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Pompano Beach, FL...February 6, 2017...Diamond Dagger, deftly handled by Jason Dillander, took top honors in Pompano Park's $8,500 Open Trot for harness racing Mares on Monday night, stopping the tele-timer in a track record 1:53.2. The splendid five year-old daughter of ABC Garland, trained by Mark O'Mara, who co-owns with Paul Johnson and Melvin Schmucker, led at every pole, clocking panels of :27.2, :55.4 and 1:24.3 before a :28.4 romp home sealed the win and the track record. McKenzie's Star, driven by Fern Paquet, Jr., was 8 1/4 lengths away in second with Seven Points Jesse, with Peter Wrenn in the sulky, just another nose back in third. BadAngel was fourth in this record performance while Saint Beth picked up the nickel in the classy septet of trotters. After the race, driver Dillander remarked, "Mark's (O'Mara) mare is very handy and, with the five post here, you have a tactical advantage for some reason when the gate leaves. "I sent her and had that early tussle with Rick's (Plano) mare, She's All In, but, once my mare made the top, she was on her own the rest of the way. "I knew she was capable of this kind of mile when she cut it and got nailed in (1):53 and a piece against the boys a couple of starts ago. "She always puts in a solid performance and tonight was no different. She was on her own all the way home. "Don't give me the credit here--give it to the mare. She was awesome." In garnering her second win in five starts this year, Diamond Dagger pushed her seasonal bankroll to $15,650. She now has 15 wins in 79 career starts with earnings of $161,822 to go along with her new lifetime mark. Off at 1 to 5 on the Pompano tote-board, Diamond Dagger paid $2.40 to win to her multitude of faithful. Yet another brilliant performance was put in by Southwind Stryker, a five year-old son of Muscle Hill. Catch-driven by John MacDonald for trainer Dan Hennessey and owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Southwind Stryker, away fourth in his sextet, used his now patented backstretch sprint from fourth into the lead heading into the final turn and scored by three-parts-of-a-length over a game Sand Swan (Matt Krueger). Kamikaze Lindy (Mike Simons was next, 2 1/4 lengths away while Tick Tok Tag was fourth. Phoenician picked up the minor award. The win was a seasonal best for Southwind Stryker, who now sports a 3-1-1 scorecard in five starts and earnings of $12,143. The owner of a 1:53.4 mark at age two over Lexington's Red Mile, Southwind Stryker trotted his final three-quarters just a shade over 1:25 for the win this night. Also sent post-ward at 1 to 5, the winner paid $2.40. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a Pick-6 carryover and a Super Hi-5 carryover that has pierced the $50,000 mark--$51,371 to be precise. The Super Hi-5 finale is a 20 cent based wager with the entire jackpot awarded if there is one unique ticket sold on the winning combination. If there are multiple winners, 50% of the night's Super Hi-5 net pool is shared by the winning ticket holders with the remainder enhancing the carryover pool. Post time is set for 7:20 for the Tuesday night program. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...January 9, 2017...Diamond Dagger, driven by Jason Dillander for harness racing trainer Mark O'Mara, scored a decisive win in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Trot on Monday night (January 9). The five year-old daughter of ABC Garland hit the wire in a lifetime best 1:54.4--her only other 1:54.4 winning mile over the larger Hoosier Park oval--to win by three-parts-of-a-length over Massive Lightning, with Mickey McNichol in the bike. Swan Handicap, handled by Ricky Macomber, Jr., finished third, 7¼ lengths away, while Cashahallic finished a half-length further back in fourth. Railee Workable picked up the nickel in the field of nine. Diamond Dagger ditched her normal strategy of coming off the pace as Dillander sent her out with alacrity from post six in search of the lead. After She's All In, teamed with Rick Plano, marched by the opener in :28.2, Diamond Dagger took command a few strides before the line the first time and took the field past the half in :56.3. On the backside, McNichol sent Massive Lightning from fourth and sprinted up to within a length of the winner past the third station in 1:26. In the lane, Diamond Dagger was never in danger as she used a sharp :28.4 finale to seal the deal. After the race, driver Jason Dillander said, "You know, I usually don't get very emotional about things but, let me tell you, I had goose bumps crossing the wire tonight." Dillander's emotions were caused by the recent passing of Frank O'Mara, as Diamond Dagger is trained by Frank's son, Mark, who co-owns the mare with Paul Johnson and Melvin Schmucker. Jason continued, "I've had the pleasure of driving this mare before and she really prefers being off the pace but, tonight, I thought I'd try and get her into the ballgame a bit earlier. "It was like she knew tonight was special--and it certainly was. "This win is dedicated to Frank O'Mara, one of the great horsemen of this era or any era." For Diamond Dagger, it was her 14th career win in 76 lifetime starts, pushing her career bounty over the $150,000 mark--$153,612 to be precise. As the 5 to 2 second choice, Diamond Dagger paid $7.60 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a Pick-6 carryover awaiting along with a Pick-4 guaranteed pool of $10,000. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park              

