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Northern Companion, handled by harness racing driver Dave Ingraham, took top honors in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (May 22), scoring a photo finish victory over Rockntouch (Mickey McNichol) and Here Comes William (Donald Dupont) in 1:51.4. The eight year-old gelded son of Cambest, trained by Howard Klohr for owner Dorothy Zarza, brushed up first over on the backside to engage the leading Here Comes William around the final turn, edged by turning for home and then held off the furious late bid of Rockntouch to score by a head. Here Comes William was a half-length off the winner while Abreathofreshart and Goldstar Raider had to be content with the minors this night. The victory by Northern Companion was all the more impressive because Here Comes William was able to put up "soft" fractions of :27.4 and :56.4 while Northern Companion was forced to join the fray through an officially timed third quarter of :27.4 with his individual effort being right around :27. A :27.1 finale by Northern Companion sealed the deal with his individual effort showed he paced his final half in :54.1 and last three-quarters in 1:22.4. After the event, driver Dave Ingraham related with a question, "Want to know the definition of a racehorse? Northern Companion is that definition. "He just tries so hard every time he races. He likes to brush and he's tough as nails when it counts. "He went a huge mile tonight, but that's nothing new for him!" In winning for the 48th time career-wise, Northern Companion won for the 39th time at Pompano Park. His 4-1-2 scorecard this semester in 15 starts brings his earnings to $27,109. Lifetime, he's banked $311,451. As the slight favorite at 3 to 2, Northern Companion paid $5.00 to his multitude of faithful. The Florida Amateur Driving Club was represented in two events on Sunday night with PC's Wildcard, the popular winner in the opener for Joe Pennacchio while Yakekty Hanover took the nightcap for Fred Cohen. PC's Wildcard, a seven year-old altered son of Sand Chaser, got picture perfect rating from Pennacchio, holding off the late surging Magic Cheque (Leon Cable) by a half-length in 1:59. Thekeptman (Fred Cohen) was third, 3¼ lengths away while Columbia Lion and Engagedatlexington completed the order of finish in the quintet. Pennacchio sent PC's Wildcard right to the front from his coveted post five and carded panels of :29.1 and 1:00.3 before stepping up the tempo on the backside thwarting any serious bids past the third station in 1:30. Off those panels, PC's Wildcard had plenty left and closed the mile with a :29 finale. Trained by Mike Sweeney for owner Jeff Lemmer, PC's Wildcard won for only the second time this year-26th time career-wise-to send his yearly bankroll to an "aces and eights" $11,188. Lifetime, the gelding has $97,157. As the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, PC's Wildcard paid $3.40 to win. Pennacchio, by the way, now has 153 amateur driving wins. Yakekty Hanover, handled this night by trainer Fred Cohen for owner Brian Calvert, was forced to achieve his victory from the outside six post in his event, taking on Showing Off (John Campagnuolo, post 5) through a lively opener of :28.2 before assuming control right at that opening marker. From there, the five year-old daughter of Andover Hall carded fractions of :57.3 and 1:27.3 in route to a final time of 1:58.2, a seasonal best, over Showing Off with Zeitgeist (Dein Spriggs) third. Sky Crest and Total Freedom finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the sextet. Yakekty Hanover won for the second time this year in eight starts with the win sending his career bounty over the $50,000 mark--$52,148 to be precise. The winner paid $5.60 as the second choice and gave driver Fred Cohen his 184th career driving win. Also of note on the Sunday night card, the 10 year-old warrior A Fool For Mark, driven by Dave Ingraham for owner Dustin Ingraham, scored his 50th career win. The gelded son of Western Ideal toughed out a game first-over win in 1:53.4 to reach the milestone in his 246th lifetime start. A Fool For Mark, who sports a mark of 1:49.3 over the Vernon Downs oval, has banked $212,419. As the 4 to 1 third choice, A Fool For Mark paid $10.00 to win. Racing resumes Tuesday night with first post set at 7:30 p.m. John Berry for Pompano Park

Godiva Seelster (Camluck) made her harness racing return to the Spa a winning one on Friday night. The Dan Hennessey-trained mare competed at a high level this winter and spring at Pompano Park in Florida and handled the adjustment back to the north with ease as she scored in the $15,000 Open Handicap for Fillies and Mares. Godiva Seelster left quickly and wound up sitting the pocket to the race's favorite in the 1 1/16 mile Friday feature. After three quarters went in a quick 1:25, the leader tired when confronted by longshot My Spring Fling (Jim Devaux). Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey found clearance around the final turn and snuck Godiva Seelster off the pylons and she charged hard to get by My Spring Fling and secure her third victory of the year. My Spring Fling, who was dismissed at odds of 50-1, finished a strong second while Bettorhaveanother (Frank Coppola Jr) came on to earn the show spot. Godiva Seelster, who is owned by Paul and Patti O'neil of Saratoga Springs, stopped the timer in 2:00.2 for the 1 1/16 miles. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Pompano Beach, FL.Tuesday, May 17, 2016.Goldstar Rockette, driven by Kevin Wallis for owner-trainer Lou Ginesi, turned back a ferocious bid by Sue's Night Out, handled by Wally Hennessey, to win a photo finish decision in Pompano Park's $9,500 Open Handicap Pace for Mares on Tuesday night (May 17). The Florida bred six year-old daughter of Rock On, took command from Sue's Night Out past the :27.1 opening panel, set warm fractions of :55.4 and 1:25 and repelled the stretch long challenge to score by a head in 1:53.2. Always Dee One was third, 5 ¼ lengths away, with Sue's Your Daddy next, another neck back. Ashley's Desire picked up the minor award, though last in the field of five. After the event, driver Kevin Wallis remarked, "When I drove her last week, I found a close up spot in third and couldn't quite reach. "This week, since she's been so sharp lately, I thought maybe she'd be OK on the lead. "It wasn't that easy making the top but she was very game-extremely game-tonight and fought very hard all the way home." For Goldstar Rockette, it was her sixth win of the year in 18 starts, vaulting her seasonal bankroll to $31,062. Career-wise, the mare has bounty of $94,913. As the even-money tote-board favorite, Goldstar Rockette returned $4.00 to win. In the co-featured Petar Saric Memorial Trot, Pittsburgh Hanover driven by Matt Romano for trainer Doug Miller and owner (the late) William Weaver III, pulled off a minor upset, collaring