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Pompano Beach, FL...December 14, 2017...The gritty and consistent Boli, again handled by harness racing Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey, took top honors in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday night, stopping the timer in 1:54.2. The determined five year-old gelded son of Kadabra returned to the winner's circle for the 13th time this season with the clocking equaling his lifetime best mark established during Pompano Park's winter-spring meeting. Sooo Handsome, driven by Rick Plano found a seam late to finish second three-parts-of-a-length away while Stemilt Touch, with John MacDonald in his bike, next after a garden journey most of the way. Prairie Fortune rallied from last turning for home to finish fourth while Bob's Hope picked up the nickel after a serious challenge heading into the final bend. Favored Rockn stein never was a factor and finish last in the octet. At the outset, Stemilt Touch, fresh off a lifetime best 1:54.1 performance the week prior, left with alacrity to take the early lead, only yielding to Boli right at the opening station in :28. Once on top, Boli took the field halfway home in :57.1 with an identical :57.1 final half awaiting the competition. Onto the final bend, Andy Santeramo sent Bob's Hope to engage the leader but Boli grudgingly held off his challenge in the lane and then withstood Sooo Handsome's belated bid. Said Hennessey after the race, "I can't say enough about this horse. To remain at the top of his game week after week after week is amazing. "He might not win every week, but he sure gives his all every start. Tonight, when Andy's (Santeramo) trotter (Bob's Hope) looked him in the eye, he looked right back at him! Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Boli now has a 13-5-5 scorecard in 28 starts, good for $97,470. Lifetime, Boli has amassed $234,664 with 28 career wins in 76 starts. Off as the 2 to 1 second choice, Boli paid $6.80 to win. Pompano Park's racing schedule expands to five nights per week--Saturday through Wednesday--through early March with post time remaining at 7:20 p.m. This initial Saturday program features three carryovers--the Pick-5 ($2,920), the Pick-6 ($655) and the Super Hi-5 ($6,923). by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...December 11, 2017...A Go Fund Me page has been launched for the surviving daughters of harness racing trainer Paul Bernardo, who passed away last Thursday at the age of 65. Bernardo, a very well respected horseman at Pompano Park, Tioga Downs and Saratoga Raceway, had been in the midst of a very successful season at Pompano Park when he was stricken. Information on services for Bernardo are yet to be finalized, however, there will be a memorial event at Pompano Park along with a memorial mass and celebration of his life in his hometown of Granville, N.Y. There will be a private service and burial in Ottawa, Canada, as well. Bernardo is survived by his wife, Roxanne, daughters Joanna, 15, and Julia, 12, as well as sisters Kathryn Grabowski of Fairport, N.Y., Christine Pietryka of Bomoseen, VT. and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and their children. Family and friends are invited to make a donation to the Go Fund Me page benefitting Paul's daughters  right here. John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL...December 11, 2017...Uncmprmising Z Tam, superbly handled by Ricky Macomber, Jr., took top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (December 10), stopping the timer in 1:51.3 on a very coolish night in South Florida. The four year-old gelded son of Shadyshark Hanover took command in his first long stride off the starting gate wings and wired together panels of :26.4, :55.4 and 1:23.2 before a :28.1 finale put him 5 1/2 lengths ahead of Panocchio, driven by Wally Hennessey. Fritzie Pic Up Man, with Tom Jackson in his bike, finished third after enjoying a journey in the garden spot while Sir Mammo finished fourth. Dee's Rocketman, last in this classy octet most of the way, rallied to pick up the nickel. As the wings folded, Uncmprmising Z Tam rocketed off the wings and into the lead with Fritzie Pic Up Man also alert leaving but yielding for the two-hole trip. Meanwhile, Panocchio, assigned the outside post, was also on the prowl but unable to find a spot early, instead having to wend his way into third three-eighths into the mile. On the backside, three-eighths from home, Hennessey was on the prowl again, but a :27.3 backside quarter thwarted his attempt and he was three lengths away turning for home. In the lane, Uncmprmising Z Tam was on cruise control as he coasted under the line an easy winner. Said driver Ricky Macomber, Jr. after the race, "This horse is very handy. He can win on or off the pace on any given night when things go his way. I figured that if I left with him and got the early jump, I may get a pretty fair advantage on the field. "There might be a handful better, but maybe not three or four or five lengths better once we get going. "He raced great tonight...very proud of him.!" Trained by Jamie Macomber for the Z Tam Stables, Uncmprmising Z Tam won for the sixth time this year in 32 starts to vault his earnings to $88,790. Lifetime, the coming five year-old has $320,978 on his scorecard to go along with his 1:49.1 mark at Hoosier Park. As the even-money favorite on the tote-board, Uncmprmising Z Tam paid $4.20 to win. In the Super Hi-5 finale, Spirit Shadow, with Dave Ingraham handling the lines, sprung a 28 to 1 upset, keying a "Hi-5" finale payoff of $18,660.20 for the 20 cent investment. Racing continues at Pompano Park on a five-night-a-week schedule--Saturday through Wednesday--with post time set at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...December 9, 2017...Long time harness racing trainer Paul Bernardo, 65, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, December 7. The popular Bernardo had just completed installing flooring at his residence and was preparing refreshments when he was stricken. He had a very successful career in harness racing and was in the midst of a very fruitful year in 2017 with a .340 UTRS on the strength of a 31-38-24 scorecard in 177 starts with $215,619 in purses won for his owners. Career-wise, Bernardo made 453 trips to the winner's circle, campaigning a relatively small stable throughout his career stretching more than a quarter century. This semester at Pompano Park, Bernardo campaigned several winners including J Black, Dee's Golden Joy, Dee's Rocketman, Pedro's Dream and Sing For Me George, a current lifetime winner of $474,241 owned by Joseph Martinelli, Sr. of Staten Island, N.Y. Sing For Me George won the opening night feature at Pompano Park on October 1 and has chased the vaunted Panocchio home on several occasions, as well. Probably Bernardo's finest accomplishment as a trainer was with the Argentinian bred Chucaro Ahijuna, a double gaited world champion who took a pacing mark of 1:51.4 at Pompano Park in 2003 followed by a 1:53.3 trotting mile at Woodbine in 2004, a mark equalled at Pompano Park in 2005 in the prestigious $80,000 Mack Lobell Trot Final. Bernardo trained the son of Noble Speedster for Martinelli's Berry Stables. Trainer Jim McDonald said, "Paul was universally liked and respected here at Pompano Park and everywhere else he raced. He was an true animal lover and he cared for his horses like a devoted father cares for his children. They broke the mold with Paul, no doubt about that!" Information on services will be forthcoming. by John Berry                 

