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Paul and Patricia O'Neil's ultra consistent mare, Godiva Seelster, given perfect "middle-half" rating by Wally Hennessey, used a :27.1 finale to hold Just A Bee (Mike Micallef) safe in 1:53 in the $10,000 Open pace for mares at the harness racing meeting at Pompano Park on Tuesday night.    The winning margin was a half length and stretched the mare's streak of getting purse checks to 67 over a three year span.   The five year-old daughter of Cambest won for the 11th time this semester in 21 starts to push her lifetime bankroll over the $200,000 mark--$$201,592 to be exact.   Togetherforever (Ed Hensley) finished third--five lengths away--while Mach It A Par and Jets Are On picked up the final awards in the octet.   Sprinting as the gate opened, Godiva Seelster took command immediately from her seven post and Just A Bee, leaving from the outside eight post, left right along with her and settled into thee garden spot before the first turn.   After a :27 opener, Godiva Seelster rambled to the half in :56.4 and three quarters in 1:25.4 before sprinting home in :27.1 to secure the victory.   After the win, driver Hennessey remarked, "I've said this before...this is a mare who knows how to take care of herself and it's amazing she has stayed sharp for so long. She is amazing, no doubt about that!"   Trained by Dan Hennessey, Godiva Seelster paid $3.40 as the tote-board 3 to 5 favorite.   Hennessey had another huge night after his opening night winning spree numbering seven--six of those in a row. On Tuesday, he had five more victories, including a natural "hat trick" on races five, six and seven.   Besides Godiva Seelster, Hennessey won the non-betting Florida Sunshine State Stake for three year-old pacers with Caesar's Forum, upsetting the highly vaunted Owosso Flash (Mike Deters) with a wire-to-wire win in a lifetime best 1:55.   Trained by 81 year-old Marc Aubin for Amante Standardbreds, the son of Six Of Diamonds left alertly from the rail and avoided confusion in the first turn when Drake made a miscue which scattered the field early on.   Again, superb rating--:29, :58.3 and 1:27--made the difference as Owosso Flash closed fastest of all but ran out of racetrack late.   Gold Star Roger (Walter Ross, Jr.) finished third while Fonzie finished fourth. Stutz was awarded the nickel.   The win pushed Caesar's Forum's earnings $36,144 with the bulk of the Florida Stakes season looming ahead.   Hennessey's other wins were with Mach The Kasbah ($9.20) and The Muscler ($9.20), providing the "cookie" part of the Oreo sandwiched around Godiva Seelster.   The claimer No Shenanigans ($4.80) capped the Hennessey night, with his victory total at 12 after the first two programs.   Hennessey shared the spotlight with trainer driver Mike Deters, who hopped in the bike to handle a pair of two year-olds making their respective debuts in the other Sunshine State Stakes.   Deters guided Jason Mac Dougall's Conman's Dream, a son of Best Connection, to a sparkling 2:00.4-:27.4 win over Danza (Corey Braden) and R Chism (Mike Micallef). ICU Diamond T and Gold Star Peter also earned their initial paychecks in that event.   He followed that a few minutes later by piloting Prairie Sweetheart to a convincing 1:58.1--56.2-:28 victory in the companion Sunshine State Stake for the juvenile fillies. Diamond Lily (Micallef) finished second over Caitlin's Romance (Mel Turcotte).   Goldstar Lovebug and Jaycie Jaycie also earned their first paychecks, as well.   On the pari-mutuel program, Davita, aided by the scratches of her two main rivals, scored a win measuring nearly 10 lengths for Corey Braden in 1:56.2.   Gold Star Sonata (Walter Ross, Jr.) was second followed by Gold Star Charming (Mickey Mc Nichol). Arties Diamond Gal picked up the remaining award in the quartet.   Davita, off at 1 to 20, paid the minimum $2.10 to win.   Racing resumes on Sunday night with Open pacers and Open trotters expected to be in the limelight with a growing carryover in the popular Super Hi-5 beginning to gather interest.   John Berry 

Pompano Park opened its 2015-2016 126 night harness racing season on Sunday night with Wally Hennessey, Oho Diamond and Audrey's Dream providing the "fireworks" on a magnificent 80 degree evening. Driver Wally Hennessey, coming into the action with 8,818 lifetime wins during his Hall of Fame career, added seven more of them on opening night, including six in a row encompassing races three through eight. Hennessey began his winning evening in the non-wagering Sunshine State Stakes for two year-old trotting fillies by guiding Kevin Kelly's Gold Star Briana, a daughter of Basil, to a handy win in 2:05.2 in her first purse start.  Two other non-wagering Sunshine State Stakes were also contested with Dave Myrick's Proud Joe T scoring for Rob Hoffman in his racing debut for juvenile colts and geldings in 2:08.1 and Prairie Fortune annihilating his foes in the sophomore event for colts and geldings in 1:57.3--this son of Arapa Victory driven by trainer and co-owner Mike Deters on behalf of co-owner Laurie Poulin. The only other Sunshine State Stakes contested was on the card with Livy M, a three year-old daughter of Proud Bushy, scoring a handy five length win for Wally Hennessey on behalf of trainer Deters, who is part of the Deters, Morosini, Fritz and Fritz consortium--the time of 2:00 being a new lifetime mark. As the overwhelming 1 to 10 favorite, Livy M paid $2.20 to her many backers and was the start of a rare consecutive streak stretching through race eight. In the next race, Hennessey guided Goldstar Classic to an upset ($47.60) win for the foursome of Rzepka, Kelly, Connors and Giorlando. Dan Hennessey trains this five year old son of Classic Photo, covering the mile in gate-to-wire fashion timed in 1:56.3.  