The horses laying claim to the fastest wins on each gait of the 2009-2010 meet at the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park, Cammabis and Baseball Express, held their strong form for repeat wins on the first Saturday evening program of April.
"In the 45 starts I've had Cammabis he's never ceased to amaze me after his big wins," trainer Paul Holzman declard after his stable leader scored in 1:51.3 in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace. "I'm especially happy for his owner, Fred Reitberger of Boca Raton, a great supporter of our game for so many years. Cammabis is quite unique because he never trains and never wears a harness through the week between starts."
Kevin Wallis had Cammabis settled in fourth position as Wally Hennessey sent Four Starz Bling to the first-quarter lead in :26.2, and then Cammabis was on the attack to seize the lead before the half in :54. Card Dealer, in rein to Bruce Ranger, made the first-over move to the last turn in 1:22.3. Cammabis drew off in the stretch as Cape Karuna, in rein to Fern Paquet Jr. brushed from last to get the nod in the place photo over Four Starz Bling.
"I'll soon be shipping Cammabis back to Michigan and we'll look for some races there and in Ontario," Holzman said. "We might have him to try him in Toronto but I'm not sure yet if he could become a 1:49 or 1:50 horse which he'd likely have to be in the warm weather months up there."
Cammabis, a 7-year-old Cambest-Majestic Lady gelding, has won half of his 12 starts in Florida this year and his career bankroll now tops $286,000.
The $15,000 Open Handicap Trot had a much more dramatic finish as Baseball Express was pushed to the limit to become a doubling up winner in 1:54.3.
"I did have to give him some help at the end and I wasn't completely certain I'd won," driver Tom Sells said in his live trackside post race TV interview. "He insisted on racing from the front again and all credit to him for holding on, but I think I'd have to weigh 450 pounds to be able to race him out of a hole if I tried make him follow other horses."
The 6-year-old Conway Hall-Pine Booth gelding is trained by Mike Deters for Ohio owner Kevin Burch. On March 20 Baseball Express turned in the fastest trotting mile of the entire 2009-2010 meet in South Florida with a 1:53.3 performance. On this occasion, he seized the lead in :27.1 and sailed through the middle stages of :56.2 and 1:25.1. In the last three eighths of the mile, David Ingraham rallied the mare Alarming Quick out of third for a first over bid all the way to the end. The pocket-sitter, Talk About Me with Wallis in tow, finished third.
In addition to Cammabis, Wallis was in the bike for Saturday night wins with conditioned pacers The Big Ticket (1:54) and Catman (1:53.3). The 53-year-old driver stands at 8,987 lifetime wins heading into the Monday evening, April 5 program.
Fern Paquet Jr. brought home a pair of winners on Saturday night, including conditioned pacers Paydaze A Comin (1:53) and Anescape N (1:52.4). (Pompano)