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Pompano Beach, FL…February 13, 2018…Harness racing driver Tom Eichas has been named Florida Amateur Driving Club’s Driver of the Year. In making the announcement, F.A.D.C. President Dein Spriggs noted Eichas’ overall contributions on the club’s behalf along with his U.D.R.S. of .444 during the 2016-2017 season. “Tom has been our Secretary-Treasurer for the past six years and has made remarkable contributions in the promotion of our sport and its contributions to worthy charitable organizations and society, in general. “He has also demonstrated his prowess in the sulky with his skill enabling that lofty .444 batting average.” Eichas is no stranger to harness racing, having purchased his first horse back in 1978. He has been a member of the Florida Amateur Driving Club since its inception in 1998 and is part of that organization that has donated their driving fees totaling over $180,000 to charity. Upon learning of his award, Eichas humbly remarked, “We, meaning our entire club, don’t do this for the recognition. We do it because we believe that this is what our sport can do for society. Of course, I am appreciative of the award and am gratified, but this will only provide me with more incentive to work on behalf of this great sport.” Eichas will receive his award at the upcoming FSBOA Awards ceremonies on Sunday, February 18. by John Berry for the Florida Amateur Driving Club

Pompano Beach, FL...August 11, 2017...Avenging an earlier defeat on their home field of Pompano Park, a quintet of Florida Amateur Driving Club members journeyed to the United Kingdom and got a bit of revenge, eking out a 45-43 decision over their British rivals in a hot contested--but friendly--competition. The grand event was held, first, at the Tir Prince course in North Wales with the conclusion held over the Tany Castle turf course in Aberystwyth in North Wales. The Brits jumped out to an early lead as England's Richard Haythornthwaite (victorious at Pompano Park earlier in the year) took the opener with Ireland's Chris O'Reilly second and the U.S.A.'s Dein Spriggs third. With the American contingents "backs to the wall," Dennis Whittemore saved the day as he scored a hard fought, photo finish victory in the final. After that event, Whittemore remarked, "Wow! Let me tell you that was the most thrilling victory I have ever had. "There are some very serious challenges driving over a turf course--especially a wet one on a half mile track. "I thought I'd have a go at it taking the lead early and that worked out very well. On the backside the final time, (Patrick (Morris) made that big move and he took a short lead but my horse had some fight left in him and we got to the wire first. "Unforgettable is the only way to describe it!" The event was organized by Britain's Lee Morris and Jaimie Davies, along with the U.S.A.'s Dein Spriggs and Jeff Schaefer. Schaefer, Spriggs and Whittemore were to joined by Tony Dinges and Ron Cusimano to complete Team Florida. Patrick Morris completed the roster of Brits competing. Both Schaefer and Spriggs had high praise for their hosts, echoing each other about the hospitality enjoyed during their stay in the United Kingdom. "The competition was fierce, yes," said Schaefer, "but we felt right at home with their warm and generous hospitality." Spriggs said, "We are hoping that this type of competition will expand throughout the world as it seems to be a great 'shot in the arm' for our grand sport." by John Berry for the Florida Amateur Driving Club        

Pompano Beach, FL - More than 125 horsemen and women were in attendance Friday night at the 26th annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame Dinner held at the Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort & Spa in Pompano Beach. The highlight of the evening was the inductions into the Florida Hall of Fame. Entering were horsemen Mark Friedman and Dan Hennessey and horse's Rock On and Royel Millennium. Hosted by the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association, there were also special human awards given out for the 2016 season and presentations were also made to the Horse of the Year by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and the Florida Amateur Driving Club. Hall of Fame inductee Mark Friedman has been in harness racing for more than five decades as an owner, breeder, trainer and driver. His Polo Stables has had many top Florida-bred champions, none better than the top pacing mare, Bling, p,1:51, a career winner of more than $610,000. "To have worked most of my life in harness racing and now receiving this award is a highlight of my career and I thank everyone who has helped me along the way," Friedman said. Hall of Fame inductee Dan Hennessey, who is nearing his 1,000th career training win and $6 million in earnings, closed out 2016 with a UDRS of .420 despite nearly going blind two years ago. His brother, Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey, summed it up well in his introduction. "I don't think we ever could have had our stable going steady for forty plus years if not for Dan," Hennessey said. He is the one who always held the fort down between Pompano and Saratoga year after year. Many of you don't know that he holds a world record as the only trainer ever to use same driver on nearly every single horse he ever trained, and that was me!" Taking home the most hardware on the evening and it was a good thing she came to the dinner with her pickup truck, was Owner-Breeder Laurie Poulin. In addition to her horse, Royel Millennium, being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Laurie was named Breeder of the Year for the second straight time and also received the Dana Irving Award for the second straight year. Poulin also received four Horse of the Year Crystal Awards for her stables Prairie Panther, Prairie Sweetheart, Prairie Jaguar and