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Pompano Beach, FL...January 13, 2021...While Cult Icon took top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's Open Handicap Pace for mares, most of the scuttlebutt came in the very next race for the mares as a rare occurrence was witnessed when stablemates Happy Heart and Glenferrie Blade dead-heated in their event with two Hall-of-famers--both with 10,000 plus career wins--were in their respective sulkies. Wally Hennessey and David Miller shared the spotlight as Happy Heart, handled by Hennessey, and Glenferrie Blade. with Miller in her sulky, hit the wire with no separation. Both mares are trained by Melissa Beckwith with Happy Heart owned by Thomas Mc Tygue and Glenferrie Blade owned by Mark Beckwith. At the outset, these two were involved in a three horse duel for the top spot as Evas Sports Czech, handled by Walter La Freniere, Jr., joined Happy Heart and Glenferrie Blade in that early scuffle. At the :27.1 opener, Happy Heart made the top with Glenferrie Blade pressing on to take charge shortly thereafter, taking the field to a half in :56. On the backside. Odds On Cheddar, outside every step thus far, reached third while Northern Swift was on a double-bubble binge from last, reaching second around the final turn with Glenferrie Blade patiently waiting for some room to roam turning for home after the 1:24.4 three-quarters. In the lane, Happy Heart fought on gamely but drifted out slightly allowing Glenferrie to shoot on through along the pylons and get up for the tie in the last stride. Evas Sports Czech did finish third while Northern Swift and Big Bad baby were next in the octet. Happy Heart, Glenferrie Blade A Both Hall of Famers had something to say about the rare event with Miller saying, "you know, I thought I might have gotten there but it was too close to call. Mark (Beckwith) said his mare likes the front end so I tried to put her there but when Wally (Hennessey) retook, I thought a two-hole trip wouldn't be so bad, after all. I guess my patience paid off and was happy to share the winner's circle in the win." Hennessey said, "I didn't know...I was hoping we held on but wasn't sure. Dave's (Miller) mare is a lot bigger than mine, so I didn't know. Happy Heart might be a smaller horse but she has a very big heart!" Happy Heart is an eight year-old daughter of Woodstock and achieved her 30th lifetime win, sending her career bounty to $43,889 while Glenferrie Blade, the Aussie bred, is the 10 year-old daughter of Mach Three. She got her 23rd career victory with her career earnings vaulting to $266,296. In sharing the win pool, both mares paid $2.10 to win. A few minutes earlier, Cult Icon, with Hennessey at her controls, put in a gritty performance, scoring in 1:51.4 in the $11,000 Open Handicap for Mares after taking charge just after the :27.1 opener and carding subsequent fractions of :56.1 and 1:23.2 along the way. Casie's Believer (Joe Chindano, Jr.) was second, 1 3/4 lengths away, while favored Crisp Mane (David Miller) was third. Another Beach Day and Image Of A Dream also picked up checks in the classy sextet. Cult Icon, a six year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight, is trained by Trent Stohler, who trains for the Stable. She now has 20 lifetime wins and earnings of $278,407. As third choice in the betting, Cult Icon paid $8.80 to win. Cult Icon Racing continues on Wednesday night with a $15,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool and a Super Hi-5 carryover of $93,236.75. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...January 12...Rebellious and DG's Caviar were the harness racing stars under the moonlight at Pompano Park on Monday as these two captured their respective Open Handicap events as handle eclipsed the $1 million mark for the third time since the beginning of the new year. Rebellious, the splendid seven year-old gelded son of Mach Three, won the major share of the $11,000 purse as he zipped off the wings and carded panels of :27, :55.1 and 1:23 before a :27.3 finale brought him to the wire in 1:50.3. Wally Hennessey was in the bike for trainer Mike Deters, who co-owns with Joel Warner. Southwind Amazon (Matt Kakaley) was a fast closing second, a half-length away, while Skip To My Lou (Joe Chindano, Jr.) was next, four lengths off the winner. Seeing Eye Single and McMach picked up the final awards in the classy septet. In a post race interview, trainer Deters related, "I thought it was a big effort, especially after a week off. He was used a bit in the opener--:27--and came home in :27.3. Wally (Hennessey) gave him a great steer and, when you have a horse as great as Southwind Amazon haunting you all the way around, it makes the accomplishment even more special. For Rebelious, it was his 42nd career win, vaulting his earnings to $329,456. As the 9 to 5 favorite, Rebellious paid $5.60 to win. Rebelious DG's Caviar, who made an early miscue last week after being "jammed up" but still finishing second, was relentless this night in yet another confrontation with arch-rival Muscles For Life, playing a bit of "tag" before taking charge and drawing away late for the 4 1/2 length win in 1:53.1 for trainer-driver Andy Shetler. Muscles For Life (Wally Hennessey) did finish second with Born To Thrive (Rick Plano) next. Bucketlist Hanover and Everyone's Talkin were next in the field of seven. At the outset, Muscles For Life left with his usual alacrity from his outside post seven and zipped into the early lead with DG's Caviar, post six, away cautiously and charging forward, taking charge at the opener in :27.2 and carding fractions of :55.4 and 1:24.3 before a :28.3 finale soundly sealed the issue. The altered son of Prime Time Caviar, who set a track record for four year-old trotting geldings (1:53) as the sun set on the old year, got his first win of the new year and now has won five of six since his arrival here at Pompano Park. After the race, Andy Shetler reflected, "He's just a determined bulldog right now--the best he's ever been. I never asked him for anything in the mile, he just did it all on his own. I know these things don't last forever but I am thankful for his success up to this point." Owned by Daniel Graber, DG's Caviar has 15 wins in 40 lifetime starts, good for $126,700. Off at 4 to 5 on the tote-board, DG's Caviar paid $3.80 to his multitude of faithful. DG's Caviar Drivers Wally Hennessey and David Miller, making his first Pompano appearance of the season, each had driving doubles on the program--Hennessey scoring with the aforementioned Rebellious and Make A Statement, while Miller hit the winner's circle with Real Peace and B Like Cruiser. With a pair of $30,000 guaranteed pools on the Pick-4 wager, handled vaulted over the $1 million for the third time in his young year of 2021--the Monday total being $1,157,231. On Tuesday, mares will be in the limelight as Image Of A Dream seeks a repeat win in the $11,000 Open Handicap against Ask Me Ifi Care, Cult Icon, Crisp Mane, Casie's Believer and Another Beach Day. On the wagering side of the ledger, there is a $20,000 guaranteed pool the Tuesday Pick-4 with an industry low 12% takeout. There is also a carryover in the Super Hi-5 finale of $87,689.51. Free programs are available on the isle casino racing website. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...January 11, 2021...After an action packed Sunday featuring a $172,173 Pick-5 pool, Pompano Park will follow that up with twin $30,000 guaranteed pools in their two harness racing Pick-4 wagers during a 13 race extravaganza. The Sunday Pick-5, with a generous carryover of $24,000 plus attracted $148,147 in new wagering and, thanks to the heroics of 22 year-old Samuel King, 646 winning tickets resulted in a generous payday of $216.20 for a 50 cent ticket featuring three odds-on favorites, one 5 to 2 chance and one lone outsider at 13 to 1. Two of these odds-on favorites were piloted by 22 year-old Samuel King. who, with seven lifetime wins coming in to Sunday night, posted his first career driving double in a pair of Florida Amateur Driving events. First, King drove Windsun Hugo through a gate-to-wire win in 1:57.3 as the even-money favorite for Melissa Beckwith. who trains for the Jackie Greene Stable. Then, to complete the Pick-5, King handled the 1 to 2 chalk, Piercewave Hanover, perfectly and patiently to score by three lengths in 1:58. Melissa Beckwith also trains that nine year-old son of Donato Hanover for owner Jordan Derue. Not only was it a milestone win for Samuel King, it was also one for the winner, whose lifetime earnings eclipsed the $500,000 plateau--$500,763 to be precise. To close out the Sunday program, second choice Rural Art ($6.40), driven by Joe Sanzeri took top honors but nary a single ticket was sold on the 6-1-5-10-7 combination inn the Super Hi-5 jackpot, resulting in a carryover of $82,296.50 into Monday's 13 race extravaganza. The Monday program, indeed, features twin $30,000 guaranteed pools in the track's Pick-4 events--the first beginning in race six and the second taking place starting in race 10. Both feature 12% takeouts, the lowest in the industry. The card also features several feature events including the renewal of the Muscles For File-DG's Caviar rivalry in the Open Handicap Trot and Southwind Amazon trying for his 100th career win in the Open Pace. Free programs are available at the isle casino racing website. Posts time for the Monday program is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...January 9, 2021...For the second time in less than one week, Pompano Park will offer a $150,000 guarantee on its harness racing Pick-5 wager on Sunday (January 10). The huge guarantee was made possible when the Thursday Pick-5 went unsolved as nobody was able to come up with the 1-5-10-1-5 combination, which included a 25 to 1 winner, Muscle High, piloted by Jack Killeen, the 20 year-old driver getting his first win ever at Pompano Park, and a 27 to 1 chance, GD Cruise For Gold, handled by Andy Shetler. The previous Pick-5 $150,000 guarantee brought over $200,000 in new wagers with 19 astute handicappers enjoying a payday over $10,000 for their 50 cent ticket. Sunday's program also features a Pick-6 carryover ($2,276) and a Super Hi-5 finale carryover that has ballooned to $72,529.85. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park                   John Berry | ASST RACE SECRTRY O 954-972-2000 777 Isle of Capri Cir. | Pompano Beach, FL 33069 www.caesars.com    

Pompano Beach, FL...January 6, 2021...Image Of A Dream, craftily handled by Rick Plano, closed fastest of all to capture Pompano Park's $11,500 Open Handicap Pace for Mares on Tuesday night as the harness racing track made handle history with its first back-to-back million dollar plus handle nights in its 57 year history. The win by Image Of A Dream was just one part of an outstanding night of racing in South Florida as the handle of $1,168,771 for the 10 race program came on the heels of a Monday handle of $1,134,368 on the 13 race card. On to the racing, Image Of A Dream, the six year-old daughter of Rockin Image may have begun her journey to the winner's circle three days earlier when she drew the best of her rivals as the number one post was assigned and posts two to seven were drawn with Rockin Image having drawn the two post. Her margin of victory was a length on the strength of a :28.4 kick home to collar the pacesetting Casie's Believer (Joe Chindano, Jr.) inside the sixteenth pole. Glenferrie Blade (Wally Hennessey) was another neck back in third while in the garden spot most of the way while Northern Dali was next. Cult Icon managed to pick up the nickel in the classy field scratched down to seven with the scratch of She'sgotitgoingon. As the wings folded, Casie's Believer zipped out to take the lead with Glenferrie Blade leaving to her inside and these two were one-two early as Cult Icon was also on the move in search of the top spot herself. After a hot opener of :26.4, Cult Icon was pressing on and stuck her head in front heading into turn two but not clearing at the half in :55.1. On the backside, Cult Icon began to feel the toll of her effort and Plano had to make a decision of whether to sit chilly for a bit more or swing wide around Cult Icon. He decided "patience" was in his best interest and he stayed cool until finding a seam to swing widest of all at the top of the lane. From there, Image Of A Dream who dug in fastest of all to win. After the race, "Plano said, "Well, we drew an advantageous post to start so we were within striking distance all the way. I thought I'd stay put as Andy's (Shetler) mare (Cult Icon) looked like she had enough and we were just lucky to make that decision. That's all there was to it!" Image Of A Dream won for the seventh time in her career and this payday sent her career bankroll to $43,595. She paid $12.20 as fourth choice in the betting. Image Of A Dream On the wagering side of the ledger, Pompano Park established a "first" in its 57 year history with two consecutive million dollar plus handles--the Tuesday handle being $1,168,771 for the 10 race program on the heels of the Monday night handle of $1,334,368 for the 13 race extravaganza. The Pick-5 carryover of $28,182 on Monday produced an ambitious $150,000 guaranteed pool for Tuesday and a record $207,403 of new money was added, bringing the total pool to $235,585. When all was said and done, the 50 cent Pick-5 payout on the 7-5-8-5-6/8 combinations returning $10,628.90 to 19 "Send-It-In" genius handicappers--that payout bolstered by a 61 to 1 winner--Steal My Thunder--in the fourth leg. The Pick-6 pool, with a carryover going in, attracted a season high $20,884 with that 8-5-6/8-4-4-2 sequence returning $22,333.50 for the 50 cent ducat. The track's Pick-4 Pool of $61,693 was also a new record for that wager. Wednesday's program features a $15,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool and a 4th race pentafecta carryover of $12,795. The Super Hi-5 finale also boasts a carryover of $60,966. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...January 5, 2020...Pompano Park's Monday night harness racing extravaganza lived up to its expectations and more as the night was highlighted with speed and tote-board "fireworks" leading up to a continuation of the excitement for the Tuesday night program with a record $150,000 guaranteed pool for the track's Pick-5. On the racing side, Lyons Night Hawk took top honors in the $11,000 Open Handicap Pace while Muscles For Life captured the $11,500 Open Handicap for trotters. Lyons Night Hawk, the five year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou who owned the second fastest mile of the meeting thus far--1:49.4 on December 20--put on an ultra-game performance in scoring a 1:50.3 wire-to-wire win for Kevin Wallis, surviving opening sizzlers of :26.1, :54 and 1:21.3 in the process. The Joe Pavia, Jr. trainee dug in tenaciously in the lane to hold off a stubborn Prairie Panther (Wally Hennessey) by a neck--the latter having to pace every step on the outside. Seeing Eye Single (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) was just a nose further back in third after closing fastest of all. Kinnder Jackson was fourth, a half length off the winner, while Bell I No picked up the nickel in the sextet with but two lengths separating the entire field. After the race, trainer Joe Pavia, Jr. remarked, "I didn't tell Kevin (driver Wallis) too much...only that he trained well and should be in the hunt. He's a solid racehorse who has good speed and can take pressure and he had plenty of pressure tonight and didn't give an inch! Of course, he's very well cared for by Cheryl Holmen, so the credit for success begins right there with Cheryl. Owned by Lon Frocione, Lyons Night Hawk began his 2021 season with his 11 career win in 50 starts, sending his bounty to $283,713. Off as second choice at 4 to 1, Lyons Night Hawk paid $10.40 to win. Lyons Night Hawk A $10,000 Open II Pace went to Skip To My Lou, yet another five year-old altered son of Sweet Lou, aggressively handled by Joe Chindano, Jr, who also owns and trains. Skip To My Lou hit the wire in 1:51.3, hanging a narrow defeat on Real Peace (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) with Mac Anover (Kevin Wallis) next. The win was the 10th in 49 lifetime starts for Skip To MY Lou, who now banked $117,081. The victory spoiled the anticipated party of Southwind Amazon, who was seeking his 100th career victory. Amazon finished fifth back of Solo Story. Off at 2 to 1, Skip To My Lou paid $6.40 to