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CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - When it comes to aged harness racing pacing mares on the East Coast, Sodwana Bay has been the boss the past few years and will look for another victory against a deep group Thursday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 12-dash Thursday card has a 6 P.M. start time featuring the $2,800 Fillies and Mares Open pace in race 11. Sodwana Bay has post 4 in the field of six talented mares with trainer Gilles Barrieau back in the race bike for owners Wayne MacRae of Nova Scotia and Howmac Farms Ltd of North Wiltshire. The seven-year-old No Pan Intended mare was a 13-time winner from 25 seasonal starts in 2019 and currently has a pair of victories from six starts this calendar year. Berazzled will guard the rail with David Dowling picking up the catch drive for trainer Jonah Moase after cutting out a 55.4 half in her latest to fade at the end of the mile. Woodmere Chella is the morning line favourite from post 2 with Dale Spence being called on to drive for conditioner Marvyn Webster. The Articulator lass was a runner-up in her latest race, pacing her own mile in 1:54.3 in Charlottetown while being bested by Arc Light. Adam Merner will drive Arc Light from the Marc Campbell stable with post 3 while stable mate Dreamfair Zenfire has the outside post 6 with Campbell at the lines. Post 5 belongs to Lyons Jennielee and driver Myles Heffernan Sr., who just dead-heated for second in the top class at Inverness Raceway in Nova Scotia her last start. Race analyst Les MacIsaac takes a hunch that Sodwana Bay will land back on top in Thursday's pacing feature. "As great as she is, the first over trip last week was simply too much to overcome," MacIsaac said of Sodwana Bay. "She's had enough starts since coming off the bench that she should be just about where she wants to be from a conditioning standpoint and a smoother journey could put her back in the winner's circle." Race 8 will see the return of Atlantic Triple Crown winner Filly Forty Seven to the Campbell stable. The now six-year-old daughter of Proven Lover will have rail control as she makes the move back East after competing in Ontario all season. For race programs and more go to Redshores.ca and wager online at HPIBet.com. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After a couple of narrow losses in the $13,000 Open Trot level at Buffalo Raceway, a better post and a change of harness racing equipment proved to be the right remedy for Wilberforce ($3.10) on Wednesday night (Feb. 12)   With a pair of starts from the seven hole, Wilberforce drew the five post and went coast to coast in collecting a 2-3/4 length victory over Lougazi in 2:00.1 over the sloppy track. The margin of victory could have been more but Wilberforce drifted badly in the stretch but had enough in the tank to post the win.   "We put a Murphy blind on him and it did the opposite of what we wanted him to do," chuckled winning driver John Cummings Jr. of the wide journey down the stretch. "You look on paper and you can see he's a good animal."   Posting quarters of :29.4, 1:00.1 and 1:30.2, Wilberforce stepped on the gas the final panel to bottom out the field. Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) finished a hard-charging second while Rockefeller Lindy (David McNeight III) and Daylong Phantom (Jim McNeight Jr.) finished in a dead heat for third.   Owned by trainer Kris Rickert and Dale Wareham, Wilberforce (Caviar Crown-Rose Run Imprint) is an 8-year-old gelding that has won three times in six attempts this season, earning $26,310. His career bankroll jumped to $312,682.   Buffalo Raceway's 2019 Trotter of the Year, Wheels A Turning ($3.40), went wire-to-wire in posting a solid two length victory over Empire Earl N in 2:01.2.   Zooming off the gate from the start, Wheels A Turning went right to the top for driver Aaron Byron and set splits of :30.1, 1:01.4 and 1:31.1. With a panel to trot, Wheels A Turning stayed strong and never looked back as Empire Earl N (John Cummings Jr.) and Traverse Seelster (Denny Bucceri) settled for second and third.   Owned by Allan Schmucker and trained by Sabrina Shaw, it was the first win in three appearances this season for Wheels A Turning (Mr Cantab-Free Wheeling). The 8-year-old mare has now earned $5,080 this season and $256,917 lifetime.   Sarah Cola (McNeight III) cut the mile and had just enough 'pop' left and hung on for the neck decision Machs Echo (Jim Morrill Jr.) in the $10,000 Class A-B Handicap Pace for the filly and mares.   With fractions of :30.1, 1:00.3 and 1:30.1, Sarah Cola ($6.80) showed plenty of heart to turn back the determined Machs Echo in 1:59.2 while Jag Out (Byron) was third.   Co-owned by trainer Jim Graham and Giuseppe Micchia, it was the first victory of the 2020 campaign for Sarah Cola (No Pan Intended-Saramotion). The score upped her season winnings to $6,428 and $168,709 in her career.   Drew Monti completed the evening with a triple while Kevin Cummings, Morrill Jr., McNeight III and Cummings Jr. all doubled. Maria Rice had a pair of training victories.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening beginning at 6 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was hardly 'beach' weather in Western New York on a frigid Saturday night (Feb. 8) but Santana Beach (David McNeight III) topped the harness racing ticket in a 'tropical trifecta' by scoring the victory in Buffalo Raceway's featured $11,000 Class AA pace.   Santana Beach ($5.90) registered a neck win over Catch The Wave (Jim McNeight Jr.) in 1:56.3 while Beachy Dream (Kevin Cummings) was third to complete the seaside sequence.   Andy's Ideal took early command of the race as he notched splits of :28.3, :57.1 and 1:27.0. Santana Beach in the meanwhile started his first over journey just before the half mile marker and took over at the top of the stretch.   It was nervous time late for Santana Beach, however, as Catch The Wave and Beachy Dream made serious bids late but came up just short.   "He hung in there well late," McNeight III said of Santana Beach. "Trainer Richard Roth has his horses sharp right now and this one is really good."   Owned by Jason Newell and trained by Roth, it was the second straight win in as many tries for Santana Beach (Santanna Blue Chip-Chips Beach). The 8-year-old gelding has now produced $10,500 in earnings in 2020 and $146,573 in his career.   In the first of two $10,000 Class A pacing events, the cold weather didn't stop Hold The Gold ($30.20) posting the fastest mile of the meet as he covered the mile in 1:55.4 over the good track in beating Im So Handsome (McNeight III).   With Southwind Torque (Billy Davis Jr.) setting scorching fractions of :28.0, :57.0 and 1:26.3, those torrid splits were perfect for the closers as Hold The Gold (Denny Bucceri) took full advantage of the situation.   Driving widest of all in the lane, Hold The Gold easily swooped on by the front runners and took the length win over Im So Handsome while Casimir Oops (Mike Baumeister) was third.   Owned by William Emmons and trained by James Clouser Jr., it was the first win in two appearances this year for the 6-year-old gelded Hold The Gold (Allthatgltrsisgold-Village Jay). The victory bumped his season winnings to $5,800 and $93,261 lifetime.   The other Class A division saw Burning Shore (Kevin Cummings) sneak by Southwind Onyx in deep stretch to take the head decision in 1:56.4 Iluvtomakemoney (Ray Fisher Jr.) took third.   Southwind Onyx set the tempo with panels of :28.4, :57.4 and 1:27.3 but Burning Shore ($8.30) wore down the pace setter and got up in time to secure the win.   Owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, the 10-year-old gelded Burning Shore (No Pan Intended-Fine Line increased his career bankroll to $249,279 with the victory.   Racing will resume on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 13-race scheduled. There is a $10,000 guarantee in the Pick-5 starting in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, simulcast schedule and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Pompano Beach, FL...December 9, 2019...The USA-Italian Amateur Competition took center stage at Pompano Park on Sunday night with the USA team edging out the Italians in the first of their two night-four event harness racing series. The 53-40 edge came as Gary Barbere, driving his own Andriy Fortna, and Dein Spriggs, handling his new addition High Blue, won their respective events. Andriy Fortuna, a 12 year-old gelded son of S J's Photo, got picture perfect handling by Barbere to score a 1;56.4 win over Sheer Flex (Daniele Orsini) and Savin Rock (Pier D'Angelo) with Cheeky Little Minx (Alessandro Manfredi) and Toss Cartwright Leon Cable) also in the top five. The winner paid $3.20 to his multitude of faithful. High Blue led every step of hi journey--also clocked in 1:56.4--as this nine year-old altered son of Majestic Son earned his 40th career win and first for new owner Spriggs. Tymal Tullo (Tony Dinges) was second, two lengths away, with Legend Field (Pier D'Angelo) next over Photo Master (Daniel Orsini) and Santini (Steve Oldford). A the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, High Blue paid $3.40 to win. Said Spriggs after the event, "This is a very wonderful competition between two countries that love their trotting events. They have many, many talented horsemen and horsewomen over there and it's wonderful that the come over to be in this highly competitive--but friendly--competition. "And one other thing...the two trainers deserve special recognition, as well, as Odell (Thompson, trainer of Andriy Fortuna) and Allen Saul (trainer of High Blue) have each been around horses for over a half century and they still have the magic touch to train winners. They are both amazing!" Father Time couldn't dent the spirit of winning for several other "oldsters" competing on the Sunday card. Track record holder Panocchio, now nine, scored his 68th career win (44th at Pompano Park) with a near gate-to-wire score in 1:51.4 for Wall Hennessey. Making his 199th career start, Panocchio carded number of :27.4, :56.1 and 1:24.1 before a :27.3 final sealed the deal by two lengths over the pocket sitting War-N-Munn (Kevin Wallis) with Always Glorious (Dave Ingraham) third. America Chrome, closing fastest of all, finished fourth while Bass Player picked up the nickel. Trained by Jim Mattison, who co-owns wit Emile Johnson, Jr., Panocchio, the splendid son of No Pan Intended, has banked $621,538 to go along with his Pompano track record of 1:48.3 set four seasons ago. Panocchio returned $4.00 as the even-money chalk. Father Time has yet to catch up to Prescotts Hope, either, as this nine year-old made a quarter move o the top and went on to score in 1:51, a seasonal best for trainer-driver Rick Plano. Also a son of No Pan Intended, the winner, after a :26.3 opener, went on to put up fractions of :55 and 1:22.3 before coasting home in :28.2. After the race, Plano simply said, "He's a pretty good pony!" Prescotts Hope, owned by Nikki Hudson and Maryann Plano, now has banked $341,298. Off as third choice at 7 to 2, the winner paid $9.20. Also of note, yet another nine year-old captured the Super Hi-5 finale as Late Night Joke, dismissed at 18 to 1, nailed the pacesetting Mcjagersonthemove to win in 1:50.4 The gelded son of Western Terror, handled by MIke Simons, was away in mid-pack as Mcjagersonthemove, with Fern Paquet, Jr. in his bike, absolutely sizzled through panels of :26.1, :53.4 and 1:21.3. From six lengths out of it turning for home, Late Night Joke began gnawing away and caught the still-game leader right on the wire. Favored Feelin Lika Winner (Wally Hennessey) was third. Trained by Rob Rittof for Dandy Farms and the Ft Racing Stable, Late Night Joke rewarded his followers with a $39.60 mutual a sent hi career bounty to $380,002. Racing continues on Monday night with the grand final of the USA-Italian Amateur Competition with post time set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for the Florida Amateur Driving Club            