Prairie Fortune. All of the horses were bred by Poulin and co-owned and trained by Mike Deters. FLORIDA USHWA AWARD WINNERS Hall of Fame - Mark Friedman Hall of Fame - Dan Hennessey Hall of Fame - Rock On Hall of Fame - Royel Millennium Delvin Miller Award - Fred Morosini Dana Iriving Award - Laurie Poulin R.D. Ricketts Award - Kevin Kelly Stanley Dancer Award - Sergio Corona Lifetime Achievement - Leon Cable Dan Gawlas Award - John Berry Bill Popfinger Award - Mike Deters & Maggie Audley France Dodge Van Lennep Award - Marianne Audley Allen J. Finkelson Award - Gabe Prewitt Caretaker of the Year - Gary McQuaid FSBOA CRYSTAL AWARD WINNERS 2YO Pacing Filly - Gold Star Aurora 2YO Pacing Colt - Prairie Panther 2YO Trotting Filly - Atlantic Crest 2YO Trotting Colt - I'm Done 3YO Pacing Filly - Prairie Sweetheart 3YO Pacing Colt - R Chism 3YO Trotting Filly - Gold Star Briana 3YO Trotting Colt - Rexamillion Older Pacing Mare - Goldstar Rockette Older Pacing Horse - Prairie Jaguar Older Trotting Mare - Selena Older Trotting Horse - Prairie Fortune 2016 Breeder of the Year - Laurie Poulin 2016 Florida Amateur Driver of the Year - Tony Dinges From the Florida Chapter of USHWA  

Pompano Beach, Florida...March 5, 2017...Drachan Hanover, superbly rated by Wally Hennessey, took top harness racing honors in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Pace on Sunday night (March 5), using a :26.4 finale to hold off the surging Sing For Me George, with Kevin Wallis in the sulky, to score by a neck in 1:52. King Of The Crop, driven by Dave Ingraham, was third, 2½ lengths away, while Pointsman finished fourth. Rocky's Z Tam picked up the nickel in the field scratched down to seven. At the outset, Sing For Me George left with alacrity along with Drachan Hanover and these two went at it before the latter took command right at the first marker around turn one. From there, Drachan Hanover put up numbers of :27 and, despite a 25-30 miles-per-hour wind at their backs, a well-rated :56.2 half with only nominal movement developing from the back of the pack. On the backside and into the wind, Drachan Hanover reached the third station in 1:25.1 with Sing For Me George sitting chilly in the pocket and Fritzie Pic Up Man outside, but still 2¼ lengths away and not gaining further. In the lane, Drachan Hanover was in full flight, as was Sing For Me George, but the latter fell a neck short as Drachan Hanover's 26.4 finale was good enough to get the job done. After the event, driver Wally Hennessey said, "that wind was really something out there. I think the key tonight was the breather we got in the second quarter and then nobody really wanting to commit during the third quarter with the wind in our face. "In the lane, I thought the wind might sweep us off our feet because we were flying home. "Drachan (Hanover) is a very good horse and does very well on the front end, so his performance wasn't really a surprise to me." Trained my Marcel Barrieau for owners Kenneth Rankin and Lloyd Maclean, this five year-old son of Jereme's Jet won for the second time this semester to push his 2017 bankroll to $16,440. Lifetime, Drachan Hanover has 14 wins in 58 starts, good for $360,417 to go along with his 1:50.1 mark set at Pompano last season. As the 3 to 2 second choice, Drachan Hanover paid $5.00 to win. In other weekend action, the Florida Amateur Driving Club Pro-Am was contested on Saturday night and ended in a dead-heat with each team having 63 points at the conclusion of the three race competition. Team Tetrick, led by Tim Tetrick, driving on behalf of New Vocations, got the upper hand early over Team Miller, headed by Dave Ingraham, subbing for David Miller (traffic problems on Florida's Turnpike), by winning the first event with Tony Dinges' Wire Me Cash and putting his team up 23 to 19. Tetrick came back to complete the early daily double by guiding Dennis Whittemore's New Scent to a handy win, helping put Team Tetrick up by a seemingly insurmountable 49 to 35 margin. In the final leg, Whittemore, himself, guided his own Lucas Hall to his first win of the year and, with team captain Ingraham finishing second with B Cor Thomas, the Miller team won that third and final leg 28 to 14, thereby the tie. Florida Amateur Driving Club President Dein Spriggs was joined in the winner's circle by members of the F.A.D.C. as equal checks in the amount of $2,000 were distributed for Tetrick's charity, New Vocation, and Miller's designated beneficiary, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The contributions vaulted the club's donation over the $180,000 mark plateau as all driver's donate their driving fees to charity. Said Tetrick in the winner's circle, "This sport has been very good to me and, of course, David, as well, and I am sure that I speak for both of us and echo his sentiments that we are both proud to be a part of this event. "I know David is very sorry that he couldn't be here with us tonight but, on the other hand," Tetrick laughed, "it lets me have my name first on next year's trophies! "It's a great event the Amateur drivers put on and I admire their generosity for the good of our sport." Racing continues on Monday night with a Pick-6 carryover of $2,448 and a $10,000 guaranteed pool for the Pick-4, conducted on races six through nine. First post is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL…March 3, 2017…Tim Tetrick and David Miller are two of harness racing’s greatest stars and they will be in action at Pompano Park on Saturday night in the  second edition of the “Pro-Am” Championship Driving Series. This “Saturday Night Special” features Tetrick and Miller as the participating captains in a three race series benefitting, in Tetrick’s case, New Vocation, and, Miller’s favorite, The Make-A-Wish Foundation. Each captain has three amateur teammates competing for bragging rights as Tetrick seeks to defend the title he won last year. “This