POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (September 2, 2014) - Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park is gearing up to start the 2014-2015 winter harness racing season with an opening date of October 4 and opened its backstretch to horsemen on Labor Day Monday. Known as the "Winter Capital of Harness Racing," Isle Casino & Racing Pompano Park has been the home of world-class Standardbred racing since 1964, providing a picturesque South Florida destination for top-ranked trotters and pacers, as well as award-winning trainers and drivers. With an average temperature of 77 degrees in the winter and sunny, clear blue skies, Isle Casino Pompano Park has had no cancellations in the last 2 ½ years. "It looks like another great season of competitive racing, said Wyre. "Many of the top stables have made plans to ship down. As a result stalls are filling up fast with almost 700 booked for the season". The last day to get an application in was Friday, August 29, but applications will continue to be accepted on availability. To register please visit our website. Navigate to the racing tab, the stall application can be found under "horsemen." Questions regarding the stable application should be directed to Joe Frasure in the race office at 954.972.2000 ext. 6476. Or mail or fax the application as noted below. Mail: Fax: Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park 954-975-3296 Attn: Race Office 1800 SW 3rd St. Pompano Beach, FL 33069 by Jill Alexander, for Isle Casinos
Coral Springs, FL – It has been revealed to Harnesslink.com that the Isle Casino and Racing at Pompano Park has hired Brett Revington as the new Director of Racing. Revington hails from Prince Edward Island in Canada where he was the former Racing Manager for Red Shores, which runs both Charlottetown Driving Park and Summerside Raceway. His duties there also included being the cage and count manager and overseeing the facility and maintenance. Prior to working at Red Shores, Revington was the Assistant Race Manager at Western Fair Raceway and for six years was the Stakes Manager at Woodbine Entertainment Group. He is also a licensed Associate Judge and worked for the Ontario Racing Commission where he was responsible for rule enforcement and hearing adjudication. Revington was voted as a Director of the Atlantic Region to the Standardbred Canada Board, serving for four years. A 1997 graduate of the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Revington also attended Fanshawe College with accreditation in their Canadian Securities Course. Before working full time in the Standardbred industry after graduation, Revington traveled overseas to manage a Domino’s Pizza chain in Dublin, Ireland. Revington will begin his new duties immediately. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great new newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance. Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This past week’s newsletter contains the following feature stories: Will Pompano Park be sold any time soon? – All the talk in the financial sections of world-wide news sites last week was that the Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. was on the market to be sold. Modern Art Pedigree/Review – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the very good racehorse and stallion Modern Art p,3,1:50.2m ($1,055,233). Please don’t try and interview Ake Svanstedt - We really hope for the future that interviewers at the racetrack will not try and get Ake Svanstedt to do interviews unless you have his assistant trainer Bjorn “Bernie” Noren to assist. We need to support more Monte racing! - Last year was a breakout season for Monte racing in North America. More and more tracks held exhibition events and Monte racing has really grown. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
Erwin Grossman, a long time harness racing publicist in the New York metropolitan area, died Friday, June 20 at an assisted living facility in Boca Raton, FL after a long illness. He was 85. Grossman was a fixture for many years at Yonkers and Roosevelt Raceways covering Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing, handicapping horses for the New York Herald Tribune. He also traveled to numerous racetracks on the east coast to cover stakes races and special events. He reported on the grand openings at Liberty Bell Park, Monticello Raceway and Pompano Park. He attended Scioto Downs in its first year of operation, making the trip to report on the great horse Adios Butler. Annually, when the racing season was over, Grossman filed training articles from Aiken, SC and Winter Haven, FL. He was one of the first journalists that would travel extensively reporting on horse racing. Along with Hall of Famer Clyde Hirt, then with Roosevelt Raceway publicity, Grossman also secured