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Pompano Beach, FL...December 16, 2020...Ask Me Ifi Care. bravely and confidently handled by harness racing driver Mike Micallef, scored a game repeat win in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares on Tuesday (December 15, stopping the timer in 1:51.4. The sharp five year-old daughter of Manhardt, who swept wide off live cover in winning last week's top event for mares, secured her repeat win by going first up in a brave move this time around, edging by the leading and stubborn Prairie Westerngal (Wally Hennessey) to score by three-parts-of-a-length. Crisp Mane (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) closed stoutly to finish third, just a nose back of Prairie Westerngal. Image of a Dream finished fourth while Tempus Seelster earned the minors in the classy field of six. As the outset, Prairie Westerngal pushed the wings of the starting gate out of her way and zipped into a quick open lead aroound the initial turn. After a hot opening quarter in :26.4, Big Thong was in the garden spot with Tempus Seelster next and Ask Me Ifi Care fourth. Heading into turn two, Micallef tilted his mare to the outside and began gnawing away. After a :55.4 half, Ask Me Ifi Care reached second three-eighths from home and alongside the leader around the final bend with three-quarters clocked in 1:23.3. Shortly after straightening away, Ask Me If I Care stuck her head in front and began edging away ever so slowly in the final stages. In a post-race interview, Micallef said, "This was not the easiest of trips going first up but my mare is sharp and she is confident in her own ability...and she showed that tonight. I certainly wouldn't want to go first up against mares like this every week, but, tonight, she really shined and I am very proud of her!" Micallef co-owns Ask Me Ifi Care with Geoff Howles and earned her sixth win of the year in 28 starts, good for $50,610 in bounty. Lifetime, she had $259,340 on her card to go along with a lifetime mark of 1:51.2. Despite her convincing win last week, Ask Me Ifi Care was sent off as the third choice in the wagering and paid $9.00 to win. Ask Me Ifi The $10,000 Open II Pace featuring a septet of mares went to Cult Icon, driven by Kevin Wallis. This five year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight led at every pole, clocking fractions of :26.3, :55.1 and 1:23.3 in holding off the determined late challenges of the pocket-sitting Come Get The Cash (John MacDonald) and the late-charging Casie's Believer (Joe Chindano, Jr.) in 1:52. The winning margin for Cult Icon was a neck over Come Get The Cash while Casie's Believer, closing fastest of all, was three-parts-of-a-length off the winner at the wire. Northern Dali finished fourth while Western Stepp picked up the nickel in the field of seven. Trained by Trent Stohler for the Trent Stohler Stable, the win was number six on the year for Colt Icon, sending her 2020 bounty to $56,570 and $272,332 lifetime. As the slight 2 to 1 favorite, Cult Icon paid $6.00 to win. Colt Icon Also on Tuesday night, the racing program concluded with fireworks--tote-board fireworks--as the 14 to 1 shot Post Time Terror took the finale for Dave Ingraham keying a 10-1-3-2-6 Super Hi-5 payoff of $16,803.94 for that 20 cent ducat. With the 73 to 1 outsider Singalongwithbing second and 16 to 1 chance Major Maid third, the trifecta paid $4,958.80. Racing continues on Wednesday night with a $15,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 pool (12% takeout) as the pari-mutuel highlight. Post time is 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...April 30,2019...On the heels of Wally Hennessey's touchdown and extra point on Pompano Park's Sunday night harness racing program, driver Mike Micallef turned the page to the hockey mode as the talented driver score a hat trick--three wins--on the Monday night card. To kick things off, Micallef guided I'm Very Special to a maiden win for the John Mungillo trained daughter of American Ideal. Melvyn Colby owns the three year-old. Unraced at two, I'm Very Special scored in 1:57.3 in her fourth lifetime start, capping the mile with a :28.3 finale after a quarter move to the top. Said Micallef after the win, "John (trainer Mungillo) just got her and I was just fortunate that he asked my to drive her. She's a nice filly. I left with her in her first start for him and found a good early spot, but she was in against a very tough winner (Rock N Zeus). This week, she drew much better and she left alertly and I decided to send her on that early move. She didn't disappoint me, that's for sure!" As third choice in the betting, I'm Very Special paid $7.20 to win, which came at the expense of Uschil Hanover (Walter La Freniere, Jr.) and Worth Considering (Dewayne Minor). Next, Micallif guided the 32 to 1 outsider, Keystone Christa ($67.40) to a half length victory over Goldstar Rockette (Corey Braden) in 1:54.1, a seasonal best performance. Stonebridge Pearl (Dave Ingraham) rounded out the top three as McCovery Cove (N) and the 1 to 5 favorite, Sweet Bet, got in a war that took them half way through the mile in :55. Micallef related, "That was just a case of being in the garden spot, that's all. Sometimes, things work out and sometimes they don't. They worked out great for me as we were just biding our time behind the battle up front." Keystone Christa, a 10 year-old daughter of Mach Three, is conditioned by Mr. Bev Kingston for owner Lee Cullen, with the win being her 28 lifetime, sending her career bankroll to $170,457. About 19 minutes later, Micallef completed his consecutive "hat trick" by steering Ask Me Ifi Care to a handy win in 1:53.4. Owned by Anita MIcallef along with Libby Myers, the four year-old daughter of Manhardt led every long stride of her mile, clocking panels of :28.1, :57 and 1:25.3 with that :28.1 finale sealing the issue over Rock N Roll Rosie (Wally Hennessey) and Gold Star Mysti (John MacDonald). The win extended the mare's winning streak to four, after a throat operation a few weeks ago. Said Micallef, "She wasn't quite finishing her miles and, when we checked on why, we discovered the problem and had it surgically fixed. If they cannot breathe, they can't win. Well, she cane breathe now and she's show that this month!" Ask Me Ifi Care paid $3.20 to her multitude of faithful. Racing continues on Tuesday night with the jackpot Super Hi-5 finale now sporting a carryover of $125,463.31. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

