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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  

Pompano Beach, FL,  April 12, 2016 - By the slenderest of nostrils, Godiva Seelster scored a repeat victory in Pompano Park's $12,100 Open Handicap Pace for Mares on Tuesday night. The splendid six year-old daughter of Camluck, handled, once again, by Wally Hennessey, withstood a furious challenge by All Charged Up, with John MacDonald driving, to score in 1:52.2 for her second win of the year and 27th success lifetime in this, her 90th career start. While the official margin in distance was a "nose" the difference, in terms of time, was 1/100th of a second with Godiva Seelster officially timed in 1:52.45 and All Charged Up clocked in 1:52.46. Heart Major, with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the bike, was third while Goldstar Rockette and Virginaire picked up the final two awards in the field scratched down to nine. At the outset, both Heart Major and All Charged Up surged off the wings of the Hummer Starting Gate with Godiva floating up on the outside next from her outside post and pressing on to take the lead just a stride or two past the opening panel clocked in :26.3. Godiva Seelster, All Charged and Heart Major continued to be 1-2-3 past the half in a rated :56.1 with the picked up three-quarters timed in 1:24.4. That's when All Charged Up left the coziness of her pocket and began gnawing in the leader's margin. In a classic finish, these two hit the wire virtually together with a blown up photo finish picture necessary to determine the winner. After the race, driver Hennessey said, "Well, Godiva was tested tonight. Both of us - MacDonald's mare and mine - were going all they could go. It was a classic duel all the way home and, to tell you the truth, I didn't know who won it. It was a pretty hot opening quarter to make the front and I was lucky that my mare takes good care of herself and can be rated when she gets the chance. That second quarter probably was the deciding factor, if there was one.” Godiva Seelster not only pushed her 2016 earnings to $33,508 on the strength of her 9-2-5-1 scorecard, she launched her career earnings to $253,275 and ran her streak of getting purse checks to 81 consecutive starts dating back to the start of her 2013 season. As the 2 to 5 favorite, Godiva Seelster returned a $2.80 dividend to those who invested $2 on her nose. In the ever popular "Over The Hill Gang"  trot, featuring nine year-olds & up, Go Jesse Go, driven by John MacDonald, earned landmark lifetime victory number 25 with a gate to wire win in 1:56.2, just a tick off of his lifetime best set two seasons ago. The nine year-old altered son of Jailhouse Jesse, carded panels of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:26.1 while never threatened during his 2 ¼ length victory over the packet-sitting 11 year-old mare Flashy Lady, handled by Mike Micallef. On The Tab, with Wally Hennessey in the bike, finished third while Adenium finished fourth. I'll Tell You What, last during the early stage of the mile, closed fastest of all to pick up the nickel in the septet. Trained by Leon Cable for owner Anthony Chiniara, Go Jesse Go won for the third time this semester in 14 starts, pushing his seasonal bounty to $15,740. He's banked $127,499 lifetime. Off as the slight 5 to 2 favorite, Go Jesse Go returned $6.80 to his faithful followers. Racing continues on Sunday night with the $775,000 winner, Dedi's Dragon, in action against Energy Shakes, St Lads Lotto, Prairie Jaguar, Northern Companion and Alexa's Jackpot in the Open Handicap Pace. Two divisions of the C.K.G. Billings Amateur are also on the card with many of the top amateurs in the country competing in two events, one of these a rare pace for the amateurs. Also, a second Pick-4 wager has been added to the racing programs for the remainder of the season. The additional Pick-4 encompasses races 2 through 5 and compliments the traditional Pick-4 on races 6 through 9. Post time for the Sunday 11 race program is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...April 11, 2016...Despite "missing the train as it left the station," Boli, driven by Wally Hennessey, erupted with a huge rally in the final half mile to score a photo finish victory in Pompano Park's $9,400 feature trot on Monday night, covering the distance in 1:55.3. The four year-old son of Kadabra, stepping up to Open company for the initial time this season, put in a memorable performance in pinning a defeat measuring a neck over Sailer Eddie (Kevin Wallis) with Bambino Hall (Aaron Byron) just another nose away in third. My Revenuer, spotting the field some 10 lengths at the start from the second tier post, rallied for fourth, just a length back of the winner, while