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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, 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

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, September 19, 2018- Brian Sears, he of the recent 10,000 career harness racing win plateau, was the subject of Tuesday (Sept. 18th) profile by News 12 Westchester. Sports anchor/reporter Pete Ruf spent a Yonkers Raceway evening with Sears. They discussed his career (Sears', not Ruf's), starting with learning his craft from his father, Jay, through the early years in upstate New York, his countless stakes victories, Hall of Fame induction and remaining among the sport's premier drivers. The story can be viewed by clicking here. A note of appreciation to Ruf and News 12 for their continued interest in the Raceway side of Yonkers Raceway. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Ms Cheesman (Howard Okusko Jr) wins the harness racing featured fillies and mares pace ($6,500) on Friday (August 31). Angel Speak (Claude Huckabone III) went to the front and led to a first quarter of :26.3 and then to a half of :56.0. Ms Cheesman ($7.70) followed in the pocket. Owned by Bay Pond Racing and trained by Jessica Okusko, she popped out of the pocket just before they hit three-quarters in 1:25.1. She took over and just cruised down the stretch to win in 1:53.0. Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) came up to finish second. Jaclyn Hanover (John MacDonald) got third money. Ms Cheesman is a 3-year-old filly by Betterthancheddar. It was her fifth win this season and career victory number 6. The veteran Jay Sears wins another at Vernon Downs. In 10 drives this season, Sears has four wins and one second this season. For anyone that is a a great record. What is amazing is that Sears is 76 years old. The lovable driver is racing like he is a youngster. He guided Star Flyer ($10.60) to a gate-to-wire victory in a lifetime best of 1:58.1. Star Flyer is a 4-year-old mare by Cantab Hall. She is co-owned by Sears with David Fishman and trained by Ray Van Dreason. It was her fourth win in 11 starts this season. It was career victory number five. How can you not root for Sears? If you love harness racing all you can do is smile! Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 1) with a 10 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Vernon Downs      

Pompano Beach, FL…October 16, 2017…In an era where Brian Sears gets many of the harness racing headlines, father Jay Sears proved that, at 76 years of age, he can still compete with the best of them. The elder Sears won two of the four non-wagering FSBOA sponsored Sunshine State Stakes events for two year-olds at Pompano Park on Sunday night (October 15) while finishing third in the other two events. Sears was in the winner’s circle right off the bat as he guided Jennifer, a daughter of Proud Bushy, to her maiden win in 2:09.1, after leading every step of the mile and holding on for dear life at the end to hold off the previously undefeated I Rhoda Daley (Jason MacDougall) by a nose. Ms Katie B (Gary Braden) was third. Co-owned by Jay along with trainer-wife Kim, Jennifer had a pair of seconds and a third prior to the maiden win on Sunday night. Said Sears after the win, “She’s named after my daughter, so it was especially nice to win with her. I kinda gunned her out of there early and she opened up a pretty sizable lead and then trotted a decent final quarter to hold on.” Sears also won the pacing filly Diamond Eyes, a daughter of Six Of Diamonds. Trained by Kim Sears for owner Penny Kelley, Diamond Eyes found a good early spot in the garden seat as Six Line Lily (Wally Hennessey) set up early panels of :31.1 and 1:02.3. Heading into the final bend, Diamond Eyes went on the attack to engage in a war with the pair at the third station in 1:32.4 as these two slugged it out until the 16th pole when Starcasim (Joe Sanzeri) joined the fray. At the wire, Diamond Eyes proved the winner by a neck over Starcasim with Six Line Lily next in 2:03.2. It was also the maiden win for Diamond Eyes in her career measuring three starts prompting Sears to remark, “She’s getting better now but we’ve got some deep competition in that division, including another one I own, Krinda, who mad a break early on.” Krinda has two wins in four starts, including her miscue, with a mark of 1:58.2. “Mike (trainer Deters) has a serious filly in there, too, Prairie Easter,” said Sears, “with a (1):58.2 mark and she was scratched so we were kinda lucky here to win. A little luck never hurts in this business.” Sears has a .431 UDRS with a 4-3-6 scorecard in 16 starts thus far in the young Pompano Park stakes season. The other two Sunshine State Stakes events were won by Dangerous Mood and Silver Wings. Dangerous Mood, a two year-old gelded son of Proud Bushy, kept his record unblemished for Wally Hennessey as he scored his third straight win—this time in 2:03.4. Trained by Jim McDonald for the Smiley Farm, Dangerous Mood has never relinquished the top spot in any of his three performances thus far in his career. “So far, so good,” replied trainer McDonald. “so we’re just hoping he keeps going. His first winning mile (2:02.3) was quite a surprise and his second win (2:01.1) was terrific. He seems to have good manners and, along with speed, is a good combination. Just hoping he keeps improving as we go forward.” Dangerous Mood won by four lengths over Prairie Eclipse (Jim Meittinis) with Brian (Jay Sears) next. Silver Wings, a son of Rock On, looked very impressive in scoring a wire-to-wire win for Corey Braden in 1:59.4—58.3--:29. Trained by Veral Bowman, who co-owns with Craig Schmidt, Silver Wings carved out panels of :30, 1:01.1 and 1:30.4 along the way to score by 7 ¼ lengths over Mister Special T (Rob Hoffman) with Jay Jay (Sears) third. Sunshine State Stakes action continues of Wednesday night with four non-wagering events for the three year-olds. Post time for the early events is 5:30 p.m. with the pari-mutuel program scheduled to get under way at 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for the FSBOA

