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Hollywood Sign A, given a very heady drive by Matt Krueger, earned the marquee headline at Pompano Park on Sunday night, hitting the wire in 1:51.2 in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace. Leading from first long stride to that long final one, the nine year-old Aussie bred Life Sign gelding held off the courageous effort by Dee's Rocketman, handled by Andy Santeramo, to score by three-parts-of-a-length. The Onlyest One, with John MacDonald in his sulky, finished third after a garden journey. Drachan Hanover finished fourth while Kotare Yael picked up the nickel in the talented sextet. With the advantageous five post position, Hollywood Sign A pushed the wings out of his way at the start and zipped through an opening panel of :26.4 with The Onlyest One next and Drachan Hanover third. Meanwhile, Dee's Rocketman had no choice but to let the chips fall where they may while the war was going on up front. But, there was no war during the second quarter as Krueger guided his charge through that next panel in :30.2, reaching the half in :57.1. Thinking of thwarting any challenges on the backside, Krueger sent Hollywood Sign A on his second :26.4 binge, reaching the third station in 1:24. While this was going on, Santeramo had Dee's Rocketman in high gear, as well, as Dee's Rocketman went on a :26 binge of his own and just a tad more than a length away around the final bend. In the lane, these two duked it out through a :27.2 finale with Hollywood Sign A not giving a single inch during the drive home. After the race, driver Matt Krueger lamented, "Hollywood (Sign A) has raced well every start here and tonight was no exception. As you saw, he can fly off the wings and that second quarter was a big help with nobody making a move on him. I gave him a tap on the backside (backstretch) and he went into another gear. It's tough to gain on a :54.1 final half but Andy's (Santeramo) horse (Dee's Rocketman) must've come his last half in :53 and a piece, so the post positions made a big difference here." For Hollywood Sign A, it was his second win in 10 starts this semester, good for $28,485 so far this young season. Lifetime, he's banked $228,193 for Krueger, who owns and trains the winner, as well. Off as the fourth choice in this evenly matched field, Hollywood Sign A paid $10.40. In the $13,200 Open II Pace, American Hustle, with Bryce Fenn in the bike, scored a sharp win in 1:51.2--his margin also a bit less than a length over Annihilator, driven by Wally Hennessey. The latter chased the eventual winner after yielding at the :27 opener but couldn't quite get to him through subsequent panels of :55.4 and 1:23.1. Pointsman, handled by Rick Plano, was next, followed by Rebellious and Fritzie Pic Up Man. American Hustle now has a 2-2-0 scorecard in six starts for owner-trainer Bryan Lawrence with earnings now at $19,275 in 2018. He paid $5.40 to win. Also of note, when Andy Santeramo piloted Team Captain to a photo finish win in Sunday's fifth race in 1:52.3, it triggered a 50 cent Pick-5 payoff of $10,156.55 to the one lucky player who had the correct 1-2-1-1-5 combo. This followed a fourth race 20 cent pentafecta payoff of $7,611.42 after Ron Cusimano guided Extracurricular to a handy win in Florida Amateur Driving Club competition. Monday's program features the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares featuring Ubettorbeturlife (2-1) and All Charged Up (8-5) and Galarina (9-2), among others. The $18,000 Pop-Up Final is also carded as the nine race and features Surge Seelster (7-5) and Arsenal (7-2) in the marathon 1 1/4 mile distance. In the "better for the bettor" department, the Super Hi-5 carryover of $34,554.82 is featured in the 10th race finale. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...March 15, 2018...Pompano Park offered a pair of $17,000 memorial trotting events on Wednesday night honoring the memory of two harness racing longtime horsemen, Fred Cohen and Paul Bernardo. Ironically, both events, carded at the added distance of 1 1/4 miles, went to residents of the Mike Deters Stable--Second Sister and Prairie Fortune--with both driven to victory by the "Cardiac Kid," Jim Meittinis. Second Sister, a six year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, was given a picture perfect drive by Meittinis to score a win measuring 2 1/4 lengths over Vicki All, handled by J.D. Yoder with Diamond Dagger, last turning for home, rallying for third under the direction of Andy Shetler. Celebrity Artemis finished fourth while Explosive Jet picked up the minor award in the classy septet. At the outset, She's All In burst off the wings from post six for the early lead with Second Sister, leaving from post five, also leaving with alacrity to settle in the garden spot. With tepid panels of :28.2, :58.4 and 1:28, Meittinis left his cozy pocket to take command on the backside the final time and, after reaching the mile marker in 1:57.3, used a :29.4. final panel to score the handy win. About 25 minutes later, Prairie Fortune, the six year-old gelded son of Arapa Victory, went behind the Hummer Starting Gate with the "Cardiac Kid" in his bike and, at the end of his 10 furlong event, found himself the victor by 1 3/4 lengths over the late charging Boli, handled by Wally Hennessey. The even-money favorite, Born To Thrive (Rick Plano) was a fast closing third but made a miscue deep in the lane and was placed last, leaving Foundonabeach third for John MacDonald and Lucid Thoughts and Zoraze picking up the minors in this octet. In that one, it was Foundonabeach first away with Zoraze a cozy second, Uncle Hanover third and Boli fourth, finding a good spot after leaving from post six. Meanwhile, Prairie Fortune dawdled near the back of the pack with Meittinis now questioning his own strategy after tepid opening panels of :29.2 and 1:00. "Yeah," Meittinis said, "when I saw the half in a minute, I thought I was in trouble." But the tempo quickly quickened with a :27.4 third panel as Robbie Hoffman sent his Overnight Shipper on a speed binge to take command. By now, Prairie Fortune was in high gear from the back and on a double-bubble binge of his own, reaching fourth, less than three lengths off the lead. Straightening away for the drive home, Prairie Fortune sprinted on by, holding off Boli, who only found racing room when it was too late to do damage to the winner. "He raced great," Meittinis continued, saying, "He (Prairie Fortune) can sprint forever and I thought the added distance