Wild Wanda, overlooked in the wagering at 7-1, sprung a mild upset at Pompano Park on Wednesday night, edging by a game Godiva Seelster, the 6-5 second choice, with a :27.2 final panel to score in 1:51.4, a seasonal mark.
Goldstar Rockette, the longest proposition in the field at 62-1, finished third, just a length away while Pertty Music was fourth. The late charging OK Heavenly picked up the nickel as the even money favorite, Gweneeee J, finished sixth in the classy septet.
At the outset, driver Ricky Macomber Jr. sent Wild Wanda out quickly from her post four with Godiva Seelster on the engine from post six for Wally Hennessey. Hennessey had Godiva in front midway around the opening turn and took the field through an opening quarter in :27 with Wanda next, Goldstar Rockette (John MacDonald) third—positions that would remain unchanged through a moderately rated half of :57.
On the backside, Hennessey let Godiva Seelster have her way and she was on her way through a :27.1 third panel trying to shake loose from the field. But she couldn't.
Turning for home, Wild Wanda left the comfort of her pocket and began gnawing away at the leader, finally sticking her nose in front a sixteenth from home and on to victory by a half length.
In the post-race interview, Macomber related, "Well, we got a perfect trip tonight. Wally rated his mare beautifully and, when we got to the half so soft, I wasn't that confident that we could get to her—after all, she's one heckuva mare, herself.
"But my mare responded. She's a gutsy thing, especially when she gets a trip like tonight. She must've paced her last half in :54.3 or so.
"I'm proud of her. She raced very well tonight…and so did Wally's mare (Godiva Seelster). It certainly wasn't a case of her giving up. It was just a case of us getting that pocket trip!"
For Wild Wanda, trained by Jamie Macomber for Mary Jo Rheinheimer and the Dojea Stables, it was her third win in five starts this year, sending her earnings to $18,510.
Lifetime, Wild Wanda has a 26-23-6 scorecard in 85 career starts, good for $342,625.
As the third choice in the wagering, Wild Wanda returned $17.40 to win. (Pompano)