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Lexington, KY — is reporting that horseman Jay Sears, a consummate horseman and father of Hall of Fame driver Brian Sears, died Sunday night at age 78. Mr. Sears, who lived on a farm in Osteen, Fla., on the St. John’s River, had been working on his farm just days earlier. Mr. Sears was the son of horseman Gene Sears and followed in his father’s footsteps. After graduating from high school in Indianapolis, Ind., Mr. Sears began working for his father full-time, before moving on to a groom’s position for trainer Joe O’Brien. Mr. Sears went out on his own in 1961, and it was in that year he drove his first winner at Monticello Raceway. At age 22 in 1963, he became one of the youngest ever to drive a two-minute mile when he won with Georgia Red in 2:00 at Hollywood Park. Mr. Sears’ career then flourished, as he set up shop at Vernon Downs in the summer months and Pompano Park in the winter, where his children, Brian and daughter Jennifer, attended schools. While Mr. Sears raced many stakes colts in the prime of his career, in the later years of his life he and his second wife, Kim, concentrated on Florida-breds and campaigned many “Sunshine” stakes winners. In addition, in 2007-2008 Mr. Sears developed the pacing filly Native Bride, who in 2008 won the Garnsey Memorial, Matron and a Breeders Crown elimination. Native Bride was driven by his son, Brian, putting the father-son in the winner’s circle together. Mr. Sears was inducted into the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1992. His father, Gene, joined him three years later in 1995. Mr. Sears also was active as a leader in the Florida harness racing community, serving as president of the Florida Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association. Sears was elected to the U.S. Trotting Association Board of Directors in 1992 and served 25 years before retiring in 2016. From

Pompano Beach, FL...December 2, 2019...Pompano Park played host to the best of the best on Sunday (December 1) with $414,000 up for grabs as the FSBOA presented the 2019 edition of Super Night, a showcase of the top tharness racing wo and three year-olds in Florida. On the equine side of the ledger, the grand three year-old filly Natasha won her 15th straight in the $55,325 Breeders Stake for Wally Hennessey and Zaza Boy took top honors in the $54,090 companion pace for the boys. A complete wrap follows: $55,325 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (NB) The splendid Six of Diamonds filly Natasha took home the top prize for driver Wally Hennessey, stopping the timer in a lifetime best 1:53. Trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay, Natasha survived the outside post and a sizzling opening panel of :26.2 before subsequent fractions of :57 and 1:24.3 precluded a :28.2 finale to hit the wire two lengths clear of Prairie Cougar (Peter Wrenn) with Prairie Westerngal (Kevin Wallis) next. Caleb's Diamond T, closing fastest of all, finished fourth while Rockin Ellie picked up the final award in this classy septet of fillies. Said Hennessey after the race, "I have always said this filly is a 'freak' and she really proved her merit tonight after facing tough rivals like this, the outside post and a trying first quarter." Natasha Is now 7-for-7 this semester with her career earnings vaulting to $129,956. Interesting to note that the first three finishers all had drivers with more than 10,000 wins each with the total number of driving wins for all seven drivers totaled 46,502. $52,075 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS/GELDINGS (NB) In a race where the final chart looked like a "tic-tac-toe" board with all the "x's," Rhinestone Cowboy, handled by Mike Micallef, rallied from a miscue of his own on the backstretch to win in a lifetime best 2:01.2. The son of Proud Bushy, trained by KIm Sears for owners Jay Sears and John Campagnuolo, came from 10 lengths out of it around the final bend to, first, collar the leading Prairie Romeo (Dave Ingraham) and, then, hold off the surging Prairie Gold Mine (Wally Hennessey) to score by three-parts-of-a-length over the latter with Prairie Romeo next. Prairie Tornado and YD Dream Machine completed the order of finish. As the wings folded, Prairie Romeo used his inside post to perfection and roared through an opening panel of :28.1 while building a five length lead over YD Dream Machine. That's when things began to get interesting as YD Dream Machine made a miscue bothering Prairie Gold Mine with Rhinestone Cowboy taking up the chase in second but four lengths away halfway through in :59 with Prairie Tornado improving his position two spots to third. On the backside, Rhinestone Cowboy made a break and found himself 10 lengths away around the final bend. But, after regaining his composure, Rhinestone Cowboy kept churning along, collaring the leader at mid-stretch and then holding off a furious late surge by Prairie Gold Mine. A smiling Micallef said after the race, "This proves the old adage 'you never give up!' When he made that jump on the backside, I thought we were out of the ballgame but you never know. He caught pretty quickly and raced very well after that...and that's what really counted here." Rhinestone Cowboy now has a 2-2-3 scorecard in seven starts with earnings of $444,481. $52,500 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (NB) Laurie Lee, driven by Wally Hennessey, led every long stride of her mile to score a handy win in 1:56.4--this after carving up panels of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:27.3 along the way. The daughter of Royel Millennium hit the line 3 1/2 lengths clear over the pocket-sitting Pocahontas Cam (Kevin Wallis) with Prairie Fashion (Dave Ingraham) next. Alil Touch Of Pink and Gold Star Igotdis followed. Trained by Kim Sears for Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, Laurie Lee, named after one of the more prominent breeders in Florida, scored her fourth win of the year in nine starts, pushing her earnings just under the $50,000 plateau--$49,975 to be precise. $51,540 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (NB) Prairie Delight, driven by Wally Hennessey, stalked the pacesetter until the final bend before tilting out and overtaking the leader turning for home and on to a 3 1/4 length score in 2:03.4. Trained by Jim McDonald, who co-owns with wife Dona and Bill Bigler, this daughter of Shibboleth Hanover allowed Callin On Sunday, handled by Mike Simons, cut the mustard through panels of :29.1, :59.3 and 1:30.2 before swooping by to the handy score--her sixth of the year in seven starts. Whitney Annette (Dave Ingraham) was next while Proud Money and Brasen Bo completed the field. Prairie Delight now sports earnings of $54,091. $50,750 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD TROTTING GELDINGS (NB) Pacing Pretty Stables' Damien Hall, with Wally Hennessey handling the lines for trainer Jim McDonald, led gate-to-wire to keep his 2019 season unblemished--now six-for-six--with a lifetime best 1:58 performance. This altered son of Cash Hall, once again, led at every pole through panels of :29.1, :59.4 and 1:284 before a :29.1 finale sealed the deal over Savin Park (MIke Micallef), Prairie Gem (Peter Wrenn) was next, followed by McGoldrick. Damien Hall shows all "1's" in his 30 charted points of call and has banked $53,024 lifetime--$42,631 this semester. $49,250 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (NB) Proud Sophie, with Dave Ingraham in the bike, used her individual final half in :57.4 to squeak by a stubborn Kerry B (Wally Hennessey) in 2:00.4. Pocket-sitting Crown Bushy (Bryce Fenn) finished third in this trio. The winner, a daughter of Proud Bushy, was away last allowing Kerry B the advantage of carding soft panels of :30.2 and 1:02.2. On the backside, the pace quickened as Proud Sophie tilted out and began gnawing forward, drawing on even terms with Kerry B around the final bend with three-quarters clocked in 1:31.2. From there, it was a war all the way home as Proud Sophie edged by once they straightened away and gutted out the game win on the wire. Trained by Kim Sears for Jay Sears and Dr. David Fishman, Proud Sophie has never been worse than second in her 12 lifetime starts (seven wins) and now sports bounty of $108,740. $49,380 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS/GELDINGS (NB) In a war that lasted just about the entire mile, Hurrikaanekingjames, with Carl Garofalo in his sulky, held off the furious late binge of Repeal Or Replace (Andy Santeramo) to win in 1:53.4, a new lifetime best. Shuldahadahunemoon (Mike Simons) was third in this trio. At the outset, both Hurrikanekingjames and Repeal Or Replace went in search of the lead and, at the opener in :27.1, the latter stuck his head in front but was forced back in the pocked as he couldn't clear. On they flew through fractions of :55.4 and 1:24.3 with Hurrikanekingjames now encountered by Repeal Or Replace turning for home. They went tooth and nail right to the wire with Hurricanekingjames surviving the onslaught to prevail by a half length. John McDermott, Jr. trains the son of So Surreal for Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group and George Vierno with the winner now showing earnings of $103,780. Driver Carl Garofalo, by the way, drove in six races since Pompano Park opened one month ago and has won all six! $54,090 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS/GELDINGS Zaza Boy, with Mike Micallef handling the lines, stalked the