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Pompano Beach, FL...October 20, 2016...Track record holder Panocchio, who scorched the Pompano Park oval in 1:48.3 last semester, makes his fall debut at South Florida's Winter Capital of Harness Racing in Sunday night's Open Pace. The six year-old outstanding son of No Pan Intended, owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with trainer Jim Mattison, comes into the action with 42 lifetime wins--half of those at Pompano Park--and $364,928 in career bounty. So far this season, Panocchio has a 6-7-2 scorecard in 19 starts and comes into the action off of two winning qualifying events after a short vacation prompting trainer Mattison to say, "Ya know, he races tough every start and I thought it would be good to give him a few weeks off--he deserves it. "His two qualifiers were fine and Wally (driver Hennessey) just let him do his stress on him and all on his own. "He doesn't like to train much. In fact, a good training mile for him in 2:30! "He's been so good to us and part of that, I hope, is that we are good to him, too. My wife Vicki treats him like part of the family--which he is!" The Sunday program also feature the finals of the Sunshine State Stakes, featuring the top two and three year-old Florida bred standardbreds. In the final for the sophomore trotting fillies, Kevin Kelly's Goldstar Brianna takes her unblemished record--12-for-12--into the event. The daughter of Basil set a lifetime mark in her last of 1:57.3, despite the fact that the track was termed sloppy as heavy rains pelted the oval. Dan Hennessey trains the filly and brother Wally Hennessey is expected in the bike. Sunday post time is set at 7:20 with three carryovers highlighting the card, the largest being over $3,000 in Pompano Park's Pentafecta fourth race. by John Berry for Pompano Park              

Pompano Beach, Florida, October 19, 2016...McKenzie's Star, superbly handled by harness racing driver Fern Paquet, Jr., pulled off a 7 to 1 upset on Tuesday night (October 18) in the Open Handicap Trot at Pompano Park.   The six year-old daughter of Donato Hanover, trained by Alexandra Berube, who is part owner with Jerry Clark, pinned a 2 1/4 length defeat on the 1 to 2 favorite, Prairie Fortune (Mike Deters) in 1:55.3.   DC Flashback (Brad Kramer) finished third while Bad Angel and the pacesetting Driving Miss Crazy shared the minor awards after dead-heating for fourth in the octet.   At the outset, each of the top three finishers benefitted when Adenium, leaving from the rail, and Gold Savage, leaving alongside, bot made miscues leaving with DC Flashback surging out before yielding shortly thereafter to Driving Miss Crazy (John MacDonald) with driver Paquet sending McKenzie's Star from the coveted five post and nestling into third with Bad Angel next, R G Rocket fifth and Prairie Fortune sixth among the early survivors.   Through the two identical opening quarters of :28.2, Driving Miss Crazy took her :56.4 half mile journey onto the backside with the lead but, midway on the backside, Prairie Fortune began to roll from the back, forcing the hand of McKenzie's Star, who brushed up past the third station in 1:26.1, getting a two length jump on Prairie Fortune, who rallied widest of all in the lane but, eventually, was no threat to the winner.   In a post race interview, driver Paquet, who enjoyed a hat trick this night, said, "Well, we benefitted when those two inside horses jumped it off early, so I figured I'd leave and see if I could find a spot a bit closer up.   "We were able to kinda nestle into third and we had a jump on Mike's (Deters) horse (Prairie Fortune) and that probably was the difference--he had the outside.   "When she's in the mood, my mare can brush a little bit and she brushed tonight and kept going right to the wire. She raced a big mile.   "She's been in Alexandra's (trainer Berube) care for a little over two years and, though mares can be testy at times, she's been a consistently good performer."   The win was the eighth of the season for McKenzie's Star--23rd lifetime--and sent her seasonal bounty to $44,060 and $180,854 lifetime.   Her faithful were rewarded with a $16.80 mutuel as fourth choice in the wagering.   In the Tuesday night feature for the mares, De Valeria, driven by co-owner Aaron Byron, used her advantageous post five to perfection, leading every step of her mile, scoring a 2 3/4 length win in 1:54.   Leaveumlady (Wally Hennessey), leaving from post seven but in the the garden spot shortly after the gate opened, finsihed second while Goldstar Rockette (Kevin Wallis) finished third after trailing for much of the journey.   Asset Management was fourth while Metro Glide earned the nickel in the classy octet.   De Valeria trained by Mark Winacott for Byron and co-owner Paul Kelly, earned her sixth win of the year off fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:24.4 and sent her 2016 bounty to $46,225. She's banked $113,942 lifetime.   Second choice in the betting, De Valeria paid $7.40 to win.   Also on Tuesday night, four more divisions of the FSBOA sponsored Sunshine State Stakes were contested with Prairie Cowgirl and R Chism taking the non-wagering events while Prairie Panther and Gold Star Mysti earned top honors on the betting card.   Prairie Cowgirl, a daughter of Royal Millennium, took the event for two year-old pacing fillies with a sharp 2:00.4 score for trainer Mike Deters.   Leading gate to wire, Prairie Cowgirl just did hold off the late surging Tay Tay M (Wally Hennessey) by a nostril. PF Silver Classic 9Kevin Wallis) was third in the trio with fractions being :30.1, 1:01.1 and 1:31.1.   Deters co-owns the filly with Laurie Poulin and John "The Owosso Flash" Spindler and is now two-for-three lifetime in her brief career.   In the non-betting event for sophomore pacing colts and geldings, R Chism, driven by Fern Paquet, Jr., nailed the pacesetting Conman's Dream (Corey Braden) late to score by a half length in 1:55.4.   Danza (Byron) was third after pressuring the leader the middle three-eighths of the mile. Trottime Diamonds was fourth in that quartet.   R Chism, who broke his maiden last week in 1:55, won his second straight as this altered son of Six of Diamonds rallied with a :28.1 closer.   R Chism is trained by Kim Sears, who co-owns with husband Jay.   Prairie Panther, a son of Royal Millennium, led every stride of his mile, scoring by two lengths over Maybe Ned (Bryce Fenn) with Gold Star Bugsy (Hennessey) next, Gold Star Spider and Kingwiththeaxe completed that roster as Prairie Panther strode through panels of :30, 59.2 and 1:29.4 before completing his chores with a :28.2 finale.   Trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Mike was in the bike for the win--his third straight in Sunshine State Stakes competition.   