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Dedis Dragon Wins Pompano Open

Published: April 18, 2016 12:00 am ET

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The 'stars' were shining brightly Sunday night (April 17) on Pompano Park -- both from up above and on the track -- as Dedis Dragon took top honours in the $9,500 featured Open 2 Handicap Pace and amateur driver Steve Oldford swept the pair of Billings events as that amateur series began its 2016 season.

Dedis Dragon, handled by Ricky Macomber Jr., fought hard with Alexas Jackpot during a :26.4 opener before assuming control and ripping off subsequent panels of :55.2 and 1:23.4 en route to a 1:51.3 one-length win over the late-charging St Lads Lotto, driven by Aaron Byron. Alexas Jackpot, teamed up with John MacDonald, did hold on for third while Energy Shakes finished fourth. Northern Companion picked up the minor award in the sextet.

In a post-race interview, Macomber Jr. said, "He [Dedis Dragon] has been racing competitively against the top pacers on the grounds and, with a couple of those absent this week, it seemed like a good spot to go out and try for the lead and control the situation.

"He was very strong coming home in what I expected to be a good performance by him. He didn't disappoint."

Trained by Paul Holzman for John McGill, Brian Carsey and the J L Benson Stables, Dedis Dragon, a six-year-old son of Dragon Again, evened up his 2016 scorecard at 3-3-3 in 14 starts, good for $34,487. He's banked $779,871 career-wise in 106 lifetime starts.

Off at 1-5 on the toteboard, Dedis Dragon paid $2.60 to his multitude of backers.

The C.K.G. Billings Amateur Competition, honouring the memory of the great sportsman who owned our sport's first 2:00 trotter (Lou Dillon-1903), visited Pompano Park on Sunday night and driver Steve Oldford swept both of the Billings events, scoring in the Billings pace with Ruths Shadylady and the companion trot with his own Insider Access.

Handling the seven-year-old mare Ruths Shadylady, Oldford smarty stayed off the early pace before following live cover and collaring Internal Check, driven by Peter Gerry, to score by a neck in 1:58.4. Vals Way, with Ned Hodkinson in the bike, finished third while Southwind Vixen (Matt Zuccarello) paced the fastest final panel in the event to finish fourth. Flashy (Billy Muggleston) was fifth after forging to the lead halfway through the mile.

Trained by Fred Cohen for owner Brian Calvert, Ruths Shadylady won for the second time this year and now has 20 career victories and $71,721 in career bounty.

As second choice in the betting at 2-1, Ruths Shadylady paid $6.40 to win.

Insider Access, trained by Oldford for his own Oldford Racing stable, drew off in the lane to score a three and a half length win in 1:58.4 over PCs Wildcard, driven by Peter Gerry. The early leader, Out Of The Hat, with Joe Pennacchio in the sulky, finished third while Highland Yankee (Bob Davis) finished fourth. M C Felix (Ted Bowman) was fifth in the field of 10.

Insider Access was fourth in the early going as Out Of The Hat led through hot early panels of :28.2 and :57. On the backside, Insider Access surged first up, taking the lead around the final turn (1:28) and drawing off in the lane.

An altered six year-old son of Conway Hall, Insider Access earned his initial win of the year in 12 starts and eighth lifetime victory, sending his career bounty to $133,527.

The pair of wins for Oldford sent his career total to 114, four of which have been accomplished this semester.

Oldford's "double-dip" was the third of his driving career, the first accomplished at Charlottetown in 2006 and the second at Delaware, Ohio during Jug Week in 2014.

Following the Billings competition, the Florida Amateur Driving Club took the spotlight with Lexis Amigo surviving an inquiry to earn his first win of the year.

Trained by Paul Messina for Vallelunga Z (Zara) L (Luca) and driven by Fred Cohen, Lexis Amigo left with alacrity from Pompano Park's coveted five post and then let Lady Deda D, handled by Jamie Marra, cut panels of :28.3, :58 and 1:28.2 before leaving the coziness of the pocket at attacking the leader. Taking command with authority turning for home and opening up a long lead in the lane, Lexis Amigo jumped up in the air in mid-stretch, but driver Cohen was able to settle the 10-year-old down and regain his composure, trotting under the wire one and a half lengths to the good of Chaplin Hall, driven by Gary Barbere, with Zeitgeist third for Dein Spriggs. C R Amigo finished fourth while What About Brian earned the final award in the field of nine.

Lexis Amigo now has 20 lifetime wins in a lightly raced career of 98 starts, good for $257,335.

As the 1-5 toteboard favourite, Lexis Amigo returned $2.60 to win.

Also of note, the 11-year-old warrior Ricks Sign, driven by Ricky Macomber Jr., won his fifth race in a row, showing his heels to his younger foes in 1:52.1.

Trained by Paul Holzman for Mary Holzman, Ricks Sign, an altered son of Life Sign, won for the 65th time in a career spanning 275 starts to send his lifetime earnings to $420,589 -- $22,368 this year on the strength of a 6-2-1 scorecard in a dozen starts.

Off as the 3-2 favourite, Ricks Sign rewarded his faithful with a $5 mutuel.

Pompano Park's pentafecta fourth went untouched on Sunday night with a $2,503 carryover resulting in a $15,000 guaranteed pool for Monday night's fourth race pentafecta. Post time for the Monday program is 7:30 p.m.

(With files from Pompano Park)

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