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Mister Daytona N (American Ideal) made his local debut on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as trainer-driver Mike Simons brought the six year old to town to compete in the $14,500 Open Pace. Mister Daytona N, who has been a regular at Yonkers this season, flashed some uncharacteristic early speed in his debut at the Spa as Simons marched him out to the early lead in the feature. After putting up a first quarter in 27.2, Mister Daytona N slowed things down significantly before reaching the half in 57.2. From there, the talented invader accelerated and never stopped. With veteran local star Artful Way (Frank Coppola Jr) closing in heading to three quarters, Simons stepped on the gas and Mister Daytona N responded. All the while, Deetzy (Bruce Aldrich Jr) got the pocket ride and those three pacers drew away turning for home before Mister Daytona N stopped the timer in 1:51.4 to win by a length and a half. Deetzy was the runner-up in the Open while the favored Artful Way had to settle for the show spot. Mister Daytona N, who was the public's second choice in the wagering at odds of 9-5, paced his final half in 54.2 highlighted by a 26.4 last quarter en route to what was his fourth win of the season. The exacta paid $29.80 while the triple returned $104 in the Saturday feature. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, July 26, 2018-Not every good 3-year-old trotter finds his (or her) way into the Hambletonian. There's a pretty fair Yonkers Raceway group gathering Friday night (July 27th) in the $173,500 New York Sire Stakes Dick McGuire Trot for the sophomore colts and geldings. Post time for the dozen-race card s 6:50 PM, with the pair of $86,750 sire stakes events-named for the former New York Knickerbocker standout, Hall of Famer and avid horseplayer-going as races 7 and 8. The opening division includes Helpisontheway (Brian Sears, post 3), who held sway in last weekend's $61,900 boys' division of the Tompkins Memorial at the Meadowlands. The son of Chapter Seven is thrice a winner in seven seasonal starts, including a statebred win at Tioga (life-best 1:52.2. Linda Toscano trains for Camelot and Bays Stables & Little E LLC. Winning Shadows (Mike Simons, post 2) was a fresh-Lasix, 12-1 upsetter at Monticello in his last start. The Credit Winner gelding, trained by Jake Huff for co-owners Our Horse Cents and J&T Silva Stables, has won three of his eight seasonal starts. Clive Bigsby (Mark MacDonald, post 7) was runner-up (to Six Pack) in last season's $225,000 frosh final, while Tito (Brent Holland, post 5) is trying to regain some of 2017's nearly-$240,000 form. Purpose Blue Chip (Dan Daley, post 8) has a resume highlighted by sire stakes wins at Monticello and Buffalo. Friday night's second and final division sees The Veteran (Jordan Stratton, post 2) as arguably the horse to beat. The Muscle Mass colt, co-owned by (trainer) George Ducharme, Steven Michaels, W J Donovan and Jim Winske, has been the odds-on choice in his last four tries (two sires, two overnights). He settled for second (to Winning Shadows) at Monti in his latest and is 4-for-7 this season. Perlucky (Trond Smedshammer, post 5) enters off a 15-1 Catskills NYSS win, his first of in a half-dozen '18i tries. Smedshammer also trains the son of Lucky Chuck for Purple Haze Stables. Don (Jason Bartlett, post 7) has sire stakes wins at Vernon (life-best 1:54.3) and Buffalo. New York Sire Stakes continue here Monday night (July 30th) with the $172,000 Bruce Hamilton Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Kruella (Mike Simons) charged late in the stretch to win theTioga Downs Fillies and Mares Open Handicap harness racing pace ($11,000) on Friday (June 22). K J's Caroline (Mike Merton) went right to the front and controlled all the early fractions (:26.1, :56.0, 1:24.0). Kruella ($8.40) was fourth after three-quarters. Owned by Two Gals Stable LLC., and trained by Jineen Simone, she used a sweeping three-wide move to blow by to win in a lifetime best time of 1:52.2. A Wish For Wings (Fern Paquet Jr.) charged home late to finish second. K J's Caroline hung on for third. Kruela is a 6-year-old mare by American Ideal. She is two for two this season and she secured career win number 34. Aaron Byron leads all drivers in wins so far this season with 26. Jim Taggart Jr is second with 24 victories with Jim Meittis in third with 23 tallies. Mike Merton is fourth with 21 times to the winner's circle. Last year's driving champion, Mike Simons rounds out the top five with 16 wins. Tioga Downs was blessed with a flyover during tonight's National Anthem by 3 T6 Texans. They will be at the air show sponsored by Tioga Downs at the Greater Binghamton Airshow at the Greater Binghamton Airport from 12-4 on Saturday (June 23). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday with a 12 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Sir Ziggy's Z Tam (Mike SImons) took the Tioga Downs Open Pace ($12,000) on Sunday (June 17). Along with the 13 harness races, the Fathers Day crowd was entertained by the always fun Camel and Ostrich races. Andreios Kardia (Aaron Byron) put up a first quarter of 27.4 and preceded to battle Doo Wop Hanover (Jim Meitnnis) all the way through three-quarters. Doo Wop Hanover led them to the half in :55.0 and three-quarters in 1:23.0. Sir Ziggy's Z Tam ($4.70) sat patiently in the pocket watching the duel before going three-wide just before three-quarters. Owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin, he flew by in the stretch to win in a new lifetime mark of 1:51.1. Major Leaguer (John MacDonald) finished second with Caviart Reagon getting third. SIr Ziggy's Z Tam is a 10-year-old gelding by Art Major. He won for the sixth straight time this season in seven starts. It was his career victory number 33. Roland and Perrin teamed up for two more wins on the afternoon. They also won with Foriegn Officer ($26.60) and Thebestofjoel ($2.60). Trainer Mike Deters and driver Jim Meittinis also teamed up for three wins on the day. Their wins were with Brinks Job ($4.50), Ideal Feeling ($2.70), and Prairie Panther ($3.50). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (June 22) starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

Icanflylikeanangel (Corey Brady) took the first of two co-featured trots ($7,900) at Tioga Downs on Saturday (June 16). Kahoku (John Cummings Jr.) went to the front and led to a first quarter in :28.1. Icanflylikeanangel ($4.30) took the lead as they went by the stands the first time and never looked back. Owned by Joseph Hess and trained by Benny Eggers, he went to the half in :56.4, the three-quarters in 1:25.4 and won in 1:55.3. Kahoku was second with Commentary (Mike Merton) finished third. Icanflylikeanangel is a 4-year-old gelding by Archangel. It was win number three this season and career win number eight. In the co-featured trot, Noble Anthony (Mike Simons) came late to run down Wawaree Prefeferred (Jim Taggart Jr.). Wararee Preferred (second) controlled all the early fractions (:28.1, :56.4, 1:25.4). Noble Anthony (Mike Simons) flew down the stretch to win in 1:56.0. My Cherry Pie (Jim Meittinis) was third. Noble Anthony is an 8-year-old gelding by Andover Hall. Simons trains and co-owns the gelding with Albert Abdala III. It was win number five this season and career victory number 28. Driver Jim Taggart Jr. and trainer Gary Messenger teamed up for three wins on the night. The wins came with Justsingalong ($4.60), Connie Keeper ($8.00) and with 2-year-old gelding Chip Chip Conway (Conway Hall-Get Chipped), who won in his career debut. Aaron Byron won three on the night as well. His wins came with Standing Respect ($27.80), One Hand Keg Stand ($12.40), and De Valaria ($4.80). Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 17) featuring a 13 race card plus Osritch and Camel racing. Post time is at 1 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs  

CHESTER PA - The term "trainer/driver" is becoming a rare species in 2018 harness racing; even rarer still is "owner/trainer/driver." But Mike Simons occupies all three titles behind the American Ideal mare Oneida Blue Chip, winner of the $17,000 feature for distaffs Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Simons had Oneida Blue Chip perfectly-placed in second-over position behind favored Lifetime Trust, and as that one grinded to the lead in early stretch, he tipped his mare one lane wider, and "Oneida" had just enough rally to gain a nose decision, with Maching Me Zilly weaving between horses from last at the ¾ to miss the big prize by only ¾ of a length. The 1:53.3 winning clocking equaled the lifetime best of Oneida Blue Chip. A trio of $16,000 co-features were also on the Philly Wednesday card. The event for trotters went to Brown Bear, a developing son of Cantab Hall who is now three-for-four this season after finishing strongly to take this contest in 1:56. Speaking of the term "owner/trainer/driver," Francisco Del Cid has filled the term in Brown Bear's last two starts, both victories. (The driver in his other win? Mike Simons!) In the first of the two co-featured paces, Thedaythemusicdied put it all together for Don McLean fans and driver Pat Lachance, circling from sixth at the midway point while