Day At The Track

No Bad Dreams a nighmare for his foes

04:00 PM 19 Dec 2016 NZDT
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No Bad Dreams
No Bad Dreams scored in Pompano Park's Open Handicap pace on Sunday night
Skip Smith Photo

No Bad Dreams, driven by Dave Ingraham, proved to be a nightmare for his five harness racing foes in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (December 18), stopping the timer in 1:51.

The five year-old gelded son of Dream Away swept by his competitors, abruptly stopping Panocchio's six race winning streak, in pinning a victory measuring three-parts-of-a-length over Sing For Me George, with Kevin Wallis driving. Panocchio, on the engine early but forced to take back as there were several leavers drawing inside, finished third for Wally Hennessey, 3¾ lengths away.

Blue Hour Power (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) finished fourth after cutting panels of :26.2, :54.2 and 1:22.3 and Mystic Desire (Aaron Byron) picked up the nickel after trailing the field for much of the mile.

Who Goes First, prominent during the early stages, completed the order of finish in this classy field of pacers with combined lifetime earnings of $2,796,281--only $99,697 of that contributing to that total by the winner going in.

At the outset, there was a mad scramble for superiority a quartet of horses vying for the top spot with Blue Hour Power powering his way to the top through the quick opener with Whogoesfirst in the garden spot, Sing For Me George forced to take back into third and Panocchio, the 3 to 5 favorite, wrestled back into fourth.

Positions remained unchanged through the half-way point but started to heat up on the backside as Sing For Me George charged up first over with Panocchio following and No Bad Dreams easing to the outside around the final turn.

In the lane, Blue Hour Power was clinging to a very precarious lead but Sing For Me George took command once they straightened away with No Bad Dreams widest of all and gobbling up real estate with every stride, taking command a sixteenth from home.

In a post-race interview, driver Dave Ingraham related, "He was stepping up a bit but he deserved to do so after his 1:50 mile last week. It wasn't like he wasn't competitive in the top class--he was!

"He does his best when he's off the pace and he was relaxed and keeping up until I asked him around the final turn. When I gave him some room to roam, he was full of pace and that was that!

"Gotta give credit to Marc (trainer Aubin) who is one of the most amazing 'octa-whatever you call it' (octogenarians) that I know."

Indeed, Aubin, now 83, won his first race in 1959 and has been winning as a driver and trainer for seven decades. The win in the Sunday feature was his 618th as a trainer to go along with 3,366 driving wins.

For No Bad Dreams, it was his fifth win of the season in 26 starts for owners Jacalyn and Dan Boddie, good for seasonal bounty of $42,885. Lifetime, No Bad Dreams now has $105,697 in earnings.

As fourth choice at 9 to 1, No Bad Dreams rewarded his faithful with a $21.40 mutuel.

by John Berry for Pompano Park

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