Northville, MI. -- A longtime mainstay harness racing stakes event at the former Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio, will be resurrected on Saturday night (Nov. 16), when the $25,000 Wolverine-Buckeye Invitational Pace heads a 12-race card at Northville Downs.   Four pacers with Michigan connections will square off against a quartet of their Ohio-based rivals in the featured event, carded as race 10 on the program. First post time is 7:30 p.m. Eastern.   Local Open contender Top Notch has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite from post three. Prior to a gutsy second-place finish out of post eight in last week's featured pace, the 5-year-old No Pan Intended gelding proved victorious in two straight top-level events. Darrell Wright will once again drive the 21-time winner for trainer Kristy Casagranda.   Top Notch's main competition will likely come from the Ohio-based Gorgeous View, the 5-2 second choice out of post six. The 5-year-old He's Gorgeous gelding invades from Northfield Park, where he has proven competitive in upper-level conditioned races and taken a seasonal mark of 1:52.1. Marc St. Louis Jr. will handle the driving duties for owner-trainer Jessica Roegner.   The fastest winning mile of the season belongs to Swapportunity, who represents Ohio from post two. The 7-year-old son of Mach Three won a mid-level conditioned race at Hollywood Dayton Raceway in 1:50.1 on Oct. 10, and he has amassed 29 victories throughout his career. Art McIlmurray will drive for trainer Ray Farmer.   Crusoe Hanover (Mark Headworth, post one), OGradys First Man (Don Harmon, post four) and Still Friskie (David Lake, post seven) are the three other Michigan entrants, while Dancin Fever (John Moody, post five) and The Book Of Life (Justin Belanger, post eight) complete the Ohio quartet.   Keeping with the Wolverine-Buckeye theme, fans on track will have the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Michigan-Ohio State football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Nov. 30, in a "Survivor"-style handicapping contest. The contest, which is free to enter, requires fans to select the winner of each race on the live card.   From the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association  

Columbus, MN - The featured event on the Saturday evening (September 7) harness racing program at Running Aces was the $16,000 Open Handicap Pace, with a field of eight talented horses and geldings lining up for battle.   This week's top Open field saw the return of Stuckey Dote to the Minnesota five-eighths oval, taking on the best local horses in preparation for the Minnesota Night of Champions next weekend.   Stuckey Dote took plenty of action at the betting windows, and was sent off as the 9-5 favorite over Dan Patch FFA champion Nine Ways who was well respected at 2-1 from post eight.   Firedrake (Nick Roland) left alertly from post seven, and found the third position at the pylons while Stuckey Dote (Mooney Svendsen) powered to the front, and Top Notch (Rick Magee) left alertly to secure the pocket from post one, as they registered a :27 flat first panel.   Nine Ways pulled early and drove first-up to challenge Stuckey Dote for a battle that lasted a half mile, with moderate middle fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.1, before Nine Ways was forced to wave the white flag. Stuckey Dote continued to lead as they straightened for home, but Top Notch had enjoyed the perfect trip and angled wide from the pocket with a burst of pace to get up by a neck on the wire in 1:53.3 while both Who'szoomingwho (Darrell Wright) and Firedrake were both flying late for third and fourth respectively in a thrilling blanket finish.   Top Notch ($18 80) is a 5 year old gelded son of No Pan Intended, and out of the Camluck mare Tymal Talea. He is owned by Joe Casagranda and is trained by Rick Magee. The Saturday feature race win was the fourth tally of the year for Top Notch.   SB Bodacious ($11.40) picked up his fifth win of the year in the $16,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old pace event, flying late with a :28.2 final quarter to sweep by the field in an exciting blanket finish in 1:55.1 over race favorite Burning Blaze. Rick Magee is the trainer/driver of the impressive son of Voracious Hanover, who has now banked $46,311 in thirteen sophomore starts.   Drivers Rick Magee and Steve Wiseman led the Saturday program with two winners each.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Sunday (September 8) with 3 nights left to go in the 2019 season. The 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot now stands at $5,781.48. Post time on Sunday is 6 pm Central.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces                                                   

MILTON, December 1, 2018 - Richard Moreau trainee Isitfridayyet picked up his first harness racing career Preferred victory in Saturday's $34,000 feature at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A field of eight older pacers battled over a 'Sloppy' track for this week's edition of the Preferred. The early-scramble saw Regal Son clear to the top shortly after posting a :27 opening-quarter. Physicallyinclined, who left from the rail, was on the move from third at the first-quarter and rushed up to take the lead well-before reaching the half in :56.3. The son of No Pan Intended and driver Louis Philippe Roy got away sixth from post-eighth. The eventual winner angled out at the half and was situated third-over and a little more than four-lengths from the lead turning for home. Physicallyinclined continued to lead at three-quarters in 1:25.4. The stretch-drive was a wild scene with five-horses within nearly a length of the lead at the seven-eighths pole. Isitfridayyet powered off cover and charged by on the outside to win by a length and a half in 1:53.2. Regal Son came up the inside from the two-hole to finish second, while Rockin In Heaven came from second-over to grab third. Physicallyinclined gave up the lead in the lane but battled to finish fourth. A five-year-old gelding, Isitfridayyet has gone from competing as a $15,000 claimer at Western Fair in January to winning the top-class at Mohawk Park in December. His five-year-old record now sits at 11 wins and $134,830 earned in 23 starts. Isitfridayyet joined the Moreau barn in late-February and is owned by Leonard Rosene of London, Ontario. The Preferred victory increases his career numbers to 20 wins and $176,374 earned. A $2 win ticket on Isitfridayyet returned Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie - Woodbine Communications          

