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Palone wins 12,000th with Maltese Artist

February 16, 2008

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Dave Palone became the third driver in the history of North American harness racing to win 12,000 career races when he drove Maltese Artist o victory at the Isle Pompano Park Saturday.


Palone, who turned 46 on Wednesday, scored his 12,000 th career win in a $30,000 division of the Isle of Capri Pacing Series, winning with Maltese Artist by one length in 1:51.1 for the one mile race over Special Report and Western Ace. 

A native of Waynesburg, Pa., Palone is a regular driver at The Meadows in Pittsburgh. He came to Florida just to compete Saturday in Pompano’s stakes events.


“It’s such a good feeling to have won 12,000 races.” Palone said. “But you are only as good as the horses in front of you and if you have great owners and trainers backing you up like I have had in my career.


“What a twist of fate that I got my 12,000th career win at Pompano Park.” Palone said. “I tried so hard to do it at my home track yesterday but could not get it done.”


Only Herve Filion (15,174) and Catello Manzi (12,812) have more career wins than Palone, who is a previous four-time winner of the prestigious Harness Tracks of America Driver of the Year Award. Palone has won $60,884,000 in purses with the horses he has driven. He won his first race in 1983 and has competed in 45,278 purse races over his career, an amazing 26.5 percent win rate over 25 years of driving.


Maltese Artist, a career winner of $1,940,000, is trained by Mickey Burke and owned by Sylvia Burke, John Howard and James Koran. He posted his sixth straight win Saturday, leading from start to finish. (Pompano Park)


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