Pompano Beach, FL...December 4, 2017...The French take their trotting horses very seriously with harness racing awards given to the top bred French trotters honored not only in their homeland but in many countries throughout the world, when appropriate. No less than 18 countries were cited this year honoring their top French bred trotters and, for the first time, a French-bred, U.S. owned trotter has been honored. Brooklyn Bond, a seven year-old gelded son of Defi D'Aunou out of the Jiosco mare Joliette A'Tout was recently named the top French-bred trotter racing in the United States. Purchased earlier this year by Joe Pennacchio's Joe P Stable of Delray Beach, Florida, Brooklyn Bond has competed in the northeast-mostly Pocono Downs and Yonkers-and compiled earnings of $53,810 to go along with a 1:56 mark achieved over the Yonkers' half mile oval. Pennacchio purchased Brooklyn Bond on the recommendation of Deborah Daquet, of Paris, France and has enjoyed some exciting exhibitions put on by his French bred trotter. "Like many French bred horses, he can swallow a lot of air and can go forever on the outside." He lamented. "He has won at both Pocono Downs and Yonkers in 1:56, but I think his most impressive performance was when he won a mile and a quarter event in 2:26.4." France honors their French bred trotters in a big way as 18 countries were represented at their awards ceremonies this year. "I have had a lot of thrills in this sport," Pennacchio remarked, "but receiving this award in Paris was right up there at the top!" by John Berry          

Pompano Beach, FL...December 4, 2017...Drachan Hanover, driven by Wally Hennessey, took top honors in Pompano Park's featured $11,000 Open II Handicap Pace on Sunday night, stopping the tele-timer in 1:51.1. The classy five year-old son of Jereme's Jet, led from first long stride out of the gate to last in scoring a handy two length won over the late charging Pointsman (Mike Simons) with Uncmprmising Z Tam (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) next. Bestinthebusiness finished fourth while Dee's Rocket Man picked up the nickel in the field of eight. After an opening panel in a sharp :26.2, Drachan Hanover enjoyed a :29.2 breather during quarter number two to reach the half in :55.4. On the backside, Drachan Hanover put a damper on the field closing in by sprinting up the backside in :26.4, reaching the third station in 1:22.3 while enjoying a comfortable two length advantage over Pointsman and Uncmprmising Z Tam on the outside. Turning for home, Drachan Hanover stretched the lead to three lengths and coasted home in :28.3 to earn his first fall success at Pompano Park. In a post-race interview, driver Wally Hennessey related, "I drove him in his qualifier a few weeks ago and he was really fleet-footed out of the gate. Post five here is the perfect spot to do that here so when the gate sprang, I was ready and so was he. He almost pushed the car away from him and he was strong all the way. He was very sharp tonight." Trained by Marcel Barrieau for owners Lloyd Maclean and Kenneth Rankin, Drachan Hanover pushed his 2017 scorecard to 5-3-1 in 23 starts, good for $44,338. Lifetime, the five year-old has earned $388,315 to go along with his 1:50.1 mark set at Pompano Park last semester. As the even-money tote-board favorite, Drachan Hanover paid $4.00 to his many faithful. The Florida Amateur Driving Club made their presence on the Sunday night program especially meaningful by pushing their charitable contributions well over the $185,000 with a sizable contribution to the Nova Southeast University Equestrian Team. President Dein Spriggs echoed the sentiments of the club by saying, "It is an honor for our group to participate in this team's future success and we wish them well as they tour the State promoting equestrian activity. Horses play such an important role in our world--from the healthy up-bringing of our youth to health benefits for anyone 2 to 92!" Crazy Ponda (Jamie Marra) and Explosive Jet ("Sky" Walker) won their respective events with the Nova Equestrian team members, led by coaches Jackie George and Allie George, in the winner's circle as Jessica Hallett received the "large" check. Racing continues on Monday night with post time pegged at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...November 30, 2017...Boli, handled by Wally Hennessey, bowled over his harness racing competitors early on in his mile to take command around the initial turn and went on to post a solid 1:55.3 win in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday night (November 29). The five year-old altered son of Kadabra posted fractions of :28.3, :57.3 and 1:26.4 along the way before his :28.4 finale sealed the deal by 1 1/2 lengths over the late charging Prairie Fortune, driven by Jim Meittinis. Sooo Handsome, with Rick Plano in his sulky, finished third after a trip in the garden spot throughout the journey. Favored Rockn Stien, assigned the outside post in his classy field, finished fourth after a tepid bid on the final turn while Railee Workable saved ground much of the journey to pick up the nickel. In a post-race interview, driver Hennessey related, "last week, we drew one post outside of Rockn Stien and he was able to wire us. This time, I had a spot one spot inside of him and we had that same opportunity--to get a jump on him. "This was a well matched field and whoever gets the best trip has a chance of winning. I wanted to get the advantage this time so I sent Boli, who likes to join in the fun early anyhow. "The half was very comfortable for him and I really didn't have to ask him for anything tonight. He did this all on his own. He's sharp right now--very sharp!" Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Boli won for the 12th time this year, sending his seasonal bankroll to $89,470. Career-wise, Boli now sports a 27-12-12 scorecard in 74 starts, good for $226,664. As the 8 to 5 second choice, Boli paid $5.40 to his consortium of faithful. With all of the missile threats surrounding our existence these days, there were "bombs" of a different nature at the South Florida five-eighths oval on Wednesday night. The first one was in the third race when An The Thunderolls, driven by Bryce Fenn, blew by the competition in the lane to score a 43 to 1 ($89.00) upset, triggering a 20 cent superfecta payoff of $3,926.42 and a $1 trifecta ticket worth $12,541.40. The win, by the way, was Fenn's 2,499th in his career stretching beyond when he was featured on the cover of Hoof Beats magazine in 1975. As for An The Thunderolls, he was coming off a win in a lifetime best 1:56.4 the week before and lowered that by three full seconds on Wednesday night, covering the distance in 1:53.4 for owner-trainer Mike Sweeney. The following race--Pompano Park's pentafecta fourth--Mike Simons guided Eldorado of Gold to a one lengths win in 1:56.1. Off at 10 to 1 ($23.00), Eldorado of Gold keyed a 7-5-8-4-10 combo which returned $4,982.48 for the 20 cent ticket. Trainer Simons co-owns the winner with Albert Abdala III. The final "bomb" occurred in the Super Hi-5 finale when Hoosier Hawk, off at 27 to 1, wired his foes for Andy Shetler, returning $56.20 to win. Coupled with Deli-Craze (16 to 1), Not In This Life (78 to 1), BJ Lorado (35 to 1) and All Star Fame (38 to 1), that 1-2-10-4-3 Hi-5 Combo returned $38,629.32 for the 20 cent ticket. The winner is trained by Mike Murphy for owners Geneva Stewart and Barbara Murphy. That "bomb," incidentally, will set the stage for more fireworks on Sunday night as nobody could solve the Superfecta in that event resulting in a carry-over of $4,953.03 to Sunday's first race Superfecta. There are also carryovers in the Pick-6 ($365.41) and Pick-5 (2,629.48) heading into the Sunday festivities. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...November 29, 2017...Rockin Serena, the only three year-old filly in the Pompano Park $10,000 feature pace for the ladies, handled her older harness racing foes with ease on Tuesday night, stopping the timer in 1:53 for driver Peter Wrenn. The daughter of Rockin Image, leaving from the coveted five post, sprinted out with alacrity as the wings folded and carved up panels of :27.3 and :57.2 before putting together two subsequent quarters of :27.4 to seal the deal by five lengths over Gold Star Mysti, handled by J.D. Yoder. Envious Hanover, with Wally Hennessey in her bike, finished third while Drea's Good Powow and Artini picked up the final awards in the classy septet. After the race, driver Peter Wrenn lamented, "She's had a big year for us In Indiana--last year, too--and I was hoping she'd handle the smaller sized track. I was very pleased with her performance. "As for her being against the older mares, well, she's going to be four in a month and so I wasn't too concerned about that at all. "Once we got to the half in :57 and a piece, I felt confident she could go all the way. She can brush a long time." In winner her third straight outing and for the sixth time this year, Rockin Serena crashed through one milestone and approached another. This victory, her eighth lifetime, sent her career bankroll over the $200,000 plateau--$204,777 to be precise--with $148,252 achieved this semester for the Emerald Highlands Farm, Dolne Farm Services and Wrenn Racing. The Melanie Wrenn trainee was 1 to 2 on the tote when the bell rang and paid $3.00 to win. Racing continues on Wednesday night with a sterling field of nine trotters going to the starting gate in the Open Handicap trot. Rockn Stien, last week's winner, will clash with Boli and Prairie Fortune, among others, with post time set at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...November 27, 2017...Pompano Park played host to the FSBOA's Super night on Sunday with eight harness racing champions crowned and garnering their share of over $420,000 in purses. The festivities kicked off with five non-wagering events followed by the remaining three races conducted during the 11 race pari-mutuel program. Here are the highlights: $49,750 Breeders Stake for Two Year-Old Trotting Fillies (non-wagering) I Rhoda Daley, driven by Wally Hennessey, took top honors with a sharp two length score over Jennifer (Dave Ingraham) in 2:04.3-:29.3. Ms Katie B was next in the this trotting trio. The daughter of Desperado Dan, owned by Lee Clarke along with trainer Jason MacDougall. bided her time as Jennifer cut panels of :32 and 1:04.1 before leaving her cozy pocket heading into the final turn and engaging the leader in war before edging clear once they straightened away for the drive home. Said Hennessey after the race, "She's a rather handy filly and, while she has been prominent on the front end, she was nice and relaxed tonight and responded nicely when I asked. I Rhoda Daley now has a seven wins and a pair of second in nine seasonal starts, good for bounty of $59,993. $53,500 Breeders Stake for Two Year-Old Trotting Colts and Geldings (non-wagering) Captain Thomas, victimized by breaks and beaten 19 1/2, 17 3/4 and 36 1/4 lengths in his last three starts, turned things around this Super Night with a sharp 2:02.4 win for Wally Hennessey, who was driving the gelded son of Proud Bushy for the very first time. Trained by Kim Sears for owner John Campagnuolo, Captain Thomas was away carefully from his mid-pack post and settled in third as Brian, handled by Dave Ingraham put up numbers of :30.4 and 1:01.4. On the backside, Hennessey had Captain Thomas in gear and, by the time they reached the third station around the final bend (1:32.2) Captain Thomas had a short lead on the outside and then widened it with every stride right to the wire, stopping the tele-timer in 2:02.4. Prairie Eclipse, with Mike Deters in the bike, rallied for second with Brian holding down third. Jiro Dangerous amd Night Stalker also picked up checks in the field of six. "Kim (trainer Sears) told me he had the speed," Hennessey related, "but he needed to improve on his manners. Well, he was a perfect gentleman tonight." Captain Thomas, with one lone win--in 2:02.1 a little over a month ago--notched his most important win on this Super night, which saw his earnings vault from $6,126 to $32,870 with the win. $53,000 Breeders Stake for Two Year-Old Pacing Colts and Geldings (non-wagering) Dan Clements' Gold Star Diablo, with Wally Hennessey in his sulky, stretched his winning streak to six with a sharp 1:56.1 score, defeating Silver Wings (Corey Braden) by 2 1/2 lengths. Jay Jay (Dave Ingraham) finished third with Mister Special T fourth. Mischief Maker picked up the nickel in the quintet. Gold Star Diablo, an altered son of Mysticism, took command as the wings folded and carved up numbers of :28.4 and a well-rated :58.4 before and :28.4 third panel thwarted any threats (1:27.3) with a :28.3 finale sealing the deal. After the win, Hennessey remarked, "This horse has some class. He has a very high turn of speed when asked and can brush a long way. He's got a good mark already (1:54.3) and I think he can go on and become a real good one!" Trained by Mike Deters, Gold Star Diablo won for the seventh time in nine tries with the major share of this lofty purse sending his seasonal bankroll to $63,030. $53,100 Breeders Stake for Three Year-Old Trotting Fillies (non-wagering) Atlantic Crest, handled, as usual, by owner-trainer Sergio Corona, continued her dominance in the sophomore trotting division with a handy 1:58.1 triumph over Famous C (Hennessey) with the winning margin a comfortable 1 3/4 lengths. Prairie Pixie (Jim Meittinis) was third 8 1/2 lengths away with Sparkling Comet and Bonnie Blue Banker completing the order of finish. This daughter of Crest, last year's Super Night champion, remained undefeated at Pompano Park with her sixth straight win. The final time came off front end panels of :29.1, :59 and 1:28.2 with this win sending her career earnings to $128,936--$72,212 this year. $48,500 Breeders Stake for Three Year-Old Trotting Colts and Geldings (non-wagering) The long rivalry between I'm Done and Azzaro was decided on Sunday night with last year's Super Night champion, I'm Done, throwing the knockout punch, scoring a 1 1/4 length win over his arch-rival in 2:00.3. Coming into this 17th and final round, each had an 8-8-0 scorecard in 16 previous lifetime rounds with I'm Done holding a slight edge in lifetime bounty. At the outset, I'm Done (post two) driven by John MacDonald, sprinted out to grab the early lead from Azzaro (post one), handled by Wally Hennessey. With an opening panel of :30.2, I'm Done lolly-gagged through a second panel of :31.3, reaching the half in 1:02. On the backside, MacDonald let out a notch or two with a :28.4 third quarter thwarting any threat from his rival and, in the lane, a :29.4 finale was the knockout blow, leaving his rival a bit more than a length away. After the event, driver John MacDonald said, "This rivalry of sorts has been fun. It's been back and forth all the way and I am happy for Jim (trainer McDonald) and Troy (owner Basista)." With the win, I'm Done became a repeat Super Night champion with his share of the purse pushing his seasonal earnings to $57,822 and $128,087 lifetime. $54,500 Breeders Stake Final for Three Year-Old Pacing Colts and Geldings Prairie Panther, with Jim Meittinis in the sulky, made a quarter move to the top and then used a brilliant :27.2 finale to score a handy win over a game Maybe Ned, driven by Bryce Fenn--the margin three lengths at the end of a mile