Panocchio, the splendid five-year-old son of No Pan Intended, paced the fastest mile in the 51-year history of Pompano Park on Sunday night, overcoming the outside post and six Open rivals to score in 1:48.3.
Owned by Emile Johnson Jr. along with trainer Jim Mattison, Panocchio was, once again, driven by Dan Clements, who sent his charge winging out of the gate along with Alexas Jackpot (Joe Pavia Jr.) settling in second through hot panels of :26.1, :54 and 1:21.3. Turning for home, Panocchio left the coziness of the pocket and, in mid-stretch, rocketed on by to score by one and three-quarter lengths over Alexas Jackpot, with Lyons Johnny (Mike Micallef) third the entire route. Northern Companion, individually timed in 1:50 flat (maybe a shade faster), could do no better than fourth while Audreys Dream finished fifth in the septet.
After the race, Clements said, “Geez, when this horse gets behind the gate, he’s all business. He just sailed out of the gate and we were fortunate to find a nice cozy spot early since nobody really wanted to get into a heated shoving match that early.
“When we turned for home, he just exploded with pace…I mean exploded!
“He’s just a remarkable racehorse.”
For Panocchio, the win was his 10th of the year in 27 starts, sending his seasonal bounty to $105,622. Lifetime, he has won 34 of 80 starts, good for $280,188 to go along with his new lifetime mark and track record.
The F.S.B.O.A. sponsored Stallion Stakes for Florida-bred trotters were contested in four separate divisions for two and three-year-olds on Sunday night with Prairie Fortune, Livy M, Rexamillion and Gold Star Briana annexing victories in their respective classes.
Prairie Fortune, coming off of a sweep in Sunshine Stakes competition, easily took the $32,675 Stallion event for sophomore trotting colts and geldings by romping to a victory measuring six and three-quarter lengths in 1:56.3 for trainer/driver Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin.
With a quarter move to the top after a :28.3 opener, this three-year-old son of Arapa Victory went on to clock panels of :58 and 1:28 before a :28.3 sprint home sealed the deal over Railee Workable (Mickey McNichol), with Harrison (Wally Hennessey) next, almost 15 lengths away. RJs Iron Man and Victory Park completed the quintet.
The winner’s share of the $32,675 purse sent Prairie Fortune’s seasonal bounty to $70,784. He’s banked $85,231 lifetime to go along with a mark of 1:53.4 at Pocono Downs.
The driving win for Deters also sent his UDRS number over .900, based on a 14-11-3-0 scorecard.
The Stallion Stake for three-year-old trotting fillies, worth $30,750, went to Livy M, also trained by Deters and driven this night by regular pilot Wally Hennessey.
Owned by the consortium of Deters, Fred Morosino, Ken Fritz and Don Fritz, this daughter of Proud Bushy coasted to a wire-to-wire four and a half length win in 1:59, pinning the defeat on Zendaya (Bob Roberts), with Palm City Slick (Ed Hensley) next. Run Around Sue S completed the quartet.
Livy M now has lifetime earnings of $52,000–$34,911 this year in 10 starts.
Rexamillion, took top honours in his $28,950 Stallion Stake for Bob Roberts.
Aborting his usual front-stepping tactics, Rexamillion let Proud Joe T (Rob Hoffman) cut the mustard with fractions of :30, 1:01.2 and 1:31.4 before sweeping up from third into the final turn and collaring the leader shortly after turning for home and then on to a handy two and a half length victory in 2:02.2. Proud Joe T was second with Fifty Fifty Ninety (Jason Mac Dougall) third. Trottime Splendor was fourth while Savin Rock finished fifth in the quintet.
Owned by Richard Dunmire along with Jay and trainer Kim Sears, this son of Proud Bushy won for the third consecutive time and now sports a scorecard of 5-3-1-1, good for $24,131 with yet another month of Florida Stakes season ahead.
The final Stallion Stake, this one worth $28,950 for juvenile trotting fillies, went to Kevin Kelly’s Gold Star Briana, trained by Dan Hennessey and driven by brother Wally.
This daughter of Basil kept her perfect record in tact — now five-for-five — with a resounding win measuring 13 lengths over All Star Fame (Dan Clements) with Trottime Fool (Walter Ross Jr.) third. Mitzie finished fourth while Trotting Missmissy finished fifth, doomed after a miscue at the start.
Gold Star Briana’a time was 1:58.2, a new lifetime-best, and sent her earnings to $26,938.
Stallion Stakes action continues on Tuesday night with four divisions for the Florida-bred two and three-year-old pacers in the spotlight.
(Standardbred Canada with files from Pompano Park)