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Columbus, MN - The Sunday afternoon harness racing program at Running Aces hosted a nice field of seven for the $6,700 upper-level conditioned trot which was carded as the feature of the day.    My Uncle Cuz (Don Harmon) was the talk of the tote-board (1-1) while dropping from the $10,000 Open Handicap last out, while Muscle Ave (Dean Magee) was jumping up in class after a sharp win in his last outing, and was also well regarded in the win pool at 8-5.    Track Record holder Pridecrest (Mooney Svendsen) offered lots of value at 7-2 and was fastest off the gate, leading for 7/8 of a mile while taking heavy pressure from Muscle Ave who was looming first-over from the three-eighths marker on. My Uncle Cuz secured the garden seat throughout and emerged with trot in mid-stretch to convert the perfect trip into a half length victory in 1:55.4 over Pridecrest. It's A Horse (Darrell Wright) closed sharply to pick up third money over a Muscle Ave.    My Uncle Cuz ($4.20) is a 6 year old son of Abc Garland and is owned by Krista Harmon and also trained by Don Harmon. It was the first win of the year for the winner of $316,079.    Twilight Tinker (Nick Roland, $3.00) rolled to a new lifetime mark (1:58.4) on Sunday, while racking up her third impressive win in a row, coming from well out of it early to sweep the field and deliver as the heavy favorite.    Drivers Nick Roland, Mooney Svendsen, Pat Berry and Don Harmon all registered two winners on the day, while trainer Jessica Johnson scored two wins. Ariel Alvarez picked up his first career training win when his pacer ER Michael (Pat Berry) posted a 2-1/4 length score in 1:54.1.    Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, July 7 at 1:00 pm (CDT) and will feature a carryover in the Pick-5 Jackpot Wager of $5,130.26.    By Darin Gagné, for Running Aces 

WILKES-BARRE PA - The ABC Garland mare I M Fishin won her third straight harness racing preliminary in the Bobby Weiss Series for trotting mares Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, taking the fastest of the three $15,000 divisions of the fourth and final prelim in a lifetime best 1:56.1. Anthony Napolitano, the meet's leading driver, moved I M Fishin out of third early to gain command in front of the stands, then powered home with the mare in 57.3 - 28.1 to win by a neck. Via Lattea IT, the white mare, had to settle again for a second - her third in three Weiss starts - while Corrupt was third behind the winner, trained by Jody Riedel for Super Mile LLC. The other two Tuesday Weiss winners both stopped the timer in 1:56.4 to record new marks. The Chapter Seven mare Myrna Myrna also moved to command in the homestretch the first time and went on to a 2¼ length victory for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Scott Betts, and owner Timothy Betts, while the Muscle Massive filly One Fine Lady lowered her lifetime tab over three seconds in overcoming a first-over journey for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Aaron Lambert, the latter co-owner with Kenneth Tucci and Kenneth Schwartz. In unofficial standings (please check with the Pocono Race Office for the official list) calculated immediately after the races, the top ten pointwinners in the preliminaries, in order, are: I M Fishin, Myrna Myrna, Ms American Muscle, Corrupt, Baby Wants, Miss Ruby, One Fine Lady, Puma Blue Chip, Dewitonemoretime, and Via Lattea IT. The top horses declaring in will race for $30,000 in their Weiss Championship during the evening portion of the doubleheader of racing on Kentucky Derby Saturday, May 4; if enough horses declare in, there will be a $15,000 consolation event held during the afternoon racing that day. Narcian Jewel rallied all the way up the deep Pocono Pike from last at headstretch to take a $14,000 co-feature for pacing distaffs in a lifetime best 1:51.4. The Shadow Play mare laid off a contentious pace, then had the most blast in the last sixteenth to tally for driver Pat Berry, trainer Frank Petrelli, and Wish Me Luck Stables LLC. PHHA / Pocono

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 6, 2017 - Indiana Sires Stakes action continued at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 6 as the evening's 14-race harness racing card was highlighted by the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. My Uncle Cuz, with Don Harmon in the sulky, scored their second consecutive Hoosier Park victory and delivered as the heavy betting favorite in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final. After scoring handily in his elimination last week, My Uncle Cuz used a determined stretch rally to find the wire first in 1:54.4 and establish a new lifetime mark in the process. Leaving from post five in the field of ten, My Uncle Cuz left just enough to grab a spot along the rail in third while Todd Warren sent Sebiskit Bluegrass away from the gate firing from post nine. Sebiskit Bluegrass led the field through the first split in :27.4 but his lead would be short-lived as Harmon gave My Uncle Cuz the green light as they straightened away down the backside. My Uncle Cuz grabbed the lead just past the half in :56.2 but was quickly joined on the outside by Jesse V and Peter Wrenn who were unable to find a spot along the rail and pressed on to the lead. Fomor and Dan Shetler were well placed second-over as the field began to tighten around the three-quarter clocking in 1:25.4. The long taxing mile began to take its toll on Jesse V and just as he began to retreat, Double A Goldrush and Ross Leonard found late racing room and came charging. Harmon asked his mount for more and My Uncle Cuz powered to the wire to hold off Double A Goldrush by a length. Swan Forever and Trace Tetrick used a ground saving trip to round out the trifecta. As the 3-5 favorite, My Uncle Cuz returned $3.40 to his backers. "He's a very sensible horse," Harmon noted in the winner's circle. "I had to move when I did because I didn't want to get shuffled. He's actually better off the helmet but he raced great tonight. I was able to get him a breather down the backside and he raced strong all the way to the wire. We're very proud of him." Trained and owned by Krista Harmon, My Uncle Cuz recorded his third victory from six seasonal starts and sixth win from 17 lifetime outings. The gelded son of Abc Garland-Malibu Marley has now amassed $164,618 in lifetime purse earnings. My Uncle Cuz Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Friday, July 7 with a 14-race card featuring the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit Emily Gaskin

