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Pompano Beach, FL…March 14, 2015…P L Hellcat, Dan Clements’ splendid four year-old son of Mach Three, known for his tremendous brushing power, brushed  the entire mile on Saturday night in taking top honors in Pompano Park’s top pacing feature—the $13,500 Open. Trained by Renaldo Morales, III, P L Hellcat led at every pole--:27.1, :56.1 and 1:23—in route to a victory measuring a length over the fast closing Raji’s Blue Line (Mike Micallef) in 1:51.1. Neptune (Aaron Byron) finished third while Cadillac Phil, showing early speed before being shuffled on the backside, rallied quickest of all--:27.3—to finish fourth. Heart Felt, prominent throughout the mile, finished fifth in the septet. After the race, driver Dan Clements said, “I left out of there expecting to get a two-hole journey but it didn’t work out that way at all. We got some pretty serious pressure on the backside--:26.4—but he was up to the task. He does have some kinda brush…but, tonight, he brushed the whole mile! He was very good. I am proud of him!” The lightly raced four year-old, P L Hellcat now sports a report card of 3-2-0 in six starts and $24,630 for the year. He’s banked $124,304 lifetime in only 27 career starts. Even money on the tote-board, P L Hellcat returned $4.20 to his many faithful followers. In the $10,000 event for $20,000-$25,000 claiming pacers, Remissionofsins, handled by George Napolitano, Jr., was an impressive virtual gate-to-wire winner, scoring in a lifetime best 1:50.2—this after cutting fractions of :26.3, :55 and 1:23.1 along the way. The seven year-old son of Final Cheers, trained by Chris Oakes for owner Susan Oakes, stretched his winning skein to two after last week’s lifetime best effort of 1:50.4. Actononelasttime, a $4,000 claim less than a month ago and in for $20,000 this night, finished second for Kevin Wallis while Machinest rallied for Jason Dillander to finish third. Zavan was fourth in the mile while JJ’s Doughnut, last turning for home, finished fifth and was promptly claimed for the sixth time this year—this time for $25,000. In a post race chat, driver George Napolitano summed up the journey on Remissionofsins in a succinct manner saying, “He’s just very good right now!” Remissionofsins now shows a consistent 2-5-2 scorecard in 11 starts, good for $26,660 for the season and $133,796 lifetime. As the overwhelming 1 to 5 favorite, Remissionofsins paid $2.40 to win. Also on the card, Pompano Park champion Prairie Jaguar returned to his winning ways with a splendid wire-to-wire win for Peter Wrenn in 1:51.1 in a $10,000 conditioned event for pacers. The now seven year-old son of Spy Hard cut opening panels of :27 and :55.2 before sprinting through a sizzling third quarter of :26.4 to dispel any threats as the pocket sitting Hillybilly (Bruce Ranger) and Northern Companion (Dave Ingraham), eventually second and third, respectively, in the mile, were not about to gain any ground during that backside binge—the winning margin being two lengths. Prairie Jaguar now has 22 lifetime wins and $168,827 lifetime. Owned by Laurie Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, Prairie Jaguar is the only horse in Pompano Park history with six wins in 1:50 or faster—his mark being 1:49. Prairie Jaguar paid $3.20 to win. In Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, Histoire Eternelle, handled by Peter Wrenn, was the winner in a lifetime best mile 1:51.3, significant because the victory enabled track announcer Gabe Prewitt to sweep the card--handicapping all nine winners on top. The Super Hi-5 had multiple winners on Saturday night--the 20 cent consolation of 5-3-4-2-6 paying $85.10--pushing the carryover for Sunday night's card over the $37,500  mark. Post time is 7:30 p.m. John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL...December 27, 2014...The "dare" was "catch me if you can!" They didn't!  Prairie Jaguar capped off an "unbelievable" 2014 harness racing season on Saturday night with a powerful win in 1:50 for driver Peter Wrenn.   The six year-old son of Spy Hard, owned by Laurie Lee Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, virtually wired the competition this night, scoring his sixth victory at Pompano Park in 1:50 or faster--the most of any horse in the track's history.   This was textbook.   Leaving from post four in his septet, Prairie Jaguar rocketed out of the gate and, after a brief tussle with Fancyfreesharp (Bruce Ranger) and his stablemate E Z Noah (Aaron Byron), won the battle to the opening quarter timed in :26.1.   The pace hardly softened during the next two markers with the "Jaguar" at the half in :53.4 and three-quarters in 1:21 with E Z Noah second and Fancyfreeshark next.   Though That'll Be The Rei (Mike Micallef) tried to apply some pressure the final three-eighths of a mile brushing from fourth, his valiant effort fell a length-and-a-half short when the final time of 1:50 popped up on the board.   Fancyfreeshark did finish third while Cadillac Phil wound up fourth. Northern Companion managed to pick up the final check.   In a post race interview, driver Peter Wrenn said, "they say the jaguar is one of the fastest animals on earth. This "Jaguar" proved that tonight. He was absolutely awesome tonight. He was all-to-willing leaving the gate and showed the determination of a great horse when the competition started to close in. He did it all by his lonesome tonight...I was just a passenger."   The win was the 11th of the year in a busy season covering 37 starts pushing his yearly bounty to $106,105--his most successful season ever.   As the 5 to 2 third choice to That'll Be The Rei (2.10 to 1) and the Fancyfreeshark-E Z Noah entry (2.20 to 1) in the betting, Prairie Jaguar paid $7.40 to his many $2 followers.   Racing continues at Pompano Park Sunday night with a $5,000 guaranteed Pick-4 with that guarantee ballooning to $10,000 for the Monday and Tuesday programs.   Also, the Super Hi-5 went unscathed again on Saturday night and now sports a carry forward of well over $12,000 going into the Sunday night program.   