his many faithful. Skip To My Lou On the trotting side of the ledger, Muscles For Life took advantage of a miscue by the favorite DG's Caviar and went on to score a handy win for Wally Hennessey, stopping the timer in 1:54.1. Driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Steve Oldford and owner Jerold Hawks, Muscles For Life, an eight year-old son of Muscle Mass, led just about every long stride of his mile, chalking up fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:26 before a :28.1 stroll home sealed the deal measuring 3¼ lengths over DG's Caviar (Andy Shetler), who recovered gamely after his miscue to finish second. Born To Thrive (Rick Plano was third. The Lionking AS and Bucketlist Hanover picked up the minors. Said Hennessey after the event, "He's just a solid, versatile horse that does everything you ask him to do. I wanted to get a jump on the field and, especially, (DG's) Caviar, and that worked out well for us as we got to the half very comfortably. I was pretty confident once we were there in :57 and a piece." Muscles For Life now has 33 career wins in 94 starts, good for $353,845. As the 6 to 5 second choice on the tote-board, Muscles For Life paid $4.60 to win. Muscles For Life The Open II trot went to the veteran warrior Cantab Lindy, now 13 years-old. The gelded son of Cantab Hall, owned and trained by Brent Davis, had John MacDonald in his sulky as he led every step of a 1:54.1 mile off panels of :27.4, :57 and 1:25. Ev's Girl (Joe Chindano, Jr.) was in the garden spot all the way and finished second, two lengths away, while My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) was next. The favorite Sooo Handsome finished fourth while Boinganator picked up the final award. Cantab Lindy won for the 54th time in 228 lifetime starts with his bankroll expanding to $641,847. He paid $13.80 as third choice in the betting. Cantab Lindy Tote-board fireworks continued again on Monday as nary a single favorite was able to reach the winner's circle in the Pick-5 with a 20 to 1 chance (Manceiver, driven by Denny Bucceri) kicking off that wager and a 41 to 1 outsider (Whatchyastarinat, handled by Bryce Fenn) clicking in the fourth leg resulting in that Pick-5 being unscathed on Monday, resulting in a record $150,000 Guaranteed Pool on tap for the Tuesday program. And with Whatchyastarinat scoring in the fourth race pentafecta, that 2-4-8-5-1 combination returned $12,901.82 for the 20 cent ducat. The first of two $30,000 Guaranteed Pools on the Pick-4 was spiced up early as Deli Craze (Dave Ingraham) scored a 28 to 1 upset, keying the first Pick-4 payout of $2,205.70 for the 50 cent ticket. There is also a carryover in the Pick-6 for Tuesday of $4,590 and the Super Hi-5 finale now has a carryover of $53,618.71.   TWIN GUARANTEES VAULT POMPANO HANDLE TO $1.33 MILLION MONDAY; TUESDAY PICK-5 GUARANTEE AT $150,000 A pair of $30,000 guaranteed pools and four Monday night feature events helped vault Pompano Park's handle to $1,334,368--it's highest handle of the young season. The previous high for the 2020-2021 season was $1,052,064 achieved just last week on December 29. Not only was the handle hot, the racing was, as well, as only three favorites hit the winner's circle on the 13 race extravaganza and several photo finishes were needed to determine winners. With a 20 to 1 winner kicking off the festivities and a 41 to 1 chance winning three races later, the fourth race pentafecta returned $12,901.82 for the 20 cent ticket and the Pick-5 went unscathed, necessitating a carryover for the Tuesday Pick-5 and a guaranteed pool of a record $150,000. There is also a carryover in the Pick-6--$4,590.19 covering races three through eight. Also, the Super Hi-5 finale also has a carryover going into Tuesday of $53,618.71. The aforementioned Pick-5 covers races one through five and post time is set for 7:20 p.m. for the Tuesday card.  Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...January 3, 2021...Pompano Park will have two $30,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 Pools on Monday night as the South Florida track offers a 13 race harness racing extravaganza featuring a pair of Open Handicap events. The twin $30,000 guarantees will cover the first Pick-4 covering races 6-7-8-9 with the late Pick-4 featuring races 10-11-12-13. Both Pick-4 events will feature the lowest takeout in the industry-12%. The card also features Open Handicap events for the best pacers and trotters in South Florida with the Open Handicap Pace kicking off the Pick-6 encompassing races three through eight. That event sports an evenly matched million dollar sextet with Prairie Panther seeking to repeat his win a week ago when he stormed from off the pace to score in 1:51. Mike Deters, who co-owns the seven year-old son of Royel Millennium with Laurie Poulin, has given the driving assignment to Wally Hennessey with the "Panther" listed at 9 to 5 on the morning line. Also in the talented field are Lyons Night Hawk, Bell I No and Seeing Eye Single, all winners in the top class this meet, while Ideal Feeling and Kinnder Jackson have been knocking at the door. Lyons Night Hawk, trained by Joe Pavia, Jr. for owner Lon Frocione, owns the second fastest mile of the meeting-1:49.4-two starts back while Bell I No, trained by Tee Wine, has the fastest winning mile of the meeting at 1:49.3 on behalf of the Jemaxpo Racing Stable. The Open Handicap Trot features a renewal of a budding rivalry at Pompano Park as both DG's Cavair and Muscles For Life have been assigned the two outside posts in the star-struck field. DG's Caviar owns a four race winning skein coming into the race for Andy Shetler, who trains and drives for owner Daniel Graber. "Caviar" is the 5 to 2 second choice on the morning line, despite the fact that he defeated Muscles For Life handily in their last encounter. Muscles For Life is listed at 8 to 5 and is trained by Steve Oldford for owner Jerold Hawks. Free programs are available through the month of January on the isle casino racing website. Post time is set for 7:20 on Monday night. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...December 31, 2020...Rompaway Beau was retired in style at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (December 30) as the 14--soon to be 15--year-old harness racing warrior has reached the age of mandatory retirement. The gallant warrior didn't win his 302nd career start...but he did get a check in finishing fifth closing out his lifetime bankroll at $547,819 to go along with his 1:53.4 over the seven-eighths oval at Hoosier Park seven years ago. A 2006 foal by Chip Chip Hooray out of the N V Worthy mare Rompaway Stacey, Rompaway Beau won 68 times during his gritty career and enjoyed but one season with earnings over $100,000--that in 2012 when he earned $105,207. "He was just a grand racehorse that traveled all around doing his job," related Don Harmon. He must've competed at well over 40 tracks (Editor's note: 46) and gave all he could every time he went behind the starting gate. We have had him all along these years since his first start back in 2008. He was extremely well mannered and rarely--if ever--made a break." How true, In his 302 lifetime starts, his charted lines show only one single race when "Beau" made a miscue, and that was caused by interference, according to Don Harmon. Owner Krista Harmon lamented, "He may not have been the fastest and he might not have won a million dollars, but he gave us millions of wonderful moments that we will cherish for our lifetime. He was truly one of the family and he'll be with us in retirement wherever we go. "Retirement includes rest and relaxation, along with some trail riding and tender, loving care. He truly has earned it!"   POMPANO INCREASES PICK-4 GUARANTEES Pompano Park has announced an across-the-board increase in their popular Pick-4 wager with the industry low 12% takeout. The Sunday Pick-4 will now feature a $20,000 guaranteed pool, while the Monday Pick-4 pool will boast a $30,000 guarantee. Tuesday’s Pick-4 will also have a $20,000 guaranteed pool while Wednesday and Thursday will feature $15,000 guaranteed pools. In making the announcement of the increases, Director of Racing Gabe Prewitt related, “We’ve built up quite a bit of momentum with the new horsemen that have arrived and the competitive racing and the support we have received from our fans has been tremendous. It’s just another way to accommodate our great fans.” Also, free programs will be extended through the month of January and are available on the isle casino racing website. Racing continues on New Year's Eve with a special program featuring a Pick-6 carryover and a Super Hi-5 jackpot finale with a carryover of $36,623. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL...December 30, 2020...She'sgotitgoingon, the magnificent roan four year-old daughter of Tellitlikeitis, made a successful harness racing debut at Pompano Park on Tuesday night (December 29) in winning the $11,500 Open Pace for Mares in 1:53.2. Driven by Don Harmon, who co-owns with trainer Krista Harmon, She'sgotitgoingon, the 4 to 5 favorite, scored by three-parts-of-a-length over the fast last charging Casie's Believer (Joe Chindano, Jr.), off as the longest chance on the board at 53 to 1. Prairie Westerngal (Wally Hennessey) was another nose back in third while Crisp Mane and Image Of A Dream were next in the classy field of seven. At the outset, both She'sgotitgoingon and Prairie Westerngal were intent on taking charge with the latter streaking to the front and the former right behind through an opener of :27--but not for long. That's when She'sgotitgoingon made a second brush to take charge and roll over to the half in :56.1. On the backside, Image Of A Dream (Rick Plano) began applying pressure on the leader and moved alongside past the third marker in 1:25.1. Turning for home, She'sgotitgoingon, took care of that threat and handily took care of the remaining two challenges. For She'sgotitgoingon, it was her fifth success in only eight starts this year and vaulted her 2020 bankroll to $44,025. Lifetime, the roan mare has a 9-3-2 scorecard in 22 starts and $71,452 in bounty to go along with her 1:50.4 mark at Hoosier Park two months ago. She paid $3.60 to her multitude of faithful. She'sgotitgoingon On the wagering side of the ledger, Pompano Park's Pick-5 offering, with a $19,216 carryover from Monday and a Tuesday $100,000 Guaranteed Pool, drew an additional $174,249 bringing the total pool to a record $193,465. With a 12 to 1 outsider kicking things off, followed by winners at 2 to 1, 9 to 2 and 9 to 2, the probable live 50 cent ticket combinations ranged from $6,780.35 to $155,080.30 going into the closing leg and, indeed, it was the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Jazzy Image, scoring for Wally Hennessey to secure that aforementioned $6,780.35 payday for the 23 ticket holders of the 1-5-5-9-6/7 combination. Also on Tuesday, a ceremony was held in Pompano Park's winner's circle honoring the retirement of the 14 year-old warhorse A Fool For Mark, who made his final career start--his 420th--which included 81 wins, $323,063 in earnings (the "hard way," as trainer Dustin Ingraham said) and a mark of 1:49.3 at Vernon Downs set as a seven year-old. A Fool For Mark won at 16 different tracks, including 34 times at the South Florida oval. Racing continues on Wednesday, December 30 with a full 10 race program, which includes the Pick-4 with its $15,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 (with an industry low 12 % takeout) and a Super Hi-5 finale with a carryover of $32,640.86. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...December 29, 2020...DG'S Caviar stretched his winning streak at Pompano Park to four with a convincing win for harness racing trainer-driver Andy Shetler in 1:53, a new lifetime mark, in the $11,500 Open Handicap Trot. The four year-old son of Prime Time Caviar, bred and owned by Daniel Graber, put a margin of 3¾ lengths between he and Muscles For Life (Wally Hennessey) while The Lionking AS (Kevin Wallis) finished third, eight lengths away. Born To Thrive finished fourth with BJ Lorado picking up the nickel in the classy septet. The 6 to 5 favorite, Explosivebreakaway, made a miscue leaving to lose all opportunity. As the wings folded, BJ Lorado zipped off the wings from post two and put Celebrity Miracle, starting from the inside, in the pocket behind him and ripped off first half panels of :27 and :56 with Muscles For Life (post 6) settling in third and DG's Caviar (post 7) finding a spot in fourth. On the backside, Muscles For Life got the jump on DG's Caviar by brushing up to take charge at the third station in 1:24.4 with DG's Caviar also on the prowl about two lengths back. In the lane, these two battled out until mid-stretch when DG's Caviar exploded by with authority to put daylight under the moonlight at the wire. In a post-race interview, Andy Shetler related, "I've been driving for about 30 years now and this is the best one I ever had. He's a fighter, he's tenacious, doesn't give up and is quite versatile now. He's won some on the front and, this time, he proved he can just bide his time until I ask him...and, when I chirp to him, he's ready to put up a fight!" Despite his winning skein coming in, DG's Caviar was third choice on the board, having skipped a week coming in, to which Shetler explained, "I gave him a week off after his last win--just a week off--he deserved it and was better than ever in winning tonight!" For DG's Caviar, it was his sixth win of the year in 21 starts, good for $41,180 and $117,075 lifetime to go along with his new mark. Off as the 7 to 2 third choice, DG's Caviar paid $9.60 to win. DG's Caviar The $10,000 Open II Trot went to Bucketlist Hanover, with Kevin Wallis in his sulky for trainer Norman Dessureault and owner Paul Andre D'Lehoux. This seven year-old altered son of Cantab Hall was away in good order to take charge early, yielded to the Ohio invader My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) through panels of :27.3 and :56.4, sat chilly on the backside as Majestic Fire (Jim Meittinis) applied pressure past the third station in 1:26.1, found a seam in the lane and roared home s half length winner in 1:55.2. My Uncle Cuz did finish second over Majestic Fire while Sooo Handsome rallied to finish fourth. Keegan Ho picked up the scraps in the field of seven. Bucketlist Hanover sent his career bounty over the $200,000 with the win--$204,254 to be precise and paid $11.40 to win. Bucketlist Hanover That score, his 25th lifetime, set up huge scenario for the track's Tuesday night card as the win left the Pick-5 unscathed, resulting in a $19,215 carryover and a $100,000 guaranteed pool--the largest guarantee in the track's history-- for the Tuesday Pick-5, which begins in the first race. Post time is 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...December 28, 2020...Harness racing trainer Mike Deters and driver Wally Hennessey teamed up to take the twin features on Sunday night at Pompano Park. Prairie Panther and Rebellious were the two stars that shined on this night with the former taking top honors in the $11,500 Open Handicap Pace and Rebellious scoring in the companion $10,000 Open II event. Prairie Panther, trained by Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, is a six year-old Florida bred altered son of Royal Millennium and showed his true grit with a 1:51 score, going first up backside bid denting a :27.3 panel to draw on even terms with the leader at the top of the lane and on to a 2 3/4 length win over Kinnder Jackson (Mike Simons) with Ideal Feeling (Dave Ingraham) third. Bell I No and Lyons Night Hawk, starting saddled with the two outside posts, rallying to pick up the final two awards. The win was the sixth of the year for Prairie Panther and, once again, spoiled the chances of Southwind Amazon to record an historic 100th lifetime win. Southwind eventually finished eighth. Indeed, it was Southwind Amazon (MIke Micallef) who was intent on controlling the festivities by blasting off the wings from his four post to put Kinnder Jackson, post five, in the garden spot through :26.2 sizzler to open the contest with a :55.1 half to follow. Meanwhile, Hennessey had Prairie Panther in fourth for the first half before tilting to the outside on the backstretch uncovered to begin his assault and moving alongside the leader at the third station in 1:22.4. "He just has this great tenacity and heart," said Hennessey, "and, once he puts his mind to it, he doesn't quit until it's all done!" The win