started to heal and even got married on September 23, 2016 to Mary Beth Beauregard. Now enters Joe Morris in the picture. “My cousin Joe Morris is the one who owns the starting gates up here and it was him that helped get me to get my license and get the job starting the races on the Maine Fair Circuit,” Ranger added. “If It was anyone else other than him I would have said no thank you,” Ranger said. “If anything, it gave me a reason to see him more often. He is my favorite cousin since I was a kid and has helped me in the past.” Now, gone from competing in harness racing for more than three years, Bruce Ranger is returning to the races once again as a driver. His first appearance will be aboard Miss American Bi in the fourth race trot at Scarborough Downs in Maine on Saturday. It’s the $56,437 Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. He has one other drive on card in the sixth race, with Saratoga Liz (post two) in the $89,311 Maine Standardbred Breeders Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies. Both horses are trained by Kim Ireland. “Here comes cousin Joe Morris again,” Ranger said. “He owns Saratoga Liz and put me down to drive and I also got another one of Kim’s (Ireland) horses.” After being away from racing for more than three years, Ranger is making his comeback with a bang in a couple of major stakes races.  “I got the itch,” Ranger said. “I was very fortunate to get the chance to learn and become a starting judge and then was able to get hired as the starter for the Maine Fair Circuit this summer. “I really enjoyed being the starter for the Maine Fair Circuit,” Ranger added. “It peaked my interest to get back on a sulky and drive. But, first I had to get back in shape again. I ate too much of that great Fair food every weekend.” Getting back in shape for Ranger has been enjoyable. “During the winters I do a lot of skiing,” Ranger said. “And when not working during the summer I love to go biking. It has really helped me get back into shape and both the skiing and biking is great fun. “I had really missed the changing of the seasons and wintertime,” Ranger said. “I’d rather be working a snow blower than jogging horses. So, what are Bruce Ranger’s plans for his return to driving? “Since I got the itch,” Ranger said. “I’ve been considering driving at Plainridge. They have some green now and their purses are much better than what is available in Maine. “Why not go down there and race for real money,” Ranger added. “I’ve been there before when they did not have any decent purses. It’s not that far away that I can make the trip. “I have to see how things go on Saturday,” Ranger said. “I could get behind a horse and right afterwards say “no more” and walk away again. I could also love it and want to do more. We’ll know after Saturday for sure.” When asked about returning to Pompano Park in Florida where Ranger won more than half of his 8,916 career wins, Ranger said “No thank you. I don’t want to race in the heat ever again. I was born and raised up here in New England and want to say around here.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Pompano Beach, FL...June 24, 2015...My Revenuer and Mach Me Not scored impressive harness racing wins their respective "Winners Over" feature events at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (June 24).   My Revenuer kicked off the mid-week festivities by scoring a minor upset for Tom Sells in the $9,000 Winners Over event for the trotters, upsetting the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Dominum Deo in 1:55.4. Tug River Dylan, last in the quintet turning for home, rallied for third for Wally Ross, Jr. while Lugar and pacesetting Illusionsndreams completed the parade through the wire.   It was Illusionsndreams who took charge, carding panels of :28.3 and :58.2 before things began heating up on the backside.   With Dominum Deo on the move from the back of the pack, driver Sells was forced into a first-over journey from My Revenuer with that one pulling on even terms with Illusionsndreams through an official :28.2 third quarter--his about :27.4.   Turning for home, My Revenuer began edging clear and easily held off Dominum Deo in the final stages, scoring by 1 1/4 lengths.   In a post race interview, driver Sells said, "Ya know, when this trotter feels like it, he can turn on the engines pretty good...and he sure did tonight. He was very determined."   Owned and trained by Tom Petri, My Revenuer, a seven year-old son of Revenue S, won for the third time in 20 starts this year, good for $33,817 in bounty. Lifetime, he has 21 career wins and $167,592 in earnings to go along with a mark of 1:53.4 at Vernon Downs last season.   Third choice in the betting, My Revenuer paid $12.40 to his faithful.   