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Follonica, Italy...August 8, 2018...Attempting to protect their precarious lead in the Amateur Friendship Challenge between the USA and Italy, Team USA was able to do just that as driver Steve Oldford led the American contingent with a win and a second in his two drives, leaving Team USA with a 12 point lead entering the grand finale to be held at the famed Monticatini oval on Thursday. Round two did end in a dead-heat as both teams hit the wire in points together, but it was Oldford who enabled the USA visitors to retain their overall lead with a perfectly timed drive with Really DL, a gelded son on Equinox Bi. Really DL followed live cover in the extended distance event of 2200 meters (1.367 miles) to score in 2:50.2, a mile rate of 2:04 over the Ippodromo dei Pini track. Tuscany Club President Danele Orsini also had a win and a second in his two drives, helping Team Italy to that dead-heat finish. USA team member Joe Pennacchio lauded Oldford's drive lamenting, "This was a classic stretch battle as Steve (Oldford) and Danele (Orsini) went toe-to-toe right to the wire." The winning margin was a nose. The Thursday Monticatini finale will determine the champion of this year's Tuscany Friendship Amateur Challenge between the USA and Italy. Reported by John Berry Sent from Xfinity Connect Mobile App  

Pompano Beach, FL --- The USA, led by team captain Joe Pennacchio, has taken an early lead in the Amateur Friendship Challenge, held in Italy. The “Challenge” saw the USA sprint out to an early 25-12 lead in the friendly -- but hotly contested -- competition over the Italian Driver Club Veneto with Pennacchio, along with teammate Steve Oldford, winning their respective races, held at the historic, 120-year-old Hippodrome di Montebello, located in scenic Trieste, overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Dr. Scott Woogen and Kelly “Sky” Walker completed the roster of Americans competing in the event. Pennacchio, who began his amateur driving career in 1995 with an initial win over Delaware, Ohio’s famed Little Brown Jug oval (with the now appropriately named Fox Valley Trump), has amassed more than 175 career wins and got the USA team off to a great start by guiding Rugiada Del Nord to victory in the 1,600 meter event (1.031 miles) in 2:07.5. Said teammate Oldford after the win, “Joe never ceases to amaze me. I am still waiting for him to reach his prime. At his age, 71, he has the light hands of a seasoned veteran half his age. He’s just amazing and I really don’t think he has reached his prime yet, especially after the way he drove that winner!” Oldford then was able to share the spotlight with Captain Pennacchio by driving Taiga Grif to victory in 2:06.5, using a big “double bubble” move around the final bend. The competition travels to the seaside city of Follonica next to compete at that city’s Hippodrome on the Mediterranean Sea before moving north to historic Mintecatini, near Florence, Italy. by John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL - The Federation Europeenne Des Gentleman Cavaliers, known as F.E.G.A.T., held their championship series in Belgium on July 28 and 29 with Argentina taking the crown, capturing the title over worthy opponents representing 11 other countries. Individual honors went to Argentina's Leonrado Agusti, who at age 67, entered the competition with over 1,300 career wins, tops in a very select group of drivers. The United States was represented by Dein Spriggs, who was hampered by the draws in his events and finished well back in the competition. In one of the closest finishes in F.E.G.A.T. history, Argentina edged out Australia and The Netherlands in the near triple dead-heat, while Norway and Finland were next in the two day competition. Germany was next, followed by New Zealand, host country Belgium, Sweden, Russia, Austria and, finally, the United States. After day one of the event, Norway had sprinted out to a quick early lead, followed by The Netherlands and Argentina. The United States, drawing outside posts in the majority of the events, was trailing the field. Things didn't get any better for the U.S.A. during day two with Spriggs lamenting, "The draw sure hasn't been very kind to us during this competition. "One good thing," Spriggs joked, "is that, if someone out there has dyslexia, they would think I came in first! "I must say, though, that the hospitality here has been absolutely great and the F.E.G.A.T. folks and the Belgium contingent were just great and made the journey memorable and more than worthwhile." Reported by John Berry for F.E.G.A.T.      

