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Pompano Beach, FL...November 24, 2018...Pompano Park will be the host on Sunday for the biggest night of harness racing thus far at the South Florida track featuring the FSBOA sponsored Super Night events plus a $15,000 guaranteed pool on the track's Pick-4. There is also a Super Hi-5 carryover of $26,216 on Sunday night. Super Night consists of eight events for Florida bred two and three year-olds with five of these events beginning as non-wagering events at 5:15 p.m. with the remaining three kicking off the very competitive nine race pari-mutuel program. Proud Sophie and Kerry B renew their rivalry in the $49,200 Breeders Stakes for juvenile trotting fillies, while Prairie Gem, Damien Hall and Prairie Shibby, among others, will do battle in the $52,500 Stake for the two year-old trotting geldings. The $51,500 event for three year-old trotting fillies is next with I Rhoda Daley looking to repeat her championship performance as a two year-old last season. Her main threat appears to be Jennifer, who just took a new life mark just two starts back. The $49,750 sophomore trot for geldings features Captain Thomas and Dangerous Mood, both winners in Stakes competition this fall. The final non-wagering event is the $53,100 Breeders Stake Final for three year-old pacing fillies. This well matched field includes Prairie Easter, with a 1:51.2 Pocono mark coming in, and Krinda, who has a 3-2-1 scorecard in her six starts this semester. The pari-mutuel program kicks off with the $53,900 Stake for three year-old pacing colts and geldings. Gold Star Diablo, lasy year's Super Night champion as a two year-old, is undefeated at Pompano Park in his five stakes starts this fall season and is expected to be favored to extend that streak. Completing the early daily double will be the $53,700 Breeders Stake for the year year-old pacing colts and geldings Mister Marvalous and Zaza Boy matching strides in that event. The final FSBOA event is the $55,500 Breeders Stake for juvenile pacing fillies and features the outstanding Natasha, a winner of six straight at Pompano Park since the fall season began. Also entered are Prairie Westerngal and Rockin Ellie, each having chased Natasha around the South Florida five-eights mile oval during the stakes season. The highly anticipated program also features a $2,000,000 field in the Open I Handicap Pace. The million dollar winner Lucan Hanover will match strides with track record holder Panocchio and last week's winner Dakota Jack, among others. The track will have a $15,000 Guaranteed Pool on the Pick-4 (races 6 through 9) and a large carryover in the track's Super Hi-5 finale--now standing at $26,216. The non-wagering festivities begin at 5:15 p.m. with the pari-mutuel program scheduled to begin at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

James "Jim" P. Patten, 90, of Davenport, IA, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 20 at Bickford Senior Living in Davenport. James Peter Petenakis was born Jan.  2, 1928, to Peter and Athena (Spirakis) Petenakis in Mason City, IA. He grew up in Mason City and graduated from Mason City High School. His family immigrated from Crete, Greece and he always said they were "so poor they couldn't afford sunshine." Jim proudly served in the U.S Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant. He then attended the University of Iowa on the G.I Bill and graduated with a degree in Journalism. On February 6 of 1954, Jim was united in marriage to Xenia Annas in Pontiac, Michigan. Later on, their last name was changed to Patten to simplify it for business purposes. They relocated to Davenport and had four children, Phil, Janine, Tina, and Jamie. Jim founded Midwest Publishing & Co. in 1958. He was a successful entrepreneur who established or operated many businesses over the years including: Staats Awards in Mt. Pleasant, Patten Commercial Park, and the Quad City Downs harness racing track in the Quad Cities. Jim was actually doing the publicity and marketing for Quad City Downs when a partnership was developed to purchase the track. Years later Jim bought out the partners and owned the racetrack outright. During his years in Davenport he became best friends with Bernie Goldstein, who founded the Isle of Capri Casino company that purchased Pompano Park in 1995. Goldstein then named Jim Patten to the Pompano Park Board of Directors, where he served for more than 15 years. The track’s “speak easy” bar/restaurant on the 5th floor was named, Patten’s Place, in his honor. In 2011, Jim was honored with the presentation of the Dan Gawlas Good Guy Award from the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association, for his outgoing and generous personality and for his promoting harness racing. He was a proud member of both the Harness Publicists Association and the United States Harness Writers Association. His hobbies included a love of fishing and horse racing. Jim was fun loving, generous, and passionate about his work, and his community. He also enjoyed instructing bartenders on the nuances of a perfect Rob Roy. Jim Patten will always be remembered for wearing his long sleeve flannel shirts year-round. Visitation will be held from 1-3 pm on Sunday, Nov. 25 at the Weerts Funeral Home in Davenport. Funeral Services will be at 11 am., Monday, Nov. 26, at the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Rock Island, IL. Memorials may be made to the St. George Greek Orthodox Church or the James P. Patten Memorial Fund in support of the University of Iowa School of Journalism.  Jim will be missed by his loving wife; Xenia; four children: Phil Patten of Davenport, Janine (Tom McDonald) Patten of Babbitt, MN, Tina (Dan) Lonergan of Omaha, NE, and Jamie (John Venable) Patten of Pittsburgh, PA; five grandchildren: Nikki, Katie, Nick, Tony, and Ellis; and his sister, Claire Goolsby of Dallas, TX. Jim was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Myron Patten of Henderson, NV. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Pompano Beach, FL...November 19, 2018...Pompano Park's "Send It In" Sunday featured several stakes events, an upset win in the Open Handicap Pace and Florida Hall of Fame horseman Mike Deters achieving two milestones. Deters, who has overcome a mountain of health issues, reached the top of the mountain on Sunday Night, reaching, for the first time, 100 training wins for the year and $1,000,000 in purse earnings. Deters milestones came in the same race--the fifth--as Gold Star Diablo, trained by Deters for owner Dan Clements took the Tom Audley Memorial Pace for three year-olds, scoring in 1:54.1. The victory, Gold Star Diablo's fifth straight, was the 100th training success for Deters in a career stretching back to the early 1980's and, ironically, vaulted him over the $1,000,000 for the first time in his career. Deters reflected on the double milestone saying, "I'm not really one for words, you know, but I couldn't and wouldn't have achieved these milestones without great owners and outstanding help. That's why we call ourselves 'Team Deters.' "And, of course, I am lucky enough to have a wonderful wife and son, who put up with me having to be away for six months of the year. Without their support, I certainly would not have achieved these milestones. "I always try and get the most out of the potential given me and, this year, that potential of our stables came through. There is a lot of luck in this business--both good and bad--and the good luck certainly outweighed the bad luck this season. I am truly blessed." Gold Star Diablo, a gelded son of Mysticism, used a :28.1 closing panel to score over another Deters trainee, Prairie Easter, with Mike, himself, in the bike. Starcasim. handled by Joe Sanzeri, finished third with Jay Jay and Prairie Foolish next in the field of six. Gold Star Diablo