The companion event for pacing wares was kind of a carbon copy of last weeks event as Mach Me Not, driven by Bruce Ranger, scored a repeat win--this time in 1:53.4 over stablemate Artful Impulse, again handled by Andy Santeramo. As in last week's event, Goldstar Rockette finished third. Keystone Christa and Lady Ideal completed that event.   When the Hummer's wings folded, Artful Impulse and Mach Me Not got into a bit of a fray around turn one with the latter taking charge right at the opening marker in :27.1.   Mach Me Not, a nine year-old daughter of Mach Three, continued to lead the parade through panels of :56.4 and 1:26.1 with Artful Impulse in the garden spot.   Turning for home, as she did last week, Mach Me Not began drifting wide allowing Artful Impulse plenty of real estate to close to her inside...but Mach Me Not was just too strong--her final panel of :27.3 good enough for a victory measuring just short of a length.   After the race, Ranger joked, "Well, we proved one thing...this mare care pace as fast going sideways as she can going forward! She's a game thing, that's for sure!"   Owned by the S S G Stables and trainer by Jim Mc Donald, Mach Me Not won for the third consecutive week--35th lifetime win--to send he seasonal earnings to $49,024. She's banked $345,046 career-wise to go along with her mark of 1:51.1 mark at Hoosier Park.   Mach Me Not, heavily favored at 2 to 5, paid $2.80 to win.   Another noteworthy performer on the Wednesday card was Gold Savage in the "Winners Over 2" trot.   This five year-old son of Keystone Savage, trained by Mark Friedman for the Polo Stables, got a picture perfect journey from Mickey Mc Nichol to score in a lifetime best 1:54.3.   With Pilgrims All In setting up a quick pace through panels of :27.1 and :56, Gold Savage nestled in second from his outside post, left the coziness of his pocket around the final turn and went on to score a win measuring almost six lengths over favored On The Tab (Bruce Ranger) with Skyway Pippen next. Pilgrims All In did hold on for fourth while American Superman, suffering a miscue prior to the start, picked up the minor award in the sextet.   As second choice in the betting at 3 to 2, Gold Savage paid $5.00 to win.   Racing continues on Saturday night with the season's final program of 10 races.   Post time is 7:30p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park          

Pompano Beach, FL...June 20, 2015...No Bad Dreams, driven by Bruce Ranger, eked out a repeat harness racing victory at Pompano Park in the $9,500 Winner's Over Pace on Saturday night (June 20), stopping the timer in a lifetime equalling best 1:50.3. The four year-old son of Dream Away, trained by Marc Aubin for Dan and Jacalyn Boddie, squeaked by a game Raji's Blue Line (Ben Mc Neil) to score a a half length with Abreathofreshart (Walter Ross, Jr.) third, four lengths away. Freeneasy Hanover finished fourth while G P S Legacy picked up the nickel in the quintet. When Pompano's Hummer Starting Gate sprung open, Raji's Blue Line was away sharply along with Abreathofreshart with the former out-brushing the latter through a sharp opener of :26.2. Once on top, Raji's Blue Line was well rated, reaching the half in :55.2. On the backside, No Bad Dreams, fourth for the first half mile and about four lengths away at the mid-point, began a first over jaunt, denting an official :27.3 third panel with his individually timed third panel of :27, reaching the third station along side Raji's Blue Line and 1 1/2 lengths off the leader. In the lane, No Bad Dreams drew along the stubborn Raji's Blue Line, stuck his head in front and edged forward from there to the wire on the strength of a :27.2 finale. While the win was somewhat expected by the public--No Bad Dreams was 1 to 5 on the board--driver Bruce Ranger, in a post race interview, said, "This horse (No Bad Dreams) is a gutsy thing. This wasn't a walk-over by any means. "Raji's Blue Line gave us a very strong challenge but Marc (trainer Aubin) has No Bad Dreams very sharp now and his excellent condition probably was the difference. This was a brave performance for him, going first over like that. I wanted to fish out some cover but it didn't happen that way." No Bad Dreams is now eight for 11 this year with earnings of $34,060 for the Boddie's to go along with the 1:50.3 mark. He paid $2.40 to win. The $8,500 Winner's Over 2 Pace went to Histoire Eternelle, trained and driven by Dan Harvey. Owned by the consortium of Major, Phaneuf, Dillaire and Robert, this six year-old son of Shanghai Phil, was pressured the entire route while on the lead through panels of :26.4, :54.1 and 1:22.3 before stopping the tele-timer in 1:52 for his fourth win of the year in 20 starts, good for yearly bounty thus far of $19,586. Taking