Pompano Beach, FL --- Tom Gonsalves' Pure Barre, handled by Mickey McNichol, eked out a photo finish decision over the late charging Jolene's Pinehonker, driven by Mark O'Mara, in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Trot on Wednesday night (Feb. 19).
Photo King, teaming up with Jason Dillander, finished third in his first start in top Open company while Andover America finished fourth. Tug River Dylan picked up the nickel in the seven horse field. The time was 1:54.2 with a last half clocked in :56.2.
|Dee Leftwich photo|
|Pure Barre held on for dear life in scoring a narrow victory in Pompano's top trot on Wednesday night in 1:54.2.|
McNichol had Pure Barre, leaving from post six, on the engine from the get-go as Jolene's Pinehonker, starting just inside of Pure Barre flashed some uncharacteristic early early foot and battled for the first eighth of the mile before yielding.
With an opening panel in :28, McNichol, who has driven many of the sport's top trotters over his lengthy career, showed his rating skills by lolly-gagging through a :30 second panel, reaching the half in :58.
On the backside, Photo King brushed up from about four lengths out of it into a narrow lead during a brisk :28 third quarter and reached the third station in 1:26 but Pure Barre still had plenty of fight left and reclaimed the lead turning for home.
In the lane, with Pure Barre drifting out just a tad, Jolene's Pinehonker found a seam and began gnawing into Pure Barre's lead, but he ran out of racetrack and fell short by a head.
For Pure Barre, it was her second straight win in Open company -- having won her last start on Feb. 5 -- to send her 2014 scorecard to 3-2-0 in five starts, sending her earnings this young season to $20,280. She's less than $1,000 away from $200,000 lifetime, her bounty now at $199,145.
In a post race interview, driver McNichol said, "She certainly is a game mare but, having said that, I was sure glad to see the wire. To tell you the truth, I was surprised that Mark's horse (Jolene's Pinehonker) left out of there. That really surprised me but, once I made the top with the mare, I was just hoping I could give her a little breather. So, it worked out well."
As the 9-5 public choice, Pure Barre paid $5.60 to win.
In the winner's over co-featured trot, Tom Petri's My Revenuer crushed his foes in a lifetime best effort of 1:54.2 for Bruce Ranger.
As Lugar (Kevin Wallis) took the field through a :26.1 blazer, My Revenuer, the 6-year-old son of Revenue S known for his prolonged brushing ability, was true to his followers. He came from nearly 10 lengths out of it early before beginning his forward journey towards the leader, reaching fourth halfway through the mile (:55.2) and continuing to grind forward, reaching Lugar's flank just short of the third station, timed in 1:25.
At the top of the lane, My Revenuer opened up a two length advantage and continued widening his lead to the wire, scoring by 4-1/2 lengths over Blushing Hanover (McNichol). The veteran warhorse Gale Warning (Jason Dillander) was third, squeaking past House Money for the show spot. Lugar held on for the minor award in the field of eight.
For My Revenuer, it was his second win of the year and sent his lifetime bounty just over the $100,000 plateau -- $100,560 to be precise.