would help his cause. But, like I said, I was worried about that 1:00 half. "As for Second Sister, well, there wasn't much happening leaving the gate so I thought I'd try and get her in a good spot early. It was a dream trip for her. "By the way, credit must be given to trainer Mike Deters because he always has them ready to compete at the highest level. And those caretakers he has are absolutely fantastic. Donna (Horly) takes care of Second Sister and Debbie (Gray-Gagnon) and Richard (Young) take care of Prairie Fortune and, believe me, you won't find any better." Trainer Mike Deters was especially gratified with the wins saying, "I was choked up with tears in the winner's circle with these two races. Fred (Cohen) and Paul (Bernardo) were both close friends of mine and this, indeed, is a night I will never forget. I miss them!" Summarizing, Second Sister won for the second time this year in eight attempts with her 2-1-2 scorecard good for $21,000 for owner Jerald Hawks. She's banked $384,299 lifetime. Off at 8 to 5, she paid $5.40 to win. Prairie Fortune won for the 40th time in his career in 93 starts with his earnings now standing at $311.360 for--$23,320 this semester on the strength of his 3-1-1 record in eight starts for Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin. Off as fourth choice at 7 to 1, he rewarded his faithful with a $17.00 mutual. Racing continues of a four night per week schedule--Sunday through Wednesday with the Sunday card featuring a carryover in the Super Hi-5 of $29,330.30. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...March 13, 2018...On the heels of a 13 to 1 longshot--Dee's Ropcketman--taking the Fred Monteleone Memorial on Sunday night at Pompano Park, yet another 13 to 1 proposition took the Monday night harness racing feature at the South Florida oval. Ubettorbeturlife, handled by Mike Simons, won the feature like any 1 to 5 shot should--by open lengths--but, instead of being 1 to 5, this seven year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight paid $28.20 to her faithful in scoring a handy win in 1:52.1 measuring 5 1/2 lengths over All Charged Up, driven by John MacDonald. Galarina, with Andy Santeramo in her sulky, closed to finish third while Wild Wanda was fourth. Carol's Z Tam picked up the nickel in a very classy sextet. As the Hummer's wings folded, All Charged (post six), left with her usual alacrity to take command and sip through an opening panel of :27.1 with Wild Wanda (post five), also alert leaving, landing in the garden spot with Ubettorbeturlife (post one) a cozy third. Shortly after that opening stanza, Wild Wanda left her pocket and took command, taking the field half way home in :56.2. Three-eighths form home, Simons asked Ubettorbeturlife by tilting her to the outside and she responded with a burst that took her to the top past the third station in 1:24. From there, she widened her margin with every stride with a :28.1 finale to score the handy win. After the victory, driver Mike Simons related, "Trent (trainer Stohler) said not to be timid with her and, instead, to be aggressive. She was coming off a qualifier and, since this was the first time I drove her, I really didn't know what to expect. I didn't have to ask her too much, that's for sure. One chirp and she was on her way." For Ubettorbeturlife, her 2018 consistency shows with a 4-1-2 scorecard in seven starts, good for $24,390 for the Trent Stohler Stable and Dolne Stable. Lifetime, the classy mare has banked $329,090 to go along with her Hoosier Park mark of 1:49.4. Racing continues on Tuesday night with the Dash-for-the-Cash Trot featuring world record holder Sooo Handosme, who will match strides with Prayer Session, BJAnthiny, William Star, Thundercrest and Legend Field the five-eighths mile sprint. With a large carryover of $6,224 in the Pick-5, Pompano Park is offering a $40,000 guaranteed pool on that wager, which begins with Race 1. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. $6,224 Pick 5 Carryover; $40,000G Pool for Pompano Tuesday Only one betting favorite was victorious on Monday (March 12) at Pompano Park, and a string of upsets to begin the card resulted in a $6,224 Pick 5 carryover into Tuesday night.  Track officials, in conjunction with the USTA’s Strategic Wagering Program, have placed an ‘instant guarantee’ of $40,000 on the total pool for Tuesday night.  The 50-cent Pick 5 begins in race one.  The Tuesday card will also offer a single-night Pick 6 carryover of $759, with the Jackpot Hi-Five ballooning to over $22,000 into the nightcap.  Live racing continues at the Isle Casino Pompano Park four nights per week, with a first post of 7:20 p.m. every Sunday through Wednesday.  by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...March 12, 2018...Dee's Rocketman, smartly driven by Andy Santeramo, pulled off a 13 to 1 upset harness racing victory in the $30,000 final of the Fred Monteleone Memorial held at Pompano Park on Sunday night (March 11.)   The six year-old ridgeling son of Rock N Roll Heaven covered the extended distance in 2:21.3, pinning a defeat measuring 3 1/4 lengths on track record holder Panocchio, handled by Wally Hennessey. Doo Wop Hanover, with Tony Kerwood in the bike, finished third while Hollywood Sign A finished fourth. Drachan Hanover was fifth while earning the final award in the very classy octet.   The task appeared to be a steep one for Dee's Rocketman going in because, first, the draw put him in the outside post position in a field of stellar performers whose career bankrolls exceeded $3,000,000 and, second, Dee's Rocketman was the "poorest" one coming in with $143,997.   That didn't matter to the confident Santeramo, who came into the action as the second leading winning percentage driver at Pompano Park with 54 wins in 227 starts.   As he said prior to the race, "You never know, in this game, what is going to transpire on the track. When that gate opens, you have to make decisions and, with the outside post, my decision will depend on what the others do. I'm certainly not going to bang heads early with them in a longer race. So, we'll see what happens!"   From the opening bell, the action was swift as Rocky's Z Tam left alertly from the rail, Hollywood Sign was on the engine from post five and Uncomprmising Z Tam was eager leaving, as well, leaving favored Panocchio fourth--but not for long.   After an opening panel in :27.3, Panocchio went in search of the top spot and, after a half in :57.1, secured--again, but not for long.   