Post time is 7:30 p.m.   John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...November 21, 2014...Panocchio, Doc Dorleans and Prairie Jaguar renew their spirited rivalry along with four other worthy opponents as Pompano Park hosts Hippomania II on Saturday night. The card is further complimented with five separate stakes events in the Melvyn Aylor Memorial, honoring the memory of the Florida breeder, trainer, owner and highly respected veterinarian who tragically lost his life due to an unfortunate accident back in 2009. Panocchio looks to solidify his supremacy in the Hippomania II event on the strength of four straight victories in the class--the last a lifetime best 1:50 performance. Bruce Ranger is expected back in the bike back of this grand four year-old son of No Pan Intended. About the big event, Ranger said, "He (Panocchio) is such a handy horse to drive--two fingers does it. I've sent him (to the front) the past few times because it's difficult to spot competition of this caliber seven or eight lengths at the start and expect to win. We'll see what kind of opportunities present themselves when the gate springs on Saturday." Duc Dorleans, one of four performers in the field with sub-1:50 marks, gave futile chase in his last effort, pacing his final half in :54.1 to finish second for Donald Dupont. Trainer-driver Dupont recently said, "'Duc' does have some gate speed but he is probably best known for his closing kick. He's paced a final quarter under :26 on a bigger track. It's a tough decision on whether to leave or not, especially with a horse like Prairie Jaguar starting with a post inside of ours." Speaking of Prairie Jaguar, this Florida bred son of Spy Hard is the only horse in Pompano Park history to record five victories in 1:50 or faster--his mark being 1:49 on two occasions. Veteran driver Peter Wrenn is expected to be in the sulky for the journey on Saturday evening. Northern Companion, Rage N Ryan, Audrey's Dream and Freeneasy Hanover round out the septet scheduled to go to the post in race nine on the 11 race pari-mutuel card. The Melvyn Aylor Memorial events feature some of Florida's finest two year-olds and carry a total of $63,500 in purses. Of particular interest are two budding rivalries, the first for the two year-old pacing colts and geldings and the second showcasing the juvenile pacing fillies. The event for the boys pits Owosso Flash, thus far the leader of the class, against Gold Star Kevin and Caesar's Forum. Owosso Flash is undefeated in three starts at Pompano Park and, in an amazing performance in his last start, took an "unscheduled right turn" early spotting the field some 15 lengths before being "righted" by driver Mike Deters being sent on to score a decisive win in 1:58.1. Gold Star Roger gave chase in that event and finished a game second while Caesar's Forum, third in his last two outings to "Flash," looks to be rounding into top form as the FSBOA stakes season reaches a peak. The filly event features Gold Star Dynasty and Paxxie locking hooves for the sixth time this stakes season. Both of these fillies have not been worse than second in their respective careers covering five starts with "Dynasty" holding a three to two edge in wins. That event kicks off the pari-mutuel card and is scheduled as the first half of the early daily double. Also enhancing the betting card is the introduction of the Super Hi 5, as well as carryovers in both the Pick-5 and Pick-4 pools. The Super Hi 5 requires the selection of the first five official finishers in order and features the unique aspect that there must be a single winner to take the entire pool. If two or more persons are successful in selecting the "Hi-5," there would be a 50% pool distribution shared by those persons with the remainder of the pool carried over to the next program or programs until a single winner emerges. Director of Racing Brett Revington is excited about the new wager saying "Our guests are always looking for new, exciting and potentially lucrative opportunities. After all, the casino is continually freshened up the floor with new, exciting gaming devices and racing needs to take a page from that and freshen up the wagering opportunities to make them appealing to our patrons. "We are hoping that this produces more interest in our product line and what we have to offer here at Pompano Park. "The carryovers in both our Pick-5 and Pick-4 events should also bolster interest in the Saturday card, especially the Pick-4 with that friendly 12% takeout." Post time remains at 7:30 for the pari-mutuel program on Saturday night with four of the Aylor Memorial Stakes raced as non-wagering events beginning at 6:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...November 13, 2014...There are dozens of "manias" that are part of society with Beatlemania and Wrestlemania among them. Then there is "hippomania," a passion for horses. On Saturday night, Pompano Park will host the "Hippomania" Pace, one of the most highly anticipated matchups in Pompano Park history. The field features a quintet of the best pacers ever to set foot on Pompano Park's five-eighths mile oval--in alphabetical order, Duc Orleans, Mr Dennis, Northern Companion, Panocchio and Prairie Jaguar. Four of the five are seeking repeat victories while the "other," Prairie Jaguar, comes off a second place effort but is the only horse in Pompano history to record five winning efforts in 1:50 or faster. "It should be a 'barn-burner,'" said Mike Deters, trainer of Prairie Jaguar. "Here you have five exceptionally talented horses, each capable of threatening our track record under ideal circumstances. It's an honor to be included in this group." Indeed. Duc Orleans, the author of 16 lifetime victories, two of which have been clocked in 1:49.2, has been known to pace a final quarter under :26 seconds. Trained and driven by Donald Dupont for owner Gestion Levesque, the "Duc" grinded out a final half in :54.4 to pin a defeat on Prairie Jaguar in last week's encounter to push his lifetime bankroll close to $400,000. The soft-spoken