Hennessey used the same strategy in the fifth race for trainer Bill Kapinos, when he guided Jay and Melissa Appleblatt's Tim Whiskers ($11.80) to a game win in 1:55.1. In race six, Paul and Patricia O'Neil's Verdi ($3.60) were the beneficiaries of Hennessey hot hands with a photo finish win in 1:55. Verdi took the lead right at the :28.1 opener and led the rest of the journey, scoring by a head for his 10th win of the year. In the next race--the seventh--Hennessey got the garden trip with Di It For Annie ($10.00) and scored in 1:59--the beneficiaries being Denis Goyette and co-owner-trainer Normand Dessureault. Hennessey then completed his "six-pack" with Pacing Pretty Stable's Bold Willie ($6.80), enjoying a picture perfect journey to score a handy win measuring 2 1/2 lengths in 1:52.3. Hennessey also played a key role in the ninth race, the $10,000 Open Trot, won, in track record time, by the four year-old mare Oho Diamond in 1:53.3, a new track standard, eclipsing the near 25 year-old mark of 1:54.2, set by the great Peace Corps back on November  2, 1990. Hennessey drove Count Speed in that one and pressured the winner from the final turn on home before finishing fourth. For Oho Diamond ($3.80), driven by Mike Micallef for owner Dan Clements and trainer Renaldo Morales III, it was her 11th win of the year in 21 starts, sending her yearly bounty to $88,333, by far the most successful campaign of her career. After that event, driver Micallef said, "Renaldo said she'd be good tonight and can gulp a lot of air, so I brushed her early and she made the top easily and, when she felt that little pressure around the final bend, she just pulled away all by herself." In the $10,000 Open Pace, Audrey's Dream ($6.00), co-owned by driver Ed and trainer Ashleigh Hensley, took advantage of the draw (post one) to win an early battle for supremacy and go on to wire the competition with a 1:52.2-:55 mile. The classy seven year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover won for the third time this semester and 24th lifetime to send his lifetime bounty to $346,127. After the event, driver Hensley said, "With such a short field--five--I thought it be best if I tried to control the pace and, when I got over to the half in :57 and a apiece, I was very confident in this horse's ability to get us home. And my confidence was justified tonight." The next racing night is Tuesday with a 7:30 post time and a $5,000 guarantee on the Pompano Park Pick-5, which begins on race one. There is also a carry-over in Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, which is contested on the last race--the 10th--on the card. John Berry  

Pompano Beach, FL...October 2, 2015...Pompano Park kicks off its 52nd season of harness racing on Sunday, October 4, the first of 126 racing programs. Beginning on a Sunday-Tuesday two-night-a-week schedule for October, the season expands to three nights-Sunday, Monday and Tuesday--November 9--before eventually going to a five-night-a-week schedule during the heart of the season beginning in December. Racing Secretary Greg DeFrank has put together 19 Late Closing events to "spice things up a bit," including an Open Pacing Series featuring three legs and an estimated $100,000 final scheduled for March 6. The other Open events--one for pacing mares and the other for trotters--will also have a trio of legs with an estimated purse of $80,000 for each. Late closing events for several classes of claimers are also written into the agenda with well over $700,000 earmarked for the late closers upon filling. Nomination information is available on the track's website. DeFrank also said, "In addition to our Late Closers, we will also offer 'Pop-Up' events, which will have a quick leg and a race-off featuring enhanced purses from our regular events." "Pop-Up" events--with no nominating fees--occur when there is an abundance of horses in a particular class requiring divisions. Pompano Park will offer an enhanced wagering menu this season with the popular Super Hi-5 offered on the last race and a new Pentafecta added to the "buffet," contested on race four. The Super Hi-5 requires a unique ticket winner to take down the entire pool with a 50% payout to multiple winners and a 50% carryover to the next night's Super Hi-5. The Pentafecta will pay 100% of the net pool to any multiple winners with a carryover only if no ticket has the required first five finishers in order. Opening night festivities include trophy presentations to last season's leading driver, Bruce Ranger, and leading trainer, Jim McDonald. The first 200 patrons get a free $2 wagering voucher with purchase of an official Pompano Park track program. The racing program, itself, features the opening legs of the Sunshine State Stake for both gaits of juvenile and sophomore trotters along with the top pacers on the grounds in the Open Pace. That latter event is expected to attract perennial favorite Northern Companion, a 35 time winner at Pompano Park. Trained by Howard Klohr for owner Dorothy Zarza, Northern Companion will be driven by Tom Sells. A fresh face in Florida to the Open ranks is Audrey's Dream, a $341,000 lifetime winner with a sub-1:50 record to go along with it. Co-owner and trainer Ed Hensley is expected to be in the sulky for this encounter. Post time for the Sunday opener is 7:30. By John Berry for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL - A reminder to horsemen that the 2015-16 live harness racing season at the Isle Casino Pompano Park is quickly approaching, with opening night slated for Sunday, October 4th. Stall applications have generated a lot of interest, with many horsemen looking to take advantage of the racing opportunities in sunny South Florida this winter. A reminder that stall applications are due by Friday, August 28th. The stable area opens on September 8th, with free stall rent being offered throughout the month of September. Stall applications can be found by clicking One of the highlights of the new season will be several late-closing events to take place over the winter, including a return of the 'Isle of Capri' Open series. The 'Isle of Capri' series was last contested in 2008, where Mr Feelgood was victorious with a 1:49.4 win in the final. There will be 3 legs each in the month of February for Open Pacers, Open Pacing Mares, and Open Trotters. All three 'Isle of Capri' divisions will host a final on March 6th, with the Open Pacers going for $100,000 (est.) and the Open Pacing Mares and Open Trotters going for $75,000 (est.). The series is open to all horses, with only winners of over $200,000 in 2015 being excluded. In total, there will be 19 different late-closing events offered over the winter for all different levels. A full late-closing schedule can be found later this week on our website, . For more information regarding the upcoming live racing season, please contact Brett Revington, Director of Racing, at 954.633.6507. by Gabe Prewitt for Isle Casino Pompano Park

