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Three Sub-1:50 Miles At Pompano

Published: November 22, 2021 10:16 am ET

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With three straight days of periodic heavy rains invading Pompano Park, track superintendent Dan Roberts and his crew had the famed five-eighths oval manicured top perfection on Sunday night (Nov. 21) resulting in three sub-1:50 performances -- a first in Pompano Park's 58-year history.

Maxdaddy Blue Chip, Double Metal and Trashytonguetalker were involved in this historical night with track record holder Panocchio adding to the festivities by recording his 75th career victory.

Maxdaddy Blue Chip, the rugged nine-year-old gelded son of Sportswriter, kicked things off and earned his 40th career win in style at Pompano Park on Sunday night, scoring the season’s first sub-1:50 mile (1:49.4) in the featured $12,600 Open II Handicap Pace.

Confidently handled by trainer Rick Plano for owner/wife Maryann, Maxdaddy Blue Chip conquered a million-dollar field with a sharp quarter move to the top after a hot :26.1 opener and proceeded to sizzle a half in :53.1 before repelling a minor bid around the final bend (1:21.3), and then on to his :28.1 finale to seal the issue.

Actor Hanover (Kevin Wallis) was second, one length away, while Rocksapatriot (Dave Ingraham), closing fastest of all, finished third. Statement Made A held on to finish fourth over Agedchedar Hanover, who picked up the nickel in the classy sextet.

As the wings folded, Statement Made A (Wally Hennessey) blasted out and roared to that opener in :26.1 with Actor Hanover, also leaving with alacrity, right behind with Maxdaddy Blue Chip next. Shortly thereafter, Maxdaddy Blue Chip brushed to the front and only had to repel a minor threat from Busboy Hanover around the last turn before easily holding off Actor Hanover.

“I thought he raced well last start, especially after a long and difficult ship in from Indiana, and, tonight, I really didn’t realize just how strong he was going," said Plano in a post-race interview. "When the half went up, I was pretty surprised -- I thought maybe :54 and a piece -- because he felt so strong and was doing it on his own. He kept going right to the end in a very good performance.”

The victory was Maxdaddy Blue Chip's fastest winning performance in more than four years -- having his last sub-1:50 performance (1:49.2) on November 4, 2017 at Pocono Downs.

Maxdaddy Blue Chip now has a 4-6-8 scorecard in 41 busy starts this year, good for $66,715 in 2021 and $419,227 lifetime.

He paid $5.40 as the 8-5 toteboard favourite.

Double Metal, handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Peter Blood, who co-owns with Rick Berks, got involved in a civil war leaving and, once he made the top at the opening panel in :26.2, sauntered over to the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.2 before a :27.2 explosion coming home left Prairie Panther (Braxten Boyd) seven lengths back. Warrawee Veloce (Dale Hiteman) was another half-length back with Hot Art and John Mac also managing to pick up the minor pieces of the purse.

Double Metal, a three-year-old son of Betting Line racing against older horses this night in a conditioned event, won for the eighth time in 24 starts, vaulting his 2021 bankroll to $71,093. This was his first sub-1:50 winning performance, eclipsing his former mark of 1:50.4 over the Pocono five-eighths mile track.

Off at 6-5 as a narrow favourite, Double Metal paid $4.60 to win.

Plano then doubled up on his earlier 1:49.4 win with Maxdaddy Blue Chip when he guided Maryann Plano's Trashytonguetalker to a 1:49.3 performance in a conditioned/optional claiming event. The nine-year-old gelded son of Arts Chip was away in good order from his inside post and made an early move to the top right at the :26.4 marker. Once on top, he strolled over to the half in :55.1 before a :27 backside panel thwarted any possible threats and then put icing on the cake with a :27.2 closer, pulling away to a 5-1/4-length win over Mac Anover (Wallis), the early leader. Windemere Ryan (Boyd) was next while Prairie Midnight and Rub Me were next in the septet.

For Trashytonguetalker, it was his very first sub-1:50 win, nudging his previous mark by a two ticks over the larger Hoosier Park oval.

Afterwords, Plano simply said, "What can I say? He was feeling really good, the track was perfect and you enjoy these moments when you can."

Proving that, like wine, he is getting better with age, Trashytonguetalker earned his seventh win of the year and sent his yearly bounty to $41,193 and lifetime earnings to $257,420.

Off at 4-5, the winner paid $3.80.

Also on Sunday night, track record holder Panocchio, now 11, recorded his 75th lifetime win in a conditioned, optional claiming event. The gallant gelding, trained by Jim Mattison, who co-owns with wife Vicki and Emile Johnson Jr., led every long stride of his 1:51.4 mile and capped it off with a :27.4 closer after a spirited :26.4 opener. His winning margin was three lengths over Captain Malicious (Kevin Wallis) with Saulsbrook Deputy (Braxten Boyd) next. Perkins and Majoring Artist earned the minors.

For Panocchio, it was his 47th success at Pompano Park with this mile being his fastest winning effort in almost two years when he won on December 8, 2019 in 1:51.4. He set his track record 1:48.3 in 2015.

“This is such a satisfying moment for us because he [Panocchio] was out of action for several months earlier this season due to an infection," related trainer Jim Mattison, reflecting on this win. "We really didn’t know if he was going to come back but, with the great veterinarian assistance, he slowly began to do a little better. The squirrels were chasing him around at first and then we walked him and, finally, got him back jogging. All that he went through makes this win very satisfying. He’s just a very special horse!”

Panocchio paid $3.60 to his multitude of faithful.

Drivers Rick Plano, Joe Chindano Jr., and Wally Hennessey had driving doubles on the program

Racing continues on Monday with a Pick-4 "Send It In" Special featuring a $15,000 guaranteed pool with a 12 per cent takeout -- the lowest in North America. There is also a carryover in the Super Hi-5 of $4,233. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.

(With files from Pompano Park)

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