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Pompano Beach, FL - Ideal Feeling, craftily handled by harness racing driver Kevin Wallis, used a :26.1 opener and a :26.4 closer to capture Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace on Monday (April 19), stopping the timer in 1:52.2 The rugged and versatile six year-old son of American Ideal left sharply from post four, tussled with Rebellious, post five, (Wally Hennessey) around that opening turn and, when the latter appeared to make a speed break, opened up what turned out to be an insurmountable lead and reported home three-parts-of-a-length in front of the late charging Skip To My Lou (Joe Chindano, Jr.) with Wes Delight (Jim Meittinis) third, four lengths away. Let's Roll was fourth while Rebellious was unable to recover and finished fifth in the select quintet. With a fast closing second last week from last turning for home, Wallis changed strategy and returned to the way he had won three straight before last week and zipped of the wings into an early lead measuring some four lengths over Wes Delight with. a :30 breather during the second panel bringing him to the half in :56.1. The pace began quickening mid-way on the backside as Skip To My Lou made a strong bid until racing a bit wide turning for home--the winner's :26.4 trip home sealing the deal. IDEAL FEELING REPLAY   In a post-race interview, trainer Peter Blood had high praise for his horse and driver saying, "This horse is very sharp right now. He's healthy and strong and very versatile and responds just with a chirp or two. Kevin (driver Wallis) drove him with confidence and he proved his mettle tonight with intense speed at both ends of the mile." Owned by Rick Berks, Ideal Feeling won for the fifth time this season in 14 starts and seent his 2021 bounty to $34,635 and $306,583 lifetime to go along with his 1:48.4 mark set last season at The Meadowlands. He paid $4.20 to win as the betting favorite. The $10,000 Open II Pace went to Saulsbrook Deputy, superbly handled by Braxton Boyd, in a season's best--and lifetime best--1:50.4. The seven year-old gelded son of Western Paradise benefitted from live cover flow the last half mile and used a :27.2 finale to streak by the leading Captain Malicious and on to a 1 ¼ length victory over the late charging Agedchedar Hanover (Dave Ingraham). Darling's Dragon (Don Dupont) finished third, four lengths away while Funknwaffles finished fourth after looming boldly turning for home. Mach West picked up the nickel in the octet. Trained by Jennifer Giuliana for owner Mark Keller, Saulsbrook Deputy sent his 2021 scorecard to 3-3-1 in 15 starts, vaulting his earnings for the year to $22,330. The win was also a milestone 25th sending his career bankroll to $236,465. As the 5 to 2 second choice, Saulsbrook Deputy paid every "pound" of his odds--$7.80. In other notable action, track record holder Panocchio closed out the Monday 13 race extravaganza with a sharp 1:52.4 win for Dave Ingraham. The now 11 year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended out-hustled the favored Johnny Chip (Kevin Wallis) through an opener of :27.1, took a "nap" during a :29.2 second quarter and stitched together panels of :27.3 and :28.3 in holding off the fast closing Double Metal (Wally Hennessey) by a half length. Johnny Chip did finish third while Border Control was fourth over Harry Terror in the field of nine. For Panocchio, it was his 74th career win sending his lofty bankroll lifetime to over the $660,000 mark for trainer Jim Mattison, who co-owns with wife Vicki and Emile Johnson, Jr. Panocchio paid $10.20 to win. Kevin Wallis had the "hat trick" on the card with the aforementioned Ideal Feeling along with T's Electric ($6.00) and Machet Time ($6.60) while Dave Ingraham had a double with Skyway Venus ($15.00) along with Panocchio. Handle for the Monday program was $1,091,560--a record 20th time that handle has reached the million dollar plateau and beyond. Racing continues Tuesday with an evenly matched field of pacing mares going to the gate in the $11,000 Open. Beach Journey, a $6,000 claim six weeks ago, looks to win her second straight in the top company and will have Braxton Boyd in her sulky for owner-trainer Cory Kreisier. Casie's Believer, Prairie Westerngal, Tempus Seelster, Evas Sports Czech and Roll With Angel complete talented field. In the "better for the bettor" department, the Tuesday 11 race program includes a Pick-4 with a $20,000 guaranteed poll which has an industry low 12% takeout. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. For full race results, click here.   by John Berry, for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL - Harness racing amateur drivers Billy Muggleston and Ron Cusimano shared the spotlight at Pompano Park on Sunday night (April 18) as they drove their respective charges to victory in Florida Amateur Driving Club events. Muggleston, who was the helicopter pilot for Herve Filion during his glorious career, was in the pilot seat as he steered his own Fleet Cessna to victory in the pentafecta fourth race as the 9 to 1 outsider, rewarding his faithful with a $21.00 mutuel. Muggleston, a man of many missions, indeed, for Filion, guided this six year-old gelded son of Manofmanymissions from fourth around the second turn and brushed him to the front on the backside while opening up an insurmountable lead and coasting to victory in 1:58.2. Stormy Dude (Ron Cusimano) closed well for second while the favored Muscles Aplenty (Dein Spriggs) was next. FLEET CESSNA REPLAY   It was the first win for Muggleston since May 20, 2018 covering 51 starts prompting him to say, in a post race interview, "I was waiting for some of that Herve magic and Herve touch to rub off on me for a change and tonight was the night. My horse was in a bit easier tonight and he drew nicely and things worked out. A lot of credit goes, of course, to the horse and to trainer Allen Saul and caretaker Cindy LIpp for their dedication to our horses." It was the initial win in 13 starts for Fleet Cessna, who, just weeks ago, went over the $100,000 in career bounty. Cusimano actually got things started by guiding owner=trainer Tom Petri's Railee Workable to a 1:58.4 win for his fourth success of the year in 13 starts. The nine year-old Florida bred son of Basil had to use multiple moves during his journey to score by three-parts-of-a-length over Forbidden Song (Brian Calvert) Pepin Coolie (George Anthrop) third, two lengths away. Cusimano sent Railee Workable in search of the lead along with the favorite, War Cry Hall, with Forbidden Song also on the prowl as this threesome traded jabs for the first half mile before Railee Workable used a backstretch sprint to the front and never looked back. RAILEE WORKABLE REPLAY   The win was number 29 for Railee Workable and sent his career earnings to $225,815. As the 3 to 1 third choice, Railee Workable paid $8.60 to win. Several members of the Florida Amateur Driving Club gathered in the winner's circle as the F.A.D.C. President Dein Spriggs made a presentation to the Trotting Museum and Hall of Fame in the amount of $2.000. The club, whose members donate all driving earnings back for charitable donations, has contributed well over $200,000 to organizations such as Make-A-Wish, Go For The Greens, American Cancer Society and sanctuaries for retired race horses, among others. The track also hosted a 10 year memorial for the late William Fay Nelson, known as the "King of the Claimers" during his many years in our sport--one of his favorite being Big Bad Bud, a horse whose diet included chewing tobacco! The evening concluded with Endeavors Pride taking the nightcap at 7 to 2 odds keying a 4-1-3-9-6 combination returning $23,139.44 for the 20 cent ticket. Racing continues of Monday night with a carryover in the Pick-6 of $10,634, a pair of Pick-4 events, each with a $20,000 guaranteed pool along with an industry low 12% takeout. A classic confrontation is expected in the $11,000 Open Handicap Pace which headlines the 13 race extravaganza with Rebellious Ideal Feeling and Skip To My Lou are among the entrants. A rare Pick-6 carryover highlights the "Better for the Bettor" department at Pompano Park on Monday night. The carryover of $10,634 is NOT a "jackpot" Pick-6 with this wagering opportunity an advantage to the bettor with regard to takeout. In addition, there will be two Pick-4 events, each with a $20,000 guarantee and an industry low 12% takeout. The Pick-6 covers races three through eight while the Pick-4 events begin in races six and 10, respectively. First post is set for 7:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by John Berry, for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL - Beach Journey, craftily handled by harness racing driver Wally Hennessey, took top honors in Pompano Park's $11,500 Open Pace for Mares on Tuesday night (April 13), edging past the favored Casie's Believer (Joe Chindano, Jr.) in deep stretch to score by 1 ½ lengths in 1:52.4 off a :57.2 opening half. Tempus Seelster (Dave Ingraham), last early on, closed to take show honors while Evas Sports Czech and Persistent Bettor earned the final two awards in the classy octet. As