Pompano Beach, FL...February 6, 2017...Diamond Dagger, deftly handled by Jason Dillander, took top honors in Pompano Park's $8,500 Open Trot for harness racing Mares on Monday night, stopping the tele-timer in a track record 1:53.2. The splendid five year-old daughter of ABC Garland, trained by Mark O'Mara, who co-owns with Paul Johnson and Melvin Schmucker, led at every pole, clocking panels of :27.2, :55.4 and 1:24.3 before a :28.4 romp home sealed the win and the track record. McKenzie's Star, driven by Fern Paquet, Jr., was 8 1/4 lengths away in second with Seven Points Jesse, with Peter Wrenn in the sulky, just another nose back in third. BadAngel was fourth in this record performance while Saint Beth picked up the nickel in the classy septet of trotters. After the race, driver Dillander remarked, "Mark's (O'Mara) mare is very handy and, with the five post here, you have a tactical advantage for some reason when the gate leaves. "I sent her and had that early tussle with Rick's (Plano) mare, She's All In, but, once my mare made the top, she was on her own the rest of the way. "I knew she was capable of this kind of mile when she cut it and got nailed in (1):53 and a piece against the boys a couple of starts ago. "She always puts in a solid performance and tonight was no different. She was on her own all the way home. "Don't give me the credit here--give it to the mare. She was awesome." In garnering her second win in five starts this year, Diamond Dagger pushed her seasonal bankroll to $15,650. She now has 15 wins in 79 career starts with earnings of $161,822 to go along with her new lifetime mark. Off at 1 to 5 on the Pompano tote-board, Diamond Dagger paid $2.40 to win to her multitude of faithful. Yet another brilliant performance was put in by Southwind Stryker, a five year-old son of Muscle Hill. Catch-driven by John MacDonald for trainer Dan Hennessey and owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Southwind Stryker, away fourth in his sextet, used his now patented backstretch sprint from fourth into the lead heading into the final turn and scored by three-parts-of-a-length over a game Sand Swan (Matt Krueger). Kamikaze Lindy (Mike Simons was next, 2 1/4 lengths away while Tick Tok Tag was fourth. Phoenician picked up the minor award. The win was a seasonal best for Southwind Stryker, who now sports a 3-1-1 scorecard in five starts and earnings of $12,143. The owner of a 1:53.4 mark at age two over Lexington's Red Mile, Southwind Stryker trotted his final three-quarters just a shade over 1:25 for the win this night. Also sent post-ward at 1 to 5, the winner paid $2.40. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a Pick-6 carryover and a Super Hi-5 carryover that has pierced the $50,000 mark--$51,371 to be precise. The Super Hi-5 finale is a 20 cent based wager with the entire jackpot awarded if there is one unique ticket sold on the winning combination. If there are multiple winners, 50% of the night's Super Hi-5 net pool is shared by the winning ticket holders with the remainder enhancing the carryover pool. Post time is set for 7:20 for the Tuesday night program. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...January 24, 2017...Tater Twister, "chewed up and spit out" last week starting from the outside post, took advantage of the coveted five post this night to score a gate-to-wire harness racing win for Mike Simons, stopping the timer in 1:53.4 in the $12,000 Open Handicap Trot at Pompano Park. The gallant seven year-old gelded son of ABC Garland pushed the Hummer Starting Gate out of the way at the start and clocked panels of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:25 before a :28.4 finale held off the late surging Rockn Stien, handled by Peter Wrenn, by a neck. Massive Lightning, with Mickey McNichol handling the lines, was a fast closing third while Gold Savage finished fourth. Swan Handicap finished fifth, picking up the nickel, after the second choice, Massacaia, made a miscue leaving to finish last in this classy sextet. An hour after the race, driver Mike Simons related, "last week, I was reading the story about Tater being 'chewed up and spit out' and, with this great post, I was going to try and not let that happen again. "I thought if I could get enough of a jump on Pete's (Wrenn) horse (Rockn Stien), that we had a chance to upset the applecart here. "His horse raced giant last week and I thought he was the one to beat here. "Actually, when you think about it, my Tater was six lengths faster than Pete's horse during the opening quarter and his was 5 ¾ lengths faster than us the final three quarters. "That was the difference at the end--a neck! "Murph (trainer Mike Murphy) knows how to train one and I am happy and lucky that I am sitting in the bike when the real test comes. "It was a great win for the horse and a great birthday present for Mike. Yup, it's his birthday today!" Owned by Imogene Rhule along with Geneva Stewart and Barbara Murphy, Tater Twister now is two-for-three in this young season, good for $12,000. Career-wise, Tater Twister has 18 wins and bounty of $125,801 to go along with his mark of 1:53.2 taken at Pompano two starts back to kick off the new year. As third choice in the betting at 9 to 2, Tater Twister rewarded his faithful with a mutual of $11.80. The $10,000 Open 2 Trot went to Ruddy Rusty for Ricky Macomber, Jr., in 1:55. The seven year-old chestnut gelding won a brief early tussle with Cashahallic to take command arouns the initial turn and then went on to post panels of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:25.1 before a final :29.4 sprint home sealed the deal by 1½ lengths over the late closing Groovey Kid, driven by Wally Hennessey. Cashahallic, with Aaron Byron in the bike, finished third