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 19, 2016 - Continuing upon the successes of the second edition in 2015, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is proud to announce the third annual All-Star Drivers Series for the 2016 harness racing season. The 2016 All-Star Drivers Series will pit the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge not once, but twice, throughout the season with the champion driver winning a dream prize of their choice, a $10,000 cash prize, an exotic vacation, or their favorite "always wanted to have" toy. "When we embarked upon the Drivers Challenge two years ago we knew we were going down a road that had yet to be traveled," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore said. "Would the format that we chose work or would we need to rethink the way drivers drafted their horses?" "Well, the answer to that question was that the format was a resounding success as witnessed by the wild and unpredictable outcome of the last two years of competition. We appreciate all of our drivers at Hoosier Park and are excited that the 2016 All-Star Drivers Challenge will not only highlight their talents but also give them a chance to win a dream prize." In the first of the two challenges, the top ten drivers will compete in a five-race competition on Saturday, July 23 for their share of $5,000. The winning driver will take home a check for $3,000 for top honors while the second place driver will earn $1,500 and the third place driver earning $500. The rankings will be based on number of wins at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as of Saturday, July 16, 2016. The drivers will pick their horses via a draft system to be held in the following order: 1st race: Number 1 ranked driver picks first, number 2 picks second, etc. 2nd race: Number 10 ranked driver picks first, number 9 picks second, etc. 3rd race: Same as first race 4th race: Same as second race 5th race: same as first The top eight finishers from Round 1 will return for Round 2 on Saturday, October 22 with the final two positions being determined by the official Hoosier Park standings at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, October 15. While the second go-round will be conducted in the same manner as the first, the winner of the final challenge will not only be crowned the champion of the 2016 All-Star Drivers series but also have their choice of a dream prize. Jason Dillander took home top honors in last year's edition of the All-Star Drivers series. Dillander won the final round of the challenge by a narrow margin and was awarded a Hawaiian vacation for four, a prize valued at $15,000. "I'm definitely excited," Dillander said. "I thought it would be hard to top a vacation but giving the drivers a chance to choose their prize is really cool. We have a lot of fun with this every year and kudos to everyone at Hoosier Park for bringing it back again this year. Of course, I hope I win it." Qualifying for the 2016 All-Star Drivers Series began on Friday, April 1 and continued through Saturday, July 16 for Round 1. Each of the drafts will take place at a community luncheon to be held at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. For more information on the 2016 All-Star Drivers Series, please visit Hoosier Park's website. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the meet. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing will be conducted through November 12, 2016. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 2, 2016 - On an evening stacked with stakes races, it was a $12,500 claiming event that stole the show at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 2 as Boogie Nights made his racing debut for First Turn Stable, Hoosier Park's first fractional ownership opportunity, a winning one. In near gate-to-wire fashion, Boogie Nights and Jason Dillander crossed the wire nearly two lengths in front of the next closest competitor and stopping the timer in 1:51.4, a new lifetime best performance. Boogie Nights was sent away from the gate firing from post eight and grabbed the early lead through an opening quarter in :26.3. Henry Blue Chip ranged up to take the lead at the half mile station in :55.4 but Boogie Nights was back out for more and grabbed the lead approaching the final turn. As the field turned for home, Boogie Nights was on top and used a :27.1 final quarter to get the victory. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, Boogie Nights notched his second victory of the season and 13th lifetime victory. Several members from the stable were on hand and excitedly joined in the winner's circle, many visiting the winner's circle for the first time. "That was very exciting," Quincy Cunningham, member of First Turn Stable, noted in the winner's circle. "I've watched a number of horse races in my life but it's definitely more exciting when you own part of one." Unfortunately as the claiming game goes, Boogie Nights was claimed for $12,500 out of the race tonight. Cullipher will start the process of finding another horse for First Turn Stable immediately. "It's a great feeling to see so many people in the winner's circle," Cullipher noted after the race. "The horse raced great and it is unfortunate he got claimed but that's part of the game. We're glad he could get the win for them tonight, it's a pleasure to be a part of an opportunity like this." The first of its kind in the state of Indiana, First Turn Stable was recently launched at Hoosier Park and designed to provide fans an easy and affordable way to experience the excitement of horse ownership for a one-time, $250 buy-in. Updates for First Turn Stable will be posted weekly and via e-mail so members can follow along with the racing action throughout the season. Along with interactive social media pages, monthly financials will be shared with the group to provide a transparent and behind-the-scenes look into the real costs of owning a racehorse. On-site teaching tools and other resources will also be made available to the members. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 5 at 5:45 p.m. Following a Tuesday through Saturday schedule, live racing at Hoosier Park will be conducted through November 12, 2016. