Pompano Beach, FL...April 18, 2015...In a three way calvary charge to the wire, Duc Dorleans edged out Panocchio and Cruizin K C in a seasonal best 1:50.3 performance for harness racing trainer-driver Donald Dupont at Pompano Park on Saturday night (April 18). The five year-old altered son of Shanghai Phil, forced to abandon his usual front stepping style, came from sixth halfway through the mile, fanned widest of all turning for home and just did nail the victory in the final stride. Panocchio's nose was, indeed, a "nose" short this time around with Cruizin K C just a neck off the winner after pushing his nose in front around the final turn at odds of 45 to 1. Neptune, pacing the fastest final panel in the field, finished fourth, just three parts of a length away, with Steelhead Hanover picking up the nickel in the field of nine. At the outset, Steelhead Hanover, with Joe Pavia, Jr. driving, left with his usual alacrity to take the field to the opener in:26.3 with Panocchio and Bruce Ranger on the attack and taking over shortly after that initial quarter. Panocchio took the field halfway home in :54.3 but, on the backside, Mark O'Mara had Cruizin K C cruising in high gear and his individual backside quarter of :26.4 enabled him to stick his nose in front at the third station, timed in 1:22.1. In the lane, these two dueled ferociously, only to be joined by Duc Dorleans a sixteenth out with the trio hitting the wire together. In a post race interview, driver Donald Dupont said, "With all of the action early on both inside and outside, I didn't think it would be prudent to get in a battle early, so, this time, I took back...not something I really wanted to do. "I wanted to follow Mark O'Mara (Cruizin K C) when he pulled but his horse can really brush hard and it was hard for me to keep up with him brushing like that. When we turned for home, I just went widest of all and hoped we could get there. "He is a very game and handy horse and he proved his merit again tonight." In achieving his sixth win of the year in 12 starts, Duc Dorleans pushed his 2015 bounty to $49,858 and $450,654 lifetime for owners Gestion Levesque 2005 Inc. and Les Ecuries Dorleans, Inc. As fourth choice on the tote-board, Duc Dorleans paid $13.00 to win. Pompano Park also hosted opening round action in the C.K.G. Billings Series, an event held at many North American tracks honoring the memory of Billings, owner of the sport's first 2:00 trotter, Lou Dillon, in 1903. When the "Official" signs were posted, Joe Pennacchio and Steve Oldford came off with the victories in their respective events. Pennacchio took the Billings pace with Terrys Star Dragon, wiring his competition with a 1:55.2 performance, the winning margin 3 1/2 lengths over Fox Valley Christo (Anthony Verruso) with Flashy (Hannah Miller) rallying from last turning for home to get third. Master Of Puppets (Steve Oldford) was fourth while Clive Hanover (John Campagnuolo) picked up the final award. Pennacchio, who had 145 wins going into tonight's action, picked up his fourth lifetime victory back of a "sidewheeler" and first back of a pacer since July of 2012, giving Terrys Star Dragon perfect rating--:28.3, :58.1 and 1:26.1--en route to a 1:55.2 win on behalf of owners Fred Morosini and Mike Deters. It was the pacer's third straight win and 50th triumph lifetime, sending the 10 year-old's career bounty to $479,614. Pennacchio summed up his win by saying, "It was pretty un-eventful. I did just what this horse likes to do. I followed HIS orders tonight...and it worked out great for both of us. He made ME look good!" Terrys Star Dragon paid $3.20 to win. Oldford got his 101st lifetime victory with his own Insider Access, this five year-old getting his initial win of the year, this victory--only his fifth lifetime--in 1:58.3 Northern Inferno (Robert Krivelin) finished second over Victors Cowboy Joe (Dein Spriggs) with Maggies Bed (Peter Gerry) fourth and Super Duke (John Campagnuolo) recovering from an early miscue to finish fifth. After the event, Oldford said, "It was a dream trip tonight. We got away in good order (third) and then got fortunate to find some room when Dein's (Spriggs) horse (Victors Cowboy Joe) rushed up on the backside. I found some room once he settled in back of the leader and wore 'em down in the lane." Insider Access paid $9.00 as the third choice and sent his career earnings to $112,616. In Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, the 2-4-6-5-8 winning combination paid a $213.84 dividend for the 20 cent investment, sending the carryover to Monday's program close to $145,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...April 16, 2015...Increditable turned in an incredible performance at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (April15) and trotted the second fastest mile in harness racing tracks history--1:53.1. Driven by Kevin Wallis for owner Denis Goyette and trainer Norm Dessureault, the six year-old gelded son of Credit Winner led at every pole, clocking fractions of :27.2, :55 and 1:24.1 along the way, and hit the wire seven lengths ahead of his nearest rival, Highland Yankee (Wally Hennessey), with M C Felix (Aaron Byron) just another nose back in third. R G Rocket finished fourth in the field of nine with the 4 to 5 favorite, Jailhouse Jessica, picking up the nickel. Indeed, it was Increditable darting out with alacrity from post five and into the early advantage with Highland Yankee using the rail to perfection to get away in the garden spot. As Ya'll Like it, also leaving for an advantageous early spot, never found one and was third but outside and grinding forward with M C Felix next and Jailhouse Jessica away in good order fifth and off the hot early pace. Meanwhile, second choice, Nothinbutanallstar was at the back of the pack after an early miscue. On the backside, Increditable just kept plugging along on the lead, holding off a stubborn As Ya'll Like It with Highland Yankee chilly on the inside and Jailhouse Jessica now on a double bubble move about 2 1/2 lengths back. In the lane, Increditable began widening his margin in a lifetime best performance, knocking off a full second off of his previous best. In a post race interview, the soft-spoken driver Kevin Wallis said, "You know, the five post seems to be very good off the gate here so I sent him just to get into it early. Once I got around Sam's (Stathis) horse (As Ya'll Like It), he brushed to the front easily and never looked back. This horse is hard trying and he was at his very