pacesetting Mister Marvalous (Wally Hennessey) and went on to score a handy win in 1:53.4 over the late charging Gold Star Yoder (James Yoder). JB's Boomerang (Bryce Fenn) was third over Mister Marvalous while Gold Star Hefner earned the minor award in a field scratched down to five. Zaza Boy and Mister Marvalous went warring as the gate sprung clear with the latter taking command just short of the opener in a hot :26.2. Hennessey then got a bit of a breather as he reached the half in :56.3. On the backside, the pace began to quicken with Mister Marvalous still in front past the third station in 1:25.1 with Zaza Boy now looming boldly along side. Once they straightened away, Zaza Boy opened daylight and was never in danger as Gold Star Yoder closed with sharp pace to finish 1 1/2 lengths away. Micallef had high praise for the winner saying, "Michile and Rod (Lorenzo) have had him sharp for a good, long time and he was become very handy to handle--not headstrong. I think the fact that he's learned to relax has helped his game immensely." Rod Lorenzo owns Zaza Boy in partnership with Souren Hovsepian. The sophomore gelded son of Rockingcam now has $68,530 in 2019 and $93,707 lifetime. As the 2 to 1 second choice, Zaza Boy paid $6.20 to win. Driver Wally Hennessey had a six-pack on Super Night while Kim Sears had a grand slam on the training side of the ledger. Racing continues Monday with first post set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for the FSBOA and Pompano Park                      

Pompano Beach, FL...November 12, 2019...The FSBOA Stallion Stakes for three year-olds highlighted the Monday harness racing program as non-wagering events at Pompano Park with over $120,000 up for grabs in the four events. Trainer Kim Sears had a "hat trick" with all three of her entrants reaching the winner's circle while Michile Lorenzo completed the training sweep for the ladies in the finale. Here is a recap of the festivities: $26,325 STALLION STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES Proud Sophie used the draw--the rail--to perfection as driver Dave Ingraham sent this daughter of Proud Bushy right to the front and clocked panels of :31.3, 1:02.3 and 1:33.2 before a sharp :29.3 finale sealed the deal over Crown Bushy, driven by Bryce Fenn. The 2:03 clocking was just a tick off of her lifetime best, achieved just last week. Trained by Kim Sears for owners Jay Sears and Dr. David Fishman, the lightly raced sophomore now sports a 5-5-0 scorecard in her to lifetime starts, good for $80,223--$24,783 this semester in her thre starts. $29,050 STALLION STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD TROTING COLTS/GELDINGS Savin Park, the gelded son of Proud Bushy, took advantage of his two rivals making miscues early and went on to romp through a mile in 2:02 for Wally Hennessey, in the bike for trainer Kim Sears and owner John Campagnuolo. Prairie Gem (Mike Deters) and McGoldrick (Dave Ingraham) followed Savin Park across the line. Carving up fractions of :29.1, :59.4 and 1:30.2, Savin Park coasted home in this maiden win to send his career bankroll to $29,745. Said Hennessey after the event, "I had only driven him one other time prior to this and he did nicely minding his manners and had some solid early speed and a decent late kick while chasing a pretty good one. This is one time where good manners paid off!" $34,425 STALLION STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES Owner Jay Sears' Natasha, facing her toughest opponent yet, stretched her winning streak to 13 over the past two seasons with a lifetime best 1:53.2 performance for Wally Hennessey. Trained by Kim Sears--giving her the training hat trick--Natasha out-sprinted her toughest rival yet, Prairie Cougar, and carded times of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:25.4 along the way before sprinting home in :27.3 to hit the line two lengths clear of Prairie Cougar, driven by Kevin Wallis. Lime Twist (Mike Simons) closed stoutly to finish third over Goldstar Stormie and Rockin Ellie. Hennessy had high praise for Natasha saying, "I told you, she is a freak. She is so handy and so willing...just a pleasure to drive." Natasha, a daughter of Six Of Diamonds, now is a perfect five-for-five this year with earnings of $29,970. Lifetime, Natasha has banked $97,845 in just 15 starts. $31,475 STALLION STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD COLTS/GELDINGS Zaza Boy, completed the trainer sweep for the ladies as this Michile Lorenzo trainee was given picture perfect handling by Mike Micallef to score in 1:55. The talented gelded son of Rockincam was sent whistling off the wings and proceeded to march through panels of :29, :58.2 and 1:27.4 before a lively :27.1 finale completed the journey with two lengths to spare over JB's Boomerang (Bryce Fenn). Gold Star Yoder (Dustin Ingraham) was next, followed by Gold Star Hefner and O'Brockoli. After the race, driver Micallef said, "This horse used to be so headstrong but there were aa few rigging changes to calm him down. I never asked him really for anything until midway around the final turn and then the (ear) plug came out, I whistled once and he took off." Zaza Boy now has a scorecard that reads 4-2-4 in 15 starts with $40,477 in the bank. Lifetime, he's right at $90,394 for owners Souren Hovsepian and Rod Lorenzo. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a Pick 6 Carryover of $2,285.63 and a Super Hi-5 jackpot ballooning to $3,833.10. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park and the FSBOA  

Pompano Beach, FL ...November 11, 2019...The FSBOA sponsored Florida Sttallion Stakes highlighted the Sunday harness racing program at Pompano Park on Sunday night with those festivities punctuated by presentations to Rick Plano and Fern Paquet, Jr. for their recent milestones achieved. The lucrative Stallion Stakes--with over $100,000 on the line--were non-betting events for the two year-olds with Prairie Gold Mine and Gold Star Igotdis extending their respective winning streaks, Brasen Bo pulling off a mild upset and Shuldahadahunemoon waltzing around the oval in a rare walkover. Prairie Gold Mine, a sharp looking gelded son of Shibboleth Hanover, kept his career unbeaten streak in tact by winning his fourth straight, this one is the $30,400 Stallion Stake for juvenile trotting colts and geldings. Owned by Laurie Poulin, along with Fritz Racing, Fred Morosini and trainer Mike Deters, Prairie Gold Mine, driven by Wally Hennessey, blasted his way from fourth on the backstretch with a powerful burst to move on even terms with Rhinestone Cowboy (Mike Micallef) and barely out-gamed the latter in a duel to the wire. The winning margin was 3/4s of a length and it took a new lifetime mark of 2:01.4 to get it done. YD Dream Machine (Jim Meittinis) was third over Prairie Tornado and Prairie Romeo. After the event, Hennessey remarked, "Well, it sure turned out to be a dogfight. All of these horses are getting a little more seasoned now and getting to know how to race. Mike's (Micallef) horse had some serious fight in his belly and he was right with me all the way home. But my horse is learning more, too, so the other Mike (Deters) has done a great job in teaching him!" Prairie Gold Mine now has banked $25,500 in his four career starts. Gold Star Igotdis, again handled by Corey Braden for trainer Maggie Audley, unleashed a final half in :57.3 to score a narrow win in 1:58.4 over the late charging Laurie Lee (Wally Hennessey) in the $30,125 Stallion Stake for the pacing fillies. The daughter of Rock On, owned by the Gold Star Farm, fourth in the early going as Pocahontas Cam (Kevin Wallis) sliced through panels of 29.4, 1:00.2 and 1:30.1, tilted to the outside on the backstretch, pulled on even terms with the leader around the final turn and held off the surging Laurie. Pocahontas Cam did finish third over Prairie Fashion and Alil Touch of Pink. Not only was her performance a new lifetime mark, it pushed her scorecard to 5-3-0-0, good for bounty of $23,928. Driver Corey Braden remarked, "All you have to do is ask her and off she goes, There's no stopping her. She is developing into quite a nice filly!" Tom Casey's Brasen Bo pulled off a mild upset in the $30,125 Stallion Stake for trotting fillies as this daughter of Shibboleth Hanover was given picture perfect handling by Mickey McNichol to score in a career best 2:06.1. Owner-trainer Casey put trotting hobbles on his filly for the first time and she was perfectly mannered throughout her journey as Prairie Delight (Jim McDonald) plowed through fractions of :31.3, 1:02.3 and 1:34.1 with Callin On Sunday (Mike Simons) in the garden spot after recovering from a brief miscue early. Once they straightened away, Brasen Bo began gnawing away at the leader, getting by in the final yards for the win measuring a neck. Whitney Annette and Proud Money were next in the quintet. Finally, Shuldahadahunemoon, with Dustin Ingraham in the sulky, strolled around the Pompano Park oval in a walkover to earn $24,175 for owner Nick the two year-old pace for the boys or, in this case, the boy! The George Coblentz trainee broke his maiden in the easiest of ways by taking his time through fractions of :33.1, 1:05.2 and 1:37 before hitting the line in 2:08.3. Shuldahadahunemoon now has banked $32,050 in his five trips behind the starting gate. After the second race, Race Secretary Joe Frasure, Jr. joined Rick Plano and Fern Paquet, Jr., in the winner's circle in honor of their respective milestones reached last week, Plano won his 7,000th career race while Paquet reached the 3,000 plateau just minutes apart last Monday night. Both drivers reflected on their family ties with Rick mentioning wife, Maryann, his son, Luke, who has well over 3,000 career wins in his own right and Fern paying tribute to his father, Fern, Sr. who was a leading driver at Pompano Park some five decades past. Driving honors went to Mike Simons on Sunday night as he had a "hat trick" on the card, including back-to-back wins with Oberlin (placed first at 42 to 1) and Late Night Joke (7 to 1) in the track's Pick-5. With nary a single ticket sold on the winning combination of 6-2-1-6-1, a carryover of $5,639 makes a "better for the bettor" scenario with a $20,000 guaranteed pool for Monday night's Pick-4. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park and the FSBOA

