Pompano Park Race to Begin in 2003, End in 2004

Pompano Park in South Florida Dec. 31 will be the scene of the only race in the world that will span two different years.

The 13th and final race on the program, dubbed the "Midnight Mile," is slated to begin at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Dec. 31, 2003, and end just after midnight on Jan. 1, 2004. It marks the fifth year the Standardbred track has carded the race.

The winning connections and track management will celebrate with champagne, party favors, and the traditional playing of Auld Lang Syne to end one year and welcome a new one.

"It's become a true tradition," track general manager Dick Feinberg said in a release. "At first, this race was developed as our way to thumb our nose at the Y2K hysteria (as 1999 ended and 2000 began). But we had so much fun, we decided to do it every year."

The Midnight Mile, a pacing event, will offer a $6,000 purse. The TV Games Network is slated to offer a live broadcast of the Pompano race, the final event of 2003 in North America.