Wild Wanda repeats at Pompano
December 24, 2015
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Wild Wanda, perfectly handled by Ricky Macomber, scored a repeat victory—though hard earned—in Pompano Park's $11,500 Open Handicap Pace for fillies and mares on Wednesday night, stopping the clock in 1:51.3.
The 4-year-old daughter of Palone Ranger, trained by Jamie Macomber for the Rheinheimer clan—Larry, Douglas, Jeanie and Mary Jo—scored by a half-length over a stubborn Precocious Beauty, driven by Aaron Byron. Just A Bee, making her first start after a seven week hiatus, finished third for Mike Micallef, just a length away.
After the event, driver Ricky Macomber said, "I wanted to make that early move and try to take control of the situation. Was I worried about Aaron's (Byron) mare (Precocious Beauty) coming at me? The answer is ‘yes, I was!' Anytime you have a mare that is as classy as she is (she has won $829,254 coming in) you worry. But my mare is very good now and fought hard all the way down the lane.
"Mike's (Micallef) mare (Just A Bee) went a very good mile for her first start back, so it's a very deep field of fillies and mares here.”
The win pushed Wild Wanda's scorecard to 5-7-2 in 21 starts, good for earnings of $88,088 this year and $157,715 lifetime. As the 6-5 favorite, Wild Wanda paid $4.60 to win.
Pompano also featured the finals of three late-closing events on the Christmas Eve eve card—the $12,250 Interloper trot for $8,000 claimers, the $11,100 Sea Eagle pace for $6,000 claimers and the $10,100 Optimist pace for $4,000 claimers.
The Interloper final went to Landonfitz, handled by Aaron Byron, who co-owns with Paul Kelly. Landonfitz had a winning margin of 1 ¾ lengths over the pacesetting Celtic Merchant, driven by Brad Kramer, with Witty's Winner third, 4 ½ lengths away.
Landonfitz, a 5-year-old gelded son of Jailhouse Jesse, trained by Mark Winacott, scored in 1:56.1. His $6,125 payday was the largest of Landonfitz' career measuring 82 starts and sent his lifetime bounty to $70,997--$29,160 of that this year.
The Sea Eagle, named after Pompano Park's first winner on Feb. 4, 1964, went to the Florida-bred Goldstar Raider, driven by John MacDonald for trainer Gary McDonald and The Three Gees Stable.
This 6-year-old altered son of Rock On went a brave first-over journey to score by three-parts-of-a-length over Geared To Win (Andy Santeramo) in 1:53.4. The win sent his $33,892 and $147,383 lifetime. As the 8-5 public choice, Goldstar Raider paid $5.20 to his faithful.
The Optimist went to the Heddy Nelson owned-Sandy Hollon trained W F N, named after one of the great, late Florida horsemen, William Faye Nelson.
This 7-year-old gelded son of Relentless Yankee, driven by Kevin Wallis, zipped out of the gate from Pompano's coveted number five post to take the field through a demanding opening quarter in :26.2 before relenting to Flak Jacket (Wally Hennessey). The latter sizzled past the half in :54.3, before W F N reclaimed the top spot with three-eighths to go and romped from there, posting a 1:23.2 clocking for three-quarters before stopping the final timer in 1:53.1.
In winning for the fourth time in 29 starts this year, W F N enjoyed the biggest payday of his racing career spanning 127 starts--$5,050—to send his seasonal earnings to $23,918 and $73,863 lifetime. As second choice in the betting, W F N paid $10.20 to his faithful.
Also on Wednesday, Pompano Park paid tribute to the late Buddy Regan on the anniversary of his 79th birthday with a memorial held after the second race. Regan, who recently passed away, established himself as one of the premier trainers, especially during the 1970's when he trained the winners of over $1,000,000 for 10 consecutive years.
Among those in attendance were Lucien Fontaine, Mike Santa Maria, Myron Bell, Bobby Heil, Red Faulhaber, Joe Faraldo, Esther Balenzano and Jerry Glantz, who were joined in the winner's circle by Jim McDonald, Gregg McNair, Wally Hennessey, Kevin Wallis, Bob Connor and many other family and friends. (Pompano Park)