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t-size: 12px;">$45,000 Yearling upstages richer opponent

The first race at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park on Tuesday evening (February 7) featured an appearance by the highest priced horse to step on the harness racing track so far in 2012 - but he did not come up a winner.

The maiden pace event turned into a head to head match up of a $45,000 yearling, The Dragon, against a rival that was haltered for $82,000, Bet On The Law. In the end, it was The Dragon prevailing in a front end effort with Rick Schaut in the bike in 1:54.4.

The Dragon Again-Dream Of Mimi three year old colt is trained by Elizabeth Schaut for SSG Stables of North Boston, NY. Originally named Aha Moment, The Dragon was sold as hip 120 at Lexington in 2010.

Bet On The Law, a three year old Bettor's Delight-Outlawed Beauty gelding, was brought out of the pocket early on the final turn by Joe Pavia Jr. but lost all chance when making a break turning into the stretch in his lifetime racing debut.

In spite of the setback, Bet On The Law currently holds the distinction as the most expensive horse to race to Pompano this year as the returning three year olds for 2012 start to make their way back to the races at the South Florida plant.

At $82,000, Bet On The Law edges out a pair of former claimers as the most expensive horse to race at Pompano so far this year. Blue Boy, owned by Ian Fromowitz of Richmond Hill, ON (a $75,000 claim at Yonkers in 2010) and Big Bam Ray owned by Rene Allard (in an optional $80,000 claimer on the Toronto circuit in 2010) had been the highest priced racing stock at Pompano this year before the Feburary 7 appearance by Bet On The Law.


Trainer Fred Ward of Scarborough, Maine has earned his first win since shipping to a winter base at Pompano. For his career he's amassed over 430 recorded wins for almost $900,000 in purse earnings.

In his sixth start at the meet, the 55 year old conditioner harnessed up Thaacaretheeso and she received perfect off the pace handling from David Ingraham to score in 1:56 over a field of $4,000 mares claiming pace rivals.

The six year old Blissful Hall-Top Of The World mare had campaigned for Geoffrey Reynolds of Fairfield, ME but she was claimed after this win by owner-trainer Don Cromer of Pompano Beach, FL.

Gillis And Family Vacation At Pompano

Canada's newly crowned trainer of the year for 2011, Jeff Gillis, is attending the races at Pompano for the February 7 and February 8 programs with his wife Sarah and their sons Jacob and Tyler.

"We're having a great vacation, but it's going to be a short one since we're going back to Ontario on Saturday" Gillis explains.

"Like everyone that takes a break from winter up north, we wish it could have been longer" the trainer of Breeders Crown champion mare Frenchfrysnvinegar added.

Gillis was also asked if he'd like to follow in the footsteps of Ontario trainers such as Carl Jamieson, Casie Coleman, and Gregg McNair who have now set up winter training bases in The Sunshine State.

"That would be great to winter train here, but our sons are now in school and they're really keen on hockey, so I don't see that as a strong possibility anytime in the near future" Gillis said.

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 along with the racing schedule through July of 2012 for The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.