Off at 1 to 10, Prairie Panther paid $2.20 to win.   Finally, Marianne Audley's three year-old filly, Gold Star Mysti, driven by Walter Ross, Jr., brushed to the front just short of the :29.2 opener and took her foes through fractions of :59.3 and 1:29.3 before sealing the deal with a :28 finale, hitting the line in 1:57.3..   Diamond Lily (Wally Hennessey) gave futile chase in the lane to finish second, 1 1/4 lengths away, while Gold Star Lovebug (Joe Sanzeri) finished third. Caitlin's Romance and Jaycie Jaycie were next in this sextet.   Gold Star Mysti, a daughter of Mysticism, is a perfect four-for-for this season under the tutelage of trainer Maggie Audley, the daughter of the late Florida, breeder, trainer and ownerTom Audley. Ms Audley, who just recently achieved her trainer's license, now sports a .615 UTRS with a 15-8-1-2 scorecard.   "Mysti" paid $2.40 to win as the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite.   Racing continues on Sunday night with a trio of carryovers, the largest of which is $3,061.20 in Pompano Park's Pentafecta fourth.   Post time is scheduled for 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park        

Pompano Beach, FL...October 17, 2016...On an evening where the track condition at Pompano Park shifted from fast to good to sloppy to good to sloppy during the harness racing program, Kevin Kelly's grand filly, Gold Star Brianna remained perfect for her career--now 12-for-12--highlighting the Sunday 14 race program.   Gold Star Brianna, a sophomore filly by Basil trained by Dan Hennessey, was driven by brother Wally Hennessey and toured the sloppy oval in a lifetime best 1:57.3, scoring by 6 1/4 lengths over Trotting Missmissy (Marc Major) and All Star Fame Sergio Corona with Trottime Fool and I'm For Sale completing the roster in this fifth leg of the Sunshine State Stake for three year-old trotting fillies.   Away carefully in her event, "Brianna" stormed to the front from five lengths back once they straightened away after the :29.1 opener and proceeded to clock panels of :58.3 and 1:28.2, sealing the deal with a :29.1 finale.   The filly now has career bounty of close to $75,000 with about six weeks of the lucrative stakes season ahead.   Said Hennessey after the race, "You know, this is the first time she has faced conditions like this so I thought I'd be careful early and wait 'til we straightened away to send her. She had to have trotted :28 and a piece" (actually :28.2) to make the lead and was a perfect lady all the way. I am proud of the way she performed in those conditions!"   For the second straight week, Gold Star Brianna was 1 to 20 and returned $2.10 to win.   Also on the card was the Sunshine State Stake for three year-old trotting colts and geldings and it was Thundercrest, a son of Crest, who scored in 2:03.4 after very crafty handling by Dustin Ingraham.   Thundercrest pinned a 1 3/4 length defeat on the late charging Fifty Fifty Ninety (Jason Mac Dougall) with Savin Rock (John Campagnuolo) next. Last Chance Fame and Rexamillion were four-five in the sextet.   At the outset, Thundercrest was in a brief war with Rexamilion but put the latter in the pocket before putting on the brakes and waltzing over to the opener in :32.2 and half in 1:04.   On the backside, Rexamillion left his cozy pocket but made a miscue three-eighths out and Thundercrest sprinted clear by six with a :29.3 third panel with Fifty Fifty Ninety in pursuit. Thundercrest coasted home from there prompting Dustin Ingraham to say, "I really didn't want to be on the front end but he (Thundercrest) was a bit headstrong leaving and I didn't want to shut him down early. He's still very green--he didn't race as a two year-old--and he's learning but, once I got over to the half in "4," I felt confident that he could go all the way. He not only battled the competition, he handled the elements, which just may have been the biggest competition."   Thundercrest paid $3.00 as the 1 to 2 favorite.   Two other Sunshine State Stakes events were held off the betting card highlighting two year-old trotters with Azzaro and Atlantic Crest reaching the winner's circle.   Azzaro, driven this night by Wally Hennessey for Jay and Kim Sears, led every step of his mile, pinning a half length defeat on I'm Done (Tom Lehmann) by a half length in 2:04--:29 off fractions of :30.3, 1:02.4 and 1:35.   The Proud Bushy colt now has a 5-3-2-0 career scorecard against "arch-rival" I'm Done, whose record is 5-2-3-0.   After the event, Hennessey said, "I guess it's become quite a rivalry between these two and both seem to have equal talent."   The second non-wagering event was contested in a driving rainstorm and, despite the demanding conditions, Sergio Corona's Atlantic Crest was a gate to wire winner in a lifetime best 2:01.1--her victory margin almost 10 lengths over Prairie Pixie (Mike Deters) with Bonnie Blue Banker (Rob Hoffman) third in the trio of juvenile fillies.   The daughter of Crest completed her journey off of fractions of :29.3, 1:00 and 1:30.3 as she notched her second straight win, improving on her previous best winning mile of 2:01.4.   In Pompano Park's Open I Handicap Pace, Sing For Me George picked up his third straight win--this one in 1:52.4--after exploding in the final sixteenth to score by 3 1/4 lengths over All Steinam (John Mac Donald). Winyard Hanover (Brad Kramer) was next after a rugged first over journey where he stuck his head in front at mid-stretch.   Team Captain and Safe Harbor earned the minors in the sextet.   Trained by Paul Bernardo for owner Joseph Martinelli, Sr., Sing For Me George was driven by Kevin Wallis and left with alacrity to take an early lead before yielding to All Steinam prior to the :28 opening panel.   After a :57.1 half, Winyard Hanover went first up on the backside to engage All Steinam in war, reaching the third station in a picked up 1:25, leaving Sing For Me George bottled up in third.   In the lane, Wallis found a seam, swung widest of all and blew by with a :27.3 finale of his own.   Sing For Me George, a seven year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight, was winless in 16 starts before coming to Pompano Park but won an Open 3 event--handily--in 1:53.1 and then an Open 2 event in 1:53.2 before stepping up to the top rung of the ladder.   Sing For Me George now has a lifetime bankroll of $396,086.   As the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Sing For Me George paid $3.80 to win.   Finally, in the Super Hi-5 finale, one lucky patron had the 7-4-1-8-5 winning combo, which paid $10,286.62 for the 20 cent investment.   Racing continues on Tuesday night with Open trotters in the spotlight.   Post time is set at 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park.

