Pompano Records Best Handle In Two Years

Published: December 23, 2010 10:28 am EST

When the final tally was rounded up from the 11-race program on Wednesday, December 22 at Pompano Park, the total wagered on the program was just over $425,000


“It’s certainly the best handle I can recall here in close to the past two years,” said Pompano’s Director of Racing Operations John Yinger. “We’ve had a great run of weather here in South Florida to start the holiday season, and our on-track crowds have been strong. Mostly of course, this strong handle is due to very little product being out there tonight in the simulcast market. The closest top handles to this I can recall here in recent years were about $385,000. It’s really great for more people off-track to get the chance to see us when we hit that simulcasting niche and hopefully they’ll consider us as a destination for a winter getaway. Tonight we had our Pick-4 Party Patrol and a putting contest between races in the winner’s circle to give them a sense of the fun we have here on race nights in our warm climate.”

Thursday Evening: Big Pick-4, Toys For Tots

On Thursday evening, December 23, there’s a special live card at 7:05 pm. (EST) to make up for the dark night on Saturday, December 25. In addition to the trackside interactive games and contests, there’s a Pick-4 carryover of $5,158. That wager begins on the fifth race and will feature a reduced 15 per cent takeout. The estimated total pool for the Thursday evening Pick-4 is likely to come in at close to $15,000.

A special trackside ceremony is also planned for approximately 8:00 p.m. on Thursday evening. An honour guard of the U.S. Marines will be attending trackside, as the track’s Toys For Tots drive will come to a conclusion. Anyone attending the program on Thursday evening is asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for South Florida children in need this holiday season.

Series Action For Florida Horses

The Wednesday evening program featured first-round action in a pair of series restricted to Florida-bred two-year-old pacers.

In the start of the Orange Blossom Series for the rookie fillies, Keep On Cookin was the heavy favourite and was forced to work extremely hard to win in 1:56.2. “I came off the bike huffing and puffing myself, they made it really tough on me out there,” driver, trainer and co-owner Rick Schaut said in a live trackside post-race TV interview. “On paper, it didn’t look like I’d have to go a :56.4 half, but I did. Late in the stretch, Gaston Lareau came at me with Youtorturemefern. My filly might have had a slight edge in experience on them since she started early this year up in Indiana, and it was a good thing tonight because she needed it.” Keep On Cookin, by Capital Request--Rockin Lady, is co-owned by Elizabeth Schaut of Anderson, Indiana and this was her sixth win in 14 trips this year.

In the opening leg of the Gator Series for the state-bred colts and geldings, Full Of Sand was a flawless front-end winner in a life’s mark of 1:54.4. Jake Huff trains the Full Of Fun--Soft Towel colt for owner and breeder White Creek Stable of Boynton Beach, Florida. Mike Micallef guided Full Of Sand from an outside Post 7 start through the fractions of :27.2, :58, and 1:26.1 to set up the life’s record performance. T L Six Shooter (driven by Joe Pavia Jr.) and Palm Beach Boy (Wally Hennessey) followed all the way, but could not get close to the soaring Full Of Sand in the stretch.

The Wednesday evening program also featured the top weekly trot handicap for a $12,500 purse. Andover America was ordered to the outside post in the field of seven and driver Bruce Ranger timed his usual final-half kick to earn a life’s mark of 1:54.2. The five-year-old Andover Hall--Armbro Array gelding, trained by Stewart Nemiro, has won 17 of 32 starts in his outstanding 2010 campaign and over $147,000 for McTrade Enterprises of Davie, Florida. Baseball Express, in rein to Mike Deters, cut the mile and held second, while Ginger Tree Jimmy (Chuck Connor, Jr.) split rivals late for third. Ontario newcomer Southwind Vavoom had a promising debut in South Florida for Lormer McClure and finished fourth.

Following the Thursday, December 23 program there will be a three-day break in the action. On December 27, the regular schedule will resume with live programs each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday evening at Pompano.