Pompano Beach, FL --- With the announcement of Eldorado Resorts, Inc. partnering with The Cordish Companies in the development of a world class hospitality destination site at Pompano Park, Midwest Auctioneers and Realty has announced that they have signed a definitive agreement with PPI, Inc. to conduct a two-day auction at Pompano Park on Sunday (Aug. 5), beginning at 12 noon, and Monday (Aug. 6), beginning at 9 a.m. There will be a two day preview on Aug. 3 and 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature six floors of items -- many historical -- dating back to the track’s infancy years beginning in 1964. Besides the live on-site auction, bids will be accepted at, where registrations will be accepted beginning Aug. 1 through sale time. In announcing the auction, Sales Manager Jim Brown said, “This sale will, obviously, be unique as we will not only have chairs and tables but even box seat numbers and name plaques from many of the most prominent participants in our sport since this historic racing facility opened more than a half century ago. “We will have the pari-mutuel signs, sculptures and memorabilia, restaurant equipment and even the legendary bars on the floors graced by folks like Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Ed Sullivan, Lorne Greene and so many others.” Also included in the auction will be vehicles, including a boom truck, John Deere equipment and Terex generators with light poles. Midwest Auctioneers and Realty President Mike Baker, who has been conducting auctions for the better part of four decades, will be the lead auctioneer. Speaking about the Pompano Park upcoming auction, Baker said, “This is going to be a great one, no doubt about it. It’s always great to see a company take that big step from the past into the future and this auction will serve as one giant step toward their future success. We are honored to host the historic event.” A complete list of the auction items will be posted when available. For information, go to, 937.548.2640 or 937.459.9558. Contact Sales Manager Jim Brown at 954.263.1999. by John Berry, for Midwest Auctioneers and Realty, Inc.

Pompano Beach, FL...June 6, 2018...Noted amateur driver Dein Spriggs will represent the United States in the upcoming World Amateur Driving Championship 2018 event, sponsored and hosted by the Federation Europeenne Des Gentlemen Cavaliers (F.E.G.A.T.), Europe's Amateur Driving Federation. The event will be held in Belgium on July 28-29 at the Tongeron and Waregem tracks and feature amateur drivers from a dozen countries. Spriggs, President of the Florida Amateur Driving Club (F.A.D.C.) has amassed over 450 career wins and was Amateur Driver of the Year in 2004 and 2005. He has spearheaded the success of the F.A.D.C., which has donated over $200,000 to charity since its inception. Upon learning of his invitation, Spriggs humbly lamented, "I received a 'call from the bullpen' from Joe Faraldo, who is President of the North American Amateur Drivers Association. I use the term 'bullpen' because Joe Lee, the equipment manager for the New York Yankees, was originally tabbed to go but, with his obligation to the Yankees, it would have been impossible for him to participate." "Of course, this is a great honor to be representing our country and I will do my utmost in do the U.S., the N.A.A.D.A. and Joe Lee in this prestigious event." Spriggs' driving career stretches over four decades and, since the turn of the century, his U.D.R.S. has been over .300 in 14 of the last 17 seasons and over .400 in six seasons, including a .508 average in 2008, .496 in 2005, .487 in 2006, .479 in 2004 and .469 in both 2015 and 2017, Other countries represented in this world championship competition include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Sweden and The Netherlands.   Argentina's representative, Leonardo Agusti, has the most wins in the select group with 1,300 while Australia's John Cremen has 1,155 career victories. by John Berry for the Florida Amateur Driving Club

Pompano Beach, FL…May 31, 2018…Pompano Park wrapped up it 126 night 2017-2018 season on Wednesday night with a competitive 11 race program highlighted by Boli taking the feature trot, Roll With Faith annexing the pacing feature for mares, Wally Hennessey hitting yet another grand slam and a mandatory payout on the track’s popular Super Hi-5 wager.   Boli had things his own way in the Open trot as Wally Hennessey guided the six year-old gelded son of Kadabra to a handy 1 ¾ length win in 1:56.4 over Thundercrest, driven by Dave Ingraham. Cashahallic finished third for John Moody after a serious bid around the final bend while Reilee Workable completed the order of finish.   Starting from post three in his quartet, Boli burst off the wings with alacrity and took the field through an opening panel in a somewhat tepid :28.4 with Thundercrest in the garden spot after leaving from post one.    With no challenges during the second panel, Boli lolly-gagged over to the half in :59. Things picked up a bit on the backside as Cashahallic began his brush forward but Boli put him away once they reached the third station in 1:28. A :28.4 finale sealed the deal as Boli sent his corecard for the year to 4-3-3 in 12 starts, good for $34,720 for owners Paul and Patricia O’Neil.    