First Of Itskind Wins Third Straight Open
Published: March 19, 2017 10:22 pm ET
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First Of Itskind, driven by Mike Simons, scored a three-peat victory in Pompano Park’s $12,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (March 19), stopping the teletimer in 1:51.2.
The six-year-old gelded son of Western Terror used a :27.2 finale to nail Drachan Hanover, handled by Wally Hennessey, in the final 16th of the mile to score by a length.
Sing For Me George, with Kevin Wallis in the bike, finished third after enjoying a garden journey while Rockntouch finished fourth. Fritzie Pick Up Man was fifth despite a miscue at the start while King Of The Crop completed the order of finish in the classy sextet.
At the outset, both Sing For Me George and Drachan Hanover went in search of the lead with the latter taking command around the opening turn and then churning through an opening panel in a snappy :26.3.
With no threats developing on the way to the half, Drachan Hanover was able to gain a breather during that second panel with the half clocked in :56 as King Of The Crop marched up first-over into third with First Of Itskind following live cover fourth.
With the pace quickening on the backside, there were, still, no serious threats coming into play with Drachan Hanover reaching the third station in 1:23.2 and protecting a one and a half-length lead, which held steady as the field turned for home.
In the lane, Drachan Hanover looked comfortable on the lead but, quite simply, couldn’t contain First Of Itskind, who used that explosive :27.2 closing kick to sprint by in the final 16th of the mile.
After the event, Mike Simons had nothing but praise for his charge relating, “Once we straightened away for the drive, I really wasn’t too sure we could get there, but this horse really revved up his motor at mid-stretch. He was very sharp tonight — I mean very sharp!”
Trained by Jason Robinson for owner Robert Main, First Of Itskind earned his fourth win of the year in eight starts, good for $28,140 in 2017 earnings.
Career-wise, First Of Itskind now has 20 wins in 99 starts and $194,991 on the books.
As the 1-2 betting favourite, First Of Itskind returned $3.00 to his multitude of followers.
The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to Pointsman, driven by Rick Plano, in 1:52.3.
The seven-year-old gelded son of Royal Mattjesty, won the early battle as four horses went in pursuit of the lead and carded panels of :26.4, :55.2 and 1:23.3 before a :29 finale was good enough to hold off the late-surging Panchester United (Wally Hennessey) by one length. Rock N Row (Mike Simons) finished third while Buddha Blue Chip and Grande Seelster picked up the final awards in the field shortened to six with a scratch.
Trained by Joe Pavia Jr. for Lon Frocione, Pointsman earned his second win of the year and 17th lifetime to send his career bounty to $275,067.
As the slight favourite in his field at 6-5, Pointsman paid $4.60 to win.
Racing continues on Monday night with Sooo Handsome and Prairie Fortune mixing it up again in the $12,000 Open Handicap Trot.
Sooo Handsome will have owner/trainer Rick Plano back in the bike while Prairie Fortune will have the driving services of John MacDonald.
So Handsome was up in the final stride last week to pin a photo finish defeat on Prairie Fortune but, despite that, Prairie Fortune has been made the 8-5 morning line favourite for their encounter on Monday night. Sooo Handsome has been tabbed at 6-1.
Explosive Muscles (10-1), Dog Gone Lucky (5-1), Massive Lightning (6-1) and Boli (5-2) complete the field.
The Pick-4 will offer a $10,000 guaranteed purse on Monday night — that offering conducted on races six through nine.
First post is set for 7:20 p.m.
PAIR OF CARRYOVERS HIGHLIGHT MONDAY POMPANO CARD
Pompano Park offers a very competitive nine race program on Monday night with a pair of carryovers headlining in the ‘better for the bettor’ department.
The track's Pick-6 has a very healthy carryover of $7,210.
The Pick-6, which is a 50 cent based wager, is conducted on Races 3 through 8 and features a low takeout of 15 per cent.
If no ticket is sold on the winning combination, a consolation payout is offered to those ticket holders of the next highest number of winners, whether it be three, four or five of six.
The Super Hi-5 finale is growing rapidly, as well, as that carryover now stands at $18,488.60.
To claim the jackpot, a unique ticket must be sold on the winning combination. Should there be multiple winners, 50 per cent of the night's net handle is shared among the winners with the remaining 50 per cent added to the carryover for the next night's program. The Super Hi-5 is a 20-cent based wager.
Pompano Park is also offering a $10,000 guaranteed pool on its Pick-4 on Monday night, conducted on Races 6 through 9. That wager offers an industry low 12 per cent takeout.
Post time for the Monday program is 7:20 p.m.
(With files from Pompano Park)