On any normal racing night, usually, the headline belongs to the winner of the Open event at Pompano Park.
But on this Monday night, the headline belongs to a young lady named Molly Murphy and an amateur driver named Dein Spriggs.
Molly Murphy is the Executive Director of Equine Assisted Therapies of South Florida, a 501-c3 organization that specializes in assisting children “of all ages,” meaning 3 to 83, with special needs through four programs including, Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, Equine Facilitated Learning and Equine Psychotherapy, which includes a Wounded Warrior Program.
Murphy, herself, gained much needed assistance from the program some 20 years ago and, since, has become its Executive Director now assisting many others within the scope of these programs.
Amateur driver Dein Spriggs, President of the Florida Amateur Driving Club, which has donated some $180,000 to various charitable causes since the club’s inception, became so intrigued by the equine assistance offered to those in need, now has stepped up to the plate personally by donating half of the earnings from his own trotter, A Crown For Lindy, to their cause from now until the end of the Pompano Park meeting.
Spriggs, who has driven over 400 winners during his career, added one more to his credit on Monday night, giving a kick to the charity by driving A Crown For Lindy ($2.60) to his 56th lifetime victory, this one in 1:59, meaning a $1,250 boost to the charity.
The victory came in the Florida Amateur Driving Club trot where A Crown For Lindy scored by 3-1/2 lengths over Tymal Recap, handled by Leopold Sawyers. On The Tab, with Leon Cable in the bike, finished third.
Said Spriggs after the winning drive, “I really took an interest in this charity and their programs when our driving club donated to their cause a few weeks ago. I’m even more intrigued now that I have had a chance to realize just how much they help people of all ages through their equine programs.”
In accepting the generosity of Spriggs, Executive Director Molly Murphy said, “I am one who has known, first hand, the power of the horse and its healing ways because I, too, was in the program years ago and, I assure you, I would not be who I am today without this program. My appreciation for Mr. Spriggs generosity runs deep.”
The $10,000 Open Handicap Trot featured a well matched septet and Boli, despite being assigned the outside post, earned his second straight win for Wally Hennessey, covering the mile in 1:55.4.
Sailer Eddie (Dave Ingraham) was a fast closing second, a neck away, while Keystone Bodacious (Kevin Wallis) was even a faster closing third, three-parts-of-a-length off the winner. Diamond Dagger finished fourth while Tater Twister finished fifth after clipping off panels of :27, :57.2 and 1:26.
Said Hennessey after the event, “This was not the easiest of trips for him, but he’s sharp right now and he dug in late.
“I kind of ‘half-left’ with him with the ‘5’ (Sailer Eddie) and the ‘6’ (Tater Twister) leaving and I was hoping to find a spot mid-pack somewhere. I had to pull a little earlier than I wanted because I didn’t want to be locked in with my horse because he can be a little anxious at times. Around the final turn, the leader got away from us a bit but Boli just kept digging and then had to really dig in late. It was a big effort for him.”
Trained by Dan Hennessey, who is closing in on 1,000 career training wins, Boli is owned by Paul and Patricia O’Neil and won for the fourth time in eight starts this semester, good for $25,280. Career-wise, Boli is 19 for 56 in the win column with lifetime earnings of $162,474. Boli returned $6.20 to win.
The $8,000 Open 2 Trot went to Explosive Drama, driven by Kevin Wallis, in a lifetime best 1:55.3.
The five-year-old gelded son of Explosive Matter led at every pole--:27.4, :57.1 and 1:25.4--before a :29.4 finale sealed the deal by a half-length over Legend Field (John MacDonald) with the 50-1 chance Caviart Griffin (Dave Ingraham) rallying for third.
Trainer by Barry Probber for Probber-Morse Racing and the Unity Stable, Explosive Drama was ultra-game in victory as he repelled a bid mid-way through the mile and another inn the final stages to record his second win of the year in 11 starts, pushing his seasonal total to $11,581. Lifetime, Explosive Drama has $143,433 to go along with his new lifetime mark. The winner paid $6.00 to win.
Racing continues on Tuesday night with a well-matched field of mares going to the Hummer Starting Gate in the $9,500 featured pace.
Goldstar Rockette has been installed as the 5-2 favourite in the septet and will have the driving services of Jim Meittinis. This Florida bred seven year-old daughter of Rock On, is winless in 10 starts this year but has been in the photo for win on several occasions this year while knocking on the door.
Spilling The Beans, Jets Are On, Sues Night Out, Metro Glide, Machin Marley and Miss Dollar Mam complete the field.
The Tuesday night program features a $10,000 guarantee on the Pick-4, as part of the U.S.T.A. Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick-4, which features an industry low 12% takeout, is contested on races 6 through 9.
The Super Hi-5 finale has a carryover flirting with $100,000 and the track has proposed a mandatory payout on Sunday, April 30, should there not be a single winner on Tuesday night.
Post time for the Tuesday program is 7:20 p.m.