Harness racing's newest inductees to the Hall of Fame, driver Brian Sears and communicator Steve Wolf, will be the special guests on the top Thoroughbred radio show in south Florida Wednesday afternoon, It's Post Time With JJ Gracie. The program gets underway on the internet at 3:00 pm at It's Post Time With JJ Graci takes place seven days a week, live on Thursday from the studio and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday they are on location at Gulfstream Park. The show features sessions about the horse racing industry, including harness racing, handicapping, live race calls, trivia with prizes, and great guests! Sears, a south Florida native and graduate of Cardinal Gibbons High School, won his first race at age 16 at Pompano Park and hails from three generations of harness horsemen. Both his grandfather, Gene, and father, Jay, are inducted in the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Currently, Sears has amassed 9,714 driving wins, purse earnings of more than $176,000,000 and has a very impressive career UDR of .329. Wolf has been living for 17 years in south Florida. Starting out as an owner/breeder in 1977 with his father, Manny, and their Leo Wolf & Son Stable, he was the Director of Racing Operations at the Isle Pompano Park for nine years and is now a horse racing consultant. "I really like and appreciate harness racing," said JJ Graci, "and it will be great to have two of the sports newest inductees to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame on our show Wednesday." You can follow It's Post Time With JJ Graci on Facebook at From It's Post Time With JJ Graci      

Driver Brian Sears, a third generation horseman, is the sole nominee on the ballot in voting for the 2017 Harness Racing Hall of Fame. The Harness Racing Hall of Fame screening committee met this past weekend in Goshen and reviewed nominations from 11 chapters of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Sears was the only candidate to make the ballot. The ballot will be sent to 223 members of USHWA and existing Hall of Fame inductees in August. A nominee must receive 75% of votes cast to be inducted in to the Hall of Fame. Results will be announced when tabulated. Sears, who plies his trade primarily on the east coast, has 9,601 wins in nearly 50,000 starts. He has exceeded $10 million in annual purse earnings nine times for a total of just over $172 million. He concluded another outstanding driving year in 2015 with the highlights including capturing his third Hambletonian win with Pinkman and grabbing divisional Dan Patch Award honors behind the great trotting mare Bee A Magician. Sears has driving wins in classic races such as 10 of the 12 divisions of the Breeders Crown, Hambletonian, Little Brown Jug, Kentucky Futurity, Meadowlands Pace, North America Cup, Yonkers Trot, Messenger, Cane, Adios, Battle of Brandywine, Canadian Trotting Classic, Metro, Stanley Dancer, Del Miller and Canadian Pacing Classic. He has been the primary driver on three Dan Patch Harness Horses of the Year, Muscle Hill in 2009 and Bee A Magician in 2013 plus Rocknroll Hanover in 2005. Racing has been a family affair for Sears. His father, Jay, won more than 1,400 races and purses of over $3.3 million. Brian's grandfather, the late Gene Sears, was also a 1,000-plus race winner who won $1.7 million in purses during his career. by Ellen Harvey for Harness Racing Communications

Pompano Beach, FL…Saturday night is shaping up to be a “Super Night” at Pompano Park with the $422,000 FSBOA sponsored Breeders Stakes on tap along with a strong supporting card featuring some of the best pacers ever to grace the south Florida oval. The marquee’ event could very well feature one of the most dominant Florida bred horses in history—Markie—who is undefeated in five starts this year in her class of sophomore trotting fillies. Owned by Jay Sears, Markie has annihilated her foes this semester, winning by margins ranging from 3¾ lengths to 23 lengths with four of her five wins measured in double digits. Markie will be attempting to stretch her winning streak to nine, going back to last season when she was the champion of her two year-old division, sealing the issue on Super Night 2013 at Pompano. Trainer Kim Sears has taken nothing for granted saying, “so far, things have gone her way but she is very high spirited…maybe you could even say she’s a brat. But once she gets going, she REALLY gets going. We just hope she behaves on her big night.” Waiting in the wings “just in case” will be Trotting JC Poss, second to Markie on four occasions this season. Owned and trained by Steve Stabile, Trotting JC Poss was also the “bridesmaid” to Markie on Super Night last year. So overwhelming has been Markie that her Super night event with a purse of $53,000 has drawn only four other challengers and has been scheduled as the third of three non-wagering events kicking off the card. Vying for supremacy in the division for two year-old pacing colts and geldings is Owosso Flash, owned by Laurie Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters. Owosso Flash, named in honor of longtime owner John Spindler of Owosso, Michigan, has an unblemished record at Pompano Park, having won two Sunshine State Stakes then complimenting that with a victory in the Stallion Stakes and coming into Super night off of a spectacular 1:54.4 performance in the Melvyn  Aylor Memorial, this despite fierce winds and a blinding rainstorm. Two starts ago, the “green” youngster took a right hand turn towards the paddock just after the start but driver Mike Deters was able to get the colt composed and, once settled down, this son of Royel Millennium gobbled up a 15 length deficit and went on to score a victory in 1:58.1—last half :57. Gold Star Roger and Caesar’s Forum appear to have made the best case to upset “Flash” should he prove to be a “flash in the pan.” But trainer Mike Deters doesn’t think Owosso Flash is a “flash in the pan,” saying, “He’s a very fast horse that is just learning his trade. I really think highly of him and hope he lives up to my expectations.” The race for supremacy in the division for sophomore pacing colts and geldings has been a toss-up for the past two seasons between Tough