A reminder to horsemen that stall applications are now available online for the upcoming 2015-2016 live harness racing season at the Isle Casino Pompano Park, which begins on Sunday, October 4th. Ideally located in sunny Southern Florida, spending the winter at the Isle Casino Pompano Park allows horsemen to escape the harsh realities of a long winter, while experiencing great earning potential. The total purse structure for the season is expected to be north of $8.75 million, with $5.5 million being offered during the peak season of December to March. There will also be a slew of late-closing series available, which will be highlighted by new big money signature events for Open trotters and pacers. In total, there will be 19 late-closing series offered over the winter for all different levels. More details on the late-closing events will be provided in the coming weeks. "We are excited for the upcoming 2014-15 racing season, and with new added-money events, a healthy overnight purse account, and warm temperatures, there is no better place to spend the winter," said Director of Racing, Brett Revington. "We have also installed a brand new video screen in the infield for the enjoyment of our on-track fans." Stall applications can be found by clicking here: http://pompano- For more information, please contact Brett Revington at 954.633.6507. Brett Revington

Pompano Beach, FL...June 27, 2015...Raji's Blue Line, handled by harness racing driver Andy Santeramo, dug in late to score a courageous win in Pompano Park's $9,000 Winner's Over feature pace on Saturday night (June 27). The seven year-old son of Artsplace, owned by Souren Hovsepian along with trainer Rod Lorenzo, had to survive four separate incidents during the mile before stopping the timer in 1:51.2. Abreathofreshart (Wally Ross, Jr.) was second in the mile while Northern Companion (Tom Sells) finished third. Who's Your Maddy and Histoire Eternelle were next in the sextet while Freeneasy Hanover was doomed at the start after a miscue leaving. When the gate sprung, Histoire Eternelle (Post 5) was on the engine along with Raji's Blue Line (Post 6) with the former battling the latter through a demanding opener of :26.3 before Raji's Blue Line took over a few strides later. That was the first incident. Incident number two was that there was not much of a let-up going to the half, with the mid-mile timed in a harsh :54.4 with Histoire Eternelle not in the garden spot...but not for long. Heading to turn three, Histoire Eternelle was out moving and putting the pressure on the leader past the third station in 1:23.1. In the lane, Raji's Blue Line put away the challenge of Histoire Eternelle but Abreathofreshart found some room in the lane to close in on the leader during the final stages of the mile--that was incident number four. But Raji's Blue Line was up to the task and responded with a :28.1 finale to hit the wire a half length to the good. In a post race interview, driver Andy Santeramo said, "They threw everything but the kitchen sink at him tonight but he just kept digging and digging all the way home. He was very brave tonight." In achieving his fourth win of the year in 22 starts, Raji's Blue Line sent his seasonal bounty to $41,166 and $215,866 lifetime to go along with a Pompano Park mark of 1:51. Pompano Park returns on October 4, 2015 with a 126 day meeting. Complete details of exact dates will be forthcoming in future press releases. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...June 24, 2015...My Revenuer and Mach Me Not scored impressive harness racing wins their respective "Winners Over" feature events at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (June 24).   My Revenuer kicked off the mid-week festivities by scoring a minor upset for Tom Sells in the $9,000 Winners Over event for the trotters, upsetting the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Dominum Deo in 1:55.4. Tug River Dylan, last in the quintet turning for home, rallied for third for Wally Ross, Jr. while Lugar and pacesetting Illusionsndreams completed the parade through the wire.   It was Illusionsndreams who took charge, carding panels of :28.3 and :58.2 before things began heating up on the backside.   With Dominum Deo on the move from the back of the pack, driver Sells was forced into a first-over journey from My Revenuer with that one pulling on even terms with Illusionsndreams through an official :28.2 third quarter--his about :27.4.   Turning for home, My Revenuer began edging clear and easily held off Dominum Deo in the final stages, scoring by 1 1/4 lengths.   In a post race interview, driver Sells said, "Ya know, when this trotter feels like it, he can turn on the engines pretty good...and he sure did tonight. He was very determined."   Owned and trained by Tom Petri, My Revenuer, a seven year-old son of Revenue S, won for the third time in 20 starts this year, good for $33,817 in bounty. Lifetime, he has 21 career wins and $167,592 in earnings to go along with a mark of 1:53.4 at Vernon Downs last season.   Third choice in the betting, My Revenuer paid $12.40 to his faithful.   The companion event for pacing wares was kind of a carbon copy of last weeks event as Mach Me Not, driven by Bruce Ranger, scored a repeat win--this time in 1:53.4 over stablemate Artful Impulse, again handled by Andy Santeramo. As in last week's event, Goldstar Rockette finished third. Keystone Christa and Lady Ideal completed that event.   When the Hummer's wings folded, Artful Impulse and Mach Me Not got into a bit of a fray around turn one with the latter taking charge right at the opening marker in :27.1.   Mach Me Not, a nine year-old daughter of Mach Three, continued to lead the parade through panels of :56.4 and 1:26.1 with Artful Impulse in the garden spot.   Turning for home, as she did last week, Mach Me Not began drifting wide allowing Artful Impulse plenty of real estate to close to her inside...but Mach Me Not was just too strong--her final panel of :27.3 good enough for a victory measuring just short of a length.   After the race, Ranger joked, "Well, we proved one thing...this mare care pace as fast going sideways as she can going forward! She's a game thing, that's for sure!"   Owned by the S S G Stables and trainer by Jim Mc Donald, Mach Me Not won for the third consecutive week--35th lifetime win--to send he seasonal earnings to $49,024. She's banked $345,046 career-wise to go along with her mark of 1:51.1 mark at Hoosier Park.   Mach Me Not, heavily favored at 2 to 5, paid $2.80 to win.   Another noteworthy performer on the Wednesday card was Gold Savage in the "Winners Over 2" trot.   This five year-old son of Keystone Savage, trained by Mark Friedman for the Polo Stables, got a picture perfect journey from Mickey Mc Nichol to score in a lifetime best 1:54.3.   With Pilgrims All In setting up a quick pace through panels of :27.1 and :56, Gold Savage nestled in second from his outside post, left the coziness of his pocket around the final turn and went on to score a win measuring almost six lengths over favored On The Tab (Bruce Ranger) with Skyway Pippen next. Pilgrims All In did hold on for fourth while American Superman, suffering a miscue prior to the start, picked up the minor award in the sextet.   As second choice in the betting at 3 to 2, Gold Savage paid $5.00 to win.   Racing continues on Saturday night with the season's final program of 10 races.   Post time is 7:30p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park          

