Natasha wins 15th straight on Florida Super Night
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On the equine side of the ledger, the grand 3-year-old filly Natasha won her 15th straight in the $55,325 Breeders Stake for Wally Hennessey and Zaza Boy took top honors in the $54,090 companion pace for the boys.
A complete wrap follows:
$55,325 Breeders Stake for 3-Year-Old Pacing Fillies
The splendid Six Of Diamonds filly Natasha took home the top prize for driver Wally Hennessey, stopping the timer in a lifetime best 1:53. Trained by Kim Sears for owner-husband Jay, Natasha survived the outside post and a sizzling opening panel of :26.2 before subsequent fractions of :57 and 1:24.3 precluded a :28.2 finale to hit the wire two lengths clear of Prairie Cougar (Peter Wrenn) with Prairie Westerngal (Kevin Wallis) next. Caleb’s Diamond T, closing fastest of all, finished fourth while Rockin Ellie picked up the final award in this classy septet of fillies.
Said Hennessey after the race, “I have always said this filly is a ‘freak’ and she really proved her merit tonight after facing tough rivals like this, the outside post and a trying first quarter.”
Natasha is now 7-for-7 this semester with her career earnings vaulting to $129,956.
Interesting to note that the first three finishers all had drivers with more than 10,000 wins each with the total number of driving wins for all seven drivers at 46,502.
$52,075 Breeders Stake for 2-Year-Old Trotting Colts/Geldings
In a race where the final chart looked like a “tic-tac-toe” board with all the “x’s,” Rhinestone Cowboy, handled by Mike Micallef, rallied from a miscue of his own on the backstretch to win in a lifetime best 2:01.2.
The son of Proud Bushy, trained by Kim Sears for owners Jay Sears and John Campagnuolo, came from 10 lengths out of it around the final bend to first collar the leading Prairie Romeo (Dave Ingraham) and then hold off the surging Prairie Gold Mine (Hennessey) to score by three-parts of a length over the latter with Prairie Romeo next. Prairie Tornado and YD Dream Machine completed the order of finish.
As the wings folded, Prairie Romeo used his inside post to perfection and roared through an opening panel of :28.1 while building a five length lead over YD Dream Machine. That’s when things began to get interesting as YD Dream Machine made a miscue bothering Prairie Gold Mine with Rhinestone Cowboy taking up the chase in second but four lengths away halfway through in :59 with Prairie Tornado improving his position two spots to third.
On the backside, Rhinestone Cowboy made a break and found himself 10 lengths away around the final bend. But after regaining his composure, Rhinestone Cowboy kept churning along, collaring the leader at midstretch and then holding off a furious late surge by Prairie Gold Mine.
A smiling Micallef said after the race, “This proves the old adage ‘you never give up!’ When he made that jump on the backside, I thought we were out of the ballgame but you never know. He caught pretty quickly and raced very well after that, and that’s what really counted here.”
Rhinestone Cowboy now has a 2-2-3 scorecard in seven starts with earnings of $44,491.
$52,500 Breeders Stake for 2-Year-Old Pacing Fillies
Laurie Lee, driven by Hennessey, led every long stride of her mile to score a handy win in 1:56.4 — this after carving up panels of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:27.3 along the way. The daughter of Royel Millennium hit the line 3 1/2 lengths clear over the pocket-sitting Pocahontas Cam (Wallis) with Prairie Fashion (Ingraham) next. Alil Touch Of Pink and Gold Star Igotdis followed.
Trained by Kim Sears for Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, Laurie Lee, named after one of the more prominent breeders in Florida, scored her fourth win of the year in nine starts, pushing her earnings to $49,975.
$51,540 Breeders Stake for 2-Year-Old Trotting Fillies
Prairie Delight, driven by Hennessey, stalked the pacesetter until the final bend before tilting out and overtaking the leader turning for home and on to a 3 1/4-length score in 2:03.4.
Trained by Jim McDonald, who co-owns with wife Dona and Bill Bigler, this daughter of Shibboleth Hanover allowed Callin On Sunday, handled by Mike Simons, to cut the mustard through panels of :29.1, :59.3 and 1:30.3 before swooping by to the handy score — her sixth of the year in seven starts. Whitney Annette (Ingraham) was next while Proud Money and Brasen Bo completed the field.