advertising for the annual United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) annual awards journal. He served as president of the New York USHWA Chapter from 1965 to 1966. He and Hall of Famer Lou Miller started a joint venture writing and publishing Trotting Times, a harness racing newspaper with entries, selections, workouts and features. He also had a stint with the NY Standardbred Owners Association writing and publishing their first house magazine, Voice. One day Grossman picked every winner at the old Jamaica race course. A $2 parlay that day would have netted a bettor $84,000. That feat earned Grossman an appearance on the “Tonight Show” when it was hosted by Steve Allen. His best long shot was when Hall of Famer Clint Hodgins drove Lite Direct to victory at Roosevelt Raceway and paid $112.80, the fifth largest win payoff in the track’s history at that time. After moving to Florida and becoming active in the Florida Chapter of USHWA, Erwin served as chapter vice-president in 2005-2006. He was inducted into the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame Communicator’s Corner in 2011. He was also voted the Allen J. Finkelson Award by the Florida Chapter in 2009. This award recognizes that individual who has contributed in the sport of harness racing to the promotion of the Standardbred Industry. The family has stated that at Erwin Grossman’s request there would be no burial ceremony planned. From the Florida Chapter of USHWA
Harness racing trainer Jake Huff got quite a surprise last Sunday morning for Father’s Day. It’s wasn’t a special tie or breakfast in bed from his two sons. This Sunday it was a phone call he received telling him that he was going to have two new additions to his stable by the names of Golden Receiver and Statesman N. “It was Father’s Day when I got the phone call from Gene Kurzrok (Our Horse Cents Stable),” Jake Huff said. “It came as quite a surprise and a heck of a Father’s Day gift of sorts. I’ve known the owners for many years and they said they would like to send me a couple of horses. Then when they said it was Golden Receiver and Statesman, my eyes really lit-up.” What people did not know is that Jake Huff has been working with Nina Simmons, co-owner and breeder of Golden Receiver for many years and also has had many horses for Gene Kurzrok. But because Jake races all winter in Florida at Pompano Park, the purses are not as great for top horses to race, but now that Huff is stabled for the summer at Tioga Downs, they felt a change in trainers was needed for their two horses. “I actually had Golden Receiver before Mark Harder,” Jake explained, “I had him a short time when he was a three-year-old and then they turned him over to Mark. Mark has done a superb job with him over the years. There is no animosity between us. Many trainers when they have issues with horses will turn them over to another trainer and hope they can freshen them up. “If I am successful with these two,” Jake said, “They won’t come back with me to Florida come September or October. In all likelihood they will go back to Mark. I am just grateful for the opportunity. I know the horse is getting a little long in the tooth, but he is just a couple of steps away from being with the top horses in the nation at the finish.” Now age 9, Golden Receiver is a gelded son of Village Jove and sports 60 career wins and lifetime earnings of $2,144,036 with a race record of 1:48 at age 7. Stateman N is now age 7, also a gelding by Christian Cullen, who raced most of his career down under and has 21 wins, $351,000 in earnings and a record of 1:50.3f. “It was quite a pick me up getting that call on Father’s Day,” Jake Huff said. “Hopefully this will work out well for everyone involved.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great new newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance. Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This past week’s newsletter contains the following feature stories: Horseman Greg Peck arrested at Harrah’s Philadelphia – Trainer of Muscle Hill in serious trouble. Rocknroll Hanover full stallion report/review – Read about the pro’s and con’s of this top stallion and how his foals are doing both in North America and Australasia. What is going on at Pompano Park after dismissals? – With their Director of Racing Operations released, what’s next for the south Florida harness track? Big donation from Horse Gold, Inc. for retired racehorses – Tens of thousands of dollars in equine medicine is donated. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