After the event, Hennessey remarked, “He was a perfect gentleman leaving the gate tonight and, when we got to the lead so easily, I was confident he could go all the way. He relaxed during that second quarter and, when he gets to the half in :59 like that, he’s going to be tough to beat.”   Trained by Dan Hennessey, Boli has now banked $269,384 lifetime to go along with his Pompano Park mark of 1:54.2.   Off at 1 to 2, Boli returned $3.00 to he multitude of backers.   Hennessey also won with John Campagnuolo’s Modern Mercury ($3.00) in 1:57.1, Pink Gardinias ($2.80), also owned by Campagnuolo along with Alan Hyatt, in 1:55.3 and Herman Brewer’s Beijing Hanover ($4.60)  in 1:57, a new lifetime mark.   The latter winner is a seven year-old gelded son of Explosive Matter that has just begun his racing career—plagued by injuries up until recently.   Trained by Rosie Huff, Beijing Hanover has won three of his first four career starts and, as Hennessey said, “his career is just getting started. It’s like he’s a two year-old and, if he can stay healthy, he’s got a career ahead of him.”   Roll With Faith, the consistent four year-old daughter of Roll With Joe, made a backside blast from third into the lead around the final turn and went on to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:53 for Dave Ingraham.   Northern Dali was second for Wally Hennessey while Goldstar Rockette finished third for Bryce Fenn. Islay N finished fourth after cutting stiff opening panels of :26.3 and :56 before yielding past the third station in 1:24.1. Worldly Doll completed the order of finish.   Trained by John Mungillo, who co-owns with Finish Line Investors and Lawrence Willer, Roll With Faith earned her sixth win of the year, good for $32,229. She’s has career earnings of $63,807.   Second choice in the betting at 6 to 5, Roll With Faith paid $4.60 to win.   The Super Hi-5 finale featured a $40,000 guaranteed poll and, with that pool ballooning well over the $60,000, the 1-6-4-5-7 combo paid $139.60 for the 20 cent ticket.   Veteran trainer Jim McDonald piloted the winner of that last race, Odds On Cheddar to a maiden win in 1:57.1 for his Twenty Four Carrot Racing stable.   On the statistical side of the ledger, Wally Hennessey took the driving title in terms of wins with 231. Dave Ingraham, with a driving double on the card, finished second with 110 trips to the winner’s circle while John MacDonald (95 wins), Andy Santeramo (76) and Rick Plano (50) rounded out the top five followed by Mike Simons (47), Mickey McNichol (46), Jim Meittinis (46), Bryce Fenn (44) and Ricky Macomber, Jr. (38)   In terms of winning percentage for drivers with a minimum of 126 starts, Hennessey was at the top of the list with a winning percentage of 26.5% while George Napolitano, Jr. was second T 21.9%. Andy Santeramo was next at 21.6%.while John MacDonald was next at 19%. Rounding out the top five was Dave Ingraham at 17.2%.   On the training side, John MacDonald edged out Gaston Lareau in a photo finish,56 to 55. Mike Deters was third with 47 wins, followed by Mickey McNichol (41) and Dustin Ingraham (40). Eric Beach (35), Rick Plano (33), Nick Surick (30), Andy Santeramo (29) and Jim McDonald (30) complete the top 10.   In terms of winning percentage, Andy Santeramo was the leader in that category, winning 29 of 76 starts—a winning percentage of a lofty 38.2%. Dustin Ingraham was second at 25.5%, followed by John MacDonald (23.4%), Tony Dinges (22.9%) and Mike Deters (22.1%). Rounding out the top 10 in the category were Dan Hennessey (19%), Joe Pavia, Jr. (19%), Kim Sears (17%), Jim McDonald (17%), and Gaston Lareau (16.3%).   The top five trainers in terms of purse earnings were Mike Deters ($440,610), Kim Sears ($337,286), John MacDonald ($326,275), Mickey McNichol ($286,566) and Gaston Lareau ($267,799).   Pari-Mutuel racing returns to Pompano Park on October 21st with FSBOA non-wagering sponsored stakes events scheduled for October 6th and 13th.   by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...May 28, 2018...Dodging a major weather "bullet" as Tropical Storm Alberto roared along side, Pompano Park got their Sunday night show in featuring Four Socks scoring a "three peat" win the Open Pace, four trainers being honored as winners of the track's incentive program and Wally Hennessey hitting yet another grand slam.   Four Socks, superbly handled by Hennessey, led from first long stride to the wire to score a 1:53.3 win over a track dulled somewhat by torrential rains throughout the last two days.   The stout-closing Dee's Rocketman, grinding away the entire last lap, finished a neck back in second for Mickey McNichol while Sing For Me George finished a strong third for Dave Ingraham. Kotare Yael N, actually closing fastest of all, finished fourth while Fritzie Pic Up Man picked up the nickel in the classy million dollar quintet.   