Diane Hellen's Fiesta Camcun, flawlessly handled by Stephane Lareau, pulled off a major upset in the $10,000 Open Handicap for Mares on Monday night at Pompano Park while Bombilla Hanover put in a startling 1:51 performance in the secondary feature for the distaffers.
Fiesta Camcun, a 7-year-old daughter of Camotion, stalked 1-5 favorite Gold Star Gidget, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., through panels of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:24.3 before leaving the pocket turning for home and just getting up in the final stride to win by a scant nostril.
Kayla's Dream, with Matt Romano in the bike, was third followed by Island Terror and Looney Dune, who picked up the last "nickel.”
In a post-race interview, driver Lareau said, "I figured that Macomber's mare would try the same thing as last week so I knew that, with my mare's gate speed, she could keep right up close to her tail. She had that great draft cover through that quick third quarter and I really thought I had a chance to get there. I tried to stay as patient as I could and it paid off. It kind of makes up for last week when we lost by a nose.
While owner-trainer Diane Hellen was ecstatic with Lareau's "perfect drive,” she also gave great credit to caretaker Jim Hogan. "He (Hogan) is one of the most dedicated caretakers in this business. He takes his trade very seriously and is as professional as they get. His talent is a big reason for the mare's success.”
The win was the third of the year in eight starts for Fiesta Camcun sending her 2013 bounty to $13,725. She's banked $162,662 lifetime.
Bombilla Hanover kicked off the Monday night festivities with that eye-popping 1:51 performance for Bruce Ranger in the very first race of the night.
The 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa, owned by Rick Berks and Lewis Whitaker along with trainer Peter Blood, blasted out of the gate to take the field through an opening quarter of :27.2 before yielding to Arodasi and Joe Pavia, Jr. just after that point. Arodasi clicked off a half in :55.2 but, three-eighths out, Ranger throttled Bombilla Hanover once again and she took command passing station three in 1:23.2 before sprinting home in :27.3 to score in a new lifetime mark.
"She can be a bit headstrong.” Ranger said, "In fact, she kind of drives me…but she was very sharp tonight…surprisingly fast! Peter (trainer Blood) has done a remarkable job with her to get her to calm down just a bit…so the credit goes to him.”
The win was number 14 in 57 lifetime starts for Bombilla, sending her lifetime bankroll to $127,878.
Sunday night racing begins here at Pompano Park on March 3 and continues throughout the month of March with post time at 7:05 p.m. (Pompano)