the lead at the outset, Histoire Eternelle was, first, pressured by Acton Onelasttime for the first five-eighths of a mile before feeling a stiff "double-bubble" challenge by the 2 to 5 favorite, Who's Your Maddy (Bruce Ranger) the final three-eighths to hold that one at bay by three-parts-of-a-length on the wire. Zavan (Walter Ross, Jr.) finished third while Acton Onelasttime finished fourth over Stiletto Jake in the quintet. Histoire Eternelle was 9 to 1 on the board and returned $21.00 to win. Another highlight on the program came in an event for the Florida Amateur Driving club as Dein Spriggs scored his 400th career driving win with his own 12 year-old warrior Good Feeling ($5.00) in 1:58.3. In that event, Spriggs left the gate with alacrity but was out-rushed by Northern Inferno (Robert Krivelin), who did all the work through fractions of :29, 1:00 and 1:29.2 before slipping through along the pylons to score the win measuring 3/4 of a length. Barbies Korvette (Dennis Whittemore) finished third while Explosive Muscles and Total Freedom were next in the sextet. The other Florida Amateur Driving Club event went to Prairie Big John ($2.60), handled by "Touchdown" Teddy Bowman in a seasonal best 1:57. This seven year-old Florida bred, owned and trained by Jim Hysell, took the lead a few long strides after the :28.1 opener and then carded panels of :57.1 and 1:26.4 before romping home unscathed by 4 1/4 lengths over Zeitgeist (Spriggs) with Lukie Duke (Jamie Marra) third. Engagedatlexington and Rel Cash Clown also earned checks in the field of six. The Florida Amateur Driving Club has donated over $140,000 to charitable organizations since its inception. Pompano Park continues its season on Wednesday night with a 7:30 post. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Harness racing trainer Jim Mc Donald held the hot hand at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (June 17), sweeping both features en route to hitting the "grand slam" with four winners on the program.   While Mach Me Not and Dominum Deo won their respective $9,500 pacing and trotting Winner's Over events, it was Mc Donald, himself, getting the festivities underway by piloting Pacing Pretty Stables four year-old Looney ($3.00) to a come from behind win in a lifetime best 1:58.2.   Two races later, the nine year-old Mach Three mare Mach Me Not, trained by Mc Donald for the S S G Stables and driven by Bruce Ranger, nailed her stablemate, Artful Impulse (Andy Santeramo) in the last two strides to score a narrow win--a half length--in 1:53.1 for her second win in a row and 34th lifetime in 201 starts.   Surging to the lead early before yielding to her stablemate, Mach Me Not, though drifting wide in the lane, managed to get up in the late stages on the strength of a :27.2 finale.   Goldstar Rockette (Mickey Mc Nichol) finished third in the mile while Real Nice Girl and Lady Ideal completed the quintet of talented mares.   In a post race interview, Ranger said, "She left like a rocket-ship but then Andy (Santeramo) took his mare (Artful Impulse) and put her on the lead so I did get a good trip back of her. When I pulled turning for home, I guess I must've pulled on the right line a little too hard because she was drifting out pretty good in the lane. But it all worked out at the wire."   Mach Me Not paid $2.40 for her popular win.   The very next event, Santeramo got a bit of revenge on Ranger when he guided The Muscler, also trained by Mc Donald for lessee Carl Mc Donald, to a nose victory in 1:57.1, edging out Gray N Cloudy (Ranger) in the very last stride.   The Muscler won for the fifth time this semester, good for a seasonal bankroll of $19,250. He paid $7.20 to win.   Mc Donald achieved his "grand slam" the very next race when Ranger guided Dominum Deo to a photo finish win over Illusionsndreams (Santeramo) in a lifetime best 1:54.4--that win coming in the Winner's Over feature for trotters.   This four year-old son of Donato Hanover, last halfway through the mile, found some room turning for home and mowed down the competition with a :56 final half complimented by a :28.2 finale.   Dominum Deo, now with four wins for the year, sent his earnings to $20,845 for 2015 and $69,980 lifetime.   Gold Savage (McNichol), prominent all the way, finished third while Tug River Dylan and My Revenuer completed the first five in the sextet.   Dominum Deo, second choice on the board at 9 to 5, paid $5.60 to win.   Racing continues Saturday night with a 7:30 post time scheduled for the eight race program.   John Berry 