Beginning from his assigned outside post five, Four Socks, a rugged eight year-old gelded son of I Scoot Hanover, burst off the wings and into an early open lead before carving out panels of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:24.3 before a :29 finale held off a stubborn Dee's Rocketman in a photo finish.   Said Hennessey after the race, "First, I think the track crew did an amazing job in keeping the track in racing shape after all the rain we've had. Hats off to them. Second, even though Four Socks took a week off, he is such a great horse that a week off doesn't bother him at all. He was as sharp as usual leaving and he's got a great quality of being able to relax once he's on top or when things settle down after the dust settles.   "I'm so happy for Mike (trainer Murphy), who is recovering from a kidney transplant just a couple of days ago. This, I am sure, will speed up his recovery! There's nothing like a win to help things along."   The win pushed Four Socks scorecard to 5-2-3 in 15 starts, good for $26,208 this year for owners Geneva Stewart and Barbara Murphy, Mike's wife. He's banked $189,134 career-wise.   As the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Four Socks rewarded his faithful with a $3.60 mutuel.   Hennessey also won with Pacing Pretty Stable's Brown Titan ($4.40), JP Houle Stables' St Lads Lotto ($3.20), and Spirit Shadow ($2.60), also owned by the JP Houle Stable.   Hall of Famer Hennessey now has an astounding 227 wins for the meet--a winning percentage of almost 27%.   St Lads Lotto and Spirit Shadow, by the way are trained by Gaston Lareau, who has closed the gap in the leading trainer competition and now trails John MacDonald by only two wins going into the final night of the season on Wednesday night.   Lareau has eight horses entered for the final night of the season on Wednesday night.   After the first race, Pompano Park's Racing Secretary Joe Frasure was in the winner's circle to present trainers Allen Saul, Kelly Case, Nick Surick (Allen Johnson accepting) and Gaston Lareau with monetary awards for winning their respective divisions in the unique incentive program designed to reward trainers stabled at the track for their season long participation.   The program, designed by Vice President-General Manager Troy Buswell, Director of Racing Stacy Cahill and Racing Secretary Joe Frasure, culminated with checks to Saul ($2,500), Case ($4,000), Surick ($6,000) and Lareau ($12,500).   The incentive program, for trainers stables on the grounds, will double for the 2018-2019 racing season, which gets underway in late October.   Racing continues on Wednesday night with this grand finale featuring 11 races and a mandatory payout in the Super Hi-5. The carryover going in is $18,822.23.   Post time is 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...May 21, 2018...Dee's Rocketman, catch-driven by Ed Hysell, came from dead last to take top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's featured Open Pace on Sunday night (May 20). The six year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven, last in his classy quintet once the wings opened and things settled down, collared stable-mate Sing For Me George, driven by Mickey McNichol, to stop the timer in 1:52.4 over a track labeled fast, but dulled at bit by persistent heavy rains earlier in the day. The official margin was a neck on the wire with Kotare Yael N, handled by Corey Braden, third, 1 1/4 lengths away after cutting panels of :27.3, :57 and 1:24. Fritzie Pic Up Man, in the garden spot for much of the way, finished fourth while Major Starlight picked up the nickel. At the outset, Kotare Yael, leaving from post four, burst off the wings, followed by Fritzie Pic Up, who used the rail in settling in right behind the leader with Sing For Me George next. Things began to heat up on the backside as Sing For Me George left his cozy spot in third to go into attack mode, setting up the second over journey for stable-mate Dee's Rocketman. Brushing an individual third panel a shade better than :26.4, Sing For Me George moved along side the leader turning for home, poked his head in front shortly thereafter, only to be nailed by his stable-mate, Dee's Rocketman just yards from the wire. In a post-race interview, driver Ed Hysell said, "Let me tell you, it's a pleasure to drive a horse like Dee's Rocketman. Once we had the live cover, he just knew what he had to do. I didn't ask him for anything, he did it all on this own. He must have paced his around :55 to get it done. He's got some motor in him." McNIchol, who trains both Sing For Me George and the winner, Dee's Rocketman, reflected, "I thought I better get moving once we were on the backside so I sent my horse (Sing For Me George). I knew we were in a tough spot going first up but I had no other choice since Wally's horse (Fritzie Pic Up Man) wasn't about to leave his nice spot. That helped Dee's Rocketman, I'm sure, because he had some live cover to follow. My horse had some fight in him tonight but just got nailed at the wire. I guess you could say that 'I did the dirty work and he (Hysell) picked up the pieces!" Owned by Joseph Martinelli, Sr., Dee's Rocketman won for the eight time this semester to push his 2018 earnings over the $60,000 plateau--$60,800 to be precise. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote-board, Dee's Rocketman paid $3.40 to his many faithful. That event capped an auspicious night for McNIchol as two of his trainees--Rockntouch and Blueberry Heaven--were one-two in the opener and McNIchol, himself, piloted Team Captain to victory to complete the early daily double sweep. Rockntouch, also a six year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven, got a picture perfect journey from McNichol to score over his late-charging stable-mate Blueberry Heaven in 1:54 sending his seasonal earnings to $20,649 for The Fred Monteleone Stable and Salvatore Promuto. He's banked $191,288 lifetime. As second choice In the betting, Rockntouch paid $4.60 to win. Team Captain, a six year-old son of Cam's Card Shark, scored in 1:55.2, using a :28.3 closing kick to hold off F Twenty Two by a neck. Joseph Martinelli, Sr. owns the winner, who scored his fifth win of the year to send his 2018 bounty to $29,114 and $182,325 career-wise. Team Captain paid $2,60 to his multitude of backers, completing the $9.40 early daily double. Racing continues Wednesday night with post time set at 7:20 p.m. for the 10 race program. The Super Hi-5 finale now has a carryover of $14,180. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...May 17, 2018...Hall of Fame harness racing driver Wally Hennessey put on a hall of fame performance at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (May 16), winning six of his seven driving assignments. In pushing his Pompano Park seasonal total to an astounding 219, Hennessey improved on his already lofty "Ty Cobb" like UDRS of .405 coming into the action, while improving his winning percentage to over 26%. He took the opener with Northern Dali ($3.40), finished third in the second race, and, after sitting out in race three, captured the remaining five races on the eight race program, winning with Just Like Lloyd ($5.20), Metro Glide ($3.60), Vodkancaviar ($6.80), Pink Gardenias ($3.60) and William Star ($3.20). Hennessey now has won 9,696 races during his Hall of Fame career. His heroics enabled trainers Gaston Lareau and Jamie Daley to attain training doubles with Lareau's successes being with J P Houle Stables Northern Dali and Lareau Stables own Metro Glide while Jamie Daley enjoyed winner's circle ceremonies with the Mike White and Dale Gilmour owned Just Like Lloyd and David Linker's Vodkancaviar--both enjoying their first win of the season. Reflecting on the night, a humble Hennessey said, "It's OK to give me credit for getting them home but, when you get catch-drives like this, it's very important to give credit to the trainers and caretakers of these horse getting them ready to go to the gate and perform at their best. "You never know how they'll be going to the gate, so, tonight, besides Gas (Gaston Lareau) and Jamie (Daley), both (Tom) Bigler (James) Quinn had their horses ready to race tonight. So, they and their caretakers are really the ones what deserve the credit." Racing continues on Sunday night with post time set at 7:20. The Super Hi-5 Finale has a carryover of $12,232. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL…May 15, 2018…Prominent harness racing breeder Betty L. McGreevy, 87, passed away recently in Aurora, Colorado. Known for her meticulous ways in caring for her horses, Mrs. McGreevy had been involved as an owner and breeder for several decades, breeding champions in Florida along the way. Born July 14, 1930 in Petersburg, Indiana, she, eventually, moved to Terre Haute, Indiana where she owned and operated Lark Commercial Painting and Sandblasting. After the passing of her first husband, Betty married Mike McGreevy, a champion mini race car driver in the 1950’s. They purchased a farm in Perrysville, Indiana and, in 1979, relocated to Trenton, Florida where they began breeding, training, racing and boarding Standardbreds. Among her many successes as a breeder were Spin Mogul, Cracker Gold and McRyan Michael, all Super Night champions during their respective racing seasons. In 1986, she was named Florida Breeder of the Year. Betty retired in 2014 and she and her husband moved to Bell, Florida before moving to Colorado. Her husband preceded her in death by 45 days. Known for her forthcoming wit, Betty once said, “My father was wider in the eyebrows than most men in the shoulders.” Betty McGreevy is survived by her daughter Elaine (Ed) Koschik, grandsons Mike (Jessica) and Chris, and four great-grandchildren, Ryan, Joshua, Matthew and Sophia. By John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL...May 10, 2018...As Hall of Fame harness racing driver Wally Hennessey lamented, "Sometimes, you need a little extra luck to reach the winner's circle." That was the case on Wednesday night as Boli inherited a win on Wednesday night in Pompano Park's trotting feature. The six year-old gelded son of Kadabra looked to be in a hopeless situation turning for home but took full advantage of the leader's miscue once they straightened away and went on to score a one length win over Thundercrest (Dave Ingraham) in 1:55.2. Cashahallic (John Moody), longest shot on