Dupont humbly said, "He sure has come a long way from his first win up in Quebec--2:05." Prairie Jaguar, of course, is having a banner year, having earned over $90,000 for owners Laurie Poulin and Mike Deters. This Florida bred son of Spy Hard has three sub-1:50 wins--the fastest being 1:49, accomplished on two occasions here at Pompano Park. Trainer Deters has enlisted Aaron Byron to take the lines back of the "Jaguar," seeking his 11th win of the year. Panocchio, owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with trainer Jim Mattison, is on a roll, having won the last two Open events in which he has competed at Pompano Park. The four year-old son of Panocchio has won six of his last seven starts and has seasonal earnings of $113,570 to go along with 14 wins this year. Not only does he have a 1:50.4 mark here at Pompano, Panocchio also has a splendid 1:51.3 mark over the half mile oval at Saratoga. Bruce Ranger will be back in the bike back of Panocchio and said, "this is one of the handiest horses I have ever driven...two fingers, he's that handy and he's very sharp right now." Dorothy Zarza's Northern Companion looks to have "home field advantage" in the select field. Trained by Howard Klohr, "Buddy," as he is known around the barn, has won 29 of his 37 career successes at Pompano Park. With a mark of 1:50.3, Northern Companion is well known for his explosive brushes and is capable of picking up the pieces off of an anticipated hot early pace. Dave Ingraham will be in the bike back of Northern Companion. The "unknown" quantity in the field is Mr Dennis, owned by the J L Benson Stables and trained by Joe Sanzeri. Having been competitive in recent Open events here at Pompano, this five year-old son of Dragon Again utilized a class dip in his last outing and, after taking command past a blazing :26.1 opener, went on to carve out amazing panels of :53.2 and 1:21.1 to score an open lengths win for Mike Micallef in a lifetime best 1:50.4. Mr Dennis has the rail in the Hippomania pace and could very well dictate the pace. The Hippomania pace gets an excellent Saturday evening card started as the first race on the program. Also on tap is the C. K. G. Billings event for amateur drivers. Billings, a wealthy industrialist and noted horseman, invested much of his time and fortune promoting the standardbred horse and its amateur participants. One of the great horses he owned was Lou Dillon, the first trotter ever to cover a mile in 2:00, that being in 1903. The Billings series was founded in 1981 and serves as a platform for amateur drivers to showcase the sport of harness racing at participating tracks throughout North America. Pompano Park's Saturday program is further enhanced by a Pick-5 carryover (covering races 2 through 6) and a Pick-4 with a patron friendly 12% takeout encompassing races 5 through 8.) Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...October 11, 2014...Once again, the "Jaguar" mauled his harness racing rivals at Pompano Park on Saturday night. Prairie Jaguar, the splendid six year-old Florida bred son of Spy Hard, used his domineering gate speed to take the lead in the very first stride, proceeded to gnaw his way through panels of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:22.3 and went on to score a handy win measuring 1 3/4 lengths for driver Aaron Byron in Pompano Park's top $10,000 Open Pace. The final time was, once again, 1:50.3, the exact same time as last week's victory. There were a lot of "once agains" in this event. Once again, Northern Companion, with Mike Micallef handling the lines, chased the winner home. And, once again, Cartoonist, third last week, repeated that performance this week, 5 1/4 lengths away for Bruce Ranger. Hurricane Howard, along for the ride as part of an entry with the "Jaguar," was fourth with Mr. Dennis picking up the nickel in the sextet. Owned by Laurie Lee Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, Prairie Jaguar won for the 20th time during his splendid career--15 of those victories at Pompano Park. "Jaguar" is the only horse in Pompano Park history to record five winning miles in 1:50 or faster--his mark being 1:49. In a post race interview, driver Byron said, "Mr. Deters has this horses absolutely razor sharp right now. He really seems to love the surroundings here. It's like he has a real determination to put on a great show for his fans here. He just keeps going and going...amazing!" Northern Companion's trainer, Howard Klohr, also had some very complimentary words for the winner. "He's (Prairie Jaguar) just a monster right now. I think I have a pretty solid pacer in Northern Companion here and it's like I'm caught between the devil and the deep blue sea! "My horse loves to race off the pace but it's tough to plan a strategy against Prairie Jaguar. "If I don't leave from this post (five), then I'm six lengths off the pace of a horse that can pace a last half in :54 and a piece...and it's tough to make up territory in that scenario. "If I leave, like I did the last couple of times, a horse can get demoralized when you find yourself gapped while pacing an opener in :26 and a piece." Klohr, indeed, has a point! For the winner, he's now banked $85,405 for the year and $142,627 lifetime. Prairie Jaguar paid $2.80 to win this time around. In the "Open 2" Pace, Freeneasy Hanover came from well off the pace to collar 3 to 5 favorite, T's Electric, to score in 1:53.4 for Bruce Ranger. The six year-old son of Western Ideal, trained by Jim McDonald for Twenty Four Carrot Racing and Ciro Gentile, won for the 21st time during his career--five of those triumphs this year--to send his lifetime bounty to $187,090. After the event, Ranger said, "This horse gave me a bit of a hint last week. He just couldn't make up that much ground on a :55.4 final half. The pace was a bit quicker this time around (:56.1 opening half) and it worked out to his advantage because he can go a bit when given some racetrack." Racing continues at Pompano Park on Wednesday nigth with the FSBOA sponsored Sunshine State Stakes. Post time is 7:30 p.m.  