The pace quickened on the backside as Hollywood Sign A went on a second speed binge, taking command past the third station in a picked up 1:24.4.   Through all of this, Santeramo played the waiting game early before catching live cover, first, third over, them second over around the final bend with the mile timed in 1:52.2.   Tipping three wide turning for home, Dee's Rocketman was in the highest of gears, mowing down his foes one-by-one and then drawing clear in the final stages.   After the race, Santeramo said, "Like I said, you never know what is going to happen on the track. They were all banging heads early, I caught live cover, the flow brought us into contention and, because Mickey (trainer McNichol) has this horse so sharp, he saved the best for last. When I tipped him, he responded and I thought to myself, 'it's all over.' That's how strong he felt when I tipped him. To beat a field like this is, well, it's unbelievable, because this was a very classy group."   For Dee's Rocketman, it was his sixth win in nine starts this year, good for $39,735. And, although he's still the "poorest" of his group in lifetime earnings--now at $158,997--he's the richest of the group this semester for owner Joseph Martinelli, Sr.   Off as fifth choice in the wagering, Dee's Rocketman paid $29.40 to win.   The $15,000 Open II, carded at the same distance of 1 1/4 miles, went to The Onlyest One, driven by Wally Hennessey, in 2:22.3.   American Hustle, teamed up with Bryce Fenn. was second, three-parts-of-a-length away, while Rebellious, driven by Scott Zeron, was next after a sweeping move from sixth to the lead during the mid-portion of the race. Dakota Jack and Bestinthebusiness earned the minors.   Racing continues on Monday night with the Super Hi-5 jackpot ballooning to $18,213.   Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...March 8, 2018...Chalk players reigned supreme at Pompano Park on Wednesday night as nine of the 10 races were won by favorites or co-favorites--one of those being A TC Queenie in the $12,500 Open Handicap Trot for the harness racing mares. A TC Queenie, the sharp five year-old daughter of Triumphant Caviar, was a popular winner despite having been assigned the outside post in her classy million dollar septet. Trained and driven by Rick Schaut, who co-owns with his sister, Trish Soulsby, A TC Queenie went grinding to the front, taking command at the opening station in a swift :28. From there, she carded panels of :56.4 and 1:25.3 before holding off the late surging Vicki All, with J.D. Yoder in her bike, by three parts-of-a-length. Second Sister finished third, a length away for Jim Meittinis, while She's All In, enjoying a garden journey throughout, was fourth, two lengths away. Explosive Jet picked up the nickel. In a post-race interview, driver Rick Schaut said, "You know, I'm just so proud of this filly (mare). She has just a great attitude, love to compete, and gives her all every start. To be blessed with her at my age is just unbelievable. And to have my sister as a partner, it's just very special. "We bought her as a baby and she's one of our family. I couldn't be more proud. Like I said, this is a blessing and we are so appreciative to have her. My sister was holding her 'Queenie' pillow the whole time!" Now sporting three wins in her six 2018 starts, A TC Queenie has banked $19,010 this semester and $291,776 lifetime to go along with her 1:53 mark set at Scioto Downs last season. As the 8 to 5 tote-board favorite, A TC Queenie paid $5.20 to win. Also on Wednesday night, Prairie Fortune earned his 39th career victory--second this year--with a very sharp win in 1:55 for Jim Meittinis. The six year-old gelded son of Arapa Victory pinned an easy victory measuring 2 1/2 lengths on Railee Workable, with Rick Plano in the bike. Skyway Pippen was third for Joe Sanzeri while pacesetting Winemaster Hanover finished fourth. Stache completed the order of finish in the quintet. Away third as Winemaster Hanover sawed off quick panels of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:25.4, Prairie Fortune swept to the lead around the final bend and drew off on the strength of a :28.4. finale. The win sent Prairie Fortune's career bankroll vaulting over the $300,000 plateau--$302,860 to be precise. Off at a dime-to-a-dollar, Prairie Fortune paid $2.20 to his multitude of followers. As mentioned, A TC Queenie and Prairie weren't the only favorites to prevail as co-favorite Noble Anthony (Mike Simons-$5.00) took the opener while Deepwell (MIke Simons-$3.80), Bucketlist Hanover (Dave Ingraham)-$2.40), Mysharona Bluechip (MIke Simons-$2.80) Dreadpirateroberts (Wally Hennessey-$3.40) and Hot Art (Rick Plano-$3.40) were all popular winners. The lone non-favorite to hit the winner's circle was Chocolate Xplosion, handled by Alessandro Spano, who paid $10.40 to win. Racing continues on Saturday night with Super Hi-5 Jackpot of $13,644.68 awaiting. Also, post positions have been drawn for Sunday's $30,000 Fred Monteleone Memorial Final going the added distance of 1 1/4 miles. Leg winners Rocky's Z Tam (post 1), Panocchio (3), Hollywood Sign A (5) and Dees Rocketman (8), will be vying for the crown against Drachan Hanover (2), Uncmprmising Z Tam (4), Doo Wop Hanover (6) and Sing For Me George (7). Post time for the Saturday and Sunday programs is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park            

Pompano Beach, FL...March 6, 2018...Pompano Park management has announced a 20% purse increase beginning with the racing program of Monday, March 12. This follows on the heels of a recent 10% increase announced just days ago. The increase reflects management's appreciation of horsemen and their support of the racing at South Florida's only pari-mutuel harness racing track. Racing continues through May. In other track news, post positions will be drawn tomorrow for Sunday's $30,000 Fred Monteleone Memorial Final, which is scheduled to be contested at 1 1/4 miles. The first leg was contested at five-eighths of a mile while the second leg was lengthened to the standard one mile distance. Track record holder Panocchio, Hollywood Sign A, Rocky's Z Tam and Dee's Rocketman, all winners in their respective legs of the series, are expected to return for the final.     