Issue, Gold Star Kenny P and Warlock. Last season, Tough Issue and Warlock fought bravely to the “wire” with Tough Issue emerging the Super Night champ. This semester, Gold Star Kenny P has joined the fray and even rose to the top of the class after three straight Sunshine State Stakes victories over Tough Issue. But, when the lucrative Sunshine final came along, Tough Issue rose to the occasion, pinning a five length defeat on Kenny. In the Stallion Stakes, Tough Issue, again, took top honors. Warlock has been third in all of these encounters and looks to rebound on Super Night. In the race for honors in the sophomore pacing division for fillies, the “limelight” currently belongs to “Limelight,” whose record remains unscathed in her five FSBOA stakes events. Owned by Beauty in the Bridle Racing, trainer Rosie Huff has high praise for Limelight saying, “She has been very good against her class, yes, but this group has loads of talent, so I just hope her good fortune continues.” Marion, Voluminous and J D Eleven Bells are just a few just waiting in the wings should opportunity present itself but Limelight is the 5 to 2 morning favorite. In the juvenile class for trotting colts and geldings, the highly spirited Prairie Fortune—6 to 5 on the morning line—appears to have the upper hoof, having scored a remarkable 2:00 win in the Aylor Stake a week ago despite the difficult weather conditions. Trainer-driver Mike Deters recently said, “He does have a high turn of speed but, having said that, it’s a challenge for him to keep his mind on business. When he’s good, no doubt he’s VERY good.” Railee Workable and Victory Park are among those that have chased Prairie Fortune home—though several lengths away. In the race for the Super Night crown in the pacing filly division for two year-olds, Gold Star Dynasty and Paxxie have proven to be at the top of the class with “Dynasty” having the slightest edge based on her game 1:56 victory for Peter Wrenn last Saturday night in the Aylor Memorial. Three other Breeders Stakes events complete the FSBOA festivities with the supporting card featuring Hippomania III—the $12,000 Open Handicap Pace—carded as the nine race on the program. With the recent 1:49 winner Duc Dorleans out this week, Prairie Jaguar, second last week, and Panocchio, third in that same outing, renewing a spirited rivalry along with a quintet of others, including new arrivals Lyons Johnny, E Z Noah and Red Scooter. That’ll Be The Rei and Audreys Dream complete the talented million dollar field in which five of the participants own marks of 1:50 or faster with the other two just a tick or two away. Pari-mutuel post time is 7:30 p.m. with the trio of FSBOA Super Night non-betting events beginning at 6:35 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park

With Mother Nature cooperating and no rain for the second straight week, the Sunshine Stakes for Florida sired Standardbreds went off without a hitch Saturday at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village in Delray Beach, Florida. There were eight stakes races for two and and three-year-old trotters and pacers with purses totaling more than $25,000. The race are sponsored by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association. The track was rated good with a one-second allowance because of rain during the early morning hours. The thriller of the day happened in the $3,500 seven race pace for three-year-old fillies as Limelight stole the spotlight for driver Tom Sells with a 1:57.1 victory. That mile was the fastest of the two days of fair racing. Heather and driver Bob Roberts were caught three-wide to the opening quarter mile in :28.3 as Lightlight also had to go on the outside when Voluminous (Bruce Ranger) made a break. Heather then led the field to the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:27. It was then that Sells came after the lead with Limelight and they tore aware from the rest of the field to win by four open lengths. It was the fourth win this year for the Cracking Light daughter, who trained by Rosie Huff for the Beauty Bridle Racing Stable of South Amboy, NJ. Markie made it an impressive two for two in 2014 with her second straight win in the $3,300 three-year-old filly trot. Driven by Bob Roberts, Markie was parked to the early lead and just like last week, she pulled away from everyone and went on to win by 23 lengths in 2:00.1. It was the daughter of Proud Bushy’s fifth straight win for Kim and Jay Sears of Osteen, FL, who also bred the filly. Other winners on the program were Railee Workable (Mickey McNichol) in the $3,450 2yo colt trot in 2:03.3; Livy M (Tom Sells) captured the $3,150 2yo filly trot in 2:07.3 and Gold Star Dynasty (Walter Ross, Jr.) took the $3,200 2yo filly pace in 2:01.1. The $2,500 pace for 2yo colts was captured by Caesar’s Forum (Bruce Ranger) in 2:00.3; the $2,900 3yo colt trot was won by Showing Off (Bob Roberts) in 2:01 and the second fastest mile on the card saw Gold Star Kenny P (Mickey McNichol) win the $2,800 3yo colt pace in 1:59.3. The Sunshine Stakes now move on to the third leg at the Isle Pompano Park on their opening night, Saturday, October 4. From Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village

Harness racing driver Bruce Ranger made a triumphant return to the winner’s circle with a victory in one of the eight $25,000 Florida Sunshine Stakes held at the Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village in Delray Beach, Florida Saturday morning. It was back on May 12 in the third race at the Isle Pompano Park, Ranger was involved in a three-horse accident and was catapulted from his race bike and landed on his bank, fracturing several vertebrae in his spine. Ranger, 55, is the all-time winningest driver in the history of the Isle Pompano Park with 8,733 career wins. With no surgery, Ranger had been wearing a brace since the accident and took it off just last week after four months of healing and therapy. “I jogged my first horse since the accident this week at Pompano Park,” Ranger said, “And it felt good enough to give me the incentive to try a just a couple of races today. My friend Mel Turcotte had a heart attack two weeks ago and