Pompano Beach, FL...June 13, 2015...No Bad Dreams, given a picture perfect drive by Bruce Ranger, gave his harness racing competition a nightmare of sorts on Saturday night at Pompano Park, virtually wiring a classy field in the $9,500 Winner's Over Pace in 1:52.1.   The four year-old son of Dream Away, trained by 81 year-old Marc Aubin for Dan and Jacalyn Boddie, earned his seventh win of the year in 11 starts, defeating Raji's Blue Line, handled by Ben McNeil, by a half length.   Northern Companion and driver Tom Sells teamed up to be third while Who's Your Maddy finished fourth. G P S Legacy made a miscue early on and picked up the nickel in the quintet.   No Bad Dreams, leaving from the advantageous five post, zipped out of the gate and joined Raji's Blue Line around the first turn with No Bad Dreams assuming the lead shortly thereafter and clocking an opening panel of :27.2.   With positions remaining stagnant through the next quarter, Ranger was able to rate his charge through a :29.4 panel, reaching the half in :57.1. On the backside, Ranger chirped once to No Bad Dreams and he was off on a :27.4 tangent and then sealed the deal with a :27.1 finale.   In a post race interview, Ranger said, "Last week, Ben's horse (Raji's Blue Line) cut some hellish fractions so I was hoping he wouldn't try that again and opt for a two hold trip. Once I got to the half in :57 and change, I felt very confident that No Bad Dreams could go all the way from there. He's a very nice horse...VERY nice!"   In winning for the 10th time career-wise, No Bad Dreams pushed his lifetime earnings to $43,962--$29,310 this year in only 11 starts.   As the 2 to 5 favorite, No Bad Dreams rewarded his many followers with a $2.80 mutuel.   That win, incidentally, proved to be a "double" for trainer Aubin and the Boddie's, as their Abreathofreshart captured the opener on the Saturday card in a conditioned pace in 1:52, a new lifetime mark. This four year-old son of Artistic Fella also wired his foes, using a :27.4 finale to pin a defeat measuring 1 3/4 lengths on Histoire Eternelle, handled by Dan Harvey. Zavan was third for Andy Santeramo after applying some pressure on the leader around the final turn.   As the 3 to 5 favorite, Abreathofreshart paid $3.40 to win.   The track also hosted the Chris Valkanoff Memorial Pace, honoring one of the most respected owners at the track who passed away some months ago.   Ranger also won that one, too, guiding Twenty Four Carrot Racing and Ciro Gentile's Freeneasy Hanover to his 25th lifetime win--2nd this year--in 1:51.2.   The Jim Mc Donald trainee, a seven year-old son of Western Ideal, also was a gate to wire winner, clocking panels of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23.1 along the way for the win measuring nearly four lengths.   He, too, was the overwhelming favorite--1 to 5 on the board--and returned $2.60 to win.   After the event, the vast number of friends and family gathered in the winner's circle celebrating Mr. Valkanoff's life.   Racing continues Wednesday night at Pompano Park with post time set at 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...June 10, 2015...Mach Me Not and Mc Tiny's Hope shared the spotlight at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (June 10), each reaching the winner's circle in their respective co-featured harness racing events.   Mach Me Not, the rugged nine year-old daughter of Mach Three, turned the tables on her stablemate, Artful Impulse, in the $9,000 "Winner's Over" pace for the mares, using a quarter move to the top after Artful Impulse, zipped out of the gate from her outside post to take the field through an opener of :27.4.   With Bruce Ranger handling the lines for trainer Jim Mc Donald and the S S G Stables, Mach Me Not, once reaching the top spot, proceeded to clock panels of :57.3 and 1:25.3 before using a :28.3 finale to hold her stablemate, driven by Andy Santeramo, safe by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:54.1.   Real NIce Girl finished third for Joe Sanzeri while Keystone Christa finished fourth after a menacing backside brush brought her to the flank of Mach Me Not turning for home. Goldstar Rockette finished fifth in the quintet.   After the event, driver Bruce Ranger remarked, "Last week, this mare was full of pace the entire last lap, grinding forward from the back to finish third. In this shorter field, I thought it might be prudent to try and control things, just hoping that Andy (Santeramo) would yield to me so his mare would get the garden trip. It worked out well."   Mach Me Not won for the sixth time in 21 starts, sending her 2015 bankroll to $40,024. She's banked $336,046 lifetime on the strength of 33 career wins to go along with a mark of 1:51.1.   As the very slight favorite at 4 to 5, Mach Me Not paid $3.60 to win.   Despite rain showers in the area, along with some lightning bolts and thunder claps, Mc Tiny's Hope, the only mare in the "Winner's Over" trot, showed impeccable manners in extending her victory streak to three with a 1:55 performance for Ben Mc Neil.   