stepping his back half in 54.3 to take a new lifetime mark of 1:52.4 with a four length victory. Kathleen La Montagne trains the altered son of Rocknroll Hanover, and she also co-owns him with Donald La Montagne. In the other section, Darling's Dragon finally snapped a string of six straight seconds, and he did it with authority, controlling the early pace and then throwing successive 27.1s home while taking a new mark of 1:51.3. The son of Dragon Again completed a double for the team of driver Donald and trainer Marie Dupont; Marie also had a double as an owner, as she co-owns this winner of $211,618 with Demetre Skaoyannis. Tim Tetrick widened his lead in the Harrah's driver dashwinning derby as he piloted home four winners. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA - Driver Mike Simons, known as the "Pocono Trot Man" because of his success rate with horses of the diamondgaited variety, guided two of the three divisional winners in the $15,000 first prelim of the Bobby Weiss Series for trotting distaffs Tuesday night over a sloppy surface at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Myrna Myrna, who had found her form at The Meadows for trainer Scott Betts as 2017 changed to 2018, made her first start in 2½ months a successful one, winning her division in a career best 1:57.4 with Simons sulkysitting. Despite having to go first-over into a 57.3 back half, Myrna Myrna was able to draw away by 2¼ lengths over Girl Crush, who raced well in her career debut. The victorious four-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven looms a major factor in the series for owner Timothy Betts. "The Trot Man" also had to go the uncovered route with the Donato Hanover filly Ms American Muscle, making her 2018 bow, in the second cut, but the raw challenger was able to outmuscle pacesetting Baby Wants home by ¾ of a length while lowering her mark 2 3/5 seconds to 1:59.2 for Simons, trainer Jenny Melander, and owner John Devito. The third section proved a tough stretch battle between a pair of 7-5 shots, pacesetting Miss Ruby and pocket-to-Pocono Pike challenger Via Lattea IT - who not only was making her stateside debut, but also doubled trainer Ã…ke Svanstedt's collection of white horses to two (White Bliss). Via Lattea IT had had five months away from the races before Tuesday's outing, and she just failed to overhaul the Cantab Hall four-year-old mare Miss Ruby by a head at the end of a 1:59.2 mile. Simon Allard was in the sulky behind the winner for trainer Kelvin Harrison and the Spaaaartners (four a's - we double-checked) ownership. In the $14,000 co-feature for distaff pacers, trainer Brianne Good scored her first-ever Pocono victory, and the third of her four-month conditioning career, when driver Jim Taggart Jr. was able to rally the Well Said mare Shutthefrontdoor from last at the half to win in 1:54 and light up the tote board at $51.80. The victorious mare, owned by Guy Beaulieu and Richard Villenueve, came her last half in just a shade over 55 and won going away by two lengths. Jerry Connors

Dynamic Edge (Mike Simons) captured the harness racing featured Open Handicap Trot ($12,000) at Tioga Downs on Friday night (September 15). Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) would lay down all the early fractions, :27.3, :57.0, 1:25.1. Dynamic Edge (Muscle Mass) who is owned and trained by Mark Ford, would go first-over and take the lead at the top of the stretch and hold off the late rush of Picture This (Tom Jackson) to win in a lifetime best of 1:54.2. Picture This would have to settle for second with Theraputic (Mike Merton) finishing third. Dynamic Edge ($18.60) would notch his sixth win of the season and 11th career victory. Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron) would win the fillies and mares feature ($10,000). Little Santamonica (Little Steven) would go gate-to-wire hitting all the fractions :26.4, :56.1, 1:24.1, 1:52.1. Owned by Courtney Crawford and trained by Jordan Hope the 9 year-old mare would win for the 13th time this season and the 58th time in her career. Truth And Liberty (Austin Siegelman) would come on late to finish second. K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart) would settle for third. Tioga Downs returns to live action with closing night on Saturday (September 16). The 11 race card which features NYSS sophomore pacing colts and geldings with a post time of 6:50 p.m. Firework follows the live racing For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs

Andreios Kardia (Aaron Byron) wins an action packed Tioga Downs Open Handicap ($12,000) on Sunday Afternoon (July 23). Leading harness racing driver Mike Simons would win five times. Golden Gun (John MacDonald) would take the lead into the first quarter. Fireyourguns (Scott Coulter), would then take command and lead into the half. Andreios Kardia (Badlands Hanover) would go first over on the back stretch and take over at three-quaters. Owned by Ina Madill and trained by Jeff Byron, the 7 year-old would open up by two at the top of the strecth and hold on after a late charge by Time Out I'm Tired (Jim Marohn Jr). Andreios Kardia ($9.30) would finish the mile in 1:50.3. Time Out I'm Tired (Artiscape) would finish second with Bettorsluckystreak taking third. Mike Simons would get victories with Y S Joe ($13.60), Rebel Jet ($5.70), A Breath Of Fresh Art ($3.00), No Bad Dreams ($3.30), and would win number five with M G Home Run ($7.40). He now has 56 wins at Tioga Downs for the season. One True Friend was victorious in the special non-betting Racing Under Saddle (RUS) race at Tioga. The lady riders put on a great non-betting performance at the Nichols, NY track on Sunday. One True Friend (Dream Vacation) went gate-to-wire putting up the fractions :30.1, 1:00.2, 1:30.3, 2:03.3. Admirable Hanover (Vanessa Karlewicz) would follow the whole way to finish second. Railroad Lane (Michelle Miller) finished third. Iron WIll (Heather Reese) came in fourth. Boy Can She Fly (Codie Smith) was fifth with Stirling Accord (Sasha Moczulski) finishing sixth. There will be no live racing at Tioga Downs on Friday (July 28) due to a 38 Special concert. Live racing returns on Saturday (July 29) with a post time of 6:50p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs

WInd Of The North (Mike Simons) leaves the rest in the dust as they capture the Open Trot ($12,000) at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 22). Picture This (Charlie Norris) would charge to the front and take them to a first quarter in 28.4. Wind Of The North (Cantab Hall) would then move first over from fourth and blow right by to take over before the half. Owned by Darryl Bier and Joann Dombeck, while trained by Jeff Long, the 7 year old gelding would follow up with fractions of :57.2, 1:25.0, 1:53.1 and winning by three lengths in the end. Dragin The Wagin (Aaron Byron) would come late to finish second. Picture This would settle for third. Wind Of The North ($3.90) would win for the sixth time this season in 18 starts and for the 30th time in his career. Mike Simons would take win number 51 on the season. Jeff Long would earn his sixth training win on the season. The exacta (1-6) would pay $20.20. The large crowd was entertained after racing with a fantastic display off fireworks. Tioga Downs returns to racing Sunday afternoon (July 23) with a 12 race betting card and one non-betting Riders Under Saddle (RUS) race (following race one). Post Time is 1:00pm. Also on Sunday is the "Belly Busting Burger Battle" on the trackside apron from 1-4p.m. Tickets are $15 with children under 3 free. 1/2 of ticket proceeds will go to a selected charity. Includes all burger tasting, water and one voting slip per person. Live entertainment and cash prizes. This is weather permitting only. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons) charges late to win the Fillies & Mares harness racing open 2 handicap ($9,000) at Tioga Downs Friday (June 23). The 5-year-old Total Truth mare found herself fourth all the way to the top of the stretch. K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) set the pace for the field of seven putting up the early fractions :26.2, :55.1, 1:23.1. Once they turned for home Truth and Liberty ($6.80) who is owned by Tracy Moss and trained by Robert Lounsbury blew by them all, winning going away by three lengths in 1:52.4. KJ's Caroline gutted it out to hang on for second. Goldstar Rockette (Aaron Byron) finished third. Simon's who picked up wins 35 and 36 on the night, won the nightcap with Iaquinta ($8.60). The 5-year-old Artzina mare was last until just after the first half. By the top of the stretch Iaquinta who is owned Brian Calvert and trained by Fred Cohen was heads apart with front-running Sinspirational (Tom Jackson). Iaquinta would fly right by to win in 1:54.0 for her fourth victory of the season. Sinsperational was second with Watt A Funny Face (Doug Bowins) getting third. Mike Merton remained hot with two more wins himself. He would win with Celebrity Lampert ($6.10) in race number four. He would win race number 6 with Pokerface ($7.40). His 21 wins on the season are second to Simons. Tioga Downs returns to action Saturday night (June 23) with a 10 race card starting at 6:50p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne For Tioga Downs.