Pompano Beach, FL...Oct. 12, 2019...Pompano Park kicked off their Florida Stakes season with an eight race non-wagering program sponsored by the FSBOA on Saturday morning and, apropos during the baseball playoffs, a driving “grand slam” and two “doubles” highlighted the card. Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey had the grand slam pushing his lifetime win total to 10,292 while Jim McDonald and Carl Garofalo had the driving doubles. Hennessey reached the winner’s circle with Dave in the two year-old colt/gelding trot, Laurie Lee in the juvenile filly pace, Kerry B in the three year-old filly trot and Natasha in the sophomore filly pace. McDonald kicked off the festivities by Prairie Delight to a win in the filly trot for two yearolds and guided Damian Hall to a handy win in the three year-old trot featuring a trio of geldings. Garofalo guided Hurrikanekingjames to the winner’s circle in the two year-old colt/ gelding pace and then capped off the program with a sharp looking Zaza Boy in the three year-old pace featuring a sextet of geldings. Here is a complete recap of the eight race Sunshine State Stakes program: TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT-PRAIRIE DELIGHT Prairie Delight, perfectly handled by trainer Jim McDonald, led every step of her mile, kicking off her racing career with a 2:07 performance--her margin of victory just short of 20 lengths. The daughter of Shibboleth Hanover, owned in part by McDonald, along with Dona McDonald and Bill Bigler, carved up panels of :32, 1:02.3 and 1:34.3 along the way. Proud Money (Wally Hennessey) was second followed by Whitney Annette (Jay Sears) and Brasen Bo. TWO YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING TROT-DAVE Dave, a son of Proud Bushy, overcame a miscue early and then benefitted from others miscues during the first three-eights of the mile to inherit the lead and went on to score an 18 1/2 length win in 2:11.1 for Wally Hennessey. Trained by Kim Sears for owners Dr. David Fishman and Jay Sears built an insurmountable lead half way through the mile and left YD Dream Machine (Marc Major), Rhinstone Cowboy (Jay Sears) and Lincoln J in his wake to make his racing debut a winning one. Speaking of the win, Hennessey said, “this is one instance where time means nothing as long as you get to the winner’s circle.” TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE-LAURIE LEE Laurie Lee, named after one of Florida’s most successful breeders, made a sharp quarter (:30) move to the top under the guidance of Wally Hennessey and went on to post panels of 1:00.3 and 1:30.4 before romping home in :28.2 to break her maiden in 1:59.1--her margin 3 1/4 lengths over Alil Touch of Pink (Marc Major) and Pocahontas Cam (Bryce Fenn) just another nose back in third. Gold Star Igotdis made a miscue three-eighths from home but did pick up the final check in this quartet. This daughter of Royal Millenium is trained by Kim Sears for Richard Dunmire and Jay Sears and registered her initial win in four career starts. TWO YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING PACE-HURRIKANEKINGJAMES Hurrikanekingjames, already the author of a 1:55.1 over the Saratoga half-miler, had an easy task for Carl Garofalo, scoring by 15 1/2 lengths over Shuldahadahunemonn (Nick Coblentz). The slick So Surreal colt, owned by Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group and George Vierno, repelled a quarter bid (:30) with a :28.1 second panel and then coasted rest of the journey to a 1:58.2 win. Now in the Lorenzo Stable and trained by Michile Lorenzo, Hurrikanekingjames now has a bankroll of over $53,000 in his 10 lifetime starts. THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT-KERRY B Kerry B, handled by Wally Hennessey, stalked her only rival, Crown Bushy (Bryce Fenn), through panels of :30.2, 1:01 and 1:31 before tilting out of her cozy pocket turning for home and went on to score her first win of the year in 2:00.3. The daughter of Muscle Mass, trained by Kim Sears for husband Jay, was clocked in : 29.2 coming home to push her lifetime bounty over $53,000. After the event, Hennessey remarked, “She seems to like her surroundings here at Pompano Park much better than up north. She was relaxed all the way and strong when I asked.” THREE YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS/GELDINGS-DAMIEN HALL With a trio of geldings going post-ward back of the Brownlee Starting Gate, Damien Hall trainer Jim McDonald got in the bike for the Pacing PrettyStable and guided the son of Cash Hall to a wire-to-wire win in a lifetime best 2:00.4--:28.4, eclipsing his former mark set last year by more than four seconds. Carding panels of :30, 1:01.2 and 1:32, Damien Hall left the pocket-sitter, Savin Park (Wally Hennessey) almost four lengths back at the wire. McGoldrick, with Ted Rau making his first purse start in the sulky since 2002, finished third and trotted his fastest career mile in doing so. THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE-NATASHA Last years Super Night Champion, Natasha, driven by Wally Hennessey, made her first start as a sophomore and took charge an eighth into the mile, carded comfortable panels of :29.2, 58.4 and 1:28.2, and then sprinted home in :27.4 to score a handy win for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears in 1:56.1. The daughter of Six Of Diamonds scored by 3 1/2 lengths over the late charging Rockin Ellie (Bryce Fenn) with Gold Star Stormie (Walter Ross, Jr.) edging by Lime Twist for show honors. Natasha now has a lifetime scorecard reading 11-9-0-1, good for $70,675. “I let her do everything herself,” said Hennessey, “She was very, very sharp and I hope that bodes well for the rest of the season for her!” THREE YEAR-OLD COLT-GELDING PACE-ZAZA BOY Zaza Boy, driven by Carl Garofalo for trainer Michile Lorenzo, led every long stride of his mile and stopped the timer in a lifetime best 1:56.1--capped by a :28.2 finale. The gelded son of Rockincam popped off panels of:29, :59 and 1:27.4 before his romp home, defeating the late charging JB’s Boomerang (Bryce Fenn) by 1 1/2 lengths. Mister Marvalous (Wally Hennessey) in the pocket throughout the journey, was another neck back in third. The win gave Garofalo his driving double and provided trainer Michile Lorenzo with a similar accolade. Zaza Boy is owned by Souren Hovsepian along with Rod Lorenzo.  FSBOA’s Sunshine State Stakes resumes next Saturday morning. by John Berry, for Pompano Park and the FSBOA

Pompano Beach, Florida...November 26, 2018...Pompano Park hosted the 2018 edition of Super Night on Sunday with eight championship events with more than $415,000 in purses on the line. The stables of Kim Sears and Mike Deters dominated the events with the Sears contingency winning five championship events, Deters taking two and the Hennessey Stable taking the remaining piece of pie. Driver Wally Hennessey annexed six winning drives in the events with drivers Jim Meittinis and Mike Simons taking one each. Here is a recap of the Breeders Stake festivities in South Florida. $49,200 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (non-betting) Kerry B, a slick looking daughter of Muscle Mass, driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner-husband Jay, took command early on from post one and wired together panels of :30, 1:01.1 and 1:31.3 before sealing the issue with a :30 finale to hit the wire in 2:01.3, scoring by three-parts-of-a-length over another Sears trainee, Proud Sophie. Crown Bushy suffered from a miscue early and finished third in the trio. The win was number five on the season for Kerry B and pushed her seasonal bounty to $49,447 to go along with her Vernon Downs mark of 2:00.4. $52,500 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS (non-betting) Prairie Gem, a sharp looking gelded son of Shibboleth Hanover, took this event in a lifetime best 1:59.2 for Jim Meittinis, who was in the bike for trainer Mike Deters, who co-owns with Fritz Racing, Laurie Poulin and Fred Morosini. Prairie Gem was away alertly from his post two and led every step of the event through fractions of :29.2, :59.2 and 1:28.3, hitting the line three-parts-of-a-length to the good of another Deters trainee--Prairie Shibby. Yet another entrant on the Deters roster was third, that being Prairie Arrow. Damian Hall and Savin Park completed the roster. The winner now sports a scorecard of 4-1-0 in his five career starts, good for $49,150. $51,500 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (non-betting) Jennifer, driven by Mike Simons, used her rail post position to perfection, out-rushing arch-rival I Rhoda Daley at the start to prevail by a length over that opponent in 2:00.1, off panels of :29.4, 