John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...March 5, 2018...Dee's Rocketman and Panocchio each won photo finish decisions as the Fred Monteleone Memorial Series continued at Pompano Park on Sunday night (March 4). After the five-eighths mile sprint in the opening leg of the three race series, the distance stretched to the normal mile distance in this round with both winners hitting the wire in 1:52.2 in each of these $12,000 events. Dee's Rocketman, driven by Mickey McNichol, scored his fifth win in seven 2018 starts in the opener, holding off the furious late surge of Drachan Hanover, handled by Wally Hennessey, by a head. Rocky's Z Tam, with Ricky Macomber, Jr. in his sully, finished third with Lyons Johnny next. A Cool Card completed the first race roster in this quintet. At the outset, Rocky's Z Tam zipped off the wings into an early lead, taking the field through a sizzling opening panel of :26.2. Shortly thereafter, Lyons Johnny (John MacDonald) made a sharp quarter move to the top and took the field half way through the mile in :55. On the backside, Dee's Rocketman, away fifth and last, began sprinting first up, reaching third and gnawing away past the third station in 1:23.3 with Drachan Hanover now in pursuit, as well. Turning for home, it turned into a sprint to the wire with Dee's Rocketman holding off Drachan Hanover on the wire. In a post-race interview, driver-trainer Mickey McNichol related, "of course, the quick pace help us a bit and my horse does his best from off the pace. He doesn't mind the open air and, when I sent him first up on the backside looking for some cover, there wasn't any--but that didn't bother him at all. He just kept on going and we held off a very good horse (Drachan Hanover) at the end of the mile." Dee's Rocketman now has banked $24,485 with his quintet of wins this young season. Lifetime, the six year-old ridgeling son of Rock N Roll Heaven has bounty of $143,747 to go along with his Pompano Park mark of 1:50.4 for breeder-owner Joseph Martinelli, Sr. Off as the second choice at 3 to 1, Dee's Rocketman paid $8.80 to win. Panocchio, the track record holder at Pompano Park, was driven by Wally Hennessey and held off a very determined Doo Wop Hanover, handled by Anthony Kerwood, by a neck. Uncmprmising Z Tam, with Ricky Macomber, Jr. in his bike, finished third after cutting fractions of :27.3, 56.1 and 1:24. Hollywood Sign finished fourth after appearing to lack racing room turning for home. Sing For Me George earned the minor award in the field of five. Panocchio, the now eight year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, was given a well deserved two month rest in mid-December and had his initial 2018 start last week in the first leg of the Monteleone Memorial--the five-eighths mile sprint--where he finished second after sawing off the panels of :27.1 and :55.1 in an event won by Hollywood Sign in 1:08.2, just off world record time. This time around, Panocchio was reserved off the early pace before going first up on the backstretch, engaging in war with the leader before pushing his nose in front mid-stretch and then holding off the surging Doo Wop Hanover. Panocchio, handled by Wally Hennessey   - Skip Smith Photo Trainer Jim Mattison was very happy with his charge's performance saying, "He needed the time off after a tough racing season--31 starts--and, you know, they aren't machines, so you hope for the best every time they step foot on the racetrack. I don't train him much--maybe 2:20 or 2:30--but he sure knows what to do when he gets back of the gate." Panocchio now has 59 career wins (37 at Pompano Park) in 141 starts with earnings now vaulting over the $500,000 plateau with the win--$500,143 to be precise--for trainer Mattison, who co-owns with Emile Johnson, Jr. Off at 4 to 5, Panocchio paid $3.60 to win. The Fred Monteleone Memorial concludes next week with a purse of $30,000 awaiting in the final leg going 1 1/4 miles. Racing continues Monday night with first post set for 7:20 p.m.   John Berry for Pompano Park                

Pompano Beach, FL...March 4, 2018...On a festive cool Saturday evening at South Florida's Pompano Park, Team Miller edged by Team Tetrick in the 2018 harness racing edition off the Pro-Am Challenge sponsored by the Florida Amateur Driving Club (FADC). The grand event, honoring the Make-A-Wish Foundation and New Vocations, raised several thousand dollars for both from the FADC and on-track donations as poster and autographed hats were distributed at the end of the festivities. The final tally was 159-146 with Team Miller, led by David Miller, winning after trailing Team Tetrick, captained by Tim Tetrick, through the first four of the five race extravaganza. Miller got things rolling in the opener winning with the Dan Gassien trained-Jemaxpo Racing Stable owned Feelin Lucky as the 3 to 5 favorite. Miller sent the eventual winner on a double-bubble binge three-eighths into the journey to secure the lead half way through and then went on to score by a length over Mittnage A Trois, driven by Tetrick, in a season's best 1:55.3 mile. Amateur drivers Bob Hechkoff (Follow The Dream), Lee Morris (Sheer Desire) and Sky Walker (Country Baran) were next in the field of 10. The score after "round one" was Tetrick 34, Miller 27. Amateur driver Steve Oldford took the second event, guiding his own and trained Mulligan BI to an 11 to 1 upset win over Zorgwijk Impact, driven by Joe Pennacchio, in 1:59.2. Tetrick was third with Caviart Cruiser while Joe Faraldo was next with Garlandsandpearls. The Billy Muggleston driven Bad Cantab was fifth. Miller, by the way, was ninth with Without Me As as his charge was hung out to dry like wet laundry vying for the lead half way through the mile. After "round two," it was Team Tetrick 68-Team Miller 54. Miller and Tetrick finished one-two again in the third race--Miller winning with E R Taylor, off as the 6 to 5 tote-board favorite, in 1:56.4 with Tetrick just a neck back with Princess Delcine., John Campagnuolo, driving Rockin BLue Star, rallied for third while Dein Spriggs piloted Dontcloseyoureyes to a fourth place finish. Gary Barbere picked up the nickel with Alexa's Hope after starting from the second tier. The winner, by the way, gave trainer Gassien and owner Jemaxpo Racing double a double on the card. "Round three" score: Team Tetrick 95-Team Miller 88. In race four, Tetrick drove the even-money favorite Crown Point to a lifetime best performance 1:58 win for Tyler Shehan, who trains the five year-old gelded son of Crazed for Janie Hartley. Keystone Thomas, with Bob Hechkoff in his sulky, finished second with the Miller driven Love Hunter next after a difficult journey from the outside post nine. Shane Arsenault finished fourth with Lets Leavem while Bob Krivelin was next with Holiday Spirit. The score after "round four" was Team Tetrick 