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Pure Barre whips the boys at Pompano
Thursday, March 06, 2014 - by John Berry, for Pompano Park

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Pompano Beach, FL --- Pure Barre, the only mare in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Trot, took top honors on Wednesday (March 5) after getting picture perfect rating from driver Mickey McNichol.

The 6-year-old daughter of Classic Photo, owned and trained by Tom Gonsalves, scored by three parts of a length over the late surging Jolene's Pinehonker, driven by Mark O'Mara. Photo King and Rick Plano skimmed the pylons the entire route to finish third while My Revenuer, trotting the fastest final panel in the field (:27.4) finished fourth, edging out Andover America in the field of six.

Pure Barre was on the engine early, assuming command from Andover America midway through the first turn and took the field to the quarter in :28. With no challenges during the next panel, McNichol lolly-gagged through the second quarter in :30 and still no challengers materialized until the final turn when Andover America left the pocket but could get no closer than three-quarters of a length through a third quarter in :28.2.

Turning for home, favored Jolene's Pinehonker tilted out widest of all with Photo King on the inside but Pure Barre sprinted home in :28.1 to seal the deal.

In a post race interview, McNichol said, "Anytime this mare gets away with a half in :58, you know she is going to be tough -- and she was tough tonight. She's a very game thing and can finish a mile as good as she starts a mile. Tonight kind of proved that point."

For Pure Barre, it was her fourth victory in six starts this year, sending her earnings to $25,280. The win also sent her lifetime bounty over the $200,000 mark -- now at $204,145.

As second choice on the toteboard at 8-5, Pure Barre returned $5.20.

The Open 2 Trot went to Ed Hensley's Jessesjo, who after losing his second over cover on the backside due to a breaker in front of him, made a monster brush to the lead during a :28.1 third quarter -- his in :27.2 -- and scored in 1:55.1.

The 7-year-old son of Jailhouse Jesse won for the second time this year -- and 20th lifetime -- to send his career bankroll to $225,918.

Iron Will (Simon Allard) finished second, two lengths away, while Glittering Muscles (Bryce Fenn) finished third. Dream Lake and Blushing Hanover also picked up checks in the field of eight.

As the 3-2 favorite, Jessesjo paid $5.00 to win.

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