the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Sailer Eddie (Kevin Wallis), right on the wire. The official margin on the line was a head with Gold Savage salvaging third, six lengths away for Mickey McNichol. Political Foe finished fourth while Seeking Steven picked up the nickel in the compact quintet. At the outset, Romano sent Pittsburgh Hanover away with alacrity to force Seeking Steven to accept the garden pocket seat with Sailer Eddie, leaving from the outside post five, next and finding a seat in third-but not for long. After that :27.1 opener, Sailer Eddie forged up to take the lead three-eighths into the mile and proceeded to take the field half way home in :56.1. On the backside, positions remained unchanged with Romano leaving the coziness of the pocket with Pittsburgh Hanover just prior to the third station in 1:25.4 to engage Sailer Eddie in war the rest of the mile. It was nip and tuck all the way home with Pittsburgh Hanover up in the final stride, stopping the timer in 1:55.3 over a track rated "good" after having been dulled by on-and-off rain. In a post-race interview, driver Romano related, "last week when I drove him, it was kind of a similar situation, but I was somewhat closer this time when we left the pocket and brushed up. "We were out-brushed late last week but, being a bit closer this time, was probably the difference. "He's a lightly raced five year-old and he's very sharp right now. Gotta give credit to Doug (trainer Miller) for getting him this good." Never worse than second this year, Pittsburgh Hanover pushed his 2016 scorecard to 5-3-0 in eight starts, good for $21,780. Lifetime, the altered son of Yankee Glide now has seven wins in 18 starts and $38,460. As the 2 to 1 second choice, Pittsburgh Hanover paid $6.80 to win. The Petar Saric Memorial, by the way, honors the memory of the champion Croatian driver, whose sons, Zoran and Srdan, have competed at Pompano Park. Racing continues on Sunday night with first post set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Rockntouch, driven by Mickey McNichol, used a furious stretch drive to nail Here Comes William, handled by Donald Dupont, right on the wire to take Pompano Park's $9,500 Open Handicap Pace on the Sunday harness racing night, covering the mile in a lifetime best 1:52. Trained by Odell Thompson for the Fred Monteleone Stable and Salvatore Promuto, this four year-old altered son of Rock N Roll Heaven was the beneficiary of suicidal early fractions--:26 and :54.3-to score by a head. Goldstar Raider with Wally Hennessey in the sulky, finished third, just a neck off the winner while Abreathofreshart, last until mid-stretch, finished fourth, 1¼ lengths away. Northern Companion, prominent the entire mile, finished fifth in the field of nine. Providing the early fireworks was Heartfelt (Walter Rodd, Jr.) who blasted out of the gate from post position eight to engage Sir Globalop Z Tam (Andy Santeramo) in a fist fight through that aforementioned hot opener of :26. Northern Companion (Dave Ingraham), on the prowl early from the outside post nine, eventually settled in third while Here Comes William, also looking for an up-close spot, wended his way into fourth. As Heart Felt continued to blaze around the oval to the :54.3 half, Northern Companion was on the move again with Here Comes William following the live cover and Goldstar Raider now third over with Rockntouch anxiously following into the outer flow, as well. With three quarters in 1:22.4, Northern Companion surged on even terms with Heart Felt with Here Comes William charging three deep, Goldstar Raider fanning further out and Rockntouch widest of all in a cavalry charge to the wire. After the event, driver Mickey McNichol related, "Sometimes things just go your way and tonight it did just that. I wasn't going to get mixed up in that early scuffle because I would have taken a chance of being hung out to dry. "Of course, the hot pace helped. When I saw :54.3 at the half, I was just following some live cover. I was still fourth over but much closer as the field tightened up turning for home. "My horse found his bets stride when it counted and that was that." For Rockntouch, it was his second in in a row and sixth this year in 12 starts, good for $22,874. Lifetime, the four year-old has $68,760 on his scorecard to go along with his new lifetime mark. As third choice in the wagering pool at 5 to 1, Rockntouch paid $12.00 to win. In the co-featured $8,500 Pop Up Series race-off, Scofanman, driven by Walter Ross, Jr., closed from sixth and last at mid-stretch to score by a half-length over One Eyed Alley Cat (Dave Ingraham) in 1:53 for his initial win of the year. Onlythetuffsurvive (Kevin Wallis) finished third, 1¾ lengths back, while Well To Do and Fly Away picked up the final two awards in the sextet. Again, the pace was extremely hot as Wild Bill M took command just a step or two shy of the :26.2 opening panel and continued on through subsequent splits of :54.1 and 1:23 with Onlythetuffsurvive on the attack turning for home and One Eyed Alley Cat also surging. But not even these two could stall the rally of Scofanman, who closed fastest of all to gain the victory. Trained by Veral Bowman for the consortium of Arnold Merola, Kathleen Merola and Robert Barnello, the victory prompted trainer Bowman to say, "Well, he sure picked a good time to win his first race of the year! "He's been knocking at the door the last few weeks, so it didn't surprise me that he raced so well tonight. Wally (driver Ross, Jr.) drove him nicely, too." Off as the 5 to 1 third choice in his sextet, Scofanman returned $12.40 to win. Yet another highlight on the Sunday night card was in the Florida Amateur Driving Club trot as Gimme The Loot ($5.80), driven by Leon Cable, scored a repeat win in 1:59.2, holding off the determined late bid of Zeitgeist (Dein Spriggs) to win by a head. Magic Cheque (Joe Pennacchio) finished third while Chaplin Hall finished fourth. Total Freedom picked up the nickel. After the event, the Club made a generous donation to "A Second Go," a charitable organization founded less than one year ago helping cancer patients make the transition from "fighter" to "survivor." The charitable organization, founded by cancer survivor Kelly Sudell, 28, arranges for therapeutic sessions, spa services, nutritional and yoga sessions enhancing the lives of these survivors. The F.A.D.C. presented a check to Kelly, vaulting their contributions over the $170,000 plateau. Racing continues Tuesday night at Pompano Park with post time listed at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pat Connor's Drea's Good Powow, driven by Dave Ingraham for new trainer James Hysell, stepped up a notch to Open 2 company this week and captured Pompano Park's $8,500 top pace for harness racing mares on Tuesday night, scoring a sharp win in 1:53.2. The Florida bred six year-old daughter of Squaw's Fella led at every pole, clocking panels of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:24.4 