ANDERSON, Ind.—May 30, 2014 — Ricky Macomber Jr. made Hoosier Park history on Friday, May 30 as he became the all-time leading driver, by wins, with 1,240 career victories at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. It was a driving triple on the evening for the 43-year-old reinsman and a night to remember as he surpassed Don Irvine Jr. on Hoosier Park’s all-time leading driver list in their 21-year history of harness racing. The victory with Hoosier Chinna in the evening’s sixth race, number 2,530 in Macomber’s career, tied him with Don Irvine Jr. for the top spot at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. After he guided A True Smerk to victory in Indiana Sires Stakes action just two races later, Macomber moved into the lead on the all-time leading driver standings with 1,239 trips to the Hoosier Park winner’s circle. Macomber then went on to secure his position atop the list and won with Ahlbback Yankee in the very next race leaving him with 1,240 victories at Hoosier Park and counting. All three of Macomber’s victories on the evening came from Hoosier Park’s leading conditioner, Ron Burke. Burke, who has won the leading trainer title at Hoosier Park for the past two seasons, currently leads all trainers with 27 wins while Macomber is fifth in the 2014 driver standings. Raised in South Florida by a family rich in harness racing tradition, Macomber won his first race at Pompano Park in the spring of 1997 and never looked back. A few years later, he and his father, Dick, an accomplished horseman since the early 1970’s, ventured to Indiana with hopes of starting a new path to success. The Midwest move has paid off. Macomber earned his first Hoosier Park driving title in 2007 and has finished among the top ten leading drivers nearly every year to date. He has multiple stakes wins to his credit including winning Hoosier Park’s signature race, the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational, twice. He guided Royalflush Hanover to victory in the 2000 Dan Patch Invitational and returned to the winner’s circle in the 2002 Dan Patch Invitational behind E Dee’s Cam. Macomber finished second with Fred and Ginger in the 2013 installment of Hoosier Park’s most prestigious race. Macomber is also part of the “Champions for Charity” promotion at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a group of drivers selected to help promote the sport of harness racing through their unique personalities, life stories and sportsmanship. At the start of the season, each driver personally selected a charitable organization to support with fundraising efforts throughout the year. Macomber raises funds through his charitable work for the Indiana School for the Deaf, giving back to a cause that holds a special meaning to him. “On behalf of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, I’d like to congratulate Ricky on his accomplishment,” Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. “And quite an accomplishment it is. Through his work with our Champions for Charity promotion, his professionalism, and attitude, Ricky is a great ambassador for our sport. We wish Ricky continued success for the remainder of this season and throughout his career. We look forward to watching him win many more races at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.” by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park
COLUMBUS, MN. - Despite torrential rains during the last half of the first Saturday night card of the season at Running Aces, some quick miles resulted in the co-featured pacing events for fillies and mares. In the $9000 mares open it was Keystone Christa (Nick Roland) edging Lady's Art (Steve Wiseman) by a short head in 1:56 over the sloppy surface. Nocturnal Rose (Tim Maier) got the show dough. The five-year-old Mach Three lass, making her initial Minnesota start after a successful winter season at Pompano Park, sat patiently in third along the pylons until the head of the stretch then found room between horses to engage in a fiesty winning stretch drive. It was the fourth win of the season for Keystone Christa, who is owned by Lee Cullen and is being conditioned in Minnesota by Bev Kingston. The co-featured $7800 Class A event for state-sired three-year-olds went to the outstanding filly Delco Voracious (Nick Roland) in impressive gate-to-wire fashion. It was the seventh win in just nine lifetime starts for the daughter of Voracious Hanover who also won two-year-old filly honors for owner-trainer Jesse DeLong. FF Big Show (Jason Ryan) finished four-and-a-half lengths back in second with Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) third to cross the wire. Racing resumes on Sunday night (June 1) with a ten race program featuring a $9500 Open Pace and two $6500 divisions of Minnesota-sired trots. Post time is 6:00 PM (CST). From the Running Aces Media Department