Pompano Beach, FL...October 12, 2016...Once again, as he did last week, harness racing's Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey swept both Open events at Pompano Park on Tuesday night (October 11), scoring in the Mares Open 1 Pace with Godiva Seelster and the Open 1 Trot with Boli.   Both are trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil.   Godiva Seelster, the splendid six year-old daughter of Camluck, scored her 33rd lifetime victory--eighth the year--this one a 1:54.1 cakewalk in gate-to-wire fashion off panels of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:26.3 before a :27.3 sprint home sealed the deal.   Her margin of victory this night was four lengths over Goldstar Rockette (Kevin Wallis) and Leavveumlady (Tim Maier) with De Valeria fourth in the quintet--the exact order of finish in last week's event. Keystone Christa picked up the final award.   Godiva Seelster now has missed only one check over the past four seasons--"my fault," driver Hennessey said--and now has a career bankroll of $305,775 to go along with her mark of 1:50.4f.   She, again as she was last week, a nickel of a dollar in the betting and paid $2.10.   Boli an altered four year-old son of Kadabra, led every long stride of his mile and held off the furious late surge of Prairie Fortune (Mike Deters) to eke out a photo finish victory measuring a neck in 1:55.3.   Driving Miss Crazy (John Mac Donald), in the garden spot most of the journey, was third, four lengths away with McKenzie's Star and Sailer Eddie next in the sextet.   In that event, Boli, perfectly mannered this night, darted out of the gate from post five while Prairie Fortune, starting from the outside post, was unhurried early, dawdling more than six lengths back through opening panels of :28.2, :57.3.   On the backside, Prairie Fortune took up the chase, putting a three length dent through an official third quarter of :29.1 and gnawing away with a :28.1 closer of his own to miss by a stride or two.   Boli returned a $4.80 mutuel as second choice.   After these events, Hennessey said, "Well, what can I say that hasn't been said about Godiva. She's just a grand mare that knows how to take care of herself and gives a superior effort every time she steps on the track.   "Boli, on the other hand, can be a brat on occasion but I will say he was a perfect gentleman tonight and he dug in nicely late to preserve the win.   "Prairie Fortune is quite a trotter, you know, so the difference tonight was the fact that he was several lengths back early on."   For Boli, it was win number eight in 20 starts with his 2016 bounty now registering $62,962 and $122,614 lifetime.   While he owns a 1:54.4 mark here at Pompano, his official mark is 1:54.4 over the Saratoga half miler.   Also on Tuesday night, the fourth leg of the Sunshine State Stakes was held in four classes with Gold Star Mysti, Chism taking their respective sophomore divisions and Prairie Cowgirl and Prairie Panther emerging victorious in their respective juvenile races.   Gold Star Mysti, a three year-old pacing daughter of Mysticism, kept her 2016 season unblemished--now three-for-three--with a very game 1:56.2 performance for Walter Ross, Jr. to eventually score a four plus length win over Diamond Lily (Hennessey) with Goldstar Lovebug (Joe Sanzeri) next.   Caitlin's Romance was fourth in the mile while Jaycie Jaycie picked up the nickel in the sextet.   At the outset of that one, "Mysti" played musical chairs with Gold Star Lovebug with Jaycie Jaycie third early on before making a miscue past a :28.4 opener--Diamond Lily then inheriting the third spot.   On the backside, Diamond Lily then engaged in a war with Gold Star Mysti with Lily sticking her head in front at the third station in 1:28.2.   But Gold Star Mysti's :28 finale sealed the win as she pulled away for a win measuring 4 1/4 lengths.   Trained by Maggie Audley for her owner-mom Marianne, Gold Star Mysti paid $3.80 as the second choice.   There was a mild upset in the three year-old division for pacing colts and geldings as R Chism ($16.20), handled by Fern Paquet, Jr., put away the 1 to 10 favorite, Gleneagles (Hennessey) with a sprint home from the garden spot to score in 1:55 for his maiden win 11 starts--though he did have a qualifying record of 2:03.4 last semester.   Chism,starting from post five in his quintet, darted out to the top spot before yielding just past the :28.1 opening panel to Gleneagles. These two remained one-two through fractions of:56.3 and 1:25.4 before Chism wore down his worthy opponent just outside the sixteenth pole.   Danza (Aaron Byron) was third while I C U Diamond T was next. Conman's Dream completed the order of finish after making an uncharacteristic break leaving.   The two year-old events were contested off the betting card and driver-trainer Mike Deters swept both of these non-wagering events, scoring with Prairie Cowgirl winning the event for pacing fillies and Prairie Panther taking the division for the boys.   Prairie Cowgirl, a full sister to Prairie Sweetheart, broke her maiden in just her second lifetime start with a 2:00 performance--wire-to-wire--off of fractions of :29.1, 1:00.1 and 1:30.2 before jogging home in :29.3 for a win measuring 2 1/2 lengths over the late charging Tay Tay M (Hennessey) with Gold StarAurora next after recovering from an early miscue and spotting the field some 15 lengths.   Golden Diamond and PF Silver Classic completed that rundown.   Owned by Laurie Poulin along with John Spindler and trainer-driver Deters, Prairie Cowgirl now sports a 2-1-1-0 scorecard as her career begins.   Prairie Panther, a gelded son of Royal Millennium and a half brother of the fast Prairie Jaguar, also won in wire-to-wire fashion, covering his mile with fractions of :29, :58.2 and 1:28.2 before a :28.2 closer stopped the tele-timer in 1:56.4 and left him almost eight lengths to the good of Gold Star Bugsy (Hennessey) and Gold Star Spider (Ross, Jr.) third. Maybe Ned and fifth son completer the roster in that one.   Prairie Panther is owned by Laurie Poulin along with Deters.   Racing continues on Sunday night with a scheduled start time of 7:20 highlighted by a Super Hi-5 carryover of more than $6,800.   by John Berry for Pompano Park                