the wings folded, Beach Journey (post 6) was sent out in search of the lead along with Casie's Believer, the latter taking charge around the opening turn and taking the field to the first quarter in :27.2. A :30 breather brought the leader to the half in :57.2 with Roll With Angel on the move into third and moving first up to within a length of the leader through a :27.3 third panel. Turning for home, Casie's Believer put away that challenge but that allowed Beach Journey room to roam and she motored on by inside the 16th pole for the win. BEACH JOURNEY REPLAY   In a post-race interview, Hennessey related, "I was hoping to hit the garden spot by leaving and figured that Joe's (Chindano) mare (Casie's Believer) would want to get into the action from her outside post, so it worked out nicely for us. Both mares raced very well but we had the better journey in the pocket." For Beach Journey, a five year-old mare by Net Ten Eom, it was her second straight win and sixth of the year in 14 starts, good for $25,322 and $78,693 lifetime for owner-trainer Cory Kresier, who claimed the mare for $6,000 a little over a month ago. She's had three wins and two seconds since earning $17,350 since the claim. As the 7 to 2 second choice in the wagering, Beach Journey paid $9.60 to win. The $10,500 Open II Trot went to The Lionking AS, with owner-trainer Kevin Wallis handling the lines. The six year-old gelded son of Lionhunter took full advantage of a class dip from the Open I class to score a handy win in 1:54.3. Enjoying a picture perfect journey after leaving and yielding early, The Lionking AS let BJ Lorado (Braxton Boyd) take charge early and cut panels of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:25.2 before leaving the cozy pocket and rolling on by with an effortless :29 finale to score by a length over the late charging Enzio (Jim Meittinis) with BJ Lorado finishing third. Mighty Surf finished fourth with Aquillo next in the field of seven. THE LIONKING AS REPLAY   The Lionking AS now has a 3-2-3 scorecard in 14 starts and $26,105 in 2021 bounty. He's banked $27,090 lifetime. Off at 3 to 5 on the board, The Lionking AS paid $3.40 to his multitude of faithful. Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey was the driving star of the 10 race program piloting five horses to the winner's circle. Besides Beach Journey in the feature, Hennessey reached the charmed circle with She Matters ($10.20), Stick With Me Kid ($11.80), Entranced ($2.80) and Guys In The Band ($6.00)--the latter duo comprising the late Daily Double. In the "Better for the Bettor" Department, Pompano Park's exotic wagers provided some very healthy returns on Tuesday, including a $19,654.45 payoff for the $.50 cent Pick-5 combo of 6-5-5-7-9 and a $.20 Pentafecta ducat worth $3,796.54 for the 7-2-6-1-3 ticket. The Pick-5 finale was taken by Stick With Me Kid, driven by Wally Hennessey at 9 to 2 with the other four winner off at 11 to 1, 3 to 5, 4 to 1 and 13 to 1. Racing continues on Sunday with a pair of carryover events--the first being in the Pick-6 with a carryover of $3,523.65 and the second in the Super Hi-5 finale with a carryover of $17,497.74. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by John Berry, for Pompano Park      

TALLAHASSEE, FL (AP) — Florida's jai alai frontons, quarter horse and harness horse racing tracks could choose not to conduct live events and still be able to operate poker and slot machine rooms under a bill unanimously approved by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Monday. Thoroughbred horse tracks would still have to conduct live racing under the bill, and while greyhound racing is now illegal in Florida, permit holders could still run card rooms and slots. Permit holders wouldn't be able to move their licenses to new locations. There was little debate on the bill, though some in the pari-mutuel industry expressed concerns. Mike Rogers, president of racing for the Stronach Group, which owns the Gulfstream Park thoroughbred track in Broward County, said there should be some sort of financial penalty for pari-mutuels if they stop live events. “The net affect of this decision places that thoroughbred industry at a serious competitive and economic disadvantage,” Rogers said.   Because pari-mutuel facilities would be able to lower their operating costs, they'd be able to spend more on marketing and player rewards incentives to attract gamblers. He suggested that permit holders who decide not to hold live events contribute to a common purse pool to help the thoroughbred industry conduct a full racing schedule. “Putting our casino at a disadvantage would seriously jeopardize this schedule, directly impacting one of the world's most coveted thoroughbred racing and breeding markets,” Rogers said. Slot machines are allowed at Miami-Dade and Broward County pari-mutuels. Other pari-mutuels in Florida can operate poker rooms but not slots. Florida voters approved a ban on greyhound racing in 2018. The ban took effect at the end of December. From the Associated Press

Pompano Beach, FL - April 13, 2021 - Rebellious, superbly handled by harness racing driver Wally Hennessey for trainer Mike Deters, took top honors in Pompano Park's $11,500 Open Handicap Pace, stopping the timer in 1:51.1. The grand seven year-old gelded son of Mach Three led every long stride of his mile, posting fractions of :26.4, :55.2 and 1:23.1 along the way, in garnering his 45th career win vaulting his bounty to $352,006 for Deters, who co-owns with Joel Warner. Ideal Feeling (Kevin Wallis), closed fastest of all to be second, less than a length away, with Lyons Night Hawk next. Wes Delight and Skip To My Lou earned the minors in the classy sextet. REBELLIOUS REPLAY   It was a classic from start to finish as Hennessey sent his charge to the front, out-footing Lyons Night Hawk and La Rockin Sampson early and leaving Wes Delight, Skip To My Lou and Ideal Feeling, seeking his third straight Open win, well back of the leader. Positions remained unchanged much of the way as only Skip To My Lou tried to dent the leader's lead on the backside with Ideal Feeling second over but still last, 5 1/4 lengths away. As driver Hennessey explained, "There are a lot of factors in any race from post positions to pace and one horse might seem better than another. If, say, one is better than another on a particular night, the questions is 'how much better?' Kevin's (Wallis) horse might have been five lengths better but six lengths back so that's the difference right there--post positions and the start. "He was Rebellious tonight and determined and Mike's (trainer Deters) expertise as a horseman and his caretaker's dedication certainly came through. I just handled the lines!" With this fourth win of the season in eight starts, Rebellious sent his 2021 bankroll to $28,050 and rewarded his faithful with a $4.40 mutuel as the 6 to 5 choice. The $10,000 Open II Pace went to War-N-Munn, driven by Kevin Wallis. The eight year-old altered son of Stonebridge Regal used a "Hail Mary" pass three-eighths into the mile--the pass being from third to first in, roughly, 50 yards to secure the lead and hold on late for the neck triumph over the pocket-sitting Darling's Dragon (Donald Dupont) with a very fast closing Saulsbrook Deputy (Ken Holliday) third, 1 1/4 lengths away. Agedchedar Hanover was fourth while Kinnder Jackson picked up the nickel. Unlike last week when War-N-Munn led start to finish in a conditioned event, he tried to use these same tactics on this night but with three other "leavers" was forced to take back early as, first, Darling's Dragon and, then, Agedchedar Hanover got in an early war as Kinnder Jackson also decided to relent and tuck in fourth. After a hot opener of :26.1, Wallis sent War-N-Munn on that "Hail Mary" pass and did secure the lead prior to the half in a sizzling :54.1. He then used a :27.4 backside panel to reach the third station in 1:22 and held gamely late for the win--his second straight and 30th lifetime win. Also trained and owned by Wallis, War-N-Munn now has $375,184 in career bounty. As fourth choice in the betting at 5 to 1, War-N-Munn paid $12.40 to win. Though Hennessey and Wallis took the feature events, the driving star of the night was Joe Chindano, Jr., who hit a grand-slam while getting to the winner's circle with Rural Art ($7.00), Don't Chip Me ($3.20), Endeavors Pride ($12.20) and Neptune ($16.00). Racing continues on Tuesday with mares in the spotlight in the $11,500 Open Pace. That event is carded as the sixth race and kicks off the Pick-4 with a $20,000 guaranteed pool with ann industry low 12% takeout. There is also a $13,222.65 carryover in the Super Hi-5 finale. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Due to the severe weather that has pummeled South Florida and the severe warnings continuing for the next several hours, racing at Pompano Park has been cancelled for Sunday, April 11 due to unsafe track conditions. Racing will continue on Monday, April 12 with a 13 race extravaganza featuring two Pick-4 events with a $20,000 guaranteed pool with an industry low 12% takeout. First post scheduled for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park.    