after being prominent all the way while Kabu finished fourth. Unitaliano Bi picked up the minor award in the field of seven after a backside brush that left him 1½ lengths away turning for home. Trained by Jamie Macomber for owner Kelly Ford, Ruddy Rusty won for the second time this season in three starts to send his bankroll to $8,770 during this young season. Lifetime, Ruddy Rusty has banked $166,813 to go along with his 1:53.4 mark established two starts back. Off as the 9 to 5 second choice, Ruddy Rusty paid $5.60 to win. There were tote-board fireworks on Tuesday night at the track when there were multiple winning tickets on the 50 cent Pick-6, each worth $7,854.75. The track also announced that there will be a $25,000 Guaranteed Pick-5 pool based on a Tuesday carryover of $6,217. The Pick-5 cover races one through five. Also, the track's Super Hi-5 finale has a carryover for Wednesday night of $24,682. With that pool expected to exceed $30,000 on Wednesday night, the Super Hi-5 jackpot is claimed when there is one unique ticket sold on the winning 20 cent combination selecting the first five finishers in order. Post time for the Wednesday program is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park          

Pompano Beach, FL...January 9, 2017...Diamond Dagger, driven by Jason Dillander for harness racing trainer Mark O'Mara, scored a decisive win in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Trot on Monday night (January 9). The five year-old daughter of ABC Garland hit the wire in a lifetime best 1:54.4--her only other 1:54.4 winning mile over the larger Hoosier Park oval--to win by three-parts-of-a-length over Massive Lightning, with Mickey McNichol in the bike. Swan Handicap, handled by Ricky Macomber, Jr., finished third, 7¼ lengths away, while Cashahallic finished a half-length further back in fourth. Railee Workable picked up the nickel in the field of nine. Diamond Dagger ditched her normal strategy of coming off the pace as Dillander sent her out with alacrity from post six in search of the lead. After She's All In, teamed with Rick Plano, marched by the opener in :28.2, Diamond Dagger took command a few strides before the line the first time and took the field past the half in :56.3. On the backside, McNichol sent Massive Lightning from fourth and sprinted up to within a length of the winner past the third station in 1:26. In the lane, Diamond Dagger was never in danger as she used a sharp :28.4 finale to seal the deal. After the race, driver Jason Dillander said, "You know, I usually don't get very emotional about things but, let me tell you, I had goose bumps crossing the wire tonight." Dillander's emotions were caused by the recent passing of Frank O'Mara, as Diamond Dagger is trained by Frank's son, Mark, who co-owns the mare with Paul Johnson and Melvin Schmucker. Jason continued, "I've had the pleasure of driving this mare before and she really prefers being off the pace but, tonight, I thought I'd try and get her into the ballgame a bit earlier. "It was like she knew tonight was special--and it certainly was. "This win is dedicated to Frank O'Mara, one of the great horsemen of this era or any era." For Diamond Dagger, it was her 14th career win in 76 lifetime starts, pushing her career bounty over the $150,000 mark--$153,612 to be precise. As the 5 to 2 second choice, Diamond Dagger paid $7.60 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a Pick-6 carryover awaiting along with a Pick-4 guaranteed pool of $10,000. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park              

Pompano Beach, FL...January 2, 2017...Tater Twister stretched his winning streak to three at Pompano Park on Monday night (January 2), stopping the timer in a lifetime best 1:53.2 for driver Mike Simons in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Trot. The seven year-old gelded son of ABC Garland took clear command two strides past the first eighth mile and went on to post hot fractions of :26.4, :55 and 1:24 in route to a five length win over She's All In, driven by Rick Plano. Diamond Dagger, with Jason Dillander in the bike, rallied from last in this talented quintet to finish third, 5 ½ lengths away, while Railee Workable finished fourth. Serendipitious picked up the nickel in a field shortened by the scratch of Gold Savage. In a post-race interview, driver Mike Simons, the author of 3,678 career wins, related, "I've driven a lot of horses over the years and this one is as fast a trotter as I have ever sat behind. "Even with a :26.4 opener, I had no concerns as he was doing it all on his own with no urging on my part. "He just loves racing, he loves competing and he's just an enthusiastic racehorse. "Mike (trainer Murphy) loves him and I certainly can see why. He's just a joy to drive and I am glad to be the one in the bike. He makes me look good!" Trainer by Murphy for Imogene Rhule, Geneva Stewart and Barbara Murphy, Tater Twister begins his 2017 campaign on the heels of his best season ever, winning nine times in 40 starts, good for $59,582. The win tonight--his 17th lifetime--vaulted his career bankroll to $118,761. As the 2 to 5 favorite, Tater Twister paid $2.80 to win. The $10,000 Open 2 Trot went to Write That Down, stepping up a notch after a win to close out 2016 in Open 3 company. The six year-old altered son of Crazed, driven by John Mac Donald, came from well out of it to score in a lifetime best 1:54.3 over Swan Handicap (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) with Explosive Muscles (Dave Ingraham) third. Cashahallic finished fourth in the mile while Uriel picked up the minor award. It was Commentary blasting off the wings to take an early lead, guiding the field through an opener of :27.1 before yielding to Swan Handicap, that four year-old sprinting past the half in :55.3 before feeling the heat from the favorite, Cashahallic, around the final turn. With three-quarters in a hot 1:24.4, Swan Handicap and Cashahallic got into a heated battle with Explosive Muscles giving chase on the outside and Write That Down swinging widest of all and collaring the leaders inside the sixteenth pole on the strength of his :29.1 finale. The win evened Write That Down's scorecard at 14-14-14 in 70 starts, pushing his lifetime bounty to $105,732. Trained by Jason Robinson for Taylormade Race Horses and Two Hands Racing, Write That Down was fifth choice on the board at 7 to 1 and returned $17.00 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a competitive 10 race program highlighted by a $10,000 guarantee on the track's Pick-4 event, covering races 6 through 9. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...December 27, 2016...Tater Twister, with Mike Simons handling the six year-old gelding's lines, scored a repeat harness racing win in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Trot on Tuesday night (December 27), stopping the clock in 1:54.3. The son of ABC Garland pinned a defeat measuring 2¼ lengths on Gold Savage (Kevin Wallis) with She's All In (Rick Plano) just a nose further back in third. Explosive Muscles finished fourth in the mile while Diamond Dagger picked up the nickel in the classy sextet. Simons sent Tater Twister right to the front, out-dueling She's All In around the opening turn and taking the field through an opener of :27.2. At this point, Gold Savage was third while Explosive Muscles was next. Serendipitious, away cautiously after a miscue last week, was fifth with Diamond Dagger sixth and last. With positions stagnant during the :29 second quarter, the Simons-Tater Twister team felt no pressure with nary a threat even developing on the backside as a :28.4 third panel triggered the third timer in 1:25.1. In the lane, Tater Twister was on his own through a :29.2 finale, stopping the tele-timer in the aforementioned 1:54.3, easily holding off Gold Savage. In a post-race interview, driver Mike Simons related, "I really didn't see too much early speed in here tonight, so I decided to let him rock and roll early. Once we got to the front, he was nice and relaxed and, when we got to the half a bit cheaper than last week, I thought he'd have a chance to bring it home again. "Mike (trainer Murphy) really has him sharp now and I know this horse has a whirlwind of talent. He digs down deep every time." Owned by Imogene Rhule along with Geneva Stewart and Barbara Murphy, Tater Twister won for the ninth time in 40 starts, sending his seasonal bankroll to $59,582. Lifetime, Tater Twister has bounty of $112,761 to go along with a mark of 1:53.3, achieved at Pompano Park just last month. As the 8 to 5 second choice in the wagering, Tater Twister returned $5.40 to win. Racing continues on Wednesday night with a quintet of pacing mares set to do battle in the $11,000 Open Pace for the ladies. Safe From Terror, a handy winner in 1:51.3 in last week's top event for pacing mares, once again meets up with arch-rival Godiva Seelster. All Charged Up, Arodasi and OK Heavenly complete the very talented group with combined career earnings of $1,733,432. The Wednesday program also continues to offer the $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 on races six through nine. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park        

Tater Twister, superbly handled by harness racing driver Mike Simons, turned the tables on the vaunted Prairie Fortune to score a gate to wire 1:54 victory in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Trot on Monday, December 19.   The six year-old gelded son of ABC Garland cut panels of :27.3, :56 and 1:24 before holding off the late surging, ground saving Gold Savage, with Kevin Wallis, to score by a half-length.   It was 6 1/4 lengths further back to Explosive Muscles, handled by Dave Ingraham, who finished third.   The 1 to 5 favorite, Prairie Fortune, driven by John Mac Donald, finished fourth but was set back a notch to fifth after an extended break in the final sixteenth, allowing Pocket Trip to move up a spot to fourth.   Sooo Handsome completed the roster, destroying his chances with a miscue just short of the opening quarter.   After the race, driver Simons said, "You know, last week when I drove him, he was very sharp and just got out-kicked late. This time, with John's (Mac Donald) horse leaving from the outside, I thought that maybe, if I put enough distance between us, he could hang on.   "When we got through the final turn and John's horse wasn't making any further headway, I really thought we had a good chance to get it done.   "He drifted out a bit in the lane and that let Kevin's (Wallis) horse get through, but, fortunately, the wire came up and we hit it first.   "He went a nice mile--the kind he's capable of when he's this good."   Trained by Mike Murphy for Barbara Murphy, Imogene Rhule and Geneva Stewart, Tater Twister scored his eighth win of the season in 39 starts, vaulting his 2106 bounty to 53,582. He's banked $106,761 lifetime.   While the winner earned the $6,000 stipend for the owners, the win enabled two fortunate Pick-6 ticket holders to cash in to the tune of $15,741.15 for their 50 cent investment on the winning 5-4-7-1-3-5 combination.   Tater Twister was the second choice in the filed at 5 to 1 and returned $12.20 to his faithful.   Racing continues on Tuesday night with a Super Hi-5 carryover of $33,029 awaiting.   Post time is 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 4, 2016 - Nothing But Nice and harness racing driver Sam Widger used a determined stretch rally to get up in the final strides of the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, October 4. The Robert Reeser trained filly was able to use the long Hoosier Park stretch to her advantage, to stop the timer in 1:56.4 over a fast track. After winning her elimination last week, Nothing But Nice made a clean sweep of the final round of the preliminary stakes action for three-year-old trotting fillies. Leaving from post two in the talented field of ten, Nothing But Nice was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in fourth while a host of others left for early position. Mayfair Kate and Earl Avenatti Jr. left aggressively and were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.3 while Rick Plano and Dont Ya also left alertly but opted for a pocket trip. Trace Tetrick was unable to find a spot along the rail with Let Her Go and was forced to press on to the front. Let