Pompano Beach, FL...October 10, 2016...The fourth legs of the FSBOA Sunshine State Stakes were contested at Pompano Park on Sunday night (October 9) and, in the sophomore division for trotting fillies, Gold Star Brianna extended her lifetime unblemished harness racing record to 11 with a handy 12 1/4 length trouncing of her four foes.   Trained by Dan Hennessey for owner Kevin Kelly, Wally Hennessey was in the bike for the filly's win--her fourth straight this semester after a perfect seven-for-seven as a 2015 two year-old.   The daughter of Basil was away in good order from her four post while out-brushed for the top spot by Trotting Missmissy (Marc Major) as the gate sprung but made a quick and decisive quarter move past the :30 second opener.   From there, she went on to post fractions of :59.3 and 1:29.1 before a :29.4 stroll-in-the-park home put the icing on the cake in 1:59.   Trotting Missmissy was second while Trottime Fool (John MacDonald) finished third. All Star Fame and I'm For Sale completed the roster of fillies.   After the event, Hennessey related, "She's just a very handy filly. She does anything asked of her and tonight was no exception."   The win sent Gold Star Brianna's earnings to $72,134 lifetime with the bulk of the lucrative Florida stakes season just ahead.   Off at a nickel to a dollar, Gold Star Brianna paid $2.20 to win.   In the Sunshsine State Stakes division for three year-old colts and geldings, Mike Richards' Thundercrest, given a picture perfect journey by Dustin Ingraham, scored a handy win in a lifetime best 2:00.1.   The son of Crest, unraced at two, earned his second win in 12 lifetime starts, scoring by 2 3/4 lengths over Rexamillion (Wally Hennessey) with Fifty Fifty Ninety (Jason MacDougall) next. The 1 to 2 betting favorite, Proud Joe T, finished fourth while Last Chance Fame picked up the minor award in the octet.   Thundercrest showed good speed from the gate and found a spot in third early as Proud Jo T left with alacrity for the lead before yielding to Rexamillion at the opening station in :30.   The latter clocked reasonable panels of 1:00.2 and 1:30.1 as Thundercrest left his cozy spot to engage the leader turning for home and waltzed on by handily and with authority.   In the winner's circle after the race, a modest Ingraham said, "We got a good trip. That's about it. He's got some talent and he seems to be improving every week."   As second choice in the win pool, Thundercrest paid $5.60 to his faithful.   Two Sunshine State Stakes were held off the betting card and I'm Done and Atlantic Crest were victorious in their respective divisions.   In a budding rivalry in the two year-old event for colts and geldings where only two combatants showed up, I'm Done, handled by Tom Lehmann, just did get by Azzaro (Jay Sears) in 2:04.2, knocking five full seconds off his former lifetime mark.   Driver Lehmann stalked Sears' colt through panels of :29.4, 1:01.2 and 1:33.4 before tilting out turning for home and just eking by at the wire.   The winner, a son of Toro Bravo, is owned and trained by Troy Basista.   I'm Done and Azzaro now have met on four occasions--each now showing scorecards of 4-2-2-0.   In the Sunshine State Stake for juvenile trotting fillies, Atlantic Crest, owned, trained and driven by Sergio Corona, took command immediately from her outside four post and clocked fractions of :30, 1:00.3 and 1:31.2 before stopping the clock in 2:01.4 for her maiden win in her fourth start.   Also by Crest, Atlantic Crest won by 7 1/4 over Prairie Pixie (Mike Deters) with Bonnie Blue Banker (Rob Hoffman) third. Famous C finished fourth in the quartet after a miscue at the start.   Pompano Park's Open I Pace went, for the second straight week, to All Steinam ($3.20) for John Mac Donald in 1:53.3--a gate-to-wire effort off of fractions of :27.4, :57 and 1:25.2.   The seven year-old gelded son of Tell All pinned a defeat measuring three-parts-of-a-length over the late charging Team Captain (Aaron Byron) with Safe Harvor (Kevin Wallis) third. Dee's Rocketman was a fast closing fourth while Hillybilly completed the run-down.   For All Steinam, it was his 11th win off the year--28th lifetime--to send his career bounty to $320,259. He's banked $56,903 this year.   The win was one of three for Mac Donald, who also scored with Sing For Me George ($2.60), his second straight win--in 1:53.2--and Beach Blast ($3.20) in 1:52.4.   Wally Hennessey also had three wins for the night, sweeping the early daily double with Highland Yankee ($2.80), the aforementioned Gold Star Brianna and completing the "hat track" with Cartoonist (4.00) for the S S G Stables and trainer Jim McDonald.   The win for the six year-old Cartoonist was his first in 23 starts this year and first since May 2, 2015.   Aaron Byron and Kevin Wallis had driving doubles on the card and trainers Mac Donald and Dale Gilmour each sent out a pair of winners on the Sunday card.   Racing continues on Tuesday night with the Super Hi-5 finale now sporting a carryover jackpot of $6,853.98.   Scheduled post time is 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park        

Pompano Beach, FL...October 5, 2016...Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey swept Pompano Park's two Open harness racing events on Tuesday night as the grand mare Godiva Seelster took top honors in the elite event for pacing mares and a somewhat raucous Boli won the top race for trotters.   Godiva Seelster, the splendid six year-old daughter of Camluck, got picture perfect rating through early panels of :27.1, :57 and 1:26.1 before sprinting home in :27 to score a handy win measuring three lengths in 1:53.1 over the pocket sitting Goldstar Rockette (Kevin Wallis) with Leaveum Lady (Tim Maier) next in the parade. De Valeria and Asset Management completed the roster in the quintet.   Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Godiva Seelster won for the seventh time this semester and 32nd lifetime, sending her career bounty over the $300,000 mark--$301,275 to be precise.   Godiva Seelster, the 1 to 20 favorite, paid $2.10 to win.   Boli, seemingly a bit unruly during the post parade and eventually causing a recall while refusing the gate, had the benefit of the magic Hall of Fame hands of Hennessey to help him compose and took the top trot in 1:56--his margin three-parts-of-a-length over Driving Miss Crazy (John MacDonald) and McKenzie's Star (Fern Paquet, Jr.). Tymal Recap and JJ Alex, the early leader, completed that roster.   After the event, Hennessey related, "He (Boli) was just in a bad mood during the post parade. He gets that way sometimes. Once I got 'reasoned' with him and told him 'he' wasn't the boss, he was fine. But he can be a bit moody and, last night, he was a little brat during the post parade."   Off as the 1 to 2 favorite, Boli returned $3.00 to win.   Hennessey had two other wins on the program, completing a "grand slam" with the trotter Sakima ($8.20) and Gleneagles ($2.10), in the third leg of the F.S.B.O.A. sponsored Sunshine State Stakes.   The latter, a sophomore colt by Mysticism, equalled his lifetime best performance of 1:54.3 while holding off the desperate late surge of the 30 to 1 chance Danza (Aaron Byron), closing quickest along the inside. The early leader, Conman's Dream (Jason MacDougall) finished third while ICU Diamond T and R Chism were next in the sextet of sophomores.   