paid $3.20 to win. The Tom Audley Memorial for sophomore trotters went to Captain Thomas, driven by Wally Hennessey, in 1:59.1. The gelded son of Proud Bushy, trained by Dan Hennessey for owner John Campagnuolo, trounced his rivals by 11 1/2 lengths in scoring his fifth win in seven starts. I Rhoda Daley (Walter Ross, Jr.) was second over Jennifer (Mike Simons). Ms. Katie B and Brian completed the roster in that event. The Melvyn Aylor Memorial Events for two year-olds were also held on Sunday night with Proud Sophie, Prairie Gem, Mister Marvalous and Natasha all getting pictures taken in the winner's circle. Proud Sophie, driven by Jay Sears, took her $14,000 division for fillies, scoring in 2:06.3 over Crown Bushy (Walter Ross, Jr.) and Kerry B (Wally Hennessey), sending her earnings over the $40,000 in this non-wagering event. Prairie Gem, handled by Jim Meittinis, used a :59.1 final half to easily handle Prairie Shibby (Hennessey) and Savin Park (John Campagnuolo) in 2:02.3. Prairie Arrow and McGoldrick were next in that quintet. Prairie Gem, a gelded son of Shibboleth Hanover owned by Laurie Poulin, along with Fred Morosini, Fritz Racing and trainer Mike Deters, led gate-to-wire for his third win in four career starts. Mister Marvalous, a gelded son of Delmarvalous, justified his 1 to 2 tote-board odds with a seemingly effortless win in a lifetime best 1:55.3 for Wally Hennessey, his margin 3 3/4 lengths over Zaza Boy (John MacDonald) and Prairie Midnight (Jim Meittinis) with Gold Star Yoder and JB's Boomerang also fetting checks in this $16,000 event. Trained by Kim Sears for owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, Mister Marvalous won his fifth straight at Pompano Park to send his earnings to$23,807. Natasha, the gifted daughter of Six Of Diamonds driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and Jay Sears, made a sharp quarter move to the top after a :27.1 opener by Prairie Westerngal (Jim Meittinis) and proceeded through panels of :56.4 and 1:26.1 before a :28.1 finale sealed the issue. Rockin Ellie (Dave Ingraham) was next, followed ny Priaire Cougar and Caleb's Diamond T in the field of six. Natasha paid $2.20 to win. Finally, in a highly anticipated duel between track record holder Panocchio and arch-rival Rebellious, neither wound up in the winner's circle as Dakota Jack, smartly handled by Mike Simons, out-sprinted both of them to the wire with a :26.4 closing kick to score by a half-length in 1:52. Panocchio (Hennessey) did finish second over Rebellious (Meittinis). Here Comes William was fourth with Prairie Panther fifth in this classy sextet. The five year-old son of Duneside Perch, trained by Jim Brinson for A Piece Of The Action stable, found a seam turning for home, swept widest of all and mowed down his rivals in deep stretch for the win. After the event, driver Simons said, "when you are in with great horses like that (Panocchio and Rebellious, among others), you just hope for the best. I tried to save ground throughout with my post position (1) and just hoped for the best. When we turned for home, we found a little room and he really was full of pace in the late stages of the mile. Trey (trainer Jim Brinson) said he was very sharp last week when he won but, against these, I was a bit surprised. Off as fourth choice at 15 to 1, Dakota Jack paid $33.40 to win. Racing continues Monday night with a Super Hi-5 carryover which has ballooned to $20,896. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...November 12, 2018...Rebellious, drive by Jim Meittinis for co-owner and trainer Mike Deters, used one of his patented closing kicks to take the $10,000 Open Handicap at Pompano Park on Sunday night (November 11). Deters, who co-owns with Joel Warner, edged closer to two career milestones with the win--the first being his first 100 win training season and the second edging ever-so-close to his first million dollar season as a trainer. Rebellious stopped the timer in 1:51.4, sailing by pacesetter Lucan Hanover (Greg Merton) at mid-stretch with a :27 closer, leaving Lucan Hanover two lengths away at the wire. Here Comes William (Donald Dupont) was third, another length away, with Speed Trap and Caviart Reagan also picking up so bounty in the classy field of six. When the wings folded, Here Comes William and Lucan Hanover got into an early way with the latter squeaking by right at the speedy opener timed in :27. After a half in :56, Speed Trap left his cozy spot in third with Rebellious following his live cover. After the third station timed in 1:24.2, Rebellious fanned widest of all turning for home and vaulted to the front at mid-stretch with winning driver Jim Meittinis lamenting, "This horse has some kinda motor. I mean his brush is devastating when he gets into gear. I love him. I love his attitude--he has a winning attitude." The four year-old gelded son of Mach Three now has 15 wins in 30 starts this year, good for $120,056, to go along with his 1:50.3 Tioga mark. Off at 3 to 5 on the board, Rebellious paid >3.40 to his multitude of faithful. Racing continues Monday with post-time set for 7:20 p.m. The Super Hi-5 finale has ballooned to $13,347 for the Monday card. by John Berry, for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...November 6, 2018...Gold Star Diablo, driven by Wally Hennessey, extended his Pompano Park winning streak to four on Monday night with a handy 1:55.1 in one of the four FSBOA sponsored Stallion Stakes for harness racing three year-olds. The gifted son of Mysticism was used early and then pressured until the top of the stretch before striding away from his rivals to a 2 3/4 length victory over s game Mister Special T, handled by Mike Simons. Jay Jay, with Dave Ingraham in his sulky, rallied for third ahead of Silver Wings, who pressed the pace early, and Gold Star Flick, who picked up the minor award. Trained by Mike Deters for owner Dan Clements, Gold Star Diablo's share of the $31,000 purse spiked his career bounty to $90,476--$28,446 this semester. It was a bang-bang start in the event with Silver Wings leaving with alacrity then quickly joined by Gold Star Diablo with Mister Special T three wide. At the opening station in :28.2, Gold Star Diablo assumed command from Silver Wings with Mister Special T still on the attack and Silver Wings pressing the pace along the inside. Gold Star Diablo and MIster Special T raced toe-to-toe past the half in :56.4 with the pace non-relenting by the thiord station in 1:26. In the lane, Gold Star Diablo edged away from Mister Special T to record the win--his 11th lifetime in only 20 starts. Said Hennessey after the event, "Sometimes you just have to trust your horse that he can take a punch and Gold Star Diablo took a few of them on Monday night. He raced giant--a credit to trainer Mike Deters and his staff." Off as the 1 to 20 favorite, Gold Star Diablo returned $2.10 to win. Other Stallion Stake winners were Krinda, Jennifer and Dangerous Mood. Krinda, a splendid daughter of Six Of Diamonds, led gate-to-wire in scoring a 1:56.1 win for Wally Hennessey in the $30,650 event for sophomore pacing fillies. Justifying her 3 to 5 tote-board status, Krinda led at every pole, carding panels of :28.4, :59.3 and 1:28.3 before a :27.3 finale sealed the deal over Prairie Easter, handled by Mike Deters, with Priaire Foolish, with Jim Meittinis handling the lines, next. Starcasim and Diamond Eyes completed the roster. Hennessey remarked after the event, "We were fortunate to get a very nice second quarter breather. When we got to the half, I was pretty confident we could get home. She didn't disappoint me." Trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay, Krinda earned her third win of the year in five starts, good for $25,637 this year and $76,976 career-wise. Krinda paid $3.40 to win. Jennifer, a daughter of Proud Bushy, earned her first