in 1:55.1. Gold Star Spider, handled by J.D. Yoder, finished third after a first over backside bid that brought him within striking distance around turn three. Fifth Son was fourth and Gold Star Bugsy picked up the minor award. Prairie Panther, a gelded son of Royal Millennium, extended his winning skein to seven with the win, which sent his seasonal earnings to $55,817 and $117,507 lifetime. After the win, driver Jim Meittinis remarked, "He's been sharp since he got to Pompano and I thought it best to let him do his thing--and that is getting to the front and letting him take care of the rest! He did just that tonight. Trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Panther was 1 to 10 in the betting and returned $2.20 to his multitude of backers. $53,800 Breeders Stake for Two Year-Old Pacing Fillies Krinda, driven by Wally Hennessey, redeemed herself from a disappointing outing one week ago by scoring a gate-to-wire win in 1:57.1. The daughter of Six Of Diamonds posted panels of :28.2, :58.4 and 1:28.2 before sprinting home in :28.4 to score a handy 2 1/2 length win over the fast closing Prairie Foolish, with Jim Meittinis in her bike. Prairie Easter was third for Corey Braden while Starcasim finished fourth. Diamond Eyes picked up the nickel in the quintet of youngsters. "Last week," Hennessey said, "she tried to drive me! She just had an off night and, after a tough trip on the outside, just kind of gave in from being tired. "This week, she let me drive her. She was nice and relaxed and was back to the way she had been before. Kim (trainer Sears) made a few small changes to her rigging and she was a whole lot better this time around." Owned by Jay Sears, Krinda earned the major share of the $53,800 purse to send her 2017 earnings to $51,339 in her first season of racing wars. She noe has a 9-5-1-0 scorecard to go along with a 1:57.1 mark accomplished twice. As the even-money favorite, Krinda paid $4.00 to win. $55,400 Breeders Stake for Three Year-Old Pacing Fillies Tay Tay M, with Wally Hennessey, In her sulky, scored a gate-to-wire win in 1:55.1, completing her mile on the strength of a final half in :56.4. The daughter of Six Of Diamonds, owned by Jay Sears along with Richard Dunmire, blasted off the wings from post six and had the racetrack just a few strides off the gate and posted panels of :28.2, :58,2 and 1:26.2 along the way and sprinted away from Prairie Cowgirl (Jim Meittinis) to score by 4 1/2 lengths. Gold Star Aurora (J.D. Yoder) was third, eight lengths away while Bella Pat and Golden Diamond also picked up minor awards in the classy septet. After the event, Hennessey related, "Ya know, I thought I'd leave out of there and find an advantageous spot somewhere up close but it turned out that it was relatively easy to make the top. "She picked up the pace herself when Jim's (Yoder) horse (Gold Star Aurora) tried to challenge around the final bend and she was very sharp in the lane to the wire." Tay Tay M, who had a 0-7-2 scorecard in nine starts last year, won for the fifth time as a three year-old with earnings now at $66,352 this semester and $94,382 lifetime to go along with a Pocono Downs mark of 1:53.4. The winner was 4 to 5 on the tote-board and returned $3.80 to win. Panocchio Take Open Pace Besides the stakes program on Sunday night, Pompano Park presented the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace and, Panocchio, the outstanding seven year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, scored a 1:52.1 win for Wally Hennessey. IN winning for the 10th time this year, Panocchio put away the challenge of MIster Daytona (Mike Simons) to score by two lengths off of panels off of fractions of :26.3, :55.2 and 1:23.4. Mister Daytona finished in a dead-heat for second with the fast closing Sing For Me George (John MacDonald). DRachan Haoover and Bestinthebusiness completed the order of finish. Panocchio earned his 58th career win in 137 starts, pushing his lifetime earnings to $485,643 to go along with his track record mark at Pompano Park of 1:48.3. Off at 1 to 2, Panocchio paid $3.00 to win. Racing continues on a Sunday through Wednesday schedule through mid-December when the schedule expands to a five night a week schedule. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park            

Pompano Beach, FL...November 22, 2017...Thanksgiving is Thursday but the feast for harness racing horsemen is Sunday at Pompano Park as the FSBOA sponsored Breeders Stakes Finals takes place with over $420,000 up for grabs in their eight championship finals for two and three year-old Florida breds. The action begins with five non-wagering events beginning at 6:30 with I Rhoda Daley seeking to continue her dominance in the $49,750 event for juvenile trotting fillies. This daughter of Desperado Don has won six of eight starts this semester under the guidance of trainer Jason MacDougall, who co-owns with Lee Clarke. I Rhoda Daley is expected to have the driving services of Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey. Her two opponents in the rich final are Ms Katie B and Jennifer, the latter having beaten I Rhoda Daley on two occasions this fall. The $53,500 Breeders Stakes Final for two year-old trotting colts and geldings follows with Jay and Kim Sears' Brian, named after Jay's Hall of Fame son, after his fourth straight win in his class. The gelded son of Proud Bushy will likely have to deal with Prairie Eclipse, still a maiden although he has been second to Brian on several occasions during this fall season. The two year-old Final goes for $53,000 and features Gold Star Diablo, a gelded son of Mysticism. Trained by Mike Deters for owner Dan Clements, Gold Star Diablo is looking to extend his current winning skein to six to go along with a sharp 1:54.3 mark set earlier in the month at Pompano Park. Silver Wings, who has a pair of wins in Florida Stakes action this fall, is expected to provide the main competition in this event, along with Jay Jay, who hasn't been worse than third in his eight career starts. In the $53,100 final for three year-old trotting fillies, Atlantic Crest, last year's juvenile champion in her class, looks to repeat this year and has been untouchable in her five starts this year at Pompano Park for owner-trainer-driver Sergio Corona. This daughter of Crest has been a dominant winner in each of her starts and owns a 1:55.2 mark to go along with a bankroll of $102,386 coming into Super Night. The final non-wagering events pits last year's champion, I'm Done, against Azzaro, with this rivalry turning into a slugfest through a grueling "16 rounds." Each has eight wins and eight seconds in their 16 encounters and are, thus far, in a "dead-heat" for Horse of the Year honors. I'm Done is trained by Jim McDonald for owner Troy Basista and will have John MacDonald in his bike while Azzaro, trained by Kim Sears, who co-owns with husband Jay, will have Wally Hennessey handling the lines. The $54,500 Breeders Stake Final for three year-old pacing colts and geldings is the first of three events on the pari-mutuel card and kicks off the early daily double. Prairie Panther, the splendid altered son of Royel Millennium, expected to garner the most attention off of a six race winning streak at Pompano Park this fall. Trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Panther comes off a very sharp 1:54.3 performance, capped off by a :27 sprint home. Jim Meittinis is expected back in the sulky and will have to contend with Maybe Ned, Fifth Son, Gold Star Bugsy and Gold Star Spider along the way. The juvenile pacing fillies, carded as race three, will shoot for a share of $53,800 and is expected to be highly competitive as