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 1, 2016 - White Metro returned to her winning ways as she pulled the slight upset to capture the featured event, a $21,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 1 at odds of 6-1. After a third place finish at this level last week, White Metro and harness racing driver Jason Dillander staged a big rally in the late stages of the mile to stop the timer in 1:51.3, just missing her lifetime mark established earlier this season. Sparks were flying early as Tyler Smith sent Rock The Look away from the gate firing but a host of others also left aggressively. Rock The Look got the first call but her lead would be short lived as Trace Tetrick had the post time favorite, American Girl, dialed in and aimed to the front. American Girl grabbed the lead just past the quarter in a brisk :25.4 and would continue to call the shots through middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:24.2 while the field remained in single file order. Unable to wait any longer, Dillander gave White Metro the green light and she began the long first-over grind with Wild Wanda and Ricky Macomber Jr. in tow. As the field turned for home, American Girl looked strong on the front but would have her work cut out for her down the long Hoosier Park stretch with the rest of the field closing in. Just as White Metro reached the leader, Wild Wanda tipped off her back and fanned out across the track. Dillander asked his mount for more and White Metro dug in gamely to wear down American Girl and hold of Wild Wanda to prevail in a tight photo. Despite her best efforts, American Girl was forced to settle for second place honors while Wild Wanda rounded out the trifecta. White Metro returned $14.80 to her backers at the betting window. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, White Metro scored the fifth victory from 12 starts this season while bankrolling $208,107 lifetime. Owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeff Cullipher, the four-year-old daughter of Metropolitan-Bye Bye Peachy Pie notched her 15th career victory from 49 outings. The evening also featured three divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for two and three-year-old pacing fillies on the 14-race card. It was the opening round of stakes action for the two-year-old competitors and second round for the sophomores. Each filly was aiming to earn a spot in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for their respective division slated for Friday, July 8 at Hoosier Park. Can't Touch This and Dan Shetler turned in the fastest division for the three-year-old pacing fillies as they took their split in 1:51.2. Trained by Roger Welch, Can't Touch This notched her second win of the season from four starts and established a new lifetime best in the process. The daughter of Rockin Image-Fox Valley Monika has now earned $213,354 lifetime for her owners W.C. DeLong, W.P. DeLong, D.A. Riccolo. Hah ChaChaCha produced the fastest mile of the three splits of eliminations for two-year-old pacing fillies after using a near gate-to-wire effort to score in 1:55.1 with LeWayne Miller in the bike. It was the second consecutive victory from two starts for the homebred daughter of Always A Virgin-Miss Atm. Trained by Erv Miller, Hah ChaChaCha has now earned $15,000 lifetime for her connections at Shim Racing, LLC. It was also one of four victories on the evening's card for driver LeWayne Miller. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, July 2 with a 14-race card that is set to begin at 5:45 p.m. Saturday's 14-race card will be highlighted by a $21,000 Invitational Pace and three divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for the sophomore pacing colts. In conjunction with the live racing action on Saturday, the 2nd annual Hoosierfest Community Carnival returns to Hoosier Park for three fun-filled, action-packed days of rides, games, fair food and amusement. The carnival is located in the South parking lot at Hoosier Park and all ages are welcome. Guests can enjoy full-day, unlimited ride passes for only $25. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-June 30, 2016 - On Saturday, July 2 the dream of being a Standardbred race horse owner will come true for 50 people, courtesy of First Turn Stable at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. While much of the harness racing world will be focused on the numerous stakes races around the country on Saturday, 50 first time horse owners will have their attention directed to the seventh race of the program at Hoosier Park as Boogie Nights makes his debut appearance for Hoosier Park's new ownership club. Boogie Nights is a six-year-old gelded pacer who has made $74,949 in lifetime purse earnings. Sired by one of Indiana's leading pacing sires, Always A Virgin, Boogie Nights has won 12 of his 83 lifetime starts and took his lifetime mark of 1:52 at the age of four. Boogie Nights has had 13 starts while earning $10,010 in 2016. Claimed out of a $10,000 race last Saturday at Hoosier Park, the brown gelding has now been entrusted to trainer Jeff Cullipher who has been assigned the training duties for First Turn Stable. With Jason Dillander in the bike, Boogie Nights will start from post eight in the field of nine and has been tabbed 6-1 on the morning line. "First Turn Stable's 50 new owners are about to experience something probably to a person they never dreamed of; that being the thrill of watching their very own horse race," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. "Best of luck to all of them!" The first of its kind in the state of Indiana, First Turn Stable was recently launched at Hoosier Park and designed to provide fans an easy and affordable way to experience the excitement of horse ownership for a one-time, $250 buy-in. Members of First Turn Stable will be treated to the on-track perks of racehorse ownership while experiencing firsthand the economics of what it takes to own a Standardbred racehorse. Updates for First Turn Stable will be posted weekly and via e-mail so members can follow along with the racing action throughout the season. Along with interactive social media pages, monthly financials will be shared with the group to provide a transparent and behind-the-scenes look into the real costs of owning a racehorse. On-site teaching tools and other resources will also be made available to the members. Hoosier Park's 14-race card on Saturday will also feature a $21,000 Invitational Pace and three divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for three-year-old pacing colts. The first race will line up behind the gate at 5:45 p.m. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . by Emily Gaskin for Hoosier Park