before a :28.3 finale sealed the deal measuring a length over Goldstar Rockette (Kevin Wallis) with Sue's Your Daddy (Wally Hennessey) third, two lengths away. Always Dee One finished fourth and Ashley's Desire, pacing the fastest final quarter in her sextet this night, picked up the nickel. Drea's Good Powow "pushed" the Hummer Starting Gate out of the way at the start, settled into the top spot heading into the opening turn and was never threatened thereafter for her second consecutive victory and fourth of the year in 17 starts. The sharp mare now has 2016 bounty of $23,206 and $110,197 career-wise. After the event, driver Dave Ingraham said, "She's a pretty handy mare and had the five post last week and wired her field. This week, it was kind of the same story. She "pushed" the starting gate out of her way at the start and that was that. She's very sharp right now." As the 4 to 5 tote-board choice, Drea's Good Powow paid $3.60 to win. In Pompano Park's trotting feature, Sailer Eddie. stepping down to an amiable conditioned-claiming event, scored a virtual gate-to-wire win for owner-trainer-driver Kevin Wallis in 1:55.2 The gelded six year-old son of Cantab Hall, racked up fractions of :28, :57.3 and 1:26.3 before striding home in :28.4 to win over Pittsburgh Hanover (Matt Romano) with Seeking Steven (Wally Hennessey) third. Gold Savage and Caviart Griffin completed the order of finish in the talented quintet. The winner had things his own way for much of the journey, only needing to repel the threat of Pittsburgh Hanover, who did stick his nose in front turning for home, but came up a length away at the wire. The winning effort evened Sailer Eddie's scorecard for the season at 3-3-3 in 17 starts, good for $30,236 this year and $317,481 lifetime. As the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Sailer Eddie rewarded his faithful with a $3.40 win mutual. Racing continues on Sunday night with first post scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park                          

Northern Companion, driven by Dave Ingraham, surviving a first over journey the final 7/16s of the mile, wore down the leader a 16th out and then held off a surging Heart Felt, handled by Walter Ross, Jr., to take top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's $8,500 Open Pace on Sunday night (May 8). The official margin was a half-length in 1:52.3 with Sir Globalop Z Tam, teamed up with Andy Santeramo, third. Abreathofreshart finished fourth after a quarter move from fourth to the top with Thebestofjoel picking up the nickel in the compact quintet. At the outset, Sir Globalop Z Tam was away alertly from post three, as was Heart Felt from post five forcing Northern Companion, sandwiched in between these two with post four, to take back to last. At the :27.3 opener, Heart Felt had made the top with Sir Globalop Z Tam next and Thebestofjoel third with Abreathofreshart on the move from fourth and forging to the top 3/8s into the mile. Shortly after the lively half in :55.1, Ingraham began his first over jaunt with Northern Companion, pacing his individual third panel in :27.2, to draw alongside the leading Abreathofreshart past the third station in 1:23.4 with Heart Felt widest of all and charging hard. In the lane, Northern Companion gutted on by the leader and held off Heart Felt in a brave finish. After the event, driver Ingraham said, "I was toying with the idea of leaving with him (Northern Companion) but that idea went down the drain when both horses around me were revved up and ready to go, so I had no choice but to take him back to last hoping for some lively numbers. "Once we straightened away on the backside, I let him roll and he was brushing hard on his own for the next quarter. "In the lane, we got by Wally (Hennessey with Abreathofreshart) but I was a little worried about the other Wally (Ross, Jr. with Heart Felt) who was charging hard. "He got there, though! He was brave tonight." Trained by Howard Klohr for Dorothy Zarza, this eight year-old son of Cambest won for the third time this semester in 13 starts to send his 2016 bankroll to $21,634. Lifetime, Northern Companion has won 47 times-38 of them at Pompano Park-with career bounty of $305,976. As the even-money tote-board favorite, Northern Companion paid$4.20 to win. The $7,500 Open 2 Pace went to Rockntouch, superbly handled by Mickey McNichol. This four year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven, got a picture perfect drive from McNichol, stalking the favored Goldstar Raider, driven by Wally Hennessey, through panels of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:24.3 before tilting out turning for home and wearing down the leader with a :27.3 finale, stopping the timer in 1:52.2, a new lifetime mark. The margin at the wire was a "head," with I'm A Gift (Donald Dupont) third, 4½ lengths away. Freeneasy Hanover and Mach It Paiden earned the minors in the field of five. For the Odell Thompson trained Rockntouch, it was his fifth win of the year in 11 starts, good for seasonal bounty of $18,124 for Salvatore Promuto and the Fred Monteleone Stable. Lifetime, Rockntouch now has earnings of $64.010. As third choice in the betting, Rockntouch returned $8.00 to win. The Florida Amateur Driving Club, having recently sent their charitable contributions from their member-driver earnings over the $170,000 plateau, was in action on Sunday night and two veterans-one of the equine kind and the other a long-time horseman-teamed up to score a handy win in 1:58.3. Gimme The Loot, an 11 year-old altered son of Credit Winner, was a gate-to-wire winner this night, clicking off panels of :28.3, :58.3 and 1:28.3 in route to a 1:58.3 score for veteran driver Leon Cable, who now has 423 lifetime wins, having driven his first winner back in 1979. Gimme The Loot, owned and trained by Alessandro Spano, hit the board for the very first time in 2016, scoring the win measuring 1¾ lengths over Yakekty Hanover, handled by Fred Cohen, with Zeitgeist, driven by Dein Spriggs, third. Showing Off finished fourth in the sextet of trotters followed by Total Freedom. In achieving Gimme The Loot's 26th career victory, driver Leon Cable said, "Heck, he hadn't been doing very well trying to come off the pace so, tonight, with the rail, I thought I'd try him on the engine. "I know he has won several races before that way, so I had nothing to lose by trying to wake him up. "He woke up alright!" As the 9 to 5 second choice, Gimme The Loot returned $5.80 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with mares in action in the featured Open Handicap Pace. With five of the six entrants coming off victories in their last starts, the competitive field features the return of Goldstar Rockette, a winner in a lifetime best 1:52.2 in her most recent event. Kevin Wallis is expected to be in the bike for owner-trainer Lou Ginesi and is listed as the 9 to 5 morning line choice. Pat Connor's Drea's Good