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Pompano Beach, FL...Oct. 19, 2019...Sunshine State Stakes continued at Pompano Park on Saturday with Wally Hennessey winning five of his seven harness racing drives during the eight non-wagering events for two and three year-olds.   The Hall of Famer started his win rampage with the first time starter Prairie Gold Mine in the two year-old trot for colts and geldings and then continued his winning ways with Laurie Lee in the juvenile filly pace, Kerry B in the three year-old filly trot, Damien Hall in the sophomore trot for the three geldings entered and the outstanding Natasha in the three year-old filly pace.    Mike Micallef had a driving double on the card with Hurrikanekingjames in the two year-old event for colts and geldings and Zaza Boy winning a thriller in the pace consisting of a sextet of soph geldings. Jim McDonald kept his winning streak in the bike going with a win back of Prairie Delight in the trot for two year-old fillies.   On the training side of the ledger, Kim Sears had a triple, Jim McDonald and Michile Lorenzo had training doubles and Mike Deters returned to the Pomp with a training win, as well.   Here is a recap of the Saturday action.   TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT--PRAIRIE DELIGHT   Prairie Delight, a two year-old daughter of Shibboleth Hanover, led every stride of her mile from her outside post and scored a handy win for co-owner-trainer-driver Jim McDonald in 2:07.3. Proud Money (Wally Hennessey) was 4 1/2 lengths away in second as the winner built an insurmountable lead through panels of :31.2, 1:03.3 and 1:35.1 before coasting home unscathed. Brasen Bo (Mickey McNichol) rallied to be second. Prairie Delight is undefeated in her two lifetime starts.   McDonald owns in partnership with Dona McDonald and Bill Bigler.   TWO YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING TROT--PRAIRIE GOLD MINE   Prairie Gold Mine, making his first purse start after two qualifying events up north, made a quarter move to the top and went on to score a handy three length win for Wally Hennessey, who was in the bike for owners Laurie Poulin, Fred Morosini, Fritz Racing and trainer Mike Deters.   Carving out panels of 32.3, 1:04.2 and 1:35.3, this gelded son of Diamond Goal sprinted his final quarter in :29.4 to seal the deal over Rhinestone Cowboy (Mike Micallef) with Prairie Romeo (Dave Ingraham) next in the field of six.   After the event, Hennessey remarked, “he’s got a lot of speed alright and he could be a big factor if he minds his manners along the way. He was very sharp, especially once he got to the front!”   TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE--LAURIE LEE   Laurie Lee, with Wally Hennessey in her sulky driving for trainer Kim Sears and owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, scored a two length win over the late charging Pocahontas Cam (Mike Micallef) with Alil Touch of Pink (Marc Major) next, 4 1/4 lengths away.    The daughter of Royel MIllennium showed speed leaving from post four, took the field through a :29.1 opener and loafed to a 1:01.1 half before beginning her half-mile sprint home with a :29.2 third panel and :28.3 final, hitting the wire in 1:59.1.   It was her second consecutive win in Sunshine State Stakes action prompting Hennessey to briefly remark, “Pretty impressive...she might just be the real deal going down the line!”   TWO YEAR-OLD COLT-GELDING PACE--HURRIKANEKINGJAMES   In a similar situation to last week, Hurrikanekingjames, driven by Mike Micallef, coasted around the Pompano Park oval in an effortless 2:00 off of fractions of :31, 1:01 and 1:30.2.   The son of So Surreal, trained by Michile Lorenzo for Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investments and George Vierno, took advantage of rail post position in this “match race” or sorts and led at every pole, scoring a win measuring close to 10 lengths over Shuldahadahunemoon (Nick Cobelntz).   The “seasoned” Hurrikanekingjames now has three wins in 11 starts as a juvenile with earnings of over $56,000.   THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT--KERRY B   Kerry B, confidently handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner -husband Jay, scored a handy win over her only opponent, Crown Bushy (Bryce Fenn) in the three year-old filly trot, stopping the timer in 2:01. The daughter of Muscle Mass, drawing the “outside” post in her event, allowed Crown Bushy to take advantage of the draw early before making a quarter (:30.2) to the top and posting subsequent panels of 1:01 and 1:31.1 before striding home in :29.2, reporting to the wire by 1 1/4 lengths.   Obviously enjoying her Pompano Park surroundings, Kerry B pushed her bankroll to $56,067 mark--$47,095 of that earned in South Florida.   THREE YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING TROT--DAMIEN HALL   Pacing Pretty Stable’s Damien Hall took top honors in the Sunshine State Stake for three year-old trotting geldings with a gate-to-wire win in 2:00.2--a new lifetime mark--for Wally Hennessey, in the bike this week for trainer Jim McDonald.   The sophomore son of Cash Hall out-brushed his rivals from his outside post and posted fractions of :29.3, 1:01.2 and 1:31.4 before a :28.3 final sprint home left him 2 1/4 lengths ahead of the much improved McGoldrick (Dave Ingraham) with Savin Park (John Campagnuolo) completing the order.   It was the second straight win for Damien Hall, who scored with McDonald in the sulky last week. In explaining the switch to Hennessey this time around, McDonald said, “It’s simple logic. Wally cannot beat me if he’s on my horse!”   THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY PAVE--NATASHA   Natasha, described as a “freak” by driver Wally Hennessey, extended her winning streak to 11 stretching back to last season with a very handy 1:56 win for the Kim Sears trainee.   Owned by Jay Sears, the daughter of Six of Diamonds let Gold Star Stormie (Walter Ross, Jr.) take the field through an opener of :28.1 before a sharp and confident quarter move to the top precluded subsequent panels of :57.3 and 1:27.2 before charging home in :28.3 to seal the deal over Gold Star Stormie and Rockin Ellie (Dave Ingraham).   