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Delivered From Zin Smashes Track Record

Published: February 19, 2011 9:35 pm ET

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There had never been anything quite like it in the 47-year history of harness racing at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park dating to 1964. On the Saturday evening, February 19 featured pacing event for a $14,000 purse, eight-year-old gelding Delivered From Zin toured the South Florida oval in 1:48.4. A capacity trackside crowd was on hand and their appreciation of the historic all time track record moment resulted in a spontaneous and raucous round of applause breaking out when he returned to the winner's circle.

The effort by the Sealed N Delivered-Zinful pacer obliterated the previous track standard of 1:49.3 established by Load The Dice four years earlier. George Napolitano Jr. was in the bike for trainer Christie Collins and owner Joel Benson of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Delivered From Zin seized the lead from Four Starz Bling, in rein to Bruce Ranger, at the quarter in :26.3, and set up the track record clocking through middle fractions of :54.2 and 1:21.3. Four Starz Bling and B N Bad, with Joe Pavia Jr., followed next under the wire.

"I really never expected something like this when I claimed him for $30,000 last December 20 at Chester Downs," owner Joel Benson said in a live trackside TV interview. "Anthony Napolitano drove him just before George [Napolitano Jr.] did here, and he was one of many people that kept telling me he could be the one to break the track record. I'm a big believer in trying to support local racing and it was a no-brainer to bring him down here. For someone in the ownership aspect of the game for only a few years this is huge thrill," Benson added. "He has that quirk of making breaks when he's two weeks between starts but he showed tonight what he can do when he's allowed to get out and roll."

In the bike for the sensational performance was George Napolitano Jr. He topped all drivers in North America last year by reining in over 700 winners.

"I had a good feeling about this when we crossed over from Bruce [Ranger and Four Starz Bling] at the quarter," Napolitano said. "Conditions were ideal tonight with 74 degrees and no wind. I'd driven him a lot up north at Chester for [trainers] Lou Pena and Josh Green and I knew what he was all about. He won 20 times in 2010 from 33 starts so no doubt about it, this horse just loves to win. It's a little humbling to be a part of this history for the track since so many great horseman that have come through Pompano over the years. For me personally, I'm not going to chase the dash title again this year and nothing changes as far as coming to work in the future though," he added.

The track record performance also prompted Director Of Racing Operations John Yinger and Racing Secretary Greg DeFrank to put together a special promotion.

"In recognition of this track record, we're announcing that a special $20,000 purse Invitational Pace will be carded for next Saturday night, February 26," Yinger says. "We think we owe it to the fans and the horse's owners to see him race one more time at Pompano before he's shipped up to Dover Downs."

(Pompano Park)


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