sent Prairie Panther's 2020 bounty to $57,863. Lifetime, he's won 41 of his 95 career starts, good for $389,980. Off at 9 to 5 on the tote-board, Prairie Panther paid $5.60 to win. Prairie Panther That $10,000 Open II Pace went to Rebellious for Hennessey in 1:51, as well, scoring by a neck over a game Skip To My Lou (Joe Chindano, Jr.) with Solo Story (Braxton Boyd), closing fastest of all for third, 2¼ lengths away. The early leader Mac Anover was fourth while Agedchedar Hanover picked up the minor award in the field of nine. Beginning from the outside nine post, Rebellious left cautiously as Mac Anover (post 8) zipped off the wings into an early lead with Skip To My Lou on the move early as well with these two nostrils apart at the hot :29.1 opener--Rebellious finding a spot in sixth at this spot. With Skip To My Lou and Mac Anover one-two at the half in :55.1, Rebellious was out and gnawing away fifth and on a serious binge of his own, denting an official :27.2 thrid panel with a :26.4 split of his own, drawing on even terms with the leader as they straightened away for the drive to the wire and edging away slowly in deep stretch for the narrow win. After the race, Hennessey related, "this wasn't the easiest trip for the horse as Chindano's horse (Skip To My Lou) was very game tonight, especially after put up a :26 and change number early. But Rebellious is a pretty darn game performer himself and he proved that again tonight. Trained by Deters, who co-owns with Joel Warner, this son of Mach Three won for the eighth time this year in 23 starts, good for $51,570 in bounty. Lifetime, the six year-old has won 41 times and earned $323,956 to go along with his 1:49 mark at Tioga Downs last year. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote-board, Rebellious paid $3.40 to his multitude of faithful. Rebellious Tote-board fireworks followed in the very next race as Dash Of Danger, driven by Kyle Husted, eked out a narrow win to complete the Pick-5 with that 3-8-3-9-1 combination returning $14,650.50 for the 50 cent ducat. Racing continues on Monday with a $15,000 Guaranteed Pool on the track's popular Pick-4 and a Super Hi-5 carryover of $23,575.18 .Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. John Berry for Pompano Park                           John Berry | ASST RACE SECRTRY O 954-972-2000 777 Isle of Capri Cir. | Pompano Beach, FL 33069 www.caesars.com    

Pompano Beach, FL...December 23...Prairie Westerngal, a "bridesmaid" in her most recent pair of races at Pompano Park, reached the harness racing altar on Tuesday (December 22) by scoring a sharp win in the $11,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace for Wally Hennessey in 1:53. The four year-old daughter of Western Ideal, sprinted off the wings into a quick early lead before yielding to Crisp Mane (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) and remained in the garden spot most of the way before finding a seam along the pylons in the lane to score by a length over Crisp Mane after the latter sliced through panels of :27, :56 and 1:23.4 along the way. Image Of A Dream (Rick Plano) rallied for third while Ask Me Ifi Care, sporting a two race win skein coming in, finished fourth--unable to overcome the outside post. Tempus Seelster picked up the nickel after putting the pressure on the leader around the final bend. After the race, driver Wally Hennessey remarked, "What can I say? She's just a handy, top quality mare who is extremely well trained and gives all she's got every start. I know she likes the front end but, to tell you the truth, I think she likes the garden spot just a bit better." Mike Deters trains the mare and co-owns with Laurie Poulin and Fritz Racing, who now has an 8-6-2 scorecard in 21 starts, good for $48,591. Lifetime, she banked $142,573. Off as the even-money tote-board favorite, Prairie Westerngal paid $4.20 to win. Prairie Westerngal Finally, in the "lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place" department, Northern Dali, the eight year-old daughter of Dali, proved that myth wrong in the $10,000 Open II Pace for the mares by scoring a photo finish win for Fern Paquet, Jr. in 1:53.1--her winning margin a scant nose over Come Get The Cash (John MacDonald) who, herself, was just a nose ahead of Gigi From Fiji (Wally Hennessey). Another Beach Day and Casie's Believer also picked up checks in the action packed thriller. At the outset, Big Thong (Ken Holliday) pushed the wings out of her way and opened up a large lead and eighth into the mile and took the field through an opener of :27 and half in :55.3. On the backside, Come Get The Cash, third early, rushed up to take charge at the third station in 1:24.1 with Gigi From Fiji following that live cover. Meanwhile, Northern Dali, away fifth, elected to stay put before finding a seam to move outside approaching the final bend. Fanning widest of all turning for home, Northern Dali moved alongside the battling leaders and pushed her nostril in front right on the money. As for the aforementioned "lightning" reference, Northern Dali scored her second win of the month in this class and, as she did in her last victory, went off at over 30 to 1 odds, paying $65.40 off of her 31 to 1 tote-board odds. On her last win on December 1, she was 33 to 1 and returned $67.20 to win. Paquet was in the bike for owner-trainer Gaston Lareau and the win--her fifth of the year--sent her career bankroll over the $350,000 plateau--$351,484 to be precise. She's earned $43,049 this semester. Northern Dali Racing continues with an explosive 13 race extravaganza on Wednesday with a pair of popular Pick-4 events on tap--both with $15,000 guaranteed pools and an industry low 12% takeout. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park                                 Caesars Entertainment | Hotels, Casinos & Experiences www.caesars.com At Caesars Entertainment every guest is treated like Caesar and every visit is unforgettable. Enjoy the world's best hotels, casinos, restaurants, shows and more.   John Berry | ASST RACE SECRTRY O 954-972-2000 777 Isle of Capri Cir. | Pompano Beach, FL 33069 www.caesars.com           John Berry | ASST RACE SECRTRY O 954-972-2000 777 Isle of Capri Cir. | Pompano Beach, FL 33069 www.caesars.com    

Pompano Beach, FL...December 21, 2020...Muscles For Life, the brilliant seven year-old son of Muscle Mass, scored a hard-earned 1:54.2 win for harness racing driver Wally Hennessey in Pompano Park's $11,500 Open Handicap Trot on Monday night (December 21) holding the fast closing Explosivebreakaway (Tom Jackson) and The Lionking AS (Kevin Wallis) at bay at the wire in 1:54.2. The winning margin was a half length earning Muscles For Life his third win in four fall starts this semester in South Florida. Sooo Handsome finished fourth while Bucketlist Hanover picked up the final two awards in the field of eight. Muscles For Life was forced to draw one of the two outside posts in this field and Hennessey was forced to change strategy here as there was plenty of speed off the wings, especially from BJ Lorado, who zipped an opening panel in :26.3 and half in :55.4 with The Lionking AS in the garden spot, Sooo Handsome third and Muscles for Life, who left from post seven but found a spot in fourth around the opening turn with Explosivebreakaway, leaving from post eight, finding a nice spot right behind Muscles For Life. Around turn two, Hennessey tilted his charge outside and, once they straightened away on the backside, Muscles For Life motored sup strongly to take charge past the third station in 1:24.3 with Explosivebreakaway now looming a length away. In the lane, Muscles For Life held firm enough in the final stages for the win, his seventh of the year in 17 starts for trainer Steve Oldford, who conditions the trotter for owner Jerold Hawks. The win sent his 2020 earnings to $54,630 and $345,220 career-wise. Reflecting on the win, driver Hennessey said, "We seemed to be going pretty good leaving so I decided to try and find a spot a bit closer up because I knew it would take too much out of him to press the quick pace. He was nice and relaxed once we found the good spot and, when I asked him, he responded big time. He's a very impressive racehorse!" Off as the 6 to 5 tote-board favorite, Muscles For Life paid $4.40 to his multitude of faithful. Muscles For Life The $10,000 Open II Trot went to Mighty Surf with Mike Simons in his sulky for the win. The brave six year-old daughter of Prayer I Am, trained by Jake Huff for the Beauty Bridle RacingStable, got up in the final stride to nail Burn Notice (Peter Wrenn) right on the wire in 1:56. Keegan Ho (Rick Plano) rallied to be third while the early leader, Kellie's MVP, finished fourth. Dragin The Wagon grabbed the nickel in the full field of 10. For Mighty Surf, it was her fifth win of the year in 27 starts, vaulting her bankroll for 2020 to $44,037 and $240,872 lifetime. Off as fourth choice at 5 to 1, Mighty Surf paid $12.20 to win. Mighty Surf Racing continues on Tuesday with post time set for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...December 21...Pompano Park was the host track for a "Super Night" 17 race harness racing card on Sunday night (December 20) with over $400,000 up for grabs in the FSBOA sponsored Breeders Stakes. In addition, Lyons Night Hawk played the spoiler role in the Open Handicap Pace by pacing to a new lifetime mark of 1:49.4. Here is a recap of the Sunday Night action: $51,500 Breeders Stake for Three Year-Old Pacing Colts & Geldings (non-wagering) Hurrikanekingjames, perfectly handled by Carl Garofalo, led every long stride of a 1:53.2 mile to score a handy nine length over Repeal or Replace (Wally Hennessey), carding fractions of :27.1, 56.1 and 1:24.3 with an effortless :28.3 finale sealing the deal. Prairie Valentino (Dave Ingraham) recovered from an early miscue to finish third while Goldstar Buniholly ws next. Shuldahadahunemoon picked up the minors in the field of five. Trained this night by Jim Meittinis for Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing and George Vierno, the So Surreal colt stretched his winning streak to five during this fall stakes season in South Florida to push his seasonal bankroll to $62,734 and $164,045 lifetime on the strength of a 14-1-3 scorecard in 30 career starts. $51,500 Breeders Stake for Three Year-Old Pacing Fillies (non-wagering) Laurie Lee was awarded first money of $28,325 after Gold Star Igotdis crossed the wire first but was disqualified for interference in the stretch. The winner by "DQ" was driven by Wally Hennessey and was just a neck back at the wire in the mile clocked in 1:56. At the outset, Laurie Lee left with her usual alacrity but yielded at the opening marker in :29.2 to Gold Star Igotdid (CoreyBraden) with these two remaining one-two past markers of :58.4 and 1:27.3. In the lane, Gold Star Igotdis began drifting out, impeding the progress of Laurie Lee resulting in the disqualification. Molly McGator (Tyler Smith) finished third, 11½ lengths away, edging out Alil Touch Of Pink, who finished fourth in this quartet. For the consistent Laurie Lee, a daughter of Royel Millennium trained by Kim Sears, who co-owns with Richard Dunmire, it was her third win in six starts with this top prize of $28,325 vaulting her 2020 bankroll to $45,903 in her six starts this semester. In repeating her Super Night of 2019, Laurie now has career earnings of $95,878 In her 15 lifetime starts. $51,000 Breeders Stake for Three Year-Old Trotting Geldings non-wagering) Prairie Romeo, with Corey Braden in his bike, took advantage of his three remaining foes making miscues during the mile and went on to score a very handy win measuring 15¼ lengths in a new lifetime mark of 1:59. The altered son of Shibboleth Hanover, leaving from post 4 in this quartet, smartly rushed off the wings into a quick early lead and cut the mustard all the way through fractions of :29.1, 1:00 and 1:30 before a :29 finale easily sealed the deal. Prairie Gold Mine (Wally Hennessey) recovered from a break at the beginning to finish second while Rhinestone Cowboy (Mike Micallef), in the garden spot before a miscue half-way through put a damper on his chances, was another neck back in third. YD Dream Machine, who inherited second when Rhinestone Cowboy broke, went up in the air himself nearing the final bend and would up with the minors. For Prairie Romeo, trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin and John Spindler, it was his second career win with this one more than doubling his earnings coming in--now at $53,571 after this payday of $28,050. $49,000 Breeders Stake for Three Year-Old Trotting Fillies (non-wagering) With but a trio of sophomore trotting fillies competing, it only took good manners to claim the top prize of $26,950 and it was Brasen Bo, a daughter of Shibboleth Hanover, taking full advantage of his foes' miscues while romping to a 24 length win in 2:04.2. Driven by John MacDonald for trainer Brandy Wine and owner Thomas Casey, Brasen Bo was away second as Prairie Delight went up in the air early and Callin On Sunday (Mike Simons) took the field through fractions of :28.4 and :58.2, opening up a large daylight lead of nine lengths. On the backside, Callin On Sunday lost his composure, too, enabling the sure-footed Brasen Bo to catch up after a few seconds and inherit the lead. Opening a 20 length margin at the third station in 1:31.4, it was jusr a coast home in a leisurely :33 to claim the top prize of $26,950, sending his career bankroll to $63,992. After the event, driver John MacDonald related, "I am so happy for Tom Casey. He did a great job in getting this filly ready. He had a few health issues and was unable to train 'Bo' so he really deserves the credit. He taught her manners very well and that's what counted more than anything tonight." $51,500 Breeders Stake for Two Year-Old Pacing Geldings Theflyingrock, driven by Mike Simons, did not left his multitude of backers down as this gelded son of Rockincam justified his 3 to 5 tote-board price with a sharp 1:54.1 performance. His margin of victory measured three lengths over Mister David C (Hennessey) with Lucky Ramsey (Fern Paquet, Jr) next, 8¾ lengths away. Hey Don't Tell Me finished fourth while Buddha Beach picked up the nickel in this quartet. The winner pushed the wings out of the way at the start and posted panels of :28.4, :58.4 and 1:26.1 while putting more daylight between his opponents with every stride. Theflyingrock Trained by Simons for owner Marie Marsh, Theflyingrock now has a 4-1-1 scorecard in six starts with his earnings now at $43,878 for his brief racing career which began two months ago. He paid $3.20 to win. $51,500 Breeders Stake for Two Year-Old Trotting Colts & Geldings Seeking Matthew was the only one in his quintet to mind her manners the entire mile route and went on to score an 19¾ length win for Alessandro Spano, who was in the bike for trainer Sergio Corona, who co-owns with Amante Standardbreds. Shulda Hada Drink (Mike Simons), the 1 to 5 favorite, recovered from a miscue after the opening panel--:29.4--to finish second while Ifnotnowwhen (Wally Hennessey) made his break while in the lead on the backside after the 1:00.1 half and finished third. Jo Jo Jet and Prairie Lazuli were next. Seeking Matthew was away in good order third, moved into second when Shulda Hada Drink made his miscue while vying for the lead, inherited the lead when Ifnotnowwhen went up in the air on the backside and coasted home after reaching the third station in 1:30.2.