Millionaire Continues Pompano Success
Published: July 7, 2013 12:00 pm ET
Last Comment: July 9, 2013 1:21 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
Millionaire pacer Hyperion Hanover and driver Stephane Lareau were the stars under the stars on Saturday night as Pompano Park participated in Back To The Track Night with bingo, starting gate rides, guest announcers and awards ceremonies.
An enthusiast crowd witnessed as Hyperion Hanover, a 10-year-old son of Camluck, dominated his foes in the featured Winners Over Pace for the fourth time in his past five races, scoring handily for Lareau in a well rated win in 1:54 over the late-charging Hillybilly, handled by Bruce Ranger. Avantage and Tom Sells teamed up for the show honours while Neptune Blue Chip and Bryce Fenn finished fourth off of a garden trip. Ricks Sign picked up the “nickel” in the quintette.
Hyperion Hanover, leaving from post four, grabbed the racetrack in the very first stride after the wings opened and took the field to an opening quarter in a somewhat leisurely :27.4. With no challengers in immediate pursuit, Lareau “grabbed a hold” and lolly-gagged over to the half in :57.2.
The pace picked up thereafter with a :28.4 third panel and the deal was sealed with a :27.4 closer. Not even Hillybilly’s :27 final quarter could threaten the winner that scored by a length and a half for the 46th time pushing his career bounty to $1,225,776.
“This horse is 10 years old, yes, but he races like a three-year-old," said Lareau after the event. "After I got to the quarter and nobody was making a quarter move, I grabbed a hold of him and got a nice second quarter breather. I was very confident after the half, especially with a horse of this high caliber.”
Hyperion Hanover is owned by the S S G Stables and trained by Jim McDonald, who just minutes earlier was honoured in Pompano Park’s winner’s circle as the leading trainer of the 2012-2013 meeting.
Also honoured was the track’s leading driver for the season, Ranger, who outdistanced his rivals for the season winning at a 24 per cent clip.
Both McDonald and Ranger had multiple winners on the card to celebrate their accomplishment -- Ranger driving with Ken Freeman’s and Dave Mogan’s Wingull to an upset victory in the opener as well as Marissa Tyler’s Young American in the feature for the mares. Frank Petrelli trains Young American, that came from almost 10 lengths out of it to score in 1:55.
While McDonald and Ranger were basking in their accomplishments, it was Lareau who was the driving star of the night, winning four races. Besides the aforementioned Hyperion Hanover, Lareau hit the charmed circle with Diamond Master, the free-legged pacing mare Tashia and Competition Cam.
Bingo got an enthusiastic response and it took six races to get the first two winners with the final three winners coming in the very next race. Each winner received $100.
“Bingo was very popular with our fans and the USTA designed this so perfectly that we were able to retain our fans throughout much of the program,” said Racing Director John Yinger.
The fans were also treated to the way races were started up until the mobile starting revolutionized the sport back in 1946. Rides in the starting gate were a highlight during the night, but starter Adam Brownlee turned the clock back before the start of the fifth race when the gate’s wings malfunctioned necessitating a start by the “honour system.”
Drive professionalism prevailed in that event as the starters -- sans one -- got off to an even start. One horse, Howards Girl, was deemed by the judges to get an unfair start and refunds were offered immediately after the event. The situation returned to normal shortly thereafter.
Back To The Track night also featured the return of two former announcers, Jerry Glantz and Warren DeSantis, who further brightened the festivities by calling four races each.
All told, Back To The Track night proved to be a rousing success to a large and enthusiastic crowd.
(With files from Pompano Park)