After the opening panel, the only minor challenge came from Lime Twist, who brushed up on the backside to engage the leader around the final bend.   After the event, driver Hennessey remarked, “She s a ‘freak. That’s all there is to it. She just knows and does what she’s supposed to do...and without much effort.”   THREE YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING PACE--ZAZA BOY   Zaza Boy, driven by Mike Micallef, eked out a nostril decision over the late charging JB’s Boomerang (Bryce Fenn) in a lifetime best 1:54.4.   The altered son of Rockincam, trainer by Michile Lorenzo for owners Souren Hovsepian and Rod Lorenzo lowered his mark of 1:56.1 established last week, fending off the :27.4 closing kick of JB’s Boomerang prompting driver Micallef to say, “It was nip and tuck all the way home. Zaza (Boy) kept fighting all the way and, to tell you the truth, I didn’t know if he got there or not...but he fought all the way!”   Mister Marvalous (Wally Hennessey) was third over O’Brockoli and Gold Star Yoder in the talented sextet.   Zaza Boy led gate-to-wire (as he did last week) and carded panels of ;27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.1 and needed every ounce of his :28.3 finale to win it.   Sunshine State Stakes action continues with the third leg next Saturday with post time set for 11:00 a.m. after qualifiers.   by John Berry for the FSBOA and Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL…August 12, 2019…Longtime Standardbred trainer-driver Donald G. Ratchford, 75, passed away on August 8 in Sacramento, CA. Born in Nova Scotia, October 27, 1943, Ratchford, affectionately known as Jerry, came to the United States in 1962 with Hall of Famer Joe O’Brien and quickly established himself as a valuable asset to the success of the O’Brien Stable. In his “post-O’Brien years,” he worked with top horsemen Jim Dennis, Jack Williams, Bob Williams and Herold Merriam which, he said, “contributed to whatever success I achieved because I learned from all of them. “While O’Brien didn’t have any lame horses,” he remembered, “Farrington worked with a lot of claimers and was a ‘leg’ man. Like I said, I learned from all of them.” His involvement in racing included success as a trainer-driver and farm manager. Indeed, he was a partner and operator of the Highland Farm, a breeding and training facility under his care from 1980 to 1994. Among Jerry’s success stories were J B Lucas, Armbro Guest, Hilarious Brew and Timeron Hanover, Karen’s Rowdy One, A Little Bit Rowdy and Karen’s Magic One. Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Anita, son Jeff (Sandee), daughter Jaime, five grandchildren, Sienna, Marisa, Logan, Never and Benjamin, brothers Russell, Roy and Joe, and sisters Donna and Yvonne Perry. He was preceded in death by his son, Mike, his parents, Donald and Adeline, two brothers Gus and Harold, and two sisters Catherine Ratchford and Judy Hanson. A memorial service will be held August 29 at the Sierra View Mortuary, 6201 Fair Oaks, Carmichael, CA 95864 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. by John Berry, for the FSBOA

Pompano Beach, FL...August 10, 2019...Joe Kroll, one of the highly respected and likable horseman in harness racing, passed away on August 8 at the age of 61. Born in Pittsburgh, PA on November 17, 1957, Joe had a long an storied career in harness racing since moving to Florida with his wife, Shawna, in 1983. While he did have success with Florida Stakes winners, including Indigo Swirl, J S Victory and Goucher, Joe played a huge roll in the success of big name stables and trainers such as Continental Farms and Team Nordin. His first notable success was with the world champion Tarport Frenzy, which solidified his reputation as a dedicated trainer with patience, passion and gentle hand that calmed even those horses that could be difficult to train. After his horse, Indigo Swirl, won a Florida Sunshine Stakes event in 2007, he was asked if he felt winning the major share of a lucrative event like that was like winning the lottery. In his typical and humble style, he said, "I won the lottery the day I met my wife!" Joe spent the last eight years working with Jim McDonald with that trainer paying homage to Joe Kroll by lamenting, "Time might be important on the racetrack but, around the barn, time was never important to Joe. In other words, he worked until he was satisfied that every horse in his care was satisfied to his high standards. "A typical example of that was, over the past two winters, he played a big role in the care and training of the great McWicked, last year's Horse of the Year. He, truly, was one of the great ambassadors of harness racing and contributed to the success of many great horses and horsemen. Besides his wife, Shawna, survivors include his sister, Susan Sichko (frank(, his brother, Mike (Denise), nieces and nephews. A memorial will be held at a later date. Anyone wishing to help defray medical costs can do so through Zelle using phone number 561-577-4596. by John Berry for the FSBOA  

Pompano Beach, FL...June 26, 2019...Amateur harness racing driver, well known farrier and USTA "tattoo artist" Jeff Schaefer took a bit of time off from his traditional work and led the American team of amateur drivers on an excursion to France as the world paid homage to the D-Day heroes of 75 years past. Schaefer, along with Tony Dinges, Ron Cusimano and Maurice Brooks, participated against amateur horsemen from France, Italy and Malta at two venues--the Hippodrome des Andelys and Lisieux--with Schaefer garnering a pair of wins. Schaefer lamented, "It was a unique experience, to say the least. We had a 'line start' in one race--which we all found difficult--as you have to go around on the track when the starter begins counting and get th 'three' and you can't go through the rope before it drops. Kinda crazy but we got through it! "At Lisieux, we had a 'gentlemen's start'--no starting gate and we raced clockwise, instead of how we race here in North America. "It was tough to get used to, but we got through it and, in fact, I did get a win there--by disqualification!" The group was given "superb" hospitality by Fredric Durville and Manon Delarette as they escorted us to several historical landmarks including Omaha Beach, the "D-Day" cemetery and the farm which is home to the grand trotter Bold Eagle. "We saw him in Paris," Schaefer said, "and, let me tell you, he is quite a horse--enough to give you chills just watching him perform." Schaefer and his wife, Maria, are also the Founders of Harness Life, a charitable organization that sells apparel with all proceeds going to the latest research on finding a cure for cancer. ( "Maria and I both had cancer and, when you are threatened by this disease, you just cannot sit around on the sidelines and let it conquer you. So, we decided to fight it on behalf of ourselves and the many that have been affected by it. There are new therapies developed all the time and we are determined to help conquer it!"   by John Berry for the Amateur Driving Club

