Pompano Beach, FL --- Village Jackson, a mere $8,000 claimer just six weeks ago, stepped up to the big time on Saturday night and repelled the late bid of favored Woodmere Ultimate to win the Open 1 Pace at Pompano Park in 1:52.1 on Saturday night.
Skip Smith photo Village Jackson and driver Jason Dillander teamed up to win Pompano Park's top pace on Saturday night.
Driven by Jason Dillander and leaving from post seven, Village Jackson got in an early tussle with Monet C C (Bruce Ranger) and Kommander Hawk (Matt Romano) and decided to relent and find a nice, cozy spot in third as “Hawk” took the field through a sizzling opening panel of :26.1 and subsequent half in :54.4.
Midway on the backside, Dillander asked his charge to go and he did, taking the lead with authority past three quarters in 1:23.2 with Woodmere Ultimate (Kevin Wallis) and Avantage (Dave Ingraham) taking up the chase.
From there it was only a matter of holding off those main contenders, which he did to score by a head over Woodmere with Avantage a length away.
Bestnotlie Hanover (Joe Pavia, Jr.) close fastest of all to get fourth with Freeneasy Hanover picking up the final check.
In a post race interview, Dillander said, “This is the first time I’ve driven this horse and Geoff (trainer Howles) said he’s been very good. He sure was tonight. Even after that stinger leaving, he really showed me something when I asked him on the backside. Late in the mile, he just refused to let anything pass him.”
Owned by Rick Howles, Village Jackson is now three-for-seven in the win column this year and has banked $14,956 in 2013.
The Open 2 Pace went to Bart Pope’s Spring Again, handled by Andy Santeramo.
The 7-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again earned his first victory of the year in seven starts with a 1:52.4 performance, taking the lead shortly after the opening panel in :27 and then carving fractions of :55.3 and 1:23.2 en route to his 26th lifetime win. He’s banked $279,999 lifetime.
Neptune Blue Chip, handled by Bruce Ranger, found a seam in deep stretch to finish second a length away while the 2-1 favorite, Special Strides (Rick Plano) finished third.
Racing continues on Monday night with Abbey Road Hanover, the 4-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare that last week set a 1:51.3 track record for her age, sex and gait, back in action in the Mares Open Pace. Kevin Wallis will be back in the bike for trainer Edgar Clarke and owners Robert Orr and Garry Jonas.
Looney Dune, Bay Girl, Molly Brown and Gold Star Gidget will provide the competition in the select field of five.