The second annual installment of an innovative pro-am series hosted by Pompano Park is only days away. Pompano Park is hosting the second annual event which consists of six races contested in the Sunshine State on Monday evening, March 4. Returning guest professional drivers are Cal-Expo's leading drivers Luke Plano and Steve Wiseman. Plano is in the top ten drivers nationally in both wins (despite only racing two days per week) and UTR. Returning amateurs are David Siegel and Rick Bertrand.
Trying to avenge last year's narrow defeat will be veteran professionals Bruce Ranger and Wally Hennessey. Joining them for their debuts in this event will be their amateur teammates Dein Spriggs and Joe Pennachio.
TrackMaster is making available FREE "Platinum” past performance programs for Monday's card in addition to FREE TrackMaster Greg selections. The Pick-4 races for the Sunshine Challenge will carry a guaranteed pool of $5,000. The free programs will be available on Friday.
Cal Expo driver Luke Plano is excited to be combining some business with pleasure during his trip to Pompano.
"I am really looking forward to coming back to Pompano again," said Luke. "We were treated so well last year and of course, it will be great to spend time in the warm weather with my mom and dad. Racing on a smaller track involves different tactics than at our mile track in Sacramento, so I look forward to that challenge and seeing if we can repeat last year's showing.”
Rick Bertrand, who won the final leg of the 2012 event and is a long-time amateur reinsman, thinks an occasional variation in the otherwise repetitive nature of harness racing programs is a winning move.
"Amateur clubs around the country attract men and women to become owners and allow for some creativity in the track's weekly offerings.
"The amateurs in Florida have done a great job building up their club. It is one of the most successful in the country. Add to that the Billings series and other regional clubs, and you have enough to make a positive impact on the sport by attracting more owners.
"Events like this Pro-Am Challenge, or the East-West Challenge that we host at Cal-Expo annually give amateurs something to aspire to and allows us to present something new and different to the wagering public. When folks can really get focused on a common promotional goal, some really good things can happen. The occasional special event like this really spices up the game."