Pompano Beach, FL…May 6, 2019…Buoyed by mandatory payouts on several events, Pompano Park closed out its 2018-2019 season with a strong Saturday harness racing finale with wagering topping $1.3 million.   The wagering highlight of the program came in the final race as the Super Hi-5, with its carryover of over $127,000, attracted over $256,000 in new wagers, vaulting that total pool to over $383,000.   While the program was dotted with several long-priced winners, chalk players were rewarded in the Super Hi-5 with favorites finishing one-two, resulting in over 8,700 winning tickets sold on the winning 6-5-2-7-1 combination returning $38.58 for the 20 cent investment.   Wally Hennessey led all drivers in wins with 359 while Mike Simons, Dave Ingraham, Rick Plano and John MacDonald rounded out the top five. Gaston Lareau led all trainers with 60 visits to the winner’s circle, edging Jim McDonald and Kim Sears in that department. Plano and MacDonald finished in a dead-heat for fourth in the trainers standings.   In the “batting average” (UDRS) department, Hennessey finished first at .522, competing in 920 races while achieving that lofty score. Pompano Park, in cooperation with the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association also presented its trainer incentive awards program with Gaston Lareau, John MacDonald, Dan Hennessey and Marie Schaefer taking the top prizes in their respective divisions.   Pari-mutuel racing resumes in early November with Florida bred two and three year-olds beginning their season in October in non-wagering events.   by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...May 5, 2019...It didn't take long for the aftershock from the Kentucky Derby "earthquake" to travel the 1,050 miles to Pompano Park as the South Florida harness racing track wrapped up its 2018-2019 racing season. While Dave Ingraham was the driving star with a "grand slam" of wins, the first aftershock came in the opening race as the Kelly Case owned and trained Kegler Hanover took the first of three amateur driving events in 1:58.1, as the longest proposition on the tote-board at 27 to 1. John Mungillo was in the bike as this nine year-old altered son of Crazed enjoyed patient handling and got up in the final strides to nail Security Guard (Dein Spriggs) right on the money. Fast Glider (Philippe Trudeau) was another nose back in the photo finish. The win was number 30 in the career of Kegler Hanover, now sporting $233,907 in career earnings. He paid $56.60 to win. About 19 minutes later, Corey Braden was in the bike as Hayden's Little Man, off at 25 to 1, came from last around the final bend to charge by all in the lane and stop the timer in 1:55. Haydens Little Man, the seven year-old gelded son of American Ideal, scored by 1 1/4 lengths over Jay Bees Grin N (Dave ingraham) with Norm At Work (Mike MIcallef) third, returning $53.80 to win, completing the early daily double worth $434.90. Trained by Dan Gassien for the Jemaxpo Racing Stable, Haydens Little Man pushed his 2019 scorecard to 4-2-2in 17 starts, good for $21,924 this semester and $130,031 career-wise. In the very next race, Lugar, now 11 years-of-age, turned the clock a few years as he wired his foes in 1:59.4 in the second Amateur event on the card. The win came at the expense of the late charging Deli-Craze (Ron Cisomano) and Groovey Kid (John Campagnuolo with the winner going off at 33 to 1 and returning $68.80 to his faithful. Said owner-trainer Leon Cable after the event, "Lugar turned the clock back a few years. He loves to get in the action early and this time he raced like he did some years ago. He got his memory back, that's for sure!" Making his 201st career start, Lugar won for the 33rd time, launching his lifetime earnings over the $250,000 mare--$251,057 to be precise. After that event, there were zero dollars still "alive" in the Pick-5, which wound up paying a healthy $511.35 for just three of five winners. The three $11,000 Open co-features went to Northern Dail in the mares open pace, Beer Dad on the trot, Caviart Reagan on the pace--all driven by Dave Ingraham. Northern Dali closed fastest of her five rivals to score in 1:55.2, capping the come-from-behind win with a :28.1 finale. The apcesetting Rock N Roll Rosie (Wally Hennessey) was second with the pocket sitting Goldstar Rockette (Corey Braden) next. Northern Dali, owned by the JP Houle Stables and trained by Gaston Lareau, paid $6.20 to her many faithful. Beer Dad, leaving from the outside eight post, had no trouble gaining the top spot and carved out panels of :27.2, :56 and 1:24.1 before a stroll home stopped the timer in 1:54.3 for Dave Ingraham. Owned and trained by George Coblentz, Beer Dad a five year-old son of Tequila Spur, sent his scorecard to 6-8-1 in 18 starts, sending his seasonal earnings to $50,985. Among his victims were Boli (Wally Hennessey) and the late charging Stache (Alessandro Spano). Beer Dad--4 to 5 on the tote-board--returned $3.80 to win. Minutes later, Ingraham was back in the bike steering Caviart Reagan to a photo finish win over the favored Rubofthegreen N (Wally Hennessey) in 1:52.2. The early leader, Team Captain, handled by Mickey McNichol, was next. In a very game performance, Caviart Reagan a five year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight, made a bid first up move on the backside, denting a picked up pace, and edged by Rubofthegreen N in the final stride or two. Owned