Pompano Beach, FL --- Northern Companion scored a repeat win in Pompano Park's featured $10,000 Open Pace on Saturday night (Dec. 21) but had to share the spotlight with Prairie Jaguar as the latter scorched the five-eighths-mile oval in a lifetime best 1:50 to win the $10,000 Open 2 Pace.
|Dee Leftwich photo|
|Prairie Jaguar, driven by Jason Dillander, scored in a lifetime best 1:50 in Pompano Park's co-feature on Saturday night.|
Prairie Jaguar, a Florida bred 5-year-old son of Spy Hard driven this night by Jason Dillander, rocketed out of the gate from his outside eight post and put together panels of :26, :53 and 1:21.1 to report home 2-3/4 lengths to the good of Southern Sport, handled by Joe Pavia, Jr. The lukewarm 5-2 favorite, No Gin, teamed up with Bruce Ranger to finish third, almost eight lengths away, while Oozie's Bad Boy and Avantage picked up the final two awards in the field of seven.
Owned by Laurie Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, Prairie Jaguar won for only the fourth time this year -- but third in a row -- to send his lifetime bounty over the $50,000 mark.
Though on a bit of a roll coming in, Prairie Jaguar, whose last two victories were timed in 1:50.4 and 1:51.4, went off as the fourth choice in the pool and returned $11.20 to win.
After the official sign was posted, driver Dillander said, "What can I tell you? He's really good right now -- but that's obvious off of his last three miles. I'm not sure how far he can go on, but, to tell you he's razor sharp would be putting it mildly. Mike (trainer Deters) has done a great job with him."
Meanwhile, Northern Companion, handled this week by Dave Ingraham for trainer Howard Klohr, used his usual strong backside brush to surge into the lead around the final turn but just did hold off the surging B N Bad and Simon Allard to score by a nose in 1:51.1. Military Stratcom (Dillander), prominent early, seemed to get a second wind in deep stretch to finish third while Thebestofjoel, driven by Ed Hensley, finished fourth after cutting the early panels of :26.3 and :55 before surrendering the lead to the winner past the three-quarters in 1:22.4. Hillybilly picked up the nickel.
Owned by Dorothy Zarza, Northern Companion won for the 12th time this year and 29th time over the past two seasons to send his 2013 bankroll to $84,605 and $186,032 lifetime.
Finally, in the $20,000-$25,000 claiming handicap, the 8-year-old Rick's Sign scored his third straight win for Ingrid Glassmeyer -- this one in 1:50.3 -- for his 47th lifetime win. He's banked a career total of $312,897.
The win equaled his lifetime best performance -- the previous time being at age six -- and was his ninth success of the year, good for seasonal bounty of $76,218. He was claimed off this win by Marty Fine and Highland Thoroughbreds of Ontario.