best tonight. I was just hoping to get a good check for the owner (Denis Goyette) and Norm (trainer Dessureault) but, with the two big guns out of it, it turned out a bit better than I expected." Increditable won for the fourth time in 13 starts this year, sending his seasonal earnings to $29,665. He's banked $143,164 career-wise. Off as the fourth choice at 10 to 1, Increditable paid $22.80 to his faithful, keying a 20 cent superfecta payoff of $2,567.50 with Highland Yankee (29 to 1), M C Felix (93 to 1) and R G Rocket (6 to 1) underneath. One race earlier, Paul and Patricia O'Neil's Count Speed, deftly handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer-brother Dan, used to moves early to score in a lifetime equalling best 1:54.1 over Wishin Iwas Fishin (Dan Clements) with Surface Tension (Dan Daley) next. Iain'tnomomaluke and Typical New Yorker in the field. Count Speed, a six year-old son of Majestic Son, was out alertly from his post six and into the early lead before yielding--briefly--to Surface Tension before reclaiming a few steps after the :27.4 opener andd then on to post panels of :56.3 and 1:25 before a :29.1 sprint to the wire sealed the deal. The victory was the first of the year in but two starts for Count Speed and enabled him to reach a pair of milestones--his 20th career win and a vault over the $200,000 in career earnings--$202,120 to be precise. Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, once again, had mutliple winners for the 20 cent exotic, each receiving $169.06 for their 4-8-5-6-2 combo. The carryover to Saturday's card now stands at $141,848.66, just short of the record $146,288.30. The C. K. G. Billings North American Series also kicks off at Pompano Park on Saturday night with two divisions--one a pace--featuring many of the leading amateur drivers in the sport including Ted Bowman, John Campagnuolo, Peter Gerry, Robert Krivelin, Hannah Miller, Steve Oldford, Joe Pennacchio, Dein Spriggs, Anthony Verruso and Matt Zuccarello. The track also will have their Open Handicap Pace pitting Panocchio, Duc Dorleans and Steelhead Hanover against Prairie Jaguar, Cruizin K C, Canadian Touch, Dont Tell Rusty, Neptune and Northern Companion. Post timee is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...April 15, 2015...A huge Super Hi-5 carryover jackpot, currently over $135,000, the kickoff of the famed Billings Series and a "million dollar field" in Saturday night's Open Handicap Pace highlight the week at South Florida's Pompano Park. The popular Super Hi-5, now untapped since mid-February, is a nightly final race event featuring a 20 cent minimum wager with one unique winning ticket necessary to take doen the entire pool. In the case of multiple tickets on the winning combination, 50% of the net pool is shared by those winners with the other half going forward to the carryover for the next racing program. Director of Racing Brett Revington said, "With the average 20 cent consolation payoff close to $600.00, our players have been rewarded with some hefty 'dividends' for their investment. No doubt it has been one of the more popular offerings here at the track...and getting even more popular with each passing night. It's very exciting." The C. K. G. Billings North American Tour begins on Saturday with two divisions--one a pace--going behind the Hummer Starting Gate. Pompano Billings regulars Dein Spriggs, Joe Pennacchio, John Campagnuolo, Teddy Bowman and Steve Oldford are set to do battle with Billings "invaders" Peter Gerry, Matt Zuccarello, Anthony Verruso, Robert Krivelin and Hannah Miller in these two special events. The 23 year-old Ms. Miller has 12 wins in 33 lifetime starts and comes off a 2014 season where she had a "batting average" of .648 with a 6-2-2 scorecard in 12 starts. This year, she has already won races at Monticello Raceway, Freehold and The Meadowlands. Cornelius Kingsley Garrison Billings, by the way, was a very wealthy industrialist and noted horseman who was able to retire in 1901 at the age of 40. He went on to own some of the nation's most notable trotters and pacers, including the great Lou Dillon, the first trotting horse in history to trot a mile in 2:00. Billings passed away in 1937 after having moved to Santa Barbara, California where many of the streets are named in honor of the champions he owned. Pompano's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace has lured a field of nine with four of the contestants owning sub-150 marks and the other five just a tick or two away. Panocchio looks to stretch him winning streak to three after his 1:50 winning performance of one week ago. Bruce Ranger will be back in the bike for trainer Jim Mattison from post nine. Duc Dorleans, a close second to Panocchio in his last two starts, has drawn post position eight for Donald Dupont and looks for his sixth win of the campaign. Prairie Jaguar, Cruizin K C, Canadian Touch, Dont Tell Rusty, Neptune, Northern Companion and Steelhead Hanover complete the very talented field. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
The C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series kicks off its 34rd season at Pompano Park on Sat., April 18 followed by a contest at Northfield Park on Thurs. April 23. Then, almost weekly, there will be races for amateur harness racing 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. "We are again going this year with the five separate series format. 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," said Billings Series president Tony "the Capo" Verruso . 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 a series ending finale," Verruso added. "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." 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." 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 November 22. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Billings Series VP, Steve Oldford at email@example.com. 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. John Manzi for the Billings Series