Krinda, who had been somewhat dominant until last week, locks horse with Starcasim and Prairie Easter, who were one-two and noses apart last week as Krinda appeared rough gaited the entire route while racing on the outside. Krinda, a daughter of Six Of Diamonds, will have Wally Hennessey in the bike for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears. Starcasim, yet another daughter of Mysticism, is owned by Russ Guardino along with trainer-driver Joe Sanzeri. Prairie Easter will have Corey Braden handling her lines for trainer Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin and John Spindler. The sophomore pacing fillies will be vying for a share of a $55,400 purse with Tay Tay M, Gold Star Aurora and Prairie Cowgirl seemingly coming in with the best credentials. Tay Tay M made her Pompano Park fall debut a winning one in 1:55.1 for Wally Hennessey, This daughter of Six Of Diamonds, trained by Kim Sears for owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, comes into the action with the fastest mark of the group--1:53.4 over the Pocono Downs slick oval. Gold Star Aurora, a daughter of Rock On, trained by Maggie Audley for her "mom," Marianne, looks to retain the crown she won last year and has never been off the board in 15 starts--11 of which are wins. James (J.D.) Yoder will drive. Prairie Cowgirl, a slick daughter of Royel Millennium co-owned by trainer Deters along with Laurie Poulin and John Spindler, has been 1-2-3 in 19 of 20 career starts and has drawn the rail in this event for Jim Meittinis. The Super Night program also features a very classy quintet going post-ward in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace. Panocchio, Mister Daytona, Bestinthebusiness, Sing For Me George and Drachan Hanover comprise the field, which features the lifetime winners of almost $2,000,000. Post time for the pari-mutuel card is set for 7:20 with the non-wagering events pegged to get underway at 6:00 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park and the FSBOA

Pompano Beach, FL...November 21, 2017...All Charged Up, with harness racing driver John MacDonald handling her lines, squeaked by the narrowly favored Gold Star Mysti (James Yoder) in the final stride to capture Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Pace for mares on Monday night (November 20), stopping the timer in 1:53.2. Drea's Good Powow (Andy Santeramo) finished third, 5 1/2 lengths away, while Goldstar Rockette and A Wish For Wings completed the order of finish in the classy quintet. All Charged Up, a six year-old daughter of Ponder, also trained by MacDonald, ditched her usual "early speed" tactics on this night, leaving the early speed duel to Goldstar Rockette and A Wish For Wings with the latter taking command at the opening station in :28.1 and continuing on to a half in :56.2 with Drea's Good Powow third followed by Gold Star Mysti and All Charged Up, some five lengths off the lead. On the backside, Gold Star Mysti began her sprint forward with All Charged Up following in her hoof prints. By the time they reached the third station (1:25.2) Gold Star Mysti was alongside the leader with All Charged Up second over and ready to roll widest of all turning for home. In the lane, Gold Star Mysti took command with All Charged Up surging through her final quarter in :27.3 to nudge by at the wire. In a post race interview, a surprised John MacDonald said, "You know, I thought she (All Charged Up) might be a little short this week because she had been off for about three weeks. She does like to leave, yes, but I was content to let her follow J.D.'s (Yoder) mare (Gold Star Mysti) because she has won from off the pace before. She does anything you ask. "I wasn't sure if we could beat them tonight but, again, she's a rugged mare that doesn't train too much and gives everything she's got. She's got a great attitude. Owned by the J P Stables, All Charged Up won for the seventh time in only 15 starts this year, good for $40,660. Career-wise, the brave mare now has 30 wins and $264,082 to go along with her 1:51.2s mark over the larger Vernon Downs oval. Off as the 6 to 5 second choice in the betting, All Charged Up returned $4.40 to her multitude of followers. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a Super Hi-5 carryover of $15,630 awaiting. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...November 20, 2017...Pompano Park played host to the FSBOA sponsored Melvyn Aylor Memorial Stakes on Sunday night with two year-olds in the harness racing spotlight seeking a share of over $60,000 in purses. I Rhoda Daley, Brian, Gold Star Diablo and Starcasim took home the major share of their respective events with the latter pulling off a major upset in the lone event on the pari-mutuel program. Starcasim, a two year-old daughter of Mysticism owned by Russ Guardino along with trainer Joe Sanzeri, got up in the final stride to edge past Prairie Easter, handled by Corey Braden, by a neck in 1:56.3 in the $16,050 Aylor division for pacing fillies. Prairie Foolish, with Jim Meittinis in the bike, rallied from an early miscue to finish third while Diamond Eyes was fourth. The 1 to 5 heavy favorite, Krinda, had an extraordinarily difficult journey and was only able to pick up the nickel in her quintet. At the outset, Prairie Easter, leaving from the advantageous post five, left with alacrity to command right from the get-go with Starcasim away very well from post one and Krinda, appearing rough gaited, third but on the move forward as the leader reached the quarter in :28.3. With Krinda still pressing forward, an identical second panel in :28.3 left Prairie Easter and Krinda racing as a team halfway through the mile in :57.1. On the Pompano backside, Krinda, still rough gaited continued to press Prairie Easter with driver Sanzeri having to make a decision whether to move three wide or sit cozy along the inside past the third station in 1:26.2. He chose the latter and found room turning for home and began gnawing away at the leader, finally edging by in the final stride or two. In a post race interview, driver Joe Sanzeri related, "Well, this was a great time for Starcasim to break her maiden. "Wally's mare (Krinda) just wasn't herself and she obviously was the one to beat here. My filly left a bit more alertly than she usually does and I was in a great spot all the way. On the final turn, I knew I had to make a decision to wither sit tight or go around. I decided to sit tight hoping I could find some room. "Fortunately, for me anyhow, I had the opportunity to come out from the pocket and she responded. She's a game thing and I am very proud of her performance tonight! "Super Night," which is next Sunday at Pompano Park, "should be very interesting," he concluded. In garnering her maiden win, Starcasim more than doubled her earnings, which now stand at $14,230 on the strength of her 1-2-2 scorecard in eight career starts. Off as the 14 to 1 third choice in the betting, Starcasim paid $31.00 to win and, with the vast majority of the place pool wagered on Krinda, an even healthier $39.80 to place. Prairie Easter, off as the 5 to 2 second choice, paid $17.80 to place. There was no show betting. The Aylor Memorial festivities began with three non-wagering events, the first one going to I Rhoda Daley, capturing her $14,700 event for trotting fillies for Wally Hennessey in 2:05.1. The sharp daughter of Desperado Dan took command a couple of steps after the wings folded and carved up panels of :32.2, 1:04.1 and 1:35.3 before a :29.3 finale closed the door on a game Jennifer, driven by Dave Ingraham, who recovered from an early miscue to finish second. Ms Katie B was third for Gary Braden. Owned by