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - IC True Grit was within inches of making the winner's circle in his latest pair of starts but will look to put it all together Thursday evening in the feature event at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown. The Thursday program will be the last mid-week card at the capital oval as action shifts to strictly weekend racing starting next week. The 10-dash Thursday card has a 6:30 P.M. post time with the top class lining up in race 9 for a $2,100 purse. IC True Grit is installed as the morning line favourite from post 2 in the featured pace with Gilles Barrieau in the driver's seat for trainer Jackie Matheson and owners Joey Gallant and Ingham Jenkins of Charlottetown, P.E.I. The son of No Pan Intended was second in his last two starts beaten less than a head in each start. One of the pacers that beat him will square off with him again this week as Jeb has post 5 for trainer-driver Jason Hughes riding a quartet of top two finishes into the event. Nogreatmischief has rail control for trainer-driver Walter Cheverie as the former Governor's Plate finalist looks for his first trip to the Red Shores Charlottetown winner's circle since May. Race analyst Les MacIsaac goes with IC True Grit to get the job done and hit the wire first. "IC True Grit has had a couple of bang up second place finishes at this level, his most recent out of the six hole," MacIsaac said. "With an improved post this time around he could be the one to knock off." Also in the field is Likely To Win (Driven by Adam Merner), Rockin Indy (David Dowling) and Stars Above (Mike McGuigan). Race 8 of the program has Killean Finale making her first East Coast start from post 6 in the field of as many. Ken Murphy drives the winner of $175,000 for trainer Clifford Murphy and owners Dr. Mary McNiven and Pacemaker Stable of Nine Mile Creek, P.E.I. The five-year-old daughter of Sportswriter last raced at Harrington Raceway in Delaware, U.S., in a conditioned class. Majian Tango headlines the race 7 Open trot for a $1,950 purse for trainer-driver Jim Ripley and owner Marylea Ripley of Amherst, N.S. The son of Tad The Stud has had three wins so far in his four-year-old campaign including a win in last start on Oct. 11, and was subsequently scratched last week due to travel restriction on the Confederation Bridge. Other top entries include Dusty Lane Jacob (Merner) and Frill Seeker (Kenny Arsenault). For more information go to www.Redshores.ca. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores  

Pompano Beach, FL...November 13, 2017...Panocchio, the brilliant seven year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, conquered a trio of harness racing obstacles in scoring his 35th lifetime win at Pompano Park on Sunday night (November 12) in the $11,000 Open Handicap Pace. The obstacles he brushed aside were: 1) a strong million dollar field of competitors; 2) the outside nice post and 3) near monsoon conditions enveloping the track and, at the wire, driver Wally Hennessey had a 2 3/4 length margin over his nearest competitor in 1:51.4. E R Melvyn, handled by Rick Plano, finished second while Rockntouch, teamed with Mickey McNichol, was third. Bestinthebusiness and Team Captain picked up the minor awards in the field of nine. At the outset, Panocchio was away near the back of the pack but rushed up quickly thereafter to find himself third over--but sixth--at the opening quarter as Drachan Hanover and Rockntouch battled through that :27 marker with Team Captain third and Barbarian fourth on the outside and hung out to dry. Drachan Hanover and Rockntouch were one-two past the half in a hot :55 over the sloppy racing oval with Barbarian next and ready to call it a night. That's when Hennessey sent Panocchio on his devastating double-bubble brush that took him right to the front during the next eighth mile, followed by a similar move by E R Melvyn from seventh. By the time they reached the third station in 1:23.4, Panocchio owned a daylight lead over E R Melvyn that kept widening right to the wire. After the race, Hennessey related, "What a horse. What a pleasure to drive. You known Jimmy (trainer Mattison) doesn't go too much with him in training miles--maybe a trip in 2:20 or 2:30--but, when he sees the (starting) gate, he's all business. "I wasn't that anxious leaving with him tonight because a bunch of them were leaving, so I went looking for a decent spot and there was none around so my only choice was to follow some cover and hope it took us far enough along. On the backside, I sent him on one of your 'double-bubble' moves and he responded like-WOW! "He amazes me every start." Panocchio now has a 57-27-12 scorecard in 136 career starts, good for lifetime bounty of $480.643, including his 35 wins here at Pompano Park, one of which is his track record 1:48.3 performance here. For this season, Panocchio has nine wins in 28 starts and earnings of $83,225 for trainer Jim Mattison, who co-owns with Emile Johnson, Jr. As the 3 to 2 favorite, Panocchio paid $5.00 to win. Hennessey also captured the $10,000 co-feature with Duc Dorleans, who scored a very sharp decision in 1:52 over Major Starlight (Dave Ingraham) with Dee's Rocket Man (Fern Paquet, Jr.) a sharp closing third. Skip Jive was fourth in the field of nine while Sumthintallnstrong picked up the nickel. Duc Dorleans, a seven year-old altered son of Shanghai Phil, took command at the opening quarter in :27 and proceeded to wire together subsequent fractions of :55.1 and 1:23.2 before his :28.3 kick home was more than enough to get the job done--the margin 3 3/4 lengths. Trained by Jacques Dupont for Les Ecuries Dorleans, Inc., Duc Dorleand won for the third time this semester in 18 starts and set a seasonal best time with the win. Career-wise, Duc Dorleans has 39 wins and $642,689 to go along with his Mohawk mark of 1:48.4. Third choice at 7 to 2, Duc Dorleans paid $9.20 to win. Racing continues on Monday night with a Super Hi-5 finale jackpot swelling with a carry-over of $7,794. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park          