the board, finished third while Railee Workable finished fourth. Up The Alley finished fifth in the classy sextet, paying the price for that earlier stated miscue in the lane. Indeed, it was Up The Alley, handled by Corey Braden and starting from the coveted post five, who out-sprinted the field as Boli, leaving from post four, settled in the garden spot. Up The Alley took the field through panels of :28, :56.4 and 1:25.3 and began sprinting away around that final bend, opening up a 3 1/2 length lead once they turned for home. But, suddenly, Up The Alley went up in the air and Boli took full advantage of that prolonged miscue and waltzed on to the victory. In a post race interview, Hennessey said, "Sometimes you need a little extra luck to reach the winner's circle" and, tonight, we had that little bit of extra luck. "I really didn't think we were going to beat the leader (Up The Alley) turning for home but, Boli took advantage and that was that! You know, Boli is by a world champion (Kadabra) and out of a world champion (Pizza Dolce) so he's always going to give a good account of himself. He's has inherited a lot of his sire's and dam's great traits." Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Boli evened up his scorecard at 3-3-3 in 10 starts, good for $31,160 this semester and $265,824 lifetime. Off as the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Boli returned $3.40 to win. Trainer John Mungillo had a hat trick on Wednesday night as Prince of Fame ($4.40), Roll With Faith ($2.60) and Gold Star Sonata ($5.80) all hit the winner's circle. Prince of Fame, owned by Amante Standardbreds, was driven by Corey Braden, Roll With Faith, owed by Mungillo along with Finish Line Investors and Lawrence Willer, had the driving services of Dave Ingraham. who also drove Papiernik's Gold Star Sonata to victory. Racing continues Sunday night with post time set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL…May 10, 2018…Pompano Park’s iconic handicapper, Ed Ransom, 77, passed away recently at North West Hospital in Coral Springs, Florida after a short illness. He, along with his brother, Ronald, published the popular Kelly’s Tip Sheet for many years. Edward John Ransom was born in the small town of Walton, New York on February 14, 1941 and was educated in New York before graduating from Duke University in 1965. Having taken an interest in law, he attended Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law, graduating from that private institution in 1969. Although he worked in various capacities in the field of law, his true passion was working in the equine industry and, indeed, he was able to find work as a timer and photo finish operator at various tracks, enabling him to create the tip sheet which has been a “bible” to many horse racing aficionados. In a recent interview, he said, “It gives me great satisfaction to pick a winner or two for our visitors at the track. Over the years, I have made countless friends so I wouldn’t trade places with anyone in any other vocation.” Mr. Ransom is survived by his wife, Glynis, two sisters, Marianne McNabb of Lake James, N. C. and Beth Ransom of Winter Springs, FL, as well as the aforementioned brother, Ronald, of Margate, Florida. Funeral arrangements are pending. by John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL...May 7, 2018...Four Socks, catch-driven by Wally Hennessey, took top honors in Pompano Park's featured Open Pace on Sunday night, stopping the timer in 1:52.4. The rugged gelded son of I Scoot Hanover showed his four socks to a classy field in scoring a wire-to-wire win off panels of :27, :56.4 and 1:24.2 before an effortless :28.2 finale left him 1 1/4 lengths up on Caviart Reagan, handled by Dave Ingraham. Favored Dee's Rocketman finished third for Mickey McNichol while Team Captain and Spirit Shadow completed the roster of the quintet. With post positions assigned, Hennessey, leaving from post position four, sent Four Socks whistling off the wings and into the lead and, after a swift opener, was able to get that second quarter breather that "really helped the cause." On the backside, things began to heat up rapidly with Dee's Rocketman surging and just a length off the leader around the final bend. But, once they straightened away, Four Socks had plenty left and was never threatened to the wire. After the race, Hennessey remarked, "Murph's horse (Four Socks) was sharp as a tack coming in. I knew that because I had been racing against him in recent weeks and we was full of pace late against Panocchio in his last start. So, when you know your competition and get an opportunity to drive a horse like this, it's a blessing. We got to the lead very easy and he was nice and relaxed during the second quarter which really helped the cause. "I'll tell you who gets the credit here--Mike's wife (Barbara) and Joan Uszak, who has been in this business just about forever, do just a fantastic job taking care of this horse. He is immaculate! They get all the credit because he was ready to race tonight." Trained by Mike Murphy for owners Barbara Murphy and Geneva Stewart, Four Socks won for the third time this year in 