1:00.1 and 1:29.3. The daughter of Proud Bushy, trained by Kim Sears, who co-owns with Jay Sears, earned her second win of the year in only five starts. Ms Katie B and Cookie were next in this quartet of fillies. For Jennifer, who was second to I Rhoda Daley in the 2017 edition of Super Night, it pushed her career bankroll to $83,928 on the strength of a scorecard reading 4-7-2 in 14 lifetime starts. $49,750 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS (non-betting) Captain Thomas, handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Dan Hennessey and owner John Campagnuolo, got a picture perfect journey by staking Dangerous Mood through panels of 29.1, :59.2 and 1:28.4 before leaving his cozy pocket to waltz by in the lane and on to a seven length score in a lifetime best 1:58.3 performance. Dangerous Mood did finish second over Brian, who completed the order of finish. The altered son of Proud Bushy, last year's Super Night Champion in his two year-old class, defended his crown this year for his sixth win of the year in nine starts, good for $53,187 this year and $86,063 lifetime. $53,100 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (non-betting) Krinda, with Wally Hennessey in her sulky, pushed the wings of the starting gate out of her way at the start and carded panels of :27.3, :57.4 and 1:26 before pulling away from her foes turning for home, scoring by 3 1/4 lengths in a lifetime best performance of 1:54.2.. The daughter of Six Of Diamonds, trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay, left Prairie Easter in her wake with Starcasim next after her backside binge brought her close to the saddle pad of the winner around the final bend. Diamond Eyes and Prairie Foolish were next in this quintet. The win--Krinda's ninth lifetime in only 15 starts--pushed her career bankroll over the $100,000 mark--$104,186, to be precise. $53,900 BREEDERS STAKE FOR THREE YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS Gold Star Diablo, with Wally Hennessey handling the lines for trainer Mike Deters and owner Dan Clements, lived up to his 1 to 20 betting popularity by scoring a handy 1:55.1 win over Jay Jay with Mister Special T third. Gold Star Flick and Silver Wings also earned minor awards in this sextet of sophomores. Gold Star Diablo, a gelded son of Mysticism, made a quarter move (:28.2) to the front and wired together subsequent panels of :58.2 and 1:26.3 before an effortless :28.3 finale sealed the issue in this Super Night win--his sixth straight this fall season at Pompano Park. In defending the crown he won as a Super Night champion last year, Gold Star Diablo sent his 2018 bounty to $120,426--$58,396 this semester. He paid $2.10 to his multitude of backers. $53,700 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS Mister Marvalous, a gelded juvenile son of Delmarvalous, gamely held off the serious late charge of longshot (44 to 1) JB's Boomerang, to score by a neck in 1:55.4. Driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, Mr. Marvalous took charge early and posted fractions of :27.3, :57.3 and 1:26.4 before his :29 finale was just good enough to hold off JB's Boomerang, who, himself blazed a final panel in :28. Prairie Midnight, in the cozy pocked all the way, finished third over Gold Star Yoder, who made a serious bid around the final bend, and Zaza Boy. In stretching his winning skein to six in an unscathed fall season in South Florida, Mister Marvalous sent his earnings vaulting over the $50,000 mark by $657. He, too, paid $2.10 to win. $55,500 BREEDERS STAKE FOR TWO YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES Natasha, a brilliant looking daughter of Six Of Diamonds, survived being roughed up during a bang-bang opening quarter--:27.1--and went on to score 4 3/4 length win for Wally Hennessey in 1:54.1, a lifetime best performance. Given all she could handle in an early three-wide tussle for the front, Natasha went on to card fractions of :57 and 1:25.3 before a :28.3 final locked up her championship performance. Prairie Westerngal was second with Caleb's Diamond T third. Prairie Cougar finished fourth over Rockin Ellie, who paced a middle half in :56.4 to draw within a length of the leader around the final turn. For Natasha, trained by Kim Sears for owner Jay Sears, it was her seventh straight win during this fall stakes season, sending her bounty to $67,875 to go along with her new lifetime mark. Off at a dime-to-a-dollar, Natasha paid $2.20 to win. Reflecting on his big night, a humble Walter Hennessey remarked, "Credit should go to the people behind the scenes that make this possible--the caretakers, trainers--you know, they are the one's who work from the darkness before the sun comes up to the darkness at midnight. All I do is try and do the best with the talent they have given me...and I've only got a couple of minutes to do it!" In other pari-mutuel action, with Rick Plano in the bike for trainer Mike Deters, stayed off the hot early pace set by, first, Panocchio (:26.) and, then, by Uncmprmising Z Tam, (:55 and 1:22.4) before unleashing a huge rally late to collar Panocchio (Hennessey) and Dakota Jack (Simons) to score in 1:51.1 in the $10,000 Open I Pace. The four year-old gelded son of Royal Millennium, co-owned by Deters along with Laurie Poulin, won for the seventh time this year to send his bounty to $68,500. Lifetime, Prairie Panther has 21 wins in 41 starts, good for 186,007. Uncmprmising Z Tam did finish fourth while Here Comes William completed the two million dollar field. The winner, off as fourth choice at 7 to 1, paid $17.60 to win. Racing continues on Monday night with a Super Hi-5 Jackpot Carryover of $27,904 awaiting. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...October 7, 2018...With the baseball playoffs in full swing and football season well underway, yet another anticipated sports event began in South Florida on Saturday (October 6) as the FSBOA lucrative stakes season got underway for two and three year-olds at Pompano Park. After the festivities concluded, Hennessey had a "batting average" (UDRS) of .861 on the strength of six wins during the opening leg of the Sunshine State Stakes. Hennessey won the opener with Kerry B, then went on to win the third (Natasha), fourth (Mister Marvalous), fifth (I Rhoda Daley), sixth (Captain Thomas) and eighth race (Mister Special T). Only Jim McDonald and Joe Sanzeri prevented Hennessey from the sweep as McDonald took the second race with first time starter Damien Hall and Sanzeri hit the winner's circle with Starcasim. Kerry B, a two year-old daughter of Muscle Mass trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay, went to the post in the filly trot and took command at the opening marker and used a :29.3 finale to hold off stablemate Proud Sophie by a half-length in 2:05.2. A comparative seasoned veteran with eight lifetime starts coming into the action, Kerry B won for the second time and already has a 2:00.4 mark over the Vernon Downs speedy seven-eighths oval. Natasha, a juvenile daughter of Six Of Diamonds with a mark of 1:54.3 coming in, pulled away in the lane with a :28 finale to put her foes away in the filly pace, hitting the line in 1:58.3 with Hennessey remarking after the win, "I never asked her for anything. She did this all on her own--very impressive!" Natasha is also trained by Kim Sears for owner Jay Sears. The event for two year-old pacing colts and geldings went to Mister Marvalous with Hennessey giving his charge a picture perfect journey in the garden spot before tilting out around the final and on to victory in 1:59.1. The win was the third on the card for both Hennessey and trainer Kim Sears, who does the conditioning for Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire. The fifth race for sophomore trotting fillies went to I Rhoda Daley, driven by Hennessey for trainer John Hallett and owner Lee Clarke. The daughter of Desperado Don was last year's Super Night champion in her two year-old division and picked up at Pompano Park right where she left off by scoring a handy win measuring 8 1/4 lengths in 2:06.2. The Sunshine State Stake for three year-old trotting colts and geldings went to the Proud Bushy gelding Captain Thomas, with Hennessey getting win number five. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owner John Campagnuolo, Captain Thomas, also a Super night champion last season, was a handy gate-to-wire winner in 2:01.2--:28.3. Hennessey completed his six-pack with Mister Special T, an altered son of Six Of Diamonds. Trained by Rob Harmon for Victor Contento, John Campagnuolo and Harmon Racing, Mister Special T knitted together identical halves of :59 to score in 1:58--:28.2. Reflecting on his big day, Hennessey said, "You've heard the expression, 'it takes two to tango,' well, in our business, it takes four to tango because the caretakers have to do their job, the trainers have to get them sharp, the horse has to perform to expectations and that leaves the rest to me once I get in the bike. Without the first three components, it just wouldn't have turned out this way today." In the division for two year-old trotting colts and geldings, Jim McDonald guided Danien Hall, a son of Cash Hall, to an impressive win measuring 11 1/2 lengths in 2:08 in this his major league debut. McDonald also traines the colt for the Pacing Pretty Stable. Three year-old pacing fillies renewed their spirited rivalry of last year and Starcasim put on a very game performance in her 2018 debut in scoring for Joe Sanzeri in 1:58--:28.2. Seemingly headed at mid-stretch, Starcasim fought every step to the wire in pinning the narrow defeat on last year's champion, Krinda. Sanzeri trains the filly and co-owns with Russell Guardino. Sunshine State Stakes action continues next Saturday, October 13 with post time set for 11:00 a.m. The pari-mutuel season at Pompano Park begins October 21. by John Berry, for the FSBOA and Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL…September 25, 2018…Though the Pompano Park pari-mutuel meeting begins on October 21, the lucrative Florida stakes program gets underway on Saturday, October 6 at that famed five-eighths mile oval with the two year-olds and three year-olds competing in the Sunshine State Stakes. Two year-old trotting fillies will be first to turn to the Brownlee Starting gate at 11:00 a.m. with Kerry B coming into the action with the most experience with eight starts already and a winning mark of 2:00.4 over the fast Vernon Downs seven-eighths oval. Trained by Kim Sears for husband Jay, the daughter of Muscle Mass has been race-timed in 1:58.1 in finishing a fast closing second. The event for juvenile pacing fillies features Natasha, a daughter of Six of Diamonds, who already owns a mark of 1:54.3, achieved in just her third lifetime pari-mutuel start. Trainer Kim Sears seems “not-at-all” surprised that Natasha has been so fast so early saying, “She is one of those rare fillies that relaxes and is well mannered and bred very well as Six Od Diamonds is her daddy—and he had a mark of (1):49 and a piece and her mommy, Lucy Lucy, as very prominent in her racing days, so I am ‘not-at-all’ surprised at her talent.” The event for three year-old trotting fillies features last season’s Super Night champion, I Rhoda Daley, and runner-up Jennifer. Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey is expected to be in I Rhoda Daley’s sulky for trainer John Hallett and owner Lee Clarke. In the event for sophomore trotting colts, last year’s Super Night winner, Captain Thomas will match strides with Brian and Dangerous Mood. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owner John Campagnuolo, Captain Thomas will be driven by Wally Hennessey. Brian, third on Super Night last season to the winner, and Dangerous Mood, undefeated in only three lifetime starts, should provide some serious competition in that event. A well matched quartet is set to go post-ward in the event for sophomore pacing fillies with last year’s champion, Krinda, matching strides with Starcasim, Diamond Eyes and Clever Calee. Krinda is expected to be driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears. by John Berry, for the FSBOA & Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL - Screaming and shouting, cries of joy echoing throughout the grandstand. These echoes travel across the racetrack to where drivers, trainers, owners, and grooms can hear. Anyone within an ears distance can hear these chants and cheers. The atmosphere of the racetrack brings a variety of emotions whether it be tears of joy or sadness, screams of happiness or anger, the crowd is never silent. The noise doesn't fall short of the horsemen and women that work behind the scenes and stand near the paddock gate watching their horse race on any given night. However, there is one voice that overpowers them all, draining out all of the noise. Rather than putting the name to the face, people put the name to the voice for one track announcer, John Berry. John Berry is a man of many talents and wears many hats as most would say. “He is the Picasso of Harness Racing. Journalistic knowledge and professionalism second to none,” Wally Hennessey, Hall of Fame Driver and leading trainer at Pompano Park, recounts. Aside from a race announcer, John Berry has played a vital role in harness racing as anything from a race office assistant to a publicity man to a live broadcaster. It's no doubt that John Berry is one of many that form the base of the horse racing business. In the February 5, 1964 edition of The Horseman and Fair World, the week Pompano Park opened, there was a letter to the editor concerning time trials by John Berry. And here we are, 53 years later, and Berry is still at it---writing brilliant, informative stories, announcing on occasion, co-hosting the Pompano Park pre-race show, writing a handicapping column, and serving the horsemen and our sport with the same enthusiasm that was evident back more than a half century ago. Inducted into the Hall of Fame as a communicator several years ago, he has participated in school career days, countless charitable events, seminars, and many promotions to enhance the image of harness racing. He was even highlighted on a CBS (Chicago) news segment entitled “Someone You Should Know.” The feeling all horsemen know or come to know at some point in their careers is the moment when your horse is pacing or trotting lengths ahead of the pack at the three-quarter pole. Down the stretch and the win is a guarantee. That moment in time is brief but the memory of the feeling lasts a lifetime. At this point in John Berry’s life, it was like he had experienced this brief moment forever. “That was amazing, I must admit,” Berry smiled. “It was a surreal moment. “I used to get films from Sportsman’s Park---16 millimeter films---and I went to different nursing homes and rehab facilities lugging my 50-pound projector to put racing programs on for the patients there. “I went to the administrators of these facilities to see who needed a morale boost, so to speak.” Berry explained. “Then, I made programs up and put patients down as drivers of the horses. On this one occasion, the ‘winning’ driver was a lady that had a stroke several months prior and could not speak. “Well, after the race,” Berry said. “I went right up to her with her daughter alongside and congratulated her on her win. I asked her to tell me how she won the race (as the doctors and nurses were cautioning me that she couldn't speak) and she grabbed the ‘mike’ and, after struggling a bit, said, “I tried hard’. “To say that the doctors and nurses were amazed is an understatement,” Berry recalled. “Their jaws literally dropped. The administrators got ahold of CBS news about this miracle of sorts and, a few weeks later, when another show at the facility was arranged, CBS was there with a crew and it became a segment on a newscast in Chicago. “It wasn't necessary,” John said, “but they said this story must be told. “It merely propelled me to keep trying and looking for yet another miracle.” John Berry, a man with a long history that keeps growing. Aside from racing, he holds his own titles himself - for bowling. Interestingly enough, the 16-year-old's career in bowling led him to harness racing. In Chicago of 1959, Berry won a match that began his new and long lived career. “It was a match,” Berry recalled, “where four of us put up five dollars apiece with the winner taking $15, second place getting his money back and the lowest two scorers paying for the highest two bowler’s lines (games). “I bowled a 248, 268, and 258 and I took the money.” Berry said with a smile. “A gentleman by the name of Luke Schroer approached me after that match to give me a “tip” of sorts,” Berry added, “as he won some money betting on the match.” Although John refused the offer, they ended up going out for a bite to eat. On that August in 1959, Schroer had taken John Berry to the racetrack, up to a box at Sportsman's Park---”41-A” Berry recalls. From that night on, Berry had an ever-growing interest in the sport. The gentleman who arranged for Berry to get Sportsman's Park films, Don Stevens, introduced him to Stan Bergstein. Bergstein, who later would become harness racing’s only double Hall of Famer, being inducted to both the Living Hall of Fame and as a Communicator, helped John to get his very first position in the harness racing world, as an Associate Editor of the ‘The Illinois Sulky News,’ working for the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association. His first position led to other doors opening. These ‘doors’ included jobs in publicity and public relations at Balmoral Park. At Balmoral, he wrote press releases and worked on handicapping and interviews. “It was demanding since it turned out to be a seven day a week grind from early morning to late at night.” John said. Developing a passion as well as a talent for writing, John Berry won a few regional awards for journalistic evidence. In 1979, Berry accepted a position with the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. His new agenda included handling publicity and public relations; and hosting the long running series of television shows featuring Stakes races from The Meadowlands, Freehold Raceway and Garden State Park. He also created and designed New Jersey's Stallion Directory and hosted several Miss Equine New Jersey contests. “The Board of the SBOANJ was extremely active in partnering with the racetracks to publicize the sport,” Berry said. “Tony Abbatiello and Ronnie Dancer led the brigade back then and one couldn't have asked for a more dedicated Board of Directors looking to move the sport in the right direction. “I worked with John Higgins, then the Executive Director, a very knowledgeable horseman.” Berry added. “I also worked with an extremely talented gentleman by the name of Leon Zimmerman, who know every nook and cranny in Trenton, New Jersey, where the political stuff went on. “Leon and I got elected to the Hall of Fame the same year,” Berry said. “and it was an honor to work with him and gain a bit of insight