Monet CC, the oldest veteran competing in Pompano Park's Open 1 Pace, got the revenge he was seeking after last week's "nostril” loss in the Open by collaring favored Special Strides in the final yards and going on to score a half length win in 1:52.2 for Bruce Ranger. Avantage was third in the mile, followed by Rick's Sign and Dragon's Blood.
The 10 year-old rugged son of Artist Stena, making his 254th lifetime start, earned his 35th lifetime victory, pushing his lifetime bounty "one win” shy of the $400,000 mark.
Monet CC looked anxious behind the gate but Ranger's plans for leaving were dashed when both Special Strides, handled by Rick Plano, and Rick's Sign, driven by Jason Dillander, were on the engine early through an opening quarter of :27 with Rick's Sign and Special Strides exchanging blows through the first half in :55.3.
Ranger left the pocket with three-eighths to go, moved on even terms with the leader turning for home and wore Special Strides into submission.
In a post race interview, Ranger said, "Well, that sure wasn't the way I planned things. I was hoping to leave out of there and get a cozy trip behind Rick's horse (Special Strides)…but they were gunning so hard on both sides of me that I couldn't do it. When I asked for some pace, Monet responded…but you never know how long a brush will last—especially going first up—so I was very pleased with his performance.”
Owned by the Bruce Ranger Racing Stable, Monet CC is trained by Stewart Nemiro.
In the co-featured Open 2 pace, Arezzo Hanover, a nine year-old son of The Panderosa owned by the J L Benson Stables, took a new lifetime mark of 1:50.3, scoring a convincing win over Kommander Hawk, Spring Again and Hay Goodlooking, among others.
Arezzo Hanover, a recent arrival by claim in the stable of Paul Holzman, left sharply, yielded briefly and then re-took the lead after three-eighths of a mile, clocking fractions of :54.2 and 1:22.1 en route to his lifetime best performance. (Pompano Park)