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Big Bad John wins, becomes millionaire

January 07, 2012

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After seizing command of the pace in :27 and the half in :56.3, Big Bad John removed the drama in his quest to join harness racing's millionaire set on Saturday evening (Jan.) 7 at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. The win in the $12,000 purse event pushed the lifetime bankroll of Big Bad John to $1,000,559. 
Even with second choice Rick's Sign vacating the pocket going into the final turn, the 2011 Little Brown Jug champion came through the stretch and gave driver Wally Hennessey the luxury of never lifting the whip as they cruised under the wire in 1:52.2. The romp in the $12,000 purse event pushed the career earnings for Big Bad John to $1,000,559.
"Yes, we're happy to confirm that was his final career start," owner Ed Telle told Pompano's Steve Carpenito trackside after the win. "He'll be on his way to Midland Acres in Ohio to start his second career as a stallion. We had to make a choice among four tracks or so on where he'd get his last couple starts, but Pompano was always at the top of the list since our winter base (Winchester Baye Acres) is up at Ocala, FL.
"As a son of Western Hanover, we hope he'll cross well with the broodmare band in Ohio and perhaps get some consideration from folks out of state too," Telle added. "In addition to being thankful to the race office and management of Pompano, we also have to say a huge thanks to (trainer) Dan and (driver) Wally Hennessey for the perfect job they did with our horse for the final six weeks of his racing career in addition to the fabulous work (trainer) Ron Potter did back at Delaware, OH in developing and racing 'John' against the best of his generation for his 2- and 3-year-old seasons."
Rick's Sign, driven by Fern Paquet Jr., saved the place prize and Red Star Paylater, partnered by Dan Clements, followed in for third.
Michigan's Oldford
Wins At Pompano
Steve Oldford made a winter vacation trip from his home at Croswell, MI to South Florida a memorable one on the Saturday card at Pompano. Oldford, 53, is an avid competitor that has travelled extensively in Canada and The United States for the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series in recent years. He made the most of his Pompano drive by taking 9-year-old veteran Armbro Doyle right down the road in 1:59.3 over $5,000 claiming company. Owner and trainer Scott West of Vernon, NY stepped aside from bike duty so Oldford could have the mount on this occasion behind the 22-time career winner of over $291,000.
Deep Seas, driven by his owner David Yarock, was a hard-closing second and Joe Pennacchio's Mr. Taurus was third.
It was the first weekly event of the new year for the Florida Amateur Driving Club (FADC). In 2011, the organization reached a major milestone when surpassing $100,000 in donations to charitable equine causes locally since the membership donates back the customary 5% driving commissions.  (Pompano Park)
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