Day At The Track

Scott Rocks in Pompano Open Handicap

07:12 PM 22 Feb 2016 NZDT
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Scott Rocks made his 2016 debut a winning one with a 1:51.1 win
Scott Rocks made his 2016 debut a winning one with a 1:51.1 win
Skip Smith Photo

Scott Rocks, handled by George Napolitano, Jr., made his 2016 harness racing debut a winning one in Pompano Park's $16,500 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (February 21).

The six year-old altered son of Rocknroll Hanover used a backside blitz from third to take command turning for home and then pushed on to a victory measuring 1¾ lengths over the favorite, Panocchio, in 1:51.1. Heart Felt, longest proposition in the field of seven at better than 50 to 1, rallied for third, two lengths away. Four Socks finished fourth while Bluehourpower earned the nickel in the field scratched down to seven.

It was Panocchio away alertly with Bluehourpower on the attack early and these two were a lip apart past an opening panel in :26.4.

Once on top, Bluehourpower and Ricky Macomber, Jr. clocked fractions of :55.1 and 1:23.2 with Scott Rocks on his mission to engage the leader turning for home with a :27.3 finale more than enough to score the win.

In a post-race interview, driver George Napolitano, Jr. said, "Chris (trainer Oakes) told me he qualified very well and that he thought he'd be competitive. We got away in very good order tonight and, on the backside, I thought that I'd give his a chance and see what he's got. He was very strong on the backside and seemed to take the turn very well. Turning for home, I thought to myself, 'we got something here.'

"I was pleasantly surprised by his performance!"

Trained by Chris Oakes for Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey, Scott Rocks now sports a 22-15-13 scorecard in 73 lifetime starts, good for $345,025 to go along with his 1:48.4 mark. As second choice at 9 to 5, Scott Rocks paid $5.80 to win.

Pompano Park also had three co-features on the card with Southwind Amazon, Johnny Grippa and Fall Toy reporting home victorious.

Southwind Amazon, a six year-old gelded son of Camluck, used a furious late surge in the final stages of his mile to hit the line a 1:50.4 winner for Ricky Macomber, Jr. in the $12,100 condition event for pacers-his winning margin a neck over Lyons Johnny, handled by Mike Micallef. Cadillac Phil finished third for George Napolitano, Jr. while Winyard Hanover and Raji's Blue Line picked up the minors in the field of 10.

It was Teranadawn streaking to the lead early from the outside nine post with Cadillac Phil on the attack after a very hot :25.4 opener with Winyard Hanover, beginning from the second tier, away in good order third followed by Lyons Johnny and Southwind Amazon.

Cadillac Phil posted subsequent fractions of :53.2 and 1:21.1 and had a length lead turning for home with a host of others swarming in.

First, Winyard Hanover began closing in with Lyons Johnny outside of him and Southwind Amazon widest of all with a photo finish determining the winner.

Trained by Paul Holzman for owner Ameer Najor, Southwind Amazon won for the second time this semester-first win at Pompano Park in two starts-and now has 19 career wins in 72 lifetime starts with bounty of $227,002.

As third choice on the board, Southwind Amazon paid $8.20 to win.

The $11,000 event featuring $30,000 claiming pacers went to Johnny Grippa, this eight year-old son of Cam's Card Shark, making an early move to the front under the direction of Dan Clements and carding fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:23.1 in route to a 1:51.3 victory measuring a half length over Thebestofjoel (George Napolitano, Jr.) with Danishdujour (Mike Micallef) third.

Energy Shakes and King Royalty earned the fourth and fifth awards, respectively, in the field of eight.

In earning his third win of the year, Johnny Grippa was unthreatened once on top to score his 46th lifetime victory to send his career bounty to $227,690.

Trained by Jacques Dupont for Mc Trade Enterprises, Johnny Grippa rewarded his many faithful with a $3.40 mutuel.

The $10,000 pace for $20,000 claimers went to Fall Toy, driven by George Napolitano, Jr. in 1:51.4.

This nine year-old gelded son of Powerful Toy, trained by Paul Holzman for owner Melvin Fink, pinned 1¼ length defeat on the late charging Grande Seelster (Aaron Byron) with Officernagentleman (Matt Romano) third in the octet.

Buddha Blue Chip finished fourth after taking the field through panels of :55 and 1:22.4 while Long Term finished fifth.

Fall Toy was away fifth as Buddha Blue Chip and Mr. Massimo played "musical chairs early with Officernagentleman joining the fray mid-mile.

On the backside, Fall Toy was on the move wending his way forward, following the live cover of Long Term.

Turning for home, Nap had Fall Toy rolling and he easily held off the late charging Grande Seelster to score his fourth win of the year in six starts. He's banked $22,500 already this season and now sports a career bankroll of $315,468.

Fall Toy was fourth choice in the betting and paid $13.60 to win.

Racing continues on Monday night with post time set at 7:30.

by John Berry for Pompano Park

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