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POMPANO BEACH, FL...MARCH 9, 2020...On a normal night, the race that gets the most ink is the feature harness racing Open, which Prairie Panther did on Sunday night. But, on this night, the spotlight was on a Florida Amateur Driving Club event supporting the cause of a fellow horsemen, Steve Wiseman.   Wiseman is battling some serious health issues and the FADC joined the "Wiseman Strong" movement by making a donation in support of this well-known and respected gentleman.   The race honoring Wiseman was won by the 14 year-old warrior Rompaway Beau, driven by Ron Cusimano.   Trained by Don Harmon for owner Krista Harmon, earned his 68th career win with the time of 1:57.4 being his fastest winning mile in nearly four years!   After the race, a humble and elated Cusimano said, "I have won over 250 races and this is the most important one for me in honoring Steve and being a part of the 'Wiseman Strong' movement.   I'll let you in on a little secret...before we went to the gate, I whispered in Rompaway's ear, 'this one is for Steve, so let's get it done!'   "He must have heard me because all I did was steer. He did it all!"   Leading from first long stride to last, Rompaway Beau had three lengths over Security Guard (Dein Spriggs) at the wire with You Cant Habit (Carl Garofalo) next.   As second choice, Rompaway Beau paid $6.80 to win.   Several other horsemen chimed in for the winner's circle presentation, among them Spriggs, Rick Plano (recovering from surgery himself) and Frank Petrelli.   Plano recalled the days passed when Steve worked for him relating, "he was--and still is--a grand individual with a great work ethic and a very valuable person to have around."   Petrelli also had high praise for Wiseman saying, "I just can't say enough great things about him and I know he can beat this health issue."   Spriggs, an integral part of the Florida Amateur Driving Club, said, "it's an honor for our club to be a part of the 'Wiseman Strong' journey."   In an emotional segment, Wiseman, himself, joined the festivities via the internet and expressed deep gratitude for the outpouring of sentiment and help during his plight.   He said, "There are really no words that can convey my feelings. It's just overwhelming. We are all combatants on the racetrack trying to make a living but, to me, this is why I am involved in this business. Everybody really roots for everyone's success. Truly remarkable!"   Now, back to the feature where Prairie Panther made his 2020 debut a winning one with a gate-to-wire romp in 1:52 for Wally Hennessey in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace.   The now six year-old gelded son of Royel Millennium posted up panels of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24.3 before a handy :27.2 romp home sealed the deal by a length over Mac Anover (the longest shot on the board) with John MacDonald in his bike. Turbo Hill, driven by Hunter Oakes, rallied for third after trailing for the first half mile. Outkast Blue Chip and Rub Of The Green completed the classy quintet.   Trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Panther now sports a lifetime scorecard of 36-6-9 in 74 starts, good for $337,122. He paid $2.40 to win.   Racing continues on Monday night with the Super Hi-5 jackpot standing at $60,720.86.   Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park      