is ‘war,’” Tetrick said. “My name is first on this year’s trophy to be presented and I want to keep it that way!” Miller, on the other hand, disagrees and said, “When Timmy says this is ‘war,’ he is spot on. It’s, of course, friendly war, but I think I have the team and the horses to give him some of that friendly fire he shot at me last year here.” Of course, the big winner will be the charities that they represent. Said Miller, “Both Timmy and I have been blessed with an unbelievable amount of success in this great sport and this is a way to send some of the blessing we have enjoyed to those less fortunate.” Tetrick echoed Miller’s sentiments relating, “This event put on by the Florida Amateur Driving Club gives us a chance to say ‘thank you’ for that success. “Dein (F.A.D.C. President Spriggs) was the one who really got this challenge under way and both Dave and I are thrilled and honored to participate. “This shows that harness racing has its heart in the right place in helping worthwhile organizations.” The Florida Amateur Driving Club has donations approaching $180,000 since their inception as all of their club members donate their driving earnings to the club and, subsequently, to charity. Recently, the club hosted four of the best amateur drivers from Italy further enhancing the F.A.D.C. coffers for future donations. Miller may have the upper hand in the first event on Saturday night. Though he, himself, has drawn the outside post with the trotter Garlandsandpearls, his teammate, Dein Spriggs, has drawn the coveted five post with A Crown For Lindy, a 52 time winner of $412,787. Spriggs owns the 12 year-old altered son of Cantab Hall and is listed as the 7 to 5 morning line favorite. Tetrick, meanwhile, has drawn the rail with the six year-old Wire Me Cash, dropping down significantly in class for this encounter. Besides Spriggs, Miller’s teammates in the first event are Maurice Brooks, Jr. (493 career wins) and John Campagnuolo (51 wins). Tetrick has Gary Barbere (57 wins), Joe Pennacchio (157 wins) and “Touchdown” Teddy Bowman (73 wins). In the second event, the Miller team consists of Tom Eichas (10 wins), Billy Muggleston (92) and Shane Arsenault (127) Tetrick will have Tony Dinges (22), Fred Cohen (185) and Jeff Schaefer (74) on his roster. In that second race, Thekeptman, a 30 time winner with career earnings of $261,658, will have owner-trainer Fred Cohen in the bike and will leave from post three as the 5 to 2 morning line favorite. Tetrick will be driving Creampuff MacDaddy in the finale, a winner of $505,030. The now seven year-old has a mark of 1:53.3 at Pocono Downs as a four year-old and is 3 to 1 on the morning line. He will be relying on teammates Jamie Marra (58 wins), Mitchell “Sky” Walker (119) and Steve Oldford (119) to add more points for the team as Miller will have Dennis Whittemore (116), Leon Cable (426) and Ron Cusimano (236) to bolster his side of the ledger. The big winner of this extravaganza will be the designated charities of Tetrick and Miller, each of which will share in the proceeds derived from the event. As Miller said, “I want MY name first on that trophy for next time. I think ‘Miller-Tetrick’ looks better than ‘Tetrick-Miller.’ “It’ll be a war, alright, and both Timmy and I are honored to be a part of this great night benefiting such worthwhile causes.” Saturday card also features a $27,826 carryover in the Super Hi-5 finale. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park and The Florida Amateur Driving Club

Pompano Beach, FL...Sunday, February 19, 2017..."February Madness" continued at Pompano Park on Sunday night (February 19) as the "fourth quarter" of the Italian-American Amateur competition was contested and it was Italy that captured the crown with an 87 to 81 victory over the American team consisting of members of the Florida Amateur Driving Club. The win was sealed when Italy's Ciro Ciccarelli earned a hard-fought win measuring a half- length with Y S Joe in 1:55.3 over Stronski, handled by yet another Italian visitor, Antonio Simioli. A Fool For Mark, driven by Shane Arsenault, was third, just another nose back, after a valiant effort carving out early panels of :28.2 and :56.3 before being encountered by Y S Joe around turn three, reached in 1:25.4. A Fool For Mark cut the corner turning for home to reclaim a short lead, but Y S Joe, parked every step of the route, was ultra-game in forging by and holding off the late surging Stronki. Orlando's Express, with Billy Muggleston in the bike, was fourth, 1 ¾ lengths away while College Major and Joe Pennacchio teamed up to claim the nickel in the octet. In a post-race interview Ciccarelli, through an interpreter, lamented, "This was the thrill of a lifetime for me. "I have never driven a pacer before and they are very fast--faster than I have ever been before. "This horse was outside the whole way and was very strong to the finish despite this. "This was a great experience for all of us from Italy and I want to thank Mr. Dein Spriggs and Mr. Joe Pennacchio for being such great hosts for us all." Ciccarelli led the Italian contingent with 29 points while Simioli had 28 for the winning team. While there were only four drivers from Italy competing, the U.S. team had 16 drivers from their Florida Amateur Driving Club on their roster with Dein Spriggs and Gary Barbere sharing top honors with 13 points each. Y S Joe, a chestnut five year-old horse by Mach Three trained by Fannie Saul-Beaulieu for owner Michel Daneault of Quebec, Canada, earned his first win of the year in seven starts. As the 6 to 5 tote-board favorite, Y S Joe paid $4.60 to win. Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Pace went, in a mild upset, to Drachan Hanover, driven by John MacDonald. This five year-old son of Jereme's jet, used his rail post to perfection by carding front end panels of :26.1; :54.4 and 1:22.3 before a :27.4 finale held off the late furious rally by Rocky's Z Tam, handled by Ricky Macomber, Jr., by a neck in 1:50.2. First Of Itskind, with Tom Jackson in the bike, closed fastest of all--:27.2--to finish third, two lengths away, while Mystic Desire finished fourth. The 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Panocchio, made a mild bid on the backstretch but could only manage to pick up the minor award in the septet of classy pacers. After the race, Mac Donald related, "he (Drachan Hanover) raced well last week after missing one and I thought he'd be tighter tonight so I sent him and let him do his thing. He's won before on the front end, so this mile didn't surprise me. He beat a very classy field. Trained by Marcel Barrieau for Lloyd Maclean and Kenneth Rankin, Drachan Hanover won for the initial time this semester and 13th win lifetime in 56 starts, vaulting his earnings to $353,457. As the third choice at 4 to 1, Drachan Hanover paid $10.80 to win. The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to the 4 to 5 favorite Uncmprmising Z Tam, driven by Mike Simons, in a lifetime best performance of 1:50.2--his previous winning 1:50.2 mile being over the larger 7/8ths oval at Hoosier Park. The four year-old son of Shadyshark Hanover made a quarter move (:27.1) to the top and went on to post subsequent fractions of :54.4 and 1;22.1 before sprinting home untouched by two lengths over Fritzie Pic Up Man, handled by Kevin Wallis. King Of The Crop, with Dave Ingraham in the bike, rallied from last to finish third, 3 ¼ lengths back, while Pointsman and Heart Felt picked up the final two awards in this septet. Trained by Jamie Macomber for the Z Tam Stables, Uncmprmising Z Tam now sports a 3-2-0 scorecard in six starts this year, good for $18,975. The win--the 10th in only 36 career starts--vaulted him over the $250,000 mark in bounty--$251,163 to be precise. He paid $3.80 to win to his multitude of backers. Racing continues on Monday night with post time set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL (February 18, 2017) - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association is pleased to announce its annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame Awards Banquet. Scheduled for March 10, 2017 at the Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Resort and Spa (1200 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33062), this event honors the Standardbred horsemen and horses that created memorable performances in 2016 and during their careers. Hall of Fame inductees includes trainers Dan Hennessey and Mark Friedman, and the stalwart Florida-based pacing stallions Royel Millennium and Rock On. The event also includes presentation of the FADC Amateur Driver of the Year and the FSBOA Crystal Awards. Proceeds provide for continuation of the promotion of harness racing, plus funding of the annual Allen J. Finkelson scholarship awards and the Aime Choquette Sunshine Fund. Join us for the celebration and networking on March 10 at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $80.00 each and tables of ten are available. Price includes dinner, one hour open bar and cocktail hour. To purchase tickets and to place congratulatory advertisements in the Hall of Fame Awards Program, contact Rosie Huff at the FSBOA office (954-972-5400) or Steven Wolf (954-654-3757). Email or by Thomas H. Hicks, for the Florida Chapter USHWA    

Pompano Beach, FL…February 17, 2017…The Florida Amateur Driving Club is hosting a friendly—but highly competitive — harness racing event vs. some of the top Italian amateur drivers in a four race series encompassing the weekend at Pompano Park. The Florida Amateur Driving Club has donated almost $180,000 to worthwhile organizations on the strength of club members donating all driving fees to charity and that total is sure to go up this weekend as four races are scheduled in this competition—three on Saturday night and the finale on Sunday. Participants from Italy include Ciro Ciccarelli, 32, a native of Naples with 166 lifetime wins, Antonio Simioli, 32, also from Naples and the author of 334 career wins, Luigi Farina, 50, from Maddaloni, with 202 wins and Elena Villan1, 29, a native of Pompei, who has 168 career wins. While each of these Italian driver will appear in the four contests, the Florida  contingent will feature 16 amateur club members led by Leon Cable with 427 lifetime wins and Dein Spriggs with 426 career victories. The Italian-American Amateur Driving Championship comes to South Florida after the first of the home-and-home matches--which the Italians won--was held last May at Pierre Luigi DeAngelo's  Angaro Track in Naples, Italy. The event was organized by the Florida Amateur Driving Club's Dein Spriggs and Joe Pennacchio, prompting that latter to remark, "We had an international competition here last year that proved to be very popular so we decided to see if we could expand on that success. "At the conclusion of our visit to Italy, we took the initiative to invite the Italian contingent here and they gave us an enthusiastic 'yes' and we are so proud to have them here on our home turf, so to speak." Spriggs will handle the 8 to 5 morning line favorite, A Crown For Lindy In the opening event. This 11 year-old warrior will be making his 200th career start and is the author of 52 lifetime wins while compiling over $400,000 in career earnings. The second division features Thekeptman, owned, trained and driven by Fred Cohen. This 11 year-old is the 6 to 5 morning line favorite with the $778,062 winner On The Tab second choice at 4 to 1. Luigi Farina will have the assignment back of On The Tab. The final Saturday night division features the 44 time winner The Budster, 5 to 2 in the morning line, against Rush N Supreme, with 48 career wins, listed at 3 to 1. Steve Oldford will handle The Budster’s lines while Sky Walker will sit in the sulky back of Rush N Supreme. Third choice is Divination, a winner in her last start. Luigi Farina will be bike back of Divination, 7 to 2 on the early line. The Saturday night festivities get underway at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park and the Florida Amateur Driving Club