Gleneagles, "O-for 10" prior to the Florida Stakes season, is now three-for 13, as the Dan Hennessey trainee took the first two legs of the Sunshine State Stake at Sunshine Meadows before the Tuesday night Pompano win.   Now owned by the J L Benson Stables, Gleneagles pushed his lifetime bounty over the $84,000 with the bulk of the lucrative Florida Stakes season in competition over the next two months.   That win, incidentally, completed a Pick-5 $1 payoff of $6,086.70, helped by a win from Imahonkyconchman (Walter Ross., Jr.) the race prior--by disqualification--at odds of 86-1.   Owned and trained by 92 year-old George Napolitano, Imahonkyconchman had not won since May 20, 2015 covering 55 starts but benefitted when the unofficial winner, Highland Yankee, was "dq'd" for a pylon violation and placed fifth.   The official winner paid $175.20 to win and keyed a $.20 cent Pentafecta payout of $3,679.84.   Imahonkyconchman wasn't the only one that blew up the toteboard on Tuesday as Keystone Christa and Aaron Byron teamed up to score a 1:53.3 win in the Open 2 event for pacing mares at odds of 54 to 1.   Owned by Lee Cullen and trained by Mr. Bev Kingston, Keystone Christa, a seven year-old daughter of Mach Three, was away fourth and took full advantage of very hot fractions of :26.4, :54.4 and 1:23.4 before roaring by late for the win--her third of the year in 29 starts.   She paid $111.00 to win with Sweet Bet (Hennessey) and Carlota Blue Chip (Kevin Wallis) completing the top trio.   In other Sunshine State Stakes events, Gold StarAurora, Prairie Panther and Gold Star Mysti were winners.   Gold StarAurora, a daughter of Rock On, owned by Marianne Audley and trained by daughter Maggie, kept her record perfect at three-for-three in the juvenile filly pace with a win in a lifetime best 2:00 for Walter Ross, Jr.   Getting picture perfect rating, Ross took the two year-old filly through panels of :28.4, 1:01 and 1:31.3 before a :28.2 sprint home sealed the deal over the first time starter Prairie Cowgirl (Mike Deters) with Tay Tay M (Hennessey) next.   PF Silver Classic and Golden Diamond completed the order of finish.   Off at 3 to 5 on the tote-board, Gold Star Aurora paid $3.40 to win.   Prairie Panther, an altered two year-old son of Royal Millenium, unleashed a potent brush turning for home and scored a 1:57.1 win in only his second lifetime start.   Owned by Laurie Poulin along with drainer Mike Deters, Mike was in the bike for the handy win measuring 3 1/2 lengths over Gold Star Bugsy (Hennessey) with Maybe Ned (Bryce Fenn) next. Gold StarSpider and Fifth Son also earned checks in the field of six.   Second choice at 7 to 5, Prairie Panther paid $4.80 to win.   Gold Star Mysti, a three year-old daughter of Mysticism winless and off the board last semester, used a :27.3 sprint home to score in a lifetime best 1:57.4 for Walter Ross, Jr., her second straight lifetime mark after a 1:59 win at Sunshine Meadows.   "Mysti" let the favored Diamond Lily cut all the panels--:30, 1:00 and 1:30--before tilting out turning for home and strolling on by in the lane to keep her record for 2016 a perfect two-for-two.   Dismissed at 8 to 1, Gold Star Mysti paid $18.80 to win.   Racing resumes Sunday night with a Super Hi-5 carryover of $5,011.24 awaiting.   Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park        

Prior to the Pompano Park opening on Sunday night, harness racing driver Rob Hoffman was reflecting on his chances with the two year-old trotting filly Bonnie Blue Banker and the three year-old tortting gelding Proud Joe T in their respective Sunshine State Stake events. "All I can tell you is you have to remember two words 'manners matters.' "These young horses are just learning and anything can happen--whether they are 50 or 60 to 1 or 5 to 2." Well, Hoffman turned out to be quite a prognosticator as he won with both of them--Bonnie Blue Banker at better than 60 to 1 and Proud Joe T at 5 to 2. Bonnie Blue Banker, a daughter of Crest, leased and trained by Dave Myrick, indeed, minded her manners as her other four opponents made miscues along the way while she strolled away to a 17 length win to break her maiden in 2:04.4. Returning a $131.00 mutuel as the longest proposition in her quintet, she pinned defeat on Prairie Pixie (Mike Deters), Miss Olivia Irene (Mickey McNichol), Atlantic Crest and the 1 to 20 favorite, Famous C, who made a miscue prior to the start. Proud Joe T, also trained by lessee Dave Myrick, led virtually every stride of his lifetime best 2:01.2 performance, scoring a win measuring 1 3/4 lengths over the latye charging Thundercrest (Dustin Ingraham) with Fifty Fifty Ninety (Jason Mac Dougall next after a mild challenge around the final bend. Savin Rock and Rexamillion were next in that octet. "Just like I said," beamed the soft-spoken Hoffman, "manners matters!" Completing the early daily double was Gold Star Brianna, a three year daughter of Basil, who remained a career perfect 10-for-10 with a handy win for Wally Hennessey in her division of the Sunshine State Stake. Timed in 1:59--last half :58.3--"Brianna" won by 5 3/4 lengths over All Star Fame (Kevin Wallis) with Trottime Fool (John MacDonald) next. I'm For Sale and Trotting Missmissy completed the rundown in that one. Related Hennessey, "she's just a nice, handy filly to drive. She need a little help to be a perfect '10'"--she was placed first in her second lifetime start--"but she'll do anything she's asked to do." Owned by Kevin Kelly, Gold Star Brianna pushed her lifetime bounty over $70,000 with the victory. She paid $2.20 to win. The other Sunshine State Stake event was off the card with Jay and Kim Sears' Azzaro, with Jay in the bike for trainer Kim, the best over I'm Done (Tom Lehmann) in what turned out to be a two horse match race. Azzaro, a son of Proud Bushy, covered the mile in 2:07.1, highlighted by a :28.4 sprint home. The first Open of the season went to All Steinam, handled by John MacDonald, in 1:53.2. The seven year-old altered son of Tell All left, yielded to Team Captain (Aaron Byron) short of the opening marker in :27.3, pulled heading into the final turn after the :56.3 half, collared the "Captain" turning for home after three-quarters in 1:24.4 and doggedly held off the tenacious Hillybilly (Wally Hennessey) to score by a neck in 1:53.2. All Steinam now has $315,759 on his lifetime card--$52,403 this semester for J P Stables of Ontario, Canada. MacDonald also had a driving double on opening night, also scoring with Sing For Me George in 1:53.1--the fastest mile of the night. Sing For Me George, a seven year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight trained by