Pompano Beach, FL - April 7, 2021 - Casie's Believer and Muscles For Life were victorious as Pompano Park offered twin $11,500 harness racing features on Tuesday night (April 6). Casie's Believer, handled by Joe Chindano, Jr., took top honors in the Open Handicap for the pacing mares as she found a seam turning for home and use a :28 final panel in rallying by a stubborn Ask Me Ifi Care (Mike Micallef) in 1:52.4. Tempus Seelster (Dave Ingraham) rallied for third, 1½ lengths away while Roll With Angel paced an evenly rated mile from the rail to finish fourth. Persistent Bettor picked up the final award in the field of seven. At he outset, Roll With Angel left well from the inside as Casie's Believer was sent launching from her outside seven post, taking command at the opening marker in :27.2. Shortly thereafter, Ask Me Ifi Care made a quarter move to the top three-eighths in and took the field to the half in :56.1. On the backside, Eva's Sports Czech made a first up bid and reached second a length away with Casie's Believer looking for room to roam past the third station in 1:24.3. Turning for home, Casie's Believer found that seam and started gnawing away, edging by in the final few strides. CASIE'S BELIEVER REPLAY   In a post-race interview, driver Joe Chindano said, "She (Casie's Believer) had been knocking on the door the last few starts from off the pace, so I decided I'd try something different from this outside post because I didn't want to be seven or eight lengths back early. After we made the top, we got some cover and then we had to be patient--and I'm not really a patient kind of guy--waiting for something to open up. She sure responded and that was a great mile for her being used at both ends." For Casie's Believer, a six year-old daughter of Betterthancheddar, it was her third win of the year with her scorecard reading a consistent 3-5-1 in 12 starts, good for $34,015 for Chindano, who is owner-trainer. Off at 2 to 1 as second choice, Casie's Believer paid $6.00 to win. In the companion for Open Trotters, Muscles For Life, driven by Wally Hennessey, put some daylight at the start on his main rival Toy's For You (Rick Plano) and went on to score a win measuring three-parts-of-a-length over that one in 1:54.1, this after posting number of :27.3, :57.1 and 1:26.1. The Lionking AS (Kevin Wallis) was third, 2¾ lengths away while Ev's Girl was fourth. The nickel went to Burn Notice in this septet. As the wings folded, The Lionking AS and Muscles For Life were fastest out while Toy's For You, a son of Airzoom Lindy, did anything but "zoom" as he took back unhurried and some eight lengths off the leader at the opening quarter. Positions remained virtually unchanged until Toy's For You began his charge on the backside, reaching third and less than two lengths awa around the final bend. Even though Toy's For Us closed fastest of all--:27.3--the line came soon enough for Muscles For Life to score his third straight win for trainer Steve Oldford and owner Jarold Hawks. MUSCLES FOR LIFE REPLAY   The victory was number five in eight starts for the eight year-old son of Muscle Mass and sent his 2021 bankroll to $35,570. He's banked $383,665 lifetime to go along with 37 wins. Off at a dime to a dollar, Muscles for Life paid $2.20 to win. Racing continues on a Sunday-Monday-Tuesday schedule through April with closing night scheduled for May 2. Post time remains at 7:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by John Berry, for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...April 6, 2021...Ideal Feeling, handled by Kevin Wallis, scored a repeat harness racing victory in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace on Monday night, using a :27.1 blitz home to score by a neck in 1:51.1. The six year-old son of American Ideal nailed the favored Rebellious (Wally Hennessey) nearing the wire to extend his personal winning streak to three. Wes Delight (Ken Holliday) was third, just a length away, while Saulsbrook Deputy and Lets Roll earned the minor awards in the classy sextet. At the outset, Ideal Feeling zipped off the wings only to yield to Wes Delight at the hot :26.3 opener. At that point, Rebellious was on the move forward and took charge into turn two and marched over to the half in :54.4 leaving Ideal Feeling third and about to be shuffled to fourth as Villiam made a backside binge going first up. Rebellious hit the third station in 1:23.2 and turned for home with a clear lead but Ideal Feeling was able to shake loose, swing widest of all and surge by just strides from the wire. IDEAL FEELING REPLAY   In a post race interview, driver Kevin Wallis explained, "Well, things really didn't work out early as I had hoped. I was looking for a two-hole trip back of Rebellious but that never happened and I was a bit concerned on the backside when I got shuffled a bit. But, this is a very good, professional racehorse and, when he found room, he responded like the horse he is. "Peter Blood (trainer) has him in exceptional condition and credit goes to him and the horse and the caretakers who keep him the way he was tonight. I cannot say enough about Peter as he is the consummate horseman--he has been for so many years--and his expertise was evident in the horse's performance tonight." The win was the fourth of the year for Ideal Feeling and sent his 2021 bankroll to $26,260 for owner Rick Berks. He's earned $298,208 lifetime to go along with his 1:48.4 mark last season at The Meadowlands. As third choice in the betting, Ideal Feeling paid $6.20 to win. In the $10,000 Open II Pace, Prairie Panther took advantage of the rare opportunity to race in an event other than the top class and went on to score a 1:51.3 win for Wally Hennessey. The seven year-old gelded son of Royel Millennium, last halfway through the mile, made a backside blitz to stick his head in front on the final turn, got into a war until mid-stretch and then went on to score by two lengths over Lyons Night Hawk (Braxton Boyd) with Kinnder Jackson (Joe Chindano, Jr.) another length back in third. Funknwaffles was fourth in the quintet with Mc Mach picking up the nickel. It was Kinnder Jackson and Lyons Night Hawk off the wings in a hurry vying for supremacy with the latter in front through early fractions of :27 and :55.1. On the backside, Prairie Panther went roaring from fifth and, by the final bend, was on even terms with the Lyons Night Hawk and these two were side-by-side until Prairie Panther edged clear in the final 16th. PRAIRIE PANTHER REPLAY   Trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Panther won for the 44th time during his illustrious career to send his career bounty to $413,730. This year's scorecard reads 3-3-0 in nine starts, good for $23,750. Off at even money on the tote-board, Prairie Panther paid $4.00 to his multitude of faithful. In the $10,000 event for $20,000-$30,000 claiming pacers, La Rockin Sampson, skillfully handled by Ken Holliday, took charge early from his outside seven post and sawed through panels of :26.2, :55 and 1:23 and held off the late charge of Millennial (Joe Chindano, Jr.) to score by three-parts-of-a-length in 1:51.3. Johnny Chip (Kevin Wallis) was third while Manceiver and Rockin Machine earned the minor awards, Trained by Holliday for 1940LLC, the five year-old altered son of Rockin Image won for the fourth time in 2021 to send his yearly bounty to $29,680. As the 7 to 2 second choice, La Rockin Sampson paid $9.20 to win. Racing continues of Tuesday night with a pair of $11,500 feature events, including an anticipated rivalry between Toy's For You and Muscles For Life in the Open Handicap Trot. Toy's For Us returns to the racing wars looking to extend his winning streak to five, including a win in his last start on March 16 while Muscles For Life will try and earn a repeat win after winning the Open Handicap Trot last week. In the "better for the bettor" department, Pompano Park will have a $20,000 guaranteed pool on their Tuesday Pick-4, which has an industry low 12% takeout. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL - .April 2, 2021...No April fooling! Pompano Park had yet another million dollar handle night as the harness racing track featured a pair of "Send It In" specials on April Fool's Day highlighted by a mandatory payout on the Super Hi-5 finale with a carryover of over $130,000 and a final pool over $500,000. The "Send It In" Invites were issued for "hard luck" horses this season that were only two for 109 in the win column in 2021 on the pace and 3 for 83 on the trot--each event carrying an "Open" purse of $10,000. The "Send It In" trotting invitational went to the Mike Murphy trained Fist Fighter, who, despite being roughed up early from the eight post, went on to score a handy two length win for Wally Hennessey in 1:59. The four year-old gelded son of Mr Cantab took charge three-eighths into the mile and led the rest of the way holding off the late surging Savin Rock (Jack Killeen) with Legend Field (Corey Braden) next, 5 1/2 lengths away. The 13 year-old Benns Score Keeper was fourth while Canale Hanover, beginning from the second tier post 10, rallying for fifth. All remaining starters received $300, as well. FIST FIGHTER REPLAY   In the winner's circle after the event, Hennessey related, "Every win is special for me but this one was extra special because it was for a wonderful trainer and gentleman, Mike Murphy, who deserves all the good luck in the world." Owned by James Wilson along with Teri Jenkins, Fist Fighter was even money on the tote-board and paid $4.00 to win with the 20 cent pentafecta ticket of 8-5-4-7-10 returning a handsome $1,147.02. The companion "Send It In" pacing invitation, with that aforementioned mandatory Super Hi-5 payout, went to Rob Hoffman's Big Bad Baby in 1:57. Coming into the action with a scorecard of 0-0-0 in 11 starts, the seven year-old daughter of Big Bad John swept up widest of all turning for home and won by a half-length over Elm Grove Nellie (Braxton Boyd) with the grey mare, J P Silver (Wally Hennessey) third after being last at the stretch call. Blurred Lines rallied late and finished fourth while Queen Me Again picked up the nickel after challenging on the final bend. The race was action packed start to finish as Heavenly Evelyn zipped off the wings and took the field through an opener of :27.2 before relinquishing the lead to IRA Chief half way through in :56.3. Meanwhile, the eventual winner, last at the opening marker began to gnaw her way forward catching live cover along the way from Elm Grove Nellie. At the third station in 1:26.3, the field was tightening up and there were five across the track once they straightened away with Big Bad Baby taking charge at mid-stretch from Elm Grove Nellie, who had taken a short lead turning for home. BIG BAD BABY REPLAY   After the event, owner-trainer-driver Rob Hoffman said, "She's had just a prolonged unlucky streak. She has been drawing badly and alway in heavy traffic. Actually, tonight was no different but we got some live cover flow for a change and she sure responded when she got some room to roam! This was a bonanza for her tonight!" It also turned out to be a bonanza for 79 astute handicappers in the Send It In Army as the 20 cent Super Hi-5 combination of 6-8-7-3-9 returned $5,568.20. Handle for the night--the final Thursday of the season--was $1,136,788, extending the already record breaking million dollar handle nights at Pompano Park this season to 17. Racing continues through April on a Sunday-Monday-Tuesday schedule with post time set for 7:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...March 31, 2021...Usually, the "hoopla" around harness racing tracks concerns stakes and "Open" events but, on Thursday, April Fool's Day, there will be no joking around as Pompano Park will feature a pair of "Send It In" Invitational events reserved for the "hard luck" horses that have grace the track since its opening last November. Also, the Super Hi-5 will feature a mandatory payout with that pool expected to vault into the $300,000 range based on the carryover going in of $130,623.44. Each Send It In Invitational event will carry an "Open" purse of $10,000, allowing the selected participants to race for a purse more than three times normal. As Director of Racing Gabe Prewitt said, "these 'invitational' horses have been racing here all meet long and have suffered from prolonged bad racing luck, so we decided to give them an opportunity to make a little extra money as the meet winds down." Every starter will earn at least $300 to cover their expenses. Here's a snapshot of the contenders and pretenders in the Super Hi-5 Send It In Invitational: Post 1-Superficial, owned and trained by Harry Joe Haught. Morning Line 7/1. Superficial is a 10 year-old gelded son of Art Official with lifetime earnings of $245,248. His scorecard for 2021 is 11-0-0-0 with earnings of 1,150. His last success was over the Woodstock half mile oval on October 17, 2020 and, since his arrival at Pompano Park, he has started 16 times with his best performance being on January 27 when he finished fifth pacing his mile in 1:53.2. Superficial will be driven by Andy Shetler who said, "he's not very good on the turns these days--he kinda run in on them. He used to be a good horse. He's 10 now but he's kinda racing like he's 20. I'm just hoping he'll like the company he's in with and the rail should help him a little." Post 2-Heavenly Evelyn, owned by trainer Bryce Fenn along with Harry Doyle. Morning Line 12/1. Heavenly Evelyn is a six year-old daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven with career earnings of 47,578. It has been a long dry spell of the mare as her last win was 14 months ago here at Pompano Park--February 3, 2020. Since then she has made 21 starts without a win and, in 2021, her scorecard reads 9-0-0-0 with earnings of $856. Trainer-driver Fenn does see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel saying, "She was much better in her last start. At least she had a pulse with a nice kick home. I am hoping to be forwardly placed throughout the mile." Post 3--Blurred Lines, owned by trainer Dan Harvey along with Ann Robblee. Morning Line 15/1. Blurred Lines is an eight year-old daughter of Sand Shooter and is one of only two starters in this field with a win in 2021. Her career earnings are $145,212. Blurred Lines upset the applecart on January 14 here at Pompano Park by winning in 1:56.1 at odds of 35 to 1. In her last start, she made a rare miscue at the start, composed herself and paced her final quarter in :27.4--her second fastest ever during her 183 race career, her fastest being :27.1 at Hoosier Park in June of 2015 finishing seventh in a Sire Stakes event. She will be driven by Dan Harvey. Post 4-Starcasim, trained by Joe Sanzeri, who co-owns with Russell Guardino. Morning Line 15/1. Starcasim is a Florida bred six year-old daughter of Mysticism with career earnings of $61,539. Trainer-driver Joe Sanzeri believes this mare has had nothing but bad racing luck for an extended period of time. "She's just been a hard luck mare by draw and on the racetrack," he lamented. "She does have good speed off the wings and I am hoping to use that to my advantage from this post in a bulky field." Starcasim's scorecard reads 12-0-0-0 thus far in 2021 and she has not tasted success in the winner's circle since September 13, 2019 at Tioga Downs covering 35 starts. Her last win at Pompano Park was almost two years ago--April 15, 2019--at odds of 1 to 20! Post 5-IRA Chief, trained by Dennis Whittemore for owner Diane Whittemore. Morning Line 7/1. IRA Chief, a 12 year-old gelded son of Chief