and Trained by Jim McDonald, Caviart Reagan won for the fourth time this semester, sending his 2019 earnings to $29,790. As second choice, Caviart Reagan paid $6.20. Ingraham also won with Hairway To Heaven ($13.80) to a sharp win in 1:56.1 in the fourth race pentafecta for owner-trainer Stacey Laviolette. Chalk players did get revenge of sorts in the Super Hi-5 finale as the favored Jimi Wind Ricks, driven by Wally Hennessey, edged out second choice Sea Rocky Roll (Joe Sanzeri setting up a 20 cent Super Hi-5 payoff of $38.35. With a carryover of $127,000 going in, the final pool total was well over $300,000 with over 8,700 tickets on the winning combination. Wally Hennessey, with a pair of wins on the closing program, led all drivers with 359 wins and wound up with a UDRS (batting average) over .500, starting in over 900 races this season. During the final program, Racing Secretary Joe Frasier, along with FSBOA President Dein Spriggs, presented checks to the incentive award winners in four categories with Gaston Lareau taking top honors in the 12+ category with 59 wins, earning $25,000 in the program sponsored by the Isle and the FSBOA. John MacDonald received $16,000 as winner in the 6-11 category. Dan Hennessey received $8,000 in taking top honors in the 2 to 5 class while Marie Schaefer was the beneficiary in the "single" stable category. Peri-mutuel racing continues in early November with Florida bred stakes events scheduled as non-wagering events in October. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...May 3, 2019...Pompano Park will feature a trio of lucrative carryover plus awards to the leading trainers as the South Florida oval closes out its 2018-2019 racing season with a blockbuster 13 race harness racing program. The grand Super Hi-5 Finale features a carryover of $127,976.45 with a field of 10 programmed to start in a wide open affair. Leading driver Wally Hennessey will handle the morning line favorite, Jimi Wind Ricks, listed at 8 to 5. The six year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven will enjoy a steep drop in class as Hennessey tries to add to his record breaking win total of 357 during the first 125 racing programs. "It has been an unbelievable season," said Hennessey, "and I hope to put the finishing touches on it with a win in the finale. That would be the icing on the cake." The Pick-4 has a carryover of $13,219 and change and covers races six through nine. The track has also added a second Pick-4 beginning with race 10. The Pick-6, beginning in race three, also sports a carryover of $3,153. After the third race, Pompano Park will honor four trainers who won in their respective categories in the track's Incentive Program, rewarding those trainers that have competed from "start to finish" during the season. Gaston Lareau, John MacDonald, Dan Hennessey and Jeff Schaefer took top honors in their respective divisions as the track and the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association co-sponsored the lucrative event with prizes totaling over $50,000. Lareau had 59 wins during the meet, edging Jim McDonald (51) and Kim Sears (49) for top honors in the "12 plus" stable category. MacDonald took top honors with 41 wins in the "6-11" category while Dan Hennessey was victorious in the "2-5" list. Said Wally Hennessey about brother Dan's win, "I am so proud of Dan. He found near blindness all season long, showed up every day to take care of the atable and he did a miraculous job." Dan Hennessey had a 31-17-12 scorecard while sending 109 horses behind the starting gate, good for a UTRS of .408. Jeff Schaefer took top honors in the "one-horse-open sleigh" division. Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey, as mentioned, was leading driver with 357 wins, far out-distancing Mike Simons (96) and Dave Ingraham (88) and was able to maintain a UDRS of over .500 in spite of driving over 900 races during the season. Pari-mutuel racing resumes in early November with Florida bred stakes action beginning in October with non-wagering legs leading up to the lucrative Super Night. by John Berry for Pompano Park          

Pompano Beach, FL...May 1, 2019...Fleetwood Hall, perfectly and confidently handled by harness racing driver Ed Hysell, stepped up the ladder to the top class at Pompano Park and promptly disposed of his six worthy foes in a lifetime best 1:54.3 in the $13,000 Open I Trot on Tuesday night. Trained by Miriam Toland, this nine year-old gelded son of Deweycheatumnhowe was near the back of the pack early before starting to gnaw away with a lap to go. From that point, he swept widest of all when straightened away and used a :28.4 finale to score by three lengths over the pacesetting Beer Dad, driven by Dave Ingraham. William Star, with Wally Hennessey in his sulky, finished third, almost seven lengths away, while Joey Pro and Thundercrest picked up the final two awards in the classy septet. It was William Star who, first, blasted off the wings into an early lead, yielding to Beer Dad before the :27.4 opener. Beer Dad owned the lead through a :56.4 half and sprinted clear by 2 1/2 lengths through the third station in 1:25.2 with Fleetwood Hall on the prowl. Once they turned for home, all it took was one chirp from Hysell and Fleetwood Hall did the rest all on his own in completing his lifetime best performance. Said Hysell after the event, Miriam (trainer Toland) takes such tender loving care of Fleetwood (Hall) and it sure shows when he's on the racetrack. She jogs him and then, just about every day, gives him the pleasure of going on the aquaciser treadmill and, yes, he's nine, but racing like a young three year-old. What a job she's done! "She has him in such great shape--and I have so much confidence in him--that I told her before the race, 'if I'm within three lengths of them turning for home, I'll have you in the winner's circle!" Fleetwood Hall now has a 4-3-0-0 scorecard this season, good for earnings of $16,600. Lifetime, the gallent gelding has 29 wins and $138,818 in bounty. Off as the third choice in the betting, Fleetwood Hall paid $14.40 to win. By the way In terms of "batting average" among trainers with 10 or more starts, Ms. Toland, with her one-horse stable, is the leader with a UTRS of a lofty .667. Racing continues of Saturday night with a blockbuster 13 race program, highlighted by three carryovers with mandatory payoffs on the Pick-6, Pick-4 and Super Hi-5. The Pick-6 carryover has a carryover of $3,153.58, The Pick-4 is worth $13,219.37 going in to Saturday's finale and the Super Hi-5 carryover is a lofty $127,976.45 with that pool expected to peak at well over $200,000. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...April 30,2019...On the heels of Wally Hennessey's touchdown and extra point on Pompano Park's Sunday night harness racing program, driver Mike Micallef turned the page to the hockey mode as the talented driver score a hat trick--three wins--on the Monday night card. To kick things off, Micallef guided I'm Very Special to a maiden win for the John Mungillo trained daughter of American Ideal. Melvyn Colby owns the three year-old. Unraced at two, I'm Very Special scored in 1:57.3 in her fourth lifetime start, capping the mile with a :28.3 finale after a quarter move to the top. Said Micallef after the win, "John (trainer Mungillo) just got her and I was just fortunate that he asked my to drive her. She's a nice filly. I left with her in her first start for him and found a good early spot, but she was in against a very tough winner (Rock N Zeus). This week, she drew much better and she left alertly and I decided to send her on that early move. She didn't disappoint me, that's for sure!" As third choice in the betting, I'm Very Special paid $7.20 to win, which came at the expense of Uschil Hanover (Walter La Freniere, Jr.) and Worth Considering (Dewayne Minor). Next, Micallif guided the 32 to 1 outsider, Keystone Christa ($67.40) to a half length victory over Goldstar Rockette (Corey Braden) in 1:54.1, a seasonal best performance. Stonebridge Pearl (Dave Ingraham) rounded out the top three as McCovery Cove (N) and the 1 to 5 favorite, Sweet Bet, got in a war that took them half way through the mile in :55. Micallef related, "That was just a case of being in the garden spot, that's all. Sometimes, things work out and sometimes they don't. They worked out great for me as we were just biding our time behind the battle up front." Keystone Christa, a 10 year-old daughter of Mach Three, is conditioned by Mr. Bev Kingston for owner Lee Cullen, with the win being her 28 lifetime, sending her career bankroll to $170,457. About 19 minutes later, Micallef completed his consecutive "hat trick" by steering Ask Me Ifi Care to a handy win in 1:53.4. Owned by Anita MIcallef along with Libby Myers, the four year-old daughter of Manhardt led every long stride of her mile, clocking panels of :28.1, :57 and 1:25.3 with that :28.1 finale sealing the issue over Rock N Roll Rosie (Wally Hennessey) and Gold Star Mysti (John MacDonald). The win extended the mare's winning streak to four, after a throat operation a few weeks ago. Said Micallef, "She wasn't quite finishing her miles and, when we checked on why, we discovered the problem and had it surgically fixed. If they cannot breathe, they can't win. Well, she cane breathe now and she's show that this month!" Ask Me Ifi Care paid $3.20 to her multitude of faithful. Racing continues on Tuesday night with the jackpot Super Hi-5 finale now sporting a carryover of $125,463.31. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...April 29, 2019... With the 2019 NFL Football Draft in the sports headlines, Hall of Fame harness racing driver Wally Hennessey scored a touchdown of his own on Sunday night at Pompano Park...and added the extra point, as well, as he won seven races on the eight race program--missing the sweep by a neck. Hennessey won with his own Boli ($2.40) in the opener as the Dan Hennessey trainee scored in 1:57.3 to kick off the Hennessey-Ingraham Pro-Am Challenge, an event benefiting three major charities in a four race competition pitting team Hennessey against Team Ingraham, captained by Dave Ingraham. He completed his early daily double sweep by guiding Race Me Rocky ($2.20) to a handy win in 1:55.1. Race Me Rocky is trained by John Mungillo for owner Delmis Esquival. Next, Hennessey guided the Donna Gilson-Eferstein owned and trained Alfredo Dream ($4.80) to a handy near gate-to-wire win in 1:59 in the second leg of the Amateur Challenge. Hennessey's streak was interrupted in the fourth race when "double-digit" Dave Ingraham rallied Team Captain to a 30 to 1 upset win over Hennessey's Harry Terror in a photo finish timed in 1:53.4. Team Captain is trained by Mickey McNichol for owner Joseph Martinelli, Sr. In the fifth race, Hennessey was back in the winner's circle with Don Brainard's FIre In My Heart ($2.80), trained by George Coblentz. with that mile clocked in a lifetime best 1:55.2. About 22 minutes later, Hennessey was back in the winner's circle with the aptly named Golden Tate ($3.60), as pilot Hennessey sent this nine year-old receiver on a sprint that lasted right to the goal line in 1:56.1. Golden Tate is trained by Norman Dessureault, who co-owns with Steve Stabile--Norman celebrating his birthday about 2 1/2 hours early! Hennessey then scored the "TD" with Rub Ofthe Green (N) ($3.40), who scorched the Pompano oval in 1:52, a seasonal best. The eight year-old is trained by Luc Loyer for Ciro Gentile and Larry Tucker. With the "six point" touchdown on the board, Hennessey then went for the extra point and got it with Big Bad Bill ($2.60), who scored for the Pacing Pretty Stable, trained by Jim McDonald. Reflecting on his momentous night, the humble Hennessey said, "Yes, it was a great night but you have to give credit to all the trainers and caretakers that get 'em ready to race and take such great care of them. It all starts with them!" Hennessey's heroics helped his team defeat Team Ingraham (68 to 47) in the 2019 edition of the Hennessey-Ingraham Amateur Challenge, featuring those two captains and the best amateur drivers at Pompano in a four race competition. Following the final race of that event, a large throng was in the winner's circle as presentations and donations were made to the Christian Harness Horsemen's Associaation, Rockin' T Horse Rescue and Tomorrow's Rainbow. The C.H.H.A. has been a driving force in the harness racing industry since 1983 and