win of the year in three starts in the non-wagering $28,500 Stallion Stake for trotting fillies, hitting the wire in a lifetime best 1:59.2, annihilating her former mark of 2:03.4. Driven by Mike Simons for owners Kim and Jay Sears, Jennifer burst off the wins at the start and carded panels of :30.3, 1:00 and 1:29.3 before hitting the line 3 1/2 lengths ahead of I Rhoda Daley, driven by Hennessey. I Rhoda Daley, looking to extend her winning skein at Pompano Park to five, made a slight miscue leaving but made a recovery to earn the place honors. Cookie, with Jay Sears in her sulky, finished third over Ms Katie B. Finally, Dangerous Mood, trained by Jim McDonald for the Smiley Farm, wired his foes a lifetime best the $27,000 Stallion Stake for colts and geldings, scoring by 3 3/4 lengths for Dave Ingraham. Captain Thomas, threatened the eventual winner at mid-stretch but made a miscue to lose all change at victory. Brian was a distant third for Mike Deters. The gelded son of Proud Bushy, who took a 2:01.1 mark last year at Pompano, scored his first win of the year in five starts with his win and sent his earnings this year to $20,550. That event, too, was a non-wagering event. In the $10,000 Open Pace for fillies and mares, the invader Bucklegirl Bobette, driven by Wally Hennessey, made her first start in six weeks a winning one, scurrying around the Pompano oval in 1:53.3. Taking the lead off the wings before yielding, the five year-old daughter of Duneside Perch made a second bold move heading into the second turn and went on to pin a 1 1/4 length defeat on Northern Dali, driven by Mike Simons. Watts Was I Drinkin, handled by Dave Ingraham, finished third while Galarine finished fourth. Little Joke was next in the classy sextet. Trained by Rob Rittof for owner Hart Walker, Bucklegirl Bobette score her 10th win of the year in 23 starts, good for $67,338. She's banked 180,348 career-wise. Off at 2 to 5, Bucklegirl Bobette returned $2.80 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with first post set at 7:20 p.m. and a carry-over in the Super Hi-5 of $8,819.32. by John Berry, for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, Florida...November 5, 2018...Pompano Park's Sunday night racing program was filled with several highlights with a rare walkover in one of the four FSBOA sponsored Stallion Stakes and Lucan Hanover scoring a sharp win in the Open Handicap pacing feature. Kicking off the festivities, Proud Sophie, the only entrant in the $24,425 Stallion Stake for two year-old trotting fillies, toured the Pompano Park oval in a lifetime best 2:03.3 for Jay Sears. Trained by Kim Sears for Dr. David Fishman, who co-owns with Jay, the daughter of Proud Bushy carded panels of :31, 1:02.2 and 1:33.3 along the way with the walkover win sending her earnings to $32,980. In the 28,800 Stallion Stake for two year-old trotting colts and geldings, Prairie Shibby, a gelded son of Shibboleth Hanover, used a rousing rally in deep stretch to get up for the win in 2:01.1 for Wally Hennessey--a maiden victory for the Mike Deters trainee. Owned by Deters along with Laurie Poulin, the youngster defeated stable-mate Prairie Gem, handled by Jim Meittinis, by a half length. Prairie Arrow, yet another stable-mate of the top two finishers, finished third with Mike in the bike. Coming in with $2,735 in his two previous lifetime starts, Prairie Shibby went back to his stall in the Deters Stable with earnings of $18,575. The $28,750 Stallion Stake for two year-old pacing colts and geldings went to Zaza Boy, an altered son of Rockingcam. Trained by Michile Lorenzo for Souren Hovsepian and Rod Lorenzo, Zaza Boy also picked up his maiden win timed in 1:57.3. Mike Simons handled the lines back of the winner, scoring by 2 1/4 lengths over the pace-setter JB's Boomerang (Bryce Fenn) with Gold Star Yoder (James Yoder) third. Zaza Boy now has $18,492 in his four career starts. On the betting card, Natasha, the brilliant Six Of Diamonds filly trained by Kim Sears for husband-owner Jay, justified her 1 to 10 backing with a handy win--6 3/4 lengths--in 1:54.4, just one tick off her Vernon Downs mark. Wally Hennessey was in her sulky for the decisive win, keeping her scorecard unblemished in five starts at Pompano Park. Rockin Ellie (Dave Ingraham) was second while Lime Twist (Mike Simons) finished third. With this Stallion Stake worth $32,000, Natasha now has 6-0-1 scorecard in eight starts, with the win more than doubling her earnings coming in and now standing at $31,725. She paid $2.20 to win. In the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace, Lucan Hanover, the game eight year-old gelded son of Western Ideal, used a :27.3 finale to hit the wire in 1:51.2 for Greg Merton, two-and-a-half lengths better this night than track record holder Panocchio, with Wally Hennessey in the bike. Speed Trap (MIke Simons) won a three horse photo for show honors over Pan Street USA and A Cool Card. Owned by Vogel&Wags Nags Stable along with Pine Hill Racing and trainer Jack Rice, Lucan Hanover vaulted his career earnings to $1,157,471--$66,075 this year. Off at 11 to 10, Lucan Hanover paid $4.20 to win. Two other miles of note were the performances of Mc Mach and Windsun Gotham. Mc Mach, handled by trainer Rick Plano for Maryann Plano and Jan and Mindy Findling Repko, wired his foes in a lifetime best 1:50.4, sawing off panels of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:23.1 along the way. The four year-old son of Mach Three knocked off two-fifth off his previous mark at Hoosier Park. Windsun Gotham, driven by Wally Hennessey, got up in the final stride to nail Casimir Quasimodo (Andy Shetler) in 1:51.1, also a new lifetime mark. Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 has a carryover of$7,610.58 going into Monday's racing program. Post time is set for 7:20 P.M.  by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...October 30, 2018...Wally Hennessey continued his red-hot streak at Pompano Park on Monday (October 29), sweeping all four of the (non-wagering) FSBOA Sunshine State Stakes for three year-olds. Four different trainers and owners benefitted from Hennessay's touch as the author of an astounding .815 UDRS batting average coming in guided I Rhoda Daley, Captain Thomas, Krinda and Gold Star Diablo in their respective $12,000 wins. First up, I Rhoda Daley, trained by John Hallett for owner Lee Clarke, scored in a "Secretariat" like performance as she annihilated her foes by 21 3/4 lengths in 2:01.4--a new lifetime mark--for her fourth straight win in these Sunshine State Stakes for trotting fillies. The daughter of Desperado Don, last year's champion in her juvenile division, carded panels of :30.2, 1:01.3 and 1:31.3 along the way. Ms Katie B (Gary Braden) was second with Cookie (Jay Sears) third. In the trot for the boys, Captain Thomas made a sharp quarter move to the front and used a :28.4 finale to keep his record unblemished in his four starts in the Sunshine State Stakes. The altered son of Proud Bushy, trained by Dan Hennessey for owner John Campagnuolo, scored by 4 3/4 lengths over the early leader, Dangerous Mood (Jim McDonald). Brian (Mike Deters) completed the roster. Also a champion in his 2017 class, Captain Thomas is now four-for-six this semester in his quest to retain his crown in this year's division on Super Night. In the filly pace, Krinda somehow found a seam at mid-stretch and knifed on through late to score by a half-length in 1:56, equaling her lifetime best. The daughter of Six Of Diamonds, lightly raced at two but champion in her class last year, scored a narrow win over Prairie Foolish (Jim Meittinis) in an action packed mile leaving the winner seemingly hopelessly locked in until the final stages. Starcasim (Joe Sanzeri) was third while Prairie Easter and Diamond Eyes earned the final two awards in the sextet. Krinda is trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay. In the colt/gelding pace, Gold Star Diablo, a gelded son of Mysticism, held on gamely late to score by a half length over the late-charging Silver Wings (Bryce Fenn) to hit the wire in 1:55.4. Mister Special T, closing fastest of all for Mike Simons, finished third, just a length away, while Gold Star Flick and Dontblevmejuswatch rounded out the combatants. Trained by Mike Deters for owner Dan Clements, Gold Star Diablo won for the third straight time to send his career bankroll jusy $24 short of $75,000. On the betting card, Northern Dali, driven by Mike Simons, found a narrow seam along the pylons late to score a narrow win in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for mares. The ultra-consistent six year-old daughter of Dali, trained by Gaston Lareau for JP Houle Stable, pinned the photo finish defeat on pacesetting Galarina, driven by Jason Dillander. Little Joke, with John MacDonald in her sulky, was a fast closing third, followed by Watts Was I Drinkin and A Wish For Wings. Northern Dali now has a 9-8-5 scorecard in 34 starts, good for $62,656 this year and $237,925 lifetime. Off as fourth choice, Northern Dali paid $12.00 to win. Racing continues Tuesday night with post time set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park and the FSBOA  

Pompano Beach, FL...October 29, 2018...Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey, coming into the Pompano Park action on Sunday with an astounding UDRS of .815 for his first 27 drives, won six more in nine starts, including three of the four $12,000 Sunshine States Finals and the Open Pace with track record holder Panocchio. Panocchio redeemed himself from last week's narrow loss to Lucan Hanover with a sharp 1:52.3 performance for his 40th career win at Pompano Park, defeating arch-rival Lucan Hanover (John MacDonald) by a length. Speed Trap (Mike Simons) was third, 4 1.2 lengths away and a nose better than Dakota Jack. A Cool Card picked up the final award in the classy sextet. Surging off the wings, Panocchio won an early battle with Lucan Hanover but relented a few strides past the opening panel in a hot :26.4. A few strides later, Panocchio brushed from the pocked and reclaimed the lead short of the half in :55.4. On the backside the pace began to quicken as Panocchio seemed anxious to repel any threats the rest of the way with a :28.1 finale sealing the issue. After the race, Hennessey remarked, "That first quarter was pretty lively and, after MacDonald's horse (Lucan Hanover) took the lead, I felt the pace was slackening a bit, so I decided to brush Panocchio again and see what happens. "I thought, 'maybe it's better to brush again during a rated quarter then wait until we hit the backside when the pace would really get hot.' "It worked out well for us this time around but both of these horses are dead game!" For Panocchio, it was his 62nd career win with 40 of those achieved at Pompano Psrk. Owned by trainer Jim Mattison along with Emile Johnson, Panocchio, an eight year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, now has lifetime earnings of $550,638. Off at 3 to 5, Panocchio paid $3.20 to win. In other action, The FSBOA presented four Sunshine State Stakes Finals for two year-olds each worth $12,000 with Kerry B and Prairie Gem taking the two early events and Natasha and Mister Marvalous reaching the winner's circle on the pari-mutuel card. Kerry B, with Hennessey driving, took her division for trotting fillies with a handy 2:04 win over Proud Sophie, driven by Jay Sears. The winner is a daughter of Muscle Mass trained by KIm Sears for owner-husband Jay, who drove Proud Sophie as part owner with Dr. David Fishman. Prairie Gem took the division for the juvenile trotting colts and geldings with a sharp 2:01.4 performance, knocking almost five seconds off his only other winning effort, a 2:06.3 mile in his racing debut. Jim Meittinis was in the bike for trainer-owner Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Fred Morosini and Fritz Racing. Prairie Arrow (Deters) was second over Prairie Shibby (Hennessey) in the quintet. On the betting card, Natasha, handled by Hennessey, stalked Prairie Westerngal (Jim Meittinis) through panels of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:27.1 before unleashing a :28.1 burst home to score by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:55.3. Rockin Ellie (Dave Ingraham) was next, followed by Gold Star Stormie and Lime Twist. A two year-old daughter of Six Of Diamonds, Natasha is trained by Kim Sears for owner Jay Sears and now has five wins in seven lifetime starts to go along with her mark of 1:54.3. at Vernon Downs. Natasha paid $2.80 to her multitude of backers. Finally, Mister Marvalous, an altered son of Delmarvelous, kept his record at Pompano Park unblemished--now four-for-four--with a handy six length win for Hennessey in 1:57, just one tick off his best achieved at Vernon Downs. Gold Star Hefner (Walter Ross, Jr.) was next, six lengths away with JB's Boomerang (Bryce Fenn) third and Gold Star Yoder completing the roster of four. Off at 1 to 20, Mister Marvalous paid $2.10. Racing continues on Monday night with the three year-olds competing in the Sunshine States Stakes Finals. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park              

Pompano Beach, FL…October 22, 2018…Pompano Park kicked off its 2018-2019 season on Sunday night with driver Mike Simons earning his 4000th career win and Lucan Hanover eking out a photo finish win in the feature. Simons earned his milestone victory with Blueberry Heaven, a four year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven in the second race, scoring with the Mickey McNichol trained gelding in 1:54.3 in a near gate-to-wire effort. Owned by Marianne Ayers along with Anne Marie Hubbard and Heddy Nelson, Blueberry Heaven posted panels of :29, :57.4 and 1:26.3, fighting off challengers with a stout :28 finale. The win was the fifth of the year for Blueberry Heaven, sending his 2018 bounty to $33,484. Said the humble Simons after the race, “It’s really no big deal. After all, I’ve been at this a long time and to see these young kids and their talent in the bike thee days, I am just fortunate to be able to compete with them.” The $10,000 feature—the $10,000 Open Pace—went to Lucan Hanover, driven by John MaccDonald,  by a whisker over track record holder Panocchio, handled by Wally Hennessey. The game eight year-old altered son of Western Ideal, stalked the pace-setting Panocchio through fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:25 before engaging in a war then entire length of the lane to get up in the final stride. Speed Trap (Matt Krueger) was third while Kotare Yael and Hot Art picked up the minor awards. Trained by Jack Rice , who co-owns with Pine Hill Racing and Vogel & Wags Nags Stable, Lucan Hanover pushed his 2018 scorecard to 6-2-4 in 24 tries, good for $58,575. He’s banked $1,149,971 lifetime to go along with his 1:48 mark at Pocono Downs. Remarked driver John MacDonald after the event, I really didn’t know if he got there or not but, let me tell you, these are two great, game horses—Panocchio and Lucan Hanover—and we got the better trip tonight and that was the difference. The third leg of the FSBOA sponsored Sunshine State Stakes for the two year-olds were contented as four non-wagering events and Proud Sophie, Damien Hall, Natasha and Mister Marvalous reached the winner’s circle. Proud Sophie, driven by Jay Sears, took advantage of a miscue in the lane by rival Kerry B to score her maiden win in 2:05.3. The Kim Sears trainee, a daughter of Proud Bushy, is owned by Jay along with David Fishman. Damien Hall, a son of Cash Hall trained by driver-trainer Jim Mc Donald for the Pacing Pretty Stable, pulled away in the lane to score in a lifetime best 