Paquet, Plano reach milestones at Pompano
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Rick Plano and Fern Paquet Jr. achieved important milestones at Pompano Park on Monday night with Plano scoring his 7,000th career victory, just 20 minutes after Paquet notched his 3,000th win.
Plano, who has been involved in harness racing for five decades, reached the winners circle with the 3-year-old filly Hypnotic Racer, who was facing an older group of mares .
The daughter of Hypnotic Blue Chip scored in 1:55.2 despite starting from the outside eight post and being forced to grind forward the entire last lap.
"It was like she, herself, wanted to get this milestone win for me," said Plano after the event. She was in a good spot class-wise, although the draw (post eight) didn't do us any favors against these more seasoned mares."
Plano continued, "there are a lot of factors that contributed to the success I have had...after all, you have to have a strong cast of people on your team. That's starts with my wife, Manyann, who has stuck with me through thick and thin. I have had some great owners, too, like the Repkos (Jan and Mindy) and John Campagnuolo, just to name a couple.
"It definitely is a team effort and I have been fortunate to have wonderful help. Right now, I'm lucky enough to have Candy Ramirez, Domingo Alvarez and Maria Howard watching the store and their dedication has kept me in the ball game."
Hypnotic Race, by the way, is owned by Maryann Plano and got her fourth win of the year in 26 starts pushing her 2019 bounty to $27,737.
As third choice on the toteboard, Hypnotic Racer paid $9.20 to win.
Plano is one of the few trainer-drivers in the sport with a combined total of over 10,000 wins as a driver (7,000) and trainer (3,872), accounting for over $50 million in purses for his owners.
Trained by Jennifer Petrelli for owner Marissa Russo, this 7-year-old gelded son of McArdle was quick of the wings, achieving the top spot right at the :27.1 opener.
From there, Mcjagersonthemove reached the half in :55.2 and put the rest away with a :27.2 backside blitz, reaching the third station in 1:22.4. His :28.4 finale sealed the deal by 10 1/4 lengths.
The win was his third of the year and, in 21 starts this semester, finally pushed his earnings over the $10,000 plateau.
"I knew he was fast," said a humble Paquet after the race, "as he did a similar thing over Scarborough's half miler when he won in (1):52.3. So, I thought 'let's use that same strategy here!'
"It worked out, too,"
Mcjagersonthemove returned $25 to win
Also on the Monday program were four $12,000 finals of the FSBOA sponsored Sunshine State Stakes for 3 year olds with Proud Sophie, Damien Hall and Natasha winning their non-wagering events and Zaza Boy rebounding this week and scoring to kick off the early daily double.
Proud Sophie, a daughter of Proud Bushy driven by Dave Ingraham for trainer Kim Sears, stalked Kerry B (Wally Hennessey) through fractions of :31.2, 1:03 and 1:33,4 before leaving her cozy pocket and using a :28.4 finale herself to score in 2:02.2, a new lifetime mark.
Crown Bushy (Bryce Fenn) completed this trifecta of trotting fillies.
Proud Sophie, making only her second starts this year and ninth lifetime, sent her career bounty leaping to $63,112 for owners Jay Sears and Dr. David Fishman.
Pacing Pretty Stables Damien Hall, once again handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Jim McDonald, was, again perfectly mannered to keep his scorecard unblemished at 4-for-4 with a 2:00.1 score in the sophomore trot for geldings, hitting the wire some 20 lengths better than Savin Park (John Campagnuolo) with McGoldrick (Dave Ingraham) next.
In winning, Damien Hall swept through the Sunshine State Stakes unscathed with four straight wins.
The gelded son of Cash Hall now has $23,636 lifetime in his nine starts.
In the filly pace, Natasha stretched her winning streak to 12 since last year with a solid 1:53.4 triumph over Rockin Ellie (Bryce Fenn) and Goldstar Stormie (Corey Braden).
The sharp daughter of Six Of Diamonds took command three-eighths into the mile after Goldstar Stormie hit the first marker in :27.4 From there, Natasha plowed through panels of :56.3 and 1:25.4 before using her :28 final kick home to score by 2 3/4 lengths.
Trained by Kim Sears for husband Jay, Natasha now has career bounty of $80,632.
Finally on the betting card to kick off the daily double, Zaza Boy, switching tactics this time around, closed with authority to conquer his five rivals in 1:53.3, a new life mark, in the 3-year-old pace for the boys.
Mike Micallef was in the bike for the 3 1/2-length win over JB's Boomerang (Fenn) with Mister Marvalous (Hennessey) third.
Zaza Boy left the gate with his usual alacrity and took the field to the opening station in :28.1 befpre things heated up during the second panel with JB's Boomerang and Mister Marvalous in a heated argument through a half in :56.2. Boomerang cleared on the backside as Zaza Boy bided his time in third before circling up widest of all in the lane and on to victory.
Zaza Boy is trained by Michile Lorenzo for Rod Lorenzo and Souren Hovsepian. (Pompano Park)