Golden son (Mike Simons) wins the Tioga Downs open trot Saturday night (June 3). The 4 year-old Majestic Son gelding road in the pocket following the favorite Sweet Thing (Fern Paquet Jr.). Sweet Thing led the field hitting the first quarter in :27.4, the half in :56.4 and three quarters went in 1:25.1. Simons waited patiently in the stretch for an opening. Once he got it he guided Golden Son ($8.30) to the front for a three length win in 1:54.1. Golden son who is owned John Devito and Rocco Maniello while trained by Jenny Melander won for the 6th time this season. Sweet Thing finished second with Another Breath (Jim Meittinis) getting third. Mickey Mc Nichol continues to soar at Tioga Downs this season. The 68 year-old trainer, driver has had a stellar start at Tioga Downs this season. On May 14, 2007, he piloted Maxdaddy Blue Chip to a mile in 1:49.3 during the Open Pace. On Monday (May 29), he had another great drive when he guided the 31-1 long shot Good Luck to victory. Owned by Fred Monteleone, Good Luck escaped the pocket at the top of the stretch and surged by For A Bettor Time for an easy win in 1:52.0. Tonight (June 3) he would add two more wins. In race number two Mc Nichol guided Blueberry Heaven ($7.90) to a win in 1:52.1. Race number nine he was victorious with the favorite Massive Lightning ($4.00). Fred Monteleone owned both horse who were trained by Mc Nichols as well. Tioga Downs returns to action with an 11 race card on Sunday afternoon (June 4) at 1pm. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Leading harness racing driver Mike Simons pilots Amateur Hour to gutsy win in Gail's Diner Pace final ($23,400) at Tioga Downs Saturday night (May 27). The 3 year-old filly by Rock N Roll Heaven took over the lead from entry mate Under The Bus (Fern Paquet Jr.) at the three-quarter mark. At the top of the stretch Amateur Hour would be attacked by Playing Favorites (Mike Merton) and Dr J's Kiss (Tom Jackson). Just when it looked like Playing Favorites was going to go by Amateur Hour battled back to hang on for the victory. Trained by Linda Toscano for owners Fred Wallace, Camelot stables and Kenneth Jacobs, Amateur Hour ($3.70) scored the mile in 1:51.4. Paying Favorites took second and Dr J's Kiss finished third. Tioga Downs hosts the New York Sire Stakes for 3 year-old filly trotters at a special post time of 6:50 Sunday night (May 28). For more information please go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs.  

Wings Of Royalty (Mike Simons) sets track record for harness racing aged horse in 1:53.2 as Simons wins four. The 5 year-old horse by RC Royalty would be forth at the halfway point going first over. Wings of Royalty ($4.90) would swoop by pace-setter Dragin The Wagin (Aaron Byron) and have the lead before the three-quarter mark. Owned by Raymond Campbell and trained by George Ducharme, Wings of Roylaty would win the Open 1 trot by four lengths. Finishing second was Upfront Billy (Tom Jackson) with Sweet Thing Fern Paquet Jr.) getting third. Simons also won race two with Law Of Attraction ($42.60), race four with Sarcastic Man ($5.30), and race eight with Warhorse ($3.30). Racing resumes Sunday (May 14) at Tioga Downs with a 13 race card starting at 1pm. All mothers will get a free rose while supplies last. For more information please go to our website www.tiogadowns.com   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Pompano Beach, FL...March 19, 2017...First Of Itskind, driven by Mike Simons, scored a three-peat victory in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night, stopping the tele-timer in 1:51.2. The six year-old gelded son of Western Terror used a :27.2 finale to nail Drachan Hanover, handled by Wally Hennessey, in the final 16th of the mile to score by a length. Sing For Me George, with Kevin Wallis in the bike, finished third after enjoying a garden journey while Rockntouch finished fourth. Fritzie Pick Up Man picked up the nickel in the sextet, despite a miscue at the start while King Of The Crop completed the order of finish in the classy sextet. At the outset, both Sing For Me George and Drachan Hanover went in search of the lead with the latter taking command around the opening turn and then churning through an opening panel in a snappy :26.3. With no threats developing on the way to the half, Drachan Hanover was able to gain a breather during that second panel with the half clocked in :56 as King Of The Crop marched up first over into third with First Of Itskind following live cover fourth. With the pace quickening on the backside, there were, still, no serious threats coming into play with Drachan Hanover reaching the third station in 1:23.2 and protecting a 1 ½ length lead, which held steady as the field turned for home. In the lane, Drachan Hanover looked comfortable on the lead but, quite simply, couldn't contain First Of Itskind, who used that explosive :27.2 closing kick to sprint by in the final 16th of the mile. After the event, Mike Simons had nothing but praise for his charge relating, "once we straightened away for the drive, I really wasn't too sure we could get