Sensational Saturday In Florida

Published: March 6, 2016 06:25 pm EST

Highlights were plentiful on Pompano Park's 'Super Saturday' program, with track records broken and stars shining brightly the entire night.

Here is a recap of the festivities:

Velocity Vespa Sets Track Record In $75,000 Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park Late Closing Final

Velocity Vespa and George Napolitano Jr. teamed up to score a track record 1:49 victory in the $75,000 final of the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park Late Closing Series on Saturday night (March 5).

Velocity Vespa appeared to push the Hummer Starting Gate out of the way at the start and blasted her way through fractions of :26.1, :54 and 1:21 before sprinting home in :28 to score a victory measuring just short of a length in 1:49, the fastest of any distaffer in the 52-year history of the track.

The six-year-old daughter of I Scoot Hanover, trained by Chris Oakes for owner Susan Oakes, off as the 3-5 public choice, pinned the defeat on Show Runner, driven by Tim Tetrick, with Pertty Music, handled by Kevin Wallis, third, almost seven lengths away. Lucys Pearl finished fourth while Godiva Seelster, hampered by the outside nine post, rallied from last halfway through the mile to finish fifth and extend her streak of races earning purse cheques to 77 covering her seasons as a three, four, five and, now, six year-old seasons.

This was a classic "Nap" drive as he had Velocity Vespa ripe to roll and she did just that, thwarting any threats that may have developed during the mile.

In a post race interview, Napolitano Jr. said, "You know, last week I was a little lazy leaving with her and she was hung out there the whole way. Chris [Oakes] even yelled at me a bit after that and I told him that would not happen again. He reminded me that she came out of last week excellent and that she'd be ready for this tonight. Boy, was she ever ready."

Velocity Vespa is now six-for-eight this semester with earnings of $69,125, more than all of last season in 32 starts.

Lifetime, Velocity Vespa, coming in to the action with lifetime bounty just a tad under $200,000, vaulted over that with the win -- her career earnings now at $237,362.

She paid $3.20 to her many faithful.

Wind Of The North Wins $30,000 Invitational Handicap Trot

Wind Of The North, catch-driven by David Miller, slipped through along the pylons in deep stretch to score a sharp 1:53.3 win in his 2016 seasonal debut.

The six-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall, trained by Jenny Bier, who co-owns with Jonann Dombeck, scored by three-quarters of a length over Oho Diamond, driven by Wally Hennessey. Crazy About Pat and Tim Tetrick teamed up to be third while Natural Herbie finished fourth. Winding Hill made a miscue at the beginning and finished fifth in the quintet.

It was the track record-holding mare Oho Diamond away alertly with Wind Of The North also showing gate speed from the coveted five post and Crazy About Pat next and finding a cozy seat in third.

At the :27.2 opener, Oho Diamond was leading the way with Wind Of The North cozily next through a half in :56.3. On the backside, Crazy About Pat left the pocket and charged up to challenge with Wind Of The North still sitting chilly third and patiently for any seam to open along the shortest route.

In the lane, that seam developed and Miller took advantage and shot Wind Of The North on through to score the win.

In the winner's circle, Miller said, "This being his first start, I really didn't want to push him too hard too early, but he seemed anxious so I let him do what he wanted and found a nice spot early. I think he raced really big, especially off of a qualifier. He beat a very good field tonight, too. It was an honour to drive him."

In garnering his 19th lifetime win in 73 starts, Wind Of The North now has amassed $485,848 in career bounty to go along with his 1:51 mark.

'Scott' Rocks In 1:49 In $20,000 Open Handicap Pace

Scott Rocks, handled by George Napolitano Jr., turned the tables on arch-rival Panocchio and roared on by in the lane to score a handy three-length win in 1:49.

Panocchio, slicing through panels of :26.1, :54.1 and 1:21.3, finished second for Wally Hennessey while Johnny Grippa, sitting chilly the entire way from the rail, finished third with Kevin Wallis in the bike. Dedis Dragon made a bold first up backside bid and eventually finished fourth while Bluehourpower was fifth.

"You know, this is a very underrated horse," said Napolitano Jr. after the event. "He has a very quick and sharp burst -- I mean, really lightning-like. And, of course (tongue-in-cheek), a lot had to do with the drive. Last week, they got the trip. This week, we got the trip. No doubt, he was very sharp, very quick tonight."

Trained by Chris Oakes for owners Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey, Scott Rocks, a six-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover, now sports a 2-1-0 scorecard in three seasonal starts and now has lifetime earnings of $360,137.

As the 3-5 toteboard favourite, Scott Rocks rewarded his $2.00 investors with a dividend of $3.20.

Team Tetrick Wins Pro-Am Competition

The Florida Amateur Driving Club, significantly added to their already generous contributions total approaching $160,000 in the first annual Pro-Am event, with Tim Tetrick and David Miller captaining their respective teams.

The two-race event was won by Team Tetrick with the final point total being 82 to 40.

The opening event went to Team Tetrick's Mitchell "Sky" Walker, who got his own Global Power up in the very last stride to score in 1:59.2 over another Tetrick roster member, Dennis Whittemore, handling Starbux Eden. Tetrick himself was third with Rel Cash Clown while Team Miller earned their initial points with David Miller in the bike back of Sorrento Hall. Laurie Poulin, the only "filly" on the Team Miller roster, was next with What About Brian.

Global Power paid $10.80 to win.

After that first round, the score was 39-22.

Team Tetrick sealed the deal in the finale by guiding the favourite PCs Wildcard to a handy win in 1:57, easily a lifetime mark.

Hannah Miller, guiding M C Felix for Team Tetrick, finished second while yet another Team Tetrick driver, Jamie Marra, 'officially' finished third with Engagedatlexington.

Miller, himself, was originally third in the event with Wittys Winner, but was set back a notch to fourth for a pylon violation. Tommy Santeramo, on Tetrick's roster, finished fifth.

When all was tallied, Team Tetrick had the upper-hand by a score of 82 to 40, significant since the Florida Amateur Driving Club donated $3,000 to Tetrick's charity, New Vocations, while $2,000 was given upon Miller's favourite charity, Make-A-Wish.

Both New Vocations and Make-A-Wish had representatives at the ceremony with Patty Escobar from Make-A-Wish saying, "I never realized that a sport like harness racing can have such a positive impact on any charity, including ours. This is a dream night for Make-A-Wish and yet another dream will come true for a child. This is such a blessing!"

Between races, Tim Tetrick presented Dein Spriggs with his "world" colours and the Isle International Series gets underway in one week at Pompano Park. The two-day extravaganza will feature drivers from nine European countries and Down Under. Spriggs will represent the U.S.A. in the series.

Racing continues on Sunday night at Pompano Park with a scheduled post time of 7:30 p.m.

(with files from Pompano)

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