Pompano Beach, FL…November 4, 2019…Heavy weather dampened the racetrack in South Florida on Sunday night–but the weather couldn’t dampen an excellent opening night of racing at Pompano Park.
With winds swirling and downpours continuing throughout the opening night festivities, track record holder Panocchio stole the show, winning his 67th career race–his 43rd win at Pompano Park.
The now nine year old conquered stiff competition and a track rated “sloppy” to score the win in 1:52.2–the fastest mile of the night.
Handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Jim Mattison, who co-owns with Emile Johnson, Jr., Panocchio out-punched favorite War-N-Munn, handled by Kevin Wallis, and proceeded through panels of :27, :55.3 and 1:24 before a :28.2 finale shut the door by a half length over War-N-Munn.
Hot Art, with Rick Plano in the bike, finished third while Fritzie Pick Up Man and Harry Terror earned the finals awards in the classy field.
Panocchio, the brilliant and rugged son of No Pan Intended, now has a lifetime scorecard of 67-48-18 in 195 starts, good for $613,388–$49,050 this semester–to go along with his track record mark of 1:48.3 set in 2015.
Panocchio was second choice in the wagering and returned $6.40 to win.
After the race, Hennessey remarked, “This is one amazing horse. He has such a great attitude and desire to win and, yes, he might have lost a step from his track record days, but he has a rare fight that makes him very special.”
Minutes before, Mattison sent his other stable star, Century Endeavor, to the gate and he proceeded to win in 1:53 for Wally Hennessey in a wire-to-wire effort featuring panels of :27.3, :57 and 1:25.4 before slamming on a very stubborn Skyful of Lighters, with Dave Ingraham in his bike. Four Socks, in the garden spot most of the way, was third for Kevin Wallis while Sporty Redhot and Pointsman finished four-five in that mile.
Century Endeavor is a four year-old gelded son of Shadow Play, co-owned by the trainer Mattison, along with Emile Johnson, Jr. and Vicki Mattison.
The win was the 10th of the year for Century Endeavor and pushed his seasonal bankroll to $84,895 and $133,097 lifetime.
At 3 to 5 on the tote-board, Century Endeavor paid $3.20 to his multitude of backers.
Also on the card were four $12,000 finals of the Sunshine State Stakes for two year-olds with Hurricanekingjames, Prairie Delight, Gold Star Igotdis and Prairie Gold Mine reaching the winner’s circle.
Hurrikanekingjames, driven by Carl Garofalo, brought back memories of the great thoroughbred, Secretariat, as this son of So Surreal scored a win in the slop measuring an astounding 82 1/2 lengths over Shuldahadahunemoon (Nick Coblentz), who, obviously, didn’t like the g””ooo”ing.
Owned by Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group and George Vierno, Hurricanekingjames swept through the three legs and final of this series like a hurricane in stretching his winning streak to four. MIchile Lorenzo trains the colt, who now has a bankroll exceeding $65,000 this year.
Prairie Delight, with trainer Jim McDonald in her sulky, took top honors in the juvenile trot for the fillies, extending her winning streak to four to remain perfect in her young career.
Proud Money Wally Hennessey was second while Whitney Annette, handled by Dave Ingraham was third. The early leader, Brasen Bo, was first off the wings but made a miscue three-eighths into the mile dashing her chances for an upset.
Trainer McDonald owns Prairie Delight, a young daughter of Shibboleth Hanover, along with wife Dona and Bill Bigler.
Both of the aforementioned events were off the betting card.
On the card, Gold Star Igotdis, a daughter of Rock On, driven by Corey Braden, proved that last week’s win was no fluke as she came from last in her quintet through the opening half-mile and paced her final half in :58 to pull off a 4 to 1 upset in 1:59 over the 1 to 5 favorite Laurie Lee (Wally Hennessey).Pocahontas Cam, handled by MIke Micallef, was third over Prairie Fashion and A Lil Touch of Pink.
After the race, a humble Braden said, “Maggie (trainer Audley) said she’s got a lot of talent and she’s full of pep and vigor. Boy, was she right. When I moved her on the backside, she just vaulted me around the rest of the way. Very impressive!”
Second choice in the betting, Gold Star Igotdis paid $10,00 to win and lowered her lifetime mark by two seconds, despite the sloppy going.
Finally, Prairie Gold Mine, handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Mike Deters, cruised around the oval in a lifetime best 2:02.4–her margin of victory 1 1/2 lengths over Prairie Romeo (Dave Ingraham) with Rhinestone Cowboy (Mike Micallef).
YD Dream Machine and Prairie Tornado completed the order of finish.
Prairie Gold Mine is now three-for-three for Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Fritz Racing and
Off officially at 1 to 20, Prairie Gold Mine paid $2.10 to win.
Racing continues on Monday with a fourth race pentafecta carryover of $945.53 and a Super Hi-5 jackpot of 563.07.
Post time is 7:20 p.m.
Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park and the FSBOA