Pompano Beach, Fl...April 13, 2015...About the same time that the sun was setting in Pompano Beach on Monday night--7:43--our version of Lady Godiva, known here as Godiva Seelster, was pacing her way into the sunset with an easy win in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for harness racing Mares. This five year-old daughter of Camluck, making two moves early in the mile, secured command for good just after the :27 opening panel and then waltzed over to the half in :56 before picking up the pace during a :28.2 third panel and then cementing the deal with a :26.4 finale--hitting the line in 1:51.1, a lifetime best performance. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Godiva Seelster was driven to victory by Wally Hennessey, scoring by 4 3/4 lengths over Senorita Santanna (Aaron Byron) with All Charged Up (Kevin Wallis) third, five lengths away. Mach Me Not finished fourth in the quintet with Glow Stick picking up the nickel. Not only did Godiva Seelster win for the third time this semester in five starts, it stretched her streak of starts earning purse money to 51, encompassing her entire seasons as a three, four and, thus far, five year-old. The crowning touch of this mile was the fact that Godiva Seelster's final sprint to the wire marked the first time she has ever paced a final quarter as fast as :26.4. In a post race interview, Hennessey said, "She's an amazing mare...that's all there is to it. She knows how to take care of herself and she's just a well mannered, hard hitting, ultra-consistent and dependable racehorse as you'd ever want to drive...just amazing." Though 1 to 9 on the tote-board, Godiva Seelster, in reality, was 1 to 20 and returned $2.10 to win. Her career scorecard now reads 14-13-14 in 60 lifetime starts, good for $130,342 in career bounty, $125,714 during her "in the money" streak. In Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, there were multiple winning tickets on the 20 cent 4-2-5-7-1 combination, sending the carryover to the Wednesday program to $136,776. Post time for the mid-week card is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...April 11, 2015...In an epic harness racing battle to the wire, Panocchio, driven by Bruce Ranger, edged by a game Duc Dorleans (Donald Dupont) in the final strides to post a 1:50 victory in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night (April 11). Neptune (Aaron Byron) rallied late to finish third while favored Steelhead Hanover (Joe Pavia, Jr.) faltered and finished fourth after, once again, cutting sizzling panels similar to in his last two victories of 1:49.2 and 1:50. Northern Companion picked up the nickel in the sextet over Canadian Touch. When the gate sprung, Canadian Touch, handled by Mike Micallef, left with alacrity and briefly engaged Steelhead Hanover in a battle for the top spot early with the latter taking command right at the opener in :26.1. Meanwhile, Duc Dorleans, leaving in search of a cozy close-up spot, found one in third with Panocchio, from the outside post, settling in fourth in front of Neptune and Northern Companion. Positions remained somewhat stagnant through the lively half in :54.3 but, on the backside, Steelhead Hanover began to feel the heat with Duc Dorleans moving along side and Pancchio following live cover through three-quarters in 1:22.1. In the lane, Duc Dorleans took charge with Panocchio fanning widest of all and, finally, wearing down the "Duc" near the wire--the margin a half length. In a post race interview, driver Bruce Ranger said, "With so much speed leaving inside of where we started, it just didn't make sense for me to get in a war early, so I kinda just floated out of there looking for a good spot in front of the two (Neptune and Northern Companion) that don't seem to want to be in the thick of it early. I was lucky to find a spot ahead of those two around the first turn...I certainly didn't want to be six or seven lengths behind early. When Don (Dupont) pulled going first up with his horse (Duc Dorleans), I just followed him and just tilted out further in the lane. We were both going some at the end...mine just a little more than his. That was the difference. Both of our horses capable of sub-1:50. Again, I have to give credit to Jim and Vicki (Mattison) because they do such an incredible job with this horse. They have taught him well...He's very well behaved and does everything asked of him." Owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with Jim Mattison, Panocchio, a five year-old son of No Pan Intended, now is two-for-three this semester and 26 for 56 lifetime with career earnings of $186,145 to go along with his mark of 1:49.3. The Florida Amateur Driving Club, having donated over $140,000 to worthwhile organizations since their inception, played host to thesmartride.org on Saturday night, an organization dedicated to supply funding to agencies assisting those affected with HIV. Thesmartride.org has a yearly bicycle event from Miami to Key West--165 miles--that has raised over $6.4 million in its 12 year history. This year's event is held in November with 100% of all funding going to the organization, which thrives on bicycle participants and volunteers. Ranger, by the way, also had two other winners on the card, the first with the $20,000 claiming pacer Johnny Grippa, this seven year-old son of Cam's Card Shark stitching together equal halves of :55.2 to record a gate-to-wire win in a lifetime best 1:50.4 for Mc Trade Enterprises, and the other with The Three Gees Stable's First Impression, slipping through along the pylons late to earn his 41st lifetime win, this one for trainer Gary Mc Donald. First Impression's win came in Pompano Park's finale, the Super Hi-5 with 41 astute handicapper cashing in on the 4-5-2-1-3 combo paying $138.82 for their 20 cent investment. The Super Hi-5 carryover for Monday night's card now has vaulted to $130,503. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...April 9, 2015...Flyhawk El Durado, perfectly handled by harness racing driver Steve Condren, took top honors in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Trot on Wednesday night (April 8) completing his journey in 1:54.2 for his initial win of the season in four starts. The four year-old son of Conway Hall, trained by Dale Gilmour for owner Martin Scharf, made a sharp quarter (:29) move to the top and then proceeded to stitch together subsequent quarters of :28.2, :28.4 and :28.1 to score a handy win over R G Rocket and Dave Ingraham--the winning margin just short of two lengths. My Revenuer, with Tom Sells in the bike, rallied for third while the early leader, Highland Yankee, finished fourth. Increditable picked up the nickel in the quintet. Indeed, it was Highland Yankee and Increditable battling for the early supremacy with Flyhawk El Durado away in good order third but on the move just a step or two shy of the opening panel and then grinding through the rest of the journey, only having to deal with R G Rocket, brushing from fifth on the