The 5-year-old trotting gelding Smokin Dabra is the latest Canadian import competitor to prove he loves life in the Sunshine State. In the $12,000 Open Trot on the Wednesday program the son of Kadabra-Smokin Rama was a game front-end winner to hold off the pocket-sitter Aruba Vacation in rein to Fern Paquet Jr. and the robust final half first-over challenge of Hesgotlegs driven by Bruce Ranger.
Smokin Dabra was parked to the quarter by Aruba Vacation in :27.2 and was then guided through stages of :57.4 and 1:27.1 by Norm Dessereault en route to the victory in 1:56.1 on the ideal 77-degree night at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.
It was the fourth start in Florida for Smokin Dabra, a homebred of John Bosworth of Newmarket, Ont. Noreen Paulin of the Dessereault Stable is handling the training duties. Smokin Dabra went into the Wednesday race with a pair of runner-up finishes to Keystone Thomas to his credit, and this tally was his ninth win in 30 trips to the gate for 2011 earnings of $67,935.
Just a single engagement now remains for participants in the $1 million Florida Standardbred Breeders And Owners Association (FSBOA) stakes series for 2011. Close to $400,000 in purses will go on the line in the eight championship finals of the Breeders' Stakes on the Nov. 5 Super Night at Pompano.
The Sale Stakes concluded on Wednesday with a purse of $20,600 for 2-year-old filly trotters. Pinch Of Thyme was sure footed again in victory with a dominant 2:02.1 spin over 80-1 longshot Teal partnered by Jay Sears and Feel The Haze driver by Mike Micallef. Mel Turcotte trains the roan daughter of Basil-Chicory Cinder for owner Fred Morosini of Deerfield Beach, Fla. In eight career starts against state bred competition she's raked in $31,876.
Elimination races were necessary for the Breeders Stakes 2-year-old colt and gelding trot division, and a pair of $7,500 non-wagering heats were staged before the mid week pari-mutuel card. Matcan, a Matchem Hanover-Cans Money Maker gelding romped home in 2:06.2 with Ranger in the bike for trainer Stewart Nemiro and owner Fred Monteleone of Pompano Beach. Coconspirator, an Arapa Victory-Blue Time Victory gelding, brushed up late in the stretch to score in 2:07.2 under a ground saving steer from Mickey McNichol for owner-trainer Rita Polese of Margate, Fla.
Horse Count On The Rise
Upcoming race programs from the Winter Capital Of Harness Racing will be featuring more new additions to the training and driving ranks. A contingent of six horses has arrived from California to mark the return to South Florida of trainer-driver Rick Plano. Trainer Chris Marino will send out his first starter of the meet on the Saturday, Oct. 29, program with Keltic Sport from post nine in the first race. Returning to the Pompano fold with their first starters on the Wednesday card were the stables of Gaston Glaude along with Elizabeth and Rick Schaut. (Pompano Park)