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Duc Dorleans To Make Presence Felt?

Published: October 31, 2014 12:29 pm ET

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The newly formed rivalry between Prairie Jaguar and Panocchio will continue at Pompano Park on Saturday night, but a new entity in from Canada, Duc Dorleans, looks to spoil that confrontation.

Last week, Panocchio, deftly handled by Bruce Ranger, put a slight dent in Prairie Jaguar’s crown by scoring a 1:50.4 decision over his rival to send his 2014 bounty to $113,570 for owners Emile Johnson Jr. and trainer Jim Mattison.

“Yeah,” said Mattison, “he’s gone from being hot headed and ornery to a very smart racehorse. I have to give my wife, Vicki, credit for that. She’s the one with the magic touch.

“He’s had a good campaign—but tough—but he seemed to come out of last week’s mile very well.”

Panocchio has been assigned the outside post in this week’s octet and, once again, will have Bruce Ranger in the sulky and is the narrow 9-5 favourite on the morning line.

Prairie Jaguar, the author of five winning miles in 1:50 or faster at Pompano Park, usually has lightning gate speed, but last week he was hard pressed to make the top through a :27 opener and, after carving panels of :54.3 and 1:22.3, grudgingly succumbed to Panocchio’s pocket-sitting journey.

The six-year-old Florida-bred, owned by Laurie Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, is the 2-1 second choice and will be seeking his 11th win of the year—seven of those have come in south Florida.

About the new rivalry, trainer Deters said, “Believe me, it’s an honour to be second to a horse of Panocchio’s calibre. Even on a half miler, that horse can grind and grind and grind until he gets the job done. It will be interesting!”

The ‘new kid on the block’ this week is Duc Dorleans, coming into the action as the richest performer in the field—$385,356—along with a 1:49.2 mark of his own.

Owned by the Levesque Stable, Duc Dorleans is very well known for his striking speed at the end of his miles.

Trainer-driver Donald Dupont said, “Yes, this horse has been known to pace last quarters in :25 and a piece. Of course, that was on a larger track (Mohawk) so I am hoping the pace will be fast enough so he can pick up the pieces in the stretch.

Of course, there are five others looking to do the same including Northern Companion, Cartoonist and Rajis Blue Line.

Northern Companion is no stranger to the Pompano Park winner’s circle, having won 28 of his 36 lifetime successes in south Florida — the fastest in 1:50.3.

Owned by Dorothy Zarza, ‘Buddy,’ as he’s known around the barn, is trained by Howard Klohr and will have Dave Ingraham in the bike.

Cartoonist, owned by the S S G Stables and trained by Jim McDonald, won the Open two starts ago in a lifetime best performance — 1:51.3 — and will have Wally Hennessey handling the lines.

Rajis Blue Line steps up to the ‘big time’ after circling his competition with a final three quarters in 1:24 to score in Pompano Park’s Open 2 last week in 1:53.2. His mark, though, is 1:51. Trainer Mike Micallef will be in the bike on Saturday.

Hurricane Howard, partnered in the wagering with Prairie Jaguar, and Next Flight In complete the classy field.

Also noteworthy is that TVG will carry Pompano Park on their widely viewed network beginning Monday, November 3 and continue on Mondays during the month. It is expected that coverage will expand during the peak of the Pompano racing season.

The ‘guaranteed’ $5,000 Pick-4 will be featured on Mondays and Wednesdays during the month of November, this offered in partnership with the USTA Strategic Partnership Program.

That particular wager is also enhanced by a ‘fan friendly’ 12 per cent takeout, among the lowest in the entire industry.

Pompano’s first-race post time is 7:30 p.m.

(Pompano Park)

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