Silverheels, oozes with back class with $484,000 in career earnings to go along with a 1:50.1 mark at Hoosier Park seven seasons ago. Although he has compiled 40 lifetime wins, IRA Chief is winless in nine starts this year, but does have one second and one third place finish to his credit. His last win was at Batavia Downs on October 3, 2020. Trainer Dennis Whittemore has high hopes for his pacer, noting IRA Chief has had many instances during his career where he has won wire-to-wire. "I've got him as good as I can get him," he said, "and I know he likes the front end and that's why I asked Kevin (Wallis) to drive him. Hope springs eternal, they say. But that's what we all say!" Post 6-Big Bad Baby, owned and trained by Robert Hoffman. Morning Line 7/1. Big Bad Baby is a seven year-old daughter of Big Bad John with career earnings of $106,807. Although she has 14 lifetime wins, Big Bad Baby has been in an "unlucky streak" that has seen her scorecard this season at a Sahara Desert like 11-0-0-0 with $1,844 in bounty. Here last win was at Rosecroft Raceway on September 23, 2020--her only win in her last 50 starts over the past two seasons. She last reached the winner's circle at Pompano on December 12, 2019. Trainer-driver Hoffman related, "She's been drawing poorly almost every start and she always finds herself in traffic. She can come home pretty well so I am hoping we can get some live cover flow and do some damage! This would be the perfect time to do so!" Post 7-J P Silver, owned and trained by Bobbi Jean Carney. Morning Line 7/2. J P Silver is the only grey mare in this field, a six year-old daughter of McArdle with career bounty of $83,029. Although she is winless this year, the mare has been giving hints in recent races, especially in her last start where she finished third, just a length off the winner with her last quarter in :28.3. Her 2021 stats read 10-0-0-1 with her last win at Woodstock in wire-to-wire fashion on October 9, 2020. Since her arrival at Pompano Park, she has made 17 starts without a win. J P Silver will have the driving services of Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey for the Send It In Invitational. About J P Silver's chance, Hennessey said, "Well, she must have a pretty good chance because she was handicapped with one of the outside posts!" Post 8-Elm Grove Nellie, trained by Marc Major for owners Michael and Diane Norcross. Morning Line 15/1. Elm Grove Nellie is a five year-old daughter of Stonebridge Terror who is winless this semester in 12 starts but has been knocking at the door on several occasions. "Yes, she 'oh-for her last 54,'" said trainer Major, "but she's about due for a win as she has been racing well lately," Her last win was up in Prince Edward Island's Charlottetown on September 14, 2019. "I am hoping she can find her best stride when it counts to do well here in this Invitational," Major related. "A few starts back, she was last at the half and just missed by a neck. Hoping for the best!" Elm Grove Nellie will be driven by 21 year-old Braxton Boyd, one of the bright, young rising stars in the sport. Post 9-Queen Me Again, a six year year-old daughter of Dragon Again, is owned and trained by Hall of Fame trainer-driver Bill Popfinger. Morning Line 3/1. Queen Me Again was deemed eligible "at time of entry" before winning her first race of the year just last Sunday night here at Pompano Park. Winless in her prior 12 starts, she used a :29.1 final quarter to score in 1:55.1 to push her lifetime earnings to $90,749. Prior to that win, she had been struggling against some higher classes and relished the company she kept in the lower class she faced last Sunday night. The win was the catalyst for her being assigned the nine post in this field. Post 10-Lusty Delight, trained by Jeff Byron, who co-owns with Elizabeth Kehoe. Morning Line 7/1. Lusty Delight is a seven year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight with career earnings of $114,572. She has the admirable quality of "saving the best for the last" and is reliable for pacing her final quarters as fast as :28. Showing a scorecard of 11-0-0-3 in 2021, the mare has banked only $1,568 but continues to show sharp speed at the end of her miles. In her last three starts, she has paced final quarters of :29, :28.4 and :28.4 with her last start just 2 1/2 lengths off the winner finishing sixth. Her last win was here at Pompano Park on December 8, 2020 in 1:55.3. She will have the driving services of Dave Ingraham, who must find a way to join the fray from the second tier. All in all, the 10 starters in this field have a combined two wins in 109 starts and are averaging $179 per start. Each is guaranteed a paycheck in excess of that while competing in this Send It In Invitational. The companion event for trotters is the highlight of the Pentafecta 4th race at Pompano Park with that identical $10,000 purse featuring a field of 10 with a combined three wins this year in 83 starts and 13 wins in 255 starts over the past two seasons. This "million dollar" field includes the 13 year-old Guiltywithanexcuse, a gelded son of Classic Photo with career earnings approaching a half million dollars! Winless at Pompano Park for owners Amanda Stephens and Janie Hartley, this Marna Shehan trainee will stride to within $140 of $500,000 with a win in the Send It In Special. Tyler Shehan will be in the sulky back of Guiltywithanexcuse. Another 13 year-old, Benns Score Keeper, an altered son of Lockkeeper, recently vaulted over the $200,000 in lifetime earnings with his last pari-mutuel win on August 18, 2018 at Northville Downs. Owned and trained by Marshall Makin, Benns Score Keeper will be driven by Andy Shetler on Thursday night. The Send It In Army will be out in full force on Thursday as the mandatory payout in the track's Super Hi-5 finale has a carryover of $130,623.44 and could have a pool over $300,000. Post time for the Thursday night special program is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...March 31...Crisp Mane and Muscles For Life took top honors in their respective Open Handicap events on Tuesday (March 30) at Pompano Park, each winner handled by the two leading harness racing drivers at the track this season, who both happen to be Hall of Famers. Crisp Mane, the splendid five year-old daughter of Sportswriter, eked out a close win in the $11,500 Open Handicap for Mares and was driven by David Miller. She went grinding her way from fourth halfway through the mile to the lead around the final bend before holding off the serious late surge of Casie's Believer (Joe Chindano, Jr.) by a head in 1:52.2. Persistent Bettor (Kevin Wallis) was third while Ask Me Ifi Care, late around the final bend, closed for fourth. Prairie Westerngal, prominent from the get-go, finished fifth, less than two lengths off the winner. As the wings folded, a battle developed for early supremacy as Persistent Bettor and Prairie Westerngal both left with alacrity with Tempus Seelster also joining the fray with the latter reaching the top spot a stride past the :26.2 opener. Meanwhile, Crisp Mane, settling into fourth early, on the move grinding after a half in 55.1. Gnawing her third panel in :27.3, Crisp Mane stuck her head in front at that third station in 1:23.3 with she and Tempus Seelster stride for stride until mis-stretch when Crisp Mane edged clear only to face a final lunge by Casie's Believer that fell short by a head. CRISP MANE REPLAY   Said Miller after the event, "Crisp Mane is more of a grinder than a sprinter and I was very happy with the way she raced." Trained by David's daughter, Devan, for owner Sylvia Burke, Crisp Mane won for the third time this year sending her scorecard to 3-2-5 in 10 starts, good for $30,460 and $228,390 lifetime. As the slight second choice at 8 to 5, Crisp Mane paid $5.40 to