Paul Bernardo for Joseph Martinella, Sr., won for the first time since August 3, 2015 and sent his lifetime bounty to $387,836. Kevin Wallis also had a driving double with two of his own--Keystone Bodacious and Machmemackie. Racing continues on Tuesday night with Godiva Seelster the headliner in the Open pace for fillies and mares. Post time is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...September 29, 2016...Pompano Park opens on Sunday, October 2 for its 53rd harness racing season -- a 126 night stand which concludes May 30, 2017. The track will offer a "lavish wagering buffet," including a Pick 5 beginning with the first race, a Pick 6 encompassing races three through eight and a Pick-4 covering races six through nine. The popular pentafecta will be conducted on the fourth race while the Super Hi-5 will, as usual, be contested in the finale on every program. The fourth race pentafecta will feature a 100% carryover if no tickets are sold on the winning combination while the Super Hi-5 will pay the entire pool only if one unique ticket has the winning combination. Should there be multiple winners in the Super Hi-5, each would share in a 50% net pool payout with 50% being carried over to the next Super Hi-5. The Pick-6 will have a 75% carryover if their is no ticket sold on the winning combination, meaning there will be a 25% consolation shared among those with the next highest total of winners selected. Brett Revington, Direcctor of Racing said, "We are optimistic that the new season will be a great one and our 'lavish wagering buffet' should attract interest throughout North America. "Our Pick-4 will start out with a $7,500 guaranteed pool and features a takeout of only 12%, making it a most attractive offering to our fans. "The Pick-5 will offer a new $1 minimum wager while the Pick-6 will feature 50 cent boxes and wheels." The 2016-2017 meeting is also featuring no less than 15 late closing events, including three with estimated purses exceeding $100,000--the Open Pacing Series, the Open Trotting Series and the Open for pacing fillies and mares. The opening night of racing features a 12 race pari-mutuel program highlighted by an "Open" event for the top early arrivals at the track. Third round action of the FSBOA Sunshine State Stakes will be on the card as well--the first two legs having being contested over the Sunshine Meadows oval in mid-September. In the Open, Rockntouch, trained by Mickey McNichol for owners Fred Monteleone and Salvatore Promuto, returns to Pompano Park from a summer at Pocono Downs. This four year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven won three of his last four starts as the Pompano meeting ended in May, including a lifetime best 1:51.3 lifetime best performance in his last start here. In Sunshine State Stakes action, Amante Standardbreds Famous C, a two year-old daughter of Famously trained by Marc Aubin, puts unblemished two-for-two record on the line in the juvenile trot. Famous C knocked five seconds off of her maiden win at Sunshine Meadows with a 2:00.3 score for Wally Hennessey, who is expected back in the sulky Sunday night. In the Sunshine State Stakes for three year-old trot for colts and geldings, Proud Joe T, leased and trained by Dave Myrick, looks for his third straight win to keep his 2016 record perfect after a two-for-two start. This son of Proud Bushy has reduced his mark each start and looks to keep last year's champion, Rexamillion, in his wake for the third straight week. Rob Hoffman is listed to drive, as he did in the geldings last pair of wins. Post time for the new meeting has been reset to 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park                

Pompano Beach, FL...August 22, 2016...This is a final reminder that stall applications for the upcoming Pompano Park harness racing season are due by Friday, August 25.   The 126 night session begins October 2 and will feature 15 lucrative "Late-Closing" events, including three with purses estimated to exceed $100,000, those being for Open Pacers, Open Trotters and Open Pacing Fillies and Mares.   Total purses for the late closing events are estimated at $680,000 with all events having two legs and a final.   Information on these late-closing events can be found on the isle website, including dates and nominating fees.   In addition to the late-closing events, Pompano Park will also offer "Pop-Up" events featuring a "quick" leg and a race-off featuring an enhanced purse.   These "Pop-Up" events are carded when there is an abundance of horses in certain overnight classes with the likelihood that multiple divisions will result. There are no nominating fees to these events.   For stall applications, late-closing information and other information, go to the following website: (Click on the "Racing" tab.)   by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...August 17, 2016...With the Pompano Park harness racing season just six weeks away, the Florida Amateur Driving Club and its members are revving up early.   Since its inception, the F.A.D.C. has donated over $170,000 to worthwhile causes as their membership donates all driving earnings to fund these organizations.   Though there is no racing currently at Pompano Park, the driving club refuses to sit idle in their charitable giving.   Under the leadership of President Dein Spriggs, the F.A.D.C. is partnering with the Go for the Greens Foundation in saluting a breast cancer survivor that needs financial assistance.   This year's recipient is Tampa, Florida resident Nancy Hernandez, who is a breast cancer survivor and working on creating empowerment programs for women.   Ms. Hernandez has also helped coordinate a "Breast Cancer Walk" with her church and has been active in hosting workshops on this important subject.   She will receive her award at the upcoming Go for the Greens conference in September in Orlando, Florida.   Cindy Chase, co-founder of Go for the Greens, said, "it really great that the Florida Amateur Drivers continually step up to the '18th green' to help us reach continual new plateaus of success. They certainly have been a godsend to our cause."   F.A.D.C. President Spriggs echoed those thoughts by saying,"Though we aren't racing right at this very moment, our club deems it important to try and help worthwhile causes year around and the Go for the Greens organization fights one of the most important issues in our world today.   "This contribution actually originated from the Isle International Series, which we hosted last season in which many foreign drivers participated.   "Yes, we are Florida based, but our goodwill has stretched far beyond our borders--something of which we are very proud."   by John Berry for the Florida Amateur Driving Club

