Purse Hike Rings In February At Pompano

Published: January 31, 2011 11:00 pm EST

The turn of the calendar page into February brings with it a new purse structure at Pompano Park

. As evidenced by the February 1 program, the increase across many classes range from just over 8% to more than 16% for the three weekly top class events.

"The on-track business trends have been very promising and our place in the simulcast market is looking more solid as the current meet goes on," said John Yinger, the Director Of Racing Operations for the Isle Casino Pompano Park. "The move of the Friday programs to Tuesday has proven to be especially prudent. In my view this purse increase is a just reward for the collection of horsepeople we've attracted for the tough, tight exciting show they put on here every race night.”

The graduated scale of increases starts at the bottom level, where the $4,000 claimers will now race for a $3,300 purse instead of $3,000. The Florida Amateur Driving Club (FADC) trot race on February 1 has a purse hike from $3,500 to $3,800. In the top class weekly winners over $10,000 lifetime handicap events the purse hike is the largest at over 16% from $12,000 to $14,000.

Retirement Night Is Here For Esmeralda Semalu

The 9th race on the Tuesday evening, February 1 program will feature the last scheduled racing appearance for Esmeralda Semalu, arguably the greatest pacing mare in the track's 47-year history.

The 34-time career winner of more than $420,000 took her life's mark and set the track record at the South Florida venue in March of 2009 with a stunning 1:49.4 effort. The seven-year-old Electric Stena-Anemone Semalu miss has raced the last three years of her career from the Joe Pavia Jr. outfit for BJR Stables and AGC Stables of Boca Raton and Highland Beach, FL. She'll be shipped to Blue Chip Farms in New York on Saturday for her first breeding to Bettors Delight.

If there is to be a storybook ending to the racing career of 'Esmeralda' she'll have to overcome a very formidable newcomer to the South Florida scene. Not Enough, a career winner of almost $1.2 million, will start from an assigned outside post position in the field of seven and alongside Esmeralda Semalu.

Not Enough last raced on December 21 at Chester Downs and prepped for her return to the racing wars with a 1:53.2 qualifier on January 22. Not Enough won the 2009 Canadian Breeders final at Mohawk in 1:50 just before taking her life's mark of 1:49 when winning the Mistletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands.

(Pompano Park)

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