The 20th edition of the World Cup for amateur harness racing drivers will be held next week at Florida's Pompano Park and U.S. representative Joe Pennacchio will be aiming to make history. No American has ever won the event, which this year brings together participants from 12 countries from around the globe. "I'm honored to race under the U.S. flag and represent our country," Pennacchio said. "It's very exciting to be doing it, and it would be an incredible treat to be able to win. We're going to try to get it done. But I know all the other drivers are very capable. I'll just see how the races unfold and do the best I can to be in a good position. We'll see how it shakes out." Pennacchio, a retired CEO who spent most of his career in department store retailing, has won 186 races in his career and was the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Amateur Driver of the Year in 2018. Pennacchio won 15 of 67 races that season. His victory total was one shy of his career high. In addition to driving, Pennacchio has enjoyed success as an owner, most notably with 2004 Breeders Crown winner Yankee Slide. He is the past president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association, a director of the U.S. Trotting Association, and a member of the Florida Amateur Driving Club. The club is hosting the World Cup. "I've driven internationally quite a bit and many of those drivers have multiple hundreds of wins over their careers," Pennacchio said. "They tend to drive a lot more over the course of the year than we do. But our amateur series in the United States has grown incredibly in the last five to 10 years. There are more races than any one person could want to go to at this point. The opportunities are all over the place. "We have a great club in Florida. We race three or four times every weekend. The only problem for me is I'm old. I wish I was 30 years younger. I've got more behind me than I've got in front of me. So, it's even more special for me (to drive in the World Cup) because I don't know if I would get another opportunity to do something like this." The World Cup consists of eight races, with each driver getting five starts. The first four races are Monday (Feb. 24) and the final four are Tuesday (Feb. 25). Argentina's Leonardo Agusti is the defending World Cup champion. Agusti has won more than 1,300 races in his career, which began in 1966. He has raced in the U.S. on several occasions and owns a win at Pompano Park, which he picked up in 2008. The remaining drivers in the event are Switzerland's Barbara Aebischer, Spain's Miquel Vich Capo, Canada's David Drew, Hungary's Andrea Fazekas, Denmark's Lars Munk, Belgium's Piet Van Pollaert, New Zealand's Warren Rich, Austria's Thomas Royer, Italy's Andrea Sallustio, and Sweden's Lukas Svedin. Fazekas also has a win at Pompano Park, which came in 2016. Two years later, she picked up a victory at Monticello Raceway. She and Agusti are the only non-North American drivers with wins in the States. Fazekas has won nearly 180 races since beginning her career in 2003. "It will be amazing to return to this track (Pompano)," Fazekas wrote via Facebook Messenger. "Having won there before brings me confidence. I'm looking forward to the World Cup and will try to do my best. I believe in myself and cross my fingers for good horses. "I enjoy the excitement of racing," she added. "Driving new horses, getting to know them; it's always a good experience." The drivers will arrive in Florida on Saturday and be treated to a number of excursions, including a trip to Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village and boat tour of Fort Lauderdale. "Steve (Oldford) and Dein (Spriggs) have done a remarkable job putting together a great program," Pennacchio said. "People are going to have the opportunity to be busy every minute of the day. They're going to take them all over the place." He then added with a laugh, "Maybe they can get them really tired and I can win." Pennacchio, who drew posts eight and two on Monday and posts three, five, and three on Tuesday, knows it will not be that easy. "When you go on the racetrack it's incredibly competitive," Pennacchio said. "When you come off the racetrack everybody is friends and we laugh about it. We'll have a great time. We'll have a greater time if we win, but we'll have a great time no matter what." For the program pages for the Monday races in the competition, click here. For the program pages for the Tuesday races in the competition click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Pompano Beach, FL...February 11, 2020...Harness racing driver Joe Pennacchio will be representing the United States in the World Amateur Cup 2020, which will be held at Pompano Park beginning February 22.   Pennacchio earned the honor to represent the U.S.A. on Monday night at the South Florida oval by piloting the Walter La Freniere, Jr. trainee B R Flying Dali to victory in the World Cup qualifier. Owned by William H. Mc Elvain, Jr., the eight year-old son of Dali covered his mile in 1:55.4, just getting up over the Dein Spriggs driven Firewater Jake.   It was a rare win for Pennacchio--not in numbers, per se, but for the fact that he was making a rare appearance back driving a pacer.   Pennacchio has been a stalwart member of the Florida Amateur Driving Club for many years and all starts for that club are for trotters.   "Yes," Pennacchio lamented, "it's rare that any of our amateur drivers get behind a pacer, so this win was extra special, to say the least."   Pennacchio now has 186 career wins with his first one dating back to 1995 at Delaware, Ohio with Fox Valley Trump.   He has competed with regularity on the European circuit and was USHWA Amateur Driver of the Year in 2019.   In last night's event, Pennacchio was competing against a stellar group of amateur drivers including four others who won USHWA's Amateur Driver of the Year Award--Steve Oldford, Robert Krivelin, Dein Spriggs and Hannah Miller, all of whom have represented the U.S. in world competition.   Pennacchio hopes to become the first driver from the U.S. to win the elite competition saying, "I am sure that this will be a highly competitive event with the best of the best vying for supremacy. I just hope to compete safely and honorably for our country."   by John Berry            

