Toys For You Repeats In Pompano Open

Toys For You and Rick Plano, winning at Pompano Park

Toys For You, with Rick Plano handling the lines, used a devastating backside blitz from last to take charge around the final turn and go on to score a 3-1/4-length win in Pompano Park's $14,200 Open Handicap Trot on Monday night (Jan. 17).

The six-year-old gelded son of Airzoom Lindy, assigned the outside six post in this million-dollar field, broke the beam in 1:54 on a this cool south Florida night, pinning the defeat on Timon AS (Peter Wrenn) with Muscles For Life (Wally Hennessey), actually closing fastest of all, third. The Lionking AS was fourth while Anchors Away picked up the nickel in this classy sextet.

At the outset, Toys For You, a gate-to-wire winner last week in the slop, was unhurried and a length or so off the gate as Flagman zoomed off the wings into an early lead. He posted an opening panel of :27.4 before yielding to Timon AS, with The Lionking AS next followed by Muscles For Life and Anchors Away, with Toys For Us last, some six lengths back.

Heading into turn two, Toys For You tilted to the outside as Timon AS reached the half in a well rated :57. That's where Toys For You began his backside blitz with that devastating binge that brought him along side the leader heading into the final bend and, shortly after, into an insurmountable lead once straightened away.

"One chirp and he must've trotted his next eighth in 12 and a piece," said Plano after the race. "He was really motoring!"

Indeed, he was, justifying his 4-5 favouritism.

"He's one of the best horses I have ever been associated with...and I have been in this business a long, long time," continued Plano.

Owned and trained by Plano, Toys For You, after a 12-win season in 2021, won for the second time in three starts this young semester sending his lifetime earnings over the $150,000 plateau. He's won six of eight starts since his arrival in Florida to go along with a lifetime mark of 1:52.2.

The $12,600 Open II Trot went to the 10-year-old veteran Celebrity Pegasus, driven by Peter Wrenn.

This son of Andover Hall rallied late to nail the leading Wild And Crazy Guy (Hennessey) on the wire in 1:54.1 with the fastest closing Keystone Apache (David Miller) third, just a half-length away. The 14-year-old warhorse Cantab Lindy was fourth while Cash Hit was fifth in this septet.

For Celebrity Pegasus, trained by Melanie Wrenn for owner Joshua Jay Graber, it was his 42nd career win, sending his lifetime bankroll to $469,935.

The 2-1 second choice paid $6.40 to win.

The $11,000 Open III Trot was annexed by Sooo Handsome, a stablemate of the aforementioned Toys For You, in 1:55.

The nine-year-old gelded son of Cash Hall, owned by Maryann Plano, followed live cover on the backside before storming into the lead once straightened away in the lane to score by 2-1/4 lengths over the pacesetting Mr Houdini (David Miller) after that one clocked panels of :27, 56.4 and 1:25.3. Archibald (Fern Paquet Jr.) was third, another half-length away, while Trix And Stones was a fast-closing fourth. Muskingum picked up the nickel in the field of seven.

For Sooo Handsome, it was his 47th career win pushing his lifetime earnings to $408,242. Off at 1-5, Sooo Handsome paid $2.60 to win.

Plano had a driving triple on the card, also scoring with Trashytonguetalker ($5.20) in a condition/optional claiming event.

In the "better for the bettor" department, the 50-cent Pick-6 paid $1,304.35, despite the fact that four odds-on winners kicked off the sequence.

Racing continues on Tuesday night with a competitive card featuring a $15,000 guaranteed pool (industry low 12 per cent takeout) in the Pick-4 and a Super Hi-5 carryover of over $39,000. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.

Amateur Series Continues At Pompano

Amateur action continued at Pompano Park on Sunday and Monday as the Florida Amateur Driving Club showcased three events with Joe Pennacchio, Gary Barbere and Dein Spriggs reaching the winner's circle in their respective races.

Pennacchio, who won a FADC event one week earlier with The Big Muscle, made a return visit to the charmed circle on Sunday night by scoring a near gate-to-wire win with Keystone Blade in 1:58.1, the nine-year-old gelded son of Yankee Glide winning for the 29th time in to send his career bankroll to $214,920. The winner is owned by Pennacchio's Joe P Racing Stable.

For Pennacchio, who began his amateur driving career in 1995 with a win back of the aptly named Fox Valley Trump in Billings competition during Little Brown Jug week in Delaware, Ohio, it was his 206th career victory as he approaches $1 million in career driving earnings.

Keystone Blade paid $7.40 to his faithful as third choice in the betting.

Gary Barbere took top honours in the second FADC event with his own P L Jerico, trained by 86-year-old Odell Thompson.

The nine-year-old altered son of Manofmanymissions got picture perfect handling from Barbere as he sat chilly in the garden spot before rallying in the stretch to score in 1:57. The win was the 23rd for P L Jerico lifetime with his earnings now at $318,569. For Barbere, it was a milestone 75th career win with each ticket holder benefitting to the tune of $15 for their $2 investment.

On Monday night, Dein Spriggs scored a repeat victory with his own Uva Hanover as this 11-year-old veteran son of Cantab Hall won in wire-to-wire fashion in 1:57.3.

The win edges Spriggs closer to the 500 mark -- he's at 486 now -- and vaulted Uva Hanover's lifetime earnings over the $600,000 plateau.

Spriggs is in his 45th season as a driver and has six full seasons with a UDRS over .450.

Uva Hanover paid $5.80 as the second choice in the betting.

The Florida Amateur Driving Club has over 50 members that donate 100 per cent of their driving earnings to charitable causes ranging from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to horse rescue operations and adoption placement for retired racehorses. They have donated more than $220,000 since their inception.

(With files from Pompano Park & FADC)