Powow, a wire-to-wire winner in her last race in 1:52.4 will have driver Dave Ingraham in the bike for new trainer James Hysell and is 5 to 2 on the early line. Post Time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Limelight, smartly handled by "Mr. 10,000," Kevin Wallis, overcame a very tough beginning to wind up in the "limelight" in Pompano Park's Open Pace for harness racing mares on Tuesday night (May 3). The five year-old Florida bred daughter of Cracking Light, trained by Jake Huff for the Beauty in the Bridle Racing Stable, closed with tenacity to pin a defeat measuring three-parts-of-a-length on Heart Major, with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the sulky. De Valeria finished a fast closing third, one length off the winner, for John MacDonald while Sue's Night Out finished fourth. Artful Impulse, prominent much of the mile, picked up the nickel in the compact field of six. As the Hummer left the station, Limelight left with verve from post five, as did both Heart Major, leaving from post one, and Artful Impulse, from post four. That early scuffle left Limelight double-bubbled for much of the opening quarter with Artful Impulse able to emerge with the lead at the opening panel in a hot :26.4 and Limelight finding a spot right behind with an anxious Heart Major next, but on the move. Three-eighths into the mile, Heart Major gained the top spot as Artful Impulse willingly yielded for the garden journey with Limelight now third past the half in a lively :54.4. Positions remained stagnant for the top three during a :28 third panel with Limelight leaving the pocket from third turning for home and beginning to gnaw in on the leader. A sixteenth out, Limelight breezed on by Heart Major and held off De Valeria with the mile in 1:53.2. After the race, driver Kevin Wallis remarked, "Well, we got there but it sure wasn't the easiest of trips. "We were three wide for the first quarter and I was lucky enough to find a spot close up. She really didn't take the opening turn all that well and that did concerned me. "She took the final turn a lot tighter and I think the fast early fractions took something out of the leader and we were able to get by. "She raced very tough considering the trip she had tonight." For Limelight, it was her third win in 15 tries and pushed her seasonal bankroll to $19,695. Lifetime, the gutsy mare has 16 lifetime wins adding up to $143,839. As the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Limelight paid $3.80 to win. The secondary feature for the mares went to Drea's Good Powow for Dave Ingraham in a seasonal best clocking of 1:52.4. This six year-old Florida bred daughter of Squaw's Fella, known for her stout closing punch, changed tactics this night by going "down the road" in posting fractions of :27.3, :56.2 and 1:24.4 before a :28 sprint home sealed the deal by 1¼ lengths over Hot Chica Boomba (John MacDonald) with Della Bea (Wally Hennessey) third. In a post-race interview, a jovial Dave Ingraham said, "Pat (owner Pat Connor) said I should put a GPS system on the sulky to help me steer her in the right direction. "Down the road she went tonight in a very strong effort." Trained by Kelly Case for Pat Connor, Drea's Good Powow now has a 3-2-2 scorecard in 16 starts and $18,956 in bounty. It was the 15th career win for Drea's Good Powow, who now has a career bankroll of $105,947. As the 4 to 5 favorite, the winning mutual was $3.80. Also of note on Tuesday night, owner-trainer Mark Winacott's Pacific Date, handled by Wally Hennessey, scored her 11th win of the year--tops in North America--in a claiming event for mares. The eight year-old daughter of Panspacificflight scored a handy gate-to-wire win in 1:54.3, pushing her 2016 earnings to $27,534 and $234,039 lifetime. Off officially at a nickel to a dollar, Pacific Date returned $2.10 across the board. Live racing continues on a two night per week--Sunday and Tuesday--schedule at Pompano Park throughout the month of May with wagering on the Kentucky Derby available at the track on Friday and Saturday. Post time for the live Sunday card is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Southwind Amazon, superbly handled by harness racing driver John MacDonald, used Pompano Park's coveted five post (22.7% wins this season) to score a well rated 1:51 gate-to-wire victory in the $8,500 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (May 1). The six year-old gelded son of Camluck bolted out of the gate from the outside post in his quintet, drove over to the inside around the initial turn and proceeded to post fractions of :26.3, :55.2 and 1:23.4 before a sprint home in :27.1 sealed the deal measuring one length over the pocket-sitting Panocchio, driven by Wally Hennessey with Dedi's Dragon, with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the bike, third. Abrethofreshart was fourth while Heart Felt picked up the nickel. In a post-race interview, driver John MacDonald related, "This is the first time I had sat back of this horse and, when I looked at his lines, I thought that I might be able to leave and yield, just like Micallef handled him last week. "But once we got to the top, he was going so easily that he just didn't seem to want to yield to anything so we just kept going on. "He really had things his own way and, when we got to the three-quarters kinda cheap off of some of his recent races, I was pretty confident he'd get home. "He did! He was very good tonight." Trained by Paul Holzman for Ameer Najor, Southwind Amazon won for the seventh time in 14 starts to send his 2016 bankroll to $43,194. Lifetime, the talented pacer has earnings of $259,062 with 24 wins in 80 starts to go along with a Pompano mark of 1:49.2. Second choice on the tote-board at 8 to 5, Southwind Amazon returned $5.40 to win. The Holzman-MacDonald tandem struck again in the $7,200 Open 2 Pace with Rick's Sign, scoring his seventh consecutive win, in 1:50.3, equaling his lifetime best performance set five seasons ago. The now 11 year-old gelded son of Life Sign, trained by Holzman for owner Mary Holzman, saw MacDonald taking the 3 to 5 favorite to the outside in a first over bid from fourth after opening panels of :26.4 and :54.3 and sweeping to the fore past the third station in 1:22.4 and under wraps late while striding home in :27.4 to score by a length. Sir Jack, handled by Matt Romano, finished second while Northern Companion, beginning from the second tier, was third. Rockntouch finished fourth after being shuffled to seventh on the backside while Freeneasy Hanover picked up the nickel. After that race, MacDonald simple stated, "He's amazing! That's all there is to it!" Rick's Sign now has a scorecard this season of 8-2-1 in 14 starts, good for $29,574-more than he won all of last season in 38 starts. The veteran now has 67 lifetime wins and career earnings of $427,795. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote, Rick's Sign paid $3.40 to win. The Florida Amateur Driving Club series continued on Sunday night in two divisions with Lady Deda D, teamed up with Jamie Marra, taking the first division and Super Duke scoring in the second for owner John Campagnuolo. Lady Deda D, back in action after missing the entire seasons of 2014 and 2015, recorded her second win of the season in seven starts by scoring a handy three length win in 1:58.3 over Yakekty Hanover (Fred Cohen) with Rose Run Nolan (Mary Birkhold) third, 4¼ lengths off the winner. Rel Cash Clown and M C Felix rounded out the top five in the nine horse field. Trained by Louis Ginesi for owner Colene Lameyer, this eight year-old daughter of Prise Speed won for the 29th time in 87 career starts to send her lifetime bounty to $148,454 to go along with her Pompano mark of 1:54.4, set as a five year-old. Off as fifth choice at 8 to 1, Lady Deda D paid $19.60 to win. Super Duke, trained by Dan Hennessey for owner-driver Campagnuolo, took command turning for home and used a :29.3 finale to pin a defeat measuring 2¾ lengths on Thirtyeightspecial, driven by Leon Cable in 1:58.1. Engagedatlexington, overcoming a second tier post, was third for Jamie Marra. Columbia Lion, the leader through panels of :29.1, :58.4 and 1:28.2, finished fourth and Vacation Day, outside every step, was fifth. Super Duke, a six year-old altered son of Duke Of York, earned his second win of the year-13th lifetime-to send his career bankroll to $134,366. The Florida Amateur Driving Club pushed their charitable donations close to $170,000 with a generous donation to "Hopes, Dreams and Horses," an organization that has rescued dozens of horses as well as the lives of many hundreds of children and adults with special needs. The organization also received a mini jog cart prompting founder Sue Copeland to remark, "The Florida Amateur Driving Club has just helped us to continue to help a wide variety of individuals with special needs, including at-risk youth, veterans, senior citizens those with health issues including both physical and mental health. "Their generosity has helped us be a positive impact on youngsters as young as three and seniors in their 70's. "There are no adequate words to describe out thanks." Racing continues on Tuesday night many of the top mares in action in the Open, among the combatants Heart Major, Artful Impulse and Limelight. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Boli, the four year-old talented son of Kadabra, stepped up to Open company on Tuesday night (April 26) at Pompano Park and scored his fifth consecutive harness racing victory, this one in a seasonal best clocking of 1:55.1. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Boli was driven by Wally Hennessey and pinned a half-length defeat on the late charging Cashahallic, with Matt Romano in the bike. Sailer Eddie finished third for Kevin Wallis after cutting much of the mile while Nothinbutanallstar and Majestic Won earned the minors in the field of six. Using his usual tactics, Boli lolly-gagged a length off the gate at the start but wended his way into fourth by the time Sailer Eddie hit the opener in a sharp :27.1 with Cashahallic second and Nothinbutanallstar, showing a bit of early foot from the outside post, landing in third. Positions remained stagnant through the half in a well rated :57.2 with Boli now out and churning forward on the backside, reaching within a neck of Sailer Eddie through a "picked-up" three-quarters in 1:26.1. In the lane, Boli muscled his way to the front and, given just a couple of reminders late, held off Cashahallic in the drive to the finish. After the race, Hennessey said, "After that unbelievable performance last week, I didn't know what really to expect tonight but he seemed very relaxed leaving and so I went looking for a spot seeing that the inside horses didn't seem all that interested early. "I found that good spot in fourth and sensed a slower pace going over to the half and that's why I pulled around that second turn. "On the backside, the pace 'picked-up' but my horse likes that sort of thing and likes to dig in, so that didn't bother him at all. "In the lane, I just gave him a couple of subtle reminders and that was that. It was another good performance for him." In winning his fifth straight, Boli sent his seasonal bankroll to $19,762 and $79,314 on the strength of his 10th win in only 30 career starts. Off at 2 to 5 on the tote-board, Boli returned $2.80 to win. The $9,500 Open 2 for pacing mares went to Goldstar Rockette, handled by Corey Braden for owner-trainer Lou Ginesi. This Florida bred six year-old daughter of Rock On blasted out from the Hummer Starting Gate into a quick early lead, yielded to Cheap N Easy, driven by John MacDonald, short of the blistering :26.4 opener, reclaimed three-eighths into the mile, and went on to post subsequent panels of :56.3 and 1:24.1 before striding home in :28.1 to record a lifetime best clocking of 1:52.2-her margin just short of three lengths over Cheap N Easy. Artful Impulse was third for Wally Hennessey while De Valeria finished fourth. Limelight picked up the nickel in the septet. Goldstar Rockette won for the fifth time in 16 starts this semester to send her 2016 bounty to $24,187. She now has 17 lifetime wins and career earnings of $88,038. Though her recent miles don't indicate early speed, Goldstar Rockette has won 13 of her 17 lifetime wins on the engine. As the even money favorite, Goldstar Rockette returned $4.00 to win. Racing continues on a two night-a-week schedule-Sundays and Tuesdays-throughout the month on May with post time set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Park's popular "Over The Hill Gang" series for aged trotters-9 year-olds and up-continued on Monday night with Yankee Manny and harness racing driver Kevin Wallis teaming up to score in 1:56.1. The 10 year-old gelded son of Yankee Glide, owned by Jamie Marra Racing, had returned to the racing wars last week after a two month vacation and suffered broken equipment at the start to lose all chance, but this night was a different story. Having raced off the pace over the past several months, driver Wallis changed strategy this night by sending Yankee Manny winging early and into the lead around the first turn before yielding to Go Jesse Go (John MacDonald) prior to the :28.1 opener. In the garden seat through panels of :57.2 and 1:26.4, Yankee Manny left the coziness of the pocket turning for home and wore down Go Jesse Go in the final few strides to win by a head. On The Tab (Wally Hennessey) finished third while I'll Tell You What finished fourth after recovering from a miscue early on. Vacation Day picked up the nickel in the field of eight with combined earnings over $2.5 million. This was the initial win of the 2016 season for Yankee Manny in six starts and 40th win lifetime in 186 trips back of the starting gate. He's not banked $240,006 career-wise. After the race, driver Wallis related, "It didn't look like he was doing