13 starts, good for $18,958 and $181,884 lifetime. Four Socks paid $4.20 to his multitude of faithful and kicked off a Pick-6 sequence that paid a generous $212.05 for the 50 cent ticket, despite the fact that, following Four Socks, four favorites won and the longest shot in the Pick-6 was 3 to 1. Racing resumes Wednesday night with post time set at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...May 3, 2018...Thundercrest, handled by Dave Ingraham, eked out a narrow victory in Pompano Park's top trot on Wednesday night (May 2), stopping the timer in 1:55.4, equaling his lifetime best performance. The ultra-consistent five year-old gelded son of Crest got up in the very last stride to edge by a stubborn Up The Alley, driven by Dewayne Minor--the winning margin being a head. Boli, beginning from the outside none post for driver Wally Hennessey, finished third while Railee Workable finished fourth. Overnight Shipper picked up the nickel in the classy field of nine. As the wing folded, Thundercrest, leaving from Pompano Park's coveted post five, was away sharply along with Up The Alley and MIdnite Craze with this trio all in search of the top spot early. Boli was also outside and looking for an improved place but, at the opening station in :28.4 over a somewhat dull racing oval, it was Thundercrest on top with Up The Alley in the garden spot and Midnite Craze on the attack and pressing forward. Midnight Craze was able to wrestle the lead around turn two and was two lengths clear at the half in a picked up :56.4. On the backside, Up The Alley surged from third and brushed forward, taking the lead from MIdnite Alley past the third marker in 1:26.4 with Thundercrest ready to pounce from the pocket and Boli second over. In the lane, the war between Up The Alley and Thundercrest really heated up as these two sprinted hard to the wire with Thundercrest's :28.3 individual finale getting the job done. After the race, the humble Dave Ingraham related, "This horse races good just about every start. He's handy, he's got gate speed, he can relax, he's go the go power late and he's got a winning attitude. A big part of this win took place a few days before when he drew the five post and the others, especially Wally's trotter (Boli) drew outside of us." Trained by Dave's son, Dustin Ingraham, for owner MIke Richards, Thundercrest now sports a 7-4-3 scorecard in 18 starts, good for $43,835. The win also pushed his career bankroll over the $100,000 mark--$101,581 to be precise. Off as the even-money favorite on the tote-board, Thundercrest paid $4.20 to win. The companion event carded as an Open III, went to the rugged mare Diamond Dagger, driven by Bryce Fenn. This eight year-old daughter of ABC Garland, was outside and grinding forward just about every step of the mile--in her case a mile and 20 yards--to score in 1:56.3. Prairie Diamonds, with Dewayne Minor in the bike, finished second, two lengths away, while Kegler Hanover, who cut all the panels for Dave Ingraham, finished third. Vicki All and William star picked up the minor awards in the field of nine. The 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Modern Mercury, made a miscue at the start and finished sixth. In a post-race interview, driver Bryce Fenn said, "This is the first time I've driven this mare and Mark (trainer O'Mara) said she's not afraid to take some air. The fractions were comfortable for her and she just kept churning away until the got to the front turning for home. She did this all on her own. All I did was steer. After we got back from the winner's circle, Mark thanked me for driving her. Heck, I thanked him right back for letting me drive a mare of this quality." Owned by trainer O'Mara along with Paul Johnson and Melvin Schmucker, Diamond Dagger "evened-up" her scorecard at 3-3-3 in 14 starts and now sports $31,880 this semester and $266,062 lifetime. Off as third choice at 7 to 1, Diamond Dagger returned $17.60 to her faithful. Diamond Dagger's win also closed out the track's Pick-5 for the night with nary a single ticket on the 5-2-5-6-8 combo resulting in a carry-over of $4,707, thus, the track will offer a $20,000 guarantee on the Pick-5 for Sunday. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park          

Pompano Beach, FL...April 30, 2018...Panocchio, earned his 60th career victory on Sunday night (April 29), scoring that milestone win in the harness racing feature Open II Pace at Pompano Park in 1:51.3 over Four Socks (Tyler Shehan) and Kotre Yael (Corey Braden) with the favored Rebellious and Major Starlight also earning minor awards in the classy septet. Wally Hennessey was in the grand gelding's sulky for the occasion--for the 38th time at Pompano Park--and, despite being assigned the outside post position, was able to work himself to the top through a :27.3 opener before posting number of :56 an 1:23.3 along the way. After the event, Hennessey related, "He's eight years-old now and might not be able to go in track record time anymore, but he's tough as nails, especially when he grabs the racetrack. He sure knows how to dig in when they're coming at him and tonight was no different. "I had to send him from this outside post because he's always anxious to join the party when the gate opens. Once on top, he did the rest all on his own. There's no use to ask him for more because he knows what job hew has to do and he does the best he can." Trained by Jim Mattison, who co-owns with Emile Johnson, Jr., Panocchio now sports a lifetime bankroll of $520,843 with $29,700 of that this semester on the strength of a 2-4-0 scorecard in eight starts. The victory was the fifth on the card for Hennessey, vaulting him over the 200 mark for the 2017-2018 season at Pompano Park. Hennessey got his first win of the night in the second race with Warhorse in 1:54.1.