Pompano Beach, FL…December 6, 2015…Bluehourpower, the Indiana invader making his Pompano Park debut off of a short respite from the harness racing wars, upset the applecart in Pompano Park’s $11,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night, stopping the clock in a lifetime best 1:50.2. Jason Dillander was in the bike for the win—the 18th of the four year-old’s career but the first away from the friendly confines of the seven-eighths mile oval at Hoosier Park. The altered son of Sand Shooter, trained by Jamie Macomber for owner Wilbur Eash, upset a very talented field including the highly vaunted Arthur Blue Chip, Bandolito, Alexa’s Jackpot and five others to vault over the $500,000 in career earnings--$502,756 to be precise. Dont Tell Rusty, teamed up with Ed Hensley, was second, a head back in the photo finish, while Alexa’s Jackpot finished third for Steve Condren. KR’s Power Surge finished fourth and Bandolito picked up the nickel in the field of nine. At the outset, the even-money tote-board favorite (actually 11 to 10) made a miscue to lose all chance while Alexa’s Jackpot showed his usual early alacrity from post seven to take command after an early tussle with Don’t Tell Rusty, leaving from post six. Bluehourpower was away in good order third while KR’s Power Surge was next in front of Bandolito, that “half left” from the outside nine post and found a spot mid-pack. With positions set in stone through opening panels of :26.3 and :54.4, the action began to heat up on the backside with Bluehourpower going first up and Bandolito trying to catch that one’s live cover. At the third station in 1:22.4, Bluehourpower was “breathing down the neck” of Alexa’s Jackpot, edging to the fore once they straightened away and then holding off the late surge of Don’t Tell Rusty in the picture. After the event, driver Jason Dillander said, “I knew this horse could take a lot of air because I drove him a couple of times as a two year-old and I have seen him enough times in Indiana to know that he can grind a long way. The only question that I had coming in to this race was whether he was tight enough after a couple of weeks off. I should have known that he’d be good because Jamie (Macomber) is a fantastic trainer. He went a great mile.” As fourth choice in the win pool, Bluehourpower paid $17.20 to his faithful. Pompano Park's Pick-4 paid off handsomely on Sunday night as Here Comes William ($9.80), Ardie B Speed ($44.80), Johnny Grippa ($9.60) and Thebestofjoel ($19.40) captured the individual legs with the $1 combination of 1-5-1-6 returning $9,328.50. Racing continues on Monday with an 11 race program and again on Tuesday with 13 races on tap. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 17, 2015 - The second and final round of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino's 2015 Champion Driver Series highlighted the 14-race harness racing card on Saturday, October 17 and it was Jason Dillander who raced away with top honors, winning a Hawaiian excursion for four, a prize valued at $15,000. Not only was it a race to the islands but also a race to the finish as Dillander narrowly won the final round of the challenge by one point over Sam Widger. In its' second year, the 2015 Champion Driver Series placed the top-ten drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge not once, but twice, throughout the season. Dillander, a 39-year-old Kentucky native, accumulated a total of 32 points and finished fourth in round 1 of the challenge held on July 25. With the points from round 1 carrying over to round 2, Dillander earned a total of 69 points in round two to secure the win over Sam Widger who finished second with 68 points. LeWayne Miller, the 2014 Champion Driver Series winner, finished third in the final round with a total of 67 points. Although Dillander did not find the winner's circle in any of the five races in the challenge, he earned two second place finishes, one fourth and two fifth place finishes to secure the victory. With a second, a fifth and a fourth place finish in the first three races of the challenge, Dillander had earned 54 points and was fourth in the standings heading into the fourth leg. After a second place finish behind Meersburg in the fourth race of the challenge, Dillander accumulated nine more points and moved into third place in the standings with 63 going into the final race. Widger led all challengers with 67 points and Miller was a close second with 64. When the final race of the challenge hit the track, it appeared to be anyone's game. Dillander secured his trip to Hawaii with a fifth place finish in the final race, earning six more points, behind Greystone Moe for trainer Joe Cirasuola. Greystone Moe and Dillander rallied late in the lane but couldn't catch winners Ra Ra Steven and John DeLong. Dillander's six points were just enough to push him past Widger and into the lead by one point for the win. "I had no idea I won," Dillander noted in the winner's circle. "It was really close going into the last race and it was a competitive group of horses so I wasn't sure how it would turn out." "I felt good about my horses coming into tonight but all of these races were really competitive so I knew it would be tough," he continued. "We are always competitive but this was a little different, we had a lot of fun with it." Dillander called the Chicago racing circuit home for a number of years before venturing to Hoosier Park in 2008 where he has been a mainstay atop the leading driver standings nearly every year since. Now in his 18th season as a driver, Dillander is back in the bike in 2015 after a racing injury sidelined him for much of the 2014 season. Dillander celebrated his 2000th career win at Hoosier Park in 2013 and is approaching $20 million in career purse earnings. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will resume on Tuesday, October 20 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin

Lockwood Grace used a strong stretch rally to pull the 20-1 upset in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting fillies, at the harness racing meeting at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, September 1. Driven by Jason Dillander, Lockwood Grace avoided early traffic trouble to score in a lifetime best of 1:58. In a race ruled by miscues, Dillander had Lockwood Grace out of harm's way in the early stages of the race, sixth along the rail. Her stablemate and post time favorite, Miss Tootsie Hall, made a break behind the gate and took herself out of the race completely before the wings folded for driver Trace Tetrick. Naughty III, driven by Tyler Smith, made her customary move to the front through an opening panel in :28.1 but had trouble down the backside and was quickly passed on the outside by Nothing But Nice and Rick Farrington at the second station in :58.2. Doug Rideout and Just Jess also avoided the early traffic trouble and made a powerful move down the backside to take control just before the three-quarter clocking in 1:28. While the rest of the field sorted out positions, Just Jess put a few lengths between her and the rest of the field around the final turn. As the field turned for home, Just Jess continued to call the shots but was beginning to tire on the front. Just as Just Jess was retreating, Dillander had Lockwood Grace in perfect striking position second-over. Lockwood Grace was given the green light and exploded past her rivals using a :28.4 final quarter to win by three-parts of a length. Nothing But Nice held on for the second place finish wile Sunny Jeans and Rick Plano rallied late in the lane to round out the trifecta. As one of the longest shots on the board, Lockwood Grace returned $43.60 at the betting windows. "I don't know what happened out there," Dillander noted of the race. "It worked out for us, but it was a crazy race, that's for sure. When we came around the last turn, I wasn't sure if I had enough to get to the wire but once we straightened out, she really started gaining ground. She trotted all the way to wire and showed up big tonight." Trained by Robert Taylor, the freshman filly is the daughter of Gymnasium-Montgomery Jewle. Lockwood Grace notched just the second win of her career from eight seasonal outings. Lockwood Grace has now earned $60,245 for her owners at Hoosierland Farm. "She's been a nice filly all year," trainer Robert Taylor noted in the winner's circle. "She's just coming into herself I think, maybe a little later than the others, but she's been a nice filly from the start. She's a super nice filly to be around and takes good care of herself too, so I think that will help her in the long run." Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, September 2 at the regularly schedule post time of 5:15 p.m. Wednesday's 14-race card will be highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stake final and $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 10, 2015 - Montenegro and Jason Dillander turned in a dominant harness racing performance to capture the co-featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 10. Using a sharp, gate to wire effort, Montenegro was able to hold off the rest of the field late in the lane to score in 1:51.4. Leaving from post five, Dillander sent Montenegro away from the gate firing and she reached the front through the opening panel in :27.2. Wild Wanda and Andy Shetler also left aggressively to grab a pocket seat with Native Dream and Peter Wrenn next in line, third. Montenegro rattled off middle fractions of :56.1 and 1:25 before feeling a threat from Wild Wanda who tipped from the pocket approaching the final turn. As the field turned for home, Tyler Smith had the heavy betting favorite, Color's A Virgin, three-wide but she would have her work cut out for her as Montenegro looked game on the front. Using a :26.4 final quarter, Montenegro dug in gamely to hold off Wild Wanda and Color's A Virgin who finished second and third, respectively. As the bettors' second choice, Montenegro returned $4.80 at the windows. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old Camluck mare scored her fifth victory of the season and has now won 32 of 149 lifetime outings. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $87,135 this season. On the trotting side of things, Allie Labrook returned to her home state and turned in an impressive performance to score in 1:52.4 in the featured trot, a $21,000 Invitational Trot. After racing at Mohawk Racetrack for three starts, Allie Labrook returned to Hoosier Park to score her third win of the season with Dan Shetler in the sulky. The 1:52.4 victory was just a few ticks off the overall trotting track record at Hoosier Park, a 1:52 mark she established earlier in the season. Using her customary late-surging tactics, Allie Labrook was rated off the pace through fractions of :27, :56.3 and 1:25.1 before beginning her attack in the final turn. As the field turned for home, Allie Labrook was poised to strike. Shetler asked his mount for more and Allie Labrook found another gear to win under wraps by three lengths. Natural Herbie and Verlin Yoder staged a big rally late in the lane but had too much ground to make up at the end of the mile and had to settle for second place honors. Lady Blitz and James Yoder rounded out the trifecta. Allie Labrook returned $6.60 to her backers. The five-year-old daughter of Here Comes Herbie-Allie Jane is trained by Dan Shetler and has now won three of eight seasonal outings. Owned by Sawgrass Farms, Allie Labrook has amassed $185,932 lifetime. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, July 11 with a 14-race card featuring the $21,000 Invitational Pace. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-June 12, 2015 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino hosted a 14-race card on Friday, June 12 that was highlighted by the $21,000 Invitational Trot and $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares. Both of the featured harness racing events saw familiar faces in the winner's circle as Penn and Montenegro scored decisively in their respective divisions. Penn, with Darrell Wright in the bike, rebounded from a second place finish in his last outing at Hoosier Park to score his fourth win of the season in the top trot with a final time of 1:54.2 over a track rated good. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Penn used his quick gate speed to fire from the wings from post eight. The Bobby Brower trainee dictated fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:25.4 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. Rose Run Parker and Ricky Macomber Jr. made a strong bid at the leader late in the lane but Penn was too strong on the front. Using a :28.3 final quarter, Penn held off a late charge by Lady Blitz and Verlin Yoder to win by a length. Rose Run Parker rounded out the trifecta. Penn returned $4.20 to his backers at the window. With the victory, Penn scored his fourth seasonal victory from seven starts. The five-year-old gelded son of Master Glide-Photo Queen scored his 23rd career victory and has now earned $165,934 for owner, Barkley Counts. In the featured pace for fillies and mares, it was Montenegro and Jason Dillander who came out on top scoring their fourth victory of the season at Hoosier Park, this time in 1:53.2. Montenegro, who also finished second in her last outing at Hoosier Park, rallied late in the lane to get up in the final strides of the mile. Lease Ness Monster and Peter Wrenn fired away from the gate through the opening quarter in :27.1 but their lead was short lived as Just A Bee and Mike Micallef were on a mission to the front. Just A Bee continued to call the shots through splits of :55.4 and 1:24.1 before Tyler Smith and Miss Kilo would apply pressure first-over. As the field turned for home the race appeared to be wide open with horses fanning out across the track. Dillander tipped Montenegro off tiring cover and she responded with a :28.2 final quarter to get the win over Wild Wanda and Andy Shetler. Miss Kilo finished third. As the bettors' choice, Montenegro returned $5.60 at the betting windows. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old Camluck mare has now won 31 of 146 lifetime outings. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $71,385 this season and sports a lifetime bankroll of $566,914. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 30 with a 14-race card. Saturday's program will feature the $21,000 Invitational Pace and two divisions of the "Tubby Trimble Series". With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 29, 2015 - Allie Labrook and harness racing driver, trainer Dan Shetler found the winner's circle for the second consecutive time at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino after turning in a sharp effort to capture the $21,000 Invitational Trot on Friday, May 29. Using her customary late-surging tactics, Allie Labrook rallied gamely in the stretch to stop the timer in 1:52.3. The 1:52.3 clocking was just a few ticks off the overall trotting track record at Hoosier Park, a 1:52 mark she established in her last outing. Leaving from post seven, Allie Labrook was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in seventh while Darrell Wright sent last week's winner, Penn, away from the gate firing. Penn reached the front through a brisk opening quarter in :27.3 but was quickly joined on the outside by Natural Herbie and Verlin Yoder who were unable to find a spot along the rail. The vigorous pace continued as Penn reluctantly yielded the lead to Natural Herbie at the second station in :55.3. Unable to wait any longer, Shetler tipped Allie Labrook to the outside to begin their first-over journey approaching the final turn. Natural Herbie continued to call the shots through the three-quarter clocking in 1:24 and looked strong on the front as the field turned for home. Natural Herbie was able to fend off the pocket-sitting Penn but Allie Labrook was looming large in the background. Using a :28 final quarter, Allie Labrook dug in gamely to track down the leaders and finish two lengths in front of Penn. Natural Herbie held on for the third place finish. Sent off as the public's third choice, Allie Labrook returned $6.60 at the betting window. "She gives 100% every time she's on the track," Shetler noted after the victory. "She's getting better with every start and I still think there is some room for improvement with her. She's staked all over the country and we'll take it race by race to decide her schedule. She's just the nicest mare to drive and to be around." The five-year-old daughter of Here Comes Herbie-Allie Jane was making just her fourth start of the season after a stellar campaign in 2014 where she bankrolled $119, 157 and won 13 of 17 starts. Owned by Sawgrass Farms, Allie Labrook has now won 18 of 28 outings while amassing $165,984 lifetime. Allie Labrook has been staked outside of Indiana for her five-year-old campaign and will be pointed to the Miss Versatility Series for her next stakes engagement. On the pacing side of things, Montenegro and Jason Dillander used a front-running effort to score a decisive 1:51.2 victory in the Fillies and Mares Invitational Pace. Montenegro was able to hold off the heavy betting favorite, Color's A Virgin and Trace Tetrick, late in the lane to score her third win of the season. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the seven-year-old Camluck mare has now won 31 of 146 lifetime outings and established a new seasonal mark with the win. Owned by Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack, Montenegro has earned $55,635 this season and sports a lifetime bankroll of $551,164. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 30 with a stakes filled 14-race card. Saturday's program will feature the first round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the three-year-old competitors. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the live racing schedule at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 8, 2015 - The featured harness racing event, a $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino provided an exciting finish as Just A Bee and Montenegro crossed the wire together on Friday, May 8. Unable to be separated after the photo was examined, Just a Bee and Montenegro finished in a dead heat for the win in 1:53. In an abbreviated field of six, Montenegro was sent firing away from the gate by driver Jason Dillander to get the first call in :27.4. Just a Bee and Mike Micallef also left aggressively to grab a pocket seat behind the pacesetter while the rest of the field sorted out early position. Montenegro continued to dictate fractions of :56.2 and 1:24.3 as the field remained in single file line down the backside. Pertty Music and Ed Hensley were the first to commit to the outer flow with Miss Kilo and Trace Tetrick in tow approaching the final turn. As the field turned for home, Montenegro was able to put away Pertty Music but she still had her work cut out for her with Just A Bee sitting on her back in the pocket. Micallef found late racing room up the rail and Just A Bee exploded from the pocket to reach the leader. Now stride for stride, both mares dug in gamely to cross the wire together. Miss Kilo held on for third place honors. For Montenegro, it was the second consecutive victory at Hoosier Park and 30th career win. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, Montenegro has now earned $37,260 for the season for owners Randall Bendis and Thomas Pollack. The seven-year-old daughter of Camluck-Cyber Wave now sports a lifetime bankroll of $532, 789. Just A Bee scored her first seasonal victory at Hoosier Park and ninth victory from 14 outings in 2015. Trained by Mike Micallef, Just A Bee has earned $71,625 this season for owners Anita Micallef, John McGoff, and Greg Heath. With the win, the seven year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood-Tawnees Mark notched her 34th lifetime victory from 141 starts. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 9 with a 14-race card. With an adjusted post time of 4:00 p.m., Saturday's live racing card at Hoosier Park will feature a $21,000 Invitational Trot. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . Emily Gaskin

The harness racing industry is filled with its up and downs, especially with its horses. Such was the case with the Joel Smith Stable’s Kennan’s Max, a world record holder in 2002 as a 2-year-old and the runner-away winner of his ICF freshman trotting male division. However, three starts into his 3-year-old campaign the homebred son of Vaporize out of the broodmare Lake Hills Suzanne was basically done racing for Smith, his Indiana owners Phil Wiley and Ken Spurlock, who bred the champion Illinois trotter with Erich Boehm of West Palm Beach, Florida. Kennan’s Max had an outstanding 2-year-old season, sweeping Springfield where he set a world record for a 2-year-old trotting geldings with a 1:55.3 clock in the $60,000 Final and it came in just his third career start. “I remember that day very vividly,” said Joel. Kennan’s Max finished five-plus length ahead of Customize, who would become his chief ICF freshman rival. Kennan’s Max also captured Balmoral’s $130,000 Lincoln Land Final with his regular driver Jason Dillander, again by more than 5 lengths over Customize in mid-September. A week later “Max” breezed in the $25,000 Darn Safe at Du Quoin. In the $54,000 Cardinal Championship at Maywood Park Customize gave Kennan’s Max all he could handle. A nose decision went to ‘Max’ and Dillander over Customize and Dave Magee. A triumph in Balmoral’s $35,500 Sarah Myers stake followed for Kennan’s Max who was third in the $150,000 American National behind the winner Cantab Hall, the Illinois bred trotter’s final race of the 2002 freshman season. “Kennan’s Max owners staked the horse to just about everything as a 3-year-old except the Hambletionian,” continued Joel. The trotter’s schedule that year could have had Kennan’s Max going in such prestigious open company stakes as the Stanley Dancer, World Trotting Derby, Bluegrass and Breeders Crown. Nevertheless Kennan’s Max sophomore season ended not very long after it began. “The horse dropped a back suspensory in his third start back as a 3-year-old and was pretty much finished after that”, said Joel. “We brought him back as a 4-year-old and tried to race him a couple of times but that didn’t work out.” Kennan’s Max made an even $180,000 in 16 career starts with all but $1,650 coming as a 2-year-old. “Max is still running out here in the field at my farm,” said Joel. “And he has company. My old pacer Master Mark Grace is running along with him.” Now there’s another name that stirs up some great looking back memories, especially for Cubs fans. By Mike Paradise

