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With a quick brush to the lead after the half mile marker, Keystone Empire ($9.40) and driver Richard Simard were able to score their second victory of the year with a 1:56.3 triumph Monday in the $16,000 Open Handicap Trot at the Isle Pompano Park.


The fifth race feature saw Karpathos (Wally Hennessey) out duel Cisco Hall (Dan Clements) for the early lead to the opening quarter mile in :28.2, but after trying to get away with a slow quarter to the half in :58.3, Simard and Keystone Empire came after Karpathos and pass them by before the three-quarters in 1:27.


From there Keystone Empire was home free, winning by one and three-quarter lengths over Cisco Hall and a late closing Farmer Jones (Kevin Wallis).


Trained and co-owned by Mario Dessureault with Sylvain Cote of Quebec, it was the 18th career victory for Keystone Empire, a five-year-old stallion by Angus Hall. (Pompano Park)