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Chucaro Ahijuna sweeps

February 27, 2005

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Chucaro Ahijuna and driver Kevin Wallis took the lead after the opening quarter in the $80,000 Mack Lobell Trotting Series and sped away to a 1 3/4-length triumph in 1:53.3, the fastest trotting mile ever in the 41-year history of Pompano Park. The mark surpassed the former world record set by Mack Lobell in 1987 of 1:54.1.

Trained by Paul Bernardo and owned by the Berry Stable, it was the third straight win for Chucaro Ahijuna, an 8-year-old Argentinean-bred stallion that is also the worlds fastest double-gaited Standardbred.

"Once he settled in on the lead I was not concerned at all until the final turn," said winning driver Kevin Wallis. "That Double Eagle horse made a game effort on the turn but Chucaro Ahijuna would not let him pass. He is the greatest trotter I have ever driven."

Wallis eased out of the gate with Chucaro Ahijuna and had him on the lead after the opening quarter. From there Chucaro Ahijuna cut the mile to the half in :56.1 as Make It Hot (Richard Simard) came first-over with Double Eagle (Trevor Ritchie) second-over. At that point, Damon Runyon went off-stride going to the three-quarters as he suffered a dropped suspensory in his left hind leg.

Double Eagle then popped three-wide at the three-quarters in 1:25 and was nearly able to looks Chucaro Ahijuna in the eye as they came off the final turn, but Wallis just urged Chucaro Ahijuna on to victory in the stretch.
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