Sooo Handsome, getting a picture perfect, confident drive by breeder, owner, trainer Rick Plano, took top honours in Pompano Park’s $10,000 Open Handicap Trot, stopping the timer in a career-equaling best of 1:54.1.
The four-year-old altered son of Cash Hall, leaving from the coveted five post, sprinted a bit when the gate sprung open and settled in the garden spot back of Tater Twister, handled by Mike Simons, as the latter clocked panels of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:24.4.
Turning for home, Sooo Handsome vacated his cozy pocket and went on to score a victory measuring 4-1/4 lengths over Tater Twister. My Revenuer, with Bryce Fenn in bike, finished third, eight lengths away, while Boli, unable to find a decent spot early, skimmed the pylons in the lane and finished fourth. Chocolate Xplosion picked up the nickel in the field of seven.
In a post-race interview, driver Rick Plano said, “I had the perfect post (5) to leave out of there as two of the other three speed horses were outside of me, so I thought that Mike’s (Simon) horse would be on the bit from the (post) three early as he always is.
“Of course, you never know what is going to happen when the gate opens but, tonight, things worked out as I had hoped,” he added. “The fractions were pretty solid and, when we straightened away in the lane, I chirped at him once and he did the rest. He’s gotten to be a pretty reliable performer lately and I’m especially proud of him as I bred the mare, Simply Royal, to Cash Hall and the result was this horse, Cash Hall.”
So Handsome pushed his 2017 scorecard to 4-5-1 in 14 starts, good for bounty totaling $33,200, more than he earned all of last season in 23 starts ($31,180).Sooo Handsome paid $5.00 to win.
The $8,000 Open 2 Cliff Dvorkin Happy Birthday Trot went to Commentary, driven by Mike Simons, in gate-to-wire fashion, in 1:55.2.
The five-year-old son of Conway Hall led at every junction, carding panels of :28.2, :56.2 and 1:25.2 before strolling home in :30 to hold off the late charging Mckenzies Star (Fern Paquet, Jr.). Serendipitious (Wally Hennessey) finished third while Shes All In was fourth. Genius At Work picked up the final award in the septet.
Trained by Jim Mc Donald for Twenty Four Carrot Racing and Ciro Gentile, Commentary won for the second time this semester in eight starts and now has earnings for the year of $12,765. Lifetime, Commentary now owns 11 wins in 66 starts with his earnings vaulting to $145,065. He paid $6.00 to win and closed out a 50 cent Pick-6 sequence returning $6,778.15 to three fortunate ticket holders.
Also on Monday night, the Florida Amateur Driving Club was in action and Joe Pennacchio, warming up for next month’s Italian-American Amateur competition in Italy, drove his own Zorgwijk Impact to a photo finish victory in 1:58.4.
It was the first win of the season for the 12-year-old gelded son of Armbro Ricochet and 51st of his career measuring 314 starts, sending his lifetime bankroll to $385,991. Trained by Jim Mc Donald, Zorgwijk Impact was sixth choice on the tote-board and rewarded his backers with a mutuel of $20.00.
The Italian-American Amateur competition will take place in May in Naples and Tuscany with Pennacchio joining Scott Woogen, Steve Oldford and Dein Spriggs for the festivities.
Racing continues on Tuesday night with a $10,000 Pick-4 guaranteed pool as part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program.
Also of note in the "better for the bettor" department, is the carryover for the track's Super Hi-5 finale on Tuesday, which now stands at a lofty $70,371.53.
To claim the Super Hi-5 jackpot, there must be only one single 20 cent ticket with the winning combination for the first five in the official order of finish. If there are multiple ticks sold on the winning combination, 50 percent of the net Super Hi-5 pool is shared among the winner's with the remainder going into the next racing night's carryover.
Post time for the Tuesday program is 7:20 p.m.