Prairie Delight now sports earnings of $54,091.
$50,750 Breeders Stake for 3-Year-Old Trotting Colts/Geldings
Pacing Pretty Stable’s Damien Hall, with Hennessey handling the lines for trainer McDonald, led gate-to-wire to keep his 2019 season unblemished — now six-for-six — with a lifetime best 1:58 performance.
This altered son of Cash Hall once again led at every pole through panels of :29.1, :59.4 and 1:28.4 before a :29.1 finale sealed the deal over Savin Park (Micallef). Prairie Gem (Wrenn) was next, followed by McGoldrick.
Damien Hall shows all “1’s” in his 30 charted points of call and has banked $55,563 lifetime — $45,168 this semester.
$49,250 Breeders Stake for 3-Year-Old Trotting Fillies
Proud Sophie, with Ingraham in the bike, used her individual final half in :57.4 to squeak by a stubborn Kerry B (Hennessey) in 2:00.4. Pocket-sitting Crown Bushy (Bryce Fenn) finished third in this trio.
The winner, a daughter of Proud Bushy, was away last allowing Kerry B the advantage of carding soft panels of :30.3 and 1:02.2. On the backside, the pace quickened as Proud Sophie tilted out and began gnawing forward, drawing on even terms with Kerry B around the final bend with three-quarters clocked in 1:31.2.
From there, it was a war all the way home as Proud Sophie edged by once they straightened away and gutted out the game win on the wire.
Trained by Kim Sears for Jay Sears and Dr. David Fishman, Proud Sophie has never been worse than second in her 12 lifetime starts (seven wins) and now sports bounty of $111,215.
$49,380 Breeders Stake for 2-Year-Old Pacing Colts/Geldings
In a war that lasted just about the entire mile, Hurrikanekingjames, with Carl Garofalo in his sulky, held off the furious late binge of Repeal Or Replace (Andy Santeramo) to win in 1:53.4, a new lifetime best. Shuldahadahunemoon (Simons) was third in this trio.
At the outset, both Hurrikanekingjames and Repeal Or Replace went in search of the lead and at the opener in :27.1, the latter stuck his head in front but was forced back in the pocket as he couldn’t clear. On they flew through fractions of :55.4 and 1:24.3 with Hurrikanekingjames now encountered by Repeal Or Replace turning for home. They went tooth and nail right to the wire with Hurrikanekingjames surviving the onslaught to prevail by a half-length.
John McDermott Jr. trains the son of So Surreal for Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group and George Vierno with the winner now showing earnings of $101,311.
Driver Carl Garofalo, by the way, drove in six races since Pompano Park opened one month ago and has won all six.
$54,090 Breeders Stake for 3-Year-Old Pacing Colts/Geldings
Zaza Boy, with Micallef handling the lines, stalked the pacesetting Mister Marvalous (Hennessey) and went on to score a handy win in 1:53.4 over the late charging Gold Star Yoder (James Yoder). JB’s Boomerang (Fenn) was third over Mister Marvalous while Gold Star Hefner earned the minor award in a field scratched down to five.
Zaza Boy and Mister Marvalous went warring as the gate sprung clear with the latter taking command just short of the opener in a hot :26.2. Hennessey then got a bit of a breather as he reached the half in :56.3. On the backside, the pace began to quicken with Mister Marvalous still in front past the third station in 1:25.1 with Zaza Boy now looming boldly alongside.
Once they straightened away, Zaza Boy opened daylight and was never in danger as Gold Star Yoder closed with sharp pace to finish 1-1/2 lengths away.
Micallef had high praise for the winner saying, “Michile and Rod (Lorenzo) have had him sharp for a good, long time and he has become very handy to handle — not headstrong. I think the fact that he’s learned to relax has helped his game immensely.”
Rod Lorenzo owns Zaza Boy in partnership with Souren Hovsepian. The sophomore gelded son of Rockincam now has $68,530 in 2019 and $93,707 lifetime. As the 2-1 second choice, Zaza Boy paid $6.20 to win.
Driver Wally Hennessey had a six-pack on Super Night while Kim Sears had a grand slam on the training side of the ledger. (Pompano Park)