I wanted to help him out and drive his two horses.” In the fourth race $3,300 division of the Sunshine Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and gelding, Ranger was aboard Ron Turcotte’s Victory Park in his maiden debut and the son of Arapa Victory was able to lead from start to finish for Ranger, winning by three-quarters of a length in 2:05.2 over the one mile oval. “It felt really good to sit in a race bike again,” Ranger admitted, “But we will see how I feel come tomorrow morning. This was a great first mile and Mel’s looks to have a nice colt. He was smooth going and has a nice gait. Two drives for me was just fine today. I think I will be ready to try a few more next week here.” Ranger said he was waiting to jog horses until his new safety vest with added back protection had arrived. Victory Park is co-owned by Barbara Turcotte, Vickie Howard, Pete Roccasano and Ron Ruggles. The fastest mile on the program was registered by Markie and driver Bob Roberts in the fifth race $3,400 three-year-old filly trot. They sped away from the field right at the start, leading by as many as ten lengths by the half mile and went on to win by 20 open lengths in 2:02.1. It was the first start of the year for the daughter of Proud Bushy, who was bred and is owned by Kim and Jay Sears of Osteen and trained by Kim Sears. Trotting JC Poss (Tom Sells) was second with Gold Star Ginger (Walter Ross, Jr.) third. It was one of three winners on the day for Bob Roberts. Other divisional winners were Paxxie (Warren Harp) in 2:05 in the $2,950 2yo filly pace; Caesar’s Forum (Marc Aubin) in 2:03.4 in the $2,800 2yo colt pace; Brandy (Bob Roberts) in 2:09.3 in the $2,950 2yo filly trot; Showing Off (Bob Roberts) in the $2,900 3yo colt trot, Limelight (Tom Sells) in the $3,500 3yo filly pace and Gold Star Kenny P (Mickey McNichol) in the $3,000 3yo colt pace in 2:03.3. “Considering all the rain we had Friday and again early this morning,” Ranger said, “The track crew at Sunshine Meadows did an outstanding job. Their racing surface was in super shape for today. I got to meet both the track super Brandon Mills and his assistant Scott Miller and told what a great job they did in preparing this place for the races.” There were also two “celebrity” races in double-seater jogging carts held during the program. In the closest finish of any race on the day, Florida State Senator Maria Sachs barely beat Senator Joseph Abruzzo by a slim nose in the first event. The second race saw professional Mazda car race driver, Tristan Nunez, age 18, defeat his mother/manager Diane Nunez by three opens lengths. “What an exciting race that was,” Senator Sachs said, “I have been riding horses all my life but this was something new and exhilarating, especially coming to the finish and beating Joe. This was a victory for all women!” “I started out driving go-carts,” said professional car race driver Tristan Nunez,” and then two years ago when I was 16, I was hired by Mazda to drive for them even before I got my regular driver’s license, but this was something totally different and a great experience. These horses has such raw power and strength and speed. I really liked it and want to do it again.” The $25,000 second leg of the Sunshine Stakes will take place next Saturday, September 20 at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Center in Delray starting at 11:00 am with free admission and parking. The Sunshine Stakes are sponsored by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association. From Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Center

Harness racing is coming to Delray Beach, Florida this Saturday with the $25,000 Sunshine Stakes for two and three-year-old trotters and pacers. The races will be held at the Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village on Route 7/441 beginning at 11:00 am. There is free admission and parking, arts and crafts and equine product vendors, food trucks, pony rides and other activities for children. There is also a special celebrity harness race featuring Florida State senators Maria Sachs, Joseph Abruzzo, Mazda professional car racing sensation Tristan Nunez and TV12 Sports Director Matt Lincoln. They will compete in a one mile race in double-seating jogging carts with a trainer. On the one mile racetrack there will be eight Sunshine Stakes events. Featured will be the 2014 debut of Markie, a three-year-old trotting filly who last year won seven of her eleven starts for owner/breeders Kim and Jay Sears of Osteen. Markie is sired by Proud Bushy and last season earned $57,700 while dominating her class and closed out the 2013 season with three straight wins. Other standouts include Tom Audley’s Gold Star Jessica, a $46,000 winner who heads the three-year-old pacing filly ranks and Tough Issue, a three-year-old pacing gelding that has won $64,000 for trainer Mike Deters of Coconut Creek. All four of the two-year-old races for trotters and pacers feature first time starters. The last time there was racing at Sunshine Meadows was back in 1998. Everyone is reminded to bring their lawn chairs as there is no seating at Sunshine Meadows. In the event of a rain cancellation the races will be moved to Sunday. The second leg of the series will also be held at Sunshine Meadows on Saturday, September 20. The Sunshine Stakes are sponsored by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association. For more information call 561-414-3512 or 954-654-3757. From Sunshine Beach Equestrian Center

