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Cherry Hills wins at PPK

March 10, 2007

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The 11-year-old veteran trotter Cherry Hills returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since June 7, 2000, when taking the sixth race at Pompano Park Friday. Owned by Gerry and Gary LeGault of McTrade Enterprises of Amos, Quebec, Cherry Hills and driver Bruce Ranger assumed control of the race on the first turn, cutting out fractions of :29.4, 1:00.2, and 1:30.1, before crossing the wire in 2:00.2 to win by 3 ¼ lengths while returning $4.20.

During his juvenile campaign in 1998, Cherry Hills won four of seven starts, including a Reynolds Memorial Trot division at Pocono Downs.

As a sophomore, Cherry Hills would compete with the top trotters of his generation, finishing fourth to Self Possessed in the Kentucky Futurity, fifth to that rival in the Hambletonian, and was second to Angus Hall in a Hambletonian elimination division.

Despite a modest string of success at the sport\'s highest level, the 1999 season for Cherry Hills would end with a ninth-place finish in the Matron at Dover Downs and 2000 would see the horse win just once, taking a $17,500 non-winners race at the Meadowlands.

Cherry Hills made his first trip to Pompano Park in December of that year where he made what appeared to be the final two starts of his career, putting together consecutive last-place efforts at the $8,000 Open Trot level.

From there, Cherry Hills was purchased for stallion duties and was sent to Canada where he produced 42 registered foals and 17 starters, including Varekai, who competes regularly at Pompano Park and is a two-time winner this year.

Cherry Hills’ offspring is led by the pacer Canbec Condor, who has visited the winner\'s circle 16 times and has a lifetime mark of 1:52.3 with earnings of $98,674. Cherry Hills\' top trotting foal is Scene Duharas, who is currently stabled at Rideau Carlton where he won a $7,650 claiming handicap in mid-January.

Hypnotize became the first female pacer to win five races at Pompano Park this year after putting forth another dominating performance, taking the featured $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at he Pompano Beach oval on Friday.

Driven from post five by Joe Pavia Jr., Hypnotize quickly settled along the pylons in sixth place while three horses battled for the lead through the first turn, with Wilma Hall (Wally Hennessey) landing the top spot through a brisk opening quarter mile in :26.2.

Wilma Hall continued to pace on the front end through a half-mile split in :56.1 before yielding the lead on the backstretch to race favorite Flo Found George (Kevin Wallis), who moved up first over to assume control, leaving Townline Lily (Bruce Ranger) on the outside without cover and Hypnotize just off her back.

As Flo Found George moved by the three-quarters split in 1:24.3, Hypnotize rolled off cover to begin a three-wide assault, and with a rush, the daughter of Artiscape paced to the front.

Hypnotize entered the stretch with a two-length advantage and continued to draw clear of her rivals down the lane, prevailing by 4 ½ lengths while stopping the timer in a career-best 1:52.2.

Owned by Louis Diffenback, Lisa Diffenback, William Mack Jr., and trainer Jim Mattison, Hypnotize is now five for 10 on the year, with seasonal earnings over $30,000. (Pompano)
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