Divas Image, sent off at odds of 31-1, charged through the stretch from near the rear of the pack to win Saturday’s $189,750 Golden Girls for older female pacers by one length over 99-1 shot Inverse Hanover in 2:03.1 for the distance of 1 1/8 miles at the Meadowlands. Pure Country finished third.
Shartin N, the 1-5 favorite, took the lead soon after the start and set fractions of :25.2 for the quarter, :53.1 for the half, 1:21.3 for three-quarters, and 1:49 at the mile. Divas Image and driver Joe Bongiorno were 10th at the top of the stretch, more than eight lengths behind Shartin N, before rallying on the far outside of the lane.
She won for the seventh time in 16 races this year.
"The fractions were very fast," Bongiorno said. "Fourth-over, being out the whole mile, I was a little concerned because she’s a small mare, but she’s just as tough as they come. When I flipped her out, she absolutely came out of her harness. She was pacing very strong."
Divas Image, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight-Rocknroll Diva, is trained by Jennifer Bongiorno and owned by Joe Bongiorno LLC, Howard Taylor, Thomas Lazzaro, and J&T Silva Stables. She has won 18 of 58 career races and earned $498,917. (Ken Weingartner/USTA)
Divas Image paid $65.60 to win.