After nearly two months of no racing at any North American racetrack, Pompano Park was the first pari-mutuel facility to hold a set of qualifiers Friday, May 15. Over 100 horses took advantage of the 13-race card, including several Indiana sired horses. The races were available for horses stabled at Pompano Park only.
Keegan Ho was a winner in the second race. The Mr. Cantab seven-year-old rallied gate to wire for the win by a neck for trainer-driver Rick Plano in a time of 1:59.0. The card also included another Mr Cantab winner as Citi Z Tam from the Marc Major Stable earned a similar gate to wire win in 2:00.0. Driven by Jim Meittinis, the five-year-old mare is owned by Michael and Diane Norcross of New York and was bred by Ervin Graber of Indiana.
Fritzie Pic Up Man and Fern Paquet Jr. were also gate to wire winners in 1;54.2. The nine-year-old Always a Virgin gelding, owned by Gaston Lareau Racing and trained by Gaston Lareau, has 45 career wins and more than $300,000 in purse earnings.
Plano was back on top with La Rockin Sampson later in the card. The Rockin Image four-year-old moved to the lead at the top of the stretch and strolled to victory in 1:56.1. Owned by Maryann Plano, La Rockin Sampson was bred by Devon Slabach. He has 12 wins and took a career best mark of 1:51.1 last summer at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.
Harrah’s Hoosier Park is set to host its first round of qualifiers Tuesday, May 19 with a Noon post time. Horsemen and horsewomen are asked to arrive early to adhere to additional check-in protocols now required due to Covid-19 restrictions. The track will have two lanes going into the barn area to accommodate horsemen shipping in for qualifiers.
The track and qualifiers are now available to any horse currently stabled in Indiana, either on track or at training centers and fairgrounds in the state. The barn area will be opened up for horses out of state to come into the barn area beginning Monday, May 24.