DAYTON, OH. - Doctor Carter (Mike Micallef) pulled a mild harness racing upset in Hollywood Dayton's featured $18,500 Open Pace on Saturday night (Sept. 23), nipping Secret Threat (Josh Sutton), who was last week's winner, in 1:50.4. The winning 6-year-old son of Total Truth equaled his lifetime best effort capturing his 36th career victory. Owned by Andrea and Tommy Householder and trained by Pat Karcher, Doctor Carter's total bankroll now has reached $420,000. Micallef shot directly to the lead when the starting gate sprung open, then yielded to Let's Drink On It (Travis Seekman) as the pair sped past the opening quarter beam in :26.2. Content to sit the pocket through fractions of :53.4 and 1:22, Doctor Carter and Micallef were patient as Secret Threat pressured Let's Drink On It from just past the half until midstretch. As Let's Drink On It began to yield and Secret Threat finally nosed in front, Doctor Carter found a seam and scooted past the pacesetters in the final strides. Dispatched at 4-1 odds, Doctor Carter returned $10.60 to his faithful. Coupled with Secret Threat, the exacta returned $46.20. Longshot My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith, 25-1) grabbed the show dough which triggered a $269.85 payoff for a 50-cent trifecta ticket. Excitement is building for next Friday night (Sept. 29) when the Grand Circuit stops at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. Top horses and drivers are expected from around North America for the $160,000 (est.) Dayton Trotting Derby and the $150,000 (est.) Dayton Pacing Derby. Trotter Homicide Hunter and pacer All Bets Off, both impressive winners in Grand Circuit stakes at Hoosier Park on Friday (Sept. 22) are likely entrants who will be challenged by the best older harness horses in training. Post time will be 6:15 p.m. Gregg Keidel

Southwind Amazon, off at 9 to 5 and getting picture perfect handling from Mike Micallef, edged by the favored Panocchio, off at 1 to 2, driven by Wally Hennessey, to pull off a minor harness racing upset in Pompano Park's $10.000 featured Open Handicap Pace on Sunday (April 24). The six year-old gelded son of Camluck hit the wire in 1:51.2 to score his sixth win of the year in 13 starts. Steelhead Hanover, with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the bike, finished third while Heart Felt was fourth. Duc Dorleans finished fifth in the sextet after making a mild backside bid. Trained by Paul Holzman for owner Ameer Najor, Southwind Amazon left with his usual alacrity and took the early lead, only yielding to Panocchio once the opening station was completed in :27. Panocchio then proceeded to post fractions of :55.1 and 1:24.2 before Southwind Amazon left his cozy pocket turning for home and began gnawing away at the leader, finally pushing his nose in front in the final 16th of the mile and then on to score by three-parts-of-a-length. In a post-race interview, driver Mike Micallef said, "When the horse next to me (Mister Virgin) made that break before the start, it might have made it a little easier for us because it took out a horse that does have very fast early foot. "So, I just left out of there and tried to take a little sting out of Panocchio early. No doubt about it, Panocchio is an unbelievable horse but they all aren't machines week after week. "I'm not saying I was confident sitting second but it was better to be there than four or five lengths out of it. "When we tilted out turning for home, both of us were motoring pretty good, so the cover trip proved to be the difference, on this night, anyhow." The win for Southwind Amazon-his 23rd lifetime-sent his career bankroll over the $250,000--$254,812 to be precise. As second choice, Southwind Amazon returned a $5.60 dividend for the $2.00 investment. The $9,500 Open 2 Handicap Pace went to Abreathofreshart for Wally Hennessey in 1:52 over Sir Globalop Z Tam, driven by Andy Santeramo, and Regalanthropist, with Matt Romano in the bike. Thebestofjoel finished fourth in the field of six while the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Energy Shakes, failed to fire this night and could only pick up the nickel. Abreathofreshart, a five year-old altered son of Artistic Fella, won for the third time this semester to send his seasonal bankroll to $17,679 and $62,197 career-wise. Marc Aubin trains the winner for owners Dan and Jacalyn Boddie. The Florida Amateur Driving Club paid homage to the late Bob Arnold, an F.A.D.C. member who lost his battle with kidney disease several years ago, with a pair of Sunday night events with Engagedatlexington and Yakekty Hanover reporting home winners in their respective events, giving trainer Mario Dessureault a pair of training wins and driver Jamie Marra his first ever driving double. Engagedatlexington, trained by Dessureault for Jamie Marra Racing, scored in 1:58.4-a seasonal best-pinning a defeat measuring 1¼ lengths on Columbia Lion, driven by Tommy Santeramo, with PC's Wildcard, teamed up with Joe Pennachio, third. The minors went to Chaplin Hall and Witty's Winner. This five year-old son of Conway Hall won for the second time this year in 13 starts. Off as the third choice at 4 to 1, Engagedatlexington paid $10.60 to win. Yakekty Hanover, owned by Mario Dessureault himself, was put into play from his six post early by Marra and led at every pole, clocking