Earlivic upsets in Pompano feature
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El Hombre Dan and driver Tom Sells cut the mile with Keystone Empire (Richard Simard) enjoying a pocket-trip behind the race leader through the opening quarter mile in :28.2 and the half mile in :58.
But the pace picked up as trainer-driver Marc Major started first-over with Earlivic in the backstretch from sixth place and kept grinding it out until he was able to collar the race leaders after the three-quarter mile marker in 1:27.2.
Then in a dramatic stretch drive, Major was able to wear down El Hombre Dan and then keep Earlivic game to the finish, holding off Keystone Empire to win by a long neck in 1:56.3. Budlightning (Stephen Oliwa) was third.
It was the second win in 14 starts this year for Earlivic, a 6-year-old gelding by Valley Victor. The Mirage Stable of Pompano Beach owns Earlivic.
In the sixth race $11,000 co-feature mares pace, Always and driver Richard Simard ($23.20) led from start to finish to win by a neck in 1:54.1 over the pocket-sitting Rosannette Stena (Anthony Napolitano) and Gordy’s Pan (Sells).
It was the fourth win this year for Always, an 8-year-old mare by Cambest who is owned and trained by Fred Cohen of Coconut Creek, Fla.
In the battle for the driving title, Anthony Napolitano, who flew down to drive Wednesday from Pocono Downs, had three winners and with just one night to go has all but wrapped up his first driving title, leading all-time driving leader Bruce Ranger, 231-223 wins. Ranger had two winners Wednesday. The training title will go to Tom Harmer, who edged out Joe Pavia Jr., 50-47. Leading driver and trainer awards will be made next season. (Pompano Park)