After an early tussle with Fireyourguns, Prairie Jaguar ($5.10) made the front and did not look back, kicking clear to a four-length win in Sunday (July 20) afternoon's harness racing featured $14,000 Open Pace at Tioga Downs.   The six-year-old Spy Hard gelding found himself embroiled in an early speed duel, forcing Fireyourguns into the pocket through a :26.2 initial quarter. After a conservative second quarter, Jim Marohn, Jr. called upon Prairie Jaguar to accelerate up the backstretch, with 6-5 favorite Fireyourguns keeping pace nicely from the pocket through a 1:23 three-quarter split. On the far turn, Aaron Byron angled Fireyourguns to the outside to challenge, but Prairie Jaguar dug in all the more, sprinting clear for a four-length win in 1:50.4. Fireyourguns held second, while Golden Gun (Tyler Buter) stayed on for third off a tracking trip.   Trainer Mike Deters co-owns Prairie Jaguar with Laurie Lee Poulin.   The win was one of three on the day for Marohn, who also proved victorious aboard T's Electric (another Mike Deters trainee) and Will Kane.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (July 25) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Sustaining a first-over bid, Prairie Jaguar ($18.00) wore down Fireyourguns before kicking clear to a 1:50.4 win over a late-closing JK Panache in Sunday (June 15) afternoon's $14,000 Open 1 Handicap Pace at Tioga Downs.   The six-year-old Spy Hard gelding commenced his bid after Fireyourguns (Aaron Byron) was used to clear the lead at a :54.4 half mile, pushing steadily to keep the pace hot on the approach to the far turn. With 300 yards to go, the two were level, and Jim Marohn, Jr. kicked clear with Prairie Jaguar at head-stretch.   As Fireyourguns faded through the stretch, the late threat came in the form of JK Panache (Rick Plano), who fanned wide off Prairie Jaguar's live cover, closing to within 1-3/4 lengths for second honors. The Ladies Man (Corey Braden) made a late bid for third.   Trainer Mike Deters co-owns Prairie Jaguar with Laurie Lee Poulin.   Three $12,500 first-round divisions of the Nichols True Value late-closing series for pacers were contested on the undercard, with Moonlight Ransom (1:53.3, Jimmy Whittemore), Real Illusion (1:53.0, Brandon Simpson), and Agood Time to Rock (1:53.1, Jim Marohn, Jr.) all proving victorious.   Live racing resumes at Tioga on Saturday (June 21) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Accelerating clear on the backstretch in a :26.4 third quarter, Laurie Lee Poulin and Mike Deters's Prairie Jaguar ($7.70) returned to his winning ways, holding clear in the $14,000 Open 1 Pace on Sunday (June 8) afternoon at Tioga Downs. The six-year-old Florida-sired Spy Hard gelding was eager to set an ambitious pace, but was rated by Jim Marohn, Jr. through a :56 half mile.     On the backstretch, Prairie Jaguar edged clear of Electrofire (John Cummings, Jr.), while Glass Prince (Rick Dane) made a first-over rally into second.  With the remainder of the field struggling to keep pace with Prairie Jaguar through three-quarters in 1:22.4, the battle was mainly for minor spoils.  Prairie Jaguar held clear to the line, but was kept to task in his 1:51 victory, with Glass Prince holding second, and Electrofire staying on to be third.   The $11,000 Open 2 Pace was taken by Golden Gun ($31.00) in similar fashion, pushing clear on the backstretch en route to a 1:52.2 win with John Cummings, Jr. in the bike.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Trainer Mike Deters is uncertain of Prairie Jaguar's future, in part because he didn't expect the present. Prairie Jaguar, a 6-year-old gelding pacer, has won five of six races this season - and nine of his last 10 dating back to December - as he prepares for Saturday's start of the Whata Baron Series at Meadowlands Racetrack. Prairie Jaguar is in the second of two $22,500 divisions, with Jim Morrill Jr. listed to drive. A son of the stallion Spy Hard, Prairie Jaguar raced a total of only four times at ages 2 and 3 because of sickness and physical maturity issues. When he reached the races on a full-time basis as 4-year-old, he was green but flashed speed in a 1:51.2 triumph at Pompano Park. Deters sent the horse to race in Canada because he better fit the conditions there than at Pompano. Prairie Jaguar apparently didn't care for the move, winning only twice in 43 starts north of the border. When he returned to Florida in December, he got hot. "It's a who-knew type of deal," Deters said. "We thought he was a pretty nice horse when he won in (1):51.2 here, but he had no luck in Canada. I don't know what it was, but it just didn't work out. He came back and got back on our program and the next thing you know, here he comes. "Some of it is probably maturity. You just never know. I just try to make the horses happy." Prairie Jaguar had a nine-race win streak snapped last Saturday by a fifth-place finish at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Prairie Jaguar, driven by George Napolitano Jr., was beaten by 2-3/4 lengths by Sparky Mark in 1:51.2 over a sloppy track. "He raced OK," Deters said. "He went from very nice weather to very poor weather and the (race) bike was a little too small for him. George said it was long enough, but it was a little too tight and he couldn't really drive the horse. But he still paced (1):52 on a bad night." Deters, who since October has shared ownership of Prairie Jaguar with original owner Laurie Lee Poulin, is hopeful his horse will bounce back in the Whata Baron Series. Prairie Jaguar, who earlier this year became the first horse in Pompano Park history to win at least four races in 1:50 or less, will start from post two in his division. Joining Prairie Jaguar in the second division are K-lees Shakenbake, Scott Rocks, Mindset, Summer Smackdown, Captive Audience, Kg Dragonator, He Rocks The Moon, Burkentine Hanover, and Jeremes General. The first division is Wake Up Peter, Sky Is The Limit, Fateful Choice, Ima Giggity Fool, Santanna One, Dew N Doughnuts, River Run For Ryan, Alexa's Jackpot, and Americhi. The second leg of the Whata Baron Series is April 12 and the $75,000 estimated final is April 19. "My fingers are crossed," Deters said. "I hope he shows up. I think he will. There are some nice horses in there, but I think he's a nice horse too. I think he's got a chance to be very competitive." As for the future beyond the Whata Baron Series, nothing is set. "He's not penciled in for anything," Deters said. "We'll race him around and if he turns out to be good we'll find some things for him. "He's just been a pleasure," the trainer added. "He's a big, strong horse, but he's a gentle giant. A child could take care of him. But when you turn to the (starting) gate, he knows it's time for business." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

