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Veteran Millionaire Claimed At Pompano

Published: March 7, 2012 10:04 pm ET

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Perhaps the veteran trotting millionaire Muscles Marinara will be like many senior citizens and eventually retire in The Sunshine State.

After a private purchase by trainer Tracy Brainard from the connections of Kevin Maloney at Dover Downs, the 12-year-old gelding turned up in an $8,000 claiming event on the Wednesday, March 7 program at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park following a March 2 qualifier at Florida's Spring Garden Ranch.

With Wally Hennessey in the bike, Muscles Marinara cut the mile from Post 7, but tired in the stretch to finish seventh. Reaching in with a claim was Joe Pennacchio, an avid weekly competitor in the Florida Amateur Driving Club events. Pennacchio recently celebrated his 65th birthday on March 2.

Muscles Marinara, by Muscles Yankee out of Chili Bowl, was originally developed by Trond Smedshammer although he was restricted to just three starts in his three-year-old campaign. In the first decade of the new millenium, the career winner of $1,120,139 was frequently a runner-up in major stakes events such as The Maple Leaf Trot to his main nemesis, Mr Muscleman, and later raced for a succession of trainers including Ken Rucker, Erv Miller, Richard Banca, and Casie Coleman.

Although she was not successful with Muscles Marinara, owner-trainer Tracy Brainard of DeLeon Springs, Florida did have decidedly better fortune with near millionaire 11-year-old gelding Scorpion Moon in the $12,000 Open Handicap Trot on the March 7 program.

With Joe Pavia Jr. in the bike, Scorpion Moon sat third in line as Jaavos Boy, in rein to David Ingraham, showed the way to three-quarters in 1:28 through heavy, swirling winds from the east, which noticeably slowed down horses in the third quarter along the Pompano backstretch. Midway on the final turn, Pavia brought the Armbro Scorpion-Angies Nugget gelding to the outside to sprint home for the win over the pocket-sitting Big Baller, in rein to Wally Hennessey, while Jaavos Boy held third. Just behind that trio was outstanding mare Mystical Starlight, who overcame final half traffic trouble from seventh and last to finish third with Ed Hensley in tow in her first start of 2012.

It was the 82nd career win for the prolific Scorpion Moon to push his lifetime earnings to $919,930.

When racing resumes on Saturday evening, March 10, Pavia is scheduled for duty in all but two races on the program and he stands at 4,997 lifetime wins in the bike. Two of Pavia's top mounts are from his own barn on Saturday night, including Billie Blue Chip in the $12,000 purse Mares Open Handicap Pace and B N Bad in $12,000 purse Open Handicap Pace.

(With files from Pompano Park)

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