The May 2014 Hoof Beats cover girl, Precocious Beauty, will be one of many stars to be on the track on Friday night at Vernon Downs. The Friday program includes three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, as well as eliminations for the Empire Breeders' Classic for three-year-old colts and three-year-old fillies. The stars will also be in the bikes on Friday night with Tim Tetrick, David Miller, Jim Morrill Jr., Matt Kakaley, and many others coming into Vernon to drive on the twelve-race program. Precocious Beauty makes her official return to the races for 2014 night after participating in qualifiers at Pompano Park in April and Mohawk Raceway in May. The imposing filly is owned by James Avritt Sr. of Lexington, Kentucky, trained by Gregg McNair and will be driven by Douglas McNair on Friday night. Precocious Beauty is hoping to recapture her 2013 form, which saw her win divisional honors for two-year-old female pacers at the Dan Patch Awards last season. She was a winner in seven of eleven starts last year, including a victory in the She's A Great Lady Stakes, earning purses of $446,692. She has been installed at 5-2 on the morning line in Friday's seventh race, but she appears to have plenty of competition coming her way from Blush Hanover, to be driven by Tim Tetrick. Blush Hanover has three wins in four career starts, two at Harrah's Philadelphia and has also scored a win and a second in two tries at The Meadowlands. In the other two New York Sire Stakes divisions to be run, morning-line favoritism goes to the horses on the rail. The 5-2 favorite in Race 8 is Sweetnsinful, driven by Jimmy Whittemore. Sweetnsinful is owned by Connie and Homer Hochstetler of Crete, Illinois and James Michels of Muncie, Indiana. Homer Hochstetler doubles as the trainer of Sweetnsinful. She was the winner of the Madison at Hoosier Park last October and paced a Qualifier at Vernon Downs on May 16 in 1:58.2. The favorite in Race 9 is Medusa, also listed at 5-2. Medusa is owned W.J. Donovan of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, trained by Paul Kelley and will be driven by Chris Lems, who was at the controls for all four impressive wins the filly has registered this season at Vernon Downs. The Empire Breeders' Classic eliminations also are on the docket for Friday night at Vernon Downs. There are two eliminations for each division. The 7-5 morning-line favorite for the first division of three-year-old colt trotters is Lukas Hall, runner-up in the Simpson at The Meadowlands on May 9 and runner-up in a New York Sire Stakes race at Tioga Downs on May 23. Lukas Hall is owned by former New York Jets Wide Receiver Wayne Chrebet of Colts Neck, New Jersey and Little E LLC of New York, New York. Little E LLC is owned by Vernon Downs owner, Jeff Gural. The second division of three-year-old colt trotters is led by 9-5 choice, Expressive Action, winner of a New York Sire Stakes race on May 23 at Tioga Downs. Expressive Action is owned by John Grasso Stable Inc. of Hawthorne, New York. Grasso is also the trainer, while the driver on Friday night is Mike Simons. The three-year-old fillies also have two eliminations on Friday. A winner of a New York Sire Stakes race at Vernon Downs on May 17, Lady With Credit, has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the first division. Lady With Credit earned her first career win with that Sire Stakes score in 1:55.1. She is owned by White Birch Farm of Allentown, New Jersey, and trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer. The second division also features a New York Sire Stakes winner from this season at Vernon Downs. Glowngold is 6-5 on the morning line off of a two and a quarter length win in 1:56.1 on May 17. Glowngold is owned by the Andy Miller Stable of New Jersey, S. Demeter and Blue Chip Bloodstock, both of New York, and Highland Green Farms of Florida. The Finals for the Empire Breeders' Classic races will be run as part of a special Sunday night program on June 8, which will also include the New York Sire Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers. The twelve-race program will kick off at Vernon Downs on Friday night with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs
It was reported today that John Yinger is no longer employed with the Isle Pompano Park as the Director of Racing Operations. Yinger, who had worked for the Isle Pompano Park since 1999, held various positions as race secretary, program director, associate and presiding judge and spent the last five years as Director of Racing Operations. During this time he was also the United States Trotting Association Director for the region. Yinger was also a long time employee at the USTA prior to coming to the Isle Pompano Park. No replacement has been announced as of yet but a major staff meeting has been called for Wednesday at the Isle Pompano Park. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