Pompano Beach, FL...December 10, 2019...In a "see-saw" finish right to the wire, the USA Amateur team eked out a narrow harness racing victory over the visiting Italian team at Pompano Park on Monday night in the annual friendship series between the two countries. The final tally was 100 to 86 with Ron Cusimano reaching the winners circle with Everyone' Talkin to give the USA the narrow win. With USA taking a 53-40 edge on opening night, the Italian visitors struck first on Monday night when Italy's Daniele Orsini gave a "heads-up" drive to Kelly Walkers' Stables Thisisshe, pushing the Italians into the point lead with one race to go. Thisisshe completed her one mile journey in 1:57.4. In the finale, Cusimano sent Everyone's Talkin, who he co-owns, right to the front from his mid-pack post and proceeded to wire his foes in 1:55.4. The Jake Huff trainee carded panels of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26 along the way to earn his 25th career win. Both winning drivers were gracious in he winners circle with Cusimano applauding his main rival for the "fantastic drive" he gave to Thisisshe an Orsini thanking Dein Spriggs and Joe Pennacchio for their "grand hospitality" during their stay. Spriggs added, "This is what our sport can do for the community and beyond in the form of promoting our industry and, at the same time, be of benefit for so many worthwhile charitable organizations." The Florida Amateur Driving Club has donated over $200,000 to charities benefiting everything from Make-A-Wish and Animal Rescue Organizations to finding a cure or cancer. Racing continues Tuesday with a Pick-6 carryover and a blossoming Super Hi-5 jackpot of $4,731. Post time is et for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for the Florida Amateur Driving Club              

Pompano Beach, FL…December 3, 2019…Word comes that Italy is planning to invade the United States—specifically Pompano Park—on Sunday, December 8 and Monday, December 9 in an amateur series featuring many of the best amateur drivers in the sport. The American contingent will be headed by last year’s Amateur Driver of the Year, Steve Oldford, and complimented by the appearances of Dein Spriggs and Joe Pennacchio, among others. Team Italy will feature Gian Luca De Venti, Daniele Orsini, Pier D’Angelo, Alessandro Manfredi. Gian Luca De Venti, a native of Palermo, Italy, is no stranger to the winner’s circle at Pompano Park, having won here with the trotter Bad I Am in a 2018 performance. Daniele Orsini, from San Casciano, has competed with regularity in the States and, over the past two seasons, has been “on the board” in seven of 11 starts, many at Pompano Park. Pier D’Angelo, from Naples, also has participated in South Florida with his last appearance being in 2016. Alessandro Manfredi will be making his U.S.A. debut in Pompano’s second race on Sunday night. The American contingent features Spriggs, who has won 471 races, tops among all U.S.A. amateur drivers competing in the event. Pennacchio and Oldford, have reached the winner’s circle 183 and 161 times, respectively. Speaking of the event, Spriggs said, “No doubt that this will be a highly competitive—but friendly—event with the winner owning the bragging rights until we meet again. The main thing is that all of us do our part in showing how harness racing can benefit so many worthwhile charities and organizations that need help to keep doing their great work. “We want our sport to reach out to our communities, cities and the world with our good will. That’s what we are all about!” by John Berry, for the Florida Amateur Driving Club