2:05.1 for his second career win in three starts. Natasha, a sharp looking Six Of Diamonds filly, made a quarter move to the top and then used a :28.3 finale to score handily in 1:57.4 for her third straight win in Sunshine State Stakes action. Wally Hennessey was in the sulky for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears. Finally, Mister Marvalous, a record unblemished in the Sunshine State Stakes by scoring a wire-to-wire win in 1:59.3-28.2 for Wally Hennessey. Racing continues Monday night with first post set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, Florida...It October 13, 2018...It would seem highly unlikely that Hall of Fame Driver Wally Hennessey could improve on last week's unbelievable .861 batting average in the FSBOA's Sunshine State Stakes but on Saturday (October 13) at Pompano Park, he did just that! Hennessey won seven of his eight drives to send his UDRS up to .868 on the strength of 13 winning drives in 16 journeys back of Adam Brownlee's Starting Gate. The ageless Hennessey scored repeat wins with Kerry B, Natasha, Mister Marvalous and I Rhoda Daley and then capped off the festivities driving Krinda to her first win of the season and recent ship-in Gold Star Diablo. When asked to reflect on the day, Hennessey took a page from the late, great baseball manager Casey Stengel saying, "Casey said 'ya gotta have the horses' and no truer statement was made with regards to our sport. I was just lucky enough to have the horses today!" The only event Hennessey did not win was in the juvenile trot for colts and geldings, won by Prairie Gem for driver Jim Meittinis. Hennessey now has 9,805 career wins---229 this year. Here is a recap of the action. Two Year-Old Filly Trot Kerry B, a sharp looking daughter of Muscle Mass, took command around the first turn and led every step thereafter in scoring a handy win for Hennessey in 2:01.3--:29.4. Trained by Kim Sears for husband Jay, Kerry B wired together panels of :30.1, 1:01.3 and 1:31.4 along the way and now sports a 3-2-1 scorecard in 10 10 lifetime starts. Two Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot Prairie Gem, a gelded son of Shibboleth Hanover had an easy time overcoming his outside post in scoring a handy win for JIm Meittinis in 2:06.3. Leading at every pole, Prairie Gem, co-owned by Barbara Jensen along with Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, put up fractions of :31, 1:03.3 and 1:35.3 before coasting home an easy winner by 2 2/4 lengths for his maiden victory in his first career purse start. Two Year-Old Filly Pace Natasha, a talented daughter of Six Of Diamonds with a mark of 1:54.3 at Vernon Downs, made a bold quarter move after the :29.4 opener and then went on to lead the rest of the journey, posting subsequent panels of :59.4 and 1:28.2 before an effortless :29 finale sealed the deal by 2 1/2 lengths for Hennessey, who was in the bike for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears. The win was the third straight for Natasha. Two Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace Mister Marvalous, an altered son of Delmarvelous, let the dust settle early as Zaza Boy (Joe Sanzeri) and Prairie Midnight (Jim Meittinis) traded punches early before tilting out around the final bend an on to a handy win in 1:58..3 for Hennessey's third win. Trained by Kim Sears for owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, Mister Marvalous used a :28.4 finale to reach the winner's circle for the third time in eight career starts. Three Year-Old Filly Trot I Rhoda Daley, last year's two year-old champion in her division, won her second straight in Sunshine State Stakes action by scoring a lifetime equalling best 2:03.2 win in hold off a determined Ms Katie B (Gary Braden) by a half-length. A daughter of Desperado Don, I rhoda Daley gave Hennessey the "grand slam" for trainer John Hallett, who does the conditioning for owner Lee Clarke. Three Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot Captain Thomas, with Hennessey again in the bike, let Dangerous Mood (Jim McDonald) do all the heavy lifting during splits of :28.4, :58.4 and 1:28.4 before tilting out of the cozy pocket turning for home and then drawing away late to score in a lifetime best 1:58.4. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owner John Campagnuolo, Captain Thomas is a gelded son of Proud Bushy who came into the action with a lifetime mark of Q2:01h. Three Year-Old Filly Pace Last year's Super Night champion, Krinda, avenged her narrow loss of a week ago to score a handy 1:56 lifetime best performance. Using her post position (4) to her advantage, the daughter of Six Of Diamonds surged off the wings forcing her main rival, Starcasim (Joe Sanzeri-post 5) to take a seat the back of the pack early. The two hooked up in a duel on backside and around the final bend before Krinda pulled away in the lane, sealing the issue with a :28.2 finale. Krinda is trained by Kim Sears for owner Jay Sears. Three Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace Gold Star Diablo, last year's juvenile champion in his class, got a picture perfect drive from Hennessey before tilting out turning for home and used a :29.3 closing kick to eave Silver Wings (Bryce Fenn) in his wake, 4 1/2 lengths away in 1:57.1. The gelded son of Mysticism, trained by Mike Deters for owner Dan Clements, earned his first win of the year in eight starts--his last win coming on Super Night last semester at Pompano Park. Pari-mutuel racing begins at Pompano Park on Sunday, October 21. by John Berry for the FSBOA and Pompano Park

Coral Springs, FL – Harness racing driver Bruce Ranger was once the King of the Pompano Park track in south Florida and before that was the top driver in Maine for years. During his illustrious career he competed in nearly 50,000 races with 8,916 wins and purses won at $36,453,179. Then on June 27, 2015 after he finished fourth in the last race with Master Of Puppets at Pompano Park, Bruce Ranger walked away from harness racing. “I was beat back then,” Ranger explained. “Too many accidents, too many mornings jogging or training 15 to 20 horses, then driving in ten or more races at night. My back especially was so sore that I knew it was time to stop.” Ranger returned to his home state of Maine and began rehabilitation, living in Lewiston. He rested up, started to heal and even got married on September 23, 2016 to Mary Beth Beauregard. Now enters Joe Morris in the picture. “My cousin Joe Morris is the one who owns the starting gates up here and it was him that helped get me to get my license and get the job starting the races on the Maine Fair Circuit,” Ranger added. “If It was anyone else other than him I would have said no thank you,” Ranger said. “If anything, it gave me a reason to see him more often. He is my favorite cousin since I was a kid and has helped me in the past.” Now, gone from competing in harness racing for more than three years, Bruce Ranger is returning to the races once again as a driver. His first appearance will be aboard Miss American Bi in the fourth race trot at Scarborough Downs in Maine on Saturday. It’s the $56,437 Maine Standardbred Breeders Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. He has one other drive on card in the sixth race, with Saratoga Liz (post two) in the $89,311 Maine Standardbred Breeders Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies. Both horses are trained by Kim Ireland. “Here comes cousin Joe Morris again,” Ranger said. “He owns Saratoga Liz and put me down to drive and I also got another one of Kim’s (Ireland) horses.” After being away from racing for more than three years, Ranger is making his comeback with a bang in a couple of major stakes races.  “I got the itch,” Ranger said. “I was very fortunate to get the chance to learn and become a starting judge and then was able to get hired as the starter for the Maine Fair Circuit this summer. “I really enjoyed being the starter for the Maine Fair Circuit,” Ranger added. “It peaked my interest to get back on a sulky and drive. But, first I had to get back in shape again. I ate too much of that great Fair food every weekend.” Getting back in shape for Ranger has been enjoyable. “During the winters I do a lot of skiing,” Ranger said. “And when not working during the summer I love to go biking. It has really helped me get back into shape and both the skiing and biking is great fun. “I had really missed the changing of the seasons and wintertime,” Ranger said. “I’d rather be working a snow blower than jogging horses. So, what are Bruce Ranger’s plans for his return to driving? “Since I got the itch,” Ranger said. “I’ve been considering driving at Plainridge. They have some green now and their purses are much better than what is available in Maine. “Why not go down there and race for real money,” Ranger added. “I’ve been there before when they did not have any decent purses. It’s not that far away that I can make the trip. “I have to see how things go on Saturday,” Ranger said. “I could get behind a horse and right afterwards say “no more” and walk away again. I could also love it and want to do more. We’ll know after Saturday for sure.” When asked about returning to Pompano Park in Florida where Ranger won more than half of his 8,916 career wins, Ranger said “No thank you. I don’t want to race in the heat ever again. I was born and raised up here in New England and want to say around here.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Pompano Beach, FL...October 7, 2018...With the baseball playoffs in full swing and football season well underway, yet another anticipated sports event began in South Florida on Saturday (October 6) as the FSBOA lucrative stakes season got underway for two and three year-olds at Pompano Park. After the festivities concluded, Hennessey had a "batting average" (UDRS) of .861 on the strength of six wins during the opening leg of the Sunshine State Stakes. Hennessey won the opener with Kerry B, then went on to win the third (Natasha), fourth (Mister Marvalous), fifth (I Rhoda Daley), sixth (Captain Thomas) and eighth race (Mister Special T). Only Jim McDonald and Joe Sanzeri prevented Hennessey from the sweep as McDonald took the second race with first time starter Damien Hall and Sanzeri hit the winner's circle with Starcasim. Kerry B, a two year-old daughter of Muscle Mass trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay, went to the post in the filly trot and took command at the opening marker and used a :29.3 finale to hold off stablemate Proud Sophie by a half-length in 2:05.2. A comparative seasoned veteran with eight lifetime starts coming into the action, Kerry B won for the second time and already has a 2:00.4 mark over the Vernon Downs speedy seven-eighths oval. Natasha, a juvenile daughter of Six Of Diamonds with a mark of 1:54.3 coming in, pulled away in the lane with a :28 finale to put her foes away in the filly pace, hitting the line in 1:58.3 with Hennessey remarking after the win, "I never asked her for anything. She did this all on her own--very impressive!" Natasha is also trained by Kim Sears for owner Jay Sears. The event for two year-old pacing colts and geldings went to Mister Marvalous with Hennessey giving his charge a picture perfect journey in the garden spot before tilting out around the final and on to victory in 1:59.1. The win was the third on the card for both Hennessey and trainer Kim Sears, who does the conditioning for Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire. The fifth race for sophomore trotting fillies went to I Rhoda Daley, driven by Hennessey for trainer John Hallett and owner Lee Clarke. The daughter of Desperado Don was last year's Super Night champion in her two year-old division and picked up at Pompano Park right where she left off by scoring a handy win measuring 8 1/4 lengths in 2:06.2. The Sunshine State Stake for three year-old trotting colts and geldings went to the Proud Bushy gelding Captain Thomas, with Hennessey getting win number five. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owner John Campagnuolo, Captain Thomas, also a Super night champion last season, was a handy gate-to-wire winner in 2:01.2--:28.3. Hennessey completed his six-pack with Mister Special T, an altered son of Six Of Diamonds. Trained by Rob Harmon for Victor Contento, John Campagnuolo and Harmon Racing, Mister Special T knitted together identical halves of :59 to score in 1:58--:28.2. Reflecting on his big day, Hennessey said, "You've heard the expression, 'it takes two to tango,' well, in our business, it takes four to tango because the caretakers have to do their job, the trainers have to get them sharp, the horse has to perform to expectations and that leaves the rest to me once I get in the bike. Without the first three components, it just wouldn't have turned out this way today." In the division for two year-old trotting colts and geldings, Jim McDonald guided Danien Hall, a son of Cash Hall, to an impressive win measuring 11 1/2 lengths in 2:08 in this his major league debut. McDonald also traines the colt for the Pacing Pretty Stable. Three year-old pacing fillies renewed their spirited rivalry of last year and Starcasim put on a very game performance in her 2018 debut in scoring for Joe Sanzeri in 1:58--:28.2. Seemingly headed at mid-stretch, Starcasim fought every step to the wire in pinning the narrow defeat on last year's champion, Krinda. Sanzeri trains the filly and co-owns with Russell Guardino. Sunshine State Stakes action continues next Saturday, October 13 with post time set for 11:00 a.m. The pari-mutuel season at Pompano Park begins October 21. by John Berry, for the FSBOA and Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL…September 25, 2018…Though the Pompano Park pari-mutuel meeting begins on October 21, the lucrative Florida stakes program gets underway on Saturday, October 6 at that famed five-eighths mile oval with the two year-olds and three year-olds competing in the Sunshine State Stakes. Two year-old trotting fillies will be first to turn to the Brownlee Starting gate at 11:00 a.m. with Kerry B coming into the action with the most experience with eight starts already and a winning mark of 2:00.4 over the fast Vernon Downs seven-eighths oval. Trained by Kim Sears for husband Jay, the daughter of Muscle Mass has been race-timed in 1:58.1 in finishing a fast closing second. The event for juvenile pacing fillies features Natasha, a daughter of Six of Diamonds, who already owns a mark of 1:54.3, achieved in just her third lifetime pari-mutuel start. Trainer Kim Sears seems “not-at-all” surprised that Natasha has been so fast so early saying, “She is one of those rare fillies that relaxes and is well mannered and bred very well as Six Od Diamonds is her daddy—and he had a mark of (1):49 and a piece and her mommy, Lucy Lucy, as very prominent in her racing days, so I am ‘not-at-all’ surprised at her talent.” The event for three year-old trotting fillies features last season’s Super Night champion, I Rhoda Daley, and runner-up Jennifer. Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey is expected to be in I Rhoda Daley’s sulky for trainer John Hallett and owner Lee Clarke. In the event for sophomore trotting colts, last year’s Super Night winner, Captain Thomas will match strides with Brian and Dangerous Mood. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owner John Campagnuolo, Captain Thomas will be driven by Wally Hennessey. Brian, third on Super Night last season to the winner, and Dangerous Mood, undefeated in only three lifetime starts, should provide some serious competition in that event. A well matched quartet is set to go post-ward in the event for sophomore pacing fillies with last year’s champion, Krinda, matching strides with Starcasim, Diamond Eyes and Clever Calee. Krinda is expected to be driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears. by John Berry, for the FSBOA & Pompano Park

