It was a beautiful evening in South Florida dominated by a promising group of 2-year-old state-bred prospects hitting the track for their first career starts on Wednesday (July 11) at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. Purses ranged from $4,500 to $6,000 in the Florida Standardbred Breeders And Owners Association (FSBOA) Sunshine State Stakes.
Florida's 2-year-old pacing fillies put on a terrific show in two divisions. In the first split, I Spy A Gator was last away in the field and steadily picked off rivals in the final half to win her lifetime debut in 1:58.1 with Tom Sells handling the lines. The daughter of Spy Hard-Taylors Lady is owned and trained by Mary Birkhold of Sarasota, FL and she defeated Tashia driven by Jay Sears and Dandee Diamond with Bob Roberts in tow.
In the other division for the rookie pacing fillies, Dona overcame a gate miscue to come all the way back to win in 2:00 flat, which included a final quarter of :27.4. The promising miss is owned, trained and driven by Tom Lehmann of Sarasota, FL and Dona was able to catch the pacesetting Seven Arias, driven by DeShawn Minor, while Tamala, partnered by Jay Sears, was well back in third.
Proud Expression stamped himself as a standout in the 2-year-old colt and gelding trot category. The strapping son of Proud Bushy-Triple J's Jaimie was a wrapped up winner in 2:05.1 for co-owner, trainer and driver Mel Turcotte. Ownership shares are also held by Victoria Howard of Coconut Creek, FL and Pete Roccasano of Export, PA. David M, driven by Bruce Ranger, was second and Proud Mark, with Sears in the bike, finished third.
In the other division, Tim T was a wide-open lengths winner with Tom Sells in the bike. Mike Deters trains the rookie colt by Basil from the Valley Victory mare Princess Michelle for local owners Fred Morosini, Mike Prendergast and Ken Fritz. Take One Look was was second for driver Lawrence Hayward followed by Railee Kwik, driven by Jim Gluhm.
There was a single division contested by the rookie filly trotters in the first leg of the Sunshine State Stakes, with Tea Party Express a dominant winner in 2:06 for trainer-driver Mel Turcotte and the same ownership group as colt trotter Proud Expression. Tea Party Express, by Feel Like A Winner-Ho Esprit, easily outstepped Hollys Diamond (Sears) and Piper Pfeiffer. driven by Robert Hoffman.
The state-bred 3 year old fillies were also out in force on the mid-week card at Pompano for the second leg of the FSBOA Stakes. In the first division for the trotting fillies, heavily-favored Selena made repeated breaks in stride and taking advantage was Peace Please. Tom Sells was in the bike with the CR Renegade-Iam Worthy Too filly to score in 2:03.4 for owner Rod Allen of Ocala, FL over Sage Thyme (ven by Richie Simard) and Miss Matchem (Bob Roberts).
In the other division, Pinch Of Thyme dominated from the front to stop the clock in 2:00.3 over Dessert Princess (Jim McDonald), with Teal (Sears) well back in third. Pinch Of Thyme, by Basil-Chicory Cinder, is trained and driven by Mel Turcotte for owner Fred Morosini of Deerfield Beach, FL.
There was a single division in the second leg of the Sunshine State Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Driver Bruce Ranger worked out a pocket trip for Quail and she emerged in the stretch to win in 1:55.2. The daughter of Six Of Diamonds-Armbro Robin has amassed seven wins in nine trips this year for the Kim and Jay Sears outfit. Gold Star Gidget was second with Walter Ross Jr. in the bike and Prairie Lee was third for Tom Sells.
Big Festivities For
Back To The Track
A wide range of trackside activities for everyone will accompany the race program this Saturday evening, July 14, as The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park joins the country wide 'Back To The Track' weekend promotion set forth by the United States Trotting Association. A mystery prize giveaway will be offered for program purchases at the track, accompanied by a last handicapper standing contest, a trackside t-shirt giveaway, a long distance race, and draws for starting gate rides. In addition, guests can submit an entry for the chance to announce a race, with one female and one male winner chosen to test their talent and voices for a live race. Pompano's resident Hall Of Famer, John Berry, will be emceeing the trackside activities and fun for Back To The Track Night 2012 at Pompano.
Through July 28, post time is 7:05 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at The Winter Capital Of Harness Racing. Free race night live streaming, John Berry's handicapping selections, and much more is available in the 'racing' tab at http://www.theislepompanopark.com/ .