Storming Howard scored his maiden victory in winning a $23,963 division of the Florida Stallion Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings Saturday at Pompano Park Harness Track by four and one-quarter lengths.
The second division saw Valentine’s Gator be placed first after the race winner, Tough Chip, was disqualified and placed last for interfering with his stable mate, Tough Cassidy, at the top of the stretch.
Both winners are now eligible for a $100,000 bonus if they can win the remaining three Florida Sire Stakes finals.
The first division saw Time To Scoot and driver Wally Hennessey scoot right to the early lead with Storming Howard grabbing the two-hole spot and after soft early fractions of :29.1, :59.4 and 1:29.2, Ranger was able to blow by Time To Scoot as Storming Howard breezed to victory in 1:56.1. Gavino (Dan Clements) was third.
“After a slow half my horse just exploded at the top of the stretch.” Ranger said. “He (Storming Howard) has always showed he has talent but seemed a little “green” in his early starts. After last weeks race he braved up a lot and that showed tonight.”
A brown gelded son of Mannart Howard from the mare Keriann Hanover, Storming Howard is trained by Michile Lorenzo and is owned by Rod Lorenzo, William Hancock, Ciro Gentile and the Pomtambo Stables.
In the second $23,963 Florida Stallion Stakes division, Tough Chip and driver Dan Clements led from the start but as stable mate Tough Cassidy (Jay Sears) came first-over and collared the race leader turning for home, Tough Chip bared out into Tough Cassidy, who went off-stride, scattering the field.
Tough Chip was placed last as second place finisher Valentine’s Gator and driver Tom Lehmann was placed first. I’m Fine (Wally Hennessey) was placed second and Tough Cassidy was placed third. The time of the race was 1:57.2.
It was the second win for Valentine’s Gator, a gelded son of Tough Sir from the mare Katy Q. He is trained by Mary Birkhold, owned by George Birkhold of Sarasota and was bred by Bradley Kromers.
There were two $14,250 division of the Hurricane Series for Florida-sire three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The fasted division went to pacesetter Alligator Alley and driver Robert Roberts by three-quarters of a length over McRyan Michael (Jay Sears) and Napoleon Dynahorse (Bruce Ranger) in a lifetime best 1:53.4.
A gelded son of Raging Glory, Alligator Alley is trained by Mike Deters and owned by Mark Rorabeck of Nutrioso, Arizona.
The second division saw the pocket-sitting Sody’s Moonshine and driver Robert Roberts come on in the stretch to edge pacesetter McFlash (Dan Clements) by a head in 1:55.4. Scootin Around (Mel Turcotte) was third.
Trained by Kim Sears, bred and owned by Donald Soderstrom of Deland, Sody’s Moonshine is a gelded son of Tough Sir and posted his second win this year.
Saturday was closing night for the season at the Isle Pompano Park and Bruce Ranger, Pompano’s all time winningest driver, posted his eleventh driving title with 348 wins. Wally Hennessey was second with 243 wins. Mike Deters was able to hold off Ranger on closing night to win the training title, 83 to 80. Both horsemen will be honored when Pompano Park reopens for its 45th season of harness racing on Friday, September 12. (Pompano Park)