panels of :28.4, :58.2 and 1:28.4 before strolling home unscathed by 3¾ lengths in 1:59.3. Zeitgeist, driven by Tom Eichas, finished a fast closing second while M C Feliz, handled by "Touchdown" Teddy Bowman, finished third. C R Amigo and Guilford were next in the field of nine. For Yakekty Hanover, it was his initial victory of the year in five starts with the win, his seventh lifetime, sending his career bounty to $47,548. Fourth choice among the punters, Yakekty Hanover paid $15.20 to win. After that event, several drivers and trainers gathered in the winner's circle with members of the Arnold family to pay tribute while the Florida Amateur Driving Club made a sizeable contribution on Arnold's behalf to the Lester & Eunice Vance Scholarship Fund, sponsored by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association. The F.A.D.C. charitable donations are now approaching $170,000. Racing continues on Monday night-the final Monday of the season-with post time at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...April 6, 2016...When the six year-old mare Diamonds Princess earned her initial win of the 2016 season in 13 starts with a 44 to 1 upset in the Tuesday finale at Pompano Park, it set the stage for the largest Super Hi-5 payout in Pompano Park history.   One unidentified bettor was able to come up with the correct 4-2-3-9-7 combination with the 20 cent ticket worth $182,716.56.   Diamonds Princess, trained by Mike Micallef for the Baron Racing Stable, was driven this night by Dave Ingraham, who steered the mare past the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Pacific Date (Aaron Byron), in deep stretch for the win.   With Mayabelle and Gaston Lareau finishing third at 24 to 1, followed by Machin Marley (9 to 1) and Diva Las Vegas (69 to 1), the Super Hi-5, requiring one unique ticket to take down the entire pool, was hit for the seventh time this season.   Those who wagered their $2 to win on Diamonds Princess were enriched with a $90.40 payday while the 4-2 exacta came back at $379.40 with the 4-2-3 trifecta combo returning $1,710.00. The 20 cent superfecta of 4-2-3-9 paid $1,251.88.   From Pompano Park Media Department    

In a field laced with harness racing lifetime winners of close to $3,000,000 and six sub-1:50 performers, Southwind Amazon, handled by Mike Micallef, emerged victorious, stopping the tele-timer in 1:50.3 at Pompano Park. The six year-old son of Camluck, trained by Paul Holzman for owner Ameer Najor, pinned a half-length defeat on stablemate Dedi’s Dragon (Ricky Macocmber, Jr.) with Alexa’s Jackpot (John MacDonald) third. Four Socks and Whogoesfirst were next in the field of nine. At the outset, it was Alexa’s Jackpot and Whogoes first leaving with alacrity with Dedi’s Dragon also on the prowl with Southwind Amazon also tilting to the outside on the move up. With a hot opener of :26.1, Alexa’s Jackpot had the top spot, but not for long as Dedi’s Dragon charged alongside and, then, into the lead, only to be met by stablemate Soutwind Amazon heading into the second turn and securing the lead half way through the mile in a blazing :54.1. On the backside, Southwind Amazon continued to glide along as Steelhead Hanover, making his 2016 debut, charged up into second but unable to reach the saddle pad of the leader past the third station in 1:22.2. In the lane, Southwind Amazon put away the challenge of Steelhead Hanover and only had to repel stablemate Dedi’s Dragon, which he did on the strength of a :28.1 closer. In a post race interview, driver Micallef said, “This wasn’t the easiest of trips for him. After all, when you get to the half in :54.1, you never know if you can get home. He proved he’s a great horse before with that 1:49.2 mile a couple of starts ago and he proved it again tonight. “Paul (trainer Holzman) said he’s sharp and he was right! Again, he’s just a great horse and I was honored to steer him home tonight.” For Southwind Amazon, it was his fifth success of the year in 11 starts and 22nd lifetime win sending his career bounty to $248,932--$33,064 of that so far this year. As the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Southwind Amazon paid $3.80 to win. In the $11,000 co-feature for $30,000 claiming pacers, Starlite Kid, the longest proposition in the field at 39 to 1, got picture perfect handling from Kevin Wallis to upset the applecart and score a 1:50.3 win. Favored Buddha Blue Chip was second, a length away, for Mike Micallef with Winyard Hanover third under the direction of Wally Hennessey. This one was a classic as Winyard Hanover and Thebestofjoel battled early for supremacy with the ladder hitting the opening marker in a very hot :26. Shortly thereafter, Buddha Blue Chip was on the move and joined Thebestofjoel in a battle through the half in :54. On the backside, Winyard Hanover was sprinting up yet again and joined “Buddha” at the third station in 1:21.4. But Starlight Kid was cleverly surveying the situation from third, swung widest of all turning for home and collared the leaders a sixteenth out and then on to victory. Starlite Kid, a six year-old altered son of Badlands Hanover, won for the third time this semester in 13 starts—and in a new lifetime mark, to boot. Trained by Tony Kavoleff for Alex Kavoleff, Starlight Kid now boasts lifetime earnings of $172,087--$18,613 so far in 2016. He rewarded his backers with an $80.00 win mutual. Racing continues on Monday night with Natural Herbie looking to defend his crown in the $15,000 Open Handicap Trot. Oho Diamond and Wind Of The North are expected to provide the main competition with Auspicious Hanover, Midnite Craze, Striking Ivy and Diamond Dagger completing the talented field. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Just A Bee, driven by Mike Micallef and "stung," herself, half way through the mile, got the last fatal sting to her competition when it counted as she edged by late to score a half-length win in 1:51.1 in Pompano Park's $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for harness racing mares on Wednesday night. The eight year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood pinned the narrow defeat on Godiva Seelster, handled by Wally Hennessey, and Pertty Music, with Kevin Wallis in the bike, the latter two in a dead-heat for the place honors. All Charged Up finished fourth in the mile with Drea's Good Powow picking up the final award in the octet. It was an action packed race as there were five lead changes during the mile with All Charged Up , teamed with John MacDonald, bolting to the front with Pertty Music settling in the garden spot and Classic Carpet next during a hot opener of :26.1. That's when Just A Bee brushed up from fourth followed by Godiva Seelster with the "Bee" reaching the top prior to the half clocked in :55.1 with "Godiva" joining her in a battle for supremacy entering the backside. Through an official third panel in :27.1, Godiva Seelster had a clear lead past that station in 1:22.2 and was trying to protect that in the lane with both Just A Bee and Pertty Music closing in. In deep stretch, Just A Bee stung her rivals one last time to narrowly prevail at the wire. In a post-race interview, driver Mike Micallef said, "my mare never ceases to amaze me. She just never, ever quits. "She's gone a lot of great miles for us-some even a little faster-but this was one of her great performances. And she did this against some of her stiffest competition as both Wally's mare (Godiva Seelster) and Kevin's mare (Pertty Music) are in this same class." Just A Bee won for the fourth time this semester in nine starts, banking $33,230 in the process. Lifetime, she's at $308,181, including $186,965 since she was claimed for $12,000 about 18 months ago by Anita Micallef, John Mc Goff and Greg Heath. Of her 43 lifetime wins, 22 have come since she has been under the care of trainer-driver Micallef. As the even-money tote-board favorite, Just A Bee returned $4.20 to win. In finishing in that dead-heat for second, Godiva Seelster kept her streak of earning purse checks alive, now standing at an amazing 78 starts dating back through her seasons as a three, four, five and, thus far, six year old season. Racing continues at Pompano Park on Saturday night with post time at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Just A Bee, with regular pilot Mike Micallef handling the lines, swept up from far back to post a 17 to 1 upset harness racing victory in the $15,000 third leg of the Isle Casino Pompano Park Late Closer for Mares on Saturday night, February 27, with the mile clocked in 1:52.2.   The eight year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood, trained by Micallef for owners Anita Micallef, John Mc Goff and Greg Heath, took advantage of a sizzling early pace to roll by her competition in the lane and score a 3 1/4 length win over Godiva Seelster, with Wally Hennessey driving, while pacesetting Totally Rusty, driven by Tom Jackson, was third after sizzling through panels of :26.1, :54.3 and 1:23.1.   Strut My Stuff finished fourth while Pertty Music picked up the nickel in the bulky field of 11.   The 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Velocity Vespa, left looking for the top spot but could never cope with the hot fractions on the outside and finished eighth.   In a post race interview, driver Micallef said, "Sometimes the best laid plans just don't work out. This time, the best laid plans certainly didn't work out but it all came out in the wash at the end of the mile.   "I had planned to follow George (Napolitano, Jr. with Velocity Vespa) but it seemed like everything inside was leaving, so I had to take back.   "My mare really seemed like she wanted to grab on midway through the mile and, when I saw :54 and a piece, I thought we had a chance to get a good piece of it tonight.   "She was really motoring around the final turn and, the further we got along, the better I felt."   Just A Bee won for the 44th time career-wise, sending her career earnings just over the $300,000 mark--$300,681 to be exact.   Since Micallef claimed the mare in September 0f 2014 for $12,000, she has won 24 times and close to $200,000.   Her mutuel of $36.00 is the largest since she has been under Micallef's care and comes off of a 3 to 1 win a week ago in the same class.   Also, Just A Bee's win triggered two carryovers--one in the fourth race pentafecta and the other in the Pick-5.   The pentafecta fourth has a carryover of $1,779 while the Pick-5 has a carryover of $1,355. The Pick-4 also went unscathed on Saturday night with a $3,484 carrover spawning a $25,000 instant guarantee.   Finally, Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 finale has a carryover of $28,872.38.   Post time is set for 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park  

The $150,000 Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park Late Closing Series continued at the South Florida oval with Velocity Vespa and Just A Bee earning the top award in their respective divisions in the second leg of the harness racing series.   