Pompano Beach, FL…January 18, 2017…Over the years, the harness racing Florida Amateur Driving Club membership has donated over $175,000 to worthy charitable and goodwill organizations benefiting horses, horsemen, horsewomen and “children of all ages.” Yes, there have been many big nights for the FADC, but none have been bigger than what is coming up this Saturday night, January 21. This week’s recipient will be the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, located right in the cradle of where harness racing was “foaled,” Goshen, New York. Not only will the FADC make their usual bountiful contribution to the Museum and Hall of Fame, each driver that donates an additional $100 will become eligible to race in the next three legs—the triple crown—of the Hall of Fame amateur series. Those three events will be held in Goshen, New York during Grand Circuit week, The Meadowlands during Hambletonian week and in Delaware, Ohio during Little Brown Jug week. Noted amateur driver Steve Oldford, a Museum trustee and Vice President related, “We are absolutely thrilled to have the Museum and Hall of Fame as the recipient of this week’s generous donation by the Florida Amateur Driving Club and our other members, who are making this event even better with their individual contributions. “It is amazing that our club has played such a positive role in the arena of how horses help people of all ages—children of all ages from two to 92—if you know what I mean. “It’s a small part of what we do and what harness racing can do for our communities.” The Florida Amateur Driving Club conducts all of its races at Pompano Park and is in the midst of a hotly contested driver challenge to determine the leading amateur driver of the season. After the first 15 weeks of competition covering 32 races, amateur driver Dein Spriggs, the author of 424 career wins, leads the point parade (169) while Jamie Marra is currently second (149). Mitchell “Sky” Walker, Leon Cable and Tony Dinges round out the top five while Joe Pennacchio, Fred Cohen, Dennis Whittemore, Shane Arsenault and Steve Oldford rank six through 10 among the 29 amateur drivers that have competed thus far. The Pompano Park program on Saturday night will feature a trio of races for the amateur drivers and Oldford, himself, has a pair of trotters competing that have compiled combined lifetime earnings of over $1,000,000—The Budster, with $644,298 in career bounty, and Celtic Merchant, who has banked $367,762. Celtic Merchant, now 14 years-of-age, has visited the winner’s circle on 47 occasions during his lengthy career while The Budster, a “youthful” 12 year-old has won 43 times. “They may be advanced in years,” says Oldford, “but they are still very much young at heart.” Competing in the same event as The Budster, the 11 year-old gelding A Crown For Lindy, who recently won for the 50th time during his illustrious career. Owned by Dein Spriggs, A Crown For Lindy is relatively lightly raced with “only” 196 career starts. His lifetime bankroll just edged over the $400,000 at the end of the 2016 season. Post time for the Saturday night program at Pompano Park is 7:20 p.m. with the amateurs competing in races one, four and six. by John Berry for Pompano Park and the Florida Amateur Driving Club

Pompano Beach, FL...August 17, 2016...With the Pompano Park harness racing season just six weeks away, the Florida Amateur Driving Club and its members are revving up early.   Since its inception, the F.A.D.C. has donated over $170,000 to worthwhile causes as their membership donates all driving earnings to fund these organizations.   Though there is no racing currently at Pompano Park, the driving club refuses to sit idle in their charitable giving.   Under the leadership of President Dein Spriggs, the F.A.D.C. is partnering with the Go for the Greens Foundation in saluting a breast cancer survivor that needs financial assistance.   This year's recipient is Tampa, Florida resident Nancy Hernandez, who is a breast cancer survivor and working on creating empowerment programs for women.   Ms. Hernandez has also helped coordinate a "Breast Cancer Walk" with her church and has been active in hosting workshops on this important subject.   She will receive her award at the upcoming Go for the Greens conference in September in Orlando, Florida.   Cindy Chase, co-founder of Go for the Greens, said, "it really great that the Florida Amateur Drivers continually step up to the '18th green' to help us reach continual new plateaus of success. They certainly have been a godsend to our cause."   F.A.D.C. President Spriggs echoed those thoughts by saying,"Though we aren't racing right at this very moment, our club deems it important to try and help worthwhile causes year around and the Go for the Greens organization fights one of the most important issues in our world today.   "This contribution actually originated from the Isle International Series, which we hosted last season in which many foreign drivers participated.   "Yes, we are Florida based, but our goodwill has stretched far beyond our borders--something of which we are very proud."   by John Berry for the Florida Amateur Driving Club