too well off the pace so I thought, now that he's freshened up a bit, why not try to leave and see where we go. "It turned out well. He raced very well." As the third choice on the tote-board, Yankee Manny returned a win mutual of $10.60. Also of note on the Monday program were the performances of the three year-old pacer Stonebridge Beach, a son of Mach Three owned by 9096 9205 Quebec, Inc., and Ideal Kiss, a sophomore son of American Ideal owned by Twenty Four Carrot Racing. With trainer Stephane Pouliot in the sulky, Stonebridge Beach made a quarter move from third to the front after the :27.4 opener and proceeded to post fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.2 in route to a very handy win in 1:52.3, a new lifetime mark. The colt, who won $82,497 last season as a two year-old without a win chasing the top ones during the lucrative Ontario Stakes season, earned his second straight victory at Pompano Park-he won in the slop last week in 1:54.3-to score a resounding win measuring 3½ lengths over Always Covers (Dan Daley) with Carlos Mittanna (Wally Hennessey) third. Noudidnt Blue Chip was fourth in the septet while Endless Legacy picked up the nickel. Stonebridge Beach now has $87,787 in career bounty and rewarded his multitude of backers with a 10% dividend on their $2 investment--$2.20 as the 1 to 10 favorite. Ideal Kiss, second to Stonebridge Beach one week ago, broke his maiden with a magnificently rated 1:54 mile for trainer Jim McDonald, making one of his rare appearances in the sulky. Ideal Kiss posted a pair of :29.1 quarters to open the festivities, reaching the half in :58.2, and then let his charge put together a pair of :27.4 panels, reaching the third station in 1:26.1 and home in the aforementioned time of 1:54, completely under wraps-his margin of victory nine lengths over Road Block (Wally Hennessey) with Shesamadmadgirl (Matt Romano) a half-length further away in third. Gold Star Roger and Rocknroll Velocity picked up the final two awards in the field pared down to eight. Not only did Ideal Kiss break his maiden in his third lifetime start, it gave McDonald his maiden win of the 2016 semester-his last win being last October at Pompano Park with Looney. McDonald has 1,007 lifetime wins in the sulky. Off as the even-money second choice-Road Block was 4 to 5-Ideal Kiss returned $4.00 to win. Tuesday's program at Pompano Park features the Open Handicap Trot with Boli stepping up a notch to the top class after his sensational win last start where he spotted the field some 20 lengths as the start and rallied to win in a photo finish. Wally Hennessey is expected back in the sulky back of Boli, who is listed as the 9 to 5 morning line favorite. Nothinbutanallstar, Sailer Eddie, Cashahallic, Majestic Won and Diamond Dagger complete the talented sextet of trotters. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park          

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

Pompano Beach, FL...April 19, 2016...All Charged Up, a "bridesmaid" to Godiva Seelster last week by the slimmest of nostrils, took top honors on Sunday night at Pompano Park, winning the featured $9,500 Open Pace for Mares in 1:52.4. Owner-trainer John MacDonald was in the sulky for the victory, measuring one length over a game Heart Major, driven by Joe Pavia, Jr. Limelight, handled by Kevin Wallis, finished third while Virginnaire was fourth. Goldstar Rockette picked up the nickel in the field of nine. Despite having the eight post, it was expected that All Charged Up would leave with her usual alacrity but, when the Hummer Starting Gate left the station, all mares from posts one through five showed speed from the get-go. When the dust settled around the opening turn, it was Limelight emerging with the lead with Heart Major settling right behind with All Charged Up, "half-leaving" from the outside, finding a spot in third with Virginnaire next and Winbak Heavenly on the outside. With the pace hot with the opener in :26.2 and half in :54.3, Limelight continued on the front end of things heading into the final turn. That's when Pavia sent Heart Major on the prowl with All Charged Up following her live cover past the third station in 1:23.2. In the lane, Heart Major took command but, at mid-stretch, All Charged Up had her measured and brushed on by for the win--her third of the year in 13 starts. In a post-race interview, driver John MacDonald related, "You know my mare can rattle out of the gate pretty good, but all the inside ones had that same idea so I just kinda went "half-leaving" looking for a spot closer up. "I was lucky enough to find one in third. If I hadn't found it, it would have been a whole different story. "When Joe (Pavia) pulled going into the final turn, I tried to follow him but we were gapped a little bit and it took my mare a little longer to rev it up and get going. "I'm going to give her some time off now on the farm. She deserves some 'r and r.' She's been mighty good to me." The victory was the 15th career-wise for All Charged Up and she now sports lifetime earnings of $158,364 in 72 starts. Off at 1 to 2 on the tote-board, All Charged Up returned $3.00 to her many faithful. The popular "Over The Hill Gang" trot, featuring nine year-olds and up, was also on the Tuesday card featuring field of seven with combined earnings over $2.4 million encompassing over 1,400 lifetime starts and driver John MacDonald made it a driving double by guiding Go Jesse Go to a near wire-to-wire victory in 1:57. This nine year-old son of Jailhouse Jesse took command around the first turn and wired together panels of :28.3, :58.1 and 1:27.1 before long striding his way home in :29.4 to score the win measuring 1 ½ lengths over Adenium, driven by Matt Romano with the favorite, I'll Tell You What, teamed up with Dave Ingraham, third. On The Tab and Flashy Lady picked up the minors. Trained by Leon Cable for owner Anthony Chiniara, the win was the second straight for Go Jesse Go and 26th lifetime, sending his career bankroll to $130,249--$18,490 this semester. Off as the 3 to 1 second choice, Go Jesse Go returned an $8.00 dividend on any $2 investment. Also of note on Tuesday night, the Pick-5 went unscathed and, with a $2,913 carryover, Sunday night's Pick-5 has a $10,000 guaranteed pool. The Pick-5 covers races one through five. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...April 18, 2016...Kevin Wallis reached a plateau shared by only 10 other drivers in harness racing history when he won his 10,000th career race with Strong Profile in Pompano Park's 11th race on Monday night, April 18. The Ontario born Wallis, who bought part ownership in his first horse, Claybrook Copper, at the age of 12, has been driving winners since the late-1970's with his peak years, in terms of wins, coming during the 1996 and 1997 seasons, when he won 652 and 629 races, respectively, in those years. During his grand career, Wallis, while competing generally in overnight events, has driven some exceptionally talented horses, including Breeders Crown winner Burning Point, the game pacer Robitaille, Illiana, a winner of 27 races during the 1996 season, Royal Flush Hanover and the one he considers his "first good one," Merrywood Tyrone. Owners have benefitted to the tune of over $47,000,000 with the horses he has driven. Upon achieving this lofty plateau, the soft spoken and articulate Wallis said, "to be in the same category with greats like Campbell, Lachance, David Miller, Manzi, Filion and Palone, just to name a few, is very humbling. "I am blessed and thankful that I was able to achieve this milestone and that I have been able to stay healthy enough to compete at this level for this many years and at this stage of my career. "There are a lot of young, talented drivers out there today along with us veterans and we are all thankful to be able to competitive in a safe manner. Strong Profile, a four year-old gelded son of Jereme's Jet owned by Stuart Lawrence along with trainer Bryan Lawrence scored in 1:53.1, a new lifetime mark, as the 4 to 5 choice in the Pompano Park finale, a claiming event for pacers. Wallis, needing two wins on the Monday night program to reach the coveted plateau, set up his historic win by earning win number 9,999 with his own Sailer Eddie in the featured Open Trot, leading at every pole in scoring a 1:55.3 victory over Cashahallic (Mike Micallef) with Jesse's Promise (Mark O'Mara) next. Genius At Work and Bambino Hall picked up the minors in that event. Sailer Eddie, a six year-old altered son of Cantab Hall, won for the second time this semester in 15 starts to send his 2016 bankroll to $25,846 and $313,091 lifetime. As the 7 to 5 choice, Sailer Eddie paid $4.60 to win. Racing continues at Pompano Park on Tuesday night with first post set at 7:30 p.m and a carryover in the Super Hi-5 finale of $13,108.33. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL.Sunday, April 17.The "stars" were shining brightly Sunday night on Pompano Park-both from up above and on the track as Dedi's Dragon took top honors in Pompano Park's $9,500 featured Open 2 Handicap pace and amateur driver Steve Oldford swept the pair of Billings events as that Amateur Series began its 2016 season at Pompano Park. Dedi's Dragon, handled by Ricky Macomber, Jr., fought hard with Alexa's Jackpot during a :26.4 opener before assuming control and ripping off subsequent panels of :55.2 and 1:23.4 in route to a 1:51.3 one length win over the late charging St Lads Lotto, driven by Aaron Byron. Alexa's Jackpot, teamed up with John MacDonald, did hold on for third while Energy Shakes finished fourth. Northern Companion picked up the minor award in the sextet. In a post-race interview, driver Ricky Macomber, Jr. said, "he (Dedi's Dragon) has been racing competitively against the top pacers on the grounds and, with a couple of those absent this week, it seemed like a good spot to go out and try for the lead and control the situation. "He was very strong coming home in what I expected to be a good performance by him. He didn't disappoint." Trained by Paul Holzman for John McGill, Brian Carsey and the J L Benson Stables, Dedi's Dragon, a six year-old son of Dragon Again, evened up his 2016 scorecard at 3-3-3 in 14 starts, good for $34,487. He's banked $779,871 career-wise in 106 lifetime starts. Off at 1 to 5 on the tote-board, Dedi's Dragon paid $2.60 to his multitude of backers. The C. K. G. Billings Amateur Competition, honoring the memory of the great sportsman who owned our sport's first 2:00 trotter (Lou Dillon-1903), visited Pompano Park on Sunday night and driver Steve Oldford swept both of the Billings events, scoring in Billings pace with Ruths Shadylady and the companion trot with his own Insider Access. Handling the seven year-old mare Ruths Shadylady, Oldford smarty stayed off the early pace before following live cover and collaring Internal Check, driven by Peter Gerry, to score by a neck in 1:58.4. Val's Way, with Ned Hodkinson in the bike, finished third while Southwind Vixen (Matt Zuccarello) paced the fastest final panel in the event to finish fourth. Flashy (Billy Muggleston) picked up the nickel after forging to the lead half way through the mile. Trained by Fred Cohen for owner Brian Calvert, Ruths Shadylady won for the second time this year and now has 20 career victories and $71,721 in career bounty. As second choice in the betting at 2 to 1, Ruths Shadylady paid $6.40 to win. Insider Access, trained by Oldford for his own Oldford Racing stable, drew off in the lane to score a 3½ length win in 1:58.4 over PC's Wildcard, driven by Peter Gerry. The early leader, Out Of The Hat, with Joe Pennacchio in the sulky, finished third while Highland Yankee (Bob Davis) finished fourth. M C Felix (Ted Bowman) picked up the nickel in the field of 10. Insider Access was fourth in the early going as Out Of The Hat led through hot early panels of :28.2 and :57. On the backside, Insider Access surged first up, taking the lead around the final turn (1:28) and drawing off in the lane. An altered six year-old son of Conway Hall, Insider Access earned his initial win of the year in 12 starts and eighth lifetime victory, sending his career bounty to $133,527. The pair of wins for Oldford sent his career total to 114, four of which have been accomplished this semester. Oldford's "double-dip" was the third of his driving career, the first accomplished at Charlottetown in 2006 and the second at Delaware, Ohio during Jug Week in 2014. Following the Billings competition, the Florida Amateur Driving Club took the spotlight with Lexis Amigo surviving an inquiry to earn his first win of the year. Trained by Paul Messina for Vallelunga Z (Zara) L (Luca), Lexis Amigo driven by Fred Cohen, left with alacrity from Pompano Park's coveted five post and then let Lady Deda D, handled by Jamie Marra, cut panels of :28.3, :58 and 1:28.2 before leaving the coziness of the pocket at attacking the leader. Taking command with authority turning for home and opening up a long lead in the lane, Lexis Amigo jumped up in the air in mid-stretch but driver Cohen was able to settle the 10 year-old down and regain his composure, trotting under the wire 1½ lengths to the good of Chaplin Hall, driven by Gary Barbere with Zeitgeist third for Dein Spriggs. C R Amigo finished fourth while What About Brian earned the final ward in the field of nine. Lexis Amigo now has 20 lifetime wins in a lightly raced career of 98 starts, good for $257,335. As the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Lexis Amigo returned $2.60 to win. Also of note, the 11 year-old warrior Rick's Sign, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., won his fifth race in a row, showing his heels to his younger foes in 1:52.1. Trained by Paul Holzman for Mary Holzman, Rick's Sign, an altered son of Life Sign, won for the 65th time in a career spanning 275 starts to send his lifetime earnings to $420,589--$22,368 this year on the strength of a 6-2-1 scorecard in a dozen starts. Off as the 3 to 2 favorite, Rick's Sign rewarded his faithful with a $5.00 mutuel. Pompano Park's pentafecta fourth went untouched on Sunday night with a $2,503 carryover resulting in a $15,000 guaranteed pool for Monday night's fourth race pentafecta. Post time for the Monday program is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...April 16, 2016...Pompano Park has added a second Pick-4 wager beginning with the Sunday (April 17) program and continuing throughout the remainder of the season.   