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Goldstein Drives First Winner In 35 Years

Published: January 23, 2016 9:40 pm ET

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With the Florida Amateur Driving Club taking centre stage on Saturday night (Jan. 23) at Pompano Park, driver Roger Goldstein, known particularly for his training prowess, got his first driving win since 1980 when he guided the 10-year-old trotter Smokin Dabra to victory in the first of two FADC events.

Smokin Dabra, an altered son of Kadabra owned by the Unity Stable along with Probber Morse Racing, won for the 25th time during a career measuring 116 starts, pinning a half-length defeat on the pacesetting Global Power (Mitchell “Sky” Walker) in 2:00.3. Insider Access (Steve Oldford) finished third, four lengths away, with the favourite, Wittys Winner, fourth. Italian Stallion recovered from an early miscue to finish fifth in the field of eight.

Goldstein gave Smokin Dabra a picture perfect drive as he followed Global Power (post five) out of the gate with Smokin Dabra (post six) and gave his charge a patient drive in the garden spot through fractions of :29.1, 1:01.2 and 1:30.1 before tilting out as they turned for home and wearing the leader down with a sixteenth of a mile to go.

After the event, a jubilant Goldstein remembered, “Yes, that was my first win since I drove F W Nancy to a win at Monticello Raceway back in 1980.

“With the wind blowing so hard, I thought it [would] be best to stay covered up as long as possible. It worked!

“It’s great to be back in the winner’s circle. I just hope I don’t have to wait another 36 years to do it again.”

Smokin Dabra won for the first time since a Pocono Downs victory on April 23, 2014 — exactly 21 months ago — and sent his lifetime bounty to $244,772.

As fourth choice at 9-1 in the betting, Smokin Dabra paid $20.40 to win.

The second FADC event went to Groovey Kid, driven by owner John Campagnuolo, in 2:00.3.

This five-year-old Cincinnati Kid gelding overcame a second tier post and 10 other rivals to post a three and three-quarter length win over Starbux Eden (Jamie Marra) while What About Brian (Laurie Poulin) finished third. The pacesetting PCs Wildcard finished fourth and Vari Forgetful rallied to finish fifth.

Trained by Dan Hennessey, the busy Groovey Kid, making his 51st start since the beginning of 2015, won for the 12th time in 89 career starts vaulting his earnings to $87,364.

As the second choice at 7-2, Groovey Kid paid $9.20 to win and proved to be the catalyst to a pair of carryovers (for the Pentafecta and Pick-5) and guarantees for the Sunday night program.

Also on Saturday night, Andover America, sidelined for several months due to injury, finally made it back to the winner’s circle, scoring a wire-to-wire photo finish victory for Kevin Wallis in 1:58.1.

The 11-year-old warrior by Andover Hall, trained by Jacques Dupont for Mc Trade Enterprises, earned his 59th lifetime victory to send his career bounty to $797,751.

As the popular even-money choice, Andover America paid $4.20 to win.

After the final FADC event, a group of club members gathered in the winner’s circle to make a contribution to Tomorrow’s Rainbow, an organization whose mission is to provide grieving children, teens and families an emotionally safe environment for hope and healing through guidance, education and support.

The FADC now has donated well over $150,000 to charity since their inception.

Sunday night’s 10-race program, complete with a $7,500 guarantee on the Pentafecta and a $10,000 Pick-5 guarantee, begins at 7:30 p.m.

(With files from Pompano Park)

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