Pompano Beach, FL…February 9…Skip To My Lou, again superbly handled by 21 year-old Joe Chindano, Jr., took top honors in$11,000 Open I Pace on Monday (February 8), scoring his third straight win in the top class, this time stopping the timer in 1:49.
Not only was the clocking the fastest mile of the Pompano meeting thus far, it was the first sub-1:50 mile for young Chindano in his career.
Skip To My Lou, the tiny five year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou, scored by a length-and-a-quarter over Prairie Panther (Wally Hennessey) with Seeing Eye Single (David Miller) third. Kinnder Jackson finished fourth in the sextet while Lyons Night Hawk picked up the nickel.
The event had, literally, more than a handful of leaders during the mile with Kinnder Jackson leaving with alacrity only to give way to Southwind Amazon, also zipping off the wings and taking the field through a sizzling opening panel of :25.4. Shortly thereafter, Lyons Night Hawk surged to the front and took the field to the half in a dazzling :53.3 with Southwind Amazon out and driving again once they entered the backstretch.
On the backside, Prairie Panther, fourth through the first half mile, marched up with a third quarter :27.2 binge of his own to take charge leaving Skip To My Lou, fifth halfway through, on a first up bid of his own and moving alongside the leader past the third station in 1:21.2. These two raced as a team until mid-stretch when Skip To My Lou surged past and on to victory.
After the race, a humble Chindano explained, "Wow! That was my fastest mile I ever drove–my first sub-1:50 mile. I sure didn't expect it, that's for sure. Early on, I was just content to let the others fight it out and, when I saw the half in :53.3, I thought I had a good chance to win. I wasn't thinking about 1:50 or anything like that, I was thinking my little guy could win. This was something I'll never forget!"
For Skip To My Lou, owned and trained by Chindano, Jr., the win was the fourth in five starts, sending his 2021 bankroll to $23,070 and $135,151 career-wise.
As the 2 to 1 favorite, Skip To My Lou paid $6.00 to win.
The companion $11,000 Open Handicap Trot went to Born To Thrive for Rick Plano in 1:53.2.
The rugged eight year-old gelded son of Swan For All, also trained by Plano for John Campagnuolo and Maryann Plano, assigned the outside post in his sextet, was away last in the field before beginning to grind forward just prior to the opening quarter and kept gnawing away the rest of the way before assuming command at mid-stretch and winning holding off stablemate Sooo Handsome (Dave Ingraham) by a half-length.
The Lionking AS (Kevin Wallis) finished third after being in the garden spot most of the mile. Classicality finished fourth while Cantab Lindy, who cut fractions of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:24, finished fifth to pick up the final award.
Born To Thrive sent his 2021 scorecard to 3-0-2 in six starts, good for earnings of $19,510. Lifetime, Born To Thrive now has 42 career victories and $429,622.
Off at 8 to 5, Born To Thrive paid $5.20 to win.
There were also a pair of $10,000 Open II events on the Monday card with Real Peace taking the pace and In Secret reporting home a winner in the trot–both driven by David Miller, who had a grand slam on the card.
Real Peace, a six year-old altered son of Real Desire, led just about every long stride of his mile and scored in 1:50.2–sealing the deal with a pair of :27.2 panels after a :55.3 half.
Stone Racer (Wally Hennessey) was second followed by the pocket-sitting Solo Story (Braxton Boyd). Let's Roll, closing fastest of all–:27–finished fourth while When You Dance picked up the minor award in the septet.
Trained by Devan Miller for Sylvia Burke, Real Peace earned his 23rd career win–second this semester–to send his lifetime bankroll to $237,994.
He paid $4.60 as the 6 to 5 tote-board favorite.
In Secret, also trained by Devan Miller for Sylvia Burke, made a sharp quarter move to the top and pulled away to a three length win in 1:53.2.
The nine year-old gelded son of Deweycheatumnhowe vaulted his career bankroll to $864,753 with his 42nd career success.
EV's Girl (Joe Chindano, Jr.) was second with Gemologist (Andy Santeramo) third. Tech Titan and Bumblebzbuzz were next in the field of seven.
In Secret, off at 1 to 2, paid $3.00 to his multitude of faithful.
Miller also hit the winner's circle with the 11 year-old Feelin Lika Winner ($3.00), who scored in 1:52 for trainer Cassandra Uppal, who co-owns with Rebecca Uppal, and Unlikeanyother ($5.60), scoring handily in 1:51.3–that latter trained by Jake Huff for Carlo Angelillo, Christopher Cusimano, Jr. and Ron Cusimano.
Finally, when Rockin Machine ($10.00) took the Super Hi-5 finale in a new lifetime mark of 1:51.1 for trainer-driver Rick Plano and owner Maryann Plano, it proved to be the key for a single 20 cent ticket payoff of $89,424.02 covering the 6-9-2-3-1 combination.
Racing continues on Tuesday night with a $20,000 guaranteed pool the track's Pick-4.
Post time is set for7:20 p.m.
by John Berry, for Pompano Park