into the world of politics.” During that time, Berry won the prestigious National John Hervey Award for an article he wrote in 1979 for Hub Rail Magazine about the Little Brown Jug. “I have written many, many articles,” he said, “but this is, absolutely, one of my favorites because, when I put it in the typewriter---yes, we still used typewriters back then---the words just kept flowing and I, literally, didn't make any changes once the article was finished. “It included a Roger Huston race call and I have been told on many occasions that the reader could ‘hear’ Roger’s voice while reading it.” After three years with the SBOANJ, he accepted a position with the USTA as Public Relations Manager, working from an office, in Freehold, New Jersey, to cover the New York-New Jersey and eastern racing scene, which was blossoming at the time. When they asked him to move to Columbus, Ohio, he parted ways with the USTA and accepted a position with Sports Information Database (SIDB) as a Senior Editor for harness racing with the objective of putting the entire history of harness racing on computer. “I was honored to work with many of the great minds in sport, including Bill Shannon, the famed official scorer for baseball; Logan Hobson and Bob Canobbio, the inventors of ‘punch-stat’ for boxing matches; and one of harness racing’s great geniuses, Phil Sporn.” A consolidation deal fell through and SIDB went out of business. Berry was asked if he was interested in moving to South Florida to be Public Relations Director at Pompano Park. The track enjoyed its finest two seasons in history benefitting from promotions like a car giveaway, cruise nights, where 10,000 cruise passes were distributed to guests, and mall promotions. John Berry has always worked to make the name of harness racing go viral across the world. He gained more exposure to the track when he became the host of his own radio show, featuring big bands and jazz from the 1920’s and 1930’s. “The show featured music from many of the great bands that were left somewhat obscure to the vast majority,” Berry explained. “I guess you would call them ‘territory bands.’ While modern and pop music was taking over the radio stations, Berry’s interests in the ‘throwback’ tunes caught on in the public ‘ear’, so to say, and he had a lot of loyal listeners. Around this time, Berry was elected President of the United States Harness Writers Association and served that organization for a two-year term. In the 1980’s, he was lured into taking a position with a newly formed company--brainchild of well-known owner and breeder Eric Cherry. The start-up company, National Raceline, had a goal to provide results and race calls from tracks coast-to-coast. Within the company, Berry secured many racetracks that sent in results by fax for the information to be disseminated over a “900” network of telephone lines. In short order, the “Raceline” became the nation's leader in providing information on racing results with nightly calls growing by “leaps and bounds”. Later, he was approached by Allen Greenberg to see if he would be interested in conducting auctions aboard cruise ships. “I agreed to ‘try it for a couple of weeks’ to see if I liked it enough to continue.” Not only did Berry like the position, he was “auctioneer of the year” the first two years the award was given and broke several records along the way. During one of the auctions at sea, a representative of WPBT-Channel 2 Public Television approached John with an offer to go on the air during the station’s membership drives. Accepting the offer, John became one of the hosts of the show and eventually served the station during their on-air auctions. Conducting over 1,800 auctions within his career and raising money for many charitable organizations, libraries, and his beloved Harness Writers Association; the most expensive item sold at one of his auctions was an internet domain name $450,000. Serving as an auctioneer, Berry was absent from the sport for a few years. However, like any true horseman who cannot stray too far from the track, he returned after an offer from Isle of Capri’s director, Jim Patton, and Director of Publicity and Marketing, Steve Wolf, in 2004. Both directors persuaded Berry to return to the track, to work in publicity, serving as a “point man” for the upcoming referendum on allowing casinos to be built in Broward County. “Steve (Wolf) came up with an ingenious plan to canvas the area to try and secure support for the casino referendum,” Berry said. “which had failed in two previous attempts. “Well, we got it done and it was quite a scene as we broke ground and, here we are, with a now well established casino that has a 10-year history and racing is still flourishing in South Florida.” Today, Berry, now approaching his mid-70’s, continues to perform several duties at the track---a “three-of-all-trades” ---as he says. He particularly enjoys handicapping for his many followers and looks for “value” in his selections. “Hardly a man in now alive,” he says, “who paid his mortgage at 3 to 5!” One of his most memorable recollections from the handicapping floor comes from the time he predicted a dead-heat during a seminar at The Meadowlands in 1980. Other moments being earning his PHD--Professional Handicapping Degree-- from Tele-Track in 1983 after a six-for-six night there, selecting a “cold” pentafecta at Pompano Park this season, and a string of recent longshot winners in his nightly Pickin’ Berrys handicapping column, one as high as 50 to 1. “The prediction of a dead-heat was as much luck and handicapping skill---something like Babe Ruth predicting his home run at Wrigley Field. “I couldn't separate numbers six and seven and just happened to blurt out, ‘to tell you the truth, I cannot separate these two horses, so I think it'll wind up to be a dead-heat and it was!” Aside from picking his most memorable handicapping memory, John claims the most memorable race he has ever seen was on March 17, 1962 at Maywood Park in Chicago. “I've seen a lot, yes, from Su Mac Lad to Bret Hanover to Albatross to Niatross to Nihalator, to the stars of today but [this] was my most memorable race.” John describes the temperatures to have been wavering in the 30’s mixed with snow, sleet, and rain. “The track had turned into a quagmire,” John explained. “There was a horse named Scotsman, driven by Ken Lighthill, who won in 3:38 ⅗… yes, 3:38 ⅗, which was the slowest winning pari-mutuel mile in history. “It's a record that will ever be broken and it, indeed, is the most memorable race I have ever seen.” John has gotten some well-deserved accolades when in the announcer's booth, too, subbing for Gabe Prewitt when called upon. Racing fan Rich Stern from Chicago lamented, “I love his race calls. They are clear and concise and he's added some nice terms like ‘double-bubbled’ when a horse is three wide. “He gives those behind the scenes nice credit, too. I like that!” His meticulous morning lines have also drawn praise and he was the first and only Morning Line maker to make all horses the same odds--7 to 2--in a six-horse field last season at Pompano Park. The horses had all been around the same time, been beaten about the same number of lengths and were so evenly matched that they all deserved consideration. “I decided to make them all the same in the morning line and that race got huge attention from the media because of it!” Clearly, John Berry has a knack for talent as well as talent himself, in the harness racing world. As a publicity man, fill-in announcer, and writer among many other hats that Berry wears, he covers all bases of harness racing. “He is the equivalent of an encyclopedia of harness racing, a true gentleman,” Standardbred owner and trainer, John Hallett, conveys. Outside of racing, as mentioned before, John was a champion bowler, including capturing the Illinois State Bowling Singles in 1970 by averaging 246 for the tournament. And he is one of few who have ever bowled a perfect 300 game. He lives with his “bride of many years,” Abby and their Quaker Parrot, Pistachio, who, as he says, “brings us joy beyond belief.” Berry has had a lot of “firsts” during his career and plans on helping the sport he loves and its participants as long as possible. Today, John splits his time helping publicize the sport for the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association in the am and doing the late shift in Pompano Park's racing operations office in the afternoon and night. Many horsemen know and recognize John Berry for his talent as a writer and his character as a horseman. “I've known John for many years. He's a nice guy and fun to be around. Working with him sure makes the day go by faster,” iterates Rosie Huff, who works with Berry at the FSBOA office. Berry related, “at the FSBOA, I am lucky enough to work with Rosie Huff, one of the most dedicated individuals with whom I have ever worked. At Pompano, I am honored to work alongside someone as great as Gabe Prewitt, who has an enthusiasm for the sport like no other. “We enjoy and respect each other's talent and company. “You could call it a ‘pari-mutuel’ admiration society!” If there is anyone that the sport of harness racing needs to clone to help promote the industry, they should look no further than John Berry. By Jessica Hallett, for Harnesslink   Jessica Hallett is a new correspondent for Harnesslink. Jessica, 17, lives in Margate, Florida and is currently a senior at Deerfield Beach High School. She is the daughter of Pompano Park owner/trainers John and Michelle Hallett.