Pompano Beach, FL...October 23, 2017...Panocchio, again handled by Wally Hennessey, scored a repeat harness racing win in Pompano Park's Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night, holding off the determined late surge of Sing For Me George (John Mac Donald) by a head in 1:51.2. The brilliant seven year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, co-owned by trainer Jim Mattison along with Emile Johnson, Jr., carved out all the panels, slicing through the opener in :27 before adding :55.2 and 1:23.4 to the mix before sealing the deal with a :27.3 finale. Frankies Dragon (Corey Braden) finished third while Bestinthebusiness and Rockntouch also earned checks in the classy sextet. In a post-race interview, Hennessey remarked, "What can I say that hasn't been said already? He's just as game as they come and as handy as they come. Johnny's (MacDonald) horse (Sing For Me George) is very sharp now, too, and he was rolling late but Panocchio seems to know where the wire is and he kept on going until it was over." Panocchio now has 56 career wins in 134 starts with 34 of those victories at Pompano Park, including his 1:48.3 track record. For this semester, Panocchio has a 8-6-3 scorecard in 26 starts, good for $75.525, pushing his lifetime bankroll to $472.843. Off at 1 to 5 on the tote-board, Panocchio paid $2.40 to win. Silver Wings was one of the four two year-old winners in the FSBOA Sunshine State Stakes on Sunday night, conducted as non-wagering events prior to the pari-mutuel card. Diamond Eyes, Captain Thomas and I Rhoda Daley were the other juvenile winners. Silver Wings, a son of Rock On, took top honors in the colt-gelding pace with Corey Braden handling the lines, in a lifetime best 1:58.4. Co-owned by trainer Veral Bowman along with Craig Schmidt, Silver Wings won the early battle for supremacy over Jay Jay (John MacDonald) and then sliced through panels of :29.1, 1:00.4 and 1:30.1 before silencing his foes with a :28.3 closer to score by 4 1/2 lengths over Jay Jay with Dontblevmejuswatch (Wally Hennessey) and Mister Special T completing the official order of finish. Diamond Eyes, a daughter of Six Of Diamonds trained by Kim Sears for owner Penny Kelley, got picture perfect handling from Bryce Fenn to score in a lifetime best 2:01.4--:59.1--:29.1 performance in the two year-old filly pace. This youngster left alertly and battled with Krinda before allowing that one to take command at the opening station in :30.4. Krinda actually opened up a three length advantage around the final turn but Diamond Eyes began gnawing away, taking command once they straightened away and then holding off Prairie Foolish (Jim Meittinis) by a length. Starcasim (Joe Sanzeri) was a fast closing third with Krinda fourth. Six Line Lily picked up the minor award. Captain Thomas, a maiden coming into the action, led every step of his mile, going on to score a 5 1/4 length win for John MacDonald in the two year-old trot for colts and geldings. This gelded son of Proud Bushy put up numbers of :29.4, 1:00.2 and 1:30.2 before a stroll home stopped the timer in 2:02.1. Trained by Kim Sears for owner John Campagnuolo, Captain Thomas left Brian (Wally Hennessey), Prairie Eclipse (Meittinis), Jiro Dangerous and Treasure Quest in his wake. Finally, the Sunshine State Stake for juvenile trotting fillies went to I Rhoda Daley for Wally Hennessey in a lifetime best 2:04.1. It was about one month ago that this daughter of Desperado Don won her first lifetime start in 2:14. She is now 4-for-5 lifetime for trainer Jason MacDougall, who co-owns with Lee Clarke. Racing continues on Wednesday night with Sunshine State Stakes action continuing for three year-old Florida breds in five non-wagering events beginning at 5:30 with a full 10 race pari-mutuel card following at 7:20 p.m. The Super Hi-5 Finale on Wednesday night features a carryover of $5,507. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park and the FSBOA            

HARRINGTON, Del. - Jason and Susan Skinner's BJ's Sweetheart ($44, Art Stafford Jr.) was an upset harness racing winner in the $17,500 Mares Open at Harrington Raceway Tuesday in 1:53.3. The 7-year-old No Pan Intended mare surged by pacesetter Purrfect Bags late for a narrow win. Trained by co-owner Jason Skinner, it was her 29th career win. Purrfect Bags was second with Miss Me Yet third. The winner has banked nearly $320,000 in her career. Mike Casalino's Media Queen N ($5, Pat Berry) won her third straight race on the undercard, in a $10,000 pace. The Mach Three 6-year-old mare, scored an off the pace triumph for trainer Chris Marino in 1:55. Matthew Sparacino  