Pompano Beach, FL...Sunday, February 8, 2015...Wishin Iwas Fishin took top honors in the opening leg of the Battleground Late Closing harness racing event for claiming trotters on Sunday night at Pompano Park. The nine year-old gelded son of Lockkeeper, trained by Brian Hauck for Haucks Racing Stable, came from dead last in his sextet for Jason Dillander to score a narrow decision--a neck--over Go Jesse Go, driven by Rick Plano. Sand Wyndham, teamed up with Joe Pavia, Jr., finished third, just a half length away while Overwhat and Loco Caballo picked up the minor awards. The mile was clocked in 1:57.4. In a race marked by five lead changes, Northern Inferno showed quick speed leaving with Go Jesse Go away in good order from the rail with Loco Caballo next. But before the dust settled around the opening turn, Go Jesse Go left the pocket and forged into the lead at the opening panel, timed in :28.3...but not for long as Loco Caballo followed Go Jesse Go and took command with a lap to go and marched over to the half in a hot :56.4. On the backside three-eighths out, Sand Wyndham was out and driving from fifth and forcing the hand of Go Jessie Go, the latter leaving the pocked again and forging to the lead a few steps past the third station timed in 1:26.4. With four across the track at mid-stretch, it was a cavalry charge to the wire with Wishin Iwas Fishin the photo finish winner. After the race, driver Jason Dillander said simply, "This horse has one good brush and, tonight, it was timed just right. For Wishin Iwas Fishin, it was his initial win of the year in five starts and worth $6.00 to his faithful $2.00 followers. John Berry 

Pompano Beach, FL...January 21, 2015...Its Payday Friday completely justified the public's confidence of sending the five year-old off at a dime-to-a-dollar in the betting by scoring a resounding 4 1/4 length victory in Pompano Park's $12,500 harness racing Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday night.   The altered son of Kadabra, trained by Renaldo Morales III for owner-driver Dan Clements, took command just a stride or two prior to the :27.2 opener and then wired panels of :57 and 1:26 before sprinting home in :28 to equal his lifetime mark of 1:54.   Dukester and Rick Plano teamed up for plane honors while Buddy Hally, with Stephen Byron handling the lines, finished third, five lengths away.   The very early leader, Adenium, finished fourth while Highland Yankee finished fifth in the quintet.   In a post-race interview, driver Dan Clements gave a lot of credit to the track crew saying, "This racetrack was absolutely perfect tonight--not too hard...not too deep...just perfect. Kudos to them! As far as the trip went, well, as you can see here in the winner's circle, the earplugs are still in so I don't know how much more he would have gone had I pulled them. He was really awesome tonight!"   Its Payday Friday is on quite a roll having six wins and five seconds in 11 starts since arriving at Pompano Park in late October.   This victory pushed his lifetime bounty just shy of $200,000--$198,888 to be exact.   The companion $11,000 Open Trot went to M C Felix, a recent claim by owner Neal Oksenberg. Trained and driven by Aaron Byron, M C Felix took command at the quarter and wired his foes the rest of the way, stopping the timer in 1:55 for his 36th lifetime success. This nine year-old son of A J's Tycoon now has $348,229 on his card.   The second leg of the Sea Eagle Late Closing Event for claiming pacers went post-ward in two divisions--Sea Eagle the winner of the very first race contest at Pompano Park on February 4, 1964--with Deep Finesse and First Impression staking a claim to the final scheduled for January 28.   Deep Finesse, a nine year-old son of Western Paradise, came from well off the pace negotiating his final three-quarters in 1:24.2 to score the victory measuring 1 3/4 lengths for driver Jason Dillander. Terrorizer, with Ed Hensley in the bike, was second while Four Starz Kyle finished third for Rick Plano. Elkhorn Damian and Tumblin' Dice, the early pacesetter, also picked up minor awards, fourth and fifth, respectively.   Trained by Pete Pellegrino for the Baron Racing Stable, Deep Finesse won for the 33rd time in his career--the hard hitting claimer now at $231,835 in career bounty.   As second choice on the board at 9 to 5, Deep Finesse paid $5.60 to win.   First Impression, driven by Aaron Byron, made his 200th lifetime start a memorable one with a sharp 1:53.1 win in the second division of the Sea Eagle Late Closer, taking the lead right at the opening marker of :27.3 and carding fractions of :56 and 1:25 before a sprint home in :28.1 sealed the deal measuring a comfortable 1 1/4 lengths over Tivolii Hanover, handled by Jason Dillander. Who Dey finished third for Mickey McNichol while Unrecognized Saint finished fourth. Memory In Motion picked up the final award in the field of six--three 10 year-olds and three 11 year-olds!   Owned by the Three Gees Stable and trained by Gary McDonald, First Impression won for the 39th time in his career, sending his lifetime bankroll to $352,288.   As the 8 to 5 tote-board favorite, First Impression paid $5.40 to his faithful.   Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 again had multiple winners on Wednesday night setting up a record carryover exceeding $60,000 for Saturday night's program.   Finally, The Florida Amateur Driving Club boosted their charitable donations past the $135,000 mark with a contribution to the Christian Harness Horseman's Association. The CHHA, with more than 1,000 members world-wide, was represented by Chaplain Lee Alphen. A large group of horsemen and women, including Dan Clements, Bruce Ranger, Diane Hellen and young Tom Wine, Mike Hardy, Pete Pellegrino, Jason Dillander and Allen Saul, were in the winner's circle to make the presentation.   by John Berry for Pompano Park

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