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Pompano Closes On Rousing Note

Published: June 1, 2016 8:50 am ET

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Pompano Park closed out its highly successful 2015-2016 meeting on Tuesday night (May 31) as the 20 cent Super Hi-5 -- with a carryover of $28,537 going in -- attracted over $271,000 in new wagers, sending that final pool total over the $300,000 mark.

With Sweet Bet, the even-money tote-board favourite taking the finale, and the only other single-digit odds horses finishing 2-3-4, the 20-cent payoff amounted to $122.20 with over 2,000 winning tickets in line to collect.

On the racing front, Goldstar Rockette and Sailer Eddie took top honours in their respective $10,000 feature pacing and trotting events.

Goldstar Rockette, given picture perfect rating by Kevin Wallis, led first long stride to last in the pace, scoring a handy 1:55.1 win measuring 1-1/4 lengths over Della Bea (Dave Ingraham). Real Nice Girl, in the garden spot all the way, finished third for Joe Sanzeri while Sues Night Out and Shortest Distance completed the order of finish in the quintet.

The fractions were :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.4 before a :28.2 finale sealed the deal, prompting driver Kevin Wallis to relate, "With the scratch in there, instead of post six, we moved into that coveted post five and she made the lead very easily and the middle half mile was rather soft with no one coming.

"Louie (trainer Ginesi) has her very sharp these days, so that made my job that much easier. She's tough right now, no doubt about it!"

The six-year-old Florida bred daughter of Rock On won for the third consecutive week and eighth time for the year, sending her seasonal bounty to $41,062, her most lucrative season ever. The win also vaulted her lifetime bounty over the $100,000 plateau -- $104,913 to be precise -- for owner-trainer Lou Ginesi.

As the 1 to 20 favourite, Goldstar Rockette returned $2.10.

About 23 minutes later, Wallis guided his own Sailer Eddie to a similar wire-to-wire win in the trot, hitting the wire first off of fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:26.3 before a :29 final panel closed out that event in 1:55.3 with 1-1/2 lengths to spare over the late-charging Pittsburgh Hanover (Wally Ross, Jr.). Political Foe, with Joe Sanzeri handling the lines, finished third after putting in a mild threat around the final bend. Caviart Griffin finished fourth while Gold Savage picked up the nickel in the field after a difficult journey early.

In a post-race interview, Wallis said, "he's pretty tough when the fractions go his way. That second quarter breather helped his cause and I was pretty confident when we got to the half in :57 and a piece."

Sailer Eddie, a consistent six-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall, sent his 2016 scorecard to 4-4-3 in 19 starts, good for earnings of $37,236 this semester and $324,481 career-wise.

Off at 3-5 on the tote-board, Sailer Eddie returned $3.40 to his multitude of followers.

Wally Hennessey wound up as the leading driver of the 126-night meeting with 224 wins while Kevin Wallis finished next with 151 trips to the charmed circle. Aaron Byron, John MacDonald and Rick Plano rounded out the top five in the standings based on wins.

The leading driver, based on winning percentage of wins with 100 drives or more, was George Napolitano, Jr., who had 43 wins in 120 starts, a rate over 35 percent.

The training title went to Paul Holzman, with 49 winners in 168 starts. Mike Deters and Dale Gilmour finished in a "dead-heat" for second with 43 victories while Dan Hennessey and Jim McDonald completed the top five.

Holzman also won the percentage title with trainers competing in 100 or more races, finishing with a winning percentage of 29.

The 2016-2017 126-night harness racing meet begins October 2.

(with files from Pompano Park)

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