Velocity Vespa, handled with perfection by George Napolitano, Jr., led every stride of her mile while recording fractions of :26.4, :54.4 and 1;22.3 in route to a lifetime best performance of 1:50.2. The six year-old daughter of I Scoot Hanover pinned the 2¼ length defeat on Show Runner, handled by Tim Maier with Pertty Music and Ed Hensley teaming up for show honors. Lucy's Pearl finished fourth with the favorite, Totally Rusty, fifth in the septet. Positions were relatively stagnant once the dust settled, sans a mild backside move by Lucy's Pearl to wend her way into third--briefly--with the winner never relenting any ground at any stage of the mile. In a post-race interview, driver Napolitano related, "last week I tried to rate her a little more but, the more I think about it, sometimes these mares just don't want to be rated and this one just kind of spoke to me tonight and 'said' let me go and I'll handle the rest. "It was a great effort on her part tonight." Trained by Chris Oakes for owner Susan Oakes, Velocity Vespa won for the fifth time in six seasonal starts to send her 2016 earnings to $31,625. The victory--her 27th lifetime in 102 starts--sent her earnings to the cusp of $200,000--$199,862 to be precise. As the 2 to1 second choice on the tote-board, Velocity Vespa paid $6.80 to win. Just A Bee, deftly handled by Mike Micallef, used different tactics this night as this eight year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood sat in the garden spot all the way before tilting from the pocket turning for home and using a :27.3 finale to track down the pacesetting Godiva Seelster, with Wally Hennessey handling her lines, to win by a length in 1:51.3. Mach It A Par finished third for Dan Clements while Limelight rallied to finish fourth. Wild Wanda picked up the nickel in the sextet. Indeed, it was Godiva Seelster leaving alertly and taking the lead from the get-go as Just A Bee elected to take the pocket seat with Mach It A Par next. Right at the :27.1 opener, Micallef looked as though he might make a quarter move but ducked back in as Godiva Seelster racked up subsequent number of :55.2 and 1:23.4. Turning for home, Just A Bee left the coziness of the pocket and, as Micallef said, "that was that." Of the journey, Micallef said, in a post-race interview, "I had a notion to come out and make that quarter move but Wally's mare (Godiva Seelster) looked like she was on her game, so I decided against that move and stayed in the pocket hoping for some sharp fractions. "When I saw 1:23.4, I wasn't sure if we were going to get by because the other mare is very sharp, you know! "It worked out well." Also trained by Micallef for owners John Mc Goff, Greg Heath and Anita Micallef, Just A Bee won for the second time this season and 42nd time career-wise. Her lifetime bounty now stands $293,481. As third choice on the board at 3 to 1, Just A Bee paid $8.20. Godiva Seelster, by the way, with the second place finish, extended her streak of not missing a purse check to 75 races encompassing her entire seasons as a three, four, five and, currently, six year-old. Also on the Saturday program, the Florida Amateur Driving Club welcomed the visiting Norwegian driver Svein Wassberg and he promptly made his U.S. debut a winning one as he drove Vacation Day to victory in the first of two F.A.D.C. events. This 10 year-old gelded son of Dream Vacation was in mid-pack most of the journey before making a three-wide jaunt around the final turn to win by three lengths in 1:59.4. After the event, an elated Wassberg said, "I really didn't expect to win but when I pulled him out, he grabbed the bit and that was it! What a great feeling to win my first race here. My heart is beating a mile a minute!" Off as the 6 to 1 as the fourth choice in the betting, Vacation Day paid $14.00 to his faithful. Racing continues on Sunday night as a full field of 10 hook up in Pompano Park's $16,500 Open Handicap Pace. Panocchio has been tabbed as the 5 to 2 morning line favorite and begins from the coveted post 5 with Dan Clements scheduled to drive. Last week's winner, Bluehourpower, has been assigned post nine and will have the driving services of Ricky Macomber, Jr. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Just A Bee, splendidly handled by Mike Micallef, buzzed out of the gate in a hurry and never looked back while stinging her six rivals with a 1:51.3 mile in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for harness racing Mares on Wednesday night at Pompano Park. The eight year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood, carding panels of :27, :56.1and 1:24, put the stinger in for good with a :27.3 finale to pin a defeat measuring 2½ lengths on Godiva Seelster, with Wally Hennessey in the bike. Southwind Trini was third for Brad Kramer while Art Frenzy finished fourth. Sandysgoldenhour picked up the minor award in the talented field of seven. For the winner, trained by Micallef for Anita Micallef, John Mc Goff and Greg Heath, it was her initial victory of the year in four starts and 41st success lifetime, sending her career bounty to $286,231--$165,015 of that since the owners claimed her for $12,000 in early September of 2014. In finishing second, Godiva Seelster, making her first start back after a two month vacation, extended her streak of getting purse money to 73 races-the last time missing a purse check being September 9, 2012. In a post-race interview, driver Mike Micallef said, "the last few starts I kind of floated her out and looked for a good spot early. Tonight, when the gate sprung, my mare knew I meant business by giving her a couple of reminders leaving. We were lucky enough to get a bit of a breather in the second quarter and, then, on the backside, I knew SHE meant business as I didn't ask her anything and she was off to a :55.2 final half. She's been very good to us!" As the 9 to 5 second choice, Just A Bee paid $5.80 to win. In the $10,000 co-feature for the ladies, Ed Hensley's Pertty Music also used gate-to-wire tactics to hit the wire first in 1:52.3-her winning margin one length over Deuces For Charity, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., with De Vins Girl and George Napolitano, Jr. teaming up to be third. Shortest Distance actually lived up to her name by taking the shortest distance around to be fourth while Drea's Good Powow finished fifth in the sextet. Fractions for the winner were :27.1, :55.2 and 1:23.4 with a :28.4 finale capping the mile and prompting driver Hensley to say, "she was a stride away from winning from off the pace last week so I thought I'd like to try and control the situation tonight. It worked out well and she was pretty tough in the lane when it counted." For Pertty Music, a six year-old daughter