Her Go reached the leader's wheel at the half in :57.2 but was unable to clear Mayfair Kate. Mayfair Kate continued to call the shots approaching the final turn but would soon be joined on the outside by Nothing But Nice and Sam Widger who tipped out around a tiring Let Her Go. Nothing But Nice was matching strides with the leader at the third station in 1:27.2 as the rest of the field was also closing in. Nothing But Nice was able to wear down Mayfair Kate but Fawn De Savage and Dan Shetler were closing well on the outside. Nothing But Nice continued to rally and used a :29.2 final quarter to hold off a late surge from Playful Swan and Don Eash up the rail. Fawn De Savage got steppy late in the lane but held on to round out the trifecta. Nothing But Nice returned $11.40 at the betting windows for the slight upset. "She always tries hard," Widger noted in the winner's circle. "She's a nice filly who gives it her all every week. She was very strong tonight." The homebred daughter of Abc Garland-Eicarls Theresa has now won four of 17 seasonal including the previous $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final at Hoosier Park in late August. Owned by Risto J. Vidgren, Nothing But Nice has now earned $216,385 while winning six of 26 lifetime outings. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, October 5 with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Wednesday's 14-race card will also be highlighted by a $20,000 Guaranteed trifecta in the opening leg of the pick-5, race 10 on the card. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 12. ' For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit Emily Gaskin

Pompano Beach, FL...December 29, 2015...Diamond Dagger, handled by Mark O'Mara, was a gem on Monday night (December 28), putting a dagger in her six harness racing foes in Pompano Park's Open Trot for fillies and mares. The only three year-year old in her field of distaffers, Diamond Dagger stopped the tele-timer in 1:55, establishing a new lifetime mark, this considering her other 1:55 win was over the larger oval at Hoosier Park. Elin, handled by Andy Santeramo and last in the early stages, finished second 1 3/4 lengths away while Hall Pass Helen, last turning for home, rallied to finish third for Wally Hennessey. McKenzie's Star finished fourth and She's All In annexed the final award. As the wings folded, the trio of Selena, Saint Patty's Doll and She's All In all went searching for the lead with Hall Pass Helen, unhurried during that early fray, next and Diamond Dagger, beginning from the outside seven post, looking for a spot a bit closer and finding that seat in fifth. When the early dust settled, Selene, benefitting from her post two, took command and lit up the timer at the opening station in :27.1 before gliding over to the half in :57.2. Just short of that marker, Elin pulled forcing Diamond Dagger's hand a bit and these two marched forward on the backside with Diamond Dagger brushing up to take a short lead over Selena at the three-quarter mark in 1:26.2 with Elin moving into contention turning for home. In the lane, it was Diamond Dagger drawing clear with Elin giving futile chase to the wire but never threatening the leader and eventual winner. In a post race interview, the humble Mark O'Mara said, "My filly raced very well tonight. She doesn't seem to want to leave all that hard so I just kind of floated her out of there looking for a spot just a little closer up. Fortunately, I found one in fifth ahead of Fern's (Paquet) trotter (McKenzie's Star) who I remember was coming off a qualifier and Andy (driving Elin). "Around that half, I pulled and my filly responded!" When asked if racing the three year-old against older mares might be a hindrance, O'Mara joke, "Heck, in a couple of days, she's be four!" Owned by O'Mara, along with Paul Johnson and Melvin Schmucker, this daughter of ABC Garland won for the eighth time this year in 30 starts, good for $79,007. As the 3 to 1 third choice on the board, Diamond Dagger paid $8.20 to win. Also on Monday, "fireworks" were set for the Tuesday program when nary one ticket had all five winners in Pompano Park's Pick-5. With the carryover at $5,087, track management has guaranteed a $20,000 pool for Tuesday's Pick-5, which begins with race one. The Super Hi-5 also had multiple winners on Monday night and the carryover for the Tuesday night finale has ballooned to $17,278.35. $20,000 GUARANTEE FOR TUESDAY POMPANO PICK-5   With long-shots dominating four of the first five races at Pompano Park on Monday night, there was nary one single ticket sold on the winning 2-5-3-3-2 combination with a developing carryover of $5,087.24 going into Tuesday's program.   Track management has guaranteed a $20,000 Pick-5 pool for Tuesday's Pick-5, which begins with the first race.   In addition, with multiple winners on the track's Super Hi-5 finale, the carryover going into Tuesday's 11 race card has ballooned to 17,278.35.   Director of racing Brett Revington described the Tuesday card as a "bookends of opportunity" on our wagering buffet, which includes early and late daily doubles, the Pick-4 and a pentafecta to go along with the standard offerings.    Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...December 7, 2015...Escuela, looking to extend her current winning streak of three in Pompano Park's Open Handicap Trot, did just that on Monday night as the five year-old daughter of ABC Garland made it a "harness racing grand slam" with a 1:55 clocking on a "coolish" evening in South Florida. With co-owner Ed Hensley in the bike for trainer and co-owner Ashleigh Hensley, Escuela used her now patented late knockout punch to pin a defeat measuring 1 3/4 lengths over the invader and 6 to 5 favorite, Auspicious Hanover (Kevin Wallis) with the pacesetting Proud Moment (Wally Hennessey) third. I'll Tell You What finished fourth and She's All In held on for the final award after being prominent much of the way. Beginning from the outside post in her octet, Escuela lolly-gagged well back in the field--9 1/2 lengths away--with only one breaker beaten early on before edging to the outside and catching live cover after Proud Moment clipped