Totally Rusty, Show Runner win at Pompano
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The first leg of the $112,500 Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park Late Closer Series was contested in two $12,500 divisions on Saturday night and both provided upset winners as two invaders, Totally Rusty and Show Runner, took their respective events.
Totally Rusty, the four year-old chestnut daughter of Rusty's For Real, was driven by Tom Jackson and pinned a victory measuring 1 ¼ lengths over the late charging Mach It A Par (Dan Clements) in 1:51.3.
Godiva Seelster (Wally Hennessey) finished third, 1 ¾ lengths away, while the early pacesetter, Just A Bee, finished fourth. Sandysgoldenhour picked up the nickel in the field of seven.
At the outset, Godiva Seelster and Just A Bee both left with alacrity with the latter taking over at the first station timed in :27.1.
During the second quarter, Sensational Gabby A brushed up strongly, applying pressure on the leader with the top pair reaching the half noses apart in :55.
Just short of that mid-mile pole, Totally Rusty began a monstrous brush from sixth, paced an individually timed third panel close to :27 to brush around "Gabby" on the backside and stick her head in front of Just A Bee at the third station in 1:22.4.
After grinding Just A Bee into submission, Totally Rusty only had to take care of the late charging Mach It A Par, which she did "handily,"
In a post-race interview, driver Tom Jackson said, "Rusty was good in her qualifier coming home in :27 and a piece under no duress. I thought she'd be competitive tonight so, if you ask me if I would be surprised with her win, I would say ‘no.' On the other hand, I wasn't sure she would go a mile in 1:51.3, either. She was very good tonight.
Trained by Ross Croghan for the Let It Ride Stables of Boca Raton, Totally Rusty, making her first start of the year after a three month vacation, won for the 15th time in 25 lifetime starts to send her career bankroll to $308,654.
As fifth choice in the betting, Totally Rusty paid $24.80 to win.
Show Runner, also making her initial start of the 2016 campaign, scored a handy 2 ¼ length win for trainer-driver Tim Maier, who was in the bike for owner Denise Maier.
The six year-old daughter of Little Steven covered her mile in 1:52.2, leaving the 2 to 5 favorite, Velocity Vespa (George Napolitano, Jr.), in her wake.
Lucy's Pearl (Steve Condren) rallied to be third while Strut My Stuff and Fancy Desire picked up the final two awards in the field of six.
It was Velocity Vespa taking charge from the get-go and clocking panels of :27.3, :56 and 1:24.2 with Fancy Desire in the garden seat and Show Runner next.
Just past the third station, Maier sent his mare on the attack , moved alongside the leader once they straightened away and drew clear inside the sixteenth pole.
Show Runner now has a scorecard of 42-15-8 in 79 career starts, good for $286,580.
As fourth choice on the board, Show Runner paid $19.80 to win.
There are two $12,500 legs awaiting in the coming weeks with the estimated $75,000 final set for March 5.
Also the Florida Amateur Driving Club pushed their contributions over the $155,000 mark with a donation to Amber's Animal Outreach, an organization that helps dogs in need of rescue, adoption, training, micro-chipping and dentistry, to name a few of their services.
The organization was formed and is run by 14 year-old Amber Nelson, who began helping dogs at the age of seven.
Said F.A.D.C. President Dein Spriggs, "Amber is a one-in-a-million gem and, for a young girl to get involved in something this worthwhile, is worth our attention and support."
Pompano Park's Pick-5 went unsolved on Saturday night and a $4,514 carryover translates into a $20,000 guarantee for Sunday night's Pick-5.--By John Berry/Pompano Park