Special Sweetheart Sets Track Record

Special Sweetheart truly was special on the Friday evening, November 27 program at The Isle Pompano Park in a remarkable track record performance

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The three-year-old filly by Western Ideal-Ladys Special Girl was assigned the outside post in a field of six starters in the $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace. With less than ideal conditions for speed as the temperature dipped to 63 degrees (17 C.), Matt Kakaley rolled the filly to the front through fractions of :26.4, :56, and 1:24. Down the stretch Special Sweetheart answered the call one more time to hold off the pocket-sitter Alice Springs with Bruce Ranger and stop the clock in 1:52.1. That erased by a fifth of a second the track's previous record in the three-year-old filly pace category set by Miss Easy and John Campbell in October of 1991.

The win by trainer Tom Artandi gives him a clean sweep with his first three starters this meet in South Florida. Special Sweetheart, owned by 4 For 3 Stable of Bronxville, New York, arrived in Florida after a season of racing against her divisions's best. This win was her seventh in 23 starts this year and brought her 2009 bankroll to more than $497,000, and her lifetime earnings to more than $663,000.

Compelling Action In Breeders' Elims

Two eliminations were held on Friday evening in the Florida Standardbred Breeders And Owners Association (FSBOA) Breeders Stakes to determine the finalists for the two-year-old filly pace final on the December 5 Super Night Championship Card.

Cracker Cana won the first $5,000 split with an impressive effort in 1:55.4.

"Well, she stayed pacing tonight and showed her ability," said trainer-driver Terry McIntyre of the Hearty Welcome-Wine Me Dine Me miss. "She surprised me with a break last week but this was a big effort for her. She was parked the first three-eighths of the mile and had to go a :28.1 second quarter to get the front. To hold off Black Diamond Girl like that after the stretch battle was really great," McIntyre said.

Cracker Cana is owned by Russell Peavyhouse of Plant City, Florida.

The other division featured an overpowering front-end win by Isle Of View Too, also in 1:55.4.

"It was great to hear [driver] Matt Kakaley come off the bike and say she won lots left," said co-owner and trainer Tom Audley in his live post race trackside TV interview of the Macadream-Ranelle filly. "Early on this Fall she was making breaks and we changed her harness and several things with her. Our home base is up at Bell, Florida, which is 326 miles [522 km] away, but in the weeks she's raced in the FSBOA Fall Stakes we've spent the week with her down here at Pompano. The Breeders' Stake final on December 5 should be just one heck of a race against the likes of Black Diamond Girl and Cracker Cana," Audley said.

Isle Of View Too, co-owned by Ellen Ann Huxley-Laffer and Randy Laffer of West Palm Beach, defeated Diamond Chip with Wally Hennessey and Perfect Design driven by Walt Ross Jr. for her sixth win in eleven trips this year.

Tuesday Out, Saturday Upsized: Important Schedule Changes

With final regulatory approval expected on Monday, November 30, The Isle Pompano Park is making a scheduling change to drop Tuesday cards from the schedule and instead race double programs each Saturday evening, starting on December 5. The launch of the upsized Saturday night action will accompany the 2009 Florida Super Night of the FSBOA Breeders Stakes Championship. There will be 18 Saturday 'Twi-Night' cards to replace the dropped Tuesday programs at The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing.

The structure of the Saturday night programs will be an eight-race card at 7:05 p.m. known as the Twilight Card followed by the final eight-race card turning to the gate in the Night Card at 9:45 p.m. The Saturday 'Twi-Night' performances at The Isle Pompano Park will continue through April 3, 2010. Director Of Racing Operations John Yinger says he'll be making further announcements early next week about added attractions and incentives for the Saturday night on-track crowd after the final State approvals are in hand.

Furthermore, four additional programs have been added next May, which will conclude the current meet. Those four programs are scheduled for May 14, 15, 21 and 22 to extend the season two weeks beyond the originally scheduled closing date of May 8.

(Pompano Park)