Over the course of the past week it's looked a lot like Kevin Wallis doesn't want to waste any time getting to his next major career milestone. After a three-win performance on the Wednesday program at the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park, the 53-year-old driver stands at 8,983 wins. At the rate he's been going lately, Wallis certainly won't be long getting to the 9,000 win plateau.
Over the past four programs Wallis has been in the zone racking up 10 winners. After a four-win performance last Saturday night and a single win on Monday, he accomplished a triple on the final program of March. His Wednesday evening winners included claiming mare pacer What Not To Wear (1:55.4), conditioned trotter M C Felix (1:56.4), and claiming trotter Ranger One (1:58.2).
Wallis has campaigned seasonally in South Florida for over two decades and is an inductee into the Hall Of Fame by the Florida chapter of the United States Harness Writers' Association. He originally hails from Granton, Ont., just north of London and in tandem with his wife Linda races seasonally from bases at Lighthouse Point, Fla, and Maidstone, Ont,, just outside Windsor. Wallis is also less than $67,000 away from reaching $41 million in career driving purse earnings.
The mid-week feature in South Florida was an event for $12,500 claiming pacers and in spite of a barn change Michigan-bred SF Midas was overlooked to the tune of 5-1. The 7-year-old Survivor Gold-PV May gelding, bred by Julie and Steven Duffey, was sent right down the road by Bruce Ranger to stop the clock in 1:53.4, just a fifth of a second from his life's mark.
Owner Stewart Nemiro of Oakland Park, Fla claimed the pacer for the $12,500 amount on Jan. 20 but had not scored a win with him in seven starts since. Prior to the March 31 start, Nemiro turned over conditioning duties to the previous trainer of SF Midas, Paul Holzman. SF Midas responded for his first top prize in his 10th start of 2010 and appears to be back in the form which saw him win 13 times from 40 starts last year.
Pocket sitting Tough Cassidy with Wally Hennessey in tow got close to SF Midas in mid-stretch but had to settle for second. Post time favorite Whole Lotta Wow in rein to David Ingraham made the first-over move in the final half and held on for third.
Though he turned over training duties on SF Midas to Holzman, Nemiro would notch a win from his own barn later on the card. Cam's Western toppled a field of $10,000 claiming pacers with Bruce Ranger in the bike in 1:56 after a stretch long duel with Howie's Heart and driver Wallis. A newcomer to the South Florida scene, Talk To Tony, was a hard closing third for David Ingraham and new trainer Kim Sears.
Cam's Western thus took a life's mark and earned his second win in 10 trips this year. The Cam's Card Shark-Western News 4-year-old gelding is owned by James Brown of Boca Raton and Wayne Lobdell of Hillsboro Beach.
In the coming weekend, well known Canadian driver Trevor Ritchie will have his busiest night of the 2009-2010 meet to date with four drives scheduled on Saturday evening. Preceding that program will be the Friday night performance at 7:05 p.m. featuring the $15,000 purses Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing. (Pompano Park)