Pompano Beach, FL...July 28, 2016...Pompano Park begins its 2016-2017 harness racing season on October 2 and stall applications are now available on-line and are due by August 25, 2016.   The 126 night session will, once again, feature 15 lucrative "Late-Closing" events, including three with purses estimated to exceed $100,000, those being for Open Pacers, Open Trotters and Open Pacing Fillies and Mares.   Total purses for the late closing events are estimated at $680,000 with all events having two legs and a final.   Information on these late-closing events can be found on the isle website, including dates and nominating fees.   In addition to the late-closing events, Pompano Park will also offer "Pop-Up" events featuring a "quick" leg and a race-off featuring an enhanced purse.   These "Pop-Up" events are carded when there is an abundance of horses in certain overnight classes with the likelihood that multiple divisions will result. There are no nominating fees to these events.   For stall applications, late-closing information and other information, go to the following website: (Click on the "Racing" tab.)   by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...June 1, 2016...Pompano Park closed out its highly successful 2015-2016 harness racing meeting on Tuesday night (May 31) as the 20 cent Super Hi-5, with a carryover of $28,537 going in, attracted over $271,000 in new wagers, sending that final pool total over the $300,000 mark. With Sweet Bet, the even-money tote-board favorite taking the finale, and the only other "single digit" odds horses finishing "2-3-4," the 20 cent payoff amounted to $122.20 with over 2,000 winning tickets in line to collect. On the racing front, Goldstar Rockette and Sailer Eddie took top honors in their respective $10,000 feature pacing and trotting events. Goldstar Rockette, given picture perfect rating by Kevin Wallis, led first long stride to last in the pace, scoring a handy 1:55.1 win measuring 1 1/4 lengths over Della Bea, handled by Dave Ingraham, Real Nice Girl, in the garden spot all the way, finished third for Joe Sanzeri while Sue's Night Out and Shortest Distance complete the order of finish in the quintet. The fractions were :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.4 before a :28.2 finale sealed the deal, prompting driver Kevin Wallis to relate, "With the scratch in there, instead of post six, we moved into that coveted post five and she made the lead very easily and the middle half mile was rather soft with no one coming. "Louie (trainer Ginesi) has her very sharp these days, so that made my job that much easier. She's tough right now, no doubt about it!" The six year-old Florida bred daughter of Rock On won for the third consecutive week and eighth time for the year, sending her seasonal bounty to $41,062, her most lucrative season ever. The win also vaulted her lifetime bounty over the $100,000 plateau--$104,913 to be precise--for owner-trainer Lou Ginesi. As the 1 to 20 favorite, Goldstar Rockette returned $2.10. About 23 minutes later, Wallis guided his own Sailer Eddie to a similar wire-to-wire win in the trot, hitting the wire first off of fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:26.3 before a :29 final panel closed out that event in 1:55.3 with 1 1/2 lengths to spare over the late-charging Pittsburgh Hanover, driven by Wally Ross, Jr.. Political Foe, with Joe Sanzeri handling the lines, finished third after putting in a mild threat around the final bend. Caviart Griffin finished fourth while Gold Savage picked up the nickel in the field after a difficult journey early. In a post-race interview, Wallis said, "he's pretty tough when the fractions go his way. That second quarter breather helped his cause and I was pretty confident when we got to the half in :57 and a piece. Sailer Eddie, a consistent six year-old altered son of Cantab Hall, sent his 2016 scorecard to 4-4-3 in 19 starts, good for earnings of 37,236 this semester and $324,481 career-wise. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote-board, Sailer Eddie returned $3.40 to his multitude of followers. Wally Hennessey wound up as the leading driver of the 126 night meeting with 224 wins while Kevin Wallis finished next with 151 trips to the charmed circle. Aaron Byron, John MacDonald and Rick Plano rounded out the top five in the standings based on wins. The leading driver, based on winning percentage of wins with 100 drives or more, was George Napolitano, Jr., who had 43 wins in 120 starts, a rate over 35%. The training title went to Paul Holzman, with 49 winners in 168 starts. Mike Deters and Dale Gilmour finished in a "dead-heat" for second with 43 victories while Dan Hennessey and Jim McDonald completed the top five. Holzman also won the percentage title with trainers competing in 100 or more races, finishing with a winning percentage of 29. The 2016-2017 126 night meeting begins October 2. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...May 30, 2016...Pompano Park closes out its successful 2015-2016 meeting on Tuesday night (May 31) with a mandatory payout on its Super Hi-5 finale along with two Open Handicap events.   The Super Hi-5, conducted on the eighth and final race of the pari-mutuel card, has a carryover of $28,537.55 going into the event, which is sure to balloon into a very appetizing 20 cent based wager with a very competitive field of eight going behind the Hummer Starting Gate.   Immediately proceeding that event, in races six and seven, are the $10,000 Open Handicap events--the first one being for pacing mares followed by the trotters.   Goldstar Rockette takes a two race winning skein into the event for mares and will have Kevin Wallis in the sulky for owner-trainer Lou Ginesi.   The Florida bred six year-old daughter of Rock On has won seven times this semester and his only $87 short of leaping over the $100,000 mark in career bounty.   Her main competition may well come from the 11 year-old mare Shortest Distance, with Mickey McNichol in the bike for owner Byron Pineda and trainer Leopold Sawyers.   This rugged Park Place mar has won an astounding 91 times during her career, good for over $470,000 in earnings.   Real Nice Girl, Della Bea, Repeat Please and Sue's Night Out complete the talented field.   In the companion trotting feature, Sailer Eddie and Pittsburgh Hanover knock hooves once again--this after these two have claimed a win apiece in their recent pair of outings.   Pittsburgh Hanover, trained by Doug Miller for owner Carter Duer, edged by Sailer Eddie in the final stride or two in their last meeting while Sailer eddie took top honors the week prior.   Piyysburgh Hanover will have the driving servives of Walter Ross, Jr., while Sailer Eddie Eddie will have owner-trainer Kevin Wallis in his sulky.   