Pompano Beach, FL --- Hunch bettors celebrated St. Patrick’s Day a bit early at Pompano Park on Saturday night (March 16) when McSocks and McGreat, both sons of McArdle, finished 1-2 in the Open Handicap Pace.
It was the photo finish camera that separated the two as they crossed the wire together in 1:52 with McSocks winning by a nostril for Bruce Ranger while McGreat, handled by Dave Ingraham, lost his third straight decision by a photo finish.
|Skip Smith photo|
|McSocks eked out a very narrow 1:52 victory over McGreat in Pompano Park's Open Pace on Saturday night.|
The bettors figured that the event would be a battle between Northern Companion, coming off a 1:51.3 win in his last start, and Cruizin K C, fresh off a 1:52.3 victory in the Open one week ago, but both never were in the hunt.
Northern Companion (Rob Hoffman), off at 8-5 on the tote, did pace his final half in :54.4 but could do no better than fifth while Cruizin K C (Mark O’Mara), the 5-2 second choice, took a misstep before the start and was never in contention.
So it was McSocks and Spring Again (Andy Santeramo) who battled for supremacy early with the former on top at the opening station in :27 followed by subsequent panels of :56.2 and 1:23.4.
On the backside, McGreat tipped out from fourth and charged first up and within a length of the leader turning for home. From there, it was a calvary charge to the line with McSocks desperately holding on to the lead after a long look at the photo by the judges.
Oozie’s Bad Boy (Rick Plano) rallied for third while Spring Again wound up fourth, just a length off the winner.
After the race, Ranger said, “We got a bit of a breather in the second quarter but that McGreat horse kept the pressure on from the final turn to the wire. I asked my horse (McSocks) for a little something extra on the backstretch to try and shake off the challenge and he responded well but McGreat just wouldn’t go away. He’s a pesky thing, but my horse kept on chugging to the line.”
For McSocks, owned by New Jennaration and trained by Travis Kolaczynski, it was his second win of the year in nine starts, sending his 2013 bankroll to $23,215. His career bounty stands at $219,540.
In other noteworthy Pompano news, the Florida Amateur Drivers Club, having donated more than $125,000 to charity since their existence, continued their generosity on Saturday night with a donation to Peaceful Ridge Rescue, a charitable organization founded by Victor Cutino that has rescued well over 60 horses since their existence. The non-profit facility started with one single horse several years ago and has continued their mission of saving, sheltering and finding homes for horses that have been abused or abandoned.
The weekly Florida Amateur Drivers Club foray was won by Whosover, who ran his winning streak to three for trainer/driver Don Glowacki in 2:00.3. Jeanette Glowacki owns the 8-year-old son of Andover Hall.