there, but this horse really revved up his motor at mid-stretch. He was very sharp tonight--I mean VERY sharp!" Trained by Jason Robinson for owner Robert Main, First Of Itskind earned his fourth win of the year in eight starts, good for $28,140 in 2017 earnings. Career-wise, First Of Itskind now has 20 wins in 99 starts and $194,991 on the books. As the 1 to 2 betting favorite, First Of Itskind returned $3.00 to his multitude of followers. The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to Pointsman, driven by Rick Plano, in 1:52.3. The seven year-old gelded son of Royal Mattjesty, won the early battle as four horses went in pursuit of the lead and carded panels of :26.4, :55.2 and 1:23.3 before a :29 finale was good enough to hold off the late surging Panchester United (Wally Hennessey) by one length. Rock N Row (Mike Simons) finished third while Buddha Blue Chip and Grande Seelster picked up the final awards in the field shortened to six with a scratch. Trained by Joe Pavia, Jr. for Lon Frocione, Pointsman earned his second win of the year and 17th lifetime to send his career bounty to $274,135. As the slight favorite in his field at 6 to 5, Pointsman paid $4.60 to win. Racing continues on Monday night with Sooo Handsome and Prairie Fortune mixing it up again in the $12,000 Open Handicap Trot. Sooo Handsome will have owner-trainer Rick Plano back in the bike while Prairie Fortune will have the driving services of John MacDonald. So Handsome was up in the final stride last week to pin a photo finish defeat on Prairie Fortune but, despite that, Prairie Fortune has been made the 8 to 5 morning line favorite for their encounter on Monday night. Sooo Handsome has been tabbed at 6 to 1. Explosive Muscles (10 to 1), Dog Gone Lucky (5 to 1), Massive Lightning (6 to 1) and Boli (5 to 2) complete the field. The Pick-4 will offer a $10,000 guaranteed purse on Monday night--that offering conducted on races 6 through 9. First post is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...March 12, 2017...First Of Itskind, handled by Mike Simons, took full advantage of a sizzling :25.4 opening panel by the favored Sing For Me George (Kevin Wallis) and wore that one down in the final stages to score a repeat harness racing  win in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (March 12.) The winner's margin was 1¼ lengths at the end of the 1:50.4 mile with Rockntouch (Mickey McNichol) third, 3¾ lengths away. Bluehourpower was fourth while Buddha Blue Chip picked up the nickel in the classy sextet. At the outset, Sing For Me George, off as 3 to 5, zipped off the wings and blazed through the first quarter in that aforementioned :25.4. While a :29.3 breather left Sing For Me George in front half way through the mile in :55.2, First Of Itskind, away fourth, was on the move and able to sprint to within 2½ lengths of the leader. On the backside, First Of Itskind kept grinding forward, denting a :27.2 third panel and moving within 1½ lengths of the leader turning for home. In the lane, First Of Itskind, kept gnawing away, finally getting to the front a sixteenth from home and widening the margin to the line. After the race, driver Mike Simons related, "I remember driving this horse a couple of years ago and, if I recall, the track was very heavy that day and he had an outside post, so he didn't do too well. "Jason (trainer Robinson) said he was very strong in winning his last start and can brush pretty good. "He certainly did that tonight because he just had real good determination and didn't give up, even though he was out pretty much the entire last lap. "He went a very courageous mile." Trained by Robinson for owner Robert Main, First Of Itskind, a six year-old gelded son of Western Terror, pushed his 2017 scorecard to 3-1-2 in seven starts, good for $22,140. Lifetime, First Of Itskind won for the 19th time in 98 starts and now shows a career bankroll of $188,941. Off as the 8 to 5 second choice, First Of Itskind paid $5.20 to his faithful. In other action, Northern Companion, a winning fixture here at Pompano Park over the past several seasons, reached a milestone on Sunday night by winning for the 50th time during his brilliant career. The now nine year-old gelded son of Cambest, purchased for $8,500 from an Ohio sale back in 2011, Northern Companion has been a resident of the Howard Klohr Stable since then and has 40 of his 50 wins at Pompano Park. Sunday night's win, in a conditioned event was his first of the year in two starts and pushed his career bounty to $327,238. He raced this night under the banner of the Delray Duo Stable and returned $19.80 to win. Racing continues on Monday night with a Sunday Pick-5 carryover of $5,264 spawning a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The Monday Pick-5 kicks off with race one. The track is also offering a $10,000 guarantee on the Pick-4, conducted on races 5 through 8. Pompano Park's Pick-6 also went unscathed on Sunday night and has a carryover of $3,661 going into the Monday program. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

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