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Panocchio Triumphs In Pompano Return

Published: October 9, 2017 1:46 pm ET

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Panocchio, handled by Wally Hennessey, made a triumphant return to Pompano Park on Sunday night (October 8) by withstanding a late surge by Sing For Me George (John MacDonald) to score a photo finish victory in 1:50.2.

The seven-year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended was on the prowl early, securing the lead from Sing For Me George after a tough :26.2 tussle during the opening panel and then carved out subsequent panels of :54.4 and 1:22.3 before hold off that rival with a :28 finale, winning by a neck.

Frankies Dragon (Corey Braden) rallied to finish third, while Bestinthebusiness finished fourth after a first-over backside bid that brought him alongside Panocchio around the final bend.

Team Captain picked up the minor award in the classy septet.

After the event, Hennessey remarked, “What can I say? He’s just a gutsy individual that seems to love this track and knows where the wire is.

“He was pushed some to gain the top and I was hoping the opening quarter didn’t take any sting out of him, but he seems to know how to take care of himself and nothing really bothers him.”

Trainer Jim Mattison, who co-owns with Emile Johnaon, Jr., said, “He’s a pretty amazing horse, I’ll say. He doesn’t train hard—usually a mile in 2:20 or 2:30 when does train—but he becomes a racehorse when he sees the starting gate.”

Panocchio now has 55 lifetime wins—33 of them at Pompano Park—in 133 career starts, good for $468,393 to go along with his 1:48.3 track record over South Florida’s five-eighth mile oval.

Off at 2-5 on the tote board, Panocchio paid $2.80 to win.

Pompano Park’s co-feature went to Rockntouch, getting a picture perfect drive from Mickey McNichol.

This five-year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven left alertly and then let Heart Felt cut the mustard with fractions of :26.4, :56 and 1:23.2 before leaving the cozy pocket turning for home to go by Heart Felt and then hold off Major Starlight (Hennessey) and St Lads Lotto (Brady Galliers) to score by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.4.

Heart Felt did finish fourth over Decent Sawyer in the field of seven.

Rockntouch now has a 6-5-4 scorecard in 30 starts, good for yearly bounty of $48,605.

The winner is owned by Salvatore Promuto along with the Fred Monteleone Stable.

Monteleone passed away just days earlier, prompting driver Mickey McNichol to look skyward and say, “That win was for you, Mr. Fred.”

Rockntouch was off at 7-2 and paid $9.20 to win.

The third leg of the FSBOA sponsored Sunshine Stake Stakes for two-year-olds was also contested in four non-wagering events, with I Rhoda Daley, Dangerous Mood, Prairie Easter and Gold Star Diablo winning their respective events.

I Rhoda Daley, a daughter of Desperado Don handled by owner-trainer Jason MacDougall, kept her record unblemished—now three-for-three—with a lifetime best 2:07.2 performance at the expense of Ms Katie B (Gary Braden) and Jennifer (Jay Sears) with a gate-to-wire performance in the Sunshine State Stake for trotting fillies.

Dangerous Mood, driven by Wally Hennessey for the Smiley Farm, also scored in wire-to-wire fashion as this Jim McDonald trainee carved out panels of :30, 1:00.3 and 1:31.1 before a :30 sprint home left him four lengths clear of Brian (Jay Sears) with Captain Thomas (John Campagnuolo) next in this event for trotting colts and geldings.

The 2:01.1 performance by this gelded son of Proud Bushy was a new life mark for Dangerous Mood, who is now two-for-two lifetime.

Prairie Easter took her division for pacing fillies by getting revenge on last week’s winner Krinda in 1:58.2, sprinting home in a 28.2 final quarter.

This daughter of Royel Millennium was driven by Corey Braden for trainer Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin and John Spindler.

Prairie Easter cut impressive panels of :30.2, 1:00.2 and 1:30 along the way and was two lengths clear of Krinda (Bryce Fenn) on the wire. Six Line Lily (Hennessey) was third.

Finally, Gold Star Diablo, who was many, many lengths off the gate at the start, made a double-bubble backside binge and went on to score an impressive 1:58.1 win for Wally Hennessey in the colt-gelding pace.

Trained by Mike Deters for owner Dan Clements, this impressive gelded son of Mysticism score by 1-1/4 lengths over Silver Wings (Corey Braden), who cut panels of :28.4, 1:00.1 and 1:29.2 along the way.

Jay Jay (Jay Sears) finished third.

Sunshine State Stakes action continues on Wednesday night with three year-olds in the spotlight.

Finally, Pompano Park’s Super Hi-5 was solved on Sunday night with the 9-3-2-6-7 combination returning $6,067.30 for a 20-cent ticket.

The Super Hi-5 is offered on Pompano Park’s final race every racing night.

Wednesday night’s (October 11) program features Godiva Seelster in the Mares Open Pace and the highly anticipated rematch between Prairie Fortune and Boli in the Open Trot.

Godiva Seelster, the splendid seven year-old daughter of Camluck, owned by Paul and Patricia O’Neil, seeks her second straight for trainer Dan Hennessey and driver Wally Hennessey.

Among her opponents are All Charged Up and Goldstar Rockette.

Prairie Fortune and Boli were a nose apart in last week’s encounter and have been assigned outside posts in Wednesday’s encounter.

Post time is 7:20 p.m. Eastern.

(Pompano Park)

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