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

Pompano Beach, FL...January 28, 2019...Amateur harness racing drivers Tony Dinges, Steve Oldford and Sky Walker were the driving stars as The Florida Amateur Driving Club edged their Italian visitors in a two night, four race competition that concluded on Sunday night at Pompano Park. The Italian amateurs--from Clubs Venti and Tuscany--were lead by Giancarlo Moretti, who also landed in the Pompano Park winner's circle during the heated--but friendly, competition. Dinges got things rolling for the American contingent when he piloted Lee Clarke's Phoenician to the Thursday night opener, scoring in 1:58.1 over Power and Faith, handled by Tuscany Club amateur Daniele Orsini and Global Power, with the Florida Amateur Driving Club's Sky Walker in the bike. Moretti, from Club Venti, who has tasted victory in the U.S. before, then guided Dein Spriggs' Security Guard to a come-from-behind win in 1:59.3 to even the score in round one. Florida's Joe Pennachio was next with Cheeky Little Minx while Roberto Giannoni was third with Jelectric. On Sunday night, with tornado warnings abundant and record rainfall drenching Pompano Park, Steve Oldford gave the Americans the edge by piloting Oldford Racing's Kaffir Kemp to a near wire-to-wire win from the eight post in 1:59.2, holding off Majestic Mystic, handled by Joe Pennacchio by a half length. Fair Glider, with Daniele Orsini in his sulky, wasa fast closing third. The win sent Kaffer Kemp's earnings over the $200,000 mark lifetime and rewarded his backers with a win mutuel of $190.00, keying a trifecta payoff of $4,992.80. Sealing the deal for the Americans was Sky Walker with his own Keystone Blade, who overcame the sloppy going and the eight post to score in 1:56.4 over Everyone's Talkin, driven by Ron Cusimano. Shadow Copy, with Roberto Giannoni in the bike representing Club Tuscany, was third. The final tally showed the FADC-USA Amateurs with 91 points, the Tuscany Club with 65 and Club Venti with 48. After the competition, Amateur driver Joe Pennacchio remarked, "This competition has been so well received in both the USA and Italy and shows the strong ties that have developed between our two countries via our grand sport. We all take the competition very seriously but the friendships that we have developed have been just unbelievable." Italian spokesperson Alessandro Spano echoed Pennacchio's comments by saying, "Despite somewhat of a language barrier, these visitors from Italy have come to treasure the friendships that have developed and their is no doubt that both countries will be eager to continue the competition for many years to come." In other action, Andreios Kardia, the eight year-old gelded son of Badlands Hanover trained by Jeff Byron for owner Ina Madill, got a perfect second over journey for Aaron Byron to score in the $10,000 feature in 1:53 for his first win of the season in three starts and 35th of his career. The win sent his career earnings to $344,741. Track Record $28,503 Pick 5 Carryover at Pompano Monday   Fans could never quite recover after 94-1 upsetter Kaffir Kemp (Steve Oldford) kicked off the Sunday card at Pompano, resulting in a rare double-carryover of $23,503 in the 50-cent Pick 5.  Track officials, in conjunction with the USTA Strategic Wagering Program, have placed an 'instant guarantee' of $80,000 on the total Pick 5 pool on Monday night.     The Pick 5 is a nightly wagered featured on the first race of every card.    Live racing continues at the Isle Casino Pompano Park five nights per week, with a first post of 7:20 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.  There will be no live racing on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb 2). Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   By John Berry for Pompano Park                

