Ring Out The Old, Ring In The NewFirst and foremost, we wish all the TwinSpires staff and crew and every player on the site the happiest year to come. We had a pretty good year playing harness and we will be doing everything possible to make it another good year, perhaps a greater year, perhaps the greatest year ever.
New Year’s Eve Special
Saturday evening, Dec. 31, Pompano Park is one of the few harness arenas with a program on New Year’s Eve. It presents eight races starting at 7:15 p.m. EST.
John Yinger, Racing Operations Director, said “We’re just rounding up the last of the details for what was already going to be a huge New Year’s Eve race card and to have Dan Noble committing to be here to chase the drivers’ dash title for the year should really add to the excitement level.”
Noble is in tight quarters with George Brennan to win the title. That duel could go right down to the wire with Noble listed on four of the eight races at press time.
Tim Tetrick and George Napolitano may also be in Florida to drive in some races that night. That would mean the driving champions of 2009, 2010, and 2011 are all on the same program. That is the perfect time to watch for overlays on horses being driven by other Pompano sulky chauffeurs, including Joe Pavia, Jr., Ed Hensley, Wally Hennessey, Bruce Ranger and Rick Plano, to name a few. The colony is quite talented.
The Dec. 31 Open Handicap Pace may feature an appearance my Little Brown Jug-winner Big Bad John. He qualified last Saturday at Pompano in 1:55.4. In his last race as a sophomore, he is less than $12,000 away from reaching $1 million in earnings. Dan Hennessey is the trainer while “John” is away from his Ohio base.
On our Pompano Watch List (H2W), here are some prospects for the coming week:
Best Catch; Bluebird Chrome; Dojea Delight; Don’t Call Us; Eel; Escrow Blue Chip; Fox Ridge Banker; I’m A Scooter; Julius Secret; Keystone Thomas; Running Ron; Special Art; Spring Goal; Sundowner Bob; Too Busy Tobe Bad; Twin B Impact.
We always seem to be out of step with the Cal-Expo schedule, so we catch up when we can. There is a New Year’s Eve program, despite what we wrote a week ago. So, the no-takeout Pick 4 is on for Dec. 31, 2011, though by the time it’s over it will already be 2012, Eastern Time.
Coming off of a holiday break, we are handicapping this exotic from our recent notes on trips prior to the rest period. So here are our suggested contenders.
(4) Franco Smoothie N showed a lot of early speed at 24-1 and finished third.
(6) Jeff The Builder has been sharp and took the show spot as one of the public choices.
(5) Whitman has been winning and in the mix all winter.
(9) Devilish Donnie could offer more price from this post while peaking.
TJ Beach Poker continues to fight at high odds to surprise the public.
(3) Shoot The Works could open up in this group.