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Another Open Win For Duc Dorleans

Published: February 14, 2015 11:15 pm ET

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For the second week in a row, Duc Dorleans took top honours in Pompano Park's Open Handicap Pace while Lisa Avenatti guided Mamajons Bluegrass to a handy win in the St. Valentine's Day Sweetheart Pace featuring nine of the best female drivers in the sport on Saturday night.

Duc Dorleans, again magnificently handled by Donald Dupont, immediately took command as the gate opened and went on to post fractions of :26.4, :56 and 1:24 before sealing the issue with a :27.3 finale to stop the timer in 1:51.3 on this coolish 57 degree (Fahrenheit) night in South Florida.

Lyons Johnny, in the garden spot the entire mile for George Napolitano Jr., finished second, one and three-quarter lengths away, while Rajis Blue Line and Mike Micallef teamed up for show honours. Cadillac Phil was fourth while Dont Tell Rusty finished fifth in the quintet with no change in the order once positions were established out of the gate.

After the race, Dupont said, "This was, pretty much, an identical journey that I had last week when we won in 1:50.4 with the final quarter last week in :26.3. He's very sharp right now, all I had to do was remind him to stay focused on his task turning for home."

Owned by Quebec's Gestion C Levesque 2005 Inc. along with Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc., Duc Dorleans, a five-year-old son of Shanghai Phil, took home the major share of the $12,500 purse to send his lifetime bounty to $438,357. The win was his third this year in six starts and 20th lifetime in 64 career trips to the starting gate.

Off at 3-5 on the toteboard, Duc Dorleans paid $3.20 to win.

Pompano Park also was host to the St. Valentine's Day Sweetheart Pace, featuring many of the finest female drivers in the sport, and it was Lisa Avenatti annexing her 80th lifetime victory with a wire-to-wire win with Mamajons Bluegrass in 1:55.4.

Owned by Casanadra Uppal along with Rebecca Uppal, this six-year-old daughter of I Scoot Hanover led every stride of the mile in recording her first win of the year in seven starts--this after putting up numbers of :27, :56 and 1:25.1.

Hot Latte, driven by Whitney Bell, finished second while Up Front Lady Gray, handled by Luanna Beeson, rallied for third. Notorius Terror (Sabrina Clevenger) finished fourth while Moon Is On Fire (Anne Schlichtig) rallied from last to finish a formidable fifth. Brooke Nickells, Laurie Poulin, Diane Long and Kelly Case also participated.

In a post race interview, Avenatti said, "'Cass' [trainer Casandra Uppal] said that she trained well this week and that she likes to be in the thick of things so I sent her and she kind of did the rest on her own. The luck of the draw was on my side tonight -- not only drawing the coveted five post...but for drawing my name to drive this mare."

Avenatti is on quite a roll. Last season, she made but five appearances in the bike and had four wins and a second, good for a UDRS of .911. She even improved on that with her victory on Saturday night.

For Mamajons Bluegrass, it was her 14th lifetime success, pushing her career bounty to $156,453.

As the 6-5 public choice, Mamajons Bluegrass paid $4.40 to her faithful.

Finally, the carryover for Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 has exploded to well over $130,000 going into Sunday night's program, which begins at 7:30 p.m.

(With files from Pompano Park)

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