of Jereme's Jet trained by Ashleigh Hensley, it was her first win of the year in five tries and 21st success lifetime with her career bounty leaping to $280,849 with the victory. As the 3 to 2 second choice, Pertty Music rewarded her faithful with a $5.00 win mutual. Racing continues Saturday night with a 10 race program with first post set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...December 31, 2015...Just A Bee, exquisitely handled by Mike Micallef, stung her rivals at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (December 30), regaining her status as the Queen Bee with a sterling harness racing performance in 1:50.4. The seven year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood, trained by Micallef for owners Anita Micallef, John McGoff and Greg Heath, led from first long stride to last, clocking panels of :27.2, :55.1 and 1:23.1 before her 27.3 sprint home sealed the issue by 1 3/4 lengths over the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Precocious Beauty, handled by Doug McNair. Safe From Terror, with Matt Romano in the bike, finished third while Classic Carpet, prominent early, finished fourth. Jets Are On picked up the minor award in the talented sextet. At the outset, Just A Bee seemed to, literally, push the starting gate out of her way from her outside post seven and immediately too command, stuffing Classic Carper in the pocket with Safe From Terror, Sandysgoldenhour and Jets Are On next with that aforementioned favorite, Precocious Beauty, away sixth and last, some seven lengths back early. With the dust then settled, positions remained the same until turn two when Precocious Beauty began her jaunt forward, sprinting her third quarter in :27 to wend her way into contention about a length away turning for home. In the lane, with both mares sprinting, Just A Bee never relented and was never in danger to the wire. After the event, driver Mike Micallef said, "my mare raced good in her first start back last week and felt very strong warming up on the track--relaxed but ready, I would say. When she grabbed on behind the gate, I thought 'we're going for the gusto tonight' and she burst out of the gate. "That probably was the difference because that put some distance between us and Doug's (McNair) mare (Precocious Beauty). She, too, of course, is one heckuva mare but maybe not seven or eight lengths better so the start I thought might be the key." Since being claimed in September of 2014 for $12,000, Just A Bee has won 19 times for Micallef, good for $153,735--$125,285 this year. As the 5 to 2 second choice, Just A Bee returned $7.60 to her faithful. Also of note, the 10 year-old Park Place mare Shortest Distance used the shortest distance to victory on Wednesday night by skimming the pylons late in the lane to score her 90th career victory--this one in 1:53.3. Trained by Leopold Sawyers for owner Byron Pineda, Shortest Distance was handled by Wally Hennessey and garnered her 12th win of the year in 31 starts. She took her lifetime mark of 1:53 just one week ago. Shortest Distance has lifetime bounty of $457,340--$57.294 of that banked this year as the 2015 season comes to an end. Racing continues on Saturday night with Pompano Park's five night a week schedule--Saturday through Wednesday--currently in effect with a 7:30 post time. John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL…December 21, 2015…Mayabelle, driven by harness racing trainer Mike Micallef for the Baron Racing Stable, took top honors in the $10,100 final of the Success Cameo Late Closer for claiming ($4,000 base) pacing mares on Monday night at Pompano Park, stopping the timer in 1:54.4. The four year-old daughter of McArdle, off as the 7 to 5 favorite, used the rail to gain a picture perfect journey and score by three-parts-of-a-length over the longest proposition in the field, Fair Voltage, handled by Dave Ingraham and off at 88 to 1. The pacesetting Sweet Bet, teamed up with Matt Romano, finished third, a length away, after posting fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:25.1 along the route. Dakota Law finished fourth and Ruths Shadylady finished fifth in the field of nine. Indeed, it was Sweet Bet that darted out for early supremacy with Pacific Date showing early foot from the outside nine post and moving just outside of the leader through the early panels with Mayabelle neatly covered up in third. As Pacific Date began to falter on the backside from the long route, Mayabelle moved into second and, at the top of the lane, tilted out, forged on by and safely held off Fair Voltage for the win, her fourth of the season in 24 starts. After the event, driver Micallef said, “This mare was claimed from us two starts back and we claimed her right back last week because she’s a solid performer in this particular class. “She likes to be in the thick of things and the rail was the perfect spot to do what she likes to do—be close. “It turned out to be a very cozy journey.” In earning her 10th lifetime victory, Mayabelle sent her lifetime bounty to $115,734 and enjoyed her biggest payday since her sire stakes win in Pennsylvania as a two year-old.   