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Ideal Feeling wins Pompano opening feature

November 16, 2020
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With Tropical Storm Eta all gone, Pompano Park finally opened its 2020-2021 season on Sunday night with a very competitive 13-race pari-mutuel program.
 
The extravaganza featured a million-dollar field in the Open Handicap Pace and it went to Ideal Feeling, scoring a hard-earned victory in 1:50.4 for Dave Ingraham, who was in the bike for trainer Peter Blood and owner Rick Berks.
 
The late-charging Maxdaddy Blue Chip (Mike Simons) was a nose away in second with Mach West (Wally Hennessey) third, less than a length away.
 
Ideal Feeling, a rugged 5-year-old son of American Ideal, began his one mile journey from the outside nine post and went grinding towards the front…but it took a very demanding :26.1 opener to get there.  There was hardly a breather from there on as fractions of :54.1 and 1:22.2 followed.
 
Confronted by Mach West on the final bend, the pair raced as a team most of the way home with Maxdaddy Blue Chip surging in the final stages to miss by that nose in the photo.
 
For Ideal Feeling, it was his sixth win of the year in 20 starts, pushing his career bounty to $261,943--$64,938 this semester.
 
The winner paid $5 to win.
 
Also highlighting the opening night festivities were the 2 year olds in the third leg of Sunshine State Stakes, sponsored by the FSBOA.
 
Two divisions were non-betting events with Theflyingrock putting on a sparkling performance for trainer Mike Simons in the colt/gelding pace, stopping the timer in 1:54.2 in just his second purse start.
 
The gelded son of Rockingcam sped an opening panel in :28.1, repelling a bid by Mister David C (Wally Hennessey), and then went on to post fractions of :58.1 and 1:26.4 before sprinting home in :27.3 to seal the deal by 3 ½ lengths over that rival. Buddha Beach (Dave Ingraham) rallied late for third while Lucky Ramsey completed the quartet.
 
The winner is owned by Marie Marsh, who also bred the youngster.
 
Commenting on the splendid performance, a humble Mike Simons said, “This was team work at its finest. Rick Marsh trained him down and turned him over to me a few weeks ago, Herb Gorens, the caretaker, has done a wonderful job, so, to put it in perspective, I was just along for the ride.”
 
The second non-wagering event was featured  trotting colts and geldings and was awarded to Ifnotnowwhen, driven by Wally Hennessey, placed first when Seeking Matthew, the photo finish winner by a scant nose, went inside the pylons on to the victory, only to be “DQ’d” after the judges review.
 
It was a classic war as both hit the wire in 2:01.3 off of fractions of :30.2, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1.
 
As the wings folded, Seeking Matthew, handled by Sergio Corona, darted out for the lead as Ifnotnowwhen secured the garden spot. These two remained one-two just prior to the final bend as Hennessey left the cozy pocket to engage the leader in war. At the top of the lane, the pair were joined by Shuda Hada Drink (Mike Simons) and they were three across the track until mid-stretch when the latter made a miscue to eventually finish third. Jo Jo Art was next in the field of four.
 
Ifnotnowwhen, an altered son of Muscle Massive, is trained by Hennessey for Herman Brewer.
 
On the betting care were the 2-year-old filly trot and the 2-year-old filly pace.
 
The juvenile trot went to Ifnotmewho ($4), a daughter of Credit Winner, handled by Wally Hennessey for owner Herman Brewer.
 
Ifnotmewho edged past a stubborn Prairie Virtue (Mike Simons) in the final few yards to hit the wire in 1:58.4, a new lifetime best in this her ninth career start. Her previous best was 2:03.2 in a Vernon Downs qualifier.
 
Ciao Bella (Alessandro Spano) was next followed by Prairie Trinket and West Haven in the field of six.
 
The winner left alertly, yielded after the first eighth and let Prairie Virtue take the field through panels of :29, 1:00 and 1:30.1, at which time Prairie Virtue appeared to get away from Ifnotmewho. But, turning for home, the two engaged in war through that :28.3 finale.
 
The win gave a “triple-double” of sorts to driver-trainer Hennessey and owner Herman Brewer, as they were awarded that earlier win with Ifnotnowwhen.
 
The 2-year-old filly pace went, in an upset, to KK’s Dream Girl ($11), driven by Corey Braden for trainer Maggie Audley and the Gold Star Farm.
 
The roan Mysticism filly edged by the 2-5 favorite, Sheza Terror (Wally Hennessey) near the wire to sore the photo finish win that measured a head. Prairie Sweetness (Kevin Wallis) finished in the same photo a head further back  to just miss all the marbles and be third.
 
Ms Rodeo Drive and Gator Babe picked up the final two awards in the field of eight.
 
KK’s Dream Girl, just a neck back in her first career start in these Sunshine State Stakes three weeks ago, stopped the timer in 1:56.4 after Sheza Terror, hard pressed to take command from Prairie Sweetness at the :28.1 opener, wrestled through subsequent panels of :59.2 and 1:28.
 
In the lane, the three fanned across the track with the magnificent looking roan filly earning the win. (Pompano Park)
 
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