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Big Bad John Large At Pompano


Published: December 17, 2011 10:15 pm ET

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Serving notice that he may soon be ready to return to the racing wars was the 2011 Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John in a morning qualifier on Saturday, December 17 at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.

Since being transferred to the top Pompano barn of trainer Dan Hennessey from Ohio by conditioner Ron Potter, the three-year-old colt by Western Hanover out of Trulyawork Of Art made it look effortless in the 1:52.1 spin. Owner Edward Telle of Winchester Baye Acres based in Ocala, Florida has stated he's in search of increasing the colt's lifetime earnings to more than $1 million from the current $988,559 (U.S.) total before a planned stallion career in Ohio.

Also on the Saturday morning qualifying session, well-known Canadian trainer Rene Allard harnessed up his first Pompano starter as Rub Thing was individually clocked in 1:57 with Richie Simard in the bike. Allard is expected to be campaigning at least a three-horse string from his Florida satellite stable in the upcoming months in his first foray to The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing.

The 1:52.1 qualifier by Big Bad John has also raised the excitement level in Florida for another reason. With the strong chance that the colt will be appearing on the New Year's Eve program for the final start of his three-year-old campaign, he could be in position to challenge the category track record of 1:51.2 set by Beach Towel in November of 1990.

When the 2011 drivers' dash title chase ends at Pompano on New Year's Eve, it could be a three man battle instead of just two. Tim Tetrick has earned his way into the mix and was trailing Dan Noble by 15 while George Brennan was trailing Noble by 11 wins going into Saturday night's action.

Tetick has indicated to senior management at Pompano that it's a distinct possibility that he may travel to Pompano to compete on the New Year's Eve card. He's also said he may make a decision in the coming week to confirm his consideration of driving in Florida on New Year's Eve against Dan Noble for the 2011 drivers' dash title. Noble's continent leading total stood at 748 wins going prior to Saturday night's race cards turning to the gate.

The Saturday evening, December 17 Open Handicap Pace in South Florida witnessed the commonplace fast fractions that the ideal weather conditions foster and in the end Ricks Sign was home a winner in 1:50.4. The six-year-old Life Sign-Lasting Flower gelding re-took the lead past the quarter for driver Fern Paquet Jr. and then put away the first over Pacinello, driven by Rick Plano, before holding off a final move by Avantage, with Mickey McNichol, and the pocket-sitting Sfumato, in rein to Ed Hensley.

Paul Holzman trains Ricks Sign, who is capping off an outstanding season, which now counts 14 wins from 40 starts and earnings of $184,549 for owner Andrew Sassen of Hillsboro Beach, Florida. Ricks Sign was also the dominant top class pacer at Hazel Park in 2011.

Post time is 7:15 p.m. Eastern every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing. In the upcoming holiday season there is no live harness racing from December 22 through December 26.

(Pompano Park)

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