Midnite Craze picked up the nickel after being prominent most of the way. At the outset, it was Sailer Eddie on the bullet train early in the bulky field with Midnite Craze protecting his rail position and Bambino Hall finding a spot in third and Count Speed wending his way into fourth. Meanwhile, Boli was dead last and more than 15 lengths out of through an opening panel in :27.3. With Sailer Eddie appearing to get somewhat of a breather during the second panel, positions remained virtually stagnant with only Tater Twister-moving from sixth to fifth-and My Revenuer were out and attempting to close the gap on the leader, who reached the half in :56.4. On the backstretch, Midnite Craze left the coziness of the pocket to engage the Sailer Eddie with Bambino Hall edging a tad closer along with Tater Twister. Meanwhile, Boli, who moved three wide just past the half, was gobbling up ground and, by the time Sailer Eddie reached the third station in 1:26, Boli was then four wide, now sixth, and less five lengths off the lead. His rally continued all the way home, with his :28.3 finale just enough to hit the line first. After the event, Hennessey said, "I still can't believe what just happened. Horses just don't do what he just did. "I've been in this business for 45 years and I've have seen it all-until just now. "This was the most unbelievable mile in my lifetime. I mean it! "He (Boli) got a bit tangled up in the hobbles early and made a slight skip and wasn't really focused on business and, gee, we must've been close to 20 lengths out of it when we started. In other words, the train left the station without me!" "I just can't believe it. Again, horses just don't do what he did tonight!" For Boli, trained by Dan Hennessey for Paul and Patricia O'Neil, it was the gelding's fourth consecutive win and ninth win lifetime sending his career bounty to $74,664--$15,012 this semester. AS the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Boli returned $3.80 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with Godiva Seelster seeking her second straight win in the $12,100 Open Pace for Mares. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL.April 10, 2016.Track record holder Panocchio, forced to change his usual front stepping tactics, overcame a first over journey and went on to score a victory-his 40th lifetime-in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (April 10). The six year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, handled, once again, by Wally Hennessey, hit the wire in 1:51, holding Rockin In Heaven, making his seasonal debut, and driven by Gilles Barrieau, safe by three-parts-of-a-length. Dedi's Dragon, with Ricky Macomber, Jr. handling the lines, was third, 2 ¼ lengths away, while Southwind Amazon (Mike Micallef) finished fourth. Duc Dorleans (Donald Dupont) picked up the nickel in the very talented sextet. When the gate folded, all six of these combatants seemed to go for the lead with only Rockin In Heaven relenting early and dropping to the back of the pack. So, around the opening turn, Duc Dorleans and Dedi's Dragon mixed it up with Southwind Amazon double-bubbled early and Panocchio next on the outside but able to finally land in the fourth spot past a hot opener in :26.3. With Southwind Amazon pressing on, he was able to stick his nose in front past the half in :54.1. That's when Panocchio left his cozy spot and marched up first over and engaged Southwind Amazon in battle, reaching the third station in 1:22.3 with Dedi's Dragon content to sit chilly in third and Rockin In Heaven second over in fourth. In the lane, Panocchio took command with authority as Rockin In Heaven took up the chase but, with just a slight "reminder" from Hennessey, Panocchio was confidently home free in the final stages. In a post-race interview, Hennessey remarked, "You know this horse likes to be in the thick of the battle from the get-go but, tonight, that wasn't a realistic strategy since they were going so much up front. "So, I found that spot in fourth and thought that was the right thing to do at the time. "These horses aren't machines, you know, but, now that I think of it," Hennessey smiled, "this one is pretty close to it! "He's just awesome and, again, you have to give credit to Jim and Vicki (Mattison) because they are the ones who keep him happy and sharp." In getting that 40th win in 90 lifetime starts, Panocchio sent his 2016 scorecard to 4-3-0 in seven starts, good for earnings this semester of $40,910. He's banked $331,677 for trainer Jim Mattison, who co-owns along with Emile Johnson, Jr. As the 2 to 5 talk of the tote-board, Panocchio paid $2.80 to his multitude of followers. The $8,500 Open 2 Pace went to Steelhead Hanover, with Joe Pavia, Jr., in 1:51.2 as this seven year-old