We are visiting today with Floridian veteran trainer and horseman Michael Deters. Michael Deters is currently having incredible success with the best pacing colt he has ever trained and owned in Prairie Jaguar.  During his current streak, Prairie Jaguar has posted four winning miles in 1:50 or faster at Pompano Park, the most ever by any Standardbred in the track's fifty year history.  Michael ranks annually in the top five trainers at Pompano Park in wins and UDRS training ratings. The lightly raced Prairie Jaguar will be shipping up north soon to take on the some best pacers in harness racing.  His first test will be the Whata Baron stakes at the Meadowlands beginning on April 5th. One-On-One is done exclusively for Harnesslink.com by Brian McEvoy HLINK: Congratulations on having Prairie Jaguar being named Horse of the Month by the USTA for the month of January.  He has won his last 7 starts including a pair of Pompano Park Open victories in January.  How is he holding up? MD: It is the first time this has ever happened for me and I am pretty tickled.  It would be better if he got a chance to race more often.  For a horse to be real sharp they need to race every week. He is racing every other week. He has been good every start. Prairie is real sharp now. Since he came back from Canada every race has been great. HLINK: You have now won seven races in a row including four races under 1:50 or less. Last summer Prairie Jaguar was racing in Canada for non-winners of $1,000 in last three starts. That is quite an improvement.  What happened to improve his form so drastically? MD: When I had the horse a couple of years ago he went in 1:51.2 at Pompano. He came home in :27.1.  It was only his sixth or seven lifetime start. They wanted me to race in the Open Pace.  I didn't think he was ready with only a handful of starts to race in the Open Pace. We sent him to Canada to Laurie Poulin's brother.  He just didn't have any luck racing with the horse. I don't know what to tell you as to what happened to the horse. There is no big secret with this horse.  He is really good.  In all the races in Canada he was never involved in the race. Since he has been back he has really stepped up. Jason Dillander has done a tremendous job driving the horse.  We have fattened him up and made him a happy horse again. A horse has to be happy or they don't want to go. If a horse is happy they will perform for you. HLINK: Prairie Jaguar has been handicapped with the eight post in the Open Pace. Has Pompano Park limited you to the amount of times you can race and whether you can continue to race in the Open Pace? MD: I certainly hope I can race twice a month. They have led me to believe I can race twice a month for the time being. HLINK: A couple of races back Prairie Jaguar won in dominating fashion from the 8 post, near the finish line the track announcer screamed "how good is this horse". Please tell us how good is Prairie Jaguar? MD: I think he is an uncapped talent.  He has not been challenged yet. I am sure when I get up north he will be tested. As of now, we have not found the bottom. I would be surprised if he can't pace in 1:48.  If I could race him two weeks in a row at Pompano, he would go in 1:48 and change.  I believe the track record is 1:48.4.  If we paced him two weeks in a row, we would own the track record! HLINK: I understand you are planning to ship the horse up north soon. Are you going to put him in Levy Series at Yonkers, or do you have other plans? MD: He raced up north last year on a 1/2 mile track and didn't have a lot of success.  He is not going to race on a 1/2 mile track unless I go with him.  I would hate to put him in against the best horses in North American until he can get his feet wet.  The plan right now is to go in a new series at the Meadowlands called the Whata Baron.  It is a series for non-winners of $100,000 lifetime. HLINK: You will be going up against Wake Up Peter and some other quality pacers.  What do you think of his chances? MD: My horse is a proven winner.  He has won seven in a row and has the ability to do well.  We will find out when he puts his nose up against the starting gate against the better horses.  He has just been tremendous since he came back from Canada. Every race has been great.  HLINK: What are you plans after the Whata Baron? MD: Hopefully he can race against the upper echelon. When you are in the northeast there are plenty of places to race. In Florida there is only one place to race.  As far as other stake races, I really don't know yet. To be in the higher up stake races you have to dominate right away. If he is that good, we will educate him this year and next year go in the big stakes. He has minimum starts for a six-year-old horse.  The sky is the limit for him. The horses are going so fast as two or three-year-olds that they don't hold up. HLINK: Are you going north with Prairie Jaguar or do you plan to put him with another trainer? MD: That is very much up in the air at the moment. If I don't go now I will be up later to race him in the northeast circuit. HLINK: You seem to have an attraction to horses sired by Spy Hard.  Your partner Laurie Poulin had Spy Hard as a stallion in Florida.  Spy Hard is a full brother to the great Riyadh.  Do you think that is where Prairie Jaguar gets his speed? MD: He only sired a handful of horses.  I had two of them.  I had a Spy Hard filly named Prairie Lee.  She made over $45,000 in the Florida Sire Stakes at three.  She won twice at Tioga in 1:51. I sold her as she did not get around Pompano that well.  Prairie Jaguar is a full brother to Riyadh.  I think that helps a lot.  The key to a good horse is a good mare.  The mother is an unraced Auturo horse named Cat Lady.  She only had one other foal named Three Putt Again.  He was a Florida Champion and won in 1:51 as a three-year-old.  HLINK: You have an outstanding mare in Winbak Heavenly.  Unfortunately you had to chase Summertime Lea all summer.  She was able to win close to $150,000 last year racing in the New York Sire Stakes for three-year-old fillies. MD: She is not too far off from racing this year.  I trained her in 2:18 the other day.  She should be racing at Pompano by March for a short time.  I will look to send her up to race at Yonkers.  HLINK: Have you given up the driving part of the business? MD: I am old and fat (laughter).  I usually only drive the problem children. I will qualify the ones who have trouble getting around.  I leave the driving for the skinny guys who can go fast. HLINK: Tell us about your partnership with Laurie Poulin. MD: We have had horses together for about five years. She has a small breeding farm.  The last two years we have done well. We had a few shaky years. The horses have raced well. We have had a couple of nice colts. It is a descent partnership. HLINK: Do you have any future stars coming up in your stable? MD: I have a two-year-old brother to Prairie Lee and a two-year-old sister to Prairie Jaguar.  