This seven year-old daughter of CR Excalibur, trained by Jack Mc Neil for Ellen Mc Neil, zipped to the lead from her outside five post and broke her first three light beams in :28.3, :57.2 and 1:25.3 before striding home an easy winner on the strength of a :29.2 finale while dodging raindrops all the way home.   Dominum Deo finished second for Bruce Ranger while My Revenuer was next in the quintet. Gold Savage, close up the entire route, finished fourth while On The Tab picked up the nickel.   In a post race interview, the soft-spoken Ben Mc Neil said, "What can I say? She's just very good right now and I certainly wasn't going to fool around changing tactics since she's won the other two in this streak the same way!"   In earning her sixth win of the year in 21 starts, Mc Tiny's Hope sent her bankroll to $44,496 this semester, vaulting her over the $150,000 lifetime--$153,270 to be exact. This was her 27th lifetime victory to go along with her Meadowlands mark of 1:53.3.   As the 1 to 5 post time favorite, Mc Tiny's Hope paid $2.40 to win.   Ranger and Mc Neil were the two driving stars on the program with the Ranger winning three on the card, including the early Daily Double and young Ben Mc Neil sweeping both halves of the late Daily Double.   Racing continues on Saturday with Northern Companion looking to extend his winning streak while Raji's Blue Line, No Bad Dreams, Who's Your Maddy and G P S Legacy seek to knock last week's winner off his perch as current king of the hill."   Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...April 27, 2015...Godiva Seelster, catch-driven by Mickey McNichol, scored a handy win in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares on Monday night (April 27). The five year-old daughter of Camluck repeated her victory of a week ago by conquering five rivals in 1:53.2 over a track rated "sloppy," dulled by heavy rains prior to post time. The victory, her fourth of the year in six starts, pushed the ultra-consistent mare's streak of not missing a purse check to 52, encompassing her entire seasons as a three year-old, four year-old and, thus far, five year-old. Assigned post seven off of last start's winning performance, Godiva Seelster actually started from post six with a scratch in the event and was away sharply and grinding forward as Senorita Santanna, driven by Joe Pavia, Jr., forged to the lead and took the field to the opening panel in :28 before yielding to Godiva just a stride or two later. Once positions were established after the opener with Fashion Ruffles (Dave Ingraham) third, De Vins Girl fourth, Mach Me Not next and Limelight trailing, they remained that way the rest of the journey with the half in :56.4 and three-quarters clocked in 1:25.2 with no challenger able to dent the leader's margin on the "off" track. In the lane, Senorita Santanna left her cozy pocket and got within a half length of Godiva, but no closer, with the :28 finale leaving the final margin carded just that way--a half length. In a post race interview, catch-driver Mickey McNichol said, "This is the first time I have driven this mare and she is really something! Wally (regular driver Hennessey) said that she's been sharp 'forever' and that she knows how to take care of herself and rate herself during a mile. So, all I did was let her do her own thing. She's a very determined mare...a pleasure to drive." Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Godiva Seelster now has banked $26,500 since resuming her career five weeks ago with career earnings of $135,342 to go along with her 1:51.1 mark in her last start. As the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Godiva Seelster paid $3.40 to win. In the Open 2 Pace for Mares, Artful Impulse, ditched her "on the engine" strategy of recent starts and took advantage of a fierce early duel between Pacific Date and Cheap N Easy before circling those two on the backstretch three-eighths out and went on to score a win in 1:53.3. The four year-old daughter of Artistic Fella, catch-driven this night by Bruce Ranger for trainer Jim Mc Donald and the Twenty Four Carrot Racing, left alertly enough but yielded early and remained off the pace during hot panels of :27.2 and :54.4 before her backstretch blitz put her on top to stay prior to the third station clocked in 1:24. Drea's Good Powow (Dave Ingraham) finished second, a length away, with Real Nice Girl (Matt Romano) third. Pacific Date did hold on for fourth while Fiesta Camcun rallied to pick up the nickel. Artful Impulse earned only her second win of the season--sixth lifetime--and sent her 2015 bounty to $17,700. She recently went over the $100,000 in lifetime earnings with her total now at $107,945. She returned a $6.40 mutuel to her faithful. A trio of carryovers add flavor to the Wednesday program at Pompano Park. The Pick-5--not to be confused with the Super Hi-5--went unscathed on Monday night with a carryover over into the Wednesday mid-week program of $1,733.30. Director of Racing Brett Revington has set a guarantee of $7,500 for the Wednesday night Pick-5. The Pick-4 also went untouched and the carryover of $4,984 has produced a guarantee of $25,000 for the mid-week extravaganza. Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 had a 5-2-1-8-4 combo that produced seven winners on Monday night, each receiving $1,325.36 for their 20 cent investment. sending the carryover to the Wednesday night card vaulting over the $175,000, a new record for the track. Post time for the Wednesday card is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...April 11, 2015...In an epic harness racing battle to the wire, Panocchio, driven by Bruce Ranger, edged by a game Duc Dorleans (Donald Dupont) in the final strides to post a 1:50 victory in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night (April 11). Neptune (Aaron Byron) rallied late to finish third while favored Steelhead Hanover (Joe Pavia, Jr.) faltered and finished fourth after, once again, cutting sizzling panels similar to in his last two victories of 1:49.2 and 1:50. Northern Companion picked up the nickel in the sextet over Canadian Touch. When the gate sprung, Canadian Touch, handled by Mike Micallef, left with alacrity and briefly engaged Steelhead Hanover in a battle for the top spot early with the latter taking command right at the opener in :26.1. Meanwhile, Duc Dorleans, leaving in search of a cozy close-up spot, found one in third with Panocchio, from the outside post, settling in fourth in front of Neptune and Northern Companion. Positions remained somewhat stagnant through the lively half in :54.3 but, on the backside, Steelhead Hanover began to feel the heat with Duc Dorleans moving along side and Pancchio following live cover through three-quarters in 1:22.1. In the lane, Duc Dorleans took charge with Panocchio fanning widest of all and, finally, wearing down the "Duc" near the wire--the margin a half length. In a post race interview, driver Bruce Ranger said, "With so much speed leaving inside of where we started, it just didn't make sense for me to get in a war early, so I kinda just floated out of there looking for a good spot in front of the two (Neptune and Northern Companion) that don't seem to want to be in the thick of it early. I was lucky to find a spot ahead of those two around the first turn...I certainly didn't want to be six or seven lengths behind early. When Don (Dupont) pulled going first up with his horse (Duc Dorleans), I just followed him and just tilted out further in the lane. We were both going some at the end...mine just a little more than his. That was the difference. Both of our horses capable of sub-1:50. Again, I have to give credit to Jim and Vicki (Mattison) because they do such an incredible job with this horse. They have taught him well...He's very well behaved and does everything asked of him." Owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with Jim Mattison, Panocchio, a five year-old son of No Pan Intended, now is two-for-three this semester and 26 for 56 lifetime with career earnings of $186,145 to go along with his mark of 1:49.3. The Florida Amateur Driving Club, having donated over $140,000 to worthwhile organizations since their inception, played host to thesmartride.org on Saturday night, an organization dedicated to supply funding to agencies assisting those affected with HIV. Thesmartride.org has a yearly bicycle event from Miami to Key West--165 miles--that has raised over $6.4 million in its 12 year history. This year's event is held in November with 100% of all funding going to the organization, which thrives on bicycle participants and volunteers. Ranger, by the way, also had two other winners on the card, the first with the $20,000 claiming pacer Johnny Grippa, this seven year-old son of Cam's Card Shark stitching together equal halves of :55.2 to record a gate-to-wire win in a lifetime best 1:50.4 for Mc Trade Enterprises, and the other with The Three Gees Stable's First Impression, slipping through along the pylons late to earn his 41st lifetime win, this one for trainer Gary Mc Donald. First Impression's win came in Pompano Park's finale, the Super Hi-5 with 41 astute handicapper cashing in on the 4-5-2-1-3 combo paying $138.82 for their 20 cent investment. The Super Hi-5 carryover for Monday night's card now has vaulted to $130,503. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

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