Day At The Track

"David vs. Goliath" - Skip To My Lou

05:12 AM 03 Feb 2021 NZDT
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Skip To My Lou, harness racing
Skip To My Lou
Dee Leftwich Photo

Pompano Beach, FL...February 2, 2021...Pompano Park presented its version of the "David vs. Goliath" saga on Sunday night (February 1) with the tiniest of pacers with the lowest lifetime earnings, "slowest" lifetime mark and with the driver with the least lifetime wins conquering the best harness racing pacers on the grounds in the $11,000 Open I Pace.

Skip To My Lou, the five year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou standing, maybe, 14 hands high, proved he has a heart the size of any Goliath with a 1:51.2 win for 21 year-old trainer-owner-driver Joe Chindano, Jr. who, with 155 lifetime wins, was competing against four other drivers with combined wins over 37,000.

Skip To My Lou not only took top honors against the likes of Prairie Panther, Seeing Eye Single, Southwind Amazon and Ideal Feeling, he did so going first up on the backside as near gale force winds were beginning to pummel the South Florida five-eighths mile oval.

As the wings folded, Southwind Amazon (Tony Hall) left with his usual alacrity and took the field to the opening panel in :26.4 with Seeing Eye Single (David Miller) on the prowl and assuming command 3/8ths in and rolling over to the half in :55.2. With Skip To My Lou third at this point, Prairie Panther (Wally Hennessey) was on the move from fourth and forced the hand of Chindano, who tilted Skip To My Lou to thee outside to begin gnawing away first up.

Turning for home, Skip To My Lou stuck his head in front and began edging away in the final stages, scoring by 1¼ lengths.

Said Chindano after the race, "Yes, he's a tiny horse but he has a huge heart and powerful lungs and about as game as they come! I was looking for a two-hole trip back of Southwind Amazon but that sure didn't materialize and I had to take a chance going first up on the backside or get shuffled back to a no-win situation. So, I had confidence in 'Lou' and he sure didn't let me down!"

For Skip To My Lou, it was his second win in this top company in three tries and third win of the year, sending his career bankroll to $129,651.--still the lowest in the field where the four other starters had made well over $2.2 million.

Despite winning in his last start in this top class on January 18 in a lifetime best 1:50.4, Skip To My Lou was fourth choice in the betting and paid $17.20 to win.

Skip To My Lou

In the companion $11.000 Open Handicap Trot, Born To Thrive, handled by Rick Plano, went grinding his way to victory in 1:54.3, equalling his 2021 mark thus far in the young season.

The altered son of Swan For All was last in his talented sextet early, pulled just after the opening panel and gradually gnawed his way to the lead once they straightened away for the charge home, Born To Thrive was three lengths clear of the 13 year-old warhorse Cantab Lindy (John Mac Donald) with Born To Thrive's stablemate, Sooo Handsome (Dave Ingraham) next. The Lionking AS and Gemologist picked up the last two awards while the 3 to 10 favorite, Muscles For Life, faltered after cutting panels of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:25.2.

For Born To Thrive, trained by Plano for Maryann Plano and John Campagnuolo, it was his 41st career success, good for $424,122.

As second choice in the wagering at 5 to 1, Born To Thrive paid $13.00 to win.

Born To Thrive

Plano also won the $10,000 trot for $20,000-$30,000 claimers with Keegan Ho as this eight year-old gelded son of Mr. Cantab capped off the Pick-5 with a stunning 1:55.1 win at odds of 20 to 1.

Also trained by Plano for Maryann Plano, who co-owns with Mindy Findley Repko and Jan Repko, Keegan Ho capped a 2-6-1-2-7 combo in the 50 cent Pick-5 for a return of $2,127.95.

Keegan Ho

Another $10,000 event--the Open II Trot--went to the 21-1 chance Boinganator for Kevin Wallis in 1:54.4.

Trained by Jim McDonald for owner-wife Dona, Boinganator, a seven year-old gelded son of Yankee Glide, led every step on the mile in scoring his initial win of 2021, returning $44.20, providing the fuel for a $1,456,46 ticket in the 20 cent Super Hi-5 finale. That jackpot has ballooned to $48,217.70 for the Tuesday program.

Boinganator

The final feature event on the Monday card--the $10,000 Open II Pace--went to Kinnder Jackson for Mike Simons, who was in the sulky for trainer Jake Huff and Rosie Huff, who co-owns with the Our Three Son Stable.

The six year-old gelded son of Allamerican Native got picture perfect handling from Simons in the garden spot through panels of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:24.3 before using a :27.1 finale to roll by late in 1:52. As 7 to 5 second choice, Kinnder Jackson paid $4.80 to win.

Kinnder Jackson

Simons had a double on the card, also scoring with Classicality ($11.40) in an $8,000 conditioned trotting event.

Other driving feats of note included Wally Hennessey scoring a double along with Tony Hall, making his debut in South Florida.

Hall hit the winner's circle with Border Control ($5.00) and Brigadierbronski ($13.00).

Finally, with Windemere Ryan ($10.40) teaming up with David Miller to reach the winner's circle in the finale of the Pick-6, that 1-2-7-5-5-1 combination returned $12,341.40.

Handle for the Monday night program was a record $1,436,603, the highest in the tracks 57 year history.

Racing continues on Tuesday night with $20,000 Guaranteed Pool on the Pick-4, which covers races 6 through 9.

by John Berry for Pompano Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

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