The ship from Pennsylvania to Florida didn't seem to bother Commander K at all as the 5-year-old son of Ken Warkentin sped to a 1:56 score over six highly-regarded rivals in Wednesday's $11,000 Open Trot at Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.
Joe Pavia Jr. guided the winner to the half-length victory over Credit Balance (Wally Hennessey) and I'll Tell You What (Dave Ingraham). Combined lifetime earnings of the classy field exceeded $1 million.
Plucked by owner-trainer Luca Derrico from a $22,000 claiming race at Pocono Downs just over two months ago, Commander K is proving to be a very sound investment. With the $5,500 winner's share of his first race in South Florida, the handsome gelding has already earned $18,000 of his price tag back for Derrico. Overall he has surpassed $80,000 in 2012 earnings and is approaching a quarter of a million dollars lifetime.
A co-featured $7500 Open II Trot was captured by Super Lotto (Tom Sells) by a neck margin over Salome Marvel (Fern Paquet Jr.) and Hallin Cash (Dan Daley). The winner coasted to a pedestrian :59 half, then used a :29.2 final panel to close the deal in 1:58.1. It was the seventh win of 2012, matching his 2011 output, for the 7-year-old Florida-bred owned and trained by Mike Deters.
Drivers Rick Plano and Jason Dillander scored doubles on the nine-race program as did trainer Shawn Glassmeyer.
The nightly Pick-4 returned $1,566.20 despite the fact three of the four winners were first or second favorites of the betting public. Beginning Monday (Dec. 1), Pompano is joining forces with the USTA Strategic Wagering Program to guarantee a minimum $5,000 Pick-4 pool on each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mid-week program. (Pompano)