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I'm Just Special is a Pompano winner

February 23, 2011

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An equipment change on Tuesday evening tipped off a strong return to form for the richest older mare at the meet at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. With an announced change of the blinkers removed, I'm Just Special was a flawless front end winner in the $14,000 purse top weekly class for pacing mares in 1:51.1 with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike.
"Back on February 8, two weeks ago, it looked to me like she didn't see the one (Best Around) that stepped out and caught her on the wire" trainer Peter Pellegrino said in a live TV track side post race interview. "Tonight, I removed the blinkers and she was really on her toes. She just missed her life's mark by a tick and she got that (1:51 record) on the big track at Mohawk. It's still a few months out there, but maybe she can race with the best mares again this year in her six year old season" Pellegrino added.
"I was bound and determined tonight that I'm Just Special wouldn't be caught again by Best Around" owner Ted Colby told the TV audience. "Best Around has made a great run up the ranks but she was a $7,000 claimer last Fall. I'm Just Special more than held her own in the Gold Series of the Ontario Sires Stakes and also raced great against the Grand Circuit fillies so she should be the class of these mares almost every time out" he added.
Best Around, with Jason Dillander in the bike was well back in second and C R Hope in rein to Ricky Macomber Jr. took the show position. It was the 23rd career win for I'm Just Special, and the bankroll for the Camluck-Ladys Special Girl miss now stands at $588,533. The trainer-driver combo of Peter Pellegrino and George Napolitano Jr. doubled up in the $10,000 purse pacing mares under-card feature as Honorary Hanover stepped to a life's mark of 1:51.2 for Baron Stable of Horsham, PA.
"Team Allard" at Pompano
One of the continent's most formidable trainer-driver and brother combination in 2011, Rene and Simon Allard, are on a short Florida vacation from the Woodbine-Mohawk circuit in Ontario. They attended the Tuesday evening card at The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing.
Simon is slated for two drives on the Wednesday evening program, in the 6th and 11th races, pending the expected formality of obtaining his Florida license. The 28 year old reinsman amassed his best career year to date in 2010 with 468 wins for purse earnings topping $3.6 million.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing what it's like to be out on the track in the warmth here at Pompano and I'm really thankful to (trainers) Marc Major and Rheau Viau and the race office for giving me this chance" Simon commented in a track side interview. "It'll be a really nice break for me, I almost froze out there when I last drove at Woodbine on Monday night" he said. "Tuesday I understand it was a record of 87 degrees (30 C) in Fort Lauderdale and it was a great first full day in Florida."
"After checking things out I'll definitely have to consider sending some down for a satellite stable here" 23 year trainer Rene Allard said. "Back in Ontario things are going great, right now I have a 55 horse stable and I'm aiming for a third straight year of stable earnings of at least $2 million.  Sometimes, it would be great to go the barn in the morning with it 70 degrees (21 C) and I'm sure I could find an excuse to come down and train some myself here too" Rene adds.
Simon Allard's drives on the Wednesday evening program in South Florida are with Doc's All Class (post 3, 6th race) and with Trueland Hanover (post 5, 11th race). Post time is 7:05 p.m. EST every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing. Race night streaming and replay video is available for free in the racing tab at www.theislepompanopark.com . (Pompano Park)

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