Panocchio was the harness racing 'Pacer of the Year' at Saratoga Casino Hotel in both 2014 and 2015. After another terrific season in '16, the Jimmy Mattison trainee got off to a slow start at the Spa (by his standards) but on Saturday night earned his first local win of the year. Trainer Jimmy Mattison, who was inducted into the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame last month, saw his prized pacer go coast to coast in Saturday's $14,000 Winners Over. The defending Pacer of the Year Artful Way was the race's odds-on favorite but made an uncharacteristic break in the first turn. Panocchio (No Pan Intended) didn't make it look easy but as he usually does, dug in late in the mile wound up securing the win in 1:52.3 with Gerry Mattison in the sulky. He's A Lock (Wally Hennessey) came on for second while YS Lotus (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. It was the sixth win in 2017 for Panocchio who had another strong winter/spring while competing in Florida at Pompano Park. On Saturday, the seven year old paid $6.80 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $50.50 and $386.50, respectively. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. Mike Sardella

Pompano Beach, FL...Sunday, April 23, 2017...Panocchio, returning to the racing wars after a two month layoff because of sickness, showed his gameness by defeating a classy octet of harness racing pacers in the $11,000 Open Handicap Pace at Pompano Park on Sunday night (April 23). The seven year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, again handled by Wally Hennessey, overcame the outside post and an onslaught of challengers in the final stages to win by a scant nose over the late surging Heart Felt, driven by Bryce Fenn, with Rock On Moe, with Dan Daley in the bike, closing fastest of all to fall a half-length short. Here Comes William, pacing an "even-steven" mile, was fourth while St Lads Lotto, dead last at the stretch call, rallied to pick up the nickel. At the outset, Rockntouch, driven by Mickey McNichol, blasted off the wings to take command while Panocchio, taking a chance to find a spot close up early, found one in second with Here Comes William third and Fritzie Pic Up Man next. With an opening quarter in a hot :26.2 on a track rated "good" after being deluged with prolonged afternoon rain, Rockntouch sizzled over to the half in :54.3 with Panocchio almost two lengths away and Fritzie Pic Up Man on the move and drawing up to within a length of the leader past the third station in 1:22.4. Fritzie Pic Up Man finally wrestled the lead away from Rockntouch turning for home while Hennessey was finally able to weasel his way out of the pocket and give chase, taking command shortly after they straightened away. But the issue was far from being settled as both Heart Felt and Rock On Moe were closing in. On the wire, the photo finish camera showed that Panocchio's nose was, indeed, long enough to secure the victory, his fifth of the year in only six starts. After the race, Hennessey said, "there are no words that adequately describe this horse. He is just amazing. "He's been off for more than two months because he just wasn't feeling up to par and he only had a couple of qualifiers coming in. "But, he's done that kind of thing before and he goes just where he has to go to win. "The track was off a second or two and it was a tiring track but he went another amazing mile. Jim (trainer Mattison) can be proud of his performance tonight." Panocchio now has 53 lifetime wins--31 at Pompano Park in 47 starts--with a lifetime bankroll of $430,468 to go along with a track record mark of 1:48.3 at Pompano Park, as well. Trainer Mattison co-owns Panocchio with Emile Johnson, Jr. As the 3 to 2 favorite, Panocchio paid $5.00 to win. In other Sunday action, Music Is Art, a son of Art Major who won his sophomore debut in 1:53.4 at Pompano Park on April 11, stepped up a notch and won his second in a row, this time in 1:54.1 for driver Anthony Kerwood. Trainer by Peter Blood, who co-owns with Rick Berks, Music Is Art stalked the 2 to 5 favorite, Regalanthropist (Wally Hennessey) through panels of :27.3, :57.1 and 1:26.1 before leaving his cozy pocket around the final bend and using a :27.4 finale to score a handy 2½ length win over Artistic Cruiser (Matt Romano) with Ball Don't Lie (Kevin Wallis) third over Regalanthropist. EY Cowboy picked up the minor award in the sextet. Music Is Art, who won $38,108 in only seven starts last year at two, earned his fourth lifetime win to send his career bankroll to $43,408. As the 3 to 2 second choice, Music Is Art paid $5.00 to win. Racing continues of Monday night with Boli looking to score a repeat win in the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot. This five year-old son of Kadabra, trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, has been installed as the 9 to 5 morning line favorite and will have the driving services of Pompano Park's leading driver, Wally Hennessey. Looking to upset the applecart on Monday night are Commentary (6 to 1), M T Ur Pockets (7 to 1), Diamond Dagger (7 to 2), Keystone Bodacious (4 to 1), Sailer Eddie (9 to 1) and Tater Twister (8 to 1). The track's Super Hi-5 continues Monday and Tuesday night with a mandatory payout scheduled for Sunday, April 30 should no one be able to capture the entire pool with a single 20 cent winning ticket. The carryover for the Super Hi-5 has ballooned to around $90,000. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...January 29, 2017...For the 10th time in 11 starts since returning to Pompano Park, Panocchio, handled by Wally Hennessey, has taken top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's top pace--the $12,000 Open Handicap. With temperatures in the cool 50's and the track rated sloppy, the seven year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended scored a hard-earned half-length victory over Uncmprmising Z Tam, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr. with Respectable Dream, with Rick Plano in the bike, third, a length away. Drachan Hanover finished fourth in the classy quartet after a backside binge from the back of the pack to push his nose in front past the third station. With the scratch of Bluehourpower, Panocchio was, as usual, sent winging when the gate sprang and took a clear lead around the opening turn, reaching the initial quarter in :27.2. After a second quarter breather that left Panocchio with a 1½ length advantage halfway through the mile in :56.3, the leader was forced to pick up the pace as Drachan Hanover brushed up