'Muscles', 'Artist' Share Pompano Stage

Muscles For Life and Lucky Artist A shared the spotlight as Pompano Park hosted twin Open Handicap events on Tuesday night (March 9).

Muscles For Life, brilliantly handled by Wally Hennessey, was sent directly to the front from post six and opened daylight on what was seemingly his main rival, Timon AS, going on to score a relatively comfortable win in 1:54.1 — his winning margin 1-1/2 lengths over his half-brother, Serenity Cruise (Mike Simons). Bjlorado (Joe Chindano Jr.), the longest proposition in the race at 59-1, finished third, three lengths away.

Muscles For Life, who usually likes to join the fray from the get-go, did so again this night by streaking off the wings and into the early lead, taking the field through a moderate :28.1 opener and the half in a well rated :57.1. From that point, the lead for Muscles For Life remained 1-1/2 lengths all the way home, with a :57 final half to seal the deal.

In a post-race interview, Hennessey related, “He was very solid tonight. He just kept that steady grinding forward momentum all the way. I was very pleased with his performance."

The victory — lifetime win number 35 — came in his milestone 100th career start, sending the Steve Oldford trainee's earnings to $372,415 for owner Jarold Hawks. Off at 3-2, Muscles For Life paid $5.00 to win.

On the pacing side of the ledger, Lucky Artist A, confidently handled by Mike Simons, led at every pole and scored a 3-1/2-length win in the $11,000 Open Handicap for mares.

The eight-year-old daughter of Artistic Fella zipped off the wings and painted panels of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:24.3 before easily completing the masterpiece with a :27.4 finale. Prairie Westerngal (Wally Hennessey), in the garden spot all the way around, finished second while Crisp Mane (David Miller) rallied from last turning for home to finish third.

In a post-race interview, Simons said, "She's very handy and all she needs to a chirp or two to get down to business. She was as strong at the end of the mile as when she was leaving the gate."

Trained by Jared Cooper for the Robert Cooper Stables, Lucky Artist A won for the third time in her last four starts with this 22nd career success vaulting her lifetime bankroll over the $150,000 plateau. Off at 2-5, Lucky Artist paid $2.80 to win.

The $10,000 Open II Trot went to the 11-year-old veteran Classicality, also driven by Mike Simons. This altered son of Classic Photo charged up first-over in the second turn, ground to the front at the third station, and used a :28.3 finale to score in 1:55.4 over Evs Girl and Gemologist.

The $10,000 Open II Pace for mares went to Take Abit Of Life, driven by Wally Hennessey. This five-year-old daughter of Western Terror was put to the test from both sides of the isle and scored by a neck over Ask Me Ifi Care and Evas Sports Czech in a lifetime best performance of 1:52.3.

Four drivers had driving doubles on Tuesday night: Simons, Wally Hennessey, David Miller and Braxten Boyd.

Racing continues of Wednesday (March 10) with a $15,000 guarantee of the popular Pick-4, featuring the lowest takeout in the industry — 12 per cent — and a Super Hi-5 Jackpot which has ballooned to $43,953.30. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.

(Pompano Park)

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