The Metro Pace, Canada’s richest race for two-year-old pacers, had a major connection to the biggest longshot winner on the Monday card at Pompano Park.
Six-year-old gelding Lucky Asset was overlooked to the tune of 47-1 as a field of ten claiming pacers battled it out in the fifth race. The Camluck-Lisas Acquisition brother to Metro Pace champion Sir Luck was raced from just off the pace and persisted through the stretch to catch the pacesetting BJs Braveheart, in rein to Mickey McNichol, and hold off Ideally Magic partnered by Rick Plano.
Lucky Asset was hammered down for $52,000 in the 2005 Harrisburg Sale. In this event at Pompano he raced for a $4,600 purse and was offered for a claiming price of $6,000 as he stepped to a career speed mark of 1:52.4. Ed Hensley is training and driving the lifetime winner of $133,171 for owner Robert Weinstein of Bellmore, NY.
Because of a carryover from last Saturday, Pompano offered a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool on Monday evening, up from the usual weeknight guarantee of $5,000 as part of the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program. The January 23 Pick-4 at Pompano attracted over $17,000 in wagers, and due to the upset win by Lucky Asset the Pick-4 returned $7,346.80.
With career earnings of more than $822,000, Special Sweetheart turned to the gate as the favourite in the $12,000 purse Mares Open Handicap Pace on Monday evening at Pompano. The six-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Ladys Special Girl went off as the 3-5 public choice but was forced to withstand heavy pressure in the first quarter and final half to chalk up her 24th career win.
At the outset, Gaston Lareau fired longshot Miss Sparta to the top and finally gave way to Special Sweetheart partnered by George Napolitano, Jr. to the quarter in :26.4. Just before the halftime rating of :56.1 flashed up, Ed Hensley had Keep On Flirtin on the move on the outside to stage a backstretch duel to the final turn in 1:24.3. Special Sweetheart drew clear late in the stretch to stop the clock in 1:53.2. Nillabomb rallied widest for Mike Micallef to nip Runaway Tray driven by Joe Pavia, Jr. for the place prize. Peter Pellegrino trains Special Sweetheart for the 4 For 3 Stable of Bronxville, NY.
Pellegrino and Napolitano would also team up to win with Jetta Baran in a life's mark of 1:52.3. The seven-year-old daughter of Rambaran-Armbro Jetta was claimed for $7,200 after this start from the Baron Stable of Horsham, PA by Born To Run Stable and new trainer Frank Petrelli.