I like them both a lot. They seem like real nice babies. They are both Florida bred's and are doing everything right.  I have two-year-old trotting colt by Conway Hall that has been in 2:18.  I am looking to race him in the New York Sire Stakes. HLINK: How did you get your start in the business?  Your dad was in the business. MD: My dad raced at Pompano Park in the late sixties and early seventies.  I went to high school and college in Michigan.  When my father died I decided I could starve better in warm weather than cold weather.  My dad had thirty head at Hillcrest Farm in Florida.  When my dad died I went to work there.  I never had another job other than the horses. HLINK: You seem to have a lot of great help working for you.  One of your caretakers, Tracey O'Leary, was recently honored by the Florida Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association as "Caretaker of the Month".  MD: Tracey has been with me for about twenty-five-years.  He does an outstanding job along with Bernie Germain.  My wife Shelly is the nuts and bolts of the operation.  My son Michael is my biggest supporter and helps out also. HLINK:  You were the President of the Florida Breeders Association around the time Pompano Park got the slots. What happened that they never got any of the slot revenue? MD: We were assured twelve million dollars a year.  That didn't happen for one year.  The first year we got ten million.  Since then it has gone backward.  The Florida Horsemen got the royal shaft.  They got the goldmine and we got the shaft.  Hopefully something positive will happen with this next legislation session.  If it doesn't the future of harness racing in Florida will be in jeopardy.  We were told for years it was going to happen. We were on the bill to be included in the slot revenue.  Then all of a sudden we were not on the bill.  All of the rest of the racing entities in horse racing in Florida were included and get a percentage of the slot revenue. I am not actively involved any more.  Hopefully things will go our way in Tallahassee starting in March. HLINK: Regardless of the situation developing in Tallahassee, Mike Deters has an exciting future awaiting him every time that Prairie Jaguar steps on the racetrack. By Brian McEvoy for Harnesslink.com

Pompano Beach, FL...February 1, 2014...This harness racing journalist had to make a decision after Prairie Jaguar won for the seventh consecutive time at Pompano Park--simply "cut and paste" the same article written in his last start two weeks ago or write something new. Of course, the answer is obvious. Prairie Jaguar, the incredible Florida bred six year-old son of Spy Hard, did it again--winning, this time, in 1:49.2--for his fourth winning mile in 1:50 or faster at Pompano Park, the most ever by any standardbred in this track's history stretching now a half century. Driven again by Jason Dillander for trainer Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Jaguar led virtually every step of the mile, first, outbrushing Lyons Johnny, handled by Wally Hennessey, through a scalding opening quarter of :26 and, then, clocking fractions of :53.3 and 1;22.1 along the way to report home with a two length margin over Lyons Johnny with Hillybilly (Bruce Ranger) third after having raced in that position the entire route. Northern Companion, last early, rallied to finish fourth while McGreat picked up the final award in the field of seven--the final horse across the line timed in 1:50.4. In a post race interview, driver Dillander said, "...this horse amazes me every time he races. He was off a couple of weeks so I wasn't sure he'd be as tight, but he was just awesome tonight. I admit I was a little bit worried because he was so relaxed up the backstretch but when Wally's horse (Lyons Johnny) came to me around the final turn, he pinned his ears back and was all business from there. What did he come home in? :27 and a piece? (:27.1.) For Prairie Jaguar, this seven race winning streak has pushed his lifetime bounty to $72,222 in 69 lifetime starts--$30,000 of that in his past seven races covering less than two months. Trainer Deters summed it up perfectly when he said, "...he sure has come a long way since his first start as a two year-old way back in 2010 when he paced his mile in (2):15 and a piece...and that's without making a break!" He sure has. by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park  

On Saturday evening in the winner’s circle at the Isle Pompano Park, the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association awarded Tracey O’Leary its December Caretaker of the Month Award. O’Leary, a longstanding successful member of the Mike Deters Stable, recently took over care of Prairie Jaguar (6g Spy Hard-Cat Lady-Arturo), the red hot Mel Hartman bred, Laurie Poulin raised, Florida bred.  Deters and Poulin own Prairie Jaguar but he has blossomed under O’Leary’s care. Saying “he’s now a happy horse”, O’Leary stated, “it’s been just about solid horse care, and the results have been more than solid.” Since a qualifier at Pompano Park on November 23, 2013, Prairie Jaguar is six for six with $25,000 earned, the last four in Open competition timed between 1:49f – 1:50.2f with final quarters in :28 and change or better. Prior to O’Leary grooming Prairie Jaguar, he had only six wins (and 19 on the board finishes) in 62 starts for earnings of $42,222. Watching Prairie Jaguar warm up free-legged Saturday prior to his race caught the attention of members of the Florida USHWA chapter, and certainly signaled that he is in fact a happy horse under the care of Tracey O’Leary. The horse can leave, relax and turn it on when asked. In the winner’s circle, O’Leary was presented by the Florida USHWA Chapter with a plaque and a check for $100. By Thomas H. Hicks for the Florida USHWA Chapter Photo Caption:  (Left to Right), Lucian Fontaine, Rosie Huff, Tracey O'Leary, "Big Bernie," Mike Deters, Laurie Poulin and Thomas Hicks. (Dee Leftwich photo)