Pompano Beach, FL...November 30, 2013...Pompano Park was host for the $427,300 F.S.B.O.A. Championship Series for Florida Bred two and three year-olds on Saturday night (Nov. 30). Here is a recap of those events. TOUGH ISSUE TAKES $50,300 2YO COLT PACE Tough Issue, driven by Bruce Ranger, took top honors in the (non-wagering) $50,300 Florida Breeders Stake for two year-old pacing colts and geldings by scoring a handy victory measuring 3 ¼ lengths in1:56.3. Owned by Brenda Komers along and the Verderame Stable and trained by Mike Deters, the gelded son of Tough Sir registered his fifth win of the year in 12 starts by wiring together panels of :28, :58.3 and 1:28.3 before sealing the issue with a final quarter in :28. Goldstar Kenny P (Mickey McNichol) was second with Warlock (Wally Hennessey), expected to be the chief competition to the winner, third in the trio after making a miscue leaving. The victory pushed Tough Issue's earnings to $55,745. SHOWING OFF REDEEMS HIMSELF IN JUVENILE COLT TROT Showing Off and driver Wally Hennessey teamed up to win the $51,600 Breeders Stake for two year-old trotting colts and geldings with a sharp 2:01.3 win in the second of two non-wagering events at Pompano Park. The son of Wewering, owned by Richard and Sandra Dunmire along with Jay Sears, still hospitalized but recuperating from a training mishap a few weeks back, was away cautiously as Gator On Patrol (Tom Sells) carved up early panels of :31 and 1:01.1 with Geronimo Fame (Bruce Ranger) in pursuit. On the backside, Hennessey asked the gelding to roll and roll he did, brushing up from third and using a :29.2 third panel to take command with authority before easily striding home a 2 ½ length winner of Geronimo Fame. Gator On Patrol did finish third while Midnight Michael picked up the minors in the quartet. Showing Off now has a 5-3-0 scorecard in 11 starts, good for earnings of $46,382. After the race, Hennessey said, " know, these two year-olds are still learning and haven't become the 'push-button' racehorses yet--you know, he made a break leaving in his last start. So, I let this one settle in early before 'pushing the button' on the backside. He responded great." MARKIE TAKES $55,200 2YO FILLY TROT Jay Sears' filly Markie, handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears, captured the $55,200 Breeders Stake Final by romping home a winner by over Trotting JC Poss (Andy Santeramo) in 2:02. The daughter of Proud Bushy--3 to 5 on the tote-board--was away gingerly avoiding trouble early as two combatants went off stride leaving. Fifth at the opening :30.2 quarter, Markie was out and going three-eighths into the mile, reaching fourth half way through the mile timed in 1:02.1. On the backside, Markie surged from five lengths out of it to a commanding lead of 3 ½ by the third station in 1:31.1. From there, it was a cakewalk as the filly crossed the line 3 ¼ to the good of Trotting JC Poss with Famous Halle (Bruce Ranger) third. Blame Bushy recovered from an early miscue to finish fourth while Goldstar Ginger picked up the nickel in the septet. For Markie, it was her seventh win of the year in 11 starts and pushed her bounty to $57,700. She paid $3.20 to win. TASHIA A PHOTO FINISH WINNER IN $55,400 3YO FILLY PACE Jay Sears picked up yet another Breeders Stake crown when his free-legged filly Tashia, driven by Stephane Lareau, eked out a photo finish victory--a literal whisker--over the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Don't Spank Me (Bruce Ranger) in the $55,400 Breeders Stakes Final in 1:54.1. Full of Fame (Joe Pavia, Jr.) finished third after making a bold first-over bid around the final turn. Delray Princess and Track Girl pick up the final awards. The daughter of Six Of Diamonds was last in her field after opening fractions of :27.1 and :57 half way through the mile, wended her way into contention on the backside, fanned four wide turning for home after 3/4s in 1:25.3 and just did nail the pacesetting Don't Spank me in the final stride. After the race, driver Stephane Lareau said, ...this filly is as tough a filly as you'll find on the racetrack. After they took the pants (hobbles) off of her, she became a racehorse and I think the difference tonight was Kim (trainer Sears) giving her a qualifying start a week ago just to keep her tight. The other filly (Don't Spank Me) hadn't been out since early in the month and that just may have been the difference." For Tashia, it was her 11th win of the year, pushing her seasonal bounty to $67,351. As third choice in the betting pool, Tashia paid $14.20 to win. TYREE'S TREASURE TAKES 3YO FILLY TROT The lightly raced Tyree's Treasure, a bridesmaid in her last two outings, finally became the "bride" in winning her $52,800 Breeders Stake for three year-old trotting fillies in a lifetime best performance 1:59.3. The daughter of Famously, off as the 8 to 5 second choice, led every step of her mile for Bruce Ranger, pinning a 2 ½ length defeat on the 2 to 5 favorite Tea Party Express (Rick Plano). Hollys Diamond was third--18 ¼ lengths away--while Piper Pfeiffer and Sweet Loreley completed the quintet. "It was a pretty handy win for her this time around," said Bruce Ranger. "She always has good gate speed but tonight she had a very good kick coming home. Mark (trainer Friedman) did a great job getting her ready for this and a whole bunch of credit goes to him." Friedman, indeed, made a few rigging changes to the filly to make her more comfortable and she responded bravely late in her mile to insure the win--her eight lifetime in only 13 starts. She's banked $94,554 lifetime--$39,729 this year for owners the Polo Stable and Hollie Proesel. Tyree's Treasure paid $5.40 to her $2 backers. HILLYBILLY CAPTURES 3YO CROWN Amante Standardbreds' Hillybilly claimed the Breeders Stake crown for three year-old pacing colts and geldings by scoring a convincing 1:53.4 three length win in the $53,800 final. The son of N Aboriginal, handled by Bruce Ranger, was sent off as the 3 to 5 public choice and defeated Quincy (Bryce Fenn) with 31 to 1 outsider Jose Lightning (Kevin Wallis) third. Goldstar Thumper finished fourth after cutting panels of :28.1, :56.3 and 1:26.2. Wingull picked up the final award in the field of six. Hillybilly left alertly, taking a garden seat back of Goldstar Thumper, and left the cozy pocket around the final turn and easily took command at the head of the stretch and drew off in the lane for his ninth win of the year in 22 starts. After the race, Ranger said, "...he's such a handy horse. He can leave...he can close...he's just a pleasure to handle. Last week, when he made a rare break, he just kind of outpaced himself. Tonight, he was well within himself all the way. The victory pushed Hillybilly's lifetime bankroll over the $100,000 mark--$104,434--and enriched his $2 backers to the tune of $3.20. GOLDSTAR JESSICA