Pompano Beach, FL - Harness racing gets its name from the fast-paced beating of hooves and crowds cheering as the thundering hooves pound towards the finish line. Although the talented horses steal the spotlight, accentuated by the roar of the fans, the real action is orchestrated behind the scenes, beginning in the early hours of the morning before the first beam of sunlight and often ending in the deepest and darkest of the night. At the center of it all, the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) holds the key that unlocks the magic that hits the racetrack every race night. They represent and assist the horsemen and women who work at the track including owners, breeders, trainers, drivers and grooms.   And currently running the office at Pompano Park is a New York bred woman raised into the harness racing sport, Rosie Huff. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Rosie was one of four children in the Villante family.  At the age of 10, her father, Vincenzo Villante, moved to Englishtown, New Jersey in hopes of finding more work as a bricklayer. Buying seven acres of land, Vincenzo built a home next door to his brother, Joe Villante, who, of course, was Rosie’s uncle. At that time, Joe owned riding horses; however, he later transitioned into owning Standardbreds. Pete Villante, another uncle, had owned and been racing Standardbreds. Already riding horses for most of her time in New Jersey, Rosie would begin to learn the basics of the Standardbred racing industry from her uncles.  Her teenage years marked the era she would begin training and jogging horses, signifying the years of her first arrival into the business. Raised in New Jersey, Rosie migrated south to Florida in the summer of 1982 and worked as a caretaker for her uncle Pete at the South Florida Trotting Center and, on occasion, traveling up to the Meadowlands Racetrack on occasion until August, 1983. At this time, Rosie moved to Freehold Raceway to work for her uncle Joe before subsequently becoming a “free-lance” caretaker for many top Stables, including the Caraluzzi-McNichol Stable and Ray Vaughn-Thomas.  From 1991 to 1994, Rosie worked for the legendary Stanley Dancer, working with many world class stakes horses, including Lifelong Victory, At The Top and Donerail. While working for Stanley Dancer, Rosie found a new love while on her way to the track for a jogging session—and it was not a horse! From the seat of the jog cart, Rosie spotted a fresh face on the racetrack and, as she said, “it was love at first site” The mystery man was identified as Jake Huff, who shipped in the night before and worked for Gordon Norris. Day after day, Rosie worked in the barn stabled close to Jake, but she didn’t have the nerve to strike up a conversation. One night, though, March 7, 1993, she worked up the courage to have a talk with him. That initial talk turned into a love affair which blossomed over the years as Rosie and Jake moved to Michigan, taking positions in the Gordon Norris Stable. Three years from that first March 7 encounter, Rosie and Jake were married in Maui, Hawaii in 1996. Soon after, the Huff family began to grow with first-born, Ronnie, entering the world on February 1, 2000 and brother Ryan joining the family on July 11, 2001.  After working for Gordon Norris for two years, Rosie had to stop working with the horses due to her health. “It practically killed me to stop working with the horses, but it was a necessity for health reasons,” she lamented.  But, finally, there was a light at the end of the tunnel as Rosie discovered a position available at the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) in 1997.  Rosie approached Jay Sears, the president of the association, to conduct a plan of action to work part time in the FSBOA on a trial basis. With the help of Jim Ripoll showing her the ropes, she was able to continue the job full time.   She then worked full time until 2000, when she took a leave of absence to assume her new role as a mother. In 2004, Rosie resumed working for the FSBOA under Jane Murray and, to this very day, she is seen as a critical part of the success of that organization. When asked about her daily routine at the office, Rosie related that it's anything but a “routine.” “Every day is different for me,” Rosie said. “The only thing that is constant is the time the alarm clock goes off -- 5:15 a.m. “After getting the kids (Ronnie and Ryan) off to start their day, I am usually at the office by 7:30. “There is never a day when there aren't challenges, whether it be helping our horsemen and women with the insurance programs the FSBOA administers or helping with the draw, if necessary, or taking care of the stakes program and our breeding program or making sure that all Florida Bred horses are eligible to our stakes program. “If there is a special race going on, I have to be at the races to present blankets and make presentations---it's never ending, but it's a great never ending!” “It can be very challenging at times, however, it's a challenge that I love.” Of course, that is only a fraction of Rosie's daily routine. “Sometimes, it seems like there is not enough hours in the day when it comes to balancing work and the family. “My kids are very active in sports---a lot of sports---from wrestling and football to bowling and baseball. “There is practice to take care of, games to attend and, of course, mouths to feed and, as a parent, making sure that homework is done. “I'm lucky to get four or five hours of rest a day.” Rosie has been honored along the way for her great service to the horsemen and women in Florida. In 2008 she was awarded the Frances Dodge Van Lennap award and in 2016 was made an honorary member (only the second one ever in 26 years) of the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. Rosie and Jake Huff continue to be prominent players in harness racing with Jake one of the most respected trainers in the sport and Rosie participating in the training of the Florida youngsters when not administering the FSBOA’s Stakes programs and insurance coverage for the horsemen and women in Florida. As Hall of Fame journalist John Berry says, “Rosie is one of those rare individuals that can play ‘every instrument in the orchestra’ when it comes to the sport of harness racing. She is indeed, irreplaceable!” By Jessica Hallett, for Harnesslink   This is Jessica Hallett's first professional story as she is a new correspondent for Harnesslink. Jessica, 17, lives in Margate, Florida and is currently a senior at Deerfield Beach High School. She is the daughter of Pompano Park owner/trainers John and Michelle Hallett.

Pompano Beach, FL - More than 125 horsemen and women were in attendance Friday night at the 26th annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame Dinner held at the Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort & Spa in Pompano Beach. The highlight of the evening was the inductions into the Florida Hall of Fame. Entering were horsemen Mark Friedman and Dan Hennessey and horse's Rock On and Royel Millennium. Hosted by the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association, there were also special human awards given out for the 2016 season and presentations were also made to the Horse of the Year by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and the Florida Amateur Driving Club. Hall of Fame inductee Mark Friedman has been in harness racing for more than five decades as an owner, breeder, trainer and driver. His Polo Stables has had many top Florida-bred champions, none better than the top pacing mare, Bling, p,1:51, a career winner of more than $610,000. "To have worked most of my life in harness racing and now receiving this award is a highlight of my career and I thank everyone who has helped me along the way," Friedman said. Hall of Fame inductee Dan Hennessey, who is nearing his 1,000th career training win and $6 million in earnings, closed out 2016 with a UDRS of .420 despite nearly going blind two years ago. His brother, Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey, summed it up well in his introduction. "I don't think we ever could have had our stable going steady for forty plus years if not for Dan," Hennessey said. He is the one who always held the fort down between Pompano and Saratoga year after year. Many of you don't know that he holds a world record as the only trainer ever to use same driver on nearly every single horse he ever trained, and that was me!" Taking home the most hardware on the evening and it was a good thing she came to the dinner with her pickup truck, was Owner-Breeder Laurie Poulin. In addition to her horse, Royel Millennium, being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Laurie was named Breeder of the Year for the second straight time and also received the Dana Irving Award for the second straight year. Poulin also received four Horse of the Year Crystal Awards for her stables Prairie Panther, Prairie Sweetheart, Prairie Jaguar and Prairie Fortune. All of the horses were bred by Poulin and co-owned and trained by Mike Deters. FLORIDA USHWA AWARD WINNERS Hall of Fame - Mark Friedman Hall of Fame - Dan Hennessey Hall of Fame - Rock On Hall of Fame - Royel Millennium Delvin Miller Award - Fred Morosini Dana Iriving Award - Laurie Poulin R.D. Ricketts Award - Kevin Kelly Stanley Dancer Award - Sergio Corona Lifetime Achievement - Leon Cable Dan Gawlas Award - John Berry Bill Popfinger Award - Mike Deters & Maggie Audley France Dodge Van Lennep Award - Marianne Audley Allen J. Finkelson Award - Gabe Prewitt Caretaker of the Year - Gary McQuaid FSBOA CRYSTAL AWARD WINNERS 2YO Pacing Filly - Gold Star Aurora 2YO Pacing Colt - Prairie Panther 2YO Trotting Filly - Atlantic Crest 2YO Trotting Colt - I'm Done 3YO Pacing Filly - Prairie Sweetheart 3YO Pacing Colt - R Chism 3YO Trotting Filly - Gold Star Briana 3YO Trotting Colt - Rexamillion Older Pacing Mare - Goldstar Rockette Older Pacing Horse - Prairie Jaguar Older Trotting Mare - Selena Older Trotting Horse - Prairie Fortune 2016 Breeder of the Year - Laurie Poulin 2016 Florida Amateur Driver of the Year - Tony Dinges From the Florida Chapter of USHWA  

Pompano Beach, FL (February 18, 2017) - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association is pleased to announce its annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame Awards Banquet. Scheduled for March 10, 2017 at the Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Resort and Spa (1200 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33062), this event honors the Standardbred horsemen and horses that created memorable performances in 2016 and during their careers. Hall of Fame inductees includes trainers Dan Hennessey and Mark Friedman, and the stalwart Florida-based pacing stallions Royel Millennium and Rock On. The event also includes presentation of the FADC Amateur Driver of the Year and the FSBOA Crystal Awards. Proceeds provide for continuation of the promotion of harness racing, plus funding of the annual Allen J. Finkelson scholarship awards and the Aime Choquette Sunshine Fund. Join us for the celebration and networking on March 10 at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $80.00 each and tables of ten are available. Price includes dinner, one hour open bar and cocktail hour. To purchase tickets and to place congratulatory advertisements in the Hall of Fame Awards Program, contact Rosie Huff at the FSBOA office (954-972-5400) or Steven Wolf (954-654-3757). Email or by Thomas H. Hicks, for the Florida Chapter USHWA    

