Pompano Beach, FL---Panocchio, driven by Bruce Ranger, ran his winning streak to four on Saturday night (May 3) with this grand slam win coming in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace at Pompano Park.
Co-owned by trainer Jim Mattison along with Emile Johnson, Jr., the 4-year-old son of No Pan Intended stopped the timer in 1:51.4 over a track labeled as good after earlier heavy rains. Fractions were 26.3, 56.1 and 1:24 with the margin measuring 2-1/4 lengths over Cartoonist (Dave Ingraham) with Flight Exec (Kevin Wallis) rallying for third. Neptune Blue Chip was next with Canadian Touch, prominent early on, picking up the nickel in the quintet.
In a post-race interview, driver Bruce Ranger summed it up in two words--"smooth sailing.
Dee Leftwich Photo Pannochio now has won four straight in 2014.
"Yes, he had missed a week," Ranger said, "but Jimmy (trainer Mattison) and Vicki (Jim's wife) keep this horse sharp just by the great care they give him. I knew he'd be ready and, indeed, he was ready to fire as soon as the gate opened. Once we got that little breather during the second quarter, I just let him ramble on from there and his last half of 55 and a piece took care of things."
Not only did Panocchio remain undefeated this year with his fourth straight win, it was his 12th success in only 29 lifetime starts, good for $67,625--$18,750 already this year just in the past month.
As the 2-5 tote-board favorite, Panocchio paid $2.80 to win.
Panocchio's victory, by the way, was one of five on the night for Ranger, who also piloted Directly Related ($2.60), Dominum Deo ($3.20), Hyperion Hanover ($2.60) and Kennairnmachmagic ($3.60) to the winner's circle.
Hyperion Hanover, the 11-year-old warrior owned by the S S G Stables and trained by Jim McDonald, was a wire-to-wire winner in 1:54.3, scoring a win measuring just short of a length inn the $6,000 Open "3" over McGreat (Dave Ingraham) with Tom Paine (Bryce Fenn) third.
The victory was the 51st in Hyperion Hanover's illustrious career, sending his lifetime bounty to $1,166,089 covering 261 starts.
In the $7,500 Open "2" Pace, Elizabeth Zimmerman's Avantage, driven by Dave Ingraham for trainer Michel Plouffe, also was a gate-to-wire winner, scoring a 1:53.1 win measuring a length over the fast-closing Who's Your Maddy (Kevin Wallis). Shamderock (Bruce Ranger) was third after looming boldly first-over around the final turn.
Third choice on the tote-board, Avantage paid $9.80 to win in picking up his third win of the year--and second in a row--sending his lifetime bounty to $218,296.