The added Pick-4 wagering option will encompass races two through five and compliments the already existing Pick-4 which covers races six through nine.   The track also has a Pentafecta (4th) on each program to go along with the Super Hi-5 finale.   The new Pick-4 addition will also feature a low 12% takeout, making it one of the most attractive wagering options in pari-mutuel racing.   Also on Sunday's 11 race extravaganza, an Open Handicap Pace and the return of the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Competition will highlight the program.   The $775,000 winner Dedi's Dragon will be in action in the Open Handicap Pace against a strong competitive field including Alexa's Jackpot, Energy Shakes, St Lads Lotto, Prairie Jaguar and Northern Companion.   Ricky Macomber, Jr. is expected to be back in the sulky for trainer Paul Holzman after a strong third place finish against the highly vaunted Panocchio last week. This six year-old is the 8 to 5 morning line favorite.   Alexa's Jackpot is 5 to 2 on the early line off of a strong second place finish to Steelhead Hanover last week. The Marty Fine trainee will have John MacDonald in the bike.   The Billings competition, named in honor of the great sportsman Cornelius Kingsley Garrison Billings, owner of Lou Dillon, the first two minute trotter in harness racing history, features a rare pacing event, kicking off the early daily double and Pick-5, to go along with the traditional trot, which will be contested in the Pentafecta fourth race.   Pompano Park now has a three day per week schedule--Sunday,Monday and Tuesday--throughout the rest of April with Sunday and Tuesday on the calendar throughout May.   Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry, for Pompano Park    

The C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series kicks off its 35th season at Pompano Park on Sat., April 17 followed by a contest at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday. April 20. Then, almost weekly, there will be races for amateur drivers at various racetracks in the United States and Canada through late November. Again the Billings will be run under the auspices of the Delvin Miller Harness Drivers Association. The series which began in the early 1980's is considered the Grand Circuit of Amateur Racing. Known for its constant traveling sideshow over the years some of the best amateur drivers in North America compete, or have competed, in it. And because of the success of the Billings Series it has spawned various local amateur driving organizations. "With amateur harness racing at a near frenzy pace, the Granddaddy of them all, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Association Series is getting ready for yet season of racing action," noted Steve Oldford, the vice president of the Billings Series. The Billings starts with the first travel series races at the Isle of Capri at Pompano Park, in sunny Florida on Sunday, April 17 and then moves north to Monticello Raceway on the following Wednesday (April 20) for the first leg in the series eastern region. The mid-west region opener is slated on Sunday, April 24th in Ohio at Miami Valley Raceway." Due mainly to the success of the Billings Series amateur racing has now become integral part of the sport. "This year amateur racing action has been complimented with weekly record braking handles in races at the Meadowlands and at Pompano Park. Wagering was also strong in the recently completed races in the NAADA Trotting Series at Yonkers, Freehold, and Monticello," Oldford added. "Amateur racing has never been more popular than it is now" interjected Tony Verruso, the CKG Billings Series president. "Just look at the handle at the amateur races and you can see we are a good bet. "Various amateur clubs are now organized to help maximize the number of races we can get; add benefits to the tracks that host us; create an incredible comradery among the amateur drivers and benefit all of the charities each club represents. "Tens of thousands of dollars are raised each year through amateur driving for the benefit of each clubs charity. The CKG Billings is proud to contribute its driver's earnings to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. "We are again this year going with the five separate series format," Verruso added."We believe it was well received by members new and old last year so we thought it a good idea to give it another whirl". Verruso is referring to having five divisions of short series instead of having a seven-month year-long event. The Eastern Regional and the Midwest Regional will each have two short series and there will also be a Travel Series. And each will have series ending finales. Obviously, the eastern division will encompass racetracks in the east while the western division will feature races at tracks in the Midwest. There will be a travel division with events in both East and Midwest and a few racetracks in Canada will host Billings events thus making the Billings a true international amateur series. "The beauty of this format will allow everyone to race in any division. However, the points earned in each division will be calculated in that division only," Verruso explained. "And the European Point System will again be used to tally each participant's points. "On the whole, participation was definitely up last racing season and we did also get some new quality members. Our goal this year is to continue that trend and we hope the new slot money being infused into Ohio will go a long way to rebuilding that driving base for us in the mid-west region." Again there will be Billings Gold and Silver Cup Finals at the end of the season and they will take place at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday, November 20. As usual, only drivers can be nominated to the Billings Series; horses have to meet the certain series criteria. A complete listing of conditions and nominating costs can be had by contacting Verruso at sulkyracer@hotmail.com or Billings Series VP, Steve Oldford at steveoldford@oldford.biz. One can also get pertinent information on the Delvin Miller Harness Driving Series on the USTA website under amateur racing. But remember, nominations by mail close on April 18. However, late nominations can always be made but at an additional cost. by John Manzi for the Billings Series  

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