Lee Clarke along with trainer Jason MacDougall, I Rhoda Daley now has 6 wins and 2 seconds in eight lifetime starts and earnings of $33,366. The $15,500 Aylor for juvenile trotting colts and geldings went to Brian, who wired his competitors for Wally Hennessey in 2:03 off of panels of :31, 1:02.2 and 1:32.1. The gelded son of Proud Bushy, owned by trainer Kim Sears along with husband Jay, held off a game Prairie Eclipse, with Mike Deters in the sulky, to score by a length--the latter recovering from a miscue leaving the port. Jiro Dangerous, driven by Mickey McNichol, enjoyed a trouble free mile to finish third while Captain Thomas and Treasure Chest were next in the field of five. Brian now has $30,404 in bounty on the strength of his 8-4-2-1 scorecard. The pacing colts and geldings were in the spotlight in the $15,500 Aylor Memorial and Dan Clements' Gold Star Diablo, a gelded son of Mysticism, made an early sprint to the front and wired together panels of :28.3, :58 and 1:27 en route to a 1:55.3 win for Wally Hennessey. The Mike Deters trainee pulled away from the pocket sitting Silver Wings, driven by Corey Braden, to score by 4 1/2 lengths. Jay Jay was third for Dave Ingraham while Mister Special T finished fourth. Dontblevmejustwatch earned the minor award in this quintet. Gold Star Diablo stretched his winning streak to five with the win and now has 6 wins in 8 career starts to go along with a mark of 1:54.3f and $35,530 in bounty. The $11,000 Open Handicap Pace went to the New Zealand bred Mister Daytona, driven by trainer Mike Simons , in 1:51. The five year-old son of American Ideal, away third in his septet as Duc Dorleans (Wally Hennessey) sizzled opening panels of :26.3 and :55.1, made a bid from two lengths off the pace to the lead, pacing his backside quarter in :26.2. From there, Mister Daytona widened his margin through the lane to score by 3 1/2 lengths over the late-charging Sing For Me George (John MacDonald) with Duc Dorleans next. Rockntouch finished fourth while Hollywood Sign picked up the nickel in the field of seven. Owned by Albert Abdala III, Mister Daytona won for the 10th time this semester, pushing his 2017 earnings to $142,722. As the 6 to 5 favorite, Mister Daytona paid $4.40 to win. In the "better for the bettor department," Monday's program features four carryovers including the Pentafecta fourth ($3,179.03), Pick-5 ($2,504.33), Pick-6 ($1,624.79) and Super Hi-5 Finale ($13,743.92) Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. Multiple Carryovers Highlight Pompano Monday Only two betting favorites emerged victorious on Sunday evening (Nov 19) at Pompano Park, leaving a slew of carryovers for patrons on Monday night's eight-race card. The 50-cent Pick 5 begins in the first race with a carryover of $2,504. Track officials, in conjunction with the USTA's Strategic Wagering Program, have placed an 'instant' guarantee of $7,500 on Monday night's total pool. Free PP's can be found at ustrotting.com. The pentafecta was also missed on Sunday, resulting in a $3,179 carryover. The pentafecta is held nightly on the fourth race, featuring a 20-cent minimum. The 50-cent Pick 6 will offer a $1,625 carryover in race three, with the jackpot hi-five carryover ballooning to $13,743 for the finale. Live racing continues at the Isle Casino Pompano Park on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings with a first post of 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park              

Pompano Beach, Florida...November 8, 2017...Pompano Park's Tuesday harness racing program featured the redemption of Boli in the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot while Prairie Panther sizzled in one of the four FSBOA Stallion Stakes event--the other winners being Atlantic Crest, I'm Done and Tay Tay M. Boli, looking for redemption after a costly miscue in last week's Open, got it big time with a very sharp 1:55.1 win for Wally Hennessey over arch-rival Prairie Fortune, driven by Jim Meittinis. Railee Workable, with Andy Santeramo handling the lines, finished third while Zoraze, who cut the mustard most of the way, wound up fourth. Born To Thrive picked up the nickel in the classy sextet. As usual, Boli left with alacrity from his outside post six to take command a single stride off the wings with Railee Workable away in good order with Zoraze (Fern Paquet, Jr.) next but on the attack early, taking command right at the opening station in :27.3. Slicing through fractions of :56.3 and 1:25.4, Zoraze cut the corner turning for home with Boli now free and clear to take his swing at the leader straightening away. Meanwhile, Prairie Fortune, away last and some nine lengths away early on, began churning away during the last lap, trotting his last 3/4s in 1:25.4 to finish second, a half-length away. Said Hennessey after the win, "I really don't know what happened to cause his break last week, but he sure seemed anxious to redeem himself tonight. I was kind of surprised with Fern's (Paquet) quarter move and it was a good one because I was caught a little off guard. But the trip behind him was just fine and Boli is such a handy thing that he'll do anything I ask. I really didn't have to ask much tonight--maybe a tap or two in the lane--but he was very good." The win was the 11th of the year for Boli and sent his seasonal bounty to $81,970 for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil. Lifetime, the Dan Hennessey trainee has a 26-11-12 scorecard in 72 career starts, good for $219,164. AS the even-money tote-board favorite, Boli returned $4.20 to his many faithful. Prairie Panther was one of four winners in the FSBOA sponsored Stallion Stakes for three year-olds with over $100,000 up for grabs--three of which were non-wagering events. Under the direction of driver Jim Meittinis, this gelded son of Royel Millennium took command at the :27.3 opener and posted subsequent panels of :58 and 1:27.3 before a sparking :27 finale closed the door on a game Maybe Ned, handled by Bryce Fenn. Fifth Son, with Corey Braden in his sulky, finished third while two "Gold Star" entrants--Spider and Bugsy--were next in the sextet. The final time of 1:54.3 equaled his lifetime best. Trained by MIke Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Panther stretched his winning streak to six with the win and his share of the $28,175 purse vaulted his lifetime bounty to $90,257. Sergio Corona's Atlantic Crest expanded her winning skein to five with yet another gate-to-wire performance, stopping the timer in 1:59 in the $26,625 event for three year-old trotting fillies. The sophomore daughter of Crest easily held off the late-surging Prairie Pixie (Jim Meittinis) by 3 1/2 lengths after posting fractions of :29.4, :59.3 and 1:28.3 along the way. Famous C (Wally Hennessey) was third while Sparkling Comet and Bonnie Blue Banker completed the roster. It, too, was a non-wagering event but the win sent Atlantic Crest's lifetime bounty over $100,000--$102,387 to be precise. The heavyweight rivalry between I'm Done and Azzaro continued in the $24,025 Stallion Stakes for three year-old trotting colts and geldings and, after this 16th round between the two, the score has evened up at eight rounds apiece as I'm Done scored a handy win for John MacDonald in 2:02.3--:29.3. Last year's Super Night champ, trained by Jim McDonald for owner Troy Basista, put up number of :30.1, 1:02.1 and 1:33 along the way. I'm Done now has banked over $96,000 during his 16 race career showing eight wins and eight seconds on the card--the exact same numbers as his arch-rival. The fourth and final Stallion Stakes--this one for three year-old pacing fillies--was on the pari-mutuel card and Tay Tay