Pompano Beach, FL...June 20, 2015...No Bad Dreams, driven by Bruce Ranger, eked out a repeat harness racing victory at Pompano Park in the $9,500 Winner's Over Pace on Saturday night (June 20), stopping the timer in a lifetime equalling best 1:50.3. The four year-old son of Dream Away, trained by Marc Aubin for Dan and Jacalyn Boddie, squeaked by a game Raji's Blue Line (Ben Mc Neil) to score a a half length with Abreathofreshart (Walter Ross, Jr.) third, four lengths away. Freeneasy Hanover finished fourth while G P S Legacy picked up the nickel in the quintet. When Pompano's Hummer Starting Gate sprung open, Raji's Blue Line was away sharply along with Abreathofreshart with the former out-brushing the latter through a sharp opener of :26.2. Once on top, Raji's Blue Line was well rated, reaching the half in :55.2. On the backside, No Bad Dreams, fourth for the first half mile and about four lengths away at the mid-point, began a first over jaunt, denting an official :27.3 third panel with his individually timed third panel of :27, reaching the third station along side Raji's Blue Line and 1 1/2 lengths off the leader. In the lane, No Bad Dreams drew along the stubborn Raji's Blue Line, stuck his head in front and edged forward from there to the wire on the strength of a :27.2 finale. While the win was somewhat expected by the public--No Bad Dreams was 1 to 5 on the board--driver Bruce Ranger, in a post race interview, said, "This horse (No Bad Dreams) is a gutsy thing. This wasn't a walk-over by any means. "Raji's Blue Line gave us a very strong challenge but Marc (trainer Aubin) has No Bad Dreams very sharp now and his excellent condition probably was the difference. This was a brave performance for him, going first over like that. I wanted to fish out some cover but it didn't happen that way." No Bad Dreams is now eight for 11 this year with earnings of $34,060 for the Boddie's to go along with the 1:50.3 mark. He paid $2.40 to win. The $8,500 Winner's Over 2 Pace went to Histoire Eternelle, trained and driven by Dan Harvey. Owned by the consortium of Major, Phaneuf, Dillaire and Robert, this six year-old son of Shanghai Phil, was pressured the entire route while on the lead through panels of :26.4, :54.1 and 1:22.3 before stopping the tele-timer in 1:52 for his fourth win of the year in 20 starts, good for yearly bounty thus far of $19,586. Taking the lead at the outset, Histoire Eternelle was, first, pressured by Acton Onelasttime for the first five-eighths of a mile before feeling a stiff "double-bubble" challenge by the 2 to 5 favorite, Who's Your Maddy (Bruce Ranger) the final three-eighths to hold that one at bay by three-parts-of-a-length on the wire. Zavan (Walter Ross, Jr.) finished third while Acton Onelasttime finished fourth over Stiletto Jake in the quintet. Histoire Eternelle was 9 to 1 on the board and returned $21.00 to win. Another highlight on the program came in an event for the Florida Amateur Driving club as Dein Spriggs scored his 400th career driving win with his own 12 year-old warrior Good Feeling ($5.00) in 1:58.3. In that event, Spriggs left the gate with alacrity but was out-rushed by Northern Inferno (Robert Krivelin), who did all the work through fractions of :29, 1:00 and 1:29.2 before slipping through along the pylons to score the win measuring 3/4 of a length. Barbies Korvette (Dennis Whittemore) finished third while Explosive Muscles and Total Freedom were next in the sextet. The other Florida Amateur Driving Club event went to Prairie Big John ($2.60), handled by "Touchdown" Teddy Bowman in a seasonal best 1:57. This seven year-old Florida bred, owned and trained by Jim Hysell, took the lead a few long strides after the :28.1 opener and then carded panels of :57.1 and 1:26.4 before romping home unscathed by 4 1/4 lengths over Zeitgeist (Spriggs) with Lukie Duke (Jamie Marra) third. Engagedatlexington and Rel Cash Clown also earned checks in the field of six. The Florida Amateur Driving Club has donated over $140,000 to charitable organizations since its inception. Pompano Park continues its season on Wednesday night with a 7:30 post. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Harness racing trainer Jim Mc Donald held the hot hand at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (June 17), sweeping both features en route to hitting the "grand slam" with four winners on the program.   While Mach Me Not and Dominum Deo won their respective $9,500 pacing and trotting Winner's Over events, it was Mc Donald, himself, getting the festivities underway by piloting Pacing Pretty Stables four year-old Looney ($3.00) to a come from behind win in a lifetime best 1:58.2.   Two races later, the nine year-old Mach Three mare Mach Me Not, trained by Mc Donald for the S S G Stables and driven by Bruce Ranger, nailed her stablemate, Artful Impulse (Andy Santeramo) in the last two strides to score a narrow win--a half length--in 1:53.1 for her second win in a row and 34th lifetime in 201 starts.   Surging to the lead early before yielding to her stablemate, Mach Me Not, though drifting wide in the lane, managed to get up in the late stages on the strength of a :27.2 finale.   Goldstar Rockette (Mickey Mc Nichol) finished third in the mile while Real Nice Girl and Lady Ideal completed the quintet of talented mares.   In a post race interview, Ranger said, "She left like a rocket-ship but then Andy (Santeramo) took his mare (Artful Impulse) and put her on the lead so I did get a good trip back of her. When I pulled turning for home, I guess I must've pulled on the right line a little too hard because she was drifting out pretty good in the lane. But it all worked out at the wire."   Mach Me Not paid $2.40 for her popular win.   The very next event, Santeramo got a bit of revenge on Ranger when he guided The Muscler, also trained by Mc Donald for lessee Carl Mc Donald, to a nose victory in 1:57.1, edging out Gray N Cloudy (Ranger) in the very last stride.   