Sandalonia, given a superb drive by Mickey McNichol, rolled by the 1-2 toteboard favorite, JD Eleven Bells (Rick Plano), in midstretch to capture the $10,000 final of the Sunshine State Stake for 2-year-old pacing fillies at Pompano Park on Wednesday night.
The consistent daughter of Six Of Diamonds, trained by Sandy Hollon for owner Heddy Nelson, pushed her scorecard to 3-3-2 in eight lifetime starts with a lifetime best performance timed in 1:57.4, lopping more than two seconds off of her previous best winning time.
Gold Star Jessica (Bob Williams Jr.), off at 97 to 1, finished a fast closing third, just a length off the winner. Marion was fourth while Mustang Sally picked up the "nickel” in the field of nine.
Away alertly in her field, Sandalonia showed her usual gate speed before yielding for the garden journey as JD Eleven Bells took command around the first turn. The latter clocked panels of :28.2, :57.1 and 1:27.1 with Sandalonia lurking boldly turning for home before edging clear late.
In a post-race interview, driver McNichol said, "…this filly is very handy and very well-mannered for a 2 year old. She can leave, relax and then can has the ability to sprint late. She got a great trip tonight!”
As fourth choice on the board, Sandalonia paid $28 to win.
In the featured winner's over trot, Gale Warning, driven by Wally Hennessey, knifed through between horses late to score a length win in 1:56.1.
Owned by Ciro Gentile along with trainer Rod Lorenzo, the 10 year-old won for the 59th time in his illustrious career—the win sending his lifetime bounty over $620,000.
Dream Lake, handled by Matt Romano, finished second after cutting panels of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:25.4 and actually opened some daylight at the top of the lane before Gale Warning found room to brush by late.
Mr. Joe Sixpack, parked the entire route, was a game third for Fern Paquet Jr. while Take Heart and She's All In took the minor honors in the field of nine. (Pompano Park)