Pompano Beach, FL...January 19, 2014...Prairie Jaguar, back in action at Pompano Park after a weeks respite from the racing wars, ran his victory streak to six on Saturday night with another brilliant performance--this one timed in 1:50.2--in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace.   The Florida bred gelded son of Spy Hard took the lead a few steps out of the gate, brushed to a four length lead by the :26.2 opener, and proceeded to clock subsequent panels of :55 and 1:22.2 before coasting home an easy winner by 5 1/4 lengths.   Northern Companion, handled by Dave Ingraham, finished second after giving futile chase from three-eighths out to the wire. Thebestofjoel, with Ed Hensley handling the lines, finished third, 7 1/2 lengths away while Eastend Eddie finished fourth. Southern Sport picked up the nickel in the quintette.   The winner, nominated--but not entered--in a $10,000 claiming series at Pompano Park weeks earlier, has become the talk of the track after winning miles in 1:50.4, 1:51.4, 1:50, 1:49 and 1:50 before last night's triumph.   In a post race interview, driver Jason Dillander said, "...actually, he left the gate a trifle lazier than usual but, just a few strides out, he really accelerated and opened daylight in the blink of an eye. He's unbelievably sharp right now. He's able to be rated, as he was in the second quarter and then he accelerates, as he did on his own on the backside. He' certainly is a different horse than he was in Canada."   Trainer Mike Deters said, "He's become a happy horse...that's been the whole key to his success. His attitude is great, his caretaker, Tracey O'Leary, has done a remarkable job with him and we're riding the high tide right now. This is a sport that can produce the highest of highs and lowest of lows so we're enjoying this ride while it lasts."   O'Leary, by the way, was honored by the Florida Chapter of USHWA on Saturday night as "Caretaker of the Month," an award created by the Chapter in appreciation for the efforts of caretakers at the track whose horses have achieved considerable success during each month.   Prairie Jaguar, co-owned by trainer Deters along with Laurie Poulin, has banked $67,222 over his career measuring 68 starts--$25,000 of that earned during the past six weeks.   As the 1 to 2 favorite on the tote-board, Prairie Jaguar returned $3.00 to win.   The Open "2" Pace, worth $8,500, went to Premier, owned by Maryann Plano and driven to victory by trainer-husband Rick Plano.   The seven year-old altered son of Artsplace, claimed for $10,000 just two weeks ago, left sharply to take an early lead, was out-brushed during a :27 opener by Gentleman Friend (Wally Hennessey), recaptured the top spot a few steps later and carded fractions of :55.1 and 1:22.4 before reporting home 1 1/4 lengths to the good of the fast closing Electric Lad (Jason Dillander). Gentleman Friend did finish third while Rick's Sign finished fourth. Military Stratcom finished fastest of all to pick up the minors.   With the win, Premier's 30th lifetime, he vaulted over the $140,000 in lifetime bounty an "won himself out" after being haltered just two starts ago.   As the 9 to 5 favorite on the board, Premier paid $5.80 to win.   The $7,500 Open "3" Pace went to Shane Arsenaault's Lyon's Johnny, who made a bold quarter move to the top and went on to score in 1:52.3 for Wally Hennessey.   The six year-old son of Mach Three held off Just Fred (George Napolitano, Jr.) by three parts of a length with No Monkeys Allowed third. Restless Yankee and Beignet also earned checks in the septet.   Lyon's Johnny earned his 16th lifetime victory to send his lifetime bankroll to $165,309.   by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park        

Pompano Beach, FL...January 4, 2013...Prairie Jaguar extended his streak of victories to five on Saturday night at Pompano Park with yet another awesome performance--this one timed in 1:50 in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace.   The now six year-old Florida bred son of Spy Hard, again driven by Jason Dillander for Laurie Poulin and co-owner-trainer Mike Deters, had to use slightly different tactics this time around but, when all was said and done, his winning margin was just short of four lengths.   Northern Companion (Dave Ingraham), pacing his final 3/4s in 1:21.3, came from last in the octet to finish second while Lyons Johnny (Wally Hennessey) earned show honors, though 5 1/2 lengths away at the wire. Southern Sport and Military Stratcom picked up the final two awards.   Handicapped with the outside post in the field, Prairie Jaguar left alertly but was not able to out-sprint B N Bad, who had the innermost post, in a :26 opening panel and had to settle in second as B N Bad went full throttle to the half in :54.1. With 3/8ths remaining, "Jaguar" left the coziness of the pocket and rolled on by B N Bad and hit the three-quarter beam in 1:22.2 while stretching his lead to two lengths turning for home. That margin continued to improve down the lane, even with Northern Companion surging late.   For Prairie Jaguar, it kicked off the new year just as 2013 ended--on a winning note--and sent his lifetime bounty to $62,222, of which $20,000 of that has been achieved with his new found fame of the last month.   In a post race interview, driver Dillander said, "...you know, this horse has proven something to me every week. We know he has that raw speed...we know, as of last week, that he has the class to play ball with the big boys...but, this week, he proved something else--that he's not just a one dimensional speed ball that can only race on the front end. He was somewhat relaxed In The Pocket but remained 'interested' the entire way kind of waiting for me to tell him when to get down to business. I asked him midway on the backside and he immediately responded. Maybe the time was a second slower than last week, but I thought this was his best performance yet."   Prairie Jaguar, even money on the tote board, paid $4.20 to win.   The Open 2 Pace went to MIchael Guest's Gentleman Friend, driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Terry Deters.   This seven year-old son of Western Hanover made a bold quarter move from fifth to the lead halfway through the mile to coast home a three length winner over Electric Lad (Dillander) in 1:51.4.   Just Fred rallied from last at the stretch call to finish third while No Gin finished fourth. Woodmere Ultimate picked up the nickel in the field of eight.   Favored Rick's Sign made a mid-mile move from sixth to third with 3/8ths to go but could not sustain his rally further and finished sixth.   Gentleman Friend won for the 17th time during his career and sent his lifetime bounty $60 past the $200,000 mark.   As second choice on the board, Gentleman Friend paid $10.20 to win.   Also, two divisions of the Murdock Hanover Late Closer were held with Artomatic Pilot and Fox Valley Griffin reporting home winners.   Artomatic Pilot, a 10 year-old son of Western Hanover, driven by Rick Plano for new owner and trainer Tom Artandi, was making his second start for his new connection and used a solid backside brush from third to the lead and then held off the late charging Paradise Station (Kevin Wallis) to win by three parts of a length in 1:52.4. Trevor Win For Us was third for Ricky Macomber, Jr. while Shamderock finished fourth. The last check in the field of six went to Last Call Hanover.   Artomatic Pilot won for the 38th time during his career and sent his lifetime bounty to just short of $300,000.   As the 2 to 1 favorite, Artomatic Pilot returned $6.60 to win.   Fox Valley Griffin, driven by Rick Plano, pulled off the minor upset in the other division of the Murdock Hanover, first collaring 3 to 10 favorite Premier at the top of the stretch and then holding off Odd Man Out (Macomber, Jr.) to win by a length in 1:54.3.   Cascata rallied from last turning for home to finish third while Premier faltered a bit in the lane to finish fourth. A Fool For Mark was fifth.   Owned by Carol Macomber along with Emilinda Manzi, Fox Valley Griffin, a six year-old son of Sportsmaster, paid $9.40, $4.20 and $18.80, the show price bonanza occurring as Premier finished off the board.   Odd Man Out, off at 9 to 1, paid $5.20 and $28.00 while Cascata, 23 to 1, paid $50.20 to show.   by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park            