The Muscler won for the fifth time this semester, good for a seasonal bankroll of $19,250. He paid $7.20 to win.   Mc Donald achieved his "grand slam" the very next race when Ranger guided Dominum Deo to a photo finish win over Illusionsndreams (Santeramo) in a lifetime best 1:54.4--that win coming in the Winner's Over feature for trotters.   This four year-old son of Donato Hanover, last halfway through the mile, found some room turning for home and mowed down the competition with a :56 final half complimented by a :28.2 finale.   Dominum Deo, now with four wins for the year, sent his earnings to $20,845 for 2015 and $69,980 lifetime.   Gold Savage (McNichol), prominent all the way, finished third while Tug River Dylan and My Revenuer completed the first five in the sextet.   Dominum Deo, second choice on the board at 9 to 5, paid $5.60 to win.   Racing continues Saturday night with a 7:30 post time scheduled for the eight race program.   John Berry 

Pompano Beach, FL...June 13, 2015...No Bad Dreams, given a picture perfect drive by Bruce Ranger, gave his harness racing competition a nightmare of sorts on Saturday night at Pompano Park, virtually wiring a classy field in the $9,500 Winner's Over Pace in 1:52.1.   The four year-old son of Dream Away, trained by 81 year-old Marc Aubin for Dan and Jacalyn Boddie, earned his seventh win of the year in 11 starts, defeating Raji's Blue Line, handled by Ben McNeil, by a half length.   Northern Companion and driver Tom Sells teamed up to be third while Who's Your Maddy finished fourth. G P S Legacy made a miscue early on and picked up the nickel in the quintet.   No Bad Dreams, leaving from the advantageous five post, zipped out of the gate and joined Raji's Blue Line around the first turn with No Bad Dreams assuming the lead shortly thereafter and clocking an opening panel of :27.2.   With positions remaining stagnant through the next quarter, Ranger was able to rate his charge through a :29.4 panel, reaching the half in :57.1. On the backside, Ranger chirped once to No Bad Dreams and he was off on a :27.4 tangent and then sealed the deal with a :27.1 finale.   In a post race interview, Ranger said, "Last week, Ben's horse (Raji's Blue Line) cut some hellish fractions so I was hoping he wouldn't try that again and opt for a two hold trip. Once I got to the half in :57 and change, I felt very confident that No Bad Dreams could go all the way from there. He's a very nice horse...VERY nice!"   In winning for the 10th time career-wise, No Bad Dreams pushed his lifetime earnings to $43,962--$29,310 this year in only 11 starts.   As the 2 to 5 favorite, No Bad Dreams rewarded his many followers with a $2.80 mutuel.   That win, incidentally, proved to be a "double" for trainer Aubin and the Boddie's, as their Abreathofreshart captured the opener on the Saturday card in a conditioned pace in 1:52, a new lifetime mark. This four year-old son of Artistic Fella also wired his foes, using a :27.4 finale to pin a defeat measuring 1 3/4 lengths on Histoire Eternelle, handled by Dan Harvey. Zavan was third for Andy Santeramo after applying some pressure on the leader around the final turn.   As the 3 to 5 favorite, Abreathofreshart paid $3.40 to win.   The track also hosted the Chris Valkanoff Memorial Pace, honoring one of the most respected owners at the track who passed away some months ago.   Ranger also won that one, too, guiding Twenty Four Carrot Racing and Ciro Gentile's Freeneasy Hanover to his 25th lifetime win--2nd this year--in 1:51.2.   The Jim Mc Donald trainee, a seven year-old son of Western Ideal, also was a gate to wire winner, clocking panels of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23.1 along the way for the win measuring nearly four lengths.   He, too, was the overwhelming favorite--1 to 5 on the board--and returned $2.60 to win.   After the event, the vast number of friends and family gathered in the winner's circle celebrating Mr. Valkanoff's life.   Racing continues Wednesday night at Pompano Park with post time set at 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park      

We often complain that today’s racetracks, many now owned and managed by casino companies, ignore racing altogether.   They appear to view racing as simply the ticket to alternative gaming, the price of admission. Recently we were in the audience at a card of live racing at Florida’s Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.   The place was packed with enthusiastic racing fans outside, on a balmy South Florida evening, and also inside in the simulcasting and gaming areas. The track seemingly understands the dynamic, and is willing to say so. See the examples of permanent and live racing night signage on the property, via billboards on heavily trafficked I95, atop taxi cabs throughout Broward County and with new television commericals dedicated to horse racing.   Also of note to me is the use of the word “Horse” to describe the action. Absent thankfully is the word harness, for after all we race live horses, not harnesses (perhaps electrical) or sulkies.   Whether Standardbred, Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, French trotteur, Russian Orlov or Norwegian coldbloods it’s the horse that makes the sport go, it’s the horse that we breed, raise, develop, generate revenue with and honor for their accomplishments. It’s the horse that earns whatever media coverage exists and the best of them set the standard that all involved seek to duplicate and/or advance.   by Thomas Hicks, for

Pompano Beach, FL...June 10, 2015...Mach Me Not and Mc Tiny's Hope shared the spotlight at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (June 10), each reaching the winner's circle in their respective co-featured harness racing events.   Mach Me Not, the rugged nine year-old daughter of Mach Three, turned the tables on her stablemate, Artful Impulse, in the $9,000 "Winner's Over" pace for the mares, using a quarter move to the top after Artful Impulse, zipped out of the gate from her outside post to take the field through an opener of :27.4.   With Bruce Ranger handling the lines for trainer Jim Mc Donald and the S S G Stables, Mach Me Not, once reaching the top spot, proceeded to clock panels of :57.3 and 1:25.3 before using a :28.3 finale to hold her stablemate, driven by Andy Santeramo, safe by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:54.1.   Real NIce Girl finished third for Joe Sanzeri while Keystone Christa finished fourth after a menacing backside brush brought her to the flank of Mach Me Not turning for home. Goldstar Rockette finished fifth in the quintet.   