Southwind Amazon, superbly handled by harness racing driver John MacDonald, used Pompano Park's coveted five post (22.7% wins this season) to score a well rated 1:51 gate-to-wire victory in the $8,500 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (May 1). The six year-old gelded son of Camluck bolted out of the gate from the outside post in his quintet, drove over to the inside around the initial turn and proceeded to post fractions of :26.3, :55.2 and 1:23.4 before a sprint home in :27.1 sealed the deal measuring one length over the pocket-sitting Panocchio, driven by Wally Hennessey with Dedi's Dragon, with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the bike, third. Abrethofreshart was fourth while Heart Felt picked up the nickel. In a post-race interview, driver John MacDonald related, "This is the first time I had sat back of this horse and, when I looked at his lines, I thought that I might be able to leave and yield, just like Micallef handled him last week. "But once we got to the top, he was going so easily that he just didn't seem to want to yield to anything so we just kept going on. "He really had things his own way and, when we got to the three-quarters kinda cheap off of some of his recent races, I was pretty confident he'd get home. "He did! He was very good tonight." Trained by Paul Holzman for Ameer Najor, Southwind Amazon won for the seventh time in 14 starts to send his 2016 bankroll to $43,194. Lifetime, the talented pacer has earnings of $259,062 with 24 wins in 80 starts to go along with a Pompano mark of 1:49.2. Second choice on the tote-board at 8 to 5, Southwind Amazon returned $5.40 to win. The Holzman-MacDonald tandem struck again in the $7,200 Open 2 Pace with Rick's Sign, scoring his seventh consecutive win, in 1:50.3, equaling his lifetime best performance set five seasons ago. The now 11 year-old gelded son of Life Sign, trained by Holzman for owner Mary Holzman, saw MacDonald taking the 3 to 5 favorite to the outside in a first over bid from fourth after opening panels of :26.4 and :54.3 and sweeping to the fore past the third station in 1:22.4 and under wraps late while striding home in :27.4 to score by a length. Sir Jack, handled by Matt Romano, finished second while Northern Companion, beginning from the second tier, was third. Rockntouch finished fourth after being shuffled to seventh on the backside while Freeneasy Hanover picked up the nickel. After that race, MacDonald simple stated, "He's amazing! That's all there is to it!" Rick's Sign now has a scorecard this season of 8-2-1 in 14 starts, good for $29,574-more than he won all of last season in 38 starts. The veteran now has 67 lifetime wins and career earnings of $427,795. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote, Rick's Sign paid $3.40 to win. The Florida Amateur Driving Club series continued on Sunday night in two divisions with Lady Deda D, teamed up with Jamie Marra, taking the first division and Super Duke scoring in the second for owner John Campagnuolo. Lady Deda D, back in action after missing the entire seasons of 2014 and 2015, recorded her second win of the season in seven starts by scoring a handy three length win in 1:58.3 over Yakekty Hanover (Fred Cohen) with Rose Run Nolan (Mary Birkhold) third, 4¼ lengths off the winner. Rel Cash Clown and M C Felix rounded out the top five in the nine horse field. Trained by Louis Ginesi for owner Colene Lameyer, this eight year-old daughter of Prise Speed won for the 29th time in 87 career starts to send her lifetime bounty to $148,454 to go along with her Pompano mark of 1:54.4, set as a five year-old. Off as fifth choice at 8 to 1, Lady Deda D paid $19.60 to win. Super Duke, trained by Dan Hennessey for owner-driver Campagnuolo, took command turning for home and used a :29.3 finale to pin a defeat measuring 2¾ lengths on Thirtyeightspecial, driven by Leon Cable in 1:58.1. Engagedatlexington, overcoming a second tier post, was third for Jamie Marra. Columbia Lion, the leader through panels of :29.1, :58.4 and 1:28.2, finished fourth and Vacation Day, outside every step, was fifth. Super Duke, a six year-old altered son of Duke Of York, earned his second win of the year-13th lifetime-to send his career bankroll to $134,366. The Florida Amateur Driving Club pushed their charitable donations close to $170,000 with a generous donation to "Hopes, Dreams and Horses," an organization that has rescued dozens of horses as well as the lives of many hundreds of children and adults with special needs. The organization also received a mini jog cart prompting founder Sue Copeland to remark, "The Florida Amateur Driving Club has just helped us to continue to help a wide variety of individuals with special needs, including at-risk youth, veterans, senior citizens those with health issues including both physical and mental health. "Their generosity has helped us be a positive impact on youngsters as young as three and seniors in their 70's. "There are no adequate words to describe out thanks." Racing continues on Tuesday night many of the top mares in action in the Open, among the combatants Heart Major, Artful Impulse and Limelight. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

I am one of 14 board members  that make up the Florida Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA). We are in a desperate battle to stop the decoupling of our industry which in effect would destroy the sport of Harness racing in Florida and will eventually spread to the other states where Harness Racing has partnered with casinos. The legislative session in Florida has until March 11th to pass the proposed "Seminole Pact" that would eliminate racing almost immediately. We, the FSBOA, believe along with our lawyers that this is blatantly unconstitutional. However, as with all long legal battles we need money to fight the corruption within the political system. The casinos have too much money at their disposal for us to battle without our nationwide industry support. Remember, Florida is the first battleground and first line of defense in stopping decoupling. If decoupling is not stopped in Florida then you can count on your state being next, it is inevitable. Please lets unite in this fight and stop the destruction of our sport. This is a cause that every horseperson, owner, trainer, driver, breeder and vendor must get behind to win. This money will be used for lawyers in our constitutional fight and for our lobbyists in Tallahassee to make sure this doesn't happen again. We are also in talks with a top PR Firm with the intent to take our fight to the people.  And don't forget "You will be next" if we don't win in Florida. Thank you for your support, the fate of Harness Racing in the United States lies in our hands. If you can donate, please go to  From Jerry Glantz, for the FSBOA

