Day At The Track

Stars under the stars at Pompano Park

04:54 AM 24 Feb 2015 NZDT
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Thirtyeightspecial, with Ed Hensley in the bike Jailhouse Jessica, handled by Bruce Ranger
Thirtyeightspecial, with Ed Hensley in the bike
Skip Smith Photo
Jailhouse Jessica, handled by Bruce Ranger
Skip Smith Photo
Pompano Beach, FL...Sunday, February 22, 2015...Thirtyeightspecial and Jailhouse Jessica were the harness racing stars under the stars at Pompano Park, each taking new lifetime marks in their respective wins on Sunday night.
 
Thirtyeightspecial, handled by Ed Hensley for Richard and Carol Macomber, took honors in the $13,400 Battleground Late Closing Final by scoring a gate to wire win in a lifetime best 1:55.4 performance.
 
The 10 year-old son of Dream Vacation led through panels of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:26 before sealing the issue with a :29.4 finale to score by 1 1/2 lengths over the pocket sitting Wishin Iwas Fishin and Jason Dillander. Northern Inferno and Kevin Wallis teamed up for third while Go Jesse Go and Overwhat earned the final two awards in the octet.
 
Thirtyeigthspecial not only won in a career best performance, it also vaulted him over the $200,000 mark in lifetime bounty with the win, his 41st in 229 career trips to the starting gate worth $202,545.
 
It was also the grand gelding's richest payday during his career and only the second time he has raced for a purse of this magnitude--the other being in Goshen, N.Y. on Independence Day of 2008 when he finished second in a NY Sire Stake with a purse of $14,771.
 
In a post race interview, when told of the new lifetime mark, driver Ed Hensley said, "Man, you could have fooled me. He raced like a three year-old tonight. He was strong gate to wire. He did this all on his own. Ya know Dick (trainer Richard Macomber) is no stranger to training champions. He's been doing it for 50 years. He had this one razor sharp tonight. It's not often you see a 10 year-old taking a new lifetime mark!"
 
AS the 9 to 5 public choice, Thirtyeightspecial paid $5.60 to his faithful.
 
Jailhouse Jessica, trained by Dale Gilmour for Karma Racing, wore down a stubborn Mc Tiny's Hope to capture the $12,000 Open Trot for mares on Sunday night.
 
This five year-old daughter of Jailhouse Jesse, driven by Bruce Ranger, was almost six lengths away half way through the mile as Mc Tiny's Hope, handled by Ben McNeil, cut sharp panels of :28; :56.3 and 1:24.4 before Jailhouse Jessica wore her down late to hit the wire in 1:54.2--also a lifetime best performance.
 
Trot Fudge Sundae finished third for Dave Ingraham while Little Bitty Lies and M T Ur Pockets finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to earn the final awards in the field of eight.
 
After the event, driver Bruce Ranger said, "I was a bit concerned when Ben's (McNeil) mare got a way from us around the final turn but this mare of Dale's (trainer Gilmour) can rock and roll late and she did it tonight. Her last quarter had to have been :28 and change." (It was :28.4).
 
A $7,200 claim in mid-January, Jailhouse Jessica earned her second win of the season in five starts and shows 2015 earnings of $12,813 and $72,845 lifetime.
 
Jailhouse Jessica paid $5.40 as the second choice on the board.
 
In the $10,000 pace for $20,000 claimers, JJ's Doughnut, driven by George Napolitano, Jr. and off at 1 to 2, made a sharp quarter move to the front and went on to score in 1:51.4--his margin 1 1/2 lengths over the 59 to 1 chance Remissionofsins (Peter Wrenn) with Premier (Rick Plano), off at 22 to 1, third.
 
Claimed for the fourth time in the past month, this eight year-old son of Yankee Cam raced Sunday night under the Paul Holzman for owner Ameer Najor. He's now five-for-eight this year with $23,164 in the bank.
 
Finally, in the $8,500 pace for $15,000 claimers, Machinist won in 1:51.4 for Joe Pavia, Jr., scoring in a five horse blanket finish. Red Hot Yankee finished second for George Napolitano, Jr. while Hurricane Howard (Tom Sells) finished third. Major Stone and Fearless Chip were next with the first five just 1/2 length apart at the wire.
 
Machinist, Red Hot Yankee and Fearless Chip were all claimed in the event as claiming has been at a record pace here over the past several weeks.
 
Machinist, racing for the Just Win Stable this night, earned his initial win of the season in five starts and, as third choice, paid $9.20 to win.
 
John Berry
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