After the event, driver Bruce Ranger remarked, "Last week, this mare was full of pace the entire last lap, grinding forward from the back to finish third. In this shorter field, I thought it might be prudent to try and control things, just hoping that Andy (Santeramo) would yield to me so his mare would get the garden trip. It worked out well."   Mach Me Not won for the sixth time in 21 starts, sending her 2015 bankroll to $40,024. She's banked $336,046 lifetime on the strength of 33 career wins to go along with a mark of 1:51.1.   As the very slight favorite at 4 to 5, Mach Me Not paid $3.60 to win.   Despite rain showers in the area, along with some lightning bolts and thunder claps, Mc Tiny's Hope, the only mare in the "Winner's Over" trot, showed impeccable manners in extending her victory streak to three with a 1:55 performance for Ben Mc Neil.   This seven year-old daughter of CR Excalibur, trained by Jack Mc Neil for Ellen Mc Neil, zipped to the lead from her outside five post and broke her first three light beams in :28.3, :57.2 and 1:25.3 before striding home an easy winner on the strength of a :29.2 finale while dodging raindrops all the way home.   Dominum Deo finished second for Bruce Ranger while My Revenuer was next in the quintet. Gold Savage, close up the entire route, finished fourth while On The Tab picked up the nickel.   In a post race interview, the soft-spoken Ben Mc Neil said, "What can I say? She's just very good right now and I certainly wasn't going to fool around changing tactics since she's won the other two in this streak the same way!"   In earning her sixth win of the year in 21 starts, Mc Tiny's Hope sent her bankroll to $44,496 this semester, vaulting her over the $150,000 lifetime--$153,270 to be exact. This was her 27th lifetime victory to go along with her Meadowlands mark of 1:53.3.   As the 1 to 5 post time favorite, Mc Tiny's Hope paid $2.40 to win.   Ranger and Mc Neil were the two driving stars on the program with the Ranger winning three on the card, including the early Daily Double and young Ben Mc Neil sweeping both halves of the late Daily Double.   Racing continues on Saturday with Northern Companion looking to extend his winning streak while Raji's Blue Line, No Bad Dreams, Who's Your Maddy and G P S Legacy seek to knock last week's winner off his perch as current king of the hill."   Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...June 6, 2015...A sizzling victory by Northern Companion and the contesting of the Spanish-American Friendship competition highlighted the Pompano Park Saturday night harness racing card with the icing on the cake coming in the finale when a 20 cent Super Hi-5 ticket was cashed to the tune of over $6,400.00.   Northern Companion, Dorothy Zarza's splendid seven year-old son of Cambest, took advantage of a "suicidal" pace before picking up the pieces in the lane to score a handy win in 1:51 for driver Tom Sells.   A game Raji's Blue Line (Ben Mc Neil) finished second with Who's Your Maddy third, over the 3 to 5 favorite No Bad Dreams. The early leader, Histoire Eternelle, finished fifth in the quintet after hitting the opening marker on top in :27.   Shortly thereafter, Raji's Blue Line made a quarter move to the top with a battle shaping up between that one and No Bad Dreams (Marc Aubin) with that pair reaching the half in :54.2. On the backstretch, Raji's Blue Line kept up his sizzling pace, reaching the third station in 1:22.1 with No Bad Dreams settling in the pocket back of the leader and Who's Your Maddy now on a first over bid.   Following "Maddy's" live cover was Northern Companion as this Howard Klohr trainee swept widest of all turning for home and easily mowed by his competition on the strength of his :28 finale.   In a post race interview, driver Tom Sells said, "While they were in that war up front, I was just kind of licking my chops because this is just how this horse likes it--a very fast pace up front. There wasn't really much to do turning for home...Northern Companion did that all by himself!"   For Northern Companion, it was his 43rd lifetime win, pushing his career earnings to $272,572. He's six-for-17 this semester, good for $33,475. The 1:51 clocking was a seasonal best and two-fifths off his lifetime best.   As 3 to 2 second choice, Northern Companion paid $5.00 to his faithful followers.   The Spanish-North American competition featured four of the best amateur drivers from Spain and nine from the Florida contingent of the Florida Amateur Driving Club in a three race extravaganza that proved to be hotly contested.   The first event went to Spanish driver Jaume Riera, who guided the 12 year-old trotter Good Feeling to a 1:58.3 win over fellow countryman Agustin Pou, who drove Pacific Cyclone. Favored Zeitgeist, with Dein Spriggs handling the lines, finished third while the only female in the competition, Luanna Beeson, finished a fast closing fourth with her own Total Freedom. Spanish driver Miquel Capo finished fifth with Sir Cypress Bend.   Riera was on the prowl for the lead as the gate opened and assumed command shortly after the :28.3 opener and carded fractions of :59.1 and 1:29.1 along the way.   Good Feeling is no stranger to the winner's circle--this being the warrior's 49th lifetime win, good for career bounty of $453,952. Good Feeling is trained by Allen Saul for owner Dein Spriggs.   Good Feeling paid $9.60 to win.   The second Span-Am event went to the four year-old Leonardo, trained and driven by Leon Cable for owner Anthony Chiniara.   With the action very hot during the early going, Cable sent his charge on a double-bubble binge on the backside, taking the lead in upper stretch and holding off the spirited late surge between horses by Touchdown Teddy Bowman's Explosive Muscles to score by three-parts-of-a-length in 1:59.1 for his initial win of the year in 20 starts.   Lukie Duke finished third for Jamie Marra while The Muscler and Super Duke picked up the final two awards.   Off at 9 to 1, Leonardo paid, in hindsight, $20.20 to win.   The Span-Am Pace went to Allamericanextra, driven by Joe Pennacchio, in 1:54.2.   This nine year-old son of Astreos, owned and trained by Donna Riedel, went an ultra-game mile, sitting on the outside of Angle Of Attack (Agustin Pou) through hot fractions of :27.2 and :55.3 before pushing his head in front around the final turn and on to a handy victory measuring 5 1/4 lengths in 1:54.2, equalling a seasonal best. Despite being parked throughout the mile, Allamericanextra paced a final quarter in :29.2, easily the fastest in the event, and pinned the defeat on Master Of Puppets (Jaume Riera) with Progresive Hanover teaming up with Dein Spriggs to be third.   