The four-year-old son of Dream Away, trained by 81-year-old Marc Aubin for Dan and Jacalyn Boddie, earned his seventh win of the year in 11 starts, defeating Rajis Blue Line, handled by Ben McNeil, by a half length. Northern Companion and driver Tom Sells teamed up to be third while Whos Your Maddy finished fourth. G P S Legacy made a miscue early on and was fifth in the quintet.
No Bad Dreams, leaving from the advantageous five post, zipped out of the gate and joined Rajis Blue Line around the first turn with No Bad Dreams assuming the lead shortly thereafter and clocking an opening panel of :27.2. With positions remaining stagnant through the next quarter, Ranger was able to rate his charge through a :29.4 panel, reaching the half in :57.1. On the backside, Ranger chirped once to No Bad Dreams and he was off on a :27.4 tangent and then sealed the deal with a :27.1 finale.
In a post race interview, Ranger said, "Last week, Ben's horse [Rajis Blue Line] cut some hellish fractions so I was hoping he wouldn't try that again and opt for a two-hole trip. Once I got to the half in :57 and change, I felt very confident that No Bad Dreams could go all the way from there. He's a very nice horse...very nice!"
In winning for the 10th time career-wise, No Bad Dreams pushed his lifetime earnings to $43,962 -- $29,310 this year in only 11 starts.
As the 2-5 favourite, No Bad Dreams rewarded his many followers with a $2.80 mutuel.
That win, incidentally, proved to be a "double" for trainer Aubin and the Boddies, as their Abreathofreshart captured the opener on the Saturday card in a conditioned pace in 1:52, a new lifetime mark. This four-year-old son of Artistic Fella also wired his foes, using a :27.4 finale to pin a defeat measuring one and three-quarter lengths on Histoire Eternelle, handled by Dan Harvey. Zavan was third for Andy Santeramo after applying some pressure on the leader around the final turn. As the 3-5 favourite, Abreathofreshart paid $3.40 to win.
The track also hosted the Chris Valkanoff Memorial Pace, honouring one of the most respected owners at the track, who passed away some months ago.
Ranger also won that one, too, guiding Twenty Four Carrot Racing and Ciro Gentile's Freeneasy Hanover to his 25th lifetime win -- second this year -- in 1:51.2. The Jim Mc Donald trainee, a seven-year-old son of Western Ideal, also was a gate-to-wire winner, clocking panels of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23.1 along the way for the win measuring nearly four lengths. He, too, was the overwhelming favourite -- 1-5 on the board -- and returned $2.60 to win.
After the event, the vast number of friends and family gathered in the winner's circle celebrating Mr. Valkanoff's life.
Racing continues Wednesday night at Pompano Park with post time set at 7:30 p.m.
(With files from Pompano Park)