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Bling shines in Pompano feature victory

February 27, 2010
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A two-week interval between starts didn't seem to matter for the 4-year-old mare Bling as she returned with a vengeance to capture the Fillies and Mares Open Handicap-1 Pace at the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park on Friday evening. The Scoot Outa Reach-C The Glory graduate of the Florida Breeders' program benefited from a great trip to score her third win in seven starts this year in 1:53.
 
I'm Just Special, in rein to Anthony Napolitano from the assigned outside post in the field of seven starters, was parked by Esmeralda Semalu and Joe Pavia Jr. far past a blazing front panel in :26.2 on the calm and clear 63-degree evening in South Florida. On the way to the half in :55.4, Bruce Ranger brought Nillabomb out first-over and took the lead going into the final turn at the third marker of 1:24.4. All the while, Bling was enjoying a textbook second-over trip and she handily drew off in the stretch. After a middle stages shuffle, Esmeralda Semalu was wheeled out widest in the late going to capture the place position with Major Trap, in rein to George Napolitano Jr., splitting mares late for third.
 
It was the third straight win in the top class in South Florida for Bling, and her 15th career win for trainer Mark Friedman and the ownership of Polo Stables of Boca Raton. The purse for the event was $15,000, an increase of over 15 percent from the previous level and kicking off the track's implementation of the final round of purse increases for the 2009-2010 meet through May 22.
 
Bling was driven to victory by David Ingraham as he enjoyed an outstanding program with three winners. He was also in the bike for a 2:00 life's mark performance by the 4-year-old trotter What About Brian for owner Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters. Ingraham also guided the 4-year-old trotting mare Bought Twice to a 1:59.2 tally which equalled her life's mark as she made her final start for start for owner-trainer Paul Bernardo when being claimed by Michael Guest of Boca Raton.
 
The $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap-2 Pace on the Friday evening card saw Billie Blue Chip make two strong moves to win in 1:54. It was the first win in four tries this year for the 2009 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes 3-year-old filly pace champion. The Western Hanover-Molly Can Do It mare found room on the cones late after a strong gate rush for position from post eight to edge Wild Ride Hanover and Gaston Lareau in the photo. Joe Pavia Jr. trains and drives the career winner of over $295,000 for Steven Held, Michael Rich, and Dijo Stable.
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