Pompano Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association held their 25th annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame awards dinner Friday. Inducted into the Hall of Fame were former race secretary Kenny Marshall, trainer/drivers Wally Ross, Jr. and Tom Sells, and on the equine side, the trotting stallion, Basil. The association also presented its annual horsemen/women awards. In addition, the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) presented their 2015 Crystal Awards to the top state-bred horses this past season and the Florida Amateur Driving Club (FADC) presented their "driver of the year" award. The silver anniversary event took place at the Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort and Spa with more than 150 people in attendance. Wally Ross, Jr.’s induction was only the second time in the history of the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame that a father and son has been inducted. Wally Ross, Sr. was inducted in 2011. The other father-son combo were William Haughton (1990) and Tommy Haughton (1998). It was also the first time in 25 years that the same trainer won both the William Popfinger Award and the Stanley Dancer Award as the top trainer of pacers and trotters. That award went to Mike Deters. In attendance were Hall of Famers William Popfinger (1991), Ron Waples (1994), Wally Hennessey (1996), Joe Pavia, Jr. (1996), Jake Huff (2004), Fred Segal (2005), Dr. Mark Phillips (2008), Mike Deters (2009), Dr. Paul Caputo (2010), David Ingraham (2010), Jim McDonald (2011), Walter Ross, Sr. (2011), Marc Aubin (2012), Christine Garrity & Anthony Amante (2014) and Lou Rapone (2014). 2015 Florida UWHWA Awards Delvin Miller Award (Goodwill) - Victoria Howard Dana Irving Award (Breeder) - Laurie Poulin R.D. Ricketts Award (Contributions) - Richard Dunmire Stanley Dancer Award (trotting trainer) - Mike Deters William Popfinger Award (pacing trainer) - Mike Deters Lifetime Achievement Award - Gerald Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award - Allen Saul Dan Gawlas Award (Good Guy) - Dein Spriggs Peter Haughton Award (Newcomer) - John Cummings, Jr. Peter Haughton Award (Newcomer) - John MacDonald Frances Dodge Van Lennep Award (Outstanding woman) Ann-Mari Daley Allen Finkelson Award (Promotions) - Thomas H. Hicks Caretaker of the Year Award - Tracey O'Leary FSBOA Crystal Award Winners 2yo Pacing Filly - Prairie Sweetheart 2yo Pacing Colt - Gleneagles 2yo Trotting Filly - Gold Star Briana 2yo Trotting Colt - Rexamillion 3yo Pacing Filly - Davita 3yo Pacing Colt - Owosso Flash 3yo Trotting Filly - Livy M 3-yo Trotting Colt - Prairie Fortune Older Pacing Mare - Limelight Older Pacing Horse - Hillybilly Older Trotting Horse - Lugar 2015 Breeder of the Year - Laurie Poulin FADC Driver of the Year - Dein Spriggs From the Florida Chapter of USHWA

Pompano Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the States Harness Writers Associations president, Steven Wolf, has announced that one additional award will be presented at the association's 25th annual Silver Anniversary Hall of Fame Awards Dinner on Friday, February 19, 2016 at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort and Spa in Pompano Beach. In addition to Allen Saul, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to trainer Gerald "Jerry" Nelson. Nelson, 83, who now resides in Coconut Creek, was born in Truro, Nova Scotia, and started working with Standardbreds as a young boy and then when to California with the great Joe O'Brien, rising to the ranks of second trainer. Nelson also was first trainer with Archie McNeil, Ron Waples, Joe Pavia, Jr. and Wally Hennessey, working much of his career at Pompano Park. "Jerry has been around horses all his life," said Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey, "He was always reliable, super with the horses, he was the whole package and to this day, grooms at Pompano Park always ask how he is doing. Everyone has nothing but the upmost respect for him." Elected to the chapter's Hall of Fame, which recognizes special individuals who have been outstanding leaders within the industry for more than ten years and who have contributed to the betterment of the Standardbred Industry, are veteran trainer/drivers Wally Ross, Jr. of Coral Springs and Tom Sells of Margate, former Pompano Park race secretary Ken Marshall of Livonia, Michigan, and the top trotting sire, Basil, who is retired at James Gluhm's farm in Trenton. In addition to the Florida USHWA chapter's awards, presentations will also be made by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association to the owners of the top 2 and 3-year-old state-bred trotters and pacers from the 2015 season and the annual Breeder of the Year Award. The Florida Amateur Driving Club will also present their year-end awards. Tickets are $80 per person for the full course dinner that begins at 6:00 pm with a one-hour open bar with appetizers. Tables of ten are available. For more information, to purchase tickets, or place a congratulatory ad in the program book, please contact Rosie Huff at the Florida Standardbred Breeders Office at 954-972.5400,, or Steven Wolf at 954-654-3757, From the Florida Chapter USHWA    