The following story is reprinted with permission from the   This Pompano Beach harness racing horse track once thrived in spectacle, luring thousands each night to the “Winter Capital of Harness Racing.” Some nights, the crowds at Pompano Park increased the city’s estimated population by a fourth. More than 50 years ago, they started coming for the harness racing, an extravaganza whose origins link to the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, a kind of tourney mentioned in Homer’s The Iliad. They cheered as racers reclined in two-wheeled carts and shook the reins, urging their horses to advance. The throngs of people, who once included the likes of Jackie Gleason, Kay Stevens and Rodney Dangerfield, have thinned out at Florida’s last remaining harness racing track. Now, changes are on the way. Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher said he met with Isle Casino’s leaders this week and plans are to tear down the old grandstand building and build a 400-room hotel on the Isle Casino’s property. After the first phase, the site, at 777 Isle of Capri Circle, may be developed into a retail, restaurant and office complex similar to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino complex in Hollywood. He said the Isle Casino has partnered with the same company that developed the Hard Rock — The Cordish Cos. “This is a major game-changer for Pompano,” Fisher said. There is still harness activity afoot. Jennifer Swope, spokeswoman for Isle Casino, which owns Pompano Park, said she’s working on firming up a racing schedule for next year. The track, which opened in the 1960s, is filled with memories. The old grandstand closed after the current grandstand was built 10 years ago. Isle officials aren’t saying anything about the long-term plans for the old grandstand beyond a sign that says the building is permanently closed to the public. How the development will fit in with the existing track is unclear as plans have not yet been submitted to the city. There is still harness activity afoot. Jennifer Swope, spokeswoman for Isle Casino, which owns Pompano Park, said she’s working on firming up a racing schedule for next year. The track, which opened in the 1960s, is filled with memories. Mayor Fisher said he used to go there, even as a young boy. “My grandfather was part owner of some of the horses there,” he recalled. “I would go with him to the stables and to watch the races.” To read the rest of the story click here

The heart of a horse is approximately eight pounds. The heart of a racehorse can nearly double or triple that with a range of 18 to 22 pounds. A Standardbred harness racing horse trots at just about or over 30 miles an hour. They can pace at about 35 to 40 miles an hour. Every bit of the horse is being used to break barriers of distance over less times. The muscles of the legs are a driven power that pull the horse forward with every thump to the ground. The ears, the eyes, the nose guiding the horse towards the direction of the finish line. The mouth controlled by driver on board to steer to victory. Air is circulated through the nostrils and into the respiratory system, into the lungs. The lungs have a capacity of about 55 liters, which is the equivalent of approximately three water buckets. People naturally have a lung capacity of about 6 liters. These differences are what make a racehorse unique and powerful. Horses have nearly the same anatomical and physiological make-up; yet, one horse paces wire-to-wire in 49.1 while the horse in the same race finishes up the track in over two minutes. The great natural set apart is the heart. Not just the anatomy or conditioning of the heart, but the heart of the horse that drives its behavior – their inner motivation. Horsemen recognize the power and potential of their horses. They can give a biography and stats book for each horse in their barn. There are, too, people who have this power and potential. Strength and resilience that may seem to go unnoticed. However, the success in the end is not, in fact, unnoticed. Horsemen harness this power to share their success and share their hard work by just sending a horse to the track. Thus, this story is about one of those people who possesses that strength and resilience and his name is Mike Deters. “I can go on and on about what a good person and great horseman Mike is. His stats tell it all!” owner, breeder and driver Laurie Poulin said. Mike Deters was born in Ohio and raised in Florida, when his family moved to race at Pompano Park in 1966. In 1975, he moved again to Michigan where he attended high school and college. Ten years later in 1985, Mike moved back down to Florida, where he considers home to be. He was born and raised in the horse business. His father, Bill, was a driver-trainer. “I have known Mike Deters since I was seven years old,” trainer Jake Huff said. “His father did blacksmith work in my father’s stable. They moved to my town. His father became a trainer at our stable and I have been around Mike for most of my life. He is a good worker and a good friend with high principles.” When his dad died in 1985 from cancer, Mike went into the business full time. Deters has been training his own stable since 1985. He has been a driver, trainer, and owner from the beginning. He was involved in the FSBOA for approximately 15 years, being president of the association for around five to six years. Mike used to drive, but decided he was a much better trainer than driver. Today, he drives occasionally with the “problem children” as he puts it. When asked who he looked up to in the harness business, Deters describes his father. “My dad was a great horseman. He could do it all – drive, train, and was one of the best blacksmiths I have ever seen. “He thought to be nice to people and instilled in me a great work ethic. He said, ‘if you are not afraid to work, you will never go hungry’”. Deters says his mother, Marilyn, has been a tremendous supporter of his forever. His wife, Shelly, has been his backbone forever. His son, Michael, has been a huge help both in and out of the horse game. He also has two sisters, Melanie and Liz. Melanie is married to trainer-driver Peter Wrenn and Liz lives in North Carolina and is outside of the racing business, living the “normal life”. Recently, Mike had been diagnosed with cancer. “I went through a pretty brutal bout of stage 4 cancer in the head and neck. I went through eight chemo treatments and 33 radiation sessions and have a clean bill of health now,” Deters said. The sport of harness racing is much more than just that. It is comparable to life. It is the lives of many, if not all, horsemen. As with the races, there are ups and downs in life. One week a stable can hit the board with every horse and the next, not make a dime. It is the long run that counts. The long hours in the barn – early in the morning, first one to show and late at night, last one to leave. Being a part of this business means inviting the horses and the owners into your family. It isn’t just about winning, it is about the relationships you form – with horses and with other horsemen. “I would like to thank my wife, son, family, and all my owners for sticking with me through treatment and hope for continued success. I would also like to thank a couple people for helping along the way. John Spindler, my mentor and a father-like figure to me growing up after my dad died. I couldn’t have done it without him. And Joe Kunkel and his daughter, Betty, who I am still partners with. They both helped my wife and I tremendously along the way.” – Mike Deters Mike would also like to pay tribute to his late father-in-law, Tom Sells. Mike has had a partnership with Laurie Poulin for about eleven years. “The first few years were pretty lean, but she has upgraded her broodmare band and the last few years have been very successful,” said Mike.  “Laurie manages a breeding farm and I just try to make the babies she has go, hopefully fast.” “Mike and I have a great partnership and our families are very close. We both have been around a long time and we understand about having the good and the bad,” said Poulin. “We agree on just about everything, the only difference we have is that I want to keep them ALL,” she laughed. The two have known each other for about twenty years or more. They met through Terry Kerr, still a great friend to both Laurie and Mike to this day. Mike started driving a mare, Lobro Zepher, for Laurie in the open mares whenever Terry had his horse in the same race. Later, Mike started turning horses out at Laurie’s farm. At the time, Poulin was breeding a few mares and had some foals that would need to be broke in the near future. So, the two started to barter and that is how “things started to roll” as Laurie put it. “Joe Pennacchio gave me Arapa Victory to start my breeding operation on one condition,” Laurie recalled. “That I would give his favorite horse, Fox Valley Trump, who Mike drove and gave him his lifetime mark, would have a forever home with me.” “Prairie Big John started our partnership about eleven years ago. We have had a few that didn’t make it but we have had a lot that did and it have been quite a ride!” Laurie said. “Mike is as honest as it gets and cares so much for the well-being of the horses in his care. Believe me, he’ll tell you in a minute if one is not fast enough and not going to make it.” Working in the harness racing business and working with horses, horsemen begin to form relationships with those horses. People begin to understand the horse’s attitude and quirks, how to handle the horse, or their favorite treat. They accommodate the horse and in the long run, benefit themselves and their stable. This form of time-driven observation happens everywhere. Humans are observational animals that make decisions and judgments based on their current observations connected to past experiences. Yet, the only difference here is that this relationship created is made with a different species with no form of solid communication whatsoever. Still, horsemen acquire this ability to read their horse throughout their ownership. They can assign personalities and emotional qualities to each horse. Ultimately, all of these abilities and observations leads to the picking of a favorite. Of course, all horsemen can love and treat their animals equally. However, there is always one, or perhaps more than one, particular horse that stands out among the rest in a ranking of favorites. There are many reasons for choosing this particular horse. Maybe it was a world champion or maybe it was a calm horse with a sensible attitude. Maybe the personality of the horse matched or maybe there was a great length of time of ownership. No matter what – there is always at least one, especially if time working in the business is a great length of time. Mike Deters was readily able to list seven of his favorite horses: Prairie Fortune, Prairie Sweetheart, Prairie Jaguar, Motor City Madman, Jersey Gigilo, Summer Class, and Nononsenseyankee. According to Deters, Summer Class was Mike’s first really good horse that he has ever had. Nononsenseyankee was very fast, Mike’s first 1:50 horse, and bought his wife a new kitchen. Prairie Jaguar was Mike’s first 1:49 horse. Mike says his best horse he has ever had was Prairie Sweetheart. “She was a natural, a freak. Her motor was unbelievable,” he said. “Also, Prairie Fortune. He was as honest as the day is long and shows up every week.” While Deters has owned these and many other fast and powerful racehorses, he says his greatest accomplishment is finding his wife, Shelly, and having a son, Michael. “They are my biggest supporters. Shelly is my rock. She keeps me grounded and my head on straight.” His greatest harness racing related accomplishment is being able to make a living, according to Mike. It is developing young horses and having success. Besides following his lifetime passion of harness racing, Mike says he likes to golf and to bowl. “I am not very good at either, but I really enjoy both,” said Mike. Laurie Poulin recalls three specific moments to be her best moments with the Deters Stable. The first is getting her picture taken eleven times in a row with Prairie Sweetheart. The second, having their first undefeated two-year-old, Owosso Flash, that was undefeated at two and three with Mike doing all the driving. He was big brother to Prairie Sweetheart. “I cannot forget my gentle giant, Prairie Jaguar,” Laurie said. The third best moment so far in their journey and partnership is this horse having the record at Pompano for the most wins of 1:50 or better in a row. “I think it was five!” He is currently training around 30 head at Tioga Downs this summer. “When I was asked to write something down about Mike Deters, I came up with a lot to say, but I will be brief. He is a very good man to work for. He works alongside of us all. He gives 110% all the time. He would make a good role model to all,” Debbie Gagnon, a dedicated groom for Deters Stable, said. Mike Deters is a true horseman for life. He was raised into the business and has worked his way to the top. He has the heart and strength of a racehorse as he has fought off cancer, is now is remission and still goes to the stable every morning. By Jessica Hallett, for Harnesslink

Pompano Beach, FL --- With the announcement of Eldorado Resorts, Inc. partnering with The Cordish Companies in the development of a world class hospitality destination site at Pompano Park, Midwest Auctioneers and Realty has announced that they have signed a definitive agreement with PPI, Inc. to conduct a two-day auction at Pompano Park on Sunday (Aug. 5), beginning at 12 noon, and Monday (Aug. 6), beginning at 9 a.m. There will be a two day preview on Aug. 3 and 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature six floors of items -- many historical -- dating back to the track’s infancy years beginning in 1964. Besides the live on-site auction, bids will be accepted at, where registrations will be accepted beginning Aug. 1 through sale time. In announcing the auction, Sales Manager Jim Brown said, “This sale will, obviously, be unique as we will not only have chairs and tables but even box seat numbers and name plaques from many of the most prominent participants in our sport since this historic racing facility opened more than a half century ago. “We will have the pari-mutuel signs, sculptures and memorabilia, restaurant equipment and even the legendary bars on the floors graced by folks like Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Ed Sullivan, Lorne Greene and so many others.” Also included in the auction will be vehicles, including a boom truck, John Deere equipment and Terex generators with light poles. Midwest Auctioneers and Realty President Mike Baker, who has been conducting auctions for the better part of four decades, will be the lead auctioneer. Speaking about the Pompano Park upcoming auction, Baker said, “This is going to be a great one, no doubt about it. It’s always great to see a company take that big step from the past into the future and this auction will serve as one giant step toward their future success. We are honored to host the historic event.” A complete list of the auction items will be posted when available. For information, go to, 937.548.2640 or 937.459.9558. Contact Sales Manager Jim Brown at 954.263.1999. by John Berry, for Midwest Auctioneers and Realty, Inc.

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