Skip To My Lou, again superbly handled by 21-year-old Joe Chindano Jr., took top honours in Pompano Park’s $11,000 Open I Pace on Monday (Feb. 8), scoring his third straight win in the top class, this time stopping the timer in 1:49.
Not only was the clocking the fastest mile of the Pompano meeting thus far, it was the first sub-1:50 mile for Chindano in his career.
Skip To My Lou, a tiny five-year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou, scored by 1-1/4 lengths over Prairie Panther (Wally Hennessey) with Seeing Eye Single (David Miller) third.
The event had more than a handful of leaders during the mile, with Kinnder Jackson leaving with alacrity only to give way to Southwind Amazon, also zipping off the wings and taking the field through a sizzling opening panel of :25.4. Shortly thereafter, Lyons Night Hawk surged to the front and took the field to the half in a dazzling :53.3 with Southwind Amazon out and driving again once they entered the backstretch.
On the backside, Prairie Panther, fourth through the first half, marched up with a third quarter :27.2 binge of his own to take charge leaving Skip To My Lou, fifth halfway through, on a first-up bid of his own and moving alongside the leader past the third station in 1:21.2. These two raced as a team until mid-stretch, when Skip To My Lou surged past and on to victory.
After the race, a humble Chindano explained, “Wow! That was my fastest mile I ever drove — my first sub-1:50 mile. I sure didn’t expect it, that’s for sure. Early on, I was just content to let the others fight it out and, when I saw the half in :53.3, I thought I had a good chance to win. I wasn’t thinking about 1:50 or anything like that, I was thinking my little guy could win. This was something I’ll never forget!”
For Skip To My Lou, owned and trained by Chindano, the win was his fourth in five starts, sending his 2021 bankroll to $23,070 and $135,151 career-wise. Skip To My Lou paid $6.00 to win.
The companion $11,000 Open Handicap Trot went to Born To Thrive for Rick Plano in 1:53.2.
The rugged eight-year-old gelded son of Swan For All, also trained by Plano for John Campagnuolo and Maryann Plano, was assigned the outside post in his sextet, ground forward out of last just prior to the opening quarter, and kept gnawing away the rest of the way before assuming command at mid-stretch and holding off stablemate Sooo Handsome (Dave Ingraham) by a half length. The Lionking AS (Kevin Wallis) finished third.
Born To Thrive sent his 2021 scorecard to 3-0-2 in six starts, good for earnings of $19,510. Lifetime, Born To Thrive now has 42 career victories and $429,622. He paid $5.20 to win.
When Rockin Machine ($10.00) took the Super Hi-5 finale in a new lifetime mark of 1:51.1 for trainer-driver Rick Plano and owner Maryann Plano, it proved to be the key for a single 20-cent ticket payoff of $89,424.02 covering the 6-9-2-3-1 combination.
Racing continues on Tuesday night (Feb. 9) with a $20,000 guaranteed pool the track's Pick-4. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.