Chalk players reigned supreme at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (March 7) as nine of the 10 races were won by favorites or co-favorites -- one of those being A TC Queenie in the $12,500 Open Handicap Trot for the mares.
A TC Queenie, the sharp 5-year-old daughter of Triumphant Caviar, was a popular winner despite having been assigned the outside post in her classy million dollar septet.
Trained and driven by Rick Schaut, who co-owns with his sister, Trish Soulsby, A TC Queenie went grinding to the front, taking command at the opening station in a swift :28. From there, she carded panels of :56.4 and 1:25.3 before holding off the late surging Vicki All, with J.D. Yoder in her bike, by three parts of a length. Second Sister finished third, a length away for Jim Meittinis, while She's All In, enjoying a garden journey throughout, was fourth, two lengths away. Explosive Jet picked up the nickel.
In a post-race interview, driver Rick Schaut said, "You know, I'm just so proud of this filly (mare). She has just a great attitude, loves to compete, and gives her all every start. To be blessed with her at my age is just unbelievable. And to have my sister as a partner, it's just very special.
"We bought her as a baby and she's one of our family. I couldn't be more proud. Like I said, this is a blessing and we are so appreciative to have her. My sister was holding her 'Queenie' pillow the whole time!"
Now sporting three wins in her six 2018 starts, A TC Queenie has banked $19,010 this semester and $291,776 lifetime to go along with her 1:53 mark set at Scioto Downs last season. As the 8-5 toteboard favorite, A TC Queenie paid $5.20 to win.
Also on Wednesday night, Prairie Fortune earned his 39th career victory -- second this year -- with a very sharp win in 1:55 for Jim Meittinis.
The 6-year-old gelded son of Arapa Victory pinned an easy victory measuring 2-1/2 lengths on Railee Workable, with Rick Plano in the bike. Skyway Pippen was third for Joe Sanzeri while pacesetting Winemaster Hanover finished fourth. Stache completed the order of finish in the quintet.
Away third as Winemaster Hanover sawed off quick panels of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:25.4, Prairie Fortune swept to the lead around the final bend and drew off on the strength of a :28.4 finale.
The win sent Prairie Fortune's career bankroll vaulting over the $300,000 plateau -- $302,860 to be precise. Off at a dime-to-a-dollar, Prairie Fortune paid $2.20 to his multitude of followers.
As mentioned, A TC Queenie and Prairie Fortune weren't the only favorites to prevail as co-favorite Noble Anthony (Mike Simons-$5.00) took the opener while Deepwell (Mike Simons-$3.80), Bucketlist Hanover (Dave Ingraham-$2.40), Mysharona Bluechip (Mike Simons-$2.80), Dreadpirateroberts (Wally Hennessey-$3.40) and Hot Art (Rick Plano-$3.40) were all popular winners. The lone non-favorite to hit the winner's circle was Chocolate Xplosion, handled by Alessandro Spano, who paid $10.40 to win.
Racing continues on Saturday night with a Super Hi-5 Jackpot of $13,644.68 awaiting.
Also, post positions have been drawn for Sunday's $30,000 Fred Monteleone Memorial final going the added distance of 1-1/4 miles. Leg winners Rocky's Z Tam (post one), Panocchio (post three), Hollywood Sign A (post five) and Dees Rocketman (post eight) will be vying for the crown against Drachan Hanover (post two), Uncmprmising Z Tam (post four), Doo Wop Hanover (post six) and Sing For Me George (post seven).
Post time for the Saturday and Sunday programs is 7:20 p.m. (Pompano Park)