son of Bettor's Delight made a sharp quarter (:27.1) move to the top and went on to clock fractions of :55.1 and 1:23 before sealing the issue with a :28.2 finale-his winning margin one length over Alexa's Jackpot (John MacDonald) with Mister Virgin (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) a fast closing third. Northern Companion and Prairie Jaguar were next in the field of six. Both Steelhead Hanover (post four) and Alexa's Jackpot (post five) played a bit of musical chairs early with Steelhead Hanover, first, yielding and, then, retaking, ultimately proving to be the winning strategy. Trained by Pavia for the Dijo Racing, AGC Stables, Pint Size Racing and Joseph Barbera, Steelhead Hanover earned his initial win of the season in three starts-22nd success career-wise-to send his lifetime bounty to $543,320. Off as the 3 to 1 second choice, Steelhead Hanover returned $8.20 to his faithful. Also of note on Sunday night was the performance of the 11 year-old warrior, Rick's Sign, rallying late for Ricky Macomber, Jr. in a conditioned-optional claiming event to win in 1:53 for his fourth consecutive win and 64th lifetime success in 274 career starts. Trained by Paul Holzman for owner Mary Holzman, Rick's Sign now owns a 5-2-1 scorecard in 10 starts this year, good for $19,368. Lifetime, this son of Life Sign has banked $417,589 to go along with a 1:50.3 mark at Pompano Park five seasons ago. Rick's Sign was somewhat neglected in the wagering and returned $15.00 to win. Racing continues at Pompano Park with a Sunday-Monday-Tuesday calendar throughout the remainder of the month. The May calendar features racing on Sundays and Tuesdays. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...April 6, 2016...When the six year-old mare Diamonds Princess earned her initial win of the 2016 season in 13 starts with a 44 to 1 upset in the Tuesday finale at Pompano Park, it set the stage for the largest Super Hi-5 payout in Pompano Park history.   One unidentified bettor was able to come up with the correct 4-2-3-9-7 combination with the 20 cent ticket worth $182,716.56.   Diamonds Princess, trained by Mike Micallef for the Baron Racing Stable, was driven this night by Dave Ingraham, who steered the mare past the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Pacific Date (Aaron Byron), in deep stretch for the win.   With Mayabelle and Gaston Lareau finishing third at 24 to 1, followed by Machin Marley (9 to 1) and Diva Las Vegas (69 to 1), the Super Hi-5, requiring one unique ticket to take down the entire pool, was hit for the seventh time this season.   Those who wagered their $2 to win on Diamonds Princess were enriched with a $90.40 payday while the 4-2 exacta came back at $379.40 with the 4-2-3 trifecta combo returning $1,710.00. The 20 cent superfecta of 4-2-3-9 paid $1,251.88.   From Pompano Park Media Department    

Godiva Seelster, handled by Wally Hennessey, finally got her initial victory of 2016 when she conquered five other harness racing rivals in Pompano Park's Tuesday night feature, the $11,000 Open Handicap for mares, in 1:52. At the same time, the amazing mare stretched her streak of earning purse checks to 80, encompassing her entire seasons as a three, four, five and, thus far, six year-old seasons. The last time Godiva Seelster missed a purse check was September 9, 2012. The classy six year-old daughter of Camluck, trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, survived a roughed up beginning before taking control shortly after the opening panel and going on to score a two length win over All Charged Up, driven by John MacDonald, with Southwind Trini, with Steve Condren in the bike, next. Goldstar Rockette finished fourth while Limelight, prominent early, held on to earn the final award in the sextet. When the wings folded, Limelight let with alacrity along as did All Charged Up with Godiva Seelster, beginning from the outside post in her field, also getting into the mix while widest of all and with Hennessey needing to make a decision to take a seat in third early or go on vying for the lead. He chose the latter strategy and, after a first quarter in :27.3 charged up strongly to assume command about three-eighths into the mile. The pace quickened even further as Godiva reached the half in :55 and maintained a 1 ½ length advantage over Limelight with All Charged Up now out of third and trying to gnaw into the leader's margin. Passing the final station before home in 1:23.2, Godiva Seelster was more than up to the task as she strolled home in :28.3, never threatened in the final stages of the mile. In a post-race interview, driver Wally Hennessey had high praise for his stable star saying, "She's just an amazing mare that gives her best every step of every mile of every