Will there ever be a live harness racing program this season at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano when trainer John McNeil III doesn't win at least one race?
You might be well advised to stay tuned for the Tuesday, January 31 and Wednesday, February 1 cards at The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing to find out.
At this stage, you'd have to go all the way back to January 18 when the McNeill trained mare MC Tbone IDA was a strong second to find a Pompano card when there wasn't at least one winner sent out by the track's youngest conditioner in the 2011-2012 meet.
The remarkable run for the 24 year old trainer hailing from Vernon Center, NY in his first winter at Pompano continued on the Monday evening, January 30 card in the first race. In the Mares Open II Pace for an $8,500 purse, Anthony Napolitano worked out a pocket trip for Looney Dune and she responded with a life's record performance in 1:52.4.
The four year old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Sandscreen is owned by Ellen McNeil of Vernon Center, NY and it was the mare's first win of 2012 from four starts.
McNeil would also win with his other starter on the Monday, January 30 program as MC Thunderstruck was kept back of an opening half battle in 57 seconds by driver Bruce Ranger to sweep up for a life's mark of 1:56.2 in a $4,000 purse conditioned trot.
Breeder Ellen McNeil has retained ownership of the 5 year old Conway Hall-Lala Land Lindy gelding.
On Tuesday evening, January 31 at the South Florida plant, McNeil's chances to continue his great streak are focused on a single starter as claiming pace mare Cajun Pearl sets about the task of trying to overcome post seven draw luck in the 12th race finale.
Should that one prevail, McNeil's starters on Wednesday, February 1 are claiming pace mare MC Tbone Ida in the 5th and conditioned trotting mare Salome Marvel in the 10th race.
BLANKET FINISH IN MARES OPEN
The final Mares Open Handicap Pace feature of January ended in a blanket finish with Special Sweetheart overlooked to the tune of 5-1 and digging deep to score a narrow decision in a cavalry charge to the wire.
George Napolitano Jr. put the 6 year old daughter of Western Ideal-Ladys Special Girl on the point early and she was forced to deal with a strong first over move down the backstretch by Ed Hensley's Keep On Flirtin.
In the stretch, Nillabomb angled out from the second over trip for Wally Hennessey to barely miss at the final buzzer in 1:53.2. Billie Blue Chip was also closing hard late in rein to Joe Pavia Jr. in her 2012 debut, and the pocket sitting Runaway Tray driven by Anthony Napolitano was blocked and had to settle for fourth. Special Sweetheart, trained by Peter Pellegrino for 4 For 3 Stable of Bronxville, NY, is now a 25 time career winner of $834,469.
Post time is 7:15 p.m. Eastern every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing. Free race night live streaming, handicapping selections by Hall of Fame inductee John Berry, and replays are in the 'racing' tab at www.theislepompanopark.com along with the racing schedule through July of 2012 for The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.