Pompano Beach, FL...May 24, 2014...The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park concluded its 2013-2014 season on Saturday night with a strong 11 race program highlighted by a trio of feature events, including two late closing finals. The first feature was the $8,000 Late Closing Final of the Florida Amateur Driving Club Claiming Trot and that went, in an upset, to the 13 year-old warhorse Speedy Samadhi, driven by John Campagnuolo for owner trainer Earlon Eugley in 1:58.3.. Making his 248 lifetime start, Speedy Samadhi, the rugged son of Pine Chip, off at 14 to 1, somehow found a small seam of opportunity turning for home to slingshot widest of all in the lane to snare victory from Herecopmesthechief (Dein Spriggs) with Whispur (Leon Cable) third in this action packed event. Muscles To Spare recovered from an early miscue to finish fourth while Pacific Cyclone picked up the nickel in the octet. When the gate sprang open, Now Virginia and Roger Goldstein left alertly for the lead along with VT's Gold Key, handled by Maurice Brooks, Jr. with the latter assuming control at the opening marker in a snappy :27.4 with Speedy Samadhi tucked in third and Peaceful Prince fourth on the outside and grinding forward. Pacific Cyclone was content to hug the pylons around the second turn with an impatient Whispur sent on a double bubble binge halfway through the mile in :58 followed by Herecomesthechief. On the backside, Whispur surged up to take command and opened up some daylight past the third station in 1:28.3 with Herecomesthechief On The Attack with Speedy Samadhi still locked up and looking for that seam of hope. Turning for home, Whispur was all out and couldn't stall Herecomesthechief who surged on by but couldn't hold off Speedy Samadhi who, somehow, shook loose to close widest of all for the win. In a post race interview, driver John Campagnuolo said, "I was very fortunate to wend my way out as the leaders began to tire and Speedy (Samadhi) acted like be was the pebble inside a slingshot and, 'zing,' he was on his way." Driver Dein Spriggs (Herecomesthechief) aded, "I thought I had a chance to hit the wire first but, man, that horse of John's was very impressive tonight. Both Campagnuolo and Spriggs commended the Pompano race office and management for "carding our events on a regular basis so we could continue our mission to help worthwhile charitable causes. The Club has donated in excess of $125,000 from driver's fees on their races. For Speedy Samadhi, it was his 59th lifetime victory with his lifetime earnings vaulting over the $250,000 mark--$251,033 to be precise. As sixth choice among the punters, Speedy Samadhi paid $31.20 to win while the exacta, with the 16 to 1 outsider Herecomesthechief second, paid $493.80. With Whispur third, the 2-7-4 trifecta came back $1,605.20. The $8,000 Late Closing Final for Condition Claiming Fillies and Mares went to the 3 to 5 favorite Goldstar Rockette, handled by Mickey McNichol for owner-trainer Louis Ginesi. The four year-old daughter of Rock On led at every station, carding panels of :27.2, :57.4 and 1:26.1 before sealing the deal with a :29 finale to stop the timer in 1:55.1. I C U Misty, handled by Dave Ingraham and the longest proposition in the sextet at 19 to 1, finished second, 3 3/4 lengths away while the garden sitting Racin For Gold (Andy Santeramo) finished third. Regal Magic and Foxy Ginger also earned awards. For Goldstar Rockette, the win sent her 2014 scorecard to 5-3-2 in 13 starts, good for $17,824 this year--almost three times the amount she earned last season in 17 starts. She's now banked $27,999 lifetime. She paid $3.20 to win. Finally, in the $10,000 Open Pace, S S G Stables Cartoonist, driven by Dave Ingraham for trainer Jim McDonald, ground out a game, first over, photo finish win in 1:52.4, nailing the pacesetting Flight Exec (Kevin Wallis) in the final strides for the victory measuring a neck. Who's Your Maddy (Walter Ross, Jr.) finished third while Rick's Sign picked up the fourth place award. Avantage was fifth in the quintette. For Cartoonist, a consistent four year-old son of Modern Art, it was his fifth win of the year in 18 starts, sending his 2014 bankroll to $36,760, by far his most successful season of his young career. As second choice on the tote-board, Cartoonist paid $8.80 to win. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park
Last evening the usual cast of characters at the Isle Pompano Park were busy studying past performances, sharing opinions, enjoying an occasional adult beverage and even watching other sports from the Horsehoe Bar next to the track apron area, Nothing out of the ordinary. in this case the MLB featured game was between the LA Dodgers and NY Mets from New York. On the adjoining screen horses were parading for the next race at Penn National with one starter named "Dodger Fan". The group, always with intense attention to detail, dusted off $20 and placed a wager and watched with great vigor and loud cheering as Dodger Fan split horses with hustle and bustle to win with a $9.20 win payoff. Yes, and the LA Dodgers won too by a 4-3 count. Who says hunches never pay off! by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com