race. "I ask and she answers! It's as simple as that. She does the best she can through thick and thin. She's just a rare racehorse. "This wasn't the easiest of trips for her as she was roughed up a bit leaving but, once we got to the top, she just took me around the oval the rest of the way. "Gotta give the credit to her as all I did was steer!" The win for Godiva Seelster was her 26th during her illustrious career, pushing her lifetime bounty to $247,467--$27,750 so far this semester. As the 2 to 5 tote-board favorite, Godiva Seelster paid $2.80 to her multitude of backers. The popular "Over The Hill Gang" trotting series continued on Tuesday night with Mad Cow Lisa and driver Aaron Byron teaming up for the win clocked in 1:57.4. The 10 year-old daughter of Wenceslaus held off the late surging Go Jesse Go, handled by John MacDonald, by a half-length with On The Tab surging late for Wally Hennessey to pick up the show honors. Rompaway Beau, last throughout much of the mile, closed stoutly to finish fourth while the pacesetter, Adenium, finished fifth in the octet. Indeed, it was Adenium blasting from the wings into an early lead, clocking fractions of :29 and :58.2 for the opening half. On the backside, Imminent Response (Kevin Wallis) sent his charge winging and even stuck a nose in front past the third marker in 1:26.4. In the lane, as these two slugged it out, the cavalry charge of Mad Cow Lisa, Go Jesse Go and On The Tab swarmed in as the hefty early fractions took their toll on the battling leaders. For Mad Cow Lisa, trained by James Kaspar for owner Marshall Makin, it was her milestone 25th lifetime win-third this semester-sending her career bounty to $148,435. Though she had a 2-3-2 scorecard in her last seven starts, Mad Cow Lisa was sent off as the 8 to 1 sixth choice and returned $18.20 to win, keying a 20 cent 8-5-7-9 Superfecta payoff of $3,829.02. Racing continues on Saturday night-the final Saturday program of the season-with post time set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Natural Herbie, owned, trained and driven by Verlin Yoder, took top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's featured $11,000 Open Handicap Trot on Monday night (April 4), covering the mile in a personal season best 1:54.4. The six year-old gelded son of Here Comes Herbie hit the wire three lengths clear of Midnite Craze, driven by Ivan Davies, with My Revenuer, teamed up with Steve Condren, third, five lengths away. Striking Ivy was fourth while Genius At Work picked up the nickel in the classy octet. At the outset, Coco Lindy, leaving from post two for Wally Hennessey, was intent on taking control of the festivities and he did just that strolling over to the opening marker in a leisurely :29 with Natural Herbie, leaving from post six, was also on the prowl early as driver Yoder went looking for an advantageous spot close up. He found one, too, in the garden spot with Midnite Craze next. Positions remained stagnant through a tepid :58.1 half and remained that way past the third station in 1:26.4 with Coco Lindy still enjoying a 1¼ length advantage. A few strides past that marker, Yoder "growled" at Natural Herbie and his charge quickly moved along-side Coco Lindy turning for home. When Natural Herbie looked Coco Lindy in the eye, Coco Lindy made a miscue and Natural Herbie was on his way to that aforementioned three length margin. After the race, Yoder related, "I was a little concerned letting Wally's trotter (Coco Lindy) get away with that kind of soft half but, around that final bend, I growled a little at my horse and he grabbed some dirt and off he went. "He raced good in all his starts here and it usually takes him five or six races to reach his best form, so it didn't surprise me that he went his best mile of the season tonight." For Natural Herbie, it was his second win of the season in five starts and 28th win lifetime with this victory sending his lifetime earnings to $923,131. Off as the slight favorite at 8 to 5 on the tote-board, Natural Herbie paid $5.40 to his multitude of followers. Racing continues on Tuesday night at Pompano Park with Godiva Seelster and Totally Rusty among the octet of mares scheduled to go in the Open Handicap Pace for the ladies. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