TAKES 2YO FINAL Goldstar Jessica, handled by Kevin Wallis, proved her maiden win of a week ago was no fluke as she waltzed off with the top prize in the $53,700 Breeders Stake Final for juvenile pacing fillies in 1:56.1. This daughter of Rock On left alertly and was away third as Sandalonia (Mickey McNichol) and Voluminous (Mel Turcotte) battled violently through panels of :28.3 and :57.4. On the backside, J D Eleven Bell's (Rick Plano) surged from fourth into the lead past 3/4s in 1:27.2. All the while, "Jessica" was searching for room and, at the top of the lane, found some and roared on by on the strength of her :28.2 finale. Sandalonia gamely held on for second over the late charging Limelight (Ed Hensley). J D Eleven Bells (Rick Plano). Heather picked up the final award in the field of nine. Owned and trained by Tom Audley, Goldstar Jessica was the 7 to 5 public choice and returned $4.80 to win. For Mr. Audley, though, the win was worth $26,850 and vaulted the filly's earnings from $14,735 to $41,585. RAILEE KWIK TAKES 3YO TROT FOR THE COLTS Railee Kwik, trained by Jim McDonald for owner Joe Pennacchio, got a picture perfect drive from Bruce Ranger to win the $54,800 Breeders Stake final. The son of Basil, in the garden spot from the word "go," picked up the pieces after Sky Crest (Stephane Lareau) set hot fractions of :27.2 and :57.2 and held off the late surging Goucher (Bryce Fenn) to win by a neck in 1:59.3. Tim T (Tom Sells) was third with Sky Crest fourth. Proud Expression recovered from an early miscue to pick up the final award. After the race, driver Ranger said, "They were going hot the first part--hotter than normal for these--and I thought I'd better try and get a jump on them turning for home. Bryce's horse (Goucher) was flying late so I had to get into my guy a little bit at the end...but he held on." The win nearly doubled Railee Kwik's earnings for the year--$28,483 coming in and $55,883 going out. It was Ranger's third Breeders Stake win of the night. CRUIZIN K C TAKES OPEN IN 1:50.1. Mark O'Mara's Cruizin K C earned a hard fought 1:50.1 victory in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open 1 Pace on Saturday night. The five year-old eked out a narrow decision over Lyon's Johnny (Wally Hennessey) and took a new lifetime mark in the process. The son of Mach Three earned his ninth win of the year and sent his seasonal bounty to $83,933. Red Hot Yankee was third for Ed Hensley while Panocchio, who took the lead after a :26.4 quarter and proceeded to put up number of :54 and 1:21.4 finished fourth. B N Bad picked up the nickel. Cruizin K C, second choice in the betting, paid $7.40 to win. by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...November 29, 2013...Pompano Park plays host to F.S.B.O.A.'s Super Night this Saturday night with over $425,000 up for grabs in the eight race championship series. The festivities kick off with two non-betting events beginning with the $50,300 Breeders Stake Final for the two year-old pacing colts and geldings. Tough Issue and Warlock will be among the combatants locking horns in their see-saw battle for supremacy--each having won three bouts in their last six head-to-head confrontations. Owned by Brenda Komers along with the Verderame Stable, Tough Issue is trained by Mike Deters and will have the driving services of Bruce Ranger. Warlock is trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay Sears and will have Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey in the bike. The $51,600 Breeders Stake for juvenile trotting colts and geldings is next with Geronimo Fame and Showing Off among the starters. Geronimo Fame, sporting a 3-1-2 scorecard in eight lifetime starts is owned by Amante Standardbreds and will have Bruce Ranger in the sulky. Showing Off, with four wins in his 10 starts is owned by Richard and Sandra Dunmire along with Jay Sears. Wally Hennessey is also expected to drive for trainer Kim Sears. The pari-mutuel program begins with the $55,200 final for two year-old trotting fillies and finds Markie in the favorite role, also owned by Jay Sears with Hennessey at the controls. This daughter of Proud Bushy in on a bit of a roll having won the Stallion Stake and The Melvyn Aylor Memorial in her last two starts. Her main competition may be the Mather's Lavec lass Trotting J C Poss, with Andy Santeramo driving for trainer Steve Stabile. The filly has a 2-3-2 scorecard in her seven lifetime starts and has been the bridesmaid to Markie in her last two starts. Three year-old fillies take the spotlight next in the $55,400 final with Don't Spank Me and Tashia locking horns once again. Don't Spank Me, a daughter of Capital Request has won all three of her "PPk" starts, the fastest in a lifetime best 1:53.4 in her last start on November 6. She's owned by Wayne and Jean Carter and will be driven by Bruce Ranger. Tashia, the free-legged filly owned by Jay Sears, was winless last year as a two year-old but has 10 wins this season, including a 1:55 performance in late July. Stephane Lareau will handle the filly's lines. Tea Party Express and Tyree's Treasure are the logical favorites in the $52,800 final for sophomore trotting fillies. Tea Party Express is the 9 to 5 morning line favorite off of two straight wins for Rick Plano, who has been in the bike for trainer Mel Turcotte. She's owned by the consortium of Barbara Turcotte, Vickie Howard and Pete Roccasano. Tyree's Treasure, with a 12-7-3-0 history in her career, has been second to Tea Party in her last two events for owners Hollie Proesel and the Polo Stable. Trainer Mark Friedman has hired Bruce Ranger for the Super Night drive. The $53,800 finale for the three year-old pacing colts and geldings is next with Goldstar Thumper, Hillybilly and Quincy all vying for favoritism. Hillybilly, owned by Amante Standardbreds, is trained by Stewart Nemiro and is listed as a narrow 8 to 5 morning line favorite with Bruce Ranger driving over Goldstar Thumper, the latter a new arrival in the Burke Racing/Weaver Bruscemi Stable and 9 to 5 on the early line. "Thumper" is trained by Jamie Rucker and will have the services of Ricky Macomber, Jr. Not to be ignored is Quincy, who has 12 