--that eight year-old gelded son of Jereme's Jet scoring his first win of the year for trainer James Quinn, who co-owns with H. Nelson Baitzel III. Win number two on the evening was with Caviart Reagan, a four year-old son of Bettor's Delight, who toured South Florida's five-eighths mile oval in 1:52, equaling his lifetime best. Owned and trained by Jim McDonald, Caviart Reagan blasted to the lead on the backside from the garden spot and paced his final half in :55.3 for the impressive score. Hennessey's 200th win of the season came with Art Again, earning his first win of the year for Gaston Lareau, who trains for JP Houle Stables, The seven year-old gelded son of Dragon Again won gate-to-wire in 1:54.2, a new lifetime mark. The sharp Florida bred Prairie Panther, winning his 2018 debut in a lifetime best 1:52.2, earned the grand slam for Hennessey as that four year-old son of Royel Millenium cut panels of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24.4 before a :27.3 finale sealed that deal for co-owners Mike Deters and Laurie Lee Poulin. Panocchio then capped the five-win performance, vaulting Hennessey's total to 202. Earlier in the evening, The Florida Amateur Driving Club held their weekly event with Dein Spriggs winning with his own Garlandsandpearls in a thrilling three horse photo finish in 1:59.1. In a winner's circle presentation after the race, Club President Deion Spriggs was joined in the winner's circle by FADC members to present a generous donation to Latinos Salud, founded 10 years ago to create a safe space for Latino gentlemen and their partners for support and resources covering HIV testing, intervention, counseling and health programs. Executive Director Dr. Stephen Fallon accepted the donation by saying, "We appreciate the generosity and interest shown Latinos Salud and salute the harness racing community and the Florida Amateur Driving Club in assisting us with this much needed donation." Racing continues on Wednesday night with the Super Hi-5 carryover of $5,102. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...April 24, 2018...Second Sister, catch-driven by John MacDonald, sizzled over the Pompano Park oval on Monday night (April 23), stopping the harness racing timer in 1:54.2 in the Open II Handicap Trot. The six year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, leaving from the outside post in the bulky nine horse field with a trailer, forged her way to the front a stride or two before the :28 opening panel and then tacked on subsequent fractions of :57.2 and 1:25.4 before her :28.3 finale soundly put the finishing touches on her victory. Diamond Dagger, handled by Dave Ingraham, was second, almost six lengths away while Modern Mercury, with Wally Hennessey in her sulky, was another neck back in third. Vicki All and Celebrity Artemis also earned minor awards in the classy field. Driver MacDonald, catch-driving the mare after regular driver Jim Meittinis chose to drive stable mate Prairie Diamonds, had high praise for Second Sister remarking, "Well, this is a very fast mare and a pleasure to drive. I thought I might have a tougher time trying to make the lead but we got there easier than I thought. Once we got to the front, we didn't really have much pressure and she did this all on her own. She was very impressive and her manners were impeccable." With regard to Johnny Mac's last statement, trainer Mike Deters said, "She (Second Sister) was bred a short time ago to Cantab Hall and, since then, she's been very happy and very calm. This mile was tremendous and, overcoming this type of competition and the outside post, was very impressive. I am very proud of her." Deters trains the mare for owner Jerold Hawks. Second Sister, who won her last start in 1:55.3 over a track labeled "good," extended her streak to two with the win and now sports a 4-1-3 scorecard in 12 starts, good for earnings of $35,750 this semester and $399,049 lifetime. Off as the second choice at 2 to 1, Second Sister paid $6.60 to her many faithful. Racing continues on Tuesday night with Boli and Prairie Fortune locking horns in the featured Open Trot. Thundercrest, Celebrity Eventsy, Overnight Shipper, Entranced,Jack Rules and War Cry Hall complete the talented $2 million field. IN the "better for the bettor" department, there is a $4,281 carryover in the tracks Pick-6, which begins in race three. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park        

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