backside to move within a length of "El Durado" around the final bend before stretching the lead turning for home. In a post race interview, driver Steve Condren related, "This trotter drives like an El Dorado automobile. I started him off in second gear then put him in overdrive around the first turn and then cruise control thereafter. You know, he gave a hint last week showing some good stout trot late, so I thought he'd be very good tonight...and he didn't disappoint." Achieving his first win of the year in four starts--and 13th win in only 28 lifetime starts--Flyhawk El Durado now has banked $621,352 career-wise to go along with a mark of 1:52.4 over the Vernon Downs seven-eighths mile oval. As the overwhelming 1 to 5 favorite, Flyhawk El Durado paid $2.40 to his many followers. While Flyhawk El Durado took the spotlight in the opener, it was driver Wally Hennessey who fulfilled the starring role the rest of the program while achieving a grand slam of the card. Hall of Famer Hennessey took the third race with Willie's Guitar in a lifetime best 1:53 for owner Liz Schaut--the driving assignment arranged as regular pilot Rick Schaut is busy recuperating from a training accident just days earlier. Win number two for Wally was with Dale Gilmour's classy trotter Adenium, scoring a gate-to-wire win in 1:55.4, a seasonal best for the nine year-old. About 20 minutes later, Hennessey guided the claiming pacer to a wire-to-wire score in 1:54.3 for owners Fred Morosini and Mike Deters. The grand slam was achieved the very next race with the trotter Goldstar Classic, trained by brother Dan Hennessey for the consortium of Rzepka, Kelly, Connors and Giorlando. Goldstar Classic, a five year-old son of Classic Photo, took the lead out of the gate and put together fractions of :28, :57 and 1:26.2 before rolling home a handy winner in a lifetime best 1:55.3. POMPANO SUPER HI-5 CARRYOVER PIERCES $125,000 Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 carryover pierced the $125,000 mark when 10 skilled handicapper cashed in on the 7-9-4-1-3 combination to the tune of $843.02 on Wednesday night. The carryover going into Saturday night's 10 race card is $125,000.09. To take the entire pool, the winner must have the only ticket on the winning combination. Multiple winners split the net pool on a 50-50 basis with the remaining half filtered into the following night's Super Hi-5 pool. Post time for the Saturday night card is 7:30 with the feature Open Handicap Pace pitting last week's winner, Panocchio, against Duc Dorleans--these two just a nose apart on the wire last week. Steelhead Hanover may have something to "neigh" about things as he comes off two impressive wins at Pompano, the fastest in 1:49.2. Northern Companion, Neptune and Canadian Touch complete the million dollar field, which is carded at the first half of the late daily double with the Suoer Hi-5 immediately following. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...April 6, 2015...Just A Bee survived an early speed duel with Godiva Seelster and went on to score a narrow win over her newest harness racing arch-rival on Monday night (April 6) at Pompano Park. Handled by trainer Mike Micallef, the seven year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood, was involved in a speed duel through a good portion of an opening panel of :26.4 while seeking command from her outside five post in her quintet. Once on top, the "Queen Bee" carded fractions of :55.3 and 1:23.3 to set up her final panel of :27.2 to stop the clock in 1:51, holding Godiva Seelster and Wally Hennessey at bay by a half length. Mach Me Not, with Bruce Ranger in the bike, last around the final turn, was third while Senorita Santanna finished fourth over De Vins Girl in a "barber pole" finish reading top down on the program page 5-4-3-2-1. In a post race interview, driver Mike Micallef said, "Wally's (Hennessey) mare gave my mare all she could handle both early and late in the mile. The difference between our mares can probably be measured in inches, not lengths. The way both of 'em are right now, you can flip a coin on who will win...it's that close. "I am very proud of Just A Bee because she has given us everything she's got since we claimed her (for $12,000) last fall. She's just amazing. "But Godiva Seelster is incredibly talented, as well. I don't think she's missed a paycheck during her last three seasons...just amazing!" Indeed, Godiva Seelster just recorded her 50th straight start getting checks, dating back to 2013. But, this night, the Queen Bee reigned supreme. Owned by Anita Micallef, along with John Mc Goff and Greg Heath, Just A Bee picked up her eighth win in 11 starts this year, good for bounty of $55,875. She also achieved another milestone by going over the $200,000 in career earnings--$205,541 to be exact. As the 1 to 2 tote-board favorite, Just A Bee paid $3.00 to her multitude of backers. Regarding Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, there were 180 winning 20 cent ticket holders with the 6-3-10-2-4 combination, each receiving $61.96, pushing the carryover for Wednesday night's racing program to $116,569.75. Post time for the mid-week card is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park.
Pompano Beach, FL...April 6, 2015...Jailhouse Jessica, handled by Bruce Ranger, pulled off a minor harness racing upset (9 to 5) in Pompano Park's $12,000 Easter Sunday Open Trot for Mares. The five year-old daughter of Jailhouse Jesse took advantage of an early miscue by the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite Frau Blucher to score a handy win measuring 3 1/2 lengths in 1:54.4. As Ya'll Like It, driven by Sam Stathis, finished second after cutting the early panels in the while Frau Blucher, with Kevin Wallis handling the lines, rallied after her bobble leaving and finished third. Blushing Hanover and Oaklea Sydney completed the order of finish in the quintet. Jailhouse Jessica, a $6,000 claim in mid-January, has now banked $33,800 in her eight starts for her new owner, Karma Racing, under the training guidance of Dale Gilmour. As the Hummer Starting Gate left the field on their own, Frau Blucher made that aforementioned bobble with As Ya'll Like It away with alacrity and taking the field to the opener in :28 with Blushing Hanover in the garden spot and Jailhouse Jessica settling into third ahead of Oaklea Sydney and Frau. Three-eighths into the mile, Frau Blucher had caught the field and, after the :56.1 half, was on the move from the back of the