Mayabelle paid $4.80 to her multitude of followers. Also of note on the Monday card was the performance of the six year-old pacer Danger Hi Joltage. This altered son of Village Jolt, with many of his 29 lifetime wins on the engine, returned to that strategy on Monday night with Wally Hennessey in the bike to score a stunning win in 1:50.2 in a $10,000 claiming pace—a new lifetime mark. Slicing through panels of :26.2, :54.1 and 1:22.2, Danger Hi Joltage never relented during a :28 finale to score by 3 ½ lengths over the pocket-sitting Free Love (John MacDonald) with Artsbred Camotion (Kevin Wallis) next, almost nine lengths away. Cruizin K C finished fourth and Native Lightning picked up the nickel in the field of 10. After the race, driver Wally Hennessey said, “I knew that this one had success on the front end but, last week, we were stuck with the nine post—that was his first start here—and couldn’t use it. “Since the five post is pretty popular here, I decided to try that strategy that has been so successful with this horse—on the front. “I wasn’t surprised that he won on the front like that, but I was surprised at the new life mark. That’s pretty solid for a ‘10’ claimer. Trained by Rob Harmon for the Harmon Racing Stable, Danger Hi Voltage won for the sixth time this year—all on the engine or close up—to send his 2015 bankroll to $38,963 and $172,431 lifetime. As the 6 to 5 favorite, Danger Hi Joltage paid $4.40 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with Auspicious Hanover looking for a second straight victory in the $11,500 Open Handicap Trot while Wednesday night’s 14 race extravaganza features the Open Handicap for fillies and mares. In that $11,500 event, Wild Wanda takes on a very talented field including Precocious Beauty, Classic Carpet, Safe From Terror, Jets Are On and Just A Bee, the latter making her return to the racing wars after a six week vacation. Also on Wednesday, the finals of the Sea Eagle Late Closer and the Optimist Late Closer--both for claiming pacers—are on tap, as well. The Sea Eagle features $6,000 claiming geldings going for $11,100 while the Optimist, featuring $4,000 claiming geldings, has a final purse of $10,100. The track has carded an two pentafecta events along with two Pick-4 offerings on their wagering buffet with post time moved up to a special 7:00 p.m. start. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL…October 24, 2015…Lyons Johnny, the rugged seven year old owned by the Baron Racing Stable, goes for a harness racing three-peat at Pompano Park on Sunday night, tackling a million dollar field, more than half of which own sub-1:50 marks. The seven year-old son of Mach Three, trained and driven by Mike Micallef, has shown tremendous courage in his two winning efforts in the top class since the meet opened. Two starts back, Lyons Johnny went first up on Pompano’s backside and wore down a game Audrey’s Dream, with Ed Hensley in the bike, in the final stride to score in 1:51. Last week, he was up to the task, as well, conquering his foes and a driving rain to, again, pin defeat on Audrey’s Dream and six others in 1:52.2. This week, Lyons Johnny has to be up to an even tougher assignment as he has been assigned the outside eight post in the field with two new “paces in the crowd”—Alexa’s Jackpot and Panocchio. Alexa’s Jackpot, from the Marty Fine Stable, is enjoying his finest campaign-- $118,849 to date—and sports a mark of 1:49.3 up north in Philadelphia. Joe Pavia, Jr. is listed to drive Alexa’s Jackpot. Panocchio is no stranger to Pompano Park as this five year-old son of No Pan Intended has stacked up 24 wins over the past two seasons to go along with a mark of 1:49.3 here at Pompano Park. Owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with trainer Jim Mattison, Dan Clements is expected to be in the sulky on Sunday night. The explosive late charging Northern Companion, Whogoesfirst, Raji’s Blue Line and Sir Jake’s Z Tam complete the talented field. Also, four finals of the F.S.B.O.A. sponsored Sunshine State Stakes will be contested with the headliner being the three year-old colt/gelding trot featuring the talented Prairie Fortune. This sophomore son of Arapa Victory goes for the sweep, as he has captured the first three legs of the Stake—very handily—for trainer-driver Mike Deters, who also co-owns with Laurie Poulin. Post time for the pari-mutuel card is 7:30 p.m. with three non-wagering Sunshine State Stakes Finals slated for a 6:00 post time. The Sunday card also features a growing carryover in the Super Hi-5--$3,497— which is contested on the 12th race finale. by John Berry for Pompano Park. 

Pompano Beach, FL…October 17, 2015…Oho Diamond, the new owner of the track record for harness racing four year-old trotting mares, and Cashahallic, the victor in last week’s Open trot, are set to lock horns on Sunday night at Pompano Park in this week’s edition of the Open Handicap Trot. Oho Diamond, the excellent four year-old daughter of Ken Warkentin, stopped the timer in 1:53.3 on opening night, eclipsing Peace Corp’s 1:54.2 standard set in 1990. Trained by Renaldo Morales III for owner Dan Clements, Oho Diamond is seeking her 12th win of the year and looks to add to her season bounty of $88,333, by far the best of her career. She will start from post nine in her field with Mike Micallef expected to be in the bike. Cashahallic, the property of trainer Richard Silverman, looked very sharp in winning last week’s open, making a quarter move to the top and securing the win in 1:55.3. Aaron Byron is scheduled to drive this seven year-old altered son of Cash Hall again on Sunday night and will be leaving from post position eight. Elin, Back To Space, Verdi, My Revenuer, Escuela, Tug River Dylan and Dominum Deo complete the “million dollar winning” field. The companion Open pace features Lyons Johnny, Audrey’s Dream and Northern Companion—1-2-3 in last week’s event—along with Whogoesfirst, Raji’s Blue Line, Sir Jake’s Z Tam, King Royalty and Thebestofjoel. Lyons Johnny went a huge first over journey in his last start to eke by Audrey’s Dream in the very last stride in 1:51. Owned by the Baron Racing Stable, Lyons Johnny will have the driving services of trainer Mike Micallef. Audrey’s Dream, meanwhile, will be driven by Ed Hensley, part of the Hensley racing team with Ashleigh as the trainer. Dorothy Zarza’s Northern Companion, trained by Howard Klohr, has been showing his usual stout lake kick in recent events and looms as the danger off of an expected lively pace. Corey Braden will be back in the sulky again. Sunday’s card also features a $7,500 Guaranteed Pick-4, covering races six through nine. Also of note, the Florida Amateur Driving Club will be making a presentation to the Go For The Greens Foundation, an organization which takes an active role in the fight against breast cancer. F.A.D.C. President Dein Spriggs said, “You know, many of us are so immersed in our own little world and then, in an instant, that world is turned upside down when the doctor confronts you with the word ‘cancer.’ “This is our Club’s way of saying, ‘We haven’t forgotten those who are fighting the fight and we’ll continue to do all we can to support the ‘race for a cure.’” The Florida Amateur Driving Club has donated close to $140,000 to worthy charitable causes since its inception. Post time is 7:30 with the F.A.D.C. special presentation taking place after the first race. by John Berry for Pompano Park 