Not to be dismissed is Gold Savage, trained by Mark Friedman for the Polo Stables.   This six year-old scored a handy two length win for Mickey McNichol in Open company one week ago and will have McNichol in the bike again on closing night.   Caviart Griffin and Political Foe complete that seventh race roster.   Post time for Tuesday night remains at 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...May 29, 2016...Rockntouch, given a superb drive by Mickey McNichol, took top honors in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (May 29), stopping the timer in 1:51.3. The four year old altered son of Rock N Roll Heaven, pinned a 1 3/4 length defeat on new arch-rival Northern Companion, with Dave Ingraham in the bike. I'm A Gift, handled by Kevin Wallis, finished third while Abreathofreshart and Here Comes William completed the classy quintet of pacers. At the outset, there was a three way battle for supremacy with Here Comes William, Abreathofreshart and Rockntouch all vying for the lead with the latter finally gaining the top spot right at the opening marker of :27.2. From there, McNichol guided Rockntouch through panels of :55.4 and 1:23.4 before a :27.4 finale sealed the deal over a late-charging Northern Companion, who was content to trail through the first three-quarters of the mile, before his double-bubble binge began gnawing in on the leader--a binge that came up only second best this night. In a post race interview, driver McNichol related, "You know, last week, he (Northern Companion) got the jump on me on the backside and I didn't really find room to roam until it was too late. "This week, I thought to myself, 'if I get a jump on him,' it might just work out. "Both horses (Rockntouch and Northern Companion) are pretty equal right at this time so, that being the case, I figured if I got a couple lengths jump on him this time, I might be able to get my horse home this time. "If he's a couple of lengths better and I have three or four on him early, I'm gonna get home in front. "That's exactly what happened." Trained by veteran Odell Thompson for Salvatore Promuto and the Fred Monteleone Stable, Rockntoucch won for the seventh time this semester, sending his 2016 bounty to $30,374. The time was a lifetime best for the gelding, as well. As the 2 to 1 second choice, Rockntouch paid $6.00 to win. The driving star of the night was Kevin Wallis, who swept the final four races on the card, completing his natural grand slam with his own Teranadawn in a seven horse photo finish. Wallis' other winners were Mike's Powerhouse (1:53.2), Country Fresh (1:55.2) and Machmemackie, also owned by Wallis, in 1:53.2. In Florida Amateur Driving Club action, Jamie Marra and John Campagnuolo came up with victories back their respective mounts, Engagedatlexington and Showing Off. Engagedatlexington, scored in 1:58.2, giving Marra his milestone 50th lifetime win and Campagnuolo guided Showing Off to a gate-to-wire win in 1:58.3 for his 51st lifetime driving win. Pompano Park's 2015-2016 season concludes on Tuesday night, May 31, with an eight race program featuring a mandatory Super Hi-5 payout in the eight race finale. The carryover going into the race is $28,537.55 with that final pool expected to balloon significantly by the eight race post time. Post time for the opener is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

"Gold" was the theme at Pompano Park on Tuesday night as Goldstar Rockette and Gold Savage shared the harness racing limelight, capturing their respective $10,000 Open Pacing and Trotting events. Goldstar Rockette, the Florida bred six year-old daughter of Rock On, scored a well-earned win for Kevin Wallis in 1:54.3, pinning a two length defeat on Shortest Distance, handled by Mickey McNichol, with Drea's Good Powow next, after putting on an eye-opening backside brush that brought her along-side the leader heading into the final turn. Sue's Your Daddy and Sue's Night Out completed the order of finish in the quintet. Goldstar Rockette, leaving from post five, briefly engaged Shortest Distance for supremacy early then proceeded to post opening panels of :27.4 and a rated :57.4 half. That's when Drea's Good Powow, last early on, put on that aforementioned brush to draw on even terms with Goldstar Rockette heading into the final turn with "Rockette" turning back the challenge with a :27.4 backside blast of her own, reaching the third station in 1:25.3. In the lane, Goldstar Rockette was unrelenting, keeping Drea's Good Powow at bay and holding off Shortest Distance, who edged through along the pylons to garner the place award. After the event, driver Wallis related, "Lou (trainer Ginesi) has this mare very sharp now. When Dave's (Ingraham) mare brushed up, my mare just let out a notch on her own to try and thwart her. "I'll tell you, this mare knows how to race. She can leave, she knows how to relax, she brushes on her own and she's mighty tough right now." Owned by trainer Lou Ginesi, Goldstar Rockette won for the seventh time this year, sending her yearly bounty to $36,062. She's just $87 shy of $100,000 lifetime. As the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Goldstar Rockette returned $2.40 to win. Gold Savage, strategically handled by Mickey McNichol, played "musical chairs" with the favorite, Go Jesse Go, driven by Kevin Wallis, before taking command after a :27.3 opener and then posting subsequent fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.3 to score a handy two length win over Go Jesse Go in 1:55.4. Political Foe, with Joe Sanzeri in the bike, finished third, just a lip or two further back, while Skyway Pippen, far back early, rallied to be fourth. Kegler Hanover picked up the nickel in the septet. At the outset, both Gold Savage (post three) and Go Jesse Go (post six) left with alacrity with Gold Savage yielding-but not for long. Just a few long strides later, Gold Savage brushed up to take command with the top pair separated from Political Foe by some five or six lengths early on. Except for the shouting, it was all over as McNichol kept his charge safely in front the rest of the journey, prompting him to say, in a post-race interview, "I love driving for Mark (trainer Friedman) because his horses are always ready to perform well. "This trotter gives a good account of himself week after week and he was sharp as a tack tonight-very willing!" In pushing his 2016 scorecard to 3-4-1 in 18 starts, Gold Savage now has $22,220 on his card for the season and $121,343 lifetime. As the 6 to 5 second choice on the tote-board, Gold Savage paid $4.60 to win. Racing continues on Sunday night with post time at 7:30 p.m. John Berry for Pompano Park                  

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

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