strongly with a :27.1 panel of his own to poke a nostril in front at the third station in 1:24.3. In the lane, Panocchio responded and put Drachan Hanover away, only to have attacks develop from both sides as Uncmprmising Z Tam slipped through along the inside with Respectable Dream charging on the other side. But Panocchio, again, as usual, was up to the task on the strength of his :27.3 finale to score his fourth straight win. After the event, driver Wally Hennessey remarked, "This horse always does his best---gives his best. The track was a couple of seconds off with all the rain today and this was no cakewalk and I think MacDonald's horse (Drachan Hanover) stuck his nose in front around the final bend. "The great thing about Panocchio is that you don't have to get after him as he knows what to do himself when a horse comes along side. He digs in himself. "It doesn't matter if he misses a week because Jimmy (trainer Mattison) doesn't train him hard--usually only around 2:30. But every time this horse steps on the track to go behind the gate, he's all business. Jim and (wife) Vicki are just great." Co-owned by Jim Mattison, along with Emile Johnson, Panocchio is now four-for-four this semester, good for $24,000 and, now with 52 lifetime wins (31 at Pompano Park), the grand gelding now has a career bankroll of $421,368 to go along with his track record performance at Pompano of 1:48.3. As the 1 to 10 favorite, Panocchio paid $2.20 to win. In the $10,000 Open 2 Pace, First Of Itskind, with Ricky Macomber, Jr. in the bike, scored in 1:52 for his first Pompano Park win in three tries. Heart Felt was second for Bryce Fenn, three parts-of-a-length away, while Rockntouch closed stoutly along the inside to finish third, just a nostril or two further back. Fritzie Pick Up Man finished fourth while Cadillac Phil, prominent all the way in the garden spot, picked up the nickel. First Of Itskind, a six year-old altered son of Western Terror, started from post eight and won an early war with Cadillac Phil and Heart Felt, taking command at the opening station in :27.1 and then wiring subsequent panels of :55.4 and 1:23.2 before holding off his main two challengers with a :28.3 finale. Trained by Jason Robinson for owner Robert Main, First Of Itskind won for the 17th time in his career stretching 94 starts to send his lifetime earnings to $175,501. As the 6 to 5 tote-board favorite, First Of Itskind returned $4.40 to win. Racing continues on Monday night with the popular "Over-The-Hill Gang" trot the feature. The classy sextet includes the 31 time winner My Revenuer, a winner of four of his last five starts in this class, She's All In, with 28 lifetime victories and Bad Angel, looking for a repeat win in this class, among others. Post time is set at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park                              

Freehold, NJ --- Emile Johnson Jr. was looking for a young, up-and-coming harness racing trainer to condition horses for him in New England. Jim Mattison was looking to re-establish himself as a trainer and driver following a stint in the Army. That was 45 years ago. The two men were introduced to each other, hit it off, and have remained partners in racing ever since. And they are continuing to reap the rewards of their long-lasting friendship with top open-class pacer Panocchio. A 7-year-old son of No Pan Intended-Panitarium, Panocchio has won 51 of 111 career races and earned $415,368 in purses. He is 3-for-3 this year, with all his victories coming in the open handicap division at his winter home of Pompano Park. In fact, Panocchio has won nine of 10 starts since returning to Pompano in October. “That’s a once in a lifetime,” Johnson said about getting a horse like Panocchio, who was purchased by Johnson and Mattison for $23,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale following his 2-year-old season with Bob McIntosh. “You can’t get spoiled, and Panocchio is the kind of horse that could spoil you, because they’re not all like him. He’s the very best that I ever had.” That’s not to say the 79-year-old Johnson and 67-year-old Mattison haven’t enjoyed their share of success over the years. One of their earliest top horses was Mar Con Cadet, who was a standout on the New Hampshire Sire Stakes circuit in the mid-1970s and earned $105,062 in his career. “We went on from there,” Mattison said. “We’ve had some dry spells, but we’ve had some pretty good racehorses over the years. I don’t really want to fool with the yearlings anymore. I try to buy 2-year-olds coming 3. That’s how we bought Panocchio.” Johnson, a retired schoolteacher and baseball and soccer coach, lives in Athol, Mass., and has been involved in harness racing since the early 1970s. While looking for a trainer during those early years, he asked owner Paul Welcome for suggestions because he respected Welcome’s opinion. “He said there was a young man that had just gotten out of the service and his name is Jim Mattison,” Johnson said. “He told me, ‘I think you would like him. He’s aggressive, he’s young.’ We were introduced and I recognized immediately that he knew what he was doing. He’d been brought up around horses and he certainly knew his way around the racetrack. We’ve had a great relationship from that time on. Over the years we’ve had close to 80 or 90 horses together. “He is a true horseman and gentleman, and a friend. We’ve been very, very good friends.” Mattison, from Bennington, Vt., got his start in harness racing at the age of 12 when his parents bought him a racehorse. He had numerous relatives in the business and was ready to return to the sport after getting out of the Army in 1971. He met Johnson and the rest is history. “We’ve really had no arguments or disagreements over the years,” said Mattison, who spends the winters in Pompano Park and summers in Saratoga. “It’s been great.” Johnson often visits Mattison and his wife Vicki once a year in Florida and then spends many of his summer weekends driving three hours from Athol to Saratoga