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

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

Pompano Beach, FL...April 23, 2018...Pompano Park was the Sunday night site of the Hennessey-Ingraham harness racing Pro-Am event, sponsored by the Florida Amateur Driving Club (FADC). The highly competitive--yet friendly--event featured two races featuring captains Wally Hennessey and Dave Ingraham each have four FADC amateur members with Hennessey's team capturing the event 64-58. Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey vaulted his team to the narrow victory by winning both of the events in which he drove, accounting for 30 of his teams 64 points. Hennessey guided Cashallic to a narrow win in the opener, holding Bad I Am, driven by Ingraham, safe by a neck in 1:58. Tony Dinges (Team Ingraham) finished third with Love Hunter while Robert Krivelin, handling Kabo, (Team Hennessey) was fourth. Leon Cable (Team Ingraham) was fifth with Pinky The Intern and, when the scores were tallied, Team Hennessey had a slim lead of 31-30. The final event saw Hennessey winning with Its Payday Friday, by 8 1/2 lengths, in 1:57.4 over the 100 to 1 shot, Bad Cantab, driven by Billy Muggleston (Team Ingraham). Joe Pennacchio (Team Hennessey) was third with Zorwijk Impact while James Quinn (Team Hennessey) was fourth with Alfredo Dream. Steve Oldford (Team Ingraham) picked up the nickel with The Budster and, when all results were tallied, Hennessey's team had that six point edge. After the event, Hennessey, Ingraham and the amateur drivers gathered in the winner's circle to make three charitable donations while edging close to the $200,000 mark. Marla Berger was in attendance to receive the FADC donation to Tomorrow's Rainbow, recognized as the premier resource for grieving children, teens and their families. In making the presentation, Hennessey said, "this is such an important organization that actually guides children back to joy after suffering something traumatic. It's great to be a small part of their mission." In accepting the donation, Ms. Berger, who is Program Director for Tomorrow's Rainbow, said, "Actually, I'm pretty speechless right now. There are really no sufficient words of thanks to the Amateur Driving Club for their generosity through the years. This, truly, is a great night for us." Dave Ingraham and Kelly Case were also on hand to make presentations to The Christian Harness Horsemen's Association and Rockin T Equine Sanctuary and Rescue. The CHHA now in its 35th year of reaching out to the harness racing community under the direction of Chaplain Lee Alphin. The Rockin T Equine Sanctuary houses sick, elderly and rejected horses, as well as other animals, with a core team of veterinarians, farriers and caretakers while providing well deserved comforts to their "residents." Ingraham said, "To see what the FADC does for so many worthwhile charities is very heartwarming and so much needed, especially after many of these horses have given so much to us on the racetrack." Kelly Case then put her emphatic "Amen" on the evening saying, "Thus is what we are all about!" FADC President Dein Spriggs closed the festivities by saying, "We couldn't have accomplished what we have done without the cooperation of Pompano Park and their grand staff. And for Wally (Hennessey) and Dave (Ingraham) to participate makes it a very special night." by John Berry for the Florida Amateur Driving Club.

Pompano Beach, FL...April 19, 2018...On the heels of a very successful Pro-Am event with Tim Tetrick and David Miller, the Florida Amateur Driving Club has secured the services of harness racing Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey and Dave Ingraham for a now highly anticipated Pro-Am event on Sunday, April 22. Hennessey and Ingraham are "one-two" in the wins category at Pompano Park this meet and will be hosting the event as the FADC edges closer to the $200,000 mark in charitable donations. The first of two events features a full field of trotters with combined earnings of over $1.7 million, which will be led by Cashahallic ($394,062), who, ironically, will be driven by Wall Hennessey. Hennessey will have team support from amateur drivers Robert Krivelin, Dein Spriggs, Joe Pennacchio and John Campagnuolo Ingraham will pilot Bad I Am in the event and has Leon Cable, Tony Dinges, Billy Muggleston and Steve Oldford on his roster. That event will also have a $5,752 superfecta carryover going in and kicks off a Pick-5 with a carryover of $6,403 and a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The final Pro-Am event will be conducted on the pentafecta fourth race, featuring a full field of 10 with combined career earnings of over $2.5 million with The Budster the richest of the group at $665,905. Hennessey will be in the bike back of Its Payday Friday in that event and has Joe Pennacchio, James Quinn, Roger Goldstein and Dein Spriggs on his team roster while Ingraham will drive Royal Hawaii with Steve Oldford, Ron Cusimano, Jamie Marra and Billy Muggleston completing his team. In announcing the event, FADC President Spriggs said, "Just as Tim Tetrick and Dave Miller did, Wally (Hennessey) and Dave (Ingraham) were eager participants in this to show just what our sport can do for worthy causes, as we have done for so many years. We can't thank them enough for competing in this event!" Sunday's program also features a classy field in the Open Pace as a $3,000,000 field has been assembled including Doo Wop Hanover ($792,919), Duc Dorleans ($657,789), Arsenal ($500,396) and Sing For Me George ($494,826). Post time for the Sunday program is set for 7:20 p.m. by 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 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      

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