off fractions of :27.4 and :56.1. On the backside, three-eighths out, the outer flow began to develop with I'll Tell You What going uncovered and joining She's All In about a length-and-a-half back of the leader. Meanwhile, Escuela had wended her way into fourth on the outside and getting ready to throw that knockout punch once they straightened away after three-quarters in 1:25.1. Collaring the leaders in mid-stretch, Escuela burst to the fore and easily held off Auspicious Hanover to complete her aforementioned grand slam. After the race, driver Hensley said, "I'll make it easy for you this week. Just xerox a copy of what you wrote last week. Honestly, she's just feeling very good right now and she just has an amazing kick at the end of her miles. It was bit chillier tonight but we all had to deal with that, so it turned out to be no factor." In winning for the 12th time this year, Escuela pushed her 2015 bounty to $90,770 and $168,226 lifetime. As the 9 to 5 second choice, Escuela paid $5.60 to win. Also on Monday night, late closer action began with two divisions of the Success Cameo for claiming fillies and mares and a pair of divisions of the Sea Eagle for pacing horses and geldings. Success Cameo first leg winners were Sweet Bet and Dakota Law while Scotty Mach N and Geared To Win won their respective divisions of the Sea Eagle. Sweet Bet held on for dear life at the end of her mile to hold off the late charging Lily Rei and Last Romance by a neck in 1:55.3. Rock Groupie and Ruths Shadylady were next in the septet. Driven by Matt Romano for owner-trainer Dale Gilmour, Sweet Bet posted hot fractions of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:24.4 before the chilly wind took hold during the :30.4 finale. As driver Romano said, "A win is a win, no matter whether the final quarter is :27 or :32!" The seven year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight won for the fourth time this semester and 28th lifetime to send her career bounty over the $200,000 plateau--$202,173 to be exact. She paid $3.00 to win. Dakota Law, handled by Ed Hensley for owner Denise Maier and trainer Tim Maier, garnered the lead after the :28.1 opener and went on to post panels of :57 and 1:26 before holding off Mayabelle (Mike Micallef) by a nose in 1:55.4. Pacific Date (Kevin Wallis) was third while Fair Voltage and Flashy picked up the minors. Dakota Law, a four year-old daughter of Hot Pans, won for the sixth time this season--12th win lifetime--to send her 2015 earnings to $14,826. Dakota Law rewarded her backers with a $4,60 mutuel as second choice in the wagering. The Sea Eagle, named for the winner of the very first pari-mutuel race at Pompano Park in 1964, saw Scotty Mach N and Geared To Win come home victorious in their respective divisions. Scotty Mach N used different tactics this night to score a handy win for Kevin Wallis--the margin 1 3/4 legnths over the late charging On The Green (Wally Hennessey) with My Buddy Mason (Dave Ingraham) third. Sturgeon Seelster was fourth with Mixed Media fifth in the field of seven. Scotty Mach N, a 10 year-old gelded son of Mach Three trained by Gary McDonald for The Three Gees Stable, rocketed out of the gate from the advantageous five post and carded fractions of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:24.4 before reporting home in :30.1 to score his sixth win this year and 35th lifetime. His lifetime bounty now stands at $361,641 to go along with a lifetime mark of 1:49.4 two seasons ago. Scotty Mach N paid $6.00 to win. Geared To Win, under the guidance of Andy Santeramo, pulled off a 13 to 1 upset in his Sea Eagle division, gliding, first, by the pacesetting Walking Tall (Mike Micallef) turning for home and, then, easily holding off the late surging Goldstar Raider (John MacDonald) to score by 1 1/2 lengths for owner-trainer Mario Dessureault in a season's best 1:54. Goldstar Raider did finish second with Walking Tall next. Terrorizer finiahed fourth while Yuma Hanover, last turning for home, picked up the nickel. Geared To Win, a four year-old altered son of Geartogear, won for the third time this year to send his 2015 earnings to $16,092. Late Closer action continues on Tuesday night with the opening divisions of The Optimist for pacers and The Interloper for trotters. Also Precocious Beauty, the classy four year-old daughter of Art Major, with $828,374 in earnings, makes her Pompano Park debut in the $11,000 Open for mares. Post time is 7:30 for the 13 race program. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...Nov. 30, 2015...Escuela, deftly handled by Ed Hensley, stretched her harness racing winning streak to three with a sharp 1:54.2 win in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Trot on Monday night. The five year-old daughter of ABC Garland, owned by the Hensleys--Ed and trainer Ashleigh--overcame the handicap of the outside seven post and six rivals to score her 11th win of the year and 21st lifetime, sending her seasonal bounty to $85,270. She now has career earnings of $162,726. Rainbow Gold was second for Steve Condren while I'll Tell You What, driven by Brad Kramer, finished third. She's All In was fourth while Uriel picked up the final check in the septet. With five lead changes in the mile, it was She's All In leaving with alacrity and taking command early with Sailer Eddie also showing speed from the get-go, with the latter taking command at the opener in :27.3. Right at that opening marker, Uriel was on the move from third and brushed to the lead around turn two and took the field to the half in :56. On the backside, Rainbow Gold, out and driving into the second turn, brushed by Uriel midway around the final turn with three-quarters on the board in 1:25.4. But Escuela, who wended her way into fifth early on, drafted along with that live cover following Rainbow Gold and exploded by turning for home and drew away to score by 3¾ lengths. In a post race interview, driver Ed Hensley said, "She's got some motor, doesn't she? When I set her down for the drive, she just exploded with another of her knockout punches and that was that! She's feelin' pretty good right now so we have to enjoy this while we got it. Believe