Pompano Beach, FL. - On Sunday night, November 27, Pompano Park will play host to the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (F.S.B.O.A.) Super Night, featuring over $430,000 in purse money for Florida bred harness racing two and three year-olds. This annual extravaganza features the best State bred Standardbreds and, this year, features two horses that have unblemished racing careers ”Prairie Sweetheart and Gold Star Briana. Prairie Sweetheart, now undefeated in 13 career starts, looks for her second Super Night championship in the $55,400 Breeders Stake, as she waltzed to victory as a two year-old last season. She recently returned to Pompano Park after defeating grand circuit stock at Lexington's Red Mile in 1:49.1, a lifetime best performance, and then trounced her rivals in South Florida by 12½ lengths. In that event, Prairie Sweetheart went off at a nickel-to-a-dollar in the betting with every other rival over 100 to 1. This daughter of Royal Millennium was recently purchased by the Let It Ride Stables but remains in the care of trainer Mike Deters, who trained the filly in last year's championship season. Gold Star Briana took top honors in her class of two year-old trotting fillies in 2015, capping her season with a Breeders Stake win on Super Night. She now looks for a repeat performance in this year''s $54,150 event. This year, the daughter of Basil is a perfect eight-for-eight with five of those wins taken here at Pompano Park in F.S.B.O.A. stakes events. Last Monday night, Gold Star Briana faced some male counterparts in an overnight event to keep "tight" for Sunday's Super Night event and annihilated her foes by 6½ lengths in 1:56.2. a lifetime best performance. After that event, driver Wally Hennessey remarked, "she really turned on the afterburners around that final turn and we just hope she can do the same on Sunday night. But you cannot take anything for granted in this sport. Over confidence will kill you every time." Briana is trained by Dan Hennessey for owner Kevin Kelly. Her main competition is expected to come from Trotting Missmissy, owned and trained by Donald Dupont. This daughter of Trotting Intruder has been a bridesmaid to Gold Star Brianna on four occasions this fall season. The $56,650 Breeders Stake final for three year-old trotting colts and geldings features Rexamillion, Thundercrest and Proud Joe T, all winners during the fall stakes season in South Florida. Proud Joe T drew "first blood" with wins at Sunshine Meadows and Pompano Park while Thundercrest roared to the head of the class shortly thereafter. Finally, last year's champion, Rexamillion, found his best stride and earned his first two wins of the year in his last two starts. Waiting to take advantage of any miscues are Fifty Fifty Ninety and Savin Rock, both stakes placed during this season. The $55,100 Breeders Stake for sophomore pacing colts and geldings seemed to feature a budding rivalry between last year's champion, Gleneagles, and Conman's Dream, victorious in his last two starts against the reigning champ in stakes action. Conman's Dream, owned and trained by Jason Mac Dougall, chased Gleneagles all of last season but, recently, Conman's Dream has turned the tables on his arch-rival with a pair of wins. But on Monday night, in a "tune-up" for Super Night, up popped R Chism to join the fray with a 21 to 1 upset win in a lifetime best performance timed in 1:53.1. Owned by Jay Sears along with trainer Kim Sears, R Chism destroyed his former best winning mile by almost two seconds. The two year-old divisions, with the exception of one, appear to be wide open. In the colt/gelding trot, a budding rivalry has developed as both Azzaro and I'm Done both sport records of 4-4-0 in their respective eight lifetime starts. In their most recent meeting in the Melvyn Aylor Memorial, I'm Done was victorious but almost let a 10 length lead slip away as he held on for dear life late to win by a neck over the late charging Azzaro, who rallied bravely after a miscue around the opening turn. Each will be seeking the major share of a $50,750 purse. The $53,250 Breeders Stake for two year-old trotting fillies features last week's Melvyn Aylor Memorial winner, Famous C, recovering after a miscue early in that event and spotting the field several lengths. But that field of youngsters did not include Atlantic Crest, a filly that has put a substantial amount of daylight between she and her foes during this Florida stakes season. This daughter of Crest, owned, trained and driven by Sergio Corona, has a winning race mark of 1:57.4, almost three seconds faster than her main rival, Famous C. These two will be joined by a trio of other fillies, including Bonnie Blue Banker, the only other stakes winner in the group having won a Sunshine State Stake at 64 to 1 odds to kick off the racing season at Pompano Park last October 2. The $54,100 Breeders Stake for two year-old pacing fillies features Gold Star Aurora, a winner of six of seven career starts, blemished only by a miscue early in her fourth start. This daughter of Rock On is trained by "rookie" trainer Maggie Audley, who sports a "batting average" of .532 coming into Super Night. Owned by Marianne Audley, Gold Star Aurora won the Aylor Memorial for her class, repelling challenges from both sides in the final stages to prevail. In the $54,270 Breeders Stake for juvenile pacing colts and geldings, Prairie Panther will attempt to extend his winning streak to seven. This son of Royal Millennium, owned by Laurie Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, has enjoyed plenty of "daylight" between he and his foes during his winning streak and, most recently, took top honors in the Melvyn Aylor Memorial, hitting the wire in 1:55.1, a new lifetime best. Also on the Sunday program is the Open Handicap Pace with Pinocchio, undefeated in his four fall starts at Pompano Park, assigned the outside eight post in a $2,000,000 field. Sing For Me George is also in to go, as is Blue Hour Power, making his initial fall debut at Pompano Park. Finally, Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 Jackpot finale has a carryover awaiting of $14,638.61 on Sunday, as well as Pick-6 carryover. Post time for the pari-mutuel program is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park and the F.S.B.O.A.

Led by a $10,000 donation from Meadowbranch Farm, the Meadowlands will be sending a check for $18,440.95 to the Florida Standardbred Owners & Breeders Association to benefit the harness racing victims of a deadly barn fire that killed 12 horses and injured 11 more. The money was raised through a combination of drivers and trainers pledging a percentage of their earnings the past two weekends plus donations from other members of the industry including the Meadowlands, which is contributing $5,000. The Meadowlands would like to extend its appreciation to the following people who contributed to the relief effort: Ivan Axelrod Ginny & George Berkner Jason & Lori Settlemoir Joe Bongiorno John Calabrese Meadowlands Farm Patti & Rob Harmon Andrew Harris David McDuffee Andy & Julie Miller Al & Tim Nash Chris Ryder Kyle Spagnola For more information, visit Justin Horowitz  

I am one of 14 board members  that make up the Florida Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA). We are in a desperate battle to stop the decoupling of our industry which in effect would destroy the sport of Harness racing in Florida and will eventually spread to the other states where Harness Racing has partnered with casinos. The legislative session in Florida has until March 11th to pass the proposed "Seminole Pact" that would eliminate racing almost immediately. We, the FSBOA, believe along with our lawyers that this is blatantly unconstitutional. However, as with all long legal battles we need money to fight the corruption within the political system. The casinos have too much money at their disposal for us to battle without our nationwide industry support. Remember, Florida is the first battleground and first line of defense in stopping decoupling. If decoupling is not stopped in Florida then you can count on your state being next, it is inevitable. Please lets unite in this fight and stop the destruction of our sport. This is a cause that every horseperson, owner, trainer, driver, breeder and vendor must get behind to win. This money will be used for lawyers in our constitutional fight and for our lobbyists in Tallahassee to make sure this doesn't happen again. We are also in talks with a top PR Firm with the intent to take our fight to the people.  And don't forget "You will be next" if we don't win in Florida. Thank you for your support, the fate of Harness Racing in the United States lies in our hands. If you can donate, please go to  From Jerry Glantz, for the FSBOA

Pompano Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association held their 25th annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame awards dinner Friday. Inducted into the Hall of Fame were former race secretary Kenny Marshall, trainer/drivers Wally Ross, Jr. and Tom Sells, and on the equine side, the trotting stallion, Basil. The association also presented its annual horsemen/women awards. In addition, the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) presented their 2015 Crystal Awards to the top state-bred horses this past season and the Florida Amateur Driving Club (FADC) presented their "driver of the year" award. The silver anniversary event took place at the Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort and Spa with more than 150 people in attendance. Wally Ross, Jr.’s induction was only the second time in the history of the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame that a father and son has been inducted. Wally Ross, Sr. was inducted in 2011. The other father-son combo were William Haughton (1990) and Tommy Haughton (1998). It was also the first time in 25 years that the same trainer won both the William Popfinger Award and the Stanley Dancer Award as the top trainer of pacers and trotters. That award went to Mike Deters. In attendance were Hall of Famers William Popfinger (1991), Ron Waples (1994), Wally Hennessey (1996), Joe Pavia, Jr. (1996), Jake Huff (2004), Fred Segal (2005), Dr. Mark Phillips (2008), Mike Deters (2009), Dr. Paul Caputo (2010), David Ingraham (2010), Jim McDonald (2011), Walter Ross, Sr. (2011), Marc Aubin (2012), Christine Garrity & Anthony Amante (2014) and Lou Rapone (2014). 2015 Florida UWHWA Awards Delvin Miller Award (Goodwill) - Victoria Howard Dana Irving Award (Breeder) - Laurie Poulin R.D. Ricketts Award (Contributions) - Richard Dunmire Stanley Dancer Award (trotting trainer) - Mike Deters William Popfinger Award (pacing trainer) - Mike Deters Lifetime Achievement Award - Gerald Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award - Allen Saul Dan Gawlas Award (Good Guy) - Dein Spriggs Peter Haughton Award (Newcomer) - John Cummings, Jr. Peter Haughton Award (Newcomer) - John MacDonald Frances Dodge Van Lennep Award (Outstanding woman) Ann-Mari Daley Allen Finkelson Award (Promotions) - Thomas H. Hicks Caretaker of the Year Award - Tracey O'Leary FSBOA Crystal Award Winners 2yo Pacing Filly - Prairie Sweetheart 2yo Pacing Colt - Gleneagles 2yo Trotting Filly - Gold Star Briana 2yo Trotting Colt - Rexamillion 3yo Pacing Filly - Davita 3yo Pacing Colt - Owosso Flash 3yo Trotting Filly - Livy M 3-yo Trotting Colt - Prairie Fortune Older Pacing Mare - Limelight Older Pacing Horse - Hillybilly Older Trotting Horse - Lugar 2015 Breeder of the Year - Laurie Poulin FADC Driver of the Year - Dein Spriggs From the Florida Chapter of USHWA

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