The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association presented its April, 2014 Caretaker of the Month award to Louis Ginesi Wednesday evening at the Isle Pompano Park. He and and wife Erin Ginesi developed, along with regular teamster Mickey Mc Nichol, the young pacing mare Goldstar Rockette to an impressive month's performance. Now owned by Ginesi, after purchase in June 2013 from breeder Tom Audley, the four year-old daughter of Rock On-Tony's Silveraider-Keystone Raider has emerged recently with three wins and a second in April. She scored in a lifetime record 1:54.4f at Pompano Park on April 23 and now shows a slate of 4-3-2 in 12 starts this year, good for earnings of $13,824. Ginesi (shown below with Erin and USHWA presenters), credits the turnaround of Goldstar Rockette to patience, maturity, excellent farrier and veterinarian work and the special driving skills of veteran Mickey Mc Nichol. The connections of pensioner Tweedle Dum said in interview that they look forward to another ten years of racing success for their pacing mare. That could happen as the maternal family is one of aged pacing success. Dam Tony's Silveraider took her 1:55.2f mark at age seven and earned $114,166. Her other offspring include Goldstar Raider 5, 1:52.2f for $109,178 and recent winner Gold Star Kenny P 3, 1:57f. Ginesi was presented by the Florida Chapter with a plaque and a check for $100. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Florida USHWA
Pompano Beach, FL...May 21, 2014...Tug River Dylan, handled by Dave Ingraham, wore down pacesetting Illusionsndreams, driven by Andy Santeramo turning for home and went on to score a victory measuring 1 1/4 lengths in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Trot on Wednesday night. Andover America, with Tom Sells handling the lines, rallied in the lane to get up for a dead-heat with Illusionsndreams for second with Lugar and Celebrity Legacy completing the quintette. The victory by the eight year-old son of Cr Commando extended his winner's streak to three for owner-trainer Bob Dutilly and pushed his seasonal bounty to $33,315, just a shade off of "Dylan's" earnings for all of 2013. He's banked $131,771 lifetime. It was Illusionsndreams cutting all of the panels in this one, stopping the timer at :29 for the opener with subsequent panels of :58.1 and 1:27 with Celebrity Legacy in the garden spot half way through the mile and Tug River Dylan next but on the move three-eights out to put pressure on the leader at station number three. In the lane, Tug River forged to the lead with the issue never in doubt from the eighth pole on home. In a post race interview, driver Dave Ingraham said, "...he's such a handy thing. You can send him...you can rate him...he can brush hard and quickly and Bob (Dutilly) has him very sharp right now. With Sells' horse (Andover America) and Simard's horse (Lugar) not leaving, it left me in a great, close-up spot. Heck, if those two had left, I would have been that much further out of it early, so it worked out great!" As second choice in the betting, Tug River Dylan paid $7.20 to win. Kevin Wallis scored a grand slam on the card, including the $7,500 final of Isle Casino Racing's Late Closing Final for Claiming Pacers with Knight Of My Life. This six year-old son of Life Sign, owned and trained by Linda Wallis, wired his foes on fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:26.1 before sealing the issue with a :28 second final quarter--his margin of victory two lengths over stablemate Your My Boy Blue, driven by Mickey McNichol. Dynamic Rayzer (Dave Ingraham) rallied for third with Black Magic Racing's duo of Wake and Kennairemachmagic finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the field of six. For Knight of My Life, it was his six win in 14 starts this year, good for earnings of $16,180, this after earning the grand sum of $78 during his five start campaign last year. As the overwhelming 1 to 20 favorite, Knight Of My Life paid $2.10 to win. Wallis' other winners on the program were Take Heart ($4.80) in the $6,000 Open 3 Trot for owner-trainer Linda Wallis, Undercover Bro ($3.80) in the $7,000 Open 2 Trot trainer Gaston Lareau and the JP Houle Stable and Scirocco Sarah ($9.40), who broke her maiden for trainer Peter Blood, who co-owns with Lew Whitaker. by John Berry, for Harnesslink.com