M, a "bridesmaid" all of last year as a two year-old, made her sophomore debut at Pompano Park a winning one as this daughter of Six Of Diamonds got picture perfect handling from Wally Hennessey to edge by a stubborn Gold Star Aurora (Walter Ross, Jr.) by a length in 1:55.1. Gold Star Aurora took command at the outset and posted number of :27.4, :58.1 and 1:27.2 but her :28 finale was just a bit short of Tay Tay M's :27.3 finale. Prairie Cowgril (Jim Meittinis) was third while Bella Pat and Golden Diamond also picked up minor awards in the sextet. Trained by Kim Sears for owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, Tay Tay M returned $4.00 to win and her share of the $26,125 purse sent her lifetime bankroll to $66,683 with the win--her fourth lifetime. Racing continues on Sunday night with first post set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...November 7, 2017...It was quite a night for young harness racing trainer Maggie Audley on Monday night as Gold Star Mysti, a graduate of the Florida stakes program over the past two seasons, earned her "Summa Cum Laude" honors as a four year-old at Pompano Park with a thrilling 1:52.4 win for her 23 year-old driver, James Yoder. And less than a half hour later, the Audley-Yoder combo teamed up again for a win with Gator Boy--his first win in almost four years. Gold Star Mysti, a daughter of Mysticism, earned the closest of decisions over the late-charging A Wish For Wings, driven by Rick Plano, the margin a scant nose, with the pocket sitting Sterling Electra, with John MacDonald in the bike, third, two lengths away. Goldstar Rockette was fourth after emerging with the lead at the opening marker in :27 before taking the field through subsequent fractions of :56.1 and 1:24.1. Mysti, leaving from the outside post nine, was hustled away from the gate along with several others and settled in mid-pack around the opening turn. On the backside, she rushed up first over, engaged Goldstar Rockette in battle around the final bend, took command straightening away for home and just did hold on. Trainer Maggie Audley was ecstatic with "Mysti's" win remarking, "It was her first start here off of a qualifier and I didn't know what to expect since she hadn't seen pari-mutuel competition since September. I was really pleased with her performance but it sure was a close one. "I told Edgar (trainer Clarke of A Wish For Wings) that I was lucky that his mare didn't sneeze at the wire!" As the 2 to 1 favorite, Gold Star Mysti paid $6.00 to win. Roughly 16 minutes later, the six year-old Gator Boy went behind the Hummer Starting Gate in a non-winners of two pari-mutuel races event and roared by his competition in deep stretch to score in 1:55.2 for his first win since December 4, 2013 at Balmoral Park. The gelded son of Duneside Perch trained by Maggie for Dale Witcher II of Tatum, Texas, left with a bit of alacrity as driver Yoder searched for a decent spot, found one in fourth as the early fractions were hot--:28.2 and :56.4--and then sat chilly past the third station in 1:25.4 then fanned widest of all in the lane for the win measuring 1 1/4 lengths over Bro Hanover (Mickey McNichol) with Danza (Ray Vizzi) third after looming boldly turning for home. Come On Red was fourth whilethe 2 to 5 favorite, Decent Sawyer, picked up the nickel in the octet. The clocking was a new lifetime mark for Gator Boy with trainer Maggie Audley saying, "We met Mr. Witcher (owner) when he bought a broodmare from us out of the Delaware sale the February after dad (Tom) passed. "We kept in contact and, in conversation, we learned about Gator Boy, who was a large two year-old that had a lot of heart and tried hard but had a lot of soreness issues. "Instead of pushing him as a three year-old, Mr. Witcher decided to bring him back home to Texas, fatten him up and work on his soreness issues. "In order to earn his keep, Gator Boy started racing on the 'under saddle' circuit in Texas and Louisiana where they race under saddle with hobbles on a quarter-mile straightaway--usually only two at a time. "Earlier this year, Mr. Witcher thought that Gator Boy deserved another chance, so, about five months ago, he brought Gator Boy to us and he came along well so we decided that he was worth the investment to get him back to the races. "He hadn't won in several years (almost four) and he's still learning how to get around the turns, but he has a great attitude and he is happy doing his job." Gator Boy's mark, prior to his Monday night win, was in a Springfield qualifier as a two year-old--1:56.2 Gator Boy was 7 to 2 in the morning line but went off as the 8 to 1 third choice and returned $18.00 to his faithful. Trainer Maggie Audley, by the way, whose stable consists of mostly Florida bred stakes horses, now has a .481 UTRS average, after a 2016 year where she batted over .500. As she says, "I learned by lessons well because my dad taught me well!" Racing continues at Pompano Park on Tuesday night with over $100,000 up for grabs as the FSBOA Stallion Stakes continues. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park          

Pompano Beach, FL...November 6, 2017...Baseball season ended last Wednesday night when Houston took the final game of the World Series but, Sunday night harness racing at Pompano Park, it felt like the season was still going strong. When the festivities concluded, the records showed a grand slam, two triples and three doubles on the line-up card. The grand slam was recorded by Wally Hennessey in the four divisions of the (non-wagering) $104,275 FSBOA sponsored Stallion Stakes for two year-olds as the Hall of Fame driver swept them all, first with I Rhoda Daley, followed by Brian, Krinda and Gold Star Diablo. I Rhoda Daley, a daughter of Desperado Don owned by Lee Clarke along with trainer Jason MacDougall, took the $25,200 division for trotting fillies in 2:03.2. Making a sharp quarter (:31.2) move to the front, I Rhoda Daley then proceeded on through panels of 1:01.1 and 1:32.2 before an effortless :31 finale left her 17 3/4 lengths ahead of Jennifer (John MacDonald) with Ms Katie B (Gary Braden) third. The 2:03.2 clocking was a new lifetime mark for I Rhoda Daley, who began her racing career only six weeks ago with a win in 2:14. This win, her fifth in seven lifetime starts, pushed her bounty to $24,546, with the most lucrative portion of the Florida Stakes program just ahead. Jay and (trainer) Kim Sears' Brian, named after Jay's Hall of Fame son, wired his competition for Hennessey in the $26,125 class for trotting colts and geldings, clicking off panels of :31.1, 1:03.1 and 1:34 before a :30.3 closer was more than enough to hold Treasure Quest (Tom Lehmann) safe by 4 3/4 lengths. Prairie Eclipse (Mike Deters) recovered from a miscue before the half to finish third while Jiro Dangerous and Captain Thomas picked up the minor awards completing the roster. Brian now has a 3-2-1 scorecard in seven starts with earnings of $22,655. Krinda, a daughter of Six of Diamonds trained by Kim Sears for husband-owner Jay, annexed her $26,650 division for pacing fillies as she blasted off the wings at the start and sliced through fractions of :28.3, :58.2 and 1:28.2 before a :28.4 closer sealed the deal by a widening 6 1/4 lengths in a lifetime best 1:57.1. Left in her wake were Prairie Easter (Corey Braden) and Starcasim (Joe Sanzeri) with Diamond Eyes and Prairie Folish next in this quintet. In winning for the fourth time in seven career starts, Krinda vaulted her earnings to $23,637. Hennessey completed his grand slam with Gold Star Diablo in the $26,300 class for the juvenile pacing colts and geldings. The gelded son of Mysticism, trained by Mike Deters for