me when I tell you that times like this don't last forever, so we gotta be thankful!" As the even money tote-board favorite, Escuela paid $4.20 to win. Also on Monday night, Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey was honored after the third race for achieving a milestone of $60,000,000 in purses for the many owners that have benefitted from his driving skills over the past four decades. Hennessey, once again, is closing in on 200 wins for the year, a plateau he has accomplished in 26 different seasons--his career total now approaching 8,900. He celebrated the occasion by sweeping the early daily double, first, driving Paul and Patricia O'Neil's Verdi to a popular win in the Monday night opener and, following that, a wire-to-wire win with Goldstar Classic, owned by Tim Rzepka, Kevin Kelly, Joseph Connors and Vincent Giorlando--both winners trained by Dan Hennessey. Racing continues Tuesday night with first post for the 11 race program at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park              

Pompano Beach, FL…November 9, 2015…Pompano Park ushered in its first Monday night of harness racing racing this fall season with Escuela capturing the Open Trot for Ed Hensley in 1:55. The five year-old daughter of ABC Garland, owned by Hensley along with trainer-wife Ashleigh Hensley, came from eight lengths out of it early on to score by three-parts-of-a-length over Cashahallic, handled by Aaron Byron with Uriel, teamed up with Kevin Wallis, third, one length away after cutting the fractions. Elin was fourth in the mile while Pounce Hanover grabbed the final nickel over Verdi. The favorite, Count Speed, on the engine and in the lead early, suffered a broken hobble just short of the opening marker and finished last. At the outset, it was, indeed, Count Speed motoring out from the Hummer Starting Gate to take command with Uriel along side, Cashahallic away in good order and Pounce Hanover next. Just short of the :27.2 opener, Count Speed’s hobble snapped sending that one on a break with Uriel then inheriting the lead measuring three lengths and leaving Cashahallic second and Pounce Hanover third with Escuela still near the back of the pack and some six lengths from the top through a half in a tepid :57.3. On the backside, Hensley brushed Escuela up and, during an official :28.4 third panel, dented that by more than five lengths, reaching the flank of the leader as they touched the third timer in 1:26.2. From there, Escuela dug in and drilled her way by Uriel, holding off Cashahallic with a :28.2 finale. In a post race interview, Hensley said, “She’s a heckuva mare all right. She has a big motor and can go a long way when she’s got some room to roam. “I was a bit worried when the leader took that second quarter breather but, heck, she came from way out of it a few weeks ago when the opening quarter was only :30, so when I tipped her out on the backside, she really felt strong and ready to rumble. Maybe she’s becoming the Ronda Rousey of race mares…she’s that tough!” Escuela won for the ninth time this season in 30 starts to send her 2015 earnings to $74,270. The win also pushed her career bankroll over the $150,000 mark-- $152,226 to be exact. As second choice in the wagering, Escuela paid $6.20 to win. Two other 1:55 trotting miles were recorded on the Monday card as Lugar ($7.00) and She’s All In ($6.20) also stopped the clock in that time in their respective winning efforts. Lugar, the Florida bred seven year-old trained by Mark Friedman for the Polo Stables, used a :26.4 third panel to repel any developing threats and went on to score by a length in a wire-to-wire seasonal best effort for Mickey Mc Nichol over Princess Crown (Wally Hennessey) with Dominum Deo (Jim Mc Donald) third. Favored My Revenuer finished fourth after a very mild backside bid while Master Host earned the final award in the field of seven in this conditioned event. Lugar’s victory was his 26th lifetime and sent his career bounty to $213,466. She’s All In, owned, trained and driven by Rick Plano, made her Pompano Park fall debut a winning one in the Open 2 trot with her 1:55 score over Rainbow Gold (Dennis Duford), that winning margin 1 ¼ lengths. Gold Savage (Mickey Mc Nichol) finished third after cutting the mustard with Super Duke and Highland Yankee next in the septet. This six year-old mare came from well out of it halfway through the mile to score her 24th lifetime win. She has banked $211,354 during her career. Other happenings around Pompano Park’s five-eighths mile oval concerned the Pick-5 and Pentafecta events. With no bettor able to select the winning combinations in either of these offerings, the track now has a carryover in both going into Tuesday night’s program. The Pick-5, covering races one through five, offers a carryover of $1,982 and a $7,500 guaranteed pool while the fourth race Pentafecta has a carryover of $2,085. Florida Stallion Stakes action continues on Tuesday night with four F.S.B.O.A. sponsored events for two and three year-old pacers. The much anticipated rematch of Owosso Flash and Caesar’s Forum takes place as a non-wagering event scheduled for 6:20 p.m. Post time for the pari-mutuel card is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park   

Pompano Beach, FL...October 19, 2015...On a Sunday night with several intervals of heavy showers, nothing could dampen the enthusiam of the occasion as the ladies--both human and equine--were in the spotlight at Pompano Park as the harness racing track put the spotlight on the race against breast cancer. Briefly, two mares--Escuela and Oho Diamond finished 1-2 in the Open Handicap Trot, trainer Kim Sears reached a milestone in lifetime training wins and the Florida Amateur Driving Club paid tribute to all women with a sizable donation to the Go For The Greens Foundation, in their relentless journey to help conquer breast cancer. Now, the details... Escuela, which in Spanish means school, took his adversaries to class with a sharp 1:57.2 win for Ed Hensley over a track dulled by heavy intermittent showers throughout the program. The five year-old ABC Garland mare made a "double-bubble" surge from seventh around the final turn and went on