128--Team Miller 116. With the finale lurking just ahead, Team Miller needed a big rally and they got it as they finished 1-2-3 to overwhelm Team Tetrick with a 43-18 win in the final leg. Mario Dessureault driving his own MIss Flora, came from some nine lengths out of it at the third station, clocked in a speedy 1:25.2, to collar pacesetting, Jamie Marra Prayer Session a sixteenth out and then hold off David Miller's Bad I Am, the latter getting up for second over Prayer Session. Its Complicated, handled by Tetrick, finished fourth, recovering from a miscue mid-mile. The Campagnuolo driven Pixie Queen finished fifth to finalize the final score. Over 20 FADC amateur drivers participated with their own donations and the generous awards to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and New Vocations pushed the Club's donations past the $190,000 marl. After the third race, winner's circle festivities were held honoring the retirement of 14 year-old Rush N Supreme, closing out his grand career 51 wins in 298 career starts and earnings of $352,176. Trainer driver Sky Walker brought the gallant gelding back to the winner's circle for the blanket presentation and a new life provided by the aforementioned New Vocations, the organization that provides "second careers" for retired equine athletes as pleasure horses for riding of therapeutic horses for healing. Ashley Tetrick was on hand for the presentation and Tim Tetrick was in the winner's circle, as well, explaining, "New Vocations is such an important organization giving our equine athletes a second acreer after giving us their heart and soul on the racetrack. They do such great work in so many ways." Emily White was on hand for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and she was ecstatic over the enthusiasm shown for her great cause. "It takes about $5,000 to make a wish come true for a youngster," she related, "and, tonight, the Florida Amateur Driving Club and Mr. Miller and Mr. Tetrick will make yet another wish come true. We are so appreciative of their ef the efforts of Mr. (Dein) Spriggs and the entire club. There are no sufficient words!" Spriggs countered saying, "it takes the cooperation of many of put on a show like this, so I'd like to thank our amateur drivers and Racing Secretary Joe Frasure for his grand assistance in putting this together. It really takes an army and we are so fortunate to have a great one here at Pompano. Several racing celebrities were on hand for the extravaganza, including U.S.T.A Executive Director Mike Tanner, Hall of Fame Marketing Director Chris Tully, both of whom were generous with their time and support for a splendid night of racing at Pompano Park. by John Berry for Pompano Park and the F.A.D.C.          

Pompano Beach, FL…February 28, 2018…Pompano Park will host the Miller-Tetrick Challenge on Saturday night with both super-stars—David Miller and Tim Tetrick— seeking superiority for the benefit of two worthy charitable organizations—the Make-A- Wish Foundation and New Vocations.   The event, organized by the Florida Amateur Driving Club pits Miller, 53, a winner of over 12,000 races and $222,000,000 in purse earnings for harness horse owners, against Tetrick, 36, who has well over 10,000 wins and close to $190,000,000 in purse winnings, in a team event also featuring many of the top amateur drivers in the sport.   Miller and Tetrick will serve as captains of their respective teams consisting of 21 amateur drivers in a five race competition with the winning team awarded bragging rights with both of the aforementioned charities becoming beneficiaries of the friendly-but highly competitive—competition.   Miller, who will be competing for the Make-A- Wish Foundation, said of his upcoming Pompano Park appearance, “I just love what the Florida Amateur Driving Club is doing here. It’s not only a pleasure to be participating, it is a true honor. Like the Make-A- Wish Foundation people say, ‘one moment changes everything,’ and we know that our efforts will make many moments possible to change the lives of our children.”   Tetrick will be in the sulky for the benefit of New Vocations, an organization that provides a “safety net” through rehabilitation, education and placement for retired racehorses.   In speaking about New Vocations, Tetrick said, “You know, our horses give their hearts and souls with every stride on the racetrack and I believe that, after they are done in that phase of their career, we should help them in their next career, whether it be as a pleasure horse or as a therapeutic horse.”   In a joint statement, F.A.D.C. President Dein Spriggs and Treasurer Tom Eichas echoed the sentiments of both Miller and Tetrick saying, “This is what our sport needs—making it an important vehicle that can benefit worthy charities and their recipients throughout North America.   I think it’s great that two of our sport’s best drivers have turned into two of our best philanthropists in working on behalf of our sport and its image—great horsemen they are but, even more important, even greater men.”   The festivities at Pompano Park get under way Saturday night with post time set for 7:20 p.m.   John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL...March 1, 2018...While Modern Mercury and Born To Thrive shared the Wednesday night spotlight with victories in their respective $11,000 Open trotting events, they played "second fiddle" to Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 finale, as one unique ticket had the correct 7-3-5-9-6 combo worth $282,244.66. Purchased through Xpressbet, the as yet unidentified winner had the 9 to 2 chance, BJ Lorado, with Andy Santeramo driving, on top with Deepwell (22 to 1) second, Savin Rock (77 to 1) third, Deli-Craze (5 to 1) fourth and Juts Like Bud (30 to 1) fifth. The even money favorite, Cowboy Hall, made an early miscue to set things in motion for the record Pompano Park payoff. Those who may have caught the other exotic offerings in the race were handsomely rewarded, as well, as the trifecta returned $4,615.00, and the 20 cent Superfecta paid $8,239.36. On the race track, Modern Mercury scored a repeat win in her event as driver Wally Hennessey sent this five year-old daughter of Donato Hanover straight to the front and recorded fractions of :27, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before her :29.3 finale sealed the deal in 1:54.4, a seasonal best. Trained by Rob Harmon for owner John Campagnuolo, Modern Mercury hit the wire 1 1/2 lengths to the good of the late charging Second Sister, handled by the Cardiac Kid, Jim Meittinis. Pocket-sitting She's All In, with Rick Plano in her sulky, finished third while A TC Queenie finished fourth. Celebrity Artemis picked up the nickel in the classy sextet. After the race, Hennessey said, "she (Modern Mercury) is very sharp right now. I sent her because her other two wins this year were on the front and I wanted to try and get a jump on Rick's (Plano) mare (She's All In), who seems to like the pocket, and the other Rick's (Schaut) mare, (A TC Queenie), who took a week off and was outside. Tonight, it just worked out our way." Modern Mercury won for the third time this semester in nine starts, good for $22,000 so far this young season. Lifetime Modern Mercury has banked $116,875 to go along with her mark just one tick faster than her Wednesday performance. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote, Modern Mercury paid $3.40 to win. Born To Thrive, patiently driven by Rick Plano, took the feature for the male counterparts with a very sharp come-from-behind performance in 1:54.2--trotting his last 3/4s in 1:24.4 to score by 1 3/4 lengths over a quick closing Prairie Fortune, with Jim Meittinis in the bike. Boli, handled by Wally Hennessey, was next after carving up panels of :28.3, :57.3 and 1:26.1. Uncle Hanover and Skyway Pippin completed the roster in this quintet. In a post-race interview, driver Rick Plano remarked, "Well, there's not much to add as the horse did all the talking in this one. He can grind forward a long way and he is very eager right now. Seems to love to hit the racetrack." The winner, a five year-old gelded son of Swan For All, is also trained by Plano for Victor Contento, Maryann Plano and John Campagnuolo, giving the latter owner a "daily double" of his own with the aforementioned mare, Modern Mercury, a winner in the distaff feature. Born To Thrive now sports an 6-1-0 scorecard in eight starts and $30,400 in bounty. Career-wise, the gelding now has banked $226,738. Also off at 3 to 5, Born To Thrive returned $3.40 to his multitude of followers. Racing continues on Saturday night with the Miller-Tetrick Pro-Am Challenge, a five race extravaganza feature the two super-stars benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation and New Vocations. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...February 27, 2018...Wild Wanda, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., dug in late to escape with a narrow victory in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Pace for mares on Monday night (February 26). The courageous seven year-old daughter of Palone Ranger held off the late charging Galarina, handled by Andy Santeramo, by a neck in 1:53.1. Embassy Seelster, with Fern Paquet, Jr. in her sulky finished third while Strings and Swinging Cami completed the roster in the talented quintet. At the outset, Wild Wanda zipped off the Hummer wings to take command a few long strides after the start with Strings (John MacDonald) also away well and Galarina now on the prowl in search of the lead, which she took at the opening station in :27.1--but not for long. An anxious Wild Wanda reclaimed her top shortly after and reached the half in a well rated :57. On the backside, things began to heat up as Wild Wanda was on a :28.1 blitz to maintain her clear lead past the third station in 1:25.1. That's when Galarina left the coziness of the pocket and began gnawing away--her rally falling just short on the wire. In a post race interview, driver Ricky Macomber related, "my mare has been right there with them every start since arriving at Pompano and, tonight, things went her way. That second quarter breather helped her and she was strong coming home. She went a very courageous trip, both early and late. Trained by wife Jamie Macomber for Mary Jo Rheinheimer and the Dojea Stables, Wild Wanda won for the second time this semester in seven starts--her 2-3-2 scorecard pushing her 2018 bounty to $21,890 and $448,255 lifetime. Off at 1 to 5 on the tote-board, Wild Wanda paid $2.40 to win. There were fireworks of sorts at the mutual windows on Monday night, as well, as a $40,000 Pick-5 guaranteed pool sparked a record Pick-5 wagering pool of $74,891. With a 5 to 2 shot kicking things off in the first leg, the next four winners were even money, 5 to 2, 5 to 1 and 6 to 5 resulting in a very generous payoff of $579.55 for the 50 cent ticket. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a Pick-6 carryover and a Super Hi-5 carryover that has ballooned to $256,029.    by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...February 26, 2018...Rocky's Z Tam and Hollywood Sign A took the opening legs of the Fred Monteleone Memorial Series at Pompano Park, each covering the abbreviated distance of five-eighths of a mile in 1:08.2. Moneteone, a long time patron of the sport who bred and owned many notable horses, passed away last October after a lengthy battle with cancer. Rocky's Z Tam, the six year-old gelded son of World of Rocknroll, went a game first over journey for driver Ricky Macomber, Jr. to score by a neck over the pace-setting Drachan Hanover, handled by Wally Hennessey. Lyons Johnny closed stoutly for John MacDonald to finish third, just a half length away, while the favorite, Dee's Rocket Man, finished fourth. Fritzie Pic Up Man, last and far back early from his outside post, actually closed fastest of all to pick up the nickel in the classy field of seven. The early fractions of :27 and :54.3 were put up by Drachan Hanover with Rocky's Z Tam away fourth but on a first over binge engaging the leader in war around the final bend. These two raced as a team all the way home with Lyons Johnny joining the fray in deep stretch. On the line, Rocky's Z Tam, an 18 to 1 proposition, got the nod, scoring his second win of the year in seven starts. In a post race interview, trainer Jamie Macomber was proud of the pacers performance relaying, "He (Rocky's Z Tam) had been giving hints in his recent races, so I was expecting him to be competitive tonight. Ricky (husband Macomber) drove him with confidence and the horse raced with confidence. He kept digging right to the wire...very happy!" Owned by Z Tam Stables LLC, Rocky's Z Tam won for the 14th time in 99 career starts with the major share of the $12,000 purse sending his lifetime bounty to $162,196 to go along with his Hoosier Park mark of 1:50.1. Off as fifth choice, Rocky's Z Tam paid $38.20 to win. Hollywood Sign A, the nine year-old gelded Aussie bred son of Life Sign, was given very smart handling by owner-trainer Matt Krueger to pin a one length defeat on track record holder Panocchio--the latter making his 2018 debut for trainer Jim Mattison and driver Wally Hennessey. Uncmprmising Z Tam, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., was third, threr lengths back, while Sing For Me George and Doo Wop Hanover earned the minors in the sharp octet. At the bell, Hollywood Sign A, leaving from post seven, left smartly with Panocchio (post 8) in hot pursuit with the latter taking command through an opening panel of :27.1. Panocchio continued to lead through a half in :55.1 and seemed to have things under control. Straightening away for the drive home, Hollywood Sign A tilted out of his cozy pocket and began gnawing away until taking command a sixteenth from the wire. Hollywood Sign, with Matt Krueger in his bike              -Skip Smith Photo Second in his last four outings, Hollywood Sign A picked up his first win of the year in seven starts, vaulting his seasonal bounty to $17,385. Lifetime, it was win number 29 in 145 starts, good for $217,293. Off as the 2 to 1 second choice, Hollywood Sign A paid $6.20 to win. The Fred Monteleone Memorial Series continues with the next leg being at one mile and the $30,000 final slated for 1 1/4 miles. The $10,000 Open II pace went to American Hustle, smartly handled by Bryce Fenn. This four year-old son of American Ideal wired his opposition by stringing together panels of :26.2, 55.3 and 1:23.4 before a :27.3 finale held The Onlyest One, with George Napolitano, Jr. handling the line,  at bay by a half length in a lifetime best 1:51.2 Pointsman, driven by Rick Plano, was third while Bestinthebusiness and No Bad Dreams also picked up checks in the field of six. It was the 10th career win in only 22 career starts for owner-trainer Brian Lawrence. Third choice at 5 to 1, American Hustle paid $12.40 to win Racing continues on Monday night with a Pick-5 carryover of $10,556.70 igniting a $40,000 guarantee. The Pick-5 begins on Race 1. The Super Hi-5 Jackpot is also at record territory with a carryover of $251,878.96 going into the Monday program. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL...February 22, 2018...With bright stars abundant in the night sky at Pompano Park on Wednesday night, three of those stars--two of the equine kind--came down to earth as Modern Mercury and Born To Thrive took top harness racing honors in their respective $11,000 Open trots. The third star was human kind as owner John Campagnuolo basked in the starlight as owner of both and, for good measure, scored the hat trick as his Groovey Kid won in the class just below the Open. Modern Mercury, handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Rob Harmon and owner Campagnuolo (or J.C. as he is known around the track) took command at the opening :28.2 stanza and went on to post panels of :57.1 and 1:26.4 before a solid :28.4 finale sealed the deal in 1:55.3 over She's All In, driven by Rick Plano. Second Sister, with Jim Meittinis handling her lines, was third while Diamond Dagger finished fourth. Vicki All picked up the final minor award in the classy septet. Said Hennessey after the race, "She (Modern Mercury) is finally getting confidence in herself. Her only other win this yeara was on the front end so I thought maybe I'd try that again tonight. She's always been right there with them off the pace but never seemed to have the confidence in herself to pass them from off the pace when things get serious. "Tonight, she really showed me that she has confidence in her game. It was an excellent performance." The five year-old daughter of Donato Hanover now has a pair of wins in eight starts, good for $16,500. Her lifetime bounty now stands at $111,375. As the lukewarm 5 to 2 favorite, Modern Mercury paid $7.20 to win. Born To Thrive, the sharp five year-old gelded son of Swan For All, came from dead last in his field, trotting his final three-quarters in 1:24.2 for catch-driver John MacDonald to pin a two length defeat in 1:54 on Boli, making his 2018 debut for Wally Hennessey. Sooo Handsome, fresh off his two world record performance at the shorter five-eighths mile distance at Pompano, was third, 2 1/2 lengths away for Rick Plano, after carving up numbers of :28, :57.1 and 1:25.1. Uncle Hanover was fourth while BJAnthony picked up the nickel in the field of seven. Trainer Plano explained using catch-driver MacDonald remarking, "They don't have 'team-to-pole' racing at tracks--yet," he said, "so, since I train both Sooo Handsome and Born To Thrive, I had to take Sooo Handsome since my wife owns all of that one. "Johnny (MacDonald) does know Born To Thrive so I asked him to drive and do the best he could with him. He's a very good racehorse, you know, and you can do anything with him. When I left out of there with Sooo Handsome, I figured he'd be at the back but the pace was reasonable, so he really had to rock late to get there. Very proud of his performance. Campagnuolo owns along with Victor Contento and Maryann Plano and now shows a 7-5-1-0 scorecard in 2018 with $24,900 in earnings. Lifetime, Born To Thrive has banked $221,238. At 2 to 1 when the bell started, Born To Thrive paid $6.80 to win. Groovey KId, trained by Dan Hennessey for Campagnuolo, gave "J.C." his hat trick by extending his winning streak to two with a 1:56.2 for Wally Hennessey. The seven year-old altered son of Cincinnati Kid dug in late to hold off Jack Rules (Andy Santeramo) by a head. Winemaster Hanover (Peter Wrenn) finished third. Groovey Kid paid $8.00 as second choice in the betting. The mid-week program also produced some explosive payoffs as College Major, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., lit up the tote-board with a $95.40 mutual keying a trifecta payoff of $10,194.80 and a 20 cent superfecta bonanza of $8,588.88. One race later, driver Sergio Corona piloted Cowboy Hall to a $76.60 win, resulting in a 20 cent pentafecta payout of $5,997.98. Those events triggered a Pick-5 carryover of $7,351.92 and a $25,000 guaranteed pool for the Saturday night Pick-5 covering races one through five. There is also a Pick-6 carryover, as well. The Saturday Super Hi-5 jackpot now stands at a record $237,835. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...February 20, 2018...Pompano Park management has announced a harness racing purse increase of 10% effective March 1. The increase covers all classes with the Open classes rising from $11,000 to $12,500, a 13.6% increase, and the lowest claiming classes going from $3,400 to $3,800, an 11.7% hike. Racing continues at Florida's only pari-mutuel harness track until the end of May. Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...February 20, 2018...All Charged Up, driven by trainer John MacDonald, used a high voltage performance from first stride to last in winning Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Pace for harness racing mares on Monday night (February 19). The game seven year-old daughter of Ponder wired together fractions of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:24.2 before a solid :28 finale left her s length to the good of Wild Wanda, handled by Ricky Macomber, Jr. Ubettorbeturlife, with Dave Ingraham in her sulky, was next, five lengths away. Strings and Embassy Seelster completed the classy quintet. As the wings folded, both Wild Wanda and All Charged Up left sharply with the latter out-sprinting the former and clearing around the opening turn. From there, the issue turned out to be never in doubt as All Charged Up electrified her foes right to the wire. In a post-race interview, driver John MacDonald related, "I was a little concerned--not that she made the top early because she likes to do that--but because she then likes to yield and sit in the pocket. But she's sharp right now, so, once in a while, I guess it's OK to try wiring. She's very tough right now. She has been very good to me, that's for sure. All Charged Up won for the fourth time in six starts this semester, good for $25,630 for trainer MacDonald's J P Stables. The win was also a milestone of sorts for All Charged Up as this win--her 36th career-wise--vaulted her lifetime bankroll over the $300,000 plateau--$300,712 to be precise. Off as the 3 to 2 second choice, All Charged Up returned $5.00 to win. In other action on Monday night, Galarina, with Andy Santeramo in the bike, scored a handy 1:53.3 win for her fifth win of the year in seven starts. The seven year-old daughter of Dali, also trained by Santeramo for owners Ron Ruggles and Tom Santeramo, sent her 2018 bounty to $21,225 and $144,826 lifetime. Also, American Sniper, making only his second career start made a sharp early move to the front and led the rest of the way in scoring a 1:56.3 win for Bryce Fenn. The mile was highlighted by a :56.3 final half. Owned and trained by Bryan Lawrence, the sophomore son of Western Terror was one of three 2 to 1 propositions on the tote board and, as third choice, returned $6.80 to win. Tuesday night's card features a pair of carryovers--one in the PIck-6 and the other in a blossoming Super Hi-5, which now has a carryover of $228,609. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...February 19, 2018...Dee's Rocketman, confidently driven by Andy Santeramo, took top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Pace on Sunday, pinning a 1:50.4 defeat on Hollywood Sign A handled by Matt Krueger, Sing For Me George, with Mickey McNichol in his bike, finished third while Pointsman and pacesetting Fritzie Pic Up Man were next in a very classy sextet. The six year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven scored by a length-and-a-quarter after a first up backside bid grinding forward from third to take take command turning for home. It was Fritzie Pic Up Man who left with alacrity from his one post to clip off an opening panel in a hot :26.4 with the Aussie bred Hollywood Sign also on the engine off the wings to find a comfortable spot in the garden seat and Dee's Rocketman sitting chilly in third. With a half in :55, the pace began to heat up again on the backside as Santeramo sent Dee's Rocketman charging hard and engaging in war with the leader through an official third panel in :27-3--his :27 flat. Turning for home, Dee's Rocketman forged to the lead and never relented as his :28 final quarter sealed the deal. In a post race interview, Santeramo said, "I had a couple of wins with this horse recently and Mickey (trainer McNichol) asked me to handle him again since he had another one in there (Sing For Me George). I have to give Mickey a lot of credit because he had this horse ready to race. He's not afraid to take some air so the first up bid on the backside was not a concern to me at all. He's as game as they come and gives his all every start." When asked if the 1:50.4 mile was his fastest ever, Santeramo quipped, "Well, to tell you the truth, I don't really know because I don't keep track of that sort of thing. To tell you a lie, I think I had one go in (1):46 or (1):47 once!" Dee's Rocketman now has four wins in six starts this young season with earnings of $17,525 for owner Joseph Martinelli, Sr. Lifetime, Dee's Rocketman has won 15 times to go along with his brand new mark of 1:50.4 on this night. Off as second choice at 8 to 5, Dee's Rocketman paid $5.20 to win. In the $10,000 Open 2 Pace, The Onlyest One, driven by George Napolitano, Jr., won a hard fought duel with Lyons Johnny, driven by John MacDonald, to score in 1:51.1--his wire-to-wire margin 1 3/4 lengths off of sizzling splits of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:23. Dakota Jack, with Dave Ingraham driving, was third while American Hustle was next. Team Captain picked up the nickel in the sharp septet. The Onlyest One, a nine year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight, sent his 2018 scorecard to 3-3-0 in six starts, good for $22,000. The win was a milestone of sorts as this was the 25th win of his career measuring 158 starts. Joe Pavia, Jr. trains the winner for John Whiting, MIchael Rich and Lawrence Chimerine, who now has lifetime bounty of $267,790. As second choice in the betting at 7 to 2, The Onlyest One paid $9.00 to win. Also on the Sunday card, driver Joe Sanzeri celebrated his birthday with one of Pompano Park's historical favorites, Northern Companion. Sanzeri found a seam turning for home and mowed his competitors down with a late surge to score in 1:54.1. It was the first win of the year for the 10 year-old altered son of Cambest and 52nd win lifetime--42 of which have been at Pompano Park. His lifetime earnings are now $337,038. Trained by Howard Klohr for the Delray Duo, Northern Companion, despite beginning from the rail, went off as the longest proposition on the board at 26 to 1 and paid $55.20 to his remaining faithful. Racing continues on Monday night with a very competitive card offering a Pick-6 holdover and a season high carryover in the Super Hi-5 vaulting to a season high $220,368. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

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