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A Little Bit Of Everything At Pompano

Published: October 19, 2015 11:17 am ET

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On a Sunday night (October 18) with several intervals of heavy showers, nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the occasion as the ladies – both human and equine – were in the spotlight at Pompano Park as the track put the spotlight on the race against breast cancer.

Briefly, two mares – Escuela and Oho Diamond – finished ‘1-2’ in the Open Handicap Trot; trainer Kim Sears reached a milestone in lifetime training wins, and the Florida Amateur Driving Club paid tribute to all women with a sizable donation to the ‘Go For The Greens Foundation’ in their relentless journey to help conquer breast cancer.

Now, the details.

Escuela – which in Spanish means ‘school’ – took his adversaries to class with a sharp 1:57.2 win for Ed Hensley over a track dulled by heavy intermittent showers throughout the program.

The five year-old ABC Garland mare made a ‘double-bubble’ surge from seventh around the final turn and went on to nail track record-holding mare Oho Diamond (driven by Mike Micallef) in the final sixteenth to score by a half length.

Cashahallic (Aaron Byron) finished third while the pacersetting Verdi finished fourth. Elin finished fifth in the field of nine.

Owned by Ashleigh and Ed Hensley and trained by Ashleigh, Escuela is enjoying her best year with $64,750 in bounty.

After the event, driver Hensley said, "My mare went a big mile, considering that the track was a bit dull from all of the rain...and we got by a very tough mare in that Oho Diamond. Pretty great that the two mares beat the boys tonight on a night where we honoured the ladies!"

Escuela, the 7-5 second choice, paid $4.80 to win.

Another leading lady in harness racing, Kim Sears, reached a personal milestone on ‘Ladies Night’ when Rexamillion, co-owned by Kim along with husband Jay and Richard Dunmire, too top honours in the FSBOA Sunshine Stake for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The altered son of Proud Bushy earned a maiden win in 2:02.2, thus giving Kim her 500th career training victory. The race was one of three non-betting events contested prior to the betting card (Gold Star Briana and Livy M won the others).

Horseman Mike Deters recorded his 900th training win – and a driving win, too – on the card when Prairie Fortune, owned by Deters along with Laurie Poulin, pulled away in the lane to score a resounding win measuring 10 and three-quarter lengths in 1:57.4. Prairie Fortune, a three-year-old son of Arapa Victory, also kept his record in the Sunshine State Stakes competition clean – now three-for-three – with the three wins being by 15 and a half lengths, 9 and three-quarter lengths and 10 and three-quarter lengths. As the overwhelming 1-20 favourite on Sunday, Prairie Fortune paid $2.10.

In the Open Pace, Lyons Johnny, handled by trainer Mike Micallef for the Baron Racing Stable, got a picture-perfect drive to edge by Audreys Dream (Ed Hensley) to score in 1:52.2 over a track labelled ‘good’ after yet another bout with the weatherman. The win was the 26th lifetime for Lyons Johnny, a seven-year-old son of Mach Three, and sent his lifetime bounty to $269,544 -- $32,695 this year on a scorecard of 13-4-4-0. Lyons Johnny returned $5.80 as second choice on the board.

The Florida Amateur Driving Club continued its charitable efforts by presenting the Go For The Greens Foundation a healthy donation for its on-going efforts in the fight against breast cancer.

With the drivers all possessing pink whips and wearing pink armbands – beautifully made by horse owner Heddy Nelson – Dein Spriggs won the FADC event with his own Zeitgeist ($7.60). After that event, all of the amateur drivers converged in the winner's circle to honour Mary Wallace, a breast cancer survivor. Though Spriggs has over 400 races during his career, he said, "None of our drivers will be satisfied until we win the race to eradicate all kinds of cancer and our driving club is very honoured and committed to be a part of that race."

Pompano Park's next racing program is Tuesday night with Just A Bee and Godiva Seelster renewing their rivalry in the Open Pace for Mares.

There is also a Super Hi-5 carryover of over $2,000.

First-race post time is 7:30 p.m.

(With files from Pompano)

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