wins this year for the Marc Aubin Stable. Bryce Fenn is expected to drive the youngster from the rail. The $53,700 for the two year-old pacing fillies is a wide open affair with at least a half dozen viable contenders going to the Hummer Starting Gate. Goldstar Jessica, who picked a great time to break her maiden last week in the Aylor Memorial, is the 5 to 2 early choice for owner-trainer Tom Audley, who has passed along the driving assignment again to Kevin Wallis. J D Eleven Bell's has been ultra-consistent in her first season of racing wars showing a 4-2-4 record in 10 starts for owner Joe Martinelli, Sr. Rick Plano will be in the bike for trainer Paul Bernardo. Heather, Limelight, Voluminous and Sandalonia will all get their share of backers, as well. Tim T looks to rebound in the $54,800 Breeders Stake Final for three year-old trotting colts and geldings. The altered son of Basil has been a disappointment in his last two outings but sports the fastest lifetime mark of all entrants--1:56.3. Tom Sells will drive for trainer Mike Deters and the consortium of owners inclusing Fred Morosini, Ken Fritz and Mike Prendergast. The main competition may come from Joe Pennacchio's Railee Kwik who has been no worse than second in his last seven starts for trainer Jim McDonald. Railee Kwik will have Bruce Ranger handling his lines. Post time for the non-wagering early events is 6:35 with a 7:05 post intact for the 12 race pari-mutuel card. Free T-Shirts will be distributed while supplies last. by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL…November 23, 2013…The Melvyn Aylor Memorial for two year-olds was contested at Pompano Park on Saturday night with Tough Issue, Geronimo Fame, Gold Star Jessica and Markie taking the top prize in their respective divisions. Tough Issue, driven by Bruce Ranger, took the $18,400 non-betting opener for the pacing colts and geldings in a lifetime best 1:56.2, knocking almost three seconds off his previous best winning time. Trained by Mike Deters for Brenda Komers and the Verderame Stable, Tough Issue, a gelded son of Tough Sir, took the lead immediately in his trio and clocked an opening panel in a sharp :27.2, thwarting any early challengers, before reaching the half in :57. Heading into the final turn, Warlock (Wally Hennessey) left the pocket and began his bid which brought him alongside the leader turning for home…but a costly miscue at that point left him a baker's dozen lengths behind at the wire. Goldstar Kenny P (Mickey McNichol) was prominent early but finished well back--29 1/2 lengths--at the end of the mile. For Tough Issue, it was a bit of revenge after having finished second to his chief nemesis--Warlock--in three of his last four starts. His scorecard now reads 4-3-1 in 11 starts, good for earnings of $25,565 heading into Super Night next Saturday. In the $19,050 juvenile event for the trotting colts and geldings, Geronimo Fame, handled by Bruce Ranger for Amante Standardbreds, wore down a stubborn Gator On Patrol (Tom Sells) in deep stretch to score a half length triumph in a lifetime best 2:01.3. Midnight Michael (Rob Hoffman) and Showing Off (Wally Hennessey) both made early miscues and were never in the hunt in the quartet. The "Famously" bred colt (yes, he is by Famously), was away in good order from his outside four post and let Gator On Patrol carve out panels of :31.3, 1:01.4 and 1:31.4 before using his :29.2 finale to earn his third lifetime win in eight starts. He's banked a tad over $21,000 thus far. The two year-old filly events were contested on the pari-mutuel card with Gold Star Jessica and Markie taking the top prizes. Gold Star Jessica, a daughter of Rock On, took the $21,300 pace for Kevin Wallis, breaking her maiden with a splendid 1:55.4 three length win over Heather (Wally Hennessey) with J D Eleven Bells (Rick Plano) next. Voluminous and Sandalonia picked up the final two awards in the field of nine. Owned and trained by Tom Audley, Gold Star Jessica left alertly before allowing Heather to take the lead at the quarter timed in :28. The latter was forced to carve subsequent panels of :56.3 and 1:26.3 as Voluminous kept the pressure on throughout. Turning for home, Jessica found some room and easily romped by the leader and drew off at the end of the mile. The win was worth $10,650 to owner Audley--pushing her 2013 bounty to $14,735--and $10.20 to those who had a $2 ticket on the tote's fourth choice on the board. In a post race interview, driver Kevin Wallis kept it short and sweet. "We had a great trip…and it was a great time for her to break her maiden!" In the filly trot, Markie, driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner-husband Jay Sears, used a :29.3 finale to wear down the pace-setting Trotting J C Poss to score by 1 1/4 lengths. This daughter of Proud Bushy, starting from the outside seven post, avoided trouble leaving and settled into third early as Trotting J C Poss and Famous Halle were one-two through fractions of :292, 1:00.4 and 1:31.3. Less than three-eighths out, Hennessey left the pocket and began to wear down the leaders, collaring Trotting J C Poss a sixteenth out and drawing clear late. Gold Star Ginger and Blame Bushy picked up minor awards in the septet. Garnering her sixth win of the year in 10 starts, Markie sent her 2013 earnings to $30,100. As the 8 to 5 choice on the board, she paid $5.20 to win. In other action, Thebestofjoel, owned, trained and driven by Ed Hensley, grabbed command of the racetrack from his first stride out of the gate and wired together panels of :27.2, :28.2, :27.2 and 27.2 to score in a brilliant 1:50.3--his margin of victory over Northern Companion (Rob Hoffman) 1 3/4 lengths with Cruizin K C (Mark O'Mara) third. Yankees In Six finished fourth while Rocknroll Special picked up the "nickel." For this five year-old son of Cammibest, it was his fourth win of the year, pushing his seasonal bounty to $57,262 and $206,107 lifetime. In a post-race interview, driver Ed Hensley said, "This horse is very adaptable. He can race anyway and, when I didn't see too much throttling early, I decided to give it a go. I was kind of surprised that he was up to this kind of effort because he'd been off a couple of weeks…but he just kept on going!" Finally, The Florida Amateur Driver's Club made a sizable donation to Club 101, an organization that helps the needy in numerous ways. After Joe Pennacchio won the Amateur event with JP Houle Stables Miss Janine, Bruce Ranger and Dein Spriggs joined many of the amateur drivers in the winner's circle to help make the presentation. The Club is expected to feed more than 300 people over the Thanksgiving holiday. The Florida Amateur Drivers Club has donated over $125,000 to charitable causes over their existence. John Berry  