Pompano Beach, FL...October 14, 2015...Just A Bee, strategically handled by Mike Micallef, got a bit of revenge on arch-rival Godiva Seelster, with Wally Hennessey in the bike, at Pompano Park on Tuesday night at Pompano Park, eking out a narrow win in 1:52.3 after an epic harness racing battle in the Open Pace for Mares.   The seven year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood assigned with the six post, one notch inside of Godiva Seelster, used that slight advantage, carrying it over to the race itself by forging for the lead and assuming control from Togetherforever after a quick :27 opener. Meanwhile, Godiva Seelster, normally on the engine early, was forced to take back and settle in fifth early.   After a :56.2 half, "Godiva" rolled up on the outside and, very quickly, an epic battle developed with Just A Bee and Godiva Seelster slugging it out the final three-eighths of the mile.   The two were, literally, trading noses on the lead from the far turn to the wire with Just A Bee on top at the wire in a tight photo finish.   Winbak Heavenly, with Aaron Byron in the bike, finished third, 1 3/4 lengths back with Togetherforever fourth and Mach It A Par, pacing the fastest finale in the septet, earning the nickel.   After the event, Micallef said, ..."now THAT was something. Two great mares going at it tooth and nail like that. You know what? The difference in that race was probably determined three days before that when we were assigned one spot inside of Wally's mare. When they are that close in talent, an early advantage can go a long way. Yes, I had to use her pretty hard early to gain that advantage...but my mare is a brave one...out in :56.2 and home in :56.1."   For Just A Bee, owned by Anita Micallef along with John Mc Goff and Greg Heath, it was her 13th success of the year, pushing her seasonal bankroll to $111,160. She paid $3.60 to her faithful.   Godiva Seelster, certainly not disgraced in defeat, earned a purse check for the 68th consecutive time stretching and covering her career as a three, four and, now, five year old campaigns.   Meanwhile, Hennessey continued his hot hands with a grand slam of his own, winning with Caesar's Forum and Gleneagles in FSBOA Sunshine State Stakes action, as well as Angel Demon and Jets Are On.   Caesar's Forum, given sensational rating by Hennessey, lolly-gagged on the front end to an opening half in 1:00.2 before sprinting home in :55.1 to score a win measuring three-parts-of-a-length over arch-rival Owosso Flash (Mike Deters) in the Sunshine State Stake for sophomore pacing colts and geldings. It was he second win in a row over this main rival for this son of Six Of Diamonds, trained by Marc Aubin for Amante Standardbreds.   Gold Star Roger finished third--8 1/2 lengths away--while Stutz and Drake picked up the minors. The event was contested off the pari-mutuel card.   Gleneagles, a two year-old son of Mysticism, earned his maiden win in his Pompano Park debut, scoring handily in 1:57 in a gate-to-wire effort over Conman's Dream (Jason Mac Dougall) and R Chism (Mike Micaallef). ICU Diamond T, prominent early, finished fourth with Danza next in the septet.   The youngster is trained by Jim Mc Donald for the Pinhook Stable and, as the 1 to 20 overwhelming favorite, paid the minimum $2.10 to win.   Wally also scored with Angel Demon ($5.20) and Jets Are On ($11.60), bringing his victory total through the first four nights of the meeting to 22.   The other FSBOA Sunshine States, contested off the card, were won by Prairie Sweetheart and Gold Star Dynasty.   Prairie Sweetheart, co-owned by trainer Mike Deters along with Laurie Poulin and John Spindler, kept her perfect record in tact with a career best 1:56.4 clocking with Mike in the bike.   The two year-old daughter of Royal Millenium is now two-for-two against her Florida bred filly competition, pinning a handy win over Caitlin's Romance (Mel Turcotte) and Gold Star Love Bug (Wally Ross, Jr.)   Diamond Lily and Prairie Pistol also earned checks in this octet of youngsters.   Gold Star Dynasty dominated the three-year-old Sunshine State Stake for the fillies, scoring a resounding win measuring a tad over five lengths in 1:57.1.   Aaron Byron was in the sulky for trainer Mike Deters and owners Oldford Farms, Jarold Hawks and Wrenn Racing.   Gold Star Sonata (Ross, Jr.) was second with last week's winner, Davita, recovering from a miscue early, finishing third. Gold Star Charming and Arties Diamond Gal were next in the sextet of fillies.   Also starring on the Tuesday night card were the Hensleys--Ed and Ashleigh.   The pair teamed up for a grand slam as the Ashleigh trained and Ed driven Swing N Ace ($3.60), Friendsnheartbeat ($6.20), Bloodstockshalltab ($2.60) and My Hope ($7.80) all scored victories on the card. Even sweeter, the pair own all of the winners, as well.   Finally, the Super Hi-5 was hit on Tuesday--the unique 20 cent ticket worth $6,299.48.   Pompano Park's next live racing program is Sunday night with Open pacers expected to be in the spotlight.   Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park          

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

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