to nail track record holding mare Oho Diamond (Mike Micallef) in the final sixteenth to score by a half length. Cashahallic (Aaron Byron) finished third while the pacersetting Verdi finished next. Elin picked up the nickel in the field of nine. With Verdi and Back To Peace vying for early supremacy, Escuela (post five) took back at the start and was seventh in the early going with Oho Diamond leaving and looking and winding up in sixth as Verdi waltzed down to the quarter in :30. The pace did quicken thereafter with Verdi getting to the half in :58.4 and trying to protect his lead past three- quarters in 1:28.1. Meanwhile, Oho Diamond was out by turn two and chugging forward with Escuella now third over and on that three-wide bing around the final bend. In the lane, Oho Diamond stuck a head in front but couldn't quite hold off the surging Escuela, who covered the final panel the fastest of all--:28.3--to nail the win, her seventh of the year. Owned by Ashleigh and Ed Hensley and trained by Ashleigh, Escuela is enjoying her best year with $64,750 in bounty. After the event, driver Hensley said, "My mare went a big mile, considering that the track was a bit dull from all of the rain...and we got by a very tough mare in that Oho Diamond. Pretty great that the two mares beat the boys tonight on a night where we honored the ladies!" Escuela, the 7 to 5 second choice, paid $4.80 to win. Another leading lady in harness racing, Kim Sears, reached a milestone of her own on ladies night when Rexamillion, co-owned by Kim along with husband Jay and Richard Dunmire, too top tonors in the F.S.B.O.A. Sunshine Stake for two year-old trotting colts and geldings. This altered son of Proud Bushy earned a maiden win in 2:02.2 giving Kim her 500th career training victory. This event was one of three non-betting events contested prior to the betting card with Gold Star Briana and Livy M annexing the others. Gold Star Brianna, a two year-old daughter of Basil trained by Dan Hennessey for owner Kevin Kelly, lowered her mark by more than four seconds by scoring in 1:59.1 for Wally Hennessey, keeping her record an unblemished three-for-three, although one of those wins came by "DQ." Livy M, meanwhile, took top honors in the division for three year-old trotting fillies with an ever-so-easy win for Hennessey in 2:01.4. This daughter of Proud Bushy, owned by the consortium of trainer Mike Deters, Fred Morosini, Ken Fritz and Don Fritz, kept her record spotless in Sunshine State Stakes competition with her third consecutive success. It was Deters' 899th career success as a trainer...soon to become 900. Yes, Deters got that 900th training win--and a driving win, too--on the card when Prairie Fortune, owned by Deters along with Laurie Poulin, pulled away in the lane to score a resounding win measuring 10 3/4 lengths in 1:57.4, dodging heavy raindrops to get the job done over Victory Park (Kevin Wallis) and Saturn (Bob Roberts). Prairie Fortune, a three year-old son of Arapa Victory, also kept his record in this Sunshine State Stakes competition clean--now three-for-three--with the three wins being by 15 1/2 lengths, 9 3/4 and, this night, 10 3/4 lengths. As the overwhelming 1 to 20 favorite, Prairie Fortune paid $2.10 or, as fan Gary Andrews lamented, "still more than I get from the bank!" In the Open Pace, Lyons Johnny, handled by trainer Mike Micallef for the Baron Racing Stable, got a picture perfect drive to edge by Audrey's Dream (Ed Hensley) to score in 1:52.2 over the track labeled "good" after yet another bout with the weatherman. Out with alacrity to claim the early lead, MIcallef yielded for the pocket trip three-eighths into the mile, found some room turning for home and urged his charge on by late in the mile. Raji-s Blue Line (Hennessey) was third with the late charging Northern Companion fourth. Sir Jake's Z Tam, first up around the final bend, got the final check in the octet. That win, by the way, was the 26th lifetime for Lyons Johnny, a seven year-old son of Mach Three, and sent his lifetime bounty to $269,544--$32,695 this year on a scorecard of 13-4-4-0. Lyons Johnny returned $5.80 as second choice on the board. Finally, the Florida Amateur Driving Club continued their charitable efforts by presenting the Go For The Greens Foundation a "healthy" donation for their on-going efforts in the fight against breast cancer. With the drivers all possessing pink whips and wearing pink armbands--beautifully made by horse owner Heddy Nelson--Dein Spriggs won the F.A.D.C. event with his own Zeitgeist ($7.60). After that event, all of the amateur drivers converged in the winner's circle to honor Mary Wallace, a breast cancer survivor. Though Spriggs has over 400 races during his career, he said, "None of our drivers will be satisfied until we win the race to eradicate all kinds of cancer and our driving club is very honored and committed to be a part of that race." Pompano Park's next racing program is Tuesday night with Just A Bee and Godiva Seelster renewing their rivalry in the Open Pace for Mares. There is also a Super Hi-5 carryover of over $2,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

ABC Muscles Boy (Abc Garland) pulled off an upset in the Open Trot at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Tuesday night. The four year old trotter finished fourth in his lone local try in the trotting feature back in June and returned to the Spa to compete in Tuesday's $18,000 Open. Leading driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. piloted for trainer David Russo and sat patiently on the rail with the 11-1 outsider before finding late life in the passing lane. ABC Muscles Boy surged up the pylons and scored in 1:55.1 getting by fellow longshot Lucid Thoughts (John Macdonald) who finished second while Slugfest (Jay Randall) came on for third. It was the sixth victory of the season for the young trotter who returned $24.20 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $173 and $534, respectively. Aldrich, who owns a big lead in the local driver standings this year, piloted four winners on the card. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

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