Ontario-sired Cartoonist, given a “picture perfect” drive by Kevin Wallis, easily took top honours in Pompano Park’s $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night.
The four-year-old gelded son of Modern Art stopped the timer in 1:53 after posting front end fractions of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:25.4 along the way — his winning margin just short of three lengths over Ricks Sign, driven by Andy Santeramo. Neptune Blue Chip finished third for Bruce Ranger while McGreat and Shamderock completed the quintet.
The in was the fourth in 14 starts for Cartoonist, pushing his seasonal bankroll to $25,560, just a shade below what he earned the entire full season of 2013.
“Since the five post is so advantageous here, I thought it would be good to use this horse’s good gate speed and try and control the pace,” said Wallis in a post-race interview. “We got a nice breather during the second quarter so I felt rather comfortable he could carry his speed the rest of the way…and he did.”
Indeed, the :55.2 final half-mile sealed the deal for the S S G Stables of North Boston, New York.
Trainer Jim McDonald added, “He’s developed into a very solid racehorse over time and he sure is reliable for a :27 and a piece final quarter. He’s very consistent and I am hoping the best is yet to come.”
In somewhat of a betting oddity, the order of finish was exactly as the public predicted with the winner, off at 1 to 2, returning $3.00, the 7 to 2 second choice finishing second, followed by Neptune Blue Chip (6 to 1), McGreat (8.50 to 1) and Shamderock (8.90 to 1).