With Saturday night harness racing bettors unable to solve the Pentafecta 4th and Pick-5, Pompano Park offers a trio of carryovers for the Sunday night 10 race extravaganza.   The 4th Race Pentafecta has a carryover of $1,467.70 spawning a guarantee of $10,000 for that offering.   The Pick-5, covering races one through five, also went unscathed on Saturday night and is expected to draw significant interest as well.   The 20 cent Super Hi-5 finale is still looking for that one unique winning ticket holder and that carryover has ballooned to over $120,000--$120502.61 to be exact.   Finally, a strong sextet featuring Panocchio and Dedi's Dragon, among others, will go behind the Hummer Starting Gate in the $11,000 Open Handicap Pace.   Panocchio seeks his third straight win in the event while Dedi's Dragon, knocking at the door in finishing second in his last two outings, is expected to provide some serious competition.   Panocchio, 6 to 5 on the morning line, will have Wally "9,000" Hennessey in the bike while Dedi's Dragon will be driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr. and is listed at 5 to 2.   Rock On Moe, Steelhead Hanover, Prairie Jaguar and Northern Companion complete the "million dollar field" with post time for the opener at 7:30 p.m.   John Berry for Pompano Park  

In a classic battle to the wire, Dedi's Dragon, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., pushed his nose in front a few strides from the wire and upset Panocchio, with harness racing driver Wally Hennessey in the bike, in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (April 3). The official margin was a neck at the line with Steelhead Hanover, teamed up with Joe Pavia, Jr., third, 3¾ lengths away. Rock On Moe finished fourth while Northern Companion was fifth in the talented sextet featuring four sub-1:50 performers and the winners of $2,617,467 coming in to the event. At the outset, Steelhead Hanover, Dedi's Dragon and Panocchio all were on the bullet train with Dedi's Dragon assuming control a few strides before the opening panel clocked in :27. Shortly thereafter, Panocchio muscled his way to the front and reached the half in :55. The top three positions remained unchanged on the backside with Panocchio still in command past the third station in 1:23.4 with Dedi's Dragon and Steelhead Hanover next in line. Turning for home, Panocchio was trying desperately to protect his lead with Dedi's Dragon gnawing into the diminishing margin with every stride and finally eking by just a few strides from the wire. In a post-race interview, driver Ricky Macomber, Jr. related, "First, Paul (trainer Holzman) has this horse very sharp. He raced great the last couple of times I sat behind him and was close in each. "I left with him because I couldn't afford to spot Panocchio that many lengths at the start. I figured that if I could work out a trip behind him, I would have a chance. "Both horses raced gamely tonight and I think the trip was the deciding factor." 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, won for the second time in 12 starts this year. It was his 20th win lifetime sending his career bankroll to $773,801--$28,417 this semester. As the 7 to 5 second choice, Dedi's Dragon paid $4.80 to win. The Open 2 Pace went to Buddha Blue Chip, deftly handled by Mike Micallef, pinning a photo finish decision on Four Socks, driven by John Cummings, Jr., with Bunkerhill Bill third for Kevin Wallis, a length away in a mile clocked in 1:52.2. Mister Virgin finished fourth while Thebestofjoel, seventh and last with three-eighths remaining, rallying to pick up the nickel. As the Hummer closed its wings, Four Socks left with alacrity along with Buddha Blue Chip, protecting his rail post position, and Mister Virgin, surging up from the outside post with Four Socks gaining the advantage around the first turn. Just prior to the :27 opener, Mister Virgin wended his way into second with Buddha Blue Chip next but on the move and surging to the front under the line the first time. With the half in a well rated :56.2, Micallef had to quicken the pace a bit as Mister Virgin began a first over backside bid and, when the third station was reached in 1:24.3, Mister Virgin was but a length away from Four Socks as Buddha Blue Chip looked for a seam. In the lane, Buddha Blue Chip drifted out a lane allowing Four Socks a clear path but the latter ran out of racetrack as Buddha Blue Chip, on the strength of a :27.4 finale, held off the challenger by a neck. After the event, driver Micallef said, "when the dust settled early, I decided to send 'Buddha' thinking that the leader might just be looking for a breather during the (2nd) quarter. "It worked out well with the half in a reasonable clip and he still had enough steam left in the lane." Owned by the Baron Racing Stable, the five year-old altered son of Art Major earned his third win of the year in 13 starts to send his 2016 bankroll to $25,885. He's won $153,734 lifetime to go along with his 1:49.1 Pocono mark. As the 8 to 5 second choice, Buddha Blue Chip paid $5.20 to win. Racing continues on Monday night at Pompano Park with post time set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park.

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