win. A bit of luck played into Muscle For Life's win in the $11,000 Open Handicap for trotters as this eight year-old son of Muscle Mass slipped through along the pylons for driver Wally Hennessey to out- kick Born To Thrive (Rick Plano) by a neck in 1:53.4. Burn Notice (Kevin Wallis) finished third while BJ Lorado trotted an evenly rated mile to finish fourth. Classiciality picked up the nickel after the leader In Secret made a miscue turning for home. Muscles For Life left with his usual alertness along with In Secret, who took charge midway around the initial turn and stroked off panels of :27.2, :55.4 and 1:24.3. Turning for home, In Secret made a rare miscue, leaving Muscles For Life the opportunity to slip on through and on to victory--his fourth in eight starts sending his 2021 bounty to $29,720 and $377,915 lifetime for the Steve Oldford trainee owned by Jarold Hawkes. MUSCLE FOR LIFE REPLAY   "There was a little bit of luck involved there, too" said Hennessey, "as a seam opened up after David's horse (In Secret) made that break and I was able tpo sneak through!" Off at 6 to 5 on the board, Muscles For Life paid $4.60 to his multitude of faithful. In the $10,000 Open II Trot, Sooo Handsome, driven by Rick Plano for owner Maryann Plano, enjoyed a perfect trip in the garden spot and went on to score a handy 3 1/4 length win in 1:54.3 for his first win of the year in 12 starts. The eight year-old gelded son of Cash Hall let Stick With Me mKid (Wally Hennessey) cut the mustard through fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.1 before his solid :28.1 final sealed the deal. Boinganator (Kevin Wallis) finished third while Billie Blue and Tech Titan earned minor awards in the sextet. Sooo Handsome now has banked $347,575 lifetime. He paid $2.60 as the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite. Also of note, Maryann Plano's Flagman, again handled by her trainer-driver husband, Rick, extended his undefeated streak to four in 2021 with a lifetime best 1:53.2 performance in an $8,000 conditioned event. The four year-old gelded son of Guccio began his season just a month ago with a qualifying win in 1:56.2 and, since, has ripped off four straight wins--last night's by 12 lengths. He paid $2.60 to win. Racing continues on Thursday night with two Send It In Invitational events, highlighted by a mandatory payout in the track's Super Hi-5 finale, which has a carryover of $130,623.44. Said Director of Racing Gabe Prewitt, "This is a bonanza for our faithful as this pool could very well swell to over $300,000. Post time is set for 7:20 for this final Thursday of the meeting. For full race results, click here. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...March 30, 2021...Ideal Feeling scored a 16-1 upset win in Pompano Park's $11,500 Open Handicap Pace on Monday night (March 29) at Pompano Park while harness racing trainer Jake Huff celebrated his 60th birthday with a training double--make that daily double--to share the limelight. Ideal Feeling, despite coming off a seasonal best 1:50.4 win in his last start, was dismissed as the second longest proposition on the tote-board and got picture perfect handling from Kevin Wallis to score in 1:52.4--his :26.3 sprint home wearing down the favored Skip To My Lou (Joe Chindano, Jr.) in the final strides. Seeing Eye Single (David Miller) closed fastest of all--:26.1--to finish third, 3 1/4 lengths away while Funknwaffles was an evenly rated fourth. McMach picked up the nickel in the classy sextet. As the wings folded, Ideal Feeling (post 2) left with alacrity to take charge into the opening turn before yielding to Skip To My Lou shortly thereafter. Through an opening panel in a moderate :27.4, Skip To My Lou lolly-gagged over to the half in :58, leading to the belief that, for all intents and purposes, the races was "over" at that point. The pace picked up on the backstretch with Skip To My Lou using a 28 third panel to reach that beam in 1:26, but the best was yet to come as Ideal Feeling was stuck to the leader's helmut turning for home. In a classic duel to the wire, Skip To My Lou and Ideal Feeling exchanged punches with the latter squeaking by in the final stages for the decision. IDEAL FEELING REPLAY   In a post race interview, Ideal Feeling's trainer, Peter Blood, said. "That was the definition of a real duel down the lane with neither giving an inch. Skip To My Lou was his very game self and my horse had a great trip back of him. When I spoke to Kevin (Wallis) going to to the track for the post parade, I just said, 'Ideal Feeling is really sharp now and, if you can put his nose on the other guy's helmut, he can sprint home with any of them.' Jokingly, he added, "And when I showed Ideal Feeling the program page, he looked at it and didn't seem all that concerned! Of course, there were some powerhouses in there and, with the draw and the trip, we things worked out our way. Sometimes they do...and sometimes they don't!" For Ideal Feeling, a six year-old son of American Ideal, it was his third success of the year in 11 starts, pushing his 2021 earnings to $20,760 for owner Rick Berks. He's banked $292,708 career-wise to go along with his 1:48.4 Meadowlands mark achieved last season. Ideal Feeling paid $34.60 to his faithful. Trainer Jake Huff celebrated his 60th birthday by sweeping the early daily double with Lets Roll in the $10,000 Open II pace and Everyone's Talkin in the Florida Amateur Driving Club trot. Lets Roll, a six year-old son of Roll With Joe, went a very game journey to hit the final light beam in a seasonal best 1:51, among his victims being the fast closing Saulsbrook Deputy (David Miller) and La Rockin Sampson (Ken Holliday) with Rockin Machine and Mach West next in the field of seven. Driven by Mike Simons for owners Rosie Huff, Beauty Bridle Racing Stable and our Three Sons Stable, Lets Roll started his grind to the front from the get-go from his outside post, reached the lead three-eighths into the mile after a hot :27 opener and proceeded to through panels of :55.2 and 1:22.4 to hold off Saulsbrook Deputy with a :28.1 finale. Lets Roll won for the fourth time this semester to send his earnings for the year to $24,945 and $176,440 lifetime. He paid $5.00 to win. Everyone's Talkin completed the Huff birthday double sweep with co-owner Ron Cusimano in the bike, using a late surge to score by a head in 1:56.4 over Utopia (Steve Oldford) and Uva Hanover (Dein Spriggs). Carlo Angelillo, Henry Tanzer and Erika Sirianos also share ownership in the winner. Everyone's Talkin paid $3.80 as the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite and sent his career bounty to $320,099. David Miller had a triple of the Monday program, scoring with Double Metal ($7.40), Live Lucky ($4.00) and Uncle Si ($2.40) while Wally Hennessey picked up a double with Giant Muscles ($4.20) and New Number Who Dis ($2.60). Racing continues on Tuesday with a $20,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool (with an industry low 12% takeout) and a Super Hi-5 jackpot that has ballooned to $123,091.13. On Thursday, there will be a mandatory payout on the Super-Hi-5--that event being the $10,000 Send It In Invitational Pace featuring a full field of 10. There is also a companion event for trotters in the fourth race Pentafecta. Post time is 7:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...March 24, 2021...Prairie Westerngal and In Secret were victorious at Pompano Park as the South Florida famed five-eighths mile harness racing oval presented twin $11,000 features on Tuesday (March 23). Prairie Westerngal, a five-year-old daughter of Western Ideal, was driven to victory by Wally Hennessey in the Mares Open Handicap Pace and toured the mile in 1:53, defeating the late charging Casie's Believer (Joe Chindano, Jr.) by three-parts-of-a-length. Crisp