Pompano Beach, FL...May 17, 2014...Flight Exec, Who's Your Maddy and Nearly Uncle captured the trio of feature events highlighting the Saturday night card at Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. Flight Exec, driven by Kevin Wallis for owner-trainer-wife Linda Wallis, took honors in the $10,000 Open. This five year-old son of Western Ideal garnered his second straight success in the top company and third win of the year. A strategic quarter move to the top was the key to victory and, after a :28.1 opener, Flight Exec proceeded on to post "soft" fractions of :57 and 1:25.4 en route to a two length win in 1:53.3 over Neptune Blue Chip (Andy Santeramo) and Cartoonist (Dave Ingraham) with Shamderock fourth and Avantage picking up the nickel in the five horse affair. Said Wallis after the event, "Whenever you can get a horse the caliber of Flight Exec on the front end of things to a half in :57, your chances are always pretty decent. Dave's (Ingraham) horse (Cartoonist) was brushing strongly on the backside but, when my horse heard him, he kinda pricked his ears back and put it in another gear. He was sharp tonight." Flight Exec now has three wins in five starts since his return to the racing wars just a month ago and the win pushed his lifetime bounty to $142,395--$17,358 this year in but seven starts. As the overwhelming favorite at 2 to 5, Flight Exec paid $2.80 to win. The $7,500 Open 2 Pace went to Who's Your Maddy, also superbly handled by Kevin Wallis. The five year-old son of Artiscape was away in good order--third in his quintette--but made a sharp move prior to the opening panel and securing the top spot just past that pole in :28.4. After lolly-gagging to the half in :58.4 and strolling even a tad slower than that on the backside, Who's Your Maddy met a strong challenge from Melvyn (Mickey McNichol), brushing from last to take a short lead past the third station in 1:29.1. Turning for home, Who's Your Maddy understandably had tons left in the tank and fought back sprinting home in :27.3--last eighth :13.1--to score the win measuring three-parts of a length over a very game Melvyn with millionaire pacer Hyperion Hanover (Andy Santeramo) third in the mile timed in 1:56.4. Maxine's Menace and Casey's Lil Harry completed the run-down. For Who's Your Maddy, trained by Jim McDonald for Dan MacIsaac and Twenty Four Carrot Racing, it was his third success of the year in 17 starts, sending his 2014 bankroll to $23,925 and $118,319 lifetime. As the 4 to 5 public choice, Who's Your Maddy paid $3.80 to win. The $8,500 Final of the Isle Casino Racing Late Closer for Claiming Trotters went to Nearly Uncle for Mickey McNichol in 1:59. Owned and trained by Ted Berry, Nearly Uncle was the longest proposition on the tote-board in his quartette at 9 to 2 and scored a decisive win measuring 4 3/4 lengths over the late charging Anton K (Dave Ingraham). Miss Janine (Kevin Wallis) was third while Majestic Valley finished fourth. The winner was well off the pace as the even money favorite, Miss Janine, sizzled opening panels of :28 and :56.1 with Majestic Valley, Nearly Uncle and Anton K strung out behind.. On the backside, Miss Janine began to feel the effects of her hard labor and the field began closing in with Majestic Valley leaving the pocked at the third station timed in 1:27.2 with Nearly Uncle double-bubbled and charging. Turning for home, Nearly Uncle swept into the lead with authority and widened the advantage to the wire with Anton K edging past Miss Janine a couple of strides from the line for the second spot. In a post race interview, driver Mickey McNichol said, "In a four horse field, I really thought that the fractions would be a lot slower, but the :56.1 half kind of played right into my horse's hands--I mean hooves. When the speed came back to us, he just went on by pretty easily." It was only the second win of the year for Nearly Uncle and biggest payday since an Open win at Saratoga in August of 2012. He now has $130,851 lifetime--$9,943 this year. He paid $11.40 to win. by John Berry, for the Isle Pompano Park
Count Speed (Majestic Son) prevailed on Friday night in the local Open for the first time this season at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Dan Hennessey-trained trotter was one of the nominees for Trotter of the Year last year at the Spa and returned to town in April fresh off an Open victory at Pompano Park. Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey piloted Count Speed on Friday for the first time since coming back to town and the veteran reinsman wasted no time putting the five-year-old on the front end. Parking out a rival along the way, Count Speed had plenty left in the tank to secure a 1:58.3 win over a sloppy track and through the rain. Pocket sitter Obrigado (Kim Crawford) was the runner up in the $17,000 feature while Political Desire (Billy Dobson) overcame a tough trip to earn the show spot. For Count Speed, it was the fourth win on the season after a 2013 campaign in which he scored nine victories. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway