On the same evening in which the four teams that will advance to the National Football League conference championship games were determined, Pompano Park in southern Florida hosted a competitive card of overnight races that offered harness racing enthusiasts a reprieve from the pigskin menu.
In the opening race on the Sunday card at Pompano Park, Music Is Art (Ken Holliday) easily lived up to his role as the 1-9 favorite in a non-winners of $4,800 last four starts/optional $15,000 claiming event for pacers. A six-year-old Art Major stallion trained by Peter Blood, Music Is Art benefited from a second over journey down the backside then drew clear in the lane to a three-length score in 1:53.1. It was his first win in two starts this year and he now owns a 19-13-7 slate and nearly $250,000 banked from 84 career tries.
Then two races later in the first part of a split, non-winners of $3,775 last four starts/optional $10,000 claiming event, Outkast Blue Chip (Wally Hennessey) overcame an extended, first over journey to forge a mild 2-1 upset. A six-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding trained by Jake Huff, Outkast Blue Chip recorded his second win of the New Year and he now owns a 15-10-10 slate and over $240,000 banked from 91 career outings. He won a non-winners of $1,500 last four starts class by five lengths in 1:52.2 one week earlier and now fits the non-winners of $6,500 last four starts class.
Speaking of the non-winners of $6,500 last four starts/optional $20,000 claiming event which immediately followed, Always Glorious (John MacDonald) benefited from a pocket trip through the first three calls behind 4-5 choice McJagersonthemove (Hennessey) then angled out at the head of the lane, surged to command then outlasted the late surge of Doo Wop Hanover (Holliday) to score by a length in 1:52.1.
A five-year-old Always A Virgin gelding trained by Rick Plano, Always Glorious notched his first win in two starts this year and now owns a 9-10-7 slate and over $65,000 banked from 76 career tries. Doo Wop Hanover finished second in his seasonal debut for owner-trainer Peter Blood and the classy eight-year-old now owns a 26-16-19 slate and nearly $865,000 banked from 129 career outings. McJagersonthemove faded in the lane and saw his three-race win streak come to a halt in his first outing for trainer Mario Dessureault.
Two races later in the other half of the split, non-winners of $3,775 last four starts/optional $10,000 claiming class for pacers, Dee’s Rocketman (Andy Santeramo) benefited from a pocket trip behind even-money choice Fritzie Pic Up Man (Hennessey) through the first three calls then angled out at the head of the lane and overhauled the leader for a length score in 1:53. An eight-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding trained by Mickey McNichol, Dee’s Rocketman posted his first win in two starts this year and now owns a 23-24-16 slate and nearly $215,000 banked from 127 career outings.
Then two races later in the featured, $9,500 Open II Handicap for older pacers, Mc Mach (Rick Plano) notched his second win of the New Year when he brushed to command from even-money, co-favorite Panocchio (Hennessey) before the half in 55.3, maintained a clear lead down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:23.3 then edged clear from the co-choice for a two-length score in 1:51.1. A six-year-old Mach Three gelding owned and trained by Plano, Mc Mach easily handled the double class hike for his second straight tally and he now owns an 18-10-11 slate and $185,000 banked from 96 career outings and joined the short list of two-time winners in 2020.