Pompano Beach, FL...December 29, 2013...Jaguars, known for their speed and strength, are usually found in the southwestern part of the United States, down through Mexico and into central and South America. But one Jaguar invaded south Florida on Saturday--an equine version--and scorched the Pompano Park five-eighths oval to the tune of 1:49 in the $10,000 Open Pace.   Prairie Jaguar, the Florida bred five year-old altered of Spy Hard, handled by Jason Dillander, led from first stride to last, clocking remarkable panels of :27, :54 and 1:21.1 along the way to score by an unthreatened two lengths over Military Stratcom, piloted by Ed Hensley. B N Bad finished third for Rick Plano, six lengths away, while Northern Companion was next in the field of six. Rick's Sign picked up the nickel.   Off of a lifetime best 1:50 performance the week prior, Prairie Jaguar stepped up to the top rung on the ladder and, though coming into the action with the lowest lifetime bankroll in his million dollar plus field--$52,222--took no prisoners with a performance that came within one-fifth of a second of the all age track record.   Owned by Laurie Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, it was the fourth straight triumph for Prairie Jaguar, having stepped up from the lowest conditioned spot just 3 1/2 weeks ago.   In a post race interview, driver Dillander said, "...there's no doubt that this one had speed but speed and class are two different things. I've seen many-a-horse show speed in a particular class and, when they move them up in class, they fold like a tent. Tonight, this horse showed me he has speed AND class! He beat a very good group of horses, a few of them on winning streaks of their own coming in. I was very impressed. And to think he accomplished this off of slower early fractions than his 1:50 mile last week (:26 and :53), well, that was something. He was pacing like a "jaguar" to the wire."   The victory sent his 2013 bounty to $21,658--$15,000 in December alone.   He paid $6.60 to win as the second choice on the board.   The Open 2 Pace went to Southern Sport, who toured the five-eighths oval in wire-to-wire fashion for owner-trainer Luca Derrico.   The classy six year-old Sportsmaster gelding carved out fractions of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.1 before sealing the issue for driver Joe Pavia, Jr. on the strength of a :27.3 closer. Souther Sport, off as the 6 to 5 choice, paid $4.40 and sent his lifetime earnings to $334,599--$80,050 in 2013.   Two divisions of the Murdock Hanover Late Closer, honoring the first sub-2:00 performer in Pompano Park's history back in 1966, were also held with Just Fred and Itchy Pickle's victorious.   Just Fred, owned, trained and handled by Ed Hensley, just did get up in the final strides to nail the 1 to 5 tote board favorite, Premier, driven by Bruce Ranger, by a neck in 1:52.2. Trevor Win For Us was third in the field of six while A Fool For Mark and Cascata also earned checks.   The winner was second choice in the betting and returned $7.60 to his faithful.   Jake Huff's Itchy Pickle's stormed up from last at mid-stretch to eke out a victory in a five horse photo for Jimmy Whittemore in 1:54.1 for his 31st lifetime victory.   Itchy Pickle's was third choice in the win pool and paid $12.60.   by John Berry for the Isle Pompano Park                  

Pompano Beach, FL...December 21, 2013...Northern Companion scored a repeat win in Pompano Park's feature $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night but had to share the spotlight with Prairie Jaguar as the latter scorched the "PPk" five-eighths mile oval in a lifetime best 1:50 to win the Open 2 Pace.   Prairie Jaguar, a Florida bred five year-old son of Spy Hard driven this night by Jason Dillander, rocketed out of the gate from his outside eight post and put together panels of :26, :53 and 1:21.1 to report home 2 3/4 lengths to the good of Souther Sport, handled by Joe Pavia, Jr.   The lukewarm 5 to 2 favorite, No Gin, teamed up with Bruce Ranger to finish third, almost eight lengths away while Oozie's Bad Boy and Avantage picked up the final two awards in the field of seven.   Owned by Laurie Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, Prairie Jaguar won for only the fourth time this year--but third in a row--to send his lifetime bounty over the $50,000 mark.   Though on a bit of a roll coming in, Prairie Jaguar, whose last two victories are timed in 1:50.4 and 1:51.4, went of as the fourth choice in the pool and returned $11.20 to win.   After the official sign was posted, driver Dillander said, ...what can I tell you? He's really good right now...but that's obvious off of his last three miles. I'm not sure how far he can go on, but, to tell you he's razor sharp would be putting it mildly. Mike (trainer Deters) has done a great job with him."   Meanwhile, Northern Companion handled this week by Dave Ingraham for trainer Howard Klohr, used his usual strong backside brush to surge into the lead around the final turn but just did hold off the surging B N Bad and Simon Allard to score by a nose in 1:51.1.   Military Stratcom (Dillander), prominent early, seemed to get a second win in deep stretch to finish third while Thebestofjoel, driven by Ed Hensley, finished fourth after cutting the early panels of 26.3 and 55 before surrendering the lead to the winner past 3/4s in 1:22.4.   Hillybilly picked up the nickel.   Owned by Dorothy Zarza, Northern Companion won for the 12th time this year and 29th time over the past two seasons to send his 2013 bankroll to $84,605 and $186,032 lifetime.   Finally, in the $20,000-$25,000 claiming handicap, the eight year-old Rick's Sign scored his Third Straight win for Ingrid Glassmeyer--this one in 1:50.3--for his 47th lifetime win. He's banked a career total of $312,897.   The win equalled his lifetime best performance--the previous time being at age six--and was his ninth success of the year, good for seasonal bounty of $76,218. He was claimed off this win by Marty Fine and Highland Thoroughbreds of Ontario, Canada.   by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park        

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