provides emotional support for those in need. They also have a scholarship program benefitting many young people. Rockin' T Horse Rescue--Ingraham's beneficiary--gives a safe haven to injured and retired horses in need of medical and spiritual support. As Ingraham said, "horses give us everything they've got on the racetrack and it's great to have places like Rockin' T to help restore their spirit in times of need." Tomorrow's Rainbow uses horses to provide emotional support for trauma victims as young as three years-old and, as Hennessey related, "For those that have suffered tragedy in their lives, founder Abby Mosher stepped up to the plate and formed this rainbow to give hope and support to those that really are in need. They are just fantastic!" The donations sent the F.A.D.C. donations well over the $200,000 since their inception. Racing continues Monday and Tuesday with the season winding up on Saturday, May 4. by John Berry for Pompano Park and the Florida Amateur Driving Club

Pompano Beach, FL...April 26, 2019...Wally Hennessey and Dave Ingraham, two of harness racing's super stars with over 17,500 wins between them, will team up with many of the best amateur drivers in the sport as Pompano Park presents the 2019 edition of the Hennessey-Ingraham Challenge benefiting a trio of worthy causes. The four race competition, to be held Sunday, will benefit the Christian Harness Horsemen's Association, Rockin' T Horse Rescue and Tomorrow's Rainbow.   The Christian Harness Horsemen's Association, established in 1983, serves the harness racing industry and provides support for those in need of prayer and healing. They also have a scholarship program that has aided many young people over the years.   Florida Amateur Driving Club's Dein Spriggs said, "The C.H.H.A. has done so much good over the years and Chaplain Lee Alphen is a 'godsend' in her own right. It's an honor to help them continue their work for those participating in our grand sport and in need of their uplifting ways.   Rockin' T Equine Rescue, based in Maine, helps former race horses by creating a "haven of peace, support and security" helping horses heal from even the deepest of wounds.   Said Dave Ingraham, "You know, these horses give us so much in their careers on the racetrack and it's amazing to see the transformation after one is injured getting them back to a healthy status.   "The folks at Rockin' T really do miracles in restoring a horse's health and spirit. It's a great sanctuary and I am sp pleased to be able to lend support to their future success."   Dave Ingraham (with Kelly Case)   Hennessey's charity is Tomorrow's Rainbow, providing free grief support groups for children as young as three years who have suffered emotional wounds, incorporating horse interactions and therapeutic play areas with peer support.   In selecting his beneficiary for Sunday's event, Hennessey related, "I feel so fortunate that I am able to help further the grand work of Tomorrow's Rainbow. Our children are our future and, when trauma occurs, it's places like Tomorrow's Rainbow that help heal wounds and protect that child's future."   The Florida Amateur Driving Club has donations exceeding $200,000 since their inception.   Post time for Sunday's extravaganza at Pompano Park is 7:20 p.m. with the Super Hi-5 carryover ballooning to well over $120,000.   by John Berry for Pompano Park and The Florida Amateur Driving Club  

Pompano Beach, FL...April 15, 2019...Casimir Richie P, made his 2019 harness racing debut a successful one at Pompano Park on Sunday night, April 14, as four year-old son of Astronomical got picture perfect handling from Wally Hennessey to score in 1:51.2 in the $13,000 Open Pace. His winning margin was three-parts-of-a-length over the pacesetting American Hustle, driven by Bryce Fenn, who sliced through panels of :26.4, :55 and 1:23.4 before being out-kicked in the final yards by Casimir Richie P, was in the garden seat all with away after zooming off the wings at the start before yielding around the opening bend. Cenutry Endeaver, with Cory Braden, in the bike, was next, after closing quickest of all--:27.1--once they straightened away for the drive home. Caviart Reagan and Prairie Panther picked up the final two awards in the classy sextet. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey lamented, "Doc (Ian) Moore said he's trained really well coming up to this race, qualified superbly and is ready to be driven aggressively, even though it's his first start." "This wasn't a case of Bryce's horse quitting--he was very game--it was just that we had the trip and squeaked on by " Dr. Moore co-owns the winner along with Michael Goldberg with the win inflating his career earnings to $118,191 with the victory. Off at 4 to 5 on the tote-board, Casimir Richie P paid $3.60 to his multitude of faithful. In other action, Rebellious, known for his ability to turn on the afterburners at the end of his miles, did so in a five-eighths mile "Dash for the Cash" event, scoring for Jim Meittinis in 1:08.1 after a brave first over journey. This five year-old altered son of Mach Three wore down the favored Four Socks (Hennessey) after fractions of :27.2 and :55.2, pacing his final eighth mile in :12.3 (a 1:40.4 mile rate) to earn the one length victory. Beach Pro (Aaron Byron) finished third over Panocchio and Dinky Dune in the quintet. Rebellious is trained by MIke Deters, who co-owns with Joel Warner, and earned his second win of the semester in eight starts to send his 2019 bankroll to $18,600. Lifetime, Rebellious has earnings of $173,441. Off as the second choice at 5 to 2, Rebellious paid $7.00 to win. In an oddity of sorts, driver Roy Dinges had a driving double on the card with his first winner, Thundercrest, off at odds of 1 to 10 and his next winner, Power and Faith, off at 10 to 1. Dinges drove the heavily favored Thundercrest ($2.20) to a handy gate-to-wire win in 1:59, scoring over Miss Flora (Mario Dessureault) and Kegler Hanover (Leon Cable) to earn his third win of the year in 16 starts. Power And Faith ($22.60) went a courageous journey in scoring for Roy in 1:58.3, after fighting back the challenge of Smart Flight (Steve Oldford) around the final turn and Stardust Memories (Leon Cable) in deep stretch to earn thnod over the latter. Smart Flight did manage to finish third. Power And Faith is trained by George Coblentz for owner Don Brainard. Both events were part of the Florida Amateur Driving Club festivities featuring four events. Security Guard ($11.60) and Fire In My Heart ($2.60) won the other two divisions--both driven by Dein Spriggs, who swept the early Daily Double ($36.80). The F.A.D.C. capped off the festivities when donations to "Go For The Green," an organization empowered by women in their quest to fight breast cancer, and The Hall of Fame and Museum in Goshen, New York. The club has donated well over $200,000 to worthy causes since their inception. Racing continues on Monday night with the Super Hi-5 Jackpot carryover bursting through the $100,000 barrier--$101,403.12--to be precise. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL., April 8, 2019…The “semi-retired” Mickey McNichol hopped back in the harness racing sulky for a rare appearance on Sunday night and promptly guided Lets Roll to victory in Pompano Park’s $11,000 featured Open Pace.   McNichol all but retired from the driving scene late last semester after a star-studded career that included wins in many of harness racing’s most prestigious events.   Still very active as a trainer delegating the driving chores to the “younger” set, McNichol was asked by trainer Jake Huff to take the lines back of Lets Roll off of a winning qualifying effort of 1:53.3.   “Jake asked me to handle him (Lets Roll),” lamented the now 70 year-old, “and I said I would, knowing, of course, that he’s a very nice horse—versatile and fast—great traits in any racehorse.”   Facing a very talented field, including track record holder, Panocchio, McNichol sent Lets Roll right to the front from post five, out-hustled Panocchio (post 1) when the wings closed up and clocked fractions of :27.1, :54.4 and 1:22.3 before a :29.1 stroll home stopped the timer at 1:51.4, leaving Panocchio (Wally Hennessey) two lengths away with Harry Terror (Dave Ingraham), Mc Mach and Windsun Gotham rounding out the top five in the classy septet.   “He did it all on his own tonight,” McNichol said. “I never had to ask him for anything, he just felt that strong all the way.”   For McNichol, it was his 4,759 th career win benefitting owners to the tune of almost $45,000,000.   For Lets Roll, a four year-old son of Roll With Joe, it was his fourth win of the year in seven starts, pushing his 2019 bankroll to $19,890 for owners Rosie Huff, Beauty Bridle Racing and Our Three Sons Stable. Lifetime, Lets Roll has a 10-4-2 scorecard in only 27 starts with $71,355 in earnings to go along with his recent Pompano Park mark of 1:51.1.   Trainer Jake Huff had high praise for his “track-team,” saying, “I have had this horse since he was a baby, broke him and always thought highly of him. And, of course, I have always thought very highly of Mickey, who proved he can still compete with the younger set after all these years. They made a great ‘track team’ tonight, that’s for sure.”   As third choice in the betting, Lets Roll paid $8.20 to win.   In other Sunday night happenings at the South Florida oval, The Florida Amateur Driving Club had four events on the card with Dein Spriggs, Joe Pennacchio, Ron Cusimano and Nick Coblentz each visiting the winner’s circle.   Spriggs kick off the early Daily Double by steering his own Gespacho ($14.20) to a narrow win in 1:59 after the 11 year-old gelded son of Holy Guacamolie opened up a huge lead while clocking blazing panels of :27.2, :55.4 and 1:27.   Alfredo Dream (Jeff Schaefer) was a fast closing second over Lucid Thoughts (Den St. Pierre).   Trained by Allen Saul, Gespacho won for the 40 th time in a career measuring 192 starts.   Next, Cheeky Little Minx ($6.00), with outgoing FSBOA President Joe Pennacchio in her sully, scored a gate-to-wire win in 1:59.3, after parking FSBOA’s incoming President, Dein Spriggs, in a fierce duel lasting into the final bend.   Geronimo Fame (John Campagnuolo) was second while S J Better Days (Ron Cusimano) was next.   Jim McDonald trains Cheeky Little Minx for the Joe P Racing Stable.   Next, Everyone’s Talkin ($4.80), driven by Ron Cusimano, made a sharp quarter move to the front and led the rest of the way in winning in 1:57.2 over Little Big Rigs (Brian Calvert) and Security Guard (Dein Spriggs).   Everyone’s Talkin, a recent claim by former owners Carlo Angelillo, Henry Tanzer, Erika Sirianos and Ron Cusimano, returned to the training care of Jake Huff for the win, his fifth of the year and 23 rd lifetime.   Finally, Fair Glider $45.60), given exceptional rating by Nick Coblentz, led every stride of his one mile journey to score and easy win measuring 7 ¼ lengths over favored You Cant Habit (Carl Garofalo) in 1:58.1. Keystone Orion (Leon Cable) was third.   The F.A.D.C., having donated over $200,000 to charity since their inception, added to that total on Sunday night with a generous donation to Bit-by-Bit, an organization that serves special needs of children and veterans using horses as therapy.   Racing continues on Monday with the Super Hi-5 Jackpot carryover now at $86,029.   Post time is 7:20 p.m.     Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...April 1, 2019...No kidding! Caviart Reagan upset the applecart in Pompano Park's Sunday night harness racing feature while Panocchio won for the 42nd time over South Florida's five-eighths mile oval--one of five wins for leading driver Wally Hennessey. Caviart Reagan, owned and trained by Jim McDonald, was driven to victory by Dave Ingraham, who escaped trouble when the leader, the 4 to 5 favorite Brigadierbronski A, suddenly made a miscue around the final bend on the lead. As Brigadierbronski's pilot, Wally Hennessey, searched for clearance to avoid further situations developing, Ingraham took the pylon route on through and opened up a daylight lead, eventually scoring by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:51.4, a seasonal best time. Second choice American Hustle, with Bryce Fenn in his sulky, rallied to finish second while Mc Mach, handled by Rick Plano, finished third after suffering a bit of interference trying to avoid the breaker. Windsun Gotham finished fourth while