owner Dan Clements, was unhurried off the gate before making an explosive move to the top past the :28 opener and, once on top, cut the mustard the rest of the--:56.4 and 1:26--before the :28.3 closer stopped the clock in 1:54.3, a career best. His margin of victory measured 5 1/4 lengths over Silver Wings (Corey Braden) with Jay Jay (John MacDonald third. MIster Special T was fourth, followed by Dontblevmejuswatch picking up the nickel in this quintet. The win was the fourth straight for Gold Star Diablo with his earnings now totaling $27,880 based on a 7-5-0-0 scorecard. On the pari-mutuel program, Barbarian, given picture perfect handling by Rick Plano, squeaked by the vaunted Panocchio (Hennessey) in the final few yards to post a 1:51.1 win in the Open Handicap Pace. Rockntouch (Mickey McNIchol) finished third with Team Captain and Sing For Me George earning minor awards in the classy sextet. At the outset, Barbarian (post 5) pushed the starting gate's wings out of his way along with Panocchio with an opening quarter duel leaving the latter in front in :26.2. After a half in :55.1 and the next station reached in 1:24, Barbarian left the coziness of his pocket and dueled Panocchio right to the wire with the outcome decided in a photo finish. After the race, driver Rick Plano said, "This was a question of having the slightly better trip of these two, that's all there is to it. Wally cut it and we were drafted along. His horse certainly didn't quit--he came his last quarter in around :27, too, but we just got the better trip tonight." For Barbarian, a six year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, it was his ninth win of the season in 28 starts, good for earnings of $49,560. He's banked $158,111 to go along with his new lifetime mark established in this mile for owner Robert Orr and trainer Edgar Clarke. As third choice in the "Senditin" betting crowd, Barbarian paid $9.20. Plano had two other wins on the card, the first with Jamaican Cowboy ($4.20) in a claiming pace and the other with E R Melvyn ($4.20 ok) in a condition-optional claiming event. E R Melvyn, by the way covered his mile in 1:51.4, a seasonal best. Plano had to share the spotlight with driver John MacDonald, who also had a triple--and a consecutive one, at that! MacDonald hit the winner's circle with All Steinam ($3.80), followed by J Black ($3.60) and, finally, Dragon Fever ($2.60). "Johnny Mac" was also credited with two training wins, as was Paul Bernardo and Kim Sears. Racing continues on Monday night with first post pegged at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park            

Pompano Beach, FL...November 1, 2017...The FSBOA sponsored Sunshine State Stakes finals were contested at Pompano Park on Tuesday (October 31) with four classes of harness racing three year-olds seeking a share of $48,000 in purses. When all was said and done, Atlantic Crest, Azzaro, Gold Star Aurora and Prairie Panther all claimed the top awards in their respective $12,000 events. Atlantic Crest kicked the festivities off with yet another gate-to-wire win--her fourth straight--for owner-driver-trainer Sergio Corona in the sophomore filly trot. The daughter of Crest wired together early fractions of :30 and :59.4 before picking up the pace on the backside (1:28.2) and the strolling home in :29.2 to hit the wire in 1:57.4--her margin 1 1/2 lengths over a gallant Famous C (Wally Hennessey) with Prairie Pixie (Jim Meittinis) just another neck back in third. Sparkling Comet and Bonnie Blue Banker completed the order of finish. Atlantic Crest, last year's champion in her juvenile division, now has 14 wins in 31 career starts with earnings of $89,074 to go along with a 1:55.2 mark at Plainridge Racecourse. Next, the "15th round" of the rivalry between Azzaro and I'm Done was contested and, after they slugged it out in the lane, Azzaro emerged victorious in yet another decision decided by the photo finish camera in the sophomore trot for the colts and geldings. The gelded son of Proud Bushy trained by Kim Sears, who co-owns with Jay Sears, was driven by Wally Hennessey with a neck separating the pair at the wire in 2:01, after the two traded light jabs through panels of :31.1 and 1:02.4 before the slugfest began 5/16s from home. After reaching the third station in 1:32.3, both were on their way home with a :28.2 finale, trading punches right to the wire. I'm Done was driven by John MacDonald. "It was quite something," said Hennessey after the event. "It's become quite a tussle between these two and it looks like it's going down to the wire this year, too." Azzaro now has the 8-to-7 edge in wins over I'm Done in their 15 rounds, good for $60,724 in career bounty. I'm Done, last year's champion by virtue of his Super Night win, has the edge in earnings with $79,746 career-wise. The three year-old filly pace went to Gold Star Aurora, handled by Walter Ross, Jr. for trainer Maggie Audley and owner Marianne Audley. The Rock On lass won the early tussle with Prairie Cowgirl (Jim Meittinis) and was well rated through panels of ::28.2, :57.4 and 1:27.2 before a :27.4 sprint home sealed the deal by 6 1/2 lengths in 1:55.1, a new lifetime mark. Said the soft-spoken driver, Walter Ross, Jr., "She went a very nice mile, so let's give all the credit to her!" Gold Star Aurora is now 4-for-5 this semester and 11 -for-13 lifetime with career bounty of $72,354. While those first three events were non-wagering ones, the Sunshine State Stakes for the three year-old colts and geldings was held on the pari-mutuel card and Prairie Panther, driven by Jim Meittinis, home free in 1:55.3. Trained by MIke Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, the gelded son of Royal Millennium made a sharp quarter move to the front after the opener in :27.4 and then went on to slice through subsequent fractions of :57.4 and 1:26.2 before putting away a serious challenge on the backside through the final turn to score by a handy 2 3/4 lengths over Maybe Ned (Bryce Fenn) with Gold Star Spider (Walter Ross, Jr.) third. Gold Star Bugsy and Fifth Son picked up the minor awards in the field of nine. After the event, Meittinis said, "Wally's (Hennessey) horse (Fabiano) made a big move on the backstretch and he may have put a nose in front of us along the way, but (Prairie" Panther is a fighter and doesn't like it when another horse gets along side of him. He fights back! Prairie Panther swept through his four Sunshine State Stake legs before sweeping to victory in this final, sending his 2017 scorecard to 5-1-0 in nine starts. Lifetime, he's 12 for 17 with earnings of $76,170. Off at 1 to 5 on the tote-board, Prairie Panther paid $2.60 to his many faithful. Finally, the $11,000 Open Handicap Trot went to Born To Thrive, driven by trainer Rick Plano in 1:56.1. The four year-old gelded son of Swan For All knifed between horses in the final yards to pin a photo finish defeat on BJAnthony (Mickey McNichol) by a neck after the latter was bothered a bit in deep stretch when the highly regarded favorite, Boli, made a miscue. Zoraze (Corey Braden) finished a fast closing third, a length away, with Iholdon fourth after cutting the mustard through panels of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:26.2. Railee Workable, originally sixth, was moved up a notch to earn the final award. Born To Thrive won for the fifth time in 24 starts to send his seasonal earnings to $48,830 for owners Maryann Plano, Victor Contento and John Campagnuolo. He paid $5.20 as second choice in the wagering. Racing continues on Sunday night with first post scheduled at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

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