Mane (David Miller) was third, two lengths away, while Evas Sports Czech and Ask Me Ifi Care completed the quintet. As the wings folded, Prairie Westerngal used her usual sprinting alacrity from her outside post to take immediate command and zip an opening quarter of :26.2 Ask Me Ifi I Care second, Crisp Mane third, Evas Sports Czech fourth and Casie's Believer trailing. With no immediate threats looming, Hennessey gave a relaxed Prairie Westerngal a breather and got to the half in :56.1. The pace did pick up on the backside as Crisp Mane made a bid from third and got within a length of the leader at the third station in 1:24.1. In the lane, Prairie Westerngal drew clear once again as only Casie's Believer was able to do any serious denting through an official final panel of :28.4. PRAIRIE WESTERNGAL REPLAY   After the race, Hennessey lamented, "She sure knows how to push the gate out of her way. She's really sharp right now and Mike (trainer Deters) has her razor sharp. She is a very determined mare." Trainer Mike Deters co-owns the mare with Laurie Poulin and Fritz Racing and now sports a 3-3-1 scorecard in 10 starts this semester, good for $27,950. She's banked $171,903 lifetimne. As the 4 to 5 favorite, Prairie Westerngal paid $3.60 to win. Roughly 25 minutes later, Deters completed the training sweep of the early Daily Double as Burn Notice, driven by Braxton Boyd, put on a gritty performance in scoring a photo finish win in the $10,000 Open II Trot. The six year-old gelded son of Cayenne Turbo marched up from first over on the backside to engage the leader around the final bend, took charge once straightened away and held off Stick With Me Kid (Wally Hennessey) by a head. Favored Sooo Handsome (Rick Plano) finished third after making a miscue early in the mile and dropped back to last half way through. The Lionking AS was fourth while Joey Pro picked up the final award in the septet. BURN NOTICE REPLAY   Owned by WHR Trust, Burn Notice earned his second straight win and third of the year in sending his 2021 bounty to $117,390. As fourth choice in the betting at 9 to 1, Burn Notice paid $21.60 to win to complete the $39.00 early daily double. In the $11,000 Open Handicap Trot, In Secret, with David Miller in her sulky, scored a handy win in 1:54, her winning margin 1½ lengths over Born To Thrive (Rick Plano) with BJ Lorado (Braxton Boyd), the longest proposition on the board, third. Northern Skyway and Serenity Cruise also earned awards in the field of six. In Secret, away in good order fourth, made a quarter move after the :27.2 opener and went on to post numbers of :56.2 and 1:25 before remaining unscathed during her :29 second closer. Trained by Devan Miller for owner Sylvia Burke, In secret, a nine year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, won for the 44th time during an illustrious career which boasts earnings of $881,628. Hardly a "secret" to the bettors, In Secret paid $2.80 to win. IN SECRET REPLAY   In the $10,000 Open II Pace for Mares, Tempus Seelster, confidently driven by John MacDonald, enjoyed a slight dip in class to score a handy win in 1:52.3. The eight year-old daughter of Big Jim took command a stride or two past the :27.4 opening marker and proceeded on hitting beams of :56.1 and 1:24.2 before sealing the issue with a :28.1 finale to score by almost three lengths over the late charging Beach Journey (David Miller). She'sgotitgoingon (Don Harmon), the roan mare making her first start in over a month, finished third, just a lip off second, while Image Of A Dream, the early leader, finished fourth. Persistent Bettor picked up the nickel in the field of seven. Trained by Rob Rittof for Dandy Farms Racing and the FT Racing Stable, Tempus Seelster won of the third time this year and 39th career-wise to send her lifetime earnings to $338,021. Off at 1 to 2, Tempus Seelster paid $3.00 to win. Also of note, one of the new budding stars in the Rick Plano Stable, Flagman, extended his winning streak to three since his arrival earlier this month with a 1:55.3 win as he stepped up the ladder once more to Open III company. The four year-old gelded son of Guccio trotted his final 3/4s in 1:25.4 coming from well off the pace to score by a widening two lengths. Rick Plano, who recently reached the $20,000,000 milestone in training bounty to go along with over $30,000,000 in the driving ranks, also trains Guccio for Maryann Plano. Plano ois also approaching yet another milestone as he edges closer to 4,000 lifetime training wins. Driver David Miller had another grand slam on the program, driving Penn ($3.60), Beach Forecast ($2.40) and Roll With Angel ($2.60) to popular victories in addition to the aforementioned In Secret. Racing continues on Thursday night with a $15,000 guarantee on the Pick-4 offering (with an industry low 12% takeout) and a Super Hi-5 jackpot approaching $100,000--$98,428.71 to be precise. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. For full results, click here. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...March 23, 2021...Skip To My Lou, driven by harness rawcing owner-trainer Joe Chindano, Jr., survived pressure throughout the mile and, particularly, from both sides of the isle in the stretch, to win Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace on Monday (March 22). The tiny five year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou covered his mile in 1:52, with his last half in :55.4 to repel the serious threats of Real Peace (David Miller) and Seeing Eye Single (John MacDonald) by a half length. Lets Roll, closing fastest of all, finished fourth while Rebellious picked up the nickel in the classy sextet. Leaving from post five, Skip To My Lou to the early lead from Real Peace shortly after the wings folded and proceeded to an opening panel of :27. As Chindano began to give his charge a second quarter breather, Seeing Eye Single decided to force the issue and, from fifth, rushed up to join the leader half way through the mile in :56.1. These two continued to race as a team on the backside as the pace quickened--three quarters in 1:24.1--and, turning for home, Skip To My Lou drifted out a lane allowing Real Peace to join the fray in the final yards. SKIP TO MY LOU REPLAY   Said Chindano after the race, "I really didn't know how good he would be tonight because I gave him a week off to freshen up and only trained him lightly. He's so handy and he'll do anything on the racetrack to win...either on the front or off the pace. He sure dug in when it counted, that's for sure. He raced giant." In achieving his sixth success of the year in nine starts, Skip To My Lou sent his 2021 bounty to $36,330 and $148,411 lifetime. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote-board, Skip To My Lou paid $3.40 to his multitude of faithful. Chindano also handled the winner of one of the faster mile of the night--1:51--by the Angie Coleman trained MIllennial, another son of Sweet Lou. This four year-old used a :26.4 backside blitz from fourth to take charge and open up an insurmountable lead around the final bend before scoring by eight lengths in a new lifetime best performance. Left in his wake were Mac Anover (Kevin Wallis) and Rocksapatriot (Dave Ingraham) with favored King Corona fourth and Brilliant Strike earning minor awards. Owned by Gabriel Wand, Millennial sent his career earnings to $41,990 with the win and paid $12.20 as third choice in the betting. The $10,000 Open II Pace went to the highly regarded Funknwaffles, driven by David Miller, also in 1:51. The seven year-old altered son of American Ideal took charge at the hot :26.2 opener and carded subsequent panels of :55.3 and 1:23 before a :28 finale was just good enough to hold the surging Mach West (Wally Hennessey) safe by a nose. FUNKNWAFFLES REPLAY   Rockin Machine (Rick Plano) was a fast closing third, followed by Saulsbrook Deputy and Solo Story in the field of six. Funknwaffles, trained by Tony Alagna for Crawford Farms Racing, paid $2.80 in continuing his comeback and assault on the million dollar plateau in earnings--his now at $976,754. MIller had a grand slam on Monday night, scoring with Beyond The View ($4.60), Ideal Feeling ($2.40) and E Z Noah ($3.40) besides the aforementioned Funknwaffles. Ideal Feeling, by the way, scored the fastest mile of the night--1:50.4--in the $8,000 conditioned/optional claiming event. The six year-old son of American Ideal, trained by Peter Blood for owner Rick Berks, drew off to score by four lengths for his 20th career victory, vaulting his lifetime bankroll to $286,958. The Pompano Park Pick-6 continued to pay handsome dividends with the six winners being 9 to 5, 3 to 2, 2 to 5, 5 to 1, 2 to 1 and 4 to 1 and paying $3,150.35 for the 50 cent ticket. Racing continues of Tuesday night with a guaranteed pool in the Pick-4 and a Super Hi-5 jackpot bursting at the seams at $92,691.35. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by John Berry, for Pompano Park  

