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Kommander Hawk repeats in feature at Pompano

January 19, 2013

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Kommander Hawk, again catch-driven by Matt Romano, scored a repeat win in Pompano Park’s Open 1 Handicap Pace on Saturday night. The seven year-old gelded son of Pro Bono Best bested the fast closing Spring Again, handled by Andy Santeramo, by a length in 1:52.1 after clocking gate-to-wire panels of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:23.2.

Monet C C (Bruce Ranger) edged out Special Strides (Rick Plano) for the show spot. Woodmere Ultimate picked up the final check.

Trained by John McNeill III, Kommander Hawk, complimented last week’s wire-to-wire 1:51.4 win in similar fashion by taking the lead as the gate opened and virtually putting the field on ice with a backside brush in :27.2 to leave the competition unable to mount any serious threats in the lane.

Driver Matt Romano, in a post-race interview, said that this week’s journey was a bit less worrisome. "Last week, he was a bit headstrong and I was a little concerned with that opener in :26 and a piece. This week, I was much more confident when I saw :27.2 up on the timer. Since John (trainer McNeill) thought he’d be as good this week, I thought I’d let out a notch on the backstretch and he responded like a good horse does. All I did was give him a reminder or two in deep stretch.”

While the repeat victory was no surprise to the driver or trainer, it was a bit of a surprise to the betting public who let the "Hawk” go off at 12 to 1. (He was 5 to 1 when won last week.)

The win was worth $6,000 to owner Ellen McNeill of Vernon Center, N.Y. and $26.00 to those who plunked $2 on the "Hawk’s” nose. That hefty payoff keyed a $206.40 exacta, $1,068.60 trifecta and $3,236.80 superfecta.

For Kommander Hawk, it was 16
th lifetime win and pushed his lifetime bounty to $113,007--$13,875 already this year in his first three starts.

Bruce Ranger had a driving triple on the Saturday nine race card.

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