pack. But Jailhouse Jessica already had the jump on that one, brushing from third three-eighths out and into the lead past the third station in 1:26.1 with As Ya'll like it second and Frau Blucher now third, two lengths away. From there, a :28.3 final panel sealed the deal with As Ya'll Like, still game to wire, second and Frau Blucher next. In a post race interview, driver Bruce Ranger related, "Dale's mare (Jailhouse Jessica) has been very sharp in recent weeks but when you are facing a stakes winning million dollar winner" (Frau Blucher has banked $947,992 coming in) "you just hope for the best...ya know she's got a mark three seconds faster than (Jailhouse) Jessica. So, when she made that bobble leaving, it certainly helped our cause, no doubt about that. I must say that Dale has done a remarkable job with Jailhouse Jessica." Jailhouse Jessica now has lifetime earnings of $93,845 with more than one-third of that earned since the claim just a few weeks back. She rewarded her follower with a generous $5.80 mutuel. Driver Sam Stathis, by the way, came back in a later event to score his very first lifetime driving win with Celebrity Artemis, a four year-old daughter of Andover Hall owned by Celebrity Farms, in a NW 2 trot. Leaving from the rail, Celebrity Artemis was given sharp handling, thwarting any threats early with a :28.3 opener and then getting excellent rated guidance through panels of :58 and 1:28 before holding off the late surging Mountain Top, with Wally Hennessey, with a :29.1 closer. The mile of 1:57.1 was a new lifetime best for the winner. In the $10,000 claiming ($20,000-$25,000) pace, JJ's Doughnut, with Kevin Wallis in the bike, found room late along the pylons to score a half length win in a lifetime best 1:50.3. This eight year-old son of Yankee Cam was involved early with Johnny Grippa (Bruce Ranger) slicing through hot panels of :26, :54 and 1:22 with Canadian Touch (Matt Romano) joining the fray into the far turn. In the lane, Canadian Touch pushed his neck in front, only to be nailed by JJ's Doughnut near the wire. Canadian Touch did finish second with Johnny Grippa third. Raji's Blue Line rallied from last to finish fourth while Acton Onelasttime, the recent $4,000 claim now competing successfully in this class, getting the nickel. JJ's Doughnut, trained by Chris Oakes for owner Susan Oakes, won for the seventh time this season and now has $37,364 on his card to go along with his new mark. JJ's Doughnut paid $4.40 to win as the favorite. Finally, in Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, the iron horse A Fool For Mark, driven by Dave Ingraham for son-owner-trainer Dustin, rallied to score his 43rd lifetime win--4th this year--in 1:52 keying a 1-4-3-10-9 combo worth $3,676.84 for a 20 cent investment. The carryover for Monday's Super Hi-5 is now over $105,000. Post time for the Monday 10 race program is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...April 5, 2015...In a classic harness racing battle to the wire, Panocchio, driven by Bruce Ranger, held on to score a narrow decision in Pompano Park's $13,000 Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night--ironically, by a "nose!" The five year-old altered son of No Pan Intended, owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with trainer Jim Mattison, scored his first win of the season in his second start, pinning the narrow defeat on Duc Dorleans and Donald Dupont in 1:50.4. Neptune, with Aaron Byron handling the lines, was a fast closing third, a length away, while E Z Noah finished fourth in his second start of the 2015 seaosn. Northern Companion, last in the early stages of the event, rallied for fifth in the septet. At the outset, Duc Dorleans, leaving from post four, was on the engine along with Panocchio, post six, with the latter reaching the top spot prior to the opening panel in a sharp :26.2. A well rated :29.1 breather in quarter two brought Panocchio half way through the mile in :55.3 but Ranger revved up Panocchio on the backside as E Z Noah began his sprint, moving to the saddle pad of the leader around the final bend with three-quarters on the board in 1:23. In the lane, Panocchio did sprint clear of E Z Noah, allowing Duc Dorleans some room to roan late and the "Duc" began gnawing into Panocchio's lead, these two hitting the wire in "it could go either way" finish. In a post race interview, driver Bruce Ranger said, "Man, I didn't know who got it! Yes, my horse went a great mile, especially considering it was only his second start...but so did Duc Dorleans. When (John) MacDonald's horse (E Z Noah) made his bid, we had already began revving up because Panocchio can brush hard a long way--well, tonight he came home in :55.1. He kinda brushed the whole mile! Gotta give credit to Jim and Vicki (Mattison) who are so wonderfully patient with their horses. Their care is impeccable and always give the driver an opportunity to win!" The victory was the 25th lifetime for Panocchio in only 55 lifetime starts, sending his career bankroll to $181,145 to go along with his mark of 1:49.3. As 9 to 5 second choice on the tote-board, Panocchio paid $5.60 to his faithful followers. In Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 event, Hurricane Howard was a gate to wire winner in a new lifetime best effort of 1:51.2 for Tom Sells keying a $1,386.06 payoff for the 20 cent consolation ticket. With four tickets out on the 5-6-4-10-1 combo, the carryover for Pompano's special Easter Sunday program is edging close to $100,000--$98,024 to be exact. Post time is 7:30 for the Easter program. by John Berry for Pompano Park.