When trainer Ron Burke suggested to David Miller that Miller spend the winter at Florida's Pompano Park driving several horses for him, Miller decided against it, opting to remain in New Jersey and compete at The Meadowlands. After the first full week of January, Miller reconsidered. "The first night it got down below 20 (degrees) I called Ronnie up and said, you know what, I'll go to Florida," Miller said with a laugh. Miller had spent several previous winters in Florida but drove infrequently during his visit. In his previous five winters in the Sunshine State, Miller raced a total of 29 times. This year at Pompano, Miller has made 356 starts, winning 92. Wally Hennessey leads the driver standings with 161 wins during Pompano's winter meet, which began in November. Since the start of this year, Miller tops the list with his 92. "I didn't know what to expect when I got here," said Miller, who was third in the winter standings at The Meadowlands when he departed for Florida. "People asked if I was going to drive every day, and I was like, yeah, I guess. Ronnie has like five horses here and I knew I was going to drive them. I've picked up drives and it's gone really well, way better than I expected. It's been a lot of fun." In addition to racing, Miller has had the opportunity to spend time with his daughter Devan, who is working for Burke in Florida, as well as his daughter Leigha and 20-month-old grandson, who live in Florida. Miller's stay in Florida will conclude at the end of March. "It's been fantastic," he said. "I've really enjoyed it." Wendy Ross, the U.S. Trotting Association's social media coordinator, recently caught up with Miller in Florida. Watch their "Down the Stretch" conversation here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Pompano Beach, FL...March 17...Toys For You and Prairie Westerngal took top honors at Pompano Park on Tuesday night (March 16) as each proved victorious in their respective harness racing Open events. Toys For You, in the capable hands of owner-trainer Rick Plano, continued his march up the ladder by extending his winning streak to four in the $11,500 Open Handicap Trot, using a :27.4 burst home to score in 1:53.3, edging by the slight favorite In Secret (David Miller) by a half length. Serenity Cruise (John MacDonald) finished third after a pocket-sitting journey throughout while Timon AS rallied from last turning for home to finish fourth. Classicality picked up the nickel in the sextet after a first up backside bid reaching second turning for home. It was In Secret charging to the front off the wings and sawing off panels of :27.3 and a comfortable :57 through the opening half with Serenity Cruise in the pocket, BJLorado next with Classicality, Toys For You and Timon AS trailing. Things began to heat up on the backside as the warrior Classicality made his first bid and Toys For You catching his live cover flow. Turning For Home, In Secret fought off Classicality and Serenity Cruise charged on through but neither could hold off the furious surge to Toys For You, who trotted his final 3/4s in 1:24.4 to post his sixth win of the year in eight starts.   Said Plano after the race, "ya know, he's getting quite handy these days. He's won on the engine and off the pace and come around very nicely. He's got quite a motor and can sprint home pretty much the same if he's on the lead or off the pace. He's climbed the ladder and I am proud of his performances lately. Of course, horses aren't machines so we all have to enjoy the moments while he's this sharp." Toys For You, a five year-old gelded son of Airzoom Lindy, has earned $21,950 in this young season, already eclipsing last year's total. As the slight second choice at 6 to 5, Toys For You returned $4.40 to his multitude of faithful. In the $11,000 Open II pace for the mares, Prairie Westerngal zipped off the wings for Wally Hennessey and blazed an opening panel of :26.3 before a :30 breather brought the five year-old daughter of Western Ideal to the half in :56.3. From there, she paced subsequent quarters of :28.1 and :28 to hit the wire in 1:52.4, holding off Casie's Believer (Joe Chindano, Jr.) by three-parts-of-a-length. Crisp Mane (David Miller) was next after being in the garden spot much of the way, followed by Tempus Seelster, who closed fastest of all, and Take Abit of Life in the compact quintet.   Remarked Hennessey after the event, "let me tell ya, she has lightning speed off the gate and Mike (trainer Deters) has her really sharp. One of her great qualities is her ability to relax a bit after making the top spot. When we got over to the half, I was confident in her ability to get us home. Give credit where the credit is due--the trainer and caretaker. I was just a passenger!" The win was the second of the semester for Prairie Westerngal, who is co-owned by Deters along with breeder Laurie Poulin and Fritz Racing. The win also extended her streak of earning a check to 25 races. Off as the 4 to 5 favorite, Prairie Westerngal paid $3.80 to win. The $10,000 Open II Trot went, in an upset, to Northern Skyway with David Miller in the sulky--one of a trio of wins for Miller--in a lifetime best 1:54.2. The six year-old gelded son of Guccio, trained by Jim Dunn for owner William Mc Elvain, rallied after a first over backside bid, taking command at mid-stretch and then holding off the favored Sooo Handsome (Rick Plano) to score by a bit less than a length. The 13 year-old warhorse Cantab Lindy (John MacDonald) was next after cutting panels of :27.2, :57.3 and 1:25.2. Gemologist was fourth after a garden journey while Joey Pro managed to pick up the minor award. Northern Skyway earned his 25th career win, s ending his lifetime bankroll to $222,563 and rewarded his backers with a $24.60 mutuel. Finally, the $10,000 Open II Pace for the ladies went to Evas Sports Czech for trainer-driver Ken Holliday, who co-owns with Trish Soulsby. The five year-old daughter of Sportsmaster circled up just after the opening quarter in :27.2 and proceeded on through fractions of :55.4 and 1:23.3 to score by a length in 1:52.3 over the late charging Persistent Bettor (Kevin Wallis) with the early leader, Rock N Roll Rosie (David Miller) third. Another Beach Day and Northern Dali picked up the minor awards in the sextet. Evas Sports Czech, off as the popular 4 to 5 choice, paid $3.60 to win. Racing continues on Thursday night with a guaranteed Pick-4 pool and a low 12% takeout on that offering and a Super Hi-5 jackpot which has blossomed to $76,339.13. Thursday post time is set for 7:20 p.m. For full race results, click here. by John Berry, for Pompano Park  

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