Pompano Beach, FL--Trevor Ritchie has ended his winter holiday of 2011-2012 and appears ready to return to active racebike duty after resurfacing at the Saturday morning qualifying races on April 7 at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.
Ritchie was enlisted for bike duty in the session by Pompano-based trainer Jim McDonald. After piloting The Aviator to runner-up finish in a 2:02 mile behind the Gregg McNair pupil Stonebridge Catch, Ritchie guided 3-year-old gelding trotter Brandon C's to a 2:01 win.
It was the first racebike action for Ritchie since Nov. 24, 2011, at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The 55-year-old reinsman has amassed 3,652 career wins for more than $63 million in purses. He resides near Acton, Ont., and spends his winter months in Florida.
Although his nickname reflects his special skill with trotters from victories in prestigious events such as the Hambletonian (Yankee Paco, 2000) and Maple Leaf Trot (Peaceful Way, 2006; Equinox Bi, 2007; Rotation, 2003), Ritchie also counts wins in pacing's premier events such as the '86 North America Cup (Quite A Sensation) and '87 Meadowlands Pace (Frugal Gourment) among his career accomplishments.
Talk To Tony back on top
After settling for a runner-up finish last week, Talk To Tony returned to the top of the heap in South Florida's top weekly pacing class on the Saturday evening (April 7) program in the $8,000 Isle Mile 1 Pace.
Andy Santeramo was in the bike to find a pocket trip for Talk To Tony behind the pacemaking Flexjet in rein to Doug Brown. When Flexjet tired in mid-stretch after putting up three quarters of 1:24, Talk To Tony fired on through to stop the clock in 1:52.2. Spartan Justice was hustled up the pylons by Dan Clements for the place position and Waterside Champ partnered by Wally Hennessey persisted for third after racing first over for the final half.
Kim Sears trains Talk To Tony for owners Jay Sears of Osteen, Fla., and John Campagnuolo of Loxahatchee, Fla. The Artiscape-Muggins Hanover 5-year-old ridgling has won half of his 10 starts this year to push his season's bankroll to more than $27,000.
The current meet concludes on July 28. In April and May post time is 7:15 p.m. Eastern every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing except for April 16 and April 18 when there is no live racing. In June and July, live cards will be held every Wednesday and Saturday evening. Free race night live streaming, handicapping selections by Hall Of Famer John Berry, the replays archive and much more is available in the 'racing' tab atwww.theislepompanopark.com.