Pompano Beach, Fl...April 1, 2015...Lester Raber's Nothinbutanallstar, deftly driven by harness racing trainer Mark O'Mara, justified the public's 3 to 5 confidence on the tote by scoring a repeat victory in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Trot on Wednesday night (April 1) in 1:54. Holy Halibut, driven by Matt Romano finished second while Flyhawk El Durado, with Steve Condren in the bike, was third. Winemaster Hanover finished fourth after slicing through panels of :27; :56.2 and 1;24 and Its Payday Friday picked up the final award in the quintet. Nothinbutanallstar, a four year-old altered son of Allstar Hall, was unhurried early and almost nine lengths back after the hot opener and took up the chase on the backside following live cover, tilted out wide turning for home and, first, wore down the leader and, then, after taking command, held off the late surge of Hold Halibut to score by three parts of a length. Flyhawk El Durado also showed stout late trot in the mile for the aforementioned show spot, just a length away. After the event, the always humble O'Mara summed up the win by saying, "He gave his usual strong performance. All I did was drive him to give him an opportunity to win!" Nothinbutanallstar is now five for seven this year with $35,930 on his card. He's 16 for 40 lifetime, good for $219,214. He's missed but two checks during his career. He paid $3.20 to win. Trainer-driver O'Mara doubled up two events later by squeaking by in the final stride to score a photo finish victory with DC Flashback in 1:57.2. This five year-old son of Pinetucky, owned by George Mc Chrystal along with Mark Kremen, also rallied from off the pace, nailing the win over On The Tab (Bruce Ranger) and Go Jesse Go (Mickey McNichol) in a three horse photo--the winning margin a nose. Ex King finished fourth after cutting most of the fractions while Escrow Blue Chip, prominent throughout the mile, finished fifth. DC Flashback won for only the second time this semester--nine win lifetime--to push his career bankroll to $72,530. As third choice in the field of nine, DC Flashback paid $12.40 to his faithful. The $10,000 Open "2" Trot went to R G Rocket, trained by Mario Dessureault for the Jamie Marra Racing, LLC., in a lifetime best 1:54.3. Dave Ingraham was in the sulky for the win measuring 2 1/4 lengths over My Revenuer (Tom Sells) with the Florida bred Lugar (Bruce Ranger) third. Tug River Dylan finished fourth while Mc Tiny's Hope picked up the nickel after assuming command from Lugar at the opener in :27.3 and then getting over to the half in :57. On the backside, R G Rocket began his rally from fourth and forged to the front past 3/4s in 1:25.2 and coasted to the wire in :29.1 for the new lifetime mark. R G Rocket, a seven year-old son of Cincinnati Kid, earned his second success of the year--22nd lifetime--to push his 2015 bounty to $22,745. He's banked $208,854 lifdetime. As the even money choice, R G Rocket paid $4.00 to his many followers. Yet another $10,000 conditioned trot went to Highland Yankee, superbly handled and rated by Bruce Ranger, in 1:56.4, over Gold Savage (Dan Clements) with Ramzan (Joe Pavia, Jr.) third. Dream Lake rallied for fourth while I'll Tell You What finished fifth in the septet after a first over jaunt that pushed him into second around the final bend. Making his first start off of a David Linker claim last week, Highland Yankee, trained by Dale Gilmour this night, shot out of the gate with his usual alactrity and, unlike last week where he was "chewed up and spit out" while parked every step, made the top easily and clocked a :28.2 opener. Ranger then rated his charge through a :30.3 second quarter and, as Ranger said after the race, "That was the ballgame" as this six year-old son of Muscles Yankee sprinted home in :57.4 to seal the deal handily. Highland Yankee is now three for nine in the win column this year with $21,385 in earnings. He's banked $268,578 lifetime to go along with a mark of 1:55 Highland Yankee paid $5.80 to win.. Also of note on the mid-week program, Iain'tnomomaluke (Bruce Ranger), making his 99th career start and first for Karma Racing off of a claim last week, rallied late to pin a one length defeat on pacesetting Hold On Tightly to score in 1:56.1. Dojea Adventure (Joe Sanzeri) rallied for third over Bit O Victory with Imahinkyconchman, ninth turning for home, rallying for the final check in the 10 horse field. Thw win was the fourth of the year for the winner, a seven year-old son of Dream Vacation, now trained by Dale Gilmour, and 13th lifetime. He has now banked $23,031 for the year and $130,465 lifetime. In Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 on Wednesday night, Bruce Ranger won with Allamericanextra (for his fourth win of the night) keying a 2-8-3-5-1 20 cent consolation payoff of $140.22 to 51 skillful handicappers. The Super Hi-5 carryover going into Saturday's program has vaulted to $92,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...March 30, 2015...Godiva Seelster, the mare that gave Just A Bee all she could handle last week before succumbing in the final few strides, turned the tables on the "Queen Bee" on Monday night at Pompano Park and scored a narrow win in a lifetime best performance of 1:51.2 for harness racing driver Wally Hennessey. The five year-old daughter of Camluck, trained by Wally's brother, Dan, for Paul and Patricia O'Neil, took command just a few steps after the gate opened and carved out fractions of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:23.1 before courageously coming home in :28.1 to score by a neck over Just A Bee and driver Mike Micallef. Mach Me Not, with Bruce Ranger in the bike, was a stout closing third while Mach It a Par, prominent from the get-go, finished fourth. Senorita Santanna pick up the final award in the sextet. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "This mare (Godiva Seelster) is about as consistent as they come. She always gives a good performance. This was her third start back after a couple of months off and she was sharp coming back...didn't lose one step. She dug in tonight and, after that :27.3 backside quarter, I was just hoping for the best. She was a determined winner. But Mike's mare (Just A Bee) went a great trip on her own, too. She's mighty tough!." In defeat, Micallef spoke highly of Godiva Seelster saying, "Just A Bee raced a great mile, no doubt about that, but Wally's mare was extremely sharp and deserves the accolades...she earned them tonight. I look forward to a rematch--and I am sure he does, too!" Godiva Seelster now has a 2-1-0 scorecard in her three starts, good for $13,500 in bounty. She has $122,342 in lifetime earnings. As the 9 to 5 second choice on the tote-board, Godiva Seelster paid $5.60 to win. The $9,500 Open "2" pace for mares went to De Vins Girl, this eight year-old daughter of Red River Hanover, scoring a virtual gate to wire win for Matt Romano in 1:53.2 for owner-trainer Luca Derrico. Fiesta Camcun, with Kevin Wallis handling the mare's lines, finished second with Glow Stick, driven by Dave Ingraham, next, after putting a scare into the winner around the final turn and through mid-stretch. Oceans Motion finished fourth while Jump Start picked up the nickel in the quintet. De Vins Girl tussled--briefly--with Fiesta Camcun, handled by Kevin Wallis, before taking command and carding panels of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:25 before sealing the issue with that :28.2 sprint home for her second success of the year in 12 starts, good for 2015 bounty of $23,750. She's now banked close to $300,000 lifetime--$299,785 to be exact. Though known for her explosive closing kick, De Vins Girl, has 11 wins over the past two seasons in 50 starts with eight of those wins in virtual wire-to-wire fashion. As the 4 to 5 favorite, De Vins Girl paid $3.60 to win. Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 created eight winning tickets on the 2-7-8-10-1 combo with the 20 cent ticket worth $692, pushing the carryover to Wednesday night program over $85,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m. for the mid-week card. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL - A tricky Pick 5 sequence on Sunday (March 29) night has resulted in a rare two-day carryover at Pompano Park of $8,565 into Monday (March 30) night. Track officials have guaranteed Monday night's total pool at $30,000. The 50-Cent Pick 5 is a nightly wager featured on Races 2 - 6. The 50-Cent Pick 4 will once again feature a $7,500 guarantee, covering Races 5 - 8. Multiple tickets were out once again in the Sunday Jackpot Hi-Five, with the consolation returning $761.54. The average consolation payout is now over $600 in the nightly Hi-Five wager, with the jackpot swelling to $79,643 into Monday evening. Live racing continues at the Isle Casino Pompano Park on a four night per week schedule, with a first post of 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings. The final Sunday night program of the season will be conducted on Sunday, April 5th. Gabe Prewitt
Pompano Beach, Fl...March 29, 2015...Two high class claiming events highlighted the Sunday night racing card at Pompano Park with Dont Tell Rusty taking the $10,000 pacing event for $20,000-$25,000 claimers and Canadian Touch achieving top honors in the $8,500 pace for $15,000 claimers. Both feature winners were trained by Paul Holzman and both scored wins in the identical time of 1:51.3. Dont Tell Rusty, owned by Melvin Fink, zipped out of the gate with alacrity and posted panels of :27, :55.2 and 1:23.1 before putting away his foes by sprinting home in :28.2 to score a handy win measuring two lengths over T's Electric and Tom Sells. JJ's Doughnut finished third for Kevin Wallis while the 3 to 5 favorite, Johnny Grippa, finished fourth after sticking his nose in front a stride or two past the third station. Acton Onelasttime finished fifth. A six year-old son of Tell All, Dont Tell Rusty won for the fourth time in 13 starts this semester to push his 2015 earnings to $29,065 and $120,426 lifetime. Fourth choice on the board, Dont Tell Rusty paid $12.40 to win. Meanwhile, Canadian Touch made a sharp move just short of the :26.4 opener and proceeded to carve out panels of :55.2 and 1:23.2 before sprinting away from his competition with a :28.1 finale to stop the timer in 1:51.3 for Mike Micallef. Major Stone, with Kevin Wallis in the bike, chased the winner from the garden spot the entire route and finished second three lengths away, while Fearless Chip, handled by Aaron Byron was third. Hurricane Howard and Ahead Ofthe Curve earned the final two awards in thr septet. Canadian Touch, a six year-old son of Camotion trained by Paul Holzman for owner Ameer Najor (as in major), won for the fourth time this season, sending his yearly earnings to $23,573. He's banked $124,927 lifetime. As the 1 to 2 tote-board favorite, Canadian Touch paid $3.00 to win. In the feature conditioned trot, Saint Patty's Doll, finally out of Open company, helped trainer Jake Huff celebrate his birthday with a popular ($3.80) win for owner and wife Rosie Huff, covering the mile in 1:57. The six year-old daughter of Conway Hall won for the second time this year--17th lifetime--to send her career bounty to $143,045. In other news, driver Dave Ingraham continued to enhance his reputation with "outsiders" at Pompano Park, scoring yet with another long proposition, Cascata, in the Sunday night opener, at odds of 16 to 1. Trained by Michel Plouffe for owner Elizabeth Zimmerman, Cascata knifed between horses late in the mile to score in 1:53.2 to return a $35.60 mutuel to his faithful. Ingraham also scored with the nine year-old warrior, A Fool For Mark, in 1:52.1, grinding by late to score for the 42nd time during his career measuring 195 starts. A Fool For Mark is owned and trained by Dave's son, Dustin. Not to be outdone by "dad," Dustin Ingraham then came back one race later to score a popular victory ($3.00) with his own Notorius Terror, stopping the timer in 1:55.3. Also interesting to note is the fact that Dave Ingraham has won 33 races at Pompano this meeting in 344 starts through Sunday night's program and an investment of $2 to win in each of those starts ($688) would have resulted in a return of $822.40--a profit of $134.40. As Pompano patron Gary Andrews said, "That's a heckuva lot better return than my bank gives me!" Also of note, Pompano Park's 50 cent Pick-5 wager went unclaimed for the second consecutive program and Monday's Pick-5 begins with a carryover of $8,500 and features a $30,000 guarantee. Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, once again, had multiple winning tickets--8--on the winning combination of 10-4-3-6-2 with the 20 cent consolation returning $761.54 and the carryover for Monday night's program escalating close to $80,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...March 28, 2015...Northern Companion, off at 26 to 1, scored the upset victory in Pompano Park's $15,400 Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night, covering the mile in 1:51.2. The seven year-old son of Cambest, trained by Howard Klohr and driven by Dave Ingraham for owner Dorothy Zarza, stormed home from sixth at the top of the stretch to score a win measuring three-quarters of a length over P L Hellcat with Dan Clements handling the lines. Panocchio, making his initial start of the 2015 campaign, finished third for Bruce Ranger, but was disqualified for a pylon violation and set back to eighth, allowing Duc Dorleans, to move up one notch to third after cutting fractions of :26.2, :55.2 and 1:23. Cruizin K C was also moved up a spot to fourth after putting heavy pressure on the leader around the final turn. Do Wop Hanover, also making his 2015 debut was also moved up a spot to catch the nickel. The field was cut to nine with the scratch of Remissionofsins. In a post race interview, Driver Dave Ingraham