Justa A Bee takes Pompano mare handicap
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Just A Bee, splendidly handled by Mike Micallef, buzzed out of the gate in a hurry and never looked back while stinging her six rivals with a 1:51.3 mile in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares on Wednesday night.
The eight year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood, carding panels of :27, :56.1and 1:24, put the stinger in for good with a :27.3 finale to pin a defeat measuring 2 ½ lengths on Godiva Seelster, with Wally Hennessey in the bike. Southwind Trini was third for Brad Kramer while Art Frenzy finished fourth. Sandysgoldenhour picked up the minor award in the talented field of seven.
For the winner, trained by Micallef for Anita Micallef, John Mc Goff and Greg Heath, it was her initial victory of the year in four starts and 41st success lifetime, sending her career bounty to $286,231--$165,015 of that since the owners claimed her for $12,000 in early September of 2014.
In finishing second, Godiva Seelster, making her first start back after a two month vacation, extended her streak of getting purse money to 73 races-the last time missing a purse check being September 9, 2012.
In a post-race interview, driver Mike Micallef said, "the last few starts I kind of floated her out and looked for a good spot early. Tonight, when the gate sprung, my mare knew I meant business by giving her a couple of reminders leaving. We were lucky enough to get a bit of a breather in the second quarter and, then, on the backside, I knew SHE meant business as I didn't ask her anything and she was off to a :55.2 final half. She's been very good to us!"
As the 9 to 5 second choice, Just A Bee paid $5.80 to win.
In the $10,000 co-feature for the ladies, Ed Hensley's Pertty Music also used gate-to-wire tactics to hit the wire first in 1:52.3-her winning margin one length over Deuces For Charity, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., with De Vins Girl and George Napolitano, Jr. teaming up to be third.
Shortest Distance actually lived up to her name by taking the shortest distance around to be fourth while Drea's Good Powow finished fifth in the sextet.
Fractions for the winner were :27.1, :55.2 and 1:23.4 with a :28.4 finale capping the mile and prompting driver Hensley to say, "she was a stride away from winning from off the pace last week so I thought I'd like to try and control the situation tonight. It worked out well and she was pretty tough in the lane when it counted."
For Pertty Music, a six year-old daughter of Jeremy's Jet trained by Ashleigh Hensley, it was her first win of the year in five tries and 21st success lifetime with her career bounty leaping to $280,849 with the victory.
As the 3 to 2 second choice, Pertty Music rewarded her faithful with a $5.00 win mutual.--By John Berry/Pompano Park