Pompano Beach, FL...November 14, 2013...They played "musical chairs" at Pompano Park on Wednesday night as 10 Florida bred two year-old pacing fillies fought for the nine available spots in the rich Super Night final coming up on November 30. J D Eleven Bells, handled by Rick Plano, captured the opener of the two non-wagering events while Heather, driven by Wally Hennessey, eked out a narrow win in the second. With the first four finishers in each division going forward to Super Night, along with the fastest timed fifth place filly, it was "cat and mouse" all the way in both divisions. In the first elim, J D Eleven Bells left and yielded, allowing La Regina and Bruce Ranger to set opening panels of :30.1 and :59.3. On the backside, the daughter of Eleven A M brushed to the lead, opened up daylight turning for home and then held off the furious late surge of Gold Star Jessica (Kevin Wallis) to win by a half length in 1:58.3. La Regina held on for third while Mustang Sally finished fourth. Marion finished fifth and the wait was on to see if her time (2:01.2) would hold up enough to get an invitation to the festivities of Super Night. J D Eleven Bells is trained by Paual Bernardo for owner Joseph Martinelli, Sr. and now sports a 4-2-3 scorecard in 10 starts to go along with a mark of 1:57.1. The second division went to Heather, a daughter of Six Of Diamonds trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay Sears. Coming into the action with but a single win and a mark of 2:03.4, Heather carved all the fractions--:29, :59.1 and 1:29.1 and then held off the tenacious challenge of Voluminous (Rick Plano) to win by a neck with Sandalonia also in the photo. That mile was timed in 1:58.3, as well. Limelight was fourth with ICU CharlieT, prominent early on, finishing fifth but timed well off the effort of Marion, who finished fifth in that first heat. The victory was the second in nine starts for Heather and set up a very interesting scenario for this class on Super Night as six of the nine invitees to the finale have won on the Florida Stakes circuit with the non-winners just a photo finish away from joining that group. Finally, in the $10,000 Open Trot, I'll Tell You What, deftly handled by Dave Ingraham, made a huge "double bubble" move around the final turn to sweep past the field and score a 1:57 win over Lugar (Tom Sells) with Mr McRail third in the field of eight. It was the 48th lifetime win for the eight year-old altered son of Lockkeeper, sending his career bounty to $322,937--$66,549 this year. I'll Tell You What is trained by owner Deb Clayton. by John Berry for the Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL…Nov. 9, 2013…Goldstar Thumper and Warlock took top honors in their respective Stallion Stakes at Pompano Park on Saturday night while Lyons Johnny roared home a seven length winner in the $10,000 winners over pace.   First, the F.S.B.O.A. Stallion Stakes were contested in the two non-wagering events prior to the betting card and, in the $20,000 opener for two year-old pacing colts and geldings, Warlock, handled by Wally Hennessey, took the lead right out of the blocks, carved up panels of :29.3, 1:00.3 and 1:31.1 and sealed the issue with a :28 finale, stopping the clock in 1:59.1.   Trained by Kim Sears for owner Jay Sears, now recovering from a serious training accident last week, Warlock pinned the 3 1/2 length defeat on arch rival Tough Issue (Tom Sells) with Gold Star Kenny P (Mickey McNichol) completing the trio in the field.   For Warlock, an altered son of Six Of Diamonds, it was his fourth win in eight lifetime starts, sending his earnings to $21,351.   In the $22,000 event for the three year-old pacing colts and geldings, Goldstar Thumper, the newest acquisition of the Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, paid immediate dividends when he got a picture perfect drive from Rick Plano to score by a length over the fast closing Quincy (Bryce Fenn) in 1:54.2. Hillybilly (Wally Hennessey), who cut the fractions of :28, :57.4 and 1:26.4, finished third while Jose Lightning completed the quartet of sophomores.   In a post race interview, driver Plano said, "Dick (new trainer Macomber) asked me if I'd drive the colt since I drove him last start a couple of weeks ago. He raced darn good going first up but just couldn't crack into that :28 final quarter. I knew he had some gate speed so I left out of there and found the garden spot back of Wally's horse (Hillybilly). When I asked him around the final bend, he responded like a good horse does. He probably paced his last quarter in :27.2 or so (he did)."   For Goldstar Thumper, a son of Rock On, it was his very first win of the year in six starts and sent his 2013 bounty to $15,940.   In the winners over pacing feature on the betting card, Lyons Johnny, driven by Wally Hennessey, roared from third on the backside to the lead and went on to score a resounding seven length win over No Monkeys Allowed (Kevin Wallis) in 1:52, a new lifetime mark. (He missed a 1:51 mark last week by a head.) Neptune Blue Chip finished third while Hurrikane Scotty J and Oozie's Bad Boy pick up the final two awards in the field of seven. B N Bad, cutting sharp fractions of :27 and :55, wound up sixth.   Owned by trainer Shane Arsenault, Lyons Johnny won for the 15th time in his career and sent his lifetime earnings to $153,659--$29,741 this year.   The five year-old son of Mach Three was the public choice on the tote-board and paid $4.20 to win.   by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park

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