Brigadierbronski managed to pick up the minor award in the classy quintet. In a post-race interview, driver Dave Ingraham said, "well, it was just one of those things. When Wally's horse went up in the air, I was lucky enough to find some room inside and saving that ground was the difference. The five year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight now has a 3-2-3 scorecard in 13 starts, good for $19,460 for the year and $152,480 lifetime. Off as fourth choice at 8 to 1, Caviart Reagan paid $19.60 to his faithful. Hennessey, though, was not silenced on the Sunday program, competing in five other races on the program and winning all five, including a conditioned event with the track record holder, Panocchio. This gallant nine year-old altered son of No Pan intended took command after a demanding opening panel of :26.4 and led every stride thereafter to score in 1:52.1 for his second win of the year and 65th of his illustrious career--42 of those at Pompano Park. Spirit Shadow, handled by Andy Santeramo, finished second, 2 1/4 lengths away, while Pointsman, driven by Jim Meittinis, was next. Major Starlight and Impressive Art picked up the final awards in the sextet. Panocchio now has banked $580,628 to go along with his track record of 1:48.3 at Pompano Park achiened four seasons ago. Off at 1 to 5 on the tote-board, Panocchio paid $2.60 to his multitude of backers. Racing continues on Monday night with a Super Hi-5 finale sporting a carryover of $75,242.   by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...March 19, 2019...Driver Matt Krueger was injured on Monday night at Pompano Park after a serious accident involving four horses occurred during the first harness race of the card. Krueger was piloting Persephonie and in third place midway on the backstretch when the leader, Open Skies, driven by James Hysell, suddenly went down with Krueger, Andy Shetler and Aaron Byron unable to avoid the fallen horse. Hysell, Shetler and Byron were, subsequently, cleared to participate but Krueger suffered a broken elbow, broken shoulder and punctured lung and is expected to have multiple surgeries to repair the damage. Driver Andy Santeramo, driving the eventual winner, Watchwhatmyfeetdo, remarked, "You know there are photo finishes at the wire every night at the races. Well, this was a photo finish--for me, anyhow--on the backstretch because, if I had been a split second slower, two more of us (including Mike Simons) would have been involved. This incident came without warning and, when I pulled from fifth on the backside, I just wanted to move alongside the leader around the final bend but my horse had a lot of momentum and a little voice in my head said 'just keep going.' We are all saying prayers for Matt (Krueger), that's for sure." by John Berry, for the FSBOA & Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL…March 11, 2019…American Hustle, with Scott Zeron in his sulky for harness racing owner-trainer Brian Lawrence, skimmed the pylons in the final yards to post a nose decision over pacesetting Brigadierbronski A, handled by Mike Simons, in Pompano Park’s $10,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night. The five year-old son of American Ideal left alertly from the five post, yielded to the early rushing Brigadierbronski A (post six) around the opening bend and stalked that one through panels of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.2 before finding a narrow seam when straightened away to close in :27.1 to nail the win on the wire in 1:51.4. Four Socks, driven by Wally Hennessey, finished third in an “even-steven” effort, 2½ lengths away, while McMach finished fourth, just another nose back. Harry Terror picked up the final award in the classy sextet after his mild bid approaching the final bend. For American Hustle, it was his fourth success in this young year in seven starts, good for $22,000, which sent his career bankroll to $135,563 to go along with his Woodbine mark of 1:50 with a lifetime scorecard of 18-10-4 in 48 starts. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote-board, American Hustle paid $3.40 to his many faithful. Also on the card, the grand track record holder, Panocchio, returned to the winner’s circle for the initial time in 2019 when he scored in 1:51.3 for Wally Hennessey. Panocchio was used hard early to gain the top spot at the :26.4 opener and went on to post fractions of :55.1 and 1:23.4 before a :27.4 finale sealed the deal over a stubborn New World Order A, with Aaron Byron in the bike. Stick With Cramer, driven by Andy Santeramo, was next, followed by Kotare Yael N and Mikado Blue Chip in the septet. After that event, Hennessey remarked, “what can I say…this horse has been performing at a high level for years and years. Not many can do that these days after putting the type of performances he put in week after week. Jimmy and Vicki (Mattison) do such a tremendous job in keeping him tip-top condition. He’s just amazing. For Panocchio, the still game nine year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, it was his 64th career win in 176 starts—41 of those wins at Pompano Park—to vault his career bankroll to $576,778 for trainer Jim Mattison, who co-owns with Emile Johnson, Jr. Panocchio paid $3.20 to win. Panocchio Also on the Sunday night card, on the heels of another successful Miller-Tetrick Pro-Am Challenge one week prior, the Florida Amateur Driving Club was in action in four events with drivers Carl Garofalo, Sam Stathis, Mario Dessureault and Nick Coblents all reaching the coveted winners circle. Garofalo guided You Cant Habit ($4.20), the John McDermott trained-Jonathan Klee Racing owned  five year-old  to a sharp score in 1:57.1 while Stathis was in the bike for Alessandro Spano’s Chocolate Explosion ($11.60), stopping the clock in 1:57.2. Mario Dessureault steered his own Miss Flora ($3.80) from last to first in a 1:59.1 performance while Coblentz guided Don Brainard’s Fair Glider ($27.00) to a photo finish win in 1:58.1. It was Coblentz’ first pari-mutuel win since July 9, 2012 with Bad Angel at Ocean Downs. Racing continues on Monday with first post set for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

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