to enjoy the races with the Mattisons. “I look forward to it,” Johnson said, adding with a laugh, “It’s a short drive home when the horses do well.” Panocchio helps make Johnson and Mattison feel good no matter where they are located at the time. The gelding has been particularly strong at Pompano Park, winning 30 of 43 lifetime races at the track while hitting the board a total of 39 times. In 2015, Panocchio paced the fastest mile in the history of the venue, winning in 1:48.3. “That was exciting,” Mattison said. “When we walked in the paddock after the race people came out of the stalls and were giving high fives and slapping him on the butt. It kind of brought tears to your eyes. I’ve never seen that happen. “He likes Pompano. I think he likes the weather and the five-eighths-(mile track). He’s done well at (half-mile oval) Saratoga, he’s won a lot of races there, but the bigger track is easier on him because there is a little more time getting to the first turn.” Panocchio didn’t show Mattison much desire to go fast when the trainer first started working with the horse at age 3. But as soon as Mattison put the race bike on Panocchio and put him in a field of horses “it was like turning on a switch.” That remains the case to this day as the gelding is still not fond of training. “If you go a mile in less than (2):20 you’re doing pretty good,” Mattison said about Panocchio’s workouts. “But when he’s behind the gate and the light turns on he’s pretty gritty. Even when he’s tired and they come to him they have quite a chore to get by him. Not that they don’t, but they have quite a chore. “It doesn’t matter where he gets away, he’s going to try. He’s a real joy.” Johnson and Mattison have three horses at the moment. Two were purchased at last fall’s Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale and are being prepped to race this season. But having Panocchio gives Johnson and Mattison something to look forward to on a regular basis. When Johnson can’t be at the track, he is glued to his computer to watch the horse. “There’s only one place I’m going to be, and that’s there,” Johnson said. “I don’t miss it.” by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Pompano Beach, FL...January 15, 2017...For the ninth time in 10 tries since his return to harness racing at Pompano Park, Panocchio won the top pace on Sunday night (January 15)--the $12,000 Open Handicap Pace. The seven year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, handled again by Wally Hennessey and assigned the outside post in his quintet, zoomed out of the gate into the lead before yielding to Drachan Hanover (John MacDonald) at the opener in :26.3. A stride of two later, Panocchio brushed up to regain the top spot and carded subsequent panels of :55.1 and 1:24.1 before a :28 finale sealed the deal by 1 ¾ lengths over the late charging Bluehourpower (Corey Braden). Legal Spike (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) finished another neck back in third while Fritzie Pic Up Man garnered fourth money. Drachan Hanover picked up the nickel. After the event, Hennessey, once again, had high praise for Panocchio saying, "Jim (trainer Mattison) and his wife, Vicki, keep this horse in such great condition week after week. It's just amazing that he can keep sharp for this extended period of time...just amazing. "He just does what he has to do to win. Being 'handicapped' with the outside post when it's the five post actually helps this horse as he is ready to go when the gate springs. "He got to the top easily enough and, when MacDonald came at me, I thought it best to let him go and retake, hoping that I wouldn't get in a war with him since his horse missed last week. "When we got to the half in a reasonable (:55.1), we didn't really have any threats on the backside, although I did give him one tap to keep him interested. When we hit the third quarter in 1:24.1, I was confident he could get home." In keeping his 2017 record unblemished--now 3-for-3--Panocchio sent his seasonal bounty to $18,000 and $415,368 career-wise with 51 wins, including the track record at Pompano in 1:48.3 for Emile Johnson, Jr., who co-owns with trainer Jim Mattison. Off at a dime-to-a-dollar in the betting, Panocchio paid $2.20 to win. The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to Mystic Desire, handled by Aaron Byron, stopped the clock in 1:50.4 to score his initial win of the year in just two starts. The classy nine year-old son of Real Desire used that coveted five post to push the Hummer Starting Gate out of the way at the start and scorched panels of :26.1, :53.2 and 1:22 before stepping home in :28.4 to seal the issue over the late charging Respectable Dream (Rick Plano) with First Of Itskind (Tom Jackson) a stout closing third after trailing throughout the first five-eighths of the journey. The Optimist finished fourth while Duc Dorleans picked up the minor award in the field of six. Trained by Don Campbell for owner Tony Maione, Mystic Desire won for the 39th time in his stories career with his earnings vaulting to $843,851. As the 6 to 5 favorite on the tote-board, Mystic Desire paid $4.60 to win. Also, Wally Hennessey was honored as the leading driver during the 2015-2016 season. Hennessey claimed the title with 224 driving wins during the 126 night racing season. Hennessey also leads this year's driving colony at Pompano Park with 122 wins over the first 52 nights of the 2016-2017 season. Racing continues on Monday night with My Revenuer seeking his fourth straight win in the popular "Over-The-Hill Gang" Trot. The nine year-old gelded son of Revenue S will have Brad Kramer in the bike for owner-trainer Tom Petri. The million dollar quintet of eight year-olds and up are responsible 150 lifetime wins. The Monday card also features a Pick-6 carryover of $1,113 and a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 Pool. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park                  

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