--his mile clocked in 2:00.4 in this his maiden win in six career starts. Seeking Matthew The big payday of $25,750 sent his earnings to $36,559. He paid 19.20 to win. $52,400 Breeders Stake for Two Year-Old Trotting Fillies Ifnotmewho, driven by Wally Hennessey, edged by arch-rival Prairie Virtue (Mike Simons) to score a photo finish win in 1:58.4--the winning margin a neck. It was 16¼ lengths back to Prairie Trinket (Dave Ingraham) who finished third over Bob's Legacy with West Haven fifth in the sextet. Ifnotmeeho, a daughter of Credit Winner, trained by Hennessey for owner Herman Brewer, allowed Prairie Virtue to take charge after a brief tussle around the opening turn as that one put up numbers of :28.2, :58.4 and 1:28.1 before Ifnotmewho leftthe coziness of the pocket and began gnawing away, sticking a neck in front just a stride or two from the wire. Ifnotmewho The win stretched the winning streak of Ifnotmewho to four with all five meetings between these two decided by a half length or less. Ifnotmewho now has banked $71,303 and was iff at 1 to 5 on the tote-board, paying $2.60 to win. $54,500 Breeders Stake for Two Year-Old Pacing Fillies Ms Rodeo Drive picked a great time to break her maiden as this daughter of Art Major upset the applecart at 32 to 1 in taking top honors in her juvenile pacing class. Handled by Dave Ingraham for trainer Tony Dinges and owner Lee Clarke, Ms Rodeo Drive sat a chilly fourth as Prairie Sweetness (Kevin Wallis) carved up panels of :27.1, :57.4 and 1:26.2 with KK's Dream Girl (Corey Braden) looming boldly alongside with Sheza Terror also rallying. But while those three were in a war, Ms Rodeo Drive was steered widest of all to collar Prairie Sweetness near the wire. Sheza Terror did finish third while Rocks Stormyd and KK's Dream Girl were next in the octet. Ms Rodeo Drive For Ms Rodeo Drive, who came into the action with $4,852 on her resume, her maiden win vaulted her bounty to $32,201. She paid $67.80 to win and set up a Pick-5 combo of 4-2-4-1-3 good for $12,822.95 for the 50 cent ticket. Lyons Night Hawk Takes Lifetime Mark in Open Handicap Pace on 1:49.4 Finally,in the $11,500 Open Handicap Pace, Lyons Night Hawk, with Kevin Wallis in the sulky, made a bold double-bubble move from fifth on the backside, swept into the lead around the final bend and went on to score in 1:49.4 win, his margin one length over the late-charging Ideal Feeling (Dave Ingraham). Bell I No (John MacDonald, known for his front-stepping ability, came from last halfway through the mile to finish third over Rebellious and Kinnder Jackson. Southwind Amazon, seeking his 100th career victory got in a war with Seeing Eye Single through panels of :26 and :53.3 but that hearty pace took its toll and these two finished at the back of the septet. Lyons Night Hawk For Lyons Night Hawk, a four year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou, it was his sixth win of the year in 20 starts, sending his 2020 earnings to $45,950. He's banked $277,538 lifetime to go along with his first sub-1:50 performance and new lifetime mark on this night. Off as sixth choice at 8 to 1, Lyons Night Hawk paid $18.80 to win. Racing continues Monday night with first post set for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...December 19, 2020...Pompano Park will again host the FSBOA Super Night on Sunday (December 20) with over $400,000 up for grabs in eight Florida Breeders Stakes for harness racing two and three year-olds.   Four of the Breeders Stakes will be non-wagering events while four will comprise part of a gigantic 13 race pari-mutuel card which gets underway at 7:20 p.m.   As part of the festivities, there will be two Pick-4 offerings--both with $15,000 guaranteed pools--with an industry low 12% take-out on each one.   There is also a Pentafecta carryover in the fourth race Sunday totaling $4,195.   The $51,500 Breeders Stake for two year-old trotting colts/geldings kicks off the pari-mutuel card with Theflyingrock, Mister David C and Hey Don't Tell Me the apparent threats to take home the top prize in the quintet.   Theflyingrock is an altered son of Rockincam and comes into the action with the fastest mark of these at 1:53.1, accomplished here at Pompano Park less than a month ago. Trainer Mike Simons will be in his sulky for owner Marie Marsh.   Mister David C is, this far, the richest of the group with $26,595 since his career began less than two months ago. This gelded son of Royel Millennium is trained by Tony Dinges for owners Fred Grant and Birnam Wood Farms and will have the driving services of Wally Hennessey. His scorecard reads 3-1-1 in five starts with a mark of 1:54.2.   Hey Don't Tell Me has yet to win after three career starts but has been a close second in his last two starts. He will leave from post one and will have Mike Micallef in his sulky for trainer Wayne Carter, who co-owns with Jean Carter.   Completing the early daily double will be two year-old trotting colts and geldings going for a purse of $51,500, as well.   Shulda Hada Drink appears to have the upper hand in that one as this son of Shibboleth Hanover has won four of his five career starts, good for earnings of $30,397. He comes into the action on a three race win straek and will be driven by Mike Simons for trainer George Coblentz and owner Nick Coblentz.   Two year-old trotting fillies will be in the spotlight next to kick off the track's Pick-6 with Ifnotmewho and Prairie Virtue renewing what has become quite a rivalry--this event worth $52,400.   Ifnotmewho is a daughter of Credit Winner and holds a 3 to 1 edge in her four encounters with Prairie Virtue but all of the races were decided by a half-length or less.   Wally Hennessey will drive Ifnotmewho for owner Herman Brewer while Prairie Virtue will have the services of Mike Simons, in the bike for trainer Lisa Martin and owners Mary Martin and Laurie Poulin.   Completing the Pick-5 on Sunday night is the $54,500 Breeders Stake for two year-old pacing fillies with a talented octet going to the post. Prairie Sweetness, KK's Dream Girl and Sheza Terror seem to be the top trio of contenders in this event with all of these having visited the winner's circle during the fall stakes season in Florida.   Prairie Sweetness, a daughter of Royel Millennium, trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, has three photo finish wins in five starts and will be driven by Kevin Wallis.   Gold Star Farm's KK's Dream Girl was just a nose back of Prairie Sweetness in their last encounter and driver Corey Braden will try and turn the tide for trainer Maggie Audley.   Sheza Terror, a daughter of Western Terror, started her stakes season off with a win and has two seconds and a third in her most recent affairs. Wally Hennessey will be in her sulky for trainer Rod Lorenzo, who co-owns with Souren Hovsepian.   There are four other Breeders Stakes that will be conducted prior to the pari-mutuel program.   Also on Sunday night Bell I No and Southwind Amazon will lock horns again in the Open Handicap Pace--the former seeking a repeat win and the latter looking for his 100th career victory.   Bell I No, a six year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven, has the fastest mile of the young Pompano meeting thus far with a 1:49.3 performance with John MacDonald in the sulky for trainer Tee Wine and the Jemaxpo Racing Stable.   Southwind Amazon, the 10 year-old warhorse trained by Paul Holzman for owner Ameer Najor, is the richest performer in the field with over $1.1 million in earnings.   Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

Harness racing, at its very core, is a career that follows a routine pattern, but at the same time, follows no routine at all. In other words, the everyday routine of each stable is set through a similar schedule – morning feed, stalls, buckets, watering, jogging or training, bathing, lunch, and dinner. Now these schedules vary from stable to stable. Everything from how far a horse is jogged to how much they are fed to how many buckets of water each horse has can be different. But, the routine of a single stable changes as anything can happen in the barn. Horses get sick, pop a gravel, get mysterious injuries, and more. Most horse people at Tioga Downs share a similar routine in the sense of travel. We follow a schedule like birds in the winter. From October to May, we all find ourselves in South Florida at the Winter Capital of Harness Racing, Pompano Park. Only about three Tioga Downs stables remain north during this time. Then, as spring comes to an end and summer begins, we migrate north. All of our horses and necessities to run a stable are jam packed into several trailers headed for a final destination of Nichols, New York. Some trainers ship their own horses, some hire shippers, and others with large stables do a mix of the two. Usually, we race until at least the end of April or beginning of May. That is a part of our routine to follow a racing schedule that doesn’t change from year to year. Or, that’s how it was until this year. This year has been full of surprises, surprises that not even the uncertain harness racing business or even the best handicapper could have predicted. We are used to our horses presenting us with some sort of unusual case; whether it is one of those mysterious injuries or some strange cause of injury. Yet, we