It was the pacers 40th lifetime victory and sent his lifetime bounty over the $250,000 mark.   Angle of Attack did hold on for fourth while Blended Whiskey picked up the nickel.   After the event, driver Pennacchio expressed his surprise by saying, "You know, I don't get to drive many pacers and I really thought that, being hung out that long, that the trip might take its toll. He really did this all on his own. This pacer made me look good tonight.   The winner paid $30.40 to win and was just one of the components necessitating a Pick-5 carryover going into next Wednesday's program.   Bruce Ranger and Mickey McNichol both had driving doubles on the card with McNichol's win in the last race with the favored Four Starz Kyle keying a 20 cent Super Hi-5 payoff of $6,491.32 to the one unique holder cashing in on the 6-7-3-1-4 combo.   Post time for the Wednesday program is 7:30 with $1.00 fan appreciation nights beginning on Wednesday and continuing through the end of the season on June 27. Pompano Park's Lone Wolf Cafe', located on the grandstand apron, will offer $1.00 hot dogs, cheeseburger sliders, chips, soft drinks and more to all fans at the track from 6:30 p.m. to the end of the racing program.   by John Berry for Pompano Park        

Pompano Beach, FL...June 6, 2015...The Spanish-American Friendship Series continues Saturday night at Pompano Park with a trio of races featuring many of the best harness racing amateur drivers in South Florida stretching across the Atlantic Ocean to include some of the top amateau pilots from Spain. The three race extravaganza includes two trotting events along with a pacing event--something that may be seem a bit unique to the Spanish contingent since they only have trotters in Spain. Representing Spain are Jaume Bassa-Riera, Agustin Mascaro'-Pou, Miquel Vich-Capo and Bernardo Jaume-Cirer while the contingent from the U.S.A. includes Leon Cable, Luanna Beeson, Billy Muggleston, Dein Spriggs, Les Bloom, Joe Pennacchio, Jamie Marra, Ted Bowman and Steve Oldford. Riera came over to the States with solid credentials including 124 lifetime wins and a Spanish Breeders Crown championship. He took top honors just last Tuesday night in the Yonkers Raceway edition of the Spanish-American Friendship Series with Amalfi Coast, defeating fellow countrymen Cirer and Capo, among others, in the process. Cirer, with 25 lifetime wins before crossing the seas to America, added a win to his resume by scoring with Caviart Jett at Monticello Raceway the very next day over "stablemates" Riera, Pou and Capo. Pou, who has 28 career victories, ia a past winner of Spanish amateurs championship and serves as General Secretary of the European Amateur Drivers Federation. Capo, with 164 wins career-wise, has won three Spanish Amateur Championships and was also the 2012 European Amateur Champion. The American team of amateur drivers is comprised of members of Florida's Amateur Driving Club, an organization that has donated over $140,000 to worthy charitable organizations over the years due to their generosity of giving their driving fees to charity. Cable, no stranger to the sulky, comes into the action with 417 lifetime wins and has been 1-2-3 in over 50% of his 2,367 lifetime starts while Spriggs is just two wins away from 400 and "batting" .464 this season on the strength of a 14-5-4 scorecard in 39 starts. Muggleston, the former helicopter pilot of the great Herve Filion, has 89 lifetime wins and Oldford has recently climbed over the 100 win mark lifetime and sports a .325 average this semester. Pennacchio, who won his very first race at the famed Delaware, Ohio "Little Brown Jug" half mile oval, now sports 147 lifetime victories while Ted Bowman is enjoying another solid season in the bike batting .303 with his lifetime victory total now at 70. Jamie Marra, fresh off a 17 to 1 victory with his own Lukie Duke a week ago, now has 43 lifetime wins. Les Bloom, a recent addition to the F.A.D.C. has 45 lifetime victories while Luanna Beeson, representing the ladies, recently achieved her first two lifetime victories. Standardbred owner Peppy Greco has made beautiful ribbon momentos for the winning combatants during the competition while the winning "team" will own the rights to the magnificent trophy to be presented after the competition. Another highlight of the event will be a race call by Pompano Park Television Reporter Gigi Diaz, expected to call the action in the third race. Post time for the Saturday night card is 7:30 p.m. and also features a growing Super Hi-5 carryover of $4,134.22. John Berry

McTiny's Hope and Artful Impulse were victorious in their respective $9,700 trotting and pacing feature events hosted by Pompano Park on Wednesday night. Mc Tiny's Hope, flawlessly handled by Ben McNeil and fresh off a wire-to-wire 1:54.1 win in her "Winner's Over Trot" a week ago, used the exact same strategy this night, zipping to the front in the early stages of the mile before clocking soft early panels of :28.4 and :58 before really getting down to business with a :27.4 third quarter and :28.4 finale to pin a 2 1/2 length defeat on On The Tab (Bruce Ranger) in 1:54.3. Gold Savage (Mickey McNichol), away third in the early going, stayed in that position the entire route, finding himself 3 1/2 lengths away on the line with My Revenuer and Tug River Dylan net in the sextet. In a post race interview, driver Ben Mc Neil said, "Prior to this race tonight, this mare's two best performances were on the front end, so I decided not to tinker with success and sent her again. When we got away with that rated half, I felt really confident she could go all the way. All I did was whistle at her entering the backside and off she went on her own. This was a pretty solid group of horses in here, so I am very proud of her performance tonight." Trained by brother Jack Mc Neil III for Ellen Mc Neil, this seven year-old daughter of CR Excalibur won for the fifth time this season--26th lifetime--to send her seasonal bounty to $39,996, surpassing her earnings for all of last season in 32 starts. She's banked $148,770 lifetime to go along with a Meadowlands mark of 1:53.3. As the 2 to 5 favorite, Mc Tiny's Hope returned $2.80 to win. In the companion event for pacing mares, Artful Impulse, superbly handled by Andy Santeramo, wired her foes in 1:53.3, holding off the late surging Goldstar Rockette (Mickey Mc Nichol) by three parts of a length with the fast closing Mach Me Not (Bruce Ranger) third. Taylor B Swift and Keystone Christa picked up the final two awards in the septet. Artful Impulse, trained by Jim Mc Donald for the Twenty Four Carrot Racing stable, was on the engine from her outside eight post when the gate opened and briefly engaged Taylor B Swift for the lead before securing it around the opening turn and clocking an initial quarter timed in :27.3. In the lane the first go-around, driver Rob Hoffman sent his charge, Lady Ideal, on the prowl but that strategy backfired as Artful Impulse kept her at bay through a :56.2 half. Nary a challenge developed as Santeramo blitzed his way through a :28.1 third panel, turning for home with a comfortable lead and securing it all the way home with a :29 finale. After the race, Santeramo related, "She (Artful Impulse) seems to do her best work on or near the front, so I sent her winging and she responded like she usually does. When I saw Rob's mare (Lady Ideal) coming after me, it was a little too late to yield, so I just kept on truckin'. This is a quality mare that is trained by a great trainer, so I thought she'd have enough left to get home...and she did!" The win was number four of the semester for the four year-old daughter of Artistic Fella, sending her 2015 earnings to $29,875 and $120,120 lifetime. As second choice in the betting, Artful Impulse paid $9.20 to win, keying a 8-4-7--2-3 Super Hi-5 payout of $304.44 to multiple winners for their 20 cent investment. The Super Hi-5 carryover into the next racing program, Saturday, is $4,134.22. The training win for Mc Donald was one of four on the night as Dominum Deo ($3.20-Ranger) took the "Winner's Over" 2 trot in 1:55.4, American Superman ($8.00-Ranger) grabbed a conditioned Trot and The Muscler ($9.00-Andy Santeramo) reported home first in a conditioned-optional claiming trot. Post time for Saturday's card is 7:30 with a Winner's Over Pace sharing the spotlight with three events featuring the visiting amateur drivers from Spain. John Berry 

Pompano Beach, FL...May 30, 2015...No Bad Dreams, driven by Kevin Wallis, survived a rugged opening quarter and went on to score a "three-peat" harness racing victory in Pompano Park's $9,500 "Winner's Over" Handicap Pace on Saturday night (May 30). The four year-old altered son of Dream Away pinned a one length defeat on the late surging Northern Companion (Tom Sells) in 1:51.2. Raji's Blue Line (Ben Mc Neil) finished third followed by Who's Your Maddy and Hillybilly in the quintet. At the outset, Hillybilly, leaving from post four, and No Bad Dreams, one notch further out, got into a tussle with Hillybilly hitting the opening marker in a hot :26.4 before finally yielding to No Bad Dreams shortly thereafter. Once on top, No Bad Dreams reached the half in :55 and maintained a clear lead heading into the final turn. That's when Hillybilly left the cozy pocket and moved within a length of the leader at the third station clocked in 1:23.2. In the lane, No Bad Dreams edged clear of Hillybilly with Northern Companion pinching a pylon or two before rallying late to miss by a non-threatening length. In a post race interview, driver Kevin Wallis said, "There was a little hardball going on early and, for just a moment, I thought I could nestle in somewhere close but nothing developed to tuck anywhere so I had two choices. I could have pulled back to last or gone on. I thought I'd better go on so I wouldn't wind up five lengths back against this good field. "He was used hard but he went another courageous trip. It's a tribute to Marc (trainer Aubin), who has him very sharp right now." Owned by Jacalyn and Dan Boddie, No Bad Dreams won for the sixth time in eight starts this year, good for $23,800 to go along with his 1:50.3 mark set in his last two starts. As the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, No Bad Dreams paid $2.60 to win. The Aubin-Boddie connection struck again later in the program when Abreathofreshart scored a handy win for Bruce Ranger in 1:52.1, a new lifetime mark. This four year-old son of Artistic Fella took command after the :28 opener and proceeded to clock fractions of :56.1 and 1:24 before sprinting home in :28.1 to score by 2 1/2 lengths over Stiletto Jake (Andy Santeramo) with Avantage (Rob Hoffman) third. A non-winner at ages two and three covering 15 starts, Abreathofreshart now sports a 4-4-2 scorecard in 12 starts, good for $16,815 for this budding star. In other action, Bring On The Beach, the three year-old full brother to the great Somebeachsomewhere, made his second lifetime pari-mutuel start and kept his record perfect with a very sharp 1:54.1 win for Bruce Ranger. Trained by Jim Mc Donald for the consortium of Dan MacIssac, the Marden Stables and Paradox Farm, Bring On The Beach left sharply from his post six before yielding around turn one and sitting chilly through panels of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:25.4 before leaving the pocket around the final turn and gunning down a tough Motorcity Pawnstar (Dan Harvey) on the strength of a :28.1 finale--the margin of victory measuring four lengths. Goldstar Kenny P (Mickey McNichol) was third in the mile. After the mile, driver Bruce Ranger quipped, "It was a good mile for him--he's still green, you know--but he's still got a bit to go to catch up to his brother!" Bring On The Beach was 1 to 9 on the board (but 1 to 20 in reality) and paid $2.10 to win. Driver Dan Harvey did get a bit of revenge on Ranger the next race when he guided Histoire Eternelle to victory in the $8,500 co-feature for the consortium of Major, Phaneuf, Dillaire and Robert in 1:52.1 over G P S Legacy (Ranger) with Fly'N With Royalty (Wallis) third. Off at 21 to 1, Histoire Eternelle paid $45.40 to win and sparked a Pick-5 carryover going into the next racing program on Wednesday. Yet another carryover developed for the next mid-week card when Kommander Hawk (Ben Mc Neil) took care of things in the Super Hi-5 finale. Off at 7 to 1, the "Hawk" was followed across the line by Cascata (26 to 1), Four Starz Kyle (60 to 1), Orator (19 to 1) and Milliondollartouch (7 to 5) with the Hi-5 combo coming back 5-7-ALL-ALL-ALL returning $201.44 with the carryover now at $2,307.48 heading into the Wednesday program. The race also produced a superfecta carryover approaching $1,500 into the next program's opener. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

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