lamented, "My horse (Northern Companion) can really turn it on late, especially off of some hot fractions. Actually, when Remissionofsins was scratched, I thought that might hurt us a little bit because that one can really sizzle early and possibly set things up for closers. But it all worked out for us and I am thrilled for Howie (trainer Klohr) and, especially, Dotty (owner Zarza). For Northern Companion, it was his third success of the year in seven starts, sending his 2015 bounty to $18,088. He's banked $257,185 lifetime. His win payoff of $54.80 was, by far, the largest in his 40 lifetime victories. In Pompano's $10,000 Open "2" Pace, Steelhead Hanover, again confidently handled by trainer Joe Pavia, Jr., scored another handy victory in "carbon copy" fashion from last week's open lengths win. The six year-old son of Bettor's Delight, scoring last week in 1:49.2 by 4 3/4 lengths, hit the wire 5 1/4 lengths to the good in 1:50 on this night, after carving out front end panels of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:22.1 along the way. Cadillac Phil and Mike Micallef teamed up for place honors while Cartoonist, in the garden spot all the way with Wally Hennessey, finished third, 5 1/2 lengths away. Twin B Speedo finished fourth while Prairie Jaguar picked up the nickel. In a post race interview, driver Joe Pavia, Jr. said, "It was, pretty much, a carbon copy of last week's win. He's very sharp now and, again, when we hit the backside, he just went into another gear, I really didn't realize that he was going that much during that third quarter--:26.3--but he did the same thing last week, too. He's just doing it so comfortably. He's amazing!" Owned by the consortium of Steven Held, AGC Stables, Dijo Racing and Joseph Barbera, Steelhead Hanover is now 2 for 3 this year and 18 for 70 lifetime with $494,270 in career bounty to go along with a mark of 1:48.3 last year at Pocono Downs. As the overwhelming 1 to 5 choice on the tote-board, Steelhead Hanover paid $2.40 to win. Multiple Carryovers Fuel Big Sunday Night at Pompano Gold Star Spike (Aaron Byron) rallied from last to get his nose up on the wire in Saturday night’s 5th race, returning $129.60 for the win and keying a $2,631 exacta. The longshot was part of the Pick 4 and Pick 5, ensuring carryovers in both wagers into the Sunday night card. The 50-Cent Pick 5 features a carryover of $1,842 into Sunday night, with track officials placing a $7,500 guarantee on the total pool. The 50-Cent Pick 5 is a nightly wager featured on Races 2 – 6. The 50-Cent Pick 4 will begin with a $2,662 carryover on Sunday, with track officials placing a $15,000 guarantee on the total pool. The Pick 4 is a nightly wager featured on Races 5 – 8. Longshot Northern Companion (David Ingraham), returned a healthy $54.80 to take Saturday night’s finale, but there were two winning tickets out on the Jackpot Hi-Five with the 20-cent consolation returning $1,626.66. The Jackpot Hi-Five carryover into Sunday night is up to $73,551. Live racing continues at the Isle Casino Pompano Park on a four night per week schedule, with a first post of 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, Fl...March 27, 2015...With Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 $70,000 carryover into Saturday's harness racing program gaining significant momentum, the track has added additional "fuel to the fire" by carding the $15,400 Open Handicap Pace as the event host for Saturday's Hi-5. A stellar field of 10 will face the Hummer Starting Gate, including newcomers Doo Wop Hanover (5/2) and Panocchio (9/2), both expected to attract significant interest at the mutual windows. Doo Wop Hanover, a $257,000 winner with a 1:49 mark in his 2014 three year-old campaign and a very fast closing fourth to McWicked in the Breeders Crown in his final start last season, makes his four year-old debut for trainer Peter Blood, who co-owns along with Rick Berks. Mickey McNichol, who handled "Doo Wop" in his 1:50.4 qualifying win last week, will be in the bike and begins from post eight. This son of Rocknroll Hanover is sandwiched between Panocchio, a 1:49.3 winner in his last start at Pompano to close out last year's campaign, and Duc Dorleans, bringing a four race winning streak in Open competition to the table. About Doo Wop Hanover, trainer Peter Blood said, "I'm not too crazy about having drawn the eight post in a bulky field like this, but Doo Wop showed he was tight with that qualifier last week and he can really do some rattling in the lane, so we hope for the best in this, his first start back." Panocchio will have the services of Bruce Ranger in the bike while Duc Dorleans, sporting a mark of 1:49 at Pompano Park, will have regular driver Donald Dupont handling the five year-old's lines. Ranger thinks the event will be an all out war...especially early. "If the weather cooperates, I think we'll see some very fast fractions--some real barnburners--especially early," he said. "Last week, the opener was :25.4, so I wouldn't be surprised if the half was :53 and change and I don't think it would be prudent to mix it up too much with the leader at that point. That could set up for a track record threatening mile." Pompano Park's track record is 1:48.4. While these aforementioned stars have lightning gate speed, their main competition may come from yet another blossoming star, Remissionofsins (7/2), a side-wheeler that can bolt out of the gate with the best of them, as evidenced by his :25.4 opener last week in the Open, only to be nailed in the final stride or two of a 1:50.2 mile. Kevin Wallis will be in the bike back of Remissionofsins for the "Saturday night special." Wallis said, "This is the first time that I will have driven this horse but I understand he does have some 'hellish' (keeping with the 'sins' theme) early. Off his recent performances, he should be competitive in the field." The field also boasts Cruizin K C (post one, 15/1), Freeneasy Hanover (20/1), Northern Companion (15/1), E Z Noah (10/1), P L Hellcat (8/1) and Raji's Blue Line (15/1), starting from the second tier 10 post. Raji's Blue Line will have the driving services of Mike Micallef who said, "I realize that there are a few horses in there that might be a step or two better than mine but, the last time I checked, 'Raji' couldn't read the tele-time on the infield board, so I am hoping to catch some live cover off of a lively half." Post time for Pompano's Saturday night program is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park