are not used to having our entire business shut down in the blink of an eye. March 11th – the last race day of the 2019-2020 race season at Pompano Park. Horses entered in the box for that following Thursday, Sunday, and Monday were unable to race. Now what? A question that breezed through the minds of every horseman on that track. Everyone was about to feel the effects of this shut down, including stables of only one horse to stables of over forty head. We had no idea how long it was going to last and if we would race again at Pompano. The shutdown caused a ripple effect that affected everyone on and off the track – trainers, drivers, owners, grooms, veterinarians, and blacksmiths as well as the companies that provide hay, grain, and sawdust. “As an equine vet with my own practice, it shut my business down,” Dr. Michelle MacDougall said. “There was a money crunch on all owners and trainers that prevented them from doing elective vet procedures.” Owner-trainer-driver Mike Deters said, “It was a tremendous financial burden. Nothing changed in the fact that my grooms made the same amount and my feed bill still came in, but there was no income coming in.” Debbie Gagnon, groom for Mike Deters, said, “we were afraid of how long we would be there. We cut back on treating horses which affected how they are racing now. It was a scary situation to be on hold for so long. Trainers were afraid to do anything.” “Everything was on hold. Everyone is scared for travel or flying, but I have to for my job – from Fort Lauderdale to Pocono and back,” Blacksmith Mike Cable said. “I had a fear for my family. I was traveling in and out of state and in and out of our house. Unfortunately, COVID-19 grabbed my mom and took her life on April 19th. I was quarantined during the first week of April due to traveling for work. I wasn’t able to go to the track to shoe horses and I lost work. “It made life harder for everyone,” Cable continued. “My wife was worried. She could not and did not sleep. She and many others stay home.” Despite the uncertainty of racing and life in general, horsemen also saw the positive side of everything. “We have our own safe and protected community where we were able to keep track of ourselves. We were mentally thinking differently and we now carry our mask in our pocket every day, but we are very fortunate that our [Pompano Park-Tioga] horsemen community is without cases,” owner-trainer-driver Jim McDonald stated. McDonald’s groom, Jim Hogan, said, “I am a groom that is fortunate enough that my trainer kept me employed.” Owner Laurie Poulin said, “I am thankful that the government has helped us out in any way that they could.” Fast forward to mid-May and we are on the road to Tioga Downs. It had been two months since our last start. Yet, most every stable on the grounds was still jogging and training, prepared for if we did see an opening date again. Sadly, it never came. “It’s like baking a cake. Every day we bake the cake – we train and jog. We buy the supplies to bake the cake – we still have to feed and support the horses. But, at the end of the day, since there is no racing it is as if we throw the cake away. And then, we get up the next day and do it all over again,” trainer Michelle Hallett says. Once we got to Tioga Downs, we set up our barn and prepared to “bake the cake” again. This time with a bit more confidence that we would be racing again. Several stables remained in Florida, though. The board of directors and head of racing at Tioga Downs held a mandatory track meeting. If you wanted to race or even be in the paddock, you had to attend – grooms, trainers, and some drivers attended. This meeting focused on proper hygiene and guidelines set by the CDC for COVID-19, such as masks and social distancing. Masks are mandatory in the paddock and there is a system set up to maintain social distancing. At this point, we were all willing to do anything to make up for the months of lost racing time. We signed a sheet that acknowledged we attended and understood the new guidelines for racing. Masked driver Jim Meittinis at Tioga Downs June 1st – Our first Tioga Downs qualifier and our second time we have been able to race since the shutdown. The one other time was May 14th for a qualifying day generously approved by Pompano Park and organized by a joint effort of the Florida Amateur Driving Club (FADC) and the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA). We accomplished this by qualifying out of our barns. When it was time for our race, we walked the horse up, hooked them in the bike if they didn’t already have one on, and lead them to the track through the chute. “Putting on my colors again to drive in the qualifiers at Pompano and Tioga Downs was like Christmas morning,” driver Wally Hennessey said. Things were finally starting to feel as a sense of normal again. “It was good to get in the bike again. We are all race junkies and so, yes, the best way to describe it is like it was Christmas morning. At Gilcrest, we kept qualifiers all the time and moved the post times around to give hope to the horsemen. The biggest challenge was the mental stress caused by the unknown,” Gilcrest association President and horseman Verlin Yoder said. Left to right driver Scott Zeron, NYSS head M. Kelly Young and Brett Risi, Operations Manager at Tioga and Vernon Downs. Tioga Downs association President and horseman Guy Howard said, “Our association stepped up. Board members were cleaning the bathrooms and driver’s room, we paid for manure removal, and we helped in getting the track done. Ronnie Morales got the track done in the mornings during the weekend and I did it in the afternoon. It was a team effort to get the track [Tioga Downs] up and running, ready for the horsemen from Florida.” June 7th – the first official race day in months for horsemen at Tioga Downs, opening day for the 2020 season. It was a four-race paddock set up, instead of the usual eight races. Every other stall was used to promote social distancing. Everyone wore a mask. Even though everyone was wearing a mask, you could still see the smiles beneath, happy to be back doing what we all love. Owner and trainer Maggie Audley said, “the strain of having to pay the same number of bills without any income was rough. Thankfully, Mr. Gural is a good friend of horseman and understood our plight. He got us back racing and for that, we are all very grateful.” Throughout this summer and to today, our day-to-day lives are still impacted by COVID-19. Horse racing in North America was fortunate that many tracks were able to reopen during the summer with no spectators while most every other professional sport was shut down. Our race paddock at Tioga remained as a mandatory mask zone up to the final race day. We continued social distancing and the rules for the driver’s lounge were followed. The paddock was upgraded from a four-race to a six-race paddock. After the meet ended at Tioga Downs, horsemen traveled to other tracks to race. Pompano Park opened its doors on October 1st for the 2020-2021 race meet. One by one, horsemen pulled out and made the journey south. By November 1st, the track was over half full. Stables were put back together with harness bags hanging and trunks out front. Everyone was ready for a fresh start at Pompano Park since the abrupt shut down in March. The first few stakes races came first. Due to unforeseen circumstances, opening day was postponed to November 15th. Eldorado’s Vice President of Racing Joe Morris and Pompano Director of Racing Gabe Prewitt have successfully composed our 2020-2021 race season with full race cards and the inclusion of fans, horsemen, and bettors. Race officials at Pompano Park have handled the safety guidelines for operating during the pandemic in a similar manner to Tioga Downs. We are currently racing in a four-race paddock with masks and social distancing. We are hopeful to fulfill our full season; but, unfortunately, we are still experiencing the fears of the unknown due to COVID-19 and the hopes that the new vaccine will bring an end to it all. The pandemic is one race that horsemen cannot wait to end. A race that will hopefully leave most everyone as winners, horsemen and fans alike. By Jessica Hallett, for Harnesslink

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