Pompano Beach, FL...December 19, 2015...Zeitgeist and Mystical Shopper took top honors at Pompano Park on Saturday as Late Closing events continued at the South Florida oval--this night for the Florida Amateur Driving Club spotlighting claiming trotters. Zeitgeist. trained by Allen Saul for owner-driver Dein Spriggs, took the opening division of two with a hard earned 2:00.4 victory, holding off the determined late bid of Saintfrancis, driven by Jamie Marra, to score by a head. Good Friend finished third for Tony Dinges, five-and-a-half lengths away, nosing out Rel Cash Clown and Lucky Danish in the field of six. When the Hummer Gate sprung, Joe Pennacchio had Lucky Danish on the engine from post five, sprinting out to an open lead measuring three lengths with the rest of the field in post position order--Rel Cash Clown, Good Friend, Saint Francis, Leonardo and Zeitgeist, the favorite, last but on the move once they passed the opening panel in :30. By turn two, en route of a half in :59.3, Lucky Danish continued to lead with Rel Cash Clown still second with Good Friend remaining third and Zeitgeist going the overland route first up into fourth. On the backside, Zeitgeist continued to churn forward, reaching the saddle-pad of the leader once they clocked in at the third station in 1:30.1. Straightening away, Zeitgeist forged to the lead and only had to hold off the late surging Saint Francis, which he did in a photo. After the event, driver Dein Spriggs related, "Zeitgeist is just an honest, hard-hitting trotter that thrives in this particular class and rarely puts in a bad performance. If someone looks him in the eye, he digs in. If he looks someone in the eye, they know they're being looked at. He's just a tough racehorse." Zeitgeist, an eight year-old son of SJ's Caviar, won for the eighth time in 30 tries this season, good for $28,583 in bounty. He's banked $111,943 lifetime. Off at 4 to 5, Zeitgeist paid $3.60 to his many followers. The second division went to the three year-old filly Mystical Shopper, making her Pompano Park debut. This daughter of Swan For All, trained by John MacDonald for the JP Stables of Ontario, Canada, was driven by Leon Cable and used her rail post position to perfection, wiring together panels of :28, :57.1 and 1:28 en route to a handy 1:59 victory measuring 1¼ lengths over Play Fair, with Steve Oldford in the bike. Good Feeling and Dein Spriggs teamed up for third while Tymal Recap finished fourth. What About Brian picked up the nickel in the septet. Mystical Shopper now sports a 4-5-4 scorecard in 23 starts with earnings of $19,673 this semester. In a post-race interview, driver Cable said, "This, of course, is the first time I've sat behind her and John (trainer MacDonald) said she's pretty good on the front end, so I just let her do her own thing...pretty cut and dry!" As the 3 to 1 third choice in the betting pool, Mystical Shopper paid $8.40 to win. Racing continues on a five night a week schedule with only Thursdays and Fridays dark. The Sunday program features the $11,000 Open Handicap Pace with Bluehourpower looking for his third straight success at Pompano Park since his arrival. The four year-old son of Sand Shooter looks to add to his lifetime bounty of $508,256 for owner Wilber Eash. Ricky Macomber is expected back in the bike for this encounter. Monday's card features the final of the Success Cameo Late Closer while Tuesday's 11 race program features the $11,500 Open Handicap Trot--Auspicious Hanover seeking a repeat for owner Susan Oakes. Kevin Wallis will be in the bike. The Wednesday program is bursting with 14 races featuring a wagering buffet that includes two pentafecta races and a pair of Pick-4 events to go along with the usual Pick-5 and Super Hi-5 offerings. Post time is 7:30 for the Sunday-Monday-Tuesday programs while Wednesday's post has been moved up to 7:00 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...December 15, 2015...The Federation Europeenne Des Gentlemen Amateurs Et Cavalieres Du Trot, in cooperation with the Florida Amateur Driving Club, has announced that the Isle International Amateur Series will be held at Pompano Park in a two day harness racing extravaganza March 12 and 13. The top amateur drivers from Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Russia and Spain will join a Florida representative in a multi-race series that is expected to draw attention world-wide. Italy's Enrico Colombino, a winner of 345 races, is expected to compete along with Germany's Michael Gutsche, who has reached the winner's circle on 235 occasions. Ivan Serik of Russia has earned his way into this prestigious event on the strength of his 143 wins while Norway's Nils Olav Holm will come into the U.S.A with 171 driving victories. Spain's Jaume Bassa Riera, returns to the United States after competing in eight events last year--winning three, including a victory at host track Pompano Park. He also won events at Tioga Downs and Yonkers Raceway. Adding to the excitement is the news that the "voice" of harness racing, Roger Huston, will be providing the race calls for the event. Huston, who was Pompano Park's track announcer from 1967 to 1975, lends yet another world dimension to this event, having called races at 134 venues, including, besides the U.S.A., tracks in Australia, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Wales. Organizer Dein Spriggs, President of the Florida Amateur Driving Club, said of the event, "locally, our Driving Club has contributed over $140,000 to charitable organizations and has put harness racing in a very positive community light. "This competition will, hopefully, expand our work and goals beyond our borders and be a benefit to charities world-wide and, of course, harness racing." Brett Revington